When comics and geekdom are inevitably crossed, the end result becomes Superman, Spider-man, assorted superheroes, and basically all those dark, moody tomes that movie studios are bustling to bring to the big screen.
But I’m British. And call me old fashioned, but when I went comic shopping during the 80s, I couldn’t find a single example of angst-ridden dual identity whackos. But there was this little lot…
WHIZZER & CHIPS
I was a Whizz-kid, and I thought Chip-ites sucked. I can barely remember a single strip from the comic, but nonetheless loved the whole sense of rivalry and suppressed hatred that underpinned its pages. Er, I might be reading too much into it, of course.
ROY OF THE ROVERS
As British as HP Sauce, Rover cars and Dell’s customer support, Roy Of The Rovers started life in Tiger, which in turn was much better than Eagle. But the Roy Of The Rovers comic also gave us Tommy’s Troubles, The Safest Hands In Soccer, The Hard Man and some strange story about a robot playing centre forward for a top division football team. I think his name was Emile Heskey.
Simply for Bananaman, which single-handedly justified the existence of this otherwise utterly forgettable comic.
Anyone remember this? Like most unsuccessful comics of its day, it merged with Victor, which basically meant that all but one of the stories was ripped out of it. The We Are United story was hilariously weak, but utterly enjoyable, It had a character called Fred Rimmy. Really.
Not the current version – bought it the other week and it cost 85p! 85p for the fecking Beano! No, I want the rough-round-the-edges version, complete with crappy free gifts such as sweets that took your teeth out, 3D glasses and the kind of shit tat that BBC’s kids’ magazines monopolise these days. And the Bash Street Kids, obviously.
It lasted just a couple of years, the first issue of which had a crap record mounted onto the front of it. It infamously annoyed WH Smiths, inspired a piss-poor video game, and was seemingly a kids-forerunner to Viz, just with pigs. There’s blatantly a joke there, but I can’t work out what it is.
Others worthy of a namecheck:Buster, Topper, Whoopee & Wow, The Beezer, Eagle, Tiger and Spike.
I feel better now.