Captain Goodvibes


Vulgar but intrepid Australian surfing cartoon character created by Sydney artist Tony Edwards; the satirically named Captain Goodvibes—a hard-drinking, drug-taking, straight-talking pig with a tunnel-shaped snout—was a big hit among Australian surfers in the 1970s and early '80s.

The "Pig of Steel" debuted in Tracks magazine in 1972; he spoke in broad Aussie surf brogue, and the multi-panel strips often ended with Goodvibes archly commenting on some man-made apocalyptic disaster. "Maybe if I study hard and do me homework," he once noted, watching as a nuclear blast sends forth an enormous wave, "I might one day get a chance to press the button meself!" (Edwards later admitted that he lifted the idea for Captain Goodvibes directly from American underground comic hero Wonder Warthog, the "Hog of Steel.")

Goodvibes was arguably the most popular surfer in Australia during the mid- and late '70s, appearing in comic books, calendars, and records. Edwards himself provided the gravelly Goodvibes voice for the radio version of the cartoon, heard on Sydney-based station 2JJ; Hot to Trot, a Yellow Submarine-influenced 35-millimeter Goodvibes animated short, was released in 1977 and toured with Australian-made surf movies. By that time, some clued-in overseas surfers were also taking notice. "Captain Goodvibes," Surfer's Journal later noted, "was, for many Americans, a first glimpse of honest Ozzy humor."

Tracks published the final Goodvibes cartoon strip in 1982. A Goodvibes panel was the main attraction of 2001's Tubular Cels: A Wild and Wet Exhibition of Loons, Goons and Surfin' Toons, a Sydney-hosted Australian surfing cartoon retrospective. Edwards went on to do cartoon work for the Sydney Morning Herald; in 1992 he was named by Australia's Surfing Life magazine as one of "Australia's 50 Most Influential Surfers."

Captain Goodvibes: My Life as a Pork Chop, a 400-page anthology, was published in 2011.