Hard Up - click for a bigger version

  • Marks out of 10 for Cover

 A single male bicep gripping a penny? Not sure who they were trying to kid - but it's hard to fathom how WH Allen/Star could have misjudged the audience so badly when they took on the series from Futura. The covers had gone from being "Russ & a scantily-clad lady" on Mayflower, to just "a scantily-clad lady" on Futura. Apart from the obvious lack of female flesh to catch the eye of the casual browser, I don't even know what this cover was supposed to be portraying. When has anyone ever gripped a penny with their bicep? Answers on a postcard. 0/10

  • Cover Notes

" Russ Tobin's back in London - skint. The economy is groaning under the weight of his monstrous overdraft. It's all of £2.42 and the country can't take any more! So Tobin turns salesman for disreputable ZIP Electrics. But his massive talents remain undiscovered by all those housewives. Disaster strikes - the electric mixers explode, the vacuum cleaners don't suck, and he's booted out on the street with hoots of derisive laughter. Until his luck turns. Then his equipment's back in full working order, and the sensational Gerta Gottlieb makes all his efforts worthwhile…"

  • Brief Description of the Plot

 Russ comes back from Ireland planning a relaxing time in London not realising that he is overdrawn. He is indeed "hard-up". Title-wise, that seems like it was perhaps intended as a (rather vulgar) double-entendre but by this point in the 1970s I suspect subtlety was not in great supply (or demand)

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first reminisces about a previous adventure

 Page 5 (which is actually the FIRST page)

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first eyes up a lady

 Page 6

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first gets to know a lady in the biblical sense

 Page 96 - Russ takes his time in this book for some reason. If the regular readers were disappointed by the cover then they'd have probablt been furious by Page 95

  • Page at which Russ Tobin first drinks a Vodka Tonic

 Russ breaks with tradition and enjoys a Scotch with his new buddy Dennis Hopper on page 43. He doesn't hit the vodka tonic until Page 82, perhaps due to his relative poverty?

  • Serious points raised

 That all bank managers are total wankers

  • Rating on the MORGANOMETER

 A good one we reckon - nice to see Russ struggling for cash (having been so cash-rich since the events of The Courier) but he's still rich in the love department. The girsl were never interested in is money anyway.8/10