Here is another extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. Here the reader is introduced to some background material concerning the very early days of the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series.
As you will recall from previous posts or indeed from the book itself, Pearly is a six-year-old girl who solves puzzles, saves the day and achieves countless major triumphs that are forever beyond the adults who populate the world of these stories. Wes, Windy, and Wanderley Gordy are the Interesting Twins and the fact that there is actually three of them and that they aren’t twins is apparently what makes them interesting. If you are of that persuasion Pearly Stockwell is now on Twitter.
In each episode, someone is kidnapped or something is stolen or threatened with total destruction, like a school, a train, a town, a livelihood or a way of life. Pearly and her friends always notice something that the police miss, or overhear a conversation on the bus. Other times they might decide that two men standing talking outside the cake shop look suspicious and the adventures begin.
Everything happens in Fallstown, a small place in the middle of nowhere that is somehow a perpetual magnet for all minds and matters criminally oriented.
‘The Pearly Stockwell adventure series is published by IT Comics and in their early days the company really struggled. Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring was a desperately misguided attempt to reach a wider audience with the Pearly Stockwell series.
Without even the slightest hint of professional shame, Pearly is ‘allowed’ to discover a magical kingdom while clearing out one of her wardrobes. Never one to refuse a challenge, Pearly sets off to see what she can find.
Unsurprisingly, Pearly finds a world gripped by a struggle between the forces of good and evil. Grimdulf Gloompants leads the good guys. He is a long-bearded wizard who rides a giant talking lion. A one-eyed witch called Sharon is in charge of the bad guys.
As the plot thickens, Pearly and the Interesting Twins are asked to deliver an important message to someone important quite far away. On the way, they are captured by a gang of nasty Noblins and imprisoned.
Everyone manages to escape but Pearly gets separated and begins to wander lost in an underground network of caves.
Even loyal readers of the comic book series found it hard not to consider cancelling their subscription at the moment that Pearly stumbles upon a ring and, without thinking, puts it in her pocket.
Unbeknown to her, the ring is the property of a pathetic-looking creature called Gallop who manages to trap Pearly in his dank, dismal, fish-stinking lair.
‘You have something that is very precious to me,’ says the pathetic-looking Gallop to Pearly, without even a faint glimmer of irony. ‘It is mine, it is.’
‘Is it?’ replies Pearly quick-wittedly, stunning the pathetic creature with the authority in her voice. ‘How precious exactly?’
Gallop isn’t sure what to say.
‘Very precious,’ he ventures, ‘very precious, indeed.’
But Pearly has the upper hand now and probes the pathetic creature further with her penetrating questions.
‘Just how precious?’
‘How precious is very precious?’
‘But is that precious enough?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘Why don’t you know? I thought you said it was precious?’
‘Then why don’t you know?’
‘I do! I do! I do!’
Gallop gets very angry and it is at this point that Pearly knows she has him.
‘You don’t know, do you?’ she says.
‘No,’ says the pathetic-looking creature pathetically.
‘I’m going now,’ says Pearly firmly. ‘Don’t try and follow me.’
Gallop says nothing. He sits snivelling on a slimy rock. Pearly leaves to find her friends and continue the great adventure.
It was only by sacking the writing team, promising faithfully to never ever do anything like this again (and also offering a year’s free subscription to every reader) that IT Comics survived the fallout from Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring.’