Don Martin in Buster? (28.05.10)
So we're currently waving
a flag for "Buster" comic, a Great British
Weekly that would, could and should have been celebrating
birthday this week....
"Buster"... The last of the classic fun comic
weeklies from the Fleetway
stable... It's up there at the top of the
UK comics tree, alongside "The Beano", so
it is... We've put up the
bunting, and saluted its uniquely wonderful Britishness...
But here's a thing. A tidbit. An aside, if you will.
You see, The Hound
has recently returned to his own "Buster"
collection, to soak up
some of the nostalgia. And whilst he was flicking through
issues, he came upon an extraordinary series of pages
some swizzle-flabbiting single-panel gags from
an All-time Great
who was most definitely not from this side of the
pond. A "Mad"
intruder, if you will.
The name in question is the great, incomparable Don
of the darned near legendary troop of American artists
Magazine to its sublime comic heights in the 50s, 60s and
70s. "Mad" is the quintessential American college
mag of that era
(Yes, yes, we had our own British version too, but let's
the waters here). Martin created his very own dinkalinking
of stupid sound effects to accompany his toons, and his hinge-footed,
stork-legged, cross-gendered foneboning freaks are unmistakable.
Yet here they are in "Buster" comic. They're
festooned across the
"Buster Giggles"pages in the Spring/Summer editions
Readers would send in their jokes and japes and the "Buster"
artists would illustrate a
weekly bunch. Each winning entrant
received a generous £1.00 prize. Imagine
that. A Don Martin
cartoon of your gag, and pocket money too...
Here's one such spread from 25th May 1974, with thumbs
to larger scans for you:
Okay, let's put on our deerstalkers and investigate
The freaks are there (page
one). So are the hinged feet (page
But there aren't any of those famous sound effects.
And I don't
know about you, and I might be well wide of the mark, but
something just a little bit off about these. There's
possibility that these are actually ghosted creations, with
upstart playfully lampooning the Don Martin style. Oh,
only deepens the mystery for us...
Hmm. Don Martin, or Martin-types in "Buster"
comic. What do
you think? More importantly, what
do you know? If you can
solve the mystery please feel free to put this dawg