Monday, December 28, 2009

Film Picture Stories

The British film comics had their beginnings in the Funny Wonder (1914), published every Tuesday, which featured Charlie Chaplin comics on the front page of some issues. Amalgamated Press began further exploiting the possibilities of the cinema, with Boy’s Cinema Weekly, a tabloid with illustrated text adaptations of popular movies, on Dec. 1919. One comic, Merry and Bright, contained comics featuring popular vaudeville and music hall stars. The editor of Merry and Bright, was the creator of the longest-running film comic, Film Fun (1920-1962) featuring the likes of Harold Lloyd, with art by Billy Wakefield.

That editor of Film Fun was Fred Cordwell, born in Lambeth in 1887 and died in 1948. He worked for Alfred Harmsworth as a copy boy then moved into editing various comics and story papers for the Amalgamated Press. Film Fun had a twin, the Kinema Comic, (1920-1932) with a Fatty Arbuckle comic on the cover of no. 1.

Film Picture Stories was the last entrant into this early use of film stars in comics but only lasted through 1934-35. Film Picture Stories was the first British comic to showcase dramatic adventures instead of the film comedians.


  1. These are all American movies...did these magazines ever adapt British films? Also, were the artists ever credited?

  2. The artists were never, as far as I know, credited -- but some artists may have been identified in Denis Gifford's British Comic Catalogue.