Posts Tagged ‘Tip Top’

Comics, magazines and other literature

June 29, 2008

Having two older brothers, there was always a plentiful supply of boys’ books and literature available for me to look at, apart from our weekly comic the Tip Top which cost 1d every week. I took to reading, like a duck to water, at a very early age, so I was able to read the speech balloons quite easily. Rupert Bear annuals were favourites of mine and had an atmosphere all their own. In recent years I’ve been reading them to my grandchildren.

The boys’ magazines were only a short step further and soon I was avidly devouring the Wizard, Hotspur, Adventure and Rover. My favourite was the Wizard and I marvelled at some of the superhuman heroes enclosed in its pages.  For some strange reason these magazines were often referred to by us as “books” and I was often asked, “Got any books to swap?” I remember we kept a cardboard box about two inches deep which was usually full of comics we’d read and were ready for swapping.

My father took a daily paper The Daily Mail in which appeared, on 5th April 1915, the first ever strip cartoon in this country, Teddy Tail which, as it was still being published then,  I always enjoyed reading. My father also took The People on a Sunday though at that time it was a much more serious paper and less trashy than it is today.

The weekly magazine we took was “John Bull“, a well-produced magazine with a variety of thoughtful articles and plenty of pictures. Later in its existence it produced some striking and colourful artwork on its cover. They were always offering competitions and coupons to collect for bargain offers. I remember my father winning a large Christmas hamper one year which was a most welcome addition to our Christmas fare. With his collected coupons he bought – at a bargain price of course – several sets of books and encyclopaedias; these included the works of Charles Dickens, H.G.Wells and Bernard Shaw. I remember spending many happy hours leafing through the twelve encyclopaedias and particularly the section for children in each entitled Things to make and do.

Having all this literature available was a great boon and I suppose laid the foundations for my love of the English language and literature which has played such an important part in my life ever since. I am a member of the Queen’s English Society and The Folio Book Club which produces some high class books well printed and bound. Apart from the bathroom, there are books in every room in the house.