Drawn by Sammy (Gordon Bell, really)
86 appearances (over 134 pages)
from issue no. 18 (19/05/73) to no.103 (04/01/75).
The strip was printed in colour across the centre pages up to issue no. 65, the rest in red/black on page 3.
Young Sammy is a self-styled "writer, artist and painter" who aspires to be the editor of 'BUZZ' one day. The strip is written and drawn as if by Sammy on lined notepaper (he must have had a limited supply - the lines disappeared in issue no. 61). What at first appears anarchic slowly settles down into some semblance of order and the artwork becomes less obviously phoney. The two centre pages mainly consist of one-frame jokes, short cartoon strips and doodles, supplemented by occasional limericks, 'nutty' nursery rhymes and 'how-to-do/make' articles. Sammy's stories often involve his family (Mum, Dad, and big sister Gladys) and his pets (Horatio the hamster and Fang the dog).
The one big difference from other strips (and comics) was the use of photographs, albeit black and white ones. There was usually one photo on each page. Apart from George Best and a handful of stars from film and television, the photos on the right-hand page were drawn from the world of pop music. It being the seventies, these were in the main teeny-bop idols (eg David Cassidy, The Osmonds) and glam-rockers (Elton John, Gary Glitter etc). The photos on the left-hand page, with the exception of a few sports stars and a picture of some falcons at an RAF base, were what can only be described as 'vehicular'. The pictures fell into two camps; specific cars, usually the (then) latest models, and miscellaneous transport, ranging from a bicycle with 12 sets of pedals through a chieftain tank to the Apollo 17 command module. These themes were a throwback to the old feature pages of THE BEEZER and THE TOPPER. Also a nod in that direction is this article on leaves in issue no. 41.
The occasional 'how-to-do/make' articles became a fixture, appearing in every issue between issue nos. 35 and 58 with a break for Christmas/New Year (nos. 50 and 51). See the 'Nobby' and 'The Buzzies and the Fuzzies' pages for examples.
Sammy started a diary detailing what he had done during the week in issue no. 44. This ran with only two interruptions (issue nos. 47 and 51) while the strip appeared on the centre pages. Another regular feature that appeared on the centre pages, 'Loopy Words', began in issue no. 55.
In issue no. 66 "the rotten old editor" (Sammy's words), "pinched" one of Sammy's pages (and moved the remaining page to page 3). Sammy didn't mind, though - it was to make way for "that great new story 'FREEZE'." The strip continued in the same vein based around the one-frame jokes, short cartoon strips, doodles, and a photo. The photos were mainly of pop-stars. Cars and 'vehicles' again featured regularly, and pictures of animals made the odd appearance. In the early days of this one-page version, Sammy's inventions/machines/devices (first seen in issue no. 63) appeared regularly.
In issue no 27 Jimmy Jinx is inspired by Sammy's do-it-yourself ethos (and egged on by Baddie) to 'redecorate' the living room.
Sammy's Scribbles was one of six BUZZ strips to appear in THE TOPPER AND BUZZ when the two comics merged.
A Likely Story ...
In the first strip Sammy says that readers can write to him and in issue no. 20 provides an address, asking for things they'd like to see; "They can be pictures of pop stars, or motor cars or animals or anything." Occasionally a picture of a pop star would appear with a caption to the effect that "some readers", "a reader", or "a pal of mine" had requested it, but only two readers were ever credited (J. McGuigan of Belfast for a picture of Mud in issue no. 39 and Kevin Paul of Sutton Coldfield for a picture of Hudson Ford in issue no. 69).
Issue no. 97 featured a photograph of an XJ 12 Jaguar in front of 'The Unicorn', "one of the oldest ships still afloat." The following week another picture of 'The Unicorn' appeared, because, as Sammy writes, "some of you have asked to see more of it, so here it is." Given that the comic would have gone to press several weeks before, this scenario wouldn't have been possible.