Here’s a few of my rejected pitches from The Dandy. Obviously, they’re all fantastically brilliant ideas – they probably just didn’t have enough room to fit them all in. *Ahem*.
I think if you include a couple of crappy ideas it will make the good ones seem even better, hence why some of them are dreadful. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! Some of the pitches have accompanying art, some don’t. Hidden in the list somewhere are a couple of ridiculous fake pitches I’ve made up for a lark. See if you can spot them…
Bill The Budgie: 3 panel mini strip inspired by Garfield/Snoopy etc in which increasingly frustrated pet owner, Howard, insists his pet bird is hilarious in order to try and get a TV show/movie and fame. Bill has other ideas, refusing to be funny, and by behaving exactly as a bird does – just chirping. (This was based on an old comic strip Andy Fanton & I did when we were 16!)
Come Dine With Dandy: 3 Panel Mini-strip featuring Dandy characters old and new serving up a (not always delicious) meal for a cartoon version of the Editor, with funny results – Desperate Dan promises an exotic sounding ‘Ringlets of tender Boeuf incased in an exquisite golden baked savory case’, only to find it’s Cow Pie. Brassneck will promise Nut Cutlets, only to reveal it’s Nuts and Bolts cutlets etc.
Lucky Happy Cat: 3 panel mini-strip about a Japanese Maneki Neko cat (the happy waving cats seen in takeaways etc), only this cat brings nothing but bad luck and no-one is pleased to see him. The cat himself remains unharmed, but those he comes into contact with suffer all manner of misfortune, much to their confusion and annoyance.
Popstar Wars: Full page strip similar to that of the Little Celebs, where the main characters change, featuring a town/street full of popstars who are all out to get to number one and get one over on their famous neighbours. Stories might include Katy Perry bragging about charity work only for Lady GaGa to donate all her mad clothes to a charity shop. Beyonce being all over the celeb magazines annoying Cheryl Cole, so she goes out trying to get ‘papped’ – only to be snapped in embarressing situations. Katie Price’s quest for another celebrity boyfriend ending up with her marrying Jedward etc etc
Dr. Beaky: Animal Doctor: 3 panel mini-strip about a duck who is a doctor. The strip revolves around ‘Doctor Doctor…’ type jokes, only with animals at the centre. A pun-centric strip about a ‘Ducktor’ diagnosing ‘mallardies’. Such as the dog with measles that turns out to be a dalmatian, he tortoise who wont shell out for treatment, a cat that barks who turns out to be a fish, a mouse who claims he’s got an unusually long tail – but takes 3 hours to explain the story it turns out he had a long tale instead and so on.
Windy Pops: 3 panel mini-strip about a flatulent father embarrassing his two kids by purposefully breaking wind at inappropriate moments, such as weddings, school plays, Christmas dinner, at funerals etc. Dad is a fun loving character, and would be the focus for the laughter. The two kids frustration would be the driving force behind Dad’s bum-gas bomb, and it would all be in good fun. Though possibly not good taste!
Tom Bowler: 3 panel mini-strip about a useless magician whose tricks always blow up in his face, much to the amusement of his crowd.
Scampers Through The Universe: Full page strip about an ordinary house-cat, named Scampers, whose cat flap transports him through time and space, where he fights crime, aliens and foes throughout history, all before dinner time. At home Scampers is an ordinary house cat, in space he is a humanised Captain of the Galacticat – a solo spacecraft he flies to adventure… and BEYOND!
Note: This strip was pitched before Star Cat in The Phoenix (which has a faintly similar premise), and was repitched again a few months later as…
Scampers Through Time: Full Page Strip, whenever Doug strokes his cat Scampers the wrong way, they travel through time. The only issue with this is that Scampers doesn’t care and Doug is an idiot. This strip would be in wacky and fun in tone, being based more on the fun that can be had rather than the educational nature of it. In the first strip, Doug ends up in Victorian London. He can’t get his mobile to work, so goes into a phone shop. The phone shop turns out to be Sweeny Todd’s barber shop and Doug is in for a close shave. Meanwhile, Scampers is chasing what he thinks is a mouse, only for it to turn out to be a disease ridden rat.
Scampers Through Time is quite similar to Nuke Noodle, which started in The Dandy a few weeks after I pitched this. Nuke Noodle was different, however, by cleverly being funny – something I omitted from this pitch.
House Bunny: 3 panel strip about a cute rabbit looking for a place to live. The bunny looks around celebrity homes and famous buildings, before getting booted out by their owners or falling foul of their reputation – Yvette Fielding’s house is haunted, the bunny gets lost in Posh Spice’s shoe cupboard labyrinth, is made to walk the plank at Johnny Depp’s house, is literally booted out of Wayne Rooney’s house etc.
Jack Sparrow: 3 panel mini-strip about a brave sea-faring sparrow, who has to fight off the evil seagulls, battle ferocious waves and travel the world in search of his beloved ‘treasure’. As the strip progresses to a conclusion, we would find his treasure is actually a bird table in some-one’s garden. Jack Sparrow is inspired by the character from the Pirates Of the Caribbean movies.
Chesney’s Hawk: 3 Panel mini-strip about a little lad and his wise-cracking pet hawk. Chesney uses his well-trained hawk pal to get out of trouble, such as when the school bully strikes, hawk flies up behind him and gives him a wedgie! The lad and his bird will be best friends, and everyone loves hawk who is a sort of local hero character. Like ‘Kes’, but he doesn’t die at the end.
Fan Girl: Full Page Strip. Fan Girl is like everyone’s sister growing up – she is psychotically besotted with every boyband, teen heart throb and movie star around. The difference here is that she thinks she has super powers, and it is her duty to protect her beloved stars from the nefarious evil doers of the World. The stars themselves are scared of Fan Girl and will do anything to get away from her, usually putting them in more danger.
Doctor Whoops: 3 Panel Mini Strip. This strip would revolve around an extremely accident prone version of Doctor Who, with him ruining alien plots and thwarting bad guys entirely by accident. I see this as a kind of mash-up of Doctor Who and Calamity James. Extremely silly and full of violent slapstick.
Mouse Matt: 3 Panel Mini Strip. The adventures of Matt, the amazing boy who can turn into a mouse. Except he can’t, he only thinks he can, and everyone around him knows it. Matt will try to needlessly help out in any situation by turning into a mouse, and failing miserably. In the first strip, there is a bank robbery. Matt claims he will turn into a mouse and scare the robbers down an alleyway. Instead, the police trip over him as he’s crouching down. The last panel is him in jail saying “I’ll turn into a mouse and escape through these bars!” He is an idiot.
Hostbusters: Madvert, play on the Ghostbusters brand, but capitalising on the irritating omnipresence of today’s TV hosts. The Madvert would feature normal people trying to go about their life but being interpreted by various TV hosts, much to their dismay. The dialogue would read “Are you plagued by Ant & Dec in the night? Do experience feelings of Noel Edmonds in your basement or attic? Are you troubled by Brucie while you’re trying to do the washing up? If the answer is yes then don’t delay, call the professionals: who ya gonna call: Hostbusters! They ain’t afraid of no host”.
Transyvanian Families: Madvert parody of the inexplicably popular range of girls toys, featuring small woodland creatures going about their business in a small town. The Madvert would feature a typical Hammer Horror castle, which opens up to reveal all the fun things you can do inside (like the larger houses in the actual toy range). The castle will include a mad scientists lab, a dungeon, a graveyard, trap doors, torture chamber, kitchen complete with witch’s cauldron, haunted paintings and and artifacts room full of mummies etc.
Curse Of The Cher Wolf: 3 Panel Mini Strip. Mini strip revolving around chart topping headache on legs, Cher Lloyd. The premise is simple, she’s a werewolf (ala MTV’s Teen Wolf revamp, Twilight etc) which makes appearing on TV shows and doing gigs rather problematic for her. The werewolf side comes out whenever Cher is angry or in trouble, or just at inopportune moments. The first strip would see Cher appearing a chat show, the host, Johnathan Ross, asks Cher about her single, the other guest (Ricky Gervais) says he doesn’t like it and it’s rubbish. Cher ‘wolfs out’ and eats Ricky whole. The last panel is the wolf with Ricky’s legs sticking out of its mouth scowling at Jonathan, who says “Errm.. I thought it was gweat!”
This was the second time I’d pitched Curse Of The Cher Wolf, demoting it from full page strip to a mini strip. It was rejected again, then 2 months later it was accepted as a puzzle page instead!
Stopshop: Madvert mickey take of Topshop, but aimed entirely at lollypop ladies.
Downton Alley: Mini strip series about some posh tramps living an unlikely aristocratic lifestyle in an alleyway.
Blue Ray: Mini strip about a miserable sod whose quest for everyday happiness only brings more woe.
The Tragic Roundabout : The roundabout at the annual magicians fair has gone haywire and mangled all the magicians in it’s magical mechanism in this Where’s Wally type puzzle. Help find all the body parts in the wreckage. Kids will have to find Harry Potter, Gandalf, Paul Daniels, Derren Brown etc in a full page drawing.
All these ideas, except two, are genuine pitches I sent to The Dandy between May and July 2011. All characters, concepts, artwork and stories (no matter how poorly thought out) are copyright me 2013. If you steal them and make a million pounds off them I want at least 10 quid and a bag of fun size Mars bars as compensation.
Did you spot the fake ones? I’ll reveal the answer tomorrow…