Comics in the Union Jack

The Union Jack was a popular storypaper from 1894 up to it’s end in 1933, for most of it’s life it contained Sexton Blake stories, and serials, articles and editorial focusing on crime and punishment. However in it’s early days it experimented a great deal, and the editorial often revolved around the Royal Navy, or else “fascinating facts”. In this issue, number 24 from 1894, they have even printed a comic strip! albiet a very short one.
Sandow comic in the UJ

NB: “Sandow” was a strong-man of the time who repeatedly advertised his muscle-building books in the Harmsworth/AP papers. In the UJ of 1906 there was even a series of short articles about (no doubt greatly exaggerated) events from his life, such as going to every gym in Paris and wrecking the weight-lifting machines as he was too strong for them to handle.


  1. An observation on three early ”Union Jack” which I own is that the inside covers both front and back are blank, although there the actual front gives title ,illustration…. and the back has ads.
    So two pages are completely blank which seems an awful waste.
    This applies to Numbers 1 and 15 (1894) and 155 ( 1897).
    Is this normal ,and if so when did it finish ? It was not the case in issue no 96 ( 1905).

  2. Hi Robin
    I presume they did it on super-early issues to make the cover look more impressive, if they had anything on the inside back cover, the ink might come through and ruin the effect. Remember the pre-relaunch ones were only a halfpenny! Later issues were a penny, and had ‘better’ stock for the covers (some early relaunch UJ’s even had glossy covers!), so they could safely put stuff on the insides.

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