Friday 31 July 2015

KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - KULL THE CONQUEROR #1...

Copyright MARVEL COMICS and CONAN PROPERTIES Int.

Before CONAN, there was KULL, who first appeared in CREATURES On The LOOSE #10, before eventually being awarded his own magazine, which you can see above.  Incidentally, I'm proud of myself - I managed to resist the compulsion to type KULL The KONQUEROR as the title to this post.

KLASSIC KIRBY KOMIC KOVERS - THE FOREVER PEOPLE #1...

Image copyright DC COMICS

"KIRBY'S HERE!" screamed the cover blurb, but it was mainly AL PLASTINO's SUPERMAN and JIMMY OLSEN inside the magazine, as their faces (and Superman's figure) were mostly redrawn to render them more 'on-model' than JK had drawn them.  I sometimes suspect that the only reason DC lured Jack away from 'The House Of Ideas' was more to do with them thinking it would damage MARVEL in some way, rather than because they really wanted him.  Why else would they seemingly seek to sabotage his work by diluting the full 'Kosmic Kirby' effect?  It's like hiring MICHELANGELO and then getting him to creosote your garden fence.  Despite the interference, Jack managed to shine during his tenure at DC, but nowhere near as brightly as he had shone at Marvel, alas.    

KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - CAPTAIN ACTION #1...

Image copyright DC COMICS

H'mm, a guy with a panther pushing SUPERMAN out of the way?  Well, I suppose with his 'coins of power', it was possible for the comicbook incarnation of CAPTAIN ACTION to do so, but he bore little relation to the concept of the  IDEAL toy figure he was based on.  Hardly surprising, seeing that the articulated figure was little more than a clothes horse for various superhero outfits, not all of which DC held the copyright on - hence the different approach with CA's five issue comicbook run.

PART TWO OF DETECTIVE COMICS COVER GALLERY...

Images copyright DC COMICS

Part one of this DETECTIVE COMICS cover gallery had 11 covers, this part has 13, so why didn't I do 12 covers each?  Simple! I wanted to keep the issues where BATMAN operated on his own separate from the ones with ROBIN The BOY WONDER.

I'm not really into sidekicks, to be honest.  The only one that ever worked (initially anyway) was RICK JONES (seeing as he was the catalyst for The HULK's origin), but even he soon wore out his welcome.  In the case of Batman, I always thought that he worked better on his own, which is why I loved the early '70s tales where Robin went to college and disappeared from the scene - apart from his own back-up tales that is.

Anyway, that's enough prattling preamble from me - enjoy these 13 classic covers from The DARK KNIGHT's earliest days. (And be sure to let me know which ones you prefer.)












Thursday 30 July 2015

YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE...



...unless you have howfin' halitosis and bowfin' B.O.  Anyway, here's k.d. lang - who isn't a bad little chanter at all.  Give it a listen.

BABE OF THE DAY - RAQUEL WELCH...



The ravishing RAQUEL WELCH is your Babe of
the Day, fellas.  Don't say I'm not good to you or I'll
confiscate your drool cups and tummy wipes.

KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1...

Copyright MARVEL COMICS and CONAN PROPERTIES Int.

I remember one day back around 1971, sitting on the back step of a pal's house and reading this comic - given to my pal by his next door neighbour amongst a pile of other comics.  The sequence with the astronaut seemed a bit out of place to me, and many years later (and only a few years ago) I read ROY THOMAS say that he sort of felt the same and that he'd probably omit that panel if he was doing it today for the first time.  See?  So I was right all along.

PART FOUR OF PLAYMATES FROM FAR-AWAY PLACES...

Image copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

Still with us?  Then here's another back cover from LITTLE STAR, published by DCT back in 1972.  Did you know how to pronounce  Chihuahua?  I always thought the 'ch' was pronounced like in 'Chitty' so just goes to show what I know.  Only 8 more pages to go - I've started so I'll finish (you'll doubtless be glad to know).

BEAR OF THE DAY - RUPERT BEAR (AND THE FROG CHORUS)...



Rupert Bear, no definite article, is a bit of a wuss in the world of bears, I suppose, in that he's a polite, well-spoken lad of a bear as opposed to the fast-talking, quick-thinking, greedy rebel that Yogi is.  Nevertheless, he's still a bona fide legend and worthy of our respect.  Paul McCartney showed him that respect in 1984/'85 with Rupert & The Frog Chorus, which you can watch and listen to below.
 

Wednesday 29 July 2015

KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - E-MAN #1...


Copyright relevant owner

E-MAN #1 - I remember my father buying me this comic one dark and drizzly evening in a dingy newsagent's just 'round the corner from the famous BARROWLAND market.  That was in the early '70s, and I don't think I ever read (or even saw) another ish 'til FIRST COMICS reprinted them in the early '80s - though #2 rings a faint bell in memory's belfry, so there's a possibility I had that one as well.

KID'S KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - THE SPECTRE #1...


Image copyright DC COMICS

Here's the cover to the first issue of The SPECTRE's own magazine in 1967- feel free to 'in-spectre' it.  (Surely a shoe-in for the worst joke of the year award.)

BABE OF THE DAY - CARLA GUGINO...



Put some clothes on, luv - you'll catch a cold.
Gentlemen, the gorgeous CARLA GUGINO!

KIMBERLEY JIM...



Did you know that JIM REEVES was once a
member of The ROLLING STONES?  What's
that?  You don't believe me?  Well, listen to this
clip and hear him say it for himself.

DETECTIVE COMICS COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

The BAT-MAN (as he was referred to inside the actual comic, though his name was rendered unhyphenated on the cover) first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #27, cover-dated May 1939, (which means it probably went on sale in February) and almost immediately became one of the top two 'long-underwear' characters created in the 20th century.  (And he shows no sign of relinquishing his superstar status anytime soon in the 21st.)

Like SUPERMAN in ACTION COMICS, Batman didn't feature on the cover of every issue in his first few appearances, but this was an oversight that was soon corrected when his popularity with readers was recognized.  ROBIN The BOY WONDER was added in issue #38, and thus began the long tradition of boy sidekicks so that the main hero wasn't talking to himself all the time.  (Personally, I hate sidekicks - ban 'em all!)

Anyway, here are 11 covers of Detective Comics for you to gaze at in wide-eyed wonder at how it all began!
    









BABE OF THE DAY - CINDY CRAWFORD...



Well, you asked to see more of CINDY
CRAWFORD - wish granted!

BEAR OF THE DAY - PADDINGTON BEAR (DOES 'SINGING IN THE RAIN')...

Copyright relevant owner

Back in the mid-'70s, one of my favourite TV shows was PADDINGTON BEAR.  Why?  'Cos it was very funny, and if you haven't seen this 'SINGING In The RAIN' homage before, then you're in for a rare treat.  (You'll believe a bear can dance!  Well, sort of.)

 

Tuesday 28 July 2015

GEE WHIZ! PART TWO OF SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD...

Images copyright DC COMICS

Cop a gander at WHIZ COMICS #9, below - "Captain Marvel on the job!" it says - and feeling a little 'horny' too, by the look of things.  Okay, cheap (and obvious) joke out of the way, CM looks remarkably like SUPERMAN in this cover illustration, which could be what prompted NATIONAL to sue FAWCETT for copyright infringement.

However, it's interesting to speculate as to whether they'd have bothered if CAPTAIN MARVEL wasn't outselling Superman at the time.  Was the lawsuit born more out of resentment that ol' Supes was coming in second in the circulation stakes than a genuine belief that young BILLY BATSON's other (adult) self was nothing more than a blatant rip-off of CLARK KENT's alter-ego?

Who can say for sure?  Perhaps we'll never know, but at least we can enjoy these covers from a time when Captain Marvel was indeed "The World's Mightiest Mortal!"

So, who do you prefer - the Big Red Cheese or the Last Son of Krypton?  Get those fingers typing, frantic ones - and vote now!







A NOBEL CAUSE...



You'll no doubt recall me reminiscing recently about the NOBEL 200 car that my parents had back in the 1960s.  Well, I miss it so much that I decided to buy one - so here it is.

(Okay, so it's only a 1.43 scale model, but it's all I could get.)

SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD - PART ONE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

CAPTAIN THUNDER was his original name, but by the time he appeared in WHIZZ COMICS #2 (there was no #1), this had been changed to CAPTAIN MARVEL.  A couple of ashcan editions were produced to secure copyright, but similarly-titled periodicals by rival publishers meant a change of name for the good Captain's premiere issue in 1939/'40.

Captain Marvel outsold SUPERMAN for a while, prompting NATIONAL (DC) to launch a plagiarism suit against FAWCETT, but the initial decision fell in Fawcett's favour.  National appealed and won - and although Captain Marvel himself wasn't found to be a copyright infringement, it was felt that certain storylines and situations might be, requiring a re-trial to determine the facts.

However, because of the preceding twelve years of litigation - plus a decline in circulation of CM titles over that time - Fawcett decided it wasn't worth prolonging the battle and threw in the towel.  They discontinued their comics line and paid National $400,000 in damages - which indicates that their legal costs must have been enormous if paying such an astronomical sum to their rival was considered the least expensive option.

National licensed the character from Fawcett for a revival in 1972, and finally acquired the rights to the Marvel Family line in 1991.  Of course, there's still the MARVELMAN/MIRACLE-MAN situation to consider, but I'll leave that for somebody else to explore as, frankly, I can't generate either the energy or the enthusiasm to go into it.

Let's just look at the pictures, okay?
    









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