Friday, 26 July 2019

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 26th July 2019: "Leo Baxendale's Sweeney Toddler" by Leo Baxendale (Rebellion)

Our Book of the Week this week has been an absolute pleasure to share with my daughter, harking back to an era in comics where weekly I was faced with one of the trickest decisions a youngster could ever make.

"Which comic should I buy this week?"

Pocket money wouldn't stretch to more than one funny comic, and "The Beano" was suffering from a bit of a creative lull when I was a nipper (as was The Dandy) but subversive chaotic and extremely brilliant comics such as Whoopee and Shiver 'n' Shake were consistently coming up with brilliant ideas and characters that are still a hoot today.

Hugely talented comic-smith Leo Baxendale, the genius behind so many awesome comic characters over the years created baby-faced terror Sweeney Toddler for those comics, and the ragamuffin little miscreant went on to enjoy many crazy adventures throughout those comic runs.

Sweeney Toddler is the OG gangsta baby, and I'm sure he was the inspiration behind that brilliant ZX Spectrum game Nipper (if you've never played it, now's the time to go digging and you'll see exactly what I mean).

Since Rebellion Publishing - home of the galaxy's greatest comic 2000AD - bought up a ton of classic comic IP from Fleetway, DC Thomson et al, they've been quietly curating some of the most amazing comic collections ever - and are slowly drip-feeding those classic comic strips with brilliant releases such as this.

If you were a child of the 70s and 80s like me, and love Leo Baxendale's work (as you should) then this is an absolute go-to. But if, like me, you're a parent who wants to show your own young whippersnappers how great comics were when you were a kid, they will absolutely love these collections too. They're an absolute hoot!

Sum this book up in a sentence: A stunning collection of Sweeney Toddler strips from the heyday of two truly awesome comics, Shiver 'n' Shake and Whoopee.

"Leo Baxendale's Sweeney Toddler" by Leo Baxendale is out now, published by Rebellion (kindly supplied in digital format for review).