Thursday, 13 October 2011

Children's Comics


I was buying a couple of women's magazines this morning, mainly for the fiction as I like to read and write short stories. As always, the vast array of children's comics caught my eye and reminded me how much I used to love reading them, although most of my favourites have long gone. I could hardly wait for my weekly Bunty magazine and read it from the first issue right into my teen years, until Jackie magazine took over. Then I began reading the Bunty, Mandy and Judy Christmas Annuals I bought for my own daughter! I also read my brother's Beano and Dandy comics, and a little later I loved the American comics - especially those with strange or creepy tales.

It got me thinking about the way our love of reading is shaped as a child. Most children love to have an adult read to them from a well-loved book, and many go on to enjoy books into adulthood. Yet, according to endless statistics, far too many young people give up reading all together, especially boys. I wonder if that's as accurate a picture as we think? Lots of them might give up on books too soon, but perhaps they still enjoy comics or graphic novels, or prefer non-fiction with interesting pictures.

One of the strongest memories I have is the anticipation of the weekly episode of stories like The Four Marys and Wee Slavey, and the great variety of mystery and adventure stories. Maybe we just need to write the kind of gripping stories young people want to read today!

Ros

12 comments:

  1. I can remember the delight as a child, when I opened a heavy Christmas present to find an Enid Blyton Famous Five book. It was huge, containing three stories. I remember the smell of the pages and feeling very grown up to have such a big book without pictures!!

    I also remember as a teenager, wishing away the week so I could buy my Jackie comic and a quarter of Fruitella to eat whilst drooling over David Cassidy!!

    Happy days! Ange xxx

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  2. I loved Bunty too. And Judy. My cousin introduced me to Bunty. Gave me a huge pile of old ones. Sat making my way through them - reading the serials as full stories - and munching chocoalte. Bliss!
    later came Petticoat and Honey.

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  3. Hi Ange - thanks for coming over and for following! I know exactly what you mean about the Enid Blyton books (which should definitely be a subject for a future post here) - and David Cassidy!

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  4. Thanks for the comment, Creative! I often read Judy and Mandy too - and yes to the chocolate, which I still need!

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  5. Oh, yes, absolutely! Bunty, and Mandy....I loved the Four Marys too, and then there was Valda, was that her name? With the magic rejeuvenating crystal - could do with one of those now!
    I'm so pleased both my kids are big readers, I think things like the Horrible Histories books have been great for kids these days - almost a replacement for comics. One thing that does sadden me a lot is the lack of good comics for girls now - it's baby, cute-sy animal stuff for the little 'uns, then straight into mags with boys and make-up obsessions. My daughter would have loved all those Bunty comics - they did form a huge love of reading, I'm certain.
    Great post!

    Jane x

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  6. Hi Jane - yes, I remember Valda! Not sure which comic she was in but that's the kind of story I loved. You're quite right about the lack of similar comics for girls today - I'm sure it's what gave many of us a love of stories.

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  7. I used to love the paper dollies on the back of 'Bunty' with their cut-out clothes.

    Never could stand Enid Blyton, though - much too wholesome. Even as a youngster my taste was for 'ghoulies and ghosties and lang-leggedy beasties', and not much has changed :)

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  8. Hi Rosemary,
    My first comic was the Beezer, not sure why, then I loved Diana. It felt quite sophisticated, and I would get my comic on a Saturday morning and sneak back to bed to read about Up to date Kate and others. I've put you on my list of friendly bloggers, it's an award to collect from my blog if you want to, no obligations though.

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  9. Hi Margaret - thanks for visiting. I loved those cut-out clothes too! Understand what you're saying about Blyton - it was the adventure I liked!

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  10. Hi Suzy - thank you so much for my friendly blogger award. I don't have one for this blog and will be delighted to collect it soon! One of my friends occasionally had a Beezer and I vaguely remember Diana.

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  11. I got the Bunty and the Mandy and then swapped with my best friend for the June & School Friend and the Diana. I moved on to Romeo and Mirabelle and there was always a copy of Jackie around at school. I also got Fab 208 where David Cassidy (swoon) wrote a column (allegedly). My bedroom wall was covered in pictures of him. Later I got the Annabelle and it was through reading their short stories I got the urge to write myself. They also had a brilliant cryptic crossword.

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  12. Hi Betty - all those comics/magaines were brilliant. I couldn't wait to read the next episode of some stories!

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