Wednesday, 29 June 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - LYNDA CARTER...



Here's the wondrous LYNDA CARTER,
who's got me on the other end of her lasso.
You can tell by the pull on the rope that I'm
not putting up any resistance.  Would you?

BONUS: SECRET ORIGINS COVER GALLERY EXTRA...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Let's take a little detour from our regular SECRET ORIGINS
series and cop a gander at the covers of the original mags from the
'60s that started the ball rolling.  First up (above) is the SPECIAL
GIANT ISSUE from 1961, followed by the 80 PG. GIANT #8
(below) which, despite its numbering, was the second issue in
the 'Origins' series and which was released in 1965.

A new series appeared in 1973 and lasted seven issues, and
you can see the covers by clicking this link.  At the foot of this
post are the replica editions of the two comics shown above and
below, the first from 1998 and the second from '99.  DC COMICS
issued a follow-up issue in the style of the two '60s mags in 2003,
and I've included that for good measure so that you've got all
three.  I'm not one to do things by halves, as you can see.

Anyway, have fun comparing the two original covers with
their replicas, and leave a comment if you have any interesting
thoughts, theories, or observations you'd like to share.
   





Tuesday, 28 June 2016

OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN...



MOONMANDO tipped me off about this group/
band/orchestra, or whatever they are.  Get a load of
this BRITNEY song, sung in the style of MARYLIN
MONROE.  It ain't bad at all.  Give it a listen.

PART TWO OF SECRET ORIGINS COVER & IMAGE GALLERY...


Images copyright DC COMICS

One thing that struck me as I looked through my issues
of SECRET ORIGINS in preparation for scanning, is how few
of them I've read past the first handful.  However, my 'collector's
compulsion' meant I had to buy them all as they came out, whether
or not I was interested in each issue's featured character(s).  One
day, when I have time and energy, I must sit down, start at #1,
and work my way through them all right to the end.

And that's the purpose of this current series - to give all you
cavortin' Criv-ites the opportunity of having a taste of this 50 ish
run if you missed it back in the day.  Or to remind you of what you
once had if you were a regular reader of this titanic title at the time.
So buckle-up, get yourselves comfy, and let's begin the next stage
of the tour.  And if you'd like to share your reminiscences of any
of the comics on display before you, the comments section
awaits your interesting input - so get typing.










BABE OF THE DAY - ABI TITMUS...



Here's the lovely ABI TITMUS to remind
you that it's great to be alive.  Of course, life is
even better if you have someone like Abi waiting
for you at home.  (And I don't mean locked up
 in your cellar, Melvin.)

Monday, 27 June 2016

FAVOURITE COMICS OF THE PAST - PART FORTY-FIVE: SUPERMAN #296-299 - "WHO TOOK THE SUPER OUT OF SUPERMAN?"


Images copyright DC COMICS

Hell's bells!  Has it really been 40 years since I first read these
comics as a callow teenager?  Someone tell me I'm wrong - even if
it's an obvious a lie.  I obtained replacements of the first two issues
a good number of years ago now, but I received the second two mags
only this morning.  You may be wondering why it took me so long to
get around to it, and the answer is that all four stories are reprinted
in The GREAT SUPERMAN COMIC BOOK COLLECTION,
a book which was published back in 1981, and which I own.

However, it's great to read through the original comics and see
not only the story-pages, but also ads for other mags and various
items which reflect the heady days of the '70s.  The story itself is an
intriguing if slightly convoluted one (with an obvious plot-hole), and
the fourth episode seems to have shoe-horned in a number of classic
Superman foes under the guise of being intrinsic to the story's resolu-
tion (but is clearly nothing more than an blatant sales ploy).  Would
aliens out to destroy Earth really be prepared to wait 30 years to
do it, and wouldn't the bad guy have a better plan to ensure his
escape?  It all seems rather unnecessary on reflection.

But, as I said, it is intriguing - and, more importantly, thor-
oughly entertaining.  Written by CARY BATES & ELLIOT S!
MAGGIN, and drawn by CURT SWAN & BOB OKSNER, it's
an instant classic that every true Superman fan should have in their
comics collection.  See CLARK KENT punch STEVE LOMBARD
in the mouth!  See Clark snatch MORGAN EDGE's stogie from his
gob and extinguish it in Edge's drink while telling him where to get
off!  And, what we've all been waiting for, see Clarkie-boy have
LOIS LANE swoon with desire for him in a way that she
never did for the mighty Superman.

Take it from me - if you don't have these four-issues, you
need to get onto eBay right away and track them down!  You
shouldn't have to live the rest of your life without them!







SECRET ORIGINS COVER & IMAGE GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

First, there was a SECRET ORIGINS 80 page one-shot in
1961.  Then, there was a MORE SECRET ORIGINS follow-up
ish in 1965.  Eight years later, in 1973, the title was given an ongoing
series, but ran for a mere seven issues.  In 1986, DC COMICS had
another stab at the concept, and this time it lasted a whole 50 issues,
three Annuals and one Special.  There was yet another attempt in
2014, which lasted 11 issues, so you've gotta hand it to DC -
they're certainly persistent in pushing an idea for a mag.

Anyway, it's the '86-'90 series we're looking at in the first
part of this cover and image gallery, and hopefully you'll all
come back for future instalments as they appear.  Now let's
go!  And feel free to leave a comment if you so desire.








Sunday, 26 June 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: TALES OF THE BATMAN - GENE COLAN...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Here's one I picked up fairly recently.  It came out in
2011 (so it's not a new release) and I already own most of the
individual issues of which this book is comprised, but it's always
good to have a run of comics in one handy collected edition.  It
features the early BATMAN tales drawn by legendary artist
GENE COLAN after he jumped ship from MARVEL to
rival comicbook-makers DC back in the early '80s.

I haven't read these tales since they were first published,
but so far, I've enjoyed what I've re-read.  Gene was a superb
artist, but unfortunately his eyesight was very poor, and some-
times at this stage in his career, his figure-work was a little off in
places.  (Take a look at Batman's left leg in the pic below - it just
doesn't look quite right.)  However, instances of this kind aren't
too many in the enclosed tales, and there are great visuals
on offer between the covers  of this hardback tome.

It shouldn't be difficult to track down a copy, so if you
have a bit of spare cash, begin the process right away.  Now
you'll have to excuse me - I want to get back to reading my
own valiant volume of these 14 dynamic Dark Knight
Detective doozies.  Sometimes life is just so good!

And hey - who else prefers that DC emblem on the
cover to the current one?  It surely can't be just me?

Saturday, 25 June 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - ROMOLA GARAI...



ROMOLA GARAI puts the 'oo' in
oomph!  What a cracker.  In fact, I'd
love to find her in one at Christmas.

GUIDE DOGS - "EVERY PENNY COUNTS"...



This dog and her two pups were featured in my
local newspaper recently.  The 'doggy-bank' has sat
in my neighbourhood chemist's for many years, pos-
sibly even going as far back as the '50s or '60s.  The
shop occupies larger premises than it did originally,
having moved a few units along in (I think) the
early '70s, into what used to be a cafe.

It's probably older than me, and I certainly
remember it from my early teenage years, but to
think it goes all the way back to my childhood (or
beyond) is a startling thought.  I must remember to
deposit a coin or three the next time I'm in - after all,
every penny counts.  My eyesight isn't as good as it
used to be, but I'm grateful for what I've got and
don't take it for granted.  Next time you see
one of these 'banks', make a deposit.

 (I'm sure you would anyway.)

TWELFTH & FINAL PART OF THE INCREDIBLE TRI-MAN...



Well, it's the end of the road for TRI-MAN, SMASH! fans, as we
present the final two episodes of his weekly adventures.  After imitating
the SPIDER-MAN formula for most of its run, the strip now seemed to
be borrowing an element from SUPERMAN, with TODD BLACKER
determined to prove JOHNNY SMALL's superhero alias, much like
LOIS LANE trying to expose CLARK KENT's secret identity.

However, it never happened!  Tri-Man was only seen once more in
the pages of the Smash! Annual for 1971 (on sale in 1970), in a RON
TURNER-illustrated tale which, in all likelihood, had been completed
before the superhero's final weekly story recounting Todd's discovery
of JS's secret.  You can read that full-colour Annual adventure by
clicking this link.  Th-th-that's all, folks!  Bid Johnny goodbye.
  


THE PERILS OF EBAY - SELLER STUPIDITY OR SMALL-MINDED SPITE?



Save us from some eBay sellers.  Saw a comic, described
as VF+, which I needed to fill a gap in one of my collections,
and bought it for a paltry sum.  I could see from the photo that
it matched the description, but the seller despatched it in a thin
'padded' envelope with no cardboard backing - result?  A bent
and crumpled comic that had been reduced from its 30 year-
old VF+ condition to a far lesser category.

This is surely incompetence.  How someone can send a
single comic in a thin envelope and expect it to arrive in an
undamaged state is beyond comprehension.  Writing 'Please
Handle With Care!  Please Do Not Bend!' is not what I'd con-
sider adequate steps to protect fragile contents.  Packages of
this sort travel in sacks with all sorts and sizes of other mail
sitting atop them, so the chances of surviving the rigours
of transport undamaged are slim to non-existent.

Was the seller annoyed that my winning bid (out of two)
was a mere £1.89 (plus £1.50 p&p) and decided to extract
a spiteful revenge?  (After all, at such a low price, it's hardly
worth the bother of returning the item for a refund.)  Or is it
simply that he's a numpty without a clue, and shouldn't be
trading on eBay?  What think the rest of you?

And if any of you have similar tales of such stupidity,
vent your frustrated feelings in the comments section.
 You'll feel much better for getting it off your chest. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - MADELINE SMITH...



MADDIE slipped on the grass, and when I
reached out my hand to help her up, she said:
"Why don't you join me down here?"

Rock on, Tommy!

BUTTONS 'N' BOWS...



Now this is what I call entertainment.  BOB
HOPE, ROY ROGERS, and JANE RUSSELL.
TRIGGER's parked outside the saloon, so don't
go worrying about him - he's fine.

HOW TO PHIL A BLOG POST...



Just to clear things up, this is PHIL, a fairly
regular commenter.  What I want to know is, is this
the Phil who's still commenting nicely (as I assume),
or is it the Phil who's sending me abusive comments
because I suspected someone else was impersonating
him in order to get comments published?  (I'd be sur-
prised if it is.)  Whoever is sending rude remarks has
blotted their copybook on this blog - forever.  How
some people using the same first name as others
expect me to tell between them is beyond me. 
(Use surnames as well perhaps?)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: DARWYN COOKE'S 'DC: THE NEW FRONTIER'...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Sometimes I'm late to the party.  Case in point - I didn't
know about The NEW FRONTIER until relatively recently,
when a friend recommended it to me.  Even better, he gifted me
with a copy of this brand-spanking-new edition, which I've just
finished reading.  As you'll know, not that long ago, DARWYN
COOKE succumbed to cancer at the far-too young age of 53,
which means that the comics-buying public is denied any new
epics from this supremely-talented creator.  (And, sadder
yet, his family and friends no longer have the living
presence of someone they dearly loved.)

But his work endures, and I feel obliged - nay, privi-
leged - to recommend this superb superhero extravaganza
to all you eager Criv-ites out there who yearn for something
truly satisfying to read.  Trust me, this is no mere hype - you'll
absolutely love this tale, especially if you recall with fondness
the SILVER AGE DC titles to which this awesome epic pays
affectionate homage, while at the same time being entirely
suited to the tastes of a contemporary audience.

Sadly, Darwyn is off exploring the real 'final' frontier,
but he blazed a trail through this one with his fine works
of comicbook (and animation) excellence.  Do yourself a big
favour - rush 'round to your local FORBIDDEN PLANET
store (or similar shop if there isn't an FP in your neighbour-
hood) and plonk your paltry pounds into the palm of the
purveyor of this most worthy volume.

Honest - you won't regret it!