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Manic monkey mayhem, from the fabulously flowing pen of John Geering

Bizness 2

Gloriously gigglesome gaffes courtesy of Mr Geering in late 1973

Monkey Bizness was the second Dandy serving from John Geering, his first being PC Big Ears which ran from 1971 go 1973. Geering's skill at creating uber-manic characters had not gone un-noticed by Dandy editor Albert Barnes, who commissioned a second strip from the same artist. Although not as gloriously anarchic as Geering's Seventies masterpiece Puss 'n' Boots, this was another entry in his delightful 'funny animal' collection, and stylistically and thematically it echoes the vintage D.C. Thomson strip Bamboo Town in its depiction of talking jungle animals.

The frolics centred around the general store run by the bowler-hatted Boss, who often falls prey to the practical jokes of two young monkey assistants who help out in his shop. Attractive and a delight to behold visually — John Geering's work during this decade reflected the care and time spent on his weekly output, in the days before his artwork was scaled-down and more rushed-looking come the 1980s — there is, perhaps, a slight restraining of all-out chaos that made his Sparky cat-and-dog strip so memorable. Fantastic technique was used for the very appealing central characters, however, and this series ran from Dandy issues 1662 to 1770 (29 Sept 1973 to 25 Oct 1975).

Geering's very considerable potential was gleefully snapped up by the Dandy long before his Beano debut Smudge in the very early 1980s. Almost a full ten years, in fact!

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