SIMPLE SPYMAN

 
Full Name: Spyman
Series Name: Simple Spyman
Codename: SS
Nationality: British
Organization: Unknown
Occupation Agent

Creator: Bill Ritchie
Time Span: 1975 - 1975
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Simple Spyman is an agent with British Intelligence.
       Well, we assume it is British because it is presented in a British comedy comic book magazine. The Intelligence part is only because he is names "Spyman". Considering the daffy things he gets involved in and the goofy things he does, it is hard to say if there is any intelligence involved.
       Still, Agent "SS" is there, week after week, to follow the instructions of his rotund, soup-strainer mustached, cigar-chomping, bow-tie wearing boss who, though he sends SS on a lot of varied missions, never seems to get dismayed at the end results.
       In the first recorded adventure of Simple Spyman (we learn no more about his name), we are greeted with "Meet the guy who's the world's worst spy!" That could say it all but, of course, I'll say more.
       Like the less-than-genius Simple Simon who was undoubtedly the foil for the play on words name of this 'agent', SS is a man who does not realize how ridiculous he is or how foolish his plans are. As his namesake in the nursery rhyme 'went a-fishing for to catch a whale', SS is constantly trying to get do something in the silliest of ways and failing OR he is succeeding but with hilarious outcomes.
       And it all starts with his incredibly outfit of super over-sized hat, all dark apparel, and a beard that cannot be believed even when seen.
       But for all the zaniness that abounds in these spoof tales, he does kinda grow on you. [I'll skip the comparison of 'like a fungus' but you'll think it, nevertheless.]

COMIC BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

Number of Stories:33
First Appearance:1975
Last Appearance:1975

1 Can't Swim Can't Swim
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 01/18/1975

From Cracker No. 1 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is ordered to swim to James Blonde's underwater cube and attached a listening devise. But he can't swim!

2 The Choc Bar Mix The Choc Bar Mix
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 01/25/1975

From Cracker No. 2 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman's in a fix - in the choc bar mix! He must find out how Chunchi Choc Bars are made.

3 On The Run On The Run
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/01/1975

From Cracker No. 3 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman isn't given a mission, but told he needs to watch out for Big Mack. Is the man he can't shake him? Read and find out.

4 Lurking Around Lurking Around
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/08/1975

From Cracker No. 4 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is given the mission to spy on a football (soccer) team called The Rovers. But when found he gets the boot.

5 Cunning Disguises Cunning Disguises
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/15/1975

From Cracker No. 5 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to school to learn about disguises. Yet, he's bad at the disguise game.

6 Laughs & Photographs Laughs & Photographs
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 02/22/1975

From Cracker No. 6 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to get photos of Fairy Sleet's new washing powder. Can he do it without a mistake? Find Out Mate!

7 Day of Rest Day of Rest
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/01/1975

From Cracker No. 7 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman gets a day off, but can't stay in his chair. He must find out what is happening in the area. That's a bad idea for sure!

8 Magical Tricks Magical Tricks
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/08/1975

From Cracker No. 8 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is given the mission to go to the Magician's Club to find out if Willi The Wizard is a fake. Just what will happen to him this time?

9 Big Job Big Job
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/15/1975

From Cracker No. 9 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is to get a big job from Boss. But he has ideas of what it could be. Of course he is wrong and has to follow an onion seller.

10 Whiter Than Anything Whiter Than Anything
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/22/1975

From Cracker No. 10 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is given the mission to find out about Sudso's new soap-powder. He discover that it washes whiter than anything else.

11 Spy on Red Flash Spy on Red Flash
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 03/29/1975

From Cracker No. 11 with 1 black & white page.Simple Spyman is told to go to the race-course and spy on a horse called Red Flash. He must record the plans of the jockey and owner. But, tapes Red Flash eating.

12 Spyman in France Spyman in France
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/05/1975

From Cracker No. 12 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman has a mission in Paris to spy on the new Spring fashions. Will be bring home the goods?

13 Spying On A Band Spying On A Band
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/12/1975

From Cracker No. 13 with 1 black & white page. The mission for Simple Spyman is to spy on the Glue Factory Brass Band. What a Wheeze and Sneeze for laughs.

14 Up The Pole Up The Pole
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/19/1975

From Cracker No. 14 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman has a secret mission to find out what some guy is saying on his phone. But he taps the wrong lines and then something else happens.

15 The Wax Policeman The Wax Policeman
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 04/26/1975

From Cracker No. 15 with 1 black & white page. The Boss sends Simple Spyman to Madam Toosud's Waxworks to discover how dummies are made. There he runs into a wax copper and ends up jumping into the wax himself.

16 Movie Star? Movie Star?
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/03/1975

From Cracker No. 16 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is given the assignment to play a Spy in the new James Blond movie, but after reading the script ops out of the gig.

17 A Chance A Chance
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/10/1975

From Cracker No. 17 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman must spy on Big Ivor's, but he wants to sing and dance. Then when caught spying he's told to talk and he just sings and dances.

18 Paper Lunch Paper Lunch
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/17/1975

From Cracker No. 18 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is given a number of items that he is to memorize and destroy. He eats them of course.

19 What's In The Case What's In The Case
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/24/1975

From Cracker No. 19 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is asked by the Boss to take Mini-Spy with him. But all Mini-Spy can think about is the case and what might be within.

20 Messages From Spyman Messages From Spyman
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 05/31/1975

From Cracker No. 20 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is asked by his Boss to send messages on how his mission is going. Yet none get through but the last.

21 Damper In Hamper Damper In Hamper
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/07/1975

From Cracker No. 21 with 1 black & white page. Mini-Spy can't find Simple Spyman, so he looks for him in hampers and when he finds him it's not him at all, but a dummy.

22 Snake In Hand Snake In Hand
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/14/1975

From Cracker No. 22 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman's rival named Fritz is in town. So, he decides to spy on him.

23 Spy In The Sky Spy In The Sky
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/21/1975

From Cracker No. 23 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman gets a mission up in the air and hopes he'll learn to fly. But not the way he does.

24 On Holiday On Holiday
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 06/28/1975

From Cracker No. 24 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman goes on holiday at the seaside for a week.

25 Just Who's The Enemy? Just Who's The Enemy?
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/05/1975

From Cracker No. 25 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to watch enemy agents, but Mini-Spy tags along and is more of an enemy himself. Yes, a real pain!

26 Strange Soup Mix Strange Soup Mix
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/12/1975

From Cracker No. 26 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman has a mission to find out what's in Binn's Tomato Soup, but ends up going to Mac's Paint next door.

27 Learning Kung-Fu Learning Kung-Fu
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/19/1975

From Cracker No. 27 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman goes to young Foo to take a class in self defense.

28 Hot-House Jungle Hot-House Jungle
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 07/26/1975

From Cracker No. 28 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to find out why Old Bert Greenfinger's plants grow better than anyone else.

29 Camera Shy Camera Shy
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/02/1975

From Cracker No. 29 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to spy on Big Al's Studio, but he's a little camera shy.

30 Spying at the Ritz Spying at the Ritz
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/09/1975

From Cracker No. 30 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to the Ritz to find out about all the strange characters there and wins a prize.

31 Spy On The Champ Spy On The Champ
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/16/1975

From Cracker No. 31 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman is sent to spy on the boxing champ Ray Cooper and ends up getting a left and a right.

32 Black Pudding Mix Black Pudding Mix
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/23/1975

From Cracker No. 32 with 1 black & white page. Simple Spyman must find out what is in Black Pudding made at the Sausage & Pudding Factory. Will he become part of it?

33 Funny Money Funny Money
Published by D.C.Thomson
Contributors: Bill Ritchie (writer and artist)
Copyright: 08/30/1975

From Cracker No. 33 (aka Summer Holiday Issue) with 1 black & white page. The Boss sends Simple Spyman on a mission to Ajax Printing to see if they are printing money. Are they or aren't they?

MY COMMENTS

       I'd like to pretend that I pondered long and somberly about whether to add such a silly series as Simple Spyman to the compendium but ... ah, nope! I was shown it by a frequent contributor and immediately grinned and said, 'Oh yeah!'. No particular reason other than it was so ridiculous I could not resist.
       The character is utterly stupid and the plots, if you can call them that, are ridiculous. There is no plot to speak of. No development worth noting (except for the introduction of Mini-Spy decades before Dr. Evil's Mini-Me). The main protagonist's outfit is crazy to a fault.
       But to get a minor chuckle now and then is good. Simple Spyman, if taken in very small doses, is almost kinda sorta fun-ish.

GRADE

My Grade: C-

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