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The Decline of TV21 
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suebutcher wrote:
Just a question related to the drift to football material in TV21; was Britain the only place in the world where soccer comic strips were popular? Or was it an international phenomenon?


Some of the IPC football material was sold to France, such as Alf's Albion:

http://www.comicbd.fr/episodes%20images ... Albion.JPG

in the '80s, at least, so France still had football comics, then:

http://www.comicbd.fr/bd%20image%20vent ... %20230.jpg

Buster's The Wizard of Football was also translated in French:

http://www.comicbd.fr/episodes%20images ... 20TOUT.JPG

in the '70s and '80s, along with other IPC and D.C. Thomson strips.


Japan seems to have long had a tradition of sports comics, including soccer: Whistle! being one that's been translated into English: http://cdn.myanimelist.net/images/manga/1/25088l.jpg


Last edited by Raven on Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:55 pm
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suebutcher wrote:
Just a question related to the drift to football material in TV21; was Britain the only place in the world where soccer comic strips were popular? Or was it an international phenomenon?


Billy's Boots was reprinted in Holland in Sjors weekly and became even more popular than in the UK. It was collected into many albums, with newly drawn covers by John Gillatt. When Sjors ended in 1975, they concluded the strip with new stories and artwork, and Billy actually got older, unlike in the UK where he was forever 12 years old.
Full details on a blog post I did five years ago:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/ ... boots.html


Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:57 pm
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Raven wrote:
Some of the IPC football material was sold to France, such as Alf's Albion: http://www.comicbd.fr/episodes%20images ... Albion.JPG in the '80s, at least, so France still had football comics, then: http://www.comicbd.fr/bd%20image%20vent ... %20230.jpg
I've just tried to access these two links without success as a FORBIDDEN notice appeared, informing me that I couldn't access them on this server, whatever that may mean. Does anyone know why? The Buster's Wizard Of Football link did provide one panel.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:21 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
Raven wrote:
Some of the IPC football material was sold to France, such as Alf's Albion: http://www.comicbd.fr/episodes%20images ... Albion.JPG in the '80s, at least, so France still had football comics, then: http://www.comicbd.fr/bd%20image%20vent ... %20230.jpg
I've just tried to access these two links without success as a FORBIDDEN notice appeared, informing me that I couldn't access them on this server, whatever that may mean. Does anyone know why? The Buster's Wizard Of Football link did provide one panel.


I had the same problem when I clicked on those links too.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:47 pm
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They work for me, still, so I'm not sure what's wrong.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 2:49 pm
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Raven wrote:
They work for me, still, so I'm not sure what's wrong.


Strange. The links work within the context of Phoenix's quote of your post, but not in your original post!


Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:00 pm
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It's the opposite for me. For me, my original links lead straight to the full pages of comics, but the links in Phoenix's quote lead to completely different pages!


Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:40 pm
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Lew Stringer wrote:
Billy's Boots was reprinted in Holland in Sjors weekly and became even more popular than in the UK. It was collected into many albums, with newly drawn covers by John Gillatt. When Sjors ended in 1975, they concluded the strip with new stories and artwork, and Billy actually got older, unlike in the UK where he was forever 12 years old.
Full details on a blog post I did five years ago:
http://lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/ ... boots.html
I've just read your blog post on Billy Dane, Lew, and I just wonder what percentage of readers actually found the fact that Billy never aged increasingly bizarre. I certainly wouldn't have if I had continued to buy Tiger after it had served its main purpose, that of helping my younger son Russell to learn to read. This kind of series is rather like a comfort blanket. Everything is always the same so fear of the unknown is kept at bay until the child is ready to face it. It's a version of the Peter Pan syndrome. There is no doubt, of course, that time appears to move forward, evidenced by progress in cup competitions for Roy Race or Nipper Lawrence, and in stories about Johnny Cougar, Skid Solo and Hot Shot Hamish that progress from one issue to the next and so on, but apart from Roy Race, the aforementioned characters do not appear to age. I know they are not children, but my point is still valid. Billy Dane is a modern equivalent of Harry Wharton, Bob Cherry, Billy Bunter, Tom Merry et al. What you see is what you get, for thirty odd years, forty for Mary Simpson and her three Mary friends at St. Elmo's.

Roy Race is different, and the longevity of Roy Of The Rovers has everything to do with the decision to age him. At a stroke it gave the writers the opportunity to create new story lines for each successive football season. Successes and failures could be recounted, players could be sold, new ones bought, tactics could be altered, friendships and disputes started and ended, injuries introduced and so on, the whole giving the reader the impression that he is seeing his Melchester Rovers team in real time. This approach was definitely not necessary for Billy's Boots because the concept did not really require it.

The major opening for the writers of Roy Of The Rovers was providing him with a girlfriend, a plot element that Thomsons' story papers for boys avoided like the plague after the early twenties. Penny was a boon because story lines could feature an engagement, a wedding, and children, the growth and upbringing of one of whom could even lead eventually to his selection for the Rovers. It could have been a never-ending story!


Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:46 pm
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Phoenix wrote:
I've just read your blog post on Billy Dane, Lew, and I just wonder what percentage of readers actually found the fact that Billy never aged increasingly bizarre.


I think it seemed strange in Billy's context because he was so evidently young forever. As opposed to, say, Johnny Cougar who, being drawn as an adult could be anything between 20 and 35. Billy seemed more locked into forever being 11 or 12 years old.

I was nearing 11 years old myself when Billy's Boots began in Scorcher No.1 so perhaps I related to it more and found it odd when he remained that age. The unchanging nature of the adult characters didn't bother me because when you're a kid adults are just adults of no specific age IMHO.

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Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:30 pm
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I wouldn't have expected him to age as there was always a fresh turnover of readers, but I've wondered how the radical change in appearance of Billy Dane, from the slight, skinny, schoolboy of Scorcher (Tom Kerr version), to the lanky young adult/older teen of Scorcher and Score, to the short, plump, younger-again Billy of Tiger was credibly handled, as none of these incarnations resembled each other.

If these changes in appearance were abrupt, that might have seemed much more bizarre to the readers than him staying young.


Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:59 pm
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Just read that question about football comics being popular in other countries. The Netherlands had a really popular football strip and hero, Kick Wilstra.

covers here:-
http://home.hccnet.nl/c.m.bossaert/dbKickWilstra.htm
and here's the official fan site:-
http://home.wxs.nl/~staten/
and a page from the fan site shows other publictions in which Wilstra appeared:-
http://home.wxs.nl/~staten/krant.htm
A Spanish page about him:-
http://www.cartasesfericas.vavel.com/20 ... -adelante/


Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:44 pm
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