Saturday, 4 July 2015


Here are three SPIDEY-themed posters.
Which one is your eye most drawn to?  (I
think I may know the answer in advance.)


informs us, is like the "echo of a sigh" - a quality
that could also be said of his own.  Don't believe
me?  Then listen for yourself!


I dunno what she does or why she's
famous, but when you look like the sultry
KIM KARDASHIAN, what does it
matter?  Schwiiiiinnnggg!!!


The row of houses I once lived in

Ofttimes, when we move from one phase of our lives into
another, we do so without a backward glance and with nary a
thought to what we're leaving behind.  For example, when I passed
through the gate of my primary school for the final time, the fact that
it was part of my life that was seemingly gone forever didn't, as far as I
recall, perturb me in the slightest.  Soon, the classrooms and corridors
of my secondary school became the familiar routine of my daily life,
and I'm surprised, looking back today, at just how quickly and
easily I adapted to the change without even realizing it.

The front gate of my old primary school - from the inside

It wasn't until I revisited my old primary a few years later,
after having left secondary and joined the working classes, that
it dawned on me that, in some mysterious, mystical, magical way, I
was still connected to this aspect of my past and, in truth, had never
really parted from it.  You see, not thinking about a thing is not the
same as forgetting it.  The memory yet dwells in our subconscious;
 what we forget is the act of remembering - until, that is, something
suddenly triggers the memory and causes it to erupt in our
minds like an exploding firework.

The toilets - listen to that water trickle

I remember one day a few years back, when I suddenly
caught a whiff of disinfectant and was instantly transported back
to the toilets of my old primary school, where I often used to retire
to during lessons for a bit of peace and quiet in the cool of the tiled
environs, with the sound of gently-gurgling water emanating from the
cubicle cisterns and porcelain urinals.  I felt such a soothing sense of
tranquility there, and it was my very own 'fortress of solitude' for
five minutes at a time whenever the confines of the classroom
became too claustrophobic for me. ( I assume my teacher
simply thought I had a weak bladder.)

I can see my house from here.  The view from my classroom

I've previously mentioned how I felt when I revisited
a former home for the first time since I'd left 16 years before
(which, at the time, was more than half my life away), and it was
practically the same as when I'd left.  As I said in this post,  it was
as if the intervening years and two houses I'd lived in since were only
a dream, and I still felt right at home there.  I'm sure we've all had
the experience of meeting someone we haven't seen or thought
of in years and it's just as if we saw them only a short while
before.  That's how I felt on that particular day.

My former back garden - ah, happy memories

Well, I could labour the point I suppose, with example
after example, but I'm sure you're all smart enough to catch my
drift (must remember to buy some more anti-dandruff shampoo).
Things we may think we've left behind (whether or not, at the time,
we were even aware of it) come with us without us realizing it.  They
reside in the caverns of memory, reluctant to let go of us despite our
seeming indifference to them.  Whether it be garden gates, bedroom
carpets, once favourite toys, favoured friends or whatever, they
follow us throughout our lives, just waiting for an opportune
moment to renew the acquaintance.

  Long may it ever be so.   

Friday, 3 July 2015


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's the last part (for the present) of our MIGHTY WORLD
Of MARVEL cover gallery.  I have to admit that Marvel's British
mags were often not quite of the same finished standard as those of
IPC or DCT, and looked as if they needed a bit more care lavished
upon them at the preparation stage;  the results seemed a bit hurried
at times and somewhat lacklustre, presentation-wise.  However,
when they got it right, there was nothing to touch them.

So here's a further flurry of comic covers and contents for
you to dribble and drool over, O mental Marvel maniacs!


Look at the cover at the foot of this post;  that's what SPIDER-MAN
COMICS WEEKLY had become through a process of evolution by the
time its final issue hit the stands in December of 1985.  Oh how the mighty
had fallen.  Another Spidey title emerged at the beginning of 1986, called
SPIDER-MAN & ZOIDS, and 'though it was numbered 'Volume 2' to
sort of connect it to the previous lineage, the almost three month gap
between them distinguished it as a separate title.

However, it was a good long run.  Two months short of 13 years is
a success for any comic, even if it limped a bit for the final few furlongs.
When the title had first appeared back in February 1973, I had been but a
mere schoolboy - now I was preparing to start my career as a freelancer
in the whacky world of comics, which, before very long, would include
MARVEL as one of the companies to which I contributed. 

Anyway, enjoy your quick trip back in time to an earlier era.
Spidey's still with us, but his weekly comic is long-gone, alas!

All this savage barbarism for only 50p - wow!

It had come to this!  Spidey consigned to the corner of his own cover


Here's the lovely MARTINE BESWICK,
snapped in the act of having just pushed me to the
ground so she could have her wicked way with me.
I've a good mind to lodge a complaint against her,
but I'll wait until I've stopped smiling.  (Which
could be never.)


This is the studio version of the song, which is
pleasant enough, but there's a 'live' version which is
actually better, as there's a more hypnotic quality to
JIM REEVES' voice, and he sings it slightly slower.
However, I don't think you'll be disappointed with
this one - unless you hate good music, that is.


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Time now for a super selection of SPIDER-MAN COMICS
WEEKLY covers, plus a few later incarnations of the title (which
you'll see in part two).  Sorry to go on about this, but - wow - 40
years old in most cases, I can hardly believe it.  I don't even think
of myself as that old - until I catch a glimpse of my reflection
in a shop window, that is.

I'd first read the THOR tale reprinted in SMCW #s 123-124
in its original American edition (#158) in 1968 or '69, but I never
got to see the wrap-up story until it was reprinted in the U.K. Spidey
title (#s 125-126) in 1975.  Of course, nowadays, 6 or 7 years is no
time at all to people my age, but back then it wasn't too far off half
my life away and seemed like a far-distant era.  Around 10 years
later ('85 or '86), I re-acquired Thor #158 and obtained #159,
and finally got to see the conclusion in colour.

Anyway, why bore you with my reminiscences when you've
doubtless got your own to relive.  Why not share them with your
fellow Criv-ites and perhaps inspire them to do likewise?  Go
on - be the first to take the plunge and spread some joy.

Even in British comics, eh?  Who'da thunk it?

The Thor versus Hercules saga - all for only 50p - wotta bargain!

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Hey, it was raining today where I live (still is), so
here's JIM REEVES to sing you a song about it.


No, your memory isn't deceiving you, you have seen this strip
somewhere before.  First time would probably have been back in
1966, and the last time was more recent than that - on this very blog
earlier today, in fact.  I accidentally posted it as the first GRIMLY
FEENDISH strip from SMASH! #1, when, in fact, it's from #11 of
that esteemed periodical.  It was only up for a short time before I
spotted my error and replaced it with the correct page, but it's
unfair to hold  it back any longer.  So here it is again, you
lucky peeps.  I spoil you, I really do!


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Welcome back, to yet another cover-fest of mid-'70s MIGHTY
WORLD Of MARVEL issues, scanned from my own personal col-
lection.  These are the actual comics I purchased back in the day, and
they're pretty much in the same condition as when I first bought them.  It
has to be admitted that some of the covers produced specifically for we
Brits weren't quite of the same standard as the original American ones
utilised on alternate weekly issues, but they did the job, I suppose.

Got a favourite?  Then don't wait for me to twist your arm -
jump over to the comments section and tell us all about it!

The HULK story presented in this ish had previously appeared in an
earlier issue of MWOM, but with the SILVER SURFER's appearance
edited out.  Which sort of made it a bit of a non-story