COR!! COMICS SYNOPSIS #38
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 114 – May 2005)
22nd September, 1973 No. 61
The Goodies used the theme of exploration in their show, most notably in the now-somewhat-non-PC episode "The Lost Tribe." In that episode the trio set out to find a lost explorer by setting out into the wilds of England. This idea is somewhat mirrored here, although Cor!! Comics had also done safari-style Goodies strips before. Redundant perhaps, but the final joke would make venturing into this territory again well worthwhile.
Header: THERE'S AN UNDERCURRENT OF HUMOUR WHEN THE GOODIES EXPLORE A RIVER SOURCE!
The Goodies are in their office when a man dressed as an explorer and brandishing a rifle comes storming in. Graeme throws his hands high in the air at the sight of the gun and Bill starts to fall backwards out of his chair.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Don't worry, chaps ... it's only me, Colonel Washington Swamplimper! I want you to help me trace the source of the *River Ooze!* I've been away from home for *years* trying to find it!
The Colonel continues with his plea as Graeme listens attentively.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Nobody has ever founds its source! It runs through *unmapped territory* - through uncharted terrain peopled by *savage natives* and running alive with *wild animals!* What do you say, men?
GRAEME: We'll pack some sandwiches!
NEXT DAY, THE GOODIES SET OFF TO MEET THE COLONEL FOR THE START OF A NEW ADVENTURE!
The Goodies are dressed in explorer's gear aboard their trandem (Bill has so much luggage and equipment on the back of the bike with him the rear wheel is sagging terribly). Bill is peering over Graeme's shoulder through a spyglass at where they're going.
GRAEME: Where are we meeting him?
TIM: By the banks of the .. !
The trandem and the Goodies suddenly drop into the river with a SPLOOSH, disappearing completely!
TIM: ... RIVER!
The Colonel is in a boat on the river and helps the Goodies climb aboard.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Don't panic, chaps! Are you alright?
BILL: This happens to us almost *every week!* I'm beginning to think it's a PLOT!
The Goodies are paddling down the river with the Colonel sitting in charge in the back when a crocodile rises out of the water ahead of them with a GRAAAH! Bill casually throws a small, wrapped square package into the crocodile's mouth.
TIM: Eek! Bill! DO SOMETHING!
They float past the crocodile, who is clutching its shut mouth and looking aggravated.
TIM: What did you do?
BILL: I gave him our lunch - TREACLE SANDWICHES!
Suddenly Bill is on his feet, aiming his rifle at the river ahead.
BILL: Look out everybody!
Bill fires wildly into the rocky water ahead.
TIM: What on earth are you doing?
BILL: *Shooting the rapids,* of course!
AFTER DAYS OF DRIFTING *DOWN*STREAM, THE COLONEL CAME TO A DECISION
The Colonel is looking behind him as the boat continues to drift downstream.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: I say, chaps ... we should be heading *up*stream!
FOR THREE MORE DAYS THEY FOLLOWED THE RIVER BACK TO ITS SOURCE ...
The Goodies and the Colonel are carrying the boat upstream along the banks of the river over their heads as some natives watch from the bushes. From the viewpoint of the natives it looks like some long, eight-legged animal.
NATIVE #1: Ugh! Look! Heap strange animal ... we go *huntum!*
The natives chuck their spears at the boat, hitting the underside. The Goodies and the Colonel start running.
TIM: Eek! We're being *attacked! Run* for it, men!
As they run, Bill (who is quite a bit shorter than the rest) lifts up his feet so he's being carried along by the others.
BILL (thinking): I think I'll have a rest and PUT MY FEET UP! *Hee, hee!*
THEY SOON LEFT THE NATIVES FAR BEHIND ...
The Goodies and the Colonel are using the spears which had been stuck into the boat as fishing poles.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: I say, chaps ... these spears make jolly fine *fishing rods,* what?
TIM: Fish and chips for supper! *Slurp!*
The Colonel leaps out of the boat when it runs aground.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: We've run aground! We've *run out of river!* It's just a stream now!
THEY FOLLOWED THE STREAM FOR MILES AND MILES ...
The Goodies and the Colonel are following the small stream through the wilderness, which is looking more like a park.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Not much further to go, men ... it's getting *smaller* all the time!
The stream turns into a smaller trickle and finally it's a bit of water running in a gutter alongside a city street in a residential neighborhood. The Colonel points to a small paper boat floating in the gutter.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Look! Signs of CIVILISATION!
They end up following the water up the front walk of a house with a sign above that reads "Balaclava."
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: Well, of all the ... this is MY HOUSE!
They enter the house and go to the bathroom where a bathtub tap is running. The Colonel moves to turn off the tap.
COL. SWAMPLIMPER: I say, chaps ... sorry to put you to all that trouble! It's not a river at all ... I must have left the jolly old BATH WATER running!
THE GOODIES: OH, NO!
Sign-Off Line: The Fun Flows Freely When The Goodies Return Next Week!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
IIII - Official amazing.
When a comic strip manages to put together a neat series of jokes and puns, build an interesting story line and then deliver such a painful payoff as this one does, you simply have to admit it was a fun ride.
The dialogue and amount of jokes are not as consistent and strong as in past strips, but when a joke does hit it really works. Bill's comment about their seemingly falling into water every week and that he thinks there's a *plot* against them is a cute dig at the degradation they have suffered within the pages of Cor!! each week.
Again there are a number of funny background jokes to find in the various panels. The overloaded trandem as they go to meet the Colonel is clever, and if one looks closely they can see a bag of golf clubs amongst the equipment and a toothpaste tube falling off the rear! The Goodies lose their hats (and Graeme his glasses) as they fall into the river, showing us where they had been just moments before. As the Colonel picks them up on the river we can see a monkey under an umbrella fishing on the banks of the river. Also in the background we see what looks like a busy highway bridge crossing the river (our hint that this is all still taking place in and around London).
When the crocodile confronts the Goodies on the river there is a Tarzan-man swinging on a vine on the opposite bank. In the next panel the Tarzan has done a "George of the Jungle" by smashing into a tree (what looks like a lion is watching this from behind a tree). When Bill starts "shooting the rapids" (definitely the best pun in the strip) we can see a parking meter sticking up out of the water. As the Colonel comes to the conclusion they should be going "upstream" he is looking at some garbage floating in the river behind their boat.
As they begin fishing using the spears we see Tim has caught a fish and the Colonel is throwing out a line with a worm on it to a hungry crocodile. Bill has left his spear wedged into the boat so he doesn't have to hold it to fish. As they follow the stream through the park-like area there is a little bird with a life preserver around his neck watching them. And finally when they approach the Colonel's house there are several milk bottles and newspapers at the front door.
Although the humor is taken out of the hands of our heroes in the last panels, this outing proves to be a very silly comic and a good example of how well the Goodies could work in a comic strip form.