Sunday, 18 June 2017

RIP: Stephen Furst (Vir Cotto/Babylon 5)

B5 vir.jpg
Photo: By Source,

I was sad to hear that Stephen Furst who played Vir Cotto in the superb Babylon 5 series died from a diabetes related illness. He was just 63.

His role as the centauri Ambassador was central to the plot throughout the five year story-line and eventually Vir became Emperor.

Although Babylon 5 developed a wide following on TV that so many of us became part of, the series did not develop much of a spin-off in the comics world with just the one short lived title from DC Comics.

 

Stephen Furst (Born Feuerstein) battled with obseity and diabetes all his life and became an activists for various health causes including the American Diabetes Association.

Rest in Peace.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

2000AD #200 (1981)



The recent publication of 2000 AD's 2000th issue and the subsequent fortieth anniversary edition has renewed my interest in this comic which was previously restricted to Judge Dredd reprints. I picked up a copy of 2000AD #200 and a few issues around that number to get a flavour of what the comic was like way back then.

Of particular interest was what turned out to be the origin story of Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog. Told over several issues with a gap ( I haven't reached the conclusion yet) this is useful for those of us not familiar with Strontium Dogs world. The target of Johnny Alphas bounty hunting turns out to be none other than Nelson B Kreelman, former fascist dictator of the UK and Johnny's father!

Next up was The Mean Arena, one of those semi-sporting violent game strips so popular at the time but not my cup of tea so I've been skipping this whenever it appeared.

Return to Armageddon proved to be a quite brutal strip. An immortal man who could not die being tormented in a freak circus by punters trying to kill him. This was for kids? Good story as it went on though this was part 16 or something like that. Worth  persevering with over subsequent issues.

Then theres' Judge Dredd vs Pirates. Well what else could you ask for? Meanwhile Tharg has a party and part 23 of The Meltdown Man concludes the weekly edition. Think Kamandi and you'll get the drift. Thumbs up on this one.

There's more of the same in the zarjaz 4th Birthday issue! Includes the first part of The Day They Banned 2000AD. Fear not Earthings the villains of this plot did not get their way!

Saturday, 10 June 2017

RIP: Adam West 1928 to 2017


Photo: by Alan Light

Adam West the actor who played the Batman in the camp TV series in the sixties has passed away aged 88 after a battle with cancer his family announced today. The Batman TV show which ran for 120 episodes over 3 seasons has been continuously repeated around the world to this day making Adam a household name, recognisable to both young and old.



The Batman show attracted all the great talent of the day from Vincent Price and Eartha Kitt to George Sanders and Milton Berle.

Mr West will be remembered as a good sport who never took himself too seriously and was able to appear in modern TV shows such as the Big Bang Theory and Family Guy.

He will be missed by not just his family but his legions of fans around the world

Friday, 9 June 2017

King Conan #1 (Marvel/1980)



King Conan #1 (Marvel Comics)

Roy Thomas (w) & John Buscema (a)

Conan the Barbarian was once one of Marvel comics hottest properties, albeit on lease from the estate of Robert E Howard the characters creator. In 1980 Conan already had a successful four-colour comic and was the star of the most successful black & white comic magazine ever published Savage Sword of Conan. It was hardly surprising that Marvel added a third, albeit quarterly title to the roster.

Launched with a cover date of March 1980, King Conan was a "giant-sized" all new comic costing 75 cents, the price of an Annual way back then. This featured Conan as the King of Aquilonia married to his queen Zenobia and had a son, Conn some twelve summers of age.

This first adventure sees Conn lost in the woods and captured by the hag-witch of Hyperborea and used as bait to entrap Conan before a cabal of mages including  the dreaded Thoth-Amon.

Under-rated by his enemies (except for Thoth) the sorcerers get their comeuppance as you would expect.

This series lasted 19 issues before having the title changed to Conan the King (no idea why) and was published for a further 36 editions until 1989.

 

Monday, 5 June 2017

Creepy #101 (Warren/1978)



Jaws. ....

Even mere mention of the word spelled fear to those of us who lived through the late seventies. Yes we all knew it was a giant plastic shark but along with the terrifying theme music it was enough for our girlfriends to hang on to us for dear life...or was it the other way round?

And so inevitably the genre made it's way through comedy and eventually to comics. Warren produced this special edition of water-themed horror to both entertain and horrify.

There are six stories in this issue, the first two of which run from one into the other and feature a young man called Brock who hangs on to his wife's heart..literally.

The third feature A Boy and his Thing is a reprint and I have the issue where this first appeared though for the life of me can't remember which one! This story has a monster the size of which beggars belief. Would you want one as a pet?

Water Babies comes up next as the issues colour feature and is a story of family, slavery and man's injustice to those around him. May even bring a tear to your eye. The monster is sometimes just very human indeed.

The Seven Sisters of the Sea sees revenge doled out to pirates and one in particular. It's just a story....right?

And to end there is a time travelling adventure, Alternate Paths that sees warnings ignored, egos to the fore and the end of things as they were. Anyone mention Atlantis?

Oh and just for fun here's the trailer for that film...... Jaws.

Don't go into the water!

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Battle Holiday Special 1988



One of the "new wave" of British comics Battle which ran from 1975 to 1988 produced seventeen editions of the inevitable and much loved "Holiday or Summer" specials that helped pass the time during the long summer holidays. Well not so long for oldies like me who got just a couple of weeks by the eighties due to a little thing known as work.....

Nevertheless these editions which contain a mixture of new and reprinted material are still a great read and worth picking up when you can find a copy. Not cheap, but worth every penny. The 1988 Holiday Special is also printed on a higher grade of paper so is in better condition than equivalent "newsprint" specials.

 

Battle had itself ceased publication in January of that year being subsumed or merged with Eagle, but publishers kept the title alive for specials and Annuals for a little longer the last one hitting the stands in 1991.

All the favourites are inside. Johnny Red, the Hurricane pilot on the Eastern Front in no less than two adventures. There's Charlie's War, Rat Pack and Storm Force plus a few extras. and features.

A fondly remembered comic with great art and stories.