Sunday 30 June 2013
Here are the final eight covers of the original SWAMP THING series from the 1970s. NESTOR REDONDO drew #s 17, 18, 19 & 21, and ERNIE CHAN (CHAU) drew #s 20, 22, 23 & 24. If you saw the previous two instalments, you've now seen every cover in the complete run of 24. At last - your life is almost complete and you can cross off one more thing on your list of 'things to do before you die'. No, don't thank me - I live to serve.
|Copyright relevant owner
For all you frantic followers of JOHNNY FUTURE, the caped and cowled crusader makes a welcome return to the pages of this humble blog in a new, regular, Sunday slot. Drawn by LUIS BERMEJO and published in the pages of FANTASTIC in the 1960s, this is one of the more popular and best-remembered POWER COMICS strips of the time.
Incidentally, the figure in the final panel on the last page isn't the sole work of Luis Bermejo. The artistic integrity of the picture has been compromised by clumsy retouching in an attempt to cover any suggestion of nakedness. As you'll see in upcoming episodes, there is no consistency to the way the alterations have been executed, though you'd think that the editors would have assigned such revisions to someone with a degree of skill. Apparently not, sadly.
It's a shame that portions of the art have been ruined in this way, but let's try not to dwell on these thankfully few instances and instead focus on untampered examples of comic strip art at its finest.
See you all next week for Part Two, fellow fans!
Saturday 29 June 2013
And now, a sensational Saturday treat for all you FRANKIE STEIN fans - a full-colour 3-page fun-fest from the very first WHAM! Annual, for 1966 (issued in Aug-Sept '65). Drawn by the inimitable KEN REID, it's sure to tickle your fancy and spruce up your sporran. However, don't take my word for it - read it for yourselves.
Out now - this super new book reprinting various HULK tales created specifically by and for we Brits. If you're a Yank, you may be interested in seeing how a bunch of Limeys handled one of your best-loved superheroes, so get yourselves along to your local comics shop and pick up a copy now! You'll be glad you did. (Brits will enjoy it too, of course.)
Friday 28 June 2013
Welcome to the second part of WALL'S SKY RAY DOCTOR WHO album and cards, in which you can see all 36 cards, illustrated by PATRICK WILLIAMS, the artist who also drew At NIGHT STALKS The SPECTRE (the British version) in the pages of SMASH! back in the '60s. He drew many other strips as well, of course - including FIREBALL XL5 in the 1965 TV CENTURY 21 SUMMER EXTRA.
Thanks to the kindly collector who sent me scans of the enclosed images - shame he couldn't include a Sky Ray iced lolly as well.
Click here for Part One.
And below is a taster of what the back of the cards looked like:
Weekly comic WHAM! had barely managed to drag itself across the doorstep of January '68 before suffering the inglorious fate of being merged with younger stablemate POW! At that time, Wham! was one of my favourite comics (alongside sister publication FANTASTIC), so I was none too pleased to see it relegated to the position of support act for another pulsating POWER PACK periodical.
There were six 'proper' Wham! Annuals published by ODHAMS PRESS, the last being issued in '70 for '71. Strangely, though, Wham! survived the demise of the Power era (and the transformation of 'last comic standing' - SMASH! - into a VALIANT clone in March of 1969). In 1971, Wham! Annual 1972 was released by FLEETWAY, and - apart from the logo - bore absolutely no resemblance to any of its half-dozen predecessors, containing, to the best of my knowledge, not one single strip that had ever appeared in the weekly title.
Whereas the six Odhams Annuals had contained mostly humour strips, the Fleetway version was mainly an adventure book, and any readers buying it because of warm memories of the weekly (or earlier Annuals) must have been bewildered by the unfamiliar content. Where were The TIDDLERS, FRANKIE STEIN, or The HUMBUGS? Just where was The PEST Of The WEST? Gone South by the look of it - along with FOOTSIE The CLOWN, GLUGG and SAMMY SHRINK.
There were two further Annuals in the series, although this time they were combined titles - WHAM! And POW! Annual 1973 (on sale Aug/Sept '72) and 1974 (issued Aug/Sept '73). Strictly speaking, the books should have been called Pow! And Wham!, because that was the name of the merged weekly - not vice versa. (I guess Wham! received top billing because it had been released first and had published more weekly issues.)
I had originally bought Wham! comic for the MARVEL reprints of The FANTASTIC FOUR, and by the time the last two of these three Fleetway Annuals came out, I was reliving the FF's adventures in The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL, alongside The HULK and SPIDER-MAN, which had once appeared in Smash! and Pow! respectively.
Strange now to think that (unnoticed by me at the time) some of my once-favourite comic titles continued in name for years afterwards - although the superhero spectaculars that had made them so compulsive were being published in another periodical that was now at the top of my comics list. In my mind, Wham! and Pow! had died in the '60s - to think that an Annual for them was issued in the same years as the first two Marvel Annuals is, to me, simply astounding.
It's similar to archeaologists believing that two creatures were separated by an immense period of time, only to discover fossils of them in the same strata of rock and realizing that they both co-existed (even though one of them was just about to become extinct).
However, that's enough fanciful nonsense from me - enjoy the accompanying images.
Well, we're not quite halfway through the CADET DALEKS sweet cigarette cards, but I thought I'd take a detour and present the first part of the WALL'S SKY RAY DOCTOR WHO iced lolly album and cards for all those who can't wait to see them. Tough luck though - 'cos you'll still have to wait until the 2nd instalment to see all 36 cards - but, in the meantime, here are a few images to whet your appetite.
Click here for Part Two.