Tuesday, 19 March 2019


Actually, I've no idea what her name is, but I wasn't going to let a little thing like that prevent me posting this lovely lady for you to admire her grace and elegance, to say nothing of her taste in antique furniture.  I'm hoping she's also got a taste in 'antique' men, as then I may be in with a chance.

Monday, 18 March 2019


Copyright relevant owner

A whopping fifty-four years ago, while holidaying in Rothesay, my mother bought me the above copy of TV CENTURY 21.  Well, not this actual copy - this one's a replacement I bought recently, but in my mind, it's easy to believe that this is the very issue I hold in my young hands in the photos below.  I have every single copy of TV21 ever published - but only on a data disc.  However, I do own quite a goodly number of original issues as well, and the disc is only to save me having to scan them individually whenever I want to do a blog post about the title.

However, as there's historical pictorial evidence of my ownership of this number, I decided to put the work in and scan the actual issue, so what you're looking at is my very own copy of TV21.  Still got my own hair and teeth, and I'm gradually reacquiring many of the items I owned as a kid or teenager, which is probably the best way to do things.  After all, it's harder to replace your hair and teeth than it is your other former possessions, so I reckon I'm ahead in the game.  Do you have any photos of your younger self holding a comic or toy that you owned back then?  Tell your fellow Criv-ites all about it in the comments section.


Copyright BBC TV & the Estate of TERRY NATION

Oh, look at what I've got - the figure from The DALEK ORACLE game.  Don't have the game (£400 on ebay at the moment), but I've got the modern release of The MAGIC ROBOT (called The AMAZING ROBOT, but is exactly the same) and once I remember where I put it, I'll see if the Dalek works in the Robot's place.  As with most '60s Dalek merchandise, not 100% accurate as far as the design goes, but still nice to have.  "Exterminate!"

Update:  Found my Robot game on top of the wardrobe and tried it out with the Dalek.  Unfortunately, though operating on the same basic principle, there are some differences.  The Robot game has 16 questions and answers per sheet, whereas the Dalek game has only 12.  The Robot always points at the answer (on the right-hand side of the sheet) six places away from where the question is located (on the left-hand side), whereas the Dalek points at the answer four places away (on its own sheet), so maybe that has something to do with it.  Having said that, I see that if the answers in the Robot game were swapped with the ones directly opposite each other, then the Dalek would point to the correct answer.  


It was 1962 or '63, and there I was, gazing into a newsagent's window at the wonderful friction-drive SUPERCAR toy that was on display.  The location was my local neighbourhood shops and I was accompanying my mother as she bought some 'messages'.  The toy must've been inexpensive, or perhaps my birthday was looming, because when I asked her to buy it for me, surprisingly, she complied.  I was never a spoilt child (well, apart from the time a steamroller ran over me), so even today I find myself wondering why she so readily assented to indulge me.

Of course, as you can see for yourselves, the toy can hardly be described as an accurate representation of the craft from the TV show, but it was close enough and I doubt that I was ever aware of the difference.  I remember one of the wings warped from the heat of our BELLING fire when I sat the toy on top of it, but I couldn't say exactly when that happened - days, weeks, or months later.  Nor could I say when it faded into the limbo that's reserved for most childhood playthings, but that's where it must've eventually sloped off to.
Until earlier tonight (Saturday), when I bid on the toy on ebay and won it.  These are the seller's photos you're looking at, as obviously I haven't yet got my grubby mitts on it, but it'll be winging its way to me soon, and then I'll be reunited with another fondly-remembered item from my long-ago childhood.  Only a few more essential replacements to go before I call a halt to my quest - at least for a while.  After all, there's always something else that comes along and stirs the quiet waters of my memory, asking me to invite it back into the fold.  Which I do - just so long as I can afford it.

Now, where can I obtain a SPACE BLIMP OF CHRISTMAS?

Saturday, 16 March 2019


Copyright relevant and respective owners

Back in 1982, a new monthly magazine hit the shelves - WARRIOR!  The brainchild of DEZ SKINN, the name was recycled from a fanzine he'd produced in 1974, but we'll get to that shortly.  The first issue of the '80s mag featured the revival of MARVELMAN, originally published by L. MILLER & SON, and a copy of FAWCETT's CAPTAIN MARVEL.  The substitution was necessitated when Fawcett cancelled the 'BIG RED CHEESE' following a lawsuit by DC COMICS (N.P.P.), and as Miller had been reprinting the Marvel Family stories, a ringer was required PDQ.  MICK ANGLO (artist of Marvelman) always freely admitted that the character was an outright imitation of Captain Marvel, which makes me wonder if DC Comics, who now own Fawcett's SHAZAM character, could launch a plagiarism suit against MARVEL COMICS, who now own Marvelman?  Time will tell, but that's a subject we're not going to explore here.

The new Warrior also saw other great strips among its pages, such as V For VENDETTA, and LASER ERASER And PRESSBUTTON, and featured the cream of Britain's adventure artists of the time - such as GARRY LEACH, STEVE MOORE, DAVE GIBBONS, JOHN BOLTON, DAVID LLOYD, and STEVE PARKHOUSE.  The writing duties in the debut ish were performed by the likes of ALAN MOORE and STEVE MOORE (no relation, but good pals), with other writers penning various other strips throughout its 26 issue, three year run, during which time it won 17 EAGLE AWARDS.  Distribution was spotty, because I only ever managed to get the first several issues before it disappeared from view in my local shops, and going from what other readers have subsequently said, it was the same for them.

Anyway, here's a few pages from that first issue, after which we'll take a look at the original incarnation of the title.       

Art by Garry Leach

Art by Garry Leach

The Spiral Path.  Art by Steve Parkhouse

The Legend of Prester John.  Art by John Bolton

Art by David Lloyd

Art by John Bolton

Art by Steve Dillon

Enjoy the pretty pictures?  Good!  That's not something that can be said about the '74 incarnation, which lasted for six issues into 1975.  Not that the art wasn't good, because it was (how could it be otherwise with artists like JOHN M. BURNS, DON LAWRENCE, FRANK BELLAMY, and TOM KERR?) - thing is, the reproduction in most cases wasn't.

It was unavoidable I suppose, when it came to colour art reprinted in black and white, but even original b&w pages didn't come out too well, and it's hardly surprising that the mag was short-lived.  'Twas a brave try though, so Dez should be given a pat on the head, a BLUE PETER badge, and an extra-big bag of JELLY BABIES for his efforts.  There's no point showing you the duff pages here 'cos they'll only hurt your eyes, but I've included pages from a couple of strips that are slightly clearer than the others.  ERIC The VIKING from SMASH! was originally KARL The VIKING from BUSTER, but that's perhaps a tale for another post.

Did you buy either of the two mags back in their respective times, and if so, got any memories or observations that you'd care to share with your fellow Criv-ites?  If the answer to that is yes, then the comments section awaits your esteemed presence.  

Art by Frank Bellamy

Art by Don Lawrence

Art by Tom Kerr

Thursday, 14 March 2019


Copyright BBC TV

It's funny how things from childhood become more important to you the older you get, isn't it?  Take BLUE PETER for example.  When I was a kid I didn't own any of the books (can't remember even seeing them in fact), but now I have all the ones featuring CHRISTOPHER TRACE, VALERIE SINGLETON, JOHN NOAKES, PETER PURVES, and LESLEY JUDD.  I've also got a few random ones from later years with some of the newer presenters, including the very last Blue Peter book ever published - plus an autographed (non-Blue Peter) copy of a book about dogs by John Noakes.

I think there was a spell in the '90s where the books were put on hiatus and a magazine was issued instead.  I've got it somewhere and will put up a picture of it at a later date, but as far as I know, it was a one-off.  Not long ago, however, I discovered that there had been a Blue Peter Holiday Special in 1976, published by IPC, and I recently managed to obtain a copy, the cover of which you can see at the top of this very post.  Again, I believe it was a one-off, yet it's interesting to speculate what further editions of the Special would've been like, and whether they'd have affected the sale of the yearly books.

In an early issue of WHAM! back in the '60s, there was a letter from one Lesley Judd, and I've often wondered whether it was the same Lesley who went on to present the programme several years later.  Again, I'll add the letter here once I find the time to dig through my back issues and locate it, but that might take a while as not all of them are easily accessible.  I find that by collecting things connected to the show (like two genuine Blue Peter badges for example) helps to reconnect me to that particular period in my life when I used to watch it, though I was never a regular or consistent viewer.  Funny thing is though, when I think back, it seems that I watched it far more often than I know I actually did.

It's interesting to see JOHN CRAVEN included in the Special, because I've always thought that he would've fitted right in as a Blue Peter presenter, and I wonder if he ever auditioned for the role.  He was sort of a mixture between Peter Purves and John Noakes and would've made an ideal replacement if either one of them had decided to leave after just a few short years, instead of the mammoth duration they stuck with the show.  (10 years in Peter's case, and 12 years in Noaksy's.) 

Anyway, if you're as old as me, I thought you might enjoy seeing some pages from this one-shot collectors' issue and reliving part of your youth, when you'd get in from school, flick through the TV, then decide if you were going to watch Blue Peter or MAGPIE.  I seem to remember flicking between both programmes depending what was being featured at the time, but my memory might be playing tricks on me, as I'm not even sure whether they were broadcast on the same days.  Anyone know?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019



CAPTAIN MARVEL seems to be getting a lot of attention at the moment due to the latest blockbuster movie doing the rounds in cinemas.  Haven't seen it, but I've been buying some of the TRUE BELIEVERS reprints by MARVEL COMICS and thought you might like to see them.  Got a favourite from when you read the originals back in the day?  Be sure to say so in the comments section.

(Oops!  Overlooked two - now added.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...