Culprits Uncovered! Behind the scenes on Marvel UK’s rare 1990s custom comic, “The Dangerous Breakfast”

Here at downthetubes, we’ve followed up on a query about what may be one of the rarest Marvel UK “custom comics” to ever be produced, and, thanks to those involved, found out more about it.

The title in question is The Dangerous Breakfast, produced in 1994 to mark Kiss FM’s third birthday, created in partnership with the radio station.

Very few copies seem to have survived, and collectors regularly battle to buy those that come up for sale. But who worked on it?

Several British websites have featured this rarity before, which was a promotional title, not sold in shops, including Starlogged and The Boys Adventure Comics Blog. We’ve mentioned it here, too, as part of a wider item about an unpublished Big Breakfast comic project.

The Dangerous Breakfast didn’t feature any credits, beyond the initials of artist and inker on the cover, suggesting the late Phil Gascoine was the penciller on the book, but who else was involved?

Above: the opening pages of The Dangerous Breakfast comic, via Starlogged

This particular downthetubes reader query came from former Kiss FM staffer Simon Beale, via B7 Media’s Helen Quigley.

“All I know is, those yellow hands are meant to be mine!” says Simon of a panel on one of the comic’s opening pages. “I was the voice of Roger Wild on the Kiss Breakfast Show (with Suzanne Park as Dawn Raid) and together we presented the traffic and travel news for Dave and Sarah.

“I remember seeing this comic for the first time (I’ve got two copies!) and was blown away by it.

“To this day, I still love the incredible drawings. What a great (and very cool) way to promote the show.”

We asked Marvel UK staffers of the time if they remembered working on the comic.

Boy, did they ever!

Comics artist, writer and editor Bambos Georgiou, these days an integral part of the Aces Weekly team, was first to kindly supply more background, revealing he wrote this rare comic.

“[Fellow editor] Tim Quinn and I went in to Kiss FM and met the presenters,” he recalled. “It was one of Tim’s ‘special projects’”.

“I had so many ‘Special Projects’ on the go during those glory years shortly before the equally manic gory years,” Tim reflects, alluding to later editorial differences at Marvel UK expanded on in his autobiography, ARGH!: The Ups and Downs of Life as a Comic Book Creator.

Phil Gascoine at the London Comics Festival in 2005. Photo: John Freeman
Phil Gascoine at the London Comics Festival in 2005. Photo: John Freeman

“Phil Gascoine was always a delight to work with,” he continues, confirming he drew the comic, the inker still unidentified, but possibly Dave Harwood. (Dave Hine, the other possible inker with the cover initials, doesn’t recall working on the project).

“His work always blew my socks off, Tim enthuses of Phil. “I recall he charmingly included my dog in one of the strips we produced together.

“But I digress. [The] Kiss FM [project] came about while we were waiting to hear back from Channel 4’s Big Breakfast bigwig about Marvel UK producing an on-going title revolving round the show. [Editorial Director] Paul Neary and I had a meeting with the boss, who took a shine to my curly locks. Had I been a little less prudish I suspect the deal would have been done for MUK. I know I put some kind of dummy together, but then all went quiet.

“Life roared on at Marvel though. We were going to do a supplement for the Daily Mirror but Disney got in first with Mickey and co. We did quite a few things for The Sun under Kelvin MacKenzie, who was a hoot. The Daily Mail too. Oh, and The Sunday Times. My simple idea was to promote MUK wherever I could.

“As for radio, the biggest promotion came when I managed to sell the idea of a Spider-Man cliffhanger drama series to BBC Radio 1FM. The astonishing Dirk Maggs did such a great job on that. It is still my favourite ‘Special Project’ of all time. Having said that, Dirk and I are about to top that. Stay tuned for my final ‘Special Project’.

Trust Tim to tease a new comic in his reply, prompting more questions than the one this item started with!

Stay tuned? Indeed we will!

ARGH!: The Ups and Downs of Life as a Comic Book Creator (AmazonUK Affiliate Link)

Thanks to Simon Beale for the question, Helen Quigley for relaying it, and Bambos, Tim and Dave for answering it!

Categories: Audio, British Comics, Comics, Creating Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Other Worlds

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