Friday, 29 August 2014


It's a grey, wet, miserable day - so here's singer
MEL TORME to get your feet tappin' and put a
smile on your face.  Sing along now.


Now that's what I call a costume!  And ANNE
HATHAWAY is what I call a woman!  And someone
who doesn't have a chance in hell is what I call myself!
Never mind - I live in hope.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


It seems, looking back through the mystical mists of time, that it
was the small hours of the morning when my father woke me to present
me with the first issue of a new comic that had just come out.  In actuality,
it was probably only around 10 o'clock at night after he'd come home from
work, and he'd no doubt purchased the periodical from a shop earlier in the
day, or from a street vendor after finishing his shift.  I'm not sure why he
didn't simply wait 'til morning to announce its procurement - it's almost
as if he was as excited by the comic as he expected me to be.

I could see it was really a comic for girls, but expressed delight
on receiving it so as not to disappoint my father.  And perhaps I was
even delighted to a degree - after all, it was a new number one.  I can
only suppose he'd recognised the FAB 1 Rolls from THUNDERBIRDS,
or saw the name of THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. on the cover and as-
sumed it was for boys, but I'm unsure whether I ever bought another issue
(although perhaps I did).  I do recall 'though, my brother almost having
a fit some months later when my mother embarrassed him by asking
if he wanted 'Lady Penelope' in a newsagent's while we were
looking for a comic to buy.

However, enough of my dreary personal reminiscences - you
no doubt have your own memories of this comic if you read it back
in the day.  (Yeah, I know - your sister bought it - heard it.)  So, take
a trip back in time to an earlier point in your life, and live again those
seemingly more innocent , halcyon days when the world was a big-
ger, brighter and better place that it often appears today.


On the page below, note that Lady Penelope being an
inhabitant of the 21st century is seemingly ignored, and she is
depicted as a contemporary of characters from the 1960s.


Cop a load of the sensational SYBIL
wife had looked like this, he might've been
a far happier chappie.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014


Here's a story from the very first FIREBALL XL5 Annual
Curiously, none of the four Annuals by COLLINS had an identifying
year on the cover, only a copyright date inside, which may well represent
both the issue date and also the year the book was meant for.  If so, it would
be unlike most (but not all) Annuals, which are traditionally copyright dated
the year before the one on the cover.  Fireball was first broadcast on U.K. TV
on October 28th 1962 until October 27th the following year (there must have
been a break in the run as there were only 39 episodes), so it would've made
sense to release the first Annual while the show was still 'hot' on TV, in
order to capitalise on children's interest in it.  If anyone knows for
sure, I'd appreciate you letting me know.

The art is either by EDDIE PAUL or GERRY EMBLETON - I
suspect the latter, but, again, I'm not sure.  If you can identify which
one it is, feel entirely free to demonstrate your superior knowledge
in the comments section.


Here's LUCY LAWLESS - alias XENA,
WARRIOR PRINCESS.  With a surname like
Lawless, I wonder if she's a member of WILLIAM
BROWN'S OUTLAW CLUB?  Bound to be,
don't you think?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Isn't it odd the way some things lodge in the mind?  Until today, I
hadn't seen this PERSUADERS Holiday Special in 42 years, yet
some of the contents are as clear in my memory as though I'd purchased
it only yesterday.  I remember buying it from my local newsagent's on an
early Summer evening in 1972 and walking up the stairs that led from my
neighbourhood shops, while thumbing through the pages in wide-eyed
wonder as I made my way back to my house across the road.

The artwork on THE PHANTOM COACH mightily impressed
me and it's great to see it again after all this time.  If I ever knew the
artist's name then I've forgotten it, but I think this was the first time I'd
seen an example of his art (that I can recall anyway), 'though I'm sure I
saw it again in other, later publications.  I even remember the photo-joke
page, especially the first picture, which I must've quoted numerous
times over the years, although, until seeing it again today, I think
I'd forgotten exactly where I actually nicked it from.

As this was a Holiday Special, I'd imagine it went on sale sometime
around May or June, and as I moved to another house in another neigh-
bourhood halfway through June of 1972, I must've bought this magazine
not too long before flitting.  Strangely, 'though, I don't associate it with that
particular period, and had it not been dated, I'd have thought I acquired
it the year before.  Alas, even my memory is not perfect, and some-
times seeks to re-arrange the events of my own personal history.

Speaking of which, what memories do you associate with this
POLYSTYLE PUBLICATIONS periodical?  Does it conjure up
keenly-remembered recollections of yesteryear, or is it a vague, half-
forgotten shade from your childhood that lies just beyond your mind's
grasp?  Either way, tell your fellow Criv-ites all about it in our 'ever-
eager-to-hear-from-you' comments section.


Look at the first speech balloon in the first panel of page two -
'Cemetery' is misspelt 'Cemetary'.  What's more, if you examine it
carefully, you'll see that the 'A' is slightly dipped, indicating that it
was a 'correction'.  It must've been spelt right to begin with.


Everybody loves a birthday - don't they?  (Unless you know you
haven't many left.)  So here's the first birthday issue of TV CENTURY
21 from a hundred years in the future, 2066.  Normally, I'd present it in
two instalments, but as the second part usually gets only around half the
hits of the first, I decided just to give you the complete issue in one go.

For around two or three years, TV21 was probably the best weekly
periodical in Britain, and it's doubtful that there's ever been a comic for
boys since that's matched its popularity or sales.  The artwork was by the 
finest illustrators of the day, although, curiously, the Annuals were never
quite up to the same standard as the weekly.  Perhaps that's due to different
editors being responsible for each publication, and no doubt cost was also
a factor as the Annuals would have been prohibitively expensive if the
quality of reproduction was the same in each case.

Anyway, let's now look into the past and try and catch a glimpse
of the future.  Welcome to Adventure in the 21st Century!