Thursday, 31 October 2019

SCREAM! IT'S HALLOWE'EN...


Copyright REBELLION

Well, it's Hallowe'en tonight, and my intention to publish the Chips section of WHIZZER & CHIPS #3 will have to take a back seat as I've not had time to scan it on account of a doctor's appointment I had earlier today, which left me puggled out.  Fear not, I'll try and have them on show for Guy Fawkes night, which the comic was themed after anyway, even though it went on sale around October 25th.

Instead, I've decided to show you a cover from SCREAM!, which even though it's dated May, fits right in with the Hallowe'en mood.  Right, all the neighbourhood kids should have sack loads of fruit, nuts, and sweets by now, so I'm just going to get into my FRANKENSTEIN costume and go out and rob them.  Why not just do it as myself?  Well, I don't want to scare them that much.

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

TARGET MISSED THE BULLSEYE...


Copyright relevant owner

TARGET, launched by NEW ENGLISH LIBRARY in April of 1972, was an odd periodical that didn't quite hit the target (spot the deliberate pun) with its intended audience - whoever they were meant to be.  Not quite a comic, not quite a magazine (aside from the format), it was neither one thing or the other and, at 10 pence, was ridiculously expensive compared to other weekly periodicals aimed at kids or teens.

I bought the mag for a while, but no longer recall exactly for how long or, indeed, how many issues there were.  (Just noticed that #50 is currently on sale on ebay.)  I remember a novel being given away over several issues in part form, and eventually I combined them into the finished 'book', but I couldn't now tell you what it was called or who it was by.  The free gift in the first issue was a sachet of the 'powder of life', which I suspect was the same as the 'Sea Monkeys' advertised in American comics.

In fact, I emptied it into a beer tumbler full of water, and after a few days (or was it weeks?  I can no longer recall), little, almost microscopic creatures could be seen swimming around.  Sadly, I had to pour them down the sink when we went on holiday that year, as there was no way I could let them starve while I was away for a fortnight.  I like to think that they survived and made their way to freedom.

The mag had some comic strip content (two humour and two action/adventure strips), probably the most noteable being BOVVER BOY, perhaps the inspiration for a similar character that appeared in OINK! then BUSTER almost 15 years later, but the art never really grabbed me.  Then there was L'S ANGELS, which confirmed my suspicion that the mag's publishers were trying just a little too hard to be different and (to use a later expression) 'down wiv the kids'.  What with fashion and 'problem' pages, it seemed to be borrowing a leaf out of mags for girls, like JACKIE, etc.  Were boys into fashion back then?  I know I wasn't.  (Nor am I today.)

Anyway, having recently acquired this replacement for my original, long-discarded first issue, I though I'd show you some of the contents.  Did you buy this mag in your youth, and if so, what are your memories of it?  Tell all in the comments section.




Looks like this page may originally have been in colour.  A reprint from somewhere?





******

On a personal level, this particular issue causes problems for me, memory-wise, because we moved house just a couple of months after I bought my original copy, but had I not seen the date of 1972 inside this replacement mag, I'd have assumed it came out in '70 or '71, as it feels like there was a much longer period of time between me buying it and us flitting.  I also can't remember where we went on holiday that year, though as I said, I recall reluctantly pouring my powder of life creatures down the sink in advance of our departure.  Could it be that we holidayed in Largs in '72 instead of '71?  But if so, where then did we holiday in '71?

One possible explanation is that, as we flitted houses halfway through June of '72, my parents may've cancelled our holiday at the last minute, as the cost of moving on top of a holiday would probably have made a dent in their finances, especially if the opportunity and decision to flit was a sudden one.  Will I ever really know?  Will you ever really care?  (I think we all know the answer to that one.)

Another thing that strikes me as curious is that, although I was probably still buying at least the odd issue of VALIANT & TV21, LION & THUNDER, and TV ACTION (the latter on a weekly basis) at the same time as Target, it seems to stand in isolation in my memory, with no association in my mind to any other comics I was then getting.  Maybe it came out on a different day to the others and, because I purchased it by itself, that's why it occupies its own compartment in my recollections?  Or perhaps because it wasn't really the same kind of publication as other comics, I just don't think of it as belonging with them?  Again, who knows or cares, apart from myself?  And perhaps that's how it should be.

MIGHTY MARVEL COLLECTED EDITIONS CHECKLIST - ON SALE 31st OCTOBER...


WOLVERINE & DEADPOOL #6

Copyright MARVEL COMICS.  Published by PANINI

76 pages of Marvel’s toughest heroes!  Three great stories!

Two FBI agents search for the man called Logan – and get far more than they bargained for!  By Benjamin Percy & Marcio Takara!

X-23 and Gabby go undercover at a high school, and teach some tough lessons!  By Mariko Tamaki & Georges Duarte!

New story!  Deadpool wakes up to find the end of the world has taken place – and the zombies have taken over!  By Cullen Bunn & Ramon Rosanas!

Featuring material first printed in Wolverine: The Long Night #2, X-23 #6 and Night of the Living Deadpool #1.

On sale 31st October.

£4.99.

******

AVENGERS UNIVERSE #6


76 pages of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

The ‘No Road Home’ saga continues!  The Avengers challenge the power of Nyx and her deadly children!  Don’t miss a legendary battle, and the most unexpected guest star of all time!  By Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Sean Izaakse!

Featuring material first printed in Avengers: No Road Home #2-5.

On sale 31st October.

£4.99.

PART TWO OF GUY FAWKES POPS IN FOR HALLOWE'EN...


Copyright REBELLION

Here's the second part of the Whizzer section of WHIZZER & CHIPS #3, a combined Hallowe'en (only in that it contained a free mask and came out prior to the event) and Guy Fawkes issue from 1969.  As mentioned in part one, the pages are scanned from an age-worn comic which suffers from discolouration and bleed-through, though I've tidied them up slightly without going overboard.  Next up will be the Chips section of the comic (though we may have a Babe of the Day first), which means you'll then have the complete ish!  Hooray for me!







Monday, 28 October 2019

SPIDER-WOMAN #1 FACSIMILE EDITION...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

I think I remember seeing the original of this comic when it first came out (or at least an ad for it), but I don't recall ever owning it.  Well, I do now, with this latest (among others) in the series of Facsimile Editions from MARVEL.  Quite enjoyed it too, though once again it's missing the COMICS CODE stamp which adds something to the flavour of these old mags, and an ad page inside is printed well out of proportion in size compared to the others.  Doesn't anyone double-check these things before they go to press?  That aside, if, like me, you missed it first time around, now's your chance to remedy the situation without having to pay a small fortune for an original back issue.  Go on, out with the cry - Make Mine Marvel!

BABE OF THE DAY - LYNDA CARTER...



The Luscious LYNDA CARTER is here to excite us today, fellas.  Isn't she a flower?  Just like the ones on her waistcoat, but far prettier.  Think she'd let me have a sniff?  Nah, me neither.  However, a man can dream.

Sunday, 27 October 2019

WELL, WHADDYA KNOW - GUY FAWKES POPS IN FOR HALLOWE'EN...


Copyright REBELLION

The third issue of WHIZZER & CHIPS is an odd periodical in that, date-wise, it kind of covers both Hallowe'en and Guy Fawkes celebrations.  You see, it's cover-dated November 1st, but probably came out on or around October 25th, so you'd think IPC would've had some strips themed on one event, and some on the other.  After all, what's the free gift if not a Hallowe'en mask?  (Which, admittedly, could also be used on Bonfire Guys.)  Having said that, some of the strips don't reflect either event at all.

However, I've always considered it more of a Hallowe'en issue on account of it going on sale nearer to 'Guising night' than 'Guy's night' back in 1969, so if you Criv-ites will indulge me, that's what I'll offer it as here.  And also a Guy Fawkes issue, of course, as it more than aptly fits that description as well.  So here's the first instalment, 8 pages from the Whizzer section for you to hopefully enjoy and put you in touch with your inner spirit of youth.

You'll have to forgive the odd blemish here and there, as my current copy is quite age-ravaged and displaying bleed-through and discolouration, but I trust it won't spoil your enjoyment too much.  (I've tidied up the pages as much as I can without spending hours on them.)  More to come soon. 







Saturday, 26 October 2019

DC'S BATMAN #251 FACSIMILE EDITION...


Copyright DC COMICS

I know I had this comic back in the '70s because I remember the story, and in particular a full-page shot of BATMAN running across a beach in pursuit of The JOKER (out of frame).  Curiously, however, in memory I didn't automatically associate the contents with the cover, so for years, whenever I saw it pictured anywhere, I was never quite sure whether I'd read the issue or not.  Until, that is, I saw it reprinted somewhere back in, I think, the '80s (or perhaps later).

And now it's been reprinted again - this time as a FACSIMILE EDITION, complete with original ads and all.  You surely don't need the hard-sell on this one?  It's Batman, it's NEAL ADAMS, and it's a reminder of your youth at the same time. What's not to like?!  Funnily enough, I saw a huge framed reproduction of this cover in a charity shop a few days ago, going for a tenner.  I was tempted, but I simply don't have anywhere to hang it, so I passed.

However, don't you pass on this ish.  Get straight round to your local comics shop now and buy it before it sells out, or get it on ebay - I'm not fussy 'cos I get my percentage either way.  (That's 0% in case you were wondering.)

A WHOLE LOTTA HULKS GOING ON...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

First up, above, is MARVEL's The INCREDIBLE HULK #1 Facsimile Edition.  Again, without the COMICS CODE stamp, the absence of which (in my view) compromises its integrity as a true facsimile - I do wish they'd just leave it where it's meant to be.  This ish contains the same ad as in the AMAZING FANTASY Facsimile Edition, wherein an image was omitted, presumably for 'politically correct' reasons.  Also, the proofs used for this issue are the same ones as in MASTERWORKS, OMNIBUS, and EPIC reprints, and show signs of 'word de-smudging', as well as a page (17) that has been horizontally separated in two at some stage and rejoined, resulting in an ever-so-slightly larger than normal gap between a couple of rows of lettering.  That apart though, as most of these things are only noticeable to pedants like me, it's still a mag worth having.  Next up... 


The OTHER HULKS contains a couple of tales of two characters christened 'The Hulk', before BRUCE BANNER's alter-ego inherited the name.  STAN LEE was certainly into recycling long before it became fashionable, wasn't he?  For some curious reason there's a wobble on the top of the speech balloon on the JACK KIRBY/STEVE DITKO cover, which isn't on the reproduction of the original cover within.  The furry and metal creature above was eventually reintroduced into the Marvel Universe in the '70s, but referred to as XEMNU The TITAN (instead of Xemnu The Hulk) to avoid confusion.  And the next contestant is...    


The above TRUE BELIEVERS mag features the return of the grey Hulk, from around the mid-'80s.  I remember buying the original ish (which I still have) as though it were only last week, which scares the bejabbers out of me.  I mean, where did my life go?!  The cover has been cropped to allow for the True Believers banner at the top, but thankfully, the original cover is reproduced inside.  (Surely Marvel could reduce the image slightly, so that the TB crop isn't so severe?)

Anyway, three great mags for you to add to your collection, so - if you haven't already got this trio of titanic treats, go and buy them now!

Friday, 25 October 2019

TRUE BELIEVERS - X-MEN...? (NAH, CAPTAIN BRITAIN #S 8, 9, & 10!)


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

I love this cover - it's so evocative and has a strong association for me with a particular time and place in my youth, way back in the mid-'70s.  Anyway, it's one of the most recent mags in MARVEL's TRUE BELIEVERS series, reprinting a trio of CAPTAIN BRITAIN tales from his own UK weekly comic, and they've slapped the X-MEN logo on it to make it more attractive to potential buyers.  (It'll always be Captain Britain to me though.)  The contents are scanned from the actual published comics, but they reproduce well enough, so don't be deterred from adding this little beauty to your collection.  (Note that the lettering within CB's thought balloon has been slightly reduced.)

In case you're interested, you can see the original cover (also included at the back of the above mag) below, along with the post I originally wrote to accompany it in 2011, entitled...

WHAT DO CAPTAIN BRITAIN AND WD-40 HAVE IN COMMON?


Behold!  The ever-lovin' tenth issue of CAPTAIN BRITAIN from 1976.  Although it's dated December 15th, it actually went on sale the week before (8th), as is the way of British weekly comics.  (No, they don't all go on sale on Dec 8th - I mean they usually hit the shops a week before the date on the cover.  There are exceptions of course.)

In my mind, I've always associated this issue with Christmas 1976, although the actual Christmas number didn't appear 'til a couple of weeks later.  The reason I remember this one though, is because the day I bought it there was snow on the ground - just like on the cover.  Also, I was signwriting a pickup truck in a garage forecourt that day, and, because of the cold, I couldn't work quite as fast as I would've liked.  Plus, it was also a month to the very day since I had packed in my job at BOOTS The CHEMISTS.

Another thing I remember is a visiting rep expounding the advantages of a 'new' product to the garage owner (Mr. McTIER), while demonstrating its properties on a large nut and bolt.  The product?  WD-40.  I say new, but actually WD-40 was developed in 1953 and first became commercially available in San Diego in 1958. I can only assume it was still pretty much a 'secret' in Britain in 1976 though, for the rep to be pushing it as the 'next big thing'.

Funny the things that stick in one's mind, eh?  That's why CB #10 will always remind me of Christmas 1976 (and WD-40) more than just about anything else.  I was young, the world lay at my feet - and the future was mine for the taking.  

Thursday, 24 October 2019

DC DOLLAR COMICS - SWAMP THING #1...


Copyright DC COMICS

DC COMICS seem to be following MARVEL's lead these days, first with their own brand of Facsimile Editions and now with the equivalent of their rival's TRUE BELIEVERS series - DC DOLLAR COMICS.  I'll probably buy a few of them, but my first is the above reprinting of SWAMP THING #1 by LEN WEIN and BERNIE WRIGHTSON.

So what's good about it and what isn't?  I'm glad I asked on your behalf.  Well, first of all, it's Swamp Thing, so that's a plus right from the start.  Also, I like the fact that the bar code box isn't as prominent as on Marvel's mags and doesn't obscure too much of the cover art.  The interior reproduction is good, but unfortunately, the corner page numbers have been omitted - I'd have preferred them to have been left in place.  The indicia has been positioned on the last (non story) page instead of the splash, which is consequently left with too much of a blank space under the art.  And, in case it matters to you, it has glossy pages instead of the matt ones used in the facsimiles.

Overall, however, it's a great little package and good value at whatever the UK equivalent of a dollar is these days.  It's even worth the more expensive price it costs on ebay as it comes bagged and boarded, so I don't mind the extra cost.  Definitely one to have - even if you've already got the original.

DC'S SGT. ROCK SPECIAL - SIX ISH COVER GALLERY...


Copyright DC COMICS

Turns out that I didn't have as many issues of SGT. ROCK SPECIAL as I thought, but with the recent arrival of #s 4 & 6, I now have the first half-dozen.  Apparently the series ran for 21 issues, but I think I'll just regard the ones I have as a 6-issue mini-series and leave it at that.  I never read the four issues I bought back in the '80s, not particularly being a fan of war stories (just bought 'em 'cos it was a new reprint mag), but I read the two 'new' arrivals and fairly enjoyed them so plan on reading my original four, 30 years after first purchasing them.  Like I said before somewhere - I eventually get around to finishing what I started (or should've started) - even if it takes me a few decades.

It has to be said that some of the art and lettering reproduction is a little murky in places, leaving me unsure as to where the pages have been sourced from, and some panels have huge gutters between them.  Perhaps that's how they were originally published, but I rather got the impression that some tiers of panels had been shrunk to reduce the page height, which would necessitate them being repositioned with wider than normal spaces between them.  Normally when this happens, the panels have the art 'extended' by other hands, but maybe the budget wouldn't allow for that, or perhaps it was considered unnecessary.  Anyone know? 

Issue 6 has a tale illustrated by MORT DRUCKER, and if you only know of him through his MAD movie parodies, you'll perhaps be surprised to learn (if you didn't already know) that he's a pretty good (now that's what I call understatement) action-adventure artist as well.  I probably wouldn't have recognised it as his work if not for him being named in the credits.  Well-worth seeking out.  Right, enjoy the covers - I'm off to read the contents.





Wednesday, 23 October 2019

BABE OF THE DAY - SYBIL DANNING...

                 

                   None may quibble that fair Sybil is the prettiest of gals.
                   Sexy Sybil makes men dribble, how they wish to be her pals.
                   Kneel before her, don't ignore her, she's a woman of intrigue.
                   Men adore her, though most bore her, they're not even in her league.

                   Simply stunning, far outrunning all pretenders to her crown.
                   She's not shunning, just out funning, with a grin and not a frown.
                   Syb excites us and ignites us, her charms earn the highest score.
                   She delights us and unites us, as we grovel on the floor.

                   Sybil, Mistress, we're resistless, please accept our lovestruck hearts.
                   Be not listless, please assist us, we've succumbed to Cupid's darts.
                   We adore you and implore you, let us gather round your throne;
                   Bow before you, and restore you to the heights that you have known.


Just dashed the above ditty off the top of my head.  May tweak it a bit later if anything occurs to me.  Feel free to write your own ditties devoted to Sybil, but remember - keep 'em clean or I won't publish them.

GLIDING ALONG ON THE CREST OF A CLOUD (IF SUCH A THING IS POSSIBLE)...



I was looking through a 1974 issue of VALIANT & LION earlier and saw the above ad for balsa wood gliders, which took my mind back to around 1963 when I had the STRATO one pictured on the lower left-hand side of the picture.  Actually, it had started life as my brother's, but he bought a new one when his first one 'came a cropper' so I inherited it and got him to repair it for me.  In fact, we probably had a few of them between the two of us over a certain period, and seeing this ad immediately transported me right back to a specific point outside my house in the neighbourhood we lived in at the time.


It prompted me to look on ebay, and I saw one and immediately bought it.  That's the seller's photos above and below.  It's been opened, but is in brand-new condition so I can't wait 'til I get my hands on it.  Another part of my childhood re-acquired.  I was surprised to see that the gliders were still around in 1974, because I have no recollection of ever seeing them again after the mid-'60s, though at some stage I also had the SLEEK STREEK model pictured on the lower right of the ad, next to the Strato.  In fact, I've added a photo of one from ebay at the foot of the post.


Did any of you Criv-ites ever have one or more of these balsa wood gliders when you were a kid?  Then why not share your happy memories of them with the rest of us in the comments section?  When my glider arrives, I'll assemble it and add a photo of it to this post, so check back in a couple of weeks as it's coming from America.

Monday, 21 October 2019

JUST STALKING IN THE RAIN...*


Copyright DC COMICS

My four issue set of DC COMICS 1975 title, STALKER, have just arrived, and the covers and splash pages have now been added to my previous post.  Click here to revisit it if you so desire.

*(Yeah, I know it's a rubbish title, but I'm too tired to think of a better one.)

Sunday, 20 October 2019

THE JIMMY BROWN SONG - AKA THE THREE BELLS...



Way back around the early to mid-'70s, NANA MOUSKOURI had a TV show on the BBC, in which The KING'S SINGERS regularly guested.  I remember hearing them (together) performing The THREE BELLS, also known as The JIMMY BROWN Song, and I've wanted to hear that particular version again ever since then.  I've got The King's Singers own version, and Nana Mouskouri's solo version, but not their collaboration, so no luck so far.  (I've also got JIM ED BROWN's version, which is probably the best-known one.)

Anyway, here's The King's Singers rendition, I'll post Nana's version at a later date. 

BOMBASTIC BABE OF THE DAY - SYBIL DANNING...



Regular reader TC has just informed me that the sensationally stunning SYBIL DANNING's official website has posted a link to this 'ere humble blog.  Jump over and pay her a visit at: http://sybildanning.net/news.html.  And Sybil - if you ever get to read this - we are not worthy.  You're a goddess!