Saturday, 30 June 2012

Furry Freak Brothers "Knock 'em Dead"

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I've been a fan and collector of 70s underground comix for years. Whilst trawling through some classic Furry Freak Brother selections recently I came across this gem that I had all but forgotten.
It became an instant fave (again)
A testament to the genius of Gilbert Shelton
Let's not forget Dave Sheridan and Paul Mavrides who helped out a lot with the drawing duties in the later years)
The Furry Freak Brothers Cartoon band - how appropriate.


 

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

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 Lucky escape

Seeing the Market Controller earlier in the afternoon had really lifted Jack’s spirits and he realized he had cleared a lot more timber forest than he had expected.

“Funny how some good humour can make your day” he mused. So he packed up his axe earlier than usual to maybe have a read by the river in the late afternoon light.

This fortunate series of events was more than lucky for Jack, for no sooner had he left that a more determined and focused Market Controller passed by in a way that may have made a very suspicious Jack make an instinctive move to protect himself.

Humpty had changed.

Physically he still had the appearance of a large egg rolled in a dung pile but a look of fierce determination had replaced the vacant look of before.
Humpty just radiated menace.
Humpty had been “Enlightened”
He now made his own way back to the Kingdom with surprising speed; he had a new hunger, a new agenda, a new goal and most of all a new master.

After a few hours the Necromancer had become worried.
“What if things haven’t gone to plan?” he wondered and was now seriously thinking that it may be the case.
The Necromancer knew it would be pointless to look for Humpty if the Witch had bested him because the house would be invisible to his eyes and he’d be left walking around forest in the dark vulnerable.

He made the decision to abandon Humpty here and now, something he was going to do in the township anyway. This way at least if he was gone, he was gone. If not, it was a long way back home for Humpty, someone with no navigational skills save those of finding his mouth with his hands.

Either way his responsibility for the Zombie Dumpty was over, it was not how he would have preferred it to end, but he must get on with his life regardless of the fact that Humpty no longer in it.
Oh, how wrong he was.

Home again

Humpty ran through the night, his supernatural body resistant to fatigue. No one told of his passing because those who were silly enough to be out after dark and encountered him, whether Fairy or human never lived to see morning.
Lucky for the folk of the Kingdom Humpty came back to town late in the evening. The guards on the gate that night were not prepared for the zombie Dumpty juggernaut and the last they ever heard was a sinister laugh and the gnashing of teeth.
The Necromancer had been totally wrong of his understanding of Humpty’s directional abilities. Humpty made a beeline for the Necromancer’s house and more importantly the library.

The Necromancer had a miserable time coming back to the Kingdom, due to waiting for Humpty and his subsequent no show, he had left later than expected and had to make most of the journey in the dark meaning he didn’t pass the through Kingdom gates until after midnight.

The lack of guards seemed very odd considering the King’s latest decree.

The Necromancer entered without sighting anyone.
Riding through the empty streets the Necromancer thought how ironic it was that he felt safer now than ever before in these dirty fairy stained streets, while the rest of the Kingdom locked their doors in fear.

When the Necromancer arrived at home his feelings of security were well and truly trodden on as he was confronted by the sight of his front door smashed in.

Stepping carefully over the shattered wood that littered the stoop he peered inside. A trail of upturned furniture and smashed belongings led straight to his chamber.

“The Book” cried the Necromancer as he ran to the library. He stopped frozen in his tracks as he realised the Book of the Dead had been stolen.

Revelation
The Necromancer had found the Book of the Dead missing but in its place rested a piece of parchment bearing a one line of writing scribbled in charcoal from the fireplace read:

THE KING.  AUDIENCE.  NOW.

The Necromancer’s blood turned to ice.
Had he be found out practicing the dark arts?
Worse.
Had he been linked to Dumpty?
Lucky he Humpty wasn’t here, who knew what the Elite Guard might have done to him.
At least this way he could try to explain to the King himself.

So with a deep sense of dread and at a ridiculous hour of the morning the Necromancer made his way to the Palace.

Though the thought of bolting and finding somewhere to hide in the forest crossed his mind more than a dozen times, the Necromancer stayed himself with the undeniable belief that what he had done was natural justice. As well as that, he had worked out a couple of good “porky pies” as backup, the first that he had found the book in the garbage, or that the Egg just turned up at his house one day.

Either way he would first have to discover what he was accused of before blurting out excuses.

As he approached the Palace, even at this time of the night, activity seemed a lot less visible. Even though it was the King’s Palace it was also the administrative hub of the Kingdom and many people worked nights to prepare for those that worked with the King during the day.

The Necromancer just walked straight through the front doors with no one there to greet him or ask for his summons.
As he walked down the long great hall that is the entrance to the King’s chambers the Necromancer still encountered nobody but observed signs of struggle such as a moved rug or overturned table or stool. It wasn’t until he opened the grand doors to the King’s auditorium that things became clearer.

To be continued.......

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry

Saturday, 16 June 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

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The Witch's House

Jack the woodsman had seen some strange things in his time but watching the half naked Market Controller Humpty Dumpty stagger through the forest like ten drunken gnomes would have to rate as one of more amusing.
Jack was well aware of who the egg was as well as his reputation around the market and his relationship with the King.
Jack knew the King considered him a vital resource against corruption in the busy markets. Jack also knew the King had no idea that Humpty Dumpty was probably the most corrupt individual in the market - maybe even the whole Kingdom.
Jack was also unaware that Humpty Dumpty had been pushed off the market wall weeks ago and was technically dead.
Sometimes his isolation in the forest meant Jack’s knowledge of current affairs left a lot to be desired.

Jack’s concern for Humpty Dumpty was near non-existent because he knew his own sub-contractors had been subjected to his stand over tactics until it was mentioned who really owned the stall, then things seemed to smooth over rather quickly. Jack may be absent from the Kingdom but his reputation loomed large.

Jack assumed wrongly that Humpty had taken on someone even more corrupt than himself and had been dumped out here as a warning. If he was still around in a day or two Jack would look after him. Right now, no one was looking for him and it might teach him a valuable lesson.

Jack went back to his chopping as Humpty disappeared out of sight.
Dumpty arrived at the gingerbread house only minutes after passing Jack.

Jack was unaware that the house was even there even though he had passed it many times. A strong charm protected the house, which made it invisible to all human adults and their five senses.
The Necromancer’s suspicions had been correct in part.

Humpty filled with the scent of Fairy knocked on the door. Normally he would have just run at it and knocked it down to get to the meal on the other side but the voice in his head told him it would be polite to knock.
Inside an old lady with vacant eyes was pushing a tray of shortbread biscuits through the bars of a suspended cage that contained a plump boy. In the corner, quietly weeping stood a young girl holding a broom. A black cat with one white ear and a leather collar with silver bell was lying on top of the mantlepiece enjoying the warmth from the fireplace below.

On hearing the knock the cat stretched out, the tiny bell on its collar giving a little tinkle. The old lady with the vacant eyes responding to the bell, looked up and made her way towards the door.

On opening the door Humpty pushed the old lady aside and attacked the cat. Being caught totally off guard, the cat was gobbled down without resistance.

Humpty finished off by spitting the collar at the old lady who was still standing at the door totally emotionless.

As the collar bounced off the floor the little bell tinkled again and the old lady’s eyes lost their glaze and her emotionless visage changed to one of horror and she started screaming at Humpty, the young boy and girl, taking this as a cue, joined in.

The Necromancer had been partially right, children had been lured to the house but the old lady was not a witch, she was a slave to an enchanted cat who controlled her to do his dirty work.

Humpty instinctively knew this and after eating the cat had broken the spell holding the old lady.
She then did something that would change the future of all in the Kingdom forever.

She picked up the collar.

The old lady may have been a prisoner to the enchanted cat for all these years and although she had done things she would never forgive herself for, her self preservation instincts and fear were strong and she knew the collar had power.

So, trying to protect herself she tinkled the bell again in a misguided attempt to get rid of the monstrous rotting egg thing that was standing opposite her and scaring her (and the children) silly.

This action would be life changing for all in the room, for the old lady it meant her life would be considerable shorter. Humpty reacted to the bell and snapped at it biting off the old lady’s hand.
The voice in Humpty’s head cried out in glee.
As Humpty swallowed the hand he again spat out the collar.
At that point, everything changed.

The Necromancer had been played like a game of cards.
For the first time since he was reborn Humpty began to smile as he hungrily eyed the old lady and the children with renewed interest.


To be continued.......

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

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Hello Humpty

For the first few weeks of his re-animation Humpty’s thoughts were extremely basic.

Eat, eat and stay out of sight when not eating.

Though his brain looked after all motor functions Humpty’s independent thought and history were absent. He had lost all personal identity when he was reborn.

Humpty understood simple instructions and knew how to keep out of harm’s way but in the general scheme of things all he wanted to do and think about was eat.

That was until recently.
A little voice had one day spoken to him deep down in the recess of his rotting brain.

First it was simple greetings like:
Hi, hello and good morning.
And simple pleasantries like:
How are you this morning? Good night and Well done when Humpty caught one of the remaining rats or trapped a gnome.

At first Humpty was confused and tried to locate the voice but in a short while he became comfortable with the pleasant voice and as time passed tried to communicate back in his own way.

Humpty had found a friend.

The Necromancer made no attempt to befriend, communicate or spend time with Humpty other than to let him out to feed most nights.
He saw Humpty as nothing more than a Fairy disposal tool.
What the Necromancer wasn’t aware of was that Humpty Dumpty was being subtly programmed by someone who understood the mechanisation of the zombie infinitely better than he.

What do we do with a problem like Humpty?

The Necromancer procured a wagon from the town council vehicle pool and collected Dumpty from the abandoned shed at the docks where he had been kept hidden these last few weeks. It was just before dawn but the Necromancer knew the King had ordered a higher number of soldiers onto the street recently, to deal with the spate of disappearances of Fairy folk and to stem the groundswell of rumours that he was suppressing the truth of it happening at all.

The Necromancer in his position of Post Master General may have influence over the Kingdom’s Council and bureaucracy but to the Military he was just another citizen, so he made certain all his papers were in order.

He still had a few of the Pied Piper’s enchanted rats to keep Humpty content for the journey, unsure whether going near or through a large Fairy population may set off a feeding frenzy or other such slaughter. Humpty was still an unpredictable force, so he had to be careful and hopefully a full egg would safe guard against accidents.

The Necromancer had no trouble leaving the town centre, as there were no alerts current and the gate guards were usually searching for illegal people and goods coming in to the Kingdom rather than out.
Humpty was surprisingly quiet on the trip through town and the Necromancer congratulated himself on his enchanted rat solution. What he wasn’t aware of was that the zombie Dumpty was listening in rapt delight to the stories being told to him by the voice in his head.
A story of a greedy King and a vicious soldier who slays a peaceful giant and how a special egg came to save the world.

The trip to the witch’s house was a good half-day journey and the Necromancer didn’t expect to arrive till about noon. This, by his calculations gave him plenty of time to achieve his mission and come home under the cover of darkness. It was a well planned trip the only down side was what he saw along the road as he travelled.
Fairy folk were everywhere, Dwarfs, goblins, gnomes, enchanted toys and animals. More than he could stomach and it took all of his will power to stop himself from running some of them over or worse still, releasing Dumpty from his covered wagon.
Not that Humpty Dumpty would have done anything. Humpty was lying down blissfully listening to the voice in his head recount great deeds of hero eggs and their adventures to be bothered with anything outside.

When the Necromancer finally reached his destination he made sure he traveled a little bit further up the road and waited with the carriage after releasing the zombie Dumpty. Even though these woods were sparsely populated it didn’t mean there wouldn’t be others who may implicate him later.
Caution was the Necromancer’s best ally.
It took the Necromancer such time and effort to rouse Humpty from his wagon that for a short while he actually thought Humpty may have gone into some sort of ovum coma. Let’s face it there was so much he didn’t understand about this creature he had bought back to life.
Something he would soon painfully realise.


To be continued.......

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Virtual /Cartoon Bands through history The Cattanooga Cats

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The Cattanoga Catsshow was a package program similar to the Hanna-Barbera/NBC show The Banana Splits, except that it contained no live-action segments. During the 1969–1970season, Cattanooga Cats ran one hour and contained four segments. During the 1970–1971 season, the segments It's the Wolf! and Motormouse and Autocat were spun off into a half-hour show. Around the World in 79 Days remained a part of Cattanoga Cats, which was reduced to a half-hour. Motormouse and Autocat ran concurrently with Cattanooga Cats until both met their demise at the end of the 1970–1971 season.
The later was how it was aired in Australia in the early 1970s.

Cattanooga Cats depicted the adventures of a fictitious rock band similar to The Banana Splits populated by anthropomorphic hillbilly cats consisting of:
Lead singer/guitarist Country
Singer/dancer Kitty Jo
Bassist Scoots
Drummer Groove (voiced by Amercian Top 40 legend Casey Kasem)
A fifth member, a mouse keyboardist named "Cheesie", was storyboarded but cut out of the series. The group travelled around in a van, was chased by a female cat groupie named Jessie the "Autograph Hound" and Kitty Jo owned a big blue dog named "Teeny Tim". The singing vocals for The Cattanooga Cats were performed by Michael Lloyd and Peggy Clinger. Producer Mike Curb was the musical director for the series and co-wrote all the songs performed by the Cattanooga Cats. Ted Nichols composed the background music. An LP, The Cattanooga Cats (Forward ST-F-1018), featuring some of the songs used in the series was released in 1969.
The Cats also appeared in various "bumpers" between the other cartoons, but were best remembered for their animated musical segments. These cartoons showed a strong psychedelic and op-art influence and the Cattanooga Cats remain a cult favorite to this day




GO by the Cattanoga Cats reminiscent of Davy Jones in the vocal department.