Wednesday, 15 September 2010
In response to a record number of requests (two, as it happens!), I'm going to tell you a little about this barely-known title, Scouse Mouse Monthly.
In 1988, George Nicholas Creations was commissioned by Fleetway's Bob Paynter to produce a monthly comic featuring their famous character SCOUSE MOUSE who had just enjoyed a year's run with a London publisher called Modelbrisk.
I was one of the 'team' who put it together, in an extension to George's garage in the remote outermost outskirts of the edge of the outermost part of Melling. (Which is at the very furthest point of Merseyside, going outwards as far from Liverpool as is possible. And then a bit further.) We toiled in what we laughingly called 'The Shed' because it was basically a shed, and the core team was George, Nick, Julie and myself. George had come up with the concepts and characters some years before and had been trying new avenues for pushing them. This comic was a real labour of love (we got paid a weekly wage, and it JUST managed three figures!) and we took advantage of the trend Oink had started for slightly edgier and looser material to have a ball writing, drawing, colouring and lettering six days a week. Apart from Scouse Mouse and the Scallywags we had 'Stunt Man', (based on George's brother's career in the movies and TV!), 'Auntie Septic and Major Trauma', 'Fido Fax' 'The Swiney' ( a cop strip with literal pigs- ah, the 80s!) and 'Budgie Malone and Owl Capone, those Feathered felons!'
As the comic was never very well-known, I'm going to occasionally put a page or two up and tell you one of the many stories behind their creation. This front cover is from the 5th (of only six!) issue, pencilled by me and then inked and coloured by George. He used gouache, magic markers and Pantone pens by Letraset. I'd never seen Pantone pens before. They were filled with a petrolium base solution which played havoc with our lungs and livers and minds, sitting in a non-ventilated shed all winter. Nowadays they fill them with an innocuous fluid. Health and safety I expect.