Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Fishmas!

Speaking honestly, 2013's been a bit of a shitter mostly. There were some good bits, definitely, but it's all been downhill since around September-ish, hence the general Scrooginess I've been feeling throughout December. HOWEVER, over the past two nights I've been visited by three spirits (well, two good friends and a sibling), and that "festive feeling" has finally arrived, sort of. So let's have one last thing before the 25th happens - The Trout Xmas Special!

How appropriate! One of those terrible Viz wannabes that's also Christmassy. This being the only issue of Trout that I have, it makes sense to look at it now, otherwise it'd mean waiting a whole year for the opportunity to arise again. And a lot of things can happen in a year - what if something should "happen"? The world would be denied knowing about the contents of this particular comic! And what a tragedy that would be etc.

Let's have some context first - this one's from Lancashire, 1990. And because it's from 1990, of course it has a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles "parody". It's by Bob Wayne, who seems to do the bulk of Trout's content:

And yes, it's from 1990, and it's also an "alternative" comic, so of course there's a bit that's having a go at Jeremy Beadle:

That one's by Chris Perkins - I'm sure I've seen his doodlings somewhere else, but I'm not about to go investigating at this time of night.

This being the Christmas Special, most of Trout's (assumingly) "regular" characters are put through some sort of Christmas adventure, beginning with the abysmal Gozzer - a badly-drawn, wholly unfunny, tortuously long (four pages!) strip with the worst ending imaginable for anything:

Wasn't THAT fun?

There's even a Trout nativity set included on the inside back cover:

More Christmas fun arrives courtesy of the depressingly typical Hard Bastard:

And things only get worse from there, as this little lot shows:

There's even room in there for a certain cartoonist who would later appear in Jockstrap:

Should any of these characters seem appealing to anyone, Trout clothing exists:

Well, the one with the fish on it is funny.

It's not 100% terrible though, as two strips in this thing gave me a bit of a chuckle - the first being Samantha's Box:

And the other being this Numskulls parody, titled The Dickheads:

The whole thing's sixty pages long, so at least there's a lot to get through, but this lot here are the only memorable parts. The rest of it's the usual rubbish you'd expect from something like this - "rude" parodies of Fireman Sam and Postman Pat, unfunny "10 Things You Never Knew About..." lists, various homophobic, xenophobic and sexist comics, fake adverts... Trout may well be the most typical of all the Viz rip-offs, and isn't really worth anyone's time, ever.

Still, with this being "the season" and all that, I don't want to end on a sour note, so I'll pretend that this thing on the back cover is the best thing I've ever seen:

Here's to all of you! Enjoy yourselves on Wednesday, or at least try to. And if you're feeling miserable after finding out that Trout exists, here's a great little festive cartoon that's been around since 1982, but I only saw it for the first time a few days ago...

Ziggy's Gift, from Tom Wilson, Richard Williams, Harry Nilsson and so on:

That's more like it!


  1. And a Merry Christmas to you from all of us at Biffo The Bear Enterprises.

  2. Ziggy's Gift is the bizzo. The ending always makes me cry.

  3. I really should comment on the Trout, shouldn't I?
    Misogyny + crap drawing + total lack of humour = bullshit.
    I seem to remember another comic from around this time that looked very similar to Trout called BLAG. One of the characters was 'Northern Git'. Good luck in tracking that one down, but knowing your tenacity it'll probably turn up in your local charity shop within seconds of me posting this!

    1. Your assumptions are true - I currently have three issues of BLAG, ho ho!

      Just from a glance it's already massively superior to Trout, in that it features Phil Baber, Kev Sutherland, and Dave Colton, along with some Alrdrige Pryor-type called Bertie Bullshitter. It's no masterpiece but it's no disaster either.