Ah, Hartley Hare. So wrong and yet so right. Pipkins was a kids TV show that ran through the 1970s, and the little me lapped up pretty much every episode - my tiny child brain had Hartley down as an icon before I even knew what an icon was. Looking back on the show as an adult, I could see just how bleak and odd it had been: grey, threadbare, sometimes slightly sinister. How could those eerie looking puppets have been considered in any way appealing..? I don't know, but I spent many happy hours with them. Hartley in particular rocked. He was like a plummy, petulant, middle-aged luvvie trapped in the body of a re-animated animal cadaver - how's that for a role model? Like much of what I watched back then, Pipkins almost certainly re-wired my brain for the better, opening it up to a notion I still hold dear, that there's much to love in the subtly/openly/certifiably unhinged.
Anyway, Paul O'Connell and I have just cooked up this three page tribute, re-imagining the puppets of Pipkins as a failed therapeutic community, for upcoming small press release "Look Out" (other children of the 70s may well get that particular reference). Loads of top comic folk will be celebrating/perverting the TV of their childhood in its pages, so it should be something special. More news soon.