Here we are now... Part Five (or six or seven or eight or whatever) of the multi-part "look at" the various adult comics that Galaxy Publications "put out" in the late Eighties and early Nineties. And how about that, it's December and we've got to a title with "turkey" in its name. Talking Turkey is what this one is:
This one started in 1991, and lasted for eight issues under the editorship of Ross Gilfillan - and I'll get this bit out of the way first: Talking Turkey has stuffing so far up its own arse that it's more or less inside out. The letters pages are full of the sycophantic drivel that can bring vomit to the mouth, and there's not even all that much original content in there. There's a BIT, obviously, but mostly Talking Turkey is reprints of American underground stuff, translations of European comics and highlights from Knockabout's Crack Editions. But for all of that... I really, really, REALLY like it. Each issue is 48 pages, only one of which (the back cover) is an advert. I'd be all over it if something like this was being printed today - it's best to think of Talking Turkey not as an "original title" in the grand scheme of it all, but as a "best of" in "alternative" (urgh) comics in general... Shall we begin?
And we shall begin with the Americans - there's not a lot of them in here, but what there is is good at least. We have Ted Richards with his Forty Year Old Hippie, originally published in 1976-ish:
And Gilbert Shelton in two flavours - Fat Freddie's Cat:
And Not Quite Dead:
"Timeless", as they say, right?
In terms of "home-grown" reprints, there's a LOT of Graham Higgins in here, which is no bad thing. Obviously I haven't read everything ever, but the parts that I know are reprints for sure are these next two things...
Yarns of Death and Guts has previously appeared in Knockabout #2, in 1980:
Whilst Wiffly Tales appeared in Knockabout #8:
Okay, I'm taking the anorak off for now... There's other things in Talking Turkey besides comics too. For one, there's The Wit and Yes, The Wisdom of John Dowie - in which comedy-man John Dowie takes over two pages and puts his stand-up routine into text. It doesn't really work, lots of paragraphs of one-liners with a loose bit of context and all that. Tym Manley, long-time writing partner of Hunt Emerson, has a two-page "column" in most issues as well, in which he riles against political correctness, the European Union, television... Some things never change I suppose?
There's also photograph-based "fun":
Better than those things are Tony Husband's interviews with nonexistent people - from his talk with legendary guitarist Trigg Devon:
"I could do anythin' man. Jimi came up and said I was crap. Can you dig it? Jimi was a jealous bastard, man. I know how he died... yeah... that's why I'm here, man, hidin' because I know how Jimi died. Jim Morrison said him and Elvis will do me if I tell."
And so on. There's also a "Meet the cartoonist" deal which only lasted for one issue... I'd liked to've seen more of these:
That's Stuart Gibbins there, who we previously met in Fiesta Comic Strip - in the case of Talking Turkey, Gibbins has the six-issue spanning Carpentry For Beginners:
And once that storyline was finished, he carried on with things like this:
Let's see, some more "original content" now... Wilbur Dawbarn's in there:
As is David Haldane:
Paul Cemmick with his almost Disney-quality stuff:
And Borin Van Loon with more of his collage things that previously filled so many pages of Brain Damage:
Speaking of Brain Damage, Talking Turkey is mercifully light on the politics - the only glaringly obvious example being this collaborative effort from Gilfillan, Hunt Emerson and Euan Smith:
And while we're being all familiar here, there's plenty of Phil Baber in Talking Turkey, which is always a bit of joy and so on:
That last one there, titled Turkey Tales isn't a one-off - that's a whole series, which besides this one is usually done by Hunt Emerson - two of those are here for all to see:
Emerson's own Citymouth is also reprinted in most issues:
Back to Graham Higgins now, with a character that could be considered one of maybe three or four "regular characters" within Talking Turkey - the eloquent, eccentric, billionaire sentient fork known as Rex Splendor:
Higgins also brings detective-based japes with Bradley Hadleigh:
Whilst Mr. Editor himself, Ross Gilfillan has this "clever" Sherlock Holmes jobby, drawn by Art Weatherall:
And now we get to the most interesting parts of Talking Turkey, that being its many European and Scandinavian translation jobs - it's these that are what makes Talking Turkey worth buying for if you ever get the opportunity.
There's stuff from Belgium's Kamagurka:
Sweden's Olle Berg:
And Carali's older brother, Èdika:
Personally, I can't get enough of Èdika - his "stories" don't go anywhere, yet they're like animated cartoons to look at. And even though it's mostly visual, it's always a treat to find his stuff translated into English. Translated Èdika can also be found in one or two issues of Knockabout, one (or perhaps more) issue of Snarf, and not very many other places (to my knowledge), leaving the eight issues of Talking Turkey the largest amount of English-language Èdika that there is... And just to prove a point, presented below is all the Talking Turkey-based Èdika that there is - the largest amount of English-language Èdika on the Internet!
Son, Sea and Sex:
The Summer Holidays:
Vengeance is Mine, Sayeth the Lord:
The sharp-eyed/patient amongst you might have noticed the different-coloured pages there - just like another of Galaxy's titles, Gas, Talking Turkey sticks to a "one-colour-per-issue" printing method, just so you know.
And that's about it for Talking Turkey - infuriatingly smug, but there's no denying the "quality" of the stuff in there. I think. Cover gallery, did someone say?
There's still one more title in Galaxy's range of comics, before moving on to what could be considered the "sequel" to this lot...