Monday, December 28, 2009

Knockout Comics

Our Ernie was the creation of Charles Holt and ran from 1939-1960 with illustrations by a variety of artists. Denis Gifford drew this for only a brief period in 1950 when a more accomplished artist (seen here) took over. For some reason Gifford was allowed to sign his work, something rare in the UK comics, maybe his name was known through radio and television work.

The artist on this page took over from Gifford. It may have been by Hugh O'Neil. Hugh McNeill was the creator of Pansy Potter the Strong Man's Daughter which had its debut in the Christmas edition of Beano in 1938. This became Pansy Potter in Wonderland in 1949 and the great artwork was by James Clark. McNeil also drew a great adventure strip for one of the Knockout's companion papers, The Sun (there was also The Comet) featuring Dick Turpin and his female companion Moll Moonlight, created by Leonard Mathews.

Stonehenge Kit (1939-52) was created by Norman Ward and the better comics were not by Gifford. Gifford’s work was usually signed. This Stonehenge Kit strip looks something like the work of brother’s Reg or George Parlett.

The only strip originated by Denis Gifford for Amalgamated press was Steadfast McStaunch (1950-52) which was a comic page featuring puzzles, optical illusions and dot-de-dots. Steadfast McStaunch was a funny animal comic about a dog in the middle ages. Others he worked on were William Wagtail (1945) and Dicky Diddle (1952.)


  1. Dr. Knight-MessengerOctober 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    I have an original Knock-out comic, along with other early editions. It was one of my favorite comics as a boy.It had more pages than Dandy or Beano, and very well-drawn picture stories, often based on famous historic or legendary characters.I also enjoyed the illustrated adventures of Sexton Blake which were quite different to the stories of Blake in Detective Weekly. Knock-out's Blake was some what more like sience fiction adventure. Some of the cartoons were very similar to those in Thomson's comics. However, Our Ernie and Billy Bunter were drawn in entirely unique styles.

  2. See my post on the Knock-out Sexton Blake comics here >