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Right, so there are various things to say about this:

 

First is that 'Mania' was obviously my own version of Mad Magazine - for a while as a kid I was quite a fan and, though I rarely bought the magazine itself, I was an avid collector of the books it spawned. Around this point in my life, it's obvious that one of the many possible futures I saw for myself was creating my own comics empire, or being the head of my own idiosyncratic book company (many of the books I made at home were attributed to the label 'Shep Books', which had its own logo and everything (you can see it in the top right corner of this pretend record sleeve here). Mania was one of those imaginary comics in my head, and the character in this book was obviously one of its stars.

 

Second thing is, although it appears at first to be called 'Shane Wepherd Foiled,' you can clearly see that the name 'Shane Wepherd' has been retroactively written over the original name 'Waen Shepherd (as can be glaringly seen at the top of Page Two, where I missed one), so I prefer to refer to it by its original title. But the drawings of 'Waen' are indeed the same character who would eventually become the definitive Shane Wepherd.

 

The third thing to note is that this is a home made book. This is nothing to do with school. When I was a kid, if I wasn't watching TV, reading comics or playing with Star Wars figures, I was writing my own books or drawing pictures. This isn't the earliest example of a thing I did at home - see Look at My Dad for that - but it's probably the earliest complete home-made book that I've kept.

 

The last thing to note, therefore, is that it's difficult to date it accurately. It's definitely from the Fairburn period because anything after that would probably have used joined-up writing. But the main clue to its date is probably in the list of "other Mania books" on the back page (none of which actually existed). The second - "The Mania Tribute to John Lennon" - probably dates it to some time soon after John Lennon's death. Why I thought I could write a funny book about that, I've no idea. But hey, this one's about me being blown up, put back together, smashing everything up in a rage and eventually being used as a human guillotine, so who knows what was going on in my mind?

 

 

Shoes (Jan 27, 1981)
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1971-2016
The Body Bugs (Dec 1980)
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 1
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 2
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 3
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 4
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 5
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 6
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 7
Waen Shepherd Foiled - Page 8
Mighty White Corpuscle
Gerry Germ Attacks!
Nov/Dec 1980
Moleman's Impossible Story
A heap of confusion
Dec 1980
Shoes
A violent TV review
Jan 27, 1981
Flash Harry
Nude men and bum sniffing
Jan/Feb, 1981
The Body Bugs
More so-called 'characters'
Dec 1980
Flash Harry - oh dear, now Shepherd's writing about childish stuff like streaking and bum smells. Can't he act his age for once?
A serious turn towards aggression or was I just bored?
Gary Le Strange relaxing in the Comedy Store
Mighty White Corpuscle - one of the best ideas I've ever had, and one of the worst executed
Moleman (no, not THAT Moleman from Marvel Comics - I don't steal character names, silly!) specialises in the art of confusion
The Body Bugs - God, I could have been a millionaire with this lot...