Sunday, 4 October 2015


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I remember buying the American ish of the FF (#161) that sported
the above cover from a shop in Rutherglen in 1975, the same shop from
which my maternal grandfather bought me a little plastic chariot in 1963
or '64.  So whenever I look at that cover, I think of that particular shop.
I wonder if it still exists today, so many years later?  I must find out.

I once had all the U.S. 'modern' issues reprinted in The COMPLETE
FANTASTIC FOUR comics you see here, but I'm not sure if I still had
them at the time they showed up again (in b&w) in the British Weekly.  It
only managed to hang on for 37 issues, but it was one of the better mags
from MARVEL U.K., I thought, and deserved a far better fate than
was its lot.  Or did you think it was a pile of poo?  Let us all know.

The main draw for me was the classic content reprinted in the back of
the mag.  Early LEE & KIRBY tales are probably what I like best about
Marvel, and I find it hard to resist new presentations of them whenever
they appear today.  Amongst the group of pals that hung out with me in
the '70s was a lad called RICKY STEVENSON, aka 'BRITT', who,
surprisingly, also bought the Fab Four's comic every week.

I say "surprisingly" because Britt aspired (and failed) to be a bit of
a 'hard man', and reading superhero comics didn't really lend itself to
that image.  I only recently learned that he died a few years back, and
although we were never what could be described as close friends, I find
myself rather saddened by the news of his demise.  I suppose that when
part of our past disappears, we can't help but feel slightly diminished in
some way, odd as it may seem.  An unwelcome reminder of our own
mortality perhaps?  Not something we like to think about, is it?

So here's to the FF, the sizzlin' '70s, and also to Ricky.  Whenever I
get around to re-reading these comics, I'll be sure to remember him as
I recall seemingly happier and more innocent times of my long-gone
teenage years.  Feel free to record your own reminiscences, if any,
about this great British weekly in the comments section.

Here's a dinosaur for PC - just because he likes them

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