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GREAT BRITISH COMICS

A Review By: The Times

The following review appeared in The Times newspaper on 25 November 2006 as part of a review of recent comics and graphic novels.

And so to the man whom posterity will remember as the greatest historian of the comics/graphic novel form in this country and certainly its most enthusiastic chronicler: Paul Gravett. His latest offering, co-written with Peter Stanbury and gorgeously produced by Aurum Press, complements their Graphic Novels: Stories to Change your Life issued last year.

The literary archaeology at the core of Great British Comics takes your breath away. Beano, Dandy, Modesty Blaise, Judge Dredd and Dan Dare are still familiar but scores of others are rescued from oblivion: Leo Baxendale’s Tiddlers for Wham!, the magazine that he created in 1964; Sweeny Toddlers (about a terrorising baby); a pastiche of Indian sci-fi and curryhouse-menu prose called Rogan Gosh; The Happy Days, a chirpily narrated strip, about the experiences of a suburban family that ran for 13 years; the saga of Wulf the Briton, which started in Express Weekly in 1957. Dip into this treasure trove and you will come up with something amazing every time.

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