Monday, 14 April 2014

Robot Archie in this week's Bananaman

Another fantastic piece of comics history here from Wayne Thompson in the Bananaman strip in the latest Beano. Hot on the heels of our inclusion of Miracle Man in a two-part story a few weeks back, this time we've shoe-horned in my childhood favourite character Robot Archie.

You do have to be particularly to remember Archie, which I am so I do. He started in Lion comic in the 1950s, ran through my childhood in the 70s and had disappeared before the 80s started. Being one of the IPC/Fleetway characters whose ownership has been the subject of doubt and argument for most of the last 25 years, he's very sadly been lost to popular culture, which is a great shame as his iconic design knocks spots of most subsequent action characters and is well ahead of its time.

I actually wrote a Return Of Robot Archie story way back in 1989 for a dummy comic (The Picture Story Paper, no I can't find a copy anywhere) largely ripped off from Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, in which Robot Archie had been buried under a housing estate and is found and repaired by a schoolkid, but it never saw the light of day (and the subsequent movie The Iron Giant did everything I had in mind, but way better).

Robot Archie, we may not see him in action again. Mind you, there's a new Beano out in a couple of days and, if you're lucky, he's in that too.

Kev F Sutherland runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. He's been writing and drawing comics for 25 years, he must know something.

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