Wednesday, 30 March 2022

SUPERMAN #336 - A THORNY SUBJECT...


Copyright DC COMICS

To be honest, I'm not 100% certain whether I had this Superman comic or not back in 1979, but I think it's more than likely I did as the cover seems to ring a faint chime in memory's belfry.  The reason I recently bought it though, is because my interest in The Thorn was reignited after publishing my Lois Lane cover gallery, so I thought I'd add it to my collection.  (And Curt Swan draws a darned attractive Thorn, let me tell you.)

Anyway, not much for me to add, so let's get to the meat and potatoes - some pretty piccies for you to pore over as you wish (like we all do) that you could pull a fit burd like The Thorn.  (A real-life version obviously; after all, who wants a paper girlfriend?  Unless your name's Russell.  Russell/Rustle - geddit?)

Comments welcome, so get cracking, Crivvies!



Monday, 28 March 2022

TINY BUBILs MAKE ME FEEL FINE...


Bubl copyright O2

Is there anyone out there who isn't fascinated by robots?  From Robbie the Robot in the movie Forbidden Planet, B-9 from the TV show Lost in Space, Robert the Robot in Fireball XL5, and doubtless others like Robot Archie from Lion comic, we all have our favourites which usually represent our childhood or early teens when we first encountered them.  

One robot I love at the moment is the little robot in the O2 ad on TV, and whenever I was walking by the local O2 shop, I'd stop and ask if there was any merchandise of the little fella.  "No" was always the answer - until the other day that is, when a nice female assistant reached under the counter and gave me what she said was some kind of Christmas decoration for the shop, supplied by head office for the yuletide festivities back in December.

She also hinted that a more widespread piece of merchandise might be on the cards in the near future, so I'll be keeping an eye on the shop to see if and when it appears.  (Scratch that - just checked and O2 have a monthly competition with a toy Bubl [that's his name] as the prize.)  In the meantime, robot fans, until there's a Bubl robot to buy from toyshops, weep with envy at my very own O2 robot.

Don't lie, you know you want one, but as you desperately try to suppress your seething jealousy at me having one while you don't, cop a gander at my new robot pal in the pic above.  And seeing as we're talking about robots, what's your absolute favourite robot from movies, TV, comics, or wherever robots are to be found?  Tell all your fellow Crivvies in our comments section.  

Thursday, 24 March 2022

FANTASTIC FOUR #133 - THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY (ANY CENTURY)...


Copyright MARVEL COMICS

I yet recall precisely which newsagent's shop I bought the above comic from in a far corner of the Old Village quarter of my town, and walking along the street reading it as I made my way back towards (back towards - is that a contradiction-in-terms or what?) the main Town Centre shopping area around 15 minutes away.  'Twas sometime in 1973, though I couldn't say exactly which month as US comics had a habit of popping up in the UK whenever it suited them - and that wasn't always anywhere near the date on a comic's cover.  (Sometimes, though, they did turn up pretty close to the cover date.)

Ramona Fradon pencilled this ish (inked by Joe Sinnott) and it's a fairly nice job, though there are a few areas that appear odd to my eyes, especially when it comes to the size of characters in relation to one another.  However, it's a minor quibble, and overall she does a very creditable job on characters that she'd never drawn before (as far as I'm aware).  I can't remember how long I kept this comic, might've been months, could've been shorter than that, but I eventually acquired the tale again when it was reprinted (in b&w with grey tones) in The Complete Fantastic Four #1 in September of 1977.

I eventually saw it in colour again when it was reprinted in a volume of Marvel Masterworks, but today I took possession of a replacement for the actual mag itself, after a distance of 49 years since first buying my original copy.  As is usual for me, it was like stepping into the past for a while, and I'm glad to have it again in my collection.  After all, nothing beats owning the original, does it?  Anyway, in celebration of its return, I've decided to share a few pages with you, so feel free to record your appreciation (along with your own personal reminiscences) in our ever-lovin' comments section.





Monday, 21 March 2022

TAKE A LETTER, MISS JONES - TO THE POST BOX...



Some of you may recall me relating the tale of how I developed the habit of collecting pillar/post box money banks when a Chad Valley one I obtained (one of two - I gave the other one to a pal) in 1978 became damaged around 11 or so years later and was regretfully disposed of.  I did a post (npi) about some of the various ones I'd collected over the years as stand-ins for my original, but it was incomplete as I've forgotten where some of them are stored.

Anyway, digging through a box earlier, I found another one, bought back on May 6th 2000 from a now-gone shop called Arkworks, along with an old-fashioned red telephone box bank which appealed to me.  I've still to dig out another few post box banks and when I do, you Crivvies will be the first to know (after me that is).  What's that you say?  You're counting the seconds in eager anticipation?  Okay, there's no need to rip the p*ss.  (Ungrateful lot.)

I'll add this photo to the other post, which you can see here.  (Just in case you wish to remind yourselves.)

Sunday, 20 March 2022

40 YEARS AGO - THE EAGLE FLIES AGAIN...


Copyright REBELLION

Difficult to believe that it was 40 years ago today when the new Eagle comic was launched, though March 20th was a Saturday back then.  I slightly damaged the cover when removing the Space Spinner, so I trotted out to the shops on the Sunday and purchased a second copy.  I bought it faithfully every week for quite a few years, but I was never much of a fan of the photo stories and was glad when the comic eventually ditched them for 'proper' comic strips.  How could I know that a mere three years or so later, I'd be lettering the Death Wish strip in Eagle and meeting editor Dave Hunt, who was an all round good guy?  Ah, happy days.

40 years though, eh?  Seems nowhere near as long as that.  Did any of you Crivvies buy the new Eagle back in the day, and if so, what did you think of it?  Incidentally, in the photo below, from left to right is Dave, Barrie Tomlinson, and Gil Page, looking at the artboards for the first issue's Dan Dare strip.

TWO 'DOUBLE DOUBLE COMICS' (SORT OF) - BUT ONE IS MORE 'DOUBLE' THAN THE OTHER (AND ONE IS FREE TO A GOOD HOME)...


Copyright DC COMICS

As it happens, I bought two of the above Superman albums (via ebay) on the same day just over a week ago, and it's just as well I did.  I ordered the first one knowing it was a bit battered (I felt confident I could 'tart it up' a little), but then, nearly 3 hours later, it belatedly occurred to me to check to see if a better condition copy might be available and - surprise, surprise - there was, so I bought that one too.

When the first one arrived, not only was it battered and b*ggered, it had 64 pages missing.  Not to worry, the seller gave me an immediate, no-quibble refund in full and told me to bin the book.  How can 64 missing pages go unnoticed you may wonder.  Before we get into that, first let me remind you (as disclosed in an earlier post) that the album is a collection of 7 issues of Super DC, which consisted of 40 pages per issue.

The covers of each periodical had been removed (without affecting any strips), then the comics glued together and given a new cardboard cover - similar in concept to the Double Double Comics that Thorpe & Porter used to sell of old US DC and Marvel mags.  However, unnoticed by the seller, two issues had become detached at the staples and been lost, leaving behind pages numbered 3, 4, 37, & 38.  (In other words, pages 5 to 36 were missing - twice.)

Someone had glued the pages together on either side of the gap at the spine to conceal the absent contents, but the jump from page 4 to 37 gave the game away to anyone who looked at the page numbers.  I presume this was a previous owner - the seller probably just didn't check the book in any great detail, an oversight many sellers are prone to (I can safely say, from long hard experience of buying stuff via ebay).

Anyway, I thought it was a shame just to bin it, so decided to perform some remedial surgery on it.  First I removed any pages that started a story, but didn't finish it (or finished a story with no start), which amounted to 6 pages (3 sheets) in all.  Although the book originally said '250 Super Pages', it actually had 252, not counting the new cover.  The abridged edition now has 182, but following the original blurbs example, I printed out '180' to cover the now redundant number.

So it's incomplete, but maybe a UK Crivvie might like it - free of charge - as it has some nice stories in it.  One stipulation: I want it to go to someone who will keep it, not just read and then throw away (or sell on ebay) or give to a charity shop.  In other words, a 'forever home', where it can sit on a shelf somewhere and enjoy the status of 'interesting curio'.  If anyone's interested, let me know.  (Remember, it's the one on the left of the pic, not the one on the right.)

First come, first served.

(Incidentally, following my tender administrations, there are now no gaps in the binding of the book, which gives the appearance of being complete and tightly bound.)

Friday, 18 March 2022

HOW CAN I PERSUADE YOU TO READ THIS POST?


Copyright relevant owner

Acquired recently (and inexpensively) via an ebay charity shop auction, The Persuaders Annual for 1973 (issued in '72) is a book I don't recall previously knowing about - unless I've just forgotten seeing it advertised way back when.  It'll go nicely with my Persuaders Holiday Special issued a few months earlier (and which I did know about and bought at the time), and is a nice souvenir of the TV Show which never managed to make it to a second series despite the calibre of its stars.

Interestingly, one of the three comic strips (the rest of the contents being a mixture of illustrated text stories and features), entitled 'Avalanche', is a sort of alternate version of a story that appeared in the Special, called 'Slippery Characters'.  It's the same plot, but with different names for the baddies, and it's almost as if the same script was accidentally given to two different artists to draw; then when the mistake was realised, the script was reworked to make the similarities less obvious so that it could be used for future publication.

Or maybe the writer pulled a 'fast one' and reused the same plot - something Terry Nation, who wrote for the show, was known to do (reusing old Saint stories for The Baron), so maybe he was responsible for penning the strips in this book too (or this one at least).  I'd show you a comparison if the spine wasn't too tightly bound to open for scanning without risking splitting it, but if you type 'Danny & Brett - The Persuaders...' into my blog's search box, you can see the earlier version of the story.

If anyone has this Annual, can they check and tell me what the interior endpapers are at the back of the book and tell me how many pages it has in all?  The front endpapers are a double-page spread, whereas the back ones in my copy are two separate pictures, so I just want to make sure there are no missing pages.  I think it's complete, but would appreciate some confirmation.

And hey - wasn't John Barry's theme tune for the show brilliant, eh?

THE CURSE OF THE COMPLETIST...


Copyright DC COMICS

Ah, the curse of the completist!  I've already got two sets of all 14 Super DC comics, two copies of the single Bumper Book, and now the Giant Superman Album, which is naught but a collection (think Double Double Comics) of several various issues of Super DC (sans covers) with a new cover based on that of its first ish.  (Cop a gander at Batman - he needs to go on a diet, pronto!  No need for a detective to figure out who ate all the pies.)

I only learned of this book's existence around a year or so ago, and now it's part of my vast collection, having recently acquired it on eBay.  Is there anything you've bought, Crivvies, that you don't really need (in the case of a comic, already having another version of it), and if so, can you remember why you purchased it?  The comments section awaits.

Thursday, 17 March 2022

ZHA -VAM THE INVINCIBLE - IN ACTION...


Copyright DC COMICS

It was on a sunny late afternoon in 1971 when I came back from the newsagent's across the road from my house with at least two comics, maybe more.  The two I remember in particular were Superman #233 and Action Comics #353, which was an old comic from 1967, but still available in brand-new condition from the spinner-racks, as wasn't unusual back then.  US comics didn't always appear in sequence in the UK, which had its pluses and minuses.

The minuses were that you didn't always get to read continued stories in the order they were published; the pluses were that you could catch up on earlier parts you'd missed of a storyline you found yourself immersed in somewhere further along.  Swings and roundabouts is probably the best way to describe the way things were at the time.

What's odd (from my perspective) is that I have a feeling that Action Comics #353 wasn't the first time I'd bought this particular issue.  There's a little voice nagging at the back of my mind that I'd previously bought it on another occasion, maybe years before, and purchased it for a second time because I remembered once having it, and also due to its pristine newness appealing to my aesthetic senses; I did that on more than one occasion.

However, I suppose that's neither here nor there, but airing the thought will perhaps enable me to remember in future whether I had it before or not.  Sometimes things I think I've forgotten suddenly spring to mind with stunning clarity at a later date, and that might be the case in this instance one day.

Another odd thing is that I'd always assumed AC #353 was a stand-alone story - until I discovered many, many years later (decades in all probability) that it was the third episode of a three-part tale which had started in #351.  It just didn't read (to me anyway) like part of a continued saga; I thought the splash page was just a symbolic teaser of the events in that ish, not also a reminder of what had happened in the previous two.

Many years ago I acquired (and have owned for yonks) a replacement copy for the one I'd bought in 1971, before eventually obtaining #351.  A few years back, I picked up a coverless copy of #352, but the story really is overstretched and, from what I recall, would work better as a single ish, two at the most.  Anyway, I recently added another copy (this time with a cover) of #352, so decided to show all three issues together.  At some stage, I'll sit down and re-read them all just to see if my opinion could be revised as to the merits of this trio of mags.

Anyone else got them, or had them in the past?  If so, what was your view, and what associations do you have when you look at or remember them?  Feel free to share in the comments section.  Incidentally, if you think there's something vaguely familiar about Zha-Vam, it's because he's based on Shazam, the world's mightiest mortal - namely Captain Marvel.





Wednesday, 16 March 2022

BABE OF THE DAY - LOIS LANE...


Copyright DC COMICS

How did they get away with it?  A barely clothed Lois Lane, reclining in a dreamy, satisfied way while tiny characters seek to enslave her by tying her down.  (So what's not to like?)  I think the Comics Code Authority must've been looking the other way when this cover was prepared - and thank goodness they were.  So what's the story about?  Are you kidding - who the hell cares?  It's a fit burd in a swimming costume pressing all the right buttons.  And that's why Lois is today's Babe of the Day.

LOIS LANE IN 25 CENTS, 52 PAGE, BIGGER & BETTER COMICS COVER GALLERY...


Copyright DC COMICS

Okay, I'll admit from the off - I probably bought Lois Lane mainly for the sexy drawings of her on the covers at this time, but also because it was a Superman mag in all but name.  Well all right, his name was on the cover, though it was smaller than Lois's, but she sure looked good flaunting her feminine charms in these alluring images (#121 aside).  Issue #113 (below) wasn't one of the 25 cents 52 pagers - it was a 35 cents 68 Giant issue, but I've included it here so as not to interrupt the numbering.

I didn't realize until I dug them out for scanning how tired, condition-wise, some of the covers are, so I'm going to have to consider upgrading to better copies in the not-too-distant future before the prices go up, but they'll do meantime for the purpose of this post.  Were you brave (and lust-driven) enough - like me - to buy what was probably considered a girl's comic back in the '70s, or did you stick with the obvious comics for boys?  (Superman, Batman, and all the Jack Kirby titles, etc.)

Feel free to unburden your soul for buying such near-pornography in our understanding and forgiving comments section.  











Tuesday, 15 March 2022

BABE OF THE DAY - LOIS LANE...


Copyright DC COMICS

Coming soon on Crivens - the 25 cents, 52 pages, 11 issue run of Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane.  Before that, however, the first ish to return to 36 pages - mainly because Lois looks hot on this one!  So today's Babe, fellas, is The Man Of Tomorrow's burd (as we say in Glasgow) - Lois Lane.  (Drool!)

Monday, 14 March 2022

KIRBY'S FOURTH WORLD, 25 CENTS, 52 PAGE, BIGGER & BETTER COMICS COVER GALLERY...


Copyright DC COMICS

Still got a taste for the covers of the 52 page magazines that DC unleashed upon the comics-buying public back in the swirling '70s?  Then you've come to the right place, Melvin!  Most of them are by Jack Kirby, but Neal AdamsMurphy Anderson, and Mike Royer (and others?) also played a hand in some of them to a greater or lesser degree.  Got a favourite (or three)?  Then tell your 52 page fellow fanatics what they are (and what they mean to you) in our comments section.  We're all dying to know.  


























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