the artists speak!
a gallery of
comic strips and
puppets in the UK
yes, he was odd all right. Odd Ball was a hovering red
ball who could morph into any conceivable shape,
Robert Patrick in T:2. Only, Odd Ball was a good guy.
He would help his pal Nobby out of various
scrapes. Our red round friend would do a lot of thinking,
with his thought bubbles usually preceding his
morph, so you always knew what he was about to
And just occasionally he would speak. Although
he didn't utilize this facility more was never explained.
Odd Ball and Nobby were ever-present in Whizzer
from the very first edition, in 1969. The origin
strip in issue
#1 told us that he was orginally from the planet
Two spring-heeled inhabitants were playing a popular
game (ie: football) when their ball got booted out
It consequently zipped across the solar system, bounced
off an orbiting space capsule (this was 1969 and
and all that...) and rebounded down to earth, smack
the middle of Nobby Noodle's football match.
Trivia Hounds will note that, in this first strip,
doesn't morph in quite the way we're used
to. Instead, he
stretches out an "arm" dramatically to
deflect an oncoming
football from Nobby's goalmouth
Oh, and we learn a curious fact at the end of the strip.
Odd Ball apparently eats grass. And Nobby's
that, 'cos it means it won't cost anything to
The strip was drawn throughout its entire run by Terry Bave.
and Nobby and Odd Ball have consequently earned
themselves a place on the top table of Fleetway
But hang on, what's all this about "Mr" Odd
Was he a "he" or a "she",
and how on earth would you
distinguish between the sexes anyway? Hmm. All we
know is that Mr Bave imbued our bouncy friend with
very masculine face...
Normally, the kids in the Fleetway comics supported
local football teams, like Cortown United and
our friend friend Nobby was an exception. He was
of West Ham. In Whizzer & Chips dated
1975 we see him walking down the street blowing bubbles
and signing the classic terrace chant:
"I'm forever blowing bubbles!
Up the Hammers!
West Ham! West Ham!..."
Methinks the artist was letting his own preferences
into the strip here. Even so, this may well have
fun comic first...