Cathy Gale cartoon image from TV Times, 1964
One of the most telling ways of measuring a cultural artefact's impact comes through the ways it is parodied and assimilated into popular culture. What I am trying to do with this section is to dig around and find publications where The Avengers have been either parodied or paid homage to in cartoon or comic book format.
Until recently, the only contemporary cartoon I had been able to find so far was the one above, which came from an early 1964 edition of the UK television listings magazine, TV Times. From it we can see that the image of Cathy Gale as leather-wearing and tough has already become enough of an archetype to enable quick recognition.
However, when digging through a couple of boxes to locate various items for 'The Avengers' film press section of Noon: Doomsday I came across four comic strips entitled 'The ScAvengers' by David Shenton which ran in The Guardian newspaper from Monday August 24th 1998 to Thursday August 27th 1998. I don't know if the strip continued on the Friday or the Saturday as the strips I have were sent in by a kind correspondent (who it was I have subsequently forgotten - sorry!!). If you can help with any more information on this strip or on any other Avengers-related newspaper or comic strips please get in touch.
To see all four strips reproduced in a readable format, point your mouse at the image to the left.
|A more contemporary referencing of the show was printed in the 1967 Smash Annual (spine date = 1968), pages 20 and 21. This instalment of Charlie's Choice features a suspiciously familiar-looking pair of Secret Agents, although artist Brian Lewis has sneakily sidestepped copyright concerns by messing about with the male agent's chapeau. As has been pointed out, there must be similar stories in such strips as The Man from BUNGLE (in Smash) and Eagle Eye Junior (in Wham). As always, your help is most welcome. The full version of this strip will be added soon.|
|From Argentina, this strip, "Los Vengadores en ¡Patadas Asesinas!" (The Avengers in Killer Kicks!) was written by Tito Sol and illustrated by Perez D'elia. It was published in "Rico Tipo Extra", N° 16 in December 1968. "Rico Tipo" (roughly translates as "Naughty Boy") was a very popular Argentinian magazine of written and illustrated humour. The "Extra" edition was an annual, usually issued for Christmas consumption, like the British hardbacked annuals. Click on the picture to view the entire strip in the original language. Thanks to Piers Johnson, an English translation can be found here. (The Avengers Annuals can be found here)|
Printed in 1971, so it almost counts as being contemporary, we have this strip from the French magazine, Pilote. This seven page satire ran in issue no. 583 and was written by Gotlib (Marcel Gotlieb) and drawn by Alexis (Dominique Vallet). Thanks to George Mulder for this. All seven pages and the cover can be seen by clicking on the image below.
Fans of Judge Dredd may be able to help out with some information / scans for a strip that appeared in Judge Dredd Mega-Special #6 (June 1993), written by Robbie Morrison and drawn by Paul Grist, it was entitled 'Kinky Boots' and, according to a friend: It involves a couple of Steed & Peel-style criminals with a fetish for boots. Of course, they fall foul of Dredd and are taken away draped suggestively over the leather-clad lawman's massive chopper (motorbike), the last line of the strip being Dredd reminding them that, "There's nothing kinky about the law".
It was right under my nose all the time... I've been reading the work of Peter Bagge since the good old days of Neat Stuff magazine so when, desperate for something to read on the bus to work I plucked an anthology of his Hate comics from the shelf, I found this Avengers ref I was pleasantly surprised...
from Hate #17, 1994
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