Wednesday, 31 December 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR - AND MANY MORE OF 'EM...


A nice way to start a year, don't you think?
The stunning JANE RUSSELL!  Droooool!

Well, the hour is almost upon us.  Hope everyone
(apart from those nutters who murder people in the
name of their religion - whichever one it happens to
be) has a hilariously happy and prosperous 2015.

Right, I'm off to my scratcher - see you
all tomorrow, hopefully.  Take it easy!

LIFE AND SEQUENTIAL TIME...



Was it really so long ago?  Sadly, yes.  It was October of 1985
and comics legend WILL EISNER was guest of honour at a convention
in Glasgow - I think at the Central Hotel in the train station, but I could be
wrong on that one.  One of the organisers, JOHN McSHANE, introduced me
to Will and his wife, and I and another fellow (Rab Thompson, I think) sat in
their company enjoying a wee drinkie or two.  Will kindly bought me a COKE,
and we chatted about various comicbook-related matters for half an hour or
so, maybe longer.  I ventured to ask what was wrong with JACK KIRBY,
given his increasingly critical attitude towards STAN LEE at the time.
Will shook his head.  "I just don't know what's eatin' him - it's kinda
sad!" he said, giving every indication that he viewed Jack's
increasingly bizarre rants as something of a mystery.

Deciding that I didn't want to monopolise his time, I took
my leave, but not before politely asking him to sign my copy of his
book that you see above.  Below is the inscription he graciously wrote
on the flyleaf before I thanked him and his wife for their kind indulgence
and departed to experience the various other attractions of the convention.
Whenever I look at the book, I seem once more to be in my bedroom in the
house where I then lived, 'though my family were there for less than another
two years before we moved yet again.  Funny how some associations are so
strong that, even 'though the book has been in my current house for over
27 years, it yet seems to belong to another time, another place, than those
in which it's spent most of its existence.  Looking back, I'm reminded
that our German Shepard dog, TARA, only had another eight
months left of her eleven and a half years' span.

Incidentally, the book is still in pristine condition - those ripples
you can see on the cover and photo of Will belong to the clear protec-
tive sleeve, not the dustjacket itself.  I've met a few legends in my time,
and it's nice to have tangible reminders of not only when I briefly rubbed
shoulders with the greats, but also of other fondly-recalled places and
'players' from a particular period in the passing parade that people
call life.  (Phew!  That's positively profound!)
  

BABE OF THE DAY - WANDA MAXIMOFF, THE SCARLET WITCH...



Red is my favourite colour - and now you can see
why.  Another of artist STEPHEN LANGMEAD's
great interpretations of female MARVEL heroines,
WANDA, The SCARLET WITCH!  Which
witch?  I said Scarlet Witch.

If you'd like to view even more of Stephen's
absolutely amazing art, then visit his great site at:
- you'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM...



Had your tea and stuffed your face with Christmas
mince pies?  Good!  Now kick off your shoes, rest your
feet on the back of a menial whilst she's down on her knees
scrubbing the floor, and relax to the dulcet tones of JIM
REEVES as he performs O LITTLE TOWN OF
BETHLEHEM.  ("Oi!  You missed a spot!")

BABE OF THE DAY - JANET VAN DYNE...



Whose heart hasn't skipped a beat over a MARVEL
MISS from time to time?  Today, it's the turn of JANET
VAN DYNE, aka THE WASP, to quicken our pulse and
put a spring in our step.  This stunning piece of artwork is
by STEPHEN LANGMEAD, who certainly knows how
to paint a pretty picture which will make us all sit up
and take notice.  Schwiiiiiiinnngggg!!!

HAVE YOU GOT A BLOG? WHY?



Looking through my sidebar's Blog List, I'm reminded that I've
occasionally deleted some sites which don't regularly feature new
entries or have much in the way of previous posts  - 'though I've kept
ones which 'retired' two or three years back if they contain a wealth
of archived material worth preserving a link to.  However, there are
some blogs whose existence is a bit of a mystery to me - you know,
ones which post about once a year, and then only to wish readers
a Happy New Year before returning to a dormant state for
another twelve months.

Now, obviously I'm not talking about ones where posting is
sparse because illness has rendered the owner incapable of regular
blogging, but those which seemingly exist for no discernible reason
(that I can see).  It made me wonder why those people have blogs to
begin with, and that led me to thinking that some of you are perhaps
pondering the same thing about moi.  If so, good question.  There
may not be a good answer, but that's never stopped me before
from trying to squeeze out a post based on the most tenuous
of excuses reasons.

I first posted on January 31st 2010 because someone (I
forget who) suggested that I start a blog.  I promptly lost interest
because I couldn't think of anything to write about, and abandoned
the blog for almost six months until July 17th, until I felt compelled to
confront what I perceived to be an injustice committed against me by
another blogger whose site I used to visit.  We had gotten involved in
a discussion on a particular subject, and he had resorted to mocking
me and being, frankly, a bit too cheeky.  No need to go over every
single detail (again) as long-time regular readers will be only
too well-aware (and bored) of them anyway.

Suffice to say, I wasn't prepared to ignore continual digs
in his blog's comments section (and elsewhere) so I revived my
own neglected organ in order to redress the balance.  Whenever I
felt he was having a go at me, I had one right back.  This led to him
accusing me of being 'bitter, frustrated, and jealous' of him - ironic
coming from one who claims to have no ego.  If I were going to be
jealous of anyone working in British comics today, he'd be just
one amongst many who wouldn't even make that list.

Having dealt with the situation, I then turned my thoughts to
the original motivation for creating the blog, which was mainly to
feature comics, although I very soon added collectable toys and
other items of nostalgic interest (books, records, and the like).

So, there you have it!  If you're no longer in my Blog List,
now you know why.  If you've ever wondered why I began a blog
(and continue it), the answer has been furnished unto you.  There
have now been close to 1,800* posts, and I sincerely trust that,
amongst the inevitable dross, you've found at least a few posts
which have been of some interest to you.

So let me ask you this if you're a blog owner - what got
you started and what keeps you going?  If you find that a bit
too difficult to answer, just leave a comment saying why you
think me and my blog are so wonderful - he (half) joked.

******

*I originally typed 18,000.  Who am I kidding?  Meant to
  type 1,800.  The former might come true one day 'though.

Monday, 29 December 2014

BABE OF THE DAY - SUSAN STORM, THE INVISIBLE GIRL...



Here's an absolutely stunning picture by STEPHEN
LANGMEAD of SUSAN STORM, aka THE INVISIBLE
GIRL as she first appeared back in the '60s.  I haven't heard of
Stephen before (my loss),  but with talent like this, he's bound
to go even farther than he's surely already gone (if there's
any justice in this world).

IT'S A HOOT AT CHRISTMAS...


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

As it's still the Festive period and because I may have been just a
tad remiss this year in showering you with Christmas Comic images,
here's a few pages from HOOT #10, from December1985.  This is the
third of three issues of this D.C. THOMSON weekly that I bought at
the time (the other two being #s 1&2), but I've since acquired a few
more (#s 3-6), as related in previous posts a few months back.

Anyway, hope you all had a great Christmas.  Have a chuckle or
three at the following comic capers while we await  the rapidly ad-
vancing New Year.  I'll be glad when everything's back to normal,
if I'm honest with you.  (And when have I ever not been?)







Sunday, 28 December 2014

A (GLASGOW) WINTER'S TALE...



Myself and my friend, the bold MOONMANDO, were
in the West End of Glasgow today, trying out his new camera.
Here are a few random shots which show just what a delightful
place it happens to be, even on a frosty winter's day.  (Of course,
we were armed to the teeth, just in case we had to deal with any
unfriendly natives invading from the East End.  I had a water
pistol and Moony's strategy was to blind any attackers
with his camera-flash,)

Yes, I know I'm talking p*sh - but I have a permit.




SUPERMAN - A MODEL SUPERHERO...


Copyright DC Comics.  Click to enlarge, then click
again for the full impressive effect

Everyone surely remembers the iconic SUPERMAN
#233 cover by NEAL ADAMS.  Above is a painting by him
from 2003, and below is a model which you can currently buy at
FORBIDDEN PLANET (and other outlets).  Further down is the
original cover from 1971 so that you can compare the three images.
Pretty impressive, eh?  (I'm glad to see that he's fixed the position
of the right arm, 'though there's something about the feet on the
painting that isn't quite right.  Still, very nice work, that minor
detail apart.)  Just thought I'd share them with you.


Saturday, 27 December 2014

ODHAMS PRESS 'POWER COMICS' FIRST ISSUES COVER GALLERY...



The first two didn't begin life as 'POWER COMICS' - that happened
somewhere along the way after they'd started reprinting MARVEL strips,
but the next three began their runs with the big bold badge emblazoned on
their covers.  For a while, all five weeklies were published concurrently, but
eventually WHAM! merged with POW!, TERRIFIC with FANTASTIC,
then Pow! with SMASH! and, finally, Fantastic also merged with Smash!,
which became the sole surviving Power comic until it was revamped
and relaunched (without Marvel reprints) in March of 1969.

Here then are all five first issue covers for you to drool over.




THE COMPLETE POW! AND FANTASTIC ANNUAL COVER GALLERY -1968 TO 1974...



And now - what you've been waiting for - a gallery of covers
from the Annuals for POW! and FANTASTIC, thus completing the
collection of some of the most highly sought-after books from the '60s &
'70s.  As you can see, I've included the combined Wham! & Pow! tomes
for 1973 & '74, but they're entitled to be here seeing as they're as much
Pow! Annuals as they are Wham! ones.  (In name only of course, as
neither of them reflected the contents of the weekly comics.)

So that's yer lot, as they say, as far as four of the five sometime
POWER COMICS go.  Sadly, there doesn't seem to have been a
TERRIFIC Annual (unless you know different), presumably because
it only lasted for 43 issues.  Having said that, THUNDER only had
22 issues, yet it had three Annuals after its demise.  Go figure!

I'll leave you now to get on with reliving yesteryear.  Enjoy!






Someone seems to have forgotten why IRON MAN was also known as the
'Golden Avenger', although he did eventually acquire a crimson and silver
suit for a while sometime in the mid- '80s

Friday, 26 December 2014

DON'T SPEAK LATIN? DON'T WORRY, BIG JIM WILL TRANSLATE FOR YOU...



Well, Christmas isn't quite over yet, so here's JIM
REEVES with a traditional Yuletide carol to help soothe
you to sleep as you slide into your beds.  Sometimes known
as ADESTE FIDELES, Jim sings it in English so that
you don't need to look up your Latin dictionaries.

THE COMPLETE SMASH! ANNUAL COVER GALLERY - 1967 TO 1976...



Whose heart doesn't beat a little faster (if you're of a certain age)
at the sight of these delightful SMASH! Annual covers from back in
the 20th century?  It's scary to think that the first of them comes from
nearly 50 years ago, and the last of them a mere 9 years later.  To me,
it doesn't seem anywhere near as long as that, and if you owned these
books when you were a kid, I'm sure it's the same for you as well.

Just like the WHAM! Annuals, when first published, I never had
any of the ODHAMS Smash! Annuals either, although I did buy the
revamped IPC 1971 & '72 tomes at the time, and a friend gave me the
'74 book back in '82.  I've long-since acquired a complete set of all the
Annuals for Wham! and Smash! - and also POW! and FANTASTIC,
too.  (Lucky ol' me, eh?)  Not being the selfish type, I've decided to
share the covers with you all on this here blog thing of mine.

The Annual for '68 had a different back cover, so I've included
it so that you can read the comic strip continued from the front.  I've
included the soft-covered Smash Fun Book for 1971 (issued in '70),
which was perhaps intended as a 'transitional' stage between the old
and the new, so that readers who preferred the Odhams style could
have one last bite of the cake at the same time lovers of the 'new
direction' were being catered for in the Annual department.

I've shown these covers before of course, but not everyone can
be bothered trawling through the archives to see what they've missed,
so I hope I'll be forgiven for repeating myself.  Next time around, it'll
be a combined gallery of Pow! and Fantastic Annual covers!  So
keep these palpitating peepers of yours peeled in preparation!











The final Annual in the series was a soft-cover book

BABE OF THE DAY - MISS SANATA CLAUS...



Every so often, SANTA CLAUS lets his daughter,
SANATA, help him deliver Christmas presents.  Form an
orderly queue behind me if you'd like to sit on her knee and
tell her what you want next year.  Better be prepared for a
long wait 'though - I may be some time! 
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