Michael Barber

Comic Cuts

Eagle Annual: The Best of the 1950s Comic

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Orion Books 176pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

The Complete Peanuts: Volume 1 1950–52, Volume 2 1953–54

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Canongate 343pp and 320pp £15 each order from our bookshop

In May 1950, at the age of seven, I was sent to a rather stuffy prep school on the Kent coast. Most of the other boys there knew better than to say ‘Coo’ to the headmaster, an overweening Old Rugbeian with the loudest voice in Thanet. I did not know better, and quite early on in my career had to write out 200 times, ‘I must not say “Coo, sir”.’ And where had I learned this vulgar exclamation? Probably from a comic. These, with one exception, were banned by the head, who would scrutinise our mail for contaminating matter like Hotspur and Wizard, two of my favourites. The exception was a glossy publication called Eagle, which first rolled off the press just three weeks before I was exiled to Kent.

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