Thursday 30 April 2020


Copyright relevant owner

Remember the 1969 song 'SUGAR SUGAR' by The ARCHIES?  In 1977, the famous HONEY MONSTER released a cover version of it, but don't ask me what position it reached in the charts 'cos I don't have a Scooby.  (Did a quick search, but could find no info.)  I bought it though, and still have the single in the same condition as when I acquired it back in '77, cover and all.  Was doing some shifting about in one of my rooms earlier and rediscovered it in a box along with a pile of other singles, and thought you might like to see it.

SUGAR PUFFS was first launched by QUAKER OATS back in 1957 with JEREMY The BEAR as mascot, but Honey Monster replaced him around 1976/'77 (sources vary).  At first, Jeremy was a cartoon bear, but eventually a real one was used, though apparently it ripped its keeper's arm off.  That's maybe why the decision was made to bring Honey in.  The owner of the cereal - as well as its name - has changed more than once over the years, but it's reassuring to still see Honey's face staring out from the supermarket shelves whenever I'm doing my shopping (only on the servants' day off, mind) after all these years.  Long may it be so. 

And below is Honey Monster with actor HENRY McGEE (comedian BENNY HILL's sidekick) in a 1976 TV ad for Sugar Puffs, these days known as Honey Monster Wheat Puffs.  (Note that, in the ad, Jeremy The Bear still adorns the box as mascot.  That would soon change as Honey's popularity increased.)

And just in case you were wondering how the song sounded as performed by Honey Monster, below is another TV ad of an earlier 'customised' version of it, which proved so popular it led to the release of the 1977 single - though featuring the original 1969 lyrics, not the amended ones in the ad.  Catchy, eh?


Copyright relevant owner

YOGI And His TOY was an odd comic that lasted for 36 issues from February to October 1972, before becoming HANNA-BARBERA'S FUN TIME in November, lasting for around 6 months or so.  It was odd because it combined two different forms of storytelling; namely the use of speech balloons along with captions below the panel drawings.  The DANDY's WINKER WATSON employed the same format, but that's the only other time I recall it being done in a (then) 'modern' comic.  (The DAILY EXPRESS newspaper strip RUPERT BEAR also used lower captions, of course, but not speech balloons.)

I only have a handful of Yogi Issues, but I thought I'd show the covers anyway, just to give all you crazy Crivs an idea of what it looked like in case you missed it at the time.  As you can see, a couple of them are quite worn, as it's difficult to track down better condition copies at a reasonable price.  I doubt I'd ever bother seeking out a complete set unless I got them for a song, but it would be good to have several in sequential order and in decent condition.

As I said before in a previous post, I was probably too old (at 13) to be buying this comic, but I always found it hard to resist the lure of a new periodical and was also a big Yogi Bear fan, which was no doubt my main reasons for buying it.  The comic only had 14 pages and cost 10 pence, which despite full-colour throughout, was a tad on the expensive side.  This was doubtless to cover the cost of the alleged 'free' gift, and makes you wonder where the Trade Descriptions folk are when you need them.

Anyway, that's enough weary waffle from me - enjoy the covers.  And if you'd like to read the complete first issue, click here.


Not sure what MARTEL MAXWELL is
doing in this photo, but she looks good doing it.
Maybe she's playing at BATGIRL, but if so, she
forgot to wear the mask.  (It'd be a sin to cover
her cute wee face anyway, don'tcha think?)

Wednesday 29 April 2020



Okay, here's the scoop.  Wicked WEASEL WILLS, while attempting to rob one of TONY STARK's factories, finds his attache case containing his IRON MAN armour and, assuming the identity of the crimson and gold Avenger, goes on a crime spree.  Tony has to resort to donning his original bulkier armour and the two do battle.  Who wins?  Well, the next issue wasn't called The Invincible Weasel Wills - if that's any clue to you.

However, it could never have happened.  Why?  Because Tony Stark always wears his chest-plate to keep his heart beating, and only the extremities of his armour are stored in his attache case, not a spare chest-piece.  Therefore, Weasel Wills would only have discovered the boots and glove-'cuffs', from which the collapsible leg and arm parts of the armour unroll, held in place to the main body by electronic magnetism.

However, with no chest-piece there'd have been no battle, because the rest of the armour would've been useless.  Sure, he could've tried blackmailing Tony over his double-identity, but any punch-ups between the two would've been somewhat lacking in the drama department.

Here's another though that occurs to me.  If Stark can't remove his chest-plate, how did he shower or bathe?  Dead skin would've built up under his chest-device in no time, and the Invincible Iron Man would doubtless have soon become known as the Extremely Odorous Iron Man.  (And all those fit burds would've steered well-clear of 'Smelly' Stark.)

And what about his 'trunks'?  Surely they're part of the chest-piece?  In all the shots of Tony Stark donning his armour, he was always pre-trunked, so how did he go to the toilet?*  Did his trunks contain a waste-disposal unit, and his chest-piece an automatic exfoliating facility that removed and destroyed dead skin?  We deserve to be told.  Or should we just do what we did as kids and ignore (if they even occurred to us) the impracticalities and impossibilities inherent in such superhero sagas?  (*You can forget about that one - I've just noticed that his trunks were drawn as a separate component when he created his new armour in TOS #48.)

Any thoughts, fellow Crivs?  The comments section awaits.  Go on - join in the fun.


(Some of you may well be thinking "Wait a minute - doesn't it make sense that Stark would've had a spare chest piece in the event that the one he was wearing ever became damaged?"  You'd think so, but whenever that happened in those early tales, he never once thought "Must get to the spare chest-piece in my attache case!" - he always attempted to repair it or resorted to his earlier, bulkier one.  It was never established that he carried a spare one in his case, so it's therefore legitimate to conclude that he didn't.)   

Tuesday 28 April 2020


As I'm sure everybody will know by now, TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR from The GOODIES died on April 12th of complications from COVID-19.  He was only 79, which isn't really considered old these days, and it's a shame to think we'll never see him reunited with his two Goodies pals (GRAEME GARDEN and BILL ODDIE), or hear him again on I'M SORRY, I HAVEN'T A CLUE.

Several years back, I bought the first two DVD releases of The Goodies BBC shows, followed not long after by all the ITV episodes from when they switched broadcasters in 1980.  However, a few months ago, I purchased the boxed set of the complete BBC episodes on account of not being able to recall where I stored my earlier discs, so I've now got every Goodies episode ever made by the BBC and ITV.

I'll eventually get around to watching them, and it's good to know that, though he may no longer be with us in person, we can all still enjoy seeing Tim in all his comedic glory as one third of one of the most fondly regarded and remembered comedy shows ever seen on British TV.  If you were a fan of the show back in the day, I'd eagerly recommend you tracking down this set on eBay and reliving your far-away youth in a good ol' nostalgia-fest, and having a good hearty laugh in the process. 

Monday 27 April 2020


Apt that one of LINDA THORSON's predecessors
in The AVENGERS recorded a pop song called KINKY
BOOTS, as that's exactly what Linda's wearing.  I wonder
if they were made for walking, though what else would
boots be made for?  (Wait, I know - climbing!)


I've probably posted a link to this song by JIM REEVES before, but it's well worth presenting again.  Marvel at Jim's vocal dexterity as he sings "way above the ceiling" while bringing his voice down low and deep.  Probably the greatest male vocalist of the 20th century in my famously humble estimation.  Give it a listen.



Hi, Crivs - hope you're all keeping well during these trying times.  I've been reading my EPIC COLLECTION of The INVINCIBLE IRON MAN recently and I've made an interesting discovery.  Namely, I'm getting cleverer the older I get.  Don't scoff, it's true.  Loopy lapses in logic jump out of the pages at me these days, whereas I never seemed to notice them before.  Want some examples?  Well, take the Iron Man story in TALES OF SUSPENSE #43 - KALA, QUEEN Of The NETHERWORLD, wherein TONY STARK, along with one of his technicians and a security guard, are captured and taken to the centre of the Earth.

Eventually, Tony (as Iron Man) triumphs and takes Kala up to the surface world, where she finds that the atmosphere causes her to age into a hideous old hag.  That's because the atmosphere in the Netherworld is different to that on the surface, but in that case, why aren't Tony and his fellow surface-men affected in some way in the bowels of the earth?  (And why are fellow centre-of-the-Earth dwellers TYRANNUS and The MOLE MAN [who don't appear in this tale] not similarly affected when they come topside?)  Yeah, sure, if you apply your mind to it, you could probably dream up some reason to explain it away, but the fact remains that such dichotomies were missed or ignored by the writer when the story was produced.

Also, consider the patent absurdity of Tony Stark creating a duplicate of his Iron Man armour (aside from his chest plate obviously, which he wears constantly) overnight in one of Kala's laboratories.  Not just the armour, but a whole horde of built-in devices, like an electronic reverse-energy beam, pellets of chemical crystals, tiny transistor-powered magnets, multiple image-creating mirrors, and transistor-powered clippers for cutting through the layers of earth between the Netherworld and the surface world.  Stretching the readers' credulity just a bit, no?

However, there's an innocence to these tales, and despite their flaws I still love 'em.  I first read these stories back in the '60s in the b&w pages of FANTASTIC (and again [in colour] very soon after in MARVEL COLLECTORS' ITEM CLASSICS) and I can't look at them now without being returned to that earlier time, when the neighbourhood I then stayed was still as I knew it and the playing-field across the road from my house was yet a field, not the site of a big ugly three-storey building that blots out the horizon.

Any memories of these tales, fellow Crivvies?  Then you know where the comments section is.  (Incidentally, I've taken the accompanying images from MCIC #6, 'cos my Epic volume is too tightly bound to scan without leaving a shadow and out-of-focus 'bar' down the side of the spine.)


Copyright relevant owner

Hopefully, the fact that I'm currently using a borrowed computer screen which is of different dimensions to my own won't affect the quality of any images I post.  Y'see, it's higher and less wide than my usual screen, so pictures are compressed width-wise and elongated hight-wise, making what I'm looking at rather weird.  However, while that may affect my perception of things, it shouldn't change the way you Crivs see things on your screens, so here's the next TERRIFIC episode of DON STARR in an APPOINTMENT With FEAR!  Enjoy!

Thursday 23 April 2020


Unfortunately, my computer seems to have been infected by a virus (not Corona), so until it's sorted, I'll have to stop blogging.  Apologies, but not my fault.  Please note that I'll probably be unable to respond to emails as well.  See you whenever.

Update: Just found out that it isn't a virus - the LED which lights up my screen has died, resulting in it looking like a coal cellar at midnight.  If I shine a torch on it from the side, I can just barely see to type - but it's not an ideal way to blog.  Given the current situation, I've no idea when I'll be able to get it repaired so I'd appreciate you Crivs helping to keep the blog going by visiting some old posts.  You've only got about four and a half thousand to choose from.

Further update: A friend has lent me a monitor to plug in to my computer so that I can continue blogging, so I'll maybe post something later tonight.  (Was that a groan of despair I just heard?)  Thanks, Iain.


In the row of houses on the left of the pic, only the first one belongs to the same street as
the other seven rows.  The rest of that one row is designated as another street.  Even my
dog Zara thinks it's totally bonkers.  I assume it was the result of some kind of oversight

You live and learn.  A staggering 54 years ago I moved into a house in a street that was comprised of 8 rows of 6 terraced houses each.  Last night I learned that 5 of the houses in the first row fell under another street name - only the first house in the row belonged to the same street as the other 7 rows.  Don't ask me why, as it seems completely arbitrary to divide up a row of connecting houses in this way, but that's what was done.  If you lived in that first house (appropriately numbered 1), it meant your neighbours' gardens on the other side of the adjoining hedge or fence were in a completely different street.  Or if you entered your back door through the narrow communal path between the back gardens, one row was in one street, the other row (aside from the first house) was in another.  Crazy, if you ask me.

Anyway, I was along in that old neighbourhood tonight and ran into the brother of one of my brother's pals back in the '60s.  This fellow doesn't live in the area any longer, but was visiting his elderly mother - and that's when I learned another surprising thing.  Back around 1967 (this I knew because I still lived there), his family moved from the 5th row to the first row, which, up until last night, I'd always believed was in the same street.  Then, around 1986, his mother moved into the house adjoining what had recently been her then current one (I only discovered this tonight), which she's now lived in for around 34 years, beating by far her 19 year stay next door.

Now, that won't mean anything to you, but it amazes the hell out of me.  Any of you ever find out something surprising about a place you'd once lived?  If so, let rip in the comments section.

Monday 20 April 2020


Images copyright relevant owner

Here's a quick guest post from Bountiful BARRY PEARL, which contains a wee bit of nudity - gasp!  Don't look, Ethel!


We all know that after Marvel was bought by Perfect Film and Chemical and their distribution was handled by Curtis, the company began to publish black and white magazines. We usually think of their 'comic book' variety of titles, such as Dracula Lives, but they got into some very different material that you wouldn’t think of.

Here are some photos from their Sensuous Streaker mag (1974), in which Kid has obscured some of the 'naughty' bits, along with some images from a Stan Lee edited book on Hitler. Click on images to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.

This @rse, I didn't obscure

Saturday 18 April 2020


First of all, excuse the dust.  I was in such a hurry to photograph this great toy from 2001 that I didn't notice it was in need of a wipe until after I'd snapped the pics.  Over on MOONBASE CENTRAL blog, SCOOP has some pictures up of his CENTURY 21 SPV from the late-'60s, and this VIVID IMAGINATION version is clearly channelling its earlier predecessor.  Click on Moonbase's name above to see Scoop's photos, but first take a look at mine, seeing as how I went to all the bother of pressing a button on my camera (nine times). 

Thursday 16 April 2020


Copyright relevant owner

I was going to add this strip to my post on the passing of MORT DRUCKER, but I decided to publish it here so that, hopefully, more people see it.  Truth to tell, I've got cleaner reprints of this strip in books and individual issues of MAD, but this far from pristine presentation comes from the '60s British edition (#59), which has text amendments to remove U.S. references that U.K. readers wouldn't have 'got'.

So if you're from the other side of the pond and have the original American version (or reprint), dig it out and have fun comparing the differences.  However, while you're doing that, don't forget to appreciate the artistic genius of Mort Drucker, who drew many movie and TV parodies for the mag over several decades. When he retired, despite the sterling efforts of others, Mad was never quite the same again. 

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