Madballs #1 (1986)
The amount of balls on this cover is ridiculous! Monster balls, gross balls, eyeballs, baseballs... you name it, it's here! Thirteen year old humor aside, we've got Gargamel of the Smurfs creating spherical monsters (that sounds like it could be an actual episode). What's really impressive is how well the scientist speaks with that one tooth he has. I can't tell if his assistant is looking at the ball that is being made or the balls outside the window.
One dark night (as most are) a toy delivery truck spills it's cargo of balls out onto the road and 8 of them land in radioactive waste creating the bouncing, talking, Madballs. Their names are as follows: Horn Head, Oculus Orbus, Screamin' Meemie, Crack-head, Aargh, Dust Brain, Skull-face, and Slobulus. I'll let you figure out which is which. So the Madballs start playing ball with some kids and the sound of their laughter drifts to the lab of Dr. Frankenbeans and his assistant Snivelitch. The good doctor decides that the inanimate balls with newly gained sentience can earn him a Nobel Prize so he sends Snivelitch to catch them, which he fails to do. Then the doctor makes a hiccup potion that will render the Madballs defenseless and it works on Skull-face until Slobulus pukes on the ground which makes the captors slip. A girl puts a mirror in front of Skull-face and he is so scared by his reflection that his hiccups go away. Oh yeah and the throw up that the doctor slipped on sent him into a pond of hazardous waste. End of story one.
In the second story of the issue, some kids are playing in a cornfield where they get captured by corn people and the Madballs must save them from the evil Colonel Corn! Colonel Corn uses puns as his weapon of choice which forces the Madballs to flee. This struck me as odd, considering the first 5 pages are the Madballs spurting out puns. They come back for a second try and Screamin' Meemie has a Madball meltdown which makes the whole building heat up causing the corn people and Colonel Corn to become popcorn. OVER!
The art looks like a Saturday morning cartoon and that is because those were primary the comic serials of Star Comics. The balls look relatively gross (especially the puking one) I guess. I remember having some of these as a boy and from what I can remember they all look accurate. Kids look like generic cartoon kids and the backgrounds are all green, yellow, and purple/gray. There isn't much to say about it. Comparing it to the art in a Heathcliff cartoon would probably be the easiest way to explain it.
This book was clearly just a promotional plug and not to continue as regular property so I guess it worked in that way. The toys sold one way or another. This is issue one in a 3 issue mini but the series continued to 10 issues for whatever reason. The story must have really fleshed out. I just wish I knew how the eyeball was able to talk...
I'm not going to pick a panel for this here comic. Instead, here is the trailer for the actual toy: