Sunday, 30 April 2017

TWO SMASH HITS FOR YOU...



Joke pages in comics didn't often strike me
as containing particularly funny gags.  Here's
a couple of exceptions which actually made me
chuckle, from a 1969 ish of SMASH!  Perhaps
you'll like them too - if so, let me know.

CRIVENS' CRACKING COVERS: THE ROGER MOORE ADVENTURE BOOK...



Just thought I'd show this cover because I like it.
It's now my ambition to have a book like this named
after me.  'The KID ROBSON Adventure Book'
certainly has a ring to it.  Any publishers out there
interested?  Hello?  (Hell of an echo in here.)

WHAT IS IT (SOME) EDITORS DO AGAIN?


Copyright UNITED FEATURES SYNDICATE, Inc

Having formerly worked in comics for 15 years,
and having read them for over 50, I've often found
myself amazed by the gaffs some alleged editors made
(or failed to notice) when it came to putting a comic to-
gether.  Here are just 6 I've seen in comics (and blogs)
over the years.  Can you think of any others?  Then
leave a comment in the you-know-where.

Correct ones on the left, wrong ones on the right.

Sought-after.  (Not sort-after.)

Could have.  (Not could of.)

Whet your appetite.  (Not wet.)

Heyday.  (Not hayday.)

Prerogative.  (Not perogative.)

Prodigy.  (Not progidy.)

If ignorance is bliss, then there must be a hell
    of a lot of ecstatically happy people around.   

FANTASTIC FIRSTS...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Above is the illustration from the cover of MARVEL's
1994 hardback volume, FANTASTIC FIRSTS (below).  A
strictly limited edition, it wasn't available to the general public,
'though a softcover edition (with an added WOLVERINE tale)
was released some years later.  Unfortunately, I can't show the
contents because it's too tightly bound to scan, but it contains
the origins of all the main Marvel superheroes, 'though
sadly not from particularly good proofs.

 The thing that makes the book worthwhile however, is
the introductions to the tales by creators mainly associated
with the characters;  thus The HULK has an intro by HERB
TRIMPE (rhymes with 'shrimpy'), Sgt. FURY is introduced
by DICK AYERS, and The SILVER SURFER by Big JOHN
BUSCEMA, etc.  These personal intros have interesting rem-
iniscences from the contributors' point of view, and make for
informative reading.  The book comes in a slip-case and
is quite a handsome-looking item.

My first copy of this book had trouble with the spine
splitting when I opened it (a defect of the binding, not as a
result of any rough handling on my part), so I obtained a 2nd
copy, as imperfection irks me.  (Being perfect myself you see.)
As the first one was falling apart, I removed the cover pages
(which I intend to frame at some point), and disposed of the
rest, 'though I kept the slipcase, which now houses the
first two Hulk MARVEL MASTERWORKS.

Anyway, thought you might like to see this striking
illustration.  Would look good as a poster, I'd say.


And below is the book to go for if you want a collected
edition of Marvel origin stories - MARVEL FIRSTS.

BABE OF THE DAY - ABI TITMUS...


"Gordie, where are you?"

ABI TITMUS runs into the street
looking for me, but she can relax 'cos I've
only nipped out to grab a newspaper and a
couple of cheese & onion pasties.  I'm head-
ing right back, Abi dear, no need to panic.
(Women!  They all just seem to adore
me for some reason.)

A MAGAZINE DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU - THE CREEPS...


Images copyright WARRANT PUBLISHING COMPANY

If you're a fan of WARREN mags CREEPY and EERIE,
then you'll be interested in this title I picked off the shelves of
my local FORBIDDEN PLANET store recently.  It's an excel-
lent 'tribute' magazine, but I feel it could be improved in a few
ways.  Let's get the 'minor' faults out of the way first.

The lettering.  Done by computer font, but that in itself
isn't the problem - it's the spacing.  When words are italicised,
any 'screamers' (exclamation marks) run into the first letter of
the next sentence, resulting in the balloons and captions having
a squashed appearance that's sore on the eyes.  A bigger space
needs to be left between sentences to avoid this.  Occasional
missing punctuation also detracts from smooth reading.

Not so minor - the plots.  The story, 'FAIR TRADE', in-
volves a mind swap between bodies by the method of sorcery.
(Spoiler alert:)  The process reverses itself the day after the
sorcerer is killed, before he'd cast his next spell which would've
'halted the physical transfer which naturally follows
any mental transfer'.  Er, run that past me again?

A sorcerer transfers one person's mind into the body
of another, but unless he casts a second spell, the body will
automatically reunite with its mind - rendering the first spell
totally redundant.  H'mm, maybe the writer needs to put more
thought into his plots as this aspect is too contrived to be con-
vincing.  (If a tale about sorcery and mind-transference can
ever be convincing, but I'm sure you get my point.)

Anyway, don't be put off by me being pernickety.  This
mag is like a time tunnel into the 1960s and '70s and is well
worth a look.  Available from your nearest FP and all good
comics shops.  Dig one up as soon as you can.

Spot the misspelling of 'Pharaoh' in the contents above


Saturday, 29 April 2017

BABE OF THE DAY - PENELOPE CRUZ...



Someone requested a pic of LADY PENELOPE,
but here's one of PENELOPE CRUZ instead.  Hey,
her names's Penelope and she's a lady - what more
do you want?  (The other one's a snob anyway.)

DID YOU EVER WIN £1 BY DARING DAVY?



I don't suppose I ever thought much about it at the
time, but I do now.  You see, the fact that comics are
produced at least 8 weeks ahead of seeing print, I now
realise that the first 8 DARE-A-DAY DAVY strips in
POW! couldn't have been from genuine readers.

Also, several of the stories were reused a few years
later in VALIANT comic, in a Davy-type strip called
CHALLENGE CHARLIE, so it's a certainty that the
named 'readers' were fictitious and never received £5
(that's inflation for you) for alleged 'contributions'.

Were the publishers just trying to save a few quid
by inventing readers' suggestions, or did they simply
never receive enough to begin with?  I once won a £1 in
1973 for a contribution to SHIVER SHAKE, so not
all invitations for reader-participation were fake, but
it does cause me to wonder just how many were.

So, dear reader, did you ever win £1 for submit-
ting an idea to Pow!'s Dare-A-Day Davy, or do you
know of anyone who did?  If so, leave a comment and
dispel the mystery.  And if you'd like to make a com-
parison between Davy and Charlie, you can do so
    over on KAZOOP blog - just click the name.   

Friday, 28 April 2017

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO IPC'S BOB PAYNTER? CAN YOU HELP?


The elusive BOB PAYNTER.  They seek him here, they
seek him there...(you know the rest)

Legendary cartoonist TERRY BAVE is looking to
get in touch with his former editor and old friend BOB
PAYNTER.  Bob, if you get to read this (or hear about it),
would you contact me via the comments section and we'll
work out a way for you and Terry to make contact.  He'd
dearly like to catch up with you and reminisce about
the good old days.  Go on, make his day.

SHIELA & TERRY BAVE

If anybody has Bob's contact details, if you
let me know, I'll pass them onto Terry & Shiela.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

GINGER with a sketch of his mum & dad

RESPECTFUL REPOST IN TRIBUTE TO LEO BAXENDALE: PANEL-BY-PANEL - BAD PENNY...



Time now for some more original art, in this instance BAD
PENNY by LEO BAXENDALE, from the back page of SMASH!
#156, January 25th 1969.  I've scanned the first two panels as one, as
they have a caption running across both of them.  And, although you can
enlarge the panels by clicking on them, I've repeated the last one in two
bigger halves for greater visual impact.  The strip has been drawn on two
thin sheets of card, extended on the right-hand side, then stuck down on
a thicker piece of art board.  To give you all an idea of how poorly these
pages were treated in storage, this one has footprints on the back, in-
dicating that it was lying face down on the floor at some stage and
walked over.  (Or perhaps lay on top of a pile of art used as a
 step to reach something on a high shelf.)  Shameful, eh?

And look at the street name in the panel below.  Is this
what you'd describe as a Nightmare on Elm Street?














And here's the published page as readers would have seen it back in 1969.

A SUDDEN GUST OF WIND BLOWS IN WITH SOME SAD NEWS - LEO BAXENDALE 1930-2017 (UPDATED)...


Images copyright their respective owners

Well, what can you say and how do you say it?

As most of you will know by now, LEO BAXENDALE
passed away recently.  Leo was an influential creator in the
world of comics, but due to leaving mainstream comics in the
mid-1970s, is known mainly to diehard fans who read his stuff
in the '50s, '60s, and '70s.  News of his sad demise will bring him
a wider recognition among the great British public, but it's a poor
trade-off at the end of the day.  Some people you think will live
forever, some people deserve to live forever, and Leo probably
deserved it more than most.  True, he has attained a kind
of immortality through his comics creations, but even
that seems a lesser reward than it should be.


Anyway, there's little point in me repeating facts
and figures about his career;  that's already been done
on other blogs, in far more detail than my tendency to the
superficial can match.  Suffice to say that, when it comes to
comics, Leo was a lion.  There have been other lions of course,
and there'll be others again, but he was among the first.  Sadly,
I never met him, but he very kindly replied to several of my fan
letters over the years, and, at my bold request in the position of
assistant editor of The ILLUSTRATED COMIC JOURNAL
back in the '90s, supplied an article for publication within its
pages.  True, it had appeared elsewhere first, but Leo
didn't think the readership of both 'venues' would
overlap, and we were glad to have it.


With each passing day, another little piece of our
childhood is eroded away, and with Leo's passing, quite
a large chunk has been chipped off in one fell swoop.  For
what it's worth, if anything, I'm sure readers of this humble
blog extend their condolences to Leo's family and friends at
this sad time.  We're frowning at the moment, but we'll all
laugh again after an appropriate interval, especially when
we read again some of Leo's comic creations that we
enjoyed as kids, teenagers, and adults.


Rest in peace Leo Baxendale.  He may be gone, but
he'll never be forgotten as long as unruly kids indulge in
mischief and mayhem in any school playground.


And below is the cover of Leo's autobiography,
which every fan of British comics should read.


And now, a gallery of various images.  Click
to enlarge, then click again for optimum size.















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