Saturday 31 May 2014


Here's a Saturday quickie for all who are craving a Criv-ite fix.
from MARVEL U.K.'s RAMPAGE MONTHLY (which we looked
at in the previous post).  The last pic is a bit 'washed-out', but that's
how it was in the mag.  Despite that, hope you enjoy them.


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Before your awestruck orbs are the catchy covers for issues 1-9 of RAMPAGE, which in a previous incarnation had been a U.K. weekly comic before being revived as a monthly magazine shortly after the weekly was merged into another title.  I probably had all or most of them at one time, but now only have those that reprinted the main tales from The RAMPAGING HULK, a black and white mag produced by MARVEL in the States.

I've also included the covers of the first and last issues of the American title for you to compare with the British one, and to show that, as discussed in previous posts, inferior printing in this country often rendered some interior pages as a murky morass, with delicate shades of grey coming out almost black and obscuring (if not obliterating) artistic detail.  (They're not quite as bad in this instance, but they're still not as good as they should be.)

Anyway, enjoy the covers and be sure to return for my next post - once I decide what the heck I'm going to do next.  Any suggestions?  (No dice, Charlie - I ain't jumpin' off a cliff to please anyone!)

Above - the same page from both editions.  Note the U.K. one has much darker tones.

The above page from the U.S. edition wasn't used in the U.K. mag.  Presumably the editors considered it redundant - or space was tight in that first issue.

A painted version by Bob Larkin of the above illustration was used as the cover of the 1978 Hulk book below by Simon & Shuster.

The same two pages from #9 of the U.K. & U.S. editions.  Once again, note the darker tones in the British mag.  

Friday 30 May 2014


I'm sure you'll forgive me for showing this image yet again, but it's scanned from my own personal mini album which I recently acquired on eBay and received yesterday.  Seems almost perfect and the record looks practically brand-new.  As you can imagine, I'm delighted to finally have a replacement for the one I had as a kid way back in the '60s.

However, there's always a 'but'.  Take a look at the packing the record was delivered in: a sturdy cardboard envelope, with two thick corrugated backing boards and a label clearly identifying the item as fragile, yet the Royal Mail still managed to damage it. It almost looks as if it was deliberately skited off a wall or dropped from an upper window just to thwart the sender's conscientious admonition of care.

Fortunately, the record itself was undamaged, but the cover had a nasty crease, which, with the careful application of a hot iron (a tricky business I can tell you), I've managed to minimise.  Luckily, the card sleeve is extremely thin and therefore amenable to such corrective treatment, but the crease is yet there and can be seen depending on which way the light reflects off it.

Just think - the cover has survived in excellent condition for 47 years, it leaves the possession of the seller unmarked, but is delivered to me in a less-than-perfect state.  I'm going to explore the possibility of compensation because it's an absolute disgrace that, in this day and age, a 7 inch 'large letter' is beyond the ability of the Royal Mail to deliver in the condition it was sent.

Still, bloody great collectors' item, eh?  Just such a shame that it's now worth less than I paid for it.  (Please - no gags about CAPTAIN SCARLET supposedly being indestructible.)

(Update: I've since obtained another, uncreased replacement.)

Thursday 29 May 2014


I see a certain person has revised his 'small print' comment about me on his blog.  I've already dealt with this in a previous post, but as he's seen fit to tweak his devious drivel, let's take a look at it and examine it piece by piece, okay?  What follows are my original comments, revised and edited in order to address his amended claims.  Here's the first part:

"All comments sent to this blog are very welcome.  However, one argumentative person posted increasingly belligerent and abusive comments several years ago so I eventually banned him from commenting here again.  Resentful of that, he then began posting various lies, distortions and exaggerations about me on his own blog and elsewhere."

Although I'm not mentioned by name, it's me who's being alluded to here so let's get straight down to it.  First of all, I don't believe I've ever posted "belligerent or abusive" comments on the man's blog, though I did respond to contemptuous, supercilious and insulting remarks by this person in a robust and forthright manner (as is my wont).  Also, I have posted only the absolute truth about this person's increasingly provocative distortions of the facts - and only on my own blog, nowhere else.  Unlike himself, who has commented on various blogs and Twitter sites, ascribing to me various negative attributes and motivations of his own invention, and generally making spiteful remarks about me and maliciously impugning my character.

He claims that I'm "resentful" for being banned from his blog.  Really?  By what method of supernatural divination does he arrive at that conclusion?  None at all!  Rather, he plucks it from the ether of his imagination, just like all the other unflattering characteristics of bitterness, envy, hate, frustration, pettiness, spite, etc., that he claims I am heir to.

The truth of the matter is that it concerns me not a jot being banned from his blog - and it never has.  Truly, I've never wasted even one second fretting over it.  Of course, that doesn't stop him from cavalierly claiming that, essentially, my heart is "the seat of wasting sorrow" at not being allowed access to his own personal playground.  He continues:

"I have never met this person.  His aggressive behaviour is down to petty spite, - but he has the linguistic skills to twist things around to portray his perceived enemies as the aggressors and himself as the victim.  Hblatantly projects his failings onto others, such as falsely claiming I was banned from a forum that I have been regularly contributing to for years!  More recently he's even posted a version of these notes on his own blog, accusing me of his own character flaws."

Aggressive behaviour?  A bit rich, considering that he's been blocked from at least two blogs that I know of and, I'm told, in one instance his ISP was advised about his behaviour towards another Blogger who was informed that the offending party would be contacted and warned.  My detractor says he wasn't and I can't prove otherwise, but that's what the other person was told was going to happen.  Whether it did or not, the important thing to bear in mind is that he was indulging in conduct that was regarded as being at least deserving of reproof.

As for his assertion that I've falsely claimed he was banned from a forum (albeit temporarily), this was implied (in passing and with no ill-will) in an email from the forum owner, who has since clarified his phraseology which indicated such a ban.  He'd used the words "drove him from the forum" (he apparently stormed off in a huff) while specifically referring to this individual in the context of banning members, so I am happy to state that my perception, while understandable, was inadvertently erroneous.  (Unlike his claims, which are intentionally so.)  One thing's still certain though - he's regarded by some forum members as a bit of a bully.

He accuses me of petty spite.  With what arrogant ease he presumes to judge the mind and motives of those who stand up to his bullying ways.  In actual fact, my ire at his untruths and my exposure of them springs from righteous indignation at his offensive effrontery.  What's next?

"He has been blocked from several blogs and at least one forum for similar behaviour against other people.  If you come across his lies about me please treat it as the childish deceitful grudge it truly is, or notify me privately so I can gather more evidence.  Thank you." 

I have never been banned from other blogs or forums for "similar nasty and aggressive behaviour".  See how the lies and distortions trip so easily from his tongue in his desperate and obsessive attempts to smear my character?  I have been 'banned' from a couple of other blogs - but never for being nasty or aggressive - only because the blog owners disagreed with my point of view and took exception to me having a different opinion to theirs.  (For example, when I disagreed with the proposition that SUPERMAN should be turned gay or bisexual so that certain minority groups could feel more accepted by society.)  There are a lot of insecure souls out there in Blogger-land, let me tell you - although you probably know that already.

One of the occasions he refers to is when I supplied scans of four missing pages of The BEANO #1 to another blogger who had posted only 24 of the 28 pages, claiming they were the complete issue.  My detractor then pops up and describes my attempt to be helpful as "hassle".  Both persons were known to each other, being members of a comics forum where, as I said, my detractor has a reputation for being a bully.  When I responded that he should reserve his bullying behaviour for there, the blog owner, in a show of solidarity with his forum chum, banned me for it.  The second individual has since revealed himself as a bit of a nutter by bombarding me with abusive comments in response to certain posts.  (Long-term regular visitors will be all too aware of them.)

The forum I mention is the very same one I eventually joined, which seemed to put a few noses out of joint from the off.  I 'resigned' from it of my own volition in the face of open hostility from those who resented my presence on it (due to my frank and forthright criticisms and observations on my blog about various aspects of modern-day comics) - simply because I couldn't be bothered being placed in the position of having to be on the defensive all the time.

After I'd gone, a disgruntled moderator, without prior consultation with the site owner, banned me for leaving (I kid you not) in a rather pointless, knee-jerk reaction.  However, the site owner didn't have a problem with me, said he'd miss my contribution to the comics-related discussions and invited me to rejoin.  Hardly the picture that my detractor seeks to paint, is it?  These are the facts.  Note that they are not in accord with the distorted picture he seeks to paint in his malicious misrepresentations of the truth.  And he's still peddling his version of events despite the actual facts of the case.

So, true to form, he's posted a leading statement filled with distortions and inaccuracies in yet another sly attempt to malign me.  I can only suppose that he believes if he does it often enough, more people will eventually believe what he says to be true.  Yet, despite all his duplicity, he calls me "deceitful".  Strewth!

Anyway, I've given you the facts - what you do with them is entirely up to you. However, if you compare the facts to his claims, you will see the extent of his outrageous distortions and misrepresentations and recognise them for what they truly are - utter pish-tosh!  Yet, despite this, he still insists on peddling his twaddle - and gathering his 'evidence'.  (Pathetic posturing at its finest.)

He's too late.  The facts declare him guilty!


He's amended his 'small print' comment yet again (that's at least five times in just over 24 hours I'm told), deleting some of his more absurd accusations upon seeing this post.  His usual behaviour - pressing people's buttons then doing a runner. Further proof (not that any was required) of his deviousness and deceit.


Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS.  Copyright DC COMICS

For all discriminating connoisseurs of comicbook cover art, here's another batch for you to cast your corneas over.  And don't worry - there's more to come once I get around to scanning the third volume of BATMAN ILLUSTRATED By NEAL ADAMS.  If you don't already have this magnificent set of books in your collection, you're missing out, Charlie.  Start hunting them down now!
Pencils by NEAL ADAMS, inks by DICK GIORDANO

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

Pencils & inks by NEAL ADAMS

And below is the cover of the volume (2) that all these captivating covers come from.

ISBN:  1-4012-0269-1

Wednesday 28 May 2014


Here's a song from an LP that I bought in LANDPORTS' record department in Portsmouth back in 1981.  (I'm not responsible for this YouTube clip, incidentally, but it's the same song.)  The LP was called "THERE'S ALWAYS ME", as is the track.  Nice little sentiment, nice little arrangement, and arguably the smoothest singing voice you'll ever hear in your life.  Go on, give yourself a treat - put on your headphones and have your ears gently caressed by the velvet vocals of the mighty and magnificent JIM REEVES.

Sunday 25 May 2014


Images copyright DC COMICS

Time for part two of The SUPER HEROES gallery, featuring cover art by U.K. artists that U.S. readers may not have seen before.  The late VANESSA MORGAN was the editor of this title, which puts me in mind of another female editor - PIPPA M. MELLING - who was the first editor of The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL back in 1972.  MWOM once promised to print a photo of Pippa, but never got 'round to it.  If by some remote chance anyone who knows Pippa might be reading this, ask her to get in touch through the comments section, as I'd like to publish a photo of her and fulfil Marvel's promise of long ago.  It'd be nice to give her the recognition she so richly deserves while, hopefully, she's still around to know about it.

Anyway, that's enough of the opposition, let's return to DC.  Some great covers (even if the STARRY-EYED SIREN's body is a little elongated in the lower regions), by the cream of the crop of British talent around at the time.  And wait 'til part three, when we'll have an absolute stoater of a cover in issue #7, featuring CHRISTOPHER REEVE and the bad guys from SUPERMAN II.  However, that's for next time - be sure to join us then.

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