Thursday 24 March 2011

I Say Chaps - Time For Chums!

Once again a profound thank you to my chum Malcolm Norton who has sent me the following scans of one of the predecessors of adventure comics, a weekly entitled Chums which was published by Cassells way back through the primordial mists of time to an age when the artists who created these amazing illustrations were called Reg or Wilf or Alf or even possibly Bertie.

 Such adventures were the stuff of dreams or even nightmares as some of these covers will attest.

What about that cover from August 15th 1906???


  1. ...Ah for the good old days when chaps could be chaps, without any girls to get in the way and no suggestion of any funny business!

    As Chums' resident poet Cyril Horley put it in this magnificent verse from 1930-31:

    "Whatever the future holds for you,
    What luck; good or bad, may come,
    Just mark my words, for you'll find them true,
    There's nothing like having a Chum!

    When fortune smiles and the skies are blue,
    And you march with a rolling drum,
    The pleasure is doubled, and trebled too,
    If you share it all with a Chum!

    And when things go wrong and the outlook's grey,
    And you're feeling depressed and glum,
    It's surprising how troubles just fade away,
    At the sight of a dear old Chum!

    You may tramp for miles without saying much,
    (Some folks might think you were dumb),
    But you keep in step, and you keep in touch,
    You don't need words with a Chum!

    But, whether the going be good or bad,
    Keep smiling! - Never repine!
    And the best I can wish you, dear old lad -
    May you find a Chum like mine!"

    ...They really don't write them like that anymore.

    (In fact they probably couldn't if they wanted to as there aren't any words left that rhyme with 'Chum'!!!) :-)

  2. "His starting eyes...fixed on the ...oncoming lights"??? I think at that range he might also be worried about the hooded guy with a scythe that only he can see! Great stuff - nice illos and even one by the famous H. M. Brock, I believe!

  3. Yes I noticed the H.M.Brock: another great artist who made a successful transition to comic strips - and one who probably deserves a post all to himself one of these days!

  4. And someone who was one of Ron Embleton's illustration heroes along with his better known brother Charles Edward.

    In fact all four brothers were illustrators and shared a studio full of props, costumes and antique bric a brac in Cambridge.