Sunday, 21 December 2014
Christmas Post No3: Krazy 1977
From day one Krazy set out to be different even from the other IPC titles. It wanted to be more "hip" and "now", having odder, non-lead character-driven humour features and references to pop culture or current events that others shied away from. The effect of this when reading it today is that much of it screams "It's 1977!" at you.
A fun gimmick of Krazy was the "disguised" back cover. You could, if you needed to, flip the comic over and show a full-page illustration that made it seem like you had a holiday brochure, or a record album, or a paint-by-numbers. This, being the Christmas issue, gave you a cracker disguise with this rather charming art:
The first strip inside is arguably Krazy's biggest stars, The Krazy Gang (not to be confused with The Crazy Gang).
A typical small-group-of-kids-with-a-clubhouse strip (see also The Banana Bunch in the next blog) the Gang were: Ed (commander and the leader), Blue (Ed's parrot), Brainy (the brainy one), Cheeky (the Cheeky one, went off to headline his own comic 1977-80), Sporty (the sporty one, also, surprisingly, a rare example of a non-white child in British comics, even rarer that he's not a stereotype) and Liz (the two-X-chromosomes one - seriously being "the girl" was often deemed a character trait in itself, see also Toots in The Bash Street Kids). And something else...
Next up we have Paws, a talking dog named after a shark movie (it's 1977).
There's a one-page feature, pre-empting Raymond Briggs by several years, by showing what Santa does the rest of the year.
Micky the Mimic ("he can impersonate anybody") causes mischief with his vocal talents like a young Terry Mynott.
For the family Christmas he pulls out some (1977) popular personalities for a postprandial entertainment.
Next is full-colour fun with Six Million Dollar Man parody (it's 1977) 12 1/2p Buytonic Boy (he gets his "bionic" powers from a special tonic. Which he buys).
It's a pretty good strip which is worth going into in greater detail later but suffice to say in this issue Steve of the Everso Secret Service saves Christmas.
Oddly there's a one-page illustrated text story from Detective Fumbly's (Nut)Casebook by Willie Cook.
There's also actually quite good Batman pastiche Birdman and Chicken the Boy Blunder! (That exclamation mark's in the title) Here they are at the end of a serialised adventure having been banged up with the very villains they were chasing.
Handy Andy ("his hand pictures come to life") is a little more high-concept and involves supernaturally-animated shadows.
A Krazy Look at TV puts a "wacky" spin on a current TV show. This issue feature Selwyn Froggitt (it's 1977).
Scaredy Cat (as far as I can fathom) is about a cat who was left an enormous fortune in his owner's will and the staff of his mansion who stand to gain the lot when the cat dies. So every week they plot a new way to murder the moggy. For reals.