Action! Cue the cartoon squid!

Here’s an interesting collection of scans from a defunct comic book called Action. It’s rather grisly—most of the action seems to involve people being bloodily devoured by marine organisms—so don’t look if you’d rather not see people getting pulped in a shark’s jaws. This comic book was apparently shut down because of the outcry over the violence, but I see another reason:


Badly drawn squid, completely false information about their eating habits, and poor grammar (“liquidises”? Don’t they know that the plural of squid is squid?)—clearly, the book’s audience turned away from it in contempt for their lack of accuracy.

(In case you’re wondering, and don’t want to look…I’m sorry to say that yes, it pecks a hole in poor Pat’s stomach and dissolves away his internal organs. And then it gets in a fight with a Great White Shark!)

(And before anyone sends me more links to that video of an octopus vs. a shark, I’ve seen it, and I know the octopus wins. In this comic, though, the shark is the title character, so I think he wins.)


  1. commissarjs says

    Two questions.

    1) What did giant squids eat before humans invented SCUBA.

    2) It’s going to “peck” a hole in his stomach with a beak the size of his torso?

  2. says


    “Liquidises” is correct if one is using British english. They use -ise endings instead of -ize.

    Be that as it is, the correct term is liquefy.

  3. says

    Kseniya, you’ve heard of Death’s Head, yes?

    Both liquify and liquidise are equally valid for ‘to make something into a liquid’. Although perhaps one is a more active process?

    Now, what does “gotta” mean? ;)

  4. phil says


    It would be liquify (or liquefy) if the squid were to carry out some kind of melting activity. Liquidising, which is probably a trademarked term of the Kenwood company, would ensue if the squid were to insert its beak into the abdominal cavity and spin it very fast, with a carving, grinding and slicing action. In the 1960s my parents used to own a Kenwood food processor with liquidiser attachment; they were in awe of its dangerous blades though it would have been more lethal as a blunt instrument.

    The statement that the squid injects a fluid which performs the process suggests that ‘liquefy/liquify’ is the correct term; however, the instructions for the Kenwood liquidiser were very clear that a little liquid was an important aid to the liquidising process. Thus the panel is telling me that the squid is about to perform a sensational and hitherto unsuspected manoeuvre. That PZ tells us otherwise is yet further evidence of the tease-and-disappoint nature of the comic strip artform.

  5. Kseniya says

    LOL @ Phil’s post.

    Kseniya, you’ve heard of Death’s Head, yes?

    Ummm…. no?

    I mean, which Death’s Head relates to this topic? I don’t see a connection. (I admit I haven’t looked very hard!)

  6. says

    Is that from ‘Hook Jaw‘? I used to read ‘Action’ as a child; there was one scene in which a high diver jumped off a cliff only to plummet into Hook Jaw’s waiting maw. Put me off diving forever…

  7. Warren Terra says

    Re the Octopus-vs-Shark video, some of us *haven’t* seen it. Why do you so cruely force us to Google it for ourselves?

    Ah, there it is. I’m all worn out now.

  8. Fred Levitan says

    Methinks the comic scribe has conflated the Giant Squid with some kind of giant spider, which might well liquid-ise-efy its victims innards.

  9. says

    Ooh, I remember Action! The “stories” were just excuses for lots of people to die in gruesome ways, depicted in explicit gore-in-yer-face detail. I remember a Good Guy / Bad Guy fight on top of (I think) a train. Good Guy won by hoisting Bad Guy into the air just as they entered a low tunnel. *SPLAT*

  10. Joe says

    Yeah, that’s Hook Jaw all right. I was exactly the right age for Action – I still remember one great Hook Jaw moment involving a diver going down in a cage to get close to a great white… which promptly gave birth to a dozen or so baby great whites which swam into the cage and ate him. Storytelling at its very finest.

  11. Ichthyic says

    Methinks the comic scribe has conflated the Giant Squid with some kind of giant spider, which might well liquid-ise-efy its victims innards.

    about that…

    many species of octopus use a poison/enzyme cocktail when they attack and eat bivalves.

    they grind a hole in the shell with their radula (which in this case resembles a round rasp on the end of a short pole), and then inject a saliva which contains both poison and digestive enzymes, which cause the tissue to break down.

    so, while the comic author is wrong about giant squid doing this, he certainly might have gotten the idea from the squid’s smaller cousins.

  12. Pnakotic Scribe says

    They don’t eat gastropods because that includes snails, which means escargot, and giant squid are notoriously anti-French. When devouring French seamen by poking wholes (sic) in their stomachs to liquidize them they call them “freedom snacks”. Sharks are their natural prey, of course and are called “Freedom Meals” because “entree” is obviously a French word.

    Stupid giant squid. I think the 16% of Americans who support the congress and president are actually Giant Squid in disguise.

  13. Brian X says

    Are squids even capable of looping around like that? I thought that part was fairly rigid in the majority of species.

  14. says

    No, no, you’ve completely misunderstood. The author is talking about the Great Lakes Giant Squid, not the salt water variety. And you should see what the Great Slave Lake Squid does with its prey: where do you think Canadians get zombies from?