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Sparky gave us 'Keyhole Kate', 'Wee Tusky' and 'Hungry Horace'.

A copy of Sparky issue 1 with the free 'Flying Saucer Ballon' would be worth around £60 today.

Sparky teamed up with 'Topper' in July 1977.

I used to read Sparky regularly and I thought it one of the best comics of its type around.. you havent mentioned Dreamy Daniel one of my favourite characters as well as Spoofer McGraw, Spy vrs Spy, L Cars, and the Numbskulls there are sevral other sIll have to look up ..... I still have a few Annuals around which I read my kids from time time. - Penzance

When Sparky began in 1965 it was clearly aimed at a slightly younger readership than Beano and Dandy (but not as young as "Bimbo", D.C. Thomson's pre-school comic of the time). Very wholesome entertainment (barring the racist "Sparky" character himself) and well spoken characters.

This approach clearly didn't work saleswise, as Sparky had a dramatic revamp in 1969. Gone were the more fey strips, (and the Sparky strip thankfully) and in came slang phrases, occasional experimental layouts, and crazy goon-like strips such as "Sparky People", "L-Cars" and "Spoofer McGraw", not forgetting the stylistic comedy-adventure spoof, "I-Spy". It must have pushed Sparky's sales up, as the comic continued well into the 1970's! - Lew Stringer

I loved 'I-Spy' and had forgotten about 'him/it/' until today - but I do recall drawing him and putting him into Spiderman scenes - so I must have liked the character. He was definitely a precursor of R2D2! -
Chris H

Remember Baron Von Reichs Pudding, the flying hun from vorld var von? A comic strip about a German WWI pilot. Also, the last front page/back page strip was Some Mummies Do 'Ave 'Em, based on some mummies in a museum that were actually alive.

They didn't make it into Topper and Sparky.

Planet of the Nirdles was another favourite of mine. - Richard Butt

Love the site, for your 'Sparky' page: I used to get the Sparky every week, and loved it - so did my father.

Favourite characters? Puss n'Boots (policemen with flashing lights on helmets and hoops for runnig with, rhinos with exhaust pipes), Brainless ("Why are you painting so fast?" "In case it runs out!"), Baron von Reisch Pudding ("I say Ralph, that jolly great goose has gorn and laid an egg on your plane" "Dashed messy, what?") and Planet of the Nirdles - splik, splek, splok! I recently mentioned Planet of the Nirdles to my father, and he didn't recall it, so now I'm getting paranoid in case it's a false memory.

Probably totally politically incorrect, anarchic, surreal, comically violent and above all fun - and therefore unacceptable nowadays. They really don't make 'em like that any more... - Brendan

In fact Hungry Horace and Keyhole Kate originally appeared in the Danday and Peter Piper (one of my favourites) first appeared in Magic. At the time Sparky was the best comic from the DC Thompson stable. - Clive Huggett

Does anyone recall Mr. Bubbles(the "bubble imp")? He lived in a washing-up liquid type of bottle, and when squeezed, he popped out and granted three wishes. - Jimmy O'Beirne

I have massive interest in Sparky as my grandfather was the artist who drew Keyhole Kate, Hungry Horace, and some other characters that I cannot remember at this moment. His name was George Drysdale, and he was one of the three artists who ever drew Keyhole Kate. -

..........

Thanks for replying to my email...! I found your site very interesting! It is cool to hear what other people thought of 'Sparky', mainly because of the connection to my grandfather! As he died in 1967, he was only involved in a small portion of the life of 'Sparky', which reminds me... he also drew 'Jimmy and his Grockle'. I know there are other characters too... although he did lots of work for other comics from as far back as the 1940's. My mum is much more knowledgable on his career, so I shall have to get in touch with her about it... she has almost every edition of 'Sparky' that he ever had work featured in (from issue 1 - issue 100 at the least... chances are she has a lot more than that) but i know she would not part with them no matter how much money was offered. There is too much sentimental value, and i know i would be the same if they were mine..! Thanks for getting back to me, and keep up the good work... I shall keep on watching your site..! - Laura Cowper

I have very fond memories of Sparky Comic, having been on staff from 1967 to 1976. The reason for the change of policy in about 1969 was a change of editor, Ian Chisholm, comic genius, in place of Willie Mann, who was more orientated to the like of the boys' paper, Victor, which he had edited. Ian Chisholm (Chiz), was willing to experiment, and allowed writers to develop zany ideas. He was fortunate in having on staff Mike Baird and Pete Clark, both of whom were absolutely dedicated to squeezing the maximum out of comic situations. Chiz also sought out artists who were either zanily innovative (J.K. Geering on Puss and Boots) or just plain hilarious (Willie Hill on Mike Baird scripted L-Cars). We were also lucky to have Jim Petrie (Beano's Minnie) for We Are The Sparky People.

THROGMORTON!!!

To fans, glad you enjoyed the comic, and delighted that you remembered Planet of the Nirdles, which was one of my own favourites, for selfish reasons. Anybody like Minnie, the Sparky Office Tea-Lady? -
Gordon Cook

Hello , I can remember reading the sparky and remember one of dreamy dave and dozy dora's adventures when they found themselves in a world where two armies of women were fighting a battle .. I am uncertain of the year. - Ray

Does anyone remember SPARKY ANNUAL 1976 - end papers inside cover? Fiery red with staff cowering. Gordon Cook wrote 3 ideas which I pencilled in to show the Editor, CHIZ. His comment to them - KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT but he gave us the OK at last. It was reviewed favourably in the Observer that year, I told Chiz about the comment and his reply was AH-FLEETING FLAME! Best wishes Gordon. -
JIM PETRIE (ARTIST)

Other fab characters were Klanky the robot and Invisible Dick, who had a torch whose beam of dark light made objects disappear from view. Spoofer McGraw (mentioned earlier) had a gullible pal (I can't remember his name but I think he wore some kind of all-enveloping duffel coat) to whom he spun his fanciful yarns. As Gordon Cook says, the Nirdles definitely existed in Sparkydom - I remember an Escher-like illustration one week that was called a Nirdle Cage. Towards the end of Sparky's run I think the back page was devoted to spoofs of TV shows - I seem to remember one week was "Doctor Phew", which had a very Tom Baker-like Time Lord and companion resembling Sarah Jane Smith rushing to the Tardis to escape some alien menace, only to be confronted by PC George Dixon stepping out of said police box to greet the duo with an "Evenin' all!" A huge thank-you and salute to all the brilliantly imaginative and talented Sparky writers and illustrators! - John Bowman

I used to get The Sparky in the 1960's and I think it was 1965 there were two stories that were my favorItes, one was called The Kidnapped Kids and the other, although I can't remember the name was about the Earth being taken over by strange creatures calle Zanaks with the leader being called Zanak Fang, I also remember a girl named Hope Maitland being paralised by a Zanak ray gun. -
ANGELA ROBERTS

I remember reading Sparky in the early/mid sixties before I started school and the in the early years of school. My brother and I couldn't read or speak English very well as our first language at the time was Yugoslav. Our mother would bring us bundles of comics that were given to her by a lady with whom she worked. We would be completely absorbed in trying to read and understand them. We always fought over who would read Sparky first - it was - in our opinion - the best! It's safe to say that we learnt to read with Sparky - it was the easiest to follow and the most graphic illustrations and characters for little dumbos like us! I seem to remember a character called Pansy Potter - the strongman's daughter but I can't remember if she was a Sparky character. - Craig Summers

Puss n Boots introduced me to the word Boikle! , a sort of speechless sound made after one of them knocked the other senseless, usually with a large mallet. I think The Simpsons Itchy & Scratchy owe something to this. The word Boikle lives on in our family as part of our everyday vocabulary, usually used when accidentally cracking one's head on something hard. - JOHN HOPE

Following John Hopeís comments about Boikle, the one that lives on with me is Baggle, as uttered by Pussís dear nephew Tich. Every time I see a baby with a dummy in its mouth, I still want to say Baggle to it. Incidentally, John Geering said I came up with the word, and I am equally convinced it was him. - Gordon Cook

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

 


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