On this day, 22 April 1978: Whizzer and Chips with Krazy

On this day, 22 April 1978: Whizzer and Chips with Krazy

Cover artwork: Sid Burgon

On this day 22 April 1978 … Oh, the memories. I’ve spent so long poring over this comic that I’m writing the blog post later than normal on Wednesday evening. It’s easily the most significant and memorable issue of my early comic-reading years. I’d only ever known Whizzer and Chips in its previous incarnation, with the triangular logo and the Slippy ‘W’ on Whizzer, so this new look in itself was quite fascinating to me at the age of seven. As for the incorporation of this new comic called Krazy … I’d never come across the concept of comics merging, and probably didn’t even know Krazy existed before the previous week’s ‘Great News for All Readers!’ announcement. My horizons were suddenly broadened beyond all imagining. I know, it’s only a comic, but this was my comic – the familiar-panelled world into which my reverential young mind stepped every week – so such dramatic changes to the design, the content, the very DNA of it were astonishing to me. Fortunately, I loved it, and it’s this issue that is probably the reason – as I confessed in my very first post on this blog – that I have a secret, shameful, dirty love for the mergers. I know it’s wrong. I know they’ve caused anguish, heartache, rage and a sense of deep betrayal … but ever since this first one I just find them so damn exciting!

The funstars that migrated from Krazy get a reasonably good deal, to be fair, 12½p Buytonic Boy and The Krazy Gang both get double-page spreads, and with the addition of Hit Kid, Micky Mimic and Paws comprise a fairly healthy contingent. Whizzer and Chips lost some classics of its own to make room for the new folks – there is no sign of Pete’s Pockets, The Slimms or Wear ‘Em Out Wilf. There is even space for two completely new strips – the tragi-comic Horace and Doris ('Yuk! What a fizzog!' Poor Doris) and the Chips adventure serial Run, Rogan, Run! – so this really was an incredibly fresh re-launch of Whizzer and Chips, now in its ninth year.

What delighted me most as I re-read it after all this time was the discovery of a few little scenes that I’m sure I remember from the first time round. Sid’s trick of colouring in a hose pipe to look like Slippy behind a hedge, that dolls house made out of sweets in Sweet Tooth (wow – that’s such a powerful memory; I think I drooled over that image for weeks) and the ‘Reach for the Stars’ planetary height chart, which I definitely collected and stuck to my wall. It’s been like finding an undeveloped roll of camera film from one of those long-lost, magical summers of childhood.

Sid’s Snake: Mike Lacey (artist)

Joker: Sid Burgon (artist)

12½p Buytonic Boy: Robert Nixon (artist)

Sweet Tooth: Trevor Metcalfe (artist)

Horace and Doris: Tom Paterson (artist)

Shiner: Mike Lacey (artist)

The Krazy Gang: Bob Hill (artist)

Hit Kid: Sid Burgon (artist)

Run, Rogan, Run!: Francesc Masip (artist)

Paws: Leslie Harding (artist)

Happy Families: Dick Millington (artist)

Micky Mimic: Arthur Martin (artist)

Odd Ball: Terry Bave (artist)

Lazy Bones: Colin Whittock (artist)

Shirley Bellwood: a gallery of her Misty covers

Shirley Bellwood: a gallery of her Misty covers

On this day, 21 April 1973: Lion and Thunder

On this day, 21 April 1973: Lion and Thunder