Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A quick plug for Plug

Here's another short-lived DC Thomson comic (there's a lot of them!) - this one based around the sporting adventures of Percival Proudfoot Plugsley, aka. Plug from the Bash Street Kids. I only have the one issue (they seem to be scarce), so everything I know about it is based on this one here, and Graham Kibble-White's mostly excellent Ultimate Book of British Comics. What I do know is that it lasted from 1977 to 1979, it was expensive for the time, and it eventually got swallowed up by the Beezer.

Let's have a mug...

Your title character here is drawn by Vic Neill, mostly of Billy Whizz fame:

It's nice that Plug's personality has had an upgrade from "ugly" to "sporty".

The sporting theme continues with Tony Jackpot by John Dallas, Supporting Life by Bill Ritchie, and the marvellous Antchester United by John Geering:

Here's an interesting one - Eebagoom. Albert Holroyd drew it, with Eebagoom looking similar to Hungry Horace from the Sparky. Thanks to Andy Boal for identifying the artist there! It's a continuing adventure about a young scouse lad and his uncle, resisting the Roman invasion of ancient Liverpool. I like the joke about Wigan:

Gordon Bell does a couple of things in Plug. There's Hugh's Zoo, about a chap who keeps a lot of animals in his back garden, and then there's Digby, the Human Mole - a similar character appeared in the Beano some years later, known as Henry Burrows (ha ha ha etc). Here's Digby in action:

This is Sea Urchin, drawn in a fun yet confusing way using bubbles instead of your standard panels. Not 100% sure on who drew this, but I know I've seen similar facial expressions before... [EDIT: And again, thanks to Andy Boal - It's drawn by Murray Ball]

The ever-amazing Bob Dewar's here too, with his Lumpy Gibbon - obviously named after that Goodies song!

There's a couple more fun strips in here, both by Dave Gudgeon. Thanks once more to Andy for the artist ID! First there's Gnoo Faces:

And then there's The Bandshees ("Fresh from their successful tour of Mars"):

I love how their singing's so bad that the Japanese set kamikaze pilots onto them!

It's MOSTLY a great comic, but it does make you wonder how the editor allowed Ava Banana to be included - surely the WORST thing to ever appear in ANY DC Thomson title, EVER. Head-scratch over this one:

That kind of thing's acceptable in early Viz, at a push, but amongst the quality of the rest of Plug's stuff? Nah. A blank page would've been better.

Finally, like every good comic, there's the fan club page - the Plug Sports and Social Club:

Yep, Jimmy Glen's in there too! Wonder if anyone out there still has their Super-Goon Sportswear cap or vest?

Overall, a goodie in the history of comics - I'll be looking for more of these.


  1. Haha, Plug was awesome, I loved the Bash Street Kids. I've still got most of the annuals somewhere :)

  2. Eebagoom was by Albert Holroyd (who also drew Thingummyblob and Hungry Horace in the 1970s Sparky, and Fingy in Topper in the early 80s).

    I'm not so sure about Digby's artist - I'd need to see some more strips, but Murray Ball drew Sea Urchin, and Dave Gudgeon drew Gnoo Faces and the Bandshees. No clue who drew Ava Banana!

    1. Thanks a lot, Andy! Glad my suspicions on the Eebagoom/Horace connection were right (his uncle looks a bit like Thingummyblob's scientist too).

      I recognise Murray Ball's stuff from the Topper's Ghastly Manor, as it turns out, but looking through what Dave Gudgeon's done, there's nothing familiar there. Still good stuff, though!

  3. Blimey! Some obscure characters from comics there! Never heard of most of them!!

    Loving these old comic posts! :)