The 3 series illustrated above,and picked at random,are ....
The character of Helter Skelter (left)
isn't one that lives long in the memory.
But the poor little chap must've known he had limited career prospects when he was so obviously typecast by his headgear,and the fact they chose to dress him like Timmy Mallet.
And unlike the Pogles character who gave his name to the "Pippin" comic, he didn't have a tv series to fall back on and duely disappeared into oblivion when it folded.
All the strips featured were made into tv series.And the links below give some info about a couple that may have escaped you.
It's an informative external site,but sadly mothballed for a number of years now.
Below is the 2 page Herbs story ....
Check your browser doesn't automatically reduce the pic size,as the full scale version is easily readable.
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley
On this page ..... a brave,but ill-judged,attempt at the pre-school comic market in the 1990's.
Helter Skelter comic
In 1991,an organisation called the Storm Group bought the rights to Filmfair's back catalogue -including all things Herbal of course.And,a year later,they tried to bring all the series together in a printed comic called "Helter Skelter".
Hardly a new idea,as Polystyle Publications had filled Pippin & Playland with the Beeb's Watch With Mother programmes of course- and done very nicely out of it too,thanks very much.So at least it was based on a tried and trusted idea.
And yet it lasted just four issues before being axed.
So .... what went wrong ?
Poor timing,combined with a couple of other serious downsides ....
Poor timing ? By 1992,the mainstream UK comics market had been decimated by declining sales.
The 2 main players in Helter Skelter's tv-centric niche sector were both in their death throes -Pippin's successor,"Buttons" in the pre-school market and "Look-In" for the slightly older market.
And,as if that wasn't bad enough ....
Both those titles were struggling despite being able to tick 2 major boxes that Helter Skelter couldn't :-
#1. Having comic strips based on series that were still regularly featuring on tv.
Whereas most of the Filmfair series weren't by 1992.
#2. And having the habit-forming immediacy of being weeklies.
Whereas H.S was only a monthly.Which was surely far too infrequent for a voracious young audience.
So I'm not entirely sure what the publishers thought was going to happen to be honest.
Although I'll leave you to ponder the wider issue of why general circulation figures had declined so badly .... even before the arrival of the internet and multi-channel tv.Because it's something I've never really been able to put my finger on.
But let's end on a more positive note about H.S.
Because at least the production values were excellent,if issue #1 is anything to go by [ examples below.]
And if you're lucky enough to have the other 3 issues I'd love to see them or buy them ! - email on home page.
A few snapshots from inside ....