04 January 2009

Chucklers Weekly (5): the small print

The address of Chucklers HQ, 26 College Street, is now part of the building that includes the Sydney Marriott Hotel.

Rotary Colorprint is still around, in Surry Hills. It also printed, for example, Phantom comics and Larry Kent pulp detective novels.

Previous Chucklers Weekly posts: covers, comics, other content, club.

03 January 2009

Chucklers Weekly (4): Charlie Chuckles Club

I was a member of the Charlie Chuckles Club. I lost my badge long ago, but I like to think that the one I bought through eBay (below) is my own badge, mystically reunited with me after fifty years. Now, if only I could locate my old Argonauts' Club badge...

Previous Chucklers Weekly posts:
covers, comics, other content.

Chucklers Weekly (3): Pat Boone, Bob Rogers and make a book cover!

Previous Chucklers Weekly posts: covers and comics.

Apart from the comics, Chucklers Weekly included short stories, puzzles, general knowledge features, pop music news, competitions and readers' advertisements (Exchange Corner and Penfriends). The content was wholesome, even educational, fare. (Crystals are interesting!) There was nothing here that would upset parents at a time when comic books had had some bad press.

The pin-up boy of Chucklers Weekly was Pat Boone, the clean-cut American crooner and movie star who had hits with whitebread versions of Little Richard and Fats Domino songs and otherwise occupied the lighter end of the pop spectrum. He even wrote an advice book for the youngsters called 'Twixt Twelve and Twenty that I remember being promoted through Chucklers Weekly. In fact, looking back, Chucklers Weekly was nuts about Pat Boone, almost an Aussie branch of his PR team.

Of the two white-collar-and-tie disc jockeys featured here, Bob Rogers from 2SM in Sydney was the most famous nationally. Five years later, by then with 2UE, he was embedded with The Beatles' tour of Australia, an arrangement that was continually crashed by 2SM's Mad Mel, a wacky deejay from America who would have seemed shocking in 1959.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

Chucklers Weekly (2): comics

About a third of the Chucklers Weekly was given over to full page comic strips, Australian and imported. These comics appear in the two editions I have, each filling one or two pages: There is also a single strip for younger children:
  • Joey Jumper Serial (Australia, Anonymous)
And a single panel cartoon: Australian illustrator, writer and animation artist Monty Wedd (b.1921) is a prolific creator of historical and educational comic strips. He began drawing the fictional bushranger comic Captain Justice in the late 1940s, before Chucklers Weekly, and he later continued it in the Australian Woman's Day in the 1960s. From the 1970s he produced well-researched comic strip series about real life Australian bushrangers, Ned Kelly and Ben Hall. Monty Wedd's work was also seen in the Australian Children's Newspaper, published by the national broadcaster the ABC (it was the second magazine I ever subscribed to, after Chucklers Weekly). Arthur Hudson who drew All About Debbie Reynolds (below) and Monty Wedd both contributed to the The Australian Children’s Pictorial Social Studies series of educational comics.

Click on an image to enlarge it.

References, further reading: 1. Dan Cooper at CoolFrenchComics.com. 2. Monty Wedd - Australian cartoonist by Greg Ray at Collecting Books and Magazines. 3. Dick Brooks, The Jackson Twins at Lambiek.com. 4. MortWalker.com and the Wikipedia entry on Beatle Bailey. 5. Wendy and Jinx: Valerie and Michael Hastings at Steve Holland's Bear Alley; Ray Bailey at Lambiek.net. 6. George Sixta, Rivets at Lambiek.com and ComicStripFan.com. 7. Gill Fox at Ger Apeldoorn's 50s blog. 8. John Ryan, Panel By Panel (1979).

02 January 2009

Chucklers Weekly (1)

Chucklers Weekly was a children's magazine published in Sydney that seems to have flourished in the mid- to late-50s. It was the first magazine I ever subscribed to, when I was 9 or 10 years old. I was a member of the Charlie Chuckles Club, named for the magazine's kookaburra mascot.

My childhood collection being lost forever, I bought these two copies online, from 9 January and 28 August1959.

Click on an image to enlarge it.