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  Cor!! characters and strips...
    Jasper Jasper on the run!
    Jasper the Grasper
Jasper McGrab was most money-hungry good-for-nothing in
   olde Cortown or
indeed, any town you've ever been to. He never
   even had two pennies to rub together - or worse than that,
   he'd have more than two pennies but refuse to rub, toss or
   spend them. Each week he'd get a hankering for something
   he couldn't afford or wouldn't pay for, so he'd attempt to get
   it through other gasping grasping ways.

   That usually meant stealing, pinching, conning or caniving to
   launch him to success. Though, invariably, grimey Grasper
   would come a cropper and lose his ill-gotten gains somehow...         
   It made a welcome change to see a "period" strip in a
   Fleetway comic. Jasper inhabited a turn-of-the-century realm
   with Bow Street Runners instead of policemen and cart
   horses instead of cars. It was a world in which every sign
   started with a "Ye" (as in "Ye olde").

   Jasper was actually reincarnated from Odhams Smash!
   comic, a title bought out by Fleetway in the late 60s. The
   strip first appeared in 1965 and was originally drawn by
   comics God Ken Reid. The Cor!! run began in late 1971,
   and included reprints of Ken Reid's Odhams originals.
   Trevor Metcalfe took it over around Christmas 1972...

    Ken Reid's Jasper - with hearing trumpet!

   In those first strips Jasper used to have great hearing
   trumpets on the roof of his house, so he could hear pennies
   being dropped out of people's pockets. He had bizarre
   devices on the door to trap unsuspecting visitors. He also
   had a regular "enemy" in the form of a fat Rent Collector.
   The Cor!! version lost some of the extremes of the original,
   but old Jasper still got up to some filthy, complicated,
   scheming and those hearing trumpets still featured
   from time to time...

   Still, be it Ken Reid or Trevor Metcalfe, both artists really 
   went to town, filling each panel with period detail and capturing
   a feel for Jasper's grimey olde worlde. In a way, the strip was
   a parallel to those famous graspers on tv, Steptoe & Son who
   were proving so popular on the BBC at the time...

   Grasping the facts

   Trivia Hounds might like to note, in the issue dated 9th Sept.
   1972 we learn that Jasper's postal address is:

        Jasper McGrab
        13 Stingey St.

   Jasper has a brother called Miles and a young nephew called
   Silas (22nd July 1972), and an un-named cousin 'on the outskirts
   of town' (18th Nov. 1972).

   Also, we know that Jasper's ancestor Eliphas McGrab was an
   Alchemist (1st Sept. 1973) and that Great Uncle Zachariah hid
   the family fortune in the fireplace of Jasper's crumbling home
   (1st Dec. 1973) - indeed, Jasper finds that his ghost still haunts
   the property!

   Jasper and Emily...

   The miserly olde fool even let money ruin his lovelife
   (8th June 1974). Somehow, he fixed himself up for a date
   with a charming woman called Emily. But he proved so
   tight she spurned him and sent him away with her
   shocking half- sister Cynthia instead!

   "If you're so interested in doing things
    by halves... Then you can take out Cynthia...
    She's my half sister!"

    Jasper' strip also tells us more about olde Cortown
    and its environs:
    * There's a river on the outskirts of towne called
       The River Spludge (3rd Feb. 1973).

    * Cortown was once a great port, with its own famous
      clipper ship called the Pride of Cortown (27th Jan. 1973).
    * A new-fangled iron bridge was built on the approach
      to towne, reducing travel distance from 10 miles to
      just 1/2 a mile - but it's a toll bridge, and so of little
      use to our scrounging Jasper (2nd Dec.1972).



  the Grasper
  Facts & Figures

  1st Fleetway

  Cor!! comic

  Original artist:
  Ken Reid

  Other artists:
  Trevor Metcalfe


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