Kirsty and the Coal Imp


Kirsty Brown accidentally releases Nutty Slack, a coal imp with magical powers, from a big lump of coal where he was imprisoned by the Coal Wizard. Nutty is so grateful to Kirsty for freeing him that he decides to stay with her. No one knows about Kirsty’s unusual friend, as Nutty can make himself invisible to everyone but her.

kirsty and the coal imp



  • Kirsty and the Coal Imp – Judy: #152 (8 December 1962) – #159 (26 January 1963)
  • Kirsty and the Coal Imp – Judy: #309 (11 December 1965) – #313 (8 January 1966)

11 thoughts on “Kirsty and the Coal Imp

  1. I was stoking up the fire at 4 on a Sunday morning, and staring into the coal flames. Half asleep, I started day dreaming about Nutty, the coal imp, a character I vividly remember reading about in a comic many years ago, and which had fired my imagination. I looked it up on line, and there it was, just as inspirational as it had been, all those years ago !

  2. Given that the full name of the Coal Imp was Nutty Slack it is perhaps worth pointing out that the actual nutty slack was a poor quality coal-based extra to put on top of coal in your fire during some early post-war years until some point in the early fifties when coal itself was no longer rationed.

  3. I don’t think pollution was much of an issue at that time. It was after all less of a threat to life and limb than the Germans had been, and you could always open a window for brief periods even in the winter.

  4. This strip owes its origins to a prose story ‘Nutty the Coal Imp’ that was published in the Beano in 1953 in which Nutty’s human friend is a ten year old boy named Peter Wilson.
    The full publishing details of this earlier incarnation are as follows –
    Nutty the Coal Imp 567(30/5/53)-598(2/1/54) – title changed to ‘Nutty the Wizard up our Chimney’ with No 587(17/10/53). Title illustrations by Bill Holroyd.
    My Pal Nutty 609(20/3/54)-629(7/6/54) – title changed to ‘In the Power of the Coal Wizard’ with No620(5/6/64). Title illustrations by Bill Holroyd.
    The character also appeared in four Beano Books
    1955 Nutty the Coal Imp
    1956 The Day Dad Turned Green
    1957 No Peace for Peter Wilson
    1958 My Pal Nutty
    The first three were in the same text story format while the 1958 was a picture story.
    All the annual artwork was again by Bill Holroyd.

  5. I read about Kirsty and the coal imp as a child in 1962 and loved that name so much (having never heard of it before) that I knew that if I had a daughter when I grew up, I would call her Kirsty. My daughter Kirsty was born in 1975. I’ve never forgotten the imaginative story to this day

    1. That’s nice. It must have been fun to reminisce with your daughter, where her name came from! Me and my partner got our daughter’s name from a cartoon, look forward to showing it to her, when she’s older.

      1. There is also an IPC comic title that has the same name as your daughter, Lorraine. Several years ago when I had more curiosity than I have now, I skim read the whole short run during a couple of visits to the Colindale Library in north London, in order to compare it with Thomsons’ equivalent, THE BLUE BIRD, which I was able to consult in the British Library in St. Pancras. I took plenty of notes on THE BLUE BIRD because of the possibility that I might one day need them, but I didn’t make any significant notes on the IPC title.

  6. I have a copy of ‘Name Your Baby’ by Lareina Rule, which describes itself as ‘The Most Complete Baby Name Book’. As it is the 1973 printing, we didn’t have it for our first child, but we did for our second. After all this time I can’t recall whether we used it or not. In any case we had two boys so the girls section was not required. Looking at it this morning, I notice that there is no entry for ‘Kirsty’. The nearest is ‘Kirstin’, which directs the reader to ‘Christina’. As there isn’t a specific entry for ‘Christina’, despite the instruction, the reader must make do with ‘Christine’, which is French in origin. Within that option there are three alternatives, Kirsten, Kirstin and Kristin, all Scandinavian in origin. It would appear then that ‘Kirsty’ must be a Scandinavian alternative. However, given the failure of the book to offer ‘Kirsty’, leaving the reader with some guesswork, it would appear that the book’s subtitle is misleading at best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.