Tuesday 19 January 2016


Images copyright DC COMICS

Haven't seen IAN McFARLANE in years, and the reason he springs to mind at this moment is because 'twas he who gave me this comic sometime back in the '60s.  Well, my original copy that is, as the one you're looking at is a replacement I acquired a good long time back.  I've now had it far longer than the one Ian (or was it Iain?) gave me, but I always remember him whenever I look at it.

I've included quite a few ads from the comic, as they set the time and place far better than any words of mine could ever do.  When this mag first went on sale, G.I. JOE's British counterpart, ACTION MAN, hadn't yet appeared in this country, not making his dynamic debut until 1966. And what about those awesome AURORA kits? The FORGOTTEN PRISONER always fascinated me, although I didn't manage to get one until around 1971.

I remember cutting out the Superman figure in the second panel of the page near the bottom of this post, and pressing it into service as a substitute 'action play-thing'.  Imagination is truly wonderful, and I got as much fun from staging little adventures around that cut-out Supes as I ever did with more robust, three-dimensional toys.  Give a kid a cut-out figure to play with today and they'd probably just snort in contempt.  Ah, for happier and simpler times, eh?  Kids are spoilt nowadays.

Anyway, enjoy the images on display, and feel free to leave a comment if you remember having this comic.


TC said...

I had this one, but I don't have any particularly interesting memories associated with it. I would have received it in the mail (I got a subscription as a birthday gift that year). I seem to remember reading it, then going outside to play in our yard, so I must have read it at home.

IIRC, the Forgotten Prisoner began as a model kit, but there was later a story based on it, in one of the B&W horror comic/magazines, either Eerie or Creepy.

The ads for a Green Beret model kit, and the GI Joe ad, reflect a strong interest (in the USA, anyway) in US Army Special Forces at the time. Sgt. Barry Sadler's song, "The Ballad of the Green Beret," was a Top Ten hit. That was before patriotism and supporting the armed forces became politically incorrect.

The spy-fi movie & TV fad was at its peak in 1966-67, with S.P.E.C.T.R.E., U.N.C.L.E., T.H.R.U.S.H., I.C.E., Z.O.W.I.E., etc. Its influence spilled over into comics, with S.H.I.E.L.D., A.I.M., and T.H.U.N.D.E.R. So it was probably inevitable that Superman would encounter D.E.M.O.N., while Aquaman fought O.G.R.E., and Blackhawk ended up working for G.E.O.R.G.E.

The Inferior Five met C.O.U.S.I.N. F.R.E.D. and H.U.R.R.I.C.A.N.E. And, in Not Brand Echh, Knock Furious, Agent of S.H.E.E.S.H., fought the B.L.U.N.D.E.R. Agents.

Kid said...

That Prisoner comic strip is on the blog somewhere, TC. Can't remember if you've seen and commented on it already. Incidentally, there was also a British comic strip called, I think, The Men From W.H.E.E.Z.E.

LeicesterJim said...

You used to mutilate a comic to create a plaything. Shame on you! I used to draw my own in biro on paper, cut them out, and then draw clothes and cut them out too and tape them together. My weekly treat was a sixpenny roll of sellotape off the market. Happy days.

Kid said...

Shame on me indeed, LJ. It's probably the guilt that caused me to track down as many of those comics as I could and re-acquire them. Happy days are here again.

Anonymous said...

It's not important but I might as well mention it - that song, "The Ballad Of The Green Berets", was more than just a top ten hit - it was #1 for 5 weeks in America in 1966. I don't think it was a hit here though - it probably wasn't even released here.

TC said...

Who knew? Back then, comic books were cheap, disposable entertainment for kids. No telling how many were read once and then thrown out in the trash. Plus, coupons were cut out of pages for mail order ads, etc. Some of us did try to save them, but we taped the spines to keep pages from coming loose, but that actually hurt the condition instead of helping.

Young collectors probably wonder why people didn't save their comics and preserve them carefully. But I'm amazed that any pre-1970 copies even still exist.

Maybe they could have published paper doll cut-out books so you wouldn't have had to cut up the comics. But then, the paper doll books would probably be collectors' items (if in mint condition) now, too, so we'd be right back where we started.

And maybe if we'd known that the action figures and other toys would become collectors' items, we would have left them in their boxes instead of playing with them. But then, it's catch-22, because they wouldn't be so expensive if they weren't rare.

I remember the blog post about the Prisoner of Castle Mare about two months ago. I didn't comment on it, because I just didn't have anything to say about it. I never had the model kit or the magazine issue, although I do remember seeing ads for the kit in comics and probably also in Famous Monsters magazine.

Before that post, I didn't know that there was a glow-in-the-dark version, but I'm not surprised. I do remember glow-in-the-dark kits of the "famous" movie monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, and Godzilla.

Kid said...

Thanks for that, CJ. I'm not sure whether I've ever heard the track, so I'll see if I can find it on YouTube when I've got a spare moment.


That's what we tend to forget, TC. As you say, if we'd all looked after our comics and toys, they wouldn't be so valuable nowadays because they'd not be so rare. Incidentally, Moebius Models have re-released the Aurora Prisoner kit - glow-in-the-dark too. Their site is in my blog list, just in case you're interested.

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