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DC THOMSON

DIED - 24.01.81


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A copy of Hotspur #1 would sell for around 75. The Hotspur canged it's name to The New Hotspur in 1959.

Hotspur - bibliography

For more Hotspur Titles click here

Hotspur and Wizard - Yes, I remember both these comics. In the WW2 and immediate post-war years of newsprint shortages they were published on alternate weeks. I took them both and, regrettably, my recollections of which story/character went with which boy's paper (Not comic, please!) are a bit scrambled. I recall Red Circle was the school story in, I think, Hotspur. Four houses in the school, Yanks, Conks, Home and another of which I don't remember the name. One character, Cripple Dick Archer, was the Captain of one of the houses. In athletics I well remember Wilson, He was definitely a Wizard character and the stories were woven with mystery about his origins. I recall "Wilson', 'The Truth about Wilson', 'The Further Truth about Wilson' etc., etc. Then there was 'The Red McGregor', scourge of English Redcoats and perhaps a gesture to the Dundee publishers of the paper. I also recall a story that was current when the Meteor jet fighter came onto the military scheme. The theme was set in the future where an enemy had devised a means of neutralising the aircraft of the future but no the, then, old fashioned jet engine, so that the Meteor was rolled out of the museums to fight the good fight again!!. Another story was set on the North West Indian Frontier where the principal character - whose name escapes me - did amazing things with a cricket bat against bandits. It was known as 'Klicki Ba'' and was used to bat bombs and other missiles at the bandits in weekly situation!. Then, depending on the season there was a story entitled either 'Its Goals that Count', or 'Its Runs that Count'. I could go on, but this will do for now. Great papers, great stories, great days!! Who needed pictures! - John Roberts

Amidst the text stories wasn't there a comic strip western with a hero who had a tin/metal mask?

Another serial had a group of 20th Century athletes whisked back in time on a time travelling bus to ancient Greece where they competed against the original Olympians.

Was it the Hotspur which also had a character called Julian Maybe in a serial called 'The Man Who Was Maybe' who was some sort of investigator?

The mind gets dull after 40 odd years!! - Steve Gregory

Hotspur - Character

For more Hotspur Characters click here

In your article about the The Hotspur, you mention a character on the North West frontier with a cricket bat. This was "The Wolf of Kabul". He was an undercover British officer, always dresses as an Indian, and it was his manservant Chung, who was armed with Klicki Ba, always fought beside his master, with such saying as "Klicki Ba sings in my hands", and "Klicki Ba enjoys cracking skulls, master." Just thought you`d like to know. The site is very good, brought back lots of memories. Well done. - Darryl Brown

One of the other Houses at Red Circle was called "Tosh House", which was eventually disbanded and merged with the Conks, Yanks & Home Houses. Not sure what types inhabited this one, "Conks " being Colonials headed by Chris Tansley and the other being "Yanks" being Americans (obviously!). Believe there could have been another called "New House" but not sure about that.

Were two of the teachers Alfred Smugg and his brother? Or am I confusing school stories here? -

Regarding New House and Tosh House, I believe that when there was an "upheaval" at Red Circle and some of the characters changed, the Headmaster left (can't remember his name) and Dixie Dale the Sportsmaster was promoted to Headmaster. I seem to remember there was to be an election by the boys at Red Circle - highly unlikely process in real life!!! . . and Alfred Smugg wanted the job and was assisted by his brother Weepie Willie.

Dixie Dale (or the story writers) decided to do some "modernisation" or rehashing - maybe a similar process to what is done with perennials on TV like "The Bill" where characters or scenes are changed to stimulate interest. I believe that the storywriters considered that nobody knew what qualified a boy to be in Tosh or New Houses and decided to trim things down. When was this done ? . . . . . . . probably about 1946 -1950. I hope I am not confusing characters here with another school story - I don't think I am. I believe "Cripple" Dick Archer came in with the new broom aspect at this time. - Ray Scott

What about Johnny Fleetfoot who played for Spurs - Tony Thornton

I well recall the delightful way the writers of series in Hotspur and Wizard used to merge their stories from time to time. The best example of this in my experience concerned Alf Tucker (The Tough of the Track) who suffered an injury and gained the help of Wilson (the reclusive back-to-nature man) in curing his wounds and regaining his strength for racing. Were other stories blended in this fashion? - Bruce Burn

The Wolf of Kabul is alive and well and being cranked out in the odd 'Commando'. Another example of D C Thompson knowing how to keep a good thing going.

Why has no-one mentioned Flying Fury. This was a character that first appeared in the Hotspur, during the late 70's/early 80's. A pilot, of WW2 variety, who could go through the most horrendous ordeals but emerge unscathed, when lesser men would have died. This was my personal favourite during the death throes of the Golden Age of Comics.

My personal odyssey is to complete my collection of D C Thompson Annuals and comics. Any good links can be emailed to cnn660@hotmail.com.

I have no wish to abrogate the ideals of 26pigs, but I have been collecting and re-collecting those lost through moving, growing upo, etc so any help is welcome. - Colin Noble (currently of Wiltshire, but belongs to Angus, Scotland)

I remember the first issue of Hotspur, football's could be won if you collected an impossible set of card's. We would buy one paper each then swop them. What memories your site bring's back. Best wishes - S.R

Remember Lassie? And who was that amazing cyclist in the later editions ? Tearaway Telson? Black strip, no domestiques, fixed gear and 40mph up endless hills - totally brainwashed by his manager I seem to remember. I did a paper-round on my bike in those days and never missed a Wizard or Hotspur. I then moved on to the Eagle but it never had the same appeal did it? All pictures and adverts - bit like the telly really. Thank you Wizard and Hotspur, I still prefer a good read. Patrick O'Brian or the Sharpe adventures for instance All the best - Mike Hall-Spencer

I seem to recall that in the War Days (1939-1945) and just after, one could only get a particular comic every two or three weeks.
For example, it may have been that in week 1, you could get the Hotspur and the Wizard, Week 2, the Rover and the Adventure. The Champion was also only available every two weeks or so.
I do recall that some of my favourite stories were of RED CIRCLE in the HOTSPUR, WILSON in the WIZARD, The WOLF OF KABUL in the ROVER!!?, ROCKFIST ROGAN the RAF Pilot in the CHAMPION, BRADDOCK, another Pilot in the ADVENTURE??

Many negative statements have been made concerning comics, but during my boyhood, if one wanted adventure stories one HAD TO LEARN TO READ as there was no television. - Brian Bamforth

When it became the "New Hotspur" it featured mostly (and later only) comic strips. I think the issue numbering re-started too. The long-running Red Circle boarding school stories seem to have been dropped too (the genre was probably well out of fashion by that time!). Crunch was later merged into Hotspur before it itself merged into Victor, which was the last of the boy's adventure comics (except Commando). - Michael Martin

Regarding the Red Circle school stories, I do recall that any mention of Cripple Dick Archers name was always accompanied by the regular explanation, "So called because of the disguise he adopted when he first arrived at the school." But we were never told what the disguise was. - John Hayes

My favourite story in the Hotspur was "Union Jack Jackson" who fought a weekly battle against the Germans in WW2. - Ed Finlay

I have come across a plasic wallet of "My wallet of famous teams in Football History" presented free with The New Hotspur can anyone shed any light on this, as to date etc. - Keith Millar

I found your site by accident and I am very glad that I did. It brought back very happy memories of a rather interesting childhood in London during the blitz in WW II.
It has also raised a question from my memory that perhaps some one might be able to answer. I seem to remember that Hotspur ceased publication rather suddenly during the war, much to my annoyance and disappointment, and left one of my favourite stories dangling. It was called "The Galloping Ghosts", a cowboy story. I now only have very vague memories of it but I know that at the time I felt very let down as their identity was never disclosed to my satisfaction.
Does anyone remember the story and have any ideas of its ending? Any information would be gladly received. - Terry

I was reading a Hotspur comic in the UK, oh, 75 years ago. They ran stories about Capt. Justice, Prof. Flaznagel and the evil eye of "Ozma" - I think it was. The rest is lost in the mists of memory, but I picked up the mag every week. - Richard Lubbock

I cant remember which comic published which story.but i remember johny appleseed,protected by slocum of the six knives.v for vengeance,with the men in grey with their suicide pills.a scrap metal dealer who lived on fish and chips,but was a fantastic cricketer.britain being occupied by a hoard of asian troops and the resistance they met.the story when clicky ba shattered knocking the head off a huge walking statue.making its way from the hills to kick the raj out of india.those were the days.glad i learnt to read early.
- Sarah Haigh

If you have any other information on Hotspur please drop us a line. Drop us a line.

   
 

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