Having copied out a comic strip from 2000 AD (but in text form), the next logical step was obviously to write a comic strip of my own. I’ve detailed why this happened in my article about the front page, but it’s worth saying again that this was a dream come true. Writing stories and drawing pictures were my two favourite pastimes - I did it all the time at home - so getting the chance to do it at school as well was the best thing that could have happened to me. If ever there was a time I felt like a kid let loose in a candy shop, this was it. I think the excitement shows. My earliest surviving comic strip is obviously inspired by The Blood of Satanus, but mainly just in the tag line - “Half Man, Half Dinosaur!” The rest is pure overflowing Shepherd madness. A meteor, which turns out to be a spaceship, hurtles to Earth looking for a man called Gary Shepherd - yes, that’s my Dad - and when it finds him, it turns out the pilot - a disgusting bald bloke who looks like a cross between Dracula, Davros and Deathlok, but with a cybernetic chest panel and ears constantly dripping with blood - wants him (and only, specifically, him) to go back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, where he will find meat (presumably dinosaur meat) and bring it back to him (presumably because he likes eating it). At which point, my Dad gets so distressed, he transforms into a dinosaur himself and eats the pilot. “More later!” shouts the last line, but it never happened. This is a one-off, a tantalising glimpse of another world that never quite materialised. I’m not quite sure where it could have gone from here - presumably my Dad is Captain Carnivore (it’s never explicitly stated) and he’s allowed to call himself a captain because, after the nasty bald bloke’s been eaten alive, he has to pilot the meteor himself. It can obviously travel in time, as implied by the bald guy’s threat to send Gary to the jurasssic era, so there’s obviously limitless potential for adventure. But to imagine I actually spent any time thinking that through would be folly. I’m sure I just came up with the title and everything escalated from there. I’m not sure why I decided my Dad would be the hero. I suppose at this point, my protagonists were generally still all either me or people I knew, the exceptions all being either unnamed ciphers or comedy animals. But all the same, turning into a dinosaur isn’t a pretty outcome. And it’s just the first of many awful fates my Dad has to put up with over the next two years. Usually death. I wondered at first why I had it in for him so bad. Then it occurred to me maybe I didn’t - that maybe my Dad being kidnapped or dying sounded like the worst thing that could possibly happen, and that’s why he keeps ending up dead in my exciting action thrillers. Either way, look out for more as they arise. I can’t quite claim every single idea here as my own. Going back in time to turn dinosaurs into meat is the central premise of the deeply bloodthirsty (and incredibly silly) 2000 AD strip Flesh, which I’d definitely read some of. Also, the panel where Gary starts off trying to “pray” and ends up screaming “Prey!” is ripped straight out of Judge Dredd - The Blood of Satanus again. But I’ve adapted and evolved it in my own eight-year-old way. And that’s it. That’s how Topic changed from being a sensible book about dinosaurs into a senseless comic about men who spontaneously turn into dinosaurs. And if it hadn’t, I doubt I’d be making this website.
February/March, 1980
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
Dinosaurs 1 Space Travel Ships Sport Dinosaurs 2 Judge Dredd: The Blood of Satanus Captain Carnivore A-Maze-Ing! Star Poster: Super Jesus The Micronauts: Giant Karza The Origin of Electro Optical Illusion Time Frantic Thingies Men in Space Topic Book Word Find Puzzleman Evel Knievel: Fury Falls More Puzzlers Star Poster: The Hulk 1 Grobschnitt’s Page Captain Starlight Star Poster: The Hulk 2 The Yellyog Gang The Adventures of Puzzlemaster Jupe Woman Line Pin-Up: Doctor Doom Lazer Lash The Human Maze Three Squares Raven Mad Marvel Sketches Robschnitt’s Age: 1 Snotty Notty Space Battles Metalorian Man Robschnitt’s Age: 2 The Superhero Sports Day Captain Kirk & Pywal Carbo-Catalogue How Dumb Are You? The Space Invaders: 1 Pin-Up: The Empire Strikes Back The Space Invaders: 2 Gi-Gant-Ic! Index
Captain Carnivore
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
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Grobschnitt’s Page Meet Grobschnitt, the dome-headed Harbinger of Mischief
Lazer Lash An exciting criminal spy adventure in a world made of lasers!
Woman Line Which of these five squiggly lines leads to the woman?
TOPIC 1 He knows the names of all the dinosaurs
TERM 2 The birth of the 1980s - Blake’s 7, Blondie and battles in space
Waen Shepherd 2 Waen’s heroic antics in the far-flung future of 2007 AD!
Captain Carnivore
February/March, 1980
Having copied out a comic strip from 2000 AD (but in text form), the next logical step was obviously to write a comic strip of my own. I’ve detailed why this happened in my article about the front page, but it’s worth saying again that this was a dream come true. Writing stories and drawing pictures were my two favourite pastimes - I did it all the time at home - so getting the chance to do it at school as well was the best thing that could have happened to me. If ever there was a time I felt like a kid let loose in a candy shop, this was it. I think the excitement shows. My earliest surviving comic strip is obviously inspired by The Blood of Satanus, but mainly just in the tag line - “Half Man, Half Dinosaur!” The rest is pure overflowing Shepherd madness. A meteor, which turns out to be a spaceship, hurtles to Earth looking for a man called Gary Shepherd - yes, that’s my Dad - and when it finds him, it turns out the pilot - a disgusting bald bloke who looks like a cross between Dracula, Davros and Deathlok, but with a cybernetic chest panel and ears constantly dripping with blood - wants him (and only, specifically, him) to go back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, where he will find meat (presumably dinosaur meat) and bring it back to him (presumably because he likes eating it). At which point, my Dad gets so distressed, he transforms into a dinosaur himself and eats the pilot. “More later!” shouts the last line, but it never happened. This is a one-off, a tantalising glimpse of another world that never quite materialised. I’m not quite sure where it could have gone from here - presumably my Dad is Captain Carnivore (it’s never explicitly stated) and he’s allowed to call himself a captain because, after the nasty bald bloke’s been eaten alive, he has to pilot the meteor himself. It can obviously travel in time, as implied by the bald guy’s threat to send Gary to the jurasssic era, so there’s obviously limitless potential for adventure. But to imagine I actually spent any time thinking that through would be folly. I’m sure I just came up with the title and everything escalated from there. I’m not sure why I decided my Dad would be the hero. I suppose at this point, my protagonists were generally still all either me or people I knew, the exceptions all being either unnamed ciphers or comedy animals. But all the same, turning into a dinosaur isn’t a pretty outcome. And it’s just the first of many awful fates my Dad has to put up with over the next two years. Usually death. I wondered at first why I had it in for him so bad. Then it occurred to me maybe I didn’t - that maybe my Dad being kidnapped or dying sounded like the worst thing that could possibly happen, and that’s why he keeps ending up dead in my exciting action thrillers. Either way, look out for more as they arise. I can’t quite claim every single idea here as my own. Going back in time to turn dinosaurs into meat is the central premise of the deeply bloodthirsty (and incredibly silly) 2000 AD strip Flesh, which I’d definitely read some of. Also, the panel where Gary starts off trying to “pray” and ends up screaming “Prey!” is ripped straight out of Judge Dredd - The Blood of Satanus again. But I’ve adapted and evolved it in my own eight-year-old way. And that’s it. That’s how Topic changed from being a sensible book about dinosaurs into a senseless comic about men who spontaneously turn into dinosaurs. And if it hadn’t, I doubt I’d be making this website.
Fiends of the Eastern Front Vampires, paraphrased from 2000 AD
Tedosaurus Prehistoric fun with a teddy bear the size of a dinosaur!
Super Jesus A special pin-up of your favourite Nazarene webslinger
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE