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 for you.)

On that memorable day in 1984, I was in Edinburgh to attend the legendary Mr. Hope's evening show at The Playhouse, and stopped in at a comics shop in the late afternoon to have a bit of 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 autographed that evening, along with a couple of LP covers from recordings of his old radio broadcasts that I'd brought from home.  (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 (on sale towards the end of '75), which I received only this very 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've got any memories of any comics here and you feel like sharing them with your fellow Crivvies, you know where the comments section is.  Go on - give us a peek into your past.

Monday 24 February 2014



Back in September 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 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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