The story behind the February 2009 cover

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Barry Windows has a tiny demon on his shoulder. He used to have an angel on the opposite shoulder but it fell off when he was white-water rafting. Fortunately for Barry, he lost the hearing in his left ear at the same time so he is unable to hear the tiny demon on his shoulder. He tends to live a fairly moderate lifestyle unaffected by the evil suggestions whispered to him at every step.

Old Man Patterson was born in 1901, and if he’d been awake, he might have witnessed some of the amazing breakthroughs and changes that have taken place in his lifetime. He wasn’t awake though, so he missed it all and he hasn’t even noticed that his beloved cat Jason passed away 3 years ago.

Sir Duncan MacSeal doesn’t get to see his wee boy Callum as often as he’d like since the divorce, and it’s getting gradually harder for them to connect; but he’s determined to be there to give the advice that only a bull can give to his pup.

Lance Corporal Jenkins is an expert trained in the use of the top-secret “Electric Ears” early warning device designed to pinpoint the advancing enemy using sound waves. Although he can hear far into the distance with pinpoint accuracy, he is unable to hear anything in his immediate vicinity and so has totally missed the fact that the Second World War ended years ago.

Jacob Ghoul and Mac the Beast like nothing more than to take a break from terrorizing the tender delicate humans so that they can have a tasty cup of warm blood and a chat about old times.

Poor Mickey Hands just wasn’t drawn very well and so has lived a life of prejudice and humiliation from the superior representational drawings that are all around him.

Brave Captain Jack Stacks, the famous seafarer and explorer, met his end at the tentacles of a mighty Octopus known as “El Monstruo” that had been attacking and sinking ships in the Gulf of Mexico. He is seen here with El Monstruo’s tiny brother Emilio.

Every day in the early morning, no matter the weather, Harry Paddle dons his trunks and goggles and swims around the local pier and back. He claims it has kept him fit and healthy although he does suffer from chronic bronchitis and he nearly lost his left leg to frostbite.

David G. Stimms is head of the hugely successful fast food chain Tiny Bites, which provides tiny dishes for tiny patrons.

Vanessa Slink takes her pet snake Solomon, wrapped around her left leg, everywhere she goes. They have been together since she was eight years old and any friend or lover of hers is expected to accept Solomon without question.

Tyrone Brown served in the first Gulf War, which affected him deeply. He regrets his actions and has vowed never to raise his fist in anger again and has let Christ into his life. However he doesn’t regret the toned upper body he developed from all the military training, and he has a tendency to whip off his top whenever the moment takes him.

Xavier Chevalier invented the onion-skin protection suit (or “le costume de protection de peau d’oignon”) in the late 1940s. He intended to mass-produce them but never found any backers partly because the name was such a mouthful and partly because he neglected to add arms to the suit. Unfortunately for Xavier, his main rival Emmanuel Borque had included arms and a pipe holder in his design and has found financial backers all over the globe.

Alistair Shelby was born invisible, a very rare recessive condition that affects one in a thousand people, though some experts believe that it is more common and that the children are just lost at birth. While growing up, Alistair had to withstand the mean-spirited taunts and songs of his school friends such as “Alistair, Alistair, he’s not there” and “I’m looking through you”. He’s now an accountant living in the suburbs of London, but he sometimes feels he hasn’t entirely fulfilled his potential.

Belle Damejardin was born Lesley Knolls, but changed her name when she took to the stage. She famously claims to have never exposed her milky white skin to the harsh rays of the sun, though it has been exposed to the glare of many a red-blooded male. She performs her burlesque show all over the globe for the rich and famous and commands huge sums for a single show.