Seeking crowdfunding right now on Indiegogo is a limited edition release of Slash Moron, written, inked and lettered by Bambos Georgiou – a wonderful parody of a certain square-jawed all-action space hero of the 1930s…
Bambos, who I’ve known since my days at Marvel UK days (he was my editor on the mini-series, Gene Dogs, drawn by Dave Taylor), gave me a sneak peek at the project earlier this year. He’s done a bang up job putting the book together, which is great fun!
In Slash Moron, you’ll enjoy the adventures of erm, Slash Moron – jock, hero and all around idiot. Putting up with him (well, barely) are Professor Essor, a brainy scientist and inventor with a one track mind; Gale Goodbody, a beautiful scientist who lives up to her name; and ‘The Robot‘… Emotionally intelligent and sensitive, he sometimes seems the most human of all.
Stranded on the planet Varzoom they battle against the evil emperor Klutchmong, despotic ruler of the planet…
The graphic novel contains the first two episodes first published within the online comic Aces Weekly, founded in 2012 by David Lloyd and Bambos.
“When the ‘Wallace & Gromit’ comic strip ended in The Sun, I really wanted to keep working with James Hansen, John Burns and Mychailo Kazybrid,” says Bambos of the book’s origins. “David Lloyd and I had just launched Aces Weekly, so I managed to convince the guys to work on new strips with me for the new online comic.
“Jim and John joined me for ‘Slash Moron’, a science fiction adventure parody in a Flash Gordon vein, while Mychailo and I teamed up to produce an occult detective called Dr Queer, focusing on the different use of language in Victorian Britain.”
While many other products claim to be “Limited Editions” and run into the thousands, the Slash Moron graphic novel Bambos is offering is actually limited to an already printed 300 copies, only 250 of which are being made available through Indiegogo. This edition will not be reprinted, so this is a one time offer.
Crowdfunding offers a new opportunity and a new challenge to comic creators. With the changes in the comic market over the past decade, creators are having to take control of their own destinies and try to sell their wares direct to the public. Bambos decided upon Indiegogo as the platform for Slash Moron rather than Kickstarter because “coming from a publishing background I prefer projects to be definite, I felt uneasy with the Kickstarter on/off approach to projects.
“I’m not saying that’s not a route we might go down in the future, but at the moment the Flexible Funding available at Indiegogo seems better for a Limited Edition,” he feels. “A fixed number of books with those pledging money guaranteed of a low print run collector’s item, pretty much certain to climb in value.”
The appeal of a grabbing a Limited Edition book aside, the team that worked on Slash Moron count as established veterans in the British comics industry, well worthy of support.
“Between the three of us on ‘Slash Moron’, we’ve worked for just about all the major comic book companies out there,” notes Bambos of the book’s team. “Jim and John go all the way back to the Fleetway art department, where they met. Jim left his position to become a freelance artist and drew ‘Buster’, son of Andy Capp and later ‘Dennis the Menace’, while John contributed art amends to strips re-printed in Lion, turning The Comet’s ‘Buffalo Bill’ into Lion’s ‘Texas Jack’, as well as drawing a complete episode of ‘The Spider’ to offer a shortened ending to ‘The Spider vs Spider Boy’ storyline.
“What with our work in comics, newspapers and puzzle books I recently realised that we three have been in British newsagents for over thirty years. That’s a hell of a good run.
“For many years I was one of the few BAEM writers and editors out there in mainstream UK comics, thanks mainly to Marvel UK which also had a great many female editors on staff,” Bambos notes, also revealing that while he was born in Archway, London, his parents spoke only Greek , so he went to school not speaking English.
Sadly, Jim Hansen, whose credits also included Buster cover artist and humour strips such as “The Bumpkin Billionaires”, “Ricky Rainbow” and “P5” passed away in 2018, after the third instalment of Slash Moron was completed.
“He was one of the best artists I ever inked,” says Bambos, ruefully. “Thankfully, this book is creator owned and Jim’s copyright lasts for 70 years after his death, so Jim’s family will receive his royalties as normal. That’s not an act of charity – that’s just how things work in the real world, or rather how they should work.
“Hopefully people will be attracted to the fantasy and humour of Slash Moron and give it a go. Jim’s wonderful drawing and John’s lush colouring are beautiful, and my inking even stands up quite well.” (Here. as ever, Bambos is being incredibly modest about his talents…)
“I think it’s a fitting testament to what three seasoned professionals are capable of when they can just cut loose,” he feels – and I certainly agree. Alongside the obvious humour of the story, there’s also a genuine sense of pathos to the characters and their situation, stranded on a an alien planet – even if the eponymous hero is a dense as he sounds!
Do go and take a look at the project. I think my favourite bit of the first two stories is probably when the team realise Slash really is a moron, but I also like the growing friendship the allies gain toward the end – just like the original series it’s aping!
• James Hansen’s son Daniel is currently walking the Serpent Trail in memory of his father this summer – find out more and make a donation here on JustGiving