Film Picture Stories
Notes Page

As a young collector in the early 1970’s it was my pleasure to meet W.O.G. (Bill) Lofts several times when he and I (and it must be said, others) were invited to Sunday tea once a month at the home of a young collector living in Weston-Super-Mare. Bill used to catch the train down from London on Saturday and return on Monday morning, spending the weekend with the collector and his family. He was not only a gentleman, but also a fount of knowledge concerning pre-war boys papers and comics (the Denis Gifford of his generation) and was seriously quizzed by all those present. I remember during a discussion on Film Fun he mentioned another film orientated comic paper published by the Amalgamated Press – but he said in all his years of collecting he had only seen one copy of this paper, and that was in a collection of a friend – that paper was Film Picture Stories. By virtue of 50/50 hindsight it is not so surprising that he had not seen that many issues.

Film Picture Stories was released as part of AP’s attempt to capture the film crazed younger generation of comic buyers. They already had Film Fun featuring the likes of Jimmy Durante and Laurel and Hardy and Kinema Comic featuring yet more (mostly silent era) comedy stars: Film Picture Stories seems to have been an attempt to portray adventure films rather than the usual diet of comedy stars. For this exercise they pulled together a team of AP regular artists from other publications: including J.H. Valda, Arthur Jones and G.W. Wakefield.

Film Picture Stories started on 28th July 1934 and closed just 30 weeks later with Volume 2. No. 30 (dated February 16th 1935). The following week, February 23rd 1935, it was merged with Film Fun.

Although the series started well with four films being portrayed in strips - 6 pages per film, by issue twelve the rot had started to set in and 12 pages (the two center stories) were offered as text from the film with accompanying stills, whilst the rest continued in strip format. It must be said that even the text under the panels was pretty heavy, and there were certainly no speech bubbles that modern readers are used to. This continued right up to issue 30 when the Editor said: "I have a very important announcement", ergo the following weeks merger with Film Fun.

The artwork was, to say the least, a bit hit or miss. For example in issue one the Dick Turpin story was drawn by London born artist J.H. Valda (1874-1942) - who seems completely out of his depth with the subject matter. However, AP stalwart Joseph "Jos" Walker was a regular contributor to the title and was responsible for most of the western stories starting with The Fighting Code in issue one. In issue five he also drew the James Cagney set for Lady Killer and went on to reprise both the Cagney strip and Buck Jones in Film Fun (1936).

The real surprise is to find that George Wakefield (1887-1942), hitherto known for his renditions of Laurel and Hardy and Grock the Clown etc in Film Fun actually does a creditable "serious" rendition of Police Car 17 on the front page of issue 1. He went on to contribute a story in each issue up to issue 13. Other artists whose work appeared were Harry Lane (better known for his work in Lot-O-Fun and The Boy's Friend) and Serge Drigin who was one of APs prolific action artists and contributed spot art to The Champion as well as to Fun Picture Stories, Merry-Go-Round and the early issues of Sun and Comet.

For some reason that I do not understand, the Christmas 1934 issue (no. 23) was issued on 29th December and was not the 22nd December issue as one would expect - perhaps they did things differently then.

Then there were the gifts: and what gifts they were filling the first seven issues. These were:

Issue 1 TWO Gifts: Large Packet of Sherbet and a Bull Roarer
Issue 2 TWO Gifts: Large Bar of Nougat & Film Picture Stories postcard series 1 - Victor McLaglen in a scene from Dick Turpin
Issue 3 Film Picture Stories postcard series 2 - George Raft, Jackie Cooper, Wallace Beery in a scene from The Bowery
Issue 4 Film Picture Stories postcard series 3 - Tim McCoy (portrait)
Issue 5 Film Picture Stories postcard series 4 - Richard Dix (portrait from Ace of Aces)
Issue 6 Film Picture Stories postcard series 5 - Buck Jones (portrait)
Issue 7 Film Picture Stories postcard series 6 - Laurel and Hardy (portrait)

I don't hold out a lot of hope of getting the Sherbet or Nougat, but the colour tinted postcards showing actors depicted in various films are still relatively easy to find as they seem to have drifted into the Postcard Market and turn up fairly regularly, however the comics themselves are extremely scarse. Click on the images below to see a larger version of the covers.

Film Picture Stories
Complete Story Index
No1. Vol 1.
July 28th 1934
Police Car 17 starring Tim McCoy
A thrilling story of drama Gangsters vs Police taken from the film.

Ace of Aces with Richard Dix

A smashing Yarn of War in the Air
The Fighting Code starring Buck Jones A high speed swift moving Drama of the Wild West
Dick Turpin starring Victor McLaglen A rousing film story of Highwaymen and Bow Runners
No2. Vol 1.
August 4th 1934
Frontier Marshal starring George O'Brien
A gripping yarn of peril and intrigue in Arizona.

Shadows of Sing Sing featuring Mary Brian and Bruce Cabot

What happens when a detective's son fell in love with a gangster's sister
Winged Devils starring Richard Cromwell and Robert Armstrong A tense thrilling drama of a young cameraman's fight for fame
Gun Justice starring Ken Maynard A powerful, quick action thriller of the Wild West
No3. Vol 1.
August 11th 1934
Sealed Lips starring Constance Bennett and Gilbert Roland
A thrilling story – drama of a beautiful spy

The Thundering Herd starring Randolph Scott and Judith Allen

Astirring swift action story of drama in the Wild West
Before Midnight with Ralph Bellamy and June Collyer A seemingly inexplicable mystery solved by a smart young detective
Massacre with Richard Barthelmess A powerful story drama of a young Indian's fight fgor his people
No4. Vol 1.
August 18th 1934
Below the Sea featuring Ralph Bellamy and Fay Wray An amazing story of gold and the perils under the sea
The California Trail starring Buck Jones A smashing story of a two-gunned adventurer
The Man from Monterey starring John Wayne A powerful drama of fast moving action in Mexico
Blood Money featuring George Bancroft A thrilling story of a high-speed adventure and intrigue
No5. Vol 1.
August 27th 1934
On Secret Service starring Carl Diehl and Greta Nissen An enthralling Spy Drama of invisible foes
Fraternally Yours starring Laurel and Hardy A screamingly funny story of the screen's most comical couple
Lady Killer featuring James Cagney A smashing story of a young man's fight against desperate odds
Sleepers East starring Wynne Gibson A thrilling story drama of a man wrongfully accused and a girls ordeal.
No6. Vol 1.
September 1st 1934
Bombay Mail starring Edmund Lowe and Ralph Forbes A story of a never to be forgotten journey aboard an Express
Carnival Lady starring Boots Mallory and Allen Vincent A thrill-filled story of drama in a circus
Fugitive Lovers with Robert Montgomery and Madge Evans A stirring story of a convict's flight and how he earned a pardon
Cap'n Jericho featuring Richard Arlen and Judith Allen An intriguing story of adventures in the life of a sailor of fortune
No7. Vol 1.
September 8th 1934
Love,Life and Laughter starring Gracie Fields Everybody's favourite in a brilliant comedy film.
Hold that Girl starring James Dunn and Caire Trevor A thrilling story of a brave girl's startling adventures
16 Fathoms Deep starring Creighton Chaney A powerful story of the adventures of a deep-sea diver.
The Thrill Hunter with Buck Jones A smashing story-dram of an intrepid cowboy
No8. Vol 1.
  September 15th 1934
Straightaway starring Tim McCoy A breath-taking drama of speed thrills on the race track.
Forbidden Trail starring Buck Jones A powerful and swift moving thriller of the wild west.
Dangerous Crossroads starring Chic Sale A gripping story of the tense drama on the railroads.
Wheels of Destiny starring Ken Maynard A pulsating rapid-fire story of red indian Warfare
No9. Vol 1.
September 22nd 1934
Midshipman Jack with Bruce Cabot An enthralling story of the American Navy.
Cross Fire starring Tom Keene A smashing action story of a fast-riding Cowboy
Hold the Press starring Tim McCoy A thrill-filled story drama of an intrepid Reporter
Man of the Forest starring Randolph Scott Abreath-taking Drama of the Wild West Thrills
No10. Vol 1.
September 29th 1934
Speed Wings featuring Tim McCoy and Evalyn Knapp A swift moving story of tense drama in the air.
Identity Parade with William Gargan and Marion Nixon The ordeal of an innocent girl who was framed.
Madame Spy starring Fay Wray and Nils Asther An intriguing story of the adventures in the life of a master spy
Honor of the Range starring Ken Maynard An enthralling story of a quick-shooting sheriff.
No11. Vol 1.
October 6th 1934
Jack Ahoy starring Jack Hulbert A rollicking story of an able seaman's romance.
Kidnapped featuring Dorothea Wiech and baby Leroy A powerful story of a film star's stolen child.
The Cheyenne Kid starring Tom Keene A smashing wild west yarn of cowboy versus gunman
Womans Man – starring Marguerite de la Lotte and Wallace Ford An enthralling drama of the boxing ring and a lost championship.
No12. Vol 1.
October 13th 1934
Lazy River starring RobertYoung and Jean Parker A powerful fast-moving drama of three ex-convicts.
Whirlpool (text story) starring Jack Holt, Jean Arthur, Donald Cook and Lila Lea The story of a Man's noble sacrifice.
No More Women starring Edmund Lowe, Victor McLaglen and Sally Blane The story of a desperate fight for sunken gold 40 fathoms deep between rival deep-sea divers.
Galloping Roman starring Bob Steele A drama of the open spaces and stage coach robberies.
No13. Vol 1.
October 20th 1934
Spy 13 starring Gary Cooper and Marion Davies A tensely gripping story-drama of the American Civil War.
Freedom of the Seas starring Clifford Mollison A thrilling story of a down-trodden clerk who proved his grit.
One is Guilty featuring Ralph Bellamy and Shirley Grey A story of a strange mystery with many under suspicion
Rainbow Ranch starring Rex Bell A dashing yarn of a plucky sailor who turned cowboy
No14. Vol 1.
October 27th 1934
I've got your Number starring Pat O'Brien A swift-moving drama of a daring bond robbery.
Doomed to Die starring Ken Maynard A thrill-packed Wild West Story of a Fugitive from justice
S.O.S. Iceberg starring Rod la Rocquer A powerful story of drama and peril in the frozen artic.
Ridin' Thru' starring Tom Tyler Vigorous yarn of a gang of Horse Stealers
No15. Vol 1.
November 3rd 1934
Flaming Gold with Bill Boyd and Pat O'Brien A powerful drama of peril in an Oilfield.
The Trumpet Blows starring George Raft A pulsating romance of tow brothers – the glamour and peril of the bullring.
Riot Squad starring Madge Bellamy The rounding up of gangsters who kidnapped a judges daughter
The Last Round-up starring Randolph Scott A powerful story of a gang of ruthless outlaws
No16. Vol 1.
November 10th 1934
The Eagle and the Hawk starring Fredric March and Gary Grant A stirring story of a flying Hero of the Great War.
Viva Villa with Wallace Berry The most Colossal film of the year
Looking for Trouble starring Spencer Tracy An enthralling story-dram of telephone-tapping crooks
Get That Man with Ken Maynard A swift-moving drama of a masked rogue's round up
No17. Vol 1.
November 17th 1934
Keep'em Rolling with Walter Huston Astirring war story of a man's loyalty and devotion
Manhattan Melodrama Starring Clark Gable, William Powell, Myrna Loy A pulsating, dramtic story of the strange workings of Fate.
On the Stoke of Nine starring Shirley Grey A powerful and gripping thriller of a baffling mystery.
Indian Vengeance with Ken Maynard A powerful western yarn of a innocent man's ordeals
No 18 vol 1
November 24th 1934
State Trooper with Regis Toomey A powerful story of the Grim Adventures of a Speed Cop.
Those were the Days with Will Hay An up-roaring funny yarn .
Wild Gold starring John Boles and Clair Trevor A swift-moving story drama set amidst the gold fields.
Red Man's Ghost starring Ken Maynard A powerful western story of a Rogue's Desperate Scheme
No 19 vol 1
December 1st 1934
Wildhorse Mesa with Randolph Scott A stirring and dramatic story of a gang of horse Thieves.
Gambling Ship starring Gary Grant A dramatic yarn of a desperate fight between rival gangsters.
Countess of Monte Cristo starring Fay Wray A young girls daring deception and the events which followed.
The Stolen Ranch starring Ken Maynard A thrilling Western drama of a cunning plot frustrated.
No 20 vol 1
December 8th 1934
Come on Marines with Richard Arlen A gripping story of a young man's luck that held good.
Man of Two Worlds A powerful and thrilling story of drama in the frozen north
The Bowery starring Wallace Beery and George Raft Life in the 'Nineties' in the New York Underworld.
Rangers Secret starring Ken Maynard A smashing cowboy yarn of an innocent man framed.
No 21 vol 1
December 16th 1934
The Fighting Ranger starring Buck Jones A texas Ranger's daring plot to avenge his young brother.
Voice in the Night starring Tim McCoy A thrilling drama of a young man's fight against wreckers
City Limits starring Ray Walker and Sally Blane

A swift moving Comedy drama of an intrepid reporters adventures.

The Lone Trail starring Ken Maynard A dramatic swift-moving story of a man who kept his word.
No 22 vol 1
December 22nd 1934
Flying Fury starring Ken Maynard A pulsating drama of wild horses in a mad stampede.
The House of Rothschild starring George Arliss One of the best films of the year
As The Earth Turns starring Jean Muir and Donald Woods A drama of two brothers and the strange workings of fate.
Gunmen's Round-up starring Tim McCoy A quick-action thriller of a speed cop's desperate race
No 23 vol 1
December 29th 1934
Mala the Magnificent A powerful story of the native's code against the white man's law.
The Thin Man starring William Powell An intriguing Drama of how a seemingly inexplicable mystery was solved.
Tracy Rides starring Tom Tyler A gripping drama of a sheriff's fight to enforce law and order.
The Secret Name starring Tim McCoy A thrill-filled yarn of how a traitor was unmasked.
No 24 vol 2
January 5th 1935
The Man Trailer starring Buck Jones A blazing western thriller.
No Greater Glory A powerful dramatic story of a brave boy's desperate fight
Whispering Tongues starring Reginald Tate A stirring drama of a young man's fight to right a great wrong.
The Peril of the Tunnel starring Tim McCoy A gripping story of a unscrupulous gang of kidnappers.
No 25 vol 2
January 12th 1935
Scarlet River starring Tom Keene A gripping western yarn of a desperate attempt to steal a ranch.
Green Eyes starring Shirley Grey and Charles Starrett A baffling Mystery solved by a dauntless young man's pluck and perseverance.
Tiger Bay starring Anna May Wong A young man seeks romance and finds perilous adventure.
Black Waters starring Tim McCoy A swift-moving story of a speed cop's desperate plight.
No 26 vol 2
January 19th 1935
Justice of the Wild starring Buck Jones A breath-taking yarn of a desperate gang of cattle rustlers.
Here Comes the Navy starring James Cagney A swift moving yarn of the navy and a young man's fearlessness.
I'll Tell The World starring Lee Tracy A powerful story of how a quick-fire reporter foiled a political intrigue.
The Flaming Secret starring Tim McCoy A gripping story drama of a cunning crook's amazing secret.
No 27 vol 2
January 26th 1935
Law of the Ranges starring Buck Jones A fast-moving western thriller of an innocent man accused.
The Count of Monte Cristo One of the year's best films from the famous classic.
Stage Mother A dramatic story of a mother's great fight for her daughter's future
River Phantoms starring Tim McCoy A powerful yarn of how a ruthless gang of forgers were captured.
No 28 vol 2
February 2nd 1935
Range Feud starring Buck Jones An enthralling wild west yarn of an unscrupulous scoundrels plot.
Hide-Out starring Robert Montgomery A powerful dram of a lawless young man who realised his mistake.
He Was Her Man starring James Cagny A stirring drama of a gangster's attempt to elude his former associates.
Terror of the Skies starring Tim McCoy A gripping story of a daring attempt at a bullion robbery.
No 29 vol 2
February 9th 1935
Phantom of the Plains starring Buck Jones A quick action western story of a spectral figure of the plains.
I Can't Escape starring Onslow Stevens A gripping drama of a cunning frame-up and how it was frustrated.
Something Always Happens starring Ian Hunter A dramatic story of a quick-thinking young man who proved his worth.
Desert Doom starring Tim McCoy A powerful drama of a stirring adventures in the desert.
No 30 vol 2
February 16th 1935
Red Man's Secret starring Buck Jones A powerful and dramatic story of an Indian's fight for his people.
The Camels are Coming starring Jack Hulbert A comedy drama of the desert.
Son of a Sailor starring Joe E. Brown A rollicking comedy of a sailor's adventures afloat and ashore.
Secret Raiders starring Tim McCoy A thrilling story of how a desperate gang was outwitted.




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