GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #15
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 86 – February 2003)
April 14, 1973 No. 38
When the Goodies were adapted into comic strip characters within the pages of Cor!! they joined a long line of creative characters which graced that publication's pages: Gus Gorilla, Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, the oddities in Hire a Horror, Teacher's Pet, The Slimms and many more.
Once in a while a character from one comic would appear in the panels of another, especially for special crossover issues. The Goodies never appeared in any of the other Cor!! strips during their 1973 residency in "Cortown" (likely the licensing agreement for the characters didn't cover crossovers), but one regular Cor!! character *did* make an appearance in the installment we are reviewing this month. Jasper the Grasper was a miserly Victorian grump whose exploits could be read in the pages of Cor!! for many years. In this outing the Goodies have a brief encounter with their fellow comic book denizen as they find themselves on a time-traveling adventure.
Header: IS THERE ANY FUTURE IN GRAEME'S TIME MACHINE?
A young newspaper reporter (complete with visor, notepad and pencils behind his ear) bursts into the Goodies office. Graeme has been working on a new contraption while Bill stands by the desk and Tim is wearing earmuffs (probably to drown out the sound of Graeme's work). Graeme tosses aside a hammer and motions to booth in which a roomful of gadgets and gizmos are housed.
REPORTER: Can you find out something about Cortown in days gone by? My editor wants an article for his paper!
GRAEME: We'll go and see for ourselves - I've just invented a *time-machine!*
The Goodies enter Graeme's time machine and watch as he fiddles with the controls. Graeme has donned a flying cap and goggles for the trip.
GRAEME: Just a *short* trip back to start with! There - now let's see where we are!
They peek out of the machine to see themselves lazing around their office ... Graeme sleeping in a chair, Tim throwing a paper airplane and Bill playing with a yo-yo.
GRAEME: *We're* here - you've only taken us back to yesterday!
TIM: H'mm, one of our busier days! I remember it well!
They re-enter the booth and Tim immediately grapples the lever control.
TIM: Let me try this time!
GRAEME: Careful - don't tug so hard!
They are jostled as the machine rattles horribly; springs springing around them, a cuckoo clock cuckoo popping out from the wall.
BILL: Th-thought we were g-going back in time? Th-this is putting years on me!
The booth lands on a Victorian street and, more precisely, on the foot of an elderly gentleman in a black top hat and tails. This is Jasper the Grasper, a Cor!! comics regular and well-known penny pincher. Tim looks out of the window of the time machine and spots the pained man.
JASPER THE GRASPER: Aargh! You dropped that thing on my toe and made *me* drop a farthing!
TIM: Hey! It's *Jasper the Grasper* - we must have landed in Victorian times!
The Goodies exit the booth and while Bill contemplates a Victorian parking meter Graeme turns to deal with Jasper.
JASPER THE GRASPER: I'll sue you for a billion pounds damage!
GRAEME: Here's 50p - it's all I've got!
Jasper the Grasper eyes the 50p with skepticism. A Victorian bobby is quickly approaching them (and Sherlock Holmes can be seen in the background).
JASPER THE GRASPER: This isn't a *real* coin - it's got lumps knocked off it! Arrest those counterfeiters, officer!
GRAEME: Yikes, I forgot decimal coins haven't been thought of yet! Back in the time machine - quick!
The Goodies dash back into the booth and Bill immediately grabs a nearby lever.
BILL: I'll have a go this time!
GRAEME: No! Not *that* lever!
The Goodies wind up in a whirl as the time machine spins wildly.
GRAEME: That was the emergency boost! Goodness knows where we'll end up now!
WHEN AT LAST THE TIME-MACHINE STOPPED ...
The Goodies emerge from the booth and descend what looks like a long, steep stairway.
GRAEME: Oh, no! We're back in the days before Cortown was even built!
TIM: Funny! What are steps doing in the middle of nowhere?
BILL: Phew ... it could at least have been an escalator!
At the bottom of the steps they are confronted by several cave dwellers ... a man and wife who are sitting having breakfast at a stone table (with a stone television running in the background and a prehistoric parking meter out front). Another caveman is dragging his wife by the hair away from the cave.
DEPARTING CAVEMAN: Thanks for the meal, neighbor!
HOSPITABLE CAVEMAN: Drag the wife along anytime!
TIM: Arrrgh! We're right back in ancient Britain!
The Goodies soon realize the steps they have walked down are moving away, as they turn out to be the back scales of a huge dinosaur who is scurrying off. They take chase (not noticing the prehistoric workmen in the background busily erecting Stonehenge).
GRAEME: Those steps were a prehistoric monster's scales!
BILL: Quick, after him or we'll be stuck here for good!
They scurry up the back of the dinosaur and jump into the booth (Tim steps on Bill's head). In the background Stonehenge falls apart.
GRAEME: Phew, made it! Leave it to me this time - I'm taking us back to the present!
TIM: Pant! About time!
The booth materializes in the middle of a demolition zone, and the Goodies have to run for their lives as a wrecking ball hurtles toward the machine.
TIM: Back in our little office at last!
GRAEME: Arrrgh! Oh, no we're not . . . run for it lads!
Safe from danger, Graeme and Tim watch as the time machine is smashed to pieces. Bill is noticing the reporter, who has shown up on the scene.
GRAEME: Bah, that monster moved us to where they're knocking down those old factories!
TIM: That's the end of the time-machine, thank goodness!
REPORTER: Why it's the Goodies! Back from your trip to the good old days already?
The Goodies take off after the reporter, who runs for his life.
GRAEME: Good old days, eh? Have we got *news* for you!
REPORTER: Ouch! What did I say?
Sign-Off Line: Our T.V. chums return in next week's special new-features issue!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
II - Fair-y punkmother.
This is a rather lifeless episode which never really gets going and has no satisfying payoff. The gimmick of having Jasper the Grasper appear isn't very inspired, which is a shame. There is a strange mistake in the third panel when a speech balloon points to Graeme but more likely should have been Tim's line (it is saying "You've taken us back to yesterday" which Graeme would not say to himself). Likewise the second line about it being one of their busier days seems more suited to Bill. The speech balloons *could* be construed as pointing to the correct characters, but it's questionable at best. Tim later utters the line "We're right back in Ancient Britain!" which seems strange since they hadn't been there before (so how could they be right back?). Overall the dialogue is sadly lacking in both humor and punch.
The art is adequate enough but not as lively as in other editions. There's no sense of movement when the time-machine comes to a rest, and Bill is unusually short throughout the panels. There are a number of jokes in the backgrounds (such as the prehistoric workers building Stonehenge and the running parking meter joke) but the Victorian street scene is strangely lacking in background humor ... instead it seems fairly straightforward.
This is the first time we realize the comic Goodies don't reside in Cricklewood, but rather the fictional "Cortown" where all of Cor!!'s characters presumably reside. This would remain consistently the case throughout the series.
The idea of a time travel story is a good one, and indeed the Cor!! artists would revisit the idea again and pull together a much better story from it. But it wouldn't be until the end of October 1973 that this plot device would be better served.