Saturday, 31 December 2011

AND NOW - A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR...



Hard as it may be for many of you to believe, this particular Scots-
man is and always has been a complete teetotaller - never touched a
drop of alcohol in my life, nosirree. So I won't be part of the drunken
revels that'll no doubt be taking place all across the country (and the
world) later tonight.

I'll be tucked-up in bed well before the Bells, with my cocoa and
a Christmas Annual (I'll put on my slippers and walk SALMA to the
bus stop first, of course - after all, I know how to treat a lady), before
settling down to, hopefully, a peaceful slumber, undisturbed by any
Bacchanalian orgies taking place in my neck of the woods.

So, to all those deserving of it - have a happy
and prosperous new year. See you in 2012. 

Friday, 30 December 2011

MOEBIUS AT MARVEL...A RUEFUL REFLECTION ON AN EPIC DISAPPOINTMENT AND DISASTER!



Behold - THE SILVER SURFER!  Yup, here's the shiny, chrome-
domed sky-rider himself in the 1988 hardback graphic novel entitled
PARABLE (plotted and scripted by STAN LEE), which first appeared
in a two-issue comicbook presentation earlier that same year.

Behold, also, what MOEBIUS (the non de plume of artist JEAN
GIRAUD) writes about his rendition of the character in his reflections
at the back of the book:

"From a strictly academic standpoint, some might say that my
Silver Surfer may be better than that of other American artists.
But I think this is a very incomplete and arguable point of view."

In fact, I'd go further.  I'd say it's so unlikely a point of view that it
would never have occurred to anybody had he himself not cleverly im-
planted the suggestion into people's minds, while pre-emptively protecting
himself from accusations of vanity (or delusion) by 'modestly' claiming not
to subscribe to the idea.  However, the notion of him perhaps being the
best Silver Surfer artist to date has doubtless now taken root.

Obviously, not everyone will subscribe to the view, but - with one
sentence - he has probably ensured his inclusion as a contender in
any future discussions as to who the best illustrator of the former herald
of GALACTUS might be.  And (clever him) he's the one who introduced
the thought - which had to be 'verbalised' first, as it could never have
come from merely looking at the book itself.  (Don't get me wrong -
there are some nice pictures, but overall it's disappointing.)


So, well done Moebius.  The fact remains 'though, that while Parable
is a nicely written story, it hardly rates up there with the classic issues
illustrated by JOHN BUSCEMA.  The art is professional enough, and it
is interesting to see another 'take' on the character of NORRIN RADD,
but Moebius's ego is the main reason why Stan's plot and scripting are
so drastically diluted in their impact, and why the finished product is
so disappointingly underwhelming.

His ego?  Yes.  Consider what he has to say about
lettering for example:

"To me, the lettering is a form of graphology. 
It reflects your own style and personality."

"That's why I don't really understand how an artist
can entrust something that important to a hired hand,
no matter how good he may be."

"To me, it's monstrous to have an important part
of the look of a page determined by an outsider."

"My letter is alive.  It dances on the paper.
It reflects my personality."

"I'd...rather have my own letters than the in-
trusion of someone else's style on my page.  I really
fail to understand how artists can tolerate this."

"The excuse of legibility is, I think, a very poor
one.  It is something that can be done away with."

Hark at the conceit of the man.  If you're reading this and happen
to know Moebius, kindly give him a good hard slap across the
kipper the next time you see him for talking utter b*ll*cks.


Parable is extremely difficult to read.  The balloons and captions are
too big and intrusive, and the lettering is sloppy and scratchy, making
it hard to decipher in many places, resulting in a start-stop-go back again
reading experience.  It's the comics equivalent of watching a DVD which
drags, sticks, skips and suffers from sound drop-out.  Incidentally, don't
be fooled by these enhanced scans from the superior-printed book
edition - the comicbook printings are farFAR worse.

Clearly Moebius's main mistake is in thinking that a story exists
for the purpose of reflecting the artist's personality.  I'm not interested in
Moebius's personality (or that of any other writer or artist, come to that).
At least, it's not my primary concern when I buy a comic, book, or DVD.
I bought Parable because I'm interested in the Silver Surfer, not Moebius.
The purpose of a comic, or any other form of storytelling, is to say "Look
at that, look at him, look at them, look at the premise, the story,
the situation" - not "Look at me!". 

Of course, it goes without saying that any body of work - whether
it be comics, books, music, movies, poetry, sculpture, any form of art,
in fact - will reveal, to a greater or lesser extent, some aspect of the
creator's personality, whether he wishes it to or not.  However, that
should be a secondary result, apparent only after enjoyment of -
and reflection on - the work itself.

It's a bit like looking through a window at an exquisite view
beyond.  As one stands there, drinking in the scene, after a while
one's focus shifts and the image of one's own reflection in the glass
suddenly makes itself known, even if it is somewhat indistinct and tran-
sparent.  In a vaguely similar manner, that's how one should regard an
artist in comparison to his work - it's the work that should be the main
source of interest and fascination, not the artist, although that may
(and often does) follow.


Moebius's views on lettering are simply absurd.  All that his own
lettering reflects about him is that he isn't very accomplished in the
art.  He even admits that "...my lettering on some pages is not always
as good as I'd like it to be."  Also, "...maybe I rushed a little too much in
places."  Yeah - all the way through the book by the look of it.  What this
reveals about the man is that he's more interested in projecting and pro-
moting his 'personality' at the expense of the story. Or why else
would he settle for something less than it could be?

The best products are (usually) produced by the best craftsmen.  This
is true for every field of endeavour.  Sometimes one man can do more
than one task well, but rarely can one man do all tasks as well as a team
of individual specialists.  If Moebius feels that comics exist for the purpose
of reflecting the artist's personality, not only should he draw and letter
them, he should create his own characters, write his own stories, colour
his own strips, design, edit and publish the things to boot.

In illustrating a story by another writer, he acknowledges the
collaborative nature of comicbooks, so it seems misguided (to say
nothing of egocentric) not to allow someone better qualified than him-
self to render the script in a way that makes it more readily accessible
to the reader, and also complements the art more effectively than
his own sub-standard attempts at 'graphology'.

Most artists don't "tolerate" what Moebius complains about -
they're grateful for it.  They understand that producing comicbooks
is a business, not a conceit, and that the published product is better for
having a variety of professionally proficient practitioners participating in
the project.  A good penciller benefits from having a good inker, and they
both benefit from having a good colourist and a good letterer because
they all realize that the end result is greater than the sum of its
parts.  (To use a well-worn phrase.)


In conclusion, Moebius admits that his art is "erratic" and his lettering
is "a little rushed" and "not always as good" as he'd like it to be.  His art
in the book is serviceable at best, his lettering diabolical, and his attitude
insulting.  Had JOHN BUSCEMA drawn the book, it would've been a more
than worthy addition to the seventeen issues he was responsible for in the
'60s.  How could it fail to be, given that Stan plotted and scripted it?

As it stands, however, the power, fluency and relevance of the
story have been so compromised by the art and lettering as to reduce
it to nothing more than a mildly interesting-but-unsatisfying footnote in
the hitherto noteworthy (in the main) annals of the Star-Spanning
Sentinel of the Spaceways.

Let's hope that MARVEL one day re-letters the story to an
acceptable professional standard, and gives Stan's story the justice
it deserves.  Meanwhile, Big John can rest in peace, his reputation
fully intact.  When it comes to drawing the Surfer, there's little likeli-
hood that Moebius will ever steal Buscema's crown - despite his
self-serving semi-suggestion to the contrary.

Here's how it should be done. Art by John
Buscema, lettering by Phil Felix


******

UPDATE:  I see that some poor, ineffectual, inadequate 'adult'
simpleton who is completely divorced from reality and spends his time
arguing with teenagers on message forums has been taking a little pop at
me over this post in some of his Amazon reviews.  How he finds the time
between trawling trannie-porn sites and trying to pass himself off as a
  'comicbook creator' is a bit of a mystery 'though.  

Thursday, 29 December 2011

NO CONTEST - ARE YOU NUTS?



About ten days back, I decided to do something new (as far as I know) in the world of blogging - hold a comics competition, with a nice collectors' item book about DENNIS THE MENACE as the prize. All that was required was answering five easy questions, the winner to be picked from amongst the correct respondents.

Going by the stat counter, the post got a fair amount of interest - but no one actually ventured to answer the questions. I have to ask - why? This was a genuine offer - the book really would have been despatched - at my own expense - to the winner. Surely the questions weren't too difficult for anyone who knows anything about comics?

Anyway, the closing date was yesterday (28th), so I'll save the pristine condition, unopened, unread book from 2001 for another time. That should give you all a chance to do a bit of swotting up on the subject in the meanwhile. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

STAN LEE - AND ME...



It's STAN (The Man) LEE's birthday today, and that's the only
excuse I need to show this photo of the MARVEL MAESTRO and
myself again. (I was freelancing for Marvel when this pic was taken so,
in effect, Stan was my boss at the time.) He's eighty-nine today, which
means he's probably only got about another 50 years of productive life
ahead of him. (Everyone knows that comicbook heroes age at a slower
rate than the rest of us, and Stan's the biggest comicbook
hero of them all.)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STAN!


Now, as it's Stan's birthday, why not treat yourself to this nice
book all about him? It's published by TWOMORROWS PUB-
LISHING, and is probably still available from your local comics
shop. (I got my deluxe hardcover edition from FORBIDDEN
PLANET.) Ask about THE STAN LEE UNIVERSE the
next time you're in.

Monday, 26 December 2011

BELMONT ON BOXING DAY...


My old Primary School in 1984/'85

Christmas tends to make me sentimental - usually for the Christmases
of my past, but also for the past in general.  Above is a photo taken back
in the mid-'80s (on a 110mm camera, hence the less-than-sharp image)
of the view across the road and down the hill from the house in which I
lived from 1965 until '72.

Thirteen years later, things were much the same as they had always
been, apart from the absence of the annexed huts in the grounds of my
old primary school.  About four years later (1989), an old folks home was
built on the field in the foreground, and - currently - a new school is being
built on the football pitches in the background.  When it's completed, at
some as yet undetermined time, the old school - my old school - will
be demolished and houses and/or flats will be built in its place.

I attended this school for nearly five years (between 1965 and '70) and,
due to its close proximity to my house, I also played in its grounds after
hours and at weekends.  Even after moving from the neighbourhood, I
found myself back in its hallowed halls on many occasions over the years;
at coffee mornings, jumble sales, and Christmas fayres and the like.  It's
strange to think that one day, in the not too distant future, this small but
reassuring pleasure of reconnecting with this particular aspect of my
childhood will be denied me when the school is no longer there.

The view from the upstairs hallway

I often take a walk along to my old school of an evening (weather
permitting, and sometimes even when it isn't) and, if no one else is
around, sit on a bench in what's left of the playground for a while and
lose myself in memories of yesteryear, recalling what it was like to be
a boy with eternity in his grasp.  (Or so it seemed at the time.)  Strange
as it may sound, I just want to spend some time in its company while
I still can, before it's taken from me forever.

It's a bittersweet experience, not unlike sitting at the bedside of a
terminally-ill friend or relative who hasn't even been told he's dying,
never mind that it will be soon.  (Happened to a friend of mine, believe
it or not.) I sit and look at my old school and just remember - and
when I take my unwilling leave, I feel like a cad for pretending that
everything is as it was and always will be.

The school doesn't know its fate, you see.  It welcomes me in the
same simple, honest, 'glad-to-see-me' way each time, unaware of the
secret I'm keeping.  It probably regards the new building under construc-
tion as a companion, not a replacement.  (I wonder if old dogs think the
same when a new puppy is brought into the house, or do they somehow
know that this presages their inevitable end - and resent it?)  Each time
I leave, I hope I have enough time to come back again before...
well, you know - 'before'...

Photo taken by departing teacher Mrs. Tighe in 1967.  The annexed
huts sat at the edge of the playground directly in front of the school 

But hark at me, imbuing inanimate objects with sentience and
feelings.  Just can't help it 'though.  Each time I learn that a landmark
from my childhood has (or is about to) become a victim of 'progress' (and
there've been quite a few casualties over the years), I feel diminished in
some way; almost as though my very essence is being eroded along with
those monuments to my youth, as - one by one, year by year - yet another
of my life's 'signposts' falls by the wayside, never to be seen again.
(Except in faded photographs and dim and distant memories
of younger and happier times.)

Perhaps that accounts for the compulsion of collectors like myself
to seek out and surround ourselves with tangible reminders of the past.
Each treasure from childhood that we succeed in reacquiring is an attempt
to compensate in some way for everything else that is lost to us over the
years, and somehow helps to close the gap between then and now.  

Soon, the New Year will be upon us, and we'll toast it as the harbinger
of new hope and new beginnings, conveniently forgetting that it's a false
friend who promises much, but delivers little - with each and every visit
leaving us only less time to look forward to than we had before.

******

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like this one.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL 'KID-ITES'...



Here's hoping you've found something worth reading in your visits to this humble site. Hope to see you back in the New Year - if not sooner.

BEANO AND DANDY BARGAINS...



Although it will probably be possible to pick up the 2012 BEANO and DANDY Annuals for around £1.99 each after Christmas as shops try to offload leftover stock, if you're still looking to put a little something extra into wee Jimmy's stocking before the 25th, then get yourself down to SAINSBURY'S today (Christmas Eve) while there's still time. Why? Because they're currently selling their Annuals for a mere £3 each, which is a pretty decent bargain - both of them for £6.

Remember, you read it here first. 

CHRISTMAS WITH BIG HEAD AND THICK HEAD...


From The Dandy, issue dated Feb 8th, 1964

I'm actually old enough to remember when KEN REID's artwork
appeared in D.C. THOMSON comics, before he later became a mainstay
over at ODHAMS PRESS, then FLEETWAY/IPC. The original artist of
ROGER THE DODGER, he also drew JONAH and GRANDPA for THE
BEANO, as well as the adventures of BIG HEAD AND THICK HEAD,
which appeared on the back page of THE DANDY every week.

After departing for Odhams, he was replaced by FRANK
McDIARMID, who - going by the example below - managed
to imitate his style very well indeed.

From The Dandy, issue dated Dec 25th, 1965

So, here's another little Christmas treat for all you discerning Kid-ites -
two actual Big Head and Thick Head back-page Dandy delights for
your personal perusal and appreciation.

THE BEANO'S BIFFO THE BEAR'S HOME MOVIES...

 

A lovely Christmas cover from the December 1954 BEANO to drool
over this time 'round, folks. Although printing technology has advanced
in leaps and bounds in modern times, there's something about that old
'Ben Day' dots colouring technique which adds to the atmosphere in a
way which modern colouring simply can't match - despite its superior
reproduction. Look at that snow-clad logo - great, isn't it?

To read the strip, click on the image to enlarge -
then click again for optimum size. 

Friday, 23 December 2011

SLEIGHBELLS IN THE SKY...



For many years, visitors to various 2000 A.D. fan sites (and even
the official one) researching the works of writer GORDON RENNIE,
would have seen the name of one story attributed to him that wasn't his.
Upon discovering this, I decided to own up and take the blame, thereby
removing the blot on his otherwise sterling reputation.


Yes, dear reader, 'twas I - KID ROBSON - who penned this particular
episode of THARG'S FUTURE SHOCKS, entitled SLEIGHBELLS IN
THE SKY. Frankly, I thought the lettering was a bit too big, the colouring
too dark, and some slight editorial revision detracted from the consistency
of the meter, but otherwise it was a nice-enough little Christmas filler.


The cover doubled as the 2000 A.D. Christmas card that year,
sent from the office of THARG THE MIGHTY to all contributors. I
still have mine tucked away, in case it ever becomes valuable. Watch
 out for me on the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW in about 30 years.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

WHEN CHRISTMAS WAS JUST DANDY...



As anyone not living on the outer reaches of Tatooine or
recovering from serious brain surgery can tell you, the content
of THE DANDY's current incarnation (with a couple of exceptions)
is a big putrid pile of pongy poo, thereby rendering it redundant for
any practical purpose. It's not even fit for lining the bottom of Polly
the parrot's cage, as the idea is to take sh*t out, not put it in.

So, let's return to an earlier era when The Dandy still sold in
many multiples of thousands and, unlike today, didn't have cheap
plastic tat attached to help it sell to those who don't actually want the
comic itself. Kids and bigger kids - I give you the Christmas
Dandy from 1947.

Back then, KORKY THE CAT was the cover star, and had been
since issue #1 in 1937, eventually being replaced by DESPERATE
DAN in 1984. Until then, he had missed only one cover - in 1945
   when KEYHOLE KATE grabbed top-billing for an issue.    

WHAT DO CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND WD-40 HAVE IN COMMON?



BEHOLD!  The ever-lovin' tenth issue of CAPTAIN BRITAIN
from 1976.  Although it's dated December 15th, it actually came out the
week before (8th), as is the way of British weekly comics.  (No, they don't
all come out on Dec 8th - I mean they usually come out a week before
the date on the cover.  There are exceptions of course.)

In my mind, I've always associated this issue with Christmas
1976, although the actual Christmas number didn't appear 'til a couple of
weeks later.  The reason I remember this one 'though, is because the day I
bought it there was snow on the ground - just like on the cover.  Also, I was
signwriting a pickup truck in a garage forecourt that day, and, because of
the cold, I couldn't work quite as fast as I would've liked.  Plus, it was
also a month to the very day since I had packed in my job at
BOOTS THE CHEMISTS.

Another thing I remember is a visiting rep expounding the
advantages of a 'new' product to the garage owner (Mr McTIER),
while demonstrating its properties on a large nut and bolt.  The product?
WD-40.  I say new, but actually WD-40 was developed in 1953 and first
became commercially available in San Diego in 1958.  I can only assume
it was still pretty much a 'secret' in Britain in 1976 'though, for the rep
to be pushing it as the 'next big thing'.

Funny the things that stick in one's mind, eh?  That's why CB
#10 will always remind me of Christmas 1976 more than just about
anything else.  I was young, the world lay at my feet - and the
  future was mine for the taking.  

DENNIS HAS SNOWBALLS - WALTER HAS NO - ER, LET'S LEAVE THAT THERE, ACTUALLY...



One can never have enough of DENNIS THE MENACE in my opinion.
Of course, I mean when he was funny, not the anaemic, cutesy-looking,
wimpy impersonator who's taken his place in recent years. (Sigh.) Never
mind - at least we have nearly twenty years worth of classic Dennis strips
as drawn by his original artist DAVEY LAW to enjoy - like the one which
graces this very post.

Hard as it may be for some people to believe, I know of one comics
collector who has never cared much for the exploits of the indominatble
Dennis. Doesn't care for 'rough boy' strips apparently. The irony involved
in his being the living embodiment of WALTER THE SOFTY is obviously
lost on him. We rugged, manly, he-men type collectors can look down on
his effete wimpishness with well-deserved contempt. We're Menace
fans and proud of it.  

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

DENNIS'S FIRST CHRISTMAS...



The above three-quarter page strip from 1951 was the first one to feature
DENNIS THE MENACE in a 'Christmas' setting. That this was early in
his BEANO career is attested by his diminutive size. Later on, when artist
DAVEY LAW was under pressure, Dennis became elongated because
of the speed at which Law was compelled to draw him. He eventually
shrank back down a bit, but here's the Menace before he first gained
the look that made him appear as if he'd been on the rack.

A RAINBOW AT CHRISTMAS...



Following on from the post about TIGER TIM'S WEEKLY,
here's another comic-paper he and his chums, the BRUIN BOYS,
appeared in - the Christmas Double Number from 1915. Lovely
and Christmassy, ain't it? Enjoy.

FURTHER FESTIVE FROLICS WITH FRANKIE...



Speaking of ROBERT NIXON (as we were in the previous post), and
continuing our Christmas theme, here's a wonderful FRANKIE STEIN
illustration from the back cover of the WHOOPEE softcover book of the
same name from 1975/'76. Unfortunately, this replacement copy of my
original was somewhat water-damaged when I got it, but hopefully it
won't diminish your enjoyment of Bob's masterful artwork too much.

CALLING CHRIS B - ROBERT NIXON'S OOR WULLIE...



Reader CHRIS B - in response to a previous post of mine - was recently
asking about artist ROBERT NIXON's artwork on OOR WULLIE and
THE BROONS. Robert could draw anything, but somehow, to me, his style -
wonderful as it was - didn't quite fit the THE SUNDAY POST's iconic strips.
When DUDLEY DEXTER WATKINS was drawing the pages each week,
although they were comic enough, I always felt that they belonged more
in the category of humorous illustration than outright cartoons.

Nixon's style was a bit more cartoony in the classic sense, and therefore
not a perfect match for the long-established look that preceded him. Which
is not to say that his style was bad - it was just a tad out of sync with what
readers were used to and expecting.

However, D.D. Watkins is a hard act to follow (as was Nixon in 99%
of his output). I'd go as far as to say that the only artist ever to come close
to Watkins (if not actually equal him, in fact) is KEN H. HARRISON,
who drew Wullie and the Broons back in the late '80s and '90s.


Anyway, I can't find any Broons by Nixon in a cursory browse through
my library, but, here - for Chris B (and anyone else who's interested) - are
some panels of Bob Nixon's Oor Wullie from the 1995 book (published in '94).
I couldn't scan the full page without cracking the spine, so hopefully these
   examples will suffice in giving you a taste of his take on the character.    

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

YOGI BEAR'S EXPRESS CHRISTMAS...



Here's a couple more HANNA-BARBERA strips from a 1960 edition
of TV EXPRESS WEEKLY. The first features YOGI BEAR, followed
by two tiers of MR JINKS with PIXIE & DIXIE. Strictly speaking, Yogi's
strip isn't Christmas-related, apart from being set in Winter, but I doubt that
you'll hold that against me. The comic's cover logo doesn't necessarily come
from the same one as the strips, although it just might do. (When I scanned
the images I didn't bother noting the specifics of which came from what.)
Because of the page-size I had to scan it in two halves, so you'll need to
view each section separately when you click on them to enlarge.
(Remember to click again for full size.) Well worth it 'though.

For all those interested in Hanna-Barbera cartoons and related
topics, be sure to check out the most excellent YOWP site over at

WHOOPEE - IT'S THE CHRISTMAS REPRINT NUMBER...



Looking through my back issue files, I uncovered this Christmas number
of THE BEST OF WHOOPEE MONTHLY from 1985 - over a quarter of a
century ago. I was buying the title at the time, but I was given this copy
by BOB PAYNTER, the group editor of IPC's humour division, when I was
down in London on business. Why do I remember? See the little number
atop the right-hand corner? 2014 - that means it was Bob's personal
copy. An unmarked spare must've found its way into his file cabinet. A
lovely ROBERT NIXON illustration adorns the cover, no doubt culled
from one of the weekly editions as the monthly was all-reprint.


The back cover features a nice BOOK WORM tale, drawn by SID
BURGON, and complementing the approaching Festive Season, which
would still have been around a month away when the comic first came
out. Although dated December, it probably went on sale in November (at
the latest), to give it plenty of shelf life and a greater chance of selling.
These magazines were really very good value for money and it's a
shame they're not still around today.    

TIGER TIM'S WEEKLY CHRISTMAS NUMBER...




TIGER TIM made his first appearance in a one-off comic strip in THE
DAILY MIRROR on April 16th, 1904, before getting his own spot in THE
MONTHLY PLAYBOX, a children's supplement to THE WORLD AND HIS
WIFE MAGAZINE, in November of that year. He was also featured in THE
PLAYBOX ANNUAL, the first of which appeared in 1909. Then, when THE
RAINBOW was launched in 1914 (dated February 14th), Tim had the front
cover spot, along with his chums THE BRUIN BOYS. So far, JULIUS
STAFFORD BAKER had been the artist, but before long, S. J. CASH
and then HERBERT FOXWELL took over the artistic reins.

Under Foxwell, Tiger and his pals became virtual superstars, with
Tiger getting his own comic, TIGER TIM'S TALES, the first issue of
which was dated June 1st, 1919. Around eight months later, the comic was
relaunched as TIGER TIM'S WEEKLY (issue dated January 31st). Tiger
may well be the longest-lasting regular comic character ever, as, even
after the demise of his own starring titles, his last appearance was in
1985 in JACK AND JILL WEEKLY

Anyway, all that aside, I thought you may appreciate seeing a Festive
number of ol' Tiger's title from 1923 - just to give you a taste of Christmas
past. Apologies to any Glaswegians who thought this post was going to be
about the former RADIO CLYDE DJ, also named Tiger Tim. 

CHRISTMAS DENNIS HAS TO GO - SAY GOODBYE WITH A "HO HO HO"...



And here's the final part of our DENNIS THE MENACE "Christmas" cover
gallery. As mentioned previously, out of thirty-nine books over a period of
fifty-five years (1955-2110), only the five that I've featured in this and two
previous posts have had anything resembling a Festive-themed cover -
and any hint of such has been entirely due to the use of a "snowy" scene
in which Dennis got up to his usual mischief. ('Though, as can be seen on
the back cover below, it wasn't snow in this instance but ice cream.)


No sign of baubles, choir singers, Christmas cards or Santas - or
any other traditional images associated with the Season were utilised
in suggesting the time of year. Who knows, but if the Dennis books ever
reappear in the future, perhaps Santa may show up yet. And if he does,
no doubt Dennis will be pulling his beard or stealing his reindeer for a
ride 'round the block. Now wouldn't that be something?



The above two painted illustrations would make a great Christmas
card. Are you listening, DCT?

Monday, 19 December 2011

MORE FESTIVE FUN & FRIVOLITY WITH DENNIS THE MENACE...



Continuing our DENNIS THE MENACE book covers with a hint
of Christmas about them, we now present two, count 'em - two - from a
few years back. There isn't a Menace book for 2012, although that's maybe
because DCT don't want to detract attention (or sales) from the BEANO/
DANDY Dennis Celebration book which is in the shops even as I type
these very words. Perhaps there'll be a Dennis & Gnasher book
next year - we'll have to wait and see. 

 
In the meantime 'though, enjoy this reminder of when Dennis
and his chums occasionally played in the snow.



Another two still to come. Don't miss 'em!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

FREE CHRISTMAS COMPETITION TIME - A DENNIS THE MENACE BOOK COULD BE YOURS...



As it's nearly Christmas, I thought I'd do something different in the
world of blogging and have a competition. (As long as it's not breaking
any rules.) The prize is a pristine, unread copy of D.C. THOMSON's
50th Anniversary book on DENNIS THE MENACE, published
back in 2001.

Unfortunately, only UK residents can enter, and - as this is a
competition for collectors - only over 21s, so no kids please.
(Although you can ask a parent to enter on your behalf.)

Please also note that this competition is not open to fellow
bloggers with their own comics sites. 'Civilians' only.


To win this Collecters' item classic, all you have to
do is answer the following five questions:

1) Who was Dennis the Menace named after?

2) What month and year did he first appear?

3) Which two other famous comic character is
Dennis's artist Davey Law also known for?

4) What was the original name of the character
from The People's Journal who was transformed
into Dennis for publication in the Dennis books?

5) What other famous comics character was
revealed to have a 'Dennis the Menace' haircut
in 1999/2000?

Type your answers in the comment box with your real name
and age - no further details. The names of all those with five correct
answers will be put into a hat and one will be chosen at random in about
ten days. I will then post the winner's name, who can contact me with his
or her postal details, which will not be published publicly and will be
immediately discarded once the book is sent. P.O. Box Numbers are
acceptable. No other contact from me will follow and no personal
communication outside of this blog will be entertained.

Competition closes on December 28th, 2011.

Okay peeps, what are you waiting for? GET TO IT!

CRIKEY! YOGI BEAR & FRIENDS CHRISTMAS CRACKERS...



Not too long ago, I parted with a pile of old comics (TV EXPRESS
WEEKLY) that were garhering dust in my wardrobe. They were IPC
file copies that had been given to me a quarter of a century ago, but apart
from some nice RON EMBLETON colour covers, the only other content
that appealed to me was some HANNA BARBERA strips such as YOGI
BEAR and the like. I scanned the covers and the HB strips before passing
them on, so I'm able to offer you a little treat here by sharing with you
some of the earliest, British-produced HB TV tie-in strips from 1960. I
didn't bother noting which strips go with which covers or mastheads so
it's a bit 'pot-luck', but here's the first of some lovely Festive frivolities
to feast your peepers on.
  


And don't forget to check out YOWP 's great blog on all
things HANNA-BARBERA here - it's not to be missed.