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When did The Happy Days End? 
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Joined: 15 May 2018, 19:43
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Managed it at the fourth attempt! Here it is in two sections.
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I don’t know if anybody is in a position to check the list and correct any errors – if so, I’d be very grateful.

I agree with DavidKW that the picture library artwork in general was a poor substitute for Andrew Wilson, although I admit that the artists had an almost impossible act to follow. It’s particularly unfortunate that Len Potts, the most frequent stand-in, was something of a misfit in the role. He was a good artist, with a particular flair for animals and small children (perhaps that’s why someone thought he would make a good Sue Day artist), but his style was so different from Wilson’s that the overall effect was bound to be off-putting. Also, he had a limited facility for facial expression, whereas Wilson had a real genius for this, with a particular talent for expressive closeups.

Personally, I feel that Stanley Houghton was the most successful of the stand-ins. He didn’t try to copy Wilson, but he altered his usual style for something darker and more cross-hatched that harmonised with Wilson’s, and he was able to emulate some of the exuberant energy of the Wilson style.


12 Oct 2018, 19:54
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Joined: 14 Jun 2006, 11:56
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That's great Goof, thanks very much! I must admit that Len Potts is a completely new name to me. Thanks also for confirming my suspicions about the Sue Day stories in J&SFPL, though Fleetway did of course commission new covers for the reprints - in fact I own the original art for a couple of them. Unfortunately, while some of the cover artists could be pretty good, I'm afraid that most of them found it hard to capture Sue's likeness as well.


12 Oct 2018, 20:14
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Len Potts is one of my more certain attributions. I don't know if you have the Princess Extra Special of 1966 "Sue's Double Trouble", but he gets a name credit in that. He did some good work for Mandy later on, doing several of the long stories in the Mandy annuals during the 1970's.

One name on the list for which I'd be grateful for more information is the "Dilly Dreem Artist". As the nickname suggests this was the artist who did School Friend's Dilly Dreem series, but was also responsible for many one-off series and stories for years afterwards, continuing at least until the late 1980's where he/she can be seen (also) doing long stories in Mandy annuals. As far as I know the artist's name is not known, but if anybody does know it, I would love to have it.

I have to agree about the covers for the J&SF reprints. Weren't most of these done by Peter Kay? He's a brilliant artist, but I felt he made Sue look rather too old.


12 Oct 2018, 20:39
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I was puzzled by the panels you posted from Sue at Sandybeach myself, though I don't have that issue. I wonder if Macgillivray could have worked with Colin Merrett on it, as the twins' eyes remind me a bit of the latter's style? Well spotted with the credit for Sue's Double Trouble - I do own a copy of that but hadn't made the connection. As for the Dilly Dreem artist I don't remember a name but I'll see if I can find anything. I wonder if Kashgar has any ideas?


12 Oct 2018, 23:14
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They ought to bring out a Sue Day reprint volume.


12 Oct 2018, 23:36
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I'd love to see that Tammyfan, but they might have to be a bit selective as a lot of the social attitudes would probably seem outdated today - for example those stories which take a rather jaundiced view of issues like Women's Liberation.


13 Oct 2018, 09:51
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Incidentally, here's one of the J&SFPL covers for which I have the original art (though I don't own that particular issue or the issue of Princess Picture Library in which the story first appeared). I agree that it could be the work of Peter Kay (I keep meaning to ask David Roach what he thinks), but while it's a marvellous image it doesn't look much like Andrew Wilson's Sue.


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13 Oct 2018, 10:11
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philcom55 wrote:
I was puzzled by the panels you posted from Sue at Sandybeach myself, though I don't have that issue. I wonder if Macgillivray could have worked with Colin Merrett on it, as the twins' eyes remind me a bit of the latter's style?

I was fairly flummoxed myself by Sue at Sandybeach when I first saw it. There does seem to be a "main" artist, who I can't identify. I've not seen this artist's work elsewhere in Fleetway or DCT publications, but I did come across a couple of Schoolgirls' Adventure Libraries which looked like they may be by the same hand. Here's a comparison: Schoolgirls' Adventure Library on the left, Sue at Sandybeach on the right.

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As the story goes on however, a more familiar style starts to appear, until by the time we get to Gloria's unpleasant boyfriend (the wonderfully named Rolf de Spangle) the artist is surely MacGillivray:

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Having pored over the story several times, I think it looks like a collaboration between the two artists, Unknown doing most of the work, MacGillivray being brought in to sharpen up the appearance of the main characters, especially those like the boyfriend who involve an element of caricature. However, that's just my guesswork.


13 Oct 2018, 14:18
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Tammyfan wrote:
They ought to bring out a Sue Day reprint volume.


I agree Tammyfan, they could and they should. I think Philcom is right that a modern reprint might have to avoid one or two areas where attitudes have fundamentally changed, but overall I think the quality of the writing, and the originality and dynamism of the art, would defy changes in fashion. After all, the series lived through quite a few movements in taste and opinion the first time around. It first came out in 1960, and was still appearing as reprints until at least 1982.


13 Oct 2018, 14:37
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Fascinating stuff Goof. For a time it did seem as though MacGillivray's style was so popular at Fleetway AND DC Thomson that they used him for as many series as they could. Possibly this might have led to something like the American system where the output of certain in-demand artists was maximized by employing various assistants and separate inkers.

On the subject of repackaging the Happy Days, I do wonder how modern pre-teens (presumably the main target audience when the stories first appeared) would relate to a world without computers and mobile phones. As somebody who grew up in the '50s and '60s the fact that it presents such an accurate picture of its time is one of the reasons I value it so much.


13 Oct 2018, 15:00
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Joined: 27 Mar 2008, 21:15
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Goof wrote:
I think Philcom is right that a modern reprint might have to avoid one or two areas where attitudes have fundamentally changed
That suggestion is completely nonsensical, Goof. You cannot be allowed to rewrite history. A reprint is just that, a reprint. If the publishers are in any way troubled about a possible negative reaction from the new readership to a repeat of the original story in its entirety, then they simply shouldn't reprint it.


13 Oct 2018, 16:14
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What you are suggesting is what I had in mind, Phoenix. What I meant was that a modern reprint volume, as Tammyfan had suggested should be published, could avoid reprinting stories the content of which might give offence to modern readers. I was not proposing that the stories themselves should be tampered with.


13 Oct 2018, 17:05
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Goof wrote:
What you are suggesting is what I had in mind, Phoenix. What I meant was that a modern reprint volume, as Tammyfan had suggested should be published, could avoid reprinting stories the content of which might give offence to modern readers. I was not proposing that the stories themselves should be tampered with.
Having looked at it again, Goof, I can now see that interpretation, so we are actually on the same wavelength.


13 Oct 2018, 17:24
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Thanks, Phoenix. I wouldn't want people to think that I might be in favour of publishing bowdlerised versions of Sue Day stories, or of anything else.


13 Oct 2018, 17:35
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philcom55 wrote:
On the subject of repackaging the Happy Days, I do wonder how modern pre-teens (presumably the main target audience when the stories first appeared) would relate to a world without computers and mobile phones. As somebody who grew up in the '50s and '60s the fact that it presents such an accurate picture of its time is one of the reasons I value it so much.


Yes, a moot point. When I was speaking about a modern day reprint being able to survive changes in fashion, I was thinking mainly of its effect on an adult readership, the kind of readers who Rebellion seem to be primarily targetting with their reissues of Misty, Tammy and Jinty – adult lovers of comics and graphic novels. I know far too little about children to be able to guess how present day pre-teens would react to the stories. When I was a child, I don’t remember disliking stories set in earlier times. Are modern children more sensitive to anything “out of date”? Are their tastes subject to stronger external influence, through the effect of social media? It would be interesting to know how children have responded to the reissues that Rebellion have already published.

Also Philcom, thanks for offering to look out for the name of the Dilly Dreem artist.


13 Oct 2018, 19:07
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