Monday, 14 April 2014


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?

Friday, 4 April 2014

Apathetic Amphibian

Here's an odd one, stylistically at least. In the realm of Viz-inspired comics, Lazy Frog from Big Star Publishing is certainly... anomalous? Thematically it's identical, yes, but it LOOKS like nothing else I've seen within the "genre". 

Well, that cover's not exactly representative of what I'm on about, but hang in there. Okay, the first time I found Lazy Frog was on a trip to that London in 2002, and it was on the shelf of some swanky newsagent. Not the first issue, but the sixth issue. I enjoyed it enough at the time, but in the decade (and more!) since then I've only been able to find two more issues. And the only information concerning Lazy Frog on the whole of the Internet can be found in two paragraphs of one page:

Dave: You’ve sent me some of your recent work. Well, fairly recent. I didn’t know of the existence of Big Star Publishing and here are two titles from them. Lazy Frog is a kind of West Country Viz with lots of rude words and sheep-shagging. It’s about ninety percent comics, the strips variously signed by Shaky Kane, Shaky K and Joe Klutz. Time to come clean I think. This looks like a one-man show to me. But can I reassure Vikki that all those French personal ads were not down to you? I can’t believe you came up with “Sacre Bleu, I appear to ‘ave fucked you up ze ass.”

Shaky: Again, an opportunity came my way. Uncle Al The Kiddie’s Pal was my character, along with The Tic-Toc Man. But the personal ads you’re talking about were down to the editor, Ian Porter. He must have thought it was a good idea at the time. His Smelliest Clown Lonely Heart page was funnier! And he actually put the damn thing out, so it’s hard to be too critical.

There we have it - the extent of the Internet's knowledge about Lazy Frog (besides a slight discussion on the matter here) - it's a two-man job consisting of the artist, Shaky Kane (real name Michael Coulthard, of Deadline, 2000AD and Bulletproof Coffin fame) and the editor, Ian Porter, who also put out the magazine and wrote most of the stuff in it. It lasted for at least six issues, beginning in 2001, and that's all we know. So what can I do? I can show some of its contents to anyone who might be interested, that's what!