Saturday, 10 September 2016

We have calamari and macaroni

Credit where credit's due and all that... For a publishing house whose main output was of the top shelf variety, Galaxy Publications put a LOT of effort into their comic-based endeavours, which would maybe explain why it's taken me so long to cover all of their various "things" - Almost two years so far (!!!). There was the "Trying-to-be-OZ-in-the-Eighties" Brain Damage, the "Initially-ripping-off-Viz-but-then-turning-into-something-halfway-decent" Gas, the "We've-got-some-bits-left-over-from-the-other-comics-so-let's-put-them-in-a-new-comic" Elephant Parts... And then there was this one:

A bit more like what would be expected, right? From the people that brought you Fiesta, here's Fiesta Comic Strip. Emphasis on STRIP because it's got nipples in it and stuff, get it? Needless to say but I'll say it anyway, this one has a big fat NSFW warning on it.

I will say that before I got hold of any issues of this one, I was sort-of excited. Since 1981, Fiesta has been home to Hunt Emerson and Tym Manley's Firkin, one of the all-time greats when it comes to foul-mouthed felines in comics. Maybe the contents of Fiesta Comic Strip would be of the same calibre? Well, no. But for the most part it's better than anything that appeared in the Sunday Sport Adult Celebrity Comic. So... celebrate?

Like the rest of Galaxy's comics, Comic Strip had its first issue in 1989 (edited by Ross Gilfillan throughout its life). Also like the others, and unlike most other Viz-ish comics, there's a lot of the "continuing serial" variety of comics in this thing - each issue leading off with The Percy Patrol, drawn by Art Weatherall, the first episode of which is presented here:

Don't worry, it gets better. A bit. I'll just share Mr. Weatherall's other contribution here, XTV, complete with a reference to that child-molesting necrophiliac everyone used to like:

Oh! My sides. I did say it gets better, but first, it's going to get worse. A LOT worse. As in, the triple-titled Model Behaviour: Bad-Arsed Belinda, The Muckiest Model by David Steed:

That's some Jockstrap-level writing right there.

Albert MacBean - Geriatric Sex Machine by "Dixie" is a few steps in the right direction - at least it's more than a collection of bad drawings swearing at each other:

And we're in Carry On territory with The Pratts of Queer St. by Les Lilley and Pete Field:

Fiesta Comic Strip is all over the place in stylistic terms, which is no bad thing. I'm not amongst them but there must be a fair few people out there who enjoy the likes of Fanny Hill by... John Gleland? I can't read that signature too well - it MIGHT be a pseudonym for Ron Tiner. That's my suspicion.

I'm only giving you the first two pages of that four-part episode - I'm as anti-censorship as they come but I think I'm going to draw the line at posting comics of pre-pubescent types doing certain things (this was obviously okay to sell in newsagents in 1989, but not here).

Getting off my high horse now. Look at the tits on that and so on. Of COURSE this one has photo stories as well:

Again, this one goes on for another two pages, it's fairly obvious where it's going though so we'll just be moving on...

How about some familiar names? Larry's here, for instance. As in, Terence "Larry" Parkes:

As well as Tony Husband, on both illustration and writing duties, formerly with Her In't House:

And latterly in partnership with "him from Oink!", JT Dogg:

There is SOME good stuff in here, at least in visual terms. Orgasma by Clive Collins for example - it's got a wonderful pop art look about it:

Disappointingly, when I had a look to see what Clive's up to nowadays, I found out he was behind those abysmal 118 comics that used to be in the Metro. Ah well.

And in terms of looking great despite itself, there's Jayne Blonde by Danny Byrne:

Mr. Byrne also contributes a "Position of the Month" to each issue - an example of which is, naturally, shown here:

Russ Nicholson presents a predictably "naughty" take on something that was popular at the time, and makes it look good in the process, with Hill Street Blue:

And we finish (sort of) with something I actually like - so much so that here's two episodes of it instead of just the one - The Ministry, by Stuart Gibbins (maybe three people remember him for that Where's Willy? book he did in 1994? No?):

In true testament to the "Sex Sells" school of thinking, Fiesta Comic Strip lasted a fair while longer than some of its contemporaries - at least sixteen issues. Here's as much of a "cover gallery" as I can do with what I have:

Fiesta Comic Strip then. Not as good as I hoped it would be, but at the same time not as bad as it could've been. Don't worry, we're STILL not done with Galaxy's comics just yet...

Bonus extra bit
As a "reward" for those that made it this far, a "punishment" for those that have had enough of this sort of thing but are still reading out of politeness, and a "treat" for anyone who hasn't seen it before, presented below is an episode of the previously-mentioned Firkin, by Hunt Emerson and Tym Manley. If you like what you see, know that there's a couple of "collections" of Firkin's adventures available from certain retailers. This one here's from the one that Virgin put out in 1985... Enjoy?


  1. Call me a dirty get but I enjoyed that. Apart from the cameo by old Jimmy of ironic that panel is today!

    1. Okay - you're a dirty get ;)
      Glad you liked it though - there's at least some seriously good artistic skills in there. Ahem.

    You've gone TOO far this time!
    ( Only joking! Ha ha! )
    No, you're right, some excellent art in there.
    Gotta say I did like the Percy Patrol, for some reason?
    Seriously, another thorough post again, Ryan!
    Sorry I'm late again, but when am I not these days?

    1. You're only a few days late...

      And rest assured, I've got stuff MUCH filthier than this, ha!

  3. Im a huge firkin fan. I’m just dropping a message to ask if anyone has good quality scans from fiesta. There must be a ton of pages, he started appearing in the 80s to sometime in the present...anyone?

  4. Virgin Books and Knockabout both did Firkin collections, and Knockabout also did at least five issues of a Firkin comic in 1989/1990 - those are how I've read most of my Firkins, as you'd imagine it's a bit of a tombola buying second-hand Fiesta mags!