Flamer Spry a boy hero. Mekon misunderstood.

20 Aug

As soon as I was 13 (in 1953) I was legally old enough to do a paper route and buy Eagle comic founded by Chad Varrah.

The creative mainstay of Eagle was Frank Hampson, a great artist who was, we are told, a pain to work with.

He wrote and drew Dan Dare, amongst other work. He posed individuals from family and friends (including his 13-year-old son Peter) in action and drew free-hand from the resulting photo image.

In one story, Dan, Digby, and Lex O’Malley were away saving the Crypts. Stowaway Flamer Spry replaced the eye-candy, fragile, tag-along character (lady) Professor Peabody.

He was a boy of 13 and, on one occasion, he stripped off his cadet blue and, in his yellow, thin-cotton under-briefs, he saved Dan  from drowning. Frank knew we kids would love that.

And the Flamer character represented a Peter Pan motif in the story. He stayed 13 (having been in stasis on the flight to Cryptos, and on the return flight) and met his grown-up schoolmates. He was still a young doll when his mates had become grown lunks.

The Mekon (intelligent green guy with a big head and a tiny body) took over Earth. As well as encasing the Palace of Westminster in a tailored clear plastic protective display feature, he forced humans to re-build the pyramids and stonehenge to confirm how it was done the first time.

I have always been intelligent enough to recognise what an excellent idea this was. Work was supervised by electrobots. When Dan led the revolt and zero-ed the electrobots, a new, unbeatable, gold-coloured marque, selectrobots, were trotted forth.

Why should the Mekon have all the best infrastructural and cultural projects? I felt that a point had been missed when the poor guy was slagged off by bossy boots Dan.

We should use his attitude on churches, abbeys, and castles (places of slavery, cruelty and terrorism) and rebuild on the foundations to a single level, cannibalising good stone from thick walls, diverting rubble filler to paths.

I envisage their becoming hostels and community centres. Volunteer workers (otherwise unemplyable in these automnated days)  would have no wages, but be given food, washing facilities, and acoustic live Blues and Rock (no mimsy Folk please).

It is USELESS politicians and media morons moaning on about getting folk back-to-work WHEN WORK HAS CHANGED. New work is needed. Unpaid work. Not for slaves but for happy volunteers.

A lot of blokes used to tell me how happy they were in the War. We need its replacement, obviously.

But Flamer was a good mimic. He did the Mekon’s voice and shut down the robots. This gave the middle finger to any grown-up who claimed that imitating voices will never get a guy a good job. Many comic actors give the lie to that. Poor old Mekon…


One Response to “Flamer Spry a boy hero. Mekon misunderstood.”

  1. Alfie March 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    Well recall the Mekon but not from ’53 (I was busy being born!)- more likely ’60 or ’61 to about ’64. I remember only a storyline concerning a new ship that could travel in time as well as space. This was called not Tardis but “Tempus Frangit” I think.

    Incidentally, has anyone noticed how you never, ever, see The Mekon, the “Star Child” from 2001 a Space Odyssey and Foreign Secretary, William
    Hague in the same room together?


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