Deconstructed: Alf #23

The Deconstructed series has been all fun and games since I started writing it with this little post. Today, I would like to get more serious. I want to talk about a very powerful and influential issue that will forever hold a place in comic-nerd hearts.

Totally just kidding, we’re doing Alf! Come with me for a trip down memory lane as we travel back to 1989! Some of you may be wondering what the hell an Alf is, and I’m sorry if you’re a little too little to remember this cat eating Melmacian. For most of my generation Alf was a staple of prime time television.

Alf, or Alien Life Form, was an ugly, cat eating creature from the planet Melmac, who crash landed into a suburban garage in the San Fernando Valley. The heartfelt Tanner family (no, not the other 80’s sitcom Tanner family from California, a different 80’s sitcom Tanner family from California) is left with the responsibility of hiding Alf, or he will be another victim of the Alien Task Force. Lucky for them, Alf is a wise cracking, literal fish out of water and wacky antics and adventures ensued, somewhere around 100 wacky antics to be more accurate.

So… why? Why am I doing a whole Deconstructed on an Alf comic book most of us didn’t know existed? I… well, I don’t know. I felt like I needed to shake things up from the typical super hero storylines. So, I headed to the local flea market to skim through the massive collections on sale for super cheap. I found lots of amazing little treasures, and lots of classic comic issues that I have always wanted, but nothing fitting into the box of unorthodox I was looking for. On a whim I scanned an elderly woman’s table, which was mostly old knick-knack’s from a time where esthetics didn’t matter as much. That’s when I found a basket (yes, basket) of random old issues, mostly G.I.Joe. When I saw a single issue of Alf I was sold. He may be ugly, but who doesn’t love Alf? I tried talking the owner down from the $3.50 price tag she had on a loose plastic bag covering the book- I mean honestly, nobody else is coming to buy this for more than a quarter- she wasn’t having any of it. I ended up giving this seasoned barterer $3 just to have some fun today.

Hooo! That’s a long intro. What can I say, when you get me talking about Alf… Let’s just get into it already shall we?

The Cover-

And there he is in all of his orange-ish glory, Alf. Rocking a sweater and raking up some leaves in this fall themed cover- which doesn’t make sense with the December date? But, what could be better than Alf hitting Willie with a classic one-liner? There’s also a bonus one-liner in the corner box, which is… not as funny… This cover also promises a trip around the world with Alf! A 3-part saga! Don’t worry this isn’t like a Spidey 3-part saga, all three parts of this saga are included in this issue, more like a one-shot. It’s my belief that typically an Alf book would consist of three shorter stories, in more of a classic comic magazine style.

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Oh dang, it’s a Trix word search, you know you want to. Can you find the word vuwxy? How come I never see Trix anymore? Is it because I’m an adult now, and Trix are only available to children?

The Credits-

Marvel Comics Group

Alf

#23 “Around the world in 80 hours!”

December 1989

Cover price: $1.00

Todays worth: $3.00 if you ask Beatrice at the Hillhurst flea market.

Written by Michael Gallagher

Pencils by Dave Manek

Inks and Colours by Marie Severin

Letters by Rick Parker

Edited by Sid Jacobson

The Story-

We open with Alf’s window shattering bird call of a red winged Melmac bird. Alf seems less concerned about the window and more impressed he can still hit a “high Q”.

As Willie gets upset over his broken window, Alf reminds him that everything breaks. Including his home planet- good sympathy trip there Alf- or more key to the story, Alf’s Meleporter, which he bought at a garage sale.

Alf shows Willie, always the sceptic, the basics of his Meleporter, including saying the magic words, “pretty please with a squished sugared slug on top!” Which accidently triggers the device-

Willie tries to get Alf back from this particularly salty computer. Willie gets his daughter, Lynn, who has some ‘extensive computer training’, to try and get Alf back.

Meanwhile, Alf is transported elsewhere-

Where he meets an aboriginal tribesman. Yes, Alf’s real name is Gordon Shumway!-

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The Nestle Quik hop shop! For any of these cheaply made products you must first collect points from Nestle Quik products (conversion chart below). Then you must send those points, and pay for the items of your chose. Wait 8 weeks and bam! What a deal!

Back at the Tanner household, the whole family has been trying to navigate the Melmac computer for two days. Young Brian, after searching Alf’s room, makes the discovery they need-

Understanding the Melmac conversions is exactly what Lynn needs to crack the computers codes.

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Oh my! If this poster does not bring back a wave of nostalgia, than you must have missed this particular year of cartoons. There is some classics here like Smurfs, Chipmunks, and the cast of Saved by the Bell. Some lost treasures like Karate Kid the animated series, or Camp Candy, the short lived cartoon where the late, great John Candy ran a summer camp. But, I was so happy I could cry to see Captain N! What an underrated cartoon that deserved 12 more seasons. I’ll throw a YouTube clip here of the Games Master for… well because I want to see it.

Things don’t go exactly as planned for the Tanner’s-

Willie loses his cool, and promises to hack the computer- with a pick axe. After Kate and Brian get him to chill out, Kate pulls up her gloves and faces the Meleporter herself. End of part one.

Suddenly-

After Lynn and Alf catch up on how they both got here, the question is: how do they get home?

In the flashback, Shumlock and his partner, Dr. Watroast are out shopping at the Scotland Yard Sale.

The detective is approached with a mystery in the fashion district, the whole industry is being brought under by…

Shumlock follows the clues to an abandon warehouse where he discovers the villain behind this trade is his archenemy Professor Melmoriarity! After a kerfuffle, the Professor makes a break for it. Unfortunately for him-

Case closed!

As the two debate their circumstances they begin to feel a tingle, and-

They arrive somewhere else entirely-

Advert-

Mr. Bubble’s! I remember this specific ad vividly from when I was a child. This was a total flashback. I know because, I always thought Mr. Bubble’s would taste delicious!

The Tanner’s continue to plunk away at the Meleporter as Alf and Lynn run into unexpected company-

Alf is chased through the tundra by the ferocious bear, until Alf finds his break-

Finally, after a last plea to the Meleporter, the computer admits how confused it is, it just wants to know where on Melmac she should send Alf and Lynn-

A few calculation resets and bingo-bango-

Fan Mail-

In the Melmac Mail Sack (I love the names for fan mails) a young reader has a problem. Every big brother and big sister has had this issue, of having their younger siblings wrecking their things. Alf shares his advice with young Sheena.

Advert-

How? Just how, does Lucky keep losing his shit? I mean how hard can it be to keep a moon, horseshoe, clover, and a few other things in one spot? Get a safe or something Lucky! I’m sick of helping you. …okay this one last time…

Thanks booknerds, I’ll end this on the Alf theme song, and our trip of nostalgia can feel complete.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. For Tyeth says:

    I remember watching this on an early Saturday afternoon slot way back in the 80/90’s here in the UK! We used to get US shows (eventually) and ALF was a great one, followed by an episode of Airwolf. We also got the TV movie after a long wait. I wasn’t aware of a comic book though, so I’ll have to make enquiries about trying to get an issue or two over here. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    Like

  2. Yep, you were right. I couldn’t have guessed this one! It was a lot of fun too, and a great flashback – especially those ads!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Green Onion says:

      I let you know how close you were to guessing, haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right? Siiiigj, that’s the story of my life. I go with the me-to-Jeff-to-Gilmore Girls guessing train when it should have been the more logical me-to-Alf-to-classic Alf comic train. What was I thinking??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Green Onion says:

        It was so obvious! It’s the seven degrees of Alf

        Liked by 1 person

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