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The Sparky adventure strips 
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One thing which certainly made the early Sparky stand out from the other D C Thomson comics was its turnover of adventure and comic adventure strips. it fairly rattled through them compared to the others and, in this way at least, more closely resembled the output of the boys' and girls' picture strip weeklies. A not surprising resemblance when you consider that Sparky was developed and produced by the editorial staff who were responsible for the likes of Victor and Bunty.
In its first two years of publication Sparky published something like forty different picture strip serials and these were, with the names of artists responsible appended where known, as follows -

The Young Castaways - Tony Speer
Wee Tusky - Jack Monk
The Kidnapped Kidds - Dave Ogilvy
Watch - George Radcliffe
McGinty the Goat - Bob Webster
Kipper Feet - Jack Monk
Riddle of the Roughlands - Anon
Lonely Wood - Urnau
Raiders from the Red Planet - Mike Lacey
Gilpin the Lost Lost Boy - Jack Rawlins
Year of the Vanaks - David Small
The Flood that Mother Remembers - Tony Speer
Floating Along Singing a Song - Edward Drury
The Downside Donkeys - Tony Speer
Goldie - Tony Speer
Lost Children of the Forest - George Radcliffe
Wandering Wingates - Jack Rawlins
Will o' the Well - Andy Tew
Pocahantas - Gordon Mowbray
Seven at One Blow - Andy Tew
Huffy, Muffy and Tuffy - Jack Monk
City Under the Sea - David Small
Children of the Secret Pool - Edward Drury
Rory - George Radcliffe
Boy in the Forest of Fear - George Radcliffe
Big Klanky - Bob Webster
Police Horse Hadrian - Andy Tew
Balloon Family Robinson - Tony Speer
'Prentice Pete - Anon
Willie the Woeful Wizard - Bill Mainwaring
Nine Hundred Years Ago - Bill Mainwaring
More to follow.


Tue Feb 24, 2015 2:28 pm
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What a great list of data! My favourite was "Willie the Worful Wizard! I loved that one and I thought it was drawn superbly!

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Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:47 pm
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Knowing so little about Sparky, I'm amazed and delighted to read that Jack Monk did some of stories. Big fan of Buck Ryan here :D Have to find some examples. Thank you.


Tue Feb 24, 2015 6:24 pm
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Artist David Small is new to me - into the `File` he must go! Notice the heavy slant towards animal based strips! I only found the serious ones such as "Watch" and "Hadrian" interesting at the time. I had though Andy Tew might have penned the `Prentice Pete` strip- but our friend `Anon` seems to be culpable for that!

Hoping for more please Ray. All put to good use!

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Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:42 am
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Hi Paw. Still a few more Jack Monk items to come. He also did some work for Thomsons boys picture paper Hornet in the early 1960's.

Sparky adventure strips cont......

BTW in these listings I haven't included second appearances etc unless the artist changed from series to series.

Terry had a Little Pig - Andy Tew
The Horse with Wings - Edward Drury
Little Davey Spacer - Andy Tew
The Island from the Past - Gordon Mowbray
Keepers of the Dancing Drums - Jack Rawlins
Invisible Dick - Tony Speer
The Lost Ponies of Thor - David Small
Greedy Gus - Bob Webster
The Cave Kids - George Ramsbottom
'Prentice Pete - Anon
Titch, the Pup that Grew and Grew - Jack Monk
Lonely Lad of Blue Lagoon - Guido Buzzelli/Steve Chapman/ Bill Holroyd (R Hotspur)
David Copperfield - J T Higson (R Judy)
Big Ossie - Jack Monk
The Magic Sword - Tony Speer
The Floating Farrells - George Ramsbottom
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Paddy Brennan (R Bunty)
Blondel the Wandering Minstrel - Bill Mainwaring
South Seas Suzie - Jack Monk
The Old Curiousity Shop - Paddy Brennan (R Bunty)
The Captive Kidds - Andy Tew
Sacramento Here We Come - Anon
Sailor Brown's Schooldays - Anon
The Boyhood of Deadwood Dick - Bowyer (R New Hotspur)
The Coral Island - Bill Holroyd (R New Hotspur)
The Jungle Ark - Andy Tew
Mr Bubbles - Pam Chapeau
The Jungle Walkers - Anon
The Misery King - Anon


Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:52 am
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Hi Alan, Glad your finding the listings of some interest. As for David Small he, like Jack Monk, came to work for Sparky via the Thomson boys' picture paper Hornet. Off the top of my head he was responsible for the "Killer Slade of the Pony Express" stories amongst others.


Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:07 pm
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What about artists on the other two Davey spacer seriels Ray? The "Giantland" might be Andy Tew again- but the third run in mid 1969 was surely another artists work?

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Wed Feb 25, 2015 1:19 pm
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Sorry Ray - but I have to query something! Afraid I just cannot accept that there were different artists on the "Island From the Past" and "Lost Ponies of Thor" strips. I have studied them closely- it is the same artist David Small who drew the colour "Vanaks" and "City under the Sea" colour strips. Sorry- but David drew both "Island" and "Ponies" strips. Gordon Mowbrays-who you informed me drew "Pocahontas" could not have drawn ""Island From the Past" I have to go with what my eyes tell me and will be filing that strip drawn by David Small.

Regarding "Klanky" and "Mr Bubbles" Both had multiple artists. Klanky's third season (1969) drawn by Terry Patrick, Unknown artist on the "Klanky Around the World" series (1970) The final (1972-74) Klanky series featured James Fox and another artist unknown who drew the latter episodes!

Bubbles- along with Pam Chapaeu, also had James Fox, Brian Walker and for just one episode (Talking Dog) Albert Holroyd. There was another artist who drew the final (1975) `Bubbles` episodes; but I don't know their identity.

Sorry to disagree over the "Island" and "Ponies" strips- but I just can't accept they are by two seperate artists.

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Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:45 pm
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There is also "Four Legged Fred" "Bushboy" the `Mini Martins` `Tess of the Taoki` "The Wild West Kids" and the really strange "NORTH SEA OYL" That one was really strange!

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Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:35 pm
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alanultron5 wrote:
Sorry Ray - but I have to query something! Afraid I just cannot accept that there were different artists on the "Island From the Past" and "Lost Ponies of Thor" strips. I have studied them closely- it is the same artist David Small who drew the colour "Vanaks" and "City under the Sea" colour strips. Sorry- but David drew both "Island" and "Ponies" strips. Gordon Mowbrays-who you informed me drew "Pocahontas" could not have drawn ""Island From the Past" I have to go with what my eyes tell me and will be filing that strip drawn by David Small.

Regarding "Klanky" and "Mr Bubbles" Both had multiple artists. Klanky's third season (1969) drawn by Terry Patrick, Unknown artist on the "Klanky Around the World" series (1970) The final (1972-74) Klanky series featured James Fox and another artist unknown who drew the latter episodes!

Bubbles- along with Pam Chapaeu, also had James Fox, Brian Walker and for just one episode (Talking Dog) Albert Holroyd. There was another artist who drew the final (1975) `Bubbles` episodes; but I don't know their identity.

Sorry to disagree over the "Island" and "Ponies" strips- but I just can't accept they are by two seperate artists.
alanultron5 wrote:
There is also "Four Legged Fred" "Bushboy" the `Mini Martins` `Tess of the Taoki` "The Wild West Kids" and the really strange "NORTH SEA OYL" That one was really strange!

Hi Alan, Thank you for pointing out that mistake. David Small was indeed the artist on both 'The Ponies of Thor' and 'The Island from the Past'. That's what comes of trying to decipher twenty five year old notes instead of consulting the comics themselves.
As to 'Klanky' and 'Mr Bubbles' I realise they had multiple artists. As you point out the third 'Klanky' series was the work of Terry Patrick but I thought you might have spotted the artist on the fourth series 'Around the World with Klanky' as he seems to have been one of your favourites in other guises, Bill Mainwaring.
The fifth series was the work of John Fox as you have mentioned and then in the later episodes the artist was Alan Philpott, probably the worst work he ever drew for any comic title.
In the 1970's Sparky used a number of artists whose names have eluded the researcher up to now. Including the artists for the first 'Bushboy' series, 'The Mini-Martins', 'The Wild West Kids' and 'North Sea Oyl'.
The second series of 'Bushboy' was the work of Terry Patrick as I'm sure you know and Four Legged Fred was drawn by Peter Moonie while 'Tess of the Taoki' was Jack Monk's last work for the comic.
While searching through the comics themselves I did spot another reprinted strip that hadn't been catalogued as such before. This was the 1966 strip 'Greedy Gus' drawn by Bob Webster which had first appeared in New Hotspur Nos 33(4/6/60)-43(13/8/60) under the title 'Hungry Hank'.


Fri Feb 27, 2015 4:58 pm
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Thanks for your understanding on this Ray! I had to go with what my senses told me! Never in a million years would I have guessed Bill Mainwaering on "Around the World With Klanky" . Sorry to be a `bug-bear`again, but I would also recheck "Four Legged Fred" that really looks like James Fox work to me there!

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Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:23 am
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Aaaagh! Of course it's John Fox. Apologies for that. Peter Moonie as a jobbing staff artist merely tidied up the work.


Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:03 pm
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I was sure it was Fox! Sorry about also querying Bill Mainwearing on `Klanky` 1970 strip. I just can't see it Ray. Unless he was taken over by some `alien` force, I just cannot see how His style could ever have deteriorated that much! I'll leave that as `Anon` Rule for my `file` is "When in Doubt Leave it Out"

Now! `Davey Spacer` I have my doubts that Andy Tew did first two series-but i'll stick with that for now! Andy certainly drew the third Davey series as that is most clear to see! Now by deduction- this means Andy Tew drew "The Misery King" (Also 1969) as that and final Davey Spacer are clearly by the same artist. Have a look and compare them Ray-same artist.

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Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:17 am
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Hi Alan, this weekend I took the bull by the horns and managed to retrieve my Sparky collection from the loft in order to properly check the issues themselves against these 'troublesome' notes I made over twenty years ago.
In light of my recent perusal I'm more than happy to accept the amendments you mention while still being happy with my list as a whole.
Compared to your own extensive interest in Sparky which led to the Sparky Files my old notes seem somewhat perfunctory.
One thing that does puzzle me in the light of my current overhaul is why I have listed in my notes Bill Mainwaring as the 'Around the World with Klanky' artist when it is clearly the work of C D Bagnall and more puzzlingly why I said it was Mainwaring when I have already stated Bagnall was the artist in an earlier post on this forum!


Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:14 pm
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Ray! As me grandad used to say "Person who never made mistake- never made `owt!" My file must have many an error still. I have to be led by my senses! Hence me querying a couple of things! I am pretty certain "Misery King" artist drew final `Davey Spacer` strip. That should be Andy Tew - I hope!

Will you be opening similar thread about `Fun Pal` artists Ray? That would be far bigger task though!

Finally, I hope you have `A` copy of Sparky No1 as you mentioned in the `Sparky Jubilee` thread you no longer had a copy!

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Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:21 pm
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