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Lord, please forgive me for what I am about to unleash – ALF #2

September 21, 2010

ALF. Yes, ALF. The “Alien Life Form” that also went by the unprepossessing name of “Gordon Shumway,” the puppet that had a show that ran for a few years, who somehow spawned a cartoon and even a brief interview program in the past decade. And yes, he had a comic too. We’re all so very blessed.

I was never a big ALF fan, though I can remember watching the show, perhaps out of some sort of kiddie obligation. I mean, it was a show that revolved around a wise-cracking (or perhaps unwise-cracking) puppet — when this show started I was in a ripe pre-double digit age bracket for just this sort of tomfoolery. It just never grabbed me, but I do remember that my grandfather liked the show quite a bit. I have no idea why, and I feel like I’m profaning his memory just by bringing that up. Sorry, Grandpa.

Here’s a taste of the ALF “humor”:

ALF’s Marvel comic book was under the Star imprint, though it’s hard to call it an “imprint” since “Star” doesn’t appear on this particular cover. It ran for roughly as long as the series did, which is far, far too long, and it contains the same sort of comedy, i.e. comedy that produces no laughs. And, as we all know, there are no laugh tracks in comics to bail things out.

This particular issue has three stories in it. In the first, ALF has himself a flying belt:

The whole thing seems like a setup for ALF’s final line:

The second has ALF telling a story from his days on Melmac, his home planet, about a time when he had to confront some ruffians:

Multiple ALFs. Biker ALFs, no less. I think we’ll leave it at that.

The finale has ALF and his earth family heading to a zoo, where wackiness ensues and ALF gets the opportunity to pilfer a catchphrase from another comic/TV show/merchandising machine:

You remember who I’m talking about. The characters that were teenagers. And mutants. And ninjas. And turtles.

The comic is designed for children, and I’m taking that into consideration, but that can’t change the fact that the book, like the show upon which it’s based, is puerile. It’s aimed at kids, but not in the Toy Story kids-will-think-it’s-funny-but-adults-won’t-want-to-stick-a-fork-in-their-brain sort of way. It’s painful. It’s not as bad as the show, but few things could be. 

And I usually mention the names of the creative teams for the issues I look at. Not this time, though they’re there on the first interior scan if you’re curious. I envision them as being upset at having to slum around in this crap. Maybe they were happy for the paycheck, and maybe they were glad to work on this property, but I have my doubts. Just a gut feeling. Take a look at ALF’s Wikipedia page if you want to read about how miserable everyone was on the show’s set. It sounds like all the folks who ever came around this smelly thing wanted to rip their hair out.

That’s kind of comforting, actually. Misery loves company.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 10:42 pm

    My favorite of the Star imprint books is the Hugga Bunch series! I was always afraid of ALF.

    • September 23, 2010 11:28 am

      Wow — the Hugga Bunch. There’s a name I haven’t heard in decades. I just had to do a quick check to refresh my memory of what those things were, and I came up with this:

      To quote Egon Spengler, “I’m terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.”

  2. September 24, 2010 1:12 am

    I must have watched the movie 1000 + times when I was little. I still have it. It is a true horror classic!!!

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