Victor Comic and me (2)

Victor Comic normally began with a war story in full colour on the outside covers of the comic. The story was always true, although I don’t think that that ever really registered with me:

This particular story may not have been 100% true but I think that this is because Douglas Bader was still alive at the time and they didn’t want any law suits:

And anyway, what’s an arm or a leg between friends?

Good Old One-Armed Mac was back doing what he did best. Killing Germans:

Good Old One-Armed Mac used to fly a Hawker Hurricane, but the squadron leader chose to ignore totally the aircraft’s fuel tank capacity when he announced one day that they were going to go and attack Germany. Perhaps they went just a little way up the Rhine on an aircraft carrier:

No, I don’t see an arrestor hook there. But they’re very good, aren’t they?

Victor always had completely 100% fictional wartime characters such as Sergeant Matt Braddock VC. He usually flew a Lancaster or a Mosquito but he could turn his hand to anything. Nobody knew that Matt and his navigator George were the adopted sons of Biggles and Ginger:

Here’s the text if you can’t read it:

Given the hair brained nature of some of the things they did, I’m not too surprised that Matt and George were based at the fictional RAF Rampton. Here’s the Terrible Twosome and a nice illustration of what they do best:

Braddock might have been a double Victoria Cross winner, but he was not cut out for training young recruits:

He was not very good either at passing on the idea of “the calm pilot who was always in control” :

He was never really very interested in the concept of patience and understanding:

Occasionally, in the stories featured in Victor Comic the odd cliché would crop up. The clichés were never really a genuine source of negativity though and they were never meant in a nasty way.

And race hatred was something that just did not ever crop up. No higher respect could have possibly been paid, for example, to those great warriors, the Gurkhas or indeed, any other non-white soldiers in the British Army.

Characters from the Middle East could even star in their own series. And, yes, the hero does look a little bit blonde haired with possibly a hint of blue eyes:

But what about “the traditional Jesus” ?  Very few people will ever have been struck by the markedly Jewish appearance of Jesus in illustrations . Here’s Jesus the Viking:

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26 Comments

Filed under Aviation, History, Humour, Literature, Personal

26 responses to “Victor Comic and me (2)

  1. Simon Charles

    there was a latter day Jesus Christ who appeared in Nottingham, by the City Ground, often see walking on water. Brian somebody or other was his name, i think . . . ..

    • You are absolutely right. Would that he were still with us to comment on foreign owners, players’ wages and the lack of success of the England team. He might even have something to say about Derby County since he left them in 1973.

      • Simon Charles

        the greatest England manager we never had! i think he was destroyed however when Peter Taylor left him to return to the Sand Pit aka Baseball Ground . . . .

  2. Fascinating journey back, John

  3. I never heard of this comic book. It can see why it would be quite popular in the UK!!

    • It certainly was. Given the pages devoted to the Second World War I often think that it may account quite a bit for our relative obsession with the conflict, and especially with our near neighbours, the Germans, most of whom nowadays, of course, weren’t even born in 1945!

  4. Always one of my favourites, I have still got some annuals lying around somewhere.

    • Just look at that artwork! I think that that is the one of the first raids carried out by the SAS in North Africa. ‘Victor’ was a splendid comic which must have been read by a very high percentage of boys in the 1960s. I often forget that at least one of the characters they created has passed into English culture…”Roy of the Rovers” which is still used as a phrase in footballing circles.

      • remember this one?

        Yes, indeed! I used to buy Tiger occasionally. Maybe that was where Roy of the Rovers appeared, thinking about it. If it was, I will need to use the old excuse “Well, it was 50 odd years ago!”

      • Correct me if I’m wrong but the SAS were formed after the war but their tactics, training and heritage came from the Long Range Desert Group started in North Africa.

        Hi Lloyd! The SAS were formed in July 1941 at first under the command of a man called David Stirling and then Paddy Mayne. I recently read a really good book about them called “SAS: Rogue Heroes – the Authorized Wartime History” by Ben MacIntyre. which is currently on Amazon for just one penny. Thank God they were on our side!

  5. My first boss who flew Mosquitos told me that the reason Bader was so good after he lost his legs was because when you pull up in a very tight loop the blood drains to your legs by centrifugal force and you black out. But Bader was able to loop much tighter than any German Pilot expected and that often caught them by surprise. I don’t know how accurate that was – but that’s what he told me.

    • That doesn’t sound implausible and I bet that it’s true. I just wish Douglas Bader had been a little more pleasant as a person. I’ve read some stories about him where he has shown some pretty poor behaviour towards others, particularly those trying to help him.

      • My father had one brief contact from Bader. When we lived in the bush in South Australia a timber work had both his legs chopped off by a large saw. He was in hospital and his mental attitude was very negative and the doctors were very concerned. Bader was in Australia at the time and came down to the hospital in Mt Gambier and spent some time with the fellow. No one knows what was said but from that moment the fellow’s attitude changed and he ended up getting new legs and started living again. My father had something to do with hospital visits but I wasn’t old enough to know exactly what. My father was always very complimentary about Bader.

      • I’m glad to hear that story Paol. Bader does have a reputation that John mentioned but that’s not to take away from what he achieved or the fact that he may have done several good deeds in his life. In the end that’s nice to know.

      • I do know he toured all around the place in South Australia – I assumed all of Australia – sometime in late 1940s or early 1950s visiting amputees wherever he went.

  6. Now you have me curious as to whether this comic book was available in the States because I have no recollection of it at all. Huh. Another fascinating post, John. Thank you!

    • I don’t think it was, Amy. In a similar way, we saw relatively few American comics, just the occasional Superman and Superboy. Interest was greatly increased in England eventually by the debut of Adam West’s “Batman” in around 1966.

  7. Another fabulous trip down memory lane John, I must dig my copy out and give it some light.

  8. These comics look pretty cool John.

    • Thanks a lot, Lloyd. To be honest, with the benefit of 55 years’ hindsight, it’s a lot easier not just to appreciate the artwork but also to see the attitudes revealed in the stories, most of which are very different to our own nowadays.

  9. jackchatterley

    I still remember two comics (translated into Spanish) of good ol’ sarge Braddock. The first one flying with his Mosquito squadron against the Luftwaffe and then, in the next one, joining with his Moss the Pacific war, from Doolittle’s raid up to Midway (And sinking the Mogami on the last page!).

    • Braddock was capable of more or less any heroics imaginable! On the other hand, I suppose that when the authors read about the incredible deeds carried out by real Mosquito pilots, such as Operation Jericho and the Shell Building in Copenhagen, they felt justified in the tales they told, although I tend to agree with you that sinking a Japanese cruiser may be a step too far.

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