GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #6
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 77 – May 2002)
10th February, 1973 No. 29
One of the most appealing aspects about The Goodies on television was their uncanny knack of making the most ordinary things both extraordinary and fantastical. Every day items were suddenly transformed into outrageous and hilarious things ... a black pudding could become a lethal weapon, construction machinery could turn into threatening beasts, a set of bagpipes could transform into a dangerously oversized arachnid ... this creative use of items familiar to the audience gave the show its unique and inspired edge.
The Cor!! comics work best when this basic theme is carried over into The Goodies' illustrated adventures, and it made perfect sense to do so. The Goodies themselves were basically live-action cartoons. And a comic strip artist doesn't have to come up with a way to explain to a special effects department how a man can technically fly through the air and land head-first in a cement mixer. The lunacy is left entirely up to the creative whims of the artist.
The Cor!! comic we'll be reviewing this month is a perfect example of making something outrageous out of something very mundane. One would love to have seen how The Goodies might have tackled such an idea themselves in live action!
Header: THE GOODIES ARE GREAT SPORTS - THEY OPEN A RECREATION CENTRE!
The Goodies are astride their trandem, pedaling down the street as they pass a fenced in building. A sign which says "CLOSED" is on the fence (a black cat, the same one seen in previous issues, is seen chasing a mouse).
GRAEME: I've been thinking ... lots of people can't afford to go abroad for a ski-ing holiday! So, we'll start a winter sports centre right here!
They enter the fenced-in area and jump off the bike. Bill and Graeme run into the square, four story building (a series of CLUMP! CLUMP! CLUMP! sounds indicates they are climbing to the top floor) while Tim stands anxiously outside. A placard on the front of the building say "BLANCO SOAP Co. The Ultimate Detergent" while a sign painted on boards underneath reads "CLOSED. Cleaned Out!"
GRAEME: (From inside the building) We'll take over this old soap powder factory!
TIM: Oy! Why have I got to stay down here?
Bill and Graeme appear at the top story window and push a large roll of linoleum out, holding on to one end of it so it unrolls as it falls.
GRAEME: So you can catch the other end of this roll of lino ... !
Tim grabs for the end of the linoleum roll as Bill and Graeme watch from above.
GRAEME: Now - hold it down and this'll be the start of our ski-run!
TIM: Got it ... !
The linoleum roll proves to be too much for Tim to handle and it rolls back up to the top window, taking him with it inside of the roll.
GRAEME: OY! Thought I told you to hold it down there! Why didn't you?
TIM: (From inside linoleum roll) Because it's stronger than me!
Bill and Graeme push the linoleum roll back down, sending Tim flying as it unrolls back down to the ground.
GRAEME: Get back down and keep it down somehow!
TIM: Right! Once I've unrolled it!
Bill and Graeme stand at the large open window (which now inexplicably is down to the floor). The linoleum is now stretched down to the ground like a ramp and Tim waves from his end below. Bill hands Graeme his hammer and a box of nails.
BILL: Tim's nailed his end down ... and I've nailed my end down. *NOW*, one little matter ... what about my skis if I'm to be chief instructor!
Graeme takes the hammer and nails and promptly nails both of Bill's shoes to two of the floorboards on which he is standing.
GRAEME: One pair of skis ... coming ... up!
Graeme stands back proudly.
GRAEME: Now! LIFT!
Bill lifts one foot and the board comes up with it, attached to his shoe like a ski. Bill looks a bit concerned.
BILL: Er ... good! BUT one more little matter ... SNOW! Do we just wait until it decides to SNOW?
Graeme grabs a string which is dangling from the hinged cover of a large chute located above the window while Bill watches on in confusion. (A little bird also watches from the sill in confusion... we can see the bird approaching in the previous panel.)
GRAEME: No! I told you this was an old soap powder factory ... so ... stand by .. !
Graeme holds onto his cap and pulls the string, opening the cover and allowing a huge flurry of soap powder to come flying out of the chute, knocking Bill out of the open window with a WHOOSH!
GRAEME: Snowy white, gleaming bright!
Bill finds himself skiing down the linoleum ramp which is now being covered by the powder flying out all around him (the bird wisely has decided to fly away).
BILL: *WOW!* I'm off! *TIMBER!* Watch out below! AVALANCHE!
As Bill approaches the bottom he looks amazed.
BILL: It works!
Tim, in the meantime, has taken up a barker's position and is calling out to a rapidly approaching bunch of skiers.
TIM: Roll up, folks, for your free winter sports!
FIRST SKIER: I say! I say! How jolly! Better than Switzerland, - and cheaper!
Four skiers run toward a ladder, which Tim is indicating.
FIRST SKIER: Where's the jolly old ski lift?
TIM: Up the ladder! After you, mate!
The first skier reaches the top of the ladder and finds himself standing over a clothes line with a pair of polka-dotted bloomers hanging there (he is oblivious to the fact he is standing on the hand of the pained skier climbing up the ladder behind him).
FIRST SKIER: This it? Looks like a washing line!
Tim climbs up the ladder (stepping on the poor skier who was having his hand crunched before) and pushes the first skier off so that he lands in the bloomers and is left hanging on the clothes line.
TIM: It is ... by kind permission of my mum ... though she doesn't know it - in you go!
The skiers, all now sitting in various pairs of hanging pants, bloomers, etc. are pulled up to the top of the "ski lift" by Graeme, who is cranking the clothes line on his end.
GRAEME: Up you come, you jolly skiers!
The skiers wait anxiously at the top of the "ski run," the first skier already poised to go, where Graeme waits to send them off.
GRAEME: Now down the slope you go!
BUT BELOW ...
Bill and Tim are looking up at the sky worriedly.
BILL: *OOER!* It's starting to rain!
TIM: *RAIN!* I must take Mum's washing down . . !
Tim starts to try to get the washing off the line as Bill notices soap bubbles forming on the "ski ramp."
BILL: Forget your mum's washing! What about the rain on the soap powder?
The four skiers come flying down the ramp all at once, slipping and sliding everywhere as soap bubbles cover everything. The first skier's head is inside a large soap bubble and he is starting to float away! Bill and Tim are likewise covered in soap suds.
THIRD SKIER: OUG! EEK! Someone throw me a lifebelt!
BILL: Time we weren't 'ere, I think!
The Goodies are seen pedaling quickly away on their trandem amidst a cloud of soap suds.
GRAEME: Let's "SOAP" we have more success next week!
Sign-Off Line: THE GOODIES STAR IN COR!! EVERY WEEK! TELL YOUR FRIENDS!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
IIII - Officially amazing.
This comic works very well on many levels, but there are still some strange things about it. For instance, Graeme's project seems to be entirely charitable. At no time do they ask anyone to pay for the privilege of using the ski run and they don't seem to be in it for the money, which is a bit unusual. Assuring that people are able to enjoy skiing without having to pay for a ski trip abroad doesn't seem like the kind of philanthropic mission The Goodies would undertake without compensation.
Graeme is seen here wearing his "early years" cloth cap for the second time in the comic strip (the first being just a brief appearance in the boxing escapade three weeks previous). The cap is not seen for the vast majority of the comics in the series.
Oddly enough, the gag about nailing Bill's shoes to the boards for makeshift skis was used by the Goodies themselves around this same time! "Winter Olympics" saw Tim's shoes also being nailed to boards for skis (although they obviously weren't too concerned about missing his feet in the show!), but that episode wouldn't air until February 18th, 1973, eight days *after* this comic appeared (the episode was recorded on December 14th, 1972, but of course the Cor!! comic would have been drawn beforehand as well).
While the premise of this particular entry is very intriguing and well executed the dialogue doesn't have much punch to it. That alone keeps this one from receiving a Superstar rating, but this is definitely one of the more inventive entries in the Cor!! comic series.