Kids' comics are supposed to be fun diversions, a distraction from homework and chores and annoying big siblings, a wonderland of amusement with maybe a few social and cultural mores subtly reinforced. Or at the very least, a lack of the more transgressive elements that could warp a child's upbringing. But some tot-focused funnybooks are straight-up brain warpers, psychological time bombs designed to seed deep-rooted neuroses and psychoses into the tender gray matter of the youth, leaving a nation's children woefully ill-prepared for the shocks of adult life. Experts agree this is pretty much what happened to the UK.
Every Monday, children from John O' Groats to Land's End and from Plymouth to Peterborough would plunk down their 8p and walk off with Whoopee, hoping for some goofball laughs and chuckles with a zany cast of wacky characters. What did they actually get? First off, they got a painful if backwards-masked dose of mid-70s economic struggle courtesy the Bumpkin Billionaires, who are so loaded with cash that they have trouble getting rid of it! Doesn't that put the trouble you had in coming up with 8p in perspective?
Then with Scared Stiff Sam, kids are shown that you can be an immensely strong "hard man," in the parlance of the day, and yet still be reduced to a pile of quivering, fear-filled jelly, undoubtedly due to horrifying trauma. What life-ruining terror did Sam witness, readers ask, as they wonder what personal trauma lies in wait for them.
But it's time for whimsy. Remember those Road Runner cartoons where the Coyote would paint the image of a hole in a wall hoping the Road Runner would run into it, and it turns out the hole actually was a hole? That's it, that's the premise here. Well, and that the hole has a mind of its own, and causes mischief.
They even work the "suddenly the hole isn't there any more" bit. Tune in next week when the 'Orrible Hole builds an Acme Bat-Man suit!
Nothing says "hilarous fun for the kiddies" like a... toddler named after a famous fictional mass murderer.
At no point in this strip does Sweeney Toddler sing or kill anyone! I want my 8p back.
Whoopee was committed to bringing a level of "edgy" to their otherwise non-edgelord characters. Hence "Creepy Car", which as we can see here is a perfectly normal talking car with a perfectly normal dislike of anyone who'd dump a fellow car into a pond. But now, like an impressionable 8th grader back from vacation, he's all "creepy" and "goth" and "emo."
Disturbed by the insistent farting of a sentient car, these polluters are forced to deal with their unwanted auto the same way everyone else does, by calling 1-800-Kars4Kids, donate your car today.
And THAT'S the creepy part, how that song has earwormed its way into your brain. You're welcome.
When mystics and superstitious folk talk about "The Evil Eye" they aren't actually talking about a giant eye that floats around causing mischief, much like the hole we saw earlier. But that's what Whoopee is going with here. Think about it kids! Maybe giant eyeballs float around the world causing trouble for local municipal officials everywhere!
Evil never prospers, not even the Evil Eye and his or her long, dreamy lashes. We can't really blame WHOOPEE for the epidemic of trespassing arrests, falls, and broken limbs that followed this story, as thousands of schoolkids rushed out to investigate decrepit bell towers around their home towns, but surely they must bear some responsibility.
Inappropriate youth behavior is in full effect here with Thumpty Dumpty, a little monster hellbent on venting his insenate rage by smashing every inanimate object within reach. Will the townspeople and authorities let this rampage go unchecked?
Why no, the town's solution is to repay violent behavior with a seaside holiday. An excellent lesson for children everywhere - tantrums work! Have a tantrum today.
But I believe the winner in this WHOOPEE-induced Psychological Problem Child contest is Willy Worry here, an absolute bundle of neuroses incapable of participating in any human activity without spiralling into a vicious cycle of self-doubt and worst-case scenarios.
Reduced to a whimpering wreck, cowering in the corner, his every contact with the outside world nothing but anxiety and stress, we can only hope that Willy Worry's raffle prize is a few sessions with a good psychotherapist. Or a florist, maybe.
So that's WHOOPEE, a seething mass of mental health issues for children across the UK and overseas Dominions. But it's not all stress and evil and thumps, there's a cheerful side to WHOOPEE as well.
This Mad Magazine-style "World Wide Weirdies" back cover piece is charming and fun in a Basil Wolverton sort of way, just the sort of thing a kid could spend hours staring at, getting lost in the details, maybe taking that time to recover from all the stories of creepy cars and 'orrible holes and thumb-sucking men. Did it work? Considering the shape the UK is in today, it's hard to tell.
Become a Patron!
Hey gang, thanks for reading Mister Kitty's Stupid Comics! If you enjoyed it and want to show your appreciation, you can now become a patron by hitting that Patreon button above! Or, you can hit that PayPal button on our home page, or turn off your ad blocker so's our advertisers know you're out there! And remember to visit our YouTube channel, our Facebook group and our Instagram? Why don't you.
PREVIOUS STUPID COMICS
NEXT STUPID COMICS
BACK TO STUPID COMICS INDEX
BACK TO MAIN INDEX