Sunday, 27 October 2013

WHIZZER & CHIPS COMIC LIBRARY COVER GALLERY...



Well, you've already seen the BUSTER COMIC LIBRARY
covers, so let's now look at the WHIZZER & CHIPS ones - all 14
of them.  These first came out in early 1985, and I was one of the re-size
artists to work on the digest-sized periodicals.  Guess how much I got paid
for each issue, which took about a day, day-and-a-half tops, to do.  £100
per issue.  That's good money today, never mind 28 years ago, and I had
my lettering work on top of that.  If that's being a 'failure', as some bitter
and misguided visitors to this blog occasionally seek to imply, then
give me excess of it.  Yup, it was a nice little earner.

You'll note that each title was issued as a separate publication,
unlike the weekly comic.  Both went on sale at the same time 'though,
sitting alongside one another on newsagents' shelves.  Obviously a cun-
ning marketing ploy designed to shift twice as many copies.  (What
true fan would ever buy Whizzer without also buying Chips?) 

One good thing about working on the comic libraries (apart from
the financial aspect) was in getting to 'connect' with strips I had first
read as a child and leaving my mark on them in the process of adapting
them to a smaller page size.  I also got to indulge my artistic sensibilities
by adding my own art whenever any panels needed extending in order to
fill the space.  (There are examples elsewhere on the site.)  Anyway, I'm
sure you're not interested in what I was up to  nearly 30 years ago, so
let's stick to the script.  Here, for your pleasurable perusal, are
the covers of which I spoke.  Hope you enjoy them.






23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kid, I was around in 1985 and had heard of Whizzer & Chips, but I never saw any of these booklets. Were they big sellers? I imagine they were a similar size to the Commando comics we have today. This small size looks attractive to me; the size of a large phone or a Kindle. Looking at today's Beano comic, it looks like a lot of it would squeeze into the smaller format. When I was in Canada, quite a few of the kids read the Archie comics, that were of a similar size (especially girls, they also like the small manga books).
Taking in inflation over the past 28 years, £100 is worth a little over £255 today. If you took 2.5 days to make £100, that would be equivalent of an average wage today. If you took a lot less time, then you certainly were onto a winner!
(Marko)

Kid said...

Weren't big enough sellers, it seems, otherwise they'd have lasted more than 14 issues. I think the Buster one must have initially done quite well, which is why the W&C and Eagle ones were then issued. The were the exact same size as the Commando books (Fleetway at one time had their direct equivalents of the DCT war digests), but I enjoyed working on them while they lasted.

When I said 'day, day-and-a-half' I meant a day OR a day-and-a-half, not combined - so, indeed, I was onto a winner. When you add it to my Summer Specials, Annuals and weeklies work (not just for IPC, but later Marvel, Redan, etc.) I was doing very well for myself. If I was working today and earning the same kind of money (allowing for there being enough work) a five day week would bring me in twice the average wage. The only way a DCT artist could even hope to earn that much today is to be very fast and do twice the work. (And remember, DCT traditionally paid about half the rates that IPC did.)

John Pitt said...

I thought I remembered all the pocketbooks, but I couldn't remember Buster & I can't remember these. What else have you got up your sleeve for us? Technical question for you - how did the Odhams re-letterers fit the word THROUGH into the space left by THRU without re-lettering the whole balloon?

Kid said...

We've still got the Eagle Comic Library covers to go, JP. As for your question - very badly in some cases, it has to be said. Sometimes they would just compress the relettering, other times they would perhaps move lettering over to allow a wider space for the amendment. Whichever way they could, basically. In the case of MWOM in the '70s, sometimes balloons and captions were completely relettered, but not always.

Titan said...

Don't forget the pocketbooks were monthly so £100 a month isn't so impressive.

Kid said...

You could have finished your non de plume after the 2nd 't' and it would've been sufficient. I was earning that £100 in a day or so, (as I've already said) on top of my regular weeklies, Annuals and Specials work which was done way in advance. Hardly a day went by without me being busy on something. Point is, I was earning more than some artists. Don't like the thought of that, do you?

Titan said...

So why haven't editors employed you for the last 13 years? How do you get by NOW?

Kid said...

Well, Tit - before I return you to the obscurity from which you sprang, and not that it's any of your business - I haven't been seeking comics work for the past 13 years, although I have been offered. However, lettering is done by computer fonts nowadays, a process from which I derive no creative satisfaction. How do I get by now? Very nicely, thanks. Now go and play in the traffic like the good little Tit you are.

Anonymous said...

I must have been walking around with my head in the clouds in the mid '80s as I don't recall any of these pocket books first time around (only picking up some about 8 years ago). The ones I have (Buster & Eagle) are really good, pity the format didn't take off - Actually £100 an issue (14 x £100 = £1,400) as a project of work that took about 20 - 25 days of work (ie less than a month) is actually pretty good in '85 (average wage in UK for 1985 was just under £8,890 pa -UK Gov Stats.....I work for the Government). Just time that by 12 alone and you can see it's not too shabby, what a shame UK artists can't make that today. Seems a bit unfair on today's guys if it's as bad as you say now - McScotty

Kid said...

I'd doubt that they'd be able to make today's equivalent at DCT, that's for sure, McScotty. Unless they're doing loads of pages and are very quick. I'd imagine that there are artists who make more at other companies.

David Whitehead said...

I remember thses with fondness; I re-read thses and the Buster comic libraries as I still have them all. It's a shame that IPC didn't do the same with the likes of Whoopee, Monster fun, Krazy, etc. I think that the time is nigh that IPC's back catalogue is either re-issued as TPBs or digitised; it would surely be successful within a niche audience.

Kid said...

IPC did issue monthly reprint titles for a while (back in the '80s or '90s), including Whoopee and Wow! if I recall correctly, but I guess sales weren't strong enough to sustain them.

Kid said...

I've now deleted unread several anonymous comments over the last 24 hours or so. Were they insults, carefully crafted putdowns, inane pedantry, or Spam from some obscure farm machinery manufacturer from Idaho? Who knows? Who cares? I certainly don't. Complete waste of time anyone writing them then, eh?

So, if you're so obsessed with me that you feel compelled to continually submit insults in the hope that my curiosity will get the better of me and I'll read what you've written, then you couldn't be more wrong. Losers never learn, it seems.

Only comments accompanied by a name get looked at, and any with even the slightest hint of an insult are immediately deleted.

Kid said...

And another two gone. Some people obviously have too much time on their hands.

John Pitt said...

Kid, just read your reply to David Whitehead's comment and the monthly Whoopee and Wow reprints is yet another one I missed , so if you have ,( or ever do get ) any ,would you show them to us? Cheers, J ( never satisfied ) P.

John Pitt said...

P.S.Can't help but be concerned about this hate campaign you are still having to endure. It must get so tiresome. I'm sure I speak for all your mates out here who regularly drop in with a cuppa when I say don't let it grind you down and whatever they say ,please don't let it deter you from blogging! After all, you wouldn't want to leave us with empty spaces in our days, would you?

Kid said...

Don't worry about that, JP. It's only a couple of idiots at most, persistent 'though they are. They just can't seem to grasp that I don't read past the first couple of words - and even then, only when I do an occasional check. In the main, I now delete all anonymous comments unread if they don't have an appended name that I recognise.

Raven said...

There wasn't a monthly Wow reprint collection, Kid (Wow presumably wasn't that popular, lasting only 56 issues) but there was a Best of Buster, Best of Whoopee!, and Best of Whizzer and Chips.

There was also BVC: Big Value Comic, acting like a blend of these three titles.

Kid said...

Yup, I realised that last night when I dug out some 'Best of' issues for scanning and there was no Wow! I must've been confusing some Summer Specials with the 'Beat of' line. Was going to mention it when I posted the finished article.

George Shiers said...

I've been trying to find out how long these lasted for a while now - thanks for finally clearing it up!

Kid said...

Nae bother. Just a shame they didn't last longer. They were easy to do.

George Shiers said...

I've posted this on my Whizzer and Chips blog and linked back to here. Hope you don't mind. :)

http://whizzerandchipscomic.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/comic-library.html

Kid said...

Not at all - go for it, George.

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