Review By Luke Williams
Rebellion / The Treasury of British Comics continues to release new material featuring old favourites from their vast catalogue of characters.
The humour title specials of Cor!!! / Buster to date have been hit and miss. In their heyday the most successful of these characters had a touch of “edginess” about them (as much as a humour title aimed at pre teens can have ) and this has failed to materialise in some of the more recent fare. Occasionally, some of the strips come across as being a little too safe, a bit twee and anodyne, but there are flickers of rebelliousness and irreverance in the best examples.
In time for Halloween, Rebellion have resurrected Monster Fun as a solo comic, thankfully dispensing the odd marketing policy of a “twin title” Cor!!! / Buster. Monster Fun was a short lived humour title hatched in the mid 70s. It ran for 73 issues before being matched with Buster and finally dispatched (from the cover at least) to live on in a series of annuals well into the eighties.
Hosted by “editor” character Frankie Stein, Monster Fun‘s strips are themed around the macabre and the creepy, but when it comes down to it, they are all just plain silly. There’s nothing scary in here, it’s just good clean fun, bad puns abound – but it just happens to star vampires, patchwork men reanimated in lab’s and an eyeball that influences its victims to commit “evil” .
The special is made up of of 2-4 page humour strips, resurrecting characters who will be very familiar to person of a certain age. Even if you weren’t familiar with them don’t need a lot of explaining as to their origin. This includes the afore mentioned “Frankie Stein”, “Kid Kong”, and “Draculass” but it also includes some newer strips and as a break from the whackiness, adventure strip and Buster favourite “The Leopard From Lime Street” makes an appearance.
Artwise, this is a beautiful package, with contributors including Lew Stringer, Tiernen Trevallion, Brett Parson and humour strip genius Tom Paterson who draws 2 strips and writes and draws a third.
Like any anthology, some strips work better than others. “Gums” and “Wiz War” are oddly bloodless. Whereas at the other end of the scale “Creature Teacher” and “Sweeney Toddler” are great fun.
More effective than the previous humour specials and bodes well for the ongoing comic in the new year. Do British comics and your kids a favour and pick this up.