Comics Creators

The books you learned to read from!


Comics actually a big part in my reading process as I remember certain titles from just before I could really read them, just understanding words here and there and often just looking at the pictures, but still getting the basic narrative flow. Symbolic covers caused a lot of misunderstandings though. The mid 70s had A LOT of covers where Superman and Clark Kent both appeared together and this made me think they were two different people for a long time, which is proof I guess that the disguise works.

But the actual reading books we had at school when I started in 1975 were called Kathy and Mark. I know other schools had Janet and John or something. Was my school, St Barts in Coatbridge, unique in using Kathy and Mark? I always liked them because the kid was called Mark. I also like the fact their dog was called Socks and WANTED a dog called Socks, but my childhood dog already named by that point.



In South Africa, we had Janet and John (See Spot. See Spot run. Look Janet. Look at Spot) and then progressed on to Kathy and Mark (who always seemed to be easily amused by stuff). As a kid from a low income neighbourhood, those two books were totally out of my frame of reference.

The ones that I did enjoy at school were the GRIFFIN Pirate books (about Gregory the Green Pirate, Roderick the Red Pirate & Benjamin the Blue Pirate)…

Outside of school, I owe a lot of my literacy and love for story telling to STORY TELLER, the book/tape series. Hayley Mills, Brian Blessed, Diana Rigg and Una Stubbs i.a. used to read the stories. LOVED them. Was so gutted when they went missing (I moved a lot).

Good times. :smile:


I don’t remember Kathy and Mark - our version was called Peter and Jane (I think it was a fairly common Ladybird series).

Of course, by the time I was given those by my school I was already well into Lee/Ditko Amazing Spider-Man which was slightly more exciting.


Oh, I bloody loved those Griffin pirate books!

Reading was my mutant super-power. I was reading fluently before I started school and I can’t remember which books now I read first. My earliest memories of books I read myself though were the Mr Men books and the original Superted books (same size/format as the Mr Men). I was reading the Secret Seven by the end of P1 though.


Yeah, Mr Men were one of the earliest series I can remember reading too. I also remember reading a lot of Puddle Lane with my Mum (and my eldest is just starting to be taught to read at school so I’m enjoying revisiting them from a parent perspective - I still have all my old copies).


The earliest two books I remember getting as a gift were both Enid Blyton (weirdly airbrushed from history now, but MASSIVE until the 80s). They were Josie, Click and Bun and Brer Rabbit, both of which I still have but gave to my kids (so they can do likewise).



We had Dick & Jane in the US, I don’t have the books anymore but I did get several magnets about them in my Christmas stocking from my wife. (Many years ago :wink: )


There was some amazingly rascist stuff in her non Famous Five/Secret Seven books.


The LADYBIRD Read It Yourself books were also quite popular - and seriously disturbing. In THE WOLF AND THE SEVEN LITTLE KIDS, the wolf eats the baby goats but has his stomach cut open while he sleeps and the kids are liberated…before his stomach is filled up with stones and he is stitched up again!

And of course, the “real life” LADYBIRD books:

Of course, these days, we’ve the adult versions to enjoy…


I learnt to read with the Oxford Reading Tree series.

The weird thing is, and there’s a good chance I might be misremembering this, it was a series of books about a normal family, but as you progressed up to the higher level ones, they started doing science fiction/fantasy ones with the same kids, I think involving a magic key or something. They were fun, but even as a kid, I found it a bit weird that they went from giving their dog a bath in one book to having a run-in with pirates in another.


A series called One, Two, Three and Away for me.The adventures of dudes in different coloured hats…


We had the Dick and Jane books. Classics of American literature.


Well don’t just leave us on that cliffhanger! What happened next?!


It went up.

Up, up, up.

They saw it go.

They saw it go up.

Up, up, up.

(I’m guessing here)




“From which you learnt to read”!! Jesus.


In first grade, I had Mister Fig.

“Mister Fig did a jig.”

What can I say, it was the 70s…


So I’m guessing he ain’t jigging no more? (Or is at least jigging in prison, if anywhere?)


He taught Will Smith to get jiggy with it.


Which Gospel was that?