the artists speak!
a gallery of
comic strips and
puppets in the UK
to Fleetway's flagship soap-strip. It's a gritty,
down-to-earth series about the menfolk and monsters
Albert Scare, Wallyford, in the bleeding
...Look there's Arfur Growler and Pauline, and Pete
the mouldy Pizza Specialist.... Dot Rotten runs the local
launderette... And there's Dr Legs, their local vampire GP.
Over in the Victoria Hotel are Lazy Len and Angry Angie
Witts, and the kids Herman and Lizzy.... And there in
the hotel kitchen is Weeksy the cook, and little Lofty the
midget bellboy and clerk...
Beastenders was a true Fleetway gem, perfectly lampooning
the stars of Britain's favourite soap. The monster-fun
revolved around the cunning plans of Mr Grott, a Wallyford
Councilor bent on driving away Albert Scare's freaky
residents so he could demolish the place and build a
spanking new development - rather like a certain Ian Beale,
methinks. Anyway, Grott was often assisted by an eager
weasel of a lad, who frequently sought to undermine his
efforts and gain the glory for himself. Of course, neither
schemer ever succeeded in their dastardly plotting....
Beastenders was given the honour of a double-page spread
every week and in true soap-style, stories often ran
for up to
three issues, leaving readers with a suitable cliffhanger
each week. It
arrived within the pages of the new-look Buster
in May 1987. This was when the comic shifted in size
the familiar 9.5" x 11" to the modern
8.75" x 11.75" format. The first Beastenders
most ably drawn by Anthony Hutchings who drew many
Fleetway strips at the time, like My Dad Mum, The Winners,
and Bobby's Ghoul. Anthony's drawing style was very loose,
wholly different from the precision of Reg Parlett who took
over drawing duties around the beginning of 1988.
Fleetway was no stranger to the soaps, of course, having
lampooned that other stalwart "Coronation
Street" in at least
three different strips over the years: Horonation Street,
Consternation Street and Coronation Street School...