The Grey Hornet

The Mountain MovedI’m beginning to think that I’m playing up to the sure signs of ageing that I wrote about last month. Another one, of course, is being able to remember exactly what you were doing at the age of twelve even though you can’t recall what you had for breakfast.

I’m not sure what it was that sent me off down memory lane the other day, but my thoughts fell on the Hornet which was my comic of choice when I was a lad. In particular the character William Wilson, the 300-year-old wonder athlete.

It was but a short step to a web search and, as these things often do, it led me to a batch of old Hornets for sale on e-Bay and I successfully bid for them on impulse.

They arrived yesterday and the very first issue I opened, dated 30th April 1966 carried the illustration above – The Mountain Moved.

It’s a story about a mountain in Wales that isn’t really a mountain at all but some previously dormant monster now stirring and swallowing up the livestock. (So be careful John and Jenny)

As illustrations go it isn’t a great one, but then it was a text story rather than comic book style. But it did spark the imagination of this twelve-year-old boy.

The thing is, I clearly remember reading this story when the ink and pulp paper were fresh. Not only that, but I remember where I read it too. I was lying in my grandmother’s bed on one of the nights I stayed with her.

It feels like it was just yesterday and yet, as I said, I’m hard pressed to tell you what I read in the newspaper this morning.

Heads of FameI also remember making these Heads of Fame, a collection of twelve ‘three-dimensional full-colour models on packets of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes’ as advertised in the same issue.

They were made from card which involved various folds and creases that made Julius Ceasar, Abraham Lincoln, Horatio Nelson et al look like their Bizarro World alter-egos.

Bizarro World? I haven’t thought of that comic for ages either. I must go a check on e-Bay…..

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • Roger Green 18th July 2013

    Age 12 in 1965. 7th grade. Listening to a LOT of music I still listen to today. (Beatles, Cream, Rolling Stones).

  • Jethro Pudding 19th July 2013

    Didn’t Jethro Tull make a single called “Livin’ In the Past”? They must have had you in mind!

  • rhymeswithplague 19th July 2013

    Ian, this comment has nothing to do with this post. I just wanted you to know, if you didn’t already, that Elizabeth (in your Regular Reads list) has closed her blog “Well, This Isn’t Getting t’Hens Fed” and has begun a new one, “A Clock in a Thunderstorm” — Here’s the link.

  • Elizabeth 19th July 2013

    My husband used to work with a GP whose surgery walls were covered in paper sculpture heads similar to the ones that used to be on the back of cereal packets. One night the medical centre was broken into; nothing was taken whatsoever, but every one of the heads was torn into shreds. The poor man was heartbroken. Kellogg’s, in starting this odd obsession, had a lot to answer for.

  • Trevor Rowley 21st July 2013

    Although I read comics as a boy, I don’t recall having any particular favourites. I regularly read the Beezer which gave out free gifts with each purchase – usually thin “cardboardy” things that could easily be tucked in between the pages. I recall Roy of the Rovers who featured in the Tiger comic. Good old Roy, he could win you the game with one hand (or leg) tied behind his back. As I got older, I didn’t quite gravitate towards the more serious stuff like the Eagle but more favoured Charlie Buchan’s Football Monthly. We thought we were “it” because we bought, the American, Mad magazine (Alfred E Newman is about all I can recall). I could never quite understand the obsession with American comics – all these superheroes flying around in capes and suits of metal. Each to his own I suppose.


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