Follow by email

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Archive's Sunday Comics - Tornado Jones

Here's another forgotten gem 
from the Odhams comics of the 1960s.
Tornado Jones was an adventure strip 
that appeared in the early issues 
of the Wham! weekly that was launched 
in the summer of 1964.
In most British comics of the era, 
adventure items were serials, running
a couple of pages per issue 
over several months. But complete 
stories featuring the 
same characters can be 
found in the various comics' hardcover
annuals, often drawn by the regular 
artist or someone with a similar style.
With its launch in June, Wham! 
was too late to have an annual for 1965,
sincethe pattern was for the books 
to appear around 
September, dated for the following year 
and aimed at the Christmas-present market.
Our Tornado Jones yarn comes from the Wham!
Annual 1966. Prepared and printed during 1965,
it would have gone on sale in the late summer
when the weekly was just into its second year.
The adventure fare in Its later issues would be
reprints, in short instalments, of the American
Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four. But at this early
stage the adventure element, like the funnies,
was home-grown, which meant British authors would
supply the scripts, although European and
South American artists were increasingly
being commissioned for the artwork.
Despite occasional hiccups in translation,
their work was of reliable, often impressive
quality, and the artists were able to live on
less money in their home countries.

The script for the annual's story of
Tornado Jones was written by Keith Chapman.
Unfortunately, he can't remember who the
artist was, but he is able to send us,
intriguingly, a scan of the cover page
of his original typescript. From the
inscription at the top (in Spanish?),
it doesn't look like he was British.
Keith says the stamped "1152" job number,
which appears on each page, suggests to him
the script might have gone to an artist working
for F. Solano Lopez's studio in Argentina. 

The handwritten instructions, in English, ask for
black and white linework only -- colour was added
at a later stage in the reproduction process -- and
refer the substitute artist to the weekly comic
for stock character and "hardware" samples.

No comments: