Thursday, 31 May 2012

PART FOUR OF BUSTER, SON OF ANDY CAPP...



Well, the "storm" seems to have blown itself out, so let's take advantage
of the apparent calm to take a look at the final part of the 1968 issue of
BUSTER which I've been serialising over the last few weeks. Apart from a
few ad pages, you now have a complete issue of ANDY CAPP 's lad's very
own comic to peruse at your leisure.

 


MICKY MARVEL'S MULTI-GUN first appeared in the issue dated
for January 20th, 1968, and ended a year later on January 18th, 1969.
The strip was drawn by CARLOS CRUZ GONZALEZ, who had drawn
quite a few features for IPC/FLEETWAY and also D.C. THOMSON.
He was one of the artists who drew DAN DARE in the relaunched
EAGLE back in the '80s. 


What can I tell you about CRUNCHER, THE TINY TERMITE
WITH THE BIG APPETITE? Well, for a start, he was a...er... termite,
and he had...er...a big appetite. That's about it really.


I've included some ad pages just to give you a taste of the times. Anyone
know how many of these games are still available today? (Probably all of
them...if you haunt the charity shops.)


BIG CHIEF POW WOW was, in some ways, a return to LITTLE PLUM
territory for LEO BAXENDALE. The character debuted in the cover-dated
September 14th, 1968 issue and concluded in the one dated for January
31st, 1970.


Look at the above ad. Nowadays, a CORGI TOYS MONKEEMOBILE
from the '60s would probably set you back at least a couple of hundred
quid for a good condition model in its original box. Bet you wish you'd
kept yours, eh? Too late, it's gone. Get used to it.


THE HAPPY FAMILY (does such a thing exist these days?) was drawn
by the always excellent REG PARLETT. Apparently, early episodes were
reprints of a strip called THE HARTY FAMILY, which had first appeared
in TV FUN, but whether or not it was based on an actual TV series, I'm far 
too lazy to try and ascertain. The strip made its first appearance in Buster
in the cover-dated issue for August 17th, 1968, and took its final bow in
the issue dated January 4th, 1975. Although, whether or not it was an
uninterrupted run, I'm unable to say. ('Cos I don't know.)
 

Another ad - I doubt the readers were ever too enthused about the
exploits of RACE REVELL, although the model company which
spawned him still exists to this very day.



NUTTY SLACK  is a type of coal, as well as a brittle toffee sweet
containing nuts. However, in the case of the character appearing in
Buster, he's exactly what it says on the "tin" - a gentle grappler. First
turning up in the issue dated for September 10th, 1966, he ended his
run in the issue for December 28th, 1968. Drawn by DOUG MAXTED,
who also drew HIS SPORTING LORDSHIP in the new SMASH!
comic from 1969 onwards.


CAPTAIN SWOOP first appeared in a short-lived comic called
GIGGLE (of which I have the bound volume of FLEETWAY file copies
from the period), moving over to Buster when the two comics merged on
January 13th, 1968. (Issue dated 20th.) It was a translated reprint from a
French comic strip, and managed to hold on until the issue dated for April
19th, 1969, whereupon it retired into history. Whether or not the original
strip still runs in France is anyone's guess.

Anyway, there you have it. A complete issue of Buster (minus a
few ads) from 1968. Hopefully, you've enjoyed this glimpse into the past
as much as I enjoyed my red-hot date with SALMA HAYEK last night.
(Whaddya mean dreams don't count?)

******


******

COMING SOON: The first appearance of SWAMP THING! 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

SUPERMAN - OUT OF THE CLOSET...?


Yeah - the 'S' does stand for 'straight' - whaddabout it?

I promise - we'll get to the last part of BUSTER, SON OF ANDY
CAPP soon. First, however, I can no longer sit back and say nothing
about the latest attempt to sway public opinion on a controversial issue
by those who believe that anyone who doesn't see things their way is a
hate-filled bigot who is out of step with the majority. I fully expect to
lose a few followers with this post, but if they can't accept that other
people are as entitled to hold and express an opinion as they are,
then that's their problem, not mine.

DC COMICS has recently announced that an established superhero
is going to be retconned as gay when he is reintroduced into current
continuity sometime soon. MARVEL COMICS recently published an
issue where the gay character NORTHSTAR was due to marry his boy-
friend and contained a close-up of the two men kissing, and also of
Northstar carrying his lover in an 'over the threshold'-type position.
I haven't seen the issue itself, only a report and the above-described
two pictures on a comics news-site.

Someone recently proposed on his blog that SUPERMAN should be
portrayed as gay or bisexual. Considering the stushie that would ensue if
it were suggested that a gay person (real or fictional) should be 'turned'
straight, it was rather a daring (even impertinent) proposition on his part.
That way, he claimed, gay, bi, or transgendered people would feel more
included in society. Apart from this being rather patronising to the gay,
bi and transgendered community (and insulting to the rest of us), I
consider it to be completely unnecessary.

Superman breaking free - from the 'confines' of his traditional
hetrosexuality? Seems it's not enough to be straight these days

If you're gay or bi and want to believe that Superman and his 'best pal'
JIMMY OLSEN have something 'extra' going on in between CLARK's
sessions with LOIS LANE, then you're perfectly free to think so. If, on the
other hand, such a thing would never occur to you, then there's nothing to
suggest otherwise. Everybody can believe what they want, read into it what
they want, and everybody's happy. There's absolutely no need to change
the status quo. I don't need a 'Scottish, few pounds heavier than he should
be, tad over average height' superhero to enjoy a well-written comicbook
(or to feel 'accepted' or good about myself) so why should a small minority
of extremists be allowed to hijack comics in order to pursue their own
personal agenda?

Are you gay, bi or transgendered? Honestly, I don't give a sh*t, but
don't keep bleating on about it. If you don't insist on making an issue of
it everywhere you go, then chances are that nobody else will either. If
someone chapped your door one night and asked if they could watch
you 'at it', you'd quite rightly chase them away faster than a BARRY
ALLEN hand-job. The fact is, most people just aren't interested in
what you may or may not get up to - they don't want to know - in
real life or comicbooks.

At a time when comicbook sales are in drastic decline, publishers would
do well to reconsider the audience they're aiming for. When comics were
primarily cheap, mass-marketed entertainment for kids and teenagers, with
nothing that could potentially offend anyone, they sold in their millions.
However, now that they've become an over-priced, glossy-papered product
(seemingly more concerned with peddling propaganda than entertaining
people), and sold only in an ever-diminishing outlet of speciality shops,
they have to resort to cheap publicity stunts on contentious issues in an
attempt to punt their wares.

Not every form of public entertainment needs to be transformed into a
forum or arena for pursuing or promoting any one group's own pet cause
or personal interests - whatever they happen to be and regardless of their
sexual, social, religious or cultural orientation. Militants - whatever your
'issues' are - take them elsewhere, huh? And give the rest of us a break!

Now, who's going to be the first brave soul to agree with me?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

JOURNEY INTO BLOGGERY...


"Yeah...I'm lookin' at YOU!"

While we're waiting for the final instalment of BUSTER,
SON OF ANDY CAPP, permit me to make a brief detour.

Sometimes I despair of some of my fellow bloggers. Presenting
themselves as fair, open-minded enquirers after truth who welcome
all forms of diverse opinion to theirs (in regard to subjects on which
they themselves have invited comment), they then reveal themselves to
be biased, small-minded extremists who don't really want to hear what
others have to say - unless it's to tell them just how right they are on
whatever they happen to be banging on about at the moment.

If someone is going to raise a controversial issue on their blog
 then they should be prepared to receive some controversial replies -
ones they might even be offended by. However, I've often found that
when a person claims to find a point of view offensive, what they're
actually offended by is the idea of someone having an opinion
contrary to their own. (How very dare they!)

The fact is, some people just don't like to be disagreed with -
especially when they're simply not very good at defending their
propositions to begin with. And that's regardless of whether said
proposition is absurd, questionable, or entirely reasonable. One thing
I've learned from bloggerland is that, very often, when someone asks
a question, the only answer they're interested in hearing is the one
upon which they've already decided. It seems that everyone else's
purpose is simply to support their fragile and insecure belief
in themselves.

Feel free to agree or disagree - I won't be offended. 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

PART FOUR OF 'A TOUCH OF CLASS'...



The above cover holds two sets of memories for me.  The first is
when I initially read an earlier release of the issue in the late '60s when
visiting family friends in our old neighbourhood.  I even remember most of
the stories inside, especially NOMAN in THE SYNTHETIC STAND-INS.
Cut to several years later, and I'm perched on the porcelain in a toilet cubicle
of a local cafeteria (after enjoying a luverly cuppa char and a scone) with
the latest incarnation of this ALAN CLASS classic (bought not from the
hospital shop, but a town centre newsagent), reliving my previous
recollections of the comic and creating some future ones at
the same time.

 The above issue wasn't one of the comics my friend returned
to me many years later, as he'd already returned it a little while after I
gave him the rest of my Class collection.  It just held too many memories
to discard so lightly, so I asked if I could have it back and it's remained in
my possession all this time.  I now have the original TOWER COMICS
issue as well, having obtained it several years ago.
  

I'm pretty sure that I probably first read the other comics on one of
those visits to my old neighbourhood - that's what springs to mind anyway
when I look at them.  Again, I have some (if not all - I'll have to check) of
the original Tower versions of these issues, and it's great to see them
in colour and with superior printing to the Class reprints. 


I've also got all of the DC reprint editions of the THUNDER AGENTS
ARCHIVES, although, annoyingly, they omitted the Tower logo from the
covers. They're still well-worth having if you're a fan of the series 'though,
and are no doubt far cheaper than a complete run of original issues.
   

Well, that wraps things up on this particular series of posts for now.  I
hope you enjoyed them, and that some of your own personal reminiscences
relating to these comics were rekindled by reading about mine.  Even if that's
not the case, the covers are worth looking at for the incredible WALLY
WOOD artwork alone.

******

COMING SOON:  Part Four of BUSTER,
SON OF ANDY CAPP.  Don't dare miss it.

'A TOUCH OF CLASS' - PART THREE...



A nice JACK KIRBY illustration kicks off the latest instalment in our
series of cataclysmic ALAN CLASS covers.  I have no memories associated
with these comics prior to when I first purchased them back in the late '70s.  I
assume I probably bought them in the hospital shop referred to in previous
posts, but one or two of them may have been obtained elsewhere.


It's quite disconcerting to realise that, as one gets older, one's power of
recollection begins to fade in some instances.  Of course, it could simply be
that some things don't make much of an impression at the time, which is why
it's harder to recall anything in particular about them later.  I'm not used to
looking at a comic cover without having a host of memories associated with
it - but, with these four comics, the only memories they conjure up are of
my room in which I read them all those years ago.  JOE SINNOTT
performed the artistic duties on the one above.


The above cover is by a pair of comic greats from yesteryear - JACK
KIRBY, who pencilled it - and STEVE DITKO, who performed the inking
chores.  Two for the price of one - what more could anyone ask for?


I'll have to re-read this one - I find myself strangely intrigued by what
the secret of "THE ABYSS" might be.  I'm beginning to wonder if I actually
read all of my Alan Class comics before giving them away to my pal JOE,
who returned them to me over thirty years later.  Come to think of it, I'll
have to ask if he read them.  Anyway, next time we'll take a look at four -
count 'em - four WALLY WOOD THUNDER AGENTS covers by
Alan Class - don't forget to be here.  

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

PART TWO OF 'A TOUCH OF CLASS'...



In a previous post, I once mentioned a quote I'd heard on the radio
which ran something like this:  "The memories of childhood are without time
and without end".  I've never been able to track its source so if anyone knows,
please let me know.  The point is 'though, as people of a 'certain age' will be all
too aware, it's very often difficult to remember exactly when and in what order
things happened many years after the fact.  Sometimes it seems that I had one
big Christmas when I was a kid because my memories of them all tend to mix
together.  I have to rely on other factors to separate one from another -
such as the date on a comic, what was on TV at the time, etc.

Why do I mention this?  Well, the above cover is one I remember from
sitting on the bench beside the 'burn' which I referred to in part one of this
'series'.  At this late stage in the game, I can no longer recall if it was on the
same occasion or on an earlier or later one.  I was very much a creature of
habit - trot along to the hospital shop, buy an ALAN CLASS comic, stop at
the bench by the burn on the way home to read it.  My first instinct is that it
was the same day, but I can't be sure.  Does it matter?  Not to you it doesn't,
but as you'll have noticed by now, these posts are somewhat self-indulgent
exercises, allowing me to revisit my past and wallow in the nostalgia
that it occasions.


The above comic is one I recall seeing in its late '60s incarnation on a
visit to our previous neighbourhood to visit a friend of my mother, whose
son had once hung around with my brother when we lived there some years
before.  I even remembered the cover story - "I'VE GOT TO PROTECT
NETTIE!", although it wasn't drawn by KURT SCHAFFENBERGER, but
by PAUL REINMAN.  Alan Class regurgitated the same comics over
many years, although I think the page count may have been cut over
time, necessitating a reduction in content.

If I remember correctly, at the same time I first read this comic, I
also read a story about a runner who raced DEATH every so many years
in order to continue living.  If he outraced Death, he won an extension until
the next occasion.  (He was far older than he appeared, having lived way past
his normal lifespan.)  However, Death had once almost caught him, leaving
glowing skeletal hand-prints on his back.  I associate that story with the above
issue, so I was disappointed not to see it when I bought the comic in the mid
to late '70s.  Either it was dropped from later editions, or it was in another
Class comic that I read at the same time - one without so memorable
a cover (to me at least) as the one above, obviously.


I have no real memories of the above cover, apart from owning it
thirty-odd years ago.  It could have been one I read as a child in the '60s,
but nothing about it prompts a memory so I may well have been seeing it for
the first time when I bought it back in the '70s.  It contains some nice DITKO
stories, so it's well-worth having.  Anyway, that's enough tedious reminiscing
from me for the moment.  Hopefully, your own happy childhood or teenage
memories have been stirred by reading about mine, so join me in part
three for another look at some classic covers from Alan Class.

Monday, 21 May 2012

'A TOUCH OF CLASS' - PART ONE...



Here's a cover that brings back happy memories for me.  There
used to be a hospital shop in my town from which could be obtained
comics and magazines that were extremely difficult or impossible to find
in other outlets.  Black and white MARVEL and WARREN horror mags?
This shop had 'em.  ALAN CLASS comics?  This shop had them, too.  The
above comic was obtained from the hospital shop some time between 1976
and '78, and I remember sitting on a bench next to a burn (a Scottish word
for a watercourse, from a large stream to a small river) and reading it on my
way home.  (I should perhaps add that I only visited the shop as a customer
and not as a patient, lest you become overwhelmed with sympathy
for my seemingly poor constitution.) 

It was my custom as a youth to clear space in my collection
from time to time, whenever I needed to make some room for new
comics or simply because certain issues had supplied as much enjoyment
as I considered they were ever likely to and were now no longer essential to
my requirements.  Consequently, I was forever passing comics on to my pal
JOE, who was an eager recipient of my cast-offs.  Occasionally I regretted
parting with an odd issue or two and Joe seemed perfectly happy to relin-
quish them back into my fickle care.  Amongst the many mags I bestowed
upon him were all but one of my Alan Class titles, and I presumed
that was the last I would ever see of them.

Cut to over thirty years later, and - as related in an earlier post -
Joe turns up at my door one night clutching various carrier bags full of
comics:  "I thought you might like these back", quoth he.  Well, I didn't re-
claim all of them, but amongst the ones I did were eleven surviving Alan
Class mags I had last seen more than three decades before.  (Although no
sign of the one with MR. GREGORY AND THE GHOST, which I also re-
member reading on that bench back in the '70s.  It would've been nice to
re-acquire that one too, but Joe never kept every comic I gave him,
alas.)  Added to the one I'd kept, I now had an even dozen.
  
So here, to start things off, is the first of a series of Alan Class covers
(derived, of course, from various American titles by different publishers)
for you to feast your eyes upon.  Hopefully it may stir pleasant memories of
happier, more innocent times in your life, too.  A new hospital with interior
shop now stands close to where the originals were once located, 'though
somehow, whenever I look at certain Alan Class comic covers, it's not
too difficult to imagine that things are exactly the same as they were
back in my teenage years. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

KIRBY'S "BULLETS FOR BIG AL!"...



I didn't think it was fair to tease you in my previous post with a mention of KIRBY's '70s mag IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB without giving you a little taste of it. So pin your peepers on these powerful pages, pencilled by JACK ("KING") KIRBY and inked by VINCE ("THE PRINCE") COLLETTA. Start saving those shekels now for the inevitable (we hope) deluxe hardcover edition of the bygone classic from which this tale is extracted. 












And below is the double-page spread as it was meant to be seen - in all its panoramic splendour. Click to enlarge, then click again.

Friday, 18 May 2012

THE SPIRIT WORLD OF JACK KIRBY...


The new book. Art by Neal Adams (based on
Kirby design)

What can one say about JACK KIRBY that hasn't already been said
by those far more proficient at bending words to their will than I'll ever be?
I'm a huge fan of the man and his work - albeit without the tendency to deify
him to the extent that some fans do. You know the sort of thing I mean - "Jack's
art should have been printed directly from his pencils", "Jack should've been
allowed to be his own editor", "No one else should've been allowed to
dialogue his stories", etc.

The fact was however, that Jack - although he was a brilliant storyteller
when it came to laying out a comicbook - had a tin ear for dialogue, making
his scripting somewhat less than the dynamic, pulse-pounding match for his
pencilling that it should have been. Also, Jack's art in later years began to suffer
from the accumulation of 'shorthand' techniques he had developed to allow him
to draw so many pages on a monthly basis throughout his long career and
not miss a deadline.

The original magazine

Over time, his rendition of musculature and anatomy departed from any
semblance of reality as his figures became squat and stocky and far less fluid
than had once been the case - while shadows cast on any floor had absolutely
no discernible relation to whatever object was supposedly responsible for them.
Say what you like, but the pinnacle of Jack's career was the work he produced
along with STAN LEE at MARVEL COMICS, when Stan was responsible
for 'punching up' the stories with his scripting, and capable hands like JOE
SINNOTT, VINCE COLLETTA and DICK AYERS (to name but three)
added their considerable talents to softening some of the harsher
'eccentricities' of Jack's art while enhancing its strengths.

Which finally brings me to DC's release of Jack's SPIRIT WORLD one-
shot from 1971. This was a companion mag to IN THE DAYS OF THE
MOB (which I hope DC will also reissue in the same deluxe format), both of
which were attempts by Jack to go beyond the boundaries of mere comicbooks-
for-kids with proper, 'legitimate' magazines that grown-ups would buy. MARK
EVANIER reveals the details behind those attempts (and their failures) in his
informative introduction to the second portion of the book, so I won't spoil
your anticipation of reading it for yourself (if you're going to buy a copy)
by repeating them here.

Interior page from magazine. Inked by Vince Colletta

I'm lucky enough to own both of Jack's DC/HAMPSHIRE mags from the
'70s, but the draw for me with the deluxe edition of Spirit World was that it
also contains material originally prepared for what would have been the second
issue of the mag (which was never published). These tales were later resized (on
some pages), coloured-up, and printed in some of DC's monthly supernatural/
mystery themed comicbooks. It's not recorded whether Jack or MIKE ROYER
were responsible for the 'drawing up' which is evident on various panels, but
some of it is rather clumsy.

However, nice as it is to see these other tales, I have to admit that
they're somewhat underwhelming in both the art and writing departments.
Mike Royer, while himself an accomplished artist and inker, was under
instruction to render Jack's pencils just the way they were, with no changes
or alterations - so it's hardly his fault that the pages are very far from examples
of Jack's art at its best. The scripting is dull and leaden, and does nothing to
lessen the commonly-held perception that Jack's strong points did not include
dialogue and exposition. One can't help but wonder what these stories
would have been like had Stan or ROY THOMAS been in charge
of the writing duties.

Please, DC - this one next

Having said all that however, the book is a nice little addition to any
Kirby fan's library (despite its somewhat distracting inability to maintain
the density of tone from page to page - especially on the b&w ones), but
sadly it doesn't represent Jack at the top of his game. It has to be said
'though, that Jack not at "the top of his game" usually still offered
something worth looking at.

One final word - I'm surprised that DC chose to publish Spirit World
first, instead of In The Days Of The Mob, which is the more interesting of
the two magazines in my opinion. (Although that could be due to the nostalgia
factor associated with me actually owning the latter in the early '70s, whereas I
didn't obtain the former 'til many years later when I was an adult.) Regardless,
let's just hope that sales are good enough to warrant DC releasing the
companion publication in the very near future. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

THE STARTLING SECRET ORIGIN OF THE FANTASTIC FOUR...



(Today's post is taken from Roddy Weed's blog and is published
with full permission - take it away, Roddy...)

******  

Hi, fans - I'm RODDY WEED and I'm back again with a few fascinating
facts (that you already know) and loads of fantastic throwaway theories
to amaze and astound you ('cos they're so far-out) on this, the world's
greatest blogazine - DIAL 'B' FOR BULLSH*T

Think you know the origin of the FANTASTIC FOUR? Well, I, Roddy
Weed, am about to give you the real, honest-to-goodness lowdown on the
true origin of the fabulous foursome created by STAN LEE and JACK
KIRBY in 1961. For instance, did you know that the actual predecessors
of the FF were ROBIN HOOD AND HIS MERRY MEN? Hard to believe?
Well, I, Roddy Weed, writer of the greatest blogazine in the history of
the world, am going to prove it to you right now.

ROBIN OF LOXLEY, otherwise known as the outlaw, ROBIN
HOOD, had four main companions in his band of SHERWOOD FOREST
followers. Namely, LITTLE JOHN, WILL SCARLET, FRIAR TUCK, and
MAID MARION. Pay attention now, while I exclusively reveal to you the
astounding, irrefutable conclusions of many minutes of painstaking
research and several seconds of convoluted contemplation on the
pertinent points which prompted my cataclysmic claim.


REED RICHARDS is clearly based on Robin Hood because he's
the leader of the FF in the same way that Robin is chief of his merry
men. Also, Reed's stretching powers mirror the expanse-spanning reach
that Robin's arrows allow him in his quest for justice, enabling him to
smite his enemies without having to get too close to them.

BEN GRIMM is obviously an amalgam of Litttle John and Friar
Tuck; John is grim-meined (hence Ben's surname) and a man of great
strength, while Tuck, despite his ungainly appearance (just like Ben's)
has a heart of gold and is possessed of a nobility of spirit that echoes his
modern-day counterpart. Likewise, Ben's orange-hued epidermis is
reminiscent of Tuck's ruddy complexion.

JOHNNY STORM is undoubtedly Will Scarlet - the colour of his
fiery alter-ego being the living emodiment of Will's surname. Just like
Will, Johhny can sometimes be a bit hot-headed (willful even), further
confirming the uncanny similarities between the two men. No doubt Will
often used flaming arrows to bring his enemies low, just as Johnny
has done when tossing his fireballs at the bad guys.

SUSAN STORM is inarguably the modern-day equivalent of Maid
Marion. Firstly, she is the only permanent female member of the group
(just as Marion was), and what's more, she eventually married the group's
leader, providing persuasive proof that the Fantastic Four were (perhaps -
maybe - probably - more than likely - oh, what the hell -) definitely
inspired and based upon Robin Hood and his merry band.


Not convinced? Consider PRINCE JOHN then. Transparently the
archetype upon whom the FF's arch-foe, DOCTOR DOOM, is based. Just
like Prince John, Doom lives in a castle; just like John, who conceals his
true persona under the guise of a benign ruler of his country, Doom hides
his true visage under a mask. And in the same way that John hates Robin
and his merry men and tries to destroy them, Doom's ultimate goal is to
eradicate Reed and his team-mates from the face of the Earth.

The similarities are simply stunning, and 'tis only I, Roddy Weed,
who - despite all these glaring clues staring everyone in the face for years -
has recognised their significance and has pieced them together using my
highly imaginative and creative brain (and a few reefers) to educate and
enlighten your dull and dreary lives and save you from the tedium of
your vapid and pointless existence.

This is I, Roddy Weed, creator of the world's greatest blogazine,
signing off for the forseeable future - so that you'll all miss me and
pine for my return. (What will you do without me?)     

Monday, 14 May 2012

THE AVENGERS THREE AND A HALF - A LITTLE-KNOWN HULK TALE...



Most British comic readers of a certain age will already be aware of
the following information, but it's really aimed at our American cousins,
who may not be familiar with the background to this 1960s HULK tale
from the ODHAMS PRESS publication entitled SMASH!

Back between 1966 to '69, Odhams at one stage had five weekly
comic periodicals known as POWER COMICS, which included WHAM!,
SMASH!, POW!, FANTASTIC, and TERRIFIC. (There was a brief period
when all five titles were published concurrently, but at this early stage only
Wham! and Smash! were available.) All reprinted MARVEL stories, but
in the case of the first three, the strips were resized for the larger British
format, effectively turning two U.S. pages into one U.K. page.

In Smash! #38 (cover-dated October 22nd 1966), for some curious,
unexplained reason, a completely new, original Hulk tale made its debut,
which has never (as far as I'm aware) been reprinted anywhere since. (See
comments section for futher info.) Even more curious is that the strip was
originally drawn in the U.S. format, requiring it to be resized (by lesser
hands, alas) in the same way as other American Marvel stories.

Whence did the tale come? Was it a British originated strip (using a
foreign artist by the look of it) which had mistakenly been drawn in U.S.
dimensions, or was it an American Marvel try-out for a foreign artist
which had been rejected, then inadvertently sent to U.K. shores
amongst a package of other Marvel tales?

Unfortunately, we may never know - but I thought U.S. readers
would appreciate seeing a little-known Hulk adventure which takes
place between AVENGERS #s 3 & 4. And, as an extra bonus, the strip
is sourced directly from the actual Odhams bound file-copies volume
which contained this particular comics curiosity. Enjoy! 






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