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NutScrewsWashersNBolts

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Nswb1

Cover of issue 1, cover art by Paul McCullough and Alan Perry, 1990

NutScrewsWashersNBolts (or NSWB as it was also known) was an anthology title that ran for four issues in the early 1990s. It was produced by artists John Farrelly, Alan Perry, Paul McCullough and Seán Doran and was sold in various outlets around Belfast including Queen's Student Union, and Dark Horizons and Talisman comic shops.

The rather unusual title was inspired by the joke "did you hear about the lunatic who escaped from the asylum, ran into a launderette, made love to all the women then then ran away? The newspaper headline the next day said 'Nut Screws Washers and Bolts!'" (Didn't say it was a good joke!)

The first issue can be dated by a few signatures to 1990 and leans towards sci-fi and fantasy. To keep reproduction costs to a minimum, the black and white comic was photocopied clandestinely at Perry's workplace and featured a garish yellow cardboard cover as colour copying costs were prohibitive at the time. More unusually, the first issue also featured a strip of black tape along the spine which concealed the staples, as it was copied entirely on A4 paper, as opposed to A3 paper folded in half.

Few of the strips in the first issue are credited, although some are signed, and there is a list of contributors on the contents page. The editorial page has a two-panel gag strip "Crucifiction" by Paul McCullough. "The Demon Scribbler" is a five-page strip written by Malachy Coney and drawn by Seán Doran, about a bullied teenager taking revenge on his tormentors by conjuring a demon he has drawn to life. Alan Perry contributes a one-page Star Trek parody, and John Farrelly the first part of a sci-fi adaptation of the Lewis Carroll poem Jabberwocky, eight pages long. McCullough does a two-page wordless strip about an exorcism, followed by a five-pager, "Dawn Fawn", presumably by James McKenna, inspired by a Sade song. There's also a trail for a future strip, "Power and the Glory", by Keith Henderson.

Nswb2

Issue 2, cover art by Alan Perry, 1991

The second issue was also printed on A4 paper stapled and taped at the side with yellow card covers, and can be dated by signatures to 1991. Behind a cover by Alan Perry, with the eyes drawn by their respective owners (Paul McCullough on top, John Farrelly, middle, and Alan Perry, bottom), it contained "A Present for Mr. President", a four-pager by Gavin Laverty; "The Coach", an anti-car four-pager by Paul McCullough; some shorts, "Mistaken Identity", a three-quarter page werewolf strip by Perry, a three-panel "Crucifiction" strip by McCullough, and a one-page Nightmare on Elm Street parody, "Freddie's Itch", by Perry; the second and final part of John Farrelly's "Jabberwocky" in ten pages; and the previously trailed "Power and the Glory", a three page religious vigilante strip by Keith Henderson. The back cover was a horror parody of the "Tayto Castle" ads for Tayto crisps.

NSWB3

Issue 3, cover art by John Farrelly, 1992

Issue 3 was printed on A3 paper folded in half, with a white paper cover, and can be dated by signatures to 1992. The cover features "Dublex One", drawn by John Farrelly. The contents page featured "Wee Duncan - the Foul Mouthed Bastard", a single panel of a small child being very rude to an old lady, by Jim Carson. The first long strip is "Bobo the Clown" by P. J. Holden, followed by a three page horror parody, "Implausible Tales", by Patrick Brown, and eight-page superhero/vigilante strip, "Knight Strike", by Patrick O'Connor, the second part of Keith Henderson's "Power and the Glory" in one page, and the first part of supervillain strip "Dublex One", written by John Farrelly and drawn by Alan Perry.

NSWB4

Issue 3, cover art by John Farrelly and Paul McCullough, 1993

Issue 4 was dated Summer 1993, with "The Draupnir Ring", a science fiction strip by John Farrelly and Paul McCullough, featured on the cover. Other features are vigilante strip "Mace" by Alan Perry, "The Power and the Glory" by Keith Henderson, the second part of "Dublex One" by Farrelly and Perry, the second part of "Knightstrike" by Patrick O'Connor, another "Wee Duncan" cartoon by Jim Carson on the contents page, a half-page humour strip, "Eyeballs", by John McAreavey and Paul McCullough, and an untitled three-panel strip by Paul Young. A strip called "Slices of Death" was trailed on the back cover.

The title welcomed any and all submissions, as long as they were of acceptable quality. It was the intention from the beginning to be a showcase for NI artists and writers, and the A4 format was thought to be crucial to that. But A3 photocopies were proved too expensive, hence the A4 pages stapled from the front, with the black sellotape to protect hands being scratched. The emphasis was on experimenting with the medium and having fun, and NSWB mixed comics, one-panel cartoons and newspaper-style strips. Stories included "Future Shock"-type one-offs, as well as multi-parters like "Mace" (Perry), "Dublex One" (Farrelly & Perry), "The Draupnir Ring" (Farrelly) and "Jabberwocky" (Farrelly). Paul McCullough also had a series of dark tales which were called simply "Untitled", and Paul's penchant for all things macabre were brought to the fore in these genuinely chilling little gems.

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