Friday 11 October 2013

Top 10 Comics in Comics - No 4 Laurel & Hardy

In anticipation of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's long-awaited second comic book "Goes To Hollywood" - buy it now for Christmas (NB that link will work as soon as the comic's ready) - we're looking at the Top Ten comics based on comedians. And at number 4 we find...

Laurel and Hardy are comedians who divide modern day viewers. It is possible to not find their movies funny and it is possible to find their comic strip adaptations unfunny too. In the case of the movies you're wrong, they are landmarks of 20th century popular culture and, in many cases, laugh out loud funny nearly a century after they were filmed. In the case of the comic strips, not so much.

Laurel and Hardy can take credit for having the longest running and biggest selling comic strip adaptations on two sides of the Atlantic dating back to their first appearance in Britain's Film Fun in 1920. Forty years later their strip was still gracing the front cover, drawn by George Wakefield (thanks to Lew Stringer's excellent Crikey blog for the image). In the USA they are better remembered for the interestingly named Larry Harmon's Laurel and Hardy comic.

Larry Harmon made his name as the TV character Bozo The Clown, through which he discovered the potential of merchandising. Having successfully exploited his clown character, he then bought up the likenesses of Laurel and Hardy and turned them into an animated TV series in 1966. This spawned a best selling comic book version, published by Top Sellers comics and running for 135 issues. In 1972 DC Comics published a one-off comic of Larry Harmon's Laurel & Hardy, but the second issue (the cover of which exists here) remains unpublished.

No 10 - Arthur Askey
No 9 - Jonathan Ross
No 8 - Ken Dodd
No 7 - Stephen Colbert
No 6 - Reg Varney
No 5 - Billy Connolly
No 4 - Laurel & Hardy
No 3 - H???? H???
No 2 - T?? G??????
No 1 - ?

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Goes To Hollywood is their second comic book, an 80 page bonanza of comic strip adaptations of some of their best sketches including Star Wars, Casablanca, Robin Hood, A Christmas Carol and many more. As soon as it's ready, click here to order a copy. Their first comic book, Sock, featuring Halloween, Torchwool, Life On Mars, Primarkeval and Romeo & Juliet is still available in print and on Kindle.

SOCKS IN SPACE - The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on tour... NOW!

Oct 5 - Farnham Maltings
Oct 11 - Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Oct 24 - The Capitol, Horsham
Oct 25 - Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Oct 26 - Canterbury Festival
Nov 1 - Ace Centre, Nelson
Nov 2 - Leeds Carriageworks
Nov 14 - Hull Comedy Festival
Nov 15 - Ropewalk, Barton On Humber
Nov 16 - Chorley Little Theatre
Nov 17 - Lass O'Gowrie, Manchester
Nov 30 - Christmas Special, Camden Head, London
Dec 6 - Christmas Special, Ring O'Bells, Bath

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