GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #10
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 81 – September 2002)
10th March 1973 No. 33
Over the years many television series have been turned into comic strips or comic books, some more successfully than others. The sitcom format fits the paneled comic format in a very basic sense ... both usually feature a regular series of characters in a specific situation with humorous dialogue. In adapting an average situation comedy into a comic strip it's often necessary for the artists and writers to put the characters into more "elaborate" settings ... a comic drawn as a straight-forward couch comedy would eventually become quite boring. Very rarely would the artists find themselves having to try to *match* the artistic and stylized zaniness of a program, but The Goodies was no ordinary comedy series. It was, in essence, a live-action cartoon much of the time. This undoubtedly offered the talented artists working for Cor!! both a blessing and curse ... readers would readily accept the Goodies in outrageous and cartoony situations ... but how to match the sheer inventiveness of the series itself and expand and exaggerate the characters suitably in drawing? Fortunately for the most part the Cor!! team was up to the challenge.
This issue's comic was notable for being very true to The Goodies television series. The artists created and followed through with a situation that could easily have been the outline for an early series episode. Notable in the opening panel is the first real attempt to reproduce the Goodies office accurately, with the slatted picture-view window and Graeme's computer in the background. This plays little part in the story but gives the outing a nice "authentic" feel.
Header: TRUST THE GOODIES TO MAKE A MESS OF CLEARING LITTER!
The Goodies stand saluting a government official as he dashes into their office. The man is in full regalia with a badge marked "4 P OFF" (although his dignity is being greatly compromised by an ice cream wrapper across his face and a banana peel sticking to his leg).
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: The streets of this town are getting clogged with litter - we want you Goodies to do something about it!
TIM: Leave it to us, your worship - sir!
BILL: Our reputations are spotless!
As the official stands watching unamused, Bill has suddenly changed to western cowboy gear and stands twirling a six-shooter while drawing the second from its holster. In the meantime Tim and Graeme are at a closet where Tim is holding a broom and shovel. Graeme seems more interested in an old gramophone horn which he has found.
BILL: I'm gonna 'clean up this town'!
TIM: Grab a brush you two!
GRAEME: Hang on - why do things the hard way? I'll invent a battery-operated street cleaner!
The Goodies are seen riding down the street on their trandem. Graeme is sitting up front instead of Tim, presumably to man the controls of his invention, which consists of the gramophone horn attached to a small mechanical box which is creating a high-powered vacuum, sucking all the garbage ahead of them into the horn and down a long tube which is draped over their shoulders then disappears somewhere behind the trandem. A black cat is chasing a fishbone which is flying toward the machine.
GRAEME: What an invention - faultless! The town's troubles are behind us!
BILL: (Looking behind) Er ... you can say that again ... !
We see the hose at the back is not attached to anything, so the garbage is simply being sucked up and then spit out in their wake, much of it hitting the government official who is angrily chasing after them (the cat, still after the fishbone, is likewise flying out of the back of the hose by this time).
BILL: ... the litter is all coming out the other end!
GRAEME: Oh dear, I never thought of that!
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: Stop! Grough! You litter-bugs!
They stop riding and as the official races angrily toward them Bill clings to Tim nervously.
BILL: Er .. I think we're going to be run out of town!
TIM: That's it!
The others listen as Tim explains his idea (none of them seem aware that Graeme's machine has apparently sucked up an innocent passerby, as a man's face peeks out of the gramophone horn part of the invention in their hands).
TIM: If we got some running shoes with EXTRA LONG SPIKES, we could PICK up all the litter!
GRAEME: You've got a 'point' there - glad I thought of it!
AND SO ...
We see The Goodies running down the middle of a street (a dog is running to get out of their way and a vehicle they have just passed must have become distracted by their presence because it's run into a light post). The cleats are apparently working because they are amassing large piles of paper on their soles as they go.
TIM: It's working!
We see Graeme and Bill from a side angle as they continue running, Bill looking somewhat concerned at some chimney pots (completely with resting bird) which are at their eye level (he might be equally concerned with the television aerial that is also visible).
GRAEME: Hope we 'collect' paper money for this!
BILL: Hey, look! What are those chimney pots doing down there?
The Goodies are startled to find themselves each standing upon two-story-high stacks of paper which they've gathered under their feet (those *must* have been extra long spikes)! A dowdy housewife stands below, looking up at them with not so much a surprised as an angry look on her face.
TIM: Oh, no, we've really got on top of the job!
GRAEME: H .. how do we get down?
BILL: There's only one thing for it!
The begin to take the papers out from under their feet, working downward but scattering the garbage once again as they descend. Tim works much more slowly than the others. The official is now standing off to one side waving his fist at them.
BILL: Hurry up, Tim!
TIM: I .. I'm coming down one sheet at the (SIC) time! Heights scare me!
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: Bah, this is worse than ever!
Once on the ground again the Goodies find themselves standing amidst a street-full of paper. The official approaches them with a broom and shovel which he holds out to them. He also hands Bill a sack for gathering the garbage.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: Do the job properly, or you'll get the sack!
BILL: Looks like I've got it already!
GRAEME: I guess it would be easier to do it the hard way after all.
The Goodies have somehow managed to clean up all the litter and are standing in the street with three humongous sacks over their backs, bending tiredly under the weight of them. They are near a rubbish bin which is being fiercely guarded by a rubbish-collecting-stick wielding park official and an officious sign stating clearing "DUMP NO RUBBISH - By order."
BILL: Well, we've got three giant bags full, but where do we put it?
PARK OFFICIAL: You're not putting your litter in my nice clean bins (period missing) I polished 'em this morning!
The official continues to guard the front of the park as Tim and Graeme watch Bill haul off the huge bags alone (they're so massive he's literally crawling on the ground trying to carry them).
GRAEME: Bill will just have to find the town dump!
BILL: Why do I always get the donkey work?
The government official approaches Tim and Graeme happily.
GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: A wonderful job, Goodies - the town is proud of you!
We next see Tim and Graeme coming upstairs toward their office where they find Bill sitting on a stool outside the door sleeping soundly.
GRAEME: Yawn, that was hard work - I'm for bed!
TIM: Hey, there's Bill! He's beaten us home! Must've forgotten his key!
Bill awakens as Graeme moves to put his key into the lock of the office door.
BILL: Er ... I wouldn't go in there!
GRAEME: Why not?
Ignoring Bill's warning, Graeme opens the door (rather too hard because he slams Bill in the face with it) and Graeme and Tim immediately find themselves being deluged as the huge mass of garbage now filling their office from floor to ceiling piles out on top of them.
BILL: I couldn't find the rubbish dump, and I had to put the stuff SOMEWHERE!
The final panel sees the Goodies laying on individual park benches shivering from cold. A black cat sits at the foot of Graeme's bench.
GRAEME: We did the job so well we can't even find old newspapers to keep us warm!
TIM: Thanks to brainy Bill we can't sleep in our bedrooms!
BILL: Brrr . . . why do *I* always get the blame?
Sign-Off Line: THE GOODIES RETURN FOR MORE LAUGHS NEXT WEEK!
Additional material from this issue:
Two letters sent in by readers and published in the Quick Cor-ments section are of note in this issue:
"I have always been a great fan of THE GOODIES and always make sure to watch them whenever they appear on television. Not surprisingly, therefore, I am very pleased to see my favourite T.V. funsters featured in COR!! How about letting THE GOODIES have a go at tackling the dastardly *DR. RAT - I'm not too sure they'd be successful in bringing him to justice, but watching them try would be a bundle of laughs." - Ian Ogilvie, Boldon
(*Dr. Rat was a regular Cor!! feature in which a dastardly badd'un with the body of a human but face, tail and characteristics of a rat repeatedly avoided being arrested each week despite readers being urged to send in ideas for "traps" for the villain.)
"EARLY BIRD by John McCormack of Bebington - I bet I was the first reader of COR!! in 1973. At one minute past midnight on January 1st, I was reading the SWOPPER STAN adventure in the New Year issue. Incidentally, I think the two new features in COR!! .. THE GOODIES and FIVE-MINUTE WANDA .. are fantastic."
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
III - Goody goody yum yum.
This comic outing actually encapsulates a lot within two pages, including many jokes and situations which would not have been at all out of place in an episode of the television series itself. First a government official enters to ask their help in solving a problem they apparently cannot handle themselves, then we're treated to one of Graeme's wild inventions, followed by a series of situations involving wildly outrageously visual humor, and finally a twist ending in which The Goodies are left out in the cold (too often the end result of their chosen profession).
The only thing keeping this from being a higher rated comic are some questionable physics (regarding the plausibility of gathering such high stacks of paper with cleats . . . even an outrageous situation should be possible in *some* sense to be truly funny) and a bit of stilted dialogue (particularly noticeable is the final panel where Tim simply states what should have been obvious about them not being able to sleep in their bedrooms ... the assumption would be that they felt there was a need to explain that the Goodies "live" in their offices as well as work there, something that's oddly not really touched upon in the comic strip ... although Graeme does mention as they approach the office that he's ready for bed and Tim refers to it as "home" rather than work, which should have been sufficient explanation). Graeme's final line about not being able to find newspapers to cover themselves up with is quite clever, and it's a shame *that* couldn't have been the last balloon in the panel. Instead they end on Bill's sad note of "Why do I always get the blame?" While keeping in line with his character, it is a bit of a downer. But these are very minor complaints ... all in all this is a fun episode with a lot going for it.