Monday, 8 February 2016

MAD COMICS COVER GALLERY - PART THREE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

As mentioned last time, HARVEY KURTZMAN wrote almost
the entire contents of MAD #1, which featured art by Kurtzman him-
self, along with WALLY WOOD, JACK DAVIS, JOHN SEVERIN
and WILL ELDER.  Although Mad is probably best known as a satiri-
cal magazine, the comicbook version is an equal delight, full of rampant
lunacy and great artwork by masters of their craft.  At only 23 issues,
it wouldn't be impossible to acquire a full set, but you'd probably
still need a small Lottery win to be able to afford them.

Anyway, that's more than enough padding from me - you'll be
glad to know that it's now time to enjoy the pretty pictures.





Sunday, 7 February 2016

MOFFAT TO DEMATERIALIZE - NOT BEFORE TIME...



Hooray!  STEVEN MOFFAT's leaving DOCTOR WHO!
From penning some of the best episodes under RUSSELL T.
DAVIES' tenure, he went on to oversee (and write) some of the
most self-indulgent geek-fests the programme's ever been prone to.
My one reservation about his replacement, CHRIS CHIBNALL,
is that he's also a long-time Doctor Who fan, which means he may
likewise aim the programme at the anoraks, instead of a wider
audience as RTD did when it was revived in 2005.

I'm hoping that PETER CAPALDI stays with the show for
quite a bit longer.  He's been poorly-served by banal stories and
prattling dialogue, so it would be good to see what he's capable of
given some intelligent scripts, and plotlines which involve more than
merely running through claustrophobic corridors with doors open-
ing and closing behind and in front of either him or his companions.
What the programme needs is scripts of the quality of STAR
TREK's 'CITY On The EDGE Of FOREVER'.

It would also be a good idea to reintroduce some tension
between the Doctor and his companion(s), of the kind that ex-
isted between the first Doctor and his original fellow travellers.  I
found the over-familiarity of CLARA (and her predecessors), and
the running banter 'twixt her and the Doctor (like that of a comedy
double-act) extremely tedious.  The companion should always
harbour some doubt about the Doctor, and perhaps even
fear him a little.  We need that tension.

Remember when Clara slapped the Doctor?  Not only
would there've been a stushie had that happened in reverse,
it instantly robbed him of his authority and dignity - and all for
the sake of a cheap laugh.  (Sadly, violence by women against men
seems to be more acceptable on TV.  What a message to give out.)
He's a 1000-odd year-old time-traveller for goodness' sake -
not a naughty little brother.  The Doctor should be held in awe
and respect by the companions - with a fair serving of fear
and suspicion as well.  That's the way to go.

So hopefully Capaldi will stick around and do the Doctor
the way he should be done.  Let's just hope he loses the sun-
glasses and the guitar 'though - these desperate attempts to be
'down wiv the kids' are simply ridiculous.  The show's played for
laughs far too often - it's well-past time it returned to being serious
drama.  And one thing I hope future writers will take on board is
that not every story has to be SF-orientated (apart from the
inclusion of the TARDIS, obviously - that's a given).

Here's a novel idea:  How about a straight action-adven-
ture or mystery tale set in the past?  Now that would make
for an interesting change of pace, and may even reverse
the declining viewing figures.

Okay, I'm now strapped into the stocks,
and rotting fruit is available - fire away!

CONNECTIONS...



Here's a post about nothing in order to give me something
to write about.  When, in 1972, my family moved from our old
house to the one in which I currently reside, a friend of my mother's
(from our old neighbourhood) became friends with the woman with
whom we'd swapped houses.  So not only did my mother's chum visit
our new home, she also continued to visit our old one to see her
new friend.  It occurs to me that the fact she may well have gone
from one house to the other in the same day continued a
strange sort of connection between the two abodes.

What's more, our new next-door neighbour would often
visit her old neighbour in our former house, again continuing a
connection between both houses and neighbourhoods.  Not that I
was aware of that thought at the time - it only really occurred to me
relatively recently, and I find it strangely fascinating that my mother's
friend would go from one house to the other with carefree abandon,
never realizing that she provided a link between our old and new
residences.  Is there anyone else who finds that thought as
oddly and compulsively compelling as I do?

Nah, didn't think so, but at least it killed some time.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

THE DALEK & THE DOCTOR?


Photo taken by Tongalad on his 'phone

Popped in briefly to a comic mart in my home
town today and met one of my heroes, who kindly
posed for a photo before exterminating latecomers.
H'mm, with a change of outfit, I think I'd make a
great DOCTOR.  (Or do I just need one?)

THINGS AIN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

I'm generally a fan of SAL BUSCEMA's art, but this must be one
of the worst drawings of The THING I've ever seen.  How did it ever
get past editorial, by cracky?  The Thing - a midget?  If ever a drawing
needed revision, then this is the one.  Who among your fave artists
has ever had an 'art lapse'?  Tell us all about it, Criv-ite chums.

PART TWO OF MAD COMIC COVER GALLERY...


Images copyright DC COMICS

MAD was founded by HARVEY KURTZMAN and WILLIAM
GAINES in 1952 under the EC COMICS imprint.  The former was
editor, the latter publisher, and as told in part one, the first 23 issues
were comicbook format, before switching to a magazine style with #24.
Although the changeover meant that Mad wasn't subject to the recently
formed COMICS CODE AUTHORITY, the primary reason was in or-
der to retain the services of Kurtzman as editor (who'd written most of
the very first [comicbook] ish, as well as drawing some of the strips).
He stayed only for another year, paving the way for AL FELD-
STEIN, who took the mag to even greater heights of glory.

Right, that's the historical bit out of the way, time for the good
stuff.  Namely, another half dozen covers of manic Madness!





(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - CAROLINE MUNRO...



"He's the man that I want!" says the lovely
CAROLINE MUNRO, pointing directly at me.
And who could blame her?  I'm a fine figure of a
man and no mistake.  Got to go now - the nurse
has just brought me my medicine.  Flibble.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Thursday, 4 February 2016

MAD COMIC COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

As I'm sure most of you will know, MAD Magazine started
life as a comicbook in 1952.  Yup, for the first 23 issues, Mad was
a comic just like any other, before switching to magazine format with
its 24th number in 1955.  Interestingly, although most people tend to
think that Mad Mascot ALFRED E. NEUMAN first appeared in the
magazine incarnation, he actually made his debut in a mock ad on the
cover of #21, when it was still a comic.  (Don't worry, you'll see it
in part four of this series if you stick around.)

So fasten your seatbelts, you Mad Maniacs - we're off!





PART TWO OF KEN REID'S QUEEN OF THE SEAS...



Back on May 1st last year, I promised you more of KEN
REID's classic strip from SMASH!, namely QUEEN Of The
SEAS.  I want to show them in sequential order, but that presents
a slight problem.  Y'see, I've shown the first part, which means that
the next one due is the second.  However, that was included in my
recent post about Smash! #2, so what's a fella to do?  You'll just
have to bear with me as I repeat myself, I'm afraid.  After all,
Ken Reid's artwork is always worth another look.

AHHHH...



And if that doesn't bring a smile to your face, you must be dead.

RECOMMENDED READING - THE MIGHTY THOR EPIC COLLECTION VOLUME ONE...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's another EPIC COLLECTION that belongs on your
bookshelf ('though you'll have to buy your own copy, you ain't
getting mine) - The GOD Of THUNDER, otherwise known as
The MIGHTY THOR.  In full-colour, containing 27 issues of
JOURNEY Into MYSTERY, that's only three issues short
of the b&w ESSENTIALS volume.  Superb stuff!

Hurry around to your local FP before they're sold out!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - PENELOPE CRUZ...



When I was a boy and regularly buying
TV21, I thought LADY PENELOPE's name
was pronounced 'Pen-eh-loap' - was I ignorant
or what?  One thing I do know 'though, is that
this Penelope is most definitely a lady.

Wrap her up - I'll take her with me.

GARDENS OF THE MIND...



I was passing my former house in an old neighbourhood
 yesterday and, acting on impulse, decided to 'catch a swatch'
at the back garden.  I was saddened to see that the clothes poles
and lawn were gone, and that the garden had been re-slabbed to
cover the whole area.  It was a bit of a shock as the last time
I'd seen it, it was pretty much as it had been in my day.

I'm glad I'd managed to get photographs of the garden
back in 1988 and again in 1991, and preserved it as it used to
be in the halcyon days of my childhood.  For 20-odd years after
we'd flitted, the house and gardens (front and back) had remain-
ed mostly as I recalled them, but since then several significant
changes have been made, and things as I'd known them are
now a mere echo in the hallowed halls of history.

If I were ever to win the Lottery, I'd buy every house in
which I've ever lived and restore them as much as possible
to their former glory.  In a completely self-indulgent wallow in
nostalgia, I thought I'd take another walk around my old garden
and permit you to accompany me.  It wasn't much, but it was
mine - and shall forever remain so in the mystic bands of
memory.  Now, follow me - the past is this way.









Tuesday, 2 February 2016

PART FOUR OF LION'S ROBOT ARCHIE: THE JUNGLE ROBOT...



From the pages of LION comes another two instalments
of ROBOT ARCHIE, The JUNGLE ROBOT.  If there were any
justice in the world (or a real comics industry in this country), we'd
be reading brand-new Robot Archie adventures today - along with
his U.K. comic chums like ADAM ETERNO, JANUS STARKThe
SPIDER, and The STEEL CLAW.  You really should all start pray-
ing that I win the Lottery - then I could buy the rights to all these
characters and start publishing them in new stories.

So just imagine that it happens - what do you think would be
a good name for a new comic with all these greats from the past?
Leave your title suggestions in the comments section.  And don't
forget to come back for part five in this super series.



BABE OF THE DAY - ALIONA VILANI...



Hey, it's ALIONA VILANI -
Dance, woman, dance!

Monday, 1 February 2016

ATLAS/SEABOARD COMICS COVER GALLERY - PART SEVEN (THE B&W MAGS)...



I first suspected that ATLAS/SEABOARD wasn't destined
for longevity when I read an article in MOVIE MONSTERS #2
on The SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN, featuring an interview with
LEE MAJORS, star of the TV show.  He mentioned author MARTIN
CAIDIN's book, 'SIDEBOARD', which made me do a double-take as
the book was actually called 'CYBORG' - something I knew for certain
'cos I'd previously read it (and still own it today).  Obviously the article
had been transcribed from a recorded interview (either by 'phone or
in person), but with that kind of sloppy journalism, I figured that
the mag and the company were fated  for a short life.

Well, it gave me no pleasure to be proved right, and I'm
certainly not crowing about it, but MARTIN GOODMAN was
paying higher rates than other companies, so he was surely entitled
to expect a better standard than he was receiving in some cases.  Ten
months after it had started, the age of Atlas came to an end.  Not so
much an age, more of a moment.   They'd tried just a little too hard
to look like MARVEL, and in so doing, failed to establish an
identity of their own.  Would-be publishers take note.

Hope you've all enjoyed this series of cover galleries looking
back at the Atlas/Seaboard output, frantic ones.  If so, let's hear
from you in the comments section.  Your appreciation is always
appreciated.  (Why, that's almost profound.)