Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist

Nigel Parkinson, Cartoonist
This is him, more hirsuite than ever. 2014. Let's see what happens...

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Celebrity


In 1989 I was part of a group working out of what we called The Shed (because it was basically A Shed) I told you all about it back here and here




This title was launched in August 1989 and was the very first time I'd ever seen a genuinely all-colour comic! We called it WANTED: Budgie Malone and Owl Capone. We nearly got a TV series out of it! We prepared all the contents and a new outfit, Celebrity, out in the western wilds beyond Morden, published it.
Anyhow, our biggest publicity came when our London editor, Etta Saunders, late of Marvel UK (who?) arranged a mock outrage press story by phoning up WH Smith at Heathrow airport and telling them a replica gun was being given away with a new comic. Well of course, they were appalled, envisioning a gun metal-colour pistol or revolver, indistinguishable from the real thing. It wasn't. It was a one-inch, fat little bright yellow water pistol.
Ah, the power of suggestion.
And was it worth it? We shifted a fair few copies of the first two issues, numbers that today would cause rejoicing, but back then were borderline. Six issues later, we gave up the ghost, although a seventh issue was prepared, given to a new publisher, lost, and never seen again. And all in the days before digital files, so there are no copies.

8 comments:

Lew Stringer said...

Remember a few years ago when airports were in a fuss over The Dandy giving away a free plastic toy in case it was used to hijack a plane or something?

Anonymous said...

I've been clearing out my loft and to my amazement i came across the 1st and 2nd copys of wanted Budgie Malone and Owl Capone comic book. (August 1989)The free water pistol is missing, just wondered what i can do with them now?

Rich

NP said...

Read 'em?
Other than that, i dunno.

Julius said...

I still have a few issues of this. It was one of my favourite comics as a kid and I can remember checking every newsagent that I would go to for further issues(back in the days when they held unsold comics on the rack).

The concept was really interesting and it did not seem cynical, it was lots of fun.

I never really considered who was writing and drawing it. It is really nice to hear the behind the scenes stories and I hope you will give us some more.

Karl said...

I absolutely loved this comic, although I never managed to find anything past the first issue. No one seems to remember it though, for years folk looked at me like I was insane when I mentioned it and thought that I had made it up, and after a while I began to wonder myself. Thanks for the cover pictures! Would love to see this back in print, perhaps some sort of collection…?

NP said...

Nice to hear from a reader, Karl! i doubt there'll ever be a reprinting of WANTED comic, the rights and ownership are knotted up in a bit of a tangle. I may put up another page or two some time, if I can!

jackolantern said...

Finally! I have been looking for a bit of info about this comic for ages. I don't remember much apart from the names of the main characters on the cover.

I had a choice between this and Punisher and chose this.

I remember buying the first 3 issues from the local news agent and then it vanished.

I would love to be able to read it again just for nostalgia.

NP said...

Maybe we should do a limited edition reprint...