I love old horror movies, so Halloween is a great time for me – the TV schedules are full of shoddy 80s slasher movies, classic Hammer Horror and 90s sequels featuring the cast of Dawson’s Creek. The green flavour Jaffa Cakes return to Asda (I don’t know what flavour they are, but the box is green and I love them more than I love Macaroni Cheese, which is a lot). Plus, Ghoulies Go To College and Ernest Scared Stupid drop to under a fiver on Amazon. It’s also a great springboard for inspiring comics.
This is the best one I’ve seen this year, The Devil’s Steps by Dan Berry
Halloween also inspires some really fun puzzle pages and madverts for me, as my last few blogs have mentioned. But last Halloween I finally got to sneakily bring Justin Beaver out of retirement for a puzzle in The Dandy!
Justin Beaver was my very first published strip. It had ended on it’s 10th week. I thought there were 12 strips due, The Dandy had only actually commissioned 8, but I managed to push it up to 10.
The 12th and final strip would have seen how Justin turned out years after his fame had faded, essentially becoming a cross between an angry has-been and the desperate ‘I’ll do anything’ Kerry Catona/Peter Andre type. As the script concluded it is strongly hinted that Justin goes ‘off the rails’. The last panel was set in the future and would have seen is Manager Tiny (from The Beezer) find him dead-eyed, washed-up and tragically slumped… over a cash register working in McDonalds.
There were three versions of the Halloween Fansylvania puzzle drawn. One with Justin Bieber (which is what the editorial team had asked for), one with Justin Beaver and one where there was no solution to the maze and either version of Justin ended up perishing at the hands – or fangs – of the vampire who – for no reason at all other than it amused me – bares a striking resemblance to a 1980s Real Ghostbusters toy I used to have…
The Dandy, always willing to go with the funniest option, went with the latter. Letting me kill off my first creation in a very satisfying conclusion.
Death is, ater all, the ultimate punchline.
That was deep. That would make a good Fred Basset cartoon. One were the humourless hound finds Mr Brown’s bland lifeless body slumped in his chair, finally out of his boring unfunny misery.
God I hate that dog.
To end with then, here for the first time is the unused Justin Bieber version of Fansylvania!