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Mad Dog McGillicuddy and his Rabid Band of Howler Monkeys

A rockin' webcomic by Brodie O'Mara

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Previous Episodes: Episode 5.1 (61) - 8.S5 (120) Previous Episodes: Episode 5.1 (61) - 8.S5 (120) Episode 5/1 (61) - The Knockouts Episode 5/1 dedicated to Ari Up (1962-2010), and James Freud (1959-2010). [Ari Up's dedication is somewhat belated, but I wanted to wait until I was publishing my own Episodes again...] So, the last series ended with the reveal that the girls had formed their own band (with 'music power' enough to disable The Queen!). We pick up with them playing their first gig, which - naturally, I think - is as support for the Howler Monkeys... Mad Dog's final thought (the well-worn 'Star Wars' catchphrase) is rather prophetic, given what is to follow this series... Also, the song has been carefully chosen ('Fall Behind Me' - The Donnas), as it alludes to the possibility of The Knockouts surpassing the Howler Monkeys... 105734840 Episode 5/2 (62) - DJ Craigsplosion I wrote this episode ages ago, but it only occurred to me when I posted it that the DJ's name is Craig, and we had a mate named Craig, who was way into urban music, who died prematurely in a terrible accident. At the same time, another mate put a 'RIP Mitch' (Craig's nickname) post on the guestbook... 'Nuff said. 106462803 Episode 5/3 (63) - The Howlettes This being the Howler Monkeys, who already have a demonic brass section, their new recruits couldn't all just be normal human musos. So, naturally, their new back-up singers are ghosts... The look of the Howlettes is supposed to reflect the 60s-70s era back-up singers and girl groups, hence the early 60s, Supremes-type do, the later 60s beehive and the 70s afro. The final frame is meant to depict Beardo's growing frustration with Mad Dog, as well as Craig's shock and realisation that he hasn't joined a normal band... 106913688 Episode 5/4 (64) - ROFLMAO I hate text-speak acronyms such as that in the title. I heard someone say 'ROFLMAO' aloud, and it sounded like 'Roffelmau'. That inspired this double-episode... But more on that next week... 106913913 Episode 5/5 (65) - The Baron (ROFLMAO, Part 2) Episode 5/5 dedicated to Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010). I was reluctant to put a two-parter in the middle of a series, but I couldn't tell the whole Roffelmau story in a single Episode. My mate Fitz, my most constructive of critics, wanted to see more of The Baron. I assure you, he will return. I deliberately disposed of him in a way that allows him to return... This has dated a little even since writing it, as my old phone wasn't really set up for email/facebook/twitter. Now I/we have smartphones that date this a little...Oh well, it was bound to date at some point... Strangely, the most far-fetched part of this story is NOT that it features a character with a phone for a head, but that everyone willingly smashes their phones. Wishful thinking on my part. I wish we could all be free of these things, but I, like most other people, am a 'slave to my phone'. I wouldn't smash mine, even if the Howler Monkeys told me to... 108828618 Episode 5/6 (66) - Glad to be Gay Named after the ironically-titled protest song by the Tom Robinson band, this Ep is also based on a real-life incident. (NOTE: the person on whom Le Sas is based is not gay, but another member of our inner circle is.) If you have a friend who comes out to you, they are still your friend. Treat them as such. 'Nuff said. 109642159 Episode 5/7 (67) - A Christmas Power Ballad Alternate title: "Yet Another Dickens Rip-Off". Last year, I dodgied up an Episode to coincide with Xmas, that didn't actually progress the narrative. This year, I was able to continue the arc of this series in the Xmas Ep. I think my favourite thing about this Episode is the fact that I now have a stable of supporting characters to draw from in stories such as this... I hope you all had a great Xmas, and a kickass 2011. Peace. 110430532 Episode 5/8 (68) - Axl When I was formulating early Howler Monkeys ideas, I read Slash's autobiography, as well as 'Watch You Bleed', a bio of Guns N' Roses (and poor, poor cousin of the far superior Motley Crue bio, 'The Dirt'). Both books discussed the ego of Axl Rose and his obsession with fine-tuning the 'Use Your Illusion' albums, and his recruitment of a massive show band for the ensuing tours. When I decided to have a story arc where Mad Dog himself is the 'villain', I decided to incorporate this Axl-esque megalomania, which culminates in Comet actually using 'the term' "Axl" (I wanted the word to exist in a simulated rock 'n' roll lexicon, where musos use it to describe a lead singer's power trip)... I'm very happy with this Episode, for a number of reasons - Firstly, because of the above-mentioned Axl references. Secondly, because Comet again refers to Karaoke going rogue (THIS MIGHT BE IMPORTANT LATER!), and finally because the final frame is a tribute to an earlier frame (from 4/7 - "She's Leaving Home") - again, I like that I've been able to build up a field of reference to link Episodes together... Anyway, that's probably enough. While I'm here, I'll send a special shout-out to those who've found me via twitter. I was reluctant to use it at first, but it's brought me some valuable new fans and contemporaries... and hopefully some future guest artists/collaborators... 111380353 Episode 5/9 (69) - Crushed Mad Dog's 'Axl-esque' behaviour reaches its zenith (complete with the performance of the most epic Gunners cover), as he literally brings the house down on the Howler Monkeys and Knockouts... There's not much to say about this Ep, as I covered a lot in the previous commentary. One thing I would like to comment on, however, is the lack of support from the secondary characters. Craig, The Howlettes and the Strongham Strings, being new (and, in terms of Beardo, Le Sas, Smiley & Mull, UNWANTED) band members, don't feel any particular loyalty, so they nick off, away from danger. The Deadly Horns, despite being important band members, are transdimensional demons, a whisker away from eating the band, so they didn't feel the need to stick around either... 111901858 Episode 5/10 (70) - Splitsville I had always planned, at some stage, for the band to break up. This idea pretty much led to the creation of the whole of Series 5, inspired by, as previously mentioned, the saga of Guns N' Roses... I like the final image. It is reminiscent of the final frame of 5/8, but this time Mad Dog is tiny. He's a lonely nobody in a big world. How the mighty have fallen... 112549413 Special Episode 5/1 (71) - What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Beardo Special Episode 5/1 dedicated to Steve Prestwich, 1954-2011. I wanted to do two things with this series of Special Episodes. 1) To showcase each band member's talents and unique lifestyles, and 2) To progress the narrative somewhat, building a bridge to the next series. Moreso than any SpEps run, this one ties directly to the ensuing series... So, Beardo is clearly a genius (as we've explored before), but a flawed one, as his creation is imperfect. I struggled for ages to decide what band Jambot would choose. In planning, and when I first drew it, it was Shannon Noll (lame Australian pop/rock tool). But his name wouldn't quite fit, so I had to think shorter. Although Poison have some rockin' tunes, and are an important feature of the 80s hair metal scene, their lead singer, Bret Michaels, is probably the biggest tool in the universe... 113280685 Special Episode 5/2 (72) - What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Mull I've referred to rugby league before (Special Episode 1/1); it's my favourite sport. Australia's rugby league organisation, the NRL, is NOT my favourite. It has (rightly) been criticised for its attitude towards women, and excusing players of both debaucherous and violent behaviour. But that's beside the point. It is the game that I am a fan of, and so this is my tribute. At first, I had drawn all the other players, from both teams, as humans. But then I realised that in he world of the Howler Monkeys, the 'Gargoyles' team could be made up of actual gargoyles; likewise the Clowns. Incidentally, Toowoomba (my home town) is known as 'The Garden City'. Clifton is a nearby town. A famous former rugby league international, who I almost got into a fight with one night, comes from Clifton... I also decided to include Big Fella again. I like him, and I like the idea of a recurring absent/flashback character... 115023510 Special Episode 5/3 (73) - What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Smiley I LOVE doing fake movie posters, but given the restrictions of my style, it's hard to do them well... This is my tribute to big dumb action movies of the 70s/80s - 'Die Hard' gets a mention, as do several classic 80s bit-part actionistas. The major signifiers, however, are the Trans-Am, which has been my all-time favourite dream car since 'Smokey and the Bandit', and Carlos the Gorilla, a nod to Clyde from the Clint Easwood movies (I think one of the 'Cannonball Run' movies had an orangutan in it, too)... Smiley's stage name comes from a mispronunciation of 'chipotle' I heard at Subway... 115749093 Special Episode 5/4 (74) - What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Le Sas I knew I wanted to take Le Sas back to the forest for his Ep., as I've established his close bond with his Yeti 'family', and I planned to have him tree-sitting in protest, but I was stuck for an actual I went with a lazy gag instead. Despite the fact that this, my 'laziest Episode yet', is just a gag, I reckon it has just enough establishment to provide a link to the upcoming series. Which, I reckon, is the best, most cohesive series yet. Will the band reunite? Will there be any hold-outs? Will there be yet another crazed villain? STAY TUNED... 115750084 Special Episode 5/5 (75) - What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Mad Dog I used a couple of different perspectives for these Special Eps. Mull and Le Sas' stories are traditional third-person narratives, Beardo and Smiley speak directly to the audience, and Mad Dog's hobby does the speaking for him. As Mad Dog is loosely based on myself, I thought it appropriate for him to base a comic character on HIMself... A lot of visitors came to the site this week. I hope they looked at other Episodes besides this one, as it is in a far 'simpler' style...! Someone on facebook described this Ep as a 'tear-jerker', which made me very happy. I wanted Mad Dog's comic to depict his regret at splitting up the band, and his longing for things to be like they used to be... Mission accomplished, I'd say. 117277837 Episode 6/1 (76) - Blown Away I was reluctant to publish this Ep as scheduled, following so closely from the Qld floods and TC Yasi, then the Christchurch earthquake... It seemed in poor taste. However, I went ahead and put it up, as I wrote it and planned its placement MONTHS ago. Also, the rest of the series hinges on this shadowy villain. I don't claim to be a master of dramatic tension, so regular readers will probably know who this villain is, but if you don't, hopefully you'll be in for a treat this series... Oh, why 'deep in the mountains'...? I dunno, I think it's from 'Batman Begins' or something... 117859987 Episode 6/2 (77) - A Mission From God I love 'The Blues Brothers'. I have since I was a little kid. Great music, good comedy and action, the infamous pile-ups, and that almost supernatural 'otherworldliness', that keeps the boys safe throughout their adventure. It's the same spirit that keeps this comic going... So, inevitably, there was going to be a tribute. It only came late, however. I'd written a basic reunion Episode, one of a potential four, where Mad Dog approaches each band member with the purpose of getting the band back together... then that phrase struck me, and I realised I had to reference 'The Blues Brothers'. So I added the car, the '106 miles' line, and the title. The sinister, shadowy villain appears again, though... What is WITH that dude...? TRIVIA: Items seen in Beardo's house: A 'Home is where the stereo is' plaque, a hat-rack covered with Beardo's signature hat-with-flaps, framed gold/platinum records, and a car poster... 118511315 Episode 6/3 (78) - Ill Wind I mentioned that this Ep was a tribute to 'Scooby Doo', when it's really only panels 4 & 7. The frightened huddle of Mad Dog and Beardo was inspired by Scooby and Shaggy's similar monster fear... I always wondered why they were always scared, when their investigations ALWAYS uncovered the mysterious goings-on as a hoax... I think Le Sas' Yeti parents are my favourite supporting characters. Maybe because they featured in the very first Episode, they've remained close to my heart. Needless, to say, they will appear again. In fact, I'm currently developing a story arc for Series 9 which features the Yetis prominently. Oooooh..... 119327820 Episode 6/4 (79) - Hearing Things This Ep just happened to coincide with the start of the NRL season, so that was pretty lucky. The previous Ep was named 'Ill Wind', after the expression that Le Sas uses to describe his feeling of impending doom. I wanted to continue that idea, so this Ep is also named after Mull's description of the same feeling. However, I employed the use of the too-many-knocks-to-the-head footy player stereotype... While constructing this Series, I kept feeling that these 'reunion' Episodes were wasted story-telling space, and that I was taking too long to get to the point. However, I think 'shadow dude''s recurring appearances somehow maintain a thread of interest. Next Ep, ALL IS REVEALED...! 120035217 Episode 6/5 (80) - ShrillZilla ShrillZilla is revealed, and it's CAPTAIN KARAOKE! Der. Anyone who's been reading regularly would have figured it out. Comet's references to K 'going rogue' were actually laying the groundwork for his villainous comeback! So, now we can go back over some of Series 6. K always had sonic powers similar to M.D., but since his dissolution with Comet, he'd been honing his skills, developing the ability to manipulate sound in pretty much any way imaginable. Such was his power, and his arrogance, he decided to switch to evil, targeting the Howler Monkeys and co. first and foremost. Will they be able to stop him...? Probably. Oh, and Chip's dead. Far out. 120768693 Episode 6/6 (81) - KO'ed The idea here is that since ShrillZilla missed out on destroying the Howler Monkeys all in one go, he's decided to capitalise on his own mistake, and toy with them a bit, striking at The Knockouts instead. This Ep. was also another opportunity to show that Mad Dog is over the previous series' megalomania, and that he wants the HMs and KOs to co-exist harmoniously, even to the point of collaboration. If you're a regular reader, you'll know that M.D.'s 'Not again!' refers to the fact that a ceiling collapse had already befallen the girls; one caused by M.D. himself... This shit works on so many levels, man... 121451219 Episode 6/7 (82) - Superhero Smackdown It was inevitable that these former allies would have to face off, and despite an early upper hand, Comet comes off second best. Of course, ShrillZilla would never KILL Comet, as we've established that he's carrying a secret flame for her... Originally, I had SZ send Comet into space with an uppercut. I wanted to show how evil he'd become, and how wanton his destruction. But then I thought that the depiction of violence against women is NOT COOL. Not even to depict the evilness of another character. So I went with the less violent, but still impactful, space scream... Anyway, Chip - done. Knockouts - done. Comet - Done. Four HMs to go... 122139117 Episode 6/8 (83) - Bedlam ShrillZilla finally exacts his revenge on the Howler Monkeys...! This was a chance to show an array of SZ's powers, such as the 'Bedlam Bugle' and the 'Hum-Dinger'... The idea was that, despite his villainy, he's still a lame-o. I think that might set my comic apart from many others... The bad guys never really try hard enough. They don't think things through properly, and are therefore shown up as the fools they are. SZ, along with The Queen, has so far come the closest to being a genuine threat. Never fear, though, I always have a few more tricks up my sleeve... 122828267 Episode 6/9 (84) - Sonic Showdown, Part 1 ShrillZilla finally gets to beat up Mad Dog; something he's been dreaming of since they first met. This Ep. had three main purposes: To show M.D.'s sense of humour even under trying circumstances (e.g. referring to the Bedlam Bugle as the 'Trouser Trumpet'); to reveal that Smiley was indeed alive, and not about to turn his back on the HMs (notice I've said that 'Chip' was dead? Not 'Smiley'.); and for M.D. to receive the news that Comet was out of commission, meaning that (for once) HE would have to save HER... Levels, man. Levels. 123604054 Episode 6/10 (85) - Sonic Showdown, Part 2 OK, so M.D.'s plan to thwart SZ, and use his own power against him, involves the band's Marshall stacks. "But hang on," I hear you say, "you've never drawn Marshall stacks before! How convenient that they should suddenly appear now!" Well, while it's true that I've never drawn them before, they've always been there. I've never drawn shoulder straps, or leads, or pedals before either, but they've all been there. Hell, the characters don't have noses or ears, but they can still smell and hear...! My point is, my art has always been representative rather than explicit. I don't feel the need to draw every single little detail. If I draw the band with their instruments, you know what's going on. Stacks or not, you know they're rocking the fuck out. I am also very lazy. My very first draft of the very first Episode featured stacks in the background, but, when drawing the final, I thought 'FUCK. THAT. I'll go nuts drawing and inking these things over and over...' So I didn't. Which is why you don't see anything here that isn't absolutely necessary to tell the story (or to effectively create a respecful homage)... 124092652 Special Episode 6/1 (86) - The 1950s Special Episode 6/1 dedicated to Poly Styrene (1957-2011). The first of five SpEps depicting what the HMs would have been like had they lived in earlier decades... I guess. The 50s were an obvious starting point, as this decade gave birth to rock n roll as we know it. There are specific references to Little Richard (panel 4), Chuck Berry (panel 9) and Jerry Lee Lewis (panel 11)... Anyway, I've decided to streamline my approach to the comic. I've shed a few pages from the site, and what you are reading is the final commentary. I might put up a dedication or some comments where appropriate, but an arbitrary commentary, wherein I have little to say, is a little redundant. If you have a query, please feel free to raise it on the Guestbook, or via facebook or twitter. Cheers! 124737676 Special Episode 6/2 (87) - The 1960s 125478818 Special Episode 6/3 (88) - The 1970s 126162688 Special Episode 6/4 (89) - The 1980s 126639045 Special Episode 6/5 (90) - The 1990s Special Episode 6/5 dedicated to Gil Scott-Heron (1949-2011). 127354787 Episode 7/1 (91) - World Tour 128150699 Episode 7/2 (92) - Bula Howler Monkeys 128821652 Episode 7/3 (93) - (South) American Idol Episode 7/3 dedicated to Clarence Clemons (1942-2011). 129353226 Episode 7/4 (94) - Dia De Los Muertos 130096026 Episode 7/5 (95) - Wild America See? Big Fella said things would get trippy again... This Ep. was originally named 'R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.', after John Cougar Mellencamp's song, but I thought Iggy Pop's 'Wild America' was more appropriate... 130774453 Episode 7/6 (96) - Family Reunion 131312393 Episode 7/7 (97) - Ping Pong Diplomacy Chinese text courtesy of me luverly (Mandarin speaking) missus. PLEASE NOTE: I DELIBERATELY used the most simplistic Chinese expression possible, as a 'subtitle joke'. For example, the literal translation of Xiongmao's first words is 'Who are you?' 131848511 Episode 7/8 (98) - HAURAA MANKIIZU! This is my FAVOURITE EPISODE YET. Firstly, because it's really the first time I've tried a different style (there's the baby Episode, and Mad Dog's stick-figurish comic, but I don't count them), and secondly because it came out EXACTLY how I wanted. 132501821 Episode 7/9 (99) - Cool Thing A tribute to one of my all-time favourite horror/thrillers, 'The Thing'. Also named after the Sonic Youth song, albeit spelled correctly. Oh, you know what else? This is the 99th Episode... 133161366 Episode 7/10 (100) - Welcome Home, Howler Monkeys 100TH EPISODE! Thanks for reading. Here's to another 100...! 133813741 Special Episode 7/1 (101) - 'Blackest of the Black' by The Obscure Gentlemen Firstly, I'm so glad that I've been able to host another run of Guest Episodes. I think the best thing about this second run of Gueps is that, while for the first run, I had to limit my requests to friends and family, this time I've used my many and varied talented twitter friends, none of whom I know personally, or have even met! 'The Obscure Gentlemen' is a webcomic I came across early in my twitter wanderings. At its core is a nucleus of blokey characters, and an obsession with music, movies, TV and comics, so naturally I was drawn to it. I had the fortune of doing a guest ep for The Gentlemen back in April, and I'm really happy they were able to return the favour! My favourite thing about this episode, along with the fact that it comes from a love of rock 'n' roll, is the fact that a seemingly imposing, mysterious figure (Danzig) is cut down to size and revealed to be, in reality, quite lame. I have discussed this before in terms of the parade of villains the Howler Monkeys have bested. I think this captures the attitude of the Howler Monkeys perfectly. Oh, and a bit of trivia: This is only the SECOND episode to feature a living, real-life personality (the first being Chris Conley's guep, which featured Top Gear's The Stig). Bon Scott has been in an Ep, but we all know he ain't around no more... 134443708 Special Episode 7/2 (102) - 'Are You Ready to Rock?' by Andrew Sorohan Before I say how much I love this comic, I have to say that Andrew drew this comic for me as a birthday present! How awesome is that? I've been hanging on to it for months, waiting for an opportunity to put it up. You could say that this whole run of Guest Eps was inspired by Andrew's generosity...! *wipes tear* Also, let me say how much I enjoy Andrew's comic, A Townsville Fairytale. Our comics share many similarities. We both feature rather ocker main characters (though his much moreso than mine), and there is constant conflict between relatively normal people living normal lives, and supernatural/transdimensional forces, bent on wreaking havoc, and spoiling otherwise nice days. Our styles are also very similar, although I am in awe of Andrew's attention to detail, and sprawling, well-realised backgrounds and scenery (which I forego in favour of being lazy). Finally, Andrew's comic reminds me of Townsville, a city I spent a good deal of time in, and loved. Andrew's dedication to his home city, in terms of it being a backdrop to his story-telling, is admirable. Now, to why I love THIS comic. Firstly, it's very simple. 3 frames is all that's needed when your art is as expressive as Andrew's. Secondly, it's full of dodgy jokes, the type which have informed my entire creative endeavour. Finally, it's full of nice little references and in-jokes about the Howler Monkeys. There's the barrel monkey on the drumkit, Crimson Cadaver's visage on Mad Dog's t-shirt, his AC/DC belt buckle, and the mention of Yeti security (see Episode 1). This was a fantastic birthday present, and I'm glad I finally get to share it with you. 135613096 Special Episode 7/3 (103) - 'The 7th Circle of Hell' by Tamz aka Sarcasm Fairy Tamz loves gaming, comics, horror/sci-fi/fantasy, and can bake pretty much anything imaginable! She also has a devilish sense of humour, which is sometimes hard to notice because her art is SO. DAMN. CUTE. I love this Episode, because it is exactly what I would expect of Tamz. I asked her to contribute because I am a fan of her blog, and I knew that not only would she produce something 'kawaii', but she would do it in a way that pokes fun at the Howler Monkeys, and the fact that our styles might not necessarily 'match'. I love how the characters are 'stuck' in this Episode, and bemoan their presence in it. I have mentioned previously the Looney Tunes cartoons where the characters battle the animators themselves, and this Ep. is another reminder of those. It is also, once again, completely different from anything that has appeared on the site before, either by me or any of my previous 'Guesties' Tamz is criminally under-followed on twitter, and Friggin' Zombies needs more episodes! Follow her and pester her to do more, MORE, MORE...!!! 136260439 Special Episode 7/4 (104) - 'It's a Mad Dog World, McGillicuddy' by Clifford Myers I like to think that, via twitter, I've actually made some real friends. I may not know them personally, but I feel like I do. Cliff is one of these people. He's got a twisted sense of humour, and his tweets are funny as hell. He's a fair-dinkum stand-up comedian to boot, which is one of the reasons I'm so happy that he was able to do a Guest Ep. I love this Ep because, firstly, the style really appeals to me. It's simple and unassuming, and I really like the blotchy, leaked-ink look of it. Despite its darkness (Cliff said he wanted to do something kinda Tim Burton-esque), it's funny (although now I have to add a dead grandma to the Howler Monkeys mythology), and it incorporates two important aspects of Mad Dog's character: i) He has the power of the 'Sonic Scream', and can do incredible things with sound, and ii) HE PLAYS THE HARMONICA (which I am, still, yet to depict myself). Cliff and I have done mini-collabs on other characters such as 'Motorcycle Frog' and 'Da Hip Hop Pirates'. You WILL be seeing more from us, be it here or somewhere else. So STAY. TUNED. P.S. Please check out Cliff's online haunts, but don't expect any action for a few weeks. He just got married and is on his honeymoon, so the only action anybody will be getting... [too inappropriate to finish]. KONGratulations, Cliff! 136869235 Special Episode 7/5 (105) - 'If This is the Blues, Why Do I Feel So Dead? (DJ Spanky McSpank's Zombie Coughdrop Fiddle Hero Remix)' by Darcy Ridgway & Brodie O'Mara OK, first off, as you will have noticed, this title is FUCKING. BONKERS. Which, of course, suits it perfectly. Darcy's writing is usually just this side of totally insane (notice I didn't say which side), and this is what attracted me to it, and led to my request for her to write a Guest Episode. Darcy popped up on my radar early in my twitter experience, and her tweets told me that she was i) funny, ii) clever, iii) a movie geek, and iv) NUTS. i.e. GIRL ME. I enjoyed Darcy's short fiction, Metallurgy, and her analysis of the film, Unstoppable, so much that I did some fan-art for her (the art is spoilery, so please read before viewing!). We've toyed with some ideas for further collaboration, but this is the first published piece we've actually worked on together. (Forgive my level of detail here, but this is my first collaborative Episode, so I'm keen to explore it.) Darcy sent me a written script and suggested panel layout. Apart from a few dialogue tweaks, the completed Episode is just as she wrote it. I was initially reluctant to do the art myself, as I wanted the Guest Eps to be totally removed from my own. But I settled on a style that was different enough from usual, and went with a patchy, hand-coloured design to match the craggy castle/'old country' content of the story. The bean sidhe sings Siouxsie and the Banshees' 'Burn-Up', which refers to the Jack O'Lantern and The Salamander King, hence their appearance in panel 12, along with other 'woodland faerie folk' such as fairies, leprechauns, goblins and gnomes (AND, if you look carefully, the Drunken Irish Fightin' Fairies! I couldn't have an Irish Episode without them featuring somewhere). I really like the look of my characters in this Ep. Darcy's story inspired me to come up with a new look. Now, I kinda wish I could start the Howler Monkeys all over again... But I won't. 137495144 Episode 8/1 (106) - Cap'n Muldoon Piratey Episode to coincide with International Talk Like a Pirate Day, 19/09/2011. 138108860 Episode 8/2 (107) - Identiraptor This Ep. is probably in my Top 5. I like the way the raptor turned out (I experimented with different angles to make it look more interesting), and I love his smartarse sense of humour. 'Have a good one' is my favourite line... 138703524 Episode 8/3 (108) - Wicked Ink I think subconsciously inspired by a flurry of people getting tattoos who weren't ME. Also, the impetus for Le Sas' first yeti transformation. 'First'...? That's right... Oh, and Tracey is the name of the tattooist who did my first tatt, eleven long years ago... 139223326 Episode 8/4 (109) - The Return of Fitch Davidson Don't adjust your sets! Although this is 'the RETURN of Fitch Davidson', he hasn't appeared in an Episode before. As M.D. says, he's the HMs' former manager and producer. The band bio on the site is by Fitch Davidson. The tone of the bio is casual; the way the HMs speak, but when I developed the actual character of Fitch, I thought he should have a somewhat clipped tone. I wanted him to be a creeeeepy producer. Like Phil Spector. 139789985 Episode 8/5 (110) - Fitch Davidson: Vampire Fitch Davidson's name is a tribute to a close friend, and member of the original HMs' inner circle. You'll notice that Fitch escapes... How convenient... 140384810 Episode 8/6 (111) - The Proposal't that nice? Inspired by the 'Engagement'/'Wedding' Phantom stories by Falk and Barry. 140970739 Episode 8/7 (112) - Trick or Treat HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Costumes are as follows (L-R): Beardo - Evel Knievel, Mull - Freddy Krueger, Smiley - Astroboy, Le Sas - Ash ('Evil Dead'), Mad Dog (clean shaven) - Wayne, Comet - Garth, Mel - Princess Leia, Donna - Minnie Mouse, Cherry - Chun Li ('Street Fighter'), Jett - Hit Girl ('Kick Ass'). 141560632 Episode 8/8 (113) - M.I.A. Debated whether to call this one 'M.I.A.', after the electro-reggae artist, or 'Missing in Action' after the Chuck Norris movie... Surprisingly, I went with the former... 142208105 Episode 8/9 (114) - Cycle Rhinos 'Cycle Rhinos' is an anagram of the real name of one of my friends on whom a Howler Monkey is based. TRIPPY. 142668167 Episode 8/10 (115) - The Announcement 143188168 Special Episode 8/1 (116) - The Knockouts in 'Ninja Night' The first of five 'spin-offs', where supporting characters get a chance to shine (see if you can guess who else will get their own Ep). I like the idea that the girls have their own little rituals...especially bonkers ones like 'Ninja Night'... 143656941 Special Episode 8/2 (117) - The Intergalactic Adventures of The Blazing Hot Comet Special Episode 8/2 dedicated to Arthur 'Artie' Beetson (1945-2011). 144162403 Special Episode 8/3 (118) - The Burger Master's Culinary Adventures in the Rock-Chick Dimension Back in Episode 3/6: 'Lou Senz' The Burger Master said he wouldn't make any further appearances in the comic, but hinted at my tendency to go back on my word. So here he is. 144764499 Special Episode 8/4 (119) - The Mutants of Triffid Gardens in 'Crissmuss Shopping' Perhaps my most cynical Episode yet; a critique of Christmas commercialism, trashism (buying shit just for the sake of it) and inappropriateness of gifts given, especially to children... Having said that, I love Christmas. Have a great one (if you celebrate it, that is)...! 145154948 Special Episode 8/5 (120) - MECHADAVER You just can't keep a good disembodied zombie pirate head down... 145713817