No. 195 – Oh, Lordy! It’s the…

Sharon (“Shaz”) and Tracey (“Trace”) from the Robo-Hunter story Aces of Slades* (progs 813816 (1992–1993)) written by Mark Millar and drawn by Anthony Williams v Sandra “San” Burke and Tracey “Tray” Tunstall, aka. The Fat Slags, created by Graham Dury**, from Viz

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Founded in 1979 by Chris Donald, British comic magazine Viz lampoons post-war British children’s comics such as The Beano (D.C. Thomson & Co.) and The Dandy (D.C. Thomson & Co., 1937–2012 [annuals excepted]), tabloid newspapers, and occasionally politicians (although the publication has no particular political standpoint). Notable for its use of vulgar language, black comedy and “toilet humour,” Viz reached a peak circulation of 1.2 million in the early 90s† with characters such as Biffa Bacon, Billy the Fish, Bottom Inspectors, Buster GonadJohnny Fartpants, Pathetic SharksRoger Mellie and Sid the Sexist. Paradoxically, many of its characters hold as kindred a place in the hearts of British readers as did their more innocent forebears, with their catchphrases still in common parlance in the UK.

The divisive Big Dave strip in 2000 AD, written by Grant Morrison MBE and Mark Millar and drawn by Steve Parkhouse, also featured an homage to The Fat Slags in the unfortunate forms of Sarah, Duchess of York [Sarah Ferguson] and the late Diana, Princess of Wales [Diana Spencer, aka Princess Di] (1961–1997), in the story Monarchy in the UK‡ (progs 846849 (1993)).

*Probably a reference to English rock band Motörhead’s song Ace of Spades (Bronze, 1980)
**Mr. Dury began his career as a research scientist at the University of Leicester, investigating drought-resistant crops
†Although your correspondent reckons it’s just as good as it ever was, it’s just not in vogue anymore
‡Referring to English punk rock band The Sex Pistols’ debut single Anarchy in the U.K. (EMI, 1976)

Image ©123RF

No. 193 – It’s Life, Jim…

Ian Gibson’s cover for prog 1232’s (2001) Judge Dredd story Star Drekk: A Space Fantasy, written by John Wagner and drawn by Anthony Williams, colours by Chris BlytheGene Roddenberry’s (1921–1991) Star Trek; pictured here the original series cast [left to right, back row]: Lieutenant Hikaru Kato Sulu (George Takei), Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Nichele Nichols), Ensign Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig), Yeoman Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney (1930–2015)), Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelly (1920–1999)), Lieutenant Commander Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doonan (1920–2005)), and [front row]: Captain James Tiberius “Jim” Kirk (William Shatner) and Commander* Spock (Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015))

Easily surpassing in cult status even its closest rival** for fan zealotry, Star Trek has since 1966 become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, due at least in part to its uncharacteristically positive take on the future of humankind within the sci-fi genre; inspiring not only a host of films, television shows, comics, magazines, books, pop songs, merchandising, a language, and endless parodies, but also several documentary feature films such as Scott Colthorp’s Trek Nation (Paramount Pictures, 2011), William Shatner’s The Captains (Movie Central/The Movie Network/Epix/Corus Entertainment/Ballinran Entertainment, 2011), and also his TV film Chaos on the Bridge (CTD, 2014), For the Love of Spock (455 Films, 2016), among others; and even two documentary feature films about Star Trek fandom itself: Roger Nygard’s Trekkies† (Paramount Pictures, 1997) and Trekkies 2 (Paramount Pictures, 2004); not to mention inspiring non-canon films such as Galaxy Quest (DreamWorks Pictures, 1999) and Please Stand By (Magnolia Pictures, 2017), and the television series The Orville (20th Television, 2017– ).

And now we’re going to exhaustively list all the TV shows and films for the sake of completeness, because we like lists, and also so we have enough room to sprinkle this entry with amusing screen grabs from the Dredd story – so, television shows: Star Trek (CTD, 1966–1969), [sequels to the original series] Star Trek: The Animated Series (CTD, 1973–1975), Star Trek: The Next Generation (CTD, 1987–1994), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999), Star Trek: Voyager (CTD, 1995–2001), [prequels to the original series] Star Trek: Enterprise [or Enterprise] (CTD, 2001–2005) and Star Trek: Discovery (CTD, 2017– ); and [original series-based] films: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Paramount Pictures, 1979), Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (Paramount Pictures, 1982), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (Paramount Pictures, 1984), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Paramount Pictures, 1986), Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Paramount Pictures, 1989), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Paramount Pictures, 1991), [Next Generation films] Star Trek: Generations (Paramount Pictures, 1994), Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount Pictures, 1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (Paramount Pictures, 1998), Star Trek: Nemesis (Paramount Pictures, 2002), [original series reboot films] Star Trek (Paramount Pictures, 2009), Star Trek into Darkness (Paramount Pictures, 2013) and Star Trek Beyond (Paramount Pictures, 2016). Phew.

*Not “Mr.” – he’s the Science Officer and First/Executive Officer, i.e. second-in-command
**Star Wars Or Star Trek, The Fans Have Spoken – Forbes 04 May 2017; ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Star Wars’: Which is the greater franchise? – The Tylt 2016
†Although elements within Star Trek fandom itself insist that the correct term for fans is “Trekkers”

No. 26 – Fire and Ice-T Power

Prog 1591’s Sinister Dexter cover by Anthony Williams vs. Ice-T’s 1988 album Power [her name’s Darlene Ortiz, by the way, Ice-T’s girlfriend at the time]