Wednesday, 20 February 2019



It happened with three comics I was buying at the time back in the '70s - HOWARD The DUCK, The ETERNALS, and OMEGA The UNKNOWN.  After the first five issues they vanished from sight in newsagents, leaving my collection incomplete for many years.  I later tracked down the rest of The Eternals, and #s 6-12 of Howard in the very late '80s or early '90s, but it's only in the last few days I've acquired the individual issues of Omega #s 6-10.

As many of you will know, after printing the US copies, MARVEL changed the plates to include the UK price, and to substitute 'Marvel All-Colour Comics' in place of 'Marvel Comics Group' on the banner at the top of the covers.  This was done (so I read somewhere) to alert potential customers to the fact that the monthlies were in full colour, unlike the weeklies, which weren't.  Interestingly, all five issues I received recently are US copies, so I suspect that perhaps the title was non-distributed in Britain after issue 5.  If anyone knows for sure, feel free to enlighten me via the comments section.

In around three months time, it'll be five years since I showed you the covers and splash pages of the first five issues of Omega, so it's well-past time I showed you the ones for the remaining five - and here they are.  If you'd like to remind yourselves of the preceding images, you can do so by clicking here.  Another post which might be of interest to you is this one.

It might take me a while, but I get there in the end - whether it be comics or blog posts.

Monday, 18 February 2019


Copyright DC COMICS

KIRBY's KAMANDI - just what do I make of it?  Of all Jack's DC work in the '70s, Kamandi is the only major one that I'd never read in its entirety - until now.  I remember buying issue #29 at the time (it's possible that I'd bought #1 prior to that, but I'm not absolutely sure), and I perhaps purchased a few other issues back in the '70s, but I was never a huge fan of the title for some reason.  Nowadays, I have the first 8 or 9 in the run, plus #29, but recently I took the plunge and acquired the OMNIBUS volume containing all 40 issues that Kirby worked on.

So, what's my verdict on the series?  It's okay.  There are some poignant moments, especially the fate of KLIK-KLAK, a giant insect, but surprisingly, considering it was JK's longest-lasting '70s mag at DC, it's probably his worst drawn of the period (his '80s SUPER-POWERS issues were worse).  Dodgy perspective abounds, and the art seems downright lazy in places - though this might be down to D. BRUCE BERRY's lacklustre inking rather than Jack's pencils.  The reproduction in the Omnibus isn't helped by 'black and white reconstruction' on some pages, and some of the lettering is blotchy, while other instances seem to have been completely re-lettered.  (Not having the original issues to compare to, I can't be 100% sure, but the quality of lettering is definitely inconsistent, even when credited to the same guy.)

However, it's good to have finally read all the Kirby issues (GERRY CONWAY wrote the last three stories, and JOE KUBERT drew the last seven covers), even if it did take me 45-odd years to finally get there.  I doubt I'll ever bother tracking down the other 19, non-Kirby issues - unless they're published in an inexpensive softcover edition.  I now have everything Jack produced for DC in the '70s, either in original issues or Omnibus collections, but re-reading them makes a fella realise just how much Jack benefitted from collaborating with STAN LEE.

Look at that first paragraph on the back cover below.  "After shaking the very foundations of the DC Universe in the 1970s with his classic 'Fourth World' titles..."  Well, DC are trying to sell the thing, so we can forgive them a spot of hyperbole, but though Jack's arrival at DC in the '70s might've rattled a couple of windows, his initial new series never really took off with most readers and were soon discontinued.  It was their failure, in fact, that made titles like Kamandi possible, as Jack had a contract to produce 15 pages a week, so DC had to keep him working.  Which is not to say that Jack's DC work was bad when judged on its own terms - it wasn't - but it just wasn't a patch on what he'd done at Marvel.

I'm sure that others will disagree, but I've now read everything he produced for both companies, and I know which I prefer.  What about you?

Saturday, 16 February 2019



What exactly is censorship?

If you don't know about it, for decades Popeye had been a strip read by families with great pleasure.  In 1992, Bobby London wrote and drew a series satirizing abortion, politics, and the clergy.  It was not just rejected - he was fired.

If a comic publisher or syndicator rejects a job because he feels it does not fill his needs, is that 'rejection' or 'censorship'?  Would you have published these strips in a daily paper in the comics section?

In this story, Olive gets a baby doll from the Home Shopping Network and it is a bit of a duplicate of Bluto.  When she decides to get rid of it, a clergyman thinks she is talking about a real baby.

Friday, 15 February 2019


Welcome, culture-lovers, to another guest post by Bashful BARRY PEARL, where he takes a look at FREDRIC WERTHAM's (in)famous book, SEDUCTION Of The INNOCENT.  Let's not waste any more time with introductions from me, let's get straight to the meat and potatoes.  Take it away, Barry...


I thought this would be a good time to look back at Fredric Wertham’s attack on comics during the 1950s.  Why now?  Because his notes and records have only recently become available to scholars.

1955 brought Dr. Fredric Wertham, author of Seduction of the Innocent, to Senator Kefauver and his new committee looking into juvenile delinquency.  Wertham and the committee sensationalized the issue drawing attention almost solely to comic books.  They did not, at this time, bring much insight into the many societal causes of juvenile delinquency -- poverty, lack of jobs, opportunities, and lack of good parenting -- and seemed to just blame comics for all teenage evils.  Given time they would have included acne.  I know that a broken clock is correct twice a day and the same thing happens to be true for a broken doctor.

Wertham was correct, some of these stories were gruesome and should not have been available to children, but his book did not scientifically link juvenile delinquency to comics books, it just sensationalized the issue.  By scientifically, I mean using methods that were repeatable and verifiable.  Wertham found images where no one else did.  Judges, journalists and medical professionals challenged his results, but they were ignored amid all the furious cries of outraged parents and teachers.  Wertham also continued to treat the entire genre as if it consisted solely of crime comics, when nothing was further from the truth.  He also claimed that Superman, created by two Jews, was a Nazi and that Wonder WomanBatman, and Robin exhibited homosexual behavior.

There are different opinions about Wertham’s work, but many people confuse their view of his intent with what he actually published.  While people may have different opinions, we should not have different facts.  When I read his book as a teenager in the 1960’s and saw him on TV, I thought that he was trying to promote himself as an absolute authority, someone not to be questioned.  For example, in the 1960s, he still advocated the banning of comics because he said the lettering could cause blindness.

I do not have to use the polite words of a professional - Wertham made up many of his findings, distorted the truth, ignored important facts and didn't ever see many of the young people he claimed to.  The innocents that were seduced were parents and book buyers, whom he wanted to follow his lead.  Apparently Zealots don’t care about the facts as long as they can succeed in getting their views across.

There were catastrophic consequences to his book and the congressional hearings that followed.  Hundreds of people lost their jobs when dozens of publishers went out of business.  Publishers were made out to be villains.

And so, comics were forced to change and for a decade were written mostly for children.  Wertham said he was against censorship, but would also say a higher authority was needed to control comics.  If that isn’t censorship what is?  Wertham altered his speeches and changed his tune in different sections of the country.  In New York, where the major publishers were, he had said that he only wanted to ban "crime comics", which he said made up only 6 percent of the titles.  In other parts of the country he would say "crime comic books are comic books that de­pict crime, whether the setting is urban, Western, science-fiction, jungle, adventure or the realm of supermen, 'horror' or supernatural beings."  In other words, just about all serious comics.

Wertham maintained that a huge majority of the thousands of troubled children he saw read comics and that was a major cause of their problems.  Even as a teenager, this bothered me.  How could one man treat thousands in just a few years?  And he was seeing a limited sample, only troubled youths.  His patients did not include well-adjusted kids;  how did they react to comics?

Even as a pre-teen, I liked girls.  Still do.  I thought of them all the time!  Wertham suggested that reading Batman and Robin could make many boys not like girls, because Batman and Robin had an inviting gay lifestyle.  And, of course, Wertham considered gayness a terrible, infectious, affliction.  What did reading comics have to do with sexuality?

Carol L. Tilley, in the historical journal of Information & Culture (2012), presents a lot of the missing pieces in her enlightening and important scholarly work, "Seducing the Innocent:  Fredric Wertham and the Falsifications That Helped Condemn Comics".  Ms. Tilly studied the papers of Wertham that had been donated to the Library of Congress, but were unopened until 2010.

We discover that many of the children used for Seduction’s examples were not seen by Wertham, but by others, in many institutions.  Most of the children had long-term disorders, which Tilley lists as including "undesirable habits" (e.g., masturbation and nightmares), "personality traits" (e.g. daydreaming and restlessness), and "undesirable behaviors" (e.g. truancy and disobedience)".  Wertham, it turns out, had not seen all those children and relied on the reports of others.

Tilley researches the gay issue:  "In Seduction, Wertham proposed that homosexual men identified strongly with the Batman comics...  More specifically, Batman and Robin offered readers 'a wish dream of two homosexuals living together.'  Wertham shared the insights of a young homosexual man who stated, 'I think I put myself in the position of Robin.  I did want to have relations with Batman.'  The young man... was actually two men, ages sixteen and seventeen, who had been in a sexual relationship with one another for several years and had realized they were homosexual by the age of ten.  Wertham combined their statements, failing to indicate that the seventeen-year-old is the one who noted, 'The only suggestion of homosexuality may be that they seemed to be so close to each other' and omitting the phrase that followed, 'like my friend and I.'  Further, Wertham did not make any mention that the two teens had found the Sub-Mariner and Tarzan to be better subjects than Batman and Robin for their early erotic fantasies."

There are several other inaccuracies and falsification of data on this subject, such as Wertham mentioning Batman totally out of context to a subject’s statement. "Wertham’s treatment of evidence in Seduction and his responses to questions about his comics-related research were indicative of a larger pattern of spurious and questionable behaviors."

In one more example, Wertham states that strong female characters could not just ignite lesbian desires in young women but cause them to hate men and behave criminally.  He cites a 13-year old girl named Dorothy, as an example.  She writes: "Wertham commented that the images of strong women reinforced 'violent revenge fantasies' against men and possibly creates these violent anti-men (therefore homosexual) fantasies...  Sheena and the other comic book women such as Wonder Woman are very bad ideals for them."

Tilley writes: "Wertham also declined to mention in Seduction that Dorothy - in addition to being habitually truant - was a runaway and a gang member, was sexually active, and had both a reading disability and below normal intelligence… Most telling of all, however, is a key fact Wertham omitted from Seduction: Dorothy was Dr. Mosse’s patient, not his, and as she was hospitalized at Kings County Hospital, where he did not practice, he would have never spoken with or observed her."

Stan LeeWBAI radio:  "Wertham was the psychiatrist who came along and he blamed comic books for virtually every ill that has ever befallen mankind and I was very disappointed in him."


Interesting stuff, eh?  I'll make my own views known in the comments section eventually, but hopefully some Criv-ites will respond before then and thank Barry for his efforts on our behalf.  I'll start the ball rolling by saying thank you, Barry, for taking the time and trouble in supplying something more substantial than my usually trivial efforts.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019


The enchanting CAROLINE MUNRO graces us with her stunning presence today, fellas.  Caroline also graced The SPY WHO LOVED ME, but I don't think she realised I was a spy when she was showering me with kisses.  (Hey, you're getting this for free, so don't expect quality witticisms!)

Sunday, 10 February 2019



Sometimes, an Annual could go on for years, far outlasting the weekly comic that spawned it.  KNOCKOUT is a good example, the comic lasting only two years, but continuing in Annual form for another twelve, thereby producing thirteen Annuals in total.  It's not quite the same with MARVEL UK's FANTASTIC FOUR Annuals, which, as far as I'm aware, total a mere three, and it's by no means certain that the final two (if such they were) are even tied into the weekly The COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR anyway.

The comic had burst forth on newsagents' counters on 21st September 1977 (dated 28th), and expired with its 37th issue on 31st May '78 (dated June 7th), so the first Annual at least (published by WORLD DISTRIBUTORS on Marvel's behalf) was almost certain to have been a direct tie-in to the weekly title.  It would have gone on sale in August or September of '78 (a couple of months after the comic's demise), but would most likely have been prepared at the beginning of the year, as, although mainly reprint, it had new text stories and features, and such things are usually commissioned well in advance.  (I remember working on the 1986 2000 A.D. and JUDGE DREDD Annuals at the beginning of 1985.)

Also, in its last few weeks, the comic had been reprinting The INVADERS, and the 1979 FF Annual carries a team-up tale between the World War II group and the cosmic quartet.  The Invaders first appeared in the May 3rd issue of the weekly (which went on sale on April 26th), but comics are prepared around eight weeks in advance, so the decision to include them was taken at least at the start of the year, suggesting that the Annual's team-up story was no mere coincidence, but designed to reflect the contents of the weekly.

By the time the other two Annuals appeared (for '80 & '81), they were published by GRANDREAMS (who, if I recall correctly, were situated in the same building as Marvel UK, hence the 'collaboration'), but whether or not they were intended to be seen as a direct spin-off from the now-deceased weekly title is anyone's guess.  They may simply have been commissioned because the first Annual sold well (I'm assuming), so it would have made sense to continue - at least until sales started to decline beyond a commercially-viable margin.

I'm puzzled by the similarity between the first two covers - could they both have been drawn at the same time to the same editorial description in order to give Marvel a choice?  That first cover is nothing brilliant - The THING is far too large to fit in his FANTASTI-CAR section if you imagine the rest of his body, and the perspective of The TORCH is dodgy in relation to his own section of the vehicle.  Even the second cover has its faults, with SUSAN RICHARDS being far too small when compared to the other three.  Also, the thumb on The Thing's right hand is lost against the detail of his arm, and should've been drawn protruding slightly upwards so that we could see it.

I only acquired the first two Annuals in recent weeks, though I've had the third one for well-over twenty years, but I decided to complete the 'set' to complement my run of The Complete Fantastic Four weekly comic.  Feel entirely free to regard this post as a follow-up to the above-named title's cover gallery series from around three years back - whether the last two Annuals were intended to represent the comic or not.  And as I said earlier, if you know of any other Marvel UK FF Annuals from around this period, then let's hear all about them, effendi.  

Saturday, 9 February 2019


Copyright MARVEL COMICS.  Yes, it contains the free gift

I usually get there in the end, and so it was in this instance.  34 years and another house and neighbourhood away, I was buying the UK weekly SPIDER-MAN comic, but managed to miss a couple of issues.  Not that I wanted to, but they were just nowhere to be found in any of the shops I looked for them at the time.  Thank goodness for eBay!  A year or two ago, I got the issue below, and today I received the issue above, thereby completing that run of comics I was buying back in 1984.

I gave both issues a cursory glance and placed each of them in the respective space that had long awaited their arrival, and maybe one day I'll give them a proper read-through.  Suffice enough for the moment that they're there when I want them, and that 1984 seems as fresh and new as if it were only a year or two away, instead of the gulf that it actually is.

So I'm glad to have them, though can't help but being slightly sad at the thought that I may not have another 34 years ahead of me to locate any new comics that escape me today.  Every rose has a thorn, eh?  


Copyright relevant owner

MIGHTY MOTH is probably one of the earliest comic strip characters I remember from childhood, maybe even the earliest.  I first saw him in the 1962 or '63 TV COMIC Holiday Special while either holidaying (aptly enough) in Ayr (I think), or perhaps only on a day trip.  The title of the comic didn't register with me, nor did the name of the character (though I was aware he was a moth) - it was artist DICK MILLINGTON's distinctive style which I remembered.  A year or two later, while thumbing through a weekly issue of TV Comic in a newsagent's, that style jumped out at me and, although I didn't become a regular reader of the periodical until the late '70s, I did buy the occasional issue over the years up until then.

It was because ol' Mighty reconnected me to an earlier time in my life that I bought the Winter Special bearing his name towards the end of 1980.  That's it above, the very same one which I've now owned for just over 38 years - wow!  I only found out a few short years ago that there was also a 1981 Holiday Special and have been trying to obtain one ever since.  (I featured an image of it in a couple of posts some years back, but it was 'borrowed' from eBay.)  I'm now glad to be able to say that my very own copy arrived yesterday, thereby completing my two-issue set.  At least, I'm only aware of two, so if anyone has any info about other issues, I'd appreciate you letting me know.

I've just read (or re-read in the case of the first one) both comics over the last couple of days, and my already huge regard for Dick Millington's talent and appreciation of Mighty Moth has increased to even greater proportions in the process.  I derived a goodly portion of laugh-out-loud moments from the strips, and Dick's deceptively simple style possesses a really funny visual quality that is quite impressive.  To get a laugh from just looking at a picture suggests that it must be good, and there are quite a few of them in these two publications.  It's possible that I never knew Dick's name until I saw it on his HAPPY FAMILIES newspaper strip, which, if so, means I was an adult (allegedly) before I could put a name to the artist.

Mighty Moth had the same basic premise as the FRANKIE STEIN strip in WHAM! (and later comics), in that 'dad' was always trying to get rid of the one who inadvertently plagued (but loved) him.  In Mighty's case, he sometimes deliberately tried to annoy dad (usually in revenge for dad's hostility), but this was merely in service to a story, and, in fact, he often seemed to regard dad and his wife as actual parents.  Anyway, in celebration of me finally having both Mighty Moth Specials, below are a handful of strips to hopefully provide you all with a few chuckles.  I wish REBELLION would acquire the rights to the character and issue a series of collected editions - The COMPLETE MIGHTY MOTH.  Sounds good to me.

Look at the 3rd panel in the 3rd tier - little Mighty sits like a happy kid next to
his 'dad' on the way to the seaside.  That pic of Mighty made me laugh out loud

Hoppit from TV Terrors makes a cameo appearance in the last tier's middle pic 

An unpublished fanzine cover I drew 34 years ago, featuring Mighty Moth
 and some dude in long underwear whose name escapes me for the moment 

Friday, 8 February 2019



My CONAN The BARBARIAN Omnibus volume arrived from America yesterday and I just love poring over it, drinking in the vibrant colours and ornate BARRY SMITH artwork.  If you're going to buy this book, get the one with the variant Smith cover, as the other one by JOHN CASSADAY and LAURA MARTIN is truly awful - sorry, but it is!   Really, it has to be the worst cover I've ever seen on an Omnibus edition.  Conan has no neck, looks as if he has no hair on one side of his head, his arms are stiff, and his legs are twisted in unnatural positions.  The colours are nice but can't save the drawing, and I'm surprised that it was ever chosen as the main cover of the book.

This volume has over 700 pages, and while it's great to see the tales coloured after their initial printings, the book is let down in other respects.  Firstly, there are too many typos in the text pieces, with words like 'clearly' being rendered as 'clearing', 'was' as 'will', and 'Silver Surfer' as 'Sliver Surfer' - and that's only the ones I noticed during a cursory glance.  Also, there's too much repetition, with just about everything ever written by ROY THOMAS from previous reprint publications, even though he retells most of it in his new introduction.  It would be better if his new intro encompassed everything (if it doesn't already) related in the old ones, and the pages instead featured the KULL The CONQUEROR back-up story from CTB #10, which I was disappointed to see wasn't included.  (Or RED NAILS from SAVAGE TALES #2 & 3.)

Another thing that irks me is that issue #9's story has no corner page numbers, being seemingly sourced from a later reprint in which they were removed, and #12 has no corner page numbers on the last two pages, though the second-last one shows faint traces of where it had been.  (Perhaps someone with the original issues can check just to make sure I'm right in what I say.  It's always possible that the last page never had one.)  A book this expensive really should be the definitive version, but sadly isn't quite that.  However, it's a very handsome volume, and even though I've got all of the tales in the softcover DARK HORSE reprint series from a few years back, it's nice to have them in (mostly) their original shape and form.

Once MARVEL has sorted out the typos, I may buy a new printing in the future, but in the meantime this one will do for now.  It's just great to see Smith's cover on the front of a book of this size -and if you're a Conan fan, you'll be able to overlook its few imperfections and gladly add it to your library of Marvel Omnibuses.  Speaking of which, far too many of them have faults like the ones detailed above, and it's time that Marvel fired their proofreaders and got folk that can do the job properly.  You know the old saying - "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well!"

Thursday, 7 February 2019


'Twas many, many years ago now - way back at the end of 1972 or very early in '73 if I recall correctly.  It was late afternoon and beginning to get dark, and the street lights had already sprung to life in order to pierce the gloom of the advancing blackness.  Did a recently fallen thin covering of rain adorn the pavements and roads, reflecting the gleam of the lamps in their twinkling surface?  I no longer remember with certainty, but there could well have been.

I was in a shopping precinct called Calderwood Square when a sudden idea struck me.  First, a bit of background detail:  On Friday, 6th October '72, my father had taken me with him on a jaunt into Hamilton.  I'd been off school for a day or two with some trifling illness, but had started to feel better by early afternoon.  (Funny how being off school aids recovery, eh?)  Because I'd perked up, my father felt it would be good for me to get out of the house for an hour or two, so took me with him on some errand to the aforesaid place.

Whilst there, I remember us going into a charity shop, and then passing a shop that reminded me of The TERRIBLE TINKERER's repair shop in The AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2.  In the window was a DALEK money bank which I could've afforded, but passed on because of its weird shape.  (How I now wish I'd bought it when I had the chance.)  Then we went into a newsagent's, where I bought a second copy of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL #1, plus The FANTASTIC FOUR #126.  On the way home on the bus, I was struck by how fast the journey was, as if Hamilton was only a few minutes away from my own town.

Given my propensity to include trivial, unimportant detail when relating events, it should come as no surprise to you when I say that most of the above has no bearing on my tale - apart from the last part about my impression of the neighbouring town being not too far away.  So let's return to Calderwood Square and the idea I alluded to earlier.  The main road to Hamilton was a short distance from the square, so I decided to walk there, as I'd have a better selection of goodies on which to spend my pocket money.  So off I set, but it wasn't long before I realised that I'd optimistically misjudged the distance.

I therefore abandoned my plan, left the main road, took a short cut past a nearby farm, and made my way back to Calderwood Square, where I purchased an ALAN CLASS comic reprinting FF #6, (CREEPY WORLDS I think) and a wind-up walking mouse - Jerry from TOM & JERRY fame, to be exact.  I may also have bought FOREVER PEOPLE #4 or/and 5, though that could have been another occasion (or occasions) which I'm merging into this one.  If so, it's understandable - same shop, same place, and my memory's not as sharp as it once was.

Which brings me up to date you'll be glad to hear.  (I just felt like indulging in a bit of preamble in order to live again that far-off time, which seems like no time at all and a million years ago at almost one and the the same moment.)  Today a replacement for Jerry mouse arrived at the same house I was living in 47 years ago when I acquired his doppelganger, but this time he crossed the doorstep with a friend - namely Tom, the cat, from the series of MGM classic cartoons that both characters appeared in, which were frequently shown on TV back in the '70s.  Both toys are manufactured by MARX, though their name appears only on the boxes, not the toys themselves, which is unusual.

Another little bit of 'yesterday' to keep me company on my journey into tomorrow and however many (or few) tomorrows yet to come.  Surely you wouldn't grudge me it?  Incidentally, I did subsequently make that journey into Hamilton on foot a few months later (with a friend), but that's perhaps a tale for another time.


P.S.  I've borrowed the accompanying photo from the Internet, as I haven't had time to take my own yet.  When I do, I'll replace it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019



Copyright MARVEL COMICS, published by PANINI
76 pages of Mutant Mayhem!  Two uncanny stories!

The Gold Team battles inside the Negative Zone to save Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde!  By Marc Guggenheim and Ken Lashley!

The Blue Team travels back in time to face their sinister counterparts!  By Cullen Bunn and RB Silva!

Featuring material first printed in X-Men: Gold #18-19 and X-Men: Blue #19-20.

On sale 7th February.



76 pages of Marvel’s hottest hero!  Two awesome tales!

Deadpool goes one-on-one with Captain America – and he wants Cap to feel the payback!  By Gerry Duggan and Mike Hawthorne!

Deadpool tackles the Assassins Guild in New Orleans!  By Cullen Bunn & Mark Bagley!

Featuring material first printed in Despicable Deadpool #295-296 and Deadpool: Assassin #3-4.

On sale 7th February.



76 pages of Marvel Universe adventure!  Four fantastic stories!

The Guardians of the Galaxy discover one of the hidden Infinity Stones!  By Gerry Duggan and Marcus To!

The Thing and the Human Torch travel into the multiverse!  By Chip Zdarsky and Valerio Schiti!

Hawkeye and Jessica Jones meet a very unusual dragon!  By Kelly Thompson and Michael Walsh!

Doctor Strange challenges Tiboro, tyrant of the Sixth Dimension!  By Don Rico and Steve Ditko!

Featuring material first printed in Guardians of the Galaxy #148, Marvel Two in One #4, Hawkeye #5 and Strange Tales #129.

On sale 7th February.


Monday, 4 February 2019


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS (and respective owners)

When I bought MARVEL PRESENTS: #3 back in the '70s, I did so only because I liked the look of the cover.  I bought a few of the subsequent issues, but have to say that I was never really a great fan of the group.  I've thought about tracking down a replacement ish for a number of years now, but a while back someone gave me the collected edition which included the covers, and that assuaged my compulsion to acquire the individual comic.

However, let's be honest here;  there's something about the black border around the covers in those reprint books that slightly lessens their impact (you really have to see them 'unframed'), so when I saw that Marvel were releasing a page-by-page facsimile edition of MP #3, I ordered one right away.  Well, it arrived today and is truly stunning, and had Marvel published their comics on high-quality paper back in the '70s, this is surely what they would've looked like.

I won't bother showing you any of the story pages because it's the ads which place the comic in context and capture the spirit of the times, so here's a couple of internal pages, plus the back cover.  Don't you feel as if you're back in the '70s (assuming you were around then), and don't your memories of that particular period come rushing back on sight of these images?

Do yourselves a favour and buy this comic today!  It's a veritable time machine. 

Update:  I just couldn't help myself and decided to track down an original issue of the mag, which I managed to do for a very reasonable sum.  As you can see, there are some very minor colour changes on the facsimile's cover (the little planetoid next to CHARLIE 27's right shoulder for example, and the shape of the colour around some of the 'cosmic crackle'), but that apart, it's pretty faithful.  Two internal differences are that the 'continued after next page' lines, plus the page numbers below the art (the corner numbers had been discontinued by this time) are absent, but I'm sure that most MARVELITES can live with that.

I think the original copy I had back in the '70s had the 'MARVEL ALL-COLOUR COMICS' banner and a UK price, but the US edition will do.  I've scanned the original and facsimile issues together so that you can compare them side-by-side, below.    

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...