Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Common Swings: Juvenilia

So... just before I end up posting the latest Common Swings' project, the beast that is "Whatever Happened to Cosmo Mandinsky?" (as promised on the back of issue one) I had a bit of fortuitous luck... well maybe luck. It seemed like good timing to me, but then again after posting all these I may regret saying this. You see, The Common Swings as a blog and as a comic (of sorts) is not the first incarnation of this beast. Oh no. There were many other attempts to do something which floundered under my usual crippling self doubt and inability to complete stuff. There were webpages, several early attempts at comics and in the very beginning a fanzine. Why? Because I wanted to do something creative and thought the title - which I found on a flexidisc a friend had found from the Open University (seriously, if you own such a flexi and it has some sinister children's folk singing on it PLEASE LET ME HAVE A COPY) - was wonderful.

And that first incarnation? Technically it would have been a fanzine: me writing half arsed, badly researched articles on things that enthused me: books here, films there, some records to garnish and for seasoning? Lots and lots of bad musical puns as comic strips much in the vein of "Great Pop Things" or a less sweary "Viz". Are they any good? Er... not really. I chuckled at a few of them as I dug through them, but I'm posting them to sort of close the book on the chapter and give it a little moment in the sun. And also to show myself how far I've come. Hopefully you'll think that too, rather than running a country mile at the fact I'm willing to post such tat in this day and age.

Ah well. Decide after you've read. Part One... covers and such...

As you can see, I had a fondness for silly bylines... I quite like the Noel Edmunds one because I don't really understand where that one came from. The first cover, by the way, was basically what the second issue was but with a big number ONE in the middle. Issue three was very much the same cover as the first proper issue of The Common Swings. Please not how fond I was of making covers and bylines without, you know, finishing anything for issue one first.

And then a few quick gag pages... as you can see if it was a band and I could wring a desperate pun out of it I would. It's sad to admit that most of the best jokes on this page were either from my best friend Mr David Burnage or another friend, Sarah Clarke (who came up with the best joke here: "Godspeed You Black Emperor Penguin!"). And finally, an inkling that I was beginning to realise making fake bands and films and books might be a more useful avenue for me to consider in my creative ramblings.

More tomorrow. I apologise in advance.

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