Monday, 14 May 2007
The Comic What I Drew
Another find while reshelving was The Morecambe & Wise Special from 1977. So far as I know, this was the only time anyone produced a comic strip starring Eric and Ernie, then at the height of their popularity as Britain’s leading comedy double act (though I’d love to be proved wrong).
At the time this was published, Film Fun had been dead for 15 years, having ended its 42-year run in 1962. The style of cartooning used in this strip echoed that of the older comic, as in the Laurel and Hardy panel below, drawn by Terry Wakefield’s father, George Wakefield, for a 1941 edition of Film Fun, and scanned here from Paul Gravett and Peter Stanbury’s fine book Great British Comics. (At least, Gravett and Stanbury attribute this to George Wakefield - Lambiek, on the other hand, says that Terry Wakefield had taken over the strip in 1938.)
I wonder how many readers of the Morecambe and Wise Special remembered the Film Fun style? I think my only exposure to it at the time would have been from the 1971 Shire Publications book Discovering Comics, written by pioneering British comics historian Denis Gifford – who also wrote the Morecambe and Wise strip.
Update, 3 June 2007
In addition to the Reveille Extra strip mentioned by Shaqui in the comments section, I find that Denis Gifford and Terry Wakefield also collaborated on The Morecambe and Wise Comic Book! (Corgi Books' Carousel imprint, 1977) and Eric & Ernie's TV Fun Book (Arrow Books, 1978). I don't know if any of this was the same material reprinted.