GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #12
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 83 – November 2002)
24th March 1973 No. 35 (mistakenly listed as No. 34 in the News-Sheet section)
Cover banner: "Goody-Goody! TV Stars "The Goodies" Appear Inside!"
It was inevitable that some storylines which had been (or would be) covered by the Goodies would also be touched upon in the Cor!! comics. In this outing, the Goodies delve into the world of movie-making, a subject they would lampoon themselves quite deftly in their award-winning television episode "Movies". In their own spoof of the film-world they were in control of their own productions, playing the parts of the mad directors themselves. In this Cor!! comic they suffer humility in front of the lens at the hands of an over-the-top producer / director ... considering the crazy stunts this guy puts them through in his retelling of the classic Dumas story it's no wonder he had to seek out non-union actors (in the form of The Goodies) for the parts!
Header: THE GOODIES HAVE A "STAB" AT PLAYING THE THREE MUSKETEERS!
The Goodies' office is invaded by a stout man wearing jodhpurs, a backwards cap and brandishing a megaphone. Bill, who has opened the door, is obviously disturbed by the man's blaring entrance, while Graeme stands nearby and Tim sits at a desk (reading an issue of Cor!!).
IVAN OSCAR: Say, Goodies, I need your help!
GRAEME: Wow, it's the famous film producer, Ivan Oscar!
Ivan Oscar actually places his megaphone behind his back as he explains his predicament.
IVAN OSCAR: I'm making a "Three Musketeers" epic, but I can't find *three* men brave enough to play the parts!
Tim is already entering into the spirit of the thing by wielding a fencing foil and casually twirling the famous producer's cap from the man's head as Bill and Graeme watch.
TIM: Leave it to the Goodies ... we do *anything*!
We next see the Goodies in full Musketeer regalia riding their trandem behind Ivan Oscar's car on their way to the movie set (the Goodies flag has been attached to the end of a prop battle spear).
TIM: Huh he could have given us a lift to the studio!
They arrive on the set of a large castle and stand near a catapult as the producer (who is apparently doubling as the film's director, which his outfit would have originally indicated) shouts out directions through his megaphone.
WHEN THE GOODIES ARRIVED ...
IVAN OSCAR: The Musketeers have to rescue the maiden from the castle! First one tries to *catapult* in ... !
BILL: Er .. ? That's going to *stretch* someone's luck a bit far!
Tim and Graeme promptly deposit Bill into the waiting catapult.
GRAEME: In other words, you're volunteering, eh?
BILL: Help! I didn't say that!
With a cut of Tim's sword on the catapult's launch rope Bill becomes airborne, flying toward the British flag flying above the castle walls. Somehow Bill manages to get hold of the flag and turns it into a makeshift parachute, floating safely to the ground.
BILL: Hey, I'm all right "Jack"!
IVAN OSCAR: Great stuff - keep that camera rolling!
The Goodies are now awaiting instruction from Ivan Oscar for the next scene. Tim and Graeme reach down to lift a battering ram from the ground.
IVAN OSCAR: Next you try to batter the door down - there's the battering ram!
TIM: So long as *we* don't *get* a battering!
The Goodies shoulder the battering ram and charge across the drawbridge toward the castle's large wooden door as Ivan Oscar directs the men on the battlements above.
IVAN OSCAR: Ready with the "boiling" oil!
GRAEME: Oh no!
Gobs of black oil plop down on the Goodies as they drop the battering ram with a loud KLADDUNKY on their right feet.
BILL: Grough! It *is* oil!
GRAEME: Lucky it's not boiling, though - yerk!
TIM: Aargh! Me foot!
The Goodies rush at the producer, flinging drops of oil all around them in their fury.
TIM: Grr, look at the mess we're in - all my feathers are oiled up!
BILL: Yeah, we're giving you the bird!
IVAN OSCAR: Don't get in a "state" Goodies - next the Musketeers swim the moat! You'll soon get cleaned up!
The Goodies leap into the moat and begin swimming across as the camera rolls.
TIM: Hey, this is better - he's even had the water warmed for us!
CAMERAMAN: Not for *you*, mate! The imported *crocodiles* couldn't stand the cold!
Sure enough a huge crocodile starts after the Goodies, who swim for their lives.
BILL: CROCODILES! Yelp!
The Goodies reach the castle and seem to defy gravity as they walk up the outside wall, barely escaping the jaws of the crocodile below (although he gets a good chunk of Bill's cape). It turns out they have suction cups on the bottom of their boots.
GRAEME: I knew that these sucker soles I *invented* would come in useful!
TIM: *We're* the suckers if you ask me!
Inside the castle they find the "maiden" they are to rescue, who turns out to be dressed more like a Swedish milk maid (and is about as big as a cow). They're understandably distressed at her enthusiastic request.
MAIDEN: Rescued at last! Which one of you handsome Musketeers will carry me to safety?
GRAEME: Bill and I have done our bit, Tim - it's your turn!
The Goodies exit the castle, Tim leading the way as he struggles to carry the burdensome maiden.
IVAN OSCAR: That just about wraps it up, fellows!
TIM: Puff! Pant!
The Goodies approach the producer / director, looking worn but determined.
TIM: Er . . . doesn't this kind of film usually end with the heroes chasing the villain and giving him what for?
IVAN OSCAR: That's a great idea! Er ... but where do we get the villain from?
The Goodies start after Ivan Oscar with a vengeance and he wisely prepares to run.
GRAEME: We know who the villain of this piece is, don't we lads?
BILL: You bet!
IVAN OSCAR: Er ... suddenly it doesn't seem like such a good finale!
We last see the Goodies chasing down Ivan Oscar on their trandem as he runs ahead, being squirted by an oil can aimed by Tim, the seat of his pants chomped by a sharp-toothed spring trap on an extension device mounted to the front of the bike, and his head pelted with eggs being slingshot by Graeme. Bill sits in the back filming the proceedings with a small hand held movie camera.
IVAN OSCAR: Help! Grough! Lower the curtains ... roll the credits!
BILL: Great stuff! I must get a film of this!
Sign-Off Line: THE FOCUS IS ON FUN WHEN OUR TV CHUCKLE-CHAMPS RETURN NEXT WEEK!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
II - Fair-y punkmother.
This is a good idea that unfortunately goes nowhere fast. While the individual scenarios have some potential their execution falls short of being satisfactory, hindered greatly by weak dialogue, jokes that don't quite have enough punch and inconsistent and unrelated bits. For instance, the sudden introduction of Graeme's sucker soles as they're escaping the crocodile has nothing to do with anything previous to it and it doesn't stand to reason how they could be acting in such boots all along (and why Graeme would have fashioned soles for Musketeer costume boots in the first place . . . now that would be fore-planning!).
There's also a strange uneven-ness to the comic as a whole. Bill is hurled in the catapult but suffers no harm as a result. Then Graeme makes a point of telling Tim that he and Bill have both done their bit but Graeme in fact didn't have any individual task he had to perform (unless you count the suction boots, which again didn't cause them any distress). Even Tim's task of carrying the overweight maiden didn't lead to any dire consequences. Their most distressing
situation was being doused with oil and dropping the battering ram on their feet. And none of these situations offer jokes which are strong enough to really justify their inclusion.
Adding to the strangeness is an odd sense of disproportion in many of the panels. The heights of the various Goodies change from panel to panel. In panel two Tim seems exceptionally tall compared to Bill and Graeme, and in panel one Bill's and Graeme's legs seem far too short. A recurring inconsistency in many of the Cor!! comics is the artists' tendency to make Tim the tallest. This can be somewhat understandable ... in watching the episodes there are occasions in which the difference between Tim and Graeme's height is difficult to gauge (overall it would appear Graeme is indeed the tallest) but the Cor!! comic artists will regularly change this throughout the comics (and in this case within the same strip)!
As far as art goes, though, the Musketeer outfits are drawn with delightful detail and there is a lot of movement and scope in the panels, so overall it is a pleasant comic to look at. And the artist doesn't forget to add the little touches in the background, such as the leaky faucet which apparently fills the moat of the castle and the graffiti "LOUIS XIII OUT!" scribbled on the moat wall.
Of special interest is the license plate on Ivan's car in panel three which reads Cor 1231. Could this comic have originally been slated to be published on December 31st, 1972, one week before the actual premiere date of the Goodies comic in Cor!!? Or does it actually read Cor 123! instead? The issue of this comic was nowhere near #123, so it may always be a matter of speculation as to what this particular license plate is referring to.
I'd like to make clear I rate these comics only in comparison to one another, and that makes it somewhat difficult as there are no really awful comics in the whole of the Cor!! canon. But to be fair to the individual comic stories that really shine, this one does fall quite a bit short of their best work.