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Saturday, January 13, 2024 

A children's comic in the UK from 1967 that was almost lost

CNN's reporting about a comic from 1967 in the UK starring some pandas that makes for a pretty surreal tale of its time, and was created by a notable entertainment producer:
To immerse yourself in the pages of new book “Candy, Andy & The Bearandas” is to delve into a surreal world that riffs on the peculiar while invoking the familiar. Or, in the words of publisher Richard Embray: “It’s like a family photo album from another dimension.”

Originally released in 1967 as a weekly comic book called “Candy”, the bizarre domestic set up of two life-sized mannequin children and their “parents” — a pair of humanoid pandas — was dreamed up by renowned production studio Century 21, founded by British TV producer and film director Gerry Anderson.

Unlike its highly acclaimed stablemates “Thunderbirds” and “Captain Scarlet” — both illustrious comic-turned-TV-series that, thanks to reruns and remakes, continue to win fans today — “Candy” never made it to the screen. It was shelved after just a year.

“It’s very strange, dad never once mentioned ‘Candy’,” Jamie Anderson, the creator’s son, told CNN in an interview. “I was aware of most of the stuff he had done, even the stuff he was less proud of; I knew about the shows that were no longer in existence. But it was only after he died (in 2012), somebody sent me an eBay listing (of a “Candy” comic) and said, ‘did you know this is one of your dad’s as well?’. I thought it was a joke, then I started looking into it.”

Set in a quintessential English village, the model children and the two pandas live above a toy shop in a brightly-colored apartment. With a small striped Mini car parked in the garage and outdoor space to play, the family indulge in wholesome activities; riding their bikes and picking berries. But what marked their world out as an anomaly in the Century 21 comic strip universe was that the title employed photography in place of illustrations.
Read more. It's lucky an item that languished in obscurity for over 50 years has been rediscovered, and hopefully will be distributed in newly published formats in more areas, so everybody can see what it's like. It certainly does sound like a clever format for its time.

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