Monday, 11 April 2011

March Of The Toys

This Smash! annual was, and is, a real memorable one in that it contained just about the moodiest Eric Bradbury art i've ever come across.
Of course, didn't have a clue back then who he was, nor who this bloke "the evil Dr. Droll" was all about. All i knew, and loved, was the morbidly grotesque art that was going on here. I'd already had experience of strips with animated toys in them, courtesy of General Jumbo, but here they were bad guys and, boy, they were bad.
Can remember pouring over the art, just studying it, with the highlights being the shopkeeper getting it (if it wasn't for the SF trappings, this page could be from A Christmas Carol), the tiny robots with their "Invader From Space" logos (so similar to tons of of toys i had at the time) but, above all, Dr. Droll himself.
Eric excelled himself with this guy, who was both disturbing and grotesque in just a long shot, never mind the HUGE close-ups Mr Bradbury frequently put in. Guessing he figured they'd have more impact, and he was sure right.
Top image for me then and now though is this shot of the Doc trundling around in his "Cosmobile". That huge eyed villain squashed under that bubble canopy in a far, far too small vehicle was so bizarre i kept coming back to it again and again.
How weird. Anyone else at any other time would have a craft that matched the bad guys ego - massive, assertive and threatening. Here he's in a "toy space tractor".
I'll review it later - for now, i'm a 10-year old again, just gazing at it.

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