the artists speak!
a gallery of
comic strips and
puppets in the UK
simply wanted to be the best - "champion" - at
everything he did. But although he was always boasting
about his forthcoming successes he rarely triumphed,
frequently presented his ever-present pal Georgie with
a spectacular failure to chortle over.
Champ wasn't a
Big Head, though, he was just extra-keen, and not
very good at the things he uindertook...
Poor old Champ really did go through the Fleetway mill
at least four different artists bringing their own vision
strip. He was first drawn by the masterful Leo Baxendale,
Bash Street Kids fame. In those very first Whizzer strips,
Champ sported a rather spectacular nose. By issue 21,
however, his design had been refined and his hooter
to the more familiar "button nose" variety:
Colin Whittock took over Champ after Leo, mimicking
button-nose look throughout his run on the strip. That's
Champ version at the top of the page and it's Colin
out the finer subtleties of Champ's nose, and who kindly
me with the scan above. Colin, of course, found everlasting
Fleetway fame courtesy of, amongst others, Lazy
Anyway, back to Champ. In later years you'll see that "The"
was added to the strip title and new artists took up
including J Edward Oliver whose sharp black lines must be
instantly recognisable to Fleetway fans. That's his
above. JEO has a fine official
site that's well worth a visit.
During our exchange,
JEO made mention of Champ.
Apparently, Fleetway editor Bob Paynter had suggested
he should use a "Baxendale style", but JEO didn't
that the previous incarnation was actually by
Below is the final Champ to appear, courtesy of Paul
Paul was one of Fleetway's unsung support artists, frequently
"ghosting" strips for others when they were away
or otherwise indisposed. He also drew Jackpot's Adam
What's more, this splendidly generous chap furnished
Hound with a treasure trove of comic interviews and articles
to assist with the creation of Fleetway St. It's all
very much appreciated...