Monday, 21 December 2015

Festivities at the Old Piano Factory

Since 1976, Leo Baxendale's first Willy The Kid Book has gone mostly unchallenged as being amongst the funniest books ever written, and I say that completely without hyperbole. Filled with trained goldfish, vampire cows, plenty of Daleks, a family of Loch Mess Monsters, a Nazi witch, progressive attitudes toward racism, leering snowmen, hidden cunts, demonic bus drivers, a dwindling zoo staff, anally-violated elephants, King Kong, flying teeth, and enough background jokes to keep you reading and re-reading for years... It really ought to be a staple part of ANYONE's bookshelf.

And of course, it being an annual, there's a Christmassy story in it too - a proper "festive spirit" one too - presented below for all to see. Enjoy the festivities if you're of the sort that likes to do that kind of thing...

And... That's it for 2015 around these parts. Apologies for the quiet year, it's been a year unlike any other... Better than last year, certainly, still had its share of disasters of tragedies (the death of my hairy little flatmate a month before his 14th birthday, the loss of my job and a return to the pills), but the good parts of it make up for all that. "Positive outlook" and so on. I met AJ Smith (of Khaki Shorts fame) in real life, I got addicted to Wine Gums, I briefly enjoyed the life of a family man, and through the magic of streaming (see films without paying for them, magic!), I saw more "new" films this year than I ever have in any other year. I also got a new job (of sorts) which pays less than my last one, but allows for country-wide travel (potentially further), working with people I've known longer as friends than colleagues, and comes with a whole heap of free time.

For 2016, I'm aiming for maybe a new "thing" on this blog at least every two weeks, be sure to pull me up on it if I start slacking (which I inevitably will). Expect bits about, and not limited to, Gas, Talking Turkey, Elephant Parts, Square-Eyed Stories, The Bedsit Journal, Issue 2, Toxic Pie, The Beezer and Topper (combined), Bananas, Gag, Goofy Funnies, Comic Strip Comic, Sweet FA, UT, Bugs & Drugs, C'mon Ref!, Filth, Oh My!, March Hare Komix, Sboncyn, Itchy Teeth, Kack, Z, Gangaman Presents, Spoof... and much much more!

Until then, best wishes to anyone who's reading, and if you've never had eggnog before, make this year the year to change that. It's magic in a bottle.


  1. A brilliant Annual. I gave one to a friend when it first came out and he laughed so hard he believes it was the cause of his appendicitis, which suddenly assailed him after reading it. Would love to see an omnibus, Annual-sized edition containing all three books (even 'though I've got them), rather than the oversized, selective deluxe edition that Bax sells for about £100 or £150 (forget which). Merry Christmas, THB, and have a great New Year.

    1. You too, Kid - and a happy Hogmany to you too! 2016 WILL be the year I finally visit Scotland...

      Also, me too with regards to the Willy The Kid omnibus. It's a lovely looking thing that Leo's selling, but I do wonder if ANYONE has actually bought one?

      He could include Thrrp as a "bonus" section at the end of it... Knockabout would be up for publishing that, I reckon.

  2. Merry Xmas mate! I actually bought the second Willy The Kid (one with the home-made rollercoaster, brilliant) at a school jumble sale for something like 20p. Then left it on a shelf somewhere, happens to all my favourite books, I've lost 2 copies of the Sleeze Brothers collection over the years, and 1 David Boring. Knowing how much Willy is worth is a bit of a shocker.

    I went to Scotland once. I was in Carlisle with a mate. We got the bus to Scotland, cos never been there, had a whisky in Gretna Green. Soon as we got off the bus, literal Scotch Mist everywhere, couldn't see your hand in front of your face. Back to Carlisle and it's clear again. Goes to show!

    Sorry about your misfortune, but this new job sounds like it's got much more potential for wacky adventures. And love's over-rated, bitter old cynics have a much easier time. You'll be right!

    And, er, any chance of them Gutted scans this year? Just sayin'

    1. Thanks, Mr. Greenaum! Those Gutted scans are a massive whoops - sorry about that. Got the whole lot of them now as well, so I'll try and make it a "background project" whilst doing everything else...

      Those Willy books, yeah, shocking how much they go for, especially the third one. I had the first one as a nipper, lost it somehow (like a lot of people tend to), found it fifteen years later in a used book shop. Found the second one in a different shop in that same week, which was nice. Now I've got two of each, and two of them, happily, are falling apart so it makes scanning them easier.

      The "Scotch Mist" is one of the things I'm looking forward to. Hoping to bag myself a wild haggis as well, and maybe spotting Nessie if I have time (Glasgow's probably hours away from Loch Ness, but there you go).

      The new job SHOULD provide plenty wackiness-opportunities, yeah, and I'm not quite giving up on the other stuff yet... Been a good Christmas for one thing.

      Have a good new year, matey!

  3. Very late getting caught up with all the blogs, Ryan, but just letting you know that I'm still following! :-)

    1. Glad to know it, Mr. Pitt!

      Currently in the process of "getting my shit together", aiming to set aside a couple of hours for this place every day - may as well make use of the time while I've got it...