Playhour

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Playhour
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Publication information
Publisher Amalgamated Press
Schedule Weekly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date October 16 1954 – August 15 1987
Number of issues c. 1700
Main character(s) Prince, the Wonder Dog of the Golden West
Sonny and Sally of Happy Valley
Creative team
Artist(s) Sep E. Scott, Peter Woolcock, Hugh McNeill, Nadir Quinto, Ron Embleton, Basil Reynolds, H. M. Talintyre, Ron Nielsen, Walter Bell, Fred Robinson, Fred Holmes, Philip Mendoza, Fred White, Harry Pettit, Harold McReady, Douglas Turnbull, Eric Stephens, Tom Kerr, Geoff Squire, Bert Felstead, Gordon Hutchings, Tony Hutchings, Roger Hutchings, Barbara C. Freeman, Rene Cloke, Henry Seabright, Virginio Livraghi, Ferguson Dewar, Leslie Branton and Arthur Baker, Jesus Blasco

Playhour was a British children's comic published between 16 October 1954 and 15 August 1987, a run of approximately 1,700 weekly issues.

Originally published under the title Playhour Pictures, the title was shortened with issue 32 to Playhour. Playhour was intended as a companion to Jack and Jill, initially aimed at a slightly older audience. The lead strip in its early days was Prince, the Wonder Dog of the Golden West, drawn by Sep E. Scott. With issue 32 (21 May 1955) it lowered its target age-group and introduced comic strips based on A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, both drawn by Peter Woolcock.

1956 saw the arrival of Sonny and Sally of Happy Valley, two children (and their pet lamb) who were to be associated with the title until its demise in 1987; Sonny and Sally wrote the weekly editorial letter and children writing to the editorial address (Cosy Corner, The Fleetway House, Farringdon Street, London E.C.4 — the address of the publisher, Amalgamated Press) would receive replies signed by Sonny and Sally.

The stories of Sonny and Sally (drawn by Hugh McNeill) were initially related in rhyming couplets, as were a number of other early stories, although by the end of the 1970s the stories were written in normal prose form. Others were told in captions below the illustrations as Playhour avoided the use of word balloons.

Playhour contained a mixture of original tales for young children and adaptations of well-known fairy tales (drawn by Nadir Quinto, Ron Embleton, Jesus Blasco and others). Some of the long-running characters include:

  • Billy Brock's Schooldays
  • Jolly Days with Dicky and Dolly
  • The Merry Tales of Mimi and Marmy
  • The Wonderful Tales of Willow Wood
  • Wink and Blink, the Playful Puppies
  • Little Red Squirrel
  • The Travels of Gulliver Guinea-Pig
  • Tiger Tim and the Bruin Boys
  • Bunny Cuddles
  • Norman Gnome
  • Sooty, based on the TV series
  • Leo the Friendly Lion
  • Tommy Trouble
  • The Magic Roundabout, based on the TV series
  • Num Num and His Funny Family
  • Pinky and Perky, based on the TV series
  • Mr Men, based on the children's book-series

References[edit]