Welcome to strip No.1. It’s all out WAR! – in Switzerland in 1943 (?) I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as me. And, if it resonates with your own childhood memories, I hope you enjoy re-living those adventures too. Did you enjoy playing soldiers too?



Pay attention and learn, you 1970s kids:

As we all know, Switzerland was invaded by the Nazis during WW2. Geography played a part in her downfall: having no natural defenses – such as mountains or deep valleys – it was a simple conquest. Much in the same way that he’d ordered his army not to destroy Paris, Hitler directed his bombers not to target any of the renowned nougat factories or banks (lots of his money was invested in the former and kept in the latter). As for the clock-making factories, he allowed his forces – in a very rare move – to exercise their own initiative.

He just wasn’t that fussed about time-keeping. Or wood crafts.


Politically Incorrect?

You think this strip is risqué? You should see the real thing – the war comics we read as kids were usually unbalanced, partisan fare. The British never ever shot prisoners and the Germans always did, especially when commanded by an SS officer.

We were British don’t you know! Honorable at all times. Fair play and all that rot.




Warlord Comic, for boys, by DC Thompson

Warlord for Boys (only)

Published by the Scottish DC Thomson: One of the worst offenders and from the age of about 6 (!) my favourite for many years until IPC’s more enlightened Battle comic came along!


Yawwwn… when are the cartoons on?

Swap Shop logo, BBC

BBC’s Swap Shop TV Show

In Scotland around 1976 or ’77, comics were mentioned on BBC’s Saturday Morning SWAP SHOP programme, and my mum, overhearing this, remarked that they were talking about how awful boys’ comics were on the radio. “They’re really violent and they make all the Japanese look like Frankenstein – or gorillas!” The latter was certainly true! Referred to variously as ‘Tojos’, ‘Nips’, ‘Yellow-bellies’ and ‘Slant-eyes’, the Japanese got some very rough treatment in WARLORD Comic in particular. Usually they were fodder to be blasted to pieces by Union Jack Jackson and his American GI buddies’ hand grenades, or burned alive when their flame thrower tanks were hit! This was poetic justice – of course.


“Have a pineapple, Tojo!”


She may have been hearing these discussions around the time that IPC’s new ACTION comic was pulled from the stands. ACTION was probably the most violent and gory comic ever published in Britain. It’s been said that without ACTION, IPC would never have been able to publish the slightly less violent and gruesome 2000ad.


ACTION Comic's 'Hook Jaw' series

ACTION Comic’s Hook Jaw. A real nasty.




“If you learn Irish, you’ll be able to use it when you’re playing German soldiers!”


Did you make up your own pigeon-German and Japanese when you played soldiers? Let me know what you think in the comments box. I remember Niall Barr in Scotland, age 8 or 9, standing on Robert Douglas Memorial School’s expansive lawn as we played soldiers. He was commanding the axis troops and would issue orders as total gibberish: “Floopin-loopen-blubber-jibber-jabber-fibble-bibble.” When we moved to Ireland, my dad tried to get me excited about learning the Irish language by telling me: “If you learn Irish, you’ll be able to use it when you’re playing German soldiers!”

Tell us about your experiences, in the Comments below?


** Stay Groovy, all you 1970s kids! **

– John White

↓ Transcript
It's Zürich, Switzerland, 1943 - apparently

We see a soldier with a pair of binoculars. Reflected in them is a German tank on the brow of a hill. "Hmmm... Mark IV Tiger Tank: 36 inch armour plating with a 16 tonne Vidowmaker gun." he observes.

Reverse, 2-shot: two American soldiers in a muddy trench. "Pffft... child's play." scoffs one. The other asks him, "Got that 'Sticky Bomb', Jack?" the other merely responds with a confidence, "Yup". And As he pulls himself up from the trench, declares: "I'm gonna show Heinz 57 Varieties of PAIN."

The soldier runs up the the muddy hill toward the tank shouting, "Cover me! And knock out that machine gun nest!"

His comrades respond by directing a chattering hail of sub-machine gun bullets at the enemy in covering fire, shouting, "Eat lead Fritz!"

Next, theres a boom! - as a 500lb mortar shell blasts to the sky - painted onto it is a pair of puckered lips and the words "To Fritz".

The mortar shell impacts the German machine gun nest, killing the soldiers horribly in a ball of flame, "AIEEE!!!" they scream.

The American soldier, choosing hi moment throws the sticky bomb at the tank, "Auf Wiedersen - and gute nacht, Square-heads!"

The terrified German tank crew see what's coming, "Gott in Himmel! - Flippen zie bloopen! - Eine stickenzie bomben-heimer!!"

(I think this might be kids' mock pigeon-German?)

Next - we go full-colour and see we see two 1970s kids, standing in an opened trunk on a lawn, looking puzzled and irked. A broom handle is sticking out of the front of the trunk as a tank gun, and they have a steel colander and a steel saucepan on their heads. One of them, Noel has his hands up. The other, Jim, is rubbing his sore head and holding out a whopper of a pine-cone. "A bloody pine cone?!?!"

"Sorry Jim.", replies Jack - the boy who threw it. And adds,

"But I'm telling your dad you said 'bloody'."