Sunday, 4 December 2011


Here’s the promised answers to the comics, cartoons and animation quiz questions I posed earlier, which hail from this year’s Comics Friends United. (That’s me above, setting the test in requisite Teacher garb, under the somewhat wary eye of event organiser Hassan Yusuf, in a photo by attendee Martin Hand.)


Q1: Paul Mavrides’ strip ‘No Exit’, published in Anarchy Comics No. 3 in 1981, featuring punk singer Jean-Paul Sartre Junior. What actual punk singer was he based on?
A1: Henry Rollins (from his Black Flag days)

Q2: ‘Watchmen’ contains quotes from all sorts of folk from Jung to Nietzsche. But only one musical figure is quoted twice. For three points, who is it and which songs are quoted from?
A2: Bob Dylan. “At midnight all the agents” (in 1) is from ‘Desolation Row’ and “two riders were approaching” (in 10) is of course from ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

Q3: A record made No. 2 in the singles chart over the Christmas period in 1967, despite actually being a double EP with a comic strip insert by Bob Gibson. For one point each, what was the EP called and who recorded it?
A3: ’Magical Mystery Tour’ by the Beatles

Q4: For a point each, what comics artists drew the cover of Frank Zappa’s 1978 album ’Studio Tan’ and his 1983 album ’The Man From Utopia’?
A4: Gary Panter and Liberatore, respectively

Q5: Nurse With Wound’s 1996 album was called ’Alice The Goon’, after the track ’Prelude to Alice the Goon’. What’s the comics connection?
A5: Alice the Goon was a Popeye character, created by EC Segar.

Q6: The 1990s satirical cartoon Duckman (based on a Dark Horse comic), had a theme tune by who?
A6: Frank Zappa (yes, him again!)

Q7: What comic artist also performs in the noise band Lighting Bolt?
A7: Brian Chippindale

Q8: In the 1996 Simpsons episode ‘Homerpalooza’ Homer attends a Loollapalooza festival. In the course of the episode he meets several bands, all voiced by themselves, one of which provides a version of the theme tune for the closing credits. Which?
A8: Sonic Youth (I discovered in the course of asking this question that i) I cannot pronounce “Loolapalooza”, ii) neither can anyone else.)

Q9: The Teardrop Explodes sang “comics are all I read”. What’s their other comics connection?
A9: This is the one that Rol got. Daredevil 77 had the caption “and then – it happens - filling the wintered glades of central park with an unearthly whine – painting the leaf-bare branches with golden fire – the teardrop explodes!” (Someone asked on the night if that was by Gerry Conway. I replied “well, it’s badly written.”)
No points for “from a comic”, one point “from a Marvel comic”, two points for “from Daredevil”. If anyone knew the exact issue number they are too sad even for us.

Q10: Who recorded the song with the lyrics “Doctor Strange is always changing size”? (Please name band and song)
A10: ’Cymbeline’ by Pink Floyd


Q1: Superman hangs out in Metropolis, and Batman Gotham City, what City did Will Eisner’s Spirit inhabit?
A1: Central City

Q2: Fort Thunder (now sadly defunct) was a warehouse turned into an art colony by a bunch of crazies, including comics artists whose style came to be named after the venue. They included Brian Ralph, Brian Chippendale and Mat Brinkman. What city was it located in?
A2: Providence, Rhode Island

Q3: The European comics magazine Stripburger has been running since 1992, and claims to be the only comics magazine in its home country. Which country?
A3: Slovenia. (Easier to answer if you’d been to their recent exhibition in Orbital Comics.)

Q4: What imaginary country was featured in Dylan Horrock’s ’Atlas’?
A4: Cornucopia

Q5: In which imaginary country is the TinTin adventure ’King Ottaker’s Sceptre’ set? (Clue, it was derived from sections from the names of two existing East European countries.)
A5: Syldavia. It was dervied from Transylvania (which then still existed) and Moldavia.


Q1: Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage ‘What Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing’ has a comic cover framed on the wall by a well-known pair of comic artists? Who are they?
A1: Simon and Kirby. (As seen above, the comic was ’Young Romance.’) Half a point if you only got one.

Q2: Which of the For Beginners series of books was drawn by Robert Crumb?
A2: ’Kafka for Beginners’ (Later repackaged by Fantagraphics as ’Kafka.’)

Q3:...and which by Oscar Zarate?
A3: ’Freud for Beginners’

Q4: What American writer wrote a novel about Krazy Kat?
A4: Jay Cantor (Called, appropriately enough, ’Krazy Kat’.)

Q5: What Academy Award winning author wrote the storyline for the first Superman film?
A5: Mario Puzo


Q1: Hanna Barbera’s The Flintstones was, as we all know, set in the stone age. But other settings were trialled. Which of these wasn’t?
- Hillbillies
- Pilgrims
- Ancient Rome
- Outer Space
A1: Outer space

Q2: Which of these famous people was never used as a ‘guest star’ in Cerebus?
- Woody Allen
- Marty Feldman
- George Harrison
- Brian Jones
A2: Brian Jones. Allen appeared in ’Latter Days’, Feldman and Harrison in ’Guys’, and Jagger and Richards in ’Church and State’ - but without Brian Jones.

Q3: Which is not a genuine Asterix title? 

’Asterix in Belgium’
‘Asterix in Corsica’
‘Asterix in Spain’
‘Asterix in Sweden’

A3: ‘Asterix in Sweden’

Q4: Which was not a genuine subhead of Raw magazine?
"The Graphix Magazine for Damned Intellectuals"
"The Graphix Magazine of Abstract Depressionism"
“The Graphix Magazine That Became Jaded by Ennui”
"The Graphix Magazine That Lost Its Faith in Nihilism"

A4: “Jaded by Ennui.” The others were in issue (2 ’80), 5 (’83) and 3 (’81) respectively.

Q5: The Caption convention in Oxford, now Britain’s longest-running comics convention, normally has a theme for each year. One of the following is a fake year name, but which?
Are we having fun yet?
Euro Standardised Caption
Love is Caption
Pirate Caption Ahoy!

Pirate Caption Ahoy. (Though people on the night suggested it would make a good theme for Caption!)

(One point for each)

K = Moon Knight
N = Deadline
0 = Frontline Combat
W = Whizzer and Chips (half-point only for Whizzer, as they were never two separate comics.)

T = Swamp Thing
H = Hate
E = Asterix

L = Lone Wolf and Cub
O = Thor
G = The Avengers
O = Love and Rockets
S = Maus

C = Captain America
F = The Flash
U = Fantastic Four
!! = Cor!! (I thought no-one would get the double exclamation marks, but it seems almost everyone did!)

(One point for knowing the name of comic, plus another for the issue number. Half a point for a ‘Friends explanation’ eg. “the one where the FF first face Doctor Doom!”)

1. Dark Knight Returns (or Dark Knight 1)
2. Where Monsters Dwell 21 (half point for “the one withFin Fang Foom”)
3. Conan the Barbarian 1
4. Watchmen 12
5. Nick Fury Agent of Shield 1
6. Brave and Bold 28 (1 point for “first appearance of Justice League”, half-point for ‘Justice League’)
7. Red Sonja 1
8. Amazing Spider-Man 1 (no points for Fantastic Four!)

Q1: Nicholas Cage was such a comics fan he christened his first-born son Kal-El.
True. (Though he has as yet not fired him on a rocket ship away from the globally warmed Earth.)

Q2: The Alan Class reprints of old Marvel comics in Britain were copied from the printed pages, without securing any copyright, which is why they were always so badly reproduced.
False. (Well they were reproduced pretty badly, but just because of penny-pinching.)

Q3: The voice of The Shadow on radio broadcasts was provided by Orson Welles .

Q4: In October 2004, Fathers For Justice member Jonathan Stanesby protested about family law by scaling Tower Bridge dressed as Spider-Man, only to get stuck and have to be rescued by the Fire Brigade.
A4: False. (In October 2003, FFJ member David Chick scaled a crane near Tower Bridge, and didn't get stuck.

Q5: The Dazzler as originally conceived was based on an actual disco singer in a cross-promotion with Casablanca records, and her only super-power was the ability to compel people to tell the truth.
True. The deal collapsed before publication. (Of course a better power for the Dazzler would be to compel polite lying, as in “no, we all love your comic, honest!”)

Q6: Marvel’s ’GI Joe’ 21 (1984), was “the most unusual GI Joe story ever” – a completely silent issue! However, this was because in their haste they sent the artwork to print before it had gone to the letterer.
A6: False . The issue was produced in haste, but the silence was always planned.

Q7: The “bullet logo” used by DC comics in the Eighties, with the four stars in the circle, was created by the same designer as the “I Love NY” logo.
A7: True. (It was Milton Glaser.)

Q8: In 1989, the Barbie Liberation Organisation stole a bunch of Barbie and GI Joe dolls, switched their voiceboxes, then returned them to the stores. Children then found Barbies who yelled “vengeance is mine!” and GI Joes who breathed “let’s plan our dream wedding!”
True, all true!

Q9: A talking Clanger doll, commercially released by the Golden Bear Company, said when squeezed “oh sod it, the bloody thing’s stuck again!”
True! (Oliver Postgate always wrote actual dialogue for the Clangers, though it was always rendered indecipherably through the swannee whistles. Major Clanger used that line. The toy company then used the phrase unwittingly.)

Q10: The 2000AD strip ’Nemesis The Warlock’ was originally based on the Jam song ‘Going Underground’, as everybody in the strip lived underground?
A10: True There was a planned series of ‘Comic Rock’ strips based on popular songs of the day, but that was the only one to appear.

(1 point for cartoon, 1 point for character)

1. “It’s the wool-uf, it’s the wool-uf!”
Lambsy Divey,
‘It’s the Wolf’

2. “Hay-lp! Hay-lp!”
Penelope Pitstop,
‘Perils of Penelope Pitstop’
(One team on the night insisted
’Wacky Races’ was an equally valid answer. However, though Penelope of course appeared in it, I’m sure she didn’t use that catchphrase.)

3. “Up and at ‘em!”
I was thinking of Radioactive Man from
‘The Simpsons’, but someone pointed out on the night he actually filched that catchphrase from Atom Ant – so either earns a point!

4. “To infinity – and beyond!”
Buzz Lightyear,
‘Toy Story’

5. “Herbidaceous!”
The Narrator,
‘The Herbs’ (or ‘The Herb Garden’) It was said at the start of every episode as a kind of “open sesame” for us to enter the garden.

(One is not a cartoon theme tune, please say where its’ from)

Q1: “Buckle up your seatbelts,
They could be in orbit in the stars
On a spooky planet, maybe Mars
There’s no way of knowing
When they’re groovin’ way above the atmosphere
Trying to get back to here”

’Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space’

Q2: “With beauty and grace,
as swift as can be,
Watch it flying through the air.
It travels in space,
or under the sea,
and it can journey anywhere.
It travels on land,
or roams the skies,
through a heavens stormy rage,
It's Mercury-manned,
and everyone cries,
‘it's the marvel of the age!’”


Q3: “Be an early riser
Strive to be ambitious
Speak a little wiser
Try to be judicious
Be a good adviser
Never ever vicious
Where will you be then?
Face front, lift your head, you’re on the winning team”

If you joined the Merry Marvel Marching Society, Marvel’s original fan club back in the Sixties, you got this song on a single as part of the package. 

Q4: “It’s -- -,
Brave and free,
Fighting evil ‘neath the sea,
He is a boy.
A very special boy,
Powered by propeller shoes,
Flying sub ahoy.
Whooshing through the water
On a friendly dolphin’s back
Racing to the rescue
Of victims of attack”

’Marine Boy’

Q5: “Terrorist your game is through
Cause now you have to answer to...
What you going to do when we come for you now?
It’s the dream that we all share,
It’s the hope for tomorrow”

’Team America – World Police’ (Special expurgated version for a family audience!)

A6: The words to the 'Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines' theme...

“Muttley, you snickering, floppy eared hound.
When courage is needed, you're never around.
Those medals you wear on your moth-eaten chest
Should be there for bungling at which you are best.
So, stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Nab him, Jab him, Tab him, Grab him
Stop that pigeon now.
You, Zilly, stop sneaking, it's not worth the chance.
For you'll be returned by the seat of your pants.
And Clunk, you invent me a thingamabob
That catches that pigeon or I lose my job.
So, stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Stop that pigeon
Nab him, Jab him, Tab him, Grab him
Stop that pigeon now.”

...okay, who do I need to send no-prizes to?

Coming Soon! All the stuff I’ve promised to post here and haven’t yet...


  1. I could have got some of those!

    Julian Cope has, at least once, said that 'The Teardrop Explodes' came from a Silver Surfer comic, but he has taken a lot of drugs over the years.

    I'm pretty sure that Transylvania was never an independent country while Herge was producing Tintin, being in turn part of Austria-Hungary, Romania, Hungary and Romania again. Moldavia similarly was part of Romania.

    Supercar is not a cartoon!

  2. What, Julian Cope, take drugs? His autobiography 'Head On' reproduces the panel, which is where I got the text I quoted.

    I had it in my head that Transylvania was given it's independence by Versailles, only to be annexed by Romania in the Twenties. However extensive research proves you right! Perhaps it was too small and too ruralised for independence to be viable.

    'Supercar' is not a cartoon, but then neither is 'Team America' - and the quiz was on comics, cartoons and animation!