Saturday, 25 February 2017
Crypt of Screams #1 (American Mythology)
Mike Wolfer (w) & (a)
Just like buses while you are waiting for a new horror/mystery anthology title two come along at once. Both from the same publisher, American Mythology. (See post below for their other comic). This one is a Kickstarter project from Mike Wolfer whose work Avatar readers will be familiar with.
To be published "quarterly" (but somewhat late in arriving since it was actually solicited last July) Mike has done all the work on this premier issue himself. He says he was inspired by the old comics such as Where Monsters Dwell but even more so it would seem by Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella which actually shows in the material in this first issue.
There are three stories starting Speed Demon set in the "Old West" which revolves around a young boy seeking revenge, The Pond which is a brutal story of seduction, humiliation & revenge finishing with an apocalyptic science fiction tale Burn Out.
All in glorious black & white which is a much better format for horror than colour.
Out now and worth collecting.
Friday, 24 February 2017
Bedtime Stories for Impressionable Children # 1 (American Mythology)
Various (w) & (a)
There was a time when mystery & horror comics were dominated the comic racks with all major companies producing a range for every taste. With the removal of some of the restraints of the Comic Code Authority these boomed once again the seventies, yet today are non-existent except for the occasional small press title.
Frankly anthology comics were always a hit and miss, but having consumed so much material from DC, Marvel and the Alan Class reprints I've always been a fan and on the look out for a revival. The first of two from the new publisher American Mythology arrived this week.
Produced in glorious black & white this comic has three stories linked by an "Uncle Lorenzo" sequence which were a joy to read.
The first story, 40 Whacks is from the legendary Jim Shooter with art from Joe James and has a moral about bullying. The second Feature Flash of Inspiration tells the tale of a a loudmouth who should have kept his trousers on, some gangsters and an atom bomb. Don't ask, just read.
Finishing with a nightmare story simply called One of those Mother-Daughter Things will simply make you really afraid to cross the mother-in-law.
Support this title we could do with more!
Oh and here's the variant cover....
Sunday, 19 February 2017
Undersea Agent #2 (Tower Comics)
Various (w) & (a)
Tower Comics are best remembered for their T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents title that lasted twent issues in the sixties with a small number of spin-offs for Dynamo and Noman. However they did publish a limited number other comics of which Undersea Agent was supposed to be a sort of "companion title" for the T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents, who get a mention but never crossed over.
This was a short-lived title with just six quarterly, though oversized issues with art from classic artists such as Gil Kane. When this was published I don't recall ever seeing a copy and certainly didn't buy one but was aware of Undersea Agent because like many other Brits read Undersea Agent in the Alan Class black & white reprint editions.
Undersea Agent tells the stories of Davy Jones a former navy man who joins U.N.D.E.R.S.E.A. (United Nations Department of Experiment and Research Systems at Atlantis) in a secret base beneath the oceans. They fight for world peace against such villains as the evil Dr Fang (who seemingly "dies" in this issue) and explore the seas facing both terran and alien threats.
The stories whilst passable (and in this issue quite short) never really quite caught the imagination of this young reader at the time and I would guess the decision of Tower to produce it's comics in a (comparatively) expensive 25c format didn't help their sales.
These characters are in the public domain due to an incorrect copyright notice being published but don't expect to see them any time soon.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
TV based comics were all the rage in the sixties and one of the earliest I recall getting frm time to time was TV Comic which amongst other features had a Doctor Who strip. I only recall seeing Patrick Troughton in TV Comics pages but this one from March 1965 shows William Hartnell the first Doctor whose adventures I followed avidly from the beginning.
Other stories included an adaptation of Space Patrol, a puppet science fiction show which was similar to, but not from Gerry Anderson. Also included were The Telegoons, a puppet adaptation of the famous radio show with Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe.
Then there was Dickie Henderson who me mum always liked which is probably why I recall his shows.
Still rather than just blather on, I thought this was an opportunity to see some clips from these programmes.
First off a compilation of William Hartnell's rather grumpy original Doctor Who....
The excellent childrens show Space Patrol.
Bizarre humour from the TV version of the Goons
And finally a short clip with Dickie Henderson....
Classic days of television.
Sunday, 12 February 2017
Big Finish is a company that produces mostly audio adventures of Doctor Who and other TV related material, a large number of which I purchased until the good Doctor returned to television. Now they have turned their attention to The Avengers with audio stories of Steed & Mrs Peel based on adventures originally published in the girls paper/comic Diana.
When I saw this tucked away in Previews it was an immediate "want" added to my "pull-list" at my local comic shop. As a young boy there was no way I would have been seen reading "soppy girls comics" as was the general outlook of my generation. More fool me!
These stories (there are eight in all) are beautifully illustrated and in colour! If I have any criticism of this book it's the shrinking of the format which strains my ageing eyes! Still maybe it's a sign I need new reading glasses, so don't let that put you off.
These adventures were originally published in Diana #199 to #224 in the sixties.
Story Images: lewstringer.blogspot.co.uk
Saturday, 11 February 2017
The comic of my early childhood was WHAM! published by Odhams Press, a Leo Baxendale created "super-Beano" which was much more anarchic than previous British humour title and appealed to this young rebel from the first issue.
This issue published in 1965 is one I do recall having ( I tried hard not to miss an issue) as I was also lucky enough to get the first WHAM! annual published that year (cover dated 1966 as was the practice in those days) so when when my local comic shop advertised a copy I just had to have it.
And of course I wasn't disappointed. Tales of The Tiddlers, General Nitt and his Barmy Army (stealing the grub as usual) and The Wacks plus of course Eagle Eye, Junior Spy which originated Grimley Fiendish, "the most rottenest crook in the world"
However for me the highlight of every issue of WHAM! was Georgie's Germs. In this Christmas edition Georgie swallows a sixpence (if you remember those!) and a battle begins between the germs and Georgie to hang on to the prize. Great fun. Glad I never really grew up.
Photo: Lew Stringer/Blimey! Blogspot
By the following year WHAM! was part of the growing Power Comics line which would include SMASH! and eventually POW! both of whom would begin reprinting early Marvel stories for the weekly British market. WHAM! was not left out and contained the adventures of the Fantastic Four.
Highly collectable comics.
Friday, 10 February 2017
John Carter: The End #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
Brian Wood & Alex Cox (w) Hayden Sherman (a)
John Carter Warlord of Mars and Dejah Thoris return for their "final" adventure in this mini-series from Dynamite. Set in the future of the fantasy world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mars is in it's final death throws as a brutal dictator rampages across the surface of the Red Planet bringing conflict and genocide to all the races of barsoom.
Only John Carter and his wife Dejah Thoris can even hope to bring an end to this holocaust. However they are nowhere to be found as the pair are in seclusion on one of the moons of Mars.
An interesting take on the Warlord of Mars concept with stylish art from Hayden Sherman that radically differs from the past series produced by Dynamite.
Worth a dip in my opinion.