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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 9.1 (121) --> Previous Episodes: Episode 9.1 (121) --> Episode 9/1 (121) - Le Sasquatch For the SECOND time ever (the first being Series 3 into Series 4), a new Series begins immediately after the previous Series left off... The final panel is my attempt to work some 'jokes' into the stories, to liven up what might be otherwise dull, expository Episodes... 146181610 Episode 9/2 (122) - The Show Must Go On A dull expository Episode... I worked the super-lame 'Yeti' pun in to try and liven it up a bit... The reason I kept this Ep in is that I wanted to show that the band's decision to carry on was somewhat reluctant. Obviously, the band taking a break wouldn't really sustain a Series, so they had no choice but to recruit a new member... Anyway, the Series picks up after this Ep. I promise. 146542856 Episode 9/3(123) - The TRUE Origin of Le Sasquatch, Part 1 I really like the family dynamics of Le Sas' yeti family... Any Episode with Yetis is a good one. 147056079 Episode 9/4 (124) - Invisi-Bull It is actually REALLY hard to make something invisible look like it's there and moving... 147571981 Episode 9/5 (125) - Acid Grandma I have no idea where 'Acid Grandma' came from. I found it scrawled in the margin of my sketchbook. So there you go, aspiring writers, WRITE STUFF DOWN. (EDIT (4/10/2019): It's from 'Dante's Peak', where the annoying, stubborn old grandma gets out of the boat and gets dissolved by acid.) This Ep features the SECOND reference to AC/DC's 'Rock n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'. Can you find the first...? 148115091 Episode 9/6 (126) - The TRUE Origin of Le Sasquatch, Part 2 You can always rely on Dads for a dodgy joke. Le Sas' dad has come in handy in that regard... 148669255 Episode 9/7 (127) - Cranky Doctor Every ad for 'House' I have ever seen tells me that I need never watch it ever. 149182661 Episode 9/8 (128) - House Call I gave this a 'doctory' title, which I think ties it nicely to the previous 'doctory' Episode... 149765552 Episode 9/9 (129) - Wedding 'Bel Although Mistress Mirabel is a fairly stock-standard 'fortune teller' character, I like her, and I wanted to bring her back. The first three frames are pretty much identical to the corresponding frames in Episode 2/2, where we first met her. Check the final panel very carefully... There's a clue there... 150416237 Episode 9/10 (130) - Invitation Only So, our beloved recurring villain, The Crimson Cadaver, now called MECHADAVER (see Special Ep. 8/5), is back. I am enjoying the ever more bizarre appearances of this guy (remember, he also has the power of the Sonic Scream, and so can flit between dimensions at will). More importantly, however, this is my 'Guns N' Roses' Episode. I've previously used Axl and the Gunners' break-up as story fodder (Series 5), but this is my actual tribute Ep., mostly inspired by the 'November Rain' video (panels 1 and 8, in particular). I've referenced the song before, plus it wasn't a suitable bridal song, so I went with 'Sweet Child O' Mine' instead (oh, and the guests at back right represent the band)... 150862244 Special Episode 9/1 (131) - Classic Tales With The Howler Monkeys - Fionn mac cumhaill There are so many cool 'Finn McCool' stories; too many to cram into a single Ep. I knew I wanted the Salmon of Knowledge, and Aillen the fire-breathing fairy, but I was sad to cut the story about Finn pretending to be his own baby to scare away a giant... Oh well, maybe next St Patrick's Day... 151288151 Special Episode 9/2 (132) - Classic Tales With The Howler Monkeys - Hamlet I know these stories like the back of my hand, but trying to condense them into a single-page story is REALLY. FUGGIN. HARD. I'm especially proud of the 'Phelia later' joke... 151882129 Special Episode 9/3 (133) - Classic Tales With The Howler Monkeys - Dracula I think this is one of my favourite Episodes. It was easy to condense the story into a page, and to include a range of supporting characters. And yes, I was lazy, and spoofed Francis Ford Coppola's weird-haired Dracula... 152337637 Special Episode 9/4 (134) - Classic Tales With The Howler Monkeys - Waiting For Godot I'm not entirely happy with this Episode. In fact, I feel like a wanker even using it as a source... Anyway, I first studied this play in Year 12. My still peurile brain has not allowed me to forget the 'erection' reference, so of course it makes an appearance here. Oh, and Smiley/Lucky's monologue was originally the Big Mac recipe (Two all-beef patties, etc...), but it was a little short. Why did I change it to 'Who put the bomp...'? I HAVE NO IDEA. 152338049 Special Episode 9/5 (135) - Classic Tales With The Howler Monkeys - The Odyssey An 'epic' tale to round out this lot of Special Episodes. It's even slightly longer than normal, in order to cram in as many of Odysseus' adventures as possible... I'm glad I was able to incorporate so many characters into this one: The HMs, The Knockouts as The Sirens, The Queen as Calypso and Comet as Penelope. To avoid confusion, Polyphemus (the Cyclops) and Poseidon appear as themselves... 153267444 Episode 10/1 (136) - Something Old I'm finally at the stage where I've caught up with myself, and I'm having to draw a new Episode each week. Hence the lateness of this one. Add to that the fact that I've dressed the characters in black, at night, and the next 2 Eps continue on directly from this, and I've got a lot of work to do... Oh, the 'something old' refers to the fact that Cadaver/MECHADAVER is an "old" character (he first appeared way back in Series 1). 153936321 Episode 10/2 (137) - Something New 'Something new': Muldoon, a new character, steps in and sacrifices himself for the Howler Monkeys. The spine-cracking is an homage to Bane's breaking of Batman's back (nerd)... I like MECHADAVER's different poses in this one. His robot body shape is something I've had kicking around in my sketchbooks for years... It originally belonged to an android named 'Deadbolt', part of a superhero team I was developing... TRIVIA, YO. 154413697 Episode 10/3 (138) - Something Borrowed The 'something borrowed' in this Ep. is MECHADAVER's arm, which Mull uses to smash him. I hadn't originally planned to have Comet in this Ep., but I realised I couldn't have my intergalactic superhero character just standing around while all this carnage went on... Those familiar with this comic may notice that MECH's 'deconstruction' is following a similar path to the original Cadaver's dismemberment. That being the case, you should be able to work out what happens next... 154910587 Episode 10/4 (139) - Something Green (and Brown) Episode 10/4 is dedicated to Adam 'MCA' Yauch (1964-2012) and Maurice Sendak (1928-2012). Instead of 'something blue', we have the all-important, Cadaver-squishing, green-and-brown tree trunk. This entire Episode was built around the 'tree-mendous' pun, which is, admittedly, pretty lame. I prefer Smiley's arm gag, which was a last-minute addition... 155293417 Episode 10/5 (140) - Rendezvous RECURRING SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, YO. 155708707 Episode 10/6 (141) - Welcome Aboard, Cap'n A slight reference to 'Kill Bill', particularly The Bride's hospital visit from Elle. Although, obviously, here it is the bed-ridden character wearing the eye-patch... Although not influential enough on me personally to receive official Episode dedications, I'd like to recognise Donna Summer and Robin Gibb. R.I.P. 156184149 Episode 10/7 (142) - Help! My Dad is a Demon Vampire Pirate! 156662568 Episode 10/8 (143) - Fried 157222247 Episode 10/9 (144) - Fare Thee Well, Cap'n FINALLY. Undergrad papers to mark, cold and flu, and 30 Days of Creativity put me way behind schedule. Like, WAY behind. But here, at long last, is the penultimate episode of Series 10, where Cap'n Muldoon bravely sacrifices himself, Darth Vader-style, to save his son's life (permanently erasing another TWO major villains in the process - ShrillZilla, Cadaver, The Queen and Fitch; I'm going through a bit of a villains-only 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' at the moment...). 159377407 Episode 10/10 (145) - Wedding 3.0 So, to follow on from Cap'n Muldoon's Vader-esque 180 last week, here we have a bittersweet celebration with apparitions a la the final scenes of 'Return of the Jedi'... I always thought Squeaky had a 'father-figure'-esque vibe, and now, putting him alongside Muldoon and Mull, his balding hairline is kinda similar to their mohawks, and he's got a similar Shannon Noll tickler... Kooky. 159972180 Special Episode 10/1 (146) - Holograms, Schmolograms: Redux' by Andrew Mason (incomplete) Welcome to another, my third, batch of Guest Episodes! This time, my Guesties had to choose an existing Episode to 'remake/reboot/reimagine'. Unfortunately, the first of these is incomplete. Schedules have been particularly tight this time round, and I've had a few back-outs and non-completions. That's cool; I know people are busy... Anyway, to the Episode. I've put this up reluctantly, not because it's not finished, but because it's the type of T&A exploitation that I don't associate myself with, or want my comic to emulate. The content presented is a reboot of Episode 4/10: Holograms, Scmolograms, and depicts a show-down between Comet and The Queen... The sketch of Mad Dog was to represent the fact that he pulls up a spot to watch and relish the 'cat-fight'... The whole idea made me cringe, and I'm kinda glad the Episode wasn't completed. Anyway, it must seem strange that I'm bagging my Guest Artist. Andrew has done a Guest Episode before, and it was a great one, that I really enjoyed. I guess this is a good lesson in how NOT to do me some fan-art, and what I DON'T want this comic to be. Next week (and, hopefully, for the next four weeks): A COMPLETE Guest Episode! 160596752 Special Episode 10/2 (147) - Jurassic Poker by Collage a Trois The second of this Series' Special Episodes is also somewhat of a disappointment, mainly because the artist, Collage a Trois, is me. I did this as a back-up 2 years ago, when I had my first round of Guesties. I didn't need it then, and I didn't need it for Round 2, but due to the business discussed last week, it's finally been called up. While not technically a 'remake', the fact that this Ep sat unused for so long caused me to adapt the story slightly, and this adapted idea eventually became Episode 8/2: Identiraptor. So, while this isn't based specifically on a previous Episode, the content is similar to 8/2, in that a raptor tries to infiltrate The Bunker and hide in plain sight among the Howler Monkeys (sounds good to me). This Ep also captures the fascination I had a while back with big Hollywood names who would suit the roles of the Howler Monkeys. I've chopped and changed many times, but this Ep features what was, for a long time, my favourite line-up: Sam Worthington as Mad Dog, Jason Lee as Beardo, Seann William Scott as Smiley, Timothy Olyphant as Mull, and Jake Gyllenhaal as Le Sas. The other thing I like about this Ep is that the content was directly inspired by the images I was able to find and piece together. For example, Mull is bald save for his mohawk, so the only bald images of Timothy Olyphant were from his role in 'Hitman', in which he wears a suit. Hence the suit gag. The same was true for Jake Gyllenhaal, whose long hair had to match Le Sas'. Therefore, I used images from 'Prince of Persia', which were largely shirtless, hence the respective shirt gags... So, I'm disappointed that I've had to resort to a back-up Ep, however, I'm glad that a piece that I put a lot of time and effort into is finally seeing the light of day. Next week: A COMPLETE Episode from an ACTUAL GUEST ARTIST. I PROMISE. 161229303 Special Episode 10/3 (148) - Speed 'N' Wheels by Cecile O'Mara Well, she's done it again! My little sister comes up with an alternate take on the brief that results in a totally kick-arse piece. While not technically a 'remake', this IS a reinvention of the movie poster featured in Special Episode 5/3: 'What I've Been Up To Since My Band Broke Up - Smiley'. As I mentioned in SE 5/3's commentary, I love doing movie posters, but my style limits my ability to realise them fully. Cecile, with all her creative and technical wizardry, has been able to do just that. Who knows, if I ever publish a book, I might slip Cecile's poster in in place of the original for SE 5/3... I admire Cecile's lateral approach to tasks. This Ep has been tackled in an interesting way, as was her previous Guest Episode. I hope I can rely on her for more awesome Guesties in the future...! Finally, an Ep in this (final!) Series of Guest Episodes of which I can be proud. As I type, I'm on tenterhooks, as I am yet to receive the final two Guesties...! I know they're going to be great, as I completely trust the artists (whose deadlines LOOM), but this is the most up-in-the-air I've ever allowed the publishing of my comic to be! After my hiatus, the format's going to go through a bit of an overhaul, so this type of thing will be the norm, but until then, YIKES...! 161875779 Special Episode 10/4 (149) - 'Know Your Product' by Kym Andrews OK, just to get in before the trainspotters, this Ep. is not a remake. Unfortunately, the Guestie due to fill this week's spot had to pull out. However, my good friend Kym responded to my distress call and knocked up this stellar Ep. in a matter of hours. Hooray! I like this Ep. because it focuses on the music. As I've lamented before, the scope of this comic has become such that the fact that the main characters are a rock band is often forgotten. In fact, the last two Series (20-odd Episodes) dealt primarily with Beardo and Jett's wedding, and Le Sas' Yeti revelation/backstory, so only THREE EPS referred to the characters as a band. I also like that it (although, perhaps, unintentionally) references bands/ideas that have appeared in the comic before. Pink Floyd and Nirvana have been referenced, and although the Backstreet Boys have not been referenced specifically, the idea of the Howler Monkeys as a boy-band has (Take That was my model in that instance). The title also uses a song title, which regular, observant readers will know I like to do sometimes, too... (Strangely, this is, I think, the first mention of The Beatles... Wow. I'm more of a Stones man, I guess...) Finally, the best thing about this Ep. is that it required very little artistic ability (which Kym has freely admitted). The Howler Monkeys comic has never been about the art. It's always been about the STORIES. Kym has used existing comics/art and album covers to cobble together a neat little story, which I'm proud as punch to put up. SO, if the day should come when I ask you for a Guest Episode, "...but I can't draw..." will NOT be accepted as an excuse... (To come back to you trainspotters, the first panel is lifted from 5/2: DJ Craigsplosion, and Smiley's appearance in the final panel is from 9/2: The Show Must Go On. I didn't need to look those up... Maybe I'M the trainspotter...) 162689708 Special Episode 10/5 (150) - 'Bride Jett' by Teegs Rose The very talented Ms Teegs is not simply a gifted artist (and member of the very exclusive Howler Monkeys' Guesties Club), but also co-owner of Melbourne-based Ink & Spindle, dealers in hand screen-printed textiles...! I KNOW, RIGHT...? Teegs has worked long and hard on this piece, and I'm flattered that she's made time to fit this into her extremely busy schedule. It marks the first textured, hand-crafted collage piece as Howler Monkeys Episode, and I'm stoked with the result. The Ep. is similar to Cecile's 'Speed 'N' Wheels' movie poster Ep., in that, rather than being a strict remake, it's a reinterpretation of existing material, in this case, Jett's bridal gown/entrance from Episode 9/10 - Invitation Only. I like the effort that's been put into the design of Jett's dress. In my version (as previously discussed, based on that worn by Stephanie Seymour in Guns N' Roses' 'November Rain' video), Jett's dress is straight black. Teegs' design adds flourish, but is still totally what a rock chick frontwoman like Jett would wear. Again, this is yet another different take on what a Howler Monkeys Ep. could/should be, and I'm proud to present it. I'm equally proud to have Teegs' Ep. as a Milestone Episode; No. 150. Quite literally, years of work has gone into the past 150 Episodes, and I couldn't have reached this milestone without your readership and support (and, in some cases, your collaboration), so THANK YOU. So, what now...? Well, I have planned one more conventional Episode before taking a bit of a break. With the exception of the past five Eps, almost every Episode of the past 150 has been published with weekly regularity. Next week's Episode will be numbered 151, as I am dispensing with the '10 regular eps, 5 special eps' Series format. I am also attempting to break from the traditional A4-page, 5-row, black-and-white presentation style (although it is proving quite difficult). This should allow for a greater variety of Eps, ease of placement of further Guesties, and the chance to 'get topical', should a current issue inspire an Episode (or two). So, to recap: Teegs' Ep. is AWESOME. All my Guesties have been AWESOME. Reaching 150 Episodes is AWESOME. And you, my readers, fans and followers, are AWESOME. 164017286 Episode 151 - Hiatus This is a somewhat bittersweet Episode for me. On one hand, it marks three years since the Howler Monkeys began, during which time I've published a new Episode almost every single week. On the other hand, it's the last Episode for what is, as yet, an indefinite period of time. The comic is not over, not by any stretch of the imagination. I have several Episodes in the can, awaiting publication. Lately though, I've just had less and less time to dedicate to the comic, especially the writing/drawing of new Episodes. I thanked my readers last Ep., when I published Episode 150. But I'm thanking you again, because without your support, I wouldn't have managed three straight years of creative output. Avagoodun. Brodie O'Mara, 11 September 2012. 165021863 Episode 152 - Don't Talk, Just Draw! 177672545 Episode 153 - What's In The Bag? Although still officially on hiatus (I guess), I couldn't let a Christmas go by without posting an appropriately-themed Episode. This Ep. comes from two sources. The first is my Catholic primary schooling, during which we were always told the story of Jesus in the temple with the money-lenders. EVERY. TIME. we were told that story, the emphasis was on just how apeshit he went. I thought then, and still to this day, "Take a fuckin chill pill, Jesus!" This is the reason for Baby Jesus' excessive violence. The other source is my good twitter friend and webcomicky-thingy contemporary, Tamz, who suggested I draw the crime-fighting team-up of Jesus and Santa... Oh yeah, you may notice a slight difference in picture quality this Ep. It's Christmas; we're busy planning, preparing and partying... I didn't have time to re-draw a good copy, so I just traced over my original biro sketch, OK GRINCHEZ...? Whatever you celebrate at this time of year (including nothing, which is cool), I hope you do so safely and happily. Merry Christmas from the extended Howler Monkey family! Peace out. 177672524 Episode 154 - Banquo This is based on a recent trip I made to the bank, which must have a new hiring policy; complete ineptitude being the most attractive quality. Astonishingly, Panel 10 is the closest match to my actual experience. 30 minus 10. Oh, by the way, A NEW COMIC! The first since Christmas! Yay me! And yay you too, obviously... FURTHER NOTE: This Ep. is named after The Futureheads' song, only because 'Banquo' sounds like 'Bank'... THE THINGS YOU LEARN... 187642306 Episode 155 - Jo Thornely's 'Fat Acne Walking Stick Panda' in 'Gimme a Burga' Not only has it been ages since my last comic, but it's also been ages since a tweet has inspired me to create an accompanying art piece. Again, it fell (unwittingly) to Jo Thornely to inspire a new comic, when she tweeted "I made up a superhero called Fat Acne Walking Stick Panda but I can't think of any storylines." The only natural thing to have a fat, acne-plagued, walking-stick-requiring Panda doing is ordering twenny burgers at a random, anonymous burger chain restaurant... 187643310 Episode 156 - T.M.I. Man WHAT'S THIS??? TWO NEW COMICS??? That's right, soon after pledging to turn the above F.A.W.S.P. into a comic, I, as I am wont to do, shared a little too much ablutionary information on twitter, causing (now frequent) accidental collaborator Tamz to call me T.M.I. Man. Thus, another comic was born... You may have noticed that neither of these comics is Christmas-themed. Will I turn out, as I have so far done without fail, an annual Christmas comic? Well, maybe if you're really good, and ask Santy really nicely, I might find time to squeeze out another festive nugget... If not, avagoodun. 187643312 Episode 157 - The Howler Monkeys in 'A Very Sharknado Christmas' Originally published 24/12/2013. Original blurb is floating somewhere in the ether... 196881275 Episode 158 - Return to Santa YES! Another brand new Episode, just in time for Christmas! If I've achieved nothing else, I've at least been consistent with my Christmas Episodes! I had originally planned a much more sombre piece, reflecting on some recent (mainly Australian) tragedies - The rough of which I'm including below as an extra special Christmas bonus! - but I decided to go with something lighter, which is, in fact, what this comic has always done. It's kept doing its thing, and been here for you to enjoy, regardless of what horrors have been occurring in the real world. Regarding the content of the Episode itself, it's no secret that my family and I have recently relocated to tropical north fact, it's pretty much ALL I'VE TALKED ABOUT. This Ep. reflects that idea, and also incorporates the question that our children, and many others have asked, "Will Santa be able to find us at our new house?" I also decided to just include Mad Dog and Comet, as they more closely reflect me and my partner, but also because the office in this house has no aircon, and drawing is sweaty work, and I couldn't be arsed drawing all the Howler Monkeys over and over again (I even cheated by putting M.D. and Comet in the pool, thereby only having to draw half-bodies)... Whatever you celebrate, or don't celebrate, at this time of year, be safe and happy. Cheers. P.S. If you're new to the site, or you're just in the festive spirit, (re)visit my Christmas Specials from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013... Peace out with your fleece out. 196881778 Episode 158a - First Draft: Christmas Episode 2014 196881779 Episode 159 - Punkinhead McGillicuddy and his Spooky Band of Horror Monkeys A BRAND NEW EPISODE to celebrate Halloween 2015...! I'm lying. Sorry. This is an old one-off piece I did years ago, but never got around to publishing. I've got a few more lying around, so they'll probably eventually see the light of day as pseudo-'episodes'... I'm currently decorating the house for Halloween. The neighborhood we live in now doesn't seem to be big on the whole Trick or Treat thing, so we're not going too crazy, but there is clear evidence that costumed kiddies are welcome. TO A SCARE. BOO! 200130819 Episode 160 - Howly Krampus! Another new Episode to celebrate Christmas! I couldn't let a Christmas go by without some new content, so enjoy this, albeit brief, new piece! If you've been paying attention, you'll notice a couple of things. Firstly, this comic features all 5 Howler Monkeys, plus all 4 Knockouts, PLUS Comet. This hasn't happened for some time. In fact, it hasn't happened since Episode 10/10: Wedding 3.0, published on 9 July 2012! That's THREE AND A HALF YEARS, YOU TURKEYS. Secondly, I once again snuck the Drunken Irish Fightin' Fairies into frame (near the rear of the sleigh/Santa's sack). I love these characters, even though they've only had proper appearances in two Eps (I've lost track of how many other Eps I've hidden them in). Thirdly, our old friend Krampus makes an appearance. 2015 has been a veritable Kramp-a-palooza, with I think approximately ten thousand movies featuring the in-vogue fabled beast (he's also waaay easier to draw than eight reindeer). Finally, you will notice a significant change in M.D's appearance... He's gone from his trademark Miami Vice-esque designer stubble, to a full beard. I sketched M.D. with a beard earlier in the year [see below], and decided to make it a permanent change (mainly because I usually drift in and out of various stages of beardiness, but this year I maintained a full beard ALL YEAR, despite the tropical heat of Cairns!). I dunno if this will result in a beard-off between M.D. and Beardo; we'll have to wait and see... My goal is to one day reach 200 Episodes. If I stick to my annual Christmas Episode, it will only take another 40 years! 2016 will be, I hope, a year of more HMs content and surprises. Whatever you do between now and 1 January, be safe and happy. Peace out. Brodie 200586639 Episode 161 - A Christmas Duel [original blurb lost] 203905708 Episode 162 - Video Nasty A NEW EPISODE (of sorts)! AND IT'S NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS! It's school holidays, and I've just watched the 'Video Nasty' documentary. Plus, I follow a few Instagram accounts that depict custom 80s-video-a-fied film and TV titles, so I thought I'd have a go. That's about it, really. I'd like to continue enjoying my holidays, so I'll keep it short. Other than that, I suppose I should pay tribute to the following idols that we've lost since Christmas... *sigh* William Christopher William Peter Blatty Miguel Ferrer Mary Tyler Moore John Hurt Bill Paxton Chuck Berry Don Rickles Okay, just so as not to finish on a downer, here's some more musical pleasure for your earholes. Last year I curated the rocur account @We_Love_Aural. I played nearly 400 songs over the course of a week. I finally got around to putting (the majority of) it on Spotify, so ENJOY! Cheers Brodie 203905706 Episode 163 - Worst Xmas Episode Ever OK, now I'm barely sticking to my Christmas Episode guarantee... I sketched a rough idea for a Xmas Ep over a month ago, but had second thoughts about posting it (it got a little...blasphemous). Then I had an idea for a 'clip show' of sorts, using excerpts from old Episodes, but I got bored with that idea (both may resurface as future Xmas Eps or bonus Xmas content, so I don't want to give too much away). Now it's Christmas Eve, it's hot, and I've already had a couple of gins, so I delved into the archives (i.e. faked something old) to provide you with a very merry Christmas placeholder! Whether you're resting or working, alone or elbows-deep in rellies, take it easy, and best wishes for 2018, a year sure to hold as much quality content as this hastily-scrawled token attempt at creativity. Peace out, Brodie. 204722050 Episode 164 - Feliz Navidad or A Very Blasphemous Christmas Story A (proper - sort of) NEW Christmas Episode! AND, it's up early so you can enjoy it for 3 weeks! This is the rough Xmas Ep sketch I mentioned last year. I decided to tidy it up and post it after all. It's still a bit messy, but you're well acquainted with my laziness by now. The idea for this Ep comes from my favourite of our household Christmas decorations - a quaint little Nativity scene, around which I always place Wolvie, R2 and a little dinosaur dubbed 'The Xmas Raptor'. I decided it would be important to tell the origin of this decoration, one thing led to another, and Wolverine ended up circumcising baby Jesus... Sorry, Jesus. I'm listening to Christmas songs as I write, and I'm really excited about Christmas this year. Whatever you're up to, or not up to, do it, or don't do it, safely and happily. Unlimited peace, love and rumballs - with extra rum and no fucking dried fruit - to you all. Brodie 205456972 Episode 165 - Once Upon a Time in Bethlehem The Bible doesn't mention a shoot-out between a gaucho named El Maco and Santa Claus in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, but it doesn't say it didn't happen, so this Episode could in fact be both historically and spiritually accurate. The basic idea behind this Episode is that Maccas brought back the El Maco for December (last year it was the McRib... happier times...), I ate one, and declared the line uttered by Santa in the final frame. What a disappointment. There are other contributing influences on this Episode, the first of which is one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs, Don't Shoot Me Santa by The Killers, which reinvents Santa as a vengeful gunfighter. The other major influence (on this entire endeavour, actually) is Christopher Hastings' Dr McNinja, the printed omnibus I was lucky to pick up on a recent trip to Melbourne. Gordito must have seeped permanently into my brain. Trivia: This is the first conventional, full A4 Episode since Episode 157 - The Howler Monkeys in 'A Very Sharknado Christmas' (2013's Christmas Episode), published SIX YEARS AGO. Sombre note: RIP the following (direct and indirect) influences on me and my work: Dick Miller, Bob Einstein, Albert Finney, Scott Walker, Luke Perry, Keith Flint, Peter Mayhew, John Singleton, Doris Day, Peggy Lipton, Rutger Hauer, Rip Torn, Peter Fonda, Toni Morrison, Ric Ocasek, Kim Shattuck, John Witherspoon, Clive James, Sam Watson, Carroll Spinney, Greedy Smith, Marie Fredriksson, Bob Hawke, Chris Wilson. 2019, despite its highs (I wrote and directed a stage musical, dontcha know), has been an absolute bin fire. Ever the optimist, I believe 2020 will be one of my best years yet. I hope it is for you too. Merry Christmas! Brodie 206043669 Episode 166 - Housemate Hi-jinks 2: A Very Housemate Hi-jinks Christmas Direct quote from last year's blurb: "2019, despite its highs, has been an absolute bin fire. Ever the optimist, I believe 2020 will be one of my best years yet." Hmmm, guess the universe had other plans, hence this unavoidably COVIDy Episode. Actually, despite all of 2020's nonsense, I personally had a pretty good year. But many of my friends have done it tough, and this Ep., about togetherness and whatnot, is for them. You. You'll also have noticed the credits in this year's title, and the third row looking a little different. Thanks to my daughters for pitching in and pencilling some panels in their unique styles. They saved me some heartache on what has been a particularly hot, beer-fuelled, Christmas Eve. Avid readers will notice the homage to my own early Ep., (No. 35), The Howler Monkeys in 'Housemate Hi-jinks'. Go check it out. Or not; it's your holidays. Final, habitual, tribute to those influences, major and minor, lost this year: Jeremy Bulloch, Charley Pride, Tiny Lister, Hugh Keays-Byrne, Alex Trebek, Sean Connery, Spencer Davis, Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Nash, Toots Hibbert, Diana Rigg, Chadwick Boseman, Wilford Brimley, Reni Santoni, Alan Parker, Grant Imahara, Kelly Preston, Ennio Morricone, Carl Reiner, Joel Schumacher, Ian Holm, Fred Willard, Jerry Stiller, Little Richard, Brian Dennehy, Bill Withers, Stuart Gordon, Kenny Rogers, Max von Sydow, Kirk Douglas, Terry Jones, Buck Henry, Tom Long... wow. A sober reminder to tell your nearest and dearest you love them. Merry Christmas (or insert appropriate greeting here)! Brodie 206367749 Episode 167 - Felizard Navidad Welcome to another Howler Monkeys Christmas Episode! So far I've been able to keep my promise of delivering at least this Ep. each year; long may it continue. This year, however, I have added some extra Christmas goodness. Firstly, avid, eagle-eyed readers may notice that this Ep. has been created purely digitally, making it the first such Episode - that is, entirely drawn on a device - EVER! Merry Christmas. Trivia: I had planned only to colour Felizard Navidad's hat in red, as a somewhat twisted homage to Schindler's List, but decided a slightly monochromatic approach, with a few shades of grey, looked better. I also sketched it out to feature all ten of the HMs crew, but inking it (even digitally) became laborious, so I reduced it to just the five original HMs. I'm also disproportionally proud of the Yogi Bear reference. In addition to my gift of digitised content, below you'll find a BONUS EPISODE! I've been inspired this year by the work of Matthew Highton, particularly his opening title videos using public domain footage. This led me to recreate this year's Xmas Ep. with images sourced online. It's amazing just how many images exist online of a lizard wearing a Santa hat. Your third gift this year, if you haven't already been bombarded with it elsewhere, is a selection of designs from my TeePublic shop! As you can see, none of these are specific to the HMs universe, but I expect that to change in the future. Please support my side hustle if you're able; it's keeping me focused and positive in a world of increasing work stress and expectation... *tear rolls down cheek* Not to end on a downer, but it's become tradition for me to acknowledge those who have passed since the last Episode. I don't do this in mourning, but in celebration of the achievements in their respective fields that have inspired me to create: In Memorium 2021: David Dalaithngu (Gulpilil), Bert Newton, Norm Provan, John Cornell, Tommy Raudonikis, Norm Macdonald, Michael K. Williams, Charlie Watts, Biz Markie, Richard Donner, Charles Grodin, Olympia Dukakis, Jim Steinman, Helen McCrory, DMX, Paul Ritter, Jessica Walter, George Segal, Christopher Plummer, Cloris Leachman, Tanya Roberts, Whatever you're up to this festive season, do it joyfully and safely. Till next year (probably), Brodie 206635455 Episode 167A - Felizard Navidad: A Cavalcade of Clipart Christmas Digital tweak of already-digital 2021 Xmas Episode. 206635454 Episode 168 - The Tasmanian Rainbow Finger Fairy ORIGINAL BLURB: Welcome to possibly my laziest Christmas Episode yet! I'm buggered, mostly due to a job promotion, and a long Tasmanian holiday from which I just returned, which inspired this Ep. I don't have the energy to explain. I might fix this up and re-post in the New Year. (I might not.) Cheers Brodie NEW YEAR EDIT: I pulled my finger almost all the way out and tidied it up a bit! Hooray! Now, to explain - On my recent holiday to Tasmania, I witnessed a hippie-type Tassie tour guide approach one of her travellers, who had just finished his soup lunch. Indicating his discarded meal, she asked, "Mind if I lick the bowl?" Without waiting for a response, she stuck her finger into his soup bowl and licked it. "Mmm, not bad," she said, and merrily away she went. The shocked traveller did very well to contain his disbelief. I did not, and the image so stuck in my brain that it forced its way out into this comic, still admittedly rough around the edges. It's been a busy, but fulfilling year for me this year; I hope the same is true for you. As has become the custom, I feel it appropriate to acknowledge direct and indirect influences who passed on in 2022. Vale to: Peter Bogdanovich, Sidney Poitier, Ronnie Spector, Meat Loaf, Douglas Trumbull, Ivan Reitman, Rod Marsh, Shane Warne, Chris Bailey, William Hurt, Taylor Hawkins, Ray Liotta, James Caan, Andrew Symonds, Judith Durham, Margaret Urlich, Olivia Newton-John, Archie Roach, Wolfgang Petersen, Jean-Luc Godard, Louise Fletcher, Coolio, Loretta Lynn, Angela Lansbury, Robbie Coltrane, Paul Green, Uncle Jack Charles, John Hamblin, Kevin Conroy, Irene Cara, Christine McVie, Angelo Badalamenti, Maxi Jazz, Ruggero Deodato, Pele. Pretty long, pretty sad list. Tell your loved ones you love them, and all the best for 2023. Cheers Brodie 206874554