Monday, 26 November 2018

Gerry Haylock's Dr. Who



I can't resist. Let's do some full on Gerry Haylock. Countdown / TV Action ran from 1971 to 1973 and featured, well, all your fave TV shows in strips by all your fave Brit artists of the time. Look at this roll call:
Brian Lewis, Frank Bellamy, Martin Asbury, John M. Burns, Frank Langford, Ron Embleton, the list goes on.
But as we were talking about the great Haylock, here he is with 2nd best Doctor ever ( don't bother arguing, you know I'm right ) Jon Pertwee. I could've picked any of Gerry's Dr. Who strips, them all being wonderful, but I chose this piece for one reason.
Remember all those competitions you entered as a kid, where you had to design a new character, and the prize was to have your creation featured in an actual comic strip...?































15 comments:

  1. Haylock was alright, but the TV21 reprints were the best thing about Countdown/TV Action, particularly Bellamy's Thunderbirds. Even as a kid it obviously had that extra something, like Lawrence's Trigan Empire.

    Of the new stuff, I was fascinated by Countdown itself - what exactly was its relationship to 2001?
    You're mad for John M. Burns aren't you Pete? Surely you can access some pages to post here at some point?

    -sean

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  2. Oh, of course, no one beats Bellamy, but Haylock had his own magic in my opinion.
    I'd have to go back over old issues, but I think it was that Burns' strip ( called 'Countdown' ) was allowed to use the spaceships from 2001, and made big play of that. And yes, natch, Countdown the strip coming up.
    Although, I'd be fairly sure Colin will have some on his own Burns facebook group for those who can't wait...

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  3. Pete, the topic of the use of 2001 designs in Countdown came up a few weeks ago in the Facebook group. Member Shaquille says that Century 21 had the merchandising rights in the late 60s. There are rumours that Countdown was intended as a TV21 strip so it sounds like at some point, it transferred over to the Countdown comic. I suppose it saved John Burns from having to come up with new designs.

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  4. It was only the designs then? Thanks - I only had an irregular run of issues as a kid, so was never quite sure what was going on in Countdown, whether it was some sort of (vague) tie-in to the film or not.

    Pete, if that sounded like I was knocking Haylock that wasn't my intention; it was just an observation on how the comic struck me as a kid.
    The quality of Bellamy's work aside, just the kind of full colour printing in TV Action - so different to imported American comics, let alone the standard British black & whites - made a big impression back then.
    (Colin - did Haylock do any of the colour double pagers, or were they all by the Harry Lindfield geezer credited on the one you posted?)

    -sean

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  5. Funnily enough, I didn't start buying Countdown 'til it started reprinting TV21 strips. Bellamy was good, but to be honest, I preferred Mike Noble's and Ron Embleton's style of art and storytelling. To me, Bellamy's Thunderbirds seemed like I was viewing it through the wrong end of a telescope - even the close-ups. Talking of Countdown, I just received The 1972 Persuaders Holiday Special today, which was a 'spin-off' from the TV Action incarnation of Countdown, as Brett and Danny featured in their own strip in the comic.

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  6. Sean - very observant sir. I hadn't noticed that Harry Lindfield is credited for the artwork. Gerry Haylock is credited from the following issue onwards. But I'd argue that it's an editorial mistake. If you compare those two pages to later Haylock ones, it looks more like his work than Lindfield's especially if you look at The Persuaders in the same issue also by Lindfield. Not to put down Harry Lindfield though - his work on Dr Who, The Persauders and Star Trek is fantastic.

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  7. Colin, fwiw that double spread looked like the work of a different artist to me before I noticed the credit.
    But I'm not about to argue with someone obviously more knowledgeable on the subject of TV Action (especially as it looked even less like the one Dr Who page by Harry Lindfield I found online).

    While looking for some comparison pages, an amusing footnote to the story posted here turned up - seems some geezer claims to have created Davros in that TV Action competition.

    www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1367972/BBC-sued-Who-drew-evil-Dalek-mastermind-Davros.html

    Hey, it was in the Daily Mail - its gotta be true, right?
    (Sorry about linking to the Mail on your blog Pete, but its what came up on google)

    -sean

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  8. I find it amazing when an artist can make two potentially static characters interesting. Haylock truly is amazing! We Yanks could use lessons in that respect.

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  9. Hey Kid, any good strips in that Persuaders special? Let us know, we can at least feel envious.
    And no problem, Sean, The Daily Mail is the biggest comic of all!

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  10. And Neil, as always, I'll be showing off more Countdown / TV Action of course.

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  11. Thanks for that, Pete! Big Pertwee fan here so I've downloaded this for reading later.

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  12. Hi Pete, it's a few months later than your post but I just wanted to add my appreciation for Gerry Haylock. I bought the Century 21 reprint books edited by Chris Bentley and among all the amazing art I was disappointed that Haylock was only represented in one volume. I would love to buy a collected edition of his artwork. This era of British comics seems to have been particularly quirky, there's no one doing this kind of stuff today and I find myself less enthusiastic with all the digital colouring and lack of white space which seems to homogenise a lot of the artwork. A collected edition similar to those recent Star Trek UK classics would be welcome, for UFO, Land of the Giants, Pertwee Who and anything else he did. What a legend! Where did he disappear to after this work, I don't think he did anything in Look-In which would have been the obvious place for him to do stuff.

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    Replies
    1. Ken, check out John Freeman's Down the Tubes blog where there's a great article about reprints of TV adaptations (and how difficult it may be). Mind you, Big Finish did a nice collection of The Avengers from Diana a few years ago so it can be done.

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  13. No bother Ken, I'm always checking back to see if there are any new comments. I'm not sure Haylock ever did any Look-In actually, he definitely should've done. Luckily though we do seem to be living in the era of reprints celebrating these great lost artists, so maybe oe day he'll be brought back into the public eye, particularly with Rebellion doing good work.

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