The Marauding Mushroom strikes again

November is pretty much the last month of the year when you can find some edible mushrooms around. We’ve been picking (and eating) all the wild mushrooms we could get our hands on, and it must have been through sheer luck that I haven’t encountered *this* guy yet…

This fearsome fungus comes to us from the talented pen of Ken Reid (1919-1987), a British comic artist and writer, who may have been ingesting a few mushrooms himself when he drew this.


Reid drew three sister series (World Wide Weirdies, Creepy Creations and Wanted Posters) for IPC, The International Publishing Corporation, one of the three largest comics publishers in Britain in the 20th century. I’d say he specialized in depicting ugly mugs… and their loathsome, grotesque bodies were a bit of an afterthought. After all, Reid’s the creator of Faceache, a comic about Ricky Rubberneck, the boy with a « bendable bonce » who could scrunge his face into anything! (By the way, « Faceache: The First Hundred Scrunges », the first and only collection of Faceache strips, is about to be released, and with an introduction by Alan Moore, to boot.)

Oh, heck, since we’re on the topic, let’s look at a snapshot of the other sisters.

Creepy Creations were displayed in all their colourful glory on the back cover of each copy of Shiver & Shake (an IPC magazine that ran from March 1973 to October 1974, a total of 83 issues), and were based on ideas submitted by readers, lucky bastards, who not only got to see their monster sketch re-drawn by the talented pen of a professional comics artist, but also got a 2 pound cash prize for their trouble).

Shiver & Shake was merged with Whoopee! in 1974, and Ken Reid continued in a similar vein with Wide World Weirdies until 1978. As for Wanted Posters, they were published in Whoopee, too, and were based on a similar premise (namely, readers contribute sketches for monetary compensation… though I suspect the kids were chuffed to have their work published even without the pecuniary prize).

Page from Whoopee! no. 5, March 6th, 1974. Er, guys… have you ever seen a cat before?


~ ds


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