Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Wild Wonders



The Wild Wonders was a fun, completely charming strip from Valiant about Rick & Charlie Wild, a couple of brothers who'd grown up feral on Worrag Island in The Outer Hebrides, and who'd subsequently become world champion athletes, there being not much to do on the island but go running.
On reaching civilization, they were put into the care of Mike Flynn, an Olympic swimmer who, weirdly, also owned a garage in Bexleyheath.
The hyperactive lads were always happy for Mike to put them up for any charity race or sporting event going, and they pretty much tried out, and won at, every sport going over the years, along the way battling hillbillies, wild bears, gangsters, movie producers, Japanese soldiers who thought the War was still on, and the kind of cheating adults who'd graduated from the Dick Dastardly school of fair play.
It was kind of Wacky Races meets Stig Of The Dump, and owed most of it's popularity to Mike Western's superb, friendly art style.
Here's a beautiful colour Western piece from the 1971 Valiant annual, where once again, the lads leave those rotten grown-ups eating their dust.









6 comments:

  1. Not exactly Darkie's Mob, is it? Interesting....

    -sean

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  2. The Valiant was a fantastic comic at its peak (60s) full of quirky strips and cool art like this, including the marvellous Steel Claw with amazing art by Jesús Blasco..I agree the art is certainly not a patch on Mike Western later work (Darkies Mob etc) but is was what it was and very much of its time ie a fun tongue in check strip that ran for years. Great to see these again took be right back Mike Western was such a good artist and will be especially fondly remembered by those 40 to 60 plus (sadly im well in that age range now)

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  3. Not knocking Valiant, Paul - Adam Eterno was one of my favourite comic characters as a kid. Only vaguely recalled Wild Wonders, and really wouldn't have expected to discover it was drawn by Western.
    Not that that should be much of a surprise, though - didn't Tom Tully also write Death Game 1999? All those people from the old mixed genre comics were really versatile.

    -sean

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  4. The 1st time I encountered Mile Western was the Mekon on the cover of 2000AD 12

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  5. Although I ( obviously ) love The Wild Wonders and Darkie's Mob et al. my favourite Western strip is still The Leopard From Lime St - available on this here blog if no one caught it! And, natch, I've got loads of Valiant stuff to post-Best British Weekly before 2000AD? I'd say so.

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  6. I love the page header for LOLS I think I still he the 1st episode and cover appearances. I would agree with Valiant but only due to longevity. Action would be top otherwise with Monster Fun close behind. I would love to see more British stuff on here. I have been really into some of the more obscure Ken Reid strips I've found recently. Banger & Masher in particular is laugh out loud insane ultra violence. Also the stuff in Scorcher like Soccer Spook.

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