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When did The Happy Days End? 
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Joined: 15 May 2018, 19:43
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philcom55 wrote:
On the Pixie stories Goof I think I can confirm your suspicion that they were newly drawn for that publication as I've just found a couple of pages in Wilson's later style which also feature that distinctive header space, as well as having 'Pixie no.19, Oct 28 1972' written in the margin. What's more it's quite clear that they have never carried any other notes relating to an earlier use. Here's a detail of the opening panel.


That’s very interesting, Philcom. This story was indeed published in Pixie #19. So, at least two of the 10 or 11 Pixie stories were originals, and we have up to five examples of reprints in Princess Tina/Tina after the start of the Pixie run. It does look as if publication of original stories was moved to Pixie. But what happened later? Your earlier example shows that Tina was still using reprints a month after Pixie’s demise. Did they stop producing original stories altogether when Pixie ceased? If so, the series effectively came to an end on 13 January 1973.


30 Oct 2018, 11:13
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Joined: 15 May 2018, 19:43
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Tammyfan wrote:
At least it's been preserved. Very little IPC original artwork survives because they did not have any preservation attitudes.


I agree. Also, if it's now in the hands of a public body like a museum or university, it should be available to historians and other researchers. It might also be more readily available for exhibitions - if any!


30 Oct 2018, 11:23
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Joined: 14 Jun 2006, 11:56
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I'm also in complete agreement about the possibility of a publicly accessible archive of British comic art being established. As I understand it Pete Hansen, who bought most of IPC's surviving artwork and has a fabulous collection of comic memorabilia acquired over many years, hopes to create a museum for it all at some time in the future. In the meantime however, I do miss being able to look through all those pages at Phil's whenever I wanted.


30 Oct 2018, 13:01
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Joined: 15 May 2018, 19:43
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Goof wrote:
It does look as if publication of original stories was moved to Pixie. But what happened later? Your earlier example shows that Tina was still using reprints a month after Pixie’s demise. Did they stop producing original stories altogether when Pixie ceased? If so, the series effectively came to an end on 13 January 1973.


I’ve just bought a run of 8 Princess Tinas from September/October 1972, and all the Happy Days stories in them look like reprints. One I've traced definitely – reprinted from Princess, April 1967 – the others are drawn in exactly the same style and are evidently reprinted from the same period. It now seems fairly clear that Princess Tina ran reprints for the duration of Pixie, and probably beyond.

We still don’t know for certain when the weekly series of original stories ended, but I think I may have found the last original stories to be published.

For several years after the weeklies ended, Sue Day stories were published in annuals and specials. From about 1970 onwards, these stories were reprints from the weeklies. However two stories included in the Pixie Annual 1974 seem to be originals. The Illustration Gallery has the original artwork for sale:

http://bookpalace.com/acatalog/info_WilsonDaysArt4.html#SID=385
http://bookpalace.com/acatalog/info_WilsonDaysBargain82.html#SID=385

Both are drawn in the same style as the weekly Pixie stories, and one uses the Pixie header. Also, these 4 and 5 page stories are not divided into episodes, so they can’t have been intended for publication in either Pixie or Princess Tina weeklies. They are printed unaltered in the Pixie Annual, and it seems clear that this was their original publication. There's also a story in the Princess Annual 1974 which is done in the same style, and which looks to me like another original.

Assuming that the 1974 annuals were published in late summer/early autumn 1973, these stories came out after the series in Pixie and Tina ended. As far as I can see, the stories in all later publications are reprints. So, unless anybody knows of any later original stories (I haven’t seen Tina Holiday Specials for 1974 or 1975), I think that these were the last original stories to appear. Here are the endings – Princess followed by the two Pixies:

Image
Image
Image

I don't think it's much of a send-off after nearly 14 years (although Jenny Butterworth did manage to get in one final dig at modern art), but girls’ comic editors seem to have been pretty unsentimental about even their best-loved characters. At least Sue got to finish her last story, unlike poor Bella Barlow!


09 Nov 2018, 21:58
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