Thursday 30 November 2017


Images copyright relevant owners

Imagine this: It's your birthday, and your other half presents you with her gift - a hideous, hand-knitted multi-coloured monstrosity of a pullover that even NOEL EDMONDS wouldn't be seen dead in.  The sleeves are too long, the trunk too short, and it hangs off you like an unsecured straitjacket that someone's vomited over.  Then she asks "Well, what do you think of it?" while fixing you with that puppy-eyed look of expectation, relying on you to validate her knitting 'skills'.  Not since she asked you "Does my bum look big in this?" have you found yourself in such an awkward spot.  Do you give her an honest assessment of her handiwork, or do you lie through your teeth to spare her feelings and ensure your own peace and quiet?

I now find myself in a similar situation.  I recently acquired the special 'universe edition' of TV21 #243, which was originally produced for inclusion with a Blu-ray boxed set of GERRY ANDERSON puppet shows a few years ago, and which is now available on its lonesome.  The verdict?  Well, while not in the same category as the above-described item of knitwear, I find myself divided in my reaction to it.  How can one be so thrilled and disappointed by something at the same time?  It's a joy to see, to hold, to own, but - compared to TV21 as it was in its heyday, it's hugely disappointing.  The artwork, with the exception of the LADY PENELOPE, THUNDERBIRDS, MARS SPACE PROBE, and (go on, Gordie, force yourself) ZOONY The LAZOON pages, is nowhere in the same league as days gone by, and the shape of some of the speech balloons is dire.  I find myself wondering how they could get it so wrong, while at the same time feeling grateful that they did at at all.

Even GERRY EMBLETON's art on STINGRAY falls far short compared to his work on the strip back in the '60s when he took over from his brother RON.  However, allowances can be made for the fact that he must by now be an old man, so perhaps it's unfair to expect the standard of work he used to deliver.  MARTIN BAINES' art is really nice, though his TB2 shape isn't too accurate, and the difference in size between TB1 & 2 is unclear in one panel, leaving both craft looking more or less equal.  BRIAN WILLIAMSON's art is okay, but doesn't capture the mood of the original AGENT 21 strip.  The FIREBALL XL5 strip, while not bad, cries out for the hand of MIKE NOBLE, and one wonders why he wasn't offered heaven and earth to produce the one page required.  As for MARTIN CATER's and MARTIN ASBURY's art on the ZERO X and CAPTAIN SCARLET pages - leave it out boys, you're 'avin' a larf.  Cater's art is amateurish, while Asbury's betrays his later career as a storyboard artist for movies.  Only the colouring (by 'SPECTRUM') saves it from looking like not much more than a 'rough' layout. 

And yet... and yet... this is a collectors' item and you should grab one while you can.  Despite my reservations with some aspects of the comic, it's still a thrill to see TV21 resurrected for one more issue.  (Though FANDERSON beat them to it in 2010 with their own version of the 'next' ish - see below.)  So ignore my negative reaction to parts of this special edition and order your copy from this link today.  (If only they'd put The DALEKS on the back page, I'd have been a very happy man.)  If you're a fan of the original TV21, then you'll be thrilled to hold this issue in your hands - though I reckon you won't be able to shake off a measure of disappointment at the same time.  Still, don't let it get away.

Already got this comic?  Agree?  Disagree?  Let's read your views in the comments section.  Insults and questioning of my parentage are most welcome.


Now that's what I call a car!  Impressive, eh?

A friend and myself had been planning to go and see the 'original' BATMOBILE at Glasgow's Riverside Museum next week, but on a spur-of-the-moment decision we shot in yesterday afternoon to view the classic car from the '60s TV show.  Well, to be more accurate, it was a replica car we saw, but it was still quite impressive, as you can see by the photos.  And yes, that heroic, handsome manly-man in the last photo is none other than yours truly.  Someone give him a TV show - the women of the world deserve it.

(Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.  The last three only enlarge once.)

Here's my pal, trying to look as if he's leaning on the car

I'm sure I saw the Joker prowling about.  Hope the keys aren't handy

Who wouldn't like this car sitting out in the driveway, eh?

I wonder if the parachutes actually work?

Check out the interior - but what do B & R do when it rains?  (Get wet)

Same again from the driver's side

Oh, look - the Bat-Signal.  That can mean only one thing...

...yup, the Dynamic Duo (or not-so-close facsimiles) are bound to show

Say what you like - I think I cut more of a dash than the above pair

Wednesday 29 November 2017


One disadvantage to being an adult collector of childhood toys is that you can't really play with them, you can only look at, handle, and admire them - and perhaps even luxuriate in simply owning the items.  If you attempt to play with them, it's done in an embarrassed, self-conscious, "I'm glad no one's watching" manner that you're almost relieved is over when the toy is carefully returned to its box or space on the shelf.

Y'see, a grown-up switching on his reacquired MARX Bump 'n' Go DALEK is only trying to recall how he felt as a child seeing its flashing light for the first time.  As a kid, he could amuse himself with it for hours; as an adult, a few seconds of watching it bump into the skirting board and change direction is enough for him.  A memory has been reignited, which is the whole reason for now owning the toy.

I've replaced numerous toys over the last 35 years, and I've now had most of them for many more years than the originals.  The majority of kids usually only have any particular toy for a year or two at most, and though it seems in retrospect they owned every toy at the same time for years, the truth is that many were consigned to the dustbin or jumble sales long before their successors ever took a bow.  (True, some kids looked after their toys and stored them in the loft when done with them, but most toy hordes were in a constant state of ebb and flow.)

When THUNDERBIRDS enjoyed a resurgence in the early '90s, I bought some of the toys released at the time.  True, they weren't actually ones I'd owned as a youngster, but it was easy to imagine they were on account of them bearing forms familiar to me from childhood.  I'm staggered to realise I've now had them for a quarter of a century - far longer than any item (with a couple of exceptions) I ever owned in my youth.  Yet it still seems as if I had my childhood toys for far longer than the ones I bought in the '90s.

Anyway, as I said, I find that staggering.  Can anyone out there relate to that?


It's the glamorous, glorious, and gorgeous GAL
GADOT, sword and shield at the ready, determined to make
me her prisoner.  She doesn't really need them though, because
I'm already her willing slave - as is every red-blooded  man in
the country - if not the world!  She's a wonder.

Tuesday 28 November 2017


Here's the sensational ANNA BOR, gazing at
me seductively and trying to lure me in for a swim.  I
won't be having a bath for quite few months though,
so there's no way I'm getting wet before then.

Monday 27 November 2017


A dozen or so years ago, I got this photo taken when CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG was in town.  (Unfortunately, TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS was nowhere to be seen.)  The pic hangs on my wall and allows me to admire that sleek, glorious, thoroughbred - that paragon of perfection - me!  (And the car ain't too bad looking either.)


So - what should I write about today?  How about a strip of wood?  Yeah, go on Gordie, let's see you make the topic of a strip of wood seem interesting.  Okay, I'll give it a go.

I first moved into my current house nearly 45 and a half years ago, and the room I'm typing in was once my brother's room.  He got his own flat around 31 years ago, when we were living in another house before moving back to this one.  (Regular readers will know the story by now.)  It's only in the last year or so that I finally got around to decorating this room, a feat which took me almost 29 years to start, and many, many months to almost - but not quite - complete.  (Still to paint the ceiling and doors.)

The strip of wood above the window, the one to which the curtain rail is attached (it'll have a name, but I don't know what it is), always looked a bit rough to me, though as it was mostly hidden by the curtains, didn't bother me too much.  I should perhaps mention at this point that the family who first lived in this house stayed here for around 17 years, having moved in around 1955, before swapping houses with us in 1972.  My brother never decorated his room until about a year before we moved away in 1983, although that wallpaper was removed during our 4 year absence.

However, the original wallpaper - the paper that our first predecessors had applied (presumably in the '50s) - yet remained.  When I finally got around to re-wallpapering, I merely papered over it, as my brother (or to be more precise, one of his friends) had done back in the early '80s.  There was a reason for such apparent laziness in my case, that being that areas of the walls had been re-plastered over parts of the paper when the house was refurbished during our absence.  Had I attempted to remove the original paper, chunks of plaster could've come away with it, so it was far less trouble to merely leave it in place as if it were lining paper.

I was determined to paint that piece of wood above the window though, so set about it with a sandpaper block - only to find that it was covered with wallpaper.  Yes, believe it or not, when the room had been decorated during the era of Elvis, the wallpaper hadn't been cut around that wooden strip, it had merely been pasted over it - but folded and tucked in around its contours.  It was therefore a simple matter for me to remove the wallpaper from the wooden strip, then sandpaper, undercoat, and gloss it.  I removed the curtain rail first of course, then replaced it when the task was done.

So, just think - that strip of wood had been covered with wallpaper since the '50s and had never been painted since council workmen had put the finishing touches to the house before it welcomed its first occupants 62 years ago.  I feel a real sense of accomplishment in being the first tenant to paint that piece of wood in the house's history.  I find that fascinating, so surely it must be at least vaguely interesting to the rest of you?

No?  Well, I did my best.  (Tough crowd.)

Sunday 26 November 2017


It's a cold, dull day outside, so here's ANNA BOR to warm you
up and brighten your mood.  I'll bet you can feel yourself (stop it)
cheering up already, can't you?  Then my task here is done.

Saturday 25 November 2017


You saw the above photo in a recent post, but it's worth showing again because of a rather interesting fact.  See that bottle of COCA COLA on the mantlepiece?  It ain't!  A bottle of COKE that is.  In actual fact it's a radio (which I still have today), bought in my local CO-OP store back in the early '80s.  Looking at it reminds me of an event which took place in the bedsit room above the one in the photo, back in early '85, so in the absence of anything better to write about, I may as well share it with you now.

A woman and her boyfriend took the room above mine for a short time, and one day, while her man was out, she asked me if she could borrow my radio.  Now, to be honest, I don't like lending things, mainly because folk tend not to look after other people's possessions, and what followed is a prime example of this.  I lent her my radio (reluctantly) and she took it upstairs, but a little while later I had occasion to ask her something, so went up to her room and chapped the door.  When I went in, she had the radio resting on top of a calor-gas heater, but it was sitting at the front with almost half of it over the edge of the heater - where it would've caught the rising heat and eventually, being plastic, warped as a result.

Well, I wasn't too pleased, but hiding my annoyance at her stupidity, I moved it into the centre of the heater's top, saying that it would be better there.  I have a vague memory of her saying that she was finished with it anyway and me taking it back downstairs to my room, but possibly I might've gone out for a while first and taken it back when I returned.

However, what a cretin.  It was almost as if she was trying to damage it on purpose, because what sensible person would balance something over the edge of anything, never mind a calor-gas heater?  From that point on, I resolved never to lend anything out again, and with one possible exception, I never did.  That one exception was a book, though it's possible that occurred before the incident with the radio - I'm no longer sure which came first.

On that occasion, a woman I knew asked to borrow a book of mine.  I explained that I'd only let her if she promised to look after it and return it in the same condition.  Yes, of course she would, she was always very careful with things and I could rely on her to handle it with care, she said.  What a fool I was for believing her.  When the book was returned, it was dog-eared, with ring marks from the bottom of a wet cup on the cover, corners folded over to mark her place, the spine was cracked, and it absolutely reeked of cigarette smoke.  If she'd been a guy I'd have punched her lights out!  As is typical of stupid, careless people, she couldn't understand why I was annoyed with her.

Needless to say, nowadays if anyone asks to borrow anything, my answer is a resounding "Feck off!"

Have you ever lent anything out to anyone, only to regret doing so when it was returned?  Tell all in the comments section, frantic ones!


Wish I could think of something apt to say in regard to the
beautiful NICHELLE NICHOLS, but I'm too busy swooning.
That's hardly surprising - in fact, it's highly logical, Captain.

Friday 24 November 2017


Calendar illustration for January

And now it's time for a deeply depressing descent into the depths of the doldrums, as I regale you all with yet another anaemic anecdote that's sure to arouse your apathy (if that's not a contradiction in terms) and have you reaching for the Diazepam to dampen your despair at my rambling reminiscences.  (Don't you just love loads of awesome alliteration?  I know I do.)

On my wall hangs a 1985 calendar, which I purchased from a bookshop in Portsmouth back in the month of January or February of that very year.  It's a The Wind In The Willows calendar, featuring the iconic illustrations of Ernest H. Shepard, and for a month or three, it hung above the tiled fireplace of the bedsit room in which I was based at the time, travelling up to London twice a week whilst freelancing for IPC.

The calendar in March 1985

That tiled fireplace was a relic of another era, conjuring up images of the '50s or '60s when such a feature was commonplace in most houses in Britain.  I could just imagine families huddled around the roaring flames, trying to heat their cold bones on dark wintry nights, whilst listening to the radio and supping cups of Bovril or Horlicks.  (Yucchh!)  Not so in my case however; the fireplace was empty, and a sheet of hardboard covered the recess where the grate should've been.

That year ('85), it snowed in Portsmouth.  Nothing more than a light fall covering the streets for two or three days, before turning to slush and then disappearing, but you'd have thought it was a calamity of immense proportions.  "The worst snow we've had since 1963!" was the common cry of complaint from the locals.  I imagined the date to be a rough 'guesstimate', chosen merely because it was the closest approximation anyone could remember.  Imagine my surprise then, when, 20-odd years later, I heard a radio weather forecaster confirm the year of 1963 as indeed one of the worst on record for that particular part of the country (and the rest of Great Britain too, as it happens).

A scan of the calendar today

All I can say is that we Scots must be a hardy lot, as such a light snowfall for so short a period wouldn't have been a big deal to us.  If anything, we'd have been disappointed that it hadn't been heavier and longer-lasting.  However, let's not mock the English for being wimps - they can't help it.  (He said, in a deeply caring, affectionate and non-xenophobic way.)

Anyway, what has all this to do with anything?  Just this: As I type these words, it's snowing outside, and glancing at that calendar reminds me of when it hung on the wall of a bedsit in Fratton on a similar kind of evening nearly 30 years ago.  The fireplace gave forth no heat back then, but recalling that room today, with the self-same calendar hanging on my present wall, the embers of memory cast a warm glow that envelops me in its radiant embrace. 


It was good to hear JAMES BOLAM, in a radio interview, state that he has nothing but happy and fond memories of the recently-departed RODNEY BEWES, saying that his erstwhile co-star's death has hit him pretty hard.  He explained that the pair not speaking for 40 years wasn't due to a fall-out, but was simply down to them having separate lives and careers after the end of The LIKELY LADS in 1976, with the release of the movie based on the hit TV show.

He said: "This is what happens in acting.  You work with people, you get to know them, you like them, we have a great time and the job finishes and you go off and it all starts again with other people and you can't keep contact with everybody that you know."  This seems entirely credible to me.  I think that Rodney so loved The Likely Lads that he wanted to believe that, just as in the show, he and James were the best of pals.  And so they probably had been, but it certainly won't have been the first time that a workplace friendship fizzled out after one or both parties departed for pastures new.

Bewes wanted to make more episodes of The Likely Lads, and always hoped that the show would be revived, right up until his death.  Bolam, on the other hand, though proud of the show, seems to have regarded it as just another job and had no great sentimental attachment to it - at least not to the same extent that his fellow thespian did.  In the ensuing years, Bolam was never short of high-profile TV work in various series, whereas Bewes didn't fare quite so well in that department.

I must confess I found it heartwarming to hear that Bolam held no animosity towards Bewes, and regards him fondly, but it would've been good if Bewes had known that before he died.  I must say that I have mixed feelings about there being only two series of WHATEVER HAPPENED To The LIKELY LADS.  On the one hand, it would have been good to see further episodes, but on the other, then we might not have had Bolam playing ROY FIGGIS in his other excellent comedy series, ONLY WHEN I LAUGH.

Enjoy the brief clip of Bob and Terry below.

Thursday 23 November 2017


You only really need two words to describe
CAROLINE MUNRO - "Wotta darlin'!"


See the above YOGI BEAR pottery figurine from 1977?  Daft question - of course you do.  There are three of them currently available on eBay from two sellers, priced at nearly £25 each.  This little chappie (6 inches high) arrived to live with me today, and cost less than a fiver - purchased through eBay, same as the other ones mentioned.  Just shows that there are bargains to be had if you look out for them.

Wednesday 22 November 2017


Image copyright DC COMICS

That's a great cover image above, isn't it?  So here's a question for all you cavortin' Criv-ites out there.  Have you ever bought a comic mainly for the cover, only to be disappointed with the contents?  Or found that, however brilliant you thought the cover was, astonishingly, it didn't do justice to the story within?  In fact, you can comment on any permutations of those two questions you can come up with.  And here's another - what were the covers, and what was it about them that appealed to you?  (Okay, that's another two questions, but who's counting - apart from me?)


I've just realised that the above cover is from 1988 - a kick in the pants off 30 years ago.  I'm flabbergasted - it seems so much more recent than that.  Where on earth does the time go?  


"I'm over here, Gordie" says the nubile NICOLE MURPHY, desperately trying to attract my attention on seeing me surrounded by hordes of gorgeous women lusting after my manly-man face and physique.  Seems like she's the jealous type, but who can blame her where I'm concerned, eh?  I'm quite a catch.  Hey, whaddya mean, one that she should throw back?  Bloody cheek.  (And talking of cheek, check out Nicole's.)


Given the recent news that DC COMICS are releasing a 12-part follow-up to WATCHMEN, it's perhaps not surprising that certain corners of the comics world are pompously pontificating about the 'injustice' heaped upon ALAN MOORE and DAVE GIBBONS.  Apparently, they were promised that copyright would revert to them if the collected book edition of their original series ever went out of print - but it never has.  Presumably that'll be because it still makes a profit, so how could any intelligent person really expect to be handed back the rights to something that was still earning money for its publishers?  The only way it'll ever go out of print is if/when it's been milked dry, something even Simple Simon could've told you.  I don't know what Alan Moore's response is to the current situation, but here's a post I wrote back in 2012, around the time of the movie, and I think the points it makes are still pertinent today.


I've only met ALAN MOORE twice.  The first time was in 1984 at a comic mart in the MOIR HALL in Glasgow's MITCHELL LIBRARY, and the second was in 1985 in the 2000 A.D. offices in KING'S REACH TOWER in London.  On that first occasion STEVE MacMANUS gave me my break into the comics industry and, afterwards, the 2000 A.D. team, Alan Moore, BERNIE JAYE, various other comics people and myself, invaded the CENTRAL HOTEL for a chat and a little light libation.

On the second occasion, Mr. Moore brought his daughter up to the twentieth floor of KRT to meet THARG The MIGHTY.  In both instances, the writer was polite, affable and soft-spoken - seemed like a perfectly nice guy in fact.  I very much doubt he'd remember meeting me - or, in fact, even know who I am.  No surprise - there are many millions who qualify in the latter category so you'll understand when I say that it's not something I'll lose any sleep over.

I only mention this so that you don't think I've any cause to hold a grudge against the man.  He wasn't rude to me, he didn't laugh at my accent, nor did he do or say anything to which I could take exception.  As I said - a perfectly nice guy.  When it comes to his writing, I've quite liked some of it and either not liked or been indifferent to what I've seen of the rest. I'm of the opinion that when Mr. Moore works within 'Comic Code' guidelines, he turns out a nice little tale or two; however, when he's given the freedom to indulge himself, I find that I have little interest in what he has to say.  He can certainly write, but that doesn't mean that everything he writes (I'm talking subject, not prose) is worth reading.  (A charge that can no doubt be levelled at myself when it comes to this blog.)

Which brings me to the point of this post.  I recently watched Mr. Moore's HARDtalk interview, in which, affable as ever, he came across as - it pains me to say it - a bit of a tit.  A charming, eccentric tit, true - but still a tit.  (I say that in the full knowledge that if ever someone stuck a camera in my face and asked me a few questions, I'd more than likely make a tit of myself too.) Surely he must have friends - good friends - whose opinion he trusts - who can be relied upon to stop him making a public spectacle of himself whenever a microphone is waved in front of his heavily-bearded gob?  You know, the sort of friends who'll watch 'his' movies for him and then tell him how bad they are, to spare him the ordeal of doing the groundwork when it comes to forming an opinion for himself.

Have none of those friends got the spuds to tell him that he's severely damaged his credibility as a 'principled' individual by claiming, on air, that he accepted dosh for movie options on his works only because he believed they would never be produced?  Prepared to take money for nothing in other words, and seemingly without a shred of embarrassment about publicly admitting it.  (One would think he'd have realised that, after the first movie was made, the chances of the others similarly seeing fruition were distinct possibilities.)

And what about his self-indulgent whinging about DC COMICS using his WATCHMEN characters in new stories?  It may have escaped his notice, but he's made a fairly good living from doing exactly the same thing for years, with the likes of SUPERMAN, SWAMP THING, MARVELMAN, CAPTAIN BRITAIN, and a whole host of other heroes he didn't create.  There's absolutely no difference between him writing tales for these characters and other writers crafting new stories for his creations.  In fact, as the Watchmen heroes were thinly-disguised reworkings of former CHARLTON properties, he can't even lay a firm claim to them to begin with.  And don't get me started on what he's done to the iconic literary creations of famous, long-dead authors who'd doubtless be incensed by what he's done with them.

As I said, Alan Moore appears to be a likeable-enough bloke. (Although, by all accounts, that LOST GIRLS stuff is decidedly dodgy.  Isn't it a crime to possess or make such pictures of minors?  I'm surprised that him and his missus haven't had their collars felt by the local constabulary yet.)  I'm sure you'd all hate to see 'Affable Al' opening his mouth and putting his foot in it yet again as much as I would, so - if you're a pal of his, do him a favour.  Next time you hear he's about to make a pronouncement on some subject or other - tell him to stick a sock in it. Or better yet, stick one in for him.  You know it's for his own good.

(And in case any nasty spells are going to be coming my way, I should warn any angry wizards who may be reading that I'm protected by the Mystic Mirror of Moogamoto - it reflects spells and curses right back at where they came from.  So there!)


(Update:  Incidentally, it occurs to me that whether or not AM and DG were 'screwed' by DC is not the main issue here.  That's almost irrelevant because, presumably, even if the creators had no problem with DC owning the rights, they'd still object to prequels and sequels on the grounds that, in their minds, Watchmen was conceived as a 'stand alone' series and therefore requires no further embellishment or comment.  However, this is surely an unrealistic expectation, given the very nature of comicbooks.  New creators always come along and add something to an established 'universe', and if someone has what they think is a good idea for existing characters, it will be the readers who ultimately decide whether the published result (if it sees the light of day) is worthy or not.

Some people argue that the Watchmen characters are no mere copies of CHARLTON heroes, but rather an 'homage', which elevates them beyond the accusation of simple imitation.  There's a little bit of 'sleight-of-mind' in this approach though, because they weren't 'invented' out of a desire to pay tribute, but as a matter of expediency when DC resisted Moore's original idea of using the originals in his proposed idea for a story.  They're simply nothing more than 'stand-ins' therefore, not crafted from 'new cloth', but from cut-up, rearranged, and stitched-together pieces of old material.  So it's all right for Moore to use other people's characters (which is essentially what he did here), but not for others to do the same thing?

"O wad some pow'r the giftie gie us..."

Having said that, I won't be buying Doomsday Clock.  Another reboot of the DCU?  I could live with the first one back in the mid-'80s, but DC have done it so many times now that I've not only lost count, but also lost interest.  They just never seem to learn.       

Tuesday 21 November 2017


A shame to hear that RODNEY BEWES, alias BOB FERRIS of The LIKELY LADS, died today aged 79.  For years it was his wish that JAMES BOLAM, who played TERRY COLLIER, would speak to him again after falling out with him in the '70s, but it was not to be.  It'll be interesting to see if James Bolam comments on Rodney's death.  Condolences to his family, friends, and fans.  It's just a shame that we'll now never get to see that much wished-for update on the lives of Bob and Terry (and Thelma and Audrey).

Incidentally, I'm typing this in the very same room that I saw parts of the very first episode of WHATEVER HAPPENED To The LIKELY LADS (no question mark in the title) back in 1973.  I say 'parts' because I turned over at the start of the programme to another show (on ITV) I regularly watched, but turned back during the adverts.  (Once I could've told you just what that other show was, but no longer, alas.)  However, it wasn't long before the adventures of Bob and Terry became required viewing, and it's my favourite comedy show of all time.

The show was repeated over the years, but it always started from the second episode for some reason  - probably because the first was the 'set-up' episode, bridging the gap between the end of the '60s series and the '70s sequel, so if it was left out, viewers could just drop in as if the show had been on forever. It wasn't until 1995 when the series was rerun from the very beginning that I got to see the initial episode in its entirety for the very first time.  It took a whopping 22 years, but it was worth it.

If you've never seen 'Whatever', you've missed out on a classic.  Nip down to your local HMV store and treat yourself to the DVD box set at the earliest opportunity.


Image copyright relevant owner

Here's another page of MOWSER for all fans of REG PARLETT and, of course, 'The Priceless Puss' himself.   This is a reprint that appeared in the 1976 LION Holiday Special, hence the bigger horizontal gutters between each tier to accommodate the different page dimensions.  Upon examination, I see that the panels have also been 'resized', but curiously not to the extent of maintaining the original gutter space.  Still funny though.


WONDER WOMAN once never needed anything other than her bracelets to protect herself from knives, swords, and guns, so probably the primary reason she was given a shield for the movies is because the producers saw what a great weapon it made in the hands of CAPTAIN AMERICA in the MARVEL films.

But who cares about that when we have the stunning GAL GADOT to look at - in a respectful, non-pervy way of course.  (It's her mind we admire - right, lads?)

Monday 20 November 2017


Images copyright relevant owner

I first showed these illustrations in two parts almost seven years back, but because they're worth seeing again, I decided to combine the two posts into a single unit.  Am I thoughtful or what?!


Way back in the early '80s, I was at a Christmas Fayre in my old primary school and acquired a small publication called The LITTLE PICTURE HYMN BOOK.  For no other reason than one of accuracy, I should perhaps mention that it was a Christmas Fayre on behalf of the church across the road from my old house, but was held in the school at the bottom of the same street for reasons of space.  (The Fayre was bigger than the church building could easily accommodate, you see.)  Not that it's important, but I'm fuelled by a compulsion to be as precise as I can when relating these small matters of personal history.

Anyway, the book had attracted my attention because it was illustrated by CICELY MARY BARKER (1895-1973), a celebrated artist of fairies (and flowers), much in the mould of the Cottingley fairies photographs which had so entranced Sir ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE back around 1917-1920.  The little book had a distinct charm and, through its colourful illustrations, conjured up a long-vanished era when children were children - and not the fractious, obnoxious creatures they are today.  One of the hymns in the booklet was "All Things Bright and Beautiful" which, in my previous primary in a different neighbourhood, my class had sung every morning just before the start of lessons.  I only had to hear (or read) a few lines of the hymn and I was transported back to practically the dawn of my childhood, so how could I resist buying the book for my very own collection?

Sometimes, when lying in bed at night, with nothing to read and bored out of my skull, I would dig out the book from my bedside drawer and look at the pictures - and sometimes even read "All Things Bright and Beautiful" to myself to help remind me of my childhood days so many years before.  When we moved to a new house in 1983 and I found myself repeating the experience in my new abode, I couldn't do so without wistfully remembering doing the same thing in my old room in what seemed another life away.

Amazingly, just over four years later, we moved back to the previous house - where I still reside 30-plus years later.  Now, whenever I look through my little book of an evening, not only do I remember doing so in the same room of the same house nearly 35 years before, I also recall doing so in the other house while looking back on the one I now reside in - almost as if I'm observing myself through a window, watching myself through another window as I contemplate myself in the room in which I now sit looking back on the past.  Yeah, I know, it's a difficult one - you'll have to think about it for a moment.

So what's the point of all this philosophical rambling?  Merely this: I wanted to explain the reasons why I now unleash upon you the twelve colour illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker from The Little Picture Hymn Book.  Looking at them, don't you feel like a little kid again, playing under the hot Summer sun in the grassy green fields of your childhood when you thought you'd be a child forever?

Someone tell me that it's not just me.

Anyway, enjoy the serenity and tranquillity that these illustrations epitomize, and try to recall what it was like to be a child of another, far different era.


Question: Why do women wear makeup and
perfume?  Answer: Because they're ugly and they
smell!  Guffaw!  (Just couldn't resist that old joke.)
All the 'babes' on this blog are stunning though,
 as gorgeous ANNA BOR amply testifies.


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Here's a question for all you cavortin' Criv-ites to consider.  Imagine that Science one day masters the technique of transferring your brain patterns into a synthetic body - much like NOMAN from T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS.  That means a new, younger body, with all your thoughts, tastes, memories and morals would live on, perhaps forever.

There's one little problem though.  Unlike Noman, it wouldn't be your actual consciousness that would be transferred, only a simulation of it.  And the process of transference would effectively cause your original body and brain to enter a vegetative state, with death following soon after.  So, although in one sense 'you' would live on, it would be a copy of you, not you yourself.

Ponder this scenario for a moment.  You're in your 80s and approaching the end of your life, with perhaps only a few years to go if you're lucky.  Would you sacrifice those years for the chance of perpetuating the 'essence' of yourself for many more years to come, thereby preserving all your memories of your life up to that point?

Or would you just prefer to take whatever comes, and to hell with the promise of pseudo-immortality?  Do tell.

Sunday 19 November 2017


Remember me telling you about this issue of TV21 #2 on sale on eBay for £75?  (It has a quarter of the back cover missing.)  Well, the seller has now upped his asking price to £195 - still claiming not to know its true value.  I think it's a safe bet he knows exactly what it's worth - which makes him either a total chancer and perhaps even a crook.  What do you think, readers?

(Update: I've just noticed that he's got the exact same issue listed twice - at two different prices.  £74 in one listing, £195 in the other.  When I say the same issue, I mean he's only got one copy to sell, not two.  What a total chancer.  Meanwhile, another seller is currently offering a slightly (very slightly) better-condition copy (with a coupon missing) for £27.00.  At least the second seller is being a tad more realistic.


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From the back cover of the 1976 LION Holiday Special, comes the magnificent moggy known as MOWSER.  Despite the age-ravaged condition of this particular page, it'll still provide you with a laugh, not only because of the humorous script, but also because of REG PARLETT's great art, which was always funny to look at. 

More Mowser soon, folks.  Don't miss it. 

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