Brain Damage (comics)

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Brain Damage was a British adult comic that was published monthly by Galaxy Publications (later Tristar Publications) and edited by Bill Hampton from 1989 to 1992.

Brain Damage was one of many comics emulating the success of Viz; however whereas most of its peers were crude, low-quality Viz imitiations, Brain Damage attempted to capture the quality end of the market, with contributions from recognised cartoonists and satirists and a strong element of UK alternative politics. In this way, it seemed to aspire to be a modern-day Oz. Many issues contained a central theme around which strips were supposed to focus, and each covers featured an unnamed mascot which vaguely resembled the 1980s children's TV puppet Gilbert the Alien.

Its sibling titles included the direct Viz clone Gas and reprint anthology Talking Turkey.

Brain Damage was published until volume 3, number 4 (issue 28), and was then replaced with Elephant Parts which abandoned the political aspects in favour of surreal nonsense. Elephant Parts supposedly incorporated "The Damage", but as it was printed on different paper stock and with a markedly changed editorial, was effectively a different magazine. Elephant Parts was printed for a few months.

As of June 18, 2009, all rights to the Brain Damage comic series were acquired by Untitled Project Productions in Brooklyn, NY. The intent is to produce a series of half-hour animated TV shows. Currently in production, an animated pilot show is expected towards the end of 2009.

Repeating strips included:

  • Andy The Anarchist by Anthony Smith - a stereotyped anarchist
  • Arseover Tit by Hunt Emerson - a two-headed creature called Alf (as in "half and half") and his adventures in society. Usually Alf would get mangled after failing to decide which way to jump from an oncoming attack due to having two heads
  • Cameraman by Stevie Best - a cynical day-to-day story of a paparazzo (tabloid photographer)
  • Hell's Rotarians by unknown - setting septuagenarian Rotarians as Hells Angels
  • Home Front by John Erasmus - a strip involving a mother and son, the mother being a cheerful psychopath who caused carnage each issue (and embarrassing her son).
  • Rymeword Scrubs by Doug Cameron and Ben Norris - a prison to house cartoon characters with rhyming names (e.g. David Fottom, with a talking bottom)
  • The Striker Wore Pink Knickers by Tony Husband and Ron Tiner- a pastiche of Roy of the Rovers type strips about a girl playing professional football posing as a man. The strip went out with a bang, with all main characters realising they were homosexual and being murdered by a skinhead
  • The Watchdogs by Tony Reeve - two cartoon dogs, based on Douglas Hurd Conservative Home, then Foreign, Secretary in this period and Mary Whitehouse, the Christian morality campaigner.
  • Sam Shovel by Kev F. Sutherland - pun-filled detective parody in style of Jim Steranko's early graphic novel Chandler
  • Watch With Mutha by Doug Cameron and Ben Norris - one-off strips ridiculing children's television with adult themes
  • We Ran The World by Andy Oldfield and Mike Roberts - a lavish colour strip containing analysis of British culture and history from a left-wing (and often Marxist) perspective. Two recurring characters were a teenage skinhead indoctrinated by tabloid newspapers and his world-wise grandfather (who had fought against Oswald Mosley)
  • Wildtrouser Hall by Cluff – about an aristocratic family playing on the perception of arsitocrats as psychopathic Nazi parasites
  • The Andy Oldfield Column - political rants accompanied by satire cartoons by Clive Wakfer
  • Edith Appleby: O.A.P. Warrior by David Leach - a little old lady in a nursing home becomes a vigilante after the murder of a number of her friends at the hands of the home's corrupt staff. Written as a series, alas only two episodes were published before the magazine's closure.
  • Diary of a Mad Housewifeby Neil Nixon/ Stanley Manly - the surreal rantings of a married woman, written as a diary entry and appearing regularly in Elephant Parts. Nixon wrote prose pieces and items for all the Galaxy adult humour titles, including some repeating ideas, but this was his only regular strip.