Sillicones On the subject of the Sillicones, JEO wrote: Here, is the first of the new Strip of the Week... "SILLICONES". There are ten in the series, some of which may seem strangely familiar to you. You may recognise the characters, too, but under a slightly different name. Maybe I should explain. So here goes, with... THE SILLICONES STORY Part One: The Fifties The first record I ever bought was The Goons' "Bluebottle Blues" and "I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas" on a 78, price 5/7d. This meant that when a 45rpm EP came out with the same songs, I didn't buy it. I was, however, very taken with the cover, which featured a couple of comical conical characters, probably drawn by Spike Milligan, or, as he was known in the trade, Mike Spilligan. This inspired me to create my own version, which I called, with a stunning flash of inspiration, "The Goons". Every Lent, at school, we had collections for charity. My chums and I built 6ft tall paper versions of these aforementioned characters which we could wear while collecting in the playground. Not easy in high winds, especially after baked beans for lunch. I drew the same characters to illustrate an article in the school magazine and if only I could find it, I'd show it to you. I was given the printers' blocks of the pictures when they'd finished with them, in case they ever came in handy. Attached is a print taken from one of these blocks. THE SILLICONES STORY Part Two: The Sixties Although I didn't go to college, I knew plenty of people who did. In 1967, a student friend asked if I'd like to provide a cartoon strip of my "Goons" for "Winepress", the students' newspaper for Brighton university. I was happy to oblige - in print at last! No money, though. However, I thought that the name of the characters should be changed to avoid any possible copyright problems. But what to call them? Celia Frances Tuckey, another friend (yes, I had more than one), said, "I always find that 'Grappelypods' fits the bill, don't you?" How she came up with the name, I have no idea. She didn't even win a Plastic Warthog! Seven of the strips eventually appeared. This was the first to be published, on 18th January, 1968. I hope you can read it: the original is yellowing and crumpled. Aren't we all? Later that year, I produced the first (and, so far, only) issue of my magazine, "Instant Garbage", in which the newly-named Grappelypods also made an appearance. And this is where the story REALLY continues. See also: Grappelypods and what came before, the Silligoonypods
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