Sunday, 31 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - VICTORIA VETRI...



VICTORIA VETRI also went by the name
of ANGELA DORIEN, but she's a total Babe
regardless of whatever moniker she uses.  And
in case you're wondering what she's looking at
with such longing - well, it's me, innit?!

KID'S KLASSIC KOMIC KOVERS - VULCAN...



The dreaded Poll Tax wasn't the only thing visited on
Scotland before the rest of the country.  More welcome how-
ever, was VULCAN, which appeared on February 22nd 1975
(cover-dated the week ahead), nearly 7 months before the Na-
tional edition debuted on September 20th (cover-dated 27th).
More like an American comicbook in size, it sadly managed
to survive for only 58 weekly issues (30 Scottish and 28
National), but it was great periodical while it lasted.

Comprised of reprints of classic U.K. strips like  KELLY'S
EYE, The STEEL CLAW, The TRIGAN EMPIRE, The
SPIDERMYTEK The MIGHTY, ROBOT ARCHIE (taken
and translated from Dutch comic SJORS), etc., the title merged
into VALIANT on APRIL 3rd 1976 (cover-dated 10th).  Sadly,
Valiant ended after another 6 months, 'though Vulcan's name
had vanished from the masthead the previous issue.

Was Vulcan one of your favourite comics?  Then tell
 your fellow Criv-ites why in our comments section.



BONUS:  Below, the covers of the Holiday Special and Annual.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - GILLIAN DUXBURY...



The lovely GILLIAN DUXBURY graces us
with her beauty today, Criv-ites.  Wotta stunner!
And she worships the very ground I walk on.
(Doesn't care much for me 'though.)

WHO WANTS A REVOLUTION?


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

You've got one anyway, like it or not.  And it all starts
on August 11th.  Personally, I'll just be eating some cake
(if they'll let me).  A French Fancy most likely.

Friday, 29 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - ELKE SOMMER...



Wish I had a flat stomach like ELKE SOMMER.
Come to that, wish I had a girlfriend like Elke.  Who
knows, maybe I'll get one for Christmas, eh?  I'll
write out my list to SANTA right away.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: THE MIGHTY WORLD OF MARVEL #28...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL is a comic that's been
around for a large slice of my life.  First issued (as a weekly) near
the end of 1972, after seven years it was renamed (twice), becoming
a monthly with its third incarnation.  In 1983 it returned as a monthly
with its original title, but it was short-lived, alas.  We'd moved to a new
house after the first '83 issue, then returned to our former abode four
years later.  In 2003, the mag was relaunched, meaning it's been pub-
lished in one form or another since I was 14, in all three houses
I've lived in since then.  (One counts as two, remember.)

I hope I never have to live anywhere else, but if fate dictates
that it has to be so, I trust MWOM will still be around to provide
a reassuring bit of continuity, even to the end of my days.  As I'm
planning to clock up another couple of hundred years (at least),
the periodical may well be available for a long, long time.

Buy the latest issue today, and contribute to both my
longevity and also The Mighty World Of Marvel's!

BABE OF THE DAY - GILLIAN DUXBURY...



She's leaning on the lamppost at the
corner of the street, watching all the boys
go by - 'til she sees me that is.  GILLIAN
DUXBURY knows a real man when she
sees one, that's for sure.

TOPPS 1966 BATMAN CARDS - PART NINE...


Images copyright DC COMICS & TOPPS

And now, the final half-dozen BATMAN cards in the
first series of 55 released in 1966 by TOPPS.  There were
three sets altogether and perhaps, in the fullness of time, I'll
get around to showing you the other two.   For the meantime
'though, that's your lot, Bat-fans.  For details of artists, etc.,
check back on previous posts.  Any observations you'd
like to make, then the comments section awaits.
  

RECOMMENDED READING: MACHINE MAN - THE COMPLETE COLLECTION...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

Here's the latest COMPLETE COLLECTION volume from
MIGHTY MARVEL, folks - MACHINE MAN!  Not exactly
JACK KIRBY and STEVE DITKO at their artistic best, but solid
entertainment from the sizzlin' '70s, when people of my age group
were younger, more innocent, and had more time ahead than behind
them - no longer the case, alas.  But let's not end on a sombre note.
Relive the happy days of your youth by buying this bombastic
book today.  FORBIDDEN PLANET awaits your visit.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

KID KLASSICS: THIS SURE TAKES SOME LICKIN'...



It was back in the late '60s, in Room 7 of my primary school one
day, that I espied the magnifying glass.  It was in the hands of one of my
classmates who was using it for the purpose for which it was designed.  (No
surprise there, really - what else is a magnifying glass for?)  I was fascinated -
it was such a small magnifying glass, and I immediately wanted one for myself.
"Where did you get it?" I enquired of him.  "I got it as part of a free stamp col-
lecting kit I sent away for" was his response.  That was the magic word for me -
"free".  I had seen the ad for such stamp kits in the comics I bought, but I had
never paid them too much attention before.  I decided there and then that I
would send away for such a kit the first chance I got.  Nothing would deter
me, my mind was made up.  I wanted a mini-magnifying glass of my
very own and, by thunder, I would have one.

******

Close to 30
odd years later,
when I eventually
got around to send-
ing for it (quite a
few years ago now),
it could well have
been from the very
same stamp dealer as
my long-ago class-
mate had acquired
his - D. J. Hanson
Ltd., Eastrington,
Goole, East Yorks,
England, DN14
7QG, who advertised
extensively in British
comics of the time
(and is still going
strong today).

 The much-coveted magnifying glass wasn't exactly the same as the
one I remembered, but it was good enough for me.  I felt the satisfaction
that comes from finally fulfilling some long-held purpose or ambition that
should have been accomplished years before.  In fact, I wish I could sit in
that classroom now, at my old desk, and employ my magnifying glass in the
way I would've done back when I was a kid.  No, not to read tiny print in
one of my school books, but to capture an errant sunbeam and direct it
towards a patch of skin on someone's bare thigh (short trousers in
my day, remember) and wait to see them jump.

Sadistic little bleeder, eh?

I do sort of collect stamps actually, but on an extremely limited scale:
Christmas stamps, TV, movie, and comic characters, etc.  I couldn't fill a
whole album, but I've got enough to keep me occupied for an hour or so, on
cold, rainy nights when the wind is howling outside my window, bearing
aloft familiar childhood voices and visions from so very long ago.
  
Typical stamp ad from the 1960s

HEY, I'M NEARLY FAMOUS! (STAT'LL BE THE DAY)...



What can I say?  This humble blog of mine seems to be getting
quite popular if the Blogger Stats are anything to go by.  (Please
tell me that they're something to go by.)  Of course, credit must go
to all you discerning Criv-ites, but I'd also like to thank the writer,
the director, the producer, etc.  So that'll be me then.

BABE OF THE DAY - JANE RUSSELL (UP A CUP OF TEA FOR ME)...



Here she is, fellas - the ravishing JANE RUSSELL.
She got her big break in a movie called The OUTLAW,
and you can see why she's most definitely wanted!

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

GO ON - HAVE A BAT-LARF...



My mate MOONMANDO emailed the above cartoon
to me earlier tonight.  Now that's what I call funny!

PART SIX OF LION'S ROBOT ARCHIE: THE JUNGLE ROBOT...



Another four pages of the very first ROBOT ARCHIE adventure
from LION weekly, Criv-ite chums.  Unfortunately, I don't have the
conclusion of this particular tale, but I do have another eight pages to
post before we run out of steam.  If anyone can supply me with scans
of the final 16 pages, I'd be ever so grateful, as would everyone
else, I'm sure, who's been following the story up to now.

Are you a Robot Archie fan?  Why not tell us your memories
of the mighty man of metal in the comments section?  Go on!



JIM REEVES GOES TO ROSA RIO (AND LEAVES HIS HEART THERE WHEN HE COMES BACK)...



Good song (ROSA RIO), great singer (JIM
REEVES) - what more could you possibly want?
(For nothing I mean.  Remember, this is all free!)

Monday, 25 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - JUDITH RALSTON...



Here's winsome BBC weather woman
JUDITH RALSTON to bring a little sun-
shine into our lives.  (Phew, it's suddenly
gotten very hot around here.)

PARKER...WELL DONE (AND YOU TOO, DARWYN)...


Images copyright IDW PUBLISHING

Something I discovered only recently is this series of books by
RICHARD STARK (pseudonym of DONALD E. WESTLAKE)
and DARWYN COOKE, the latter having adapted and illustrated
the former's novels about hard-as-nails master thief PARKER -
not to be confused with LADY PENELOPE's chauffeur.

Graphic novels in the truest sense, Darwyn Cooke was initially
contracted to adapt  four books, which was then extended to five,
but, alas, the fifth one never happened.  The four he did do 'though,
are riveting reading, and I'm looking forward to starting the original
novel of The HUNTER, for which he provided full-colour illustra-
tions.  IDW intended that he'd illustrate all 16 Parker books, but
disappointing sales of the first put paid to further editions.

Available from FORBIDDEN PLANET and all good book-
shops, add them to your Darwyn Cooke collection today.








Sunday, 24 July 2016

SHIRLEY BASSEY SINGS THUNDERBALL...



Back in 1992, SHIRLEY BASSEY recorded an
album of JAMES BOND themes which included a
cover version of TOM JONES' THUNDERBALL.
On reflection, Shirley wasn't too happy with the album
and had it pulled from distribution, so chances are
you've probably never heard it.  Well, now you
can - so what do you think?

MR. KISS KISS BANG BANG - SHIRLEY BASSEY...



This was the theme originally intended for the
1965 JAMES BOND movie THUNDERBALL,
before the 007 producers jettisoned it in favour of
TOM JONES' now classic song.  Mr. KISS KISS
BANG BANG is how Japanese fans refer to
Bond, in case you were wondering.

BABE OF THE DAY - DIANE YOUDALE...



DIANE YOUDALE is a mighty fine
looking gal, I'm sure you'll agree.  She was
once a GLADIATOR,  but seems to have
put that behind her.  (And what a mighty
fine behind it is.)

ALICE COOPER - THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN...



Believe it or not, ALICE COOPER wrote and
recorded a theme song for the 1974 JAMES BOND
movie The MAN With The GOLDEN GUN, but
it was passed over in favour of LULU's version.  I
have to say, I think they made the right choice.

Have a listen and see what you think.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - 'INDIANA JANE'...



I call her 'INDIANA JANE', but her 'real'
name is ABBY DARKSTAR (or Dark Star or
even Dark-Star - I've seen it all three ways).
However, regardless of whatever moniker
she goes under, she's a total Babe.

Friday, 22 July 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: WILL EISNER'S THE SPIRIT - BY DARWYN COOKE...


Images copyright DC COMICS

I first learned of The SPIRIT in the 1967 edition of
The PENGUIN BOOK Of COMICS when I borrowed it
from my local library in '72.  Read a few stories over the years,
even met WILL EISNER in 1985 or '86, but I couldn't say I
was ever a massive fan of DENNY COLT, alias The Spirit.
Probably because I'd simply never read enough of his re-
printed adventures for the series to click with me.


I'm closer to being a massive fan now 'though, since
reading these two collected editions of the late DARWYN
COOKE's run on the character.  Other creators pitched in
too, but Cooke best captures the (dare I say it?) spirit and the
mood of the original Eisner strips.  Funny thing is, I bought the
debut issue of the comic when it first came out, as well as the
team-up with BATMAN, but I never read 'em.  Have now
'though, cos they're in the first book in this two volume
set (sold separately).


So if you're a fan of either The Spirit or the late
Darwyn Cooke, then these two books are sure to
tickle your sporran and float your boat.  Straight
'round to FORBIDDEN PLANET with you.

SUPERMAN VERSUS MUHAMMAD ALI...



Hear NEAL ADAMS talk about this 1978 classic.
See Neal Adams talk about this 1978 classic.  Laugh
as Neal Adams talks about this 1978 classic.  "Father of
comicbooks"?  Really?  Got it, read it, enjoyed it, but
it's not exactly the best comicbook I've ever read.

What do the rest of you think?

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - SOPHIA LOREN...



SOPHIA LOREN was banging on my
bedroom door for hours this morning.  So
there was nothing else for it but to get up,
unlock the door and let her out.

(Yes, the old ones are the best.)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

RECOMMENDED READING: BATMAN - EGO & OTHER TAILS (YES, TAILS - THINK ABOUT IT)...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Here's a belter of a book that's sure to please all fans of
the late, great DARWYN COOKE.  As usual, I'm going to
take the lazy way out and let the spiel on the back cover do the
'talking', but considering how long-winded I can sometimes be,
that's probably a good thing.  So, you all know the drill by now
- if you don't already have this valiant volume, race around to
your nearest FORBIDDEN PLANET and get yourself
a copy as soon as you can.  You'll simply love it!
  

Saturday, 16 July 2016

BABE OF THE DAY - MARILYN MONROE...



It's not exactly warm outside, but I didn't
realize it was cold inside.  I guess that's why
MARILYN MONROE is a little 'perky'.

Friday, 15 July 2016

'BREXIT' AFFECTS COST OF COMICS - BUT DON'T PANIC, IT'S NOT AS BAD AS YOU MAY THINK (UPDATED - AGAIN)...


The good ol' days.  (Sigh!)

According to one site a few days ago, DIAMOND
DISTRIBUTORS are increasing the price of some U.S.
comics by up to 25% as of today (as a result of the BREXIT
vote) and others on Monday 18th of this month.  I'm told
by those 'in the know' that the average increase will actually
be much lower than this and won't come into effect until
the new titles go on sale on Wednesday 20th.

Update as of July 19th:

Whooaaa!  Even more good news!  It now seems
that the price rise won't take effect for at least a further
week - possibly even a fortnight.  I'll let you know when
I get any more news, so stay tuned, Criv-ites!

Update as July 20th:

It's next week, frantic ones - July 27th.

RECOMMENDED READING - DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION VOLUME ONE...


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I've got all of these stories already, but I can never resist the
allure of a brand-spanking new collection of classic comics, and
the DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION certainly fits the bill in
that department.  Read the spiel on the back cover, then steal your
wife's Bingo money that she keeps in the cookie jar on top of the
fridge (she'll only waste it on frivolities), race around to your
nearest FORBIDDEN PLANET and buy yourself a copy.

Hey, I've just noticed that my skin has turned purple.  (If
you're a DD fan, you'll know what I'm talking about.)  Let's
see if it works.  "Go and buy this book now!"

Thursday, 14 July 2016

KIRBY 'KOCK-UPS' PART ELEVEN - REJECTED COVER FOR THOR #141...


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

This one's a real turkey.  The figure of REPLICUS is awkward,
distorted even.  Former KIRBY assistant MARK EVANIER has
expressed uncertainty that the rejected page is even by Jack and, in
doing so, thereby demonstrates that one can sometimes be too close
to a subject to be truly objective.  One could argue that Jack's auto-
graph is the last word on the matter, but not necessarily so.  If he was
attending a comics convention and was presented with a page to sign
that looked like his work, unless he had cause to doubt its authen-
ticity, he would've smiled and added his mighty moniker. 

Signed or not, however, it's clearly pencilled by Jack (and inked
by VINCE COLLETTA), but it's undoubtedly a 'Kirby Kock-
Up' that STAN LEE was correct to reject in favour of a cobbled
together cover using enhanced panels from the interior issue.

(Incidentally, the original art for the cover still exists,
and Jack's pencils can be seen under Vinnie's inks.)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Nina Persson and David Arnold - Theme From Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)


KID KLASSICS: THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE?



There's a time in every young person's life when they assume,
without ever really thinking about it, that they're not only invincible
but also immortal.  Usually it's around the teenage years and early 20s
when we labour under this delusion, and I have to confess that I was no
exception.  When we're young, we think we're going to be young forever,
and old age and death seem so distant as to be unimaginable.  Then one
day we wake up and realise that, not only are we 'over the hill', we're also
actually halfway down the other side and somebody has cut the brakes.
What's more, we don't even recall getting to the top of that hill to
begin with.  Shouldn't we at least remember the view?

When we're young the world is ours for the taking, and every-
thing seems geared towards us and runs in perfect synchronicity with
the pace of our lives.  Then, one day, it dawns on us that we're no longer
participants in life's race, but merely observers, sitting on the sidelines,
watching younger people revelling in a world that appears to have been
created exclusively for them.  How one can be relegated to the benches
without being aware of when it happened is a bit of a mystery, but
trust me, that's the way things go.

Now, believe me when I say that I'm not the kind of person who
revels in anyone's death, but I sometimes wonder if younger people's
untimely expiration is Nature's way of reassuring us 'oldies' that being
young isn't necessarily an indication of being accorded favoured status,
and that, young or old, we're all equally subject to termination at short
(or even no) notice.  If being 20 is no guarantee we'll reach 50, then per-
haps 50-year-olds shouldn't feel so threatened by the passage of time
as they do.  Life's a lottery and our numbers can come up at any mo-
ment.  Not quite a 'lucky dip' - but you get the point, I'm sure.

I feel that I should somehow find the above notion reassuring,
but for some reason I remain unconvinced.  How about you?

******

Harvest Gate

I lingered by a gate a little while
and watched some children play in fields of green.
Their joyous voices gave me cause to smile
and filled my troubled soul with thoughts serene.

If only I could once again be young
and join them in their happy escapades,
then all my years would be a song well-sung
and I could claim I've lived my life in spades.

I leave the gate - alas, my mood turns low,
the chills of age envelop my frail frame.
I know I have not very long to go
'til he who wields the sickle calls my name.

But I have lived and loved, both lost and won
and now the course of my life's race is run.

(Harvest Gate by Iain Osborne.)