It's debatable whether I even need to say that 2 of the above 3 are Huxley Pig and Portland Bill.
But I certainly won't risk insulting you
by confirming who's in the middle !
The character of Helter Skelter (left) maybe wasn't the most inspired of
But the poor little chap must've known he had limited career prospects when he was so obviously typecast by his headgear,and the fact they chose to dress him like Timmy Mallet.
And unlike the Pogles character who gave his name to the "Pippin" comic, he didn't have a tv series to fall back on and duely helter-skeltered into oblivion when it folded.
All the strips featured were made into tv series.And I've added direct links to the toonhound site for the 2 least well known ones (a great site/starting point for all UK animated kids tv research by the way)
Below is the 2 page Herbs story.
It'll open in a new window and,as
with all the material from the comic,it's shown purely for illustrative purposes and shouldn't be reproduced.Thanks
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley Classic BBC kid's animation by Michael Bond
On this page ..... a brave attempt to cash-in on the pre-school comic market in the 1990's. But high production values and great artwork couldn't save it from being a commercial flop.
1992 HELTER SKELTER COMIC
An organisation called the Storm Group bought the rights to Filmfair's back catalogue in 1991,and "Helter Skelter"was an attempt to put all the series together in comic form.
Hardly a new idea,as Polystyle Publications had filled Pippin & Playland with the Beeb's Watch With Mother programmes of course- and done very nicely out of it too,thanks very much.So at least it was based on a tried and trusted idea.
And whilst it was impossible to match the depth of content of those illustrious predecessors,it's artwork was strong and vivid and it actually looked and felt like a higher quality item.And yet............ it only managed a dismal four issues before being axed !
So,what went wrong ?
Good question. And I wish I knew. But I do think they saddled themselves with 2 pretty obvious problems,even without the benefit of hindsight :-
1} Most of the Filmfair characters weren't on tv often enough by 1992 for the readers to relate to.Unlike practically all the content for the likes of pre-school "Pippin" and "Look-in" for older children.
2} A monthly publication was far too infrequent to inspire any loyalty among a fickle young audience.
But,having said that,even the weekly Look-In and "Buttons"* were both struggling by this time.So maybe they were all simply chasing a disappearing market ?
Although where it had disappeared to,in those still "pre-internet" days,is anyone's guess.
*Both Pippin & Playland had been absorbed/re-branded into Buttons by that stage.
So,you tell me ?
Too expensive ? Too infrequent ? Too many other things vying for kids' attention ? or just 20 years too late ?
Probably "all of the above" to varying degrees.But I don't think anyone could seriously claim that it wasn't colourful and engaging. Because I hope you agree it's some top quality eye candy if nothing else.
And if you find the other 3 issues I'd love to see them / buy them ! -(email on home page.)
A few snapshots from inside......