|FANTASTIC FOUR images copyright MARVEL COMICS|
On Saturday afternoon, I took a walk down to the Old Village
quarter of my town. It started to rain quite heavily, so I sought refuge
under the overhanging boughs of a tree which sheltered a wooden bench.
Just across the road from where I sat was the former house of a long-dead
aunt and uncle whom my mother occasionally used to visit, with me in tow,
when we were in the vicinity. I associate a couple of FANTASTIC FOUR
stories with that house and area, because I'd usually just bought an issue of
WHAM! (which reprinted FF tales back in the '60s) when we descended
on their home. (There's also a THOR story - "The MYSTERIOUS Mr.
HYDE!" - from FANTASTIC, another ODHAMS PRESS comic,
that also conjures up images of their small, old-fashioned,
1950s style livingroom.)
and "The END Of The FANTASTIC FOUR!", although they weren't
complete tales, just segments of them, as each one was broken up over at
least two issues. When The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL reprinted
these same stories about five or six years later, myself and one of my pals
were frequenting the area, as it was there that a centuries old pub was (and
still is) located. We were in the weekly (at least) habit of clambering over
its slated rooftop in search of adventure (me with my rolled up copy of
MWOM stuffed into my inside jacket pocket to protect it as much as
possible), and we passed my aunt and uncle's house on our way.
So, not only do I have two sets of recollections for each of those FF
tales, but they're both associated with the same specific locale, due to
the coincidence of my being in the same area on each occasion. True, had
I been somewhere else the second time around, I'd still have remembered
my initial reading of those stories, but the memories were all the more vivid
for being conjured up in the same place as on previous instances. Today,
whichever of the two printings of either tale I peruse, I immediately
think back to the Old Village section of my town as it was then.
However, my memories and associations of 'the Village' aren't
restricted to the Fantastic Four. As I sat on the bench shielded from
the rain, I was but a short space away from where there used to be some
other benches, on which, at various times, I'd sit and look through other
comic mags I'd bought from a nearby newsagent's (now a GREGG'S), on
hot, sunny, summer days of so very long ago. LOIS LANE and MISTER
MIRACLE are just two of the titles I also associate with the area, and I'm
sure if I dug around in the recesses of my mind, a few others would soon
resurface. It's best not to search for them 'though; rather, let them rise
unprompted when one is casually browsing through a stack of old
comics from the dim and distant days of the early '70s.
No great insight into anything this time around, sorry to say
(when is there ever, you may ask), merely a self-indulgent wallow
in 'personal nostalgia' in yet another typical 'Rambling Robson
Reminiscence'. Hopefully you got something out of it 'though.
If not, don't worry - there's always next time.