Monday, November 29, 2010

British Girls' Comics: Girl Weekly

The previous post featured pages from one of the hardbound Girl annuals. Such books were typically produced by British comic publishers every year for Christmas. From my point of view they're useful because they fit on my scanner! Not so the weekly comic papers. Here's a typical weekly issue of Girl from 28 Feb 1959 (Vol. 8 #9). I've taken digital photos of the pages - they're not so easy to read but you can see how a typical issue was laid out and what it consisted of. Some comparison is possible with my previous post, although that was only a selection from the annual, not the whole thing. Note the cover price of 4½d, which was half the price of an American comic at the time - American comics had just begun distribution in Britain with the January 1959 issues at the time this copy of Girl hit the stands.

Note that the comic has a color wrap and centerfold, the rest being black and white.

Angela, Air Hostess, drawn by Dudley Pout, is "the story of a girl who longed for adventure", conforming nicely to this career woman stereotype from the 50s and 60s.

The interior of the centerfold has a different orientation, and sports a poster, in this case of the lovely Doris Day!

Here's Belle of the Ballet, drawn by Stanley Houghton:

Quite a variety of material.

As a reader of British weeklies myself back in the early 60s, I can testify to it being an event to look forward to, picking up the new issue from the newsagent that he was keeping on order for you. I was reading The Beano, The Dandy, and other such funny papers but they also had serial adventures in them. Most of these weekly comics eventually got thrown out like newspapers, and they are now really hard to find, and expensive when you do see them. When you do come across them, if it's not on eBay, it might be in one of Britain's more provincial comic shops, like this one in the town of Eastbourne on the south coast:

This is where I purchased some of the annuals that I've been posting examples of British girls' comics from. Francois is only open a couple of days a week. Places that sell really old British comics are few and far between. You can see that Francois sells a bunch of other stuff besides comics, but the latter are a significant presence in his inventory.


  1. W-O-W ! This stuff is gorgeous. The full-color pages add so much depth to the artwork. The Lone Mission series is especially striking. LOVE the photos of this wonderful ephemera shop. One can really smell all the flavors that place has to offer ! Great post as usual !

  2. Lysdexicuss: It is a good one, the Lone Mission, isn't it! I'll see if I can scan it in two halves and stitch them together.

  3. "Girl" has perhaps the most elegant logo in this genre of comics.
    I recall one of Denis Gifford's books which stated that early issues of "Girl" tried adventure-type stories and characters like Kitty Hawke (a sort of female equivalent to Dan Dare), but they were soon dropped for more typical girls' stories.

  4. rnigma: thanks for that interesting piece of info. It would be cool if some magnanimous person would reprint compilations of the stories from Girl. All that wonderful art and culture - it will all be lost if something isn't done to find and preserve it all.

  5. we have of these comics in fantastic condition dated 1959

    what do we do with them?

  6. Treasure them, look after them, keep them in a dark, controlled environment (don't let them get warm or damp). OR sell them on eBay. They are rare.