A cascading cornucopia of cool comics, crazy cartoons & classic collectables - plus other completely captivating & occasionally controversial content! With nostalgic notions, sentimental sighings, wistful wonderings, rueful reflections, remorseful ruminations, melancholy musings, poignant ponderings & yearnings for yesteryear! (To say nothing of a few profound perplexities & puzzling paradoxes thrown in for good measure.) Plus a bevy of beautiful, bedazzling, buxom Babes!
Tuesday, 30 November 2021
THE DAY 'BATMAN' FAILED (A REFLECTIVE REPOST)...
CRIVVIES - PLEASE HELP BATMAN BELT UP...
STOP!!! Don't jump elsewhere just yet. I know I've shown you this Batman figure (by Marx) before, but this time, something's different. Before I get to that, just a quick recap. When I first bought this (replacement) figure more than a quarter of a century ago, the cape was frayed, and the Bat-a-rang and utility belt were missing (along with the Bat emblem). I used the original cape as a template to make a new one out of non-fraying felt, created a Bat-a-rang from Perspex, and crafted a utility belt, again using felt.
At first I gave Bats a more contemporary symbol, but eventually printed one from a picture of the emblem used on Adam West's costume, and, as you can see below, the result was pretty good. Obviously I'd have preferred all the original components, but believe me, unless it's unopened and unplayed with, you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find this classic toy in any condition, never mind a complete version. (And it'd cost you a small fortune if you did.)
|Bats looks a little brighter here as photo was taken in daylight|
So help me out guys. Look at the photos and tell me which of the two belts looks more at home on Batman (who looks for all the world like a Gerry Anderson puppet) - the handmade felt belt or the other 'real' one. Your opinions will be carefully considered and help me come to a final decision as to which belt Bats gets to wear full-time. Kindly register your vote now if you'd all be so good. (No prizes unfortunately, just the joy of taking part.)
|I think there's a layer of dust on Bats in the first pic, hence the grey looking grubbier|
Monday, 29 November 2021
CAN YOU ANSWER THIS QUESTION...?
|Copyright MARVEL COMICS|
Okay, here's a question for all you Crivvies, which will hopefully inspire you to apply your mighty brains in search of a revealing answer. What's the one comics issue that's made the most lasting impression on you (story or art-wise) since you first started reading, and why? Failing that (in case it's too difficult to pick just one), what's the one single regular title (as in Superman, Spider-Man, or whatever) that's your favourite series in your longstanding term as a comics reader?
Never mind that 'answers on a postcard' nonsense. It'll save you the price of a stamp if you use the comments section.
No responses yet. Either the question's too hard or too boring. Say which you think it is - maybe it's both.
POST FROM THE PAST: DC'S OLD BLACK MAGIC CREEPY COVER GALLERY...
Friday, 26 November 2021
WHEN IS A YEAR NOT A YEAR? WHEN IT'S A FANDERSON YEAR (UPDATED)...
Let me now tell you all about Fanderson, the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson Appreciation Society. They make great items for their members that aren't available anywhere else. These are top-notch quality items at reasonable prices and I have no complaints about them. I do, however, have a complaint about the way they run their fan club and the manner in which they make their members part with their money when it comes to renewal.
Let me give you the facts. On March 16th of this year I joined Fanderson so that I could have access to the exclusive goodies they make. I received confirmation of my membership which said that it would expire on March 16th 2022 (see below). Fanderson refer (or did until recently - more on that shortly) to the membership as lasting a year, which any normal person would take to mean 12 months. Imagine my surprise then, when I received an email sometime in August telling me that my membership had now expired (after a mere five months) and that it was time to renew.
|See? A full year. This is now casually dismissed as a 'system limitation'|
I contacted chairman Nick Williams to ask what was going on, and received a dubious attempt to justify their request for me to renew. Apparently, in Mr. Williams' world, a year doesn't mean a year, but only the time it takes for the member to receive his three FAB magazines, the publication schedule of which is increasingly variable. Therefore, if you receive your trio of mags in five months, then your membership has expired. You see, they've lagged behind in their publishing schedule, so this is an attempt (according to Mr. Williams) to get things back on track. (At members' expense and inconvenience, not their own.)
Hello Gordon, and thanks for getting in touch.
As we can't publish FAB magazine to a strict schedule, a Fanderson membership doesn't run for a year, but for three issues. Normally, we publish in Spring, summer and winter, so three issues does roughly equate to a year. For this reason we never say anywhere that a membership is for a year. (Not quite true, and conveniently ignoring that a 'year's membership' implicitly suggests a year.)
Thanks for bringing this to our attention and all the best.
Note, however, in the following extract from their terms and conditions, that a year's membership is said to include three magazines, not consist of them, which is entirely different. Why shouldn't a year mean a full year (as stated on their membership confirmation), which would entitle the member to only three magazines, regardless of how many are published? So, for example, if Fanderson were to publish only two during any given year* and your membership expires, they could send on any delayed mag when it appears, and if they publish four or five during a year, you're still only entitled to three, but can buy the extra mags from their online shop if you so wish. This seems an eminently more sensible way of doing things than the rather elastic way they seem to prefer.
(*In fact, this actually happened one year. Was membership extended until the next mag was published the following year? I very much doubt it. Talk about double standards.)
When you join Fanderson we'll send you a welcome letter, your membership badge and card and the latest issue of the club's own magazine FAB.
Your membership includes three issues of FAB per year (nominally in spring, summer and winter) and each full colour issue features the latest news of Anderson productions... etc., etc.
However, is it any wonder they prefer a more 'flexible' approach when it means that renewing members have to stump up a total of £62 in a five month (or whatever) period, as opposed to £31 every 12 months? It's a sure-fire way of doubling their income. Another thing to consider is that because my membership was curtailed prematurely, I could no longer purchase anything from their online shop as I was no longer a member. By no stretch of the imagination can this be described as a fair and satisfactory scenario, as everything led me to believe I would have a full year's membership, despite Mr. Williams gymnastic reinterpretation of what a year means.
Not helping matters was the fact that the first FAB mag I received was from last year (November 2020), meaning that I received what was essentially a back issue. As the next new one came out in May 2021, I maintain that it better qualified as the 'latest' issue (being only 2 months in the future as opposed to its predecessor being four months in the past of the previous year) and that I should've been sent the first one produced in the calendar year that I joined, not the calendar year before.
Mr. Williams unconvincing attempt to justify this was to claim that new members would complain if they didn't receive a magazine immediately after they joined. I doubt it - not if it was explained in the terms and conditions that their membership was effective immediately (thereby giving them access to the online shop), though they'd only receive the first new mag of any given year when it was published.
Had the first mag I received been published in 2021, that would've been acceptable (even if it was a couple or so months old) as it would qualify as the latest issue of that specific year, but it's just not on to send me one from the year before I joined when it prematurely terminates the duration of my membership, requiring me to renew after only a few months. So let me be clear: a previously-published magazine from the year before a new member signs up would be a 'no-no', but one from the same year a membership starts would be okay.
Mr. Williams was tenacious in his refusal to acknowledge any merit to my observations, saying that I didn't understand the terms of membership. Strangely, he then went on to say that the current situation was not usual, being a result of them getting behind schedule, so for some reason he expects me to know, seemingly by osmosis, the rather elastic way the club has when it comes to the way they do business. Essentially, he's admitting that a year's membership is normally a year, except when they mess things up and get behind with things.
Thanks again, Gordon.
Thanks for pointing out the place where it says "per year", which shouldn't be there and has been corrected. (Remember, he'd previously said that they 'never say anywhere that membership is for a year'.)
As I've already said, (and as I'd already demonstrated wasn't quite so) memberships do not run a calendar year, but three issues of FAB. We make this clear: on the Members benefits page - on the join the club page - in our Terms and Conditions. (As all three pages had been hastily amended to remove any reference to a year since my first email, this was tantamount to changing the rules after the match had started, therefore rendering any such claim of clarity redundant, to say nothing of dishonest.)
The fact that the terms and conditions have since been comprehensively rewritten (that's at least twice now) amply demonstrates the validity of my observations, otherwise why would they need to retroactively change things (in response to my emails) if everything had been crystal clear to begin with? Mr. Williams even thanks me at one point for bringing the matter to his attention, and admits that he has 'corrected' the relevant information so that no one else thinks they're getting a year's membership when they take out a year's membership. Crazy or what?
Fanderson might be a "club for fans, by fans", but that shouldn't be an excuse for ripping off members by moving the goalposts whenever it's expedient. If they're going to take people's hard-earned money, then they should be prepared to give people what they're paying for. Mr. Williams said that if I rejoined, he would give me an extra FAB mag for free (wow - charged twice in one year for one extra mag), but eventually gave me a partial refund after I'd worn him down a bit. Naturally, I won't be renewing my membership as I've no wish to be part of something that treats its members with such contempt. Shame about missing out on their nice goodies, but they're missing out on my dosh.
So if you're looking for a well-run, organised club for Gerry Anderson fans - one which treats its members' intelligence (and wallets) with respect - then Fanderson isn't it. "Not well done, Parker."
(Update:) On consideration, although I was originally prepared to ascribe their haphazard way of doing things to nothing more than incompetence, I'm now left with the conclusion that this "membership doesn't last a year" thing is a calculated act to prise more money out of members at a quicker rate. (Might not have started as that, but they 'wised up' pretty quick.) As I said above, why shouldn't it be a full 12 months membership which entitles subscribers to three FAB mags a year, as and when they appear?
To reiterate, if they only publish a couple of mags one year, they can send the third mag on when it appears, and if they publish four or five, members are entitled to only three of them as part of their membership. That's surely the simplest and best 'value for money' way of doing it, so the fact that they don't, preferring instead to ask members to renew after only a few short months (variable from 'year' to 'year'), is highly suspicious. Call me cynical if you will, but something sure smells fishy in Denmark, don't you think?
If you're a member of this club, tell them you won't renew until membership is for what it was originally intended to be, before they realised they could fleece you for more money by asking you to renew on receipt of your third issue of the mag. After all, should that mag not be published until several months after the previous one. your membership isn't extended until you receive it, is it? You're being ripped off!
Thursday, 25 November 2021
|Part of the view from the front step of my old house, taken many, many years after flitting|
There's a woman I know (slightly) who works in one of the shops in my local town centre and who lives in the same street as I did from 1960 to '64. Her family moved in either just before or just after mine, and as far as I know she's lived there ever since. This will be her last full day in the house as she recently sold it, and tomorrow she moves into a flat just along the road. Apparently, looking after the front and back gardens became just a bit much for her, which is what prompted her to consider downsizing to a smaller domicile without gardens.
I don't remember her from my time there, nor her me, but we probably saw one another running around the neighbourhood back in the day. It was only by chance, during an idle chat when I was in her shop one day, that I learned she stayed in my old street. What must it be like flitting from her family home after more than 60 years and starting all over again? As she's only moving nearby, she'll probably still pass her old house on a regular basis, which makes me wonder whether that'll make her miss living there all the more (if she does at all) or derive some kind of comfort from it yet being part of her daily experience, even if only an external one.
Are there any Crivvies who still reside in the house they grew up in, and would you be able to move elsewhere without suffering some pangs of regret that an era had come to an end after so long a period? I don't think I could handle such a move, and I've only lived in my current home since I was 13 and a half (not all my life), with a four year gap when my family moved to another neighbourhood before returning to our former abode, where we'd previously resided for 11 years. Any thoughts, theories, observations or speculations on this topic are most welcome.
Tuesday, 23 November 2021
EBAY 'SCAM' ALERT: DO YOU EXPECT ME TO PAY, GOLDFINGER? (YES, MR. BOND - AND THROUGH THE NOSE!)
Incidentally, a far more accurate version of the original 1965 model will be available (mail order only) around January or February in the New Year. I'll be receiving it when it becomes available, so I'll keep you posted. (Despite the box, the car in the photos is a re-created version of the 2nd edition 1968 silver birch Aston Martin [painted gold], not the 1st edition '65 one.)
|Click to enlarge|
THE ROCKETEER - MEGO ARTICULATED FIGURE...
Sunday, 21 November 2021
POST FROM THE PAST: COMPASS OF THE STARS...
|Relax - mine doesn't have 'Northernlad' stamped across it|
Saturday, 20 November 2021
POST FROM THE PAST: BATTLE ACTION GRUDGE...
MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY...
Friday, 19 November 2021
POST FROM THE PAST: CAUGHT ON CAMERA - DALEK VISITATION...
PSST! WANNA SEE MY SUPER EIGHT INCHER? COP A GANDER...
|Copyright DC COMICS|
I think it was 1974, but it could've been the previous year as we holidayed in Blackpool two years in a row. If it was '74, that was the very last holiday I ever had because when I started work at 16, I never had another one. Anyway, I remember seeing an eight inch Mego Superman action figure in a shop window, and by the time I'd managed to persuade my parents to give me the money for it (out of my holiday dosh, which they looked after), we were well-past the shop. I had to run back, hoping that it hadn't sold in the meantime, as I imagined might happen with Supes being so popular.
I needn't have worried. He was still there, so I entered the shop and purchased him. At 15 (or 14 if it was '73) I was probably too old for such a toy (maybe even any toy), but this was one I simply had to have. And that's why, dear Crivvie, I recently bought a replacement for it, which arrived at Castel Crivens just a short time ago. Truth to tell, it's not exactly a 'replacement' as it has an updated head and the costume sports some differences, but it is a genuine Mego figure, albeit one issued in 2020, not the 1970s. (I've included a picture of the original, culled from eBay, so that you can compare the two. Mine came in a box though, not a bubble-card.)
Anyway, I haven't ruled out buying an original at some point, but the contemporary version will suffice for the nonce. Alas, I'm now (and have been for a long time) far too old to actually play with any of my collectable toys - they function more as ornaments than playthings, but at least I can still derive pleasure from simply looking at them in their allotted place. Any of you Crivvies ever have any Mego Superhero figures back in the day? Do tell!
Thursday, 18 November 2021
LEN WEIN/KELLEY JONES SWAMP THING COVER GALLERY (UPDATED)...
|Copyright DC COMICS|
Monday, 15 November 2021
POST FROM THE PAST: TURN ON - PUSH/TALK - LET GO/LISTEN. HOW DIFFICULT IS THAT?
Sunday, 14 November 2021
POST FROM THE PAST: THE 'OUTSIDER' (EXPANDED)...
Saturday, 13 November 2021
CAPTAIN BRITAIN STRIKES AGAIN...
|Copyright MARVEL COMICS|