Sunday 28 September 2014

Charlie Chaplin, King of the Kinema In The Funny Wonder Comic, 1930

As the inevitable shelf-load of ghosted celebrity autobiographies start to materialise in the run up to Christmas, here's a reminder that it's nothing new — famous names have been brands used to sell stuff for decades. There's arguably still never been a name bigger than Charlie Chaplin. That he was once the most famous man in the world is not open to debate, surely, and one small offshoot of that status was the decision of the British company Amalgamated Press to create, in 1915, a Chaplin comic strip.

It appeared in their comic The Funny Wonder all the way through to 1944, drawn mostly by Bertie Brown, with Freddie Adkins sometimes filling in. There are a handful of issues in the Little Shop, and below is a story from 1930, by Brown I think, which expertly captures the Little Tramp doing what he does best, mooning after girls and getting involved in pretty violent slapstick.

There are more examples of the strip on Lew Stringer's excellent blog here, and don't forget you can join Brian J. Robb's epic journey through all of Chaplin's output, exactly a century after each film's initial release, here.


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