However, Rolf had a special place in my childhood. When my family got a video (borrowed from my Dad's job initially) the first programme I recorded off of the telly was Cartoon Time. I was a massive fan of golden age animation as a kid and loved seeing them presented on a half-hour show by this chap who'd draw pictures whilst talking about them and make silly musical noises. Then he moved from BBC to ITV and began Rolf's Cartoon Club ("You can join today!") which expanded the format and gave actual information about the studios and animators who made those toons. At some point I'd start to notice that this man who was talking knowledgably about the history of animation was making mistakes. I must have realised that he was saying scripted words from some under-paid researcher at some point and grown disillusioned.
Then, at some point in the late 90s I started to hear darker rumours. We all hear rumours about celebrity proclivities at some point. Even if we believe them we don't think anything will happen. Nor do we really think about the victims.
This, though, is a comics blog, so where are we going? Wow!, that's where.
Anyway, I found a copy of issue 6 recently (dated 10th July 1982) and remembered it was also another area of my life infiltrated by Harris.
I did sort of wonder why IPC never sued the creators of Penny Crayon which was the same premise.
Clunky robots were huge in 1982. Doctor Who had one (well he was actually between clunky robots in 1982 but go with it), The Goodies had one even the Green Cross Code Man had one. And the world had fallen in love with Metal Mickey. Or at least tolerated him for a while. Oh, and Timothy Claypole on Rentaghost had one.
There was "Hi De Hi...Hi De Hooooo!" which was based on a popular TV comedy about a holiday camp. Only with ghosts. I'm willing to believe the writer of that one wanted to knock off early the day he pitched that.
Elsewhere there is the Shipwreck School, a class stranded on a desert island with only their oddly strict teacher for company. I remember the first strip in which a school trip goes disastrously wrong, setting up the premise of the on-going stories but now can't help but think of all those fictional ship's crew members who lost their lives for weekly whimsy.
It's the other features that left me the most baffled. A two-page spread of celebrity pictures with jokes in speech balloons (Wow! Star Turns) featured Daley Thompson, The Three Degrees, "England manager Ron Greenwood" and this confusing picture:
I do not know what this means. Are they suggesting Shakin' Stevens looks like Superman? Am I missing something? Is Michael Barratt Shakey's real name? If only I had some method of looking that up.
And then the "Next Issue" promo page promised this:
1982 was weird y'all.