Thursday, 31 July 2014

A Different Class

Something's happening - I seem to be losing the ability to dislike things, mostly. Well, at least in regard to this kind of thing. Back in February of last year, I highlighted some Beano parodies from a comic called Pulp, a publication I summed up thusly:

...of all the Viz-style "alternative" comics I've seen, Pulp's definitely one of the worst in terms of "Getting it completely wrong". No cleverness or satire or anything here, just bad drawings and rude words.

Humble pie from the oven of shame and all that, but I must've either had a short memory or, as feared, I've lost the ability to criticise. Reading over the two issues of Pulp I have for the purposes of this article, it's suddenly one of my favourites. At least top ten. Whoops. So here we go, a re-assessment of sorts of Pulp.


Launched in 1991 by Big Mags Ltd, and edited by the same Stuart Blair, as the sister title to Ziggy, which if you remember, was a fairly outrageous title (as an understatement) that thrived on speculative libel. Suggesting Simon Bates has an incestuous relationship with his mother, stating that Roy Hattersley threw up on live TV and there was a baby's arm in the sick, that sort of thing. It was mostly those kind of articles and strange doctored photographs on most of its pages, with a few comics here and there. Pulp, on the other hand, flipped that ratio to be more of a comic-based publication, with a smattering of the articles too. So now we know what kind of thing we're in for here, shall we begin?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Got the clams

Not really a "proper" post, this one (should have one of those ready by Sunday, perhaps), but it's one for the archive anyway. I've been looking for a somewhat elusive adult comic/Viz-clone called Klam for a while now, to no avail. Here's a picture of it:


Well, the guy who actually MADE the thing has recently reacquainted himself with the whole thing, and reviewed it retrospectively (and at length!). Go and read it by clicking on the following word: KLAM.

Sad completist/hoarder that I am, I'm still on the lookout for it!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Robbery with violence

Thus runs the tagline for Blag, and it's a fairly accurate one too - this could possibly be one of the most pen-crunchingly, ridiculously violent Viz-type comics that there is! All seems well on the cover, if not slightly odd, in a "we-are-here-for-you" kind of way:


Your basic information here is that Blag lasted for about a year from August of 1990, it was edited by Craig McDonald, published by Sceptre Marketing, and features several familiar faces we've already met.

And with that... Let the catharsis begin?

Monday, 23 June 2014

42 MP's, 5 hod carriers, 3 pimps, 12 students and a tramp.

Here we go again, with a title that doesn't really stand out at all, in any way whatsoever... But I set out to cover ALL of these things, and ALL of them I shall! There's a fair few more of the atypical variety to go, but there's also several more "interesting" ones on the way too. For now, let's get Top Banana looked at, including its inspiringly literal covers...

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

But why are the kids crying?

Utterly devastating, that's what it is. This year, we've already lost uncle Ramis, grandad Hoskins, auntie Townsend (and her family of Moles), and now our best mate, Rik. Speaking honestly, I can't think of a single performance of his that wasn't good. I'm crap at eulogies, but this really is one of those deaths that seems to be uniting everyone, and it's horrible, it really is.




Have some YouTube links while they're still active:







Rik's appearance in the Comic Relief Comic:



And then maybe this thing should be "number one" at the weekend or something?



In other news, dozens of other "comedians" are still alive and have several panel shows/advert voice-overs lined up over the next few months.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Behind the Green Curtains

One of my favourite things about doing all these articles on the "rude comics" (besides re-reading them all and finding ones I've never heard of before) is when the people who actually made them pop up in the comments section, and share a bit about what it was like being a part of the whole thing. For example, take a look at what Rob Filth (or Rob Yuppies as he was then known) has to say about Ziggy and Spit, and while you're at the Spit bit, take in what Lee Turnock and Lew Stringer have to say about the whole thing as well.

Recently, Nigel Maughan popped up in the comments section too - click on his name in the side bit there, and you'll probably be taken to nearly every "rude comic" article I've done so far, as he worked on pretty much all of them (with a few exceptions - only Poot! and Lazy Frog come to mind immediately). Seriously, have a look at his CV, it goes on and on and on... Here's something of his in case it hasn't clicked yet who I'm on about:

That's one of the first things I ever saw by him, by the way - in an issue of Acne, a long, long time ago.


At the risk of sounding like a disgusting sycophant, I'm going to say now that I was a bit excited when Nigel got in touch - he's my fourth-favourite living cartoonist, y'see. We got to talking, and what follows is my attempt at a thrown-together "interview" about the "scene" in general. I've never done anything like this before, so you'll just have to bear with it. Plenty of illustrations/comics throughout though, so don't worry.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Devastated? The Prequel!

Not long after starting the write-up on Gutted, I found out that Gutter was actually the comic that was out BEFORE Gutted, and also from the same company - Humour Publications. That's my explanation for the lack of chronology here. I have no explanation for the amount of time that's passed since the last update here. Just call it an inflammatory lung disease or a broken arm or whatever.

Gutter then. A very similar name to Gutted, but it couldn't be more different to it. Well, it could, but we're only talking about it in terms of rude British comics for the time being. For the sake of documentation, I think we're looking at a start date of around 1990 here - the earliest issue I have is number eight, and that's got 1991 on it, so we'll go with 1990 for now unless I'm corrected.


Carry on reading to see just how "different" it is, if you're interested at all...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Devastated?

Here's a lesson in why setting out to initially do things in a chronological order was a doomed task from the start... As in, I had this "piece" all ready and prepared when I found out that this particular publication is/was the "sequel" to another one. No worries, I'll just have to shift things around a bit and "do" Gutter after this one - which is called Gutted.

Get me and my fancy sample edition

The story goes that there was a comic called Gutter, itself an off-shoot of Zit - same publishers and everything (Humour Publications), and when things weren't going so well there Gutter was shut down and re-launched as Gutted, printed on cheap paper and using spot-colour throughout, and claiming "bizarre humour" as its selling point. Yep, it's rude comics having a go at surrealism, with mixed results.

Before I got hold of any issues of Gutted, I was informed that it was the equivalent of what you'd get if you could staple wank together - an understandable opinion when looking at lazily "random" bits like these:



Yes, that thing that Noel Fielding does nowadays, only on paper. I stand here today to say that despite such rubbish as this, I enjoyed reading the four issues of Gutted that I've acquired so far. I really have! 

The "proper" first issue

Conceived and written mostly by Ged Backland and Shaun Taft (previously featured here within the pages of Igor), and lasting for... Maybe seven or eight issues? Beginning in 1992 anyway, and the only source I've found so far says it lasted for "about" eight issues, so that'll do for now. Let's have a peek at what else constitutes "bizarre humour", shall we?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Apathetic Amphibian

Here's an odd one, stylistically at least. In the realm of Viz-inspired comics, Lazy Frog from Big Star Publishing is certainly... anomalous? Thematically it's identical, yes, but it LOOKS like nothing else I've seen within the "genre". 


Well, that cover's not exactly representative of what I'm on about, but hang in there. Okay, the first time I found Lazy Frog was on a trip to that London in 2002, and it was on the shelf of some swanky newsagent. Not the first issue, but the sixth issue. I enjoyed it enough at the time, but in the decade (and more!) since then I've only been able to find two more issues. And the only information concerning Lazy Frog on the whole of the Internet can be found in two paragraphs of one page:

Dave: You’ve sent me some of your recent work. Well, fairly recent. I didn’t know of the existence of Big Star Publishing and here are two titles from them. Lazy Frog is a kind of West Country Viz with lots of rude words and sheep-shagging. It’s about ninety percent comics, the strips variously signed by Shaky Kane, Shaky K and Joe Klutz. Time to come clean I think. This looks like a one-man show to me. But can I reassure Vikki that all those French personal ads were not down to you? I can’t believe you came up with “Sacre Bleu, I appear to ‘ave fucked you up ze ass.”

Shaky: Again, an opportunity came my way. Uncle Al The Kiddie’s Pal was my character, along with The Tic-Toc Man. But the personal ads you’re talking about were down to the editor, Ian Porter. He must have thought it was a good idea at the time. His Smelliest Clown Lonely Heart page was funnier! And he actually put the damn thing out, so it’s hard to be too critical.

There we have it - the extent of the Internet's knowledge about Lazy Frog (besides a slight discussion on the matter here) - it's a two-man job consisting of the artist, Shaky Kane (real name Michael Coulthard, of Deadline, 2000AD and Bulletproof Coffin fame) and the editor, Ian Porter, who also put out the magazine and wrote most of the stuff in it. It lasted for at least six issues, beginning in 2001, and that's all we know. So what can I do? I can show some of its contents to anyone who might be interested, that's what!