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26th January 1963

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Odhams Press

3rd October 1964


Boy's World ran for 40 issues before joining Eagle in October 1964. The comic is a mixture of Sci Fi, War, Detective and Funnies with a few facts and figures thrown in for good measure.

From what I've seen the colour plate stories aren't the best art work ever but overall I can't see why this comic stopped running as for it's genre it makes great reading.

Notable artists involved in it's production were:

Tom Tully & Luis Bermejo - Pike Mason (First seen in Vol.1 No.1)
Michael Moorcock & Ron Embleton - Wrath of the Gods (First seen in Vol.1 No.1)
Frank Bellamy - Brett Million (First seen in Vol.1 No.46 although Brett Million had been previously drawn by H.K. Bulmer & Frank Langford starting in issue 24)

Issue 1 came with a free gift of a 'Pathfinder Watch Compass' and would be worth (with gift) around £40 - £50 today.

Boy's World - bibliography

For more Boy's World Titles click here

Just discovered your website! Wonderful to have at last found a reference source for these old titles. My main interest is old TV programmes, but I hope the following may help. Boys World was a big favourite. I actually collected every copy until it amalgamated with Eagle and lost it's identity. I do remember now, thanks to your website, the Pathfinder Watch free gift.

The stories I remember most were as follows: The first Pike Mason story "Pike Mason and the Sea Ape". In this Pike (so named I seem to recall, after a record pike catch as a teenager) and his Filipino mate came up against a huge ape that lived in the sea and fed on nearby islanders. I recall the artwork being excellent but I don't remember Pike's adventures going into colour. Certainly that first one wasn't.

I remember a colour strip that was about a hostile planet. What made it interesting was that the hostility came from the deadly flora and fauna. Because these were venomous and could strike out (much as a snake does) the heroes wore wrist guns that would spring out from under their sleeves in an instant. The first story had an illustration of the wrist-holster mechanism.It may have been called "The Deadly World". John Brodie was my other favourite hero, and three stories come to mind: The first was called "What is object Z?". (Do NOT confuse this with two sci-fi children's series called OBJECT Z and OBJECT Z RETURNS which aired in 1965 and 1966 respectively).In the comic strip Brodie was a lone reporter. The premise is simple and would still work today. A sculpture-like object possibly metal shaped a bit like a skeletal onion is placed on exhibition in a museum. People flock to see it - and gradually Brodie realises that all the people are falling under it's hypnotic force. It can then make them do it's bidding. What was so memorable was the way hypnosis was depicted: simply by drawing the eyes of the victims with an iris but no pupil. Close ups I think used a series of decreasing rings in the eyes.Very eerie.

Boys World - Character

For more Boy's World Characters click here

Brodie's subsequently went on to pit himself reluctantly against thieves with no faces.Quite un-nerving to see these characters with their faces drawn blank. As the story went on we found out that they were in fact wearing white masks that could only be seen through from the wearers side. Ingenious!

Both these stories were in black and white, but my favourite saw Brodie go into full colour. It concerned living flame creatures that lived in the volcano Mount Vesuvius.

However, what I recall, is the gorgeous green skinned woman sheathed only in a silver sarong who was his main adversary in this story. I don't think I'd ever seen such wonderful artwork before and always remember wanting the strip to be open ended so she could return. Anyone that beautiful couldn't be all bad. If she was I just wanted to join her! She, and the way the folds in her dress were drawn, certainly inspired me when I started to draw women.

I am fairly sure that "Merlo the Magian" was in Boys World. He was great too. He looked very like James Bond and used a lot of gadgets in his job as a secret agent, using his magician status as a cover. Wonderful days and wonderful memories of a quality British comic. One that to me could equal the Eagle.I hope this helps to stir memories in others too. I hope I'm not wrong about anything I've written but would like to know if I am.

---------------

Hello again. Further to my email yesterday I woke this morning wondering if the John Brodie story I referred to was in fact titled 'What is Object X?' not 'What is Object Z?' as I first recalled. All the best! - Phil Read

To the Editor,
I am delighted to see a website for comics of bygone eras and where there is a reference to that excellent comic Boy's World. My mother started getting Boy's World for me right from it's first edition and we continued with it up to, and past, it's incorporation with Eagle Magazine. I well remember those initial editions despite the almost 40-odd years which have elapsed since then.

You catalogue a number of comic/cartoon strips which featured as part of the Boy's World series and it is wonderful to see the names of those strips that were featured so long ago. I have forgotten what was in the first two editions as a free gift but I never forgot the third - it was a plastic model plane (red, I think) which unfortunately had a run in with our pet dog and came off second best (very badly).

Viewing the title page of two of the editions (Roman Army v Hannibal's elephants; Caught in the earthquake) reminded me of another of Boy's World's titles - fording a flooded creek. I cannot recall the answer to the first but I am aware that standing in the doorway arch and reversing through the waters were the answers for the earthquake and flooded creek. There were many other decision-point features - all excelling in action, adventure, ingenuity and survival that reflected well on the values of Boy's World.

As for the comic strips, well John Brody (or Brodie - however it was spelt) and the Green Men was the second series of adventures for John Brody. The first was 'The mystery of Exhibit X' and, while I may be in conflict with Phil Read over the title, I totally agree with his comment on the entertainment value of the stories. I also recall the 'Flame Creatures of Vesuvius' series. Others that spring to mind include the ones mentioned on your website such as Merlo the Magician (a secret agent for Interpol who used an incredible set of gadgets when fighting crime - one of the episodes was 'the Army of Crime'), Raff Regan (a WWII RAF pilot), Pike Mason, (a safari fisherman whose first strip was 'The Sea Ape' and this was followed by an Adventure in the jungle), Brett Million (a space story about a gambler/adventurer who gets 'press-ganged' into helping a group of pioneers on a hostile planet) and, possibly my favourite two favourites 'Wrath of the Gods' a very educational strip where Arion, a resident of the Greek island of Delos, is ordered by the Gods to find the 'Bow of Delos' and mets many mythical creatures such as the Minotaur, Proteus, Pegasus and Atlas in the quest (I also seem to recall that he has two companions along the way - Pollodor and Klobbax) and The Iron Man - a robot that fights crime with his creator's nephew Tim Branton. Billy Binns was quite remarkable - thanks to his specs - but this was preceded by another story about two schoolboys (one named 'Beefy' Paget but I don't recall the second) and their pursuit of another schoolboy named Benbow in an espionage story.

However there were other sections of the magazine which have not been mentioned and, I believe, deserve notice here. They include the Guinea Pig (story of a man willing to submit himself to various experiments under the guidance of Professor Dee - articles include the Mole and the Suit of Collapsed Matter) and two smaller articles one involving structural diagrams about various machines and tools (I enjoyed the Lancaster bomber) and another concerning a crime piece (not unlike Inspector Gideon of Scotland Yard).

After it's incorporation with Eagle, many of the Boy's World cartoon strips were consigned to the scrap heap and some articles were superceded by ones already existing in Eagle - Heros the Spartan taking over from Wrath of The Gods, Dan Dare (and his faithful sidekick Digby) taking over the space adventures from Brett Million etc but I do remember that the Iron man was well received and on-going.

Sadly, my memory may not be 100% in recalling the exact details present in Boy's World - afterall it was almost forty years ago - however it has certainly re-kindled a lot of old, and very good, memories. I am glad to see a website has been created to cater for the fans of these 'old' cartoons and I shall endeavour to visit the site as often as time permits. Keep up the excellent work. - Regards. Ian Raper

Have just read Phil Read’s posting on your Boys World page – the story about the planet with hostile flora & fauna, and wrist-guns, wasn’t called “Deadly World” – it was “Death World” by well known science fiction writer Harry Harrison (who wrote Deathworld 1, 2, and 3). I think BW only serialised HH’s first book. - Karl Gillies (former Boys World addict) New Zealand

Hi, I remember Boy's World from the early sixties. There was a series with John Brody the reporter investigating the mystery of a haunted house and Seth Tanis. I can't remember the proper title of the series. - Barry Langley

In fact, Boys World ran for 89 issues, 49 in 1963 and 40 in 1964. I missed the first eight issues, but read (and still have!) all the others. So, I should be able to answer most questions that come up about it.

Phil has a far better memory than I have! The John Brody (not Brodie) adventure, featuring the green woman, appeared in colour on the back page, from 2 May to 3 October 1964 (after which Boys World merged with Eagle). She was Lorrel, the ruler of Ramat, joining John in battling it out against the evil Sadin. The earlier John Brody story was actually called “What is Exhibit X?”

The space serial was not called either “Deadly World" or “Death World”, but “The Ghost World”. There was an earlier series, also set on a hostile world, called “The Angry Planet”.). It appeared in colour, on the back page, from 7 December 1963 and ended on 25 April 1964, after which the page was taken over by John Brody Regards - Bob

As one who worked as a sub-editor on Boys World from soon after its publication till its final issue and merger with Eagle, I am amazed at the incredible memories of those posting on the site. Even though I worked five days a week on it my memory is not nearly as good. The original editor of Boys World was an American, Jim Kenner, and the original concept and style reflected much of his thinking. Wrath of the Gods, Brody, Merlo the Magician were all his original ideas.....strips such as Iron Man and Billy Binns were conceived by a later editor, Bob Bartholomew, when sales of Boys World began to slide and the original concept was essentially abandoned.

As a Michael Moorcock fan of long standing, I thought I ought to point out that Mike has consistently denied that he ever wrote Wrath Of The Gods. It is a "fact" that gets quoted all over the place but it isn't true! At least, so says the man himself!

Also, later in the run John M. Burns takes over from Embleton on the art. Hard to tell where the change takes place; some weeks look like Burns, then back to looking more like Embleton; I wonder if there was even some third artist working on it at times...? - Guy Lawley

I remember to this day the challenge on the front page of each copy of Boy's World - 'What would you do?'. Or am I getting confused with another comic?I remember wondering how on earth I would save myself from a particular situation, for example stranded on a narrow mountain path when a landslide starts above, or in a spaceship about to enter an asteroid storm. - Graham Cox

My memory of Boys World was a feature I hazily recall named "What would you do?" I think it took the form of a black and white drawing of a perilous situation like being trapped in quicksand. The answer was printed upside down. In this example it was something like to move very carefully, take off your school blazer and lay across it using it as a bridge to safety. I suppose I liked it because not much like that ever happened round where I lived.

Does anyone still have a bar of that lovely creamy toffee bar. Yum - Stephen Simmons

To the best of my knowledge (and recollection) much of Boy's World's 1963 and 64 run was reprinted in India on high quality paper in the late 1960s as 'Falcon Comics'. I'm sure there are copies floating around somewhere. Any anglicized /public schoolboy growing up in Calcutta in the late 1960s would certainly recall them. - Mani Sitaraman

While the comic may have expired in 1964, there was certainly a Boys World Annual being produced after the incorporation into Eagle. I got the 1968 copy as a Christmas present and its rather tattered condition is testament to how much I enjoyed it. Printed for Odhams in Holland by Jan de Lange it contains a range of technical articles, stories and comic strips, including some that though unaccredited look suspiciously like the work of Don-Trigan Empire-Lawrence. Presumably lifted from the Boys' World archives, unfortunately I have no idea how many others were produced. - Nick George

It was sooo good to read about your memories of a comic that in my young years I considered to be head and shoulders above the rest. There was a good mix of adventure/sf and I always looked forward to the next issue.

My favourite was Brett Million, and I seem to remember that he was able to speed himself up so that time virtually stood still.

I’ve often wondered about many similarities with ‘The Angry Planet’? and Harry Harrisons ‘Deathworld’ trilogy. If I remember correctly both dealt with the flora and fauna of an alien planet attacking settlers; the use of auto-draw forearm mounted guns, and of course, the deadly ‘stingwings’! I may be wrong, but I thought that the ‘Deathworld’ books were published well after ‘Boys World’ was no more. I could have amalgamated the two stories in my old farts brain, but I think not. Please correct me if I have.

I too remember the first issue’s free gift. It made such a change from press-out card football league ladders that you maintained for a fortnight then got bored by the whole thing!

I do remember one ‘What would you do?’ vividly; an un-horsed buffalo hunter is facing a stampeding buffalo herd, with only his rifle to save him. What would you do? The answer was to shoot the lead beast and shelter hard against its body, so that the herd were forced to go round or leap over. Exciting stuff for an 11yr old, eh. - Phill

I was interested to see the interest in comics and Boys World which I remember reading, and then The Eagle. You asked for more info: I have a 126 roll film camera “Made in England by Coronet Specially for Boy’s World”. I recall having to send off for this and it was in kit form to make up yourself, so not a free gift and I guess I must have sent a ‘postal order’. - Mike Oborne

I remember Boys World and kept all the issues until a clearout about twenty years ago. My favourite was the Angry Planet. It was about a group of colonists under constant attack from the local flora and fauna. They are able to adapt themselves into weapons - I remember some sort of grenade throwing vine. Later some historical records are uncovered to show the colonists are losing numbers. Further the planet was originally a peaceful one but one night the colonists killed many local species believing they were under attack when in fact they were just fleeing from a forest fire. Eventually there is a peaceful settlement with the native sentient beings.

I think there are parallels with the Starship Trooper films. The bugs are able to adapt themselves and although the humans view them as the aggressors I think there are enough hints in the film to show that it is the humans who are really the perpetrators and the bugs are just defending their territory. - Robert Goodhand

I still have my collection of Boys World comics and the early editions of the merged Eagle BoysWorld which I bought until the Boys World strips ended.

I must have read my copies hundreds of times when I was young and recently got them out of the attic. I would like to correct a few things as I have the comics in front of me:

The confusion with the number of issues arises from the fact they numbered them in volumes. The first volume was 1963 and had 49 issues. Then in 1964 they started volume 2 issue 1 and this ran up to number 40.

The Bret Million story was called "The Angry Planet"
It started in Vol 1 No 24. It was a full colour centre spread that knocked the second storyline of Wrath of The Gods to a 1 page back cover. I can remember being very disappointed at the. time. This was also the first issue to be printed on cheaper paper with no staples. I wrote to Boys Workd complaining and got a reply saying that statples cost too much. The angry planet had a slow start but really took off when the arrived at the "Angry Planet" after about three episodes. The humans had disturbed the original inhabitants who had a biological rather than techincal culture. They grew clothes on plants for example and used the creatures and vegetation to fight the humans. Bret eventually makes contact with them and helps them negotiate with the humans by ambushing the human army with loads of Digger monsters who line up at the top of a cliff and threaten to bury the human army.

The second story was The Ghost World which took its turn as the back cover story. The natives move so fast that they are invisible and stange things happen to the humans trying to mine there. Bret has to wear an accelerator suit to see the natives and communicate with them.

The Men with No Faces story is depicted in one of your pictures and the hero is Marvo The Magician rather than John Brody as some others suggested. They have kidnapped the inventor of a super gun called the hand cannon. The Army Of Crime is a later Marvo story . Danger In The Desert is another where he foils a plot to overthrow the sheik. Another story is Operation Rescue where he has to rescue a spy in Eastern Europe.

The Boys Of Castleford School were Benbow, Tom Bannister and Beefy Paget. One of their adventures was "The Phantom Rider" where they see a ghostly highwayman.

The John Brody stories were always great. They were very imaginative and well thought out.
What is Exhibit X? A strange alien device is trawled out of the sea and hypnotises people into making all sizes of replicas that end up all over the place. John can here they make a strange noise which makes him immune. They find out that an ion gun can destroy them. The Invisible Man. Scientist are kidnapped by the Invisible man to make an atomic bomb.
House On Scar Island. This is haunted by the ghost of Seth Tanist who leapt to his death in 1763. Brody is dared to go the the house and accepts to prove by science that there is no ghost.
The Fire Creatures. John investigates creatures made of fire that come from Mount Vesuvius.
The Green Men    John is captured by green men in Africa that take him to a hidden country of Odon. This was a back page story in colour and the artwork is superb especially the green lady Queen Lorrell. Unfortunately the John Brody stories finished when the merger happened.

Iron man.

In the first story Tim Branston is kidnapped by a master criminal known as The Doctor and taken to an island. Iron Man resues him. In another Iron man is up against a mastermin called The Ruler who creates sub zero weather.
Then he fights the evil rebel Caballo who is trying to take over a land in South America. Iron Man flies a jet and helps the natives defeat a Caballa's tanks and soldiers.

In one story that started in the first merged issue Iron man fights loads of robots called Titans that have a gun built in one arm and a claw on the other.

There were some good features:
What Would you do? This ran on the cover until issue 23. It gave a life or death problem and you had to work out what to do.

It Makes you think. This was a little feature having fun with science. It gave you instructions for a science trick such as making a little swan that swims by putting a drop of oil behind it.

The Way They Win. This featured a sports star each week with photos and tips of how they win.

Do You Know Your name. This gave the history of a surname each week.

Ticket To Adventure. A factual feature about exciting things like volcanoes, earth core drilling, lost cities.

Hand Of Fate. This gave a short supposedly true story which featured wierd coincidences or unexplainable things. Some were quite spooky. - Steve Turner

It was great to find your link on Boys World. I remember like yesterday the free compass with the first issue and the cover questions, What would you do ?
I remember one issue where there was a stalled car across the railway tracks and a train was coming. The answer was to put the car in reverse with the clutch engaged and try to start the engine. The lower reverse gear ratio would then allow the starter motor to drive the car off the tracks. My favorite story was Wrath of the Gods, and when the movie Clash of the Titans came out I told my son about the same characters being in my childhood comic. I remember sending away for a camera too, but I'm not sure if it was from Boys World or a Cereal box offer of the day. What great memories. - Vernon Vowles

There's no doubt that the serial of 'The Angry Planet', or whatever the title was in Boy's World, was really Harry Harrison's 'Deathworld'. As I type, I have my paperback of Deathworld open - first published, and copyright HH, in 1960, published in Great Britain by Penguin in 1963, reprinted 1966, when I bought it. For three shillings and sixpence, or 17.5 new pence! The planet was called Pyrrus in the original.
There were some changes: in the original the flora and fauna of Pyrrus was somewhat telepathic and the 'war' was simply their reaction to damage caused by the settlers. The settlers fought back, resulting in more hostility, and the whole thing escalated. Some Pyrrans were more in harmony with the environment and did not generate the hostile reaction, they were despised by the majority of Pyrrans and known as 'grubbers'. Eventually the gambler and hero of the story Jason dinAlt persuaded the Pyrrans of their error and the book ends with most of them making peace with the grubbers and hopefully beginning to make peace with the life of the planet.
Presumably the concept of telepathy was considered to be beyond the readers, in the Boy's World serial this was changed to the war being deliberately waged by the sentient natives of Pyrrus, no mention was made of telepathy or the grubbers, and Jason dinAlt managed to broker peace between the native and the settler Pyrrans. Does anyone know if the serial was in any of the annuals, and if so which one? I'd love to see it again! - David Clarke

I still have the Boys World camera referred to by Vernon. It was an assemble it yourself one. - RK Elleson

Talking to a friend about ‘Boys’ World’ and ‘What Would You Do?’
I recall coming to the comic late, in early 1960s and liking it very much and then it merged with the Eagle. I recall the plane crash in the jungle and the pilot survives only to fall into quicksand – how lucky/unlucky could you be!; the space ship one (that one had me stumped!); and the falling burning building on to a fireman – I’d say they were some of the very last issues that came out.

‘Death World’ or whatever it was called is definitely from Harry Harrison’s novel and yes I recall Brett Million – a fey/ psychic gambler paid to win at gambling so that the money could be used to buy weapons for the colonists of Pyrus but he gets taken to the planet unexpectedly when the casino owners come after the money he has ‘won’

Would love to see images of the covers I recall. - Stuart Smith

Steve Holland has recently produced a book about Boys' World. Details can be found on his Bear Alley blog and my review of the book can be read on Down The Tubes comics site. - Stephen Winders

If you have any other information on Boy's World we would be very happy to hear it.Drop us a line.

   
 

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