Wednesday, 19 July 2017

THE MAGIC OF TELEVISION...



Saw this on MARK EVANIER's blog and thought
I'd share it with you.  Now that's what I call magic!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

COMMENT ON CONTROVERSY...



My previous post had a lot of good comments, but one
that I thought cut right to the heart of the matter in a simple,
matter-of-fact way was the one below by Dave S.  I thought
it deserved a spot of its own, so here it is.

******

I'm also disappointed that we've been given a female Doctor
apparently in the name of political correctness.  To me, the charac-
ter that I've been watching and reading about since at least 1980 is a
male, and I feel it will be difficult for me to adjust to a female playing
the role.  If anyone wants to label me a sexist over that, go right
ahead, I've been called worse.

What I find remarkable is that the views of me and people like
me are simply being dismissed as the ramblings of old fogies or met
with hostility - one comics professional (who I don't believe I've heard
of) can post on Twitter that anyone who doesn't like the casting can
'STFU and don't watch it' and this is not only tolerated, but con-
gratulated.

It seems as if some people have just decided that if they shout
louder than others, then their opinions become the default correct
viewpoint that everyone else should either adhere to or be dis-
missed and abused.

I do not want a female Doctor.  Should anyone want
 to take that personally and abuse me for it, go ahead.

Someone in the Daily Mail comments section made the point
that this casting is like Jackie Chan playing Poirot.  It reeks of
stunt casting, cheap sensationalism used in lieu of actual ideas.

I'm undecided right now whether I'll be watching the next
series.  Part of me wants to give it a try - it is after all something
that has meant a lot to me for almost my entire life, but part of me
also thinks that the Christmas special might be a good jumping-off
point.  If I switched off just as the regeneration scene starts, I would
have seen The Doctor in his final body, meeting his original self,
and passing away having fought the good fight so many times.

I'm also concerned at Chris Chibnall's comments that he
always intended to cast a female Doctor - shouldn't he be looking
for the best actor available, irrespective of anything else?  The fact
he's said that just confirms to me that this is a gimmick, a way of
causing controversy simply to get attention. 

Anyway, that's my thoughts for the mo.

Monday, 17 July 2017

THE DAY THE DOCTOR DIED...



Well, that's it for me.  Barring the Christmas Special -
which I'll only be tuning into to see DAVID BRADLEY as
the first Doctor - I won't be watching any episodes of the new
series of DOCTOR WHO when it's shown in 2018.  For several
years now there's been a gay agenda in various TV shows, Doctor
Who included (culminating in a lesbian kiss in the last episode of
the recent series), trying to brainwash us all into believing that
gender is unimportant, and sexual orientation is a flexible
condition that we should all experiment with and further
erode traditional male/female roles in society.

You see, it's all those 'luvvy' thespians (and writers,
directors, and producers) most of whom were never quite
sure which side of the floor they danced on, wanting to rewire 
society into their ideal version of what it should be.  However,
that's not the main reason The Doctor has now had a gender re-
assessment inflicted on him.  The show is in trouble, suffering de-
clining viewing figures and lack of interest from the general pub-
lic ('cos it's written for fanboys in anoraks who enjoying dress-
ing up as Doctor Who or his companions) and it needs a shot
in the arm to revive interest in order to keep merchan-
dise sales propping up Auntie Beeb.

With that in mind, what better time to embrace
misandrist philosophy and remake one of Britain's iconic
male heroes into a woman?  Can you see that happening to
TARZAN, or SHERLOCK HOLMES, or JAMES BOND,
or any other legendary male hero of TV, Cinema, or literature?
Once, it would have been unthinkable, but not any more, alas, in
the mad pursuit of higher viewing figures and more merchandise
revenue.  The fact that the BBC has taken this desperate step
demonstrates what I've suspected for some time.  They simply
don't quite know where to take the show next, so have de-
cided on controversy to try and give it a much-needed
shot in the arm.  I'd have preferred the show to be
euthanised.  It would've been far kinder.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

PART TWO OF HAUNTED HORROR COVER GALLERY...


Images copyright GUSSONI-YOE STUDIO, Inc.

Well, I know you don't come to this blog looking for edifying
exposition or informative explanations, so there's no point wearing
myself out trying to give you some.  Nope, you lot come here for the
palpitating piccies, of which we have 8 this time around for you to
savour and salivate over.  I won't hold you back - get goin'!







Tuesday, 11 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - STEFANIE POWERS...



Here's the striking STEFANIE POWERS,
giving me the eye and trying to seduce me into
sharing space on that stool with her.  Later, Stef -
I've still got to see to SALMA's and RAQUEL's
romantic demands so you'll have to wait your
turn.  (Women - they're so demanding!)

BATMAN & ADAM WEST - WHAT IF...?



Back around 1988, when the BATMAN movie
was going into production, ADAM WEST was trying
to drum up support for him getting the opportunity of re-
prising his role as the Caped Crusader.  Interviewed on
TV-am, he said he'd only be interested in doing it if it was
a film noir, gothic, serious type of movie, but was cer-
tainly up for playing Batman on the big screen.

TIM BURTON wasn't interested in West though,
beyond offering him a cameo role as Dr. THOMAS
WAYNE, young BRUCE's father.  Perhaps West felt that
Wayne Sr. being killed at the beginning of the movie would
somehow symbolise the demise of his ownership of the role
of Batman, but whatever the reason, he declined.  If he
couldn't play Bruce then he wouldn't play at all.

At the time of the movie being made, West was
only around 59-60, so it wasn't altogether impossible
for him to have carried it off, especially if the producers
had followed FRANK MILLER's concept of an older, re-
tired Batman returning to the fray.  As Batman in action
was mainly a stuntman in the suit, I feel there was no
real impediment to West's participation.

Except one perhaps.  That being, with West's in-
volvement, audiences would've anticipated the movie
being like the '60s TV show.  In the end, it didn't matter,
because that's exactly what they expected anyway.  On my
first visit to see the movie, I overheard departing viewers
at the film's finish saying "I thought it was going to be
just like the TV show!"  They sounded disappointed
that it wasn't, much to my surprise.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been.  A TV-am techni-
cians strike in November '87 resulted in the '60s show
being hastily drafted in to fill airtime and, surprisingly, it
became quite a hit with early morning viewers, sparking a
minor resurgence in 'Batmania' that almost rivalled its
'60s heyday.  It was relatively short-lived, but the camp
version of Batman was freshly re-established - in the
minds of British viewers at least.

It would've been interesting to see West getting a
crack at playing the DARK KNIGHT persona of Bat-
man.  I think he could've pulled it off, but alas it was not
to be.  On reflection, perhaps it was for the best.  Maybe
Adam West's Batman belongs in the '60s, as much as
The BEATLES and SEAN CONNERY's version
of BOND - at least to people around my age.

And yet... I still think it could've worked, and it
would've been great to see West finally getting what
he so richly deserved - a major, motion picture block-
buster movie, reprising the role with which he'd been so
long associated, but playing it straight and without the
laughs.  C'mon, admit it - you'd have loved to see
  that movie too, wouldn't you?  Do tell.  

Monday, 10 July 2017

IF I HAD A HAMMER... (I DO, I DO! I'VE GOT TWO!)



Did you play superheroes as a child?  I did, but it was
(with two exceptions) a rather solitary pursuit, as other kids
didn't seem to regard dressing up (outside of Hallowe'en) as some-
thing to indulge in.  The two exceptions were JOHN FIDLER, who
was ROBIN to my BATMAN, and PHILIP MARSHALL, who was
WONDER MAN to my POWER MAN.  (Or might've been the other
way around.)  In my neighbourhood at least, it was viewed as uncool,
though I'm not sure if that word was in vogue back in the mid-'60s
outside of the hippie community.  Even though I was only 7 or
8 years old, I came in for a fair amount of mockery for my
costumed capers from my critical contemporaries.

The only time I saw anyone else playing superheroes
was when I espied GEORGE COOPER and his wee brother
BRIAN (or perhaps another brother, IAN) playing at Batman &
Robin in the narrow lane adjacent to their back garden.  Obviously
they didn't want to be observed out in the open street, and that was
the only time I saw them indulge themselves.  However, there was a
couple of other occasions when caution was thrown to the winds by
other of my peers, who, perhaps intrigued by what I found enjoy-
able in the pastime of assuming a costumed alias, deigned to
join in my escapist escapades.  In fact, they asked if they
could, as if I'd be bestowing a favour on them.

The first such occasion was during a 'playtime' break
in primary school one fine day.  IAIN MORRIS and a few
others who I no longer recall as being associated with this rare
event, asked me if they could play superheroes with me.  "Sure", I
agreed.  I would be SUPERMAN and they could all be Superman's
robots.  They instantly fell into 'mechanical man' mode, favoured in
more modern times by robotic street performers, whereupon I in-
formed them that Superman's robots walked and talked just like
normal humans (or Kryptonians), not robots.  It was to no
avail, and they simply did their own thing, leading me
to abandon the exercise as a lost cause.

The other time was when some of the neighbourhood
kids enquired if they could join in my superhero antics.  I
was surprised, but acquiesced, wondering if their usual games
like football and whatever else they got up to had perhaps tem-
porarily lost their shine, prompting them to investigate the allure of
pretending to be super-powered crusaders.  I was playing at THOR
when they asked me this, so I said they could be any hero they liked.
ELAINE BAIRD decided on WONDER WOMAN (I think - we'd
no concerns over cross-pollinating MARVEL and DC heroes back
then - if the distinction even occurred to us), and the others took
on the roles of various popular heroes.  We decided on the
DAVY CROCKETT hut in the nearby swingpark as
our 'hero headquarters' and set about our play.

I should mention that when I assumed the mantle of
Thor, I had two accessories.  One was a homemade mallet,
the other was a gnarled tree-branch which served as Dr. DON
BLAKE's cane.  I'd hit my 'cane' on the ground while supplying a
vocal 'thunder' sound effect, whip my 'uru' hammer from behind my
back, then substitute the cane in its place of concealment.  (This was
done in reverse when I changed from Thor to Blake.)  Trouble was, my
intrepid band of heroes were unable to grasp the concept (regardless
of however many times I explained it to them) that only Thor per-
formed this ritual to change identities and other heroes had their
own methods of transformation, such as mundanely switching
clothes.  To see them striking invisible hammers and hiding
invisible canes to the 'sound of thunder' was simply
ridiculous and frustrated me no end.

As you can imagine, dissatisfaction was felt on both
sides, and we each returned to our own favoured means
of entertainment, which was probably for the best.  After all,
you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it a superhero!
Anyway, speaking of homemade Thor hammers, you may be won-
dering what mine was made from.  Well, back in 1968, there used to
be a toy called, I think, ZIP-ZAP - which was a twin-coloured bit of
oblong sponge with a long elastic cord running through it.  The idea
of this 'game' was for two players to stand at opposite ends of the
room and quickly swing the sponge between them, trying to grab
it between their knees.  Whoever managed it 'best out of three'
was the winner.  My 'mallet' was the sponge tied to a cane
with thongs painted onto it - with blue HUMBROL
paint no less.  (I didn't have brown or yellow.)

Anyway, it's time to wrap up this self-indulgent post,
and I'll do so by telling you all something that I probably
shouldn't admit to.  A few years ago, I purchased a replica toy
hammer of Thor (a large one) from FORBIDDEN PLANET -
the one bearing the inscription "Whosoever holds this hammer..."
One dark night, I got a pal to run me along to my former neighbour-
hood, and unobserved (I hope), I walked over the remaining half of
the field where I'd played Thor as a kid (the other half had become
the site of amenity apartments for the elderly some years before),
clutching my mighty uru (okay, plastic) hammer, remembering
and re-creating a moment from my childhood, and bringing
the past closer to the present in the process.  Sure,
bonkers I know, but what the hell...!

I now have a newer version of Thor's MJOLNIR -
more like the JACK KIRBY incarnation - and I may well
be tempted to take it along to my old environs one fine ebony
evening and repeat the glad event.  So, if things suddenly turn
quiet on this blog for a while, you'll all know what's transpired.
After all, I can't publish posts from the cells of my local cop
shop - there's no flippin' internet access.  Oh, just one
more thing... "For ODIN!  For ASGARD!" 

 (Nurse, I feel much better now.)

******

I've just remembered re-creating Thor's battle with
HERCULES (which I'd just read in the 1968 FANTASTIC
Summer Special) with STUART MUNN, in a corner of the
school playground, either on a weekend or during the summer
holidays.  Doubtless another time when another kid was so
bored, he played along with my superhero fantasies.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

RECOMMENDED READING: THE SILVER AGE DOOM PATROL OMNIBUS...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Here's a great book I got a few days ago - The SILVER AGE
DOOM PATROL OMNIBUS.  Intrigued?  Then read the official
spiel on the back of the dustjacket below, then run around to your
nearest FORBIDDEN PLANET store and buy a copy.  You'll be
glad you did, or my name isn't ARNOLD DRAKE.  (What's that? 
My name isn't Arnold Drake?  Well, whaddya know?!  Never
mind - you'll still be glad you did anyway.) 


Saturday, 8 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - STEFANIE POWERS...



If STEFANIE POWERS is The GIRL
From U.N.C.L.E., does that make her my
niece?  If so, I'll have to sit down and have a
HART To HART with her, but it won't be
easy - in fact it'll be 'moider'!

Friday, 7 July 2017

HERE'S A BUBBLY WEE DALEK...



Apparently, this DALEK bubble bath from
1976 is regarded as quite collectable.  A friend
saw it in a charity shop for £1 and bought it for
me.  A nice addition to my Dalek ranks, eh?

RECOMMENDED READING: TRUE BELIEVERS - AMAZING FANTASY #15 & AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 REPRINTS...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's a pair of comics that every True Believer will want
to get their hands on - SPIDEY's origin tale and the 1st issue of
his very own mag.  Available now from FORBIDDEN PLANET
and other good comic shops!  (Psst, here's the best bit - they're
only around 75 pence each - buy a dozen!)




STAN LEE'S WIFE JOAN PASSES AWAY...



I'm sure that all Criv-ites would like to pass on their con-
dolences to STAN LEE and his family, on the sad death of
Stan's beloved wife JOAN.  British-born Joan was a model
when she and Stan met, and it's believed that Stan came up
with The FANTASTIC FOUR in response to Joan's sug-
gestion that he write comics the way he'd like to see
them written.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - GABRIELLE (TRIVAGO) MILLER...



Hey, it's 'Miller time'!  Here's probably
the hottest burd on the telly at the moment -
GABRIELLE MILLER.  Wotta babe.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

HAUNTED HORROR COVER GALLERY - PART ONE...


Images copyright GUSSONI-YOE STUDIO, Inc.

A friend gave me the first 16 issues of HAUNTED
HORROR recently (as well as as the first 6 of WEIRD
LOVE, and no it's not porn), so that's all the excuse I
need to have a cover gallery.  Here's the first half, the
second will follow before you know it.  And away we
go!  (Now that's what I call a short intro.)







Tuesday, 4 July 2017

(BOND) BABE OF THE DAY - JULIE EGE...



Here's the delectable JULIE EGE sitting
on a drum.  (She's always banging on about
something.  Dare I say "Boom-boom!" ?)

THERE'S BEEN A MURDER...



I witnessed the aftermath of a murder a few days
ago.  The body was cordoned off behind yellow tape and
bits of the corpse lay about on the surrounding grass.  The
victim?  A tree I'd known from when I was 7 years old, situ-
ated in a far corner of the grounds of my old primary school.
I'd seen it only the week before, I'm sure, and had been glad
to note it still guarding its space, but just a short time later
it was dead and dismembered, and yet another old
friend from childhood had bitten the dust.

I presume it must've been diseased, hence the tape
around it warning people to keep their distance in case
branches fell onto them, or the old tree collapsed on top of
someone.  Still, it was yet alive when the chainsaw made its
first cut into its trunk and it must've felt each burning blow.
It's at peace now, though I miss it standing like a sentinel in
the grounds of my old school, which is actually now a new
school as the old one was demolished (and replaced)
a few years back, yet another victim of time.

The base of the tree and its roots remain in the
ground however, and maybe new shoots will sprout
from it, as I've seen happen with other trees.  I once saw
one that had been shattered by lightning and wasn't much
more than a husk, but after several years, it grew back to
its former glory.  I have 'before and after' photos some-
where, which I'll post whenever I find them, so that's
something for all you Criv-ites to look forward to.
(He said modestly, ever the optimist.)

Some of you may wonder why I mark the passing
of this tree, but it's like seeing yet another piece of my
childhood being consigned to the dustbin of history, and
with that comes the chilling reminder that my time to
join them isn't so far away as it once was.

******

Incidentally, I was standing at the foot of this tree
(perhaps even clambering over its lower trunk) when
my primary school dinner-bell rang on the day that
  this incident occurred back in the 1960s. 

THROUGH THE...BEDROOM WINDOW...



Back in 1983, when my family moved from this house,
the tenancy still had almost 3 weeks to run.  We moved out
early because the house we were moving to was new-built, so
it was lying empty waiting for us.  We left the odd piece of furni-
ture at our old address, to be collected at our leisure before our
tenancy officially ended.  During that period, although we were
living in our new home, I'd now and then pop into our old one
and sit on a wicker chair and gaze out of my old bedroom
window at the sun going down on the horizon.

I knew I'd miss my old view, and never quite felt
that I'd ever get used to the 'new' one.  Well, as regular
readers know, just over four years later, we returned to our
former domicile and I was reunited with that view, and for the
next 20 years, I seldom thought about the house we'd vacated,
or the view from its bedroom window.  Now, however, another
10 years down the line, I find myself recalling it with almost the
same kind of fondness I had for the one I returned to.  I find
it strange that I immediately fell into the familiarity of my
old view and never gave the 'new' one much thought -
until relatively recently that is.

I just accepted being back in my old home to the ex-
tent that it almost felt as if I'd never been away.  However,
I looked out of my window tonight, and I think it was the first
time since being back that I realised I'd taken it pretty much for
granted.  Tonight was the first time it'd struck me that the view
I'm again so familiar with was once part of my past life, and not
(for just over 4 years) my then-present one.  I sometimes feel
as if I only dreamt about living in another house, but now
and again I'm reminded that, no - it was for real.

You know what?  I reckon that if for some reason,
I had to live in that house again, then I'd probably feel as
if my 30 years back here were a dream, not the other way
around.  No real point to this by the way, I just thought I'd
share with you the strange thoughts that can occur to a
  fella from glancing out his bedroom window. 

Monday, 3 July 2017

MONSTER OF THE MONTH - FRANKENSTEIN...



The best FRANKENSTEIN Monster
of all - British-born BORIS KARLOFF.

DOCTOR WHO - AN ANNUAL EVENT...


Images copyright BBC TV

Actor DAVID BRADLEY (as WILLIAM HARTNELL)
holds aloft the very first Dr. WHO Annual - or does he?  In
actual fact, it's a re-imagined version for the 2013 programme,
An ADVENTURE In SPACE And TIME.  That's the cover
of the published 1965 book, below.  Note that it doesn't feature
DALEK, though the original mock-up of the cover (which
didn't much resemble the finished item) did.


And below is the very cover mentioned in the above
paragraph.  Maybe it was ditched because of the red
(or so it looks to me) TARDIS.

BABE OF THE DAY - MICHELLE KEEGAN...



MICHELLE KEEGAN is playing
'hide and seek'.  I'd better explain to
her that she should stand behind the
pillar in that case, not in front of it.
(Maybe she wants to be found?)

CRIVENS' ALTERNATIVE COVERS: THE MIGHTY THOR #144...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Above, the published cover of The MIGHTY THOR #144,
pencilled by JACK KIRBY and inked by VINCE COLLETTA
in 1966.  Below, the rejected original cover, inked and lettered by
MIKE ROYER in 2000.  In the second picture below, is a 1975 re-
print of the above ish.  Some diehard Kirby fans often criticise any
changes to his art, resenting even the slightest variation from the
original.  I've even seen the change to the baddie's mace in the
above cover being questioned, but to me it's blatantly obvious
why - the original looked like a cartoon duck's head!

Thor would've laughed himself to death on sight of it, before
it had even hit him.  The fact is, STAN LEE often knew best.
As for the rejected cover, it's a belter sure enough, but perhaps it
was felt it made Thor appear to be losing the battle, or was con-
sidered just too difficult to ink.  (Mike Royer showed that wasn't
so.)  Any theories as to why it was rejected?  Let's read them
in our ever-lovin' comments section, frantic ones.



SPACE - THE FINAL FRONTIER...



You'll never know how I suffer for my 'art', Criv-ites.
"Art?" you say, "isn't that a rather pretentious word for a
mere blog?"  Maybe as regards my written content, but not
for its 'cosmetic' appearance as regards the paragraphs of text.
I spend a good deal of time trying to keep everything consistently
symmetrical and well laid out, but I hadn't allowed for the effects
that different browsers have on the layout, or even the fickle
nature of individual browsers, which infuriatingly differ
from one minute to the next.  Wait and I'll explain.

If I finish a post and it looks perfect on one browser, it
might not look quite the same on another.  Also, if you access
this blog from Facebook, the layout is haphazard and nothing
like it looked when I pressed 'publish' at my end.  Even on the
same browser, the font size changes slightly every so often,
throwing my carefully prepared spacing out of kilter.

AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!

So if you see any little (or even big) departures from the
norm in the spacing of an occasional sentence or paragraph,
and find yourself thinking: "H'mm, ol' Kid's been a bit careless
there", chances are that it's down to the vagaries of Blogger,
not myself.  Honest.  Try accessing it on a few different
   browsers and you'll see precisely what I mean.   

CRIVENS' CRACKING COVERS: STAR WARS WEEKLY #71...


Image copyright relevant owner

Seeing this cover on eBay recently, reminded me that it used to adorn
my bedroom wall back in the late '70s - mainly due to the fact that I found
the picture of PRINCESS LEIA seriously sexy.  Know what?  I still do!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - IMOGEN HASSALL...



The lovely IMOGEN HASSALL
waits patiently for me to change into my
trunks before we go for a dip in the ocean.
Only one problem - I can't swim.  Never
mind though - it shouldn't be too difficult
finding something buoyant to grab
onto to help me stay afloat.
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