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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 1.1 - 4.S5 (60) Previous Episodes: Episode 1.1 - 4.S5 (60) Episode 1 - The Brotherhood of The Yeti Episode 1 dedicated to Les Paul, 1915-2009. The first idea I had for a story, and therefore the first story published. Basically, I just wanted to include Yetis and an 'abominable' pun... My sister said it was a 'dad joke'. But I'm a dad, so I'm allowed to make them now. The first ep, like the Sneak Preview, was designed to showcase the main things that the comic will be known for: a love of (rock) music, supernatural goings-on (with little or no explanation) and deliberately dodgy humour. Security goons feature in this story. They are never used again. After this incident, the band decided they no longer needed or wanted the 'assistance' of security staff. I depicted the band performing "Let There Be Rock" by AC/DC, because it alludes to a beginning. Just as rock n roll 'begins' in the song, so does my comic now 'begin'.... Wank over. 134735651 Episode 2 - The Tonic Yes, I just ripped off the Samson legend for this one, and very dodgily solved the problem with a ridiculously simple concoction. This episode came from the fact that the person on whom Beardo is based is always teased mercilessly when he shaves his beard off. I thought it would be funny to have the character beardless and similarly laughed at. It was while drawing this episode that I cursed myself for basing the comic on a rock band, because I hate drawing the instruments! Especially those fucking guitars...! 134735652 Episode 3 - The Goo I had originally called this one "The Blob", but for obvious reasons, I changed it to something (only slightly) more original. I think it's funny that The Goo's motivation (if a gelatinous inverterbrate organism can in fact be motivated) for consuming and replicating the band is to promote its own "minimalist, arty" brand of music. The Goo is using the Howler Monkeys' fame and popularity to piggy-back itself to musical stardom...just like K-Fed. 134735653 Episode 4 - The Deadly Horns I came up with the Howler Monkey Top 50 (songs - see Random Shit) before I started drawing the comics, and I realised there were a few numbers with some serious brass. I knew the band would need a horns section, so The Deadly Horns were born. Quite obviously, 'Deadly Horns' has a double meaning. The creatures probably would have eaten the band had they not so enjoyed their music, so they're deadly in the sense that they could quite easily cause death. But their horn-playing is also 'deadly' as in wicked, awesome, cool. Dig me? And the creatures HAVE horns as well as PLAY horns... Pretty fuggin clever. This is the first episode that I significantly manipulated on the computer. In frame 7, when I first drew it, it looked like Mad Dog had his hand on Beardo's leg. They're close, but not that close, so I changed it. I don't know why Smiley needed to move the fridge. 134735654 Episode 5 - SK8NKLOWNZ I doodled a badass little clown pulling some sick moves on a skateboard, and knew he had to go in the comic somewhere... At first, I had intended that the 'KLOWNZ just be some random gang who unwittingly targeted the wrong hombres. Then I added the final line, "We'll be back, Howler Monkeys..." indicating that the band was known to the gang and targeted on purpose. Not only that, they seemed to know the importance of Mull's gig singlet! Will the 'KLOWNZ be back, as promised? Only time will tell... Interesting piece of trivia: This is the first episode not to feature a gig, a rehearsal or any type of performance by the band. 54460695 Episode 6 - The Hypno-Chord Someone remarked on the guestbook that this episode was 'like the Hypnotoad from Futurama'. I think the Hypnotoad may be partially responsible for the creation of this episode. Man, I hated drawing all those people over and over again. Lucky I designed my characters very simply, or I would've gone NUTS. It made me think of Todd McFarlane, who came up with some wicked Spider-Man flourishes, such as the detail on his costume and the web material itself. It looked awesome, but it would've been a BITCH to draw over and over again... I originally had Mad Dog saying "I command YOU," but I think "I command THEE" is much funnier. Dedicated to the memory of Balloon Boy .... What? He wasn't in the balloon? .... He was hiding in the attic? .... What? The whole thing was a HOAX??? .... Screw you, Balloon Boy. 55214170 Episode 7 - Tiki Island Because I ended the previous episode with the crowd still hypnotised, this was their 'break'. I guess the spell wore off and the punters went back to normal...or something. I don't know... This is my sort-of tribute to 'King Kong'. I decided I didn't want the band to actually have to 'fight' the monsters. It's too large-scale at this stage. I haven't mentioned it before, but when I first drew the characters, they had large forearms, like Popeye. I gave Mad Dog his anchor tatts as a tribute. I liked putting shades and leis on the band in this episode. Just a very subtle variation, but the next episode has them in full Halloween costumes, so it's a warm-up before I fully start messing with their appearance... 56025065 Episode 8 - The Halloween Episode A dodgy episode designed simply to coincide with Halloween. Just in case you weren't 100% sure, their costumes are (1st frame, left to right): Mr T, Colonel Sanders, Jason Vorhees, a Ghostbuster and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (which one? I don't think you ever see the initial on his belt, but Le Sas begins with 'L'...). I don't like how the mansion turned out, but I totally dig the trees. Also, I went for a far simpler depiction of 'the crowd'. I think you get the point, without me having to draw tons of individual faces and/or limbs. Subsequently, this is how crowds will be drawn in future... As I write, Halloween is over, but my bitchin Rock-O-Ween mix is still blasting through the headphones... 56897018 Episode 9 - Mad Dog McGillicuddy and his Rabid Band of Howler Monkeys vs The Crimson Cadaver and his Evil Crew of Undead Buccaneers, Part 1 I love zombies. I love pirates. I didn't have the patience to write separate episodes about these phenomena, so I just chucked 'em together...! I don't know why the band actually turn into zombie pirates en route to that dimension. There will be some more trans-dimensional shenanigans in upcoming episodes, but there's no more transforming into different things... Inconsistent? Yes. Much easier for me to write and draw? HELL YES. I don't want to hear any nerds whining about the ship, either. I didn't know how to draw a proper pirate ship. We've got this crappy metal ship thing on the mantel, so I just copied it. So that's a pre-emptive 'eff off' to all you trainspotters... Finally, just in case you actually care, and I don't get the chance to include them later, here are the names of the Crimson Cadaver's crew (final panel, left to right): Boathook, One-Eye, Chumhead and Deadbeard. P.S. Just as Mad Dog is the bandleader in their dimension, so is he the Captain of their crew in the zombie pirate dimension. Some things remain constant between dimensions... Like my ego. 57630555 Episode 10 - Mad Dog McGillicuddy and his Rabid Band of Howler Monkeys vs The Crimson Cadaver and his Evil Crew of Undead Buccaneers, Part 2 SERIES FINALE! I made it to the end of a series! Sure, the series is only 10 episodes long, but so is each series of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'... A few plot holes in this one. The band transform completely back to their normal selves. Mad Dog's stab wound magically disappears. They return to the couch, instead of the gig from whence they left... and so on. I don't care. Next! When I originally wrote this episode, I had the band actually die and become zombies. But I couldn't figure out how to bring them back to life, so I did it this way. I love a good cliff-hanger, don't you? 58427359 Special Episode 1 (11) - Howler Monkey Origins - Mad Dog McGillicuddy Just like the recent 'X-Men Origins'...but way more kickass. Yes, 'Mad Dog' is not a nickname, but his actual name, made up of his parents' names (MADeleine, DOuGal - 'Mad Doug' would've been a bit lame, though...). I specifically chose rugby league as teenage Mad Dog's sport because it's my favourite sport. It may be lost on readers from non-rugby-league-playing countries, but I don't care... I like that Mad Dog's first band is a dodgy 80s metal band, complete with permed mullet, Flying V, lightning bolt and sweatbands. I also like that Mad Dog's 'research' comes from a book called 'Mysteries and Shit'. Will anything come of Mad Dog's discovery about his Sonic Scream counterpart? Only time will tell (if we can stand the test of time)... P.S. How effing AWESOME is 'Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'...? Very. 59214757 Special Episode 2 (12) - Howler Monkey Origins - Beardo De Stroyer After 'The Tonic', I decided to focus once again on Beardo's beard for his origin episode. Why does facial hair give him special powers? I have no idea. I originally drew him playing basketball, but then I changed it to soccer, to explain his favourite shirt. Panels 7 and 9 are very similar, and this annoyed me at first, but then I realised that in Panel 7, he's a bitchin' guitarist, but in Panel 9, he's BEARDO DE STROYER (incidentally, in Panel 7 he's playing 'Voodoo Chile' by Jimi Hendrix, but in Panel 9 he's just showing off). Against my better judgment, I used 'WTF' in the final panel... I don't like using text-speak (even in text messages), but I think it fits here... I've since used it again... [If you listen to Fixed Grill podcast #13 - see links - you can listen to my brother rant about this topic.] Cono really does have the greatest beard in the world. Even better than Eddie Vedder's... 59655363 Special Episode 3 (13) - Howler Monkey Origins - Smiley McGee I had no idea what to focus on for Smiley's backstory, until I realised it had to be about why he's so damn smiley! So we start with a super-quick history of the lucky wristbands (or the leather they're made of), and the fact that most of the owners fell upon some type of misfortune...probably because they lost the enchanted leather... It may be difficult to tell, but the house that Smiley buys is the Howler Monkey house. The panel where Smiley learns the piano and picks it up instantly, to his teacher's delight, is a tribute to 'Groundhog Day', right down to the fact that he's chewing bubble gum. In panel 10, when he's auditioning for Mad Dog and Beardo, he's playing 'Benny and the Jets' by Elton John. For panel 11, instead of drawing the band (and their fuggin instruments) AGAIN, I just designed a very simple logo, with the motto 'Silex Pergo'. 'Silex' is Latin for stone, or ROCK, and 'Pergo' means to continue, or go ON... Therefore, 'Silex Pergo' translates (very roughly) as ROCK ON. Panel 12: I think I am the first comic artist to use the discordant sound effect, 'GURNG'. The last panel is a joke, but not a particularly effective or funny one. It says, 'Let's hope this isn't the beginning of the end,' followed immediately by 'End'... Yeah, anyway... 60722444 Special Episode 4 (14) - Howler Monkey Origins - Mull Your classic 'street-kid-come-good' routine, with bottle violence! I deliberately tried to depict the most stereotypical image of 'life on the streets': graffiti, fires in 44 gallon drums, stray cats, etc... Panel 4 is a tribute to 'The Simpsons', as Mull's combatant uses 'a board with a nail in it'. I wanted Big Fella to be the ultimate life coach. For some reason, I picture him as Maori or Samoan. Maybe because of his tatts, which you'll notice are very similar to Mull's. TRIVIA: These Origin episodes are in the order that each member joined the band. So Mad Dog and Beardo were the founders, then the others joined in the same order. In the second-last panel, Mull is playing 'Suck My Kiss' by Red Hot Chili Peppers (and yes, it must be a 'magic singlet' for it to fit both Big Fella and Mull so snugly). Finally, this was the first Origin episode to end positively. Mad Dog's ends mysteriously, Beardo's is comical but shows him having to start all over again, and Smiley is just depressed. I wanted to focus on the positive, as you will see I sort of do with the next one, too... 61526624 Special Episode 5 (15) - Howler Monkey Origins - Le Sasquatch This is my 'awww...' episode. That is, the one that makes you go 'awww...' at the end. I was trying to build suspense, to suggest that Le Sas may be in danger right up to Panel 6. But then I realised that regular readers would (hopefully) recognise the Yetis and know that they were friendly... (that is, recognise them from Episode 1. Note that Le Sas' 'Dad' is the primary Yeti from that episode: 'Yeti jam?') I hope this gives some kind of background to the characters. If you do/have done the 'Which Howler Monkey are you?' quiz on facebook, you'll notice that each result has a brief description. If you are Mad Dog, you are a 'Badass Monkey', because having, and being able to control, the power of the Sonic Scream makes you pretty badass. If you're Beardo, you're a 'Cool Monkey', because there's nothing cooler than being naturally good at everything. If you're Smiley, you're a 'Happy Monkey', for the obvious reason that you're seemingly never short of good luck. If you're Mull, you're a 'Tough Monkey', because of your hard upbringing on the streets. And finally, if you're Le Sas, you're a 'Scary Monkey'. Because you were raised by monsters. Pretty cool, hey? ... Um, yes... OK, see you in Series 2...! [10 Jan '10]: I forgot to mention that this episode is also a tribute to 'The Phantom', with the presence of 'cave monsters', and communicating drum beats as words travelling through the air. I was a mad Phantom collector and fan as a kid... 62232482 Episode 2/1 (16) - The Christmas Episode FILMED IN GLORIOUS TECHNICOLOUR - for the first and last time until I get some decent illustrating software... Colouring this in using MS Paint took me fucking AGES...! 'The Night Before Christmas' has been ripped off a million times, so that idea wasn't particularly original, but saving Christmas by giving Santa a beer, that's pure Howler Monkey GOLD. My sister pointed out that Mad Dog's beard is missing in the final frame (wow, she must be a fan, hey?). I cannot explain this. I went back to the original hand-drawn copy, and the beard was there! Anyway, that's about it. I don't know if there'll be another Christmas Episode next year, because I really only planned Series 1 to fit in with special occasions, and I'm not a fan of posting filler material to coincide with holidays... MFC! 62979504 Episode 2/2 (17) - Let There Be Rock So, after a long wait (5 Special Episodes, a Christmas Episode, and a week off), you finally get to see how they get their powers back... And a ghost just gives them back. Just like that. Wow, 'Bon Ex Machina'... The first panel contains a reference to the Kurt Russell/Martin Short movie 'Captain Ron': 'Voodoo and hoodoo and all kinda weird shit' is a line from the film. This episode is important as being the first to feature a (albeit, dead) real person, in the form of Bon Scott. I deliberately used 'Let There Be Rock' again, as this episode, although Episode 2, officially 'begins' Series 2. As I write this, I am almost finished inking Series 2, which I am really happy with, and have enjoyed doing. I think my art is improving, too. I'll have to be careful to avoid 'George Lucas Syndrome' and NOT go back to the early episodes to tinker with them... 64516728 Episode 2/3 (18) - The Blazing Hot Comet Introducing...the comic's first regular female character! Yaaay! Regular? Oh yes. As you can probably tell from Mad Dog's expression in the final panel, there'll be more adventures featuring our super-awesome cosmic girl, BHC. I'm going to take this moment to clear up some lingering Series 1 threads. Fitzy (Guestbook) thought that it was strange that the Howler Monkeys should be playing such a massive gig when they're in the wrong dimension, and Bon Scott only restored their musical powers... Well. Mad Dog only THOUGHT they were in the wrong dimension (check 1/10, final panel), when they actually had returned to their world. For some unexplained reason, all that tripping erased the existence of the Howler Monkeys. Bon Scott, in restoring their 'powers', actually put everything right again. Satisfied? Actually, I don't care, because that convenient little explanation works for me! Back to this Episode: Those who know me will know who BHC is based on. There will be other characters based on my daughters, other friends and acquaintances, and exes in upcoming episodes...see if you can spot who's might even spot yourself! Finally, this Episode marks the second departure (after Episode 1/9) from the standard horizontal panel placement. There'll be more messin' with convention...hope you can handle it. (This program doesn't like the letter that is pronounced 'zed'... wait, that's got one in it... the last letter of the alphabet...I don't know why...) 65350438 Episode 2/4 (19) - The Hood 'Little Red Riding Hood' was (and is) my favourite fairytale. It has since inspired my love of werewolves and wolf lore in general. This was among the first episodes I wrote, and I never had quite the right place to put it. I planned Series 1 to coincide with Halloween and Christmas, and this one was left over, so I decided to make the writing of Series 2 easier by slotting this in somewhere... There are some trainspotting fans out there (Fitz), so I'll admit that this doesn't make sense in that if we are to assume that the comic is set in Australia, and the following episode coincides with Australia Day (which occurs in January), then it shouldn't be bitterly cold...but, then again, if you've been to an O'Mara party at Westbrook, you'll know that it can turn damn cold, even in the middle of summer.... That's all I got. My kids are pestering me for some fruit salad. Seeya! P.S. In panel 2, Mull is frowning while Beardo is smiling. This is because Beardo is beating Mull in whatever videogame they're playing. Considering the people on which those characters are based, that's pretty much right. 66199329 Episode 2/5 (20) - The Australian Episode Someone once asked if I was ever going to 'get political' with this comic... I thought it already was political, but anyway... For the Australian episode, I situated the band clearly in the outback. I chose to use a character from Aboriginal mythology (whose design is meant to reflect his billabong camouflage, but could also represent traditional body-painting), whose instrument of choice is the didgeridoo. The band is singing Midnight Oil's 'Beds Are Burning'... Now, dig this: the band runs from the Bunyip because they think he's a threat, but it turns out he's friendly. In the same way, most white Australians have a fear of Aboriginal people, based on appearances, stereotypes and prejudices. In fact, most of the people we're afraid of have more in common with us than we realise. Sometimes they just wanna jam with us. How's that for political...? 67206993 Episode 2/6 (21) - The Burger Master Alternate title: 'Worst. Villain. Ever.' In Grade 9, we had to read this book called 'The Silver Sword', which was set in Germany during WWII. The main characters had an encounter with the local BURGOMASTER. We thought this was hilarious, for 2 reasons. There used to be a skanky burger joint in South Toowoomba (where Super Rooster now is, for you locals) called 'Burgermaster', and also it seemed funny that there was a guy in charge of all the burgers..."The Burger Master". It seemed funny in Grade 9, and obviously I haven't matured much since then. This was another episode I wrote very early on, but kept on the back-burner, because I thought the Burger Master was SO LAME. I kept asking myself, 'Do I really want the band going up against a guy in a burger suit and a bunch of toothy burgers?" Anyway, I started drawing it and I liked the burgers. They reminded me of 'Attack of the Killer Tomatoes' and 'Critters', which I loved as a kid. I also tweaked BM's costume to make him appear more foolish, and I changed/added some dialogue so that the guys themselves were taking the piss out of him....then it worked. There is a tribute in panel 9: Le Sas' AH! is reminiscent of the autograph of comic artist Adam Hughes, whose Batman and Spider-Man stuff I really dig... Geez, am I a nerd or WHAT...? 68254675 Episode 2/7 (22) - Return of The Comet BHC's back! And this time, she's brought her 'sidekick'... I lamented my decision to have the band travel in a kombi. I got so fucking sick of drawing it, I vowed never to feature it again (it will end up making future appearances, but I'll be putting a permanent stop to it - stay tuned). The bomb is just a device to have the van go over a cliff...but it may have further implications down the track... Ooooh... Now, to the focus of this episode: Captain Karaoke. He's one of my former psuedonyms (and still current email address), and represents the single party dude I was in the late 90s/early 00s. I'm not really like him any more; I'm more like 'Mad Dog', hence his creation. Therefore, the two characters are at odds because they represent different incarnations of myself. How trippy is that...? Superficially, Mad Dog and Captain K simply don't like each other. There's some BHC jealousy, but the main reason is because they inherently recognise each as the other's MORTAL ENEMY! Remember Special Ep. 1/1? Mad Dog's research told him that the other in possession of the Sonic Scream was his mortal enemy! Will more come of this revelation? I think so...! Finally, I dig panel 12. It's obvious to all that Mad Dog and BHC like each other. BHC singles Mad Dog out, and the others all smile at him because they know he digs her too. In't that CUTE...? 69037590 Episode 2/8 (23) - Cadaver Palaver, Part 1 Not much to say about this one, other than I wanted to give the band an Episode off, as there's some pretty major action coming up. Two panels I want to focus on: Panel 4 - I showed Beardo writing a song to remind everyone (mainly myself) that this comic is about a ROCK BAND. The music's getting a little lost in all these supernatural goings-on. Panel 5 - Mull's trying to master the same videogame that Beardo was beating him in in Episode 2/4: 'The Hood'. Oh yes, and the Crimson Cadaver's back. That's pretty cool... 69959165 Episode 2/9 (24) - Cadaver Palaver, Part 2 I like the idea of recurring villains/nemeses, and what better time to reintroduce them than in the middle of a 3-part Series Finale? So, the 'KLOWNZ want revenge for getting a touch-up in Ep. 1/5, and The Burger Master's back with new and improved flying burgers! The flying burgers are inspired by 'Tremors 3', where the worms, which had grown legs in the sequel, can fly. It was pretty lame, much like the Burger Master himself... I like that the head 'KLOWN (actually named 'Laffy') is all tough until a zombie pirate holds a knife to his throat, then he's all apologetic. I also like Mad Dog's double-take. I think the final frame is particularly well drawn, at least compared to everything I've drawn so far. And obviously, the final line is from 'Jaws'. Someone told me the last line didn't make sense because they weren't actually on a boat (duh). I had to explain to her that even though the original context for the line DID involve a boat in the open ocean, its use in popular culture now simply refers to one's current circumstances being insufficient to deal with the problem at hand. In this case, Mad Dog has doubts as to whether they can fend off ALL of these foes at once; he thinks they may be outnumbered. Hence, 'we're gonna need a bigger boat'. I sure schooled her ass. 70830569 Episode 2/10 (25) - Cadaver Palaver, Part 3 DOUBLE-LENGTH SERIES FINALE! It was originally intended as a normal-length Episode, but I couldn't fit everything in, so it's a double. I used to get excited when the normally 32-page Phantom comics were a surprise 'double length' 64-page issue....yes, we have already established that I was, and am, a massive nerd. This Episode was inspired by the big 'all-in brawl' comics they'd sometimes put out, like 'X-Men vs Fantastic Four' or whatever, as well as crazy arcade games like 'Marvel vs Capcom', where you could have The Hulk fighting Jill from 'Resident Evil'. I wanted a big landscape image (Panel 8) of everyone facing off against each other. OK, so the portal is opened AGAIN, and everyone gets scattered. I refer to the second half of this Episode as 'The Gumby Episode', because of the unintentional Gumby shape of the mega-portal. Then we've got some sort of craggy desert dimension, a mysterious pitch-black dimension, and some kind of moon-like dimension. What will happen in Series 3? I don't know.... (actually I do, but I'm not going to tell you because I want you to read it...). 71788919 Special Episode 2/1 (26) - Guest Director - Quentin Tarantino I always wanted to copy the titles from 'Reservoir Dogs'...that pretty much gave birth to the whole 'Guest Directors' idea. I basically just took the piss out of QT's riffing on pop culture, set to pop music and bloody violence. Giving Mad Dog a sword was a late change. He had a gun, too, until I realised I'd only really parodied 'Reservoir Dogs' and 'Pulp Fiction'. The sword was a nod to 'Kill Bill'. I also have Tarantino-esque product placement for non-existent brands. Note the 'Big Burger' poster in Panel 12. Does that burger have a FACE? Could that be a Tarantino-esque in-joke that relates to my other work? Damn right. There's also a reference to 'Wayne's World', in that I deliberately used 'SCHWING' as a sword sound effect. Finally, I leave it up in the air whether Beardo dies or not, just like Mr Pink in 'Reservoir Dogs' (I'm convinced he dies)... 72753642 Special Episode 2/2 (27) - Guest Director - Ian Fleming This could just as easily have been 'Guest Director - Cubby Broccoli', but I think Fleming's name is more recognisable... Not much to say about this one. I just tried to cram as many Bond cliches into the Episode as I could. I had rough-sketched a panel of an Aston-Martin pulling a sick jump, but I totally suck at drawing cars... Mad Dog and Smiley look very similar in this one. Mad Dog stays in the tux, and Smiley's in the jungle. That's about it. And no, there won't actually be a "Spies Who Rocked Out" Episode. There will, however (most likely), be a second batch of 'Guest Directors', somewhere down the track... 73743631 Special Episode 2/3 (28) - Guest Director - Matt Groening So Mad Dog = Bart, Mull = Homer, Beardo = Maggie, Smiley = Marge and Le Sas = Lisa... Weird. There was always going to be a 'Simpsons' tribute, and here it is. I decided to ignore the fancy new HD titles and stick with the classic version, especially since I was limited to exactly 15 panels (done so deliberately because that panel shape most closely matches the dimensions of a TV screen (pre-widescreen)). Confession time (again). The kombi in panel 8 is just cut-and-pasted from Episode 2/7: 'Return of The Comet'. I didn't want to draw it again (especially the undercarriage), so I cheated. *blushes* I have enjoyed these 'Guest Director' Episodes so much, that I plan to do another 5, sometime down the track. Have I already said that? Maybe... 74685663 Special Episode 2/4 (29) - Guest Directors - Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling & George Lucas Who'd a' thunk it - this Episode has thus far been THE most popular. My readers must be as nerdy, if not more, than me. First panel is an obvious shout-out to my favourite webcomics (all listed in the Links section), plus a few generic Con gags (Trekkies, fat people)... Someone told me I'd perfectly captured the entrance of 'The Sullens', and asked if I'd seen the movie. I replied that everything I know about 'Twilight' is contained in this comic... I just wanted them to be uber-melodramatic, as I (correctly, it seems) assumed the film would be... I just thought it would be funny to depict fan-groups as violent gangs. Fanboys and -girls can be pretty fanatical. Why not pursue this fanaticism to its logical, 'Warriors'-esque conclusion...? And yes, the obvious final gag is the pot calling the kettle a nerd. I am a huge 'Star Wars' nerd (although I have NEVER dressed up as a character, and never will), but I'm old-school, so I was reluctant to cast Mull as Darth Maul (Smiley is Luke from 'Return of the Jedi', NOT Anakin from 'Revenge of the Sith')... That'll have to do. I just re-read this, which ONCE AGAIN confirms what a HUGE nerd I am... May the Force be with you. 75834333 Special Episode 2/5 (30) - Guest Director - George A. Romero Unashamed tribute to the 'Dead' films, particularly 'Night'. Panels 2 and 14 contain (almost) verbatim dialogue from 'Night' and 'Dawn'. This was a pretty gory and bleak Episode, but still had a sense of humour, just like a Romero movie. I was actually concerned about the level of violence (not that it's realistic), but no-one's made any comments to that effect. I did lose two facebook fans during the week following this one, though... It is also the first* Episode in which all band members die (* it's the second if you believe that Beardo died in the Tarantino one). Most positive comments have centred on the panel showing Mad Dog's head being blown off... Creepy... 76717303 Episode 3/1 (31) - Triple Trouble Episode 3/1 dedicated to Malcolm McLaren, 1946-2010. There was an error when I tried to submit this commentary, and now I can't remember what I wrote... Any questions about this one, put 'em on the guestbook. Signed, Lazy. 77732609 Episode 3/2 (32) - Finding Emo It was very hard to depict that the emo world was not always night, just... black. There are nods to old-school emos (who we always called 'goths') with the Robert Smith-alike, and the new school via the My Chemical Romance dude, whatever his name is... In a super-cheesy and unoriginal manner, I named the girls Mel, which is short for 'melancholy', and Donna, which sounds like 'downer'... I can hear the groans from here... I like the tree-overlooking-the-valley landscape, and the fact that such a picturesque place still exists in the emo dimension. 'Mel' and 'Mull' sound similar. This is a coincidence. 78858177 Episode 3/3 (33) - Jam for the Ladies I conveniently left the Burger Master out of this one all together, despite the mention of his name at the start. I figured since he was constantly lagging behind, they just ditched him. I would. So, while Mull and Le Sas are in the Emo dimension, Beardo and Smiley seem to have landed in the 'Rock-Chick' dimension... These girls are even more cheesily-named than Mel and Donna, consisting of a combination of rock-chick awesomeness. 'Jett Sparxx' comes from Joan Jett and Donita Sparks (from L7), and 'Cherry Bangle' is named after the song 'Cherry Bomb' (by The Runaways) and the band The Bangles. The fact that the girls are also musos was inspired by 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure', when the princesses end up becoming members of their band. Will the same thing happen here? Stay tuned... 79708987 Episode 3/4 (34) - Reunited (And It Feels So Good) Blazing Hot Comet is BAD. ASS. Do not eff with her. I like that the great rivalry between Mad Dog and Capt. K has been reduced to petty squabbling. Crimson Cadaver's head gets the boot. Is that the last we'll see of him? That depends on the results of the facebook poll. So, as I have acknowledged, it's very lucky that they've all come back together in their own dimension, and, once again, unlike the zombie pirate dimension, there has been no transformation to or from any other form... Inconsistent? Yes. The only argument I can offer is that recently-opened portals are more likely to be re-opened, rather than new portals. But why didn't any of the other 'KLOWNZ or zombie pirates come back through...? F**ks me. Finally, there's that line from 'Jaws' again... It obviously has the same meaning as it did previously: our current resources will not suffice. Hence, the following Episode... 80721931 Episode 3/5 (35) - The Howler Monkeys in "Housemate Hi-jinks" I wanted this one to be super cheesy and 'sitcommy'... I wrote a 'sitcom' scene at Uni called 'Roomies', and this is the Howler Monkeys' spin on that same idea. It's just a bunch of share-house, 'battle of the sexes' cliches, topped off with some suitably cartoonish violence. I don't have a huge amount of share-house experience, but I do know that during a housemate squabble, you do NOT advise them to 'just chill'... 81809203 Episode 3/6 (36) - Lou Senz This is perhaps the most 'postmodern', self-referential Episode yet. I'm taking the piss out of my own tendency to leave things up in the air, to have gaping plot holes, and characters appear, disappear and transform willy-nilly. The title itself is the first joke. 'Lou Senz' = 'Loose Ends'. This may be obvious, but sometimes you miss a joke like that unless you say it aloud. The second instance of self-reference is the fact that B.M. and Laffy appear together, even though they are in different dimensions. They are in the world OF the comic, rather than in their respective worlds WITHIN the comic. Finally (and bizarrely - I don't know what I was on when I did this one) is the appearance of ME! I always liked the Warner Bros cartoons where Daffy or Bugs battled it out with the animator - this is my tribute to those cartoons. And, to capture the vibe of what this Episode is all about, it could all be a lie. Just because these two have said they won't be returning, doesn't mean they won't...if it suits me... 82669107 Episode 3/7 (37) - Drunken Irish Fightin' Fairies Episode 3/7 dedicated to Ronnie James Dio, 1942-2010. Most of the characters in this comic are based (albeit loosely) on people I know. I thought it was about time I based some characters on my lovely daughters - don't worry, my children are not nearly as foul-mouthed or violent as this pair...give them time, though. The name 'Drunken Irish Fightin' Fairies' is a play on 'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers', and their little catch-cry/headbutt is also a slight reference. I was never really into Power Rangers, as they got big after I was too old to enjoy them. I did, however, dig the old-school Japanese approach, with giant monsters played by stuntpeople in dodgy costumes... I'll have to update my 'Hollywood cast' lists, but I can see this pair being played by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler... NOTE: This is the first Episode (not including Origin Episodes) to feature only one Howler Monkey. 83642636 Episode 3/8 (38) - Room for One More? Episode 3/8 dedicated to Dennis Hopper, 1936-2010. All the other bandmates' 'girlfriends' have moved in. I thought it was time Mad Dog's did, too... You'll notice, in the first panel, that Mull STILL hasn't got the hang of the PlayStation. I wonder how long I'll be able to keep that gag going... Capt. K. going 'rogue'? I wonder what that means... I wonder if it will have any bearing on future Episodes... My sister (who is an avid Beardo fan) said she loved how cute he looked in Panel 7. I think they all look cute, as they want BHC to move in because it's so damn obvious that she and Mad Dog like each other. My favourite part is in Panel 8, where M.D. is accused of being immature, and his response is to (very maturely) call Capt. K. a 'big fat stupid idiot'. And, wait a minute, do the final two panels suggest what I THINK they suggest...??? Yes, this is the raunchiest comic so far. Which is funny, really, when there are so many gratuitous T & A comics out there... Good on you, Mad Dog. You rock. 84741410 Episode 3/9 (39) - Drunken Irish Fightin' Fairies in 'Hoid th' Toord' This idea came from two sources. One is the fact that sometimes, when you've got young kids, you find poo in the most interesting, inconvenient and disgusting of places (remember, we've already established that D.I.F.F. are based on my daughters). The second is a story a work colleague once told me, about when he was share-housing at Uni. Their household had a game called, funnily enough, 'Hide the Turd'. The 'winner' of said game shat in the butter container, before putting the butter back in, on top. The other housemates continued using the butter, unaware of the turd lurking beneath... Apart from wanting a gross little poo-themed Episode, I wanted to continue the idea that living in the Howler Monkey house ain't all beer and skittles... This will become (more) relevant later on... 85699378 Episode 3/10 (40) - House Meeting SERIES FINALE! As this third series is published, I am in the process of inking Series 5, writing Series 6 and plotting Series 7, 8 and 9... Plenty more Howler Monkey action to come...! Look at Comet in the first panel. Her mask is off, and she's wearing one of M.D.'s shirts... just to confirm that (i) Mad Dog and Comet are indeed an 'item' and (ii) that Comet trusts the household enough to go sans costume... Finally, the Kombi is no more. I blew it up so I wouldn't have to draw it anymore, but now I kinda miss it... And what's this? Yet ANOTHER cliffhanger ending??? Yep, sorry. A new villain has reared her (particularly) ugly head... but there'll be more on her in Series 4... Incidentally, the final panel is an homage to the iconic Joker image from 'The Killing Joke'...the same one that Dave Bryan from Bon Jovi has tattooed on his chest (it's funny, even though this is a rock 'n' roll comic, talking about a member of Bon Jovi with a tattoo from a Batman comic seems decidedly LAME)... 86534760 Special Episode 3/1 (41) - What If... The Howler Monkeys were Bayou Yokels Although I never read many of Marvel's 'What If' comics, I was always intrigued by them, and thought I'd honour them in my own way. The 'Special Episodes' really are akin to 'What Ifs' anyway, as they exist outside the world of the comic (with the exception of the 'Origin' Episodes), but this series of Special Eps is specifically designed to pay tribute to its namesake... Last Christmas, I did our family's 'Christmas Letter' in the tone of a random Southern redneck. I wanted to use the same language in an Episode, and had originally decided to include a yokel character. Then I thought it would be funnier if the HMs themselves were rednecks. This Episode was the result, and gave birth to the whole 'What If' series... In Panel 3, Le Sas says 'God dang-it, Roadkill...' He's not referring to the food as roadkill. Roadkill is Mad Dog's NAME in this Episode. In Panel 6, the reference to a gator being 'ornery' is a reference to the Adam Sandler movie 'The Waterboy' (equally loaded with bayou stereotypes)... Finally, I was going to depict Roadkill playing his elusive harmonica, but I wanted him to be singing, so he's holding a jug instead... The dog was just another cliche to fill up space. He doesn't have a name. Any suggestions...? 87546436 Special Episode 3/2 (42) - What If... The Howler Monkeys Never Met The first Episode to feature multiple stories. This was obviously necessary as if they hadn't met, they'd all be off doing separate things... I FUCKING HATE NICKELBACK. Mad Dog finds himself stuck in a disturbingly similar band, and naturally tops himself. I would. Take the hint, Kroeger. Le Sas returns from his Yeti 'rumspringa' and promptly gets 'discovered'. I stuffed up this section a bit, as I was trying to replicate the famous Sasquatch photo, but it differs too much from Le Sas' appearance in the previous frame. Oh well, you win some, you lose some... Smiley's enchanted bands lead him to find wealth as some Monty Burns-esque corporate emperor. His assistant is named Jonathan as a nod to '30 Rock'. Mull would obviously have continued his life of crime and ended up in the big house. Some people thought that Mull was the newbie, but hopefully it is clear enough that he is actually the jailhouse 'boss'... Finally, without the positive environment of the Howler Monkeys, Beardo has used his powers for evil, with destructive consequences. It is therefore clear; if the Howler Monkeys didn't exist, the world would end. 88481551 Special Episode 3/3 (43) - What If... This Comic was Aimed at a Much Younger Audience Awww... they're widdle babies...! The 'Muppet Babies' TV show was the main inspiraton for this Episode. Even though it was aimed at smaller kids, it was still clever and funny, and I always appreciated the incorporation of scenes from other TV shows and movies... I'm basically repeating some of the comic's major themes/ideas in baby form: M.D. and Comet like each other; Karaoke's put out; M.D. and Beardo are the closest; M.D. cuts Cadaver's head off; a portal gets opened. That's it, really. Oh, I was adamant not to include any dialogue by the 'babies'. You can have any of these baby characters on a t-shirt. I like them better than the previously-posted 'chibis'... 89373574 Special Episode 3/4 (44) - What If... The Howler Monkeys had a Time Machine This was the only way to pay tribute to all my favourite time-travel movies - pack 'em all into one Episode! The deliberate references are as follows: Panels 1 and 2 obviously reference 'Back to the Future', with the (crappily drawn) DeLorean, the use of the word 'heavy' and Marty's 'Let's see if you bastards can do 90' line. Panel 3 is NOT a reference to 'Jurassic Park', as it occurs in the time of the dinosaurs. It does not reference any specific dinosaur movie/show. Panel 4 contains a variation of the MORLOCKS from 'The Time Machine'. Mad Dog deliberately calls them 'Mucklucks' as a sign of disrespect. This word is a reference to 'The Simpsons', as it is the word Krusty uses as an example of words you can say on TV which sound dirty, but actually aren't. Panel 5 was going to contain a reference to the movie 'Time After Time' (where Jules Verne, author of 'The Time Machine' tracks Jack the Ripper (!!!) ), but I thought it was too obscure. The penny farthings are a token nod to that similar time period. Panel 7 obviously features Bender from 'Futurama' (to the best of my memory, this is so far the ONLY inclusion of an existing outside character, not invented by me). Panel 8 references 'Gladiator', and is also an in-joke because I have suggested that Beardo could be played by Russell Crowe, but only in 'Maximus mode'. Panel 9 is an obvious reference to 'Tron', but it also contains a second, more subtle reference. The line 'It was just inside the dude's computer' refers to THE DUDE, played by Jeff Bridges in 'The Big Lebowski'. Jeff Bridges was the dude whose computer the action of 'Tron' took place in (no angry letters, please). Finally, Panel 10 contains a reference to 'Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure', but I've previously mentioned this movie's influence on the plotline involving the band bringing back girlfriends from other dimensions... The ending is kind of 'Twilight Zone'-ish, but nonspecific. Anyway, must dash! 90238646 Special Episode 3/5 (45) - What If... The Howler Monkeys were Potatoes As the Marvel 'What If' titles continued, the more ludicrous the titles and situations became... 'What If Spider-Man was a Mermaid?' (not an actual title) Therefore, I concluded this series of Special Eps in similarly ludicrous fashion, with the stupidest 'What If' of them all. I loaded it with lame puns, and even suggest that it's the worst Episode yet... Isn't it great how you can cancel out a work's lameness by acknowledging said lameness within the actual work...? ISN'T IT...??? 91516404 Episode 4/1 (46) - The BLAZING Conclusion to Last Series' EXPLOSIVE Finale BHC gets another opportunity to shine! Readers may soon notice that although Comet possesses amazing speed, she is sometimes late to, or absent from, important crises... What can I say? Life's tough when you're an intergalactic superhero. Even with her amazing powers, she just can't be in two places at once... even Superman couldn't stop Lois Lane from getting killed (yes, he reversed time and fixed everything, but the fact remains that he can't always be in the right place at the right time...). So, why did Comet need to move into the Howler Monkey house when she's got a base on the moon? Because the moon-base is only for emergencies, and also because the moon's cold and lonely (duh). I like that the 'upside' of this is, in M.D.'s eyes, that no-one has to clean off the SK8NKLOWNZ graffiti... even though no-one HAS cleaned it off in all this time... 92231432 Episode 4/2 (47) - The Bunker I've lived in my fair share of rentals, and now I'm a home-owner. Finding the right place to live is a BITCH. It's bad enough when it's just you, but when you've got kids it's even harder... So, The Bunker has replaced the Howler Monkey house. Let's hope the gang can make as many happy, wonderful memories here as they did in their last place... The End. 93237401 Episode 4/3 (48) - Housewarming There are two lessons to be learned from this Episode: 1) You should not put anything in a Soda Stream other than plain water. 2) Sculling beer through a straw makes you massively drunk (especially when you drink a whole beer monster). 93951456 Episode 4/4 (49) - Squeaky Doghammer My daughters, as babies, played with this red rubber squeaky toy hammer. Inexplicably, it had a dog's face painted on it. I named this toy 'Squeaky Doghammer'. I always thought I would use it for a character somwehere down the line... I was just going to go back to depicting the band playing gigs, etc., but then I thought I should acknowledge the fact that they haven't been seen playing for so many Episodes. I'm glad I did, because the introduction of Squeaky ended up changing the whole vibe of the second half of this Series (as you'll see...or as you already know, if you've read the Episode synopses on facebook...). 94787534 Episode 4/5 (50) - Clip Show (50TH EPISODE) Just as sitcoms take short-cuts by replaying old material in their 'clip shows', so did I simply cut and paste panels from previous Episodes... I did write one new gag (about the pet burger), but this was simply to celebrate the fact that I'd reached the important 50th Episode milestone (as I write this, I've just finished doing the rough copy of the 100th Episode... hopefully it gets to the website sometime in 2011)... There was no real selection process employed to decide which panels would be 'remembered'... Laziness would have won out, so they were probably ones I'd already cropped or edited... 95951998 Episode 4/6 (51) - Triffid Gardens I have actually experienced the different types of mutants at the shopping centre upon which 'Triffid Gardens' is based, except for the smoking babies. The mum was smoking, but not the babies. If they had been smoking, I would not have been surprised... The beloved Toowoomba shopping centre which inspired this Episode (locals will know it well) has a kebab shop in the food court, the wares from which have yet to cause me gastronomical trauma. That's the only reason I still go there... 96608085 Episode 4/7 (52) - She's Leaving Home I love the girls, and I'm glad I introduced them, but it was a bastard trying to include them in every storyline and give them as much attention as the Howler Monkeys. So, for the greater good, they had to go... Don't worry, they will return (and quite importantly, I may add), and they will still be featured as regular support characters... I just couldn't fit everyone into every Episode. Writing this one actually made me as sad as the boys in the final frame... :( 97785693 Episode 4/8 (53) - Killer Queen, Part 1 or The Squeaky Demon Gets Greased So, Squeaky's actually a demon who operates on behalf of the malevolent Queen... Wow (if you'd read the Episodes synopses on facebook, you already knew that). The 'villain vibe' of this comic has always been the same as the old 'Batman' TV show (which I watched as a BABY - 'Batman' was my first word!): lame wannabes whose methods are never really enough to outdo the good guys. They often come CLOSE, but ultimately they're far too lightweight to do any major damage (e.g. SK8NKLOWNZ, Burger Master). The Queen's a little different. She packs a punch... As some fans, who know me well, have observed, The Queen is based on an ex-girlfriend. That's all I'm gonna say. 98455259 Episode 4/9 (54) - Killer Queen, Part 2 or Ex from Hell...Literally Not much to say here, as it's fairly self-explanatory. The main question I have to ask is, 'Why the hell would Mad Dog have dated a crazy demon woman?' Hey, we've all made mistakes and silly decisions in our lives, and M.D.'s no exception... Gee, I hope the other Howler Monkeys are okay... After all, The Queen's powers were sufficient to MELT Squeaky... 99442497 Episode 4/10 (55) - Killer Queen, Part 3 or Holograms, Schmolograms The girls were never going to move out and never be heard from again...! Of course, the title refers to the 'Jem (and The Holograms)' cartoon from the 80s. The girls returning as a rock band in their own right is also somewhat inspired by the princesses of 'Bill and Ted' (as they end up joining Wyld Stallyns). For the trainspotters, who may arc up at the fact that Comet arrives late on the scene, all I can say is that, even with her cosmic super-powers, she can't be everywhere at once. As will be revealed in a later Episode, Comet actually holds an important seat in C.R.I.S.P. (The Conglomerate of Respected Intergalactic Super Persons), and is often engaged in matters of intergalactic importance... I like how Comet (my partner) disposes of The Queen (my ex)... :) So, the girls are a band now. Big deal. Well, hypothetical smart-arse, it is a big deal, as this informs the entire story arc of Series 5. Untl then, enjoy my friends' generous contributions... 100244517 Special Episode 4/1 (56) - 'A Brief History of the Time The Howler Monkeys Played a Victorian Theatre' by Andrew Mason My first Guest Episode! Yay! I wish I could say I'd been inundated by people wishing to have their Howler Monkey fan art published... Unfortunately no. I asked each of the contributors personally to submit something (although those chosen were done so because they had expressed their enjoyment of the comic, so that has to count for something). I put Andrew's Episode first because, of the five 'GuEps', his is the closest, style-wise, to my own. I like how he's added little features like ears, eyebrows and occasional nose action (which I deliberately avoid), but the characters are still recognisable, yet 'removed' from reality. Reading this Episode reminds me of 'The Simpsons' (most things in life remind me of 'The Simpsons', actually). Occasionally they make references to having yellow skin, and in one early ep Lisa tells Bart that one day 'humans' will have five fingers. This somehow puts 'The Simpsons' in some sort of parallel dimension. The fact that the Howler Monkeys look 'odd', yet the Victorian characters look 'normal', highlights the fact that the world of the Howler Monkeys may not be the same world inhabited by 'humans'... Weird... Oh, in case I didn't make it clear earlier, I love this Episode. 101247720 Special Episode 4/2 (57) - 'Barrel of Howler Monkeys' by Cecile O'Mara Yay! My little sister (aged 22 at time of writing) did an Episode! Cecile is super-good at design and layout, and has a good appreciation of advertising and poster art. She also loves horror and rock 'n' roll as much as me (if not MORE - she does have SEVERAL skeleton tattoos, after all)... The three things I love about this Episode: 1) It's believable as an actual ad. If you glanced at it, you'd think it was fair dinkum. 2) The likenesses of the band (they might be a little hard to make out in the Ep) are SPOT-ON, especially since they still look like the toys on which they're based. 3) IT'S NOT A COMIC! I gave my invited artists complete creative freedom, and I'm glad one of the entries was in a different genre. Thanks Cecile. This Episode rocks. And so do you. 101998370 Special Episode 4/3 (58) - 'The Mad Dog Experience' by Rita Neale First off, I LOVE the manga-inspired style of this comic. Mad Dog and Le Sas, particularly, are depicted WAY differently than would ever draw them...which was the whole point of the Guest Artists series... I also like that this Episode has narration and a song being performed, but not in a conventional, speech-bubble way. And even though The Queen is evil, I love how she looks kind of alluring and 'hot' (Mad Dog did date her, after all, so she must have had SOMETHING going for her...). This Episode, again, affirmed my choice of Guest Artists. I must do another series of Guest Episodes, but it was so hard getting contributors, I don't know if I'll be able to round up another five volunteers... 102660441 Special Episode 4/4 (59) - 'Big Time' by Chris Conley FINALLY, the Howler Monkeys are immortalised in Lego! Well, not quite. But this will do just fine until an official HMs line of Lego is produced... I. LOVE. THIS. EPISODE. Cono busted a gut on this one, and his creation lay siege to his home, and his wife's (my sister's) sanity, for some time. His perfectionism, and need for 're-shoots' caused him to be dubbed the 'Stanley Kubrick of Lego' (or should that be 'Stanley Ku-BRICK'? ... No, perhaps not)... Check out the little details. The little screechy in Beardo's 'Top Gear' story pretty much makes this Ep. for me... 103882773 Special Episode 4/5 (60) - 'Tell Me Mad Dog, is it Just About the Money?' by David Fitzpatrick The GuEps come full circle with another in a style somewhat similar to my own. I told Fitz (the artist) that his Episode fits perfectly here, for two reasons. Firstly, for the above reason - that it signals a return to my own Episodes. Secondly, it fits thematically. Cono's Episode depicts the decadence and lavish spending of the band in the wake of their success, while Fitz's Episode shows the reality of fronting up to the tax agent (Fitz is a CPA, hence his intricate knowledge of taxation affairs)... I mentioned under Ep 4/S1 (Andrew's Episode) that the band seems to exist in a world of their own, as their appearance was contrasted against the 'normal' appearance of other characters. The same occurs here, as the Howler Monkeys are stylised 'humanoids', while their accountant (who bears a striking resemblance to the artist) looks like a 'normal' person... This is, again, a killer Episode. I have really enjoyed this Series. Hopefully it has inspired someone out there to contribute next time I do a run of GuEps. Big thanks again to Andrew, Cecile, Rita, Cono and Fitz - forever a part of the Howler Monkeys experience. 104877517