BEATLE CITY

BEATLE CITY FRONT COVER

Beatle City was a comic strip I did from 1999 to 2002. The strip was not designed for general publication it was done as a bit of fun for people involved in Let It Be Beatles and A group of Beatle fans who were collectively known as The Inner Light. At the time I was working for Gaslight Music in Bourke Street and The Inner Light met regularly at a MacDonalds restaurant in the Bourke Street Mall.

At the time Simon Smith and I met regularly at the Dickens Tavern. The Inner Light decided to join us there and that became the basis of Beatles City.

It was at those meetings that Beatle city was distributed. Originally I would hand it out episode by episode as I completed them. Then finally in November 2004 I put all the strips into comic book form and gave them to members at our Christmas function.

This is another strip that is really of no interest to anyone but those who were involved. I have put it up here because as with all personal strips like this the test of time is making some of the references a little hard to recall. To extend the life of the strip I thought some explanations might be required.

The main characters in the strip in order of appearance are:

Brad McCrae (The Inner Light)

Graeme Dickenson (LIBB)

Andrew Probyn (LIBB)

Steve Kernohan (LIBB)

Gary Lally (The Inner Light)

Ian Cumming (Kingpin) (the Inner Light)

Simon Smith (LIBB)

Paul Ferguson (the Inner Light)

Mark Hayes (LIBB)

David White (The Inner Light)

Greg Armstrong (The Inner Light)

Ivo (Owner of the Dickens Tavern)

Rebecca (Waitress at the Dickens Tavern)

Glen O'Sullivan (The Inner Light)

Paul Holmes (The Inner Light)

Gavin Myers (LIBB Listener)

Sam Barres (The Inner Light)

Dave The Postman (Lunch Visitor)

Dave Farris (The Inner Light)

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 1

EPISODE 1

BEATLE CITY

My favorite thing about this cartoon was making the characters aware that they were actually in a comic strip. This of course enables the writer to not have to worry too much about continuity because that is how it is in comics. 

I chose to team up Brad McCrae and Ian Cumming as the big time criminals of Beatle City. I really liked this because the tough law breaking image is so out of character for these two guys. A few of the in jokes in this first episode are Brad getting the name of the caller wrong which he was quite well known for. The Bushrangers club is a reference to Brads beard. One day I arrived at the Dickens and here is Brad with a full grown beard looking more like Joe Byrne than Joe Byrne. Gary, wearing the Lotto Richmond jumper is because he had some sort of connection to this clothing company and we always joked that he had a wardrobe full of their stuff. Me doing the boot scooting is a reference to my reaction to a McCartney song on an early LIBB program.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 2

EPISODE 2

ENTER THE KINGPIN

In the second episode Brad meets with the Kingpin and a plan is hatched to clone Ringo and start a string of All Star bands. The joke here is that at the time none of the panel would have been seen dead at an All Star Band concert. Having Greg and Dave meet at the Tattooist is just me kidding them about being conservative, as is the reference to the pallet of smokes. Jokes about Waterfalls have always been part of LIBB. It sounds like an inhuman torture by the Kingpin. I named Ian as the Kingpin after the character from Spiderman. The name stuck and I hope he's not upset at that. I secretly think he quite likes that title.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 3

EPISODE 3

PRISONER

I can't speak for everyone but I find it hard to understand why people like Beatles cover bands, well cover bands in general really. That's probably a bit harsh as they can be entertaining. The joke about playing the Beatels to Simon is about my constant amazement of the ever increasing list of Beatles cover bands.

Being sentenced to lunch with Paul Ferguson was a send-up of his sense of humour. He was British and had this on-going love affair with British comedy shows. He would sprout out lines from "Father Dear Father" and "On The Busses" in the Dickens causing embarrassment to all those at his table.

The Paul Is Dead tape is a reference to Paul Holmes who gave me a tape and said I've prepared this as a segment for the show. The tape went for 90 minutes and I felt obliged to play it because he had put so much time into it. It became an ongoing joke on the show.

Bayesey was always getting injured in one way or another usually in football matches or some form of sport.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 4

EPISODE 4

THE TRAP

The poker machine is a pun on Baysey stretching the truth with his constant injuries. The trap is virtually taken strait out of Jungle Jim . As if a trap like that would be on the suburban streets of Melbourne amuses me and the fact that Steve would fall in it made way for me being able to set up the Box Set joke.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 5

EPISODE 5

FREE

So in order to get Steve out of the hole Gary and I fill the hole with Box Sets and Steve is able to climb out. We were always kidding Steve about the number of Box sets he owned and this was a pun on that. 

Ivo is the owner of the Dickens Tavern and Rebecca was the regular waitress in 1999. Gary is a big video collector although it's DVD, the logo on the truck is a pun on that. The panel of Fergie arriving at the Dickens is one of my favourites of the whole strip. He looks pissed and loud and that is how he constantly was. He was not the guy to have around if you wanted your table to be unnoticed.

I always enjoy making Dave White one of the Bad guys. I drop his name in among the drinkers in the second last panel knowing full well he doesn't drink that much. I also made him a smoker and a regular visitor to the tattoo parlors all of which is stretching the truth a bit. In the latest Beatles flyer I gave him a sleeve tattoo. I don't think he has noticed yet.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 6

EPISODE 6

WEIRD

Brad mistakenly releases the Fergie clones onto Melbourne instead of the Ringos. Rebecca and Ivo's concern with not having enough beer for one Fergo is now lost with thousands of them arriving. The Kingpin talks to Brad aware they are both part of a comic strip Brad has that feeling also. Brad's line is a sort of tribute to a strip by David Baswell called Ken Worm and Jerry in which the puppet Jerry has a dream that they are not real just characters in a comic strip. This strip disturbed me for many years It appeared in a copy of Reid Flemming The Worlds Toughest Milkman. His work is some of the best comic book stuff i've ever seen.

KEN WORM AND JERRY

Brad shaved the beard as fast as he grew it. No panel was dedicated to the shave nor the decision to shave. I just arrived at the pub one day and it was gone. Similarly Bayesey's plaster disappears. Steve found a John Coleman Coles Football card in the ditch which for those who were in the know would put two and two together and know that both I and David White owned these rare football cards.

 

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 7

EPISODE 7

LOST

I lead Gary and Steve to the Dickens by getting a slab of VB and leaving a trail of empty cans. Paul Holmes was quite notorious for his difficulty in dealing with modern technology. He would quite often fax documents to LIBB and only half the page had been faxed. Similarly with email he had the same problem.

I can't mention Brads girlfriend in this strip.

Andy finds Simon in the Docklands warehouse while he is looking for Steve's glasses. Steve had a habit of misplacing them. Gone with the Lotto stuff is reference to the day that Gary just stopped wearing the Lotto clothes. Like Brads beard they just vanished.

The Dickens would always be playing sport on their television sets and when we were there, there always seemed to be half naked girls on parading themselves around a Boxing ring. We didn't shift tables though.

Gary and Steve gave me heaps over a night on the radio where I read John and Yoko Live in New York as if they were living there instead of a live concert. That is the significance of the Live or Live comment in the second last panel.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 8

EPISODE 8

 THE MISSING BAG

This episode revolves around explaining who the Kingpin is.  I did this in Superman style comparing Superman's powers with the verses from the McCartney 2 song Waterfalls. My dislike for this song is well known to LIBB listeners. This strip also creates the mystery of what everyone has put into Steve's missing bag. This results in the cross examination seen in episode 9.

 

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 9

EPISODE 9

ALIBI

Here everyone supplies an alibi for the time when Steve's bag was stolen. Dave is watching Sea change I can't remember exactly why probably because he didn't like that show or maybe he liked it. Simon's relates to his notorious time keeping resulting in being locked out of the studios and someone having to come down and let him in.

Brad repeats some of his well known mis-sayings. Glen O'sullivan always had to travel so far to get to the pub and he was working afternoon shift. I always thought it was too much trouble for him to bother turning up.

Fergie had a couple of rather tasteless photos of himself taken with a Thai girlfriend which an unmentioned member of the panel decided to publish.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 10

EPISODE 10

THE FOX

The Kingpin comes to the conclusion that the Fox is responsible for stealing the bag. The fox was a cartoon character from the King Leonardo television cartoon. He worked against the Hunter a cartoon Dog Detective. The fox was responsible for stealing everything in each cartoon.

The Kingpin is still aware we are all in a cartoon and sees no problem in enlisting other cartoon characters to help us out. Steve thinks he is crazy but is Later seen at the Dickens drinking with King Leonado, Odie and Popeye. 

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 11

EPISODE 11

THE ASHES

Episode 11 started the second section of Beatles city the first ten episodes were done in 1999 and I returned to the strip in 2002 with episode 11. 

Steve used to go to meetings once a month in Sydney, so he would always have the Monday night off as his plane left at 10 the next morning. This became a bit of a joke as sometimes Gary and I began to think if Steve wants a night off he just tells us he's going to Sydney. This elaborate explanation is the reasoning behind the first two panels in episode 11.  Paul Ferguson had died in 2001 and the story of his ashes being stolen was a way of keeping him in the strip.

I watch a lot of b grade science fiction and horror and this led to some cliches from those productions. Mystery mountain featured in The Brain From Planet Arous (Who would have guessed that was where the evil brain was hiding). 

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 12

EPISODE 12

CALLING ALL CARS

Well I had Greg steal the ashes from The Kingpin and then have them stolen from him and I tidied up that diversion in panels 10 and 11. This managed to get us looking for the ashes and not the Kingpin and Brad. Dave just became a policeman which is sort of explained in later episodes

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 13

EPISODE 13

WACKO JACKO

I started introducing celebrities into the strip as the villains. Most of them had made the headlines for the wrong reason around the time of the strip. Michael Jackson was the obvious first choice. He had recently been dangling one of his newly born kids over the balcony of some building and I wanted to incorporate that in the story. So everyone was off to Nosefest, the obvious place to find Jacko. Of course Jacko is spotted he has the ashes and drops them while dangling them from the balcony.

 BEATLE CITY EPISODE 14

EPISODE 14

PIZZA RUN

Gary Ablett had had some sort of run in with a pizza delivery guy so he became the next culprit. Nick Nolte had had a drunk driving incident so he picks up Dave and chases after Ablett. But intoxicated he runs off the road and ends up in the ocean. The guy looking for Dee was Toadie from Neighbours. Magazines of the time were flooded with stories of a neighbours episode where Dee was killed on her wedding day (How cornball) 

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 15

EPISODE 15

NIGHTCLUBBING

Shane Warne makes the next appearance he had been involved in some texting with "the other woman" and had copped some flack for it. That's the relevance of the text on Steve's phone. Philippuossis was losing a lot of matches at the time and I just loved the idea of a club where only people who had defeated him were allowed entrance. The highlight for me was when Dave says Gee This place is packed. Warne makes his entrance in the last panel with a smoke in his mouth. He had copped a bit of flack when he tried to give up smoking and then got caught out.

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 16

EPISODE 16

SEARCHIN'

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 17

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 18

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 19

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 20

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 21

BEATLE CITY EPISODE 22

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