Saturday, October 30, 2010
Halloween 1989 - Buster style!
The 1980s still seem recent to me, and the 1990s feel like yesterday, but I know some of you were still at school back then so here's a nostalgic 1989 Buster cover for you. Drawn by the brilliant Tom Paterson and coloured by John Burns (the nephew of the artist John M. Burns) it's a marvelous depiction of comic horror on a par with some of Ken Reid's more gruesome pages. I'm still amazed that Fleetway got away with a cover showing an axe and knife embedded in the heads of the monsters, but presumably everyone took it in the spirit of fun as intended. (I don't recall any fuss being made at the time.)
Inside, two of the strips were by me. Here's The Vampire Brats. Although I was always the artist on the strip it was originally written by Mark Rogers but when Mark fell ill he asked me to write it as well. I think this was one of my scripts. (Roy Davis became the scriptwriter for it later on in the strip's run.) I remember being pleased with the exaggerated expressions in panels 4 and 5.
Further on in the comic was Tom Thug's Skooldayz, written and drawn by me as always and lettered by Mike Peters. I always felt the font Mike used was too large and obtrusive, but later the strip was hand lettered by Jack Potter who gave it a much more suitable look in my opinion.
Interestingly although the Brats and Tom occupy the same "Buster universe" we treated the supernatural as fiction in the more streetwise Tom Thug stories. That said, there was a Halloween team-up between Tom and the Brats a year or two later.
Adding a bit of toilet humour as a side gag before it was the norm in children's comics I drew Tom's Dad with his legs tightly crossed in the final panel, bursting to use the loo. Incidentally, I think this was the one and only appearance of The Spottyjumper Twins. Perhaps I should bring them back in Toxic!
Happy Halloween, Readers!