Saturday, 18 May 2013

Something appalling

Here we have it now - POSSIBLY the absolute worst out of all the Viz knock-offs. There's still a couple of contenders in my possession, and there's bound to be about a hundred and twelve others that I don't yet know about, but for now, this one's pretty dreadful.


From that Scotland place, claiming to be "Scotland's very own adult comic" - no acknowledgement for the superd Electric Soup there (soon to be "covered" on this very blog).

In terms of "history", Jockstrap's a fairly late arrival to the rude comics party, being from around 1998-ish (no dates are given, but frequent mention is made of the World Cup in France - helps to pay attention to football sometimes). The paper's nice and shiny, but that's about the only praise this one'll be getting. No artists are credited either (if you could really call them that), and no jokes or structure is to be found either. Just so you know all that before carrying on...

Thematically, Jockstrap subscribes to the Smut school of humour: violence, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia, with a fair amount of football thrown in. Or sometimes there's no "theme" at all - just some shit drawings with a few swear words thrown about, such as this one:

Or these two:



Those three strips there are the best-drawn things in the whole of Jockstrap - "Mates" in particular could've been okay if anything actually HAPPENED, but there we go. At the complete opposite end of things, we have someone who can't even draw a gate closing properly:


Notice how absolutely nothing at all happened in that one there? That's pretty much representative of this whole depressing mess. The paper-based equivalent of sitting next to someone on a train who can't say a five-word sentence without three of those words being "fuck", whilst gobbing a big greenie on the floor at the beginning and end of each breath. Oh wait, hold on - here's one about child murder:


And here's your standard drunken fool/filthy letch characters:



And here's those football-themed bits, admittedly a fairly rare sight in this kind of publication:





Note how, Ray of the Rovers aside, NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENS in these comics. Will Wim Win, in particular, is more like some crap jokes that were overheard in a pub, and then translated into doodles.

Just this one more piece of tripe now before looking at the one thing that makes Jockstrap that TINY bit less forgettable:


And that one thing? Well, this being a Scottish comic, there's plenty in here that boils down to "English people are tits". We have Nige & Hugh, a couple of English lads having an "adventure" in Scotland (but really it's just another shit joke masquerading as a comic):


Then there's the heroic Scotsmen, William Wallace:


And Rob Roy, in a two-page "epic" in which nothing happens:



And... That's it. I really can't think of anything positive to say about this one, sorry about that. The MOST I can say about it is it's possibly the epitome of the kind of rubbish that's hinted at by Lee Turnock:

"The sad truth is, a lot of the Viz knock-offs weren't even the work of dedicated cartoonists, or people who were in it for the love of drawing and the sharing of laughter... They were the work of profiteers, or even in some cases the work of ex-squaddies, bricklayers and tyre-fitters, people who had no empathy with the world of comics and cartoonists and just wanted to squeeze a few quid out of the latest trend."

Yep, sounds about right. The fact that Jockstrap was created less than forty miles down the road from the home of the Beano and the Dandy just adds to the insult. This one's going in the bottom of the box now, never to be looked at again.

24 comments:

  1. Pretty sure the Dicky Dean strip is an unauthorised "only the names have been changed" re-draw of a one of Tommy Somme's Jack Russell strips from Electric Soup.

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    1. Interesting... I'll have to look through some back issues for that one, cheers!

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  2. You promised and you delivered! Oh boy, thats horrible. Actually, it isn't even good enough to be horrible, its just banal.

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  3. As soon as I saw the words "something appalling" and "possibly the absolute worst", I actually muttered to myself "it had BETTER be". Thing is, I've got a history as far as enjoying things that are widely reckoned to be utter shit goes (I must be the only person in the world who wanted a second series of 'TV Squash', and I'm still miffed that Russ Abbot's shows never get repeated), so for something to rate very, VERY highly on my shit-o-meter, it has to really deliver. And by 'deliver', I mean it has to scale Howard the Duck / the Garbage Pail Kids Movie heights of awful.
    Jockstrap (even the name isn't original - there was a stereotypical 'lecherous Scotsman' character in a 1980s girlie magazine called 'Jock Strapp') is the HOLOCAUST of adult comics. I've seen better football fanzines. I've seen better student rag mags. Hell, I've even seen better flyers for cheapjack fast food outlets. Reading those extracts actually physically hurt.
    Still, I'm curious... how do you manage to find so many Viz knock-offs? I thought I knew most of them, but by the looks of things I've barely even scraped the top of a very large and grubby iceberg!

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    1. Glad I failed to disappoint!

      There's many avenues to finding them... That list you stuck on Cookdandbombed was a good starting point for one.

      There's a place in Manchester called Empire Exchange which is like a constantly regenerating Aladdin's cave of wonderful (and cheap!) obscurities. Found a Viz knock-off in there that's based on the Twilight Zone of all things.

      I go to London once a year and mostly find things in two shops there - the Notting Hill Book & Comic Exchange (they have a box marked "Viz etc") and Orbital Comics (who have a rack labelled "Alternative").

      Finally, there's eBay, and two sellers in particular. One of them seems to constantly have new things I've never seen before, in big quantities as well.

      They really do pop up all over the place though, even found a massive stack of the things in Oxfam once!

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  4. In Glasgow in the late 90's there were a number of dire comics, the best intentions behind them, but ultimately terrible in execution. Jockstrap was produced by 'professional' cartoonists many of which went on to work as part of some cartoon studio in Glasgow. Having seen these pages I'm not surprised they removed the art 'credits'.There was also the SCCAM comic which I'm ashamed to say I took part in and Toxic Pie which was another non starter...let's not forget Northern Lightz and its less than stellar offspring Wasted that was 8 years in the making and it still stunk....no longer with us because of tax evasion. Seek them out if you dare (or if you already haven't)

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    1. Toxic Pie's a good name for one! I'll be on the lookout for that. Seen Northern Lightz a few times and left it on the shelf, but I did buy every issue of Wasted.

      Tired and boring drugs-humour, but I was just happy to see another "alternative" comic in the shops, so it seemed rude not to support it.

      Cheers for "following", by the way!

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    2. Hey, Dave! If only Wasted had made enough money to be liable for Tax evasion ;) I know the truth behind the demise of the comic (it was my hands that pulled the final plug), but as to the reasons behind the merciless "liquidation" of the publisher, Bad Press Ltd., heck, only Alan Grant can answer that one.... Answers on a postcard, please....

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  5. I have both issues of Toxic Pie.. very influenced by Electric Soup (The MacBam's Dave Alexander's even in the first issue) but with a more youth orientated and mid 90s vibe (ie plenty of references to the X files and Britpop bands).. quite a worthy successor to ES actually, I'm particularly fond of one character "Gary Oke" who spoke entirely in song lyrics. Worth seeking out. (not parting with my copies though!)
    However you're after Northern Lightz back issues I can sort you out with some for free as they still have loads at Glasgows Hope Street studios.. let me know.. it's essentially the missing link between Electrc Soup and Wasted so it would probably be of interested to you.

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    1. I'd appreciate that very much, thank you! I'm on Facebook so send me a message and we'll sort something out.

      As for Toxic Pie, I'm now HIGHLY interested. Love Electric Soup, and from the sounds of it ("youth-oriented" "90s vibe") it's sounding a bit like Acne as well (another favourite of mine).

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    2. How do I find you on facebook? Tried seatching for TwoHeadedBoy but only got a photographer bloke who prob isn't you.

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    3. Whoops, just realised my mistake there! Try "Ryan Davies", of Liverpool. That might work.

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    4. I've sent a message to that name ;)

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    5. Have you? There's nothing in the inbox there, whoops - appears there's more than one of me in that part of the world. Possibly the best way to "reach" me would be through the Poot! fanpage bit, where I put a link to the Poot article on this bit of the Internet...

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    6. Apparently any message I send goes to the 'other' folder, because I'm not connected to you on Facebook.
      I'm on there, search for Lee James Turnock.

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  6. Hi Ryan, yeah I sent you a message on your facebook (the one with the Korky the Cat banner right?) on Wednesday, but it doesn't seem to have been seen: there must be a fault somewhere. Have just sent you a second message to that facebook: hopefully this one gets through.

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  7. Never heard of this comic! Do you know where there's a complete list of all these Viz rip-off's on line? I'm trying to document a full list of all UK comic titles. Cheers, JP

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    1. Sorry John, I haven't been able to find a list myself, just know that there are dozens upon dozens of the things. I'm trying to cover every last one of them here eventually, but the more I look the more "new" ones I keep finding!

      Give it a year and I should have all of my backlog covered, at least...

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    2. Hi, John. I've been collecting British alternative and underground comix for years and have been compiling information for a reference guide that I'm hoping to publish at some point in the not-too-distant future. It's been eight years in the making as I can never seem to draw the proverbial line in the sand as new discoveries are constantly being made. If you want to send me your email address, I'll keep you in the loop. I will be listing titles from the late sixties through to present day.

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    3. Hiya and thanks for the message. Yes please, I definately will be interested in a copy when you publish it. Where can I send my email address to as there are no contact details on your blogger page?
      Cheers, Jokn.

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  8. The now-famous "tin cunt" frame from Spit! is funnier than anything in Jockstrap.

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    1. I love the sudden infamy of it - just out of curiosity I put "Tin Cunt" into Google Image Search, and it's there on the first page!

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  9. This is just something some 15 year olds scribbled at the back of CSE science on school paper, photocopied, stapled together and sold for pennies behind the canteen. Except somehow it escaped and got legitimately published as a comic magazine.

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