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Magazine / Red Dwarf

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The Cover for the First Issue

Red Dwarf Smegazine (originally Red Dwarf Magazine for the first 2 issues) was a magazine produced by Fleetway Editions based on the TV show Red Dwarf. It ran for 23 issues between 1992 and 1994 before being cancelled, covering the broadcast of the show's fifth and sixth series. The magazine was a mixture of news, reviews, interviews, competitions and, most importantly, comic strips. The comics for the most part depicted original adventures of the crew. However, early on, they also adapted The End and Future Echoes. Back up strips were also included focusing on side characters such as Ace Rimmer, Mr. Fibble and Jake Bullet. The comic strips are notable as amongst the few officially licensed Red Dwarf media written without the involvement of Rob Grant or Doug Naylor.

The comic strip contains examples of:

  • Absent Aliens: Parodied in an alternate universe where they're making an American remake of Red Dwarf and are shocked that the British made a sci-fi show without aliens.
  • The Ace: The Trope Namer gets a couple of comic strips to himself here.
  • All Just a Dream: The comic "Fashion Victims" (which had an alien take The Cat's clothes to assist in the relief effort for his planet) is revealed at the end to be a nightmare that The Cat was viewing on the Dream Recorder.
  • Alternate Universe: A bit of a given in the "Ace Rimmer, Space Adventurer" strips, considering the fact that Ace is canonically an interdimensional traveler. Among the universes visited in the strip are:
    • The Gender-Bent Alternate Universe from "Parallel Universe".
    • A universe where he and the rest of the cast were genetically engineered superheroes.
    • A universe where Rimmer became a football player.
    • A universe where Rimmer has become the Prime Minister of the United Republic of Lesser Britain and the most successful politician ever.
    • A universe where Ace has become a bionic madman who is intent on destroying the galaxy, with the rest of the crew being hillibillies.
  • Body Uploading: Happens to Lister when he is absorbed into the Wetware A.I of a ship and put into an artificial reality in “Wetware”.
  • Cyborg: One issue had a cyborg with a seething hatred for "deadies" come aboard the ship and hunt down Rimmer. He is then informed by Kryten that he has been dead for centuries, being largely kept active by his own cybernetic implants and sheer determination. He is heavily implied to have killed himself afterwards upon learning of this.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Several One Shot Characters and alter egos get more spotlight than they got in the main show such as Jake Bullet, the female Dwarfers, Mr. Flibble and the characters of the "Androids" soap opera.
  • Decomposite Character: In the TV series, Mr. Flibble is nothing more than the extension of Rimmer’s Holo virus-affected psyche. In his own strip however, he is depicted as a living being completely separate from Rimmer.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: For the most part, holograms in the comic strips are depicted in grayscale as opposed to their colour appearance in the TV Show. This is actually a Development Gag: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor initially wanted holograms to be in grayscale but production costs prohibited them from it.
  • Devolution Device: The strip "Evolution" had an "evolution accelerator", which turned out to work backwards, turning Lister's bacon sandwich into a pig, Rimmer into a silent movie, Lister into an ape, the Cat into a cat, and Kryten into a vacuum cleaner. Talkie Toaster managed to fix it, turning the Dwarfers back to normal, and the pig into an attractive pig woman (who was disgusted when the man who nearly ate her chatted her up, and put herself in stasis until the rest of pigkind reached her level).
  • Different World, Different Movies: One issue is set in a universe where they're remaking Red Dwarf for an American audience. A parody of the failed Red Dwarf USA pilot but more like an American sitcom.
  • Evil Doppelgänger: Ace "Blackheart" Rimmer is this to both Arnold and Ace Rimmer, being a crazed Cyborg who is hellbent on destroying the galaxy in his one appearance.
  • Fun with Flushing: The plot of "A Day in the Life of a Bogbot" begins when Kryten accidentally flushes Lister's pet robotic goldfish (Lennon and McCartney) down the toilet, which becomes troublesome when it turns out that they have a defense mode for unfamiliar locations.
  • How We Got Here: "Space Monkeys" begins with Lister and The Cat tied up upside down, with the strip then showing us how they came to be in this situation. As it turns out, they were tied by by the titular creatures.
  • Human Resources: One strip had the crew encountering the Polymorph which appeared at the end of the titular episode, where she reveals how she survived. This involved the encounter and capture of a GELF transporter, with the GELFs contained within being tortured for their base emotions.
  • Hypnotic Creature: The Genetically Engineered Adaptable Pet (GEAP for short), an adorable furry creature that is capable of telepathically influencing other biological lifeforms into protecting it and loving it.
  • Killer Rabbit: One strip featured a creature called the GEAP (Genetically Engineered Adaptable Pet). On one hand, it's very cute, looking like a small white furry creature with big eyes. On the other hand, it is capable of telepathically influencing organic lifeforms into becoming overly protective of the creature, to the point that wars have been fought over it.
  • Living Ship: The Polymorph copy of Red Dwarf which the crew encounter at one point counts as this.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Dorrie the evolved Dormouse.
  • Mechanical Evolution: When Kryten is hit by the E-Accelerator in "Evolution", he is shown to devolve into a talking vacuum cleaner.
  • Mental Time Travel: The plot of "Time After Time" has Kryten attempting a mind-swap on Lister with his younger self in the past so that he can try to prevent the radiation leak. This naturally fails and Lister is sent time-traveling to different more stressful moments in his timestream.
  • New Season, New Name: Started off as Red Dwarf Magazine before it got a name change to Red Dwarf Smegazine for its third issue onwards.
  • Note from Ed.: "The Scoop" has one at the start.
    The events in this story take place before Red Dwarf was lost in a bizarre parking incident! - Smeg Ed
  • Parody Product Placement: One issue featured Kryten promoting "Smeggo" washing liquid, only to get interrupted by Lister finding out that he cleaned his favorite shirt, which he did not want to be washed.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs: The Dwarfers accidentally do the deed whilst attempting to escape Cretaceous Earth and get back to their own time period, via a neutrino-tachyon shockwave.
  • Pig Man: In the comic strip "Evolution", a Devolution Device turns Lister's bacon sandwich into a pig, and reversing the effect turns the pig into an attractive woman with pink skin and pig ears. When Lister attempts to flirt with her, she points out that he was about to eat her, and puts herself in a stasis booth until other pigs have evolved as far as her.
  • Robot Republic: According to the strip "The Aftering", in the novel-verse, at least two of these (the Mechanoid Empire and the Simulant Confederation) formed after the extinction of the human race.
  • Scrabble Babble: One strip featured the word Yizox, which Rimmer claims to be the Plutonian word for teeth. He is later forced to admit that he made it up when he is put into danger.
  • Sea Aping: One strip had "Space Monkeys", which due to having become irradiated, now turn into large pink mischievous creatures when dunked into the water.
  • Soap Within a Show: "Androids", previously mentioned in the TV Show to be a soap opera that Kryten loves, gets its own comic strip here.
  • Strike Episode: The strip "Mutinous Pursuits" features the skutters going on strike because they can't stand Rimmer's behavior. The skutters are eventually convinced to call off their strike on the condition that Rimmer is turned off every Sunday. It is then revealed however that the strike was called in the first place so that Holly could rig the game of Trivia Pursuit that they were playing.
  • Superhero Episode: The Super Ace story in one issue had Ace Rimmer visit a universe where the Dwarfers were superheroes living in the city of Smegopolis. In addition to the Flying Brick Super Ace, other characters were Lister as Action Man (a Punisher pastiche with a smiley face instead of a skull), Cat and Kryten as Catman and Robbie, and the floating telepathic head of Professor H.
  • Take That!: "Red Dwarf USA" is this to both the failed Red Dwarf USA pilots and American comedies (of the time) in general.
  • Talking with Signs: Rimmer is forced to do this when he is devolved into a silent show 2D projection in "Evolution".
  • Thought-Aversion Failure: In the strip "Living Memory", the crew comes across a machine that turns memories into reality. Lister decides to use it to recreate Kochanski. As he's doing this, Holly tells him to "try not to think about any six-eyed, carnivorous, raging swamp beasts and everything'll be all right". Naturally, Lister thinks about this instead and conjures up said creature.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: The American version of Rimmer does this at the end of the Red Dwarf USA pitch in "Red Dwarf USA", standing up from his wheelchair to save his friends.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Parodied in "Red Dwarf USA". The strip revolves around an attempt to pitch Red Dwarf to an American audience. In it, Rimmer and Lister were best buddies (rather than the Vitriolic Best Buds they were in canon), the Cat was a hip teenage girl, Kryten was a biologically challenged boy (called Cry 10), and Rimmer was disabled rather than dead as in canon. Also, the human race was still alive, the ship was not three million years into deep space, and aliens existed. The show in question had an alien try to kill them, only for Rimmer to miraculously walk again to save the day.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: "Greetings From GelfWorld" is about a population of man-made Genetically Engineered Life Forms deciding to turn against their human masters on a tourist planet with the help of a revolutionary half-human, half-blob GELF named Drigg. After they turn away and kill the human tourists, they're unable to quench their desire for violence and turn against each other, leading to the destruction of the planet.
  • Unseen No More: The King of the Potato People makes his only visual appearance after a mention in "Quarantine".
  • Uplifted Animal: In addition to the already existing Dog and Cat, we get Dorrie, an evolved Dormouse, in "Ace of Black-Hearts" and a Pig Woman in "Evolution".
  • Weaksauce Weakness: One strip was about Ace Rimmer ending up in a dimension where the Dwarfers are a superhero team. Rimmer's counterpart won the Superpower Lottery with awesome strength and indestructibility, but his weakness is contact with human flesh, which obviously is a major problem for someone whose occupation has them hitting people a lot of the time.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: One strip deals with the Dwarfers encountering the Polymorph from the closing moments of "Polymorph", who reveals that she survived by capturing a GELF transport ship and torturing them. She ends up blowing up soon after due to hosting a copy of Rimmer who did the exact same action as our Rimmer did in attempting to fix the radiation leak. However, none of the Dwarfers seem to care that many presumably innocent GELFs are likely dead, being more interested in mocking Rimmer over his infamous radiation leak error.