Sunday, 27 October 2013

A comic not of sight or of sound but of mind

Seeing as it's October and all that, here's something slightly "spooky" yet still in fitting with the "main" theme of the "project" that's "been" going on "here" for the "past few" months. Sort of. It's an oddity, that's for sure - something that from the cover looks like a parody of The Twilight Zone, but is actually several outdated parodies of cult TV shows and a handful of Zit reprints.

It's... The Twilight Clone, from 1991, and helmed by Spit! contributor, Mr. Michael Hingley. I can't find ANY information on this one, anywhere, and found it by chance in a box full of 2000AD back issues in a second-hand "collector's emporium" in Manchester, sometime last year. Something tells me that The Twilight Clone had big ambitions, and maybe something came of it, who knows? If that "something" ever DID happen, it didn't survive up to the Internet age, so here it is.
There's good intentions afoot here - Hingley's obviously a big fan of Rod Serling and his legacy, as evidenced by the biopic he did for the back cover:

And the introductory page promises fun things:

Only to be immediately followed by this piece of duff from Bruce Gilligan - this one's approaching Jockstrap levels of badness:

I've got my suspicions that Gilligan IS one of the uncredited contributors to Jockstrap, but only slightly... There's a slight semblance of a story here, and this is from seven years before Jockstrap, but you never know.

Anyway, one Zit reprint after this we get a few pages of TV parodies, which you may or may not find amusing, depending on how much you're "into" certain TV shows:

There's also this going-nowhere thing from Graham Hey (a name amongst Viz clones that's almost as ubiquitous as Anthony Smith or Nigel Maughan):

At least it's in fitting with the "theme" of The Twilight Clone, a "theme" that also takes in "hilarious" photo captions:

And more TV parodies:

There's the obligatory swipe at Viz there in that last panel there...

The Twilight Clone would get a few points for effort if it didn't all fall apart in the middle, when this happens:

Call it something to make up for a lack of material, but it doesn't bode well for any future issues when the "fun packed pages" include such wonders as Theodore Platt, He Lives in a Flat:

Hingley's own Honest Jol, He's On the Dole:

More of Graham Hey's Zit material, and more of that Gilligan's stuff:

There's even a Hey/Gilligan collaboration!

Sorry you had to see that.

Anyway, I mentioned the "ambitious" nature of The Twilight Clone earlier on, and that's none more apparent than in this advert at the back of the thing, offering membership to the Twilight Clone Membership Club:

Badges, posters, bookmarks and everything! Did anyone ever join? Did The Twilight Clone ever make it to a second, third or even fourth issue? There was certainly a smidgen of potential here for something reasonably fun, I'll give it that much.

For now though, let's just pretend it appeared from another dimension, confused/depressed people a bit then went home again. That'll do.


  1. Well, it looks like I'm going to be the first to comment. Such responsibility.
    It's not very good, is it? Reminds me of the sort of thing you'd see advertised in the small ads in the back of Private Eye, think "that looks interesting", only to be bitterly disappointed when it actually arrived.

    1. Well, someone always has to be first!

      Maybe it WAS one of those send-away magazines? Couldn't imagine anyone putting out a comic with a black-and-white cover, wouldn't be any good for the shelves. Definitely has a fanzine sort of feel to it.

  2. Just noticed "Cheques payable to TCC". Couldn't get their own initials right!

    I did love the Twilight Zone on TV though, the 50s and the 80s series. I've got loads on the computer and some DVDs. 1991 was about the time Channel 4 were showing them around midnight. From about 1988 or so if I've got my age right at the time. Knackered, blinking, 3/4 daft from exhaustion, was a good way to watch em!

    Can't think of a humour comic as a good thing to be inspired by it though, and indeed seems like most of it had nothing to do with TZ. There were TZ comics released years later, but they were adaptations of the actual stories. Makes sense, although why you'd need them if you'd seen the episodes I don't know.

    So in conclusion, Rod Serling, Genius.

    1. I really need to see some episodes of the Twilight Zone someday. I've seen the film (and loved it), and am familiar with all the "main" stories and tropes, but have never actually sat down and watched an episode...

      I'd put Tales From The Crypt in a list of favourite TV shows ever, so I'm bound not to be disappointed... Right?

    2. Tales from the Crypt... meh. You won't be disappointed by TZ because it's bloody amazing, that's why! A few of the 50s-60s ones were a bit of a miss but many of them were amazingly brilliant. Genuine brand-new stuf never thought of before.

      The 80s ones, some are excellent, including "A little peace and quiet", the first episode. Get that one maybe? Then some of the old 'uns. They're mostly available online somewhere or other, have a look. It's a wasted life that never saw the Twilight Zone. Still gives me real thrills now.

    3. Aha! This looks like a good place to start:

    4. Lemmy know if you watch a few, which ones you like. Haven't seen em all myself. I'd be glad to turn someone onto something great like TZ. And especially a man of discerning tastes like yourself.

    5. I'm in on my own tonight, it's a toss-up between the new issues of Viz and Fortean Times, some more scanning for the next article, or Twilight Zone...

      Been a hard day at work, so'll probably opt for the latter - I'll let you know how it goes!