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!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

It's not easy being cheesy

Back in 1993, when I published the very first issue of my fanzine Klam, I included a one-page parody of a typical piss-poor Viz clone which I called 'Smeg'. Then I was informed that there actually was a Viz clone called Smeg, on sale at Tower Records, of all places. I still haven't managed to track down an actual issue, but Victor Marsillo posted this cover scan on Facebook and the following information... "only some strips bear an artist's signature. Not surprising. They are: Will Kevans, Tone, Tony Smith, Don Sinclair and someone who simply signed "Arow," as far as I can tell. I should also note that there are roughly five pages worth of sex adverts".

Meanwhile, the always interesting Two Headed Thingies blog has some excellent, detailed arguments on some of the other Viz clones that surfaced in the late eighties and early nineties, including...

The Winebibber - a truly awful 'Christian' take on Viz, or more precisely, its compilation edition, which called itself the Big Holy One. I think a better title for it would have been 'Holy Shit!'.

Acne, which I actually worked for. Wasn't very good.

The Scurvy Dog, a completely failed attempt at replicating Viz's Bumper Book of Shite on a monthly basis.

Pulp - sod all to do with Jarvis Cocker's group, thankfully. One of the better Viz clones with some fine work by the underrated Rob Filth.

Blag - every issue has a swastika on the cover. But it's not as sinister as it sounds, dear me no! It's pretty violent though.

Top Banana - let's get this cleared up here and now, I never worked for Top Banana. The 'Lee' they employed was someone else. Lee Johnson to be precise. Bloody terrible covers (at first), surprisingly decent contents. At least some of them were.

Gutter - more outrageous than Viz. Not as funny though.

Gutted - what you'd get if it was possible to staple wank together.

Lazy Frog - one of the last of the Viz clones

Wasted - DRUGZ LOL!

Northern Lightz - Weed makes you tired, blud (etc).

Electric Soup - the Scottish Viz (according to every newspaper ever).

Trout - Roger Daltrey walked away from this one, disappointed. (So I'm told.)

Igor - Unpronouncable title, pretty good contents. And they hated John McCririck. Really.

The Twilight Clone - Cherie Currie with no gob and trite homilies about racism not included.

Spit! - always just one letter away from the truth

Zit - it was never better than dreadful

Skank - a black Viz. Yes, this was a thing.

Jockstrap - one great big clusterfuck of failure

This bloody thing - about which you'll get no further comment from me

Adroit - it's all over the bloody place

Ziggy - the comic the News of the World wanted to ban

Poot! - cuddly Christmas puddings

Smut - it's all in the name

Doodlebug - looked cheap, was cheap

Duck Soup - an inspiration for Viz, believe it or not!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Works in progress...

Designing covers is just good fun. Whether the covers actually get used or not is another matter.

Er... yeah. This one will make more sense (but will be no less objectionable) when I post up the conclusion.

This was going to be a longer story but I left it at six panels. Yeah, I'm a lazy bastard, sue me.

The beginning of an autobiographical strip. 

A sketchbook page.

Three short, self-contained strips. (Remember kids, hedgehogs don't actually contain conkers, so don't go around stamping on them.)

*UPDATE* Later that same day...

For fuck's sake, if you don't like my work - and you've made it abundantly clear you fucking hate it - why do you keep obsessively checking my blog for updates, you loon? "Face of Noel Fielding" my fucking arse. Just piss off entirely you putrid cunt.

Friday, 10 October 2014

This never actually happened

Thanks to Michael Cabbage on Twitter for providing this image of two unlikely fans of my early nineties comic Klam

Friday, 3 October 2014

New thrills

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Whaddaya Want From Me?

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Yow arn' nurra burra howndowg

A change of pace for Whattock Hunt this time, from the forthcoming comic the Fat Arse...

While I'm at it, the usual bunch of twats who like nothing more than pointing their nose-picking fingers at someone they've decided is 'the bad guy' simply because he isn't a dreary ageing hipster who still bleats on about fucking Slowdive and Chris Morris like an incredibly boring Tourette's victim, and who has the temerity to like things that aren't universally regarded as 'cool', have turned me into a fucking meme.

Always nice to see hugely expensive, lengthy educations being put to good use.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Remembering Billy Batts

A lot has been said about Martin Scorcese's Goodfellas, most of it incredibly positive, so please cut me some slack when I humbly state my opinion that whilst parts of it are brilliant, it's also full of regrettable goofs and historical inaccuracies, all of which have been covered in great detail elsewhere on the internet. It's also far too long for my tastes and the constant profanity grated on my nerves as well as my ears - people who swear all the time apparently don't realise how much like Derek and Clive without the saving grace of the humour, imagination and unsettling flashes of erudition that made those recordings so much fun. Still, there are a few scenes that stick in the memory, none more than the uncomfortable confrontation between the loathesome Joe Pesci character and Billy Batts

Now, if you've just checked out that link, you'll know the real-life Billy Batts was, unsurprisingly, a pretty nasty piece of work, but that's par for the course. Virtually every character in this film is objectionable in some way. But actor Frank Vincent does such a great job of bringing a relatively minor character in the story to the screen, and he gets to deliver one of the most withering putdowns in cinema history - reminding a wiseguy about his early Mafia career as a shoeshine boy.

Yes, the character comes to a sticky end. In fact, his slow, extremely painful death (and what happens to his corpse) is harrowing in the extreme. But if you're going to be hung for a lamb, you might as well be hung for a sheep, and Billy's cocky, ultimately self-destructive and hugely stylish snubbing of wiseguy Pesci makes his scene a major standout. And if you don't like it, you can go home and get your fuckin' shinebox!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Success story

 Another busy day for someone who would be better employed shining shoes...

In case you haven't read this classic from Kid Robson yet, you should do so now, because it's a very good and well-written piece. He males some interesting points, and he realises that we all want different things out of life.

Which brings me to the sad case of a certain over-opinionated Twitter user (naming no names, I'm not giving the lanky, pretentious, stuck-up waste of flesh and bone the oxygen of publicity) who has accused me of being 'a failure' simply because my underground comics are only read by 'a fraction' of the regular readership Viz enjoys.

The logic this irritating ponce employs runs along the following lines... because I draw underground comics, I must immediately be 'in competition' with Viz, and my stuff has fewer readers than Viz, therefore I'm a failure.

Well, I'm sorry to piss on your chips, son, but as it happens, I'm just happy to have found a publisher who likes my stuff well enough to grant it an audience, however large, or indeed, small, that audience may be. Like the famous fictional rock band Spinal Tap, my appeal is 'selective' and I couldn't be mainstream if I tried. I aim simply to produce the best possible product which I hope my regular readers (yes, I do have some) will enjoy, and in that respect, I think I'm succeeding. To accuse me of being a failure because I don't have 60,000 readers like Viz? By that token, Viz is also failing, simply because it no longer has the 1.2 million circulation it enjoyed at its peak.

Some people have to measure everything by numbers, it seems...