A Denis Gifford Collection (H.C. Blossom)
In a country so rich with children’s literature, and so blessed with sentimental old creators and publishers, the various holidays of the year have always been excellently commemorated in our comic publications. Britain also had a huge advantage over its transatlantic cousins in that our industry was for most of that history operated on a weekly schedule.
That might seem an odd distinction to make, but the power of topicality added huge excitement and effect to “Bumper Christmas Editions” which were always on sale mere days before the Big Event, rather than as much as three weeks either side, as in US monthly or even bi-monthly titles.
This collection of cover images, culled from the prodigious personal collection of cartoonist and comics historian Denis Gifford, reprints 45 unbelievably evocative and nostalgic pictorial classics from the X-Mas Numbers of such comics as Funny Folks, Sparkler, Tiny Tots, Puck, Knockout, Beano, Dandy, Tiny Tim’s Weekly, Comic Cuts and many other hallowed British icons, all published between 1897 and 1941.
The text is limited to the barest historical paragraphs here as the whole point is to rejoice if not wallow in the feelings the creators worked so diligently to instil. So why not marvel at the artistic genius of such luminaries as Percy Cocking, Jack Greenall, Hugh McNeill, James Crichton, Reg Carter, Roy Wilson, Freddie Crompton, John Jukes, Wilfred Haughton, Ray Bailey, Herbert Foxwell, Walter Bell, William Wakefield, George Jones, Authur White, Tom Wilkinson, WF Thomas, George Davey, H. O’Niell, Ralph Hodgson, Will Spurrier, Frank Holland, John Phillips Stafford and all those other talented artists whose names are lost to us now.
If you want a good old fashioned Yuletide, this is what needs to go on your list. And remember, shop early to avoid disappointment.
Text and compilation © 1991 Denis Gifford.