Sparky (comics)

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Sparky
Publication information
Publisher DC Thomson
Schedule Weekly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date January 23 1965 – July 9 1977
Number of issues 652

Sparky was a British comic published weekly by DC Thomson, that ran from (issue dates) 23 January 1965 to 9 July 1977 when it merged with The Topper after 652 issues. From 1965-1980 the comic published an annual entitled The Sparky Book. It was a DC Thomson comic, originally aimed at a slightly younger audience to The Beano and The Dandy later it was aimed at the same audience. It changed its name to The Sparky Comic in 1973.

List of comic strips[edit]

Strips which featured in Sparky at some point during the course of its 12 year run included. All numbers refer to issues of Sparky.

Strip Title Artist First Appearance Last Appearance Notes
Sparky 1 210 The adventures of a black boy who wore a grass skirt. Sparky was the original cover story until replaced with The Moonsters.
The Moonsters Bill Ritchie 2 199 Green aliens living on the moon. Originally on the back page, but soon became the cover story.
Dreamy Dave and Dozy Dora Pamela Chapaeu 1 204 A brother and sister who constantly dozed off and shared the same bizarre but vivid fantasy dreams.
Hungry Horace George Drysdale 1 652 (originally from The Dandy) A boy who thought of nothing but eating.
Keyhole Kate George Drysdale 1 488 (originally from The Dandy) She was a nosey girl with pigtails and glasses who spied through keyholes. Later moved back to The Dandy.
Joe Bann and his Big Banjo 1 138
Freddie the Fearless Fly 1 91 Originally in the Dandy.
Jeff ye Jolly Jester 1 89
Hockey Hannah 1 76
Minnie Ha-Ha 1 55
Flubberface 1 59
Hairy Dan 1 29 This strip was originally in The Beano.
Dick Turpentine 1 12
Nosey Parker 1 139
Stoneage Steve 1 5
Pansy Potter John Geering 2 567 Revival of a strip from The Beano.
Frosty McNab 2 4 Revival of a strip from The Beano.
Cuckoo in the Clock 2 139
Black Jack the Chimney Sweep 2 5
Grandma Jolly and her Brolly 2 17
Peter Piper 3 652 A boy with magic pipes which could make objects and pictures alive, revival of story from The Magic Comic.
Winnie the Witch 25 122 A strip with the same name appeared in The Beano.
The Slowdown Express 25 137
Fireman Fred 63 131
Granny Cupp and her Flying Saucer 80 139
My Grockle and Me George Drysdale 86 140 Revival of a strip from The Rover and later The Dandy.
Harry Carry 123 209
Meddlesome Matty 140 224 Originally in the Dandy.

A girl whose meddling always got her into trouble.

Deputy Dawg 140 165
Snapshot Sid 140 191
Tom Tardy 140 175
Charlie Chutney 141 209 Originally a 1940s Dandy Character.
Big Billy Bigg 161 243
The Snooks 166 205
Clever Claire 170 178
Cheating Charley 192 210
John Bulldog/Barney Bulldog Bill Ritchie 200 528 Similar to Biffo the Bear and the third cover strip. Name changed to `Barney Bulldog` on issue 211 1 February 1969.
L-Cars Bill Hill 205 652 Two incompetent policemen named Cedric and Frederic (the name comes from the contemporary show Z-Cars, but with a pun on learning 'L-plates')
Spoofer McGraw Gordon Bell 206 652 "He tells tall tales", who continually gave outrageous explanations for the origins of tractors, mummies etc. to his gullible duffelcoat-wearing friend Bo. 643-652 were reprints.
Esky Mo 211 259 An Eskimo boy living at the North Pole.
Harry Presto 211 224 The Conjuror's son - a boy who uses his magician dad’s hat to pull out assorted objects.
Sparky People 211 652 A semi-fictional office staff who produced Sparky. 647-652 are reprints.
Wyatt Twerp Ron Spencer 211 298 The inept Wild West sheriff.
Helpful Henry Hugh Morren 211 230 Revival of a strip from The Wizard, Dandy Monster Comic and The Beano. Male version of Meddlesome Matty.
I-Spy Les Barton 1969-70. Brian Walker 1970 - 1972. John Fox 1974-1976. 211 586 He was a secret agent with a long coat which concealed hundreds of weapons and gadgets. Similar to a character from Smash! called The Cloak.
Cap'n Hood and his Merry Men 212 231
Kings of the Castle 230 652 The Kings lived in a castle and the `Dirty Rascals` were forever trying to get in.
Puss 'n' Boots John Geering 231 652 "they fight like cat and dog", an eternally warring cat and dog duo.
Sam's Snake 244 426
Ali's Baba 261 652 Early strips were called Ali and his Baba. An invisible guardian angel Ali, who lived on a cloud and wore a cape, following an unknowing toddler Baba at all times and protected him from harm. Continued in The Topper and reprinted in The Dandy as Jimmy's Green Genie in 2004.
I. Fly 262 426
Rudolph the Red Coat Mountie 276 299 All the other mounties in the force had failed to catch master of disguise, dangerous Dan McGurk and so it fell to assistant cook, Rudolph to get his man! Reprinted in 603-626
Trouble Bruin 280 314
Ma Kelly's Telly Les Barton 315 402
Willie Getaway or will he not Phillip Milar 316 499 A man who thinks he is a wanted criminal as he can't read the small print on the 'wanted' posters that he has in fact inherited a large fortune, spending each strip trying to escape 'capture' by people wanting the reward for finding him.
Tom Kat 323 401
Captain Cutler and his Butler 397 426 A Victorian era explorer Egbert Cutler searching for the source of the river Bongo, and his polite but long-suffering manservant Crumbs. This strip was notable for including the writer and artist as off-panel characters; Crumbs would interact with them and request changes to the strip in order to assist the clueless Cutler.
Snip and Snap 403 499 Two dogs eternally conspiring to bite the visiting postman. Reprinted as "The Red Hot Chilli Dogs" in the Dandy Xtreme as of August 2007.
Dreamy Daniel 403 652 A boy with a rich internal fantasy life who easily confused his imagination with reality.
Jumbo and Jet 427 455 Adventures of a mouse and an elephant.
Baron Von Reichs-Pudding 474 652 The flying Hun from vorld var von!
Herman's Horoscopes 490 602
Thingummyblob Albert Holroyd 500 652 A strip with the same title has recently been in The Dandy.
Superwitch 500 651
Minnie the Tea Lady Jim Petrie 501 648
Ah! Choo! 545 650
Some Mummies Do 'Ave 'Em 568 652 The final cover story. Title is a play on the sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.
Planet of the Nirdles 578 642
The Circus of P. T. Bimbo 581 652

List of Sparky Adventure Strips[edit]

As well as featuring comic strips featured Adventurous strips, however fewer and fewer of these appeared later in the comic's life.

Strip Title Artist First Appearance Last Appearance Notes
The Young Castaways 1 16
Wee Tusky 1 42 Two series. First (1-22). Second (35-42). A text story of the same name also featuring an elephant appeared in the first Dandy Monster Comic.[1]
The Kidnapped Kidds 1 15
The Palace of Secrets 1 14 This was a prose story with a few illustrations not a comic strip.
Will O' the Well 15 59 Two series. First (15-25) was a text story. The Second (53-59) was a comic strip.
McGinty the Goat 17 29
Kipper Feet 23 34
Riddle of the Roughlands 25 34
Lonely Wood 26 59 Two series. First (26-34). Second (57-59).
Raiders from the Red Planet 30 34
Glipin the Lost, Lost Boy 35 49
Year of the Vanaks 35 56
The Flood that Mother Remembers 35 47
Floating Along, Singing A Song 36 47
The Downside Donkeys 43 52
Lost Children of the Forest 48 55
Quest of the Wandering Wingates 50 59
Pocahontas 56 60
Seven at One Blow 60 72
Huffy, Muffy and Tuffy 60 74
City under the Sea 60 79
Children of the Secret Pool 61 76
Rory, the Horse of Many Masters 62 74
Boy in the Forest of Fear 73 83
Klanky Bob Webster 75 499 Five Series. First (75–87) called Big Klanky. From Second (141–160) onwards called Klanky. Third (211–239). Fourth (280–299) called Around the World with Klanky. Fifth (377–499) called Klanky. An alien robot who is befriended on earth by Ernie and Sue Huggins.
Police Horse Hadrian 75 85
Balloon Family Robinson 77 139 Two Series. First (77-85). Second (138-139).
Prentice Pete 84 140 Two Series. First One-off in 84. Second (123-140),
Willy the Woeful Wizard 86 116
Terry had a Little Pig 86 97
Nine Hundred Years Ago 87 94
The Horse with Wings 88 106
Davey Spacer 95 240 Three Series. First (95-107) called Little Davey Spacer. Second (140-157) and called Davey Spacer in Giantland. Third (227-240) called Davey Spacer.
The Island from the Past 98 109
Keepers of the Dancing Drums 107 122
Invisible Dick 108 652 Three Series. First (108-123). Second (182-499). Third (563-652) which were reprints. Originated in Rover comic in 1922 and was in first Dandy comic 1938. Sparky comic version changed the origin of Dicks invisibility from a Jar with invisible solution to a Torch with black beam that makes all it shines on invisible for a period of time.
The Lost Ponies of Thor 110 119
Greedy Gus 117 127
The Cave Kids 120 131
The Lonely lad of Blue Lagoon 124 183
Titch, the Pup that Grew and Grew 128 137
David Copperfield 140 158 Adaptation of the book of the same name.
Big Ossie 141 155
The Magic Sword 156 168
The Floating Farrells 158 170
Uncle Tom's Cabin 159 178 Adaptation of the book of the same name.
Blonderl the Wandering Minstrel 169 181
South Seas Suzie 171 186
The Old Curiosity Shop 179 198
The Captive Kidds 185 195 Unrelated to the earlier Kidnapped Kidds
Sacramento here we come 186 197
Sailor Brown's Schooldays 196 210
The Boyhood of Deadwood Dick 198 210
The Coral Island 199 210
The Jungle Ark 211 226
Mr Bubbles Pamela Chapaeu & James Fox 240 652 A 'bubble imp' living in a plastic bottle similar to washing-up liquid. Each strip someone would squeeze it and he would grant three wishes. Two series first (240-546) and second was reprints from (627-652)
The Jungle Walkers 241 254
The Misery King 255 260
Bushboy 261 359 Two Series. First (261-275). Second (346-359).
Four Legged Fred 299 314
The Mini-Martins 322 332
Tess of the Taoki 356 363
The Wild West Kids 364 376
North Sea Oyl 587 592 Reminiscent of the film The Blob.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dandy Monster Comic No. 1. Dundee, Scotland: D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. in conjunction with Aurum Press Ltd. 2006. p. 41. ISBN 1-84513-217-3.