Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Cyber Guy

If anything was a surprise for myself in those early issues of RTP!, it would have to be Brendon Bennetts' contribution of the cartoon Cyber Guy.

The fanzine was in the works in 1997, which was Co-Editor Matt Kamstra's final year at Shirley Boys High School in Christchurch, and the first issue surfaced in the October of that year. The first two issues of RTP! especially (issue 2 appearing in December 1997) are mainly the work of Matt and his Co-Editor Wade Campbell, and the pair obviously quickly saw the need for other contributors. Hence they had solicited for others to contribute material at the Christchurch Chapter meetings, which led to myself, Graham Muir, and James Gibbons eventually supplying material.

But Matt, being the sometime out-of-the-box thinker that he can be, also looked in other places for potential material for the fanzine. And a natural place to look was what surrounded him five days a week, at his schoolmates at Shirley Boys who could easily be creative and at the same time had plenty of free time that those holding down a full time job don't. I've no idea which others of his friends Matt also approached (maybe none), but he did at least talk to Brendon and from that conversation came Cyber Guy.

Brendon was quite willing to admit that he wasn't a huge fan of the series, Matt acting as something of an editor and Doctor Who expert for the cartoon, and this fact is readily demonstrated by the cartoon, which takes very few cues from the series itself for points of humour. Instead Cyber Guy simply uses the more publicly acknowledged 'flaws' of the series as the basis for events (Daleks and stairs, Cybermen and gold etc.)

After the promo in issue 1 (see the start of this post), Cyber Guy launched in issue 2 and rolled fairly regularly along for the next few issues:
  • #2: Cyber Guy picks up fish n' chips for the 'Invasion of Fort Knox After Party'
  • #3: Cyber Guy reports to the Cyber Controller the results of the invasion
  • #4: Cyber Guy has a phone bill to pay and the Doctor makes an appearance
  • #5: Cyber Guy is captured by the Doctor and the Daleks appear [2 pages]
  • #6: The Daleks use the Doctor and Cyber Guy to attack Santa [4 pages]
  • #8: Cyber Guy becomes the Doctor's companion [3 pages]
  • #9: The Doctor decides to replace Cyber Guy with a new companion
  • #10: Things get very strange [2 pages]
After issue 10 RTP! went into it's infamous hiatus, which sort of prevented further Cyber Guy adventures. When the fanzine returned in 2002 Brendon was offered the opportunity to bring the cartoon back for further adventures, but, perhaps wisely, turned the offer down to focus on other things. Still, the cartoon gave readers a different look at the universe of Doctor Who and will possibly be always remembered as one of the more enjoyable parts of the early years of the fanzine.
"Cyber Guy had me laughing out loud—that caricature of Ace was brilliant. Oh, how I've ached to see that fate befall her!"
- Alistair Hughes (Letters page, RTP! #6)

1 comment:

Brendon said...

Well, I guess this is what happens when I google my own name.

I haven't written any more cyberguy comics, but all the comics I've written since (not Dr Who related sorry) are collected at
storyrobot.com

cheers for the memories :)