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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lee James Turnock -Up Yours!

Up Yours!
Lee James Turnock
The Comic Company
32 pages (saddle stitched)
Colour cover/ B&W interior
Sized to 5 ½” x 7 ¼” (perfect for stickin’ in your trenchcoat pockets!)/A5

  Britain's least known Underground cartoonist, Lee James Turnock, unleashes another tidal wave of lovingly delineated vitriol. Part autobiographical, part satirical, UP YOURS! is certain to lace your chuckles with mild unease. The highlights of this corker are Turnock's true life confession: "I Was a Teen-age Pervert", "Stinky Pinky", "What Pisses Him Off", and a deft Chick tract parody.

What can I say about Lee James Turnock?  It seems all the good insults have been done.  Seriously.  I am not kidding.  It appears that a lot of people in the UK 'comic community' (sorry, I laughed then) have absolutely no idea what humour is. Or what an Underground Comix is. Combine the two into one and they get more  cross eyed than a 15 year old who has been slapping the bishop too much.

Look at that cover.  All those runny noses in that brown bag. It's...not noses. Oh.

Anyway, lovely cover with great colours and, apart from the over-exposed blancmanges it's a style that might have graced a UK weekly comic years ago....back in the last century when I was young...young......anyway. really DO NOT get many of THEM to the £ these days.  The problem with having an alleged "family friendly" site is that you cannot post the absolute filth that Turnock produces. Absolute filthy but very funny.  He does have a blog and you can check out work he has done in the past in the Small Press as well as current work:

In collaboration with (writer?) Dexter Cockburn there is "The Most Common Cartoon-Based Childhood Accidents..." which is outrageous. Even as a kid, though, I knew NOT to look down the barrel of a cannon (but why we had one in the garden...?).  "This was your Life" hmm.  Well I never once considered that Hell might be more fun than Heaven!! "Whattock Hunt" just goes to prove that you really -REALLY- do need to check that the dvd you put on for the kids is, uh, not "bestial" in any way!!!  "What Pisses Him Off!" Yeah, I think most of us would really like to do one of these strips. Yeah, but then the screaming and legal threats start...meh.

What makes this issue so great is the semi-biographical "I Was A Teenage Pervert" which is funny, depressing, filthy, funny all in one big glop.  Porno mags, porno videos and those "know-all-about-sex" morons you knew who, obviously, knew absolutely nothing about sex!

I like the writing and unless it's my imagination, I think Turnock's artwork has improved (I wear glasses by-the-way)! There is some very neat figure work and it all just melds together nicely.  It IS an "adults only" book but unless you are an adult you probably would not understand most of the stuff in here such as why the woman is letting the pig do that to her or the joy of finding two carrier bags full of porn when you are thirteen!

The biggest mystery is WHY Turnock's work is so ignored in the UK? It's ridiculous.  We've had very few real Underground Comix creators in the UK since the 1970s and yet here is one who, were he based in the US, I'm sure would be a comix star and at least earning some good money for his work.

So, order a copy online (it's cheap enough) and have a good read.

I am obliged here to tell you that self-abuse can lead to poor eye-sight and need to wear spectacles.


  1. Nice to see a 'homage' to Don Martin on the cover. I have to be honest and say that underground comics aren't really my thing, but from what I've seen, Lee draws them at least as well as anyone ever has done. It's a shame there aren't enough British humour comics around today to give him a chance in the mainstream, but he should perhaps consider doing a strip that he could submit to Mad magazine. Hey, it's worth a try.

  2. Thanks Terry, thanks Kid, I am beyond flattered.
    The Don Martin lookalike goon on the cover is actually based on one of Leo Baxendale's background weirdos in one of the Willy the Kid books... so it's Martin by way of Baxendale by way of, er, me!

  3. Actually, Lee. I thought it might be (it's the second book, if I recall correctly), but I went with Martin because Bax was obviously copying him.

  4. Gads, its like an old comic farts get-together here! Seriously, I just think the UK has died a death but as Kid says, maybe Mad magazine?

  5. Mad's worth a go, yep, but the magazine's fairly horrible these days (at least it was last time I bought it, maybe 2012?). Tom Bunk's stuff is just about the only good thing in it.

  6. Well, that's three people which makes a Quorndog...or quorum? Anyway, Lee TRY MAD!!!!

  7. This really bring us to a fairly important point. How to bring comics to the wider publics attention without useing shit loads of cash on distribution ? There are a number of good 'underground' comics that should be competeing in the wider market - why can't they ? There must be a way to put mag's on shelves without useing Diamond ( ? ) distribution.

  8. Stransky, oh you sweet innocent young thing. Bush-baby eyes blinking in the hope of an answer. Basically, every comic shop I've come across will not touch zines or anything non-mainstream. A few years back (4?) on the old CBO I tackled this Diamond issue. A couple shop owners outraged at Diamonds monopoly (Which IS illegal in the UK) and how they stop shop owners getting in any books that do not come through them. What action did these store owners take? None. Were they willing to take up my offer of books? No. It's all BSHO (bullshit of the highest order). They want to just sell DC and Marvel and call Image and Dark Horse "Independents" and that's it. I know they run a business and need to make money BUT If you had a comic shop that sold Marvel, DC and maybe Dark Horse and Image as well as the usual merchandise that hangs around until you have to discount it and a bit further up the road is a shop that sells Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Image, Underground Comix, zines which would most people eventually go to? If you have a bigger and wider selection of books then unless your average customer is a "Marvel and DC dullard" as one shop owner described his patrons, then the bigger selection should work. SHOULD work, but...