Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Timothy Tester (1972)

I was never too enamoured by most of the strips in Whizzer and Chips but there were some that really stood out as something different to the formula. One being Timothy Tester, a two page strip that began in the comic in 1972.

The strip was drawn by Cliff Brown, and I suspect he may have scripted it too as he was the writer of Scream Inn for Shiver and Shake. Brown's distinctive style made a refreshing change to the Reg Parlett / Leo Baxendale style that many artists were using at the time. I have to confess that his style was one that influenced me in some ways. Not that I ever copied any figures but I can see now that I'd subconsciously added it to the mix when I was developing my own style years later. 

Does anyone know if Cliff Brown is still around? I think the last time I saw his work was in a puzzle magazine we both contributed to in the 1990s.

Anyway, without further ado, here are three marvellous Timothy Tester strips from Whizzer and Chips in the summer of 1972. A good, lively strip, and perhaps it has potential for a future collection by Rebellion? 



I'm fairly sure that the strip ended around 1976 and came back about 1978 in reprint form. Tim’s last appearance was 6/10/79 - a week too soon for a slice of Whizzer & Chips' 10th birthday cake! The last story featured PC Flatfoot having a nightmare about being the frequent recipient of Tim’s testing, such as in the third strip you’ve printed here. We hear Flatfoot howl he can take no more; an appropriate if uncomfortable way to take our leave of Tim and co.

Manic Man said...

He was around late 90s.. a quick look shows there is someone with that name who is a cartoonist in sommerset but short of sending him a letter, i'm not sure if it's the same Cliff Brown who is a cartoonist ^_^

Lew Stringer said...

Thanks, Stephen. I was going by sources online as I'd given up on Whizzer and Chips by 1975. (I was 16 so too old for it by then.) I'll amend my posting.

Thanks, Manic. I saw that listing but I'm not sure if it's him.

Duncan Mackintosh said...

Hi Lew,
Last year I bought a large run (nearly a complete year) of Whizzer & Chips for the 'Trip to Terror' adventure strip which I remembered fondly from my youth. However I found that the vast majority of the other humour strips in the comic weren't too great, but the clear exception was 'Timothy Tester', which had genuine laugh out loud moments for me. The detailed art was a welcome change from the other strips and included many ingenious layouts & designs, sometimes incorporating puzzles for the reader to solve. Cliff Brown was clearly a very talented writer & artist and appeared to put in a great deal of effort to produce such a memorable 2 page strip each week for many years. Thanks for highlighting the strip on your blog.


I've confirmed Tim's last weekly appearance was 24/4/76, with a double helping of his Puzzle Patch feature making a one-off return on 24/7, three months later. On 9/9/78 Tim's adventures returned in reprint form, alas, and as I said lasted till 6/10/79. We could do with A-Z index for W&C strips, much as we have for Buster. I may well be talking myself into hard work with that suggestion!

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