Monday 27 June 2011

From the Vaults: 2000 ‘Fox Tales’

Back-story for something that happened in the past… when I was 12 a newsagent failed to notice the ‘not for sale to children’ disclaimer on the cover of an issue of Zit and this catapulted me into the previously unknown world of ‘adult’ comics. Suddenly after years of reading comics for my own age group I was amazed to see comic characters in scenarios I had never seen before. From then on I would casually (along with other titles such as Viz and Smut) buy the comic, (but only if the newsagent failed to miss the before mentioned disclaimer!). Zit started production in 1991 and featuring such characters as Lambrusco the alcoholic sheep, Glassman and the Man Who Collects Eyeballs. Fast forward nine years to 2000 I was taking a degree in Illustration and attempting to get into comics, sending off my portfolio and submissions to every publisher in the British Isles only to receive numerous of rejection letters in return. Most were just photocopied letters simply saying, “thanks but no thanks” but two very generously took the time to break it to me gently and explain their reasons Beano editor Euan Kerr (of whom I intend to address in a future post) and Dave Iddon editor of Zit who very kindly sent me a hand written letter explaining that the comic had just narrowly missed being axed the previous October and that they couldn’t except submissions at that moment in time. He then added,"As far as your work goes I’m afraid we can’t except contributions at the moment regardless of the quality (and your work IS very good) It’s just a case of having no cash available to pay for it! 
I will always be grateful to him for that paragraph as it meant it wasn’t a complete waste of time, “we would gladly pay you for it (because it’s very good) but we haven’t got the money to do so”. Yes, it would have been wonderful if he had accepted it and published the strip but this was a close second. Unfortunately Zit ceased publication two years later and opinions vary over its contribution to the British adult comic scene, personally I look back on it with fondness. I kept the letter and I read back over it a few times these past eleven years reminding me to keep at it, so thank you Mr. Iddon.Nine years later I submitted ‘Fox Tales’ again, this time to to Poot! and it was rejected again…Anyway, here it is for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy. 

I must mention Ryan Davies’s delightful site Two Headed Thingies. He is doing an excellent job documenting all the lesser-known British adult comics. Follow this link and find out more.

© Arfon Jones 2011. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


  1. Ha, like it, and thanks for the mentions! Remember Aeon Flux? There's an episode of that where protagonist after protagonist is killed and replaced by another one... That's what this one reminded me of, a bit,

    Whisper it, but even despite all the controversy, I prefer Zit over Spit as well. Dave Iddon's got a fun style, and did LOADS of stuff for the "surreal" (marketing term) Gutted.

    1. Hello sir, I am delighted that I am not alone in liking Zit and pleased you like this. I just noticed that having updated this page, adding some more links I (somehow) managed to delete the content relating to the actual story itself! The long term ‘plan’ was to have the fox fight an Alien Badger (an Alien Vs Predator spoof) (I was heavily into Predator vs. comics at the time) and then have the Chicken Terminator fight a Robocop type dog character and then have the crossover and so forth… Alas it was not to be. I had one more character that never went further than concept drawings, might share that one with you some day ;)



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