Friday, 31 March 2017

SO WHY DID 'BEN' CALL IT A 'DAY'? I 'SMELL' A STORY...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I'm probably a product of my time.  The word 'proba-
bly' in that sentence is really only to provide alliteration, as
there's not much (if any) doubt about it.  We're all products
of our time you see, being shaped by what we experience as
we grow up to become curmudgeonly old farts, of which I
am now one.  If you're past middle-age, you are too.


Comics don't seem like comics to me anymore.  I was in
my local FORBIDDEN PLANET store a few weeks back,
and on the row upon row of shelves of periodicals staring back
at me, I saw only one that had a speech balloon on the cover.  It
was like they were declaring themselves to be respectable, gen-
uine magazines now, not mere comics  As if to prove their point,
they were all printed on glossy magazine-style paper, with su-
perior, multi-hued colouring, not the cheap newsprint with
Ben-Day dot colours that comics had back in my day.


However much I may enjoy reading some of the new
titles around today, I don't get the same feeling I do as
when I read a comic from the 1960s, '70s or '80s.  There's a
scent that emanates from comics of those times that is almost
like a drug, taunting, teasing, and caressing my olfactory organs
with an aroma that is truly tantalising.  Today's comics no longer
have a splash page, instead featuring a boring page of expository
text, to facilitate the inevitable collected edition several months
down the line.  See?  Comics aren't even the 'real deal' now-
adays, being no more than a dry run for the trade paper-
backs or deluxe hardcover volumes that follow.


It's arguable whether today's comicbooks are better,
worse, or just the same as they ever were when it comes
to storytelling techniques or artistic ability, but to me, one
thing is certain - they're simply not as satisfying, as encom-
passing a sensory 'experience' (involving not only sight, but
touch and tang as well) as they used to be back when they
weren't striving so hard to be anything other than what they
were.  Namely, a half-hour's pleasantly entertaining diver-
sion from the everyday problems and irritations that
beset us all in this crazy game called life.

  And hey - didn't they smell great while doing so?   

Thursday, 30 March 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - CINDY CRAWFORD...



Hey, is it just me, or does anybody else
sometimes get CINDY CRAWFORD and
BROOKE SHIELDS mixed up?  (H'mm,
I guess it's just me then.  Ah, well...)

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

KID'S KLASSIC (KIRBY) KOMIC KOVERS: JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Now this is better.  A hint of KIRBY's abstract musculature
remains, but thanks to the inks of VINCE COLLETTA (I think),
the main drawing of THOR and HERCULES is far more visually
convincing than the cover of THOR KING-SIZE ANNUAL #5,
shown in a recent post.  Now, here's a puzzle for you:  Which of
the four small cover panels is the odd one out - and why?

BEAR OF THE DAY - YOGI...



YOGI BEAR's being a bit naughty here, 'cos
there's surely an age restriction on this swing-park
slide.  He's bolder than the average bear though,
as well as smarter, so he does what he pleases.

(Sigh!  My hero!)

KID'S NON-KLASSIC (KIRBY) KOMIC KOVERS: THE MIGHTY THOR KING-SIZE ANNUAL #5...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

It pains me to say it, but this JACK KIRBY cover is awful.
It gives the impression that Jack wasn't really trying to produce
great work (or was perhaps no longer capable of it), he was merely
meeting his page quota by churning them out as quickly as he could
with as little effort as possible.  His art had become a poor parody
of itself by this time, and he didn't even seem to care just how
obvious it was.  Oh, how the mighty had fallen.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - ABI TITMUSS...



Looking good, honey - looking good.
'Phone me any time you like, gorgeous.
(Is what ABI TITMUSS said to me the
last time we ran into one another.)

KID'S KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS: KULL THE DESTROYER #11...


Characters copyright The Estate of R.E. HOWARD

A new direction for KULL The CONQUEROR (and a new
title for his mag) also saw a change of artist - MIKE PLOOG.
Although I've got the 10 preceeding issues, I don't have any
following the above, so I may have to rectify that one day.

(Not too well at the moment, so apologies for
the brevity and sporadic nature of my posts.)

Monday, 27 March 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - JESSICA ALBA...



All hail the magnificence of the stunning
JESSICA ALBA.  Think I'll use her legs as
a tunnel and push my diecast DINKY cars
through them.  Just stand right where you
are Jessica, while I go and fetch them.

(And doesn't Jessica do a good
Cote de Pablo impersonation.)

THE MASTERWORKS SERIES OF GREAT COMIC BOOK ARTISTS #2 - FRANK FRAZETTA (AGAIN)...


Images copyright DC COMICS

It was meant to be an ongoing series, but it lasted for only three
issues, making it easy for interested Criv-ites to obtain a complete
run to add to their comics collection.  You've already seen #s 1 &
3, so here's the middle ish for you to paste your peepers 'pon.

No, don't thank me - it's all part of the (free) service.





Sunday, 26 March 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - SYBIL DANNING...



No, not SYBIL FAWLTY - SYBIL DANNING,
for cripes' sake.  You think we're all perverts 'round
here or something?  Sybil Fawlty - huh!  (Though
now that I think about it...)

Saturday, 25 March 2017

DECISIONS, DECISIONS...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's a good one for you.  You come home from
work one day to find that your wife has given away your
prized comic that you've had since childhood to the Church
jumble sale, which is on the following afternoon.  Next day
(after checking on your wife in hospital), you rush down to
the sale the second it opens to buy back your treasured
periodical, but when you get there, guess what?

There's another issue of the same comic, but in almost
pristine condition, whereas your own is really rather tatty.
You have only just enough to buy one or the other, as you've
only got £2 on you (yours costs 50p, the other is £2), and
a snotty kid is beginning to show an interest in them from
further down the table so you'll have to move fast.

Neither copy is worth much on the collectors'
market, the comic is only of sentimental value to you,
and that pristine issue reminds you just as much of your
childhood as your battered old copy.  So have a think
and then tell me - which one would you buy?

BABE OF THE DAY - JENNIFER BEALS...



Kind of chilly to be going out like that, JEN.
Better throw on some proper clothes before you
go and fetch me my morning paper and bacon
buttie.  Hurry back now, luv, I'm starving.

PART TWO OF FURY COVER GALLERY...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

There's no messing about on this blog - here's part two of
our FURY cover gallery, so that you can all gape at CARLOS
EZQUERRA's action-packed artwork.  Little did I realise when
I was buying these comics back in 1977 that just 8 years later I'd
be lettering his STRONTIUM DOG strip in 2000 A.D., which
was only a few weeks old when Fury first went on sale.  It's a
small world, eh?  Right, let's go!













Friday, 24 March 2017

FURY COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

FURY was an odd mag for MARVEL, in that it tried to emulate
the appeal of rival weeklies like VICTOR, HOTSPUR and BATTLE,
and steal a slice of the U.K. war comics market for itself.  It never really
caught on though, consisting of a hodgepodge of reprints from Marvel's
back-catalogue of various war-themed stories, and lasted for a mere 25
issues before being merged into MWOM (And take two demerits if
you don't know what those initials stand for.)  On the plus side, from
issue #3, the covers were drawn by CARLOS EZQUERRA, so
let's look at the first 'dirty dozen' of them right now!











TIME IN A CUP...



Until a few years ago, a handful of JAJ/PYREX cups,
like the one in the photo, used to reside in a cupboard in the
kitchen.  I think they occupied a kitchen cupboard in just about
every house I've ever lived in, but I associate them with two in
particular - this and the previous one.  At some indeterminate
stage they disappeared (given, I suspect, to a relative), but
I recently acquired a replacement set on eBay.

Just looking at them brings my childhood back to me in
a rush, and I'm once again a 10 year old boy in the kitchen
of the house I lived in at the time;  or a 14 year old teenager in
the home I currently occupy.  It's almost a mystical thing, this
sense of 'time-travel' on such occasions, and I'm sometimes
amazed at how even one item can conjure up memories
of entire periods of one's past life to mind.

So I've had a cup of tea in one of my 'new' cups, and
lingered in yesteryear for a spell.  Is there any specific item
from your youth that you'd like to have again, to help recall
a particular period in your life with a keenness and clarity
that, somehow, only a tangible object can bestow?

   The comments section awaits.    

BABE OF THE DAY - JOLENE BLALOCH...



JOLENE BLALOCH smoulders sultrily
on the stairs, getting in my way as I rush up to
the loo.  Later, Jolene, later - turtle's head
we're talking about here, lass - so move!

THE MASTERWORKS SERIES OF GREAT COMIC BOOK ARTISTS #1 - FRANK FRAZETTA...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Well, I said I would and now I have.  At least in part, in that
here's the first issue of DC's The MASTERWORKS SERIES
Of GREAT COMIC BOOK ARTISTS, featuring the artwork of
FRANK FRAZETTA.  The second issue likewise showcases FF's
work, and it'll be appearing here fairly soon - on CRIVENS!, ab-
solutely the best blog you've ever seen in the last 30 seconds!






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...