When Toyshops Attack

Welcome everybody to the latest installment in the Pearly Stockwell franchise. I know I keep telling you but I feel that I need to tell you again that this is an excerpt from

Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets

If you want to know more then please feel free to click the title. In case you were unsure, the adventures of Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins are a key feature (and franchise) of (in) the Falcon Boy universe. The Pearly Stockwell adventures are currently being developed as a separate series and as I have more news I will give it to you. Until then, here you are …

 

When Toyshops Attack

Much to the delight of everyone, a new toyshop had opened in Fallstown.

‘I can’t wait,’ says Windy to his brothers. ‘I can’t think of anything better than spending some time browsing in a toyshop.’

‘Better than catching a criminal?’ Wes snorts. ‘The only toy I like is a cricket bat and that is only because they are good for whacking crooks.’

‘I once disguised myself as a giant teddy bear and hid in a toyshop for two weeks,’ says Wanderley.

‘We know,’ say Wes and Windy, laughing together. ‘We were the poor fools who had to try and find you.’

‘I’ll think you’ll find it was me who actually found him,’ Pearly corrects the brothers. ‘It was also me who revealed the truth about Blinko the Balloon Magician and his plot to flood the magic accessories market with cheap foreign imports.’

‘We know,’ sigh all three of the Interesting Twins together.

All of this happens, of course, in Pearly Squares the Magic Circle. Blinko turns out to be in the pay of Export International, a nefarious multinational company intent on dominating global markets through skulduggery, lies and blackmail.

One of their shadowy operatives had convinced poor old gullible Worcester Knudsen, a retired civil servant now barely scraping a living as Blinko the Balloon Magician, that his bookings would treble if he used a new brand of super-modelling inflatables.

Needless to say, Pearly eventually gets to the bottom of the goings-on and Worcester receives a four-year prison sentence for his part in the plot. As always happens, in real life and in stories like this, Export International could not be sufficiently implicated in the scandal and is allowed to continue its financial finagling for another day.

On the day of the toyshop opening, Fallstown is stunned to discover that the only things on its shelves are thousands and thousands of tiny toy helicopters.

After some clumsy plot exposition involving a new employee at the Fallstown Telephone Exchange and a pair of open windows, it is eventually revealed that the shop’s proprietors, Kurt and Irena Flue, are a husband and wife spy team, hell-bent on using Fallstown as a launch pad for their hundred-thousand-strong toy helicopter fleet.

During a daring raid on the warehouse at the back of the shop, the Interesting Twins are captured and Pearly has to rely upon her native wit and big city sense to free them and save the country from being destroyed by the fleet of tiny toys.

Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring

Here is another extract from Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets. Here the reader is introduced to some background material concerning the very early days of the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series.

As you will recall from previous posts or indeed from the book itself, Pearly is a six-year-old girl who solves puzzles, saves the day and achieves countless major triumphs that are forever beyond the adults who populate the world of these stories. Wes, Windy, and Wanderley Gordy are the Interesting Twins and the fact that there is actually three of them and that they aren’t twins is apparently what makes them interesting. If you are of that persuasion Pearly Stockwell is now on Twitter.

In each episode, someone is kidnapped or something is stolen or threatened with total destruction, like a school, a train, a town, a livelihood or a way of life. Pearly and her friends always notice something that the police miss, or overhear a conversation on the bus. Other times they might decide that two men standing talking outside the cake shop look suspicious and the adventures begin.

Everything happens in Fallstown, a small place in the middle of nowhere that is somehow a perpetual magnet for all minds and matters criminally oriented.

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‘The Pearly Stockwell adventure series is published by IT Comics and in their early days the company really struggled. Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring was a desperately misguided attempt to reach a wider audience with the Pearly Stockwell series.

Without even the slightest hint of professional shame, Pearly is ‘allowed’ to discover a magical kingdom while clearing out one of her wardrobes. Never one to refuse a challenge, Pearly sets off to see what she can find.

Unsurprisingly, Pearly finds a world gripped by a struggle between the forces of good and evil. Grimdulf Gloompants leads the good guys. He is a long-bearded wizard who rides a giant talking lion. A one-eyed witch called Sharon is in charge of the bad guys.

As the plot thickens, Pearly and the Interesting Twins are asked to deliver an important message to someone important quite far away. On the way, they are captured by a gang of nasty Noblins and imprisoned.

Everyone manages to escape but Pearly gets separated and begins to wander lost in an underground network of caves.

Even loyal readers of the comic book series found it hard not to consider cancelling their subscription at the moment that Pearly stumbles upon a ring and, without thinking, puts it in her pocket.

Unbeknown to her, the ring is the property of a pathetic-looking creature called Gallop who manages to trap Pearly in his dank, dismal, fish-stinking lair.

‘You have something that is very precious to me,’ says the pathetic-looking Gallop to Pearly, without even a faint glimmer of irony. ‘It is mine, it is.’

‘Is it?’ replies Pearly quick-wittedly, stunning the pathetic creature with the authority in her voice. ‘How precious exactly?’

Gallop isn’t sure what to say.

‘Very precious,’ he ventures, ‘very precious, indeed.’

But Pearly has the upper hand now and probes the pathetic creature further with her penetrating questions.

‘Just how precious?’

‘Very!’

‘How precious is very precious?’

‘Very, very!’

‘But is that precious enough?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Why don’t you know? I thought you said it was precious?’

‘I did!’

‘Then why don’t you know?’

‘I do! I do! I do!’

Gallop gets very angry and it is at this point that Pearly knows she has him.

‘You don’t know, do you?’ she says.

‘No,’ says the pathetic-looking creature pathetically.

‘I’m going now,’ says Pearly firmly. ‘Don’t try and follow me.’

Gallop says nothing. He sits snivelling on a slimy rock. Pearly leaves to find her friends and continue the great adventure.

It was only by sacking the writing team, promising faithfully to never ever do anything like this again (and also offering a year’s free subscription to every reader) that IT Comics survived the fallout from Pearly and the Missing Magic Ring.’

Pearly Stockwell Finally Realizes How Cruel the World of Contemporary Publishing Really Can Be

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By way of further news on progress so far with The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests (Volume II of the Falcon Boy series) I thought I would give you an update on Pearly Stockwell.

As many of you will know Pearly Stockwell is a child detective who makes her debut appearance in Falcon Boy and Bewilder Bird versus Dr Don’t Know in a Battle for all the Life of all the Planets (Volume I). Together with the Interesting Twins, Pearly manages to solve every case she applies her big city ways to. If you want to catch up with her (e-book) adventures then please feel free to follow the link HERE (US) and HERE (UK).

In any case, as the following excerpt indicates, the world of Pearly Stockwell is as prone to whirls and eddies of public taste as any other contemporary publishing venture.

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The Brothers Revoltable Travelling Circus and Other Crazy Fun with Special Guests excerpt:

 

IT Publishing, the company behind the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Wonder Detective Comic Book Super Series which begat the Pearly Stockwell and the Interesting Twins Detective Comic Audiobook Series ceased trading a while ago and everything related to the series is now little more than the occasional question at a very dull public quiz for people who are very dull.

The final ever episode in the series, Pearly Stockwell Finally Realizes How Cruel the World of Contemporary Publishing Really Can Be opens with our eponymous heroine bemoaning the state of contemporary publishing, a subject which, and even despite her big city ways, Pearly had never shown any interest in up until this final episode.

‘Our time has come, boys,’ says Pearly to the Interesting Twins. ‘Even before our time has really come.’

Pearly plants her feet and stares defiantly into space reads the caption.

‘I should think that the people making these short-sighted decisions really don’t know us at all!’ she snorts. ‘In fact, what do they know about anything anyway?’

Wes is really angry.

‘I’m gonna grab them and box them and fight them until they beg me to stop,’ he exclaims forcefully. ‘And even when they do beg me to stop I ain’t gonna stop for nothing or no-one not never!’

Pearly smiles at her loyal friend.

‘You’ve been a loyal friend for all of these adventures,’ she says kindly, ‘and we are all really going to miss your overly aggressive, small-minded and yet sometimes effective ways.’

‘Say the word, Pearly,’ says little Windy with a big tear in his small eye. ‘Say the word and I will run for you like I always do.’

‘But where will you run?’ replies Pearly. ‘The people making these decisions have made it very plain that there is nowhere left for you to run to and no-one would be there even if you ever arrived.’

‘But there must be something we can do,’ says the eviction notice Pearly had thrown angrily onto the desk. ‘We can’t just let them shut us down.’

‘You are right, as always, my fine, wise Wanderley,’ says Pearly sadly, ‘but not even your alarmingly outrageous propensity for disguising yourself in the most unlikely but nevertheless convenient disguises is going to make any difference here.’

Pearly looks directly out the frame.

‘The only thing that can save us all is if someone decided to continue our adventures as a small, independent online venture, perhaps using a free online publishing platform.’

Pearly shakes her head ruefully.

‘But that will take an awful lot of effort to keep writing our adventures, publishing our adventures, promoting our adventures and trying to get people to read our adventures knowing full well that a thankless venture like this will only ever be a tiny digital drop in the vast and thankless virtual ocean.’

Again, Pearly looks straight out of the frame of the comic.

‘Does anyone know how hard it is nowadays to even get someone to visit your site let alone stay long enough to read something?’

THE END FOREVER MORE? reads the final caption.