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I SPY--------- THE FIRST EPIC SERIAL 
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you're welcome, Alan.....it's a total joy for myself revisiting these childhood strips. I know what it's like to yearn to see stuff that has haunted the memory, believe me! But anyone who has the will can track down any comic memories they desire, and I'm pretty sure you are comitted enough!


'SPARKY' Mc Issue245: SEP. 27, 1969.

'I SPY and AYE Mc SPY......the TARTAN TERROR' [part 5 of 6]; [the term 'versus', which was always a good sign, has been dropped for some reason].........

'Things get hot for this scheming scot!'


SYNOPSIS: the serenity of the remote Scottish Highlands is breached by the triumphant MR X, who ecstatically soars through the heather in his half-inched MOTORIZED CABER, with the deadly porridge/saucepan sample safe on board. I SPY with Mc SPY as passanger glide out of the skies, and Mc SPY attempts to bop the devious, top-hatted desperado with his BALLED CLUB.

MR X responds with a lethal dollop of the dreaded porridge, which causes I SPY to navigate a thrilling mid-air 'loop-the-loop' manouvere, and on the second incoming offensive, his powerful telescope capabilities single out a healthy BRANCH STEM protruding from the front of MR X'S careering craft. A well-aimed spray of ultra-concentrated 'SUPER-FERTILIZER' causes a full-scale tree-like growth to obscure MR X'S steering, and the dreaded foe crashes into a cliffside, and this is followed by I SPY administrating the lethal breakfast cereal to a dazed MR.X.


Mc SPY finally twigs that if top spies of MR X'S calibre are determined to track down his home-made porridge, then HE himself surely has the option of RULING the WORLD [a prospect that especially appeals to him]. I f this means bopping I SPY on the bonce to achieve this aim, so be it, and the CALEDONIAN SCHEMER returns to his humble croft, where he intends adding I SPY [and re-instating MR X] to his private collection of top SPIES.

His collection has scarpered, however [with the exception of BOSS], and indeed, MAHAIREE in hiding utilizes his animated BEARD to yank the TARTAN ONE outdoors, where he is dazed and deposited alongside the out-for-the-count I SPY and MR X.....

MAHAIREE, SLINKY, and KARATE CHIP now board the BEARDED ONE'S magical flying carpet, with the much-valued PORRIDGE RECIPE on board, which they gleefully intend to mass-produce, in a world-conquering capacity.


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this outing is litreally crammed with comic invention and escalating insanity, topped and tailed with an undercurrent sub-plot of back-stabbing and in-fighting between the devious SPY characters. An especially charming element has the modest, sparsely-decored Mc SPY CROFTHOUSE being the centre of attraction for the planet's most lethal and exotic SPIES.

A top-notch episode in every way, overflowing with dynamic events/action, and a more than worthy addition to the impressive 'I SPY' back catalogue.


I SPY'S DEVICES: internal rocket-engine, telescope [ultra-sensitve], SUPER-FERTILIZER with power-spray capabilities.


'NEXT WEEK----the FINAL BATTLE!'

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24 Jan 2009, 07:48
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Excellent stuff this serialisation I'm enjoying reading it - and sometimes it brings back a long "lost" memory of the strip - although I have to say I'm surprised I loved ISpy so much as he seems to spent a lot of his time fighting and beating up my fellow Scots baddies lol - I honestly think the ISPY character would be successful if brought back (it may have Im not a Beano / Dandy reader) withthe right creative team - look forward to the next episode.


24 Jan 2009, 11:18
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STARBOY wrote:
I honestly think the ISPY character would be successful if brought back (it may have Im not a Beano / Dandy reader) withthe right creative team


I think I was the last person to draw an I Spy strip, - a 25 pager for Fun Size Dandy No.63, and that was in 2000. That was just a one-off.

Comics try to reflect changing trends. Ok, things like the Bash Street Kids never change but the school strip has always been popular and easy for kids to relate to. I Spy was very much a product of its time with the "spy with gadgets" thing being big in the sixties.

That said, I still think an heroic comedy adventure serial could work. Loads of video games use that sort of escapist theme. Kids love monsters and bizarre villains too.

It all comes down to reader response though. Traditionally readers respond better to characters that are more grounded in reality, - naughty kids, school strips, etc. (Personally I always liked strips that were more escapist but I think I was in the minority.)

Lew

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24 Jan 2009, 12:21
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With the popularity of Doctor Who i'm surprised some new time travel strip hasn't been launched.

I even had my own idea i thought of 'pitching' to the Beano in some way, of bringing back the Tim Traveller character from the 90's as a light adventure strip. However beyond a retcon of him him finding the bike, finding the numbers "1940" on it and wondering "was that when this pile of junk was made?". Then going back in time to the war and being cut off from the bike somehow. He makes a friend and asks him what they do for entertainment with "no video games, no TV and no pop music!", the boy says "we read comics!". They then go to a comic shop where Tim is bewildered by the huge array (DCT titles, and parodies of AP ones such as "The Sapphire", "Film Frolics" and "Magnetic"). Tim then says "there's so many! which is the best one?", at which point his friend holds up a 1940 Beano and goes "This one!"

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24 Jan 2009, 21:41
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I'm a SCOT myself, STARBOY, [like a fair few COMICS UK members;] and this stuff is just an escapist fantasy of guilt-free stereotypes. The original JAMES BOND actor was a SCOT, of course , along with IAN FLEMING'S Scottish connections, so I just have to live with the fact that the comic 'funnies' most successful export is, in all probability, an ENGLISHMAN!

'SPARKY' McIssue 246, October 4, 1969.

''I SPY and the TARTAN TERROR' ; part 6 0f 6:

SYNOPSIS: The trio of EASTERN-BLOCK/SOVIET spies soar through the Scottish scenery, courtesy of MAHAIREE'S mystical, magical flying carpet. Back at ground-level, a recovering Mc SPY finally tires of this dangerous SPYING lark, seeking refuge in his austere abode. The also-now-concious I SPY is having none of this, however, and his SUPER POWER-MAGNET'S attractive qualities drags the TERROR to within I SPY'S grasp, who proceeds to yank him clean out of his stailess-steel 'shell'.

Image

Convinced that the 3 fleeing SPIES have the required RECIPE, the pair team up again, and Mc SPY gets fully 'tooled up' with his archaic, ancient weapon-arsenal [18th-century BLUNDERBUS, swords, etc], which prove too heavy for I SPY'S rocket capabilities, so one last time, the MOTOR-CABER is wheeled out, enabling the pair to accelerate closer to the FIENDISH escapees.

This time, I SPY opts to release an exotic batch of SUPER-FAMISHED 'TIGER MOTHS,' who duly circle the FLYING CARPET, ravenously chomping their way through the PERSIAN carpet-fibre. The 3-inch-square piece of remaining CARPET proves insufficient to support the weight of the DEVIOUS THREE, who succumb to the Scottish gravity, and an enthusiastic Mc SPY at ground-level uses his club, sword and hammer collection to help despatch the rapidly-descending SPIES into I SPY'S distant, convenient waiting sack.

The SACKLOAD of SPIES are attached to a handy fireworks rocket [held aloft by a BOTTLE [!] and the WORLD can once more breathe a sigh of relief, as 'this bag of rubbish' is blasted clean out of the SCOTTISH STRATOSPHERE. I SPY and his TARTAN opposite depart on friendly terms, but lastly, the RECIPE that created all this mayhem in the first place is righfully burnt, so that the WORLD will never have to face the MENACE of the potentially all-conquering PARALYZING PORRIDGE.

The closing frame sees Mc SPY retire to his quiet crofthouse, with HAGGIS-BREEDING a likely future career option, and into the Scottish darkness departs I SPY, with the still-paralyzed BOSS [he'll be back to normal for next week's tale, hopefully] dragged behind by a less-than- dignified length of rope.



THE final episode is a straightforwards, action-heavy series of comic events that culminate in typically-outlandish cartoon mayhem, in a satisfying, clear-cut finale. This is the third serial that has closed with I SPY simply abandoning his vanquished enemies in the closing frames, [perhaps he secretly wishes they will return to brighten up the dullsville atmoshere sometimes at SPY HQ]: he never does anything as mundane as turn the baddies over to the cops!

Mc SPY, seen out of his tartan shell, looks a scrawny sight.......Mc SPY, though never attaining TOP-SPY status within the strip's exotic world, would return once more, in the capacity of ALLIE to I SPY.

KARATE CHIP was never seen again; perhaps he, too, tired of the old SPYING lark; SLINKY SNITCHOVITCH will be seen again in a splendid adventure from the 1971 SPARKY annual, and the ultra-bearded MAHAIREE YOGI will reappear in these writings, in the climatic, sinister-'n'-sombre first-run closing serial: ' OPERATION I SPY'.


I SPY'S DEVICES: powerful ELECTRO-MAGNET, handy box of 'super-famished 'TIGER-MOTHS' [charmingly seen in close-up] standard SACK, and mega FIREWORKS-ROCKET [with natty bottle].






' I SPY' WILL RETURN AGAIN.................

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26 Jan 2009, 11:51
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LEW and STARBOY; I always felt that the ' I SPY' concept would have been a great concept if given the ANIMATED CARTOON treatment. I suppose that 'BANANAMAN' was granted this honour-of-sorts, but in my imagination, I envisaged ' I SPY' as a top-quality, early POPEYE-like undertaking, which was a no-no in TV terms in 1969-70 [theatrical cartoons had all but vanished by then].

Best of luck with your COMICS CONCEPTS, by the way, Mike, you just need one good idea!

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26 Jan 2009, 12:43
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I really felt the "Tarton Teror" story perked up when "Mr X" escaped! I'm trying to figure out the order of the rest of the season! After "Mr Tempest" was it the "Fantasmogorian" (Mr X) story-then "Masterminds" debut, followed by Mr X again (Fleas) and finally "Masterminds" "Operation I Spy"?

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26 Jan 2009, 16:05
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This is a Marvellous thread! Can't wait for more! REALLY looking foreward to when you do "Operation I Spy" Rab! Smashing!

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26 Jan 2009, 16:26
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I got it wrong, Alan: it's GRANNIE SPY/CAMMY FLAGE up next...........the strip completely changes direction........AGAIN........

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26 Jan 2009, 16:46
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ISPY' - My comments on the "Tartan terror" version of Scots were very very much tongue in cheek - after all DCT is a Scottish company, and I ve always felt that all the UK comics companys gave, as you state "guilt-free stereotypes" of Scots and all our UK partners (Scots, English Welsh and Irish) that were fun rather than savage/rude (except "Wee Willie Haggis who was just a poor strip IMHO lol). Oh Bond will always be the ultimate Englishman to me ,not even British (although obviously he is) but very much English , like Sherlock Holmes (another Scots creation) it just seems right for some reason. Actually on the subject of nationality (horror of horrors here) but I actually thought ISPY was meant to be an American character and not British :o - Anyway still enjoying your serialisation keep it up (like the idea of an ISPY cartoon as well)


26 Jan 2009, 22:20
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I'm only assuming the I SPY character is ENGLISH, Starboy: he certainly seems to be, and I don't mind what nationality he is: we never did get to find out much about him!

-----there will be a reference to I SPY'S mysterious past coming up, however, in the following tale.

Glad you seem to like this thread: it'll run for a long time, probably........

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27 Jan 2009, 12:51
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How many issues was the "Cammy Flage" story Rab? He wasn't a major villian (not to me anyhow!) would be strange if it was a six or eight parter!

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27 Jan 2009, 15:55
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the 'CAMMY FLAGE' tale runs to 5 instalments, Alan.....it's a total departure, so I will be doing an introduction first.

I' ll be breaking up text areas with piccies, readers: but I'll try and keep it all SPY-related.

Recently on here, we have been discussing SPY NATIONALITIES, and the first up, as STARBOY has pointed out, is English in concept;

Image

---yet there's a definate Scottish connection.

Next, how about THIS next chappie, who exudes sheer ENGLISHNESS perhaps even more than BOND does?:

Image



-----well, STEED actor PATRICK MACNEE also had Scottish lineage/heritage!

Image


next up is my favourite AMERICAN-derived SPYSTRIP:


Image



-----but my favourite all-time SPY character is an ENGLISHMAN!:


Image




---mind you, even HIS 'centre of operations' was the 'SPARKY' office in DUNDEE!


-----the strip assessment proper will continue next posting.........see you then.

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27 Jan 2009, 22:15
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I bought a Champ & Spike comic form 1984 and to my surprise inside was is a 4 page Sparky insert, well I think all the strips come from Sparky apart from Dennis the Menace of course the other two being Send for Kelly & Puss and Boots.

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27 Jan 2009, 22:42
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Of course other prominent comic strip spies from the same period included Wham!'s Eagle-Eye, Smash!'s the Man from BUNGLE and Buster's James Pond...Agent 0081/2 - not to mention George Martin's long-running 'Send For Kelly' in Topper!

- Phil R.


28 Jan 2009, 01:38
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