the artists speak!
a gallery of
comic strips and
puppets in the UK
Million Pounds to anyone who dares
stay all of ye night in ye haunted bedroom
at Scream Inn..."
Well, that was the plot. Each week readers were
suggest a guest to come and spend a night in this 'orrible
inn - although Fleetway were only offering the slightly
smaller prize of £1 for winning suggestions.
It was up to the Innkeeper, Bertie Bedsheet, Suffering
Cookie, Grotty Dotty, Dennis the Devil and Boneypart
scare the bejeezus out of this "visitor"
and prevent them
from claiming their prize.
Needless to say, nobody ever won the big money,
strip proved most popular with the readership
and it survived
the merger with stablemate Whoopee!, and continued
a strip in the pull-out Shiver section ("It's
The very first visitors to attempt a night at the place
pugilist - "Champ" - and his shifty trainer/manager
Champ turned a four-poster into a mini boxing ring
battered any spook who got too close. Unfortunately,
he got too keen and punched his way right out of the
building, battering Boss with brickwork in the process.
From then on we had everyone and everything from an
(ShSh #74), to a Bullfighter (ShSh #30), to - I kid
you not - an
electrifying Congar Eel (ShSh #65) - Those Fleetway
were a weird bunch.
Once canny reader suggested that comic co-star
be sent to the inn for the night (Wh/ShSh 30th
Aug 75). But
the Eye was eventually driven away by Cookie,
reeking of garlic...
Perhaps the most interesting guest, however, was
artist himself Brian Walker (ShSh #25). That's a thumbnail
Above is a second thumbnail leading to a larger
scan of the
Scream Inn stars. It's taken from a pull-out poster
away in Whoopee! and Shiver & Shake, dated 13th
1975. This creepy brochure description also featured
"Six feet below sea level, Scream Inn stands
in its own swamp, overlooking ye Murky Mire,
guaranteeing foul odours day & night. All
warranted damp, dark & diabolical, with hot
cold hands laid on. We provide gloom service,
central haunting & a wine cellar. Secret
creaking doors, cobwebs, reptiles & deathwatch
beetle inclusive. All mattresses stuffed with
vulture feathers. Bed & Breakfast at frightening
And this was an inviting guide to the staff:
"Under the direct supervision of the Innkeeper,
the supernatural staff of spooks, ghouls, witches,
zombies, devils & phantoms will strike terror
the stoutest heart. Dracula Diner's Club &
Vampire Luncheon Vouchers accepted..."
Interviewed for the wonderful comics zine Golden Fun
1983, Brian Walker talked in depth about the strips
and how he
was given a free rein by IPC editor Bob Paynter to create
characters and inn setting as he saw fit. He even drew
architectural drawing of the inn building, so that he could
settings right in each strip.
Brian also gave us the Scream Inn spin-off called the
Spooktacular 7 which featured the Innkeeper, Bertie
the gang as secret agent spooks for hire.
By the way, Trivia Hounds may note that the first-ever
was reprinted in the 1978 Whoopee! annual...