Monday, 19 November 2012

Comics on Stamps

Comics as an art form established itself in the late 19th and early 20th century, alongside the similar forms of film and animation. Comic have been alive with us since Victorian times.
Royal Mail have researched and collect the most and popular comics and comic characters of the  last 75 years. They have  pleased to present a set of ten stamps features the most memorable comics on March 20, 2012.


The Dandy is a long-running children's comic published in the United Kingdom by D. C. Thomson & Co. The Dandy, which launched in 1937, has featured characters such as Bananaman, Korky the Cat, Cuddles and Dimples, and Beryl the Peril, along with Desperate Dan. The dandy, in 1973, that began the heyday of British comics. In fact, there can be few amongst us who haven’t  chortled over the adventures of Desperates Dan, the world’s strongest man.

The Beano is a British children's comic, published by D.C. Thomson & Co .The comic first appeared on 30 July 1938 and was published weekly. During World War II, The Beano and The Dandy were published on alternating weeks because of paper and ink rationing.
Paper and ink supplies were fully restored shortly after the end of hostilities and weekly publication of The Beano and The Dandy resumed in 1949. In September 2009, the Beano's 3,500th issue was published. The Beano is currently edited by Michael Stirling.

Its iconic characters such as Dennis the Menace, Roger the Dodger, Minnie the Minx, The Bash Street Kids, Calamity James, Ball Boy, Ivy the Terrible and Billy Whizz have become known to generations of British children. Some old characters, like The Three Bears and Little Plum, have more recently made a return.

A number of strips in the comic have run for a very long time. The top five longest running Beano comic strips are, in descending order, Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger, then the last holder of the title before Dennis, Lord Snooty.
There are frequent fictional crossovers between Beano characters, with most of the characters living in the fictional Beanotown.


Eagle was a seminal British children's comic, first published from 1950 to 1969, and then in a re-launched format from 1982 to 1994. It was founded by Marcus Morris, an Anglican vicar from Lancashire.

Morris edited a parish magazine called The Anvil, but felt that the church was not communicating its message effectively. He was also disillusioned with contemporary children's literature, and with Anvil artist Frank Hampson created a dummy comic based on Christian values. Morris hawked the idea to several Fleet Street publishers, with little success, until Hulton Press decided to take it on.

Following a huge publicity campaign, the first issue of Eagle was released in April 1950. Revolutionary in its presentation and content, it was enormously successful; the first issue sold about 900,000 copies.

Featured in color on the front cover was the comic's most recognizable story, Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, created by Hampson with meticulous attention to detail. Other popular stories included Riders of the Range and P.C. 49.


The Topper was a UK comic published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd that ran from 7 February 1953 to 15 September 1990, when it merged with The Beezer
A strip named "Mickey the Monkey" originally graced the front cover. In the early 1970s, it was replaced by "Send for Kelly". That strip was replaced with "Danny's Tranny" in 1975, and then "Tricky Dicky" in 1979. "Beryl the Peril" took over on 24 May 1986, and remained there until the merger with The Beezer.

In the late 1980s and 1990s, with the expansion of children's television and videogames taking a greater share of children's time, sales of comics began to fall, and so D. C. Thomson decided to modernize the Topper, re-launching it as Topper '89 from February 1989.

In September 1990, it was decided to merge the Topper with another of D. C. Thomson's long-running comics, The Beezer and the two comics combined as Beezer and Topper. This continued in publication until 1993; it subsequently closed, with a small amount of content from the combined comic subsequently relocating into other D. C. Thomson publications The Beano and The Dandy.


Tiger was a British comic magazine published from 1954 to 1985. The comic was launched under the editorship of Derek Birnage on 11 September 1954, under the name Tiger – The Sport and Adventure Picture Story Weekly, and featured predominantly sporting strips. Its most popular strip was Roy of the Rovers, a football-based strip recounting the life of Roy Race and the team he played for, Melchester Rovers. This strip proved so successful it was spun out of Tiger and into its own comic.

Following successive mergers with other Fleetway publications in the 1960s the comic was known as Tiger and Hurricane, then Tiger and Jag, then it was coupled with the football magazine Scorcher in 1974, resulting in Tiger and Scorcher appearing for more than 6 years. Later there was a further, less successful, merger with another comic called Speed, in 1980. The end finally came on 30 March 1985, with some strips moving to The Eagle. In all, 1,555 issues were published, as well as a number of hard-cover annuals .


Bunty was a comic British comics anthology for girls published by D. C. Thomson & Co. from 1958 to 2001.It consisted of a collection of many small strips, typically the stories themselves being three to five pages long. As well as the weekly comic, Christmas and summer annuals were published.

Bunty published about 2,200 issues, and went monthly in 2001. In contrast to earlier and contemporary comics, it was aimed primarily at working class readers under the age of 14, and contained mostly fictional stories.


Buster was a long-running British comic (28 May 1960 – 4 January 2000) which carried a mixture of humor and adventure strips, although the former increasingly replaced the latter. It was originally published by IPC Magazines Ltd; but in   the 1980s, Buster passed into the ownership of Egmont UK Ltd, who thereafter published it under the Fleetway imprint.

The title character, whose strip usually appeared on the front cover, was Buster himself. He was originally billed as Buster: Son of Andy Capp; Andy Capp is the lead character of the eponymous Daily Mirror newspaper strip, and Buster wore a similar flat cap to reinforce the connection.

In early issues Buster often referred to his father, and Andy was seen in the comic (attempting to find a gas leak in three frames of the 18 June 1960 issue; Buster's mum was often referred to by name, and was consistently drawn to resemble Andy's wife Flo. The connection with Andy Capp was gradually forgotten over time, and Andy no longer appeared in the strip by the mid-1960s.


Valiant was the title of a British boys adventure comics anthology which ran from 1962 to 1976. It was published by IPC Magazines and was one of their major adventure titles throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.

Valiant contained a mix of conventional war stories, such as Captain Hurricane, which was a humorous strip set in World War II about a massive ex-sea skipper who became a Captain in the Royal Marines ; classic humour strips, such as Billy Bunter; and classic detective strips, such as Sexton Blake.  It also had a number of innovative new heroes.


Twinkle, 'the picture paper especially for little girls' was a popular British comic, published by D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd from 27 January 1968 to 1999 (1612 issues). It was aimed at young girls and came out weekly, supplemented each year with a Summer Special and a hardcover Annual (the first annual was dated 1970).

The comics were introduced by Twinkle herself and featured comic strips, dress-up dolls, a Twinkle Club letters page, and often puzzles. Among the most popular comic strips were Nurse Nancy ( illustrated by Sabine Price artist ), Jenny Wren, Witch Winkle, Polly's Magic Paintbox, Goldilocks and her Three Bears, My Baby Brother, The Three Pennys, Patsy Panda, Patty Pickle, Sally Sweet, Molly and her Dollies and Dandy Lion.

2000 AD is a weekly British science fiction-oriented comic.2000 AD has been a successful launchpad for getting British talent into the larger American comics market, and has also been the source of a number of film licenses. Unlike earlier weekly titles, 2000 AD was based on a 6 page strip format. This gave the writers greater opportunity to develop character and meant that the artists had greater scope in designing the layout.

A long-running joke is that the editor of 2000 AD is Tharg the Mighty, a green extraterrestrial from Betelgeuse who terms his readers "Earthlets". Tharg uses other unique alien expressions and even appears in his own comic strips.

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