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Wednesday, 7 October 2015
KID KLASSICS: KEVIN OR TREVOR? THAT IS THE QUESTION...
Sometime back in February or March of 1985, BOB PAYNTER,
group editor of IPC's humour division, asked me if I might have any
ideas for a new comic which was in development. "It's going to be like VIZ, but not quite as rude!" he informed me. As far as I remember, the
comic was an 'out-of-house' production being developed in Manchester
(I think - could have been Birmingham) and IPC were only going to
print and distribute it through their usual channels.
I turned my mighty brain to the task and soon came up with a
daft idea for someone who owned a pair of talking socks. At first
I was going to call him TREVOR, being slightly more alliterative, but
decided instead to name him after KEVIN BRIGHTON, one of the IPC art assistants, who worked at the desk next to mine on the
26th floor of KING'S REACH TOWER.
I was living in Southsea at the time, and I recall as if it were only
yesterday, sitting in the cafe on the top floor of Portsmouth's central
library, working on the rough of the first (and - so far - only) episode of KEVIN & His TALKING SOCKS. I duly handed it in to Bob, who sent
it off to the OINK boys (for that was the very comic being developed) for
consideration. Some weeks later I asked Bob if he'd had any response, but
he hadn't, so we assumed that my strip hadn't found favour and promptly
forgot about it. Several months later, however, I decided to draw up the
finished strip - just for my own satisfaction. Below is a scan of the photo-
copies I made of the original roughs before giving them to Bob to send
on (which were never returned), and which I used as a guide
when I drew up the finished page.
Interestingly, some time after OINK hit the stands, a new strip
appeared called HECTOR VECTOR & His TALKING T-SHIRT.
Coincidence? Subliminal influence? Rip-off? Don't suppose I'll ever
really know, but it certainly gives me pause for thought. The strip at
the top of the page is from the back cover of The ILLUSTRATED COMIC JOURNAL, which was produced in a hurry about twenty
years ago - see footnote under the strip for details.
At the risk of overkill, here it is again, in its original, one-page
format. Created, written, pencilled, inked and lettered by my-
self. Nice of me to take the blame, don'tcha think?
Unfortunately, due to Lew Stringer maliciously implying on
another forum that this post contradicts my claim to never having
actively sought a career as a strip cartoonist during my lettering
years, it behooves me to emphasize some important points.
1) Bob Paynter sought my participation, not the other way around.
2) Responding to an invitation for ideas is not pursuing an ambition.
3) Had the idea been accepted (instead of just copied), I would've
been unavailable to draw the strip. My 'involvement' would've
ended upon acceptance. Hopefully that clears things up.
Although at one time I did entertain aspirations to become an
adventure comic strip artist, I swiftly abandoned them once my
freelance lettering career took off. I never actively sought any
kind of regular or long-term work as an artist on any comic
during my fifteen year stint in the industry.
Further details are covered in passing on this post. No doubt a
certain 'someone' will try to manufacture a discrepancy, but every-
thing I have ever said on the subject is consistent under scrutiny
with the application of a little contemplative consideration.