Toxic Presents …. Crazy Comics.
The Toxic Crazy Comics supplement is a free comics insert included with issue 137 of Toxic magazine that should be on the racks from April 1st for three weeks.
Toxic is described as a “lifestyle / entertainment magazine for 8-12 year old boys”. Now, aside from the old bloke in me rankling at the idea that 8-12 year old boys have a “lifestyle” nowadays, my biggest problem with Toxic is that it only has room for a mere handful of strips and it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise if you’ve read any of my thoughts on kids comics before that I don’t necessarily agree with the way Toxic does it; too much plastic crap on the front cover, too many articles on why computer games are great, too much TV stuff. I’d rather it was 100% comics. But it’s not. To each their own I suppose, it’s successful at what it does and it does seem to have an editorial staff that really wants to include comics in the magazine, which I applaud and encourage them to do more. I think it just came at a bad time with the disappointment of seeing the DFC go under, there’s a part of me that sees something like Toxic as not pure enough, not “comics” enough, whatever that means.
The comics themselves, nine different strips, range from very traditional Beano / Whizzer & Chips style stuff to some very modern stuff indeed. There’s a good mix in here, and of course, they’re just as suitable for girls as they are boys. In fact, Molly was a bit put out when I told her that Toxic was a magazine for boys. “But that’s stupid Dad, comics are for everyone”. Very wise little girl.
Highlights for Molly and me;
Zombie Nation by Luke Paton (The Adventures of Kez and Luke) and Laura Howell from the DFC but already in Toxic with Robin Hoodie, the Beano with Ratz and Johnny Bean From Happy Bunny Green (brilliantly described as ASBOs come to Trumpton).
WereWilf by Paul Birch & Shane Oakley and John Erasmus. A very strange one this; as I read it I thought of Alan Moore’s Bojeffries Saga and Steve Parkhouse’s art, but a quick nosy on John’s blog tells me it’s actually older than that, as WereWilf first appeared in March 1976 in that wondeful British comic Whoopee! and gets a very nostalgic and funny return here, with Wilf’s powers being discovered by Ernie Helsing, the monster hunting milkman. So perhaps it was an influence on The Bojeffries Saga and not vice versa then. Wonderful art by Erasmus.
Lew Stringer‘s The Clump is possibly the most traditional of the bunch, looking like it could have fitted very nicely into any comic from Whizzer & Chips of 30 years ago to just last week in the Beano. And I don’t say that as a criticism; I’ve always enjoyed whatever Lew does, and The Clump is a great bit of traditional comic fun.
Toxic’s website has loads more things to see and do and most importantly for the comic, it has the voting section, which I presume goes live once the latest issue goes on sale from the 1st. Vote for the strip you like best and it will make a return appearance in the pages of Toxic.
I made Molly choose a favourite to vote for and she was torn between Count Von Poo and Zombie Nation – that DFC connection runs deep. She just couldn’t decide. So I’m voting for Count Von Poo for her and she voted for Zombie Nation. But in truth, I’d rather not have to vote. I’d love to see quite all four of the strips make it into the magazine. Even better, I’d love to see Toxic do a complete comic. Maybe one day.
Toxic issue 137 with the Crazy Comics supplement is available from April 1st from newsagents for roughly three weeks. Make sure you give it a go, get online and vote, then e-mail Egmont to convince them that they need more comics.