Saturday, 4 October 2014

Balls (ha ha etc)

Just a quick note/link thing here...

In seeking out and being equally entertained and depressed by all these not-quite-Viz comics, there's always going to be some that are inaccessible to my own self. Some, like Klam, because of their absurdly low print runs, and others - well, others because I just can't be bothered with them, because I know I won't enjoy them so hardly seem worth the effort. The Winebibber was partially an exception to this, because it was so odd that it'd be a shame not to make others suffer through it, and others...

Yeah, football ones. Three such "big ones" exist, namely The Onion Bag, Sweet FA and C'mon Ref. In the comments section of the Spit! write-up, Rob Filth and Lew Stringer spoke of their experiences working on C'mon Ref which put me off the idea of seeking out issues even MORE than the fact that my interest in football is residual at best. But still, curiosity and all that...

No need now anyway, wait long enough and the Internet's bound to throw up something. Ben Baker has recently done an article about all three of these pitiful-sounding rags, saving me some money and satiating my curiosity at the same time. Go and read it by clicking on the big red words: HERE

Thursday, 2 October 2014

New scary comic thing

Just a short "plug"/review thing here - there's a new comic out! It's aimed at the shorter, less aged members of society, BUT, it's a one-man job done by Joe Matthews - whose work has previously appeared in Gas, Elephant Parts, Brain Damage, Ut, Sweet FA and Pulp - so that means it has relevance and is interesting. And it's always nice to see a new comic that isn't based on a TV series or toy, so here it is - it's called Funny Monsters:

All highly appropriate stuff - it's out at the start of October, which is the "spooky" month according to the shops, and it's got loads of the slimy, gooey stuff that kiddies always love - chiefly from "main character" Zackster - Kid Zombie:

If I was two decades younger and all that, I'd be all over this - look at one of the most popular toylines around at the moment, the Trash Pack. A big load of slime and eyeballs will always get the youngsters excited. "Good luck" is what I'm saying here.

There's other things in there too - Werewolf Growl (who's a werewolf character), a group of bed bugs with varying personality traits - my favourite of which is the paranoid Colin:

Several puzzles and colouring pages and the like, and even a text story, starring likeable heroine Milly Monster Hunter - here's Milly appearing in a Spot-The-Difference setup:

Neil Gaiman's Coraline is who she reminds me of, mostly.

For me personally, the highlight is the back cover, the Scary Spooky Selfie - a modern take on Basil Wolverton's fearsome fizogs or Ken Reid's back covers for the likes of Shiver & Shake and Whoopee!:

There's even some "free gifts" with it that AREN'T throwaway bits of plastic - instead, it's stickers and Top Trumps-ish cards:

Funny Monsters is available from an armful of newsagents throughout the North West (of England), priced £2 - OR, in an easier way, directly from the Facebook page. Still priced £2, including postage but lacking the packet of sweets that newsagent buyers get with it (click here for it). Joe will also be appearing at the following places, sketching and selling his wares:

Saturday 11th October - The Living Deadcon, Liverpool
Saturday 25th October - Preston Comic Con
Sunday 26th October - Wheatsheaf Comic Con, Rochdale 
Monday 27/28th - Millgate Shopping Centre, Bury
Wednesday 29th October - Bay View Shopping Centre, Colwyn Bay
Thursday 20th October - St Johns Shopping Centre, Leeds
Friday 31st October - Kelsalls Bookshop, Littleborough
Friday 31st Oct - Evening at the Baum for Rochdale Ghost Walks
Sunday 16th November - Bolton Comic Con

One last note - Funny Monsters is printed on a weird kind of paper that smells strangely familiar and isn't liked much by my scanner, hence the strange washed-out look of the images above. They don't REALLY look like that, I can assure you!

The next issue will be a festive one, so that's something else to look forward to.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Christenings/Weddings/Funerals/Jumble Sales

Three or four weeks ago, I got a book - Roger Sabin's Adult Comics - An Introduction (ridiculously expensive on Amazon so I won't bother providing a link). In the customary three paragraphs he took to dismiss the various Viz clones, there was something I'd never heard of:

"Winebibber was another anomaly, and was published by a fundamentalist group within the Church of England. It included strips like the dismal 'Barry Belf - He Evangelises Himself'."

I mentioned it in conversation with Adam Smith, who promptly found a compilation/"Best Of" kind of thing on Amazon. For two pounds, why not? Now that it's here, I'm sort of wishing I didn't bother...

Read on, read on, for the worst thing to happen to comics since Jockstrap.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Bob's Beano

Seeing as how Bob Dewar's so fantastic and everything, here's some more of his stuff - all of this is from the 1993 Beano book (as in, from 1992). Possibly my favourite Beano book ever, along with the 1990 and 1992 ones... It's like Sophie's Choice, really!

He has a LOT of pages in this book:

For those not "in the know", scanning annuals is HARD.

And here's Bob Dewar's first ever interview from earlier this year, thanks to Adam Smith for the link:

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Castle of King Splud

Just so there's not a massive amount of time with nothing happening while I'm preparing the next article, and in a massively desperate attempt at "topical relevance", here's a feature-length adventure from my favourite Scottish cartoonist (or maybe favourite cartoonist all round), Mr. Bob Dewar. Taken from the 1990 Beezer book (meaning it was published in 1989).

It was only after scanning these pages that I noticed my scanner appears to have hairs on it, hence, we have hairy pictures there. Sorry about that - one of the few disadvantages of living with a cat.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Problems for youngsters

It's 1991, and these adverts are appearing in various magazines across the land...

Be prepared, it's a big fat thing about Acne, as in, Viz for kids, sort of. That's how it was marketed anyway, much in the same way that Oink! was perceived. Only this one has more swearing in it - here's your first issue's cover:

Look, it's Bart Simpson getting smacked in the face. Acne is about as "Nineties" as it gets:

See? Carry on reading, this is going to be a long one...

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

More Petrie Classics!

Didn't have time to scan this lot this morning, what with having a job and so on, but they're here now - some more favourites from the pen of the dearly departed Jim Petrie... Beginning with an episode of the Sparky People, from the 1980 (or 1979, that's how annuals work) Sparky book:

A Minnie classic now, from the 1990 Beano book (the first Beano annual I ever got) - this one even got animated for the Beano Video back in 1993 (which I assumed would be on YouTube in full, but isn't, shockingly enough).

And lastly, a couple of oddities from the 1993 Topper annual - the early 1990s (and especially the later part of that decade) were VERY interesting with regards to the Beezer and the Topper - in that the artists were free to do pretty much whatever they wanted, which is how we ended up with Jim giving us this colourful character:

And this absurdity of nature - must've read this one over a hundred times when I was a youngster:

So once more, here's a toast of sorts to someone who's utterly irreplaceable in the comics world. 

Jim Petrie, 1932-2014

Bugger, another hero's gone - LOVE Jim's stuff, there's not many that give such a sense of "movement" as his wildly spinning limbs and so on do. Plus the weird facial expressions, false teeth popping out, massive tongues... There won't be another like him, that's for sure.

At least his legacy's all there on paper - for Minnie the Minx alone, according to Jim, there's "2000 weekly instalments, 400 annual stories, 35 summer specials and 7 libraries - total, 2,082!".

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Stick it in a bag and throw it in the canal

Dear oh dearie me, what have we here? If the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, what's the road to good intentions paved with? Discarded issues of The Scurvy Dog, probably. 

Whilst other "adult humour" comics of the time mostly relied on lampooning the likes of your Beano and your Whizzer & Chips, the makers of Scurvy Dog - those being Graham Hey of Spit! fame, along with Chris Whitehead and Paul Kelly - in 1995 decided to go further back and have a go at a "boys' paper" parody. Writing as someone who's never got ANY enjoyment from such a publication, maybe it's not entirely fair of me to be looking at Scurvy Dog? Well, it's not like anyone else is going to be doing it, so here we go...