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Lookin morktit

Mork And Mindy title














'Na-no, Na-no!'

Mork And Mindy was a spin-off from the popular American 'Happy Days' series. Introduced in the episode 'My Favourite Orkan' (a play on 'My Favourite Martian', a 1960s sitcom which 'Mork & Mindy' is almost a reworking of) in early 1978, Mork (Robin Williams) arrives on 1950's Earth to abduct Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard, now a famous director) but he is saved by The Fonz (Henry Winkler). The character of Mork was an instant success, and the new series debuted on ABC in the autumn that same year. Updated to the present day, Mork finds a home with Mindy McConnell in 1970s Colorado, and continues to explore our world in his own zany and inimitable way.

As with most US TV series, it took time for it to arrive in the UK, airing from mid-1979 in most regions and warranting a couple of covers and poster features in 'Look-In'. The strip appeared from issue 12, dated 15 March 1980, replacing Mind Your Language and inheriting the same team of writer Angus Allan and artist Bill Titcombe.

In many ways, the format is an evolution from its 'Look-In' predecessor, with alien Mork often in adventures owing to him misunderstanding our language or customs - in much the same way as the foreign characters did - and earthlings at odds with his child-like view, but to this reviewer, whereas the Mind Your Language strip strongly resembled its television originator, Mork And Mindy was possibly one of the weaker comedy entries to run in the magazine. Why should this be? Was the writer bezurb? Well, possibly... Is the artist was a nimnul? Doubtful... Did someone on 'Look-In' really Earth it up? No, The failing had nothing to do with any of them, and could be summed up in bez (that's Orkan for two) words, and those are... Robin Williams.

Lookin morkimages

Mork And Mindy artwork

As a fan of the series and Williams himself, it has to be said no written tie-in for the series, from the American adaptations by Ralph Church and Steven Seabrook, to the British Stafford Pemberton annuals, come close to capturing the star's style of ad-libbing and physical presence. This is not to say any of the strips and stories are particularly bad - they're not - but without Williams' own unique interpretation of Mork, all seem on a hiding to nothing. Shazbot! And while artist Bill Titcombe did well with Pam Dawber's likeness, he only managed a passable effort of capturing Robin Williams almost caricatured features, and had problems with the exaggerated mannerisms.

Probably because of the changing format and line-up between seasons, the 'Look-In' strip (which made its debut towards the end of the second US season) never featured any of the series' secondary characters such as Mindy's staid father Fred (Conrad Janis), or his mother-in-law Cora (Elizabeth Kerr), whose barbed exchanges were a highlight and might have added a much needed edge. Also absent were Mork's reports to Orson, his oversized leader on Ork, who does make a brief cameo in one strip. Admittedly, 'Look-In' probably wasn't the place for the satirical observations these reports often included, but it was another step away from what made the series popular.

These admittedly personal issues aside, the strip was popular enough to run for a full year in 'Look-In', finishing about the same time as the third season in the USA came to an end, in March 1981.


(Article by Shaqui Le Vesconte)


Mork And Mindy Chronology

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