Thursday, 27 February 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Only one more instalment to go, frantic ones, 'til the first 66 issues of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL in this cataclysmic cover gallery series is complete.  What'll I do then?  Well, as mentioned in a previous post, I'll run the few glossy covered MWOMs (and SMCWs) in my collection, and I still have complete sets of The SUPER-HEROES, CAPTAIN BRITAIN, COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR, BIG BEN, and various other comics which I can share with you all.  And, if nothing else, I can still bore you with rambling reminiscences of my childhood, old bits of furniture, and utterly self-indulgent exercises in neurotic nostalgia.  So, don't despair - there's plenty of life in the old blog yet.

Hey, what are you doing?  Get down off that cliff - you'll hurt yourself.  Whaddya mean, that's the idea?  I thought you liked this blog?

Dear me, some people are just never satisfied.  Tsk.


What do BOB HOPE, JOHN LOWE, and the first issue of the
revamped SMASH! comic from 1969 have in common?  The answer
is that around 29 and a half years ago, on October 13th, 1984, I met Bob
Hope, saw John Lowe make history by scoring the first televised 9 dart
finish, and re-acquired the first issue of the 'new' Smash! I'd first bought
in March of 1969, then sold to a classmate a few days later.  (For
that tale, click here.  Go on, I'll wait right here for you.)

On that day in 1984, I was in Edinburgh to attend the legendary
Mr. Hope's show at The Playhouse, and stopped in at a comics shop
in the late afternoon to have a browse.  There was a box containing 72
issues of the 95 issue run of the new Smash!, so I bought them all on the
spot.  I took #1 away with me, plus two '50s movie mags which Bob auto-
graphed that evening, along with a couple of LP covers from recordings
of his old radio broadcasts.  (In case you were wondering, I was sitting
in a bar having a soft drink before the show and watched Big John
score his 9 dart finish on the pub telly.)

As for those remaining issues of Smash!, I arranged to pick them
up from the dealer when he attended a Glasgow comic mart the next
week, I believe.  (Incidentally, that mart was the one  at which 2000 A.D.
offered me freelance work as a lettering artist.)  If so, I seem to recall that
the dealer forgot to bring the comics with him, which means I either got
them at a subsequent mart, or through the post at intervals.  (Of course,
I could be misremembering after all this time and perhaps it was a
later mart the dealer told me he'd be attending anyway.)

I've picked up 21 of the missing 22 issues over the intervening
years and, yesterday, obtained the absent ish (second-last one) from
Amazon, and am currently wishing my life away until it safely arrives.
It's taken me practically 30 years to complete the set since I re-acquired
that first issue in Edinburgh on that day in October of 1984, but you
know what?  It only seems like a few years ago at the very most.

So hands up if you'd like to see a cover gallery of the revamped
 Smash!?  Better yet, why not let me know in the comments section.
You know how I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014


Image copyright relevant owner

Okay, I'll admit that a Christmas scene is a little out of season (though snow's still a possibility given the recent weather), but I simply had to display this stunning piece of colour cover artwork on the 1976 SHIVER & SHAKE Annual, which I received this afternoon.  ROBERT NIXON (perhaps the only artist who could've taken over KEN REID's FRANKIE STEIN) at his absolute best, I'm sure you'll agree!

There are a few contemporary cartoonists who'd be wise to take note - this is how it should be done!


(And yes, you're right, the title of this post makes no sense at all.  What can I say?  You can't win 'em all.)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Not only am I running out of MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL comic
covers in an unbroken sequence, I'm also running out of things to say about
them. Can you believe that there are only seven more paper-covered issues
to go before we get through the complete set and the mag goes glossy on
us? Unfortunately, I only have a few glossy-covered MWOMs in my
collection, so future posts in this series will be limited in number.

Look at the ad for the Marvel Annual in issue #59. I remember
seeing this book in a shop on a walk into Hamilton one day (in Blantyre, I
think) in July or August of 1973. I think it was probably July, because I was
actually quite surprised to see it on sale so early. A few weeks later (if that),
I bought it from a shop in the old village quarter of my town one Saturday,
but apart from the GEOFF CAMPION cover, I wasn't as enthralled
by the Annual as I'd been with its predecessor the year before.

Anyway, if you have any memories of any comics on this page and
you feel like sharing them with your fellow Criv-ites, you know where
the comments section is. Go on - give us a peek into your past.

Monday, 24 February 2014



Back in 1973, MARVEL U.K. (as it eventually came to be known) launched their third British weekly title - The AVENGERS.  The first issue contained a free gift of four mini-transfers, which, small as they were, featured absolutely amazing artwork by Spanish artist LOPEZ ESPI.  I remember being so impressed by them that I wrote to Marvel, suggesting that they release these masterpieces as posters, and guess what?  They did!  I'd love to take credit for giving them the idea, but I doubt that I was the only reader who wrote to them on the matter.  (Nah!  Scrap that - it was all down to me.)

For some odd reason, I never actually got around to sending away for them when they became available, something I now regret.  However, thanks to a generous contributor, I can now feature these amazing six posters to show you all what you missed if you weren't around in 1974.  And thanks to regular Crivvie McSCOTTY  for motivating me into tracking down some half- decent copies of these collectors' items to share with you.

Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.

Below, the ad for the six posters above.

Below, a CONAN poster by the same artist, but
not included in the set above.


Below, the cover of AVENGERS #1, which included four
mini-transfers featuring artwork used on the above posters.

And here's another version of each of the original
six posters for you.  Am I good to you, or what?

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Y'know, sometimes, when I'm scanning these comics for your
appreciative perusal, it seems as if I only acquired them fairly recently.
Then it hits me - over 40 years have passed since I first bought them. Man,
that's an extremely scary thought, and one I often have a hard time getting my
head around.  I was but a mere schoolboy when they came into my possession,
and I can still see the classrooms of my old school and myself sitting, during a
break,  reading the odd issue I'd bought on the way in on a morning, having
missed it for some reason at the weekend. Then I remember that my school
was demolished some years ago and is now a housing estate, and the gulf
between then and now seems even greater, due to the fact that one
of the tangible points of connection no longer exists.

But enough of my philosophical musings, that's not what you're here
for. So enjoy these images from 1973 and cast your mind back to when
you first read them. Then, if you'd care to, let's hear your reminiscences
about what they mean to you, and about the times, places and people
you associate with these cataclysmic comics from so very long ago.

Note how the statue's name changes from DRALLA to DRALLAS
in THE STONE MAN story below. You'd think someone would've
noticed and corrected it, eh?

Saturday, 22 February 2014


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I reckon we're long overdue for yet another instalment of SPIDER-MAN COMICS WEEKLY cover gallery, so here are another five issues from 1973 for you to drool over.  Number 47 was the final paper-covered copy of SMCW, as it switched to a glossy cover with the next edition.  And now the bad news:  I don't have every single copy of the comic that was ever published, so therefore I can't feature them on the blog.  However, I do have various issues from its glossy-covered run, which I'll post from time to time as I remember where I put them - so that's something for you to look forward to (I hope) at least.

Anyway, that's enough waffle from me, enjoy the images ahead.

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