Monday, 27 April 2015

KID KLASSICS: WHEN TITANS CLASH, ETERNITY BECKONS...



Picture the scene:  The livingroom is lit by a standard lamp in
the far corner, which casts its soft, warm glow over the fixtures,
fittings and furniture - as well as the inhabitants, of which I am one.
Adding to the gentle light are the diffused rays from the coal-effect
fire and the flickering images from the TV screen.  Father sits reading
his paper, whilst mother stands behind him, ironing, and glancing oc-
casionally at whatever's on 'the box'.  Sibling is out somewhere,
either visiting friends or perhaps even working on his car in
his lockup across the road.


As for myself, I'm sat beside a large brass 'log-box' in which
was once stored coal for a 'real' fire, both in our present house
and in the previous one.  On the floor, at my feet, sits a collection
of comics, some of which were purchased, mail-order, from DAVE
HERN of Bournemouth's WONDERWORLD COMICS, which,
as far as I know, is still going strong (hopefully).


It's around 7 or 8 o'clock on a dusky Autumn evening and, out-
side, the 'tang' of the season permeates the air with its distinctive aroma
peculiar to the time of year.  Inside, peace and tranquility reign supreme,
and all seems right with the world.  It's the year 1981 - or perhaps even
'82 - and in my blissful state of ignorance, I'm unaware that, in a year and
a half or so, my family will once again be moving to yet another house in
another neighbourhood, with all the inconvenience, turmoil and trauma
that such events always bring.  (Regular readers will know that we
returned to our previous abode four years later.)


But for the moment, all is as it should be.  Contentment and
harmony are the order of the day as I leisurely peruse some of
my recent four-colour acquisitions.  It's entirely possible that I may
be compressing separate-but-similar evenings into one, but it seems
to me, looking back from this distance in time, that amongst my
comics stash that night were the very ones whose images adorn
this hopefully poignant post.


Sometimes, nowadays, I'll try and re-create and recapture a
hint of that narcotic night so many years ago - and, occasionally, I
even succeed.  However, it's only ever a brief taste, self-conscious-
ly indulged in (like a guilty pleasure) before the moment fades like a
phantom's fleeting passing in the mist.  I still have the comics, but not
all of the other participants of that long-ago picturesque presentation
have survived to reprise their previous roles in the play.  One by one
they fell by the wayside, victims of Time.  (As we all must do
one day, difficult as the idea is to accept.)


And so I take my leave of you for now, in the hope that my
reminiscence, accompanied by such valiant visual images, has
helped to summon some memorable memories from your own dim
and distant days of yesteryear.  The ghosts of the past are always
present - but sometimes we must strain to see them, or hear
their siren call.



12 comments:

Colin Jones said...

"Regular readers will know that we returned to our previous abode four years later" - actually, Kid, your house movings always leave me a bit confused. The house you were living in at this time is the one you left circa 1983 then returned to in 1987, correct ? And you swapped a house with somebody at some point ? By the way, a "coal effect" fire is far preferable to the real thing - I grew up with a coal fire as we had no gas supply and while a coal fire may look all cosy and traditional on TV it's dirty and messy in real life. I now live in a house with a gas supply and I wouldn't wish it any other way !!

Kid said...

All our houses (with the exception of one in Glasgow) have been mutual exchanges, CJ - including when we moved back to my current one. I never found our coal fire dirty and messy, but I agree that that a 'coal effect' fire is certainly more convenient.

moonmando said...

We had at that time switched to parrafin heaters,no doubt for cost sake,which were horrible as we had to make regular trips up to the garage at the Murray square,(no longer there),carrying the plastic gallon containers needed for aforementioned fuel.On return the smelly stuff had to be funnelled into the heaters themselves,one in the living room,two in the hallway,both downstairs and up. It was a messy business with spillage a regular occurrence,leaving the house filled with the stench of the horrid stuff,both before and after lighting the fires. No health and safety back then!,and no warm Autumnal glow as there was always a fight between me and my brothers as to whose turn it was to perform the aforementioned dastardly task.

Kid said...

Ah, the Murray Garage - how well I remember it, Moony. And the large open grassy space in front of it, which now has an ugly big building for old folks, blocking the view from the houses and flats which surround it. And they call it progress, eh?

John Pitt said...

I never saw that Iron Man/Subby comic anywhere. I looked in all the shops at the time.

Kid said...

I didn't get it 'til the very late '70s or early '80s, JP, but it's well-worth having.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I thought a coal fire was messy because of the ashes and so on - ours was always going out. My father was always complaining how it was a disgrace we still had to light fires like it was the 19th Century. Interestingly the old couple next door to me choose to use coal even though they could use gas - I couldn't understand this till I discovered they get free coal because the old man was once a miner. I've been perusing some comics too on Mike's Amazing World Of Marvel website - but not really old comics, instead Marvel comics I've bought over the last 12 years beginning with that brief revival of Shang Chi that I mentioned. Turns out it was a 6 part mini-series and the one I had was #6 of the 6. That was the first marvel comic I'd bought since about 1983 but I didn't return properly to buying comics till late 2007 and I've kept buying them on and off ever since - unlike a lot of people I rather like the modern Marvel comics and for the last 18 months I've only bought downloaded comics (in collected graphic novel form). I've just bought Deadpool Vol.7 and Legendary Star-Lord (from the modern Guardians Of The Galaxy) Volume 1.

Kid said...

There's just something about a coal fire 'though that's hard to beat. The real flames, the crackling, the glow - however I agree that modern fires are more convenient. I don't buy downloaded comics because I prefer the experience of the real deal. Just looking at a screen doesn't really do it for me when I can have the real thing.

John Pitt said...

Kid, on the subject of one-offs, have you also got the 60's Tales Of Asgard?

Kid said...

The Special? Yup, it's on the blog somewhere.

John Pitt said...

Aye, found it! I'd forgotten that post, - thought I knew 'em all!! ( a black mark on my report card! )

Kid said...

And you'll be taking a letter home with you as well.

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