Friday, 19 December 2014

Cruck Fistmas!

Well, the festive season is almost upon us, so what better time to look back at a few bits and pieces from a comic I published between 2002 and 2004? Here we go, then, with a peek inside some of the seven issues of Breakdown, beginning with this delightful festive scene from issue two...

What else does Christmas mean? Charity singles, of course, and this was addressed in issue seven...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's the centre pages pull-out poster from issue two...

Some silly gags from issue four...

Jerry Winston looked a bit different back then, and so did his band, as this issue three extract shows...

Sitcom Simon dragged us back to the seventies on the back cover of issue two...

Talking of the seventies, issue six had a lovely free gift - a Goodies badge which I designed and had printed up myself!

Des O'Horror suffered the indignity of being kicked off BBC3 in issue four...

And finally, simply because it's never appeared on this blog until now, the cover of the final issue, number seven. I was never happy with the shade of green, but that was the printer's fault - nothing to do with me! Fair enough, I could have had a reprint done, but that would have cost money I simply didn't have to spare!

Well, there it is - a taste of Breakdown. And that'll be the last post on this blog until after Christmas, so have a good one, unless you're one of those tiresome trolls from you-know-where, in which case I suggest you repair to your domicile and retrieve the receptacle containing the apparatus commonly used for polishing footwear!

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Happy days are here again...

 For a while I was seriously contemplating calling a halt to this blog because of all the negative attention I've been receiving... but then I thought bollocks. I'm not going to start minding my Ps and Qs because some mingy little twat with a chip on his shoulder drags his sorry arse over to my corner of cyberspace to piss and moan whilst scratching bits of dried lentils out of his fucking ironic beard! On with the frolics!

 Prospective cover design.

Strip extract.

Just because.

Recurring characters.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Bad influence

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Thursday Night Film Club

There's one more page of this left to draw. Believe it or not, every single word of this is based on entirely true events.

While I'm at it, have this credits page...

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Learning from the masters (continued) ...

Folks, I'm really sorry if this is getting old and if you came here expecting to see new artwork of some kind only to be confronted by a wall of text, but this tedious back-and-forth between myself and someone who quite obviously considers himself an expert on comedy has really gone beyond a joke... not that said 'expert' would know a joke if it shoved itself up his arse!

Pete Prodge, AKA Pete Thomas, has just had this to say about me on YouTube. A lesson in comedy, if you will, from an entirely humourless man who brays endlessly about his gobsmacking achievements, how much money he's making, how many Twitter followers he's got, how he single-handedly got Dapper Laughs pulled from ITV2, how Anglia was really shit compared to Central... well, you get the picture. Yet Prodge's one true claim to fame - apart from all the work he insists he's done for multi-national companies, organising Tiswas theme nights and doing open-spots in dreary pubs, of course - is dressing in a powder blue rabbit suit on the Dick and Dom show, which in terms of global recognition doesn't even place him on the same hallowed level as this mistake of God. Here it is...
How can you not realise that Jerry Sadowitz portrays himself as a massive loser?
The massive gap between positive and negative.This is why you fail at comedy.

What started this shit? Prodge and another of his hwa-hwa-hwa hipster 'meedja' chums were bleating about how inappropriate it was for the aforementioned 'Dapper Laughs' to do jokes about rape. Even though those jokes were no worse (at least in terms of content, they were far worse in terms of quality) than similar asides from the original Sultans of Sleaze, Derek and Clive (check their 'Parking Offence' routine), or Jerry Sadowitz's assertion that 'I love women so much, I rape them'. I pointed out that they were probably being a wee bit hypocritical, since, like all full-time seekers of titillation enjoying a communal wank over a snuff film, they absolutely love Sadowitz. Don't get me wrong, I loved him myself, once. Then I grew the fuck up.

Pete Prodge explains comedy to me. In his dreams.

For what it's worth, I had a brief (four years) but very viable career as a stand-up comedian, as in getting PAID for it, doing it for a living. Prodge claims he's a comedian, yet all he has actually done is get up on the stage in shabby pubs during open mic nights at the behest of his braying mates, doing the kind of jokes any silly sod can find on Sickipedia. There is a slight difference. He delights in pointing out that my stage act circa 1994 was indebted to Mike Reid, but I have never denied that. Reid was a fantastic performer and the closest thing southern English club comedy ever had to a Bernard Manning or a Jimmy Jones, and I adopted a 'blue' act out of necessity, because I couldn't get bookings in my home town otherwise. I was prevented from travelling further afield by family commitments. None of this matters to Prodge, of course; as long as he's right about everything (in his own mind) and can point his nose-picking finger in my direction whilst braying "Hwa hwa, fackin' loser!" to his equally vile chums, he's happy. I'm confident that he would have crapped bricks if he'd had to face some of the audiences, and indeed some of the venues, that I had to face.
To do true comedy, you need to realise that any sane audience loves seeing arseholes FAIL at their plans.

No shit, Sherlock.

Alan B'Stard, Rigsby from Rising Damp, Alan Partridge, Viz's Eight Ace, Sid The Sexist, Alf Garnett, David Brent... they are characters that FAIL. If they were to 'win', they would not work as comedy, they would be bullies.

Out of that list I only found Alf Garnett and Rigsby even remotely funny. The rest f them are a large slice of 'meh' washed down with don't-give-a-fuck juice. Yes, Rik Mayall was marvellous, but the New Statesman was typically aloof, chilly, fundamentally unlikeable Sunday night shite penned by the dreaded Marks and Gran in full 'will this do?' mode, hampered further by iffy production values and a studio audience who sounded like they were in the corridor outside. Eight Ace and Sid the Sexist were one-joke characters dragged out over several years, I never liked Alan Partridge (or Steve Coogan) and David Brent can fuck off entirely. Again, this is all my personal taste. Comedy, after all, is subjective. Perhaps this is why I don't understand how comedy works - because I don't like all the usual pre-approved, pre-digested, 'offically recognised as cool to like' cobblers favoured by the sneering in-crowd? 

But along comes Captain Dipshit to tell me anyway!

This is how comedy works. Literally, from the most base of comedy - where you have Laurel and Hardy slipping on banana skins falling into a trough of whitewash.

WHOA. Laurel and Hardy is base comedy? Wrong. Slapstick is NOT what I call base comedy. Base comedy is Roy Chubby Brown prattling on about split-arses and fookin' clitorises (clitori?) in front of a theatre full of mooing, heavily-tattooed, mouth-breathing knuckle draggers. Base comedy is Cannon and Ball shouting at each other in lieu of actual funny lines. Base comedy is the Chuckle Brothers gurning their way through poorly-choreographed arsing about that would even insult the intelligence of a five year old. Slapstick, done well, is an art form with a definite science behind it. Look at the Tom and Jerry cartoons from the forties - they look so easy, right? Cat hates mouse, violent stuff happens, cat gets his arse handed to him on a plate. It looks like the kind of thing any hack animator could do in his sleep. Yet compare the classic-era Hanna-Barbera shorts to the abominations that came from Gene Deitch's studios in the early sixties, in which cause and effect are not so much screwed up as ignored completely. Even the brilliant Chuck Jones dropped the ball when he was tagged to take over the series, producing a run of shorts that were inventive, nicely animated and looked good, yet which were about as funny as stubbing your toe.

Let's not forget either, that this is a Tiswas fan - someone who runs a Tiswas fan site and blathers on at every given opportunity about how great it was and stages fucking Tiswas THEME NIGHTS at his local pub, for crying out loud - describing slapstick as 'base comedy'. Tiswas, a show that dumbed everything from a pop star interview to an impersonation of an ITN newsreader way, way down to far beneath twat level on the pretext of being 'a zany show for the kids' and not a load of migraine-inducing toss performed by fundamentally unlikeable C-list presenters and comedians who wouldn't know a joke if it stuffed itself up their arses. Tiswas was NOT 'rock and roll anarchy', it was bollocks. I know this is not a 'cool' opinion to hold, but I'd rather be true to myself and my opinions than chase the approval of boring people.

A load of old bollocks, thirty-odd years ago.
In real life, you do get arseholes getting away with absolutely dishonesty and aptitude.

Yes, this is what I seek to highlight in my comics. Life isn't all sunshine and farts. Look at the Parkie in Viz, or Crumb's Mr Snoid, or Peter Bagge's rogue's gallery of solipsistic and bitter sociopaths. Is this really that difficult for you?

Comedy is therefore an escapism to highlight any stupidity and/or arrogance as complete humiliation. That is where the best comedy works.

Once again, I will remind you that this is a man who regards Lenny Henry in joke shop glasses doing a poor impression of Trevor McDonald before getting a custar pie in his face as the acme of comedy. Not Dave Allen's monologues, not any one of Ronnie Barker's stellar character pieces, not a bulletproof episode of Steptoe and Son, not the unfettered madness of Spike Milligan at his fuck-you best, oh no, fucking TISWAS is where it's at for Derpenstein's monster here.
And God wept.

Look at all those cheap Viz-wannabe comics. The ones you worked for. They had obnoxious characters portrayed as winners.

Possibly because obnoxious people tend to be real-life winners (the squeaky wheel gets the grease), and these comics were holding up a mirror to society at large?
Rolf Harris - paedophile, embarced as a national treasure.
Jimmy Savile - paedophile and rapist, embraced as a great British eccentric.
Margaret Thatcher - exhibited a reptilian coldness akin to full-blown autism, would definitely have been diagnosed as psychotic in a personality test, yet she was the effing PRIME MINISTER!
Jimmy from Quadrophenia was hardly a fucking saint, was he? Yet he was still a compelling anti-hero. See also Trevor from Made In Britain, Carlin and Archer from Scum, Harold Shand in the Long Good Friday, Beverly Suthphin from Serial Mom, Francis Urquhart from House of Cards, all the 'cads' played by Cardew Robinson and Terry-Thomas, Alex from A Clockwork Orange...
Prodge, you know FUCK ALL!

Like Everard - a Biffa Bacon turned into a hero; homophoic gags with no consequence... all that shit failed, while Viz is still going strong. YOU TOOK THAT SIDE. Never forget that. That is what you swallowed.

Smut hardly 'failed'. Twenty-five years on the shelves? Good innings!
A lot of people abandoned Viz because "it's not as funny as it used to be". I should know, I was one of them. When I discovered Crumb's comics, Neat Stuff, Gilbert Shelton, Hate and Weirdo, Viz (then well past its prime anyway) suddenly looked very bland indeed. Early days Viz was great. Look at the Big Hard One. Might look a bit shonky compared to Viz at its peak, but there's so much energy and invention there, all unfettered, most of the strips refusing (or ignoring) the standard rules and regulations of comics that they become thrillingly transgressive. An early Biffa Bacon strip, for example, consists of very little but Biffa-on-Cedric Soft violence, Fatha-on-Biffa violence and Mutha-on-Biffa violence. There are no jokes and no punchline, so the sheer mundane violent pointlessness of life in Biffa's crapsack world becomes the joke. This, it would appear, is a little too abstract a concept for someone who thinks shouting "compost corner!" like a shitslave constitutes hilarity to handle.

You are Dapper Laughs.

Really? This is me...

And this is Dapper Laughs...

I can see how you'd get us muddled up. If you were Stevie Wonder.
You simply do not get comedy.
There are many who would disagree.

I go out on stage and say some stupid shit. Not as 'Peter Thomas' myself but as 'Pete Prodge', the no-hoper, the nervous and eternally-single stage persona I portray.

In short, you're making an excuse for your stage act being complete and utter mince. "Oh it's not ME that's at fault... it's my CHARACTER."
No, it's YOU that's at fault. YOU. Your character is your invention. How very big of you to portray yourself as a nervous, eternally single no-hoper. You must have had to do some deep digging to unearth that...

From when I was three years old, laughing my arse off at Buster Keaton wobbling along scaffolding 500ft high with a lobster in his pants, I still retained the respect for him doing that shocking stunt.

For a start, it wasn't Buster Keaton, it was Stan Laurel and the film was Liberty. And it wasn't a lobster, it was a crab. Secondly, he didn't do it for real, as you imply. Forced perspective and camera trickery existed even in the twenties. As for you being three years old whilst watching black and white silent films, I doubt it very much. I can't even remember what I was watching at three years old. Nor can anyone else, I'd wager.

It's the reason I put on a rabbit suit in 2005 and sang badly. That is what comedy is. The art of apparently doing something wrong, yet obviously putting soul into it, without trying to retain dignity.

Oh, so you didn't do it because you're an attention whore who'd gladly eat a plate of hedgehog turds if it meant getting your disturbing fizzog on the telly for five minutes? Of course not. You're a fucking ARTIST, that's what you are! That's why you post cripplingly unfunny videos of yourself on YouTube refusing to demean yourself by doing the Harlem Shake, instead choosing to walk away looking like a constipated Den Hegarty. That's why you Vine yourself talking bollocks. As for this "Ha ha, look at him doing something wrong yet giving it his all" knackers, isn't it far MORE rewarding to see a brilliant comedian doing what he does with verve, panache, elan and other aftershaves? I'll take Les Dawson reeling off killer one-liners whilst looking like a combination of Shrek and Grumpy Cat any day over you, or anyone else, paying a cock-eyed tribute to a 'classic moment' from sodding Tiswas. But you know, that's just me, and I don't know nuffink about nuffink. I live above a fish and chip shop (according to your braying hipster mates) and I never went to college. (Well, I did, but only for three weeks.)

Dave Allen being awesome, circa 1975.

Whether we are Leonard Rossiter, Rik Mayall, Spike Milligan, Simon Donald, Clive Webb, John Cleese... we all know there is an appreciation of how we show how NOT TO BE a normal human being. There is innate beauty in showing ourselves up as being grotesque and stupid. That is the absolute line-in-the-sand between those who can do comedy, and those who cannot.

Wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Dave Allen never showed himself up to be grotesque and stupid, unless he was doing a sketch, and even then he was usually the straight man to Michael Sharvell-Martin or somebody. Laurel and Hardy, grotesque and stupid? No - they were a pair of whey-faced eternal innocents cut adrift in a harsh world that was out to nobble them at every turn. Spike Milligan? I don't want to play the 'respect your elders' card here, son, but given that Milligan was about a hundred years old when he died, a veteran of the second world war and a hugely successful artist whose legacy cuts across ALL media, I think it's fair to say he saw and experienced things that you only have nightmares about. As for putting the bloke who created Sid the Sexist in the same camp as Rik Mayall and John Cleese, don't be so fucking stupid.

I already know which side you are on. You attempt to be cool, yet in doing so, you are literally nowhere near it - as shown in how you have failed in real life.

I attempt to be cool? Fuck me, I am the LEAST cool person who ever LIVED! I never liked Oasis. I never liked football, war films, science fiction, any average 'boy stuff' in fact. While all the 'cool kids' were watching the Dukes of Hazzard, the Fall Guy, the A-Team and Knight Rider, I was watching Charlie Brown specials and videotapes of the Young Ones! I had NO interest whatsoever in pop music (except the Bangles because I fancied two of them) until I was fourteen, and my first two 'major' gigs were Heart and the Who, and NEITHER were considered 'cool' at the time. Whilst other teenagers were listening to the Stone Roses, the Happy Mondays, U2 and what have you, I was listening to Slade, the Sweet and the Jesus Christ Superstar album! 'Cool' is a fool's notion. Fuck 'cool'. Drawing comics - as I have done for most of my adult life - is inherently NOT COOL! I stopped doing stand-up because I felt such a damn fool on the stage with all those people watching. I'm a combination of Danny fucking Baker and Mel Smith, yet you think I'm attempting to be COOL?! What planet are you on?

You lived a life so close to Charlie Brooker's, yet he is a mult-millionaire and you are a total failure in every way possible.

Ouch. Got some ice for this burn? Charlie Brooker is a sell-out jumped-up arriviste media twat who suckles at the withered teat of the arseholes who made BIG BROTHER! He's a multi-millionaire, yes. How did he get that? By ripping off the jokey TV listings you used to get in the old Spitting Image / Not the Nine O'Clock News books for his pish website, then when that got old, he reinvented himself as a Poundland Victor Lewis Smith, knowing that he'd never get competition from the real thing, because Vic hates telly and telly hates him. Brooker's comic work was a piss poor imitation of Peter Bagge and everything he's done SUCKS BALLS. I'm glad I'm not remotely like that pube-haired Toby-jug faced TWAT!

Problem, Zeppotron?

You just do not get comedy. You want to win so badly. You really want to rub my nose in it, and every other 'hipster'. You're so concentrated on your battle against Cook'd and Bomb'd that you'll never get what true comedy is.

I want to win so badly, yet this dickhead wrote a 77-line spiel on YouTube dedicated to slapping me down. Irony or ironies! As for Cook'd and Bomb'd, two of their members accused me of being a paedophile, and when I understandably objected to this, they claimed they meant it 'ironically'. Now that's a failure to understand comedy right there. How can you 'ironically' make a callous, slanderous and deeply hurtful accusation against someone who was themselves abused as a child? You can't. It was C&B doing what they do best - punching down at an easy target to make themselves look edgy.

Even from the most base of things such as tripping on a banana skin, you have absolutely no clue. You just want to look good and reap reward and acceptance. Yet you have no fucking clue whatsoever.

I picture Derpenstein sitting there with his eyebrows knitted like a home-made jumper as he types this, with the Four Bucketeers album playing in the background, of course.

This is why you scrawl shit comics for fuck-all money whatsoever.

So doing something you enjoy for the love of it, or for the fun of it, makes me a loser, does it? Oh yeah, what fucking losers they are, all those gardeners who toil to make their back gardens presentable! They're not even getting PAID for it! Charity workers? Ha ha, fucking losers! Fancy doing something you don't get paid for! Eh lads? Whose round is it?

You're not loved, you're no "comics genius", you're simply an attention-seeking cunt with no sense of humour.

Does anyone else think this says more about him than it says about me?

What a bitter, poisonous little tit.

I regret nothing...

Friday, 31 October 2014

The past is another country, they do things differently there

A while back, I wrote about the notoriously awful Cassette 50 compilation, which was obviously one of the worst things ever to happen anywhere, even if the calculator watch was nice. Now, to continue my occasional series of posts related to the days of tape loading errors and iffy bootleg copies of Auf Wiedersehen Monty on Woolworths C90s, let's delve into the murky waters of Spectrum porn.

No, this is not an elaborate troll. Spectrum porn actually existed. Fair enough, most of the titles were of the lo-fi 'homebrew' variety, cobbled together in dingy boxroom-cum-bedrooms by young men who spent too much time hunched over a squidgy rubber keyboard and not enough time hunched over a woman, but Spectrum porn existed nonetheless. Before we go any further, be warned that some of the images here, despite being a touch on the primitive side, are still ridiculously NSFW.

(Credits go to the earth-motheringly comprehensive World of Spectrum site, where it's possible to spend absolutely days lost in wistful memories. If you're a sad case like me, of course.)

Right, still with me? Let's dive right in.

Oh dear God, I did warn you. This is from Pavel Nikitin's Advanced Sex Simulator. I'm kind of glad I don't know much else about this game, except Mr Nikitin was a Russian and he unleashed this outrage onto an unsuspecting world in 1993. The only positive thing I can say about this piece of filth is that the graphics are slightly less nausea-inducing than his 'family friendly' game Hell Master, which looks like this...

One to flush out the epileptics, that.

Next up, another one from those crazy Russians, Adventures of Zalupyaga, which has this frankly disturbing loading screen to 'recommend' it.

Clearly the programmer's only previous experience with graphics was scrawling on toilet doors. The game itself looks like a perv's version of Space Invaders with women instead of alien invaders, a cock and balls instead of a rocket launcher and jizz instead of missiles. So there's that. How this qualifies as 'erotic' in any way is a mystery to me. Still, onwards and downwards, and here's where it starts to get worrying.

Yes, Auschwitz - the computer game! Fun for all the family! This appears to be the one and only product of a Polish company / programmer called Pinio, and I don't think the world lost a genius when they called it a day after this abomination. No idea what the gameplay entailed, but I can tell you that those words on the screen - 'pacjent zmarl' - translate to 'Patient Died'. The deceptively cheery Ceefax-type graphics don't make this any less discomfiting.

Candy Girl next, and this Spectrum game of indeterminate vintage was the work of someone calling himself 'Broken Sgt Pepper' and... well, see for yourself.

Now this is a bit more wholesome. Chicks and Bricks was a variation on one of the oldest games of them all, Breakout, where the player operated a bat at the bottom of the screen which bounced a ball against a brick wall, destroying every brick it hit. Except this time, whenever you cleared a level, you were 'rewarded' with a cartoon graphic of an 'alluring' female in an erotic pose. Amazingly, this is from 2007!

Now back to the grot with 1985's depressing Cock Attack...

...and the frankly astonishing Cock Show, whose programmer (the splendidly named Theo Devil) went on to recreate the catchy theme from Bubble Bobble for the Spectrum version!

Don't Pull It Too Much George... sounds like the title of a pervy George Formby film. Which is offputting enough in itself, without the 'bonus' of seeing Alice Cooper with a huge hairy biff...

Someone in Russia circa 2003 apparently spotted a gap in the market for a spurious 'adult' version of Tetris and called it Erotris, which just sounds bloody stupid. Perhaps Tit-ris would have been a better title? Especially with a loading screen like this...

Probably one of the better known adult games now, in that it was actually advertised in the type of magazines that were gold dust to spods like me. You know, Sinclair User, Your Sinclair and so on. Fantasy was its title, but what kind of messed-up fantasy involves having a pitch-black glans?

Having said that, what kind of fantasy involves your balls going missing as well?

A delightful Hobbit-style adventure game now from North of the Border, with the inviting title Fuckerman! 1985's your year.

This isn't strictly a game in its own right - simply a modified version of Matthew Smith's trendsetting and much-copied Jet Set Willy - but it appears to have had some effort put into it and there's a distinct sense of humour evident, so here's Holy Shit! from 2007...

Page three 'stunna' Maria Whittaker lent her name to a piss-poor strip poker simulation called Maria's Christmas Box...

Samantha Fox didn't fare much better...

All the way from Denmark came Sex Machine in 1987, which looks somewhat like a crap Viz clone in computer game rather than print form...

Which brings us to the very appropriately named Wanker, the work of someone called 'Fudgepacker', who worked on the Viz computer game! (See how neatly this all ties together?)

Go on then, while I'm here, that Viz computer game...

Looks promising enough, doesn't it? Unfortunately, the game itself looked like this...

Crash magazine gave Viz a desultory 43% score, getting tentatively into the swing of things by proclaiming "You'll never play a bigger load of crap!". Nice theme music, though. Sinclair User gave it a more favourable 81% rating, whilst Your Sinclair gave it a respectable 76%. You can read a bit more about it here.

There was even a Viz fruit machine! Crivens!

Well, that's the end of this rather unsavoury stroll down memory lane. Apologies if any of the above has left you with a strong urge to scrub your eyeballs clean with Domestos, but history isn't always a pretty sight...

Friday, 24 October 2014

All I want for Christmas is a Fat Arse!

Hot off the presses from the Comix Company, it's my brand new underground comic, with additional filth from Rob Filth and Phil Neill, plus a ton of the usual outrage and lunacy. Ideal Christmas present for someone you love - even better for someone you hate! Order now to avoid disappointment!