|Images copyright relevant owner|
Thursday, 31 May 2012
MICKY MARVEL'S MULTI-GUN first appeared in the issue dated for January 20th, 1968, and ended a year later on January 18th, 1969. The strip was drawn by CARLOS CRUZ GONZALEZ, who'd illustrated quite a few features for IPC/FLEETWAY and also D.C. THOMSON. He was one of the artists who drew DAN DARE in the relaunched EAGLE back in the '80s.
I've included some ad pages just to give you a taste of the times. Anyone know how many of these games are still available today? (Probably all of them... if you haunt the charity shops.)
BIG CHIEF POW WOW was, in some ways, a return to LITTLE PLUM territory for LEO BAXENDALE. The character debuted in the cover-dated September 14th, 1968 issue and concluded in the one dated for January 31st, 1970.
Look at the above ad. Nowadays, a CORGI TOYS MONKEEMOBILE from the '60s would probably set you back at least a couple of hundred quid for a good condition model in its original box. Bet you wish you'd kept yours, eh? Too late, it's gone. Get used to it.
The HAPPY FAMILY (does such a thing exist these days?) was drawn by the always excellent REG PARLETT. Apparently, early episodes were reprints of a strip called The HARTY FAMILY, which had first appeared in TV FUN, but whether or not it was based on an actual TV series, I'm far too lazy to try and ascertain. The strip made its first appearance in Buster in the cover-dated issue for August 17th, 1968, and took its final bow in the issue dated January 4th, 1975. Though whether or not it was an uninterrupted run I'm unable to say. ('Cos I don't know.)
Another ad - I doubt the readers were ever too enthused about the exploits of RACE REVELL, though the model company which spawned him still exists to this very day.
NUTTY SLACK is a type of coal, as well as a brittle toffee sweet containing nuts. However, in the case of the character appearing in Buster, he's exactly what it says on the "tin" - a gentle grappler. First turning up in the issue dated for September 10th, 1966, he ended his run in the December 28th, 1968 issue. Drawn by DOUG MAXTED, who also illustrated HIS SPORTING LORDSHIP in the new SMASH! comic from 1969 onwards.
CAPTAIN SWOOP first appeared in a short-lived comic called GIGGLE (of which I have the bound volume of FLEETWAY file copies from the period), moving over to Buster when the two comics merged on January 13th, 1968. (Issue dated 20th.) It was a translated reprint from a French comic strip, and managed to hold on until the issue dated for April 19th, 1969, whereupon it retired into history. Whether or not the original strip still runs in France is anyone's guess.
Anyway, there you have it. A complete issue of Buster (minus a few ads) from 1968. Hopefully, you've enjoyed this glimpse into the past as much as I enjoyed my red-hot date with SALMA HAYEK last night. (Whaddya mean dreams don't count?)
See Part Three here.
COMING SOON: The first appearance of SWAMP THING!
Posted by Kid at Thursday, May 31, 2012
Sunday, 27 May 2012
Someone recently proposed on his blog that SUPERMAN should be portrayed as gay or bisexual. Considering the stushie that would surely ensue were it suggested that a gay person (real or fictional) should be 'turned' straight, it was rather a daring (even impertinent) proposition on his part. That way, he claimed, gay, bi, or transgendered people would feel more included in society. Apart from this being rather patronising to the gay, bi and transgendered community (and insulting to the rest of us), I consider it to be completely unnecessary.
|Superman breaking free - from the 'confines' of his traditional|
heterosexuality? Seems it's not enough to be straight these days
Are you gay, bi or transgendered? Honestly, I don't give a sh*t, but don't keep bleating on about it. If you don't insist on making an issue of it everywhere you go, then chances are that nobody else will either. If someone chapped your door one night and asked if they could watch you 'at it', you'd quite rightly chase them away faster than a BARRY ALLEN hand-job. The fact is most people just aren't interested in what you may or may not get up to - they don't want to know - in real life or comicbooks.
Not every form of public entertainment needs to be transformed into a forum or arena for pursuing or promoting any one group's own pet cause or personal interest - whatever they happen to be and regardless of their sexual, social, religious or cultural orientation. Militants - whatever your 'issues' are - take them elsewhere, huh? And give the rest of us a break!
Now, who's going to be the first brave soul to agree with me?
Posted by Kid at Sunday, May 27, 2012
Saturday, 26 May 2012
|"Yeah...I'm lookin' at YOU!"|
While we're waiting for the final instalment of BUSTER, SON OF ANDY CAPP, permit me to make a brief detour.
Sometimes I despair of some of my fellow bloggers. Presenting themselves as fair, open-minded enquirers after truth who welcome all forms of diverse opinion to theirs (in regard to subjects on which they themselves have invited comment), they then reveal themselves to be biased, small-minded extremists who don't really want to hear what others have to say - unless it's to tell them just how right they are on whatever they happen to be banging on about at the moment.
If someone is going to raise a controversial issue on their blog then they should be prepared to receive some controversial replies - ones they might even be offended by. However, I've often found that when a person claims to find a point of view offensive, what they're actually offended by is the idea of someone having an opinion contrary to their own. (How very dare they!)
The fact is, some people just don't like to be disagreed with - especially when they're simply not very good at defending their propositions to begin with. And that's regardless of whether said proposition is absurd, questionable, or entirely reasonable. One thing I've learned from bloggerland is that, very often, when someone asks a question, the only answer they're interested in hearing is the one upon which they've already decided. It seems that everyone else's purpose is simply to support their fragile and insecure belief in themselves.
Feel free to agree or disagree - I won't be offended.
Posted by Kid at Saturday, May 26, 2012
Thursday, 24 May 2012
|Images copyright relevant owner|
The above cover holds two sets of memories for me. The first one is when I initially read an earlier printing of this issue in the late 1960s when visiting family friends in our former neighbourhood. I even remember most of the stories inside, especially NOMAN in The SYNTHETIC STAND-INS. Cut to several years later, and I'm perched on the porcelain in a toilet cubicle of a local cafeteria (after enjoying a luverly cuppa char and a scone) with the latest incarnation of this ALAN CLASS classic (bought not from the hospital shop, but a town centre newsagent), reliving my previous recollections of the comic and creating some future ones at the same time.
The above issue wasn't one of the comics my friend returned to me many years later (as related in an earlier post), as he'd already returned it a little while after I gave him the rest of my Class collection. It just held too many memories to discard so lightly, so I asked if I could have it back and it's remained in my possession all this time. I now have the original TOWER COMICS issue as well, having obtained it several years ago.
I'm pretty sure that I probably first read the other comics on one of those visits to my old neighbourhood - that's what springs to mind anyway when I look at them. Again, I have some (if not all - I'll have to check) of the original Tower versions of these issues, and it's great to see them in colour and with superior printing to the Class reprints.
I'm also fortunate enough to possess all six volumes (seven contains non-Tower stories) of the DC reprint series of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS ARCHIVES, though, annoyingly, they omitted the Tower logo from the covers. They're still well-worth having if you're a fan of the characters though, and are no doubt far cheaper than a complete run of original issues.
Well, that wraps things up on this particular series of posts for now. I hope you enjoyed them, and that some of your own personal reminiscences relating to these comics were rekindled by reading mine. Even if that's not the case, the covers are worth looking at for the incredible WALLY WOOD artwork alone. See you next time, pilgrims!
COMING SOON: Part Four of BUSTER, SON Of ANDY CAPP. Don't miss it.
|Images copyright respective owners|
The cover below is by a pair of comic greats from yesteryear - JACK KIRBY, who pencilled it - and STEVE DITKO, who performed the inking chores. Two for the price of one - what more could anyone ask for?
I'll have to re-read the issue below - I find myself strangely intrigued by what the secret of "The ABYSS" might be. I'm beginning to wonder if I actually read all of my Alan Class comics before giving them away to one of my pals, who returned them to me over thirty years later (with, as already noted, the exception of SECRETS Of The UNKNOWN #158). Anyway, next time we'll take a look at four - count 'em - four WALLY WOOD T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS covers by Alan Class - don't forget to be here.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
|Images copyright respective owners|
If I remember correctly, at the same time I first read this comic, I also read a story about a runner who raced DEATH every so many years in order to continue living. If he outraced Death, he won an extension until the next occasion. (He was far older than he appeared, having lived way past his normal lifespan.) However, Death had once almost caught him, leaving glowing skeletal hand-prints on his back. I associate that story with the above issue, so I was disappointed not to see it when I bought the comic in the mid to late '70s. Either it was dropped from later editions, or it was in another Class comic that I read back when I first read this ish - one without so memorable a cover (to me at least) as the one above, obviously.
(Update: I've since learned that the tale was entitled The MAN Who OUTDISTANCED DEATH, first seen in 1952 in STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #4, published by FAWCETT. It was reprinted in SPELLBOUND #62, an L. MILLER comic that was in the same format as the AC comics, which would explain why I thought it was one years later. As Class later acquired Miller's printing plates and inventory, it may well have reappeared in an Alan Class title.)
I have no real memories of the above cover, apart from owning it thirty-odd years ago. It could have been one I read as a child in the '60s, but nothing about it prompts a memory so I may well have been seeing it for the first time when I bought it back in the '70s. It contains some nice DITKO stories, so it's well-worth having. Anyway, that's enough tedious reminiscing from yours truly for the moment. Hopefully, your own happy childhood or teenage memories have been stirred by reading about mine, so join me in part three for another look at some classic covers from Alan Class.
However, before you do, take a look at the other 'Johnny-come-lately' below - CREEPY WORLDS #191. As with Suspense #150, I'd forgotten I once had this one until I saw it on ebay and its cover rang an instant bell with me. My original copy may have been priced at only 10 or 15p, but it's the exact same in every other respect. This comic contains the first GORILLA MAN tale, the sequel of which is printed in the mag that leads off this very post. (Well, you know the old saying - 'the first shall be last, and the last shall be first'.) Needless to say, I snapped it up, enabling me to add it here at long last, but hopefully you'll consider it well worth the wait. Right, now you can go and visit part three.
Posted by Kid at Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Monday, 21 May 2012
|Image copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Cut to thirty-odd years later, and, as related in an earlier post, the aforementioned pal turns up at my front door one night clutching various carrier bags full of comics: "I thought you might like these back" he explained. I didn't want to appear greedy so didn't reclaim all of them, but amongst those I did were eleven surviving Alan Class mags I'd last seen more than three decades before. (Though no sign of the one containing Mr. GREGORY And The GHOST, which I also remember reading on that bench back in the '70s. It would've been nice to re-acquire that one too, but he never kept every comic I gave him, alas.) Added to the one I'd kept, I now had an even dozen.
Posted by Kid at Monday, May 21, 2012
Saturday, 19 May 2012
|Copyright DC COMICS|
I didn't think it was fair to tease you in my previous post with a mention of KIRBY's '70s mag In The DAYS Of The MOB without giving you a little taste of it. So pin your peepers on these powerful pages, pencilled by JACK ('KING') KIRBY and inked by VINCE ('The PRINCE') COLLETTA. Start saving those shekels now for the inevitable (we hope) deluxe hardcover edition of the bygone classic from which this tale is extracted.
And below is the double-page spread from above as it was meant to be seen - in all its panoramic splendour. Click to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.
Posted by Kid at Saturday, May 19, 2012
Friday, 18 May 2012
|The new book. Art by Neal Adams (based on Kirby design)|
What can one say about JACK KIRBY that hasn't already been said by those far more proficient at bending words to their will than I'll ever be? I'm a huge fan of the man and his work - but without the tendency to deify him in the way that some fans do. You know the sort of thing I mean - "Jack's art should have been printed directly from his pencils", "Jack should've been allowed to be his own editor", "No one else should've been allowed to dialogue his stories", etc. You've heard it all before, I'm sure.
The fact was however, that Jack - although he was a brilliant storyteller when it came to laying out a comicbook - had a tin ear for dialogue, making his scripting somewhat less than the dynamic, pulse-pounding match for his pencilling that it should've been. Also, Jack's artwork in later years sadly began to suffer from an accumulation of 'shorthand' techniques he'd developed to allow him to draw so many pages on a monthly basis throughout his long career and not miss a deadline.
Which finally brings me to DC's recent release of Jack's SPIRIT WORLD one-shot magazine from 1971. This was a companion mag to In The DAYS Of The MOB (which I hope DC will also reissue in the same deluxe format), both of which were attempts by Jack to venture beyond the boundaries of mere comics-for-kids with proper, 'legitimate' magazines that grown-ups would buy. MARK EVANIER reveals the details behind those attempts (and their failures) in his informative introduction to the second portion of the book, so I won't spoil your anticipation of reading it for yourself (if you're going to buy a copy) by repeating them here.
|Interior page from magazine. Inked by Vince Colletta|
|Please, DC - this one next|
Having said all that however, the book is a nice little addition to any Kirby fan's library (despite its somewhat distracting inability to maintain the density of tone from page to page - especially on the b&w ones), but sadly it doesn't represent Jack at the top of his game. It has to be said though, that Jack not at "the top of his game" usually still offered something worth looking at.
Posted by Kid at Friday, May 18, 2012
Thursday, 17 May 2012
(Today's post is taken from Roddy Weed's blog and is
published with full permission - take it away, Roddy...)
Think you know the origin of the FANTASTIC FOUR? Well, I, Roddy Weed, am about to give you the real, honest-to-goodness lowdown on the true origin of the fab foursome created by STAN LEE and JACK KIRBY in 1961. For instance, did you know that the actual prototypes of the FF were ROBIN HOOD & His MERRY MEN? Hard to believe? Well, I, Roddy Weed, writer of the greatest blogazine in the history of the world, am going to prove it to you right now.
ROBIN Of LOXLEY, also known as the outlaw ROBIN HOOD, had four main comrades in his band of SHERWOOD FOREST followers. Namely, LITTLE JOHN, WILL SCARLET, FRIAR TUCK, and MAID MARION. Pay attention now, while I exclusively reveal the astounding, irrefutable conclusions of many minutes of painstaking research and several seconds of convoluted contemplation on the pertinent points which prompt my cataclysmic claim.
BEN GRIMM is obviously an amalgam of Little John and Friar Tuck; John is grim-meined (hence Ben's surname) and a man of great strength, while Tuck, despite his ungainly appearance (just like Ben's) has a heart of gold and is possessed of a noble spirit that echoes his modern-day counterpart. Likewise, Ben's orange-hued epidermis is reminiscent of Tuck's ruddy complexion.
JOHNNY STORM is undoubtedly Will Scarlet - the colour of his fiery alterego being the living embodiment of Will's surname. Just like Will, Johnny is sometimes a bit hot-headed (willful even), further confirming the uncanny similarities 'twixt the two men. No doubt Will often used flaming arrows to lay his enemies low just as Johnny has done when tossing fireballs at the bad guys.
Unconvinced? Consider PRINCE JOHN then. Patently the archetype on whom the FF's arch-foe, DOCTOR DOOM, is based. Just like John, Doom lives in a castle; just like John, who conceals his true persona under the guise of benign ruler of a country, Doom hides his true visage under a mask. And in the same way that John hates Robin and his band and tries to kill them, Doom's mission is to wipe Reed and his team from the face of the Earth.
This is I, Roddy Weed, creator of the world's greatest blogazine, signing off for the foreseeable future - so that you'll all miss me and pine for my return. (What will you do without me?)
Posted by Kid at Thursday, May 17, 2012