More Nasty Tales

August 17, 2009

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Perhaps they were inviting trouble by heading this magazine with the phrase “The one you’ve all been waiting for kids”. Despite an “Adults only” on the cover Mick Farren and the gang ended up in court for “Obscenity” and “Corrupting a minor”. How a copy of Nasty Tales came to be on sale in a Newsagents in 1971, and why an 8 year old would buy it rather than The Beano or The Dandy is lost in the mists of time. But I suppose, thinking back to when I was 8 years old I would be sent to buy cigarettes for my father (taking the opportunity to purchase the odd Mad magazine or Alan Class comic at the same time…) and the Newsagent never turned a hair. Now you hear tales of pensioners being asked to produce ID to buy alcohol in the Supermarket !!

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I see from the letters page that readers were commenting on the different quality of art between the more accomplished artwork of the American reprints of Mr Natural, The Fabulous Freak Brothers etc and the (mostly) rough-and-ready original UK material. The “punch line” of this strip drawn by Edward only make sense if you know who Lobby Ludd (Lobby Lud ??) is/was. There were many Lobby Ludds over the years (representing a variety of tabloid newspapers and handing out fivers) lurking around various seaside resorts throughout much of the C20th.

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Nasty Tales

November 29, 2008

This week I have mostly been reading “Nasty Tales”. The book is an ideal introduction into the murky world of British underground and alternative comics.

The ones I acquired tended to be bought in record shops before shops specifically selling comic books appeared. Although some magazines re-printed the American stuff from Robert Crumb etc many of our great artists like Hunt Emerson and Bryan Talbot began their carreers in odd little comics with low print runs.

Although noted for his adult strips (which often appeared in “adult” publications) Hunt Emerson has now become “respectable” and has a comic strip in “The Beano” that still appears weekly despite now being 70 years old. (thats the Beano comic thats 70…not Hunts strip!!)

I first noticed Bryan Talbot’s artwork in UK Fanzines and then in the underground comic “Brainstorm Comix” in the late 1970s. After periods working for 2000AD and DC comics by way of such influential material as “Luther Arkwright” and “The Story of One Bad Rat” in 2007 he released the ambitious and acclaimed “Alice in Sunderland”.