Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Action Presents: Kids Rule OK!

Kids Rule OK! was probably the most violent strip Action had to offer. Not necessarily for the violence itself, but for the tone in which it was presented. For instance, Dredger was a nominal good guy. He may've been a vicious, bloodthirsty bastard, but in his world, there was at least some kind of line drawn between the good guys & the bad guys, and Dredger was at least partially on the side of the angels.
Kids Rule OK! had no such distinctions. Set in the far-flung future of 1986, it's basically A Clockwork Orange for teenagers, as a plague wipes out every adult in Britain, leaving the country's population of kids to fend for themselves.
It was written ( presumably in fresh blood ) by Jack Adrian, and illustrated by Mike White, and from the opening panel of page 2, it's total anarchy, and it never really lets up.
If The Moral Majority was appalled by Action, it was apoplectic over Kids Rule OK!
The cover above says it all, as a teenage thug, chain swinging, is about to kick a copper's head in. ( By the way, " Aggro " for those who don't know, stands for aggravation/fighting/kicking someone's head in ). At a time when football violence was reaching new depths, it was felt that this kind of thing was most definitely not what the nation's youth should be reading.
Over the course of the strip's run, even some of Action's staff felt it was all going a bit too far, and repeatedly toned it down, cutting certain panels and obscuring the gory details in others, even before the ban came in.
After the ban, when Action briefly returned to the nation's shelves, strips like Dredger & Hook Jaw were severely neutered into pale shadows of their former selves.
Kids Rule OK! however, didn't come back, and was simply abandoned halfway through the story.
Although to be fair, this did show that the strip was really only about the violence, as it veered from gang fight to gang fight, with nothing ever really moving forward. But it was a wild, visceral ride while it lasted!
Here's the whole ( short ) series, along with the hysterically laughable & clumsy ending that would've been printed, had Action not bit the bullet.

Tomorrow: The Running Man!

1 comment:

  1. flippin' 'eck! it's a good job our Old Bill are such a reasonable, good-natured bunch of blokes, innit? ha!!! I never got around to reading the end of this before. that has got to be the lamest cop out, ever! brilliant, pete, absolutely brilliant.

    oh, wait. check this out. the verification word for this comment is. . ." peech. " woah! how spooky is THAT?!!