Wednesday, 29 July 2015

BEAR OF THE DAY - PADDINGTON BEAR (DOES 'SINGING IN THE RAIN')...



Back in the mid-'70s, one of my favourite TV shows
was PADDINGTON BEAR.  Why?  'Cos it was very
funny, and if you haven't seen this 'SINGING In The
RAIN' homage before, then you're in for a rare treat.
(You'll believe a bear can dance!  Well, sort of.)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

GEE WHIZ! PART TWO OF SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Cop a gander at WHIZ COMICS #9, below - "Captain Marvel
on the job!" it says  - and feeling a little 'horny' too, by the look of it.
Okay, cheap (and obvious) joke out of the way, CM looks remarkably
like SUPERMAN in this illustration, which could be what prompted
NATIONAL to sue FAWCETT for copyright infringement.

However, it's interesting to speculate as to whether they'd have
bothered if CAPTAIN MARVEL wasn't outselling Superman at the
time.  Was the lawsuit born more out of resentment that ol' Supes was
coming in second in the circulation stakes than a genuine belief that
young BILLY BATSON's other (adult) self was nothing more
than a blatant rip-off of CLARK KENT's alter-ego?

Who can say for sure?  Perhaps we'll never know, but at least we
can enjoy these covers from a time when Captain Marvel was indeed
"The World's Mightiest Mortal!"

So, who do you prefer - the Big Red Cheese or the Last Son of
Krypton?  Get those fingers typing, frantic ones - and vote now!







A NOBEL CAUSE...



You'll no doubt recall me reminiscing recently about the
NOBEL 200 car that my parents had back in the '60s.  Well,
I miss it so much that I decided to buy one - so here it is.

(Okay, so it's only a 1.43 scale model, but it's all I could get.)

SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD - PART ONE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

CAPTAIN THUNDER was his original name, but by the time
he appeared in WHIZZ COMICS #2 (there was no #1), this had
been changed to CAPTAIN MARVEL.  A couple of ashcan editions
were produced to secure copyright, but similarly-titled periodicals
by rival publishers meant a change of name for the good Captain's
premiere issue in 1939/'40.

Captain Marvel outsold SUPERMAN for a while, prompting
NATIONAL (DC) to launch a plagiarism suit against FAWCETT
but the initial decision fell in the latter's favour.  National appealed
and won - and although Captain Marvel himself wasn't found to be a
copyright infringement, it was felt that certain storylines and situ-
ations might be, requiring a re-trial to determine the facts.

However, because of the preceding seven years of litigation -
plus a decline in circulation of CM titles over that time - Fawcett
decided it wasn't worth prolonging the battle and threw in the towel.
They discontinued their comics line and paid National $400,000
in damages - which indicates that their legal costs must have been
enormous if paying such an astronomical sum to their rival was
considered the least expensive option.

National licensed the character from Fawcett for a revival
in 1972, and finally acquired the rights to the Marvel Family line
in 1991.  Of course, there's still the  MARVELMAN/MIRACLE-
MAN situation to consider, but I'll leave that for somebody else
to explore as, frankly, I can't generate either the energy or the
enthusiasm to go into it.

Let's just look at the pictures, okay?
    







THUNDERBIRDS 2 & 4...



Not the best quality photo admittedly, but I took it in fading
light and didn't want to use the flash.  It is, of course, toy company
VIVID's new THUNDERBIRD 2 (along with TB4) from the new
programme based on GERRY ANDERSON's cult 1960s TV show.
I've only seen the first episode and was uncertain as to whether I'd
be buying the latest toy range, but the vehicles are enough like the
originals not to be too jarring, so I bought TB1 & TB2.  I'll be
getting TB3 pretty soon as well.

Not too shabby, is it?

PLAYMATES FROM FAR-AWAY PLACES - PART THREE...



Relax, only 9 more to go before we've worked  our way through these
back cover LITTLE STAR pages.  I paid for 'em and I'm gonna use 'em!
(Did nobody else ever buy Little Star when they were a kid?  Okay, so I
was a teenager when I first bought them back in 1972, but hey - it was
a new comic - with free gifts - and I just couldn't resist!)

GREEN LANTERN COVER GALLERY...


Images copyright DC COMICS

The first version of GREEN LANTERN appeared in 1940 in the
pages of ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #16, and was railroad engineer
ALAN SCOTT.  However, he's not the Green Lantern we're interested
in, that particular accolade belonging to test pilot HAL JORDAN, who
made his debut in SHOWCASE #22 in 1959 as part of NPP/DC editor
JULIUS SCHWARTZ's SILVER AGE attempt to revive superheroes.
Over the years, the history of GL and the GREEN LANTERN CORPS
has become increasingly convoluted (to say nothing of boring - to me
at least), so I won't attempt to explain it all here.

Instead, let's just look at some fantastic covers from a time when
comicbooks were a lot less complicated - and far more interesting and
entertaining.  Hey, here's a novel notion - do you think there might be
a connection there?  So, who's your favourite Green Lantern?  Let
the world know in our controversial comments section!

All together now:

"In brightest day...in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight!
Let those who worship evil's might
Beware my power - -
Green Lantern's Light!"
   






Monday, 27 July 2015

BABE OF THE DAY - HEATHER THOMAS...



HEATHER can't come to the 'phone - she's a little
'tied-up' at the moment.  Yup, that joke's a little 'ropey',
but come on - it's the best I could do at short notice.  The
stunning Heather was kicking at my bedroom door for six
hours last night.  In the end, I had no choice but to get
up and let her out!  Boom-boom!

PART TWO OF PLAYMATES FROM FAR-AWAY PLACES...


Image copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

I'm not quite sure just how common the name SUZIE is in China,
but I'd hazard a guess and say not very.  From the back cover of
LITTLE STAR #2, published 43 years ago in 1972.

JIM REEVES 'LIVE'...



Here's JIM REEVES recording The BLUE
CANADIAN ROCKIES in the studio back in the
early '60s.  Marvel at the ease with which he does it,
and don't be fooled if the audio appears slightly out-
of-sync with the video.   I have a superior version
of this clip on DVD - and there's nothing about it
to suggest that he's lip-syncing.

PART EIGHT OF CAPTAIN BRITAIN COVER, SPLASH PAGE & IMAGE GALLERY...



Some stunning pics await you in this latest post in the CAPTAIN
BRITAIN gallery series, so I'll try not to hold you back from the good
stuff for too long.  With top artists like BUSCEMA, STERANKO and
MOONEY, it's a wonder that the comic only lasted 39 issues.  What's
the world coming to when all that talent can't ensure success?

Having said that, some of the new splash pages designed to bridge
the gaps between stories divided into parts for episodic presentation
over a number of weeks weren't always in the same class as the pages
they fronted, so perhaps that fact deterred some readers from stick-
ing with the title for longer, who knows?  (It sure ain't me!)

Were you a CB fan back in the day?  Feel free to reminisce
to your heart's content in our cataclysmic comments section!
(And don't forget to remember to come back for part nine.)