Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Robot Archie vs The Spider

We're indebted, once again, to pal of this blog Nefarious Neil Hansen. Neil, who probably spends as much time as I do trawling the net for obscurities, sent me a link to this, a British comics super-being dust up I was previously unaware of.
The Spider we've covered before, and if you haven't checked out the arch-villain turned sort of hero, just scroll down the archives till you see him glaring at you.
But Robot Archie deserves a bit of explanation, if only for the benefit of our chums across the pond.
Archie appeared in the very first issue of Lion in 1952, and was hugely popular in the UK, as well as in France and the Netherlands.
I'm bound to say that, although I liked him well enough as a kid, I did find him a bit old fashioned, and much preferred weirder, spookier heroes like The Spider, Janus Stark & Adam Eterno.
Plus, he had his name emblazoned on his chest like his mum had written it there for his first day at school.
Still, he had charm, and was certainly much more likeable than his owners, Ken & Ted, who pretty much treated him as their personal slave. I'm amazed he didn't corkscrew their heads off.

This piece is sadly, not the best scan in the world, but it's still worth a look. There weren't enough of these kind of team-ups in British comics for me.


  1. Never did a character belong to one artist quite as much as The Spider to the king of cross-hatch Reg Bunn. Anything not by him just isn't The Spider in my book. But that's just me. Thanks for sharing this anyway :-)

  2. Thanks for the mini-history on Robot Archie. Being one of those across the pond, I had only heard of him, and I never knew what he was all about. Imagine of Robot Archie met Archie Andrews. What fun that would be.

  3. Michael - You're right, of course. Though isn't it funny how the regular artists NEVER got to do their signature characters in the summer specials? Why was that, anybody?

    Neil - will probly do a fuller Archie piece at some point if enough people want it.

  4. I for one would like to know more about Robot Archie. Something scandalous preferably since he always struck me as a very safe, conservative, un-threatening character even when I was reading his adventures as a kid.

  5. I think he probably was, which is why he never connected with me quite as much as a kid. But I have a set of Vulcan, which was a half colour / half b/w mag that reprinted some of the great British strips in the late '70's ( and where these colour scans come from)
    I'll go through it again and have a look!

  6. I believe many of the regular artists were usually too busy with the weekly episodes when the Specials and Annuals were being put together, PD, which is why other artists were sometimes recruited. Regarding the Archie scans from Vulcan, I think they were Dutch redrawn versions of old British strips from Lion (some of them were anyway, others might have been new Dutch strips). Incidentally, Robot Archie's strip was originally called The Jungle Robot, and the first several strips are on my blog somewhere.

  7. Makes sense, cheers. Get on over to Kid's blog all interested in Archie!

  8. They must have been starved for entertainment in Britain in those days