Friday, 31 March 2023


All characters copyright relevant and respective owners

Regular followers of this blog will already know that Kid has treated readers to many early Gerry Anderson comic strips, including some beautiful colour strips of Supercar and Fireball XL5 taken from the 1963 and '64 TV Comic Annuals.  Indeed, these very strips in TV Comic were embryonic incarnations of what was arguably the greatest UK comic of its generation.  Of course, no prizes for guessing that I am referring to TV Century 21!

So, when I recently discovered a few even earlier Gerry Anderson comic strips from TV Comic Annuals for 1961 and '62, I naturally thought that the ideal home to show these to the world would be "Crivens!", to add to Kid's enormous selection of all things comics-related.

I hope that you enjoy the images and I suspect that, like myself, many of you will be viewing these for the first time.  Comments welcome.

And just because a Mighty Moth page followed the above Supercar strip, I thought I'd throw it in for free, seeing as how Kid is such a fan of the character. 

Thursday, 23 March 2023


Just a quick post to keep my hand in.  Apologies for neglecting visiting other blog sites, but my mind's too preoccupied with various matters of concern at the moment to do them justice by reading or commenting on them.  Even this short post is a strain.

You'll perhaps recall me mentioning a Santa cake topper I received from a couple of neighbours, either towards the end of the '60s or the start of the '70s.  I don't have the inclination or the energy to repeat the story here, though you can read the details if you're interested by clicking this link.

Anyway, a while back I managed to obtain a replacement of the figure via eBay, so above is a photo of it.  (It's good to share.)  In fact, that's another photo of it below.  (It's 4 centimetres tall.)  

Thursday, 16 March 2023


Copyright DC COMICS

Before we begin, just a brief explanation about my absence from blogging (aside from minor layout amendments to some old posts) for the last couple of months.  Had a few health and family care concerns to contend with, which have distracted my attention and sapped my energy and enthusiasm for writing anything new.  Matters still not fully resolved, but I've forced myself to write the following short post before you all start thinking I've fallen off the twig.  So here goes...

Regular readers may recall a post I published some years back about the true tale of a baby who was born five years after his mother's death.  I first read a reprint of the Simon & Kirby comic strip account of it in Black Magic #2, back in 1974, and a couple of years ago a commenter informed me that there'd been another, two-page version of the story related in The House Of Mystery #196 in 1971.  I recently decided I'd like to read it, but baulked at paying any of the rather hefty asking-prices that some issues are listed at on eBay - from as little as £20 to as high as £245 depending on condition.

Had it been a comic I really desired, I'd have bought a lower-priced copy, but I really only wanted to satisfy my curiosity about the two-page strip and couldn't justify to myself spending anything over a few quid on a mag that wasn't crying out to me to own, a Neal Adams cover not withstanding.  So I bought a coverless copy for a mere £1.75 just so that I could read the two-pager.  Then I decided to replace the missing cover just to make the mag more presentable, so sourced an image of the front cover online.

There were also glimpses of the ads on the interior and back covers, and I was fortunate enough to own a Superboy issue with those same ads, which luckily required some minor repair to the cover, justifying my careful removal of it it to fix, then scanning it to create a duplicate.  I printed out the front cover of HOM on glossy photo paper, attached it to a print-out of the Superboy cover, re-scanned it and printed it on high-quality white paper.  Had to play around with it to get it more or less the right size, but the end result was a complete issue with cover, though obviously my 'facsimile' isn't quite as sharp or as vibrant as an original.

A few years back I also acquired a coverless issue of Action Comics #352, which was a bit tatty and in need of 'tarting up'.  I've since replaced it with a superior condition copy, but was loath to simply discard its predecessor.  So I scanned the exterior and interior cover of the better copy, printed it out, then restored and repaired the tatty incarnation, resulting in a complete and acceptable condition reading copy.

I've included photos for your consideration, as well as the two-page tale which prompted me to buy The House Of Mystery issue.  Feel free to let me know what you think, and if you'd like to remind yourselves of the Simon & Kirby version of the tale, you can do so by clicking this link.  (Incidentally, the mags' original interior pages look a bit too yellowish in the following pics, but I think that might be the result of being photographed under fluorescent lights.)

And now, the two-page tale from The House Of Mystery #196, drawn by Wayne Howard.  (Click on image to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.)  Just like the Simon & Kirby account, this version attributes events as occurring in England, though Walter's mother gave birth to him in Edinburgh, so yet again, our American friends seemingly confusing 'England' as being synonymous with all parts of Great Britain.

Friday, 13 January 2023


A young Moonmando (with my pup Zara) in 1986

Long-time readers may remember regular commenter Moonmando, who at one time used to grace us with his entertaining and interesting remarks in response to my woeful waffle.  Just spoke to him not long ago today, but it's with a heavy heart I now reveal to fellow Crivvies that he was recently diagnosed with inoperable liver and bowel cancer and his time is severely limited.  His immediate family are devastated of course, as are his many friends, and it's hard to believe that someone I've known since we were schoolkids will, when the time comes, no longer be there for me to bore witless by droning on about my new acquisitions of toys and comics.

I know you have your own problems, Crivs, but spare a thought and a prayer for Moonmando - alias Matthew Caldwell - someone who anyone would be proud to call friend.  The world needs more guys like him, not less.  Is it just me, or does life seem to get more sh*t the older we get?


(Update:) Matt passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning (14th February) at the hospice he'd been in for the last several weeks.  He'll be much missed by everyone who was fortunate enough to know him.  Hard to believe we first became friends around 50 years ago.  R.I.P., Moonie - you won't be forgotten.    

Monday, 9 January 2023


A bit under the weather at the moment, Crivvies, hence my lack of blogging for a while, though I've been keeping an eye out for any new comments and trying to respond to them in a timely fashion.  However, I recently received a sad bit of news in regard to this post from August 2021, so I thought I'd add an update at the end of it once you've refreshed your memories of its contents.


Isn't it strange how the 'backdrop' to your life can change without you being aware of it until after-the-fact?  Example: There's a fella and his wife lived in the flats around the corner from me (same street) for at least 35 years, possibly longer.  He was there when we moved back to the neighbourhood after four years away, and for all I know he might've been there when we still lived here the first time.

The pair of us were part of the local doggie-walking club in the late '80s until either the dogs or the owners gradually died.  Out of about 14 of us, maybe only about four yet survive (all the dogs are gone), though me and Martin (as he's called) were the only two still in the area.  I'd often run into him when he was out walking his new (relatively-speaking) pooch, or when one of us was going to, while the other was coming back from, the local shops.

Anyway, last week I was sitting on a bench in the shopping area, scoffing a soft buttered roll with link sausages and fried onions (yum), when I spotted Martin and hailed him.  During the course of our chat, imagine my surprise when he told me that he and his wife had moved from their flat to a house in another neighbourhood quite a distance away around five weeks or so before.

Subconsciously, I'd yet imagined he and his dog were still traversing around the local environs when, in fact, his daily routine now unfolded somewhere else entirely, and that it was unlikely that either of us would run into the other when heading to or back from the shops.  But there was even worse news to come.  After being in their new house for only around three weeks or thereabouts, Martin came home one day to find his wife Isobel dead from a massive heart attack.

Sadly, I didn't know her very well (only saw her a handful of times in 34-odd years), but what a bummer, eh?  He's no longer in the flat where he and his wife brought up their kids and made many happy memories, but he's now in a house where he was denied the time to make any meaningful new memories before she was so suddenly and cruelly taken from him.

I prefer to think that Martin still lives around the corner from me and is yet exercising his doggie around the neighbourhood, and whenever I look out of my window, I sort of imagine I've just missed spotting him by seconds.  That way I can pretend that everything is as it's always been (for the last several years at least) and that the friendly face of a decent bloke is still out there to say hello to, instead of in another neighbourhood that I'm unlikely ever to visit.

Two more long-term residents in the street are soon to flit from it, and I'm beginning to feel isolated from friendly faces that have been part of my everyday existence for decades.  It's no fun seeing them all moving (or slipping) away, especially as I well-remember when my family was the new one 'on the block'.  That feeling is long-gone, but somehow I find myself wishing I could re-experience it - without having to flit somewhere else in order to do it though.

Any of you Crivvies ever feel the same?  Or am I just bonkers?  And spare a thought for Martin, eh?


And now for further bad news.  I only saw Martin one more time, in Iceland (the store, not the country) a week or three after our meeting related above.  Just a few days ago I was talking to another neighbourhood resident and happened to mention Martin, only to be informed that he had died from cancer around a couple of months after his wife.  I'm kind of hoping that it isn't so, but I've no real reason to doubt it.  Just think, after going to all the bother of flitting elsewhere, neither of them had much time in their new residence to make the effort and inconvenience worthwhile.  Such a shame, but to me, he and his dog (Skye) will still always be just around the corner from me and traversing the local environs.  He was a really decent bloke.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...