It would've been nice to've had this one done by Saturday, but there we go. Another delayed celebration it is. The next few things getting "looked at" are from that Scotland place, but don't worry - these're nothing like that last Scottish comic seen here. So get your Irn Bru ready - we're starting with...
Started in Glasgow in 1989, by misters David Alexander and Tommy Sommerville, Electric Soup seems like so much more than the Viz wannabe that the media made it out to be. So people aren't allowed to make grown-up comics with rude words in them because there's already one of those? Balls to that! I'm feeling a bit guilty now with that "Viz-A-Likes" words I've been using, but a lot of them undeniably ARE cash-ins... It's just that a lot of comics sprung up around the same time, and people like to encapsulate things, so that's what's getting done. Electric Soup is one of the good ones, so let's just leave it at that. After looking at some pages from it, obviously.
How's THAT for an explosion sound effect?
Quitely's other main contribution to Electric Soup is Wendy the West-End Trendy, one of those celebrity-bashing things that've been popular ever since doodling was invented:
Electric Soup's very much a "core team" kind of affair, with just a handful of folk doing the whole thing, unlike the free-for-all disasters like Smut, which helps a lot, obviously. Here's a few bits from co-founder Tommy Sommerville, starting with Rocky McBlaw - it's by-the-numbers drugs humour, but at least it's funny to look at:
Equally yawn-making is the overheard pub joke illustrations of Jack Russell:
Fun information - another of Jack Russell's adventures was completely ripped off and redrawn by Jockstrap!
The more imaginative stuff is obviously more fun, so here's Adolf Busturd, the traffic warden:
And Electric Soup's resident superhero, Helmetman, with his giant, shape-shifting member:
One of my personal favourite comic people is Shug McKenna (aka. Shug 90) - there's a fair amount of his stuff in Electric Soup, including Polis Story:
The Bears fae Brigton:
And the utterly helpless Wildebeests:
And just because I like those doomed animals so much, here's another of their adventures:
Arguably the centrepiece of each issue of Electric Soup is David Alexander's own creation, The MacBam Brothers, Scotland's answer to Gilbert Shelton's Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, although Alexander himself says it's more inspired by The Young Ones. None of that matters, because each one's a mini-masterpiece - be it a one-page thing like this:
Or a multi-page epic like this one:
Of course, nothing's ever perfect - try as I may, I just can't get any enjoyment out of Billy Pope (which I THINK is drawn by Padam Singh?):
Same goes for Spandex Sue, Capital Cabs and Wur Malkie:
On the other hand, a lot of (somehow?) enjoyment can be had from the deranged Sandwitch Lotter by "Kev" someone-or-other. I've seen that hand before, but I just can't place it!
Likewise, we have the mild-mannered Tunnock McNulty, by "Gerbil":
After seven issues, John Brown of John Brown Publishing (them who made Viz the success it was) was shown a copy of Electric Soup whilst in Glasgow, and loved it, sending it out all over the country and pushing sales into the 50,000+ mark. This obviously made for fancier printing, meaning fancier covers like this one:
And even fancy BACK covers too, such as this bit of fantastic-ness:
John Brown admitted that there may be problems with the language used in Electric Soup, but it was the Scottish-ness that made it what it was - so the first "national" issue included this helpful thing at the start, for all those soft southern bampots:
Nothing lasts forever, mind, and Electric Soup was finished after issue 17, although a tenth "Anusversary" issue was made in 1999:
And... That's that! What happened next is fairly interesting, so "stay tuned" or whatever. We'll finish here with another mighty MacBams adventure...
Oh, anyone got an Electric Soup T-shirt knocking about? I'd love that Wildebeest one there!
And one more thing - for those that don't like getting their fingers dirty on eBay but would like to see more of this kind of thing, there's these two books available:
Both fantastic, and both available from Braw Books. Get them!