Thursday, 22 December 2011

#18 Grimoire

Alan: I wish people would just see us like human beings, like for what is inside and not what’s on the outside? Am I heavily pierced? Have I had my teeth filed? Yeah, fine, that’s my thing. I don’t see why people should be all up in my face about it. I mean John, he’s got an ampalang and sometimes it hurts…

John: It does yeah. I have to dab at it with ointment…

Alan: ...but you don’t hear him giving it all that about his problems. Why can’t people just leave us alone?

Jill: Yeah I mean if I want to go to the pub and kiss a woman…

Alan: But you don’t yeah? 'Cos you’re with me?

Jill: Yeah but if I wanted to…

Alan: Yeah but you don’t. We’re not going out by the way.

Jill: We are seeing each other…

Alan: …but that’s different yeah? We’re not going to be told, “Get married, get a job, make babies, exist as a cog in the machine”. You know. The machine? No way. I ain’t buying what you’re selling. Machine.

Jill: But we are seeing each other…

Alan: So we do covers right, but only to get money because we need a van. We do stuff like Kings of Leon and Coldplay and that. But totally ironical like. Soon as we get money for a van we’re off. I’ve got so much inside me waiting to get out. This place can’t contain me. And neither can mum. Soon as we get the van. Then we’ll see who’s roof I live under. Then we’ll see who’s sorry. Cliff can drive and he knows someone in Nottingham that can give us a gig. Isn’t that right Cliff?

Cliff: No-one tells me how to live.

Alan: No Cliff mate. I’m talking about the van? Nottingham?

Cliff: Oh. Right.

Alan: Sorry, he’s a bit hard of hearing.

Monday, 19 December 2011

# 17 Mervyn Purvis

“Hell Toro” is a bullfighter who neglects his wife and children in the pursuit of fame. He loves the money, the trappings, the roar of the crowd more than he cherishes the simple pleasures of domestic life. Then one day, tragedy strikes. His family are murdered by a rogue bull, jealous because he cannot experience human love. Driven mad by grief, Hell Toro gives over his soul to vengeance in a desperate bid to appease his dead family, whose souls unquenchably thirst for justice. I created him for Victory Comics in 1967 and he’s been a very successful character for me, particularly in Latin America.

He started appearing at the end of my bed silently inviting me to join him for tea and cakes about three years ago. It’s been very difficult to sleep ever since. He comes to me in dreams as well you see, but in my dreams, he does much worse stuff. Much worse. Every time I have had one of the dreams, something dies. A plant, a pet, an old school friend. So I try to stay awake.

I don’t know how, but I know that when I see him at the end of my bed, the tea is my life and the cakes are my soul. I want to eat the cakes and drink the tea but something tells me not to. Something in me screams no. Screams no so loud that soon it is beyond sound and it becomes a light, a white light that blanks out everything. I close my eyes and when I open them again he is gone and everything in my room is broken.

My tip to anyone starting out in comics? Perseverance.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

#16 Idris Bull

See, the trick when it comes to the ladies is make it about them. Talk to them. Make it seem like you’re interested.

It doesn’t hurt to look good either. I know I’m not as young as I used to be so a strict regime is absolutely essential.

Firstly, wardrobe. Learn this phrase. “Ladies love leather”. They might tell you they don’t but they do.  You know what they’re like. Tasseled leather? Don’t get me started. It’s like catnip.

Secondly, jewellery. Chunky. Gold. Nothing sentimental. It’s purely about showing you have a wedge and can afford the finer things. Few can resist.

Thirdly? Hair. This is all-important. You can’t spend enough in this area. I for one get my streaks re-done every three weeks. This is for two reasons. One? To cover the grey. Go to a club with grey hair and you might as well douse yourself in shit. Nothing destroys the illusion of youth like grey hair. Second, it shows you’re right up with the latest cuts and styles. I need to point out at this stage that if you are balding you MUST GO CUEBALL. Brynner style or nothing. I really can’t stress that enough. If you go clubbing with thinning hair or partial baldness you might as well douse yourself in shit, piss and the sick of an old lady or something. What I’m saying is you really won’t do well.

Lastly you need to arrive in style. There’s nothing more masculine than riding around on your chrome stallion, steel horse or as many call it, motorbike. In a lot of ways it’s much like a throbbing motorised phallus, except you use it mainly for transport. When you are not actually riding your motorbike, and the ladies cannot see you on it, I like to carry around my helmet to indicate that I have been riding a motorbike recently, and will shortly do so again.

Follow these rules and I promise you like me, you will be able to boast you have slept with in excess of four women.

Monday, 12 December 2011

#15 Corinne Smedley

No, I would never describe myself as lucky in love. My first husband was pecked to death by seagulls. Harrowing that was. He had this incredulous look on his face as if to say, “Why aren’t they just taking the bread?”

Derek was next. The age-old story. Man goes out for cigarettes, comes back, waits ‘til you're asleep and then dips your purse before fucking off in the Xsara Picasso with your sister. I should have known better about him. He was a Libra. You know what Libra men are like. And she was just my half sister. You can never trust a halfy.

But I suppose you’re curious about Donnie here. There’s no great mystery. He was decapitated having a fag outside the Shopping Centre when the “No Loitering” sign fell down. He’d have been tickled by that if he’d lived to hear about it. He always liked hearing about stuff like that.

Is it strange that I carry about his head about in a bag? I suppose so. But it’s all I have left isn’t it? I dunno. I just feel if I can hang on to this at least I might one day be able to hang onto a whole live man for more than five minutes. Does that sound crazy? I suppose it does. I won’t lie. It’s a great way to skip the queue at the offy.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

#14 Archie McKaig and Stan Fletcher

Stan: The swastikas? Yeah, we’re both pretty embarrassed about those. We were young when we got them. Young and stupid.

Archie: Aye, an’ noo yer auld an’ stupit!

Stan: Shut it Archie you complete cunt! Always being a cunt int ya? What kind of partner is that? All your working life going around with a pisstaking cunt. Maybe I deserve it.

Archie: Ye deserve cockrot. Fae aw the poofin’ ye dae. Poofin’ wi men. Men’s bums.

Stan: I think they get it. Now why don’t you fuck off in the back where you’ll be more useful? Anyway. No, I don’t believe in all that now. Archie neither. Live and let live is what we say. I mean look at me. Look at my face. The scraps I got into over such a lot of silly shit. When I remember that time of my life it’s like I’m looking back at another person. I remember feeling the pain, the anger, the incredible hurt. But I can’t actually feel it anymore. Like that part of me is spent. It sometimes feels like I can only see my past warped, like I’m looking at it through an old glass bottle, all askew and comical. But being honest what I really feel is bereaved. That kid, that silly kid who used to be me is dead now and he was a cunt, a stupid cunt who did horrible things and said horrible things but he was me, y’know? Me. And he’s gone. I’ve been robbed of him. Mugged myself out of those years. But those feelings pass and you just get on with it eh? Let’s just say ecstasy came along at just the right time for me. Thank fuck for it.

Archie: Fuckin' lassie’s drug that…

Stan: Did I not just tell you to fuck off? What? Yeah we looked into having them removed but it was too expensive. We need all the cash we can put our hand to for the business. You’d think starting up a florists would be easy but it’s a lot harder when you’ve got a thick, ugly Scottish tool holding you back.

Archie: Ah fuck you ya clown. He kids on he disnae love me. But he dis. He fuckin' loves me.

Stan: Steady.

Monday, 5 December 2011

#13 Dave Honeyjudge

It should have been a runaway success. When people want fast friendly service, they come to “Laughter Lines”, Mothwicke’s only stand up comedy bookmakers. If William Hill’s gives you the chills and Ladbrokes is in your bad books, lay down a line where the patter’s fine and the clientele are all funny as hell! An exciting new innovation. A bookies with a difference. I just don’t understand where it all went wrong. Well, it was because no one liked the combination of comedy and losing all their money. I mean we had some seasoned performers in there but they were getting heckled by sorts who lost every day of their lives. People who bathed in misery and washed their hair in failure. There were tears every night of the week. More than usual.  I suppose I do understand where it all went wrong, thinking about it.

But this is me all over, big ideas that I never think through. It was the same with my Queen themed strip club. Who wants a lap dance from a woman dressed as John Deacon? Of course no one. I can see that now. But at the time? I thought it would make me a millionaire. “We Will Rock You” with tits was how I saw it. I remember the feeling. The feeling that this was it. An idea that couldn't possibly fail. I’ve still got a box full of Roger Taylor chest wigs through the back. You can take one home if you want.

So now I work in the drycleaners. It’s steady, mundane work that doesn’t get me too excited and I think the Tetrachloroethylene acts as a natural damper for my stupid business ideas. I hope it stays that way as well. I just can’t afford another financial and legal disaster like “ Amazing Dave’s Circus of Toddlers”.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

#12 Victor Portnoy & Zoya

Victor: I’m going to introduce you to Zoya today. Zoya is part of a long tradition of Russian puppet making and performance that goes back many generations of my family, a tradition I’m very proud to be a part of. Say hello to the nice men Zoya!

Zoya: Hello!

Victor: I think it’s just so important to try and keep traditions alive, particularly if you are from an √©migr√© background. I don’t have much in the way of family left now since mum passed, and in a way that’s probably why I’ve been so keen to maintain and pass on my…

Zoya: He’ll take you places! He’ll take you places you know! In his taxi!

Victor: Haha, that’s great Zoya. What? Yes, I do drive a taxi. We’ve all got to make a living haven't we? It’s great actually. Give me a lot of free time to practice…

Zoya: He’ll take you places! Places you don’t want to go!

Victor: Haha! Wow, Zoya! You are quite a character! Isn’t she quite a character? In case I’m losing you here, this of course is all part of the tradition of puppetry, where the puppet will attempt to humiliate the puppet master for comic effect…

Zoya: He’ll try to do stuff to you! He does stuff to me!

Victor: Shut up Zoya!

Zoya: When he takes his hand out of me he thinks I don’t see! He thinks I don’t see what he does! But I do!

Victor: I SAID SHUT UP ZOYA YOU FUCKING WHORE! Ahem. Sorry. Sorry about that. Can we maybe do this another time?