Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Every year since 1995, or at least whenever I've remembered or been able to, I try and find/purchase Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, an annual anthology of "spooky" Simpsons comics. This year's was a bitter disappointment (in that it wasn't funny at all), but that's par for the course with The Simpsons these days.

Anyway, in that very first issue eighteen years ago, this page was in it:

That's Matt Groening listing a load of things that spooked him during his developing years. I'm going to have a go at doing that now! Probably the last opportunity I'll have to do something "thematic" for this month, so it's back to the comics after this. But just for now, here's as many things as I can remember that frightened, confused, perturbed or caused mild discomfort to me over the years...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Monster! Monster!

Don't suppose anyone remembers around this time last year? When I did a "feature" on the Children's Britannica Book of Ghosts? Well, I did, and now here's its counterpart/sequel - and it's all about monsters!

The REAL monster here is my inability to properly scan a hardback book held together with Sellotape, so expect slap-dash levels of image quality throughout.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

A comic not of sight or of sound but of mind

Seeing as it's October and all that, here's something slightly "spooky" yet still in fitting with the "main" theme of the "project" that's "been" going on "here" for the "past few" months. Sort of. It's an oddity, that's for sure - something that from the cover looks like a parody of The Twilight Zone, but is actually several outdated parodies of cult TV shows and a handful of Zit reprints.

It's... The Twilight Clone, from 1991, and helmed by Spit! contributor, Mr. Michael Hingley. I can't find ANY information on this one, anywhere, and found it by chance in a box full of 2000AD back issues in a second-hand "collector's emporium" in Manchester, sometime last year. Something tells me that The Twilight Clone had big ambitions, and maybe something came of it, who knows? If that "something" ever DID happen, it didn't survive up to the Internet age, so here it is.

And then later, when it gets dark, we go home.

I know I like to dream a lot
And think of other worlds that are not
I hate that I need air to breathe
I'd like to leave this body
And be free

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Specialist Adult Humour Periodical for the Lonely

Well look at this, more than one post in a month! Makes a nice change, a bit. This one's about a terrible, terrible, terrible comic called Spit! - I don't feel like smiling anymore.

Carry on, make yourself miserable...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Oops, and suddenly it's October. I was planning one more "rude" comic, then a clever segue sort of thing into some seasonal "spooky" stuff... If I get my arse into gear, it COULD still happen, but something presented itself this morning (or yesterday?) that couldn't be left languishing on the hard drive. It's this thing here:

An unpublished comic from Fleetway! Not the kind of thing any sensible comic-enjoyer should ignore, certainly not. According to a Mr. McScotty of the Comics UK forums, this was a mock-up of sorts, tried out on the kids of several Glasgow primary schools, around 1991-ish. It never went any further than that, but ask and you shall receive...

Over to Lew Stringer:

Oh No!! was the brainchild of cartoonists Dave King and Ian Ellery (hence the alias 'Ellery King') who had met with Fleetway to discuss packaging a new humour comic for them. Fleetway okayed the idea and Dave and Ian put together a 32 page dummy issue with contributions from many other creators including myself. 

Fleetway printed a very small run of the comic (perhaps about 200, I forget) and did some market research at schools. The reactions were very positive indeed. Oh No!! was totally different to any children's comic of the time. It had no house style, no adherence to formula, and was closer in style to Oink! but without the rude bits or pig theme. The fact that it did have its own identity is one thing that the kids liked. (For example, when asked to put the comic on top of other comics they thought were similar, the kids created a new space for it.) 

Everything was looking good. Dave and Ian even booked a hotel for us to have a pre-launch get together with all the other creators. Fleetway were keen to do this new comic. The mood at the pre-launch was very optimistic. 

And then things went pear-shaped. A change of management (I think this is when Egmont took over, - not 100% sure) suddenly put the project on hold. And it never happened. Not attributing any blame. It just wasn't the sort of comic the new owners wanted to do. They wanted licensed properties, not creator-owned new characters. 

It came so close though...

If copies are in circulation they must be the ones given to the school for market research or contributor's copies. It was never distributed to shops or to anyone outside of Fleetway & the research team. 

And now, just under a year after I first enquired about this oddity, along comes someone by the name of Alfie. He kindly scanned in his entire dummy copy for the folk of the forums to take a gander at, and now he's only gone and sent me some super-high-quality scans of it all. And here it is!