GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #11
(by Linda Kay)
17th March 1973 No. 34
(from C&G 82 – October 2002)
Cover banner: "Laugh with TV Stars The Goodies - Inside!"
Cor!! Comics had the opportunity to take their comic strip for The Goodies and really run with it, expanding on ideas which might have been done on the show itself, and even some which would likely have been impossible with the budget restrictions for special effects on film. The freedom of the comics page allowed the artists' imaginations to run free, and with The Goodies television episodes as inspiration it's little wonder they came up with some wonderful flights of fancy, as this month's reviewed comic definitely proves to be.
Header: THE GOODIES DON'T SHRINK FROM HELPING TO SAVE BRITAIN!
The Goodies are in their office, waiting for a giant-sized washing machine (which by the Vertical Hold and Contrast buttons seems to have been a television set in a previous life ... this is presumably one of Graeme's makeshift inventions) to finish washing most of their clothes. They're essentially wearing briefs, socks and undershirts (Bill is wearing a Goodies tee). Tim is also wearing a small hat and tie and Graeme is wearing his cap and a scarf. Bill sits holding a large box of Brand X washing powder while Tim and Graeme stand and hold newspapers over their lower halves. A cat (the same black and white cat seen in the background of previous comics) sits quietly on a desk.
TIM: Huh . . . We really will have to buy more than one set of clothes each! I feel a right ninny every wash day!
A sharp dressed man from Parliament stumbles into the offices looking as if he is under much stress. As Bill gets up he drops the soap box onto the cat, who is now on the floor.
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL: Quick! Puff! Parliament wants to see you at once!
BILL: We're really in the *big* time!
The Goodies are seen pedalling their trandem (the wrong way down a one way street, in fact), still clad in their meagre dress (the newspapers are now tied around Tim and Graeme's waists and they have all put on shoes). Bill is barely hanging onto the back of the bike. The Parliament official runs ahead of them, explaining the situation.
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL: Puff ... A power-mad scientist has invented a shrinking ray, he's holding the country ransom! You're the only ones who can save us! Gasp!
BILL: Pity we didn't have time to wait until our clothes were ready!
They reach Parliament only to find it is smaller than even the letter box sitting next to it! This hasn't reduced the amount of political debate inside, however, as tiny voices can be seen shouting "Hon. Member of Addleswick ... Rhubarb ... Point of order ... Resign! Etc. Etc. Etc."
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL: Oh, no! The shrinker rogue has struck again! The Houses of Parliament have been reduced to the size of a dolls' house!
BILL: That's just the size it looks on our nine inch telly!
The Goodies ride off, Tim with a list of clues the Parliament official has apparently given them. A reporter is taking an aerial shot of the miniscule Houses of Parliament (by simply standing above them.)
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL: It's up to you, stop him and his gang, before he shrinks the world!
TIM: The only clue we've got is that the gang drive a striped car, number URAF 00L, and operate from Shrinko Ltd.'s Warehouse!
GRAEME: Not much to go on!
BILL: We'll try looking down by the river! It's a pretty ride!
The Goodies spot a black and white striped car (that would be rather hard *not* to spot) as they approach Tower Bridge (which has a SOLD sign on it).
TIM: Look, that could be the scientist's mob!
BILL: Let's follow and ask them!
They start across the bridge, with the gang's car well ahead of the Goodies' trandem. We can see ray beams coming from the bad guys' car.
GOON IN CAR: Bah, The Goodies are on our trail. Use the ray!
The bridge shrinks to about the size of the trandem, leaving The Goodies (and a startled motorist behind them) suspended cartoon-fashion, in mid-air.
GRAEME: Aargh! He's shrunk the bridge!
TIM: Put on the air brakes someone!
BILL: Going down!
The Goodies are now riding underwater in the Thames, but it's as if a whole underwater community is normally there anyway (either that or everyone has adapted very quickly after the bridge has been shrunk!) ... a policeman in scuba gear directs them, a double decker bus is making its way casually in the opposite direction. Even the fish seem only slightly bemused as they pass, Tim looking through a periscope.
BILL: (Thinking) We're really in deep water on this case! Blurble!
GRAEME: (Thinking) Oh well, I was due to wash my socks this month anyway!
TIM: (Thinking) They've stopped at a warehouse Yes - Shrinko Ltd!
They pedal up a boat ramp onto the shore where they see the black and white striped car parked outside a large building with the placard "Shrinko Ltd." prominently on the front.
TIM: We've got them trapped now!
BILL: But suppose they use their ray on us?
The Goodies rush into the laboratory of the evil professor, who is standing at a worktable with two goons in black trenchcoats, wide brimmed hats and sunglasses.
TIM: We are The Goodies Your baddie game is up!
GOON: Let them have it with the shrinking ray, Professor!
Graeme quickly grabs a full-length mirror and pulls it between The Goodies and the bad guys as the Professor fires his ray gun at them.
GRAEME: Quick, hide behind this mirror!
The Professor and goons find themselves the size of mice, along with the mirror and the table they were standing behind.
TIM: I see! On reflection that wasn't a bad idea of yours, Graeme!
PROFESSOR: Aargh! The mirror rebounded the ray onto us!
Bill leans down to threaten the bad guys with a serious poking of his finger.
BILL: Now tell us where the antidote is, or we'll set the cat on you!
GOON: No, not the cat!
PROFESSOR: We give in!
The Goodies are receiving a rousing fanfare from the Parliament Official and a group of happy citizens within view of Big Ben. They stand astride their trandem, still barely dressed but looking quite proud.
PARLIAMENT OFFICIAL: You've saved the country, Goodies
TIM: It was nothing - anything, you know!
BACK AT HOME ...
The Goodies rush in to find their telly / washing machine running completely amok.
GRAEME: Oh, no ... we've left the washing machine on all this time
TIM: Goodness knows what'll have happened to our clothes!
They soon find out as they try on their clothes, only to find they have shrunken to ridiculous proportions.
TIM: I wish we'd used the shrinking ray on ourselves . . . at least our shrunken clothes would
have fitted us!
GRAEME: Huh ... looks like it's back to newspaper for us!
Sign-Off Line: GIANT-SIZED FUN IS IN STORE WHEN THE GOODIES RETURN NEXT WEEK!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
IIIII - Superstar.
This comic really tips its hats to the Goodies and gives fans a lot of not-so obvious stuff to ingest and enjoy, such as Graeme's washing machine / telly and the somewhat "in" joke of Tim commenting on how they only have one set of clothes each (a reference to their standard "costumes" which they came to wear in practically every show, although these did change over the years).
It's richly drawn with much to look at (even the traffic policeman in the fourth panel has four arms and a sign on the street reads "Never Ever Any Waiting"). In panel five as The Goodies are looking at the tiny Houses of Parliament, a headline on the newspaper around Graeme's waist reads "Parliament Reduced." The dialogue really shines in panel six when Tim's reading out a dream list of clues (including the gang's car description, license number and the location of their operations) only to have Graeme bemoan it isn't much to go on and Bill suggest they look down by the river because "It's a pretty ride." Also in panel nine the license plate of the car reads "Cor 146", the issue in which this comic appears!
The art in this issue is particularly splendid ... cartoonish enough to be fun yet the renderings of the tiny Parliament and the Tower Bridge are quite impressive. It's busy in a good way, giving readers the chance to re-read, discover and rediscover all the fun background gags. At first glance one might not notice the open and empty safe embedded deep in the Thames riverbed in
panel ten ... not to mention the unexploded bomb accompanied by an equally unexploded mine sitting innocently in the background while a submarine chugs along in the distance. In panel eleven there are several fish jumping off The Goodies as they exit the water. And in panel twelve we can see some of the casualties of the professor's shrink ray as a tiny chair and a tiny elephant stand in the middle of the floor (both seriously in danger of being trodden on by The Goodies as they rush in). Even the headlines on the newspaper in panel thirteen (i.e. Man Bites Iguana) are worth a second look!
The writing is tight, the jokes are funny, and the situation is perfect for The Goodies. Even a strange lack of punctuation in places can't take away from this one. A good example of a comic strip gone completely right.