Cor!! was a children’s humour weekly launched by IPC (International Publishing Corporation), on 6 June 1970, their sixth new comic in just over a year. Cor!! was edited by BOB PAYNTER. It ran until 27 June 1974, when it was merged into Buster. Annuals and summer specials continued to be published intil 1986.
“Calculator Kid” was a strip that ran in Cheeky Weekly from July 1978 to February 1980 before moving to Whoopee!. It was drawn by Terry Bave.
It was originally conceived as a strip about a boy and his radio; After further consideration, this idea was changed to feature a boy and his CB radio. Fleetway’s Group Editor Bob Paynter, looked at both ideas and suggested that the strip instead showcase that quintessential seventies piece of kit: a pocket calculator.
The strip starred Charlie Counter, a boy with a talking calculator named Calc. The general formula was that Calc would make various seemingly nonsensical suggestions which would always turn out for the best – for example, throwing a pie into a man’s face, causing him to chase Charlie and thereby avoid a car that was about to hit him.
Bob Paynter, then of IPC magazines comics division, gave Nigel Parkinson his first break. So he’s the guilty man. Nigel first met him in 1978. In 1980 Bob Paynter offered him a job. After Nigel for Two years begging for work and they eventually give in.
For some reason in those days people were trying to get Nigel to do ‘adventure’ strips, or ‘half and half’, semi-straight stuff. Nigel did a couple of things for Bob but they weren’t very good.
In 1982, over lunch in the IPC canteen (it was Italian Week- they treated their staff very well at IPC in those days!) Bob Paynter eventually suggested Nigel to approach DC Thomson again, who Nigel had drawn a six week run of a girls’ comic strip for by that point.
This time, Bob Paynter said, why not try Ian Gray, who was putting together a new line, ‘Comic Libraries’, and needed ‘ghost artists’. Nigel knew what a ghost writer was – someone who did all the work and got minimal recompense and zero notice, and Nigel thought “I’m not sure I want to be that sort of artist!” But needs must, as ever, and Nigel gave it a try. Turned out that wasn’t quite how a ghost artist worked. But it was Bob who Nigel on to it.
Nigel was able to thank Bob Paynter for giving him a start when he worked with him again in 1989 on Scouse Mouse comic for Fleetway, and Bob Paynter was as enthusiastic as ever. Bob Paynter has often been maligned for ‘playing safe’ and indeed was always aware of his responsibility towards young readers, but Bob Paynter managed to produce some excellent comics anyway, originating Whizzer and Chips , Cor!!, Monster Fun, Shiver and Shake and more.
In March 1997 a company called Nexus Media ventured into the traditional British humour comics market with a fortnightly called Fun and Games. It was a twist on the ‘two-in-one’ format originated by Whizzer and Chips in that Fun and Games were separate titles. In this instance, Fun was a 24 page A4 size comic and Games was a 24 page half-size A5 mag wrapped around the parent comic.
It may come as no surprise that the editor of Fun and Games was Bob Paynter, who had been the original editor of Whizzer and Chips (and the group editor of the IPC humour comics).