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And FINALLY - they let me do a comic strip in my English book. The Wepherds - my own little dysfunctional cartoon family - a lot closer to home than the Richard Forsythe stuff and therefore a lot more fun. Shane Wepherd was a bona fide alter ego, but grown up with his own family, so in some ways he reflected my own family situation (Shane looked more like my Dad than me, I always thought, but I didn't have a sister and didn't really relate to Sunuv, plus in real life we shared a house with my Grandparents. But my Mum really did have a horrifically loud voice when she chose to use it). But mainly he was a fantasy version of me, who may be more cantankerous and sometimes even hapless, but who generally had more confidence and control over his life. Or at least he does here.

 

There isn't much going on in this story. It's dinner time and that's it. The best bit is that Dortruv gets her teeth smashed out by a bar of soap - and her line in response is probably the best comedy line I'd ever written up till now (once again, I so hope I didin't just nick it from someone else), but apart from that it's pretty unremarkable. A less funny cartoon version of The Young Ones, with a real family instead of students.

 

The one thing this probably did lead to was my teacher Mr Shaw asking me to draw regular comic strips for the school notice board - some of which you can see here. I haven't retained many of these - I wonder if the school did - but I do know that in my second year I did a full-colour Shane Wepherd strip lasting several weeks called 'Trial By Custard,' which mercilessly ripped the piss out of the headmaster and several teachers. But somehow they still let  me do it.

 

This particular strip didn't return for a second part, as far as I know, so I'll have to assume Sunuv died when his record player exploded.

 

I got very sloppy at remembering to put the date above my English work around this time so there's no date on it but the next thing in the book is dated June 4th, a Monday, so I'd say around the end of May is a good bet.

The Boy Who Chewed Too Much (June 7th, 1984)
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June 7, 1984
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1984
Knob Head Magazine
A comic for adults only
1984
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1984
The Examination - written about an examination, during an examination
The final story in the incredibly interesting Richard Forsythe quadrilogy
Gary Le Strange relaxing in the Comedy Store
A line I didn't expect to find in a comic strip written by a 12 year old
Knob Head - no childish stuff here, folks! Just good, hard adult fun!
A picture I stuck to my bedroom door in an attempt to keep people out