Saturday 30 April 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

ASTONISHING TALES was a great little comic, lasting for 36 issues from 1970 to '76.  JACK KIRBY had some of his last work for MARVEL published in the first couple of issues (before departing for DC - though he would later return), and WALLY WOOD's last regular strip for 'The House Of Ideas' featured in numbers 1-4.  Let's face it, with artists like Kirby and Wood, as well as BARRY SMITH and GEORGE TUSKA, the mag got off to a flying start.  Here are the covers and splash pages from the first five issues for your consideration and enjoyment.

Incidentally, when Wally Wood heard that Jack had defected to DC, he contacted them to offer his services as inker of Jack's new mags - only to be told that VINCE COLLETTA had already been given the gig.  Now, I actually like Colletta's inks over Kirby's pencils, but can you imagine how great the FOURTH WORLD mags would've looked had they been inked by Woody?

Thoughts, theories, and observations can be recorded in our captivating comments section, o cavorting Criv-ites.  So what are you all waiting for, frantic ones?  Get typing!


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

When DUDLEY D. WATKINS, D.C. THOMSON's top artist, died on August 20th 1969 of a heart attack at his drawing board, he left a pencilled page of BIFFO The BEAR on which he'd been working.  DAVE SUTHERLAND inked it and it was published in The BEANO a couple of months later in #1423.  Dave then took over the feature, being extremely adept at imitating the styles of other artists, like LEO BAXENDALE, PADDY BRENNAN, and, not long after, DAVEY LAW.

Had it not been for this remarkable artist continuing various features in the styles of others, it's doubtful whether they would have maintained their popularity for as long as they did.  DCT owe him a debt of gratitude for his many years of service.

Thursday 28 April 2016


Images copyright DC COMICS

Six more super SUPERMAN covers for you, superfans,
culled from a time when comics were (mostly) all-age friendly.
I quite liked the first post-CRISIS version of Supes, because it
managed to combine elements of the character as he was originally
portrayed  in the 1930s & '40s with those of SUPERBOY, thereby
giving DC readers the best of both versions, even 'though Super-
man never had a career as Superboy in the revised continuity.
(Don't ask me what the current state of play is in regard
to his history.  Haven't got a ruddy clue.)



I bought the above comic when it first came out because the cover was based on ACTION COMICS #1, but I recently acquired a few subsequent issues from someone I know.  "So why not do gallery?" thought I.  No sooner said than done, so here it is.

I'm not sure which covers are standard and which are variants, although I suspect that the ads feature the standard ones, but you can argue that out amongst yourselves.  The mag was cancelled with #12, so I might track down the remaining issues to complete the set.  If I ever do, I'll post them.

I've reprinted an old post after the last cover because it details my own (unofficial) association with POPEYE when I was a mere schoolkid.  Consider it a bonus, wanted or not.

The other cover to #1

This one's a mistake - it's actually the cover to #5

It's worth seeing again

You saw the ad, now here's the full cover



When I was at secondary school in the '70s, my main claim to fame was drawing POPEYE.  My classmates were always pleading with me in earnest tones, "Draw Popeye, Robson, draw Popeye!"  They were entranced by the sailor's image coming to life on the page (in the back of a school jotter usually) with only a few deft scribbles.  The celebrity status accorded me, the adulation bestowed upon my exalted self, the esteem in which I was held - it was almost intoxicating as I strode heroically through the school corridors.

"Look!", cried awestruck lesser pupils as I passed, prostrating themselves in obeisance, "Tis the Mighty Robson, he who is to be regarded as unto god by we lowly mortals!  All hail the Mighty Robson!"  Even teachers aligned themselves with the 'Cult of Robson' as it came to be known; I often used to hear them refer to me (in hushed tones and from a respectful distance naturally) as "a bit of a cult!"

Well, okay - I might, perhaps, have indulged in just the slightest bit of hyperbole halfway through that little reminiscence, but only a tad.  The reality was pretty close to how I recall.  (Cough!)

Anyway, I've continued to draw Popeye from time to time over the years, and above is a picture I whipped up for someone-or-other in the 1990s.  DUNN KWIK is one of many pseudonyms I use on occasion, the afore-mentioned being reserved for stuff produced in a bit of a hurry.  Still - not too shabby, is it?   

Tuesday 26 April 2016


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's a book I'm enjoying at the moment, although I'm only about a third of the way through.  CAPTAIN AMERICA - MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY is one I think all you cavortin' Crivites will like too, so rush 'round to your local friendly comicbook store and drop your dosh on the counter in exchange for your very own copy.  Quick - before they're all gone.

Monday 25 April 2016


TYRA BANKS shows off her odourless armpits and says "Hey,
take a sniff, fellas!"  Form an orderly queue now, no pushing!

Sunday 24 April 2016


On a recent trip to the West End of Glasgow, me and my ol' china Moonmando had a wee suanter roon' the place while he snapped a few photies.  Thought you might like to take a look at 'em.  (You can see me lurking about in the first three.)

And below is one of the above photies (as we say in Glasgow) after Moony had played around with it using digital technology.

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