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Anyone crackers to find out about ‘Quackers’?

July 1, 2012

We all have obscure comics in our collections – I’m the proud owner of a “Take a Break” ‘Cosmic’ comic which somehow wound its way into my collection. However, whilst sorting through old 90s comics deciding if I wanted any – I came across a rather petite comic and when I was welcomed by the artwork of Brian Walker on the front – I just had to take it. Now here is my review…

Quackers was inside the Quiz Kids ongoing puzzle book as a pull-out, A5, 16 page comic supplement which was in the centre pages until you removed it. Inside are the comic are a few notable artists, notable strips and a few odd surprises too!

Now, because I’m a friendly guy and I want you to share my interests in this comic – I will be uploading every page so grab yourself a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable and enjoy!

PAGE 1: The Cover: Graffy T – Brian Walker

– The cover really is a classic styled one – the logo looks fun along with it’s slogan “For kids who should know better!”. The yellow background to the cover makes it stand out from the dull Quiz Kids pages and looks eye-catching. Underneath the logo is the first comic strip – the brilliant ‘Graffy T’ by ‘Smasher’ artist, Brian Walker. The story is simple and clever and works very well on the cover – the painted colours clash well with the bright yellow background and the idea is also very traditional! FAVOURITE

PAGE 2/3: Dr. Zitbag’s Transylvania Pet Shop – Clennery/Jacqui?

– ‘Dr. Zitbag’s Transylvania Pet Shop’ starts off the inner pages with a two-page spread – the story is mentioned quite a lot on the cover of the comic so I thought this may be their main strip – little did I know that ‘Dr. Zitbag’s Transylvania Pet Shop’ (or Dr. Globule in France) was actually a French kids TV show – how on Earth did Quackers get their permission? Strangely, Buster also ran this series for a while just like The Beezer and Topper (and later The Dandy) ran Hanna-Barbara cartoon, ‘Potsworth and Co.’ – but more on that later… The story itself is very odd and not at all funny – but the artwork is brilliant plus the continuing storyline works well – I wish I could read more. My only problem is that font chosen (which is clearly a Buster font meaning this could be reprint material) is so blurred that it’s hard to sometimes make out what the characters are saying. But overall, I like it. GOOD

PAGE 4/5: Major Tom – Unknown/Billy Boffin – Cliff Brown

– Next is popular Ladybird kids story, ‘Major Tom’. I personally found it to be pretty rubbish and not at all funny – upon reading more Major Tom stories online – I can confirm this is actually one of the best ones somehow. Still, the art-style is nice and child-friendly, perfect for Ladybird. AVERAGE

– Alternatively, Cliff Brown’s ‘Billy Boffin’ is both traditional and brilliant. I love Cliff’s colours – it allows his artwork to stand out greatly among the other painted stories. I’ve always been a fan of Cliff Brown who if I am correct was behind the brilliant ‘Timothy Tester’ in Whizzer and Chips? GOOD

PG 6/7: Time Twins – Unknown/Charlie Invisible (not!) – Jacqueline East

– Time Twins is an odd one – a one page story about time isn’t too normal – usually they’d be at least two pages like Fred’s Bed! I really like this story, it’s a bit different to the normal time-related story and I love the art style – so simple yet brilliant! The story itself is also weird and funny – my favourite type! GOOD

– Charlie Invisible (not!) has some lovely artwork and to see a female artist among the males is always nice. I love Jacqueline’s style and I think the colours work really nicely – the vibrant yellows and greens clash well with the blue and brown ‘Time Twins’ story. The story itself is a pun but I think it’s the story is done very well – pun or not – certainly funnier than most “invisibility” stories! GOOD 

PG 8/9: Potsworth and Co. – Barrie Appleby

– Wait, didn’t we mention this earlier? Yes, that’s right – Potsworth & Co. were also in Quackers (probably a Beezer/Topper reprint) – probably the most surprising story in this comic – well, second most surprising perhaps? I’ve always loved Potsworth & Co. – it’s amazing that despite being Hanna-Barbara – he proved to be most popular and famous in good, ol’ Great Britain in one of our many top comics! Barrie’s artwork is top-notch and to see this story in here always baffles me in a  good way! What I’d like to know is how did they manage to get a DC Thomson and Egmont reprint in there? Huh? GOOD

PG 10/11: Molly Coddle – Cliff Brown/Boxatrix – Brian Walker

– Molly Coddle is easily Cliff Brown’s worst story in this comic. While his colours and artwork may look as fantastic as the others – the story just isn’t good enough. I just found it to be repetitive and slightly dull. AVERAGE

– And things just got stranger still! ‘Boxatrix’, eh? ‘Boxatricks’… Ring any bells? Could they really get away with that?! Such similar names, same artist… hmmm… Still, the stories are far different. Boxatrix being about a computer which gets its owner into trouble and then Boxatricks being more about sorting out bullies. Still, very odd… Story-wise, it’s alright – a bit weird but I still liked it and I really can never get enough of Brian Walker’s incredible artwork. GOOD

PG 12/13: Cannelloni – Unknown/City Farm – Jacqueline East

– Canneloni is yet another silent strip and is actually worse than Major Tom! Now, I don’t know about you but to me, this story makes absolutely no sense, also, the artwork isn’t as good as Major Tom – oh dear! WORST

– City Farm is a typical pun-filled story and reminded me of The Riot Squad (or Hoot Squad) but with Jacqueline’s lovely, painted artwork and some fairly decent puns and jokes – I actually really liked this story and felt it worked pretty well! GOOD

PG 14/15: Jasper’s Genie – Unknown

– Jasper’s Genie doesn’t fit in at all with the rest of the comic in my opinion – but maybe this makes it promising. Now, looking past the weird placement of text in speech bubbles and the misspelling of “medieval” – the story is fairly decent for a first episode – Jasper certainly is rude but this does make it quite funny. I’d love to read more of it. GOOD

PG 16: PC. Big Boots – Cliff Brown

– PC. Big Boots has to be one of my favourites and looks brilliant on the back of the comic! The story is very traditional and Cliff’s beautiful colours and style makes this story a good ‘un! GOOD

And that’s the end of that! I hope you enjoyed my review and enjoyed your 16 page read of the comic and liked it as much as I did! Quackers lasted 2 years inside Quiz Kids from 1997 – 1999. Let’s hope it returns one day!

Also, if you have any Quackers comics or obscure comics – why not scan ’em in and send them to me at ‘rickh001@wsgfl.org.uk’ and I’ll review them for you – I’d love to get some things sent to me to review – it keeps me entertained and hopefully you too!

Until next time, my friends, goodbye!

– Harry Rickard

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 1, 2012 18:18

    I’m very impressed..
    I’ve linked you on my blog and facebook page…
    loved seeing new Box-a-Tricks..as a laptop!!

    • July 1, 2012 18:45

      Thanks! A neat, little comic isn’t it? 🙂
      Wow! Thank you, Peter – I’m honoured!
      A highlight for me too – both in a good and odd way! 😀

  2. July 3, 2012 02:19

    P.C. Big Boots looks just like Constable Flatfoot from Timothy Tester in Whizzer and Chips! Probably because it’s the same artist!

    • July 3, 2012 06:52

      Aye, that he does!
      Many of the characters look like they’re from other stories… Boxatrix/Boxatricks… Potsworth & Co… Dr. Zitbag’s Transylvania Pet Shop… All of them are from other comics!
      I hope you enjoyed reading it! 😀

  3. July 3, 2012 13:28

    I’ve got a bunch of these – interesting thing about the Potsworth strip: in one of the instalments, they meet a wizard who is drawn in a Franco-Belgian style, similar to Peyo (creator of the Smurfs). The strip was possibly drawn by the same artist who provided the illustrations for the main Quiz Kids magazine, which also had a quite Franco-Belgian feel.

  4. July 3, 2012 21:57

    “Aye”, Harry? Oi! I’m the scottish one around here! Now begger aff and lie in your pit wi’oot a wheesht out’ta ya!*

    *Now kindly leave the premises and go back to bed while trying to remain as quite as you can? Er?

    😉

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