First Issue: 18th March 1961
Last Issue: 22nd January 1972
Copyright: DC Thomson
Bimbo, not some wench that you met in the local night club, but a nursery comic from the early 1960s. Nursery comics such as ‘Bimbo’ and ‘Little Star’ were aimed at younger children and included some watered down versions of characters from their elder stable mates such as ‘The Beezer’ and ‘The Beano’.
Bimbo comic was named after its star ‘Bimbo’ (Bob Dewar) which was drawn in a simplistic manner with a large head and a large cap. ‘Bimbo’ first appeared on the front cover of Bimbo comic in issue three but didn’t remain there long as he was ousted from the front page spot by ‘The Beano’s’ ‘Tom Thumb – The Brave Little One’. Although relegated to the internal pages, Bimbo continued in Bimbo comic until 1972 presenting puzzle pages and also starring in a strip with his pet puppy called ‘Bimbo and Winkie’.
‘Tom Thumb – The Brave Little One’ (Dudley Watkins) first began life has a text story in the first issue of ‘The Beano’. Tom Thumb’s pictorial adventures in Bimbo were set in medieval times, where he was accompanied by his trusty steed ‘Peterkin the Cat’ and his friend ‘Tinkel’ who like Tom was also 6 inches tall. Bob Dewar who had drawn Bimbo (the character) had also been drawing ‘Peter the Panda’ for Bimbo comic and ‘Patsy the Panda’ for the girl’s comic ‘Twinkle’. In 1968 both characters joined together to form the strip ‘Patsy and Peter Panda’. This merger wasn’t the last time that DC Thomson would bring together characters from separate comics to form a new strip as can been seen in the example of ‘Cuddles and Dimples’ in the ‘Dandy’.
Reminiscent of “Pingu”, Bimbo had ‘Pip the Penguin’ (1961 – 1972). ‘Pip the Penguin’ was the story of Pip and his little brother ‘Squeak’ who lived in Snowland and played with their friends ‘Sammy Seal’, ‘Peter Polar Bear’ and ‘Koko the Eskimo’.
From 1899 to 1906, the comic ‘Comic Cuts’ (Amalgamated Press), with the aid of Tom Browne paid its own tribute to the Daniel Defoe classic ‘Robinson Crusoe’, although with some artistic license. In 1962 the Defoe classic was revisited when Jack Prout took the basic elements of the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ story to create the Bimbo strip ‘Young Robin Crusoe’. Robin Crusoe along with his mother, father and sister Sally were ship wrecked whilst yachting in the Indian ocean (alright for some). The strip told the story of how Robin helped his family build a tree house and many other adventures with their pets Kim the dog and Jumbo the elephant.
Other stories to appear in Bimbo were ‘Baby Crocket’ (Bill Ritchie) which was a tamer version of the one that appeared in ‘The Beezer and ran from 1961 to 1972. ‘Little Snow White’ (1961 -1972) was a story based on the works of ‘The Brothers Grim’ and for legal reasons was not to be confused with the Disney version. As a result the seven dwarfs were named ‘Thumpy’, ‘Chuckles’, ‘Bossy’, ‘Nosey’, ‘Dozy’ and ‘Mumpy’. ‘Old McDonald’s Farm’ (1964 – 1972) was a story based on the famous nursery rhyme and each week the story was about a different animal.