Bertie Bleep Shags Sheep

One from the vaults: a rather childish cartoon I drew for a Viz-style comic that I used to make and sell at school in 1990-1991, along with some like-minded contributors.

At the time, we were terrified of the teachers finding a copy and tracing it back to us, so we devised a cunning system of using anagrams of our real names. I was Ron Gridcharts, a monicker I have recently revived just in case my employers find this blog and fire me. (Some things never change, I’m afraid, kids: although I’m not really terrified these days, because I’m currently stuck in a literal and cultural desert in the Middle East, yet have a guaranteed job waiting for me in Vietnam which is a much more fun place to be.)

Other contributors were:

  • Greg Horobin, who wrote many of the strips for me to draw, credited as Rob H. Goering;
  • Neil Codling, later to go on to fame and fortune as a member of Suede, (firing every single one of his childhood friends in the process) who enthusiastically contributed as Glen Coinlid;
  • The poet and art critic Alexander Crowe who produced the frankly baffling Uncle Sandie’s page under the nom de plume Randy E Cows;
  • Joseph Burke, who contributed a marvellous Radio One Gulf War special report, credited as Jokee H. Burps;
  • Someone else whose name I have forgotten who used to do the photocopying for us after the cat did a wee on my dad’s office photocopier. Karl something. His anagram was ‘Lanky Hard’, if you want to have a go at unscrambling it. I simply can’t be bothered

The magazine went through three name changes- first Vim, then Rumpy, then Rim and ran for just five issues. Sadly, I only have the first four, which is a real shame because the artwork was a lot better by the time issue 5 came out. As well as benefiting from plenty of drawing practice, I was on the dole by then so had more time to work on it. But because I was on the dole, I soon grew too depressed to find anything much funny at all and simply stopped. 

If anyone still has a copy of issue 5 (unlikely, I know) I would love to get a scan. There was a strip produced by Anthony Vianna, Zorro the Back Street Abortionist, that was possibly the best thing to ever appear in Vim Rumpy Rim. 

Except for all my bits, of course.

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