Doug Allen's Steven Out West
Vital Cog Records

7" With Read-Along Comic Book

Sometimes it's just fun to pretend you're a kid again. This special release from Vital Cog puts Doug Allen's irreverent hero Steven into a form any true Generation X'er can appreciate, a parody of a story-telling vinyl record with a read-along comic book. (I must have had dozens of these growing up, and it really brings back some weird memories.) Of course, you have to know "Steven" to really appreciate this take-off on old kids records, because he is far from the ideal example for the little ones. He's a cynical little fellow who has a penchant for violence and a few four-letter words, inspired by the whacked-out humor of Mad and Cracked. Think Spy vs. Spy meets a grown up Bart Simpson. This is good clean fun for grown-ups.

In the comic, Steven rolls into an old west town on what looks like a Big Wheel and threatens to set a kitten on fire. I won't give away the ending, but suffice it to say that the kitten escapes injury, unlike the unlucky Fifi Doodle. The artwork is done in classic black & white, each page containing one large block, while the read-along record features bad acting and the obligatory chime to prompt your page turning. The flip side of the record features the jazzy Steven theme song , Steven (a mighty bad boy), and the spaghetti-western send-up, Steven Out West Theme.

This one is a lot of fun, and an instant collector's item in its own right. Be the first kid on your block to get it!

MISH MASH Mandate: The Whacked-out West

Doug Allen Comics Website

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