Modern Toss

Modern Toss

Modern Toss is a British series of cartoon booklets and books aimed at adults, and a television series based on them. It is the creation of Mick Bunnage and Jon Link; their company is called Modern Toss Ltd, also going under the name '*hitflap' (apparently a euphemism for 'shitflap').

The cartoons feature low-quality drawing, offensive language, violence, and satire of mundane life. Most of the printed cartoons are one page long and consist of one or sometimes a few frames.

Contents

Booklets and books

Since 2004, six issues of Modern Toss have been published as comics. Some of the issues are partly funded by advance subscription, with the names of subscribers listed in the booklet.

The first two issues were also compiled into a book, Modern Toss Book, published by Macmillan. A further edition compiled from the second two issues is available — entitled Modern Toss Another Book. Also a book entitled Work is available featuring all of their "work" cartoons. Home Clubber was also compiled into a further book, which is entitled "All You Can Eat". In October 2010 Modern Toss published "More Work" this was self published by Modern Toss.

In November 2006, Modern Toss was published in the United States by Simon & Schuster.

Television

From 11 July 2006, Channel 4 broadcast a partly animated late-night television series closely based on the published cartoons. It includes live action, animation, and cartoons combining the two. The show has a voice cast that includes Mackenzie Crook, Doon Mackichan, Paul Kaye and Simon Greenall. The animated segments maintain the simplistic look of the books.

The live-action sketches ("I live ere", "Alan", "Drive by abuser", "Customer services", "Accident and emergency", "Citizens advice", "Illegal alphabet") were directed by Ben Wheatley. The animation was directed by Bunnage and Link, series one animation was produced by 12Foot6, series two by Spy Pictures.

Beginning on 4 May 2007 the show aired on Bravo in the UK as part of the adult swim block.

The first series was released on Region 2 DVD in November 2007, while a second series started on Channel 4 on 23 January 2008[1]. The Region 2 DVD of the second series was released in Spring 2008.

Merchandise

There is also a range of Modern Toss merchandise, including T-shirts, soft toys,DVDs, books, comics, magnets, posters and art prints.

Apps

The Daily Toss: Your Daily Serving of Modern Toss is an iPhone and iPad app developed by Modern Toss and Aimer Media. Cartoons from the Modern Toss archive are presented in a dated sequence in seasonal batches. An earlier app The Pocket Shouter was a soundboard iPhone app featuring the Drive-by abuser. It first appeared in 2009 but as of March 2011 is no longer available. A new version is planned for Summer 2011. The Periodic Table of Swearing is also set to be released as an app sometime in 2011

Recurring cartoons

Though some of them are one-off, most of the cartoons follow recurring themes (or in a few cases loosely sequential stories). The following all appear in the publications and many also in the television series:

  • Mr Tourette: a French sign-writer who produces offensive signs bearing no relation to his customers' instructions. This usually culminates in his customer being totally unhappy with the work and Mr Tourette calling them "some kind of cunt"
  • Alan: a sociopathic, scribble-like creature who plays extreme practical jokes on his middle-class brother-in-law, usually involving Alan turning up uninvited to a social event, causing a large amount of destruction to the tune of "I Like To Move It" by Reel 2 Real before running away, leaving his brother-in-law to shout "Come back, Alan, you wanker!"
  • Prince Edward, Royal Entrepreneur: the prince tries to make money out of anything associated with the Royal family, no matter how tasteless
  • Cheese and Wine: satire of boring 'small talk' made at parties, such as 'I hear Peter's new business is in trouble' meeting with the reply 'Peter's a cunt'
  • Citizens Advice: irate and often illogical complaints from members of the public about goods, services and employers, usually concluding with the question "where do I stand legally?"
  • Work: conversations with disgruntled or complacent employees; for example, a man phones in from home, saying, "I've heard the printer's broken so I won't be coming in"
  • 999: emergency phone calls from people in bizarre situations
  • Emergency services: people with bizarre health complaints
  • Daytrippers: two men discuss plans for various violent outings
  • Planet chat: everyday conversations between celestial bodies
  • Space argument: astronauts arguing on the moon
  • I live 'ere: a farmer who recounts his violent assaults on members of the public
  • Drive-by abuser: a man on a moped who shouts pointless insults at people, animals or inanimate objects he drives past. Typical examples include:
    • "You're a traffic light, yeh? Changing colours, yeh? Yeh, fucking looks like it an' all"
    • "Well good luck to ya, 'cause I wouldn't have the fucking nerve"
    • "Why not though eh? It's your life innit?"
    • "See ya around, yeah?"
  • Fly talk: conversations between flies about humans they've encountered, sometimes mentioning celebrities including Chris Martin and 50 Cent..
  • Home clubber: provides a panel of insight into the latest exploit of an amoral entrepreneur. These cartoons appear weekly in the "Guide" section of the Guardian
  • Weekend: tedious domestic conversations
  • Medieval Kneval: exploits of a medieval stuntman
  • Peanut: the saga of a disbanded pop group and their manager
  • Park: dog excrement related events in a park
  • Dogkiller: novel methods of luring dogs to their death
  • And what do you think?: vox pop interviews
  • Customer Services: Customers returning purchased items to shops with absurd complaints about the item's quality, i.e.: "This CD I bought off you, made me kill someone!" Or: "This kitchen I bought off you, gave me manic depression!"

The following recurring cartoons are in the television version only:

  • Gnat burglar: a giant gnat which sucks the entire contents out of things and injects it into other things
  • Underground wolf gobbler: a giant semi-human monster that pops up out of the ground and eats things, bears a passing resemblance to Rupert Murdoch (Actually editor Rob Hill's Dad Bob)
  • Peace & quiet: a man who seeks peace and quiet in his garden, but is plagued by noise from neighbours and others nearby
  • Barney: a man who periodically turns into a red Incredible Hulk-like monster at the mention of Alan Titchmarsh & during everyday minor fustrations, and causes destruction in a mad rage, followed by embarrassment at what he has done
  • Illegal Alphabet: a large number of human-sized letters that congregate in a field to form rude words (including bizarre portmanteaus such as "pipecock"); they are then ambushed by police. These scenes end with a BBC Radio 4-style voiceover announcing e.g. "That was Illegal Alphabet in 'unsanctioned piss meeting' followed by 'unauthorised shitcasket'"
  • Sneezeman: a little man with a huge nose who is propelled backwards at great speed when he sneezes, usually hurting himself and destroying property
  • Seawalker: this has only appeared once so far in the television series — a man with very long legs walks out of the sea onto the beach, whereupon his legs are severed by people playing frisbee

Mr Tourette and Alan appear on the covers of Modern Toss booklets and books and on merchandise.

Tag Lines

  • "Modern Toss - the stink of excellence in a world gone tits up!"
  • "Modern Toss. Watching a TV program yeah? Looks like it an' all!" both delivered by a female voiceover (Doon Mackichan)

Kickers sponsored series

Modern Toss writers Mick Bunnage and Jon Link have partnered with shoe company Kickers in 2009 to present Random Bandits, a suite of cartoons in the style of other Modern Toss productions. They have developed 3 strands of film themes which appear as short skits in each of the episodes that make up the Kickers presents Random Bandits series. The films feature voiceovers by comedy actor Mackenzie Crook.

All 5 films in the Random Bandits series are now launched and can be viewed on the Kickers MySpace.

References

  1. ^ "Modern Toss News". http://www.moderntoss.com/news.html. 

External links


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