Saturday, December 22, 2007


Comics featuring comedy actors/characters from early cinema were a staple of pre-war comics. Comics of Charlie Chaplin, the biggest comedy star of the era, were naturally the most prominent examples of this genre. 'Charlie Chaplin's Comic Capers' began in a Chicago newspaper in 1915, only one year after Chaplin's film career had started, but lasted for only two years. During its relatively brief run, more than one artist worked on it in succession but the last was E.C. Segar, who would later gain fame as the creator of 'Popeye'.

Chaplin comics would be far more durable in France where this star is called as "Charlot". In 1921, 'Les Aventures Acrobatiques de Charlot' by Raoul Thomen started in the weekly children's magazine Cri-Cri published by S.P.E. Between 1926-35, these comics were reprinted in 13 albums. Cri-Cri ceased publication in 1937 and the last two Les Aventures Acrobatiques de Charlot albums of the pre-war era were published in 1938. After the war, all of these albums by would be reprinted in an abridged form and in the 1950s, a new series titled simply as Charlot would begin with new artists, among them Jean-Claude Forrest who would later create 'Barbarella'.

The Charlie Chaplin comics published in Turkey in the weekly children's magazine Afacan are black & white Turkish editions of 'Les Aventures Acrobatiques de Charlot' which were originally printed in color in France; for example, the sample above is from the Turkish edition of the 'Charlot est bon enfant' episode (thanks to S.P.E. expert François for this identification). Charlot (Turkish spelling: Şarlo) comics appeared only sparodically in Afacan's first series (1932-34), alternating with other comics pages featuring other comedy actors, but were regularly serialized in its 2nd series which began in 1934. The most frequent cinema comics appearing in Afacan's first series was a Laurel & Hardy page:

The French Cri-Cri magazine, which had ran 'Les Aventures Acrobatiques de Charlot' had also ran a highly popular 'Les mésaventures de Laurel et Hardy' comics by Mat [Marcel Turin], but it had started in 1934, so can not be the source of the above Turkish edition which began appearing in 1932. On the other hand, a Laurel & Hardy comics by George Wakefield was ran in the British magazine Film Fun in the 1930s, but I couldnot find out when it had precisely started.

Another comics published in Afacan's first series featured Harold Lloyd and this one almost certainly appears to originate from Film Fun (and hence make it probable that the above comics might have also originated from that source):



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative post! BTW, you may be able to find out when Billy Wakefield started the Laurel & Hardy series in "The Artful Antics of Laurel & Hardy," by Antony & Joanne Mitchell-Waite.

Anonymous said...

oh, I found it:
"First appearing in 'Film Fun' on 1 November 1930, and promoted to page one on 10 March 1934, the Laurel and Hardy characters were originally drawn by George (Billy) Wakefield, and after World War 2 by his son Terry Wakefield up to the issue dated 16 November 1957, a few months after Oliver Hardy’s death." --Kevin Carpenter