Sunday, 21 September 2014

KELLY'S EYE FROM VALIANT ANNUAL 1974...



In the mid-1980s, the original art for the above cover used to sit in
the office of BATTLE ACTION FORCE in KING'S REACH TOWER,
the (former) headquarters of IPC Magazines Ltd.  I used to see it when-
ever I was collecting or returning work on my weekly visits to London when
I was a full-time freelance lettering artist more years ago than I care to recall.
I didn't own the Annual back then - it was a later acquisition, and no doubt
it was the familiarity of the cover that attracted my attention to it, but
it's a nice book to have on its own merits.

KELLY'S EYE was a long-running strip that took on aspects of
DOCTOR WHO at some point in it's run.  It was an interesting premise:
TIM KELLY was invulnerable as long as he wore the EYE OF ZOLTEC,
being able to withstand even the full explosive power of a nuclear bomb.  The
strip first appeared in KNOCKOUT, switching over to VALIANT when the 
former was merged into the latter in February of 1963.  Tim Kelly returned
as a guest in the UNIVERSAL SOLDIER strip in the pulse-pounding
pages of 2000 A.D. (1987), but it's for the Valiant strips that the
character is best-remembered by readers of a certain age.

One of the more ridiculous aspects of the original strip was the
way Tim repeatedly announced to both friends and foes alike that the
jewel was the source of his powers, something you'd think he'd keep to
himself.  True, his statements were really directed at the readers, to remind
them of just how he accomplished his amazing feats (in case, presumably,
they forgot the intro box immediately after reading it), but these proc-
lamations were rather too frequent and conspicuous to seem entirely
natural.  (Even less so than normal comics' dialogue, that is.) 

Anyway, just for you, here's a complete, full-colour adventure from
the above Annual, which was released in August or September of 1973.
The weekly comic managed to survive until it was eventually subsumed
by BATTLE PICTURE WEEKLY in October of 1976.  And thus came
to an end the 14 and a half year run of one of this country's finest
weekly periodicals for boys.







YOGI BEAR - GOING TO WAIST...


Copyright Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc

As regular readers will know, I'm a big fan of YOGI BEAR and
have been ever since I was a small kid.  Back in 1989 I bought the
above HANNA-BARBERA FUN BOOK, which contains a variety
of H-B characters in a mixture of colour and black and white tales.  I
thought you'd all enjoy this clever little three-pager starring the bold
bruin and his little chum BOO BOO.  If you're a fan of such stuff, it
might be worth hunting this thick volume down on ebay - it'd
make a nice addition to your bookshelf.



Saturday, 20 September 2014

DANNY & BRETT - THE PERSUADERS...



And now another story from the 1971 PERSUADERS Holiday
Special.  I'll say this for POLYSTYLE PUBLICATIONS - they sure
used good artists on their adventure strips (and their humour ones too, of
course).  Had the TV show lasted more than one series of 24 episodes, there
would doubtless have been further Persuaders Holiday Specials, but as far
as I can determine, there was only the one - and what a one it was.  ROGER
MOORE went on to star as JAMES BOND and TONY CURTIS didn't
really do much of note at all afterwards, but, after all, he was a bona-
fide Hollywood legend and could afford to rest on his laurels.

"Yonder lies de castle of my fadder."

I now return to you to our regularly scheduled comic strip.
  





Friday, 19 September 2014

AM I LOSING YOU?



Here's the mighty JIM REEVES singing live on TV.
Grab yourself a cuppa, sit back, put your feet up, and
enjoy easy-listening music at its finest.

BABE OF THE DAY - BRIGITTE BARDOT...



Two words are all that's necessary - and those
two words are BRIGITTE BARDOT!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

THE SAINT INTRO...



One of the fondly-remembered theme tunes of
my youth is that of THE SAINT, starring ROGER
MOORE.  Here it is to refresh your memories.

PART FOUR OF THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR COVER & IMAGE GALLERY...



"Oh, goody!" I hear you cry.  "Another batch of COMPLETE
FF covers and images for us to feast on."  Yes, your generous host
has caved in to popular demand (he lied) and served up another helping
of one of MARVEL U.K.'s better comics from the 1970s.  I was totally
delighted when this comic first came out because I hadn't kept my early
MWOMs and this mag gave me another chance to collect the classic
FANTASTIC FOUR adventures.

Years later, of course, I re-acquired all the paper covered issues of
Marvel's first foray into British publishing, but I still kept my Complete
FFs, as they had their very own charm about them.  It's just a shame that
PANINI's FF monthly was discontinued a year or two back, as I was
looking forward to seeing JOHN BYRNE's tales of the cosmic
quartet in uncut, full colour reprints in a U.K. magazine.

Anyway, until part five in this sensational series, enjoy the
pulse-pounding pages on view before you - on this, the best blog
you've ever read in the history of an alternate universe some-
where.  (I hear it's popular on the BIZARRO World.)
  










BABE OF THE DAY - JANE RUSSELL...



It's JANE RUSSELL again.  What can I say?  My
only excuse is that I fancy her madly.  So sue me.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

MANY HAPPY RETURNS TO MIKE NOBLE...



One of Britain's greatest-ever adventure strip artists, MIKE NOBLE
 is 84 today, so let's all wish him a very Happy Birthday for making count-
less childhoods a richer and happier experience with his spectacular artwork
on FIREBALL XL5TIMESLIP, FOLLYFOOT, CAPTAIN SCARLET,
THE LONE RANGER, BLACK BEAUTY and a whole host of other
classic comic strips over the years.

For the first part of one of Mike's best-remembered Fireball
stories, click here - and re-immerse yourself in yesteryear.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE!

BABE OF THE DAY - ADRIENNE BARBEAU - AGAIN...



ADRIENNE BARBEAU went down well on
her first appearance on our 'Babe of the Day'
slot, so for all those who appreciated her so
much last time, here she is again.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

THE MARTIAN HAS LANDED...



MY FAVOURITE MARTIAN was a TV show that lasted for
three series (or seasons, as our U.S. readers refer to them) between
1963-'66 on American TV.  It must also have been aired in Britain to be
chosen as one of the strips in TV CENTURY 21, but Scotland seems to
have missed out in that regard.  Not only have I never seen an episode,
I don't know anyone in my neck of the woods who's seen one either.

The TV show (starring RAY WALSTON and BILL BIXBY)
may have been inspired by the 1960 JERRY LEWIS movie VISIT
TO A SMALL PLANET, which had a similar premise, but it seems to
have been specifically created to cash in on the popularity of sitcoms
featuring characters with extraordinary abilities.  (BEWITCHED
and I DREAM OF JEANNIE spring to mind.)

Oddly, even 'though I've never seen the show, My Favourite
Martian (and particularly Ray Walston's image) remains one of the
fondly-recalled memories of my childhood, due primarily to the strip's
presence in probably Britain's premier periodical of the time.  BILL
TITCOMBE drew most of the strips, I believe, and demonstrated
the skill and versatility for which he is justly renowned.

Want to see more?  Let me know, pilgrims.


GERRY ANDERSON'S TV CENTURY 21 COVER GALLERY - PART SEVEN...



Oh, all right then, you've talked me into it, you smooth-talking devils.
Presented for your perusal are another ten covers from perhaps Britain's
greatest-ever comic - TV CENTURY 21.  Editor ALAN FENNELL was
still in charge at this stage and the comic was still selling well, but that state
of affairs wasn't destined to last forever, alas!  However, that was still to
come - for the meantime let's just enjoy how things used to be when
TV21 was still a force to be reckoned with.









Monday, 15 September 2014

THE VALLEY - A FIREBALL XL5 ADVENTURE...



From the pages of the FIREBALL XL5 Annual, copyright dated
1966, comes a nice little tale for your enjoyment.  This was the last of
four Annuals published by COLLINS, and each of them is considered
a collectors' item classic which would set you back a pretty penny
these days.  Guess what?  I've got all four.  Nnyaaahhh!