Thursday, 3 September 2015

BEANO WORLD RECORD COLLECTORS' ISSUE...


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

I'm not quite sure why the word "collector's" is rendered in the
singular as if there's only one of them in the world, but I've made it
plural in the title of this post.  So The BEANO is now the longest-
running weekly comic in the world, but DC's monthly DETECTIVE
COMICS came out first - even before the now deceased DANDY, in
fact.  For the most part, it's pretty well drawn, 'though there are still
one or two inferior-looking strips that would be more at home in a
comic for infants and toddlers, and which let the side down.

I bought this yesterday in my local SAINSBURY'S, priced
£2.20.  Why not buy a copy for a niece or nephew today and
try and keep the old comic going for a while longer, eh?

PANTHERS & ELEPHANTS - NOW THERE'S AN ODD MIX...



How the memories come flooding back on sight of this record
cover.  I bought mine in a chemist's shop in the Westwood Square
shopping precinct around either 1976 or '77.  I'd bought the PINK
PANTHER Holiday Special for '76 when it first came out (might
have been the same year, might not), and I remember reading it while
listening to the record.  I seem to recall the one I had being in red or
orange plastic, but my recent replacement is the usual black pressing
for a 45rpm.  I also seem to recollect that there were two tunes on
the B side, the other perhaps being Theme From HATARI,
but I could be mistaken about that.


Ah, the '70s.  I thought I was going to live forever, and summer
days seemed to last for far longer than they do now.  My parents
were out that night, and I have an idea they may actually have been
away on a fortnight's holiday, so, either way, the sense of freedom
was palpable.  Only myself, my brother, and our dog TARA were
in residence on that summer evening of around 40 years ago, and
looking back now, I wish I could have those days back again in
all their halcyon glory.  Why doesn't life come with a rewind
button?   Now wouldn't that be something?!

(Incidentally, I still have my original PP Holiday Special.
Here's a piccie of it for you to feast your eyes on)

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN THE NEXT FOUR PAGES...



From the pages of the TV CENTURY 21 SUMMER EXTRA for
1966, comes this four page STINGRAY tale.  You know what 'though?  I
first saw Stingray in black and white (didn't get a colour TV until sometime
in the '70s), but because of the colour strip in the weekly TV21 (and much
later colour screenings), it now seems like I saw it that way back in the '60s.
False memory syndrome?  However, the point I'm making is that because
of that, seeing Stingray in a b&w strip somehow seems odd to me.  Any-
way, that's enough self-indulgent twaddle from me - I'll now let you
get into the action.  After all, it's what you're here for!



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



It's a funny thing, but when I look at these covers of TV CENTURY 21,
I tend to think of the house I lived in when the comic first came out in 1965.
However, I moved from that house to another after only 42 or 43 issues, so
you'd think I'd associate them with my new abode rather than my old one.

There are a few covers (not pictured here) that I associate with my new
home (#53 being one of them), but they tend to be the exception rather
than the rule.  However, fascinating as that is to me, I'm sure that you
don't give a rat's @rse, so let's talk about the actual comic itself.

The DALEKS appeared on the back page (on any page in fact) for
the last time with ish #104, and I have to say I think it was a mistake to
let them go.  I thought the comic was never quite the same again in their
absence.  I assume that perhaps it was a cost-cutting exercise, as the
BBC must've charged a fair bit for the use of the scions of Skaro.

Anyway, that's enough padding from me - time to unleash you upon
the covers themselves.  As usual, if you have any personal memories
you'd care to share with the rest of us, the comments section awaits.









Tuesday, 1 September 2015

1989 BATMAN MOVIE TRAILER...



Ten years after seeing SUPERMAN The Movie
in the ABC in Glasgow, I viewed TIM BURTON's
BATMAN film in the same darkened halls.  Have to
say, I absolutely loved it.  Let's watch the trailer
together and relive old memories, eh?

BATMAN COLOURING BOOK...


Image copyright DC COMICS

For no other reason than because I like it.  Did you have
any BATMAN colouring books when you were a kid?  Feel
free to share any reminiscences you may have in our capti-
vating comments section.  (It's nothing without you!)

BABE OF THE DAY - MARVEL GIRL...



M'mm, lovely!  JEAN GREY in
her sexy MARVEL GIRL costume.
That should knock those evil super-
villains for six!  Yowza!

THE 1972 MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL POSTER...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Before the SPIDEY poster seen in the previous post, there was
this one by Big JOHN BUSCEMA.  I'm uncertain as to whether both
were originally produced for a Stateside audience and then pressed into
service for British readers, or we got them first before they were made
available to U.S. Marvelites, but  I'm sure I saw them advertised in
the American mags at some stage.  Anyone know for sure?

"It's bigger than a bread-box!"

THE 1973 SPIDER-MAN POSTER...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

This is perhaps the first poster to feature a 'real' SPIDEY
(as in someone dressed up as him).  It was given away through
SPIDER-MAN COMICS WEEKLY back in 1973, in exchange
for eight tokens that readers clipped out, one at a time, every week,
which they then submitted to the Marvel offices in return for their
poster.  Although I have the poster, it's too big for scanning, so
here's the preview pic printed in the comic to show Marvelites
what they were actually getting.  Hey, it looked great back
in the day, but I was only 14 then, remember.

KID'S KLASSIC KOVERS - THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

I've always loved this cover - ever since I first saw it on POW!
#10 in March of 1967.  Don't ask me to explain why - there's just
something about it that appeals to me in some strange, indefinable
way.  Several years ago, I bought a small DOCTOR DOOM figure,
which somehow reminds me more of STEVE DITKO's version of
the character as seen in this ish than it does of JACK KIRBY's.

And look - I've even included some photos to show you what
I'm talking about.  You don't get extras like this on other blogs,
let me tell you.  I think I deserve some kind of award.


Monday, 31 August 2015

BABE OF THE DAY - COTE DE PABLO...



"So much for these new toilet designs,"
thinks COTE DE PABLO.  "There're no
holes in the seats or any plumbing to flush it
all away."  Not that it matters much as she's
forgotten to drop her kecks anyway.  I'd
wash 'em out as soon as you can, luv.

KID'S KLASSIC KOVERS - FANTASTIC #54


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

This was the third merged issue of FANTASTIC & TERRIFIC, and
the reason it stands out in my memory is because I remember seeing it
lying on a newsagent's counter in the local shopping area of the neigh-
bourhood next to mine.  I don't think I bought it then, but acquired it
later, probably in a bunch of Fantastics that a friend gave to me.

Whenever I look at this cover today, I'm back in that dingy, old-
fashioned newsagent's where I bought many a comic in the days of
my youth, way back in the swinging '60s.  I visit there often, but only
in memory, alas.  What memories, if any, does this particular cover
summon forth for you?  Reveal all in the comments section.

KID'S KLASSIC KOVERS - STAR WARS WEEKLY #1



STAR WARS - the comic that saved MARVEL.  Not the British
edition you see above, but the American one.  Apparently, Marvel's
fortunes were on the wane and if it hadn't been for them acquiring the
rights to GEORGE LUCAS's space fantasy epic,  they may not have
been around for DISNEY to acquire a few years back.

Funny how these things work out, eh?  The Marvel U.K. weekly
didn't have quite the impact as the U.S. monthly, but I think we can
safely assume that it did okay for itself.  The Force was with it!

BABE OF THE DAY - CINDY CRAWFORD...



Okay, you've had more than enough
time to comment on my artwork, so, given
the few responses I've received, most of you
clearly think it's sh*te.  Never mind, here's a
picture you won't turn up your noses at -
the crackin' CINDY CRAWFORD!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

NOT JUST A LETTERER...


'Homage' to cover of IRON MAN #150.  Hand drawn, no tracing or graph
paper or projectors involved.  Characters copyright MARVEL COMICS

It's not generally known, but although I was primarily a lettering
artist throughout my 15 year career in comics, my original ambition
was to be an adventure comic strip artist.  I started lettering simply
to get my size 9s in the door, but when I saw that I could earn more
as a letterer than as an artist (on account of being faster at the
former than the latter), I stuck mainly with the lettering.

However, I did a bit of drawing as well, adding to panels when
re-sizing IPC comic libraries, and doing occasional spot illos when
the opportunity presented itself.  I also worked as a restoration artist
on some MARVEL MASTERWORK volumes, re-inking and even
re-creating JACK KIRBY art, which was a huge thrill for me.

However, my frank and forthright views on this blog on the
state of the British comics 'industry' (hah!) has brought me in for
criticism from some quarters, with a few disgruntled individuals dis-
missing me as "only a letterer" and a "Kirby tracer".  Thing is, I got
my first paying gig as a cartoonist when I was still at school, and have
produced artwork for publication (for which I was paid) since even
before (during and after) I started freelancing for IPC/FLEET-
WAY, MARVEL COMICS (and others).

So here are a few examples of my artwork ranging from my
teenage years right up to adulthood.  Quite a few are professional
pieces I was paid for, some were freebies for people I know, and the
remainder were done for my own amusement.  I've shown them all
before at various times, but it can't hurt to remind people that I'm
certainly more than "only a letterer".  Funny how some people
who work in comics mistakenly imagine that it's the only
legitimate outlet for an artist's work, eh?

******

Wow!  This is one of the fastest visited posts in my blog's
history - and quite a number of them via proxy servers and
'detour' routes too.  (Must be from people who don't want me to
know they've looked.)  And yet, no comments so far.  Don't be
shy now;  tickle my ego by telling me what I know already -
some of these images ain't half bad at all!


"If you don't like a certain cartoonist's version of DESPERATE
DAN,
then why not try drawing it yourself?"
someone dared me.
So I did!  Characters copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

B&W copy of colour ad for a local restaurant.  I was going
to be paid £100 for it, but decided against it in the end

2000 A.D. pin-up.  I was paid for it, but don't know
if it was ever published.  Characters copyright
REBELLION PUBLISHING

One of the lettering samples which got me the promise of work from
!PC.  Pencils by me.  Characters copyright MARVEL COMICS




Set of four cartoon illustrations for Equestrian event programme

Cartoon illustration for local business

Acrylic ink caricature of a friend's son

Pencil caricature done as a gift for someone

Parody of AMAZING FANTASY #15 splash page

Cartoon strip for local business

Proposed strip (at the request of BOB PAYNTER) for OINK!
comic while at the preparation stage.  Never got any feedback,
but a similar character appeared a few months later

William Hartnell Doctor figure and Tardis drawn in
1983, background completed 30 years later, in 2013

Acrylic ink portrait done as a gift for someone
after much badgering.  Yeah, you can see my
heart wasn't really  in it

Inked drawing done as a gift for someone.  Characters
copyright KING FEATURES SYNDICATE, INC

Newspaper ad drawn as a teenager for local business

Photocopy of pencil drawing done for my own amusement


Instruction leaflet for local business's delivery drivers

Newspaper ad for Glasgow hairdressers


Acrylic ink caricature done as a gift for someone

Logo for The ILLUSTRATED COMIC JOURNAL


Pair of flyers for local business

Proposed logo for Glasgow Con.  Don't know if it was used or not


Cartoons for two camping posters done in my late teens/early 20s

Logo for local business

Acrylic ink caricature done as a gift for someone

Quick caricature done as a gift for someone



Fun & Activity booklet produced for local business

Acrylic ink caricature done as a gift for someone

Unfinished pencil caricature


Comic strip drawn for The BOOTS NEWS when I was 17

Pencil drawing done as a teenager

Unpublished strip for local paper.  Others were published 'though

Comic strip done for my own amusement



And finally - a couple of pages of JK artwork I inked.  The FF
one appeared in an issue of The JACK KIRBY Collector