No. 170 – D.R. & Quinch

Left: The Complete D.R. & Quinch (Rebellion, 2006), right: National Lampoon magazine’s October 1982 O.C. & Stiggs Special Issue cover ©National Lampoon

D.R. & Quinch written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan Davis v National Lampoon magazine’s high school delinquents O.C. & Stiggs*, created by Tod Carroll and Ted Mann

Or in other words, Waldo “D.R.” [“Diminished Responsibility”] Dobbs and Ernest Errol Quinch v Oliver Cromwell “O.C.” [“Out of Control”] Ogilvie and Mark Stiggs, the latter pair featuring in stories with familiar-sounding titles such as The Utterly Monstrous Mind-Roasting Summer of O.C. and Stiggs and The Wedding Reception of Schwab’s Repellent Sister and the Chinaman Frank, and How We Completely Ruined It.

Although D.R. & Quinch operate on a galaxy-wide scale, O.C. and Stiggs’ exploits were nonetheless exceedingly violent and bear only a passing resemblance to the characters in Robert Altman’s (1925–2006) lacklustre teen comedy O.C. and Stiggs (MGM/United Artists, 1985)

D.R. & Quinch Have Fun on Earth – their first appearance – in prog 317 (1983)

Concerning D.R. & Quinch’s enduring popularity, author Alan Moore has since expressed unease at how the strip exploits violence for comic effect, claiming that it has “[no] lasting or redeeming social value”. O.C. & Stiggs, however – deplorable as their antics may have been – were created to combat what creators Carroll and Mann considered in the early 80s to be an emerging and dangerous generation of a “Slurpee mallplex demographic, a new strain of teen consumers, lobotomized Alfred E. Neumans** raised on television and sugar rather than on countercultural literature and grass.”† Surely a noble and relevant cause still.

National Lampoon was an American humour magazine which ran from 1970–1998 and was originally a spin-off from Harvard Lampoon magazine, reaching the height of its popularity in the late 1970s, spawning films, radio, live theatre and books.

D.R. & Quinch also feature in HoH here.

*References: Magic Words: The Extraordinary Life of Alan Moore (p. 156) by Lance Parkin (Aurum Press Ltd., 2013), and O.C. and Stiggs Related Works at Wikipedia
**Fictitious mascot of the American humor magazine Mad
†Hunter Stevenson, Apology magazine, Feb 2013

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No. 121 – Bat Mugger

Bat Mugger cover from prog 585‘s Judge Dredd by Alan Davis vs. Batman (aka The Dark Knight) here pictured on the cover of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (DC Comics, 1986) by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley [not necessarily this particular image]

The Dark Knight Returns‘ huge success propelled Batman back into popular culture and, along with Alan Moore’s Watchmen (DC Comics, 1986–1987), initiated a publishing era known as the Dark Age of Comic Books (also known as the Modern Age or Iron Age).

In 1991 Dredd finally teamed up with Batman in Batman/Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham (DC Comics/Fleetway), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant with art by Simon Bisley.

No. 110 – Mind the Oranges, Marlon!

Marlon form prog 365’s D.R. & Quinch Go to Hollywood written by Alan Moore and drawn by Alan DavisMarlon Brando (1924–2004), pictured here in a still from A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

“The oranges… the oranges…” Don Vito Corleone is shot

“Mind the oranges, Marlon!” are the words shouted in the D.R. & Quinch story by Marlon’s manager moments before the hapless actor is crushed to death on set by a mountain of 16,000 prop oranges, and the words subsequently become the title of Marlon’s last, legendary blockbuster. The reference is to the popularly held belief that oranges were the symbolic harbingers of death in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (Paramount, 1972), also starring Brando in one of his career-defining performances as Don Vito Corleone. In all likelihood, however, the oranges were simply chosen by production designer Dean Tavoularis to compliment the otherwise sombre sets*.

Other celebrity appearances in D.R. & Quinch Go to Hollywood (progs 363367) include [as well as a good deal of consultation and guesswork] the following:

1. Bette Davis (1908–1989), 2. Robert Redford, 3. John Hurt (1940–2017) as John Merrick (real name Joseph Merrick, 1862–1890) in The Elephant Man (EMI/Paramount Pictures, 1980), 4. John Cleese in his role as Maître D’ in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (Universal Pictures, 1983), 5. Sir Alfred Hitchcock KBE** (1899–1980), 6. Otto Preminger (1905–1986), 7. David Lean (1908–1991), 8. Britt Ekland

*The Anniversary You Can’t Refuse: 40 Things You Didn’t Know About The Godfather (Time, 14 March 2012)
**British chivalric order: Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
†British chivalric order: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
‡AO: Order of Australia, CBE: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, FRSL: Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature

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No. 58 – Harry Twenty

Harry Thompson – or Harry “Twenty,” indicating the duration of custodial sentence – the eponymous hero of Harry Twenty on the High Rock (progs 287307 (1982–1983)) written by Gerry Finley-Day and drawn by Alan Davis, appearing here on the cover of prog 299 (1983) v Rick Deckard played by Harrison Ford in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982)*

*We don’t have the exact reference for this but we’re quite sure that we read somewhere in an interview with Gerry Finley-Day in the early 80s that Harry’s look was modelled on Deckard’s

No. 20 – Harry Twenty in the Galaxy of the Lost

Alan Davis’ design for the “High Rock” satellite penitentiary featured in Harry Twenty on the High Rock, written by Gerry Finley-Day, which debuted in prog 287 (1982) v Tim White’s cover for Gregory Kern’s [Edwin Charles Tubb] (1919–2010) Galaxy of the Lost (Mews Books, 1976)

Since its first publication in 1976 this particular painting has been featured on the covers of several other publications (scroll down).

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