Friday, 24 October 2014

Flesh-Freezing Frolics

The next article/write-up sort of thing's taking a LOT longer to put together than I thought it would, so, before October disappears like so many Benjamin Bathursts, here's something "spooky". And sort of appropriate too, in that it's a horror comic from 1992, published by Kev Sutherland's UT Productions, the company that put out such comics as Ut, Kack and Gag (articles on which are definitely on the way!). It's got, possibly, the best title a horror comic has ever had:


Experience terror the likes of which you've never imagined by carrying on with the reading...

Our first horrific tale's title lies in the punchline, with this piece written by Sutherland and drawn by Michael Salter (who previously appeared in the pages of Blag):

Next up, Nigel Maughan brings us a scientific look at decapitation - it's nice to see the details of his drawings on a bigger scale, rather than the one-page things we're used to:

A good old-fashioned cannibalism yarn courtesy of John Watkiss now:

I'm coming clean now - I don't know enough about the history of horror comics (or non-humour comics in general) to make any comparisons between Bloody Hell and that which it's paying homage to - but from what I do know, there's a LOT more individual stories in here than in your typical horror title - fourteen of them across forty-eight pages (plus some mucky ads). So, there's a bit of information at least. 

More pants-shitting now, with Meadowmoss, written by Steve Noble and drawn by Nigel Kitching (of Sonic The Comic fame!):

Notice it says "Part 1" under the title of that one? And there's a couple more in Bloody Hell that are also first parts... And yet as far as I can tell, there was only ever one issue of Bloody Hell published. I'd love to be corrected on that one, but for now we're only going by assumptions. The evidence for further issues isn't looking good.

Here's some fatalistic fun now, from D'Israeli D'Emon D'Raughtsman (aka Matt Brooker, of 2000 AD and Sandman fame):

There's a couple of strips in here attributed to the scripting hand of a Mr. VK Lundsfeather, about whom I can find no information, anywhere. I'm assuming it's a pseudonym of Kev Sutherland's, because that's what all my research is pointing to. It being an almost-anagram of "Sutherland" is a bit of a give-away, but it's nice to think there's at least a BIT of mystery to this life. Anyway, this first one's illustrated by Sutherland, and it's one of those previously mentioned "first-parters":

This unfinished Sinnerhound story is also available in digital form, along with a second "complete" adventure, for a nice cheap price if you're the type who's capable of enjoying comics in a non-paper format.

The other one from the "mysterious" Lundfeather is this Spiritualist detective thing, drawn by John Erasmus (who did Accident Man for the wonderfully un-PC weekly, Toxic back in the early Nineties):

Mr. Erasmus got to use his colouring-in pens as well, on the back cover with this grisly historical bit:

The last page of Bloody Hell is titled Short Sharp Shocks, in which readers are invited to come up with something scary in a quarter of a page. One of the other reasons I'm hoping that there was more than one issue of this thing, as this is a GOOD IDEA:

One last thing now, if you haven't already had more horror than you can handle. My personal favourite bit, it's Kev Sutherland's own "modern" version of Mr. Punch:

Don't have nightmares and so on.


  1. I actually find this so much more inspired than a glut of the adult humour titles some of the contributors have worked on. The closest British influential reference I can attribute to this is possibly "Scream"?

    I either missed this one or passed it up at the time which is a shame because it looks promising, many of the artists work is far suited to this style of comic than the adult humour market and it has a great title too.

    The main thing which seems to let it down(that I can see) is the logo/font for the excellent title of the comic on the cover, it is far too bland. It would've looked great with either a dripping font or something shattered/distorted.

    A shame it only lasted the one issue(if indeed it did)

    1. Fair point about the logo, certainly - they could've really gone to town with something there.

      I just like how it's a humour comic with a "theme", doesn't happen often. The Bog Paper had "toilets" as its theme, and that terrible, terrible Sunday Sport one had "celebrity" as a theme, whilst Brain Damage seems to have a different theme for each issue. It's just nice to have a bit of "structure" every so often, I suppose.

      Just learnt from Facebook in the last few hours that Mr. Sutherland wasn't too keen on "Bloody Hell" as a name - I think it's fantastic!

  2. I'm in total agreement about the title. Another one I never knew of. Keep 'em coming!

  3. Hi, just discovered your ace blog. Wish I'd found it earlier as I helped put together a horror anthology for kids and had a list of inspirations but had never heard of Bloody Hell.
    Will enjoy catching up with your blog!

    1. Thanks, Paul! Enjoy whatever else you "discover" here.

      A horror anthology for kids sounds interesting, is it archival stuff or new stuff? Definitely seems like something I'd enjoy.

  4. It's all new stuff. We put out 2 issues and are thinking about doing more.... maybe :)
    You can see if any of it's your cup of tea here
    All the best!

    1. From the pictures on that tumblr, I THINK I've encountered some of those artists before. And an endorsement from Graham Linehan of all people!

      Just bought the PDF version, waiting for a link or whatever to be sent to me now. I'll be sure to let you know what I think, sounds like fun though.

    2. Aw, cool, cheers for the interest.
      I'm replying from the comfort of my bed or I'd check on the link for you - many Boo acc isn't on my phone. My co-editor in crime might have already sent you it though.
      Hope you enjoy it!

    3. I hope to enjoy it as well!

      Still not here, but I'm a patient type, no hurry and all that.

    4. Just had a word with my co-editor (which makes it sound a far fancier set up than it is!) and he tells me he sent a link for a PDF sale today so hope you got it now. Let me know if you're still having to be patient and I'll sort it out. Cheers!

    5. It's here, and is downloaded! I'll get to reading shortly - I could do with some kind of tablet device really, as it's not really the same reading horror slouched over a laptop. I should be in an armchair by the fire with lightning outside and so on.

    6. Excellent!
      The right setting for reading horror is very important, hope there's still something to enjoy even if the setting isn't quite right!

    7. Just finished it...

      The piper story was a fun bit of body horror, the "dreams becoming reality" thing was good (especially the spider thing blocking the corridor), but the thing with the little blue beetle... WOW, that one's creepy! Seems like it's based on an old folk tale, certainly, but everything about it seemed a bit "not right", if you know what I mean? Other worldly eeriness, that sort of thing. Definitely the highlight of the whole thing, good one on putting it together!

    8. Well I'm obviously glad my strip got a positive mention! That first dream (the colourful swirly thing) was a reoccurring one of mine, but the whole thing was a nod to the Amicus film from the 60s and 70s.
      The beetle strip got quite a few positive mentions along with a few 'is is a bit much for kids?' comment - which is exactly what we wanted!
      Really pleased you enjoyed it!

    9. I love those Amicus films!

      Just done a bit of a "plug" for BOO on the Comics UK forums, see what happens there, eh?

    10. Yeah, there's some great Amicus stuff - probably not wise of me to squeeze a couple of fake death stories and a "we're all really dead' ending into 4 pages but I had to give it a go!
      Just had a look at the forum and really appreciate you giving us a plug.
      Did I mention that the first issue got shortlisted for the best kids comic at BCAs at Thought Bubble? There was only us and 4 others to get that far so I was pretty chuffed.
      Here's couple of pics from the 2 strips I did for the latest issue
      Cheers again for the kind words and support!

    11. I like that second one... Someone who's had their head smashed off by a rock, right?

      At a guess (and if I'm wrong, here's an idea) - a puzzle page, with multiple chalk outlines, and you have to figure out how each unfortunate sod met their end?

      Congratulations on the nomination, by the way!

    12. Cheers! Sadly we didn't win, but I got to give a talk to about 90 kids about the comic and the stuff that inspired it at Leeds City Hall. Nice to see so many kids into comics.
      Not far off with the guess, here's the previous panel for a bit of context
      The whole thing is basically a bunch of scenes of unpleasant goings on at a fairground. Would've liked to have done puzzles and the like and that's a cool idea - maybe if we do another issue.

    13. Well, a nomination's good enough - and hey, guess what? I went to Manchester today, and Travelling Man had "Die! Boo! Die!" in stock! So I have that now, and am just about to settle down to read it.

    14. Hey, that's good to hear! Bit of a change from the othe issue, hope you enjoyed it.

    15. I did, I certainly did...

      Thought the first page story would've worked better without the second page (although the monster IS a good-looker!), Simon Gane's "Granny Annex" is a BEAUTIFUL looking thing, Tummy Bug's a great story (this one seems the most like the old EC horror comics), "Don't Pick It!" had me laughing a fair bit, Donya Todd's page is another good-looking one, your own "Happy World" and zombie dressing-up guides are great (especially the hall of mirrors), "The Fetch" is wonderfully creepy...

      Really enjoyed it! I'll give the pair of them a "proper review" here in the future - moving on to small-press stuff once I've finished the 1990s adult titles you see. There's a lot to do!

    16. Aw, cool. So pleased it's gone down well. Look forward to seeing a post on it when you get the chance. Also looking forward to seeing small press posts - again, when you get the chance:)

  5. At least one of the above artist did "Horror Mood" magazines...
    That was the earlier 70's... a fun post , good Sir....
    Thank you for pointing this out to me...

    1. Interesting, which ones? Never heard of that magazine, one to look up!

  6. Reviving an old thread to say - I do recall Kev F doing an EC-type strip for one publication that involved a gluttonous Roman Senator type killing and eating his enemies, only to have their vengeful zombified remains arise from his vomitorium to finally deal with him. It seems that it didn't appear in Bloody Hell, despite seeming a natural fit for such a publication. Did it perhaps end up in UT or similar? Speaking of which, when are we going to get a full piece on UT?

    1. Doesn't sound familiar, but it DOES sound brilliant!

      UT is the next one to be covered, just as soon as I get out of the rut of various ailments I've found myself in over this last year...