Friday 30 September 2016
Nope, hadn't forgotten, even if it has been around three months since the first two parts in this series of SECRET ORIGINS cover galleries. So let's not waste another second of boring intro from me, let's get straight into the pretty piccies. (Before we do though, what about that DOLL MAN? Somebody surely must have been high when they came up with that stinker of a name. I can't see criminals trembling at the sound of it. Laughing, yes - trembling, no.)
Thursday 29 September 2016
You'll never guess what, Crivs. Today, someone gave me - yes, gave me - a full set of CADET Sweet Cigarette STINGRAY and THUNDERBIRDS cards - for absolutely nothing! That's right - free - gratis - for nowt! Can you believe it? Well, one good turn deserves another, and you, dear readers, are the lucky recipients as I'm going to share them with you right here on this humble blog of mine.
I'm just going to scan them in their protective sleeves to save me some hassle, so they might be a bit squint from time to time in their individual compartments, but I'm sure you'll all be able to live with that. Another four parts to complete the Stingray collection, and then we'll follow that almost immediately with the Thunderbirds one. Are you all agreeable to that? Thought you might be. Right, let's go. "Anything can happen in the next half hour!"
Wednesday 28 September 2016
|Playing Mantis Captain Action, with professionally|
produced, shrink-wrapped replica of original box
Apparently, CAPTAIN ACTION creator STAN WESTON was one of a trio responsible for G.I. JOE - which is interesting (to me) because, in Great Britain, G.I. Joe was rechristened ACTION MAN. As a lad in the '60s, I don't recall seeing Captain Action (or Captain Magic, as he was originally going to be named) on sale in this country, but I knew about the character through the adverts in comics issued by NATIONAL PERIODICAL PUBLICATIONS Inc. (DC COMICS), such as SUPERMAN and BATMAN, etc. I instantly coveted this wondrous item, but it wasn't until toy company PLAYING MANTIS re-released IDEAL's iconic action-figure in 1998 that I finally managed to acquire one.
DC Comics published a title based on the character in the latter half of the 1960s, but its brief five issue run indicates that it wasn't quite as popular as anticipated. Featuring artwork by WALLY WOOD and GIL KANE, and written first by JIM SHOOTER and then by Kane himself, the comics boasted some spectacular cover art, which I now unselfishly share with you here. They're scanned from my very own copies which I obtained many years ago, but should still be relatively easy to obtain from back issue specialists in comicbook stores and on eBay.
The ad below (drawn by KURT SCHAFFENBERGER) comes from DETECTIVE COMICS #359 ("The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!"), but the previous owner has defaced The PHANTOM figure by drawing stripes on his costume. Tsk! Some people, eh?
I'd be interested in the reminiscences of American readers who had this toy when they were kids, and whether any Brits actually managed to get their hands on one back in the '60s.
And, if you're lucky, you may still be able to get this great book (below) all about Captain Action from your local comicbook store. This is the first printing, but I believe a revised and updated edition was made available a year or two back.
Tuesday 27 September 2016
Monday 26 September 2016
|Images copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Here's one that's available from all good comicbook shops on Wednesday, frantic fans - The BLACK PANTHER EPIC COLLECTION Volume One. Beginning with T'CHALLA's earliest appearances in The FANTASTIC FOUR mag, and continuing with his own strip from JUNGLE ACTION, if you're a BP fan, you're sure to love this magnificent tome.
Read the spiel, and save your shekels until Wednesday. Then get right 'round to your nearest store and buy one.
This is a tale about a man in prison waiting to face the electric chair, narrated by JIM REEVES (following a sung intro-verse), and I'm sure you're all going to love it. Take it away, Jim...
It may come as a surprise to some of you, but ADAM WEST and BURT WARD reprised their BATMAN and ROBIN roles more than once over the years, and not just for cartoons either. In 1979, they appeared alongside other DC heroes and villains in a couple of TV Specials called - wait for it - LEGENDS Of The SUPERHEROES.
The other heroes were CAPTAIN MARVEL, The FLASH, The HUNTRESS, BLACK CANARY, GREEN LANTERN, and HAWKMAN, while the super villains were MORDRU, SOLOMON GRUNDY, The RIDDLER (yup, Mr. FRANK GORSHIN), The WEATHER WIZARD, Dr. SIVANA, SINESTRO, and GIGANTA.
The ATOM and AUNT MINERVA turned up in the second Special, but I have to be honest and say both episodes are excruciatingly awful, and you should all count yourselves lucky if you've never seen them. Shot on videotape, with a laugh-track (yup, they're meant to be funny - but aren't) these two low-budget shows are the way not to do superheroes. And here's why:
You never see The Flash run, Hawkman fly (or even flap his wings) and Green Lantern merely points his power ring at himself and disappears. Captain Marvel does a spot of flying, but it's a poorly executed piece of back (or maybe front - what do I know?) projection for a few seconds. You have to hand it to Adam West for throwing himself into things, but he really should have tucked the neck of his mask inside his cape, like in the '60s TV show.
Take it from me, you can safely give these two shows a miss - unless you're a diehard fan of 'car-crash' TV. They're both genuinely execrable, though the second one, The ROAST, is even worse than the first, The CHALLENGE. I suppose if there's anyone you really hate, you could give them this as a present, secure in the knowledge that they'll lose the will to live while watching it.
Sunday 25 September 2016
I sometimes find myself worrying about what will happen to my massive collection of toys, comics and books when I fall off the twig in around 100 years or so (I'm not planning on going early or easily). Will I ever get around to establishing a museum of childhood, or will all my stuff end up in charity shops or dustbins? It's a bit like being a parent and having to think about making provisions for your children when you're not here.
Are you a proud collector? What would you like to have happen to your beloved treasures when you eventually have to cast off this mortal coil? None of the "I'll be dead so I don't care" cop-outs; what would be the ideal fate of all your material companions through life that would allow you to bow out with the assurance that they'd be cared for and cherished after you've gone exploring in that 'final frontier' ?
And what's the absolute gem of your collection, the one item that, if everything else was jettisoned by your heirs, you'd breathe a little easier in the hereafter (if there is one - and if you can breathe) so long as it survived and was looked after and appreciated by its new owner? Too difficult a question? Okay, you can pick three items. So what are they? Reveal all in the captivating comments section, Criv-ite chums.
Posted by Kid at Sunday, September 25, 2016
Saturday 24 September 2016
Always liked this cover. True, JACK KIRBY's more abstract style was becoming more prominent by this time, but no one can deny that this image has impact! If you don't have this mag, you're probably unaware that Cap's fighting a Life Model Decoy of himself (STEVE ROGERS), but the LMD has certain advantages that the real Star-Spangled AVENGER doesn't, making it an uneven battle! So who wins? You'll have to read the issue to find out, 'cos my lips are sealed. Reprinted in the new CAPTAIN AMERICA EPIC COLLECTION Volume 2 - on sale now!
Thursday 22 September 2016
Amazing the stuff you find lying on the beach while taking a
stroll along the seashore. Nobody wanted her, so I just took her
home with me. (Well, 'finders keepers' innit?) Says her name is
MICHELLE KEEGAN and babbles on about a place called
'Weatherfield', but I've no idea what she's talking about.
|Images copyright MARVEL COMICS|
In 1975, MARVEL decided to reprint Dr. STRANGE in the mag where he'd first appeared - STRANGE TALES. The reprints lasted for seven issues, each featuring two stories, though some of the continued tales were edited into one, omitting up to two pages in the process. This resulted in an adventure consisting of 60 pages in total being reduced to 50. In #183, the Dr. Strange 'half' of #130's cover (by JACK KIRBY) was enlarged and used as the full cover, making this ish the only one of the seven to reuse a '60s cover image. (The others sported new art.) Here then is a look back at a brief time in the sizzlin' '70s - enjoy!