Wednesday, 30 October 2013

This year's Halloween pumpkin



I'm pretty busy with writing, as it happens, but I couldn't resist taking the time to make a Halloween pumpkin. A return to tradition, after last year's Jimmy Savile (of which I remain proud), this is supposed to be the werewolf from American Werewolf In London, though whether that's what it's ended up like I can't be sure. Enjoy.

Same time next year?

2011's Skull pumpkin
2010's Frankenstein pumpkin



Kev F comicbooks also available from UT Productions on Kindle:
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Comic No 1
Sinnerhound - Highwaywoman
Hot Rod Cow
The Tock - an illustrated book for children
The Immortal Partie - A Mr Hawk murder mystery adventure
Edinburgh Sketchbook 84-85

The following Sitcom Trials script books are on Kindle and come highly recommended:
The Lavender Millbank Mob
Go Wild In The Country
Kiss Me Son Of God
Situation Murder
Dead Air & Clarice
Didn't You Used To Be..?

Halloween - new video from the Socks



Hallo, my name's not... Yes it's a brand new video version of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's most popular routine, Halloween. Just in time to be out of date in less than 48 hours. You're welcome. Enjoy, please RT, and we'll see you with it all again this time next year.

 

SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour...NOW!
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester 
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

"Pain and monkey laughter" - 9/10 review from Cardiff, July

Only just emerged online, a smashing review for the Socks show back in July. Cheers.

Review: Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre & Joe Lycett

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 21/10/2013 at 16:58
0 comments » - Tagged as ComedyFestivalsMoviesMusicStage
Saturday 13th July 2013
Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8/10


Like with dance, I confess that I don’t see enough comedy. But this night was a hilarious evening made has made me want to see much more.
Joe Lycett, who was replacing Nick Helm, proved to be just as funny as any major comedian on the circuit today. His whimsy and charm had a matter of factness that made for a sophisticated and campish act. Or as he put it ‘Joe Lycett so he should have put a ring on it’. Him being informed that his spirit animal is a walrus (who is now a sort of alter ego), his fake complaint letters and what the gay Olympics would be like (non Russia related) all made for some stellar humour and a wicked and sharp tongued act.
He confessed to being gay and asked if there were any in. I resisted the urge to speak up, plus no one else did. I’m never one for a comedian ripping into me, so I let it slide. His emails to the Daily Mirror about a certain celebrity kicking a pigeon as a photo for the paper was the highlight of his stand up.
The main reason for coming to his was for The Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. I have been following it on YouTube for some time and when I knew there was a live performance of it in Cardiff, how could I possibly say no?
It’s very funny old fashioned Scottish humour which made for an hour of general hilarity and tears of joy unlike anything else. The show was set in space, apparently, with a thread of sci-fi along the way. Much of the wit came from elsewhere and it wasn’t until the end of the show that we got to be in space, but it’s all the funnier for that.
Like Tommy Cooper, it’s funny because things go wrong, very wrong missed cues, props falling, failed jokes (which our sock friends were more than happy to admit). Them asking for requests of Michael Jackson’s No. 1s songs was a great moment. Pointing out to a lady that the album Thriller went to number one and not the song (biggest selling Vinyl of all time. My mum still has a copy).
I shouted out the song Beat It as it was the only other one I could think of since all the others had been said. My reply back from one of the socks in classic Scottish style was ‘You beat it ya ****!’ much to my shock and sheer amusement. The David Bowie sketch along with the impersonation, almost had me on the floor in a fit of pain and monkey laughter.
Follow them on YouTube. It deserves much more praise
Joe Lycett Rating: 8/10
Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Rating: 9/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

Monday, 28 October 2013

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Dahhn to Margate (and Horsham and Canterbury)

Now that's what I call planning. Three Socks dates that actually go in a sensible order. Horsham (about 2 and a half hours from home) then Margate (about 2 hours further east) then Canterbury (less than an hour east again).


And the gigs just kept getting better and better, starting with a small but lovely crowd in the big Capitol theatre in Horsham; then an understandably small audience in the Tom Thumb Theatre in Margate, which is the second smallest theatre in the country, only fitting 50 people into its beautiful little environs (adapted in the 1980s from a former Victorian coaching house, the seats came from an old Music Hall, and it is one of the most delightful theatres I've ever been in, and one I want to return to every year); topped off with a sellout in the Spiegeltent at the Canterbury Festival, with more than 200 people giving us one of the best shows in ages. I know I keep saying that, with this autumn's tours having included some simply sensational audience responses, but I can't leave it unacknowledged.

The current 90 minute show (which they had in Horsham and Margate, as well as Farnham, Birmingham, Derry & Belfast, with Canterbury getting an interval-free 75 minute version) comprises 45 minutes of best-of followed by Socks In Space pretty much in its entirety. A validation of just how good a new Edinburgh show can become, we're getting some of the best laughs and performability from material that didn't exist until July of this year (Avengers, Alien, Star Trek and, inexplicably, Countdown, are killer routines now).

Since you ask, yes I have chosen the theme for next year's show and, yes, I've started writing it already, and yes I have a particular reason for starting writing it so soon and, no, I can't tell you about it yet. Stay tuned, news to follow.

The next gigs as well scheduled as this will be my four day run in Hull, Barton, Chorley and Manchester in November. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a four hour (if I'm lucky) drive home through the (so we're told) worst storm since 1987. I may be some time.

 

SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour...NOW!
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester 
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Don't Believe Everything You See In A Comic Done By A Child



What could be a more apt title for the first of this batch of comics, created by kids in my Comic Art Masterclasses in Withersnack (near Grangeover Sands in the Lake District), the 20/21 Art Centre in Scunthorpe, Wellington College and Colaiste Fierste in Belfast, Enderby in Leicestershire, Kendal Library, and Bath. Yes, I've done a bit of travelling in the last week and a half.

The celebrities they selected for the "treads on a worm" demonstration strip were Jessie J, Miley Cyrus, Will Smith, Simon Cowell, 50 Cent, Michael Jackson, Harry Styles, Robert Downey Jr, and most obscure suggestion (the uncle of one of the pupils, as well as being the co-star of Robin Hood) Richard Armitage.

As always I'm available to come and teach kids at your school, library or art centre how to do what I've been doing for a living for the last 25 years, and as you can see distance is no object (literally Lake District one day, Belfast the next, Bath the day after, what am I thinking?). Have you seen the new video promoting my classes? Go on then, here it is...


The Dog Did It - comics by kids Aug 2013
Bunny Dood Defeats King Lettis - July 2013
I Flushed My Magical Penguin Down The Toilet - Mar 2013
The Bean Men - Feb 2013
Aquatic Owls vs The Moon - Dec 2012
The Hairy Bottom - July 2012
Kid Afro Spaghetti - June 2012 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Top Of The Lakes, too



Having fun here in Kendal, at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, with a brilliant traditional night in a bar full of comics folks last night (at Brewery Arts) the like of which I've missed for the last few years, followed by a jam-packed sellout (okay, free) Comic Art Masterclass in Kendal Library this morning (that's me and the flipchart above), all following a splendid all-day class at a Primary school in Withersnack yesterday - you heard me, Withersnack. And, as I type, I have the Viz talk tonight to look forward to, interviewing Graham Dury and Simon Thorp on stage at the Brewery.

The participation of the shops and businesses of Kendal in this whole event is truly impressive, with window after window making some attempt to comic itself up. Just a couple of examples below, I look forward to seeing a whole collection of them online soon. I'm full of praise for the organisers, I look forward to hearing good reports.


 
 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 1 Charlie Chaplin

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 1 we find...



Charlie Chaplin was quite possibly the first comedian to have his own comic strip, with his 'Comic Capers' beginning as a newspaper strip in Chicago in 1915. In France, where his Little Tramp character was known as Charlot, a comic strip of that name (above, courtesy of Comic Vine) ran from 1926 until the 1960s, serialised originally in the weekly Cri-Cri. In Britain, as Lew Stringer describes in his excellent Crikey! blog, Chaplin appeared in a variety of comics including The Funny Wonder (below) where his strip was drawn by Freddie Adkins. In 2009 Chaplin met The Doctor in IDW's Doctor Who comics (below), by Tony Lee and Al Davison.




No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - Laurel & Hardy
No 3 - Harry Hill
No 2 - The Goodies
No 1 - Charlie Chaplin

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Top Of The Lake to ya



Here we see the flipchart I produced at last weekend's Comic Art Masterclass in Scunthorpe, thanks to the brilliantly named Hayley McPhun both for the photo and for arranging the classes. As you can see I got to put a lot of detail into this one, largely as a result of the kids not turning up as early as we'd have liked (they came eventually, it was grand)

But when it comes to the disorganisation of a Comic Art Masterclass, today's class in Kendal has to take the mint cake. I'm sat in a hotel in Kendal, with Hev, all ready for two days of classes in schools, through which I've been able to pay my way to a weekend at the inaugural Lakes International Comic Festival, at which I'll be doing a class in the library on Saturday and interviewing the boys from Viz on stage at Brewery Arts.

I was quite proud of my forward planning, having lined up two days of classes way back in March, justifying the four hour drive to the Lakes which would have been a bit much for a one-off visit. And, as is my usual way, I double checked with an email on the day before I set off that everything was still okay. It wasn't.

Through some inexplicable cock up, through which the school hadn't received my email in March confirming the date, they were under the impression I wasn't coming so weren't prepared for me. Which might not be so bad under normal circumstances where, with a day's warning, all could be put right. But today the school, and most schools in Cumbria, is on strike. D'oh.

So, as it happens I have some writing to get on with, about which I hope to tell you soon, and I'll be doing that today. Could be sillier. Could be that I'm flying all the way to Belfast on Monday to teach at a school that's suddenly discovered it's booked me on an Inset Teacher Training Day. Yes it has. Sigh.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 2 The Goodies

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 2 we find...



The Goodies were one of the favourite TV shows of my childhood (unforgivably neglected by the BBC throughout the last 30 years and not repeated until this century) and the recipients of one of the best comedian-to-comic-strip comic strips ever.

The Goodies strip in Cor!! comic, for whose title one should never forget the two exclamation marks, was drawn by British Comic art legend Joe Colquhoun who has won awards for the series Charley's War, written by Pat Mills, and goes down in history as the original artist of Roy Of The Rovers back in 1954.

I am indebted to a marvellous blog called Kazoop for the image above and for the following information (do please check out the blog, it's full of gems): "licensed for just the one year, The Goodies were unique in the fact they were the only adapted characters featured with the comic's pages with copyright credit being given to Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke Taylor and Graeme Garden. According to Robert Ross' book "The Complete Goodies" the strips were all authorised and approved by The Goodies prior to publication and Tim still displays an original Cor!! strip in his study”.



No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - Laurel & Hardy
No 3 - Harry Hill
No 2 - The Goodies
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Sunday, 13 October 2013

New Comic Art Masterclass promo video



I've made a brand new video promoting my Comic Art Masterclasses, and I hope everyone likes it. Continuing my experiments with green screen, which I've now had access to for a little over a week, I've made this entirely in iMovie 11 which I'm slowly getting the hang of (though I would love it if just one tutorial video on YouTube could exist that didn't include the words "cool" and "awesome" every other sentence).

I am, as always, available to give my Comic Art Masterclasses to your kids, wherever they be* (*NB Within reason. I mean if you live on an island in the mid-Atlantic it'll cost, is all I'm saying.) Tweet @KevFComicArtist, find me on Facebook, or why not try emailing me? Details at comicfestival.co.uk 

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 3 Harry Hill

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 3 we find...



Harry Hill's Real Life Adventures in TV Land was a comic strip in The Dandy featuring a cartoon-version of comedian Harry Hill, his sidekick, Knitted Character, and often spoofed television celebrities (writes Wikipedia).

Initially, it was planned for Harry Hill to feature in the comic's incarnation at that time, Dandy Xtreme, starting in June 2010. However, the strip's debut was delayed after a decision was made to revamp the Dandy, reverting it to a more traditional weekly comic format. The strip eventually began in issue #3508 on 30 October 2010, the first after the revamp, and ran continuously each week until issue #3565 on 14 December 2011. It was drawn by Nigel Parkinson, and featured on the majority of Dandy front covers since its debut, though other Dandy characters have also featured (most often Desperate Dan and Bananaman. Parkinson also wrote the vast majority of episodes, though Duncan Scott and Sean Baldwin also contributed a few scripts.

Despite proving to be a very popular strip in the comic, Nigel Parkinson confirmed on his blog on 8 December that the series was to be discontinued, due to circumstances beyond his control. It made its last appearance in the 2011 Christmas edition of the Dandy.:)

No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - Laurel & Hardy
No 3 - Harry Hill
No 2 - ??
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Saturday, 12 October 2013

DACS interview



Well lookit me, all over the DACS website, with a fun little interview I did recently. The Design and Copyright Society is a very helpful organisation for the struggling illustrator, enabling you to reclaim royalties for past publications and for work used in TV shows. It's always flattering to be interviewed, about anything frankly.

Kev F Sutherland: Why I'm signed up to Payback

As the deadline for Payback approaches, we interview comic artist Kev F Sutherland about his experience of claiming Payback royalties and find out what he's been working on recently. 

Can you tell us a bit about your work?

I write and draw for comics ranging from The Beano to Doctor Who Adventures via Match and even Marvel comics. Over the last 25 years I've worked for most publishers you can think of.

How long have you been claiming Payback royalties for?

This will be my tenth year claiming (no, nine, I missed the deadline one year!). I first became aware of Payback on its twentieth anniversary in 2004.

What did you do with last year’s Payback royalty?

The Payback royalties are perfectly timed for Christmas, which is also when freelance creative types often find a hole in their production (and earning) calendar. Thank DACS for remembering we don't get paid holidays in our line of work.

What advice would you give to anyone signing up for Payback for the first time?

Make sure you've kept file copies of all the books and magazines you've worked in, 'cos you'll need to find those ISBN numbers. I can safely say I'd not looked twice at an ISBN number and couldn't tell them apart until I filled in my first Payback claim.

Do you have any interesting projects coming up that we should know about?

I've written a Desperate Dan graphic novel, though since my publisher has never produced a graphic novel before now I'm having fun selling that idea. Keep looking out for me in the Beano, and if you're the recipient of any corporate Christmas cards, I may well have drawn them (though since they're not eligible for Payback, I really ought to remember to charge more for them).

For updates and information about Kev F Sutherland, visit his website.

Online registration for Payback closes on 31 October. Has your work ever appeared in UK books, magazines or TV? Find out more and sign up.

Read more interviews with artists who have claimed Payback royalties.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 4 Laurel & Hardy

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 4 we find...



Laurel and Hardy are comedians who divide modern day viewers. It is possible to not find their movies funny and it is possible to find their comic strip adaptations unfunny too. In the case of the movies you're wrong, they are landmarks of 20th century popular culture and, in many cases, laugh out loud funny nearly a century after they were filmed. In the case of the comic strips, not so much.

Laurel and Hardy can take credit for having the longest running and biggest selling comic strip adaptations on two sides of the Atlantic dating back to their first appearance in Britain's Film Fun in 1920. Forty years later their strip was still gracing the front cover, drawn by George Wakefield (thanks to Lew Stringer's excellent Crikey blog for the image). In the USA they are better remembered for the interestingly named Larry Harmon's Laurel and Hardy comic.

Larry Harmon made his name as the TV character Bozo The Clown, through which he discovered the potential of merchandising. Having successfully exploited his clown character, he then bought up the likenesses of Laurel and Hardy and turned them into an animated TV series in 1966. This spawned a best selling comic book version, published by Top Sellers comics and running for 135 issues. In 1972 DC Comics published a one-off comic of Larry Harmon's Laurel & Hardy, but the second issue (the cover of which exists here) remains unpublished.

No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - Laurel & Hardy
No 3 - H???? H???
No 2 - T?? G??????
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Mad Dogs & British Folk - Scottish Falsetto Socks



A brand new video from the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre, taking a live performance from Edinburgh of one of the songs that was in our second show "Return Of.." and putting new pictures to it. Again working with green screen, the novelty of which hasn't worn off yet, the film clips in the background are public domain and come from Internet Archive at archive.org.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 6 Reg Varney

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 6 we find...


Reg Varney had his own comic strip in TV Fun in the 1960s, which came as a surprise to me when I discovered it. I didn't really know him as a comedian in his won right, though I did know he was the first person in Britain to use a hole in the wall ATM machine, in 1967. In Enfield, now you ask.

What I also knew was that he'd co-starred in one of the first funny comic strips that I'd devoured as a kid, the On The Buses strip in Look-In. Look-In's weekly strips ranged from adaptations of action series - The Tomorrow People, Kung Fu, Six Million Dollar Man, Space 1999 - to strip versions of sitcoms - Bless This House, Man About The House, Doctor In The House (if you had house in the title, you were onto a good thing) - and strips based on popular comedians and entertainers - David Cassidy had one, as did Benny Hill and Ken Goodwin. For me the outstanding humour strips were drawn by Harry North who, before he moved on to a glittering career at Mad magazine and in advertising in America, drew the strips Doctor In The House (and At Large and At Sea) and the above picture Varney-starring On The Buses.

If ever an artist added to the comedic impact of a strip it is North. The underlying plots are frequently quite simple, though a lot of the dialogue has a sparky charm (the authors of most strips in Look-In went anonymous), but North's characters, frequently grotesque and gnarled, have such beautiful boggle eyed expressions they are irresistible and invite repeated re-viewings. I would happily say Harry North's On The Buses comic strips are funnier and more worth reading forty years on than the original TV series is worth watching. (Check it out on cable, it's largely ghastly).

No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - L****? & H***?
No 3 - H***? H**?
No 2 - T*? G*****?
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 5 Billy Connolly

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 5 we find...



Billy Connolly, though more famously immortalised in the paintings of John Byrne, co-wrote and starred in a newspaper strip The Big Yin, drawn by Glasgow cartoonist Malky McCormick. The Big Yin ran in the Scottish Sunday Mail for two years from 1975, coinciding with Billy Connolly's transition from local to international star. I have been unable to find any images from the strip online, so the ones you see here are from my own teenage diary. They were special editions of the strip, published in the Sunday Times, celebrating the last Scotland v England derby at Wembley in 1977. The colouring is my own from the time.



No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - B***? C******?
No 4 - L****? & H***?
No 3 - H***? H**?
No 2 - T*? G*****?
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.



SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath
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