Here's an extract from one of the finest introductions to a comic I've ever read...
WTF?! Talk about tenuous analogies!
It's a masterfully inappropriate start to the 1993 comic curio, AIDS Awareness, that I found lurking in the corner of Oxfam this morning.
While the people behind this book undoubtedly had their hearts in the right place, you have to laugh at the tone of the piece. Never mind that cracking intro, check out the Simon Bisley cover...
So, that's a terrified bloke with two syringes hanging out of his arm, catching a reach-around from a skeleton while a gigantic sperm heads for his crotch and three ghostly condoms float about in the background. Magic! It's an image that screams AIDS! at you isn't it?
Course it is!
It's also an image that has absolutely nothing to do with the story inside, a reworking of A Christmas Carol in which some bloke returns home from work to this...
The dribble running out the side of his mouth is an AIDS giveaway, but judging from dad's reaction it came on quick. His son probably looked fine at breakfast.
Your eyes don't deceive you by the way, that is Dave Gibbons artwork. He's one of a number of big-name creators who donated their time and talent to this enterprise. Later on in the story Bryan Hitch, Charlie Adlard and John Ridgeway pitch in with a few pages.
Then there's a really odd pin-up from Kevin O'Neill in the back...
John Pain, Guilty as Hell? What exactly is this? Some vengeful AIDS demon?
Again, seriously: WTF?
To round things off, there's a huge pic of a bloke with a gun and a badge that says "Spunk" on it, and a competition...
At first glance it appears to be a competition to "Win AIDS". This is mildly amusing in itself, but it's the questions that really get me. Even allowing for the fact that it appears in an AIDS Awareness comic, question C is right up there as a jaw-droppingly inappropriate teaser!
Surely the most tasteless comic competition of all time.
For more charity shop finds, click the Charity Shop Comics label below.