Target Press 1933-39

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slapshotgp
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Target Press 1933-39

Post by slapshotgp »

I am trying to get hold of, find out about
Comic’s published by TARGET PRESS of BATH during the years 1933-1939, I believe they had a catalogue of 7 titles, Chuckler-Bouncer-Dazzler-Sunshine-Rocket-Target-Rattler.
I have recently found out that my Grandfather was the artist who drew the characters, and his brother the story writer, (DIAMOND Bros)
I would like to get hold of a copy for my Mother, who as a child read almost all comics of all titles, and remembers having boxes & boxes of them as a girl, but sadly none left now.

if i have posted in the wrong place sorry, but new to all this

I need your help
Slappy

Phoenix
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Phoenix »

slapshotgp wrote:Comics published by TARGET PRESS of BATH during the years 1933-1939, I believe they had a catalogue of 7 titles, Chuckler-Bouncer-Dazzler-Sunshine-Rocket-Target-Rattler.
Hi Slappy. I have made some enquiries this morning on your behalf, and I have found three bound volumes of Target at Victor Collinge's Border Bookshop, Halifax Road, Todmorden, Lancashire (Tel. 01706 814721 - open 10am to 5pm, closed on Sundays and Tuesdays). Two of them are full years, June to June for some reason, and are £120 each, the other one runs from June to October 1938 and includes the last issue. This volume is £50, at roughly £3 per issue I estimate. He has no other items from your list. It is possibly worth pointing out to you, though, that in 1975 Denis Gifford edited a collection of reprints of four Penny Comics Of The Thirties, which were published by New English Library. The four in question were Merry Midget 1 (Sep. 12 1931), Sparkler 20 (Jan. 23 1932), Rattler 105 (Aug. 24 1935) and Target 53 (Jun. 30 1936). Victor doesn't currently have this collection either but in my experience it is not a particularly rare item. If you are interested in the reprints I would try eBay, 30th Century Comics in Putney or The Book Palace in Gipsy Hill. Best of luck.

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Digifiend
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Digifiend »

Target ran from 15/6/1935 to 22/10/1938 - hence the full year bound volumes being June to June. It appears one of the years was sold out.
http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/FamilyTree/Fa ... get%20(TP)

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philcom55
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by philcom55 »

In his 1975 book Happy days! 100 Years of Comics Denis Gifford reproduced the covers of a number of Target titles. This Christmas issue of Merry Midget is particularly interesting in that the final panel (shown here in detail) supposedly features members of the staff, including the artist himself Louis Diamond - who was also the editor:

Image
Image

...It would be fascinating to know if your mother is able to identify any of the faces.

- Phil Rushton

slapshotgp
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by slapshotgp »

thanks for the replies guys
some interesting stuff here, my mother said 1933-39, but Philcom55 states 1931 xmas dinner? i'll show her the panel and see if she recognises any one.
Also 'Merry Midget' was this a character or title, looks like a front page to me.

Loius Diamond was my grand dad, mum has water colours of his, but no cartoons

looks like i will be speaking to victor collinge's some time as well.

funny thing, my father-in-law is also a Denis Gifford, but not that one

Keep up the good work
thanks again

slappy
glos

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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Phoenix »

slapshotgp wrote: funny thing, my father-in-law is also a Denis Gifford, but not that one
Just as well, Slappy. The original passed on some years ago.

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Digifiend
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Digifiend »

slapshotgp wrote:Also 'Merry Midget' was this a character or title, looks like a front page to me.
The character is called Micky Midge. Here's the issue 1 cover - sorry that it's too small to read the text.
Image
Strange that it had two completely different logos in only five months.

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philcom55
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by philcom55 »

Apparently Merry Midget (originally just The Midget) and its companion Sparkler were published in 1931 out of Palace Yard, Bath by a short-lived company called Provincial Comics. The editor was Jack Long, though Louis Diamond quickly became one of their leading artists (having already been active in the field since the 1920s). Target Publications then rose out of the ashes of its predecessor in 1933 with Louis acting both as artist and group editor. The comics you mention lasted until April 1939, though for the last few months they anticipated a modern trend by combining four titles as Target & Rocket and Rattler & Chuckler, while Sunshine and The Bouncer (the largest penny comic of its period) were introduced towards the end and only lasted for 39 and 9 issues respectively.

Interestingly, Dazzler, Sunshine and The Bouncer were then incorporated into Golden, Jingles and Jolly comics, which implies that Target must have been bought out at that point by their great rival the Amalgamated Press. This was by no means the end of Louis' career in comics, however, as his work continued to be printed by a variety of publishers right up to the early 1950s when his 'Happy Hal' appeared in Mick Anglo's British superhero comic Wonderman!

- Phil Rushton

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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Lew Stringer »

It's instances like this where the internet really proves its benefits. Last week I was contacted by the great-grandchildren of Tom Browne. They had read my blog on the influential artist and were pleased that I'd unearthed info that they hadn't seen before. As they don't have a photograph of their great-grandfather I'm about to send them a hi-res scan of the distinguished one from The Windsor Magazine that they'll be able to print out.
The blog of British comics: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com
My website: http://www.lewstringer.com
Blog about my own work: http://lewstringercomics.blogspot.com/

slapshotgp
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by slapshotgp »

Phil,
thanks again for the info, learning more about his past, got some interesting stuff to discuss with my mum.

slappy
glos

slapshotgp
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by slapshotgp »

[quote="Lew Stringer"]It's instances like this where the internet really proves its benefits.

Lew,
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this forum, good info
slappy

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philcom55
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by philcom55 »

Here's the entry on Louis that the 'other' Denis Gifford provided for Maurice Horn's 1976 World Encyclopedia of Comics. The amount of detail suggests that Denis (who was also a cartoonist) must have known him personally at some point:
Image

...It would certainly be interesting to hear any reminiscences that your mother can add about Louis and his brother - particularly in connection with their time working for the comics. Perhaps her memories could even be recorded for posterity in Crikey! or some other magazine...?

- Phil Rushton

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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Kashgar »

Before he began producing comics under the Target Publications banner Henry Louis Diamond did try his hand at publishing a couple of weekly story libraries CID (Crime, Intrigue, Detection) and Target Library, the first running, in two series from Dec 1932 to July 1933 and the second from Mar 1933 to Aug 1933. Each contained 52 pgs.
One of the main selling points of his comic titles were their value for money as they regularly contained 12 pages, and sometimes even 16 compared to AP's standard 1d tabloid titles' 8.
Before joining Provincial Comics in 1931 H Louis Diamond had already freelanced for the Fleetway Press ( Monster Comic etc) and in turn, as a result of the takeover of Fleetway by the Amalgamated Press, ending up working for them. He also provided the odd strip for the D C Thomson boys' papers eg Oswald the Odd Job Man in Rover.
It should also be pointed out that four of the seven titles mentioned were made further value for money, namely Rattler, Dazzler, Chuckler and Rocket, by the inclusion of the free four page supplement 'The Ovaltiney's Own Comic'. A supplement that ran to 128 issues between 1935 and 1938 which is still a record run for a giveaway comic of its kind.
The Rocket was also unusual in that for its first 65 issues it was an all picture paper, the first of its kind in that era.
On the artistic side the Target comics were pretty exclusively the work of the same five artists Diamond himself, Harry Banger, Bert Hill, S K Perkins and G Larkman.
In the end the AP bought out the Target titles (the last issue of all titles being dated
8th Apr 1939) and, as Phil has already pointed out, they were subsumed piecemeal into AP titles ( Rattler was amalgamated with Tip-Top too). The story goes that the deal was meant to have included an editorship at the AP for Diamond but this never materialised and he had to be satisfied, once again, with supplying AP titles such as Crackers and Jester with artwork on a freelance basis.
He worked as a freelance editor for the comic titles produced by Martin & Reid after the war and seems to have given up comic work entirely in the early 1950s.

Much of the above was gleaned from the entry Phil has already posted but there are one or two extra details that may be of some interest so I'll post it anyway and apologies for the repitition.

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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Phoenix »

Kashgar wrote:He also provided the odd strip for the D C Thomson boys' papers eg Oswald the Odd Job Man in Rover.
Here is the very first Oswald - The Odd-Job Man strip, which appeared in issue 503 of The Rover (Dec. 5 1931). It replaced Lanky Doodle's Diehards, and was to run until issue 513 (Feb. 13 1932), after which it was itself replaced by Inky Penn - The Droll Drawer, which was a variant on the Our Artist At Work theme, and which looks, to my inexperienced eye, like an Allan Morley strip.
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Digifiend
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Re: Target Press 1933-39

Post by Digifiend »

"Another job lost!" - did they run them out of order or something?

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