Here's a lesson in why setting out to initially do things in a chronological order was a doomed task from the start... As in, I had this "piece" all ready and prepared when I found out that this particular publication is/was the "sequel" to another one. No worries, I'll just have to shift things around a bit and "do" Gutter after this one - which is called Gutted.
Get me and my fancy sample edition
The story goes that there was a comic called Gutter, itself an off-shoot of Zit - same publishers and everything (Humour Publications), and when things weren't going so well there Gutter was shut down and re-launched as Gutted, printed on cheap paper and using spot-colour throughout, and claiming "bizarre humour" as its selling point. Yep, it's rude comics having a go at surrealism, with mixed results.
Before I got hold of any issues of Gutted, I was informed that it was the equivalent of what you'd get if you could staple wank together - an understandable opinion when looking at lazily "random" bits like these:
Yes, that thing that Noel Fielding does nowadays, only on paper. I stand here today to say that despite such rubbish as this, I enjoyed reading the four issues of Gutted that I've acquired so far. I really have!
The "proper" first issue
Conceived and written mostly by Ged Backland and Shaun Taft (previously featured here within the pages of Igor), and lasting for... Maybe seven or eight issues? Beginning in 1992 anyway, and the only source I've found so far says it lasted for "about" eight issues, so that'll do for now. Let's have a peek at what else constitutes "bizarre humour", shall we?
By far the most prolific contributor to Gutted is Dave Iddon, whose Man Who Collects Eyeballs would go on to feature in Zit following the death of Gutted (even appearing on Zit the Video). This here is his first of many appearances:
Yep, why not give him two strips on one page?
That's Doctor Proctor underneath there, another regular Gutted character. Another issue has him inventing a teleporter, and he then appears on different pages all over the comic. In the seventh issue, he invents a "chaos generator", which turns out like a static Terry Gilliam animation, almost (probably the idea in mind at the time, anyway):
Gutted's usage of stock images continues throughout, as demonstrated here by Barry Freeman, along with a Don Martin-esque thing from Dave Iddon again:
The last of Iddon's somewhat regular characters is this devilish character:
And just while we're on the subject, sort of... Where can I get one of these?
Who bought them? Where are they all now? How come every last one of these comics had their own range of T-shirts?? Questions for another day and all that...
There's obviously more to Gutted than Dave Iddon, and here's some of it, beginning with something by staff-writer/co-founder Shaun Taft:
Those expletive-marks there (in place of "twat" I'm guessing?) give an opportunity for this bit of noteworthiness - there's hardly any swearing in Gutted, placing it around the level of Poot! in terms of... playful silliness? Will that do? Just thought it was worth mentioning.
Also from Shaun Taft, but drawn by Bernard Morris is this thing, which I'm only really including here because the last panel made me laugh a fair bit:
Ty Dalby is another frequent name appearing within Gutted:
And this page from him certainly befits the "bizarre humour" promised by the cover:
And speaking of the cover - good gravy, aren't these covers good??
Definitely of the "standing-out" variety, despite being mostly devoid of colour. Going for a Basil Wolverton look, perhaps? It works, is what I'm saying. You might also note that those covers mention interviews - these are played completely straight, and don't really fit in at all. Whatever helps to sell, I can only suppose.
The back covers, meanwhile, mostly feature "observations" by Dave Iddon (again), possibly of the sort that brought up that "stapled wank" accusation again:
Back inside we go now, with all sorts of recognisable names - we've got current Viz-man Lee Healy:
That pea house thing also appeared in Zit, word-for-word.
Former Smut/sometime Beano guy Nick Brennan:
The inimitable Phil Baber:
And of course, the omnipresent Nigel Maughan:
And just to prove that Barry Freeman's lack of artistic skills can still produce something hilarious, here's The Saint's Dad:
Well I like it anyway!
It's not all laughs though, and in the interests of balance may I present this obvious Viz reject by Andy Fraser:
As well as the mandatory "foul-mouthed parrot" characters, from Stuart Robinson:
Okay, Stuart redeems himself here with the fatalistic adventures of Jambo:
Depressed enough yet? Hold on, have some more:
Just getting you prepared for this thing by Gary Small - it's Young Steven! As in, the Smiths are depressingly awful and that's what I reckon of them besides maybe one song - but I'm sure the fans might enjoy this one:
This one's for you, Greenaum!
And there we go, that's Gutted - a pleasant enough surprise as far as I'm concerned, and from what I've seen of its predecessor a definite improvement over Gutter as well, as shall (eventually) be demonstrated. Not exactly "bizarre", but different enough to stand out. It's a goodie.
One last page now, by special request, sort of:
Always happy to oblige to any "requests" folk may have of these very particular comics.