Monday, 26 July 2021



Just arrived at Castel Crivens this morning, Volume III of The Trigan Empire from Rebellion's Treasury Of British Comics imprint.  With art by Don Lawrence and Miguel Quesada, and stories by Mike Butterworth, this is a handsome edition that belongs on the bookshelves of every serious collector of British comics at their best.  Available now direct from Rebellion, you can obtain your copy by clicking here.  I trust they won't mind me borrowing their images as - back cover aside - I'm too lazy to scan my own copy, even if I could open it wide enough to do so.  (Which I can't without damaging it.)


Copyright DC COMICS

With the five issues you see before you, we're now halfway through (not counting a few Specials and Annuals) the Secret Origins Cover & Image Gallery begun over five years ago.  So if I continue at the same speed, we should get to the end of this occasional series by 2026.  Still want me to go ahead?  To be honest, I haven't read more than a handful of issues since I first bought them back in the day, and I don't think I'll bother in the main.  However, there's definitely one exception in the group below and it's the Jonah Hex tale with great art by Gray Morrow, which I'll be reading with a glass of milk and a wedge of cheese a few minutes after publishing this post.

Any of these comic strip stories take your fancy, Crivvies, or are you like me and slightly underwhelmed by the majority of them?  Either way, let your feelings known in our ever-lovin' comments section.

Thursday, 22 July 2021


Copyright relevant owner

Supercar is the earliest Gerry Anderson puppet show I remember seeing back in the early '60s.  If I saw any of his previous programmes, time has dimmed the memory of watching them almost to the point of amnesia.  (Love the theme tune, along with Fireball XL5 and Stingray.)  I never had any of the Supercar Annuals when I was younger, though I think they're contained in a PDF on my boxed set of DVDs.  Whether they are or not though, I always prefer to have the actual items themselves, as opposed to mere digital reproductions, and that's why I recently bought the very first Supercar book.

It arrived today, and I was surprised to see that it was smaller and thinner than expected, as I'd thought it would be of the same dimensions as the four Fireball XL5 Annuals by the same publisher (Collins).  However, it's in excellent con-dition, was inexpensive, and having it now, I feel like I've returned to 1961/'62 and 'expanded' my childhood by fitting in something I never owned at the time, but would surely have wanted had I known about it back then.  Now, through the power of imagination and suggestion, it feels as though it's part of my memories stretching all the way back to when the show was on TV.

The cover and interior art is by Brian Lewis, and the stories are written by Sylvia Anderson.  There were at least three Annuals in all, which are all currently available on ebay, though none of the remaining ones are in a condition which is acceptable to me, so I'll be giving them a miss for now.  If they ever turn up in better shape, I'll probably add them to my collection.  Anyway, if you're of a certain 'vintage', I thought you might like to see my most recent acquisition.  Amazing to think that this book first appeared 60 years ago.

If you had this Annual as a kid, please share your memories of it with the rest of us in the comments section - if you'd be so good.


The middle page below, with circular 'panels' containing the characters' names and faces is similar to the splash page of The Fantastic Four #1.  Sylvia Anderson and Stan Lee knew one another later on in life, so it's an interesting coincidence that the same idea was used in both debut strips, though it's unclear whether Stan or Jack Kirby was responsible for deciding on the 'introductory' spheres in the FF's first issue.  It's also interesting to note the similarity (in concept) between Captain Scarlet's Cloudbase and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Heli-carrier - was one a rip-off of the other (and if so, which one), or just a coincidence?


Thought you might like to see the seller's photos compared to my own after I gave the spine a colour touch-up (oo-er, missus) with acrylic ink which I mixed to match the original.  

Seller's photo.  (Not as in Peter)

Seller's photo

Incidentally, the line you can see on the spine in the first photo below is the reflection of the flash, not a colour crease.

Buyer's photo.  (That's me, folks!)

Ditto.  Doesn't the spine look nice?

And again

Click on below to hear both versions of the Supercar theme.



Let's now journey back to the Summer of 1970, when British comic fans would have first become aware of the SMASH! HOLIDAY SPECIAL on sale in newsagents.  In that year's bumper number, readers were spoiled by the Victorian escapologist JANUS STARK's strip, as it was drawn by J. G. QUIROS and not the regular artist SOLANO LOPEZ, who drew it for the weekly periodical.  As great as Lopez was, Quiros was undoubtedly better.  Just look at the terrific detail in the following pages - truly a master at work.  I believe he also drew for other British weekly comics such as TV21 and LOOK-IN, which is ironic, as the late ALAN FENNELL was editor on both comics in their early days.

However, that's enough waffle from me.  Time to let these truly astounding pages speak for themselves.

And for the completists amongst you, here's the cover to the magazine itself.  Time to get cracking on ebay, I'd suggest.  It's definitely one to have in your collection.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021


Images copyright relevant & respective owners

Missing the comics of your youth?  Longing for the happy, innocent, carefree days they represent of a 'timeless' time in your life?  Then here's the post for you!  By no means comprehensive, but with enough covers of famous first issues from the past to allow you to relive those halcyon days of your childhood and bask in the glorious, golden glow of yesteryear!

Just how many did you have, and what memories to they stir in your heart?  Go on, tell us about it in the comments section.  Your nose will fall off if you don't. (And I'd never I lie to you about something like that.)

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