The Making of McSpangle!
Posted on February 4, 2016
Many people who follow me on Facebook have spent the last few years asking me how I managed to find a friend with a name as fantastic as Dickie Mcspangle, understandably assuming that this was his real name.
The fact is, it was a name (McSpangle) I created in blog post a few years ago as I attempted to describe a family of n’er do wells who I had read about, or seen on some kind of poverty porn documentary called ‘Peasant Street’ or something of the like.
Because I couldn’t remember the name of the family in question, I called them the McSpangle’s in my blog after recalling a character that appeared in Viz magazine some 15 years ago or more.
Dickie (real name Richard Chivers) liked this name so much, he stole it from me (with my blessing) and from there on, he became Dickie McSpangle.
Because of its unique appeal, the name caught on so quickly that Richard soon became commonly known as McSpangle, even to the extent that new friends or acquaintances assumed it was actually his real name.
Sadly, I received little credit for renaming Richard, and after hearing a group of my son’s friends (who were oblivious to my invention) remarking on what a fantastic name it was, I went to great lengths to uncover how it evolved from Viz magazine, to my blog post, to the renaming of Richard Chivers.
It was more complex than I thought and I have Angela at Viz magazine to thank for helping me with my investigations.
I contacted Viz a few weeks back to see if they could find a character called McSpangle who had appeared in the cartoon ‘Tubby Johnson’ as a blind and disabled kid.
Despite his obvious disabilities Mcspangle still got picked ahead of Johnson and in my opinion; it was a piece of comic book genius that was to stick in my mind forever as it had me guffawing out loud on a train full of passengers travelling from Basingstoke to Waterloo…a kind of JFK moment, where you can remember exactly where you were when a major event took place.
Anyway, I got a reply from Angela at Viz, who informed me that she had managed to discover the comic strip but the character in question was not called McSpangle at all but was actually name McPastry!
I emailed Angela back, thanking her for revealing this information whilst also enquiring how on earth I had thought the character was called McSpangle?
McSpangle turned out to be McPastry
Angela came back once again; “Perhaps you are thinking of Rick Spangle who is the owner of the FUFC (Fulchester United) in ‘Billy the Fish’?
She was right. Somehow as time had passed, two characters in Viz Magazine had sat in my subconscious and evolved in to one name which was to eventually become the new Richard Chivers. I find that quite fascinating and perhaps an insight to a trained psychologist, of my mental state.
Rick Spangle: Night Club owner and Chairman of Fulchester Rovers
So there you have it. Dickie McSpangle evolved from two bit part characters that briefly appeared in Viz magazine, with McPastry and Spangle merging to create the name that the former Richard Chivers is now commonly known as.
So as a summary I kind of invented McSpangle but I guess I kind of nicked it as well. Richard just nicked it.
Once again, special thanks to Angela at Viz magazine who took time out of her busy schedule not only to investigate how I came up with name McSpangle, but also to print off copies of the original cartoons and send them to me in the post free of charge; not many magazines would do that for such a puerile investigation.
Click on the links to see the full cartoon strips featuring Spangle and McPastry.