FC

"Finn Clark"

25/05/2004 11:03 AM

Read-a-thon 120: the 1977 TV Comic annual

NO SPOILERS

The 1977 TV Comic annual
Published in 1976 by Polystyle Publications Ltd
Starring the 4th Doctor and Sarah
SBN (not ISBN) 85096-057-6

Another late-seventies TV Comic annual. Sigh. It's short (64 pages), it's
rubbish and my review of it will be brief. The format is identical to the
last two (Tarzan short story, five-page Doctor Who comic strip and assorted
lame funnies) and as a reading experience it's pretty much indistinguishable
from 'em. Doctor Who excepted, there's little here you'd remember for
longer than it takes to turn the page.

I'm starting to have my suspicions about Tarzan, who's Jane-less and instead
has a close companion called Boy. Dad's Army remains the lone beacon in a
swamp of mediocrity, though I was unconvinced by Captain Mainwaring's
amazing feat of writing a whole pantomime (complete with dialogue in rhyming
couplets!) in one evening. Tom and Jerry are getting less violent, instead
choosing to inflict pain on each other (and the reader) with tedious puns.
In fact lots of these stories end with a punning punchline. These stories
must die.

On the upside, there's a new strip: Captain Pugwash! Disappointingly
there's no Roger the cabin boy, Master Bates or Seaman Staines (as have been
made famous by urban legend) but even without them I've always kinda liked
Pugwash. Even the art is a notch or two above the rest of the book.

Beep Beep the Road Runner is gone. I can't say I miss him, but his rhyming
dialogue was slightly amusing even though I wanted to see his three brats
turned into Kentucky Fried Road-Runner.

The Doctor Who story is another painted five-pager, The Tansbury Experiment.
John Canning's back on art duties for the first time since 1971 and the
results are rather good! The story is a Godzilla rehash in which a mad
scientist creates an insanely ever-growing sea lizard, but what the hell.
It's fun. The lizard destroys a lighthouse, a fishing boat and a Royal Navy
ship before the Doctor finally lures it to its destruction with the mating c
ry of a female lizard. (Do lizards have mating cries? How do they know
it's male? How do they know it's heterosexual? Does its erection leave
tracks on the beach?)

This is a good comic strip, with a decent story and attractive art. It even
has characterisation, with a pompous Navy admiral and a textbook mad
professor. "At last, I will prove my theory to those disbelieving fools!
Expose the conductor, Hutchins!"

Things I learned from reading this book:

1. Professional vets can't tell the difference between a pantomime horse
and a real one.

2. Butterfly hunting is evil.

3. Ice cream vans drive though the desert.

4. If you're having trouble transporting an elephant through the jungle,
try roller skates.

5. Writing a complete pantomime only takes one evening, instead of (as it
took when I did it) a whole summer.

To all intents and purposes, this is a five-page 4th Doctor comic strip
printed in hardback form with 59 pages of filler. Dad's Army is worth a
read (once) and I kinda like Captain Pugwash, but otherwise there's nothing
to see. By next year circulation problems would have triggered a relaunch
as Mighty TV Comic. I can't say I'm surprised.

Finn Clark.


This topic has 9 replies

DF

Daniel Frankham

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

26/05/2004 6:51 AM

On Tue, 25 May 2004 11:03:03 -0700 (PDT), "Finn Clark"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>I'm starting to have my suspicions about Tarzan, who's Jane-less and instead
>has a close companion called Boy.

Heh. I used to love this show as a kid in the late 70s - (the boy was
named Jai in the series, but otherwise it matches). It always seemed
to be on in the mornings during school holidays, between the old
Hercules cartoon and McHale's Navy. It's a rather strange thing to
appear in a 1977 British TV annual, given that it ran from 1966-1969
-- must have been having a rerun.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060033/combined

--
Daniel Frankham

JC

John Campbell Rees

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

25/05/2004 4:34 PM

During the course of this discussion, "Finn Clark" <[email protected]>,
in message <[email protected]> wrote:

> The Doctor Who story is another painted five-pager, The Tansbury Experiment.
> John Canning's back on art duties for the first time since 1971 and the
> results are rather good! The story is a Godzilla rehash in which a mad
> scientist creates an insanely ever-growing sea lizard, but what the hell.
> It's fun. The lizard destroys a lighthouse,

I remember be given this anual for Christmas. One frame, if memory
serves me featured a hapless Cornish Fisherman witnessing the
destructin of the lighthouse, letting out the comment "upon my oath".
Now, even as an inocent 9 year old, I knew that a Cornish Fisherman was
likely to say something a lot stronger than that upon seeing a
lighthouse demolished by a cut prise Godzilla.

--
"Like shooting flies with a laser cannon, the aims a bit tricky, but
it certainly deals with the flies." - Lord Miles Vorkosigan.
>From "Komarr" by Lois McMaster Bujold
Read my Blog at http://www.20six.co.uk/Vorcampbel

En

"Emmemm"

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

29/05/2004 5:36 AM

Nyctolops wrote
> but I feel compelled to point out
> that the later Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies had both Jane and
Boy.
> No, Boy wasn't their son; he was rescued from a plane wreck.

That's right. That is the "Boy" familiar to 1970s British TV
watchers. There was also "Cheetah", their chimp.

Frankymole

DT

Doctor TOC

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

28/05/2004 8:36 AM

Finn Clark wrote:

> The Doctor Who story is another painted five-pager, The Tansbury Experiment.
> John Canning's back on art duties for the first time since 1971 and the
> results are rather good! The story is a Godzilla rehash in which a mad
> scientist creates an insanely ever-growing sea lizard, but what the hell.
> It's fun. The lizard destroys a lighthouse, a fishing boat and a Royal Navy
> ship before the Doctor finally lures it to its destruction with the mating c
> ry of a female lizard. (Do lizards have mating cries? How do they know
> it's male? How do they know it's heterosexual? Does its erection leave
> tracks on the beach?)

Hmmmmm, shades of the Ray Bradbury story "The Fog Horn", which later
inspired the Ray Harryhausen movie "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms". In
the story, a huge dinosaur is lured out of the sea by a lighthouse's fog
horn, which unintentionally mimics the beast's mating call. When the fog
horn is turned off, the creature destroys the lighthouse.

Doctor TOC
--
The Reverend Doctor "The Other Chris"
Secret Elf, Jive Talkin' Choirboy, Kóri Wulfmangler
ICQ # 4814586
Argent Games - http://www.argentgames.com
alt.tv.sevendays FAQ - http://welcome.to/7-Days
The TOC Files - http://members.fortunecity.com/toc

En

"Emmemm"

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

29/05/2004 5:00 AM

"Boy" is the name of the boy in many Tarzan and Jane movies.

--
Frankymole

Nn

Nyctolops

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

26/05/2004 10:03 AM

On Wed, 26 May 2004 06:51:30 -0700 (PDT), Daniel Frankham
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Tue, 25 May 2004 11:03:03 -0700 (PDT), "Finn Clark"
><[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>I'm starting to have my suspicions about Tarzan, who's Jane-less and instead
>>has a close companion called Boy.
>
>Heh. I used to love this show as a kid in the late 70s - (the boy was
>named Jai in the series, but otherwise it matches).

I probably shouldn't be stepping in here, as I have neither read the
annual or remember the TV series, but I feel compelled to point out
that the later Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies had both Jane and Boy.
No, Boy wasn't their son; he was rescued from a plane wreck. That
could be where the Boy Finn is talking about came from, though.

Nyctolops

DF

Daniel Frankham

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

27/05/2004 4:49 AM

On Wed, 26 May 2004 10:03:19 -0700 (PDT), Nyctolops
<[email protected]> wrote:

>On Wed, 26 May 2004 06:51:30 -0700 (PDT), Daniel Frankham
><[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>On Tue, 25 May 2004 11:03:03 -0700 (PDT), "Finn Clark"
>><[email protected]> wrote:
>>
>>>I'm starting to have my suspicions about Tarzan, who's Jane-less and instead
>>>has a close companion called Boy.
>>
>>Heh. I used to love this show as a kid in the late 70s - (the boy was
>>named Jai in the series, but otherwise it matches).
>
>I probably shouldn't be stepping in here, as I have neither read the
>annual or remember the TV series, but I feel compelled to point out
>that the later Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies had both Jane and Boy.
>No, Boy wasn't their son; he was rescued from a plane wreck. That
>could be where the Boy Finn is talking about came from, though.

Could be, though the TV series I was thinking of was notable for
having Jai but not Jane.

I wonder if there were rights issues involved -- if they'd used Jai,
they might have had to pay the makers of the TV series some kind of
license fee for using a character they'd created, but by just using
Tarzan and "Boy" they could ride on te TV show's back while only
having to pay the Burroughs estate for the use of the original
characters (assuming Boy is in some of Burroughs' Tarzan novels). A
little like the way "Dr Who" in comics tended to have sidekicks who
weren't from the TV series.

--
Daniel Frankham

JC

John Campbell Rees

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

25/05/2004 4:34 PM

During the course of this discussion, "Finn Clark" <[email protected]>,
in message <[email protected]> wrote:


> On the upside, there's a new strip: Captain Pugwash! Disappointingly
> there's no <snipped for legal reasons>
Careful, John Ryan, creator of "Captain Pugwash" successfully sued th
Guardian and the Sunday Correspondent for libel when they published
that infamous urban legend as fact.

--
"Like shooting flies with a laser cannon, the aims a bit tricky, but
it certainly deals with the flies." - Lord Miles Vorkosigan.
>From "Komarr" by Lois McMaster Bujold
Read my Blog at http://www.20six.co.uk/Vorcampbel

pK

[email protected] (K M Wilcox)

in reply to "Finn Clark" on 25/05/2004 11:03 AM

27/05/2004 11:15 AM

Daniel Frankham wrote:


> I wonder if there were rights issues involved -- if
> they'd used Jai, they might have had to pay the makers
> of the TV series some kind of license fee for using a
> character they'd created, but by just using Tarzan and
> "Boy" they could ride on te TV show's back while only
> having to pay the Burroughs estate for the use of the
> original characters (assuming Boy is in some of Burroughs'
> Tarzan novels).

Yes, he was. Finn didn't indicate that the story was
based on the Ron Ely series; if it wasn't, then I'd say
that the reason Jai wasn't used was much simpler than what
you suggest. It was, quite logically, that they never even
considered using him or anything else from that particular
version. And why would they? I doubt fans ever thought it
was definitive in the way the Weismuller films were, even
when it was originally running in the '60s. [Tarzan is such
an evergreen property, that it's easy for two radically
different versions to come out at about the same time
without either one "riding on the back" of the other.]


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