Saturday 29 August 2020


Sybil Danning is today's Babe, fellas.  Being a
woman of beauty and brains, Sybil has name-checked
Crivens on a couple of occasions on her own site, though
it doesn't mean she necessarily agrees with every (or even
any) particular point of view expressed here.  However,
one thing she surely does recognise is that we simply
adore her - so all hail the mighty Sybil!

Friday 28 August 2020


I was in a local cafe the other day and had to visit the gents.  (I don't like using public toilets, but "needs must" as they say.)  I'd only just got settled on the seat when I heard a voice from the next cubicle say: "Hi, how's it going?"  I was taken aback for a second, but replied: "Aye, all right!", hoping that would be the extent of our interchange.  "What you doing at the moment?" the voice said.   "Er, same as you!" I replied.  "Is it all right if I come over?" the voice from next door enquired. "Well, I'm kind of busy at the moment!" I said, glancing up at the top of the dividing partition somewhat alarmed.  Then the voice said: "Look, I'll have to call you back - some idiot in the next cubicle keeps answering my questions!"

Ooer!  I wanted to disappear down the u-bend.

Sunday 23 August 2020


Managed a rare trip into Glasgow today with an old school friend, and embarked on a wee tour around some familiar spots, including the area in the West End where I lived in as a toddler back in prehistoric times.  (At least, that's what it feels like.)  Took a few photos, and the above one shows what once used to be The Odeon Cinema in Renfield Street, though before that, it was known as The Paramount Cinema until it changed hands after World War II.  It was built in 1934 and closed in 2006.

The above photo shows part of Kelvingrove Park, as do the following six.  I really should do some research and tell you something about it, but am far too lazy to bother.  Anyway, all you really need to know is that it's a very pleasant-looking spot and the higher level just off Park Circus has some nice views of Glasgow University.  I used to live just around the corner from both the park and university light years ago, but was far too young to know about the unsavoury reputation of parts of the park at certain times, and in fact, only learned of it as an adult.  (Not as a participant, I hasten to add.)

Below is a nice-looking stairway next to the subway (no, not the eaterie) on Great Western Road, running over the River Kelvin.  Next is a couple of pics of the Glasgow Coat Of Arms, followed by a few of Glasgow University and the flowerbed in the grounds.  In times past I used to sit in the quadrangle of the uni, and it was like being in an episode of Inspector Morse (or Lewis).  The Greek/Roman-looking building 11 pics down is further along the street just across the road from the university and ties into (sort of) this post's title.

Okay, I've kept the worst 'til last.  Below is the landing of the flat my family lived in a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, followed by my good self standing in the entrance to the building.  I really should've hitched up my trousers before the photo was taken, but that apart, the role of James Bond has surely got my name written all over it.  What do you mean, no?  Cheeky Crivvies!  Okay, that's your lot for now.  (Maybe not the best blog post in the world, but hey, it filled a space.) 

Saturday 22 August 2020


Copyright relevant owner

A nice little find in a charity shop through the week was the CHAMPION Annual 1968 (released near the end of '67), priced at a mere £1.  Being the generous sort, I thought I'd share one of the strips with you - THOR's UK stand-in, The PHANTOM VIKING.  Champion was a weekly comic from 1966 that lasted only 15 issues before being merged into LION, but it spawned two Annuals for '67 and '68, and I also have the first of them, having purchased it quite a number of years ago.

Anyway, let's see what Thor's relative is up to in the first of two strips contained in the Annual.  If you're all well-behaved and respond nicely (or even just respond at all), I'll maybe let you see the second strip, which is (alternately) in full and spot colour.  Helmets on?  Then let's go! 

Friday 21 August 2020


Sparks sure fly whenever Wonder Babe
VALERIE PEREZ is around.  And whenever
I look at her, I see stars!  Why can't I have a girl-
friend like Valerie?  (First person to say 'cause
I'm ugly gets barred - iron barred!)

Tuesday 18 August 2020


Copyright relevant owner

Back in the mists of time - well, around 1971 at least - some unidentified person or persons tried to get the LYONS company interested in producing a new comic called WHACKO!  (Or did Lyons approach a publisher like IPC with the idea?)  It may have been only a provisional name, but it was never published - though a single homemade 'dummy' was cobbled together by someone to show the company what it might look like.  Whoever came up with the idea - whether a Lyons employee or an outsider - is currently unknown, but the pages were discovered in a second-hand bookshop by someone (see last paragraph) quite a number of years ago.

If I rightly understand what I've read elsewhere, none of the strips used were specifically produced for the actual dummy, but culled from other sources.  Note that the concept of JOLLY ROLLO And His MAGIC FLUTE echoes that of PHIL The FLUTER (should actually be Flautist, but Fluter is 'smoother') from THUNDER (1970).  Was Jolly a rip-off of Phil, or an early 'prototype' that was later pressed into service for the dummy?  Perhaps we'll just never know.  ZOOM The SPACE DOG (a renamed HAPPY) seems similar in theme to strips like GALAXUS, BARRY & BOING, and, in particular, PADDY McGINTY'S GOAT, being a bit of a mix of them.

No original art was used in the dummy, the pages being merely boards with photocopies of strips stuck to them.  It's entirely possible that they were rejected proposals (with completely different strip titles, as Zoom/Happy seems to confirm) for IPC/FLEETWAY, which were then renamed to make the characters seem unique to Lyons & Co.  (I've digitally 'diluted' the shadows of the new logos pasted over the originals.)  The late and legendary cartoonist TERRY BAVE drew all the humour strips, so could he have been responsible for trying to interest Lyons in producing their own promotional 'custom comic', or was he called upon because he drew for IPC, who might've been the potential publisher on Lyons' behalf?

Or maybe it was an outside freelance project by an IPC editor, who asked Terry to come up with some ideas - or simply used some rejected strips of his.  Whichever of those scenarios it was, Terry never mentioned the comic in his autobiography, but if it was the latter, it's possible he never even knew that strips he'd submitted to IPC - possibly to try and drum up some extra work - had been renamed and included in the proposal for Whacko!  It may have been the same situation for the adventure strip artists, TOM KERR and JOHN RICHARDSON, to say nothing of the writers, whoever they were.

Would a comic priced at one new pence been a viable proposition for Lyons (or anyone) back in 1971?  Given the cost involved in producing a comic, it's doubtful it would ever have been intended as a 'giveaway', but perhaps the possibility of it being part of a promotional offer that readers could send away for, enclosing a penny (plus p&p?) along with several coupons cut from the wrappers or boxes of Lyons products was considered?  Again, the facts are probably lost to history, but isn't it fascinating to speculate?

Anyway, the pages have been shown before several years back on other blogs, but I suspect they're new to most Crivvies.  So thanks to STEVE HOLLAND from BEAR ALLEY BOOKS for permission to reproduce the pages (with a little mild enhancement by me for this presentation), to DEZ SKINN who produced an improved version of the cover (at the foot of the post), and to RICHARD SHEAF for finding them in a second-hand bookshop all those years ago.  What a discovery.

Does this look like the sort of comic you'd have bought as a kid?  Say yea or nay in the comments section - if you'd be so good.

KID CHAMELEON spring to mind

A page from VALIANT by the look of it, suggesting
an IPC person's involvement in some capacity

DEZ SKINN wasn't too impressed by the cover logo,
so digitally reworked it to better effect

Monday 17 August 2020


I've shown these two THUNDERBIRD 4s before, but never together, and I thought you might find it interesting to compare them side-by-side.  The size difference isn't huge, but the difference in detail is immense, one being just a piece of yellow plastic and the other being quite an intricate representation of GORDON TRACY's aqua-craft - complete with the pilot himself.  (You can just see part of him through the clear window.)

The first one came free with SUGAR SMACKS back in the '60s, and the second was issued sometime within the last 10 years or so (by a Japanese company - can't remember the name and the box isn't to hand for me to check), but I couldn't choose between them (if I had to).  So here's a question for you all - if you could have only one of these models, which one would you choose and why?

Also, did any of you Crivvies ever own any kind of TB4 - or in fact, any Thunderbirds toy back in the '60s?  Do you still have it (or them), or did you track down and buy a replacement years after the fact?  Or how about TB toys you wanted but never owned?  Would you be prepared to fork out the astronomical sums that some of them command today - even if you could afford to - or are you content with your memories, with no desire to own things you once had or wanted?  Tell all. 

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