I had more ambition in 2020, I had hoped to post at least few times. Look how that turned out.
Anyway, less said about the past few months the better, this year’s (primary? only?) post is about the 1991 Comic Relief Comic, Wikipedia says this about it.
Various items of merchandise have been sold to promote and raise money for Comic Relief. In 1991, The Totally Stonking, Surprisingly Educational And Utterly Mindboggling Comic Relief Comic was published by Fleetway. Conceived, plotted and edited by Neil Gaiman, Richard Curtis, Grant Morrison and Peter K. Hogan, it featured contributions from a vast array of British comics talent, including Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Dave Gibbons, Mark Millar, Simon Bisley, Mark Buckingham, Steve Dillon, D’Israeli, Jamie Hewlett and Bryan Talbot. (Alan Moore, arguably Britain’s most famous comics writer, was not credited as working on the book having sworn never to work for Fleetway again, but was said to have worked with partner Melinda Gebbie on her pages.) The comic was unique in that it featured appearances by characters from across the spectrum of comics publishers, including Marvel and DC superheroes, Beano, Dandy, Eagle and Viz characters, Doctor Who, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in addition to a cavalcade of British comedy figures (both real and fictional). These were all linked by the twin framing narratives of the Comic Relief night itself, and the tale of “Britain’s meanest man” Sir Edmund Blackadder being persuaded to donate money to the event. The comic “sold out in minutes”, raising over £40,000 for the charity, and is now a highly prized collectors’ item.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comic_Relief#Merchandise
Highly prized collectors’ item isn’t really a term I would use to describe something you can get on ebay for a fiver but I digress. Please find below a few pics taken from the comic, as it’s not something likely to be reprinted.
As wiki says, there are two main stories running one about the studio set-up and another about Edmund Blackadder. Neither is particularly notable, Griff Rhys-Jones has been replaced with a Househead and his face is hinged, with tiny Griff trapped inside ala the Numbskulls. Said Househeads are described as projections from the darkside of human unconscious and show up in response to mean spirited times and huh, maybe take a deep look at your neighbours some time?
The other tale concerns a girl trying to make Edmund Blackadder laugh for a donation to Comic Relief, and both segments are interspersed with cameos and appearances from various comic characters & celebrities for want of a better description.
Yeah, thanks Melinda (and/or Alan).
This isn’t the worst caricature in the comic, there’s a couple of details in the background of a sequence about what I think is Richard E. Grant in Africa that’s pretty awful.
And no, it isn’t anthropomorphized Africa. Is this supposed to be Richard E. Grant? I’m not even sure and I’m hard pushed to identify the artist here. Might be a combination of artists on background and fore. Anyway, let’s not dwell too much on this. A selection of images from the comic can be found below. The plot wraps up a few pages before the end and Shaky Kane provides some out of place surrealism to cap it all off.
This is the start of the Blackadder sequence, Edmund looking remarkable Gervaisian here.
Finally settling the argument about the biggest chin in comics. It’s Brucie.
TMNT was initially marketed in the UK as Hero Turtles instead of Ninja, as it was aimed at kids and you couldn’t say things like Ninja in case they disappeared into the bushes and executed you.
Presumably Ben Elton had a sketch about sausages in student fridges, I can’t remember and I don’t really want to watch his old routines on youtube.
More guests, Alf Garnett recognisable from his drawing but Cliff clearly a bit harder to capture.
A sequence about alcohol advertising, from a campaign by Hofmeister Beer in the early 90s.
What is odd here is that the Daleks are only appearing as a reference in the typeface, whereas K9 & the Cybermen get their respective creators approvals. Did Terry Nation not want the Daleks appearing in a charity comic in 1991? There have been Gay Daleks & Pakistani Daleks, but charitable ones are not OK? (I assume it’s more likely this was a note missed, or a letter lost rather than any actual malice.)
Must admit to having never really watched Coronation Street, but the idea of the Rover’s Return as a sentient object like Danny the Street from Morrison’s Doom Patrol does appeal to me.
I also received the Poll tax for my 18th Birthday as Thatcher decided to roll out this tax in Scotland a year before the rest of the country. I don’t think the Conservatives have ever really recovered in Scotland from this.
Anyway, if you’re read this far, the whole issue can be found here.