Wednesday, 31 May 2017

SECRET AGENT MAN...?



One of the criticisms made about JAMES BOND
is that he's a cr*p secret agent because he can walk into
any bar in the world and the barman will say "Hello, Mr.
Bond - vodka martini, shaken, not stirred - coming right
up!"  Someone so well-known could never be an effective
secret agent runs the cry, so 007 is obviously rubbish at
being one.  However, those who say this haven't really
thought things through.  Here's why.

James Bond's cover story is that he's a sales rep for
UNIVERSAL EXPORT(S) (later TRANSWORLD
CONSORTIUM in the novels) and it's therefore perfectly
legitimate that, in that role, he'd regularly travel the world
and be known in various hotels and bars in different coun-
tries.  So next time you hear someone say Bond is a lousy
secret agent because he's too well-known, point out to
them that they're talking through their @rse.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

MEMORIES ARE FOREVER (SOMETIMES)...



Once upon a time (no, this isn't a fairy tale), I could tell
you exactly which shop I'd bought any comic, toy, or book
from, but as I get older, I sometimes find myself struggling to
remember whether some items were purchased in this shop or
that shop, or just what the hell shop was it again?  This can be
caused by the similarity of the layouts of certain newsagents in
my youth, causing me in later years to be unsure which one it
was.  Why I'd completely forget in some cases is harder to
explain, but perhaps it's just the onset of old age.

However, there's not the slightest bit of uncertainty in the
case of this book, the PAN paperback of DIAMONDS ARE
FOREVER, which I got from R.S. McCOLL's in the shopping
centre of my home town.  This would've been either 1973 or '74
(once, I could have told you the precise year, but that bit of info is
yet another victim to the passing of the years), and there it was,
staring at me from the paperback spinner-rack next to the one
sporting the comics.  It hadn't been too long since I'd seen the
movie in my local cinema, so I immediately grabbed it and
ran out of the shop (only kidding) up to the counter and
paid for it.  I just loved the cover so had to have it.

Anyway, just received the replacement you see before
you this morning (only 43 or 44 years after buying the first
one I owned), so thought I'd share it with you here.  I haven't
read the book again in all that time, so might re-read it before
very long.  One look at the front and back covers places me
back in that long-vanished R.S. McColl's and I feel as if
I'm a teenager again.  Some memories are forever!

Monday, 29 May 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - SALMA HAYEK...



SALMA's slightly startled, as she
thought there was a chair beneath her
as she sat down.  Actually, there was -
but I whipped it away at the very last
moment.  Oh, I am awful.

NEW GODS DON'T STAY NEW (OR GODS) FOREVER...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

The word 'genius' is oft bandied around far too
freely these days.  Perhaps it's always been so.  I've
seen JACK KIRBY described as a genius, but, much
as I love what he did when he was good at what he did
(which, let's face it, he wasn't in his later years), I don't
think he can rightly be called a genius, according to
the true and wider definition of the word.

Why do I say that?  Few things are created in
a vacuum, they're normally developments of what
has gone before, and that was true of Jack.  He didn't
create the medium of comicbooks, and his stories were
almost always based on what he'd read in the pulps, SF
magazines, science journals, or seen in movies.  MARK
EVANIER revealed that Jack referred to a book on
Norse mythology when plotting his TALES Of
ASGARD back-up stories in THOR.

Do you remember the FANTASTIC FOUR
issues where The THING is held hostage by The
SKRULLS on a planet modelled on 1920s America?
Inspired by episodes of STAR TREK.  Do you recall the
FF saga where the fab foursome find themselves 'guests'
in LATVERIA?  Inspired by The PRISONER.  Sure,
Jack put his own spin on them, but they were deriv-
ative, not wholly original.  They were, however,
immensely entertaining, so hats off to him.

Sadly, Jack's artistic abilities deserted him in
the latter part of his career.  HUNGER DOGS, it
must be admitted, was a mess, looking like it had been
drawn (badly) by a 13 year old kid trying (and failing)
to imitate the style of Jack Kirby.  Whenever I look at
it, I'm saddened to see the decline of a once-excellent
artist who'd known how to lay out a story in a way
that few other comic artists could emulate.

Genius?  No, but certainly a legend, and rightly
so.  As I've said before, when Jack was at the top of
his game, there was no one who could match him art-
wise, especially when he was paired with an inker who
enhanced his strengths and diluted his weaknesses.  But
even giants wither and shrink, and, sadly, Jack was no
exception to the effects of time on his titanic talent.
Titanic being the operative word, as, just like the
famous liner, it eventually sank from sight.

However, in this, the 100th year of Jack's birth,
it's better not to dwell on the negative.  Instead, let's
take a look at some FF covers and splash pages from a
time when Kirby was still regarded as 'King'.  True, the
crown had begun to slip a little, but it would be several
more years before it fell off completely.  As someone
once said in a movie:  "Such, my friend, is life!"







  

BLUE PETER'S JOHN NOAKES PASSES AWAY (UPDATED)...



To children in the '60s and '70s, JOHN NOAKES
was a sort of big brother figure on the BBC's BLUE
PETER children's magazine show, so it's sad to learn
that he's passed away at the age of 83.  If you're around
my age, then there goes another part of all our yester-
days.  "Get down, Shep!" was never intended to be a
catchphrase, but that's what it became.  I doubt that
anyone can think of Noakesy without simultane-
ously hearing that line in their head.

Another childhood legend gone, alas.  Condolences
to all his family and friends at this very sad time.

******

And below is John in action in 1977.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - BECKY RULE...



Now this is surely the kind of face that any
fella would love to wake up to every morning.
Let's face it though - the only real chance of that
happening for most of us would be to have a photo-
graph of BECKY RULE's gorgeous visage taped to
the ceiling.  (Obviously, I've got a far better chance
than the rest of you 'cos I'm incredibly hand-
some and charming.  Modest too.)

PULSATING PIN-UPS: SUPERMAN, LOIS LANE & JIMMY OLSEN...


Image copyright DC COMICS

Here's a great picture of SUPERMAN, his best pal, and his
burd, pencilled by JACK KIRBY and inked by MIKE ROYER.
It's a belter!  As to why Supes has a double parting, that's because
Jack drew it on one side and Mike inked it on the other, where it's
meant to be.  Presumably, he forgot not to ink it on the side Jack
had placed it, but hey - two partings are probably better than
one - especially when you're from KRYPTON.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - IMOGEN HASSALL...



Here's IMOGEN HASSALL
holding my staff - er, my pole - er,
my rod - er, I mean my stick.  Crikey,
why does everything I say sound like a
double entendre?  (And here's me, as
pure-minded as an innocent new-
born baby.  I am, I tell you!)

HEY, DON'T BE FLY, MAN! (WINNER OF THE MOST CONTRIVED BLOG TITLE OF THE MONTH AWARD)...


Images copyright relevant owner

A pal recently gave me these two RED CIRCLE COMICS
issues of The FLY (#s 1&2), which have nifty front covers by
JIM STERANKO, so I thought I'd show them off here.  The two
back covers are by RICH BUCKLER and RUDY NEBRES re-
spectively.  Don't they look nice?  If the rumours are true, The
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN was based on The Fly, so with-
out the first, we may not have had the second.



Friday, 26 May 2017

ANOTHER BABE OF THE DAY - NATALIE DORMER...



"Look into my eyes...you are feeling sleepy!"
says the lovely NATALIE DORMER, gazing
deep into my baby blues.  (The things some gals
 will try to lure me into bed!  She should just ask.
   After all, who'd say no to her?!)    

BATMAN MASK SPECS...


BATMAN & ROBIN copyright DC COMICS

A tenuous connection to BATMAN to be sure -
and can they accurately be called specs when they have
no glass to enable the wearer to see?  Ah, but what about
X-Ray Specs you ask - they had no glass either.  True,
but they did enable the wearer to 'see' things differently,
and at least they looked like specs.  Anyway, I'm sure I
had a pair of the above 'specs' when I was a kid.  Did
any of the rest of you?  Do tell in the CS.

RECOMMENDED READING: HERO-A-GO-GO! (YUP, THAT'S WHAT IT'S CALLED)...


Images copyright respective owners

If you're a child of the '60s (otherwise known today as decrepit
old fart), then you'll probably love MICHAEL EURY's new book
(from TWOMORROWS Publishing) entitled HERO-A-GO-GO!
I can't open it wide enough to scan without risk of damaging its spine,
so you'll have to glean what it's all about from the back cover spiel.
Available now from FORBIDDEN PLANET stores and all good
comics shops.  Treat yourself and buy your copy today.

BABE OF THE DAY - BECKY RULE...



BECKY RULE enjoyed being our
babe of the day so much, she asked for
yet another appearance - that's three in
a row now.  But are we complaining?
Don't be silly - we're not mental!

CRIVENS' CLASSIC COMIC COVERS: THE INCREDIBLE HULK #181...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Classic because it's the first appearance of WOLVERINE
on a cover.  Who'd have guessed the diminutive mutant would
go on to become such a huge star in the MARVEL firmament?
And would HUGH JACKMAN have made such an impact in the
X-MEN movies if he'd had to wear that garish looking costume
seen above.  Given that Hugh is around a foot taller than the
character he plays, I'm surprised Marvel haven't found an
excuse to change Wolverine's height in the comics.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

RECOMMENDED READING: MARVEL'S I AM GROOT #1...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

For all those who loved BABY GROOT in the new
GUARDIANS Of The GALAXY film (which I haven't
seen yet), here's a new comic mag (which I haven't read
yet) that you may enjoy.  On sale now at FORBIDDEN
PLANET and other good comics shops.  (There -
short and sweet - makes a nice change.)

BABE OF THE DAY - BECKY RULE...



All I can say, fellas, is that BECKY
can RULE me anytime.  ANYTIME!
(I await your first command, Becky.
Whaddya mean "Feck off!" ?)

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - BECKY RULE...



The bedazzling BECKY RULE
is today's babe, fellas.  This is what
I want for Christmas, so I'm putting
my order in for her now.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

ROGER MOORE REPOST: SHARING A BOND...



ROGER MOORE:
October 14th 1927 - May 23rd 2017

******

Sad news today of ROGER MOORE's passing, so here's
an amended repost from a while back in tribute to Big Rog's
portrayal of BOND... JAMES BOND (007).


Much has been made of the 'differences' between SEAN CON-
NERY's and ROGER MOORE's portrayals of BOND... JAMES
BOND over the years.  In my view, the way they look and talk aside,
there really wasn't much difference at all.  Depending on what you read
first, some reports said that the producers 'toughened up' Roger's Bond
because he didn't look quite so ruthless as Sean's, hence him slapping
women and  generally being mean to them.  (MAUD ADAMS in
The MAN With The GOLDEN GUN for example.)

Other reports claim the writers geared the movies towards Roger's
strengths as a 'light comedian' and that there was more humour in them.
Absolute tosh in my opinion.  Bond slapped women on occasion regardless
of who was playing him and there have always been fairly large dollops of
humour in 007 movies.  These so-called differences tend to be retroactive
rationalizations applied after the fact in answer to reporters' enquiries.  If
you ask someone what the difference is in something, the mere suggest-
ion that there is one will probably produce an answer that meets the
requirements of the question rather than the facts of the case.


The truth is, the role of Bond is merely a suit of 'clothes' which
the actor slips into and holds up in the shape of himself (more or
less) - but the 'suit' (i.e. - the part) is the character rather than any
actor playing him.  Had Sean continued as Bond in the movies Roger
appeared in, there would've been very little difference in the finished
product.  Any evolution in the style or content of the films is more
down to the requirements of being bigger and better than the
one before than it is in the actor playing the part.

The tone of Roger's first Bond movie in 1973 had been set by
its predecessor, DIAMONDS Are FOREVER, which was largely
shaped by the participation of the late TOM MANKIEWICZ, who
was also involved in LIVE & LET DIE and The MAN With The
GOLDEN GUN.  To my mind, Roger's Bond never did anything that
I couldn't imagine Sean's Bond also doing, so the only difference be-
tween the two actors' portrayals was not in the character of
007, but in the way they looked and sounded.


By the time Connery played Bond in Diamonds Are Forever,
he was tired of the role - but the role was also tired of him.  He was
41, but looked at least ten years older.  Sean was definitely the right
man for the part in the early to mid-'60s, but it's the lean, mean, hungry-
looking Sean we must remember - not the rather puffy, bloated, weary-
looking Sean of the later movies.  Moore is actually older than Connery
by at least a couple of years, but back in 1973 he looked a lot younger
than 45, the age he was when he took over the licence to kill.  Moore
was the right Bond for the '70s, just as Sean had been for the
decade before.

So, regardless of the actor playing him, Bond is the same
man;  suave, charming, debonair - and a ruthless killer when
required.  In my view, Roger was every bit as good in the role
as Sean.  So - here's to Bond... James Bond.  I say again -
"Nobody does it better!"
      

FAVOURITE COMICS OF THE PAST PART FIFTY-FIVE - 'THE GHOSTS OF GREYMOOR CASTLE!'...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

It was in 1981 that I bought this comic in Southsea or
Portsmouth.  The story connected to a tale I'd first read
in CAPTAIN AMERICA King-Size Special #1 in 1972
or '73, and though only 8 or 9 years had passed since then,
it seemed far longer for some strange, inexplicable reason.
(Ah, the mysteries of time, eh?)  What's amazing though,
is that the same pal was with me when I bought the
second comic as when I'd bought the first one.

I was much taken by the moody, atmospheric art of
GENE COLAN, and the fact that the story was a follow-
up of sorts to one I'd read as a teenager resonated with my
even-then overdeveloped sense of nostalgia.  The flashback
sequence to that earlier tale took me straight back to The
NORFOLK Restaurant, wherein I'd first perused the
Cap Special mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Now I look at this issue and think of Southsea and
Portsmouth, though the earlier association with the '70s
still resides within its four-colour pages.  Perhaps you have
your own memories of this mag, which you're welcome to
share with us in the comments section.  C'mon, let's have
a nostalgia-fest while we're all in the mood.  There are
certainly worse ways of spending your time.
  



BABE OF THE DAY - JERI RYAN...



Had to look twice at this pic, as on first
glance, it looks like JERI RYAN is going
vampire hunting.  Or is she just holding
on to a banister rail?  Any theories?

Monday, 22 May 2017

SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN ANNUAL COVER GALLERY...



I only ever had the first of these four annuals if
I recall correctly, and going by the contents, it really
wasn't all that good.  However, nostalgia is nostalgia,
so I'll have to re-acquire it one day, and the follow-up
ones as well.  In the meantime, enjoy looking at the
covers and reliving your youth if you had these
'bionic' books back in the day.



ANOTHER BABE OF THE DAY - NATALIE DORMER...



"NATALIE, I want to go out - can
have my suit back please?"  (She just
loves wearing my clothes, the kinky thing.
Still, I shouldn't complain - I'm wearing
her dress.)  Oops, too much info!

FIVE BOOKS THAT EVERY COLLECTOR OF NOSTALGIA SHOULD HAVE...


No info on the back of this one, so haven't shown it

The five books on show here should appeal to
every child of the '60s & '70s in particular.  Lots of
great photos, details and history that bring the past to
life for you to live again.  They're not new books, hav-
ing been in my collection for years, and for all I know,
updated editions may have been released since.  How-
ever, I'd imagine at least some of them are available
to order in many bookshops, as well as eBay and
Amazon.  Track 'em down today!

(I bought these books in FORBIDDEN PLANET,
so why not give your local branch a try first?!)





No info on the back of this one, so haven't shown it


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