Friday, 28 April 2017

Leo Baxendale's Willy The Kid

Defeated sigh. Well, we also lost Leo Baxendale this week, one of those artists so legendary you don't even need to put legendary in front of his name.
Thinking about it, Baxendale was probably our first favourite artist we were fans of, when we were too young to even know that real people drew comics, or that were such things as fans.
With Leo's passing, this right here is the official end of your childhood.
But before we all start acting like grown-ups and not finding poo jokes funny, here's Leo in interview, from the third issue of Ally Sloper:

And here's just a sprinkling from Baxendale's magnum opus, every panel crammed with more gags than should be humanly possible, and with at least three plotlines going on at the same time.
When we were kids, me and my pals did our own comics, starring ourselves in wacky adventures, replete with sight gags and bad puns. We thought we were ripping off Mad. Looking at Willy The Kid today, it's blindingly obvious that we were actually, through osmosis and without even realizing it, Baxendale's Boys.


  1. Even as a kid I was never quite sure if Willy The Kid was actually supposed to be for kids or if it was supposed to be a sly adult-targeted parody akin to what Viz did much later. A lot of the jokes seemed very double-edged and I'm sure I remember there being a sequence with scribbled-out swearing where the profanities were still legible if you looked close enough.

  2. You might be right about that, Lee - I'll have to have another look at that.

  3. It was the first book. (The 'c' word. It was meant to be Willy's way of typing 'can't'.)

  4. Thanks for showing this Pete I haven't seen this one before (I only have Book 2) Brilliant stuff.