Dear ComiRades, TCU Wishes all the readers a Warm All Fools Day.
For those who came in late, The day is marked by the practical jokes of different kind on their friends, relatives, etc. The aim of which is to make fun in a jovial manner and to embarrass the other party. In Countries Like UK, Australia, New Zeland and Canada (All Cricket Playing Nations) the jokes only last until noon and the one who plays any tricks after noon is himself called an April Fool.In Countries such as USA, France, Germany (Football playing nations) the jokes last all day, without any time restriction.
The origin of such tricks started when King Charles IX changed the Gregorian calendar system by making January 1st as the new year day, until then the French were celebrating April 1st as the New Year Day. Even after the Change in the calendar, Some people were seen celebrating April 1st as the New Year and they were embarrassed by calling them as April Fools.
To mark this occasion, TCU thought of making a special post and who better than our Beloved Comedy Kings விச்சு & கிச்சு? Old ComiRades May Vividly recall those Fillers in Muthu Comics which used to be Facts or Fads kind of Questions. This Continued till issue No 9 and on Issue No 10 (நடுநிசிக் கள்வன்) featuring Steel Claw in January 1973, விச்சு & கிச்சு made their debut in India. And What a Debut it turned out to be. From then, till now விச்சு & கிச்சு rule the hearts of the Tamil Comic Fans Like No other Comic Strips can do. Yes, there are good ones like Tatty Mane (பரட்டை தலை ராஜா), Billy Bunter (குண்டன் பில்லி), etc and our own Appu the Brilliant (அதிமேதை அப்பு).
When Yours Truly received a Fleetway Super Library featuring Barracuda & frollo (சி.ஐ.டி லாரன்ஸ் & ஜுடோ டேவிட்) in the Late 80’s, Reg Wootton is the name that was in the credit’s Part of the Sporty adventures. The Journey started for Yours Truly in the Late 80’s is Over now with this post which is a Tribute to Reginald Clifford G. Wootton.
Reg Wootton was Born on 13th December 1908 in U.K and According to the notes of The Special Issue of Sporting Sam by The Sunday Express "Sporting Sam has appeared in the paper Sunday Express ever since 1933, except for one week during the war when the drawing was mislaid! It is a most remarkable record.Reg, whose admiring public extends well beyond the British Isles, is, naturally, interested in ALL sports and has played most games. But cricket is his first love -- he played for Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Barnet, and Totteridge Cricket Club. He played Rugby for his school but switched to Soccer when he left and kept goal for local sides. Yes, Reg Wootton is truly a genuine sportsman, besides being a fine artist".
Reg Joined The Sunday Express on 1931 and started “Sporting Sam” two years later in 1933 in the sports Pages, which were usually the back pages.
|Sample work of Sporting Sam By Reg Wootton in The Sunday Express 1933 - 1949|
He continued to do so till 1949 with Only one break during those 18 Years and that One break was during the World War 2 in 1944 when the drawing was Mislaid. Now Imagine all those years of continuity and of brilliant artwork combined with wonderful comic sense. No wonder, in 1979 The Sunday Express published a Collectors Edition of Reg Wotton's Cartoons. Am Planning to Get one of this (If at all it is available somewhere in Amazon or in Local UK Book Shops as My friend is there).
After 18 Years with The Sunday Express, Reg moved over to Knock Out magazine and started Sporty who was a better version of Sporting Sam in the sense that it had dialogues, was in two colour, had a pal named Sydney to whom this post is thankful to. Started in Issue No 539 of Knock Out dated 25th June 1949 and continued till 1st Feb 1963 in Knock Out. In Feb 1963, Knock Out merged with Valiant and Sporty was appearing (not in every issue, though) till 28th Oct 1972.
Most of the time, Reg was working with two colours or in Black and white only. However, as Steve Holland Says, there were occasions when his work was featured in colour also, though they were few and far fetched.
|Knock Out Magazine - Saturday 9th July 1949 – Sporty By Reg Wootton||Knock Out Magazine - Saturday 16th July 1949 – Sporty By Reg Wootton|
|Knock Out Annual 1958 Front End Paper||Knock Out Annual 1958 Back End Paper|
As per the Information available with Lambiek (which corrected their reference Material after Steve’s Column, i Guess) Reg also created another character called Tubby (No, Not that Former Australian Cricket team Captain). This particular character was very similar to that of Sporting Sam as there were no dialogues, No Sydney etc.
|Buster Magazine Featuring Tubby Created By Reg Wootton in 1967-68 (Reincarnation of Sporting Sam?)|
So Popular was the strip that it appeared in the Dutch Magazine Sjors in 1963 named as Mug and Mik. Even Now, Renowned Creators Like Alex who has worked with International Brands such as Pfizer wants to have the right for this character.
|Sporty & Sydney Appearing in Holland in Dutch Language in Sjors Magazine in 1963 – Named as Mug en Mik|
TCU’S Dream of Reading Sporty in English by an Indian Publisher was fulfilled in 1992 when Prakash Publishers (Publishers of Lion Comics and Muthu Comics in India) started the very short lived English editions of the Fleetway Super Libraries, Which will be covered in a Different post in 2 weeks time in TCU.
|Lion Comics 1st Issue – Aug 1992 – The Incredible Spider||Sporty By Reg Wootton in English By an Indian Publisher|
Now, then. As mentioned elsewhere in this post, Lambiek initially had their reference in such a way that they reported that Sporting Sam was Transferred from The Sunday Express to Knock Out magazine in 1949, which was far from true. However, after the column written by Steve Holland, Lambiek has changed the content NOW. To sort out the differences between the characters created by Reg, Here is a Comparative Study.
|All Adventures Are Related To British Sports Such As Football, Squash, Tennis, Cycling, Fishing, Boating etc|
A Humble request to all the ComiRades who visit and Comment in TCU: Kindly do visit all the Blogs which are mentioned in the side bar.and Do post your views over there as well. it REALLY means a Lot to all of these Bloggers who do a lot of research and hard work to satisfy your Hobby of reading comics. TCU’s Next ComiPost will also Feature another Super Star from Fleetway – The King of Crooks in two Days Time (Definitely).
As usual, post your comments in the comments section. For those who want to Pen their thoughts in Tamil, Kindly Use the Option Provided in the Widget in the sidebar or Click Here.
Thanks & Regards,
Note: Sporting Sam © Sunday Express,Sporty & Tubby © IPC Media,விச்சு & கிச்சு © Prakash Publishers, Mug en Mik © Sjors
Special Thanks: to Steve Holland for Providing all the necessary Information for this blog post.