Saturday, 2 May 2009

Nobody likes... Freddy

Because you didn't demand it: the first in an occasional series focussing on the worst, feeblest, most unloved, entirely critically unregarded, most mediocre and/or weird, forgottenest comics of yesteryear. We begin with Freddy issue 47, Charlton Comics, 1965. 

Yes, dear reader. There were 47 issues of Freddy. According to the indicia, it was published four times a year. Freddy was running for more than ten years. People bought this - regularly? Where are all the Freddy readers gone, long time passing? Where are all the thousands of copies of this and each of the preceding 46 issues? All destroyed?

Freddy is a lame rip off of the popular teen humour Archie comics: Freddy's hair is black, whereas Archie's is kind of red; Freddy's pal is fat, hirsute, yeucchy 'Stuff' (as seen on the delightful cover), whereas Archie's pal is Jughead. Archie has two gals on the go, virtuous Betty and sultry Veronica (the lucky stiff) whereas Freddy seems to go nuts over a wide array of interchangeable bimbo-girls. Dan De Carlo did a great job on the art for a lot of the Archie comics; Jon D'Agostino provides an inferior - though occasionally mildly deranged - carbon-copy of his style for Freddy.

Charlton Comics Give You More! it says at the top of every page. But you might find that you'd like less. One thing's quickly apparent: Freddy and his pal Stuff are odious creeps. Incidentally, that gal in the beret appears to have some serious upper-body issues. 

The stories revolve around the same kind of teen stuff that the Archie comics do, but they don't make much sense; and they have an added edge of charmlessness and raging libido, strangely at odds with their approval by the Comics Code Authority. I suspect that the CCA couldn't be bothered to wade through these. Or else how would a bizarre scene with a sex-crazed dress designer get through? 
And what's going on with these European stereotypes?

Did I mention that the comic also includes a story about smelly moustaches? That must have had a wide appeal.

And once you've enjoyed this charming tale, how about a pet monkey? Just flip to the advertisements...

You could even feed them on lollipops. Just imagine all the darling little confectionery-choked monkey-corpses buried in the backyards of 1960s suburban America. And if killing a monkey is too much effort, how about saving some money on hair cuts?

What a load of old rubbish Freddy was. If you know where I can obtain copies of the other 46 issues, please get in touch.

You'll find this comic - filed under "misguided comic cover images featuring obese skaters" - in the HOUSE OF COBWEBS.

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