Sunday, 31 May 2015

PART SIX OF CAPTAIN BRITAIN COVER, SPLASH PAGE & IMAGE GALLERY...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Four issues for the price of three this time around, chums, as we wrap
up the colour issues of CAPTAIN BRITAIN in this post.  Next time, as
we continue the series, it'll be mainly black & white images (apart from the
covers) that your awestruck orbs will encounter.  However, it's not all bad
news - JOHN BUSCEMA & TOM PALMER take up the artistic duties
on the good Captain, which can in no way be defined as a demotion. 

So why was the comic transformed into a b&w publication after
only 23 issues?  It seems obvious that the title wasn't selling as expected
and savings had to be made.  Losing the colour content would've reduced
overheads considerably, so it's likely that's why the decision was made by
the head honchos at MARVEL.  It didn't help, as the mag only lasted for
another 16 issues - which we'll start taking a look at in  the next post
in this series.  Don't forget to be here or you'll miss all the fun!
















Saturday, 30 May 2015

DID YOU EVER RIP A VAN AND THEN DO A WINKLE?



Have you ever been so 'lost in the moment' that you've
been completely oblivious to what was happening around you?
I suppose it may've happened more than once in my own life, but
I can only  recall the one specific instance which I'm now about
to relate to you.

The stage and a glimpse of the classroom behind it

Return with me now to the mid-1960s, to behind the heavy
stage curtains of my primary school's gym and dinner hall.  This
was, in effect, a classroom, in which I remember being instructed
in arithmetic, 'though other subjects were also taught.

The desks faced the wall, which once had a blackboard.
The lectern would've been out on the stage in my day.

Many years later, long after I'd left school altogether, the large
windows which allowed me to gaze out at the sky, lost in daydreams,
were covered over.  However, in my time, pupils could still watch the
chalk dust floating in the rays of the sun which streamed through the
panes on sunny summer afternoons and caught us in their spell.

The wall on the right once had more windows, which were blocked
off or removed sometime in the 1990s or early 2000s

On this particular day, I was reading RIP VAN WINKLE by
WASHINGTON IRVING, 'though it may have been a simplified,
abridged version designed for younger readers of the age I then was.
(Then again, it may not.)  I remember finishing the tale, raising my head
from the book - and being amazed to find the classroom empty.  Vacant
desks met my bewildered stare to the front and sides of me, but when
I turned around, there were my classmates and teacher waiting at the
door to see how long it would take me to realize that the bell had
gone and the lesson was over.

This is a photo from around '86 or '88 of part of the exterior of the
stage classroom.  As you can see, it had a lot of big windows

I gaped at them in embarrassed silence, then gathered my
stuff together and joined them, filing out to another class or play-
time break.  I was amazed that my attention could be engaged to
the extent  of being unaware of what was going on around me, and
that's probably why I've never forgotten the occasion.  I sometimes
wonder if I'd dimly heard the bell, but then become so engrossed
at that point so as to immediately forget it, or it had completely
failed to register on my consciousness.  Who can say?

The wider of the two doors is the one into and out of the room.  The
teacher was standing at the door, with the pupils to the right of it,
watching me with much amusement

Anyway, that little reminiscence permits me the opportunity
of presenting some nice art by ARTHUR RACKHAM, and a
few photos of my old school (which is now demolished), the better
to indulge my wallowing in nostalgia.  It also prompts me to ask the
question of whether you've ever become so 'wrapped up' in a book
or comic as to forget everything and everyone around you?  If so,
spill the beans!  We're all dying to know the details.


Incidentally, I've just re-read the story and much enjoyed
it.  You could do worse than give it a read yourself, so rush
out and buy a copy at the earliest opportunity.

BABES OF THE DAY - THE FEMBOTS...

 
 
Three for the price of one today, chaps.  Meet
the FEMBOTS!  (I'm sure you'd like to.)

Friday, 29 May 2015

PART FOUR OF WHIZZER & CHIPS ANNUAL COVER GALLERY...



From 1970 to '93, there were 24 WHIZZER & CHIPS Annuals
issued, one for each coming year.  That means that if you got that first
book when you were a kid, by the time the last one was published, there
was a good chance that you were a parent with children of your own.  The
thought that a series of Annuals can span the period of childhood to adult-
hood is one that boggles my mind, because when you see them together
on a bookshelf (not that, in this instance, I have all of them), it's
difficult to appreciate the length of time they represent.

Anyway, enjoy seeing the last six Annual covers from a weekly
comic that lasted from 1969 to 1990.  Paradoxically, that 21 years
seems far longer than it was, as well as no time at all at the exact
same moment.  Don't ask me how that's possible, it just is.






BONUS:  In 2014, over 20 years after the last Annual appeared,
EGMONT released a 'best of' book, featuring various selections of
strips from previous Annuals between '71 & '85.  The very first cover
was utilised for this publication, thus bringing things nicely full circle.
Will there be another one this year?  Only time will tell.

BABE OF THE DAY - LEE MERIWETHER...



Today's babe is LEE MERIWETHER.
Now isn't she the cat's pyjamas!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED SPOCK?



Presenting the second STAR TREK tale from the TV21 Annual for
1973, the last in the series.  If that title wasn't used for an episode of the
TV programme, then it should've been - it's almost too clever for a book
for mere kids.  JIM BAIKIE illustrated both ST stories in the book, and
does a very nice job indeed.  I have the feeling I may have lettered some
of his later work in 2000 A.D., but I wouldn't swear to it in court
without checking up on it first.

Anyway, we're about to beam down and examine this strip up close,
so set phasers on 'stun' - you never know what we might encounter.






Wednesday, 27 May 2015

WHO'S A LITTLE STAR THEN?



I'm not sure what I was doing buying nursery comics at the age
of 13, but I certainly bought the first three issues of LITTLE STAR
when the title hit newsagents' counters back in 1972 .  I may even have
got more than that, but I simply can't remember.  It was probably just
the collector's mentality in me that compelled my purchase of the first
issue at least, as I could seldom resist the allure of a new comic.

Anyway, I recently had the chance to obtain the first 25 issues,
plus #36, for an absolute song.  In fact, the postage cost more than
the comics, so they were quite a steal.  I haven't had much chance to
go through them yet, but any comic with artwork by TOM KERR
and BILL RITCHIE can't be all that bad.

Number 36 is a puzzler, because I'm sure I wasn't still buying
the comic that far into the run - but the free gift of a paintbox seems
familiar, so either I bought the issue specifically for the gift, or another
periodical also gave away a paintbox at some time or other.  As I as-
sociate the gift with my previous house, and not the one I moved to in
June of that year (#36 came out in September), the latter scenario
is not altogether impossible.

(Unless, of course, I acquired the issue in the newsagent's shop
across from my old home - I still attended school in the area - and
the neighbourhood associations have coloured my memory.)

Anyway, I don't imagine there'll be much interest amongst
you Criv-ites (and Criv-kids) in such a periodical, but it makes
a nice change of pace I think, and there's a slim chance that some
younger members may recall it from their youth.  Let me know
if you'd like to see some of the contents in a future post.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

TV CENTURY 21 - EXTRA!



I've finally managed to get my TV CENTURY 21 Specials
down from the loft, so I've snapped a piccie of them to make you
all jealous.  Back in the 1960s, I only bought the first two (maybe
three) of them - don't recall even seeing the remaining three when
they originally went on sale.  Got all six of them now 'though,
and had 'em for a good while.

Did you have any of these comics?  Feel free to share
your reminiscences of them in the comments section.

Monday, 25 May 2015

BABE OF THE DAY - LESLEY ANN WARREN...



Here's the lovely LESLEY ANN WARREN
to get your pulses racing - and make you think about
trading in the wife for a newer model with less mile-
age on the clock.  (Oh, I am awful - but I like me.)

PLANET OF THE DEAD...

 
 
By the time the TV21 Annual for 1973 hit the shops, it was a
far different yearly publication than it had once been.  For a start,
gone were all the GERRY ANDERSON related stories and in their
place were strips typical of just about any other book for boys.  The
one exception to blandness was STAR TREK, which maintained the
outer space theme once represented by FIREBALL XL5, ZERO X,
and even, to a degree, THUNDERBIRDS.  (The previous two
Annuals had also lacked any 'CENTURY 21' content.)
  
So, let's take a look at the first of two ST strips which appeared
in the last-ever Annual of what had, for a time, been the best-selling
children's publication to grace the counters of Britain's newsagents.
I'll present the second titanic tale soon, so keep your palpitatin'
peepers peeled for those pulse-pounding pages.
 
 





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