Sunday 30 November 2014


Well, it's been quiet on the ol' Blogging front around here for the last few weeks, beyond what I'd intended.  Reason is because I've been busy clearing up the mess after some work in my house - and because I'd locked my internet hub in a filing cabinet and then mislaid the key.  I've given myself some extra work by breaking into the cabinet to retrieve the hub and get online again, as I'll now have to find time to repair it.
Unfortunately, posts are still going to be a bit sparse because all my comics are still packed away and I've got some decorating to do before everything is back to normal.  However, hopefully I'll be able to ease myself back into the routine of regular Blogging before too long.  So tell me - is there anybody still out there?
In the meantime, here's JACQUELINE BISSET in our Babe of the Day feature to tide you over.

Sunday 9 November 2014


Having a fly puff between takes is golden
girl SHIRLEY EATON in either her swimming
 cossie or her underwear - take your pick.

Saturday 8 November 2014


Here's a 'Babe of the Day' at no extra cost - PENELOPE CRUZ

The subject of 'piracy' seems to get some people hot under the collar, going from a recent discussion on a certain comics forum.  (That's the one I resigned from and was then 'banned', after the fact, "for leaving", by an over-zealous, biased moderator - even though the site owner invited me to rejoin.  Running true to form, a disingenuous detractor of mine continues to maliciously misrepresent the facts of the situation over on his blog in an attempt to malign me.)

But that's by-the-by; more pertinent is how one defines 'piracy' in relation to comics.  Some people sell discs of comic collections on eBay, comics that the copyright holders (if they can actually be identified) don't seem particularly interested in exploiting for financial gain.  It seems to me that some so-called 'piracy' can have positive benefits which, in certain circumstances, mostly outweigh any negatives.

To give you an analogous example: I'm a JIM REEVES fan (don't shoot), and on occasion I've made compilation discs for my own use which I've occasionally duplicated to give to friends.  No money is involved, except for what I spend in buying the originals (not for the purpose of copying, merely for my own enjoyment) and then on the blank tapes or discs when it occurs to me that someone I know might enjoy listening to a sample.  I don't even let them cover the cost of the blank disc, should they offer.

I know from experience not to lend originals because they won't be returned in the condition lent, regardless of how well the borrower may think they've looked after them.  So in the case of my own music collection, being able to occasionally burn a disc for someone to see if they might like it is a handy thing.  As I said, I don't charge, and in some cases, the other person has become a fan and then bought other recordings by the same artist, thereby increasing sales.  So who loses in that situation?  Certainly not the record company, who lose no money by me giving a compilation copy to someone who wouldn't have bought an original disc in the first place.

With back issue comics it's a similar scenario, although collectors prefer to own the originals, and in most cases only resort to facsimiles or disc collections as a stop-gap, until such time as they manage to track down an acceptable-condition original at an affordable price.  In my case (and I'm sure it's true with most folks), if I really want a particular series and it's released in an authorised print edition, I'll buy it - even if I already have it in disc form.  If I don't buy it, it's because I'm really not that fussed about it, though I may have it in digital form merely because it was available.

In that instance, as it's something I wouldn't have bought anyway, me having acquired it in digital form from the internet doesn't deprive the publishers of income. I'm sure most of us own something that we don't mind having because it was free, but would never have purchased otherwise.  Obviously, I'm not talking about new material (whether it be comics, music or movies) bought by one person for the purpose of copying for friends (or selling to strangers) in order to spare them having to buy an item they'd willingly pay full price for if there was no other way of acquiring it - I only mean out-of-print comics, books or old records that aren't currently available and don't look like being at any time in the future.

In the case of facsimiles of old back issues, no surviving contributors are deprived of any royalties as they were paid for their work outright.  Nor are the publishers losing out if they don't have any intention of reprinting the stuff as it first appeared.  And, if the publishers ever do decide to reprint their back catalogue in some form or other, the vast majority of avid collectors would readily buy it, because they'd want the 'official' package with its superior printing on quality paper, along with the informative introductions, prefaces and appendices - regardless of however many digital discs or 'pirate' facsimiles they may already possess.  Those that wouldn't clearly don't want it enough to spend money on it anyway.

In short, what I'm saying is that whether or not I buy an official collected edition is determined only by how much I like the material - not by whether I already own it in digital form.  That isn't a factor.  I bet it's the same for most of you.

I note with interest that one of the more vocal opponents of so-called 'piracy' has no objections to people scanning their own collections and making digital copies available to friends - so long as no money changes hands.  What real difference does it make?  The contributors would never see a penny in royalties anyway - even if it was an authorised publication, and those chasing their nostalgia fix could well be dead before the current copyright holder (if even known) extracts the digit and decides to make the material available to an ageing and ever-diminishing audience.

What must be remembered is that the current crop of new 'Best of' Annuals now on sale are aimed at a readership whose interest has been kept alive by internet comics blogs; and digital discs and amateur facsimiles have fed the appetite for vintage material in the absence of proper print-editions - until some publishers took note and realised that there was still a market for it.  A limited one, admittedly, and ever-decreasing, but one that would probably have long since perished had it not been for a dedicated group of enthusiasts stoking the fires and keeping the spluttering flame alive.

So ignore those po-faced, self-righteous critics who are lucky enough to be able to afford those scarce back issues for themselves, but loudly decry anyone whose only option is to obtain the much-missed, long-sought reminders of their childhood by the only means open to them until something better comes along.

I don't know about you, but I've always considered the "I'm all right, Jack" attitude of the 'haves' towards the 'have nots' to be a particularly ugly one - whether it be with regard to money, security, status, or even just comics.

What say the rest of you?      

Thursday 6 November 2014


Copyright relevant owner

I'm unable to scan anything at the moment, but fortunately I have quite a bit of stuff in my computer's comics files and folders to dip into for material.  Therefore, what better way to utilise it than to present you with the next instalment of our TV CENTURY 21 cover gallery?  This time around, we have numbers 71 to 80, and I intend to reproduce the covers of at least the first 104 issues - the first two years' worth - when the comic was at its height.

Any memories of these particular issues?  Why not share them with your fellow Criv-ites in the comments section?  Go on, we're all waiting - and you'll feel much better for it.  (Honest!) 


Characters copyright relevant owners

For no other reason than it's a little glimpse into yesteryear, here's the cover to the TV COMIC Holiday Special from 1967.  ADAM ADAMANT seems a bit on the large side compared to The DALEKS below and in front of him, but it's a nice little scene all the same.


Babe Of The Day Extra - FARRAH FAWCETT

Just to keep all you cavortin' Criv-ites up to date, the reason regular blogging has been sparse for a while is because my house requires some emergency work which entails the carpets and floorboards having to be lifted in every room.  This meant that I had to pack all my comics and collectables away in boxes (close to a couple of hundred by now - boxes, that is) and store them in the attic, which I've just completed after several weeks.  The work commences this coming Monday, but as my scanner, comics and books are all packed away, I'm kind of limited in what I can actually post until I can get them all unpacked again.  That could take a while, because my rooms will first need some decorating and carpet laying when the work is completed before I can finally restore everything to its accustomed place.

In the meantime, posts will be occasional and probably lightweight until everything is as it was on the home front - but I'll do my best to come up with something.

Wednesday 5 November 2014


Back in the '80s, the stunning SAMANTHA
FOX was the pin-up girl of the moment.  I'm sure
 you can spot at least two good reasons why.

Monday 3 November 2014



Here's my CHERILEA BATMAN figure after a little light restoration, which you can compare to the seller's eBay photo below.  Truth to tell, I'd already given the picture a slight digital retouch to enhance the item for use in an earlier post, so it looks better painted than it actually was.  However, it gives a close enough indication of 'before' and 'after.'

These small figures were originally available in WOOLWORTH'S in the mid-to-late '60s and are highly sought after these days.  Once I've restored the ROBIN figure winging its way to me, I'll post a photo of the two of them together.

Sunday 2 November 2014


Look what I just won on eBay - a CHERILEA ROBIN figure to complement the BATMAN one I acquired several weeks back.  Aren't I lucky?!  I'll show them both together at some point.


Today's 'Babe of the Day' is MADONNA.  C'mon,
who are you kidding?  You know you would.


Here's ol' blue eyes himself, FRANK
SINATRA, in a reminiscing mood.  Enjoy.

Saturday 1 November 2014


Have you ever encountered such startling levels of stupidity as to make you want to wring your hands in sheer frustration and despair - or even the necks of po-faced, petty perpetrators of moronic madness on a massively-monumental scale?  (Yes, I know "massively" is redundant in that sentence, but I'm waxing lyrical.)  Here is such a tale.

So, I'm walking past a charity shop in the main shopping centre of my town when I see a teddy bear through the glass frontage and decide to buy it for someone I know.  I ask inside and am told it's not for sale - it's a display item only.  At the back of the shop are various other teddies of diverse shapes and sizes sitting on a low shelf, which are for sale. "Can't you sell me the teddy I want and replace it with one of the others?" I enquire.  In short, "No!"

"Why not?" I ask politely.  "Because it's for display only, not for sale!" comes the reply.  The shop's most expensive teddy is only £3, so I offer them a tenner for the one I want.  "It's not for sale!"  I'm told again.  "But can't you use one of the other bears for display?" I again venture. "No!" I'm told.
I'll give you the abridged version of events, otherwise we'll be here all week.  In short, over the course of several days, I speak to assistant managers, managers, supervisors at head office, blah, blah, blah, and ask why it's so bloody difficult to purchase a teddy from them and swell their coffers by a tenner - more than three times the amount they're asking for one of Ted's even bigger-sized pals.  This is what I'm told:

1) "Our staff aren't trained to rearrange the displays."  (Can you believe this cr*p?  Not trained to take one ted from a shelf at the back of the shop and swap it for one near the front?  Gimme a break.)
2) "We want our displays to look their very best to entice people into the shop."  (Fine, but what's the point of enticing them in if you're then going to refuse to sell them the very item that caught their attention and which they want to buy?  Isn't the raison d'etre of the charity to raise money?)

3) "Our staff are too busy to accommodate individual customer requests."  (I pass this shop practically every day.  It's in a remote corner of the shopping centre and as quiet as the tomb.  I don't think I've ever seen more than two customers in the place since it opened last year, and the staff sit around looking bored for most of the time.)

4) "It's our policy.  If we make an exception for you, we'd have to do it for everyone."  (Well, then it wouldn't be an exception, would it?  But we'll let that loopy lapse in logic pass.)  I thought it was their policy to raise money for charity, by selling items that people donate for that very purpose - not to try and win the 'window display of the year' award and deter folks from spending cash by refusing to take it from them in exchange for that which they wish to purchase.)
I'm on my soapbox now, but consider the absurdity of the situation.  They're turning money away, instead of grabbing it and saying:  "Thanks very much, do call again!"  Their mission should be to sell everything they've got as quickly as possible, and then replenish their displays from fresh donations - not say "I can't sell you the item you want because it'll mess up our display and we'll have to start again."  No, we can't have them inconvenienced, can we?  That would never do.  Not even when some cold, hard cash is at stake.

Charities are run (so I've always thought) to benefit the recipients of said charities, not the organisers, and the best way to facilitate that is to (in the words of the song) "keep the customer satisfied", not alienate them by implementing and enforcing ludicrous diktats. They're there to make money for the less fortunate, not refuse it on the grounds that moving one soft toy into the position of another is "against policy'" or is beyond the abilities (or inclination) of the staff.

In the end, I got Ted, who now sits proudly in the living room of the person for whom he was purchased.  I also bought the other one (which likewise went to a good home), thereby adding £13 to the charity's funds.  Cash I had to practically force on them by kicking up a fuss and reminding them that such places exist to help others less fortunate, not to fulfill the ambitions of those who want to rule over their own private fiefdoms inma self-indulgent attempt to satisfy their feelings of self-importance.

Rant over.


(Incidentally, I should perhaps add that I had previously seen items in the window with 'sold' signs on them, and I subsequently discovered that display items could be sold, but had to remain in the window display until it was changed, which was usually every fortnight.  The shop still operates this way today, so why I was never told that I could pay for Ted and collect him later at the end of his service remains a mystery.)

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