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Sparky golden Jubilee - Free gifts & Funs pals (The Nine `Re 
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Of all DCT comics late 60s to mid 70s `Sparky` had more overhauls with free gifts in a nine year period than the rest! It had NINE overhauls this period.

I shall list those strips that left and some discourse on the new strips! There was a great change in the style of new strips in after 1967 which did affect the style of the comic!

FIRST OVERHAUL! In September 1965 with issues 35 and 36 the comic changed FIVE `adventure` strips as well as it's masthead logo (The colour of `Sparky` changed from red to yellow).

Strips leaving were "Lonely Wood", "Kipper Feet", "Raiders From the Red Planet", "Riddle of the Roughlands" and "Watch"

"Lonely Wood" had been the envoirenmental strip about a nature reserve. It would be back in a very short second season early 1966.

"Kipper feet" the adventures of a young walrus. One of many poor animal based light-hearted strips that were rather too common in the comics first 2 1/2 years life.

"Raiders From the Red Planet" Very short lived (Five episodes) space invaders from Mars strip! Fair-but nothing special!

"Riddle of the Roughlands" An Enid Blyton styled mystery involving smuggling. I wonder if this had run earlier in another DCT comic?

"Watch" Most enjoyable story about 18th century rescue dog. A rare `serious` animal based story- and much better for it.

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Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:40 pm
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The five new strips entering issues 35 and 36 (Four in No 35) were all `Adventure` strips. "Gilpin the Lost, Lost Boy", Wee Tusky", Year of the Vanaks", "The Flood that Mother Remembers" and "Floating Along, Singing a Song".

"Gilpin the Lost, Lost Boy" is a most confusing story about a `sprite who someone put a spell on and is only `found` when he brings about a marriage between two warring houses. Set in medievil times it is very weird and rather hard to follow. One of the read `odd-balls` the comic threw at readers in its 12 plus year life!

"Wee Tusky" the second outing for the intelligent young Elephant. Just eight issues set in England now! not to my taste at all!

"Year of the Vanaks" Occupying the centre pages in full colour; the `Vanak` invasion looked like a 1950s sci-fi film in appearance! Quite fun -if it did become pretty hard to swallow in its latter episodes.

"The Flood that Mother Remembers" This was based on the real-life 1950s flooding in parts of Lincolnshire. A smuggling plot thrown in to keep it alive as it was dull to me. Superbly drawn by Tony Speer.

"Floating Along, Singing a Song" A fairly good mystery set among Canal folk featuring singing youngsetrs who solve a mystery. In the 1967 Sparky book it was titled "The canal Kids" the name the children called themselves when singing!
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Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:51 pm
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Though this was the third largest strip turnover in the comics history, it didn't alter the direction of the comic. Most notable was the logo change of colour! Next up will be the March 1966 overhaul.

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Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:52 pm
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alanultron5 wrote:
Strips leaving were "Lonely Wood", "Kipper Feet", "Raiders From the Red Planet", "Riddle of the Roughlands" and "Watch"
"Lonely Wood" had been the envoirenmental strip about a nature reserve. It would be back in a very short second season early 1966.
"Kipper feet" the adventures of a young walrus. One of many poor animal based light-hearted strips that were rather too common in the comics first 2 1/2 years life.
"Raiders From the Red Planet" Very short lived (Five episodes) space invaders from Mars strip! Fair-but nothing special!
It may interest you to know, Alan, that Lonely Wood, Kipper Feet, and Raiders From The Red Planet, will have been sourced from The Wizard. There were series of Lonely Wood in 1954 and 1955, Kipper Feet in 1929 and 1930, and Raiders From The Red Planet in 1933 and 1934, the title of the last named being changed from Raiders From The Red World. The sequel was called The Blood Trail On Mars, the main character in both being Tusker Gordon.


Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:02 pm
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alanultron5 wrote:
"Floating Along, Singing a Song" A fairly good mystery set among Canal folk featuring singing youngsetrs who solve a mystery. In the 1967 Sparky book it was titled "The canal Kids" the name the children called themselves when singing!
I liked the fact that they used real locations there. The story in the annual starts in Hull, mentioning King George Dock by name, and they set off towards Leeds.

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Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:03 am
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alanultron5 wrote:
"Floating Along, Singing a Song" A fairly good mystery set among Canal folk featuring singing youngsetrs who solve a mystery. In the 1967 Sparky book it was titled "The canal Kids" the name the children called themselves when singing!
"


I remember ISpy posting a page of this from the weekly. Quite striking and appealing artwork.

Was the annual version the same artist and style?


Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:20 am
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Raven! yes! The annual story was the same -but in colour! Edward Drury the artist! Rather than part of the overall storyline in `Sparky` in the 1967 book it was a self-contained story. I'll do the March 1966 re-vamp in very short while!

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Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:10 am
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Actually, the 1967 annual is for sale on eBay right now, and the first page of The Canal Kids is one of the images to magnify and view. Not as impressive as that weekly page, though.


Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:41 pm
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SECOND OVERHAUL!

In only six months the comic offered two more lots of free gifts in issues 60 & 61 (March 1966) Again these were all `Adventure` strips. Three in issue 60. No logo/masthead change this time!

Stories departing were "Year of the Vanaks" the second season of "Will O' the Well" "Quest of the Wandering Wingates" and the short lived "Pocahontas"

New strips were "Seven at One Blow" Based on the fable of the `Tailors Apprentice` it was not a strip I ever warmed to as it had really daft storylines- to me!

"Huffy, Muffy and Tuffy" yet another comedy based animal story! I think it was based on an old Beano strip!

"City Under the Sea" In centre pages in full colour. I enjoyed this and I think it was the best of the new intake.

"Children of the Secret Pool" Story starts with child abduction! The Grandfather (Who lives in a mountain retreat) takes (At night) his orphaned Grandchildren from Orphanage (Without consent) to raise them on the waters of a stream where he lives that `invigourates` them!

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Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:28 pm
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Raven wrote:
Actually, the 1967 annual is for sale on eBay right now, and the first page of The Canal Kids is one of the images to magnify and view. Not as impressive as that weekly page, though.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/THE-SPARKY-BO ... 27f96bf389

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Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:37 pm
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THIRD OVERHAUL.

A bare six months again had passed and yet another set of `gifts` and stories occurred in issues 86 & 87 (September 1966). Four new strip would be added (losing four in exchange) For the first time a `Fun Pal` would be exchanged! Three strips entered in issue 86.

Strips departing were; "Prentice Pete" a one issue story about a moronic handyman's mate! `Pete` would be back in 1967.

"Balloon Family Robinson" 19th century story about a house that flies around the globe via hydrogen balloons! This too would be back in 1967.

"Police Horse Hadrian" rare `serious` themed Sparky animal story. I found it rather dull though-sad to say.

"Granny Cupp and her Flying Saucer" wonderfully surreal `fun` strip, though not laugh out loud by any means- was just so bizarre! Rather unusual artwork in this strip.

NEW Strips!

"Willie the Woeful Wizard! just SUPERB!! only `I.Spy` ever beat this for me in all of the comics strips! It lasted 31 weeks. Consisted of about nine separate short adventures of 3, 4 or 5 episodes each. Wonderful art from Bill Wainwaering. A DELIGHT!

"Terry had a Little Pig" Yet another dull animal based strip-quite forgettable.

"Nine Hundred Years Ago" Set at the time leading up to the Battle of Hastings. Lovely art by Bill Wainwearing.

"My Grockle and Me" The update of the old Rover/Dandy strip! The first `Fun Pal` introduced in these `overhauls` Lasted to the Sept 67 overhaul. One of the funniest 1960s fun strips in my view.

On Friday, I will cover the huge September 1967 Overhaul.

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Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:37 am
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THIRD OVERHAUL.

A bare six months again had passed and yet another set of `gifts` and stories occurred in issues 86 & 87 (September 1966). Four new strip would be added (losing four in exchange) For the first time a `Fun Pal` would be exchanged! Three strips entered in issue 86.

Strips departing were; "Prentice Pete" a one issue story about a moronic handyman's mate! `Pete` would be back in 1967.

"Balloon Family Robinson" 19th century story about a house that flies around the globe via hydrogen balloons! This too would be back in 1967.

"Police Horse Hadrian" rare `serious` themed Sparky animal story. I found it rather dull though-sad to say.

"Granny Cupp and her Flying Saucer" wonderfully surreal `fun` strip, though not laugh out loud by any means- was just so bizarre! Rather unusual artwork in this strip.

NEW Strips!

"Willie the Woeful Wizard! just SUPERB!! only `I.Spy` ever beat this for me in all of the comics strips! It lasted 31 weeks. Consisted of about nine separate short adventures of 3, 4 or 5 episodes each. Wonderful art from Bill Wainwaering. A DELIGHT!

"Terry had a Little Pig" Yet another dull animal based strip-quite forgettable.

"Nine Hundred Years Ago" Set at the time leading up to the Battle of Hastings. Lovely art by Bill Wainwearing.

"My Grockle and Me" The update of the old Rover/Dandy strip! The first `Fun Pal` introduced in these `overhauls` Lasted to the Sept 67 overhaul. One of the funniest 1960s fun strips in my view.

On Friday, I will cover the huge September 1967 Overhaul.

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Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:37 am
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WOW!!! It doubled! Can't figure out how that happened! Oh well!

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Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:38 am
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Can't you just delete the duplicate?

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Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:26 am
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I don't know how to-sorry!

Anyway- FOURTH OVERHAUL.

In September 1967 the comic underwent its most radical overhaul yet! Half the comic's contents changed this time. This re-haul is different from all other Sparky `Overhauls` in that more than one new strip was introduced in the second `Free-Gift` week. September 67 brought in Six new strips issue 140 and Three issue 141.

For the first time-more new `Fun Pals` than `Adventure` strips came in (Five to Four)

Strips departing were, "The Slowdown Express" "Joe Bann and his Big Banjo" (Who only came back for one episode in more than a year!), "Nosey Parker" , "Cuckoo in the Clock" (Who had been in the comic since it started) "Granny Cupp and her Flying Saucer" (Sadly Granny was never to return), "Balloon Family Robinson" (This had only retuned for two issues!), "My Grockle and Me" and lastly, "Prentice Pete"

Strips in - beginning with `Adventure` strips.

"David Copperfield"

"Davey Spacer in Giantland" the second series of Davey's adventures, now set in a planet of (friendly) giants.

"Klanky" No longer `Big Klanky` back for a second and longer run in Sparky. It had never shown Klanky returning hiome at the end of his first set of adventures in 1966.

"Big Ossie" Thankfully the last of the comedy based animal stories. This was really dull stuff!

Next post is the fun pals!

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Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:23 pm
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