Saturday 30 April 2022


Sadly, comicbook titan Neal Adams has passed away.  That's all I can write at the moment due to problems with my own health, but I didn't want to ignore such a tragic happening.  Condolences to all his family, friends, and fans.

Monday 25 April 2022


I despair, I really do.  As if there aren't enough people desperate to take offence at something by jumping on the racist bandwagon, now actress Parminder Nagra (no, never heard of her before either) joins the club.  Apparently, Parminder experiences racism every day.  Her example: "The other day I went somewhere for work.  I'd been there four times and the person still kept misspelling my name."

So misspelling is now a racist act it seems.  My name has occasionally been misspelt as Robinson, Robertson, Robison, and Robeson over the years, but it never once occurred to me that it was due to anything other than someone not listening or reading with their full attention, not because they were a bigot of some description.

Spare us from those who are determined to see a racist insult everywhere - especially when it doesn't necessarily exist.


Copyright relevant owner

James Bama, an artist whose work anyone who ever had an Aurora monster kit in the '60s and '70s or read a Doc Savage book would be familiar with, has sadly passed away just a few days short of his 94th birthday.  I first saw his art on the square version of the Frankenstein kit (below), which was a slightly altered version of how it first appeared (above).  He's known for much more of course (and was a tremendous influence on, and inspiration for, many other artists), but that's what I'll remember him for.  Another slice of childhood gone, alas, though his name and work will endure for many long years to come.   

Saturday 23 April 2022


Characters copyright relevant and respective owners

Hey, Crivvies - are you Kirby fans?  Then this one's for you, pilgrims.  Now let's make with some progress as we eye these iconic images from the hand of the 'King'.  (With an inking assist from some other talented artists; perhaps Jack even inked one or two himself.)

If there's anything you want to say, you know where the comments section is. 

Thursday 21 April 2022


Images copyright their respective owners

Why didn't I spot it before?  I was looking through some boxes a few days ago and rediscovered my collection of TV Film Memorabilia magazines, of which I've always believed I had the complete set.  I hadn't looked at them in a good while due to the fact I'd forgotten where they were, so I copped a gander at all the covers - but what was this?  The first issue was dated May, but the next issue I had was dated July - yet it was a monthly periodical.  Here indeed was a mystery worth investigating.  I noticed that in the first number's 'next issue' page none of the features matched what was in the next one I had, so that was a definite indication that something wasn't right.  Why hadn't I noticed it before though?

I immediately logged on to eBay and tracked down the apparently missing issue, complete with free gift, but was it possible I already owned the mag and had carelessly allowed it to become separated from its fellows?  Going by the seller's photos, nothing rang a bell, so I bought it and it arrived today.  Poring over its pages, there's nothing familiar about it and surely I'd have remembered the free gift.  I can only assume I bought issue #1 as it was about to go 'off sale' and purchased #3 when it first appeared in WHS, so the gap between issues didn't seem inordinately long and is maybe why I hadn't realised I'd missed an ish.

The title first came out in 2007 so it's taken me around 15 years to notice my complete set wasn't so complete after all.  It is now though, so all's well that ends well I suppose.  This ever happened to any of you Crivvies?  Y'know, not realising you had a gap in a collection and thinking you had every issue?  If so, help make your genial host feel not quite so inept by sharing your stories in our ever-hungry comments section.  Incidentally, only the first two monthly mags out of 20 are numbered -  none of the remaining 18 are, which is perhaps why I didn't notice the gap 15 years ago.  (There was also an 'Annual' for 2010.)

Right, now I'm going to read the mag, then pull out the box its fellows are in from the cupboard and 'reunite' them.  Don't you just love a happy ending?


Incidentally, look at the free supplement below that came with #2; there was also one about toys that came with #1, but it wasn't advertised on the cover, only alluded to in the editor's page at the back of the mag.  I no longer recall whether or not it was present in the issue I bought as, not being mentioned on the cover, I wouldn't have noticed its absence if such were the case.  If it was included, I no longer remember and wouldn't know where I stored it at the time or where to even begin looking for it.  If any of you own a copy of the supplement and would like to sell it, I'll buy it off you - so let me know.  If I do already have it and ever find it, I'll post a cover gallery of the mag and include the supplement.

Update: Haven't found my own copy of the first gift yet (if I have it), but I bought another issue #1 from eBay, along with the giveaway - so here it is.  Nice to finally have both booklets.

Another update: Ha!  I had it all along - just found where I had it stashed, though it took me six months to locate it.

Saturday 16 April 2022


If you were a youth in the '70s, you
surely knew of Valerie Leon.  No?  You
should've done, as this lady took 2nd place
to no other woman when it came to beauty.
So praise her to the skies in the comments
section (when your missus isn't looking
over your shoulder, remember).

Friday 15 April 2022


Copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd.

At last!  Finally managed to obtain a replacement for The Topper #924 from October 1970, my original of which was purchased 51 and a half years ago.  I acquired the free gift mask nearly 3 years back, so it's immensely satisfying to unite these two items from my youth and turn back the clock of memories to that particular time.  That's another thing I can scratch off the list of things for me to achieve before I fall off the twig - I'm slowly getting there (in both cases, alas).

Talking of The Topper, did any of you cavortin' Crivvies buy the comic back in the day?  I don't recall ever buying it regularly or for any length of time in the '60s and '70s, but I nabbed this one purely for the free gift Splodge mask.  Having not long re-read it, I have to say it was quite a stylish periodical, and the title lost a fair bit of its 'magic' when it was reduced from tabloid size to D.C. Thomson's regular Beano-sized publications.  

If you have any memories or observations you wish to share of the now dear departed Topper, the comments section awaits - drop in and pay your respects.

Saturday 9 April 2022


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS and relevant owners

More proof, if any were needed, that I continue to buy things I've already got (in some form or other) and which I don't really need; namely, the Facsimile Edition of Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #1.  I've already got the True Believers presentation, and perhaps another couple of reprints of the tale elsewhere, but this latest incarnation contains the original ads and text pages which perfectly capture the mood of the period.

Take the ad for Maurice Horn's Encyclopaedia Of Comics (at the foot of this post) for example.  I bought this book (and still have it) from Debenhams in Southsea in 1981.  It cost a mere fiver, surely the bargain of the century (any century as Marvel would say), and despite printing a picture of Jor-El to accompany an entry about Hawkman, is an excellent book.  Large and thick, some people would say it complements me perfectly, though I'll ignore them (and myself for repeating it) and say it's a very worthy addition to anyone's personal library.

Just looking at that ad, I'm back in Debenhams (now closed) in Southsea once again, which is exactly how I feel whenever I look at the book itself.  Hell, it's worth buying the facsimile for that ad alone, even though I already own various original comics from the '70s that carry the same ad.  So I've been on a journey 41 years into the past, self-indulgent of me as it is, but time travel (hark, is that the Dr. Who theme music I hear?) always gives me a thrill.

Anyway, the main point of this post is to alert you to this facsimile of PPTSSM #1 and urge you to buy a copy if you haven't already.  Job done.  However, should you now decide you want the book as well, then I've done you a double-favour, so give eBay a try.

Friday 8 April 2022



Thanks to regular reader CJ alerting me to the recent release of this titanic tome, I now have Conan The Barbarian Epic Collection Volume 5 keeping the previous four volumes company on my shelf.  With the contents of this book, I think I've now surpassed the number of monthly colour Conan issues I actually bought back in the day.  Only one issue seems vaguely familiar, while another was reprinted years later, which is when I first saw it.  Funny how, with certain comics, one tends to think one owned more issues than one actually had (I'm speaking with my 'posh voice' there), which is testament to just how impressionable we are as teenagers when things tend to leave their mark more in our memories.

Anyway, read the spiel on the back cover and, if you're a Conan fan, run out and buy one.  I got mine for a 'steal' of a price (in my favour) via eBay, so it might well be worth your while trying there as well, by Crom!  Interestingly, although it says on all the back covers that the Epic Collections aren't published in chronological order, so far the Conan books have been, which I'm extremely happy about. 

Thursday 7 April 2022


Characters copyright The Estate of EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS

I remember it was raining.  I also remember buying this comic in a local R.S. McCOLL's before wandering into another shop, W.&R. HOLMES.  "Better get back to school" I eventually thought, having taken an extended lunch break and missed a couple of lessons.  I remember taking my seat in English class and then furtively browsing through KORAK #1, secure in the knowledge that I was out of the teacher's immediate sight just so long as she stayed seated at her desk.  I remained alert though, ready to put the mag back into my schoolbag at the first sign of 'teach' standing up and going for a wander 'round the classroom.

And, contents aside, that's all I remember about this comic from the early '70s - shops, school and schoolbag (which I still have), and the fact that it was raining when I purchased it and as I made my way back to school.  Hardly a riveting reminiscence by any means, but I find myself smiling at the memory of a vanished period of my youth whenever I gaze upon the cover and internal pages of one of my favourite comics of the past.  (Especially as the original school buildings were demolished in 2007/8 after a new one had been built nearby.)

"Good for you," you say, "but what's in this for us?"  Ah, for you, the pulsating pleasure of perusing some pleasant pictures, and maybe even recalling your own memories associated with this terrific treasure from yesteryear.  Perhaps it was raining then, too, or did the sun beat down relentlessly upon you?  Can you remember?  Then share it with the rest of us in the comments section.  It's what it was invented for.

Sunday 3 April 2022



For many years, I've owned the first eight Fantastic Four Annuals/Specials, and recently decided to acquire the next four to round them up to an even dozen.  At the risk of repeating myself ('cos I showed you the first eight in 2012, and two of my newly acquired four in the previous two posts), I thought you might like to see them all in one place for the sake of convenience.  Jack Kirby's art graces nine of the twelve covers (though one is a reprint from the monthly mag), John Romita does two, followed by John Buscema on the last one.

The next Annuals I own in the sequence are #16 up to #20 (and a few after that), so I may well purchase #13-15 so that I've got the first twenty (at least) in an unbroken run.  Time (and money) will tell, but you'll be the first to know after me.  As you can see, they aren't all in pristine condition, but the only one I actually had as a kid was #7 (though this one's a later replacement) and that's in pretty good nick (as is #3).  It's interesting to note that only eight issues out of the first twelve contain any new material.

Any of you Crivvies ever have any of these Annuals/Specials back in the day, and if so, what did you think of them?  The comments section awaits your esteemed presence.  And if you have a favourite cover (or covers), don't keep it a secret - let the rest of us know (or I'll come round to your house and bash you with a rolled-up Beano).

The Wedding of Sue and Reed - first time around

This image was 'borrowed' from my blog for a TwoMorrows book

This one reprints the main tale from Annual #2

And this ish reprints the main story from Annual #1

This ish reprints Reed and Sue's wedding from Annual #3.  Pages 7 & 8 have been omitted

This ish also reprints the wedding, but this time omits the original's page 20.  Also reprinted is the
main tale from Annual #4, with page 9 omitted.  In each case, both pages are full page 'splashes'

Jack's first (and last) new FF Annual cover since #7 in 1969

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