That’s right Joe! Punch him!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s interesting fish names are: the Bleak, the Bronze Corydoras, the Climbing Perch, the Dottyback, the Elastmobranch, and the Hickory Shad.

“Take that, you squarehead!” Goodness me, what’s all this?
Well, it’s just a nicely drawn panel from a story called Mystery House in No-Man’s-Land by Cliff Hooper in my tatty old junk shop book Lion Annual 1956. Here’s a nice picture of the front and back covers – lovely artwork isn’t it?

The Lion Annual came out regularly for the Christmas market as an addition to the Lion weekly comic for lads back in the 1950s, it was full of tales of life in jolly japes posh boarding schools, plucky chaps exploring jungles, the future in outer space, animals doing heroic deeds, knights in armour, ancient Greeks chucking javelins, and gritty tales of World War II, which was of course only about ten years in the past.
There were no girls at all in the Lion – the girls had their own comic – it had stories involving life in posh girls schools, and it probably had plenty of pictures of ponies in it too. Girls like ponies…
Anyway, back to “Take that you squarehead!”
The term ‘squarehead’ obviously comes from the rather classy looking and efficiently designed steel helmets that the German soldiers had. Shorty and Joe (I think that’s what these two characters are called) were probably pretty jealous of their opponent’s superior head protection, they having to put up with the standard British ‘tin hat’ which looks pretty cheap and inadequate in comparison with Fritz’s more ergonomic and stylish one.
I suppose it’s inevitable that kids’ comics back then would have tales of war in them – painting our chaps as loveable heroes and the enemy as cold alien brutish nasty pieces of work. After all, that’s what war is all about. Conscription into the armed forces didn’t finish until 1960, so I suppose the purpose of tales like this one was to get all the male kids ready for ‘serving their country’.
However, in this war story no one seems to die. Hm, yes, it’s probably best not draw in any corpses, of either side, no one really wants to see those, do they?…
Even though Fritz is shooting his rifle, and Joe has got his with him as well, the enemy just gets a quick punch on the jaw – that’ll teach him not to mess with the plucky British Tommy!…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, art, books, drama, drawing, history, humour, information, style, war, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to That’s right Joe! Punch him!…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    The comic book illustrators are amazing artists.

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