|(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)|
Thursday, 31 March 2016
One of the better products you were able to get from comic book ads was the Exploding Army Hand Grenade. It wasn't a full-sized one and was a bit crude looking (nothing like the picture) but it was pretty good in the way you could load caps into it. In this Wizbang! advert, I've spoofed that by having it as a pocket atom bomb that kids can have fun totally destroying their neighbourhoods with.
Tuesday, 2 February 2016
|(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)|
Even pets were not immune to the comic-book ads and there were quite a few different ones, whether it was the now famous sea monkeys, or squirrel monkeys (which were a real con, because you actually did get nothing for your money). As with other items that were advertised, they were sold as wonderful exotic things, when they were really quite mundane (sea monkeys were just brine shrimp).
With these Wizbang ads, I decided to reference them with an advert selling everything you need to grow your own little pet demon. What child wouldn't want such a fabulous thing if they saw it advertised in a comic book?
Thursday, 14 January 2016
(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)
Of all the comic-book ads which existed, the one that most tend to remember are the iconic "X-Ray Specs" ones. The original adverts tended to show the same character looking at the bones in their hand, or looking through the dress of a woman. It was responsible for many a child parting with their pocket money and was something of a catalyst in introducing them to this strange world of bullshit comic-book ads. I chose to spoof it here and kept the artwork for it very basic.
Friday, 11 December 2015
(2B pencil on a 141mm x 103mm postcard)
Like the Santa Clause artwork I did last year, this was put on the front of a Christmas card I printed out and gave to various people. Unlike the last one, extra pages had to be stapled in to fit the following delightful seasonal tale of the joys of Christmas shopping:
Black Friday? Super Saturday? These were nothing but feeble side shows compared to the utter blood-thirsty carnage that has become Chaos Eve. That one, last, desperate shopping day before Christmas where real bargains were there for the taking, if you were ruthless enough.
At Chaos Eve events, there was none of that dubious “up to” 75% nonsense which most high-street stores got away with. It had to be “at least” 75% off, and on quality goods too. Stores jostled to offer the best percentage above that, because they knew the publicity a well-attended event could bring.
Yolanda Jones, along with all the other Chaos Eve shoppers she was stood with at the doors of the Asda superstore on that cold December morning, was well aware of that too, and like them, she cherry-picked the best ones. This store was offering 80% off on laptops, game consoles, smartphones and designer watches. It wasn't to be missed.
Looking around, she noticed some familiar shoppers from previous years. Roadkill was there, a man dressed like a biker road warrior, which was somewhat ironic because he always travelled to these events in a taxi. Elfie was also there, called such because of all the “health and safety” gear he wore, like his hard-hat, goggles, face-mask, and high-viz jacket. Paleface couldn't be missed with his home-made clanking armour and bucket helmet that perpetually grinned at everyone, along with Mister Eeman in his question mark balaclava. There was Psycho in his hockey mask and boiler suit, who was stood next to Awol, dressed like a soldier, as well as Huddy, whose mad eyes flicked all around him. Jack Daw was there too, although that wasn't his real name, of course. People called him that after the Captain Jack Sparrow character, because he was dressed like a pirate. He did this due to losing an eye and a leg in previous Chaos Eve events. This year he had the addition of a surgical neck collar, still recovering from the spinal injury he'd received last year. But that wasn't going to put him off the chance of gaining a bargain.
And, at the front, stood next to Boudicca, in her American football shoulder pads, chainmail and woad face-paint was, as ever, Fat Cunt. He was always at these events, and always at the front stuffing his face with some unhealthy foodstuff. There was nothing insulting in his name. It's what he happily called himself. On previous occasions, he'd tried to have those words on his hat and jumper, but was told profanity wasn't allowed, so he just had “FC” on them instead. This resulted in some people calling him “Kay” as in KFC – Kentucky Fat Cunt.
The one person that Yolanda did notice, though, was a strange young woman dressed like a frilly, fairy-cake and clutching a large teddy bear. Yolanda couldn't understand why she was there, or what she was trying to be. Perhaps she was some kind of Grayson Perry tribute act, except not as ugly. Then she noticed the bear was wearing a nappy, and that it was supposed to be a baby bear.
“Oh right, Goldilocks,” she found herself saying in realisation. Goldilocks heard her, and winked at her in confirmation.
In all, they were like a mad bunch of cos-play rejects from a comic-book convention. Even Yolonda, herself was known as the Gladiatrix in her boxing head-gear, arm and kneepads, steel toe-capped boots, and body armour which she'd redesigned to make it more flattering to the female form. She even went into training, weeks in advance, for this very day.
Beyond them were the crowds who'd come to watch, herded behind barricades inside and outside the store. Amongst them were the media, with their cameras poised for action. The crowd was getting impatient and were chanting: “Kill! Kill!” clap, clap, clap! “Kill! Kill!” clap, clap, clap! Then there was a flurry of camera flashes from inside the store. The manager had appeared. The time was near.
The store manager approached the barred doors which heaved in the crush of the Chaos Eve shoppers. He paused to mop his nervous brow with his handkerchief.
How did it ever get to this? He thought. When I started in retail, the worst things I ever had to deal with were teenage shoplifters and unpriced tins of beans. Now I'm dealing with homicidal shoppers on Christmas Eve. We should never have sold-out to the Americans. I blame them for this! Bastards!
He then took hold of the release lever for the doors, pulled it, and quickly dived for cover. He didn't want to get caught up in it. He knew that if you were in play, you were fair game.
The doors crashed open and a tsunami of shoppers flooded in under a strobe of flashing cameras. They were an unstoppable stampede as they drove headlong towards the goods that had been laid out for them. A young store assistant, who'd been checking those goods only a moment earlier, suddenly found himself in the path of this snarling horde. He was a rabbit caught in the headlights of a speeding car. He just froze in sheer terror, with the little life he'd lived flashing before his eyes as the human tidal-wave swept over him, snuffing that life out in an instant. Poor bastard, but he knew the rules like everyone else did...In play, fair game.
As ever, the shoppers were grabbing whatever they could, however they could. Yolanda saw Huddy beating the crap out of someone in a welding mask, as they fought over a games console. Boudicca had just kicked Awol in the balls over a smartphone. It seemed like any other Chaos Eve event in Yolanda's eyes. Just one big, brainless ruck. Then she noticed Goldilocks.
Elfie had snatched the laptop she was holding, pushing her out of the way. Yolanda thought she was way out of her depth and would probably run off crying, until she saw her rip the head off her teddy bear, grab the handle within it and unsheathe the shining blade of a machete. Goldilocks then went to work on Elfie, slashing at him in a deadly, balletic dance, slicing him to shreds before he eventually slumped to the floor in a pool of his own blood. So much for health and safety. The crowd of onlookers were amazed and delighted by it. This is what they wanted!
Cameras were now focused on Goldilocks, and she didn't disappoint. Paleface was her next victim. He should've had a better chance with his home-made armour, but it wasn't enough for the precise attack of Goldilocks. She dispatched him with just one sweep of her blade that caught him on the jugular, between the rim of his bucket helmet and his chest-plate. Blood spurted out from his gurgling throat as he clanked and crashed to the floor. The crowd cheered. At least he died with a smile on his bucket face.
A three-pronged attack was then launched against Goldilocks by Jack Daw, Roadkill and Psycho. She easily took care of Jack Daw by striking at his leg. Luckily for him, it was his prosthetic one, which shattered under her blade, forcing him to scramble away from her on the ground. Roadkill and Psycho then moved in, Roadkill producing a metal bar and Psycho a kitchen knife. For a moment they battled it out with her, but neither of them were able to land a single blow. She was far too nimble and athletic. She kicked Psycho backwards, giving her time to lunge at Roadkill, plunging her machete blade deep into his chest, before pushing his convulsing body away. Psycho had no option now except to just go for it and charged at her, knife in hand, but she easily side-spun him, slicing at him in the same move. He stood there for a second, motionless, then he dropped his knife, and his head followed, then his body. Goldilocks was a little, frilly, killing machine, and the crowd loved her. But, she was in the way of Yolanda getting her hands on a laptop. Everyone else now avoided this murderous little waif, but she couldn't. Obvious reason should've told her that it wasn't worth it, but what kind of sales shopper would she be if she allowed reason to get in the way of a good bargain? So she moved forward.
Goldilocks saw her coming and swung her blade at her. Yolanda ducked and came back up with an uppercut that caught Goldilocks on the side of the face. Stunned by it, she jumped back and Yolanda smiled triumphantly at her. This infuriated Goldilocks who retaliated by launching a blistering attack on Yolanda, with combinations of kicks, punches and machete blows. Yolanda managed to block the kicks and punches, and she was lucky that the machete only cut into her body armour. It held up well against them. Goldilocks then flashed her blade this way and that in dummy attacks, disorientating Yolanda who backed away from them, only to have one of them slice into her right leg. The leg gave way and she fell onto one knee. With Yolanda vulnerable, Goldilocks saw her chance to finish her off and went in for the kill, bringing her machete down on Yolanda with both hands. Yolanda caught those hands and held them there, with the blade only inches from her head. She then rose to her feet and head-butted Goldilocks. Her boxing headgear wouldn't have caused much damage doing that, normally, but the steel plate that she'd sewn in it most certainly did. It smashed Goldilock's nose, bursting it into a splatter of blood on her face. Yolanda was then able to turn her own blade on her, bringing it down before impaling her on it.
“You-mad-fucking-bitch!” Yolanda snarled in her face, ramming the blade into Goldilocks with each word of it. Goldilocks slowly fell to the floor, leaving a beautiful, frilly corpse. Not too gnarled, not too clean. It was just right.
The crowd went wild for Yolanda. She may have had a leg wound, but she was now on her feet, holding a machete, and her blood was up. The others may have avoided Goldilocks before, now they avoided her.
Huddy was heading to the checkout with his newly acquired console. Yolanda quickly checked him out instead with a machete in the back, taking the console from him. Mister Eeman met with a similar fate because he was holding a designer watch. Who was that masked man? People used to wonder about him. Who gives a fuck?! Thought Yolanda.
She then went over to the checkout, unchallenged by anyone. She could see that Fat Cunt was already there and paying for his goods, which were being bagged up for him. It was always the same with him. First in line and first at the checkout. He could move pretty fast for a fat cunt. The fat cunt!
She arrived at the checkout, where a girl greeted her with a nervous smile. Yolanda put her items on the counter, then she noticed Jack Daw crawling on the floor near her. He was holding a smartphone and a laptop, and doing his best to get them to the checkout. She snatched the smartphone from him and grabbed the box of the laptop.
“No!” he cried, holding onto it with his left hand. “It's mine! I got it first” Yolanda swung the machete down, cutting off the hand, causing Jack Daw to reel back screaming, holding his stump.
“Now you've got the full pirate set,” Yolanda grinned, sadistically. “All you need now is a fucking parrot!” She put those other two items on the counter as well, only to be met with a look of horror on the checkout girl's face. She pointed a shaking finger at the laptop and Yolanda saw that Jack Daw's severed hand was still clasped to it.
“Sorry,” Yolanda said, and prised the hand off and threw it to one side. The checkout girl then began to process the goods through the till.
“Would you like to buy twelve months insurance on these items?” she asked, quite innocently. Yolanda responded to that by placing the blood-stained machete on the counter, gripping the handle of it tightly, as if to say: “Would you like this blade shoved up your arse?” The checkout girl got the message loud and clear and didn't push the matter any further. She was well aware of the situation she was in, and that was in play, fair game.
Later, Yolanda was sat in the opened door of her car, tending her wound whilst smoking a well-earned cigarette. The cut in her leg probably needed stitches, but for now she sealed it up with super glue and taped over it with plaster. She had no time to go to A&E. She had another Chaos Eve event to go to. This one was offering 75% off branded jewellery, and nothing was going to make her miss that.
“Is it really worth it?” came a voice near her. She looked up and saw an old woman who was passing by, who'd stopped out of concern.
“Probably not, but it's Christmas, innit?” Yolanda replied.
“Well,” said the old lady, “it's a bit much, isn't it?”
“Are you doing your Christmas shopping?” Yolanda asked her.
“Oh no!” the old lady replied. “I did all my Christmas shopping weeks ago. I always do that. It's much more sensible, don't you think?” Yolanda met her with a stone-cold gaze and reached for the machete by her side. The old bitch just had to die.
In play, fair game.
Monday, 9 November 2015
(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)
As I remember, the original small-ads were very crude in their appearance, so the rough nature you see in the ones I've done do match that. This is helped by doing them with a simple 2B pencil, which gives them that rough "letterpress" feel that the original adverts once had. So it's fortunate that I didn't choose a fineliner, because I don't think they would have looked as good.
Thursday, 29 October 2015
(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)
The old comic-book adverts were something of a phenomenon that many have fond memories of. They instilled a sense of wonder in the kids that fell under their spell, and even though what they received through the post fell way short of their expectations, they still sent off for more. Ad agencies today can only drool at the way these small ads captured the imagination of the young, knowing they could never get away with anything like that now, not without spending some time in prison.
In this artwork, I've created a fictional company called WIZBANG! as usually these small ads were from the same company who used different names. In this case, it's a strange company that creates genuine items like the mind probe and sells them cheaply.
And just a note: Don't send any money to the address in the ad, unless you're really stupid, because I doubt you'll receive anything back. If you do, it won't be what you expect. Pretty much like the original comic-book ads themselves!
Thursday, 17 September 2015
|(Red biro on a 139mm x 89mm postcard)|
When technology is so prolific and beyond the comprehension of many, it can easily intrude on our everyday lives, whether we like it or not. And when this happens, the one-eyed man is truly king.
Monday, 24 August 2015
|(2B pencil on a 125mm x 75mm notecard)|
Another juxtaposed pop-art style comic-book frame with an everyday smalltalk phrase.