Scans from DC Special presents...Strangest Sports Stories Ever Told! #13 July 1971.
Monday, 30 June 2008
Sunday, 29 June 2008
Going to make it worse by strapping on the nerd sack and hitting the mart.
12.30am. Pissed again.
Earlier: Went to mart. Bought LOTS of yellowing old tat.
That is all.
Friday, 27 June 2008
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
Yes, it really does say "Gaydar. Detect gays near you"
Click it and you go through to this page...
Am I overreacting, or is that really, REALLY offensive? I mean, come on...a gaydar?!? What next, a Jew detector?
I really don't think Comic Book Resources should be taking coin off people who sell this sort of shit.
Behold, a familiar set of stairs...
Well, familiar to anyone who frequented the legendary hole in the wall comic shop in the piss stinking alley just off Denmark Street back in the '80s. I've mentioned the place before in THIS POST, but I was actually in the bar which now occupies the old premises t'other day.
So anyway, the pic above is the view up the stairs which I used to climb as a nipper. No scruffy man brandishing a playing card at the top now though, because LTS (as Dave F reliably informs me the shop was called) has been replaced by a gents toilet...
Oh the pain.
New comic day tomorrow. But don't forget kids, Sunday is OLD comics day!
That's right, it's comic mart time. If you're in London get yourself along. You'll have the chance to rub shoulders with hordes of fat, sweaty men while rummaging through boxes of yellowing tat! Yay! What could be nicer?
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Panel from Manix meets the Uglies which appeared in Eagle 6th August 1983
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I suppose that the thinking behind this was that kids would pester their parents to buy Fairy soap and that the adults would then stick with the brand. If so, I bet it didn't work.
I wonder how many kids tried to shove their carvings into an envelope?
I'm guessing fewer than 201.
scan taken from 2000AD prog 170 (26th July 1980).
Saturday, 21 June 2008
The story follows the super heroes of government intelligence department MI-13 as they battle the Skrull invasion of the UK. It’s a tightly written, super fast, action packed Marvel book with a fantastic roster of British characters who play off each other brilliantly.
For that we have Paul Cornell and artist Leonard Kirk to thank. Cornell has been writing Doctor Who novels for years, but he’s also penned some of the best episodes of the TV series itself, including my favourite story from season one: “Father’s Day”. He’s a top class writer and it shows here as he takes on that most difficult of superhero subgenres, the team book.
The problem that a lot of team books run into is that they involve such huge casts that effective characterisation tends to get buried by the action or, (and this is even worse in my opinion), the action gets overlooked in favour of a succession of conversations designed to give each character their moment. This is hardly a surprise, I imagine it’s hard enough to write a 22 page comic book about one character let alone five or six, yet Cornell pulls it off.
The pace of MI13 is unremitting, but the book manages to be more than just a series of explosions because Cornell splices the thrills with some superb banter between the very different protagonists. Whether it be the Captain Britain himself, British Muslim super-heroine Faiza Hussain or the frankly awesome Skrull John Lennon, all the characters have their own distinct voices. Their personalities also come through in the art. Leonard Kirk’s style is reminiscent of Bryan Hitch at his best. He does action and facial expressions equally well, and the level of detail in his work puts this book on a par with the first series of the Ultimates. He even succeeds in freshening up the Skrulls with a succession of superb Superskrull action sequences.
MI13 is great to look at then, but in the end it’s the writing that’s going to carry the book. Cornell is taking risks (killing Brian Braddock at the end of the first issue being chief amongst them) and the book is hardly packed with the A listers that guarantee sales, but it’s snappier than Spider-Man and has already packed more story into two issues than I suspect we'll see in the entirety of Secret Invasion.
It might be a spin-off of Marvel's latest mega event then, but I'm already crossing my fingers that Cornell and Kirk's creation lives on long after Secret Invasion has been forgotten.
Friday, 20 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
A curious looking book, Thoms Behe’s dystopian near future tale isn’t easy reading. It’s a text heavy comic which demands a lot of concentration on the part of the reader, and for that reason I suspect a lot of folks will struggle to stay with it. If you make the effort though, you may find Contraband a rewarding experience. It’s flawed yes, but this nightmare take on the information age has plenty to recommend it.
The story is essentially a sci-fi/thriller about Toby, an internet café worker blackmailed into searching for a missing mercenary by two crooked soldiers. The soldiers want their former colleague bumped off because she may have information that could jeopardise their sideline in providing questionable mobile phone content to Contraband, an organisation which is a bit like YouTube without the filters.
It sounds like a routine enough tale, but the difficulty with the book comes in Behe’s decision to tell his story through a series of jumps in time which aren’t always clearly flagged up. One minute we’re in the present, the next we’ve stepped six months into the past. It’s not always easy to tell when these shifts occur, and I found myself going back on myself as I read the book. Even after two readings I’m not quite sure I understood everything about it.
Still, Behe has some interesting things to say about the world we live in and the one we’re heading for and Contraband contains enough good ideas to suggest that he could be a name to watch. His cause is aided by artist Phil Elliott whose clean style is reminiscent of Julien Opie’s work. Elliott's pictures are beautifully simple and provide a refreshing counterpoint to the complicated story.I can't help feeling that the writing could have benefited from a similar stripping down. Behe clearly has plenty to say about a variety of important issues, but at times the sheer amount of information he packs into his script detracts from the story and hinders the flow of the book.
As a whole, Contraband isn’t a total success then. It's too dense to take in during a single sitting and the non-linear style it follows may turn readers off. There are however plenty of plus points, and if you're a fan of technology or an ideas kind of person then it's definitely worth your while checking out.You can find out more at www.contrabandcomic.com
Anna Mercury #2
Rubber clad dominatrix cavorts provocatively against a backdrop of futuristic phallus style skyscrapers in a virtual world. Let's face it, this is another Warren Ellis wank fantasy. It's good though, and I for one will be jerking off with him (metaphorically of course. Ahem).
Blood Bowl #1
OK, so this is a comic based on a classic early 90's Games Workshop favourite. KERCHINNG! Of course it'll probably be rank, but given my nostalgia for all things GW it's impossible for me to ignore. Now if only someone would turn Talisman into a comic.
At this point I should 'fess up and admit that I'm four or five issues behind on Checkmate. As such I haven't even read the end of Rucka's run let alone had time to assess whether the new creative team are any good. I might try and catch up before I actually buy this on Thursday.
Teen Titans Year One #5 (of 6)
Am I enjoying this mini series? I have no fucking idea. It has a kooky sort of charm about it which appeals to me, and I like the fact that the Teen Titans actually look and behave like teens. BUT it is an extremely quick read and when I'm paying £2 for the pleasure I do like my comics to last for more than two minutes. Ah well, it's a darn site better than the other Teen Titans title and I'm locked in for the last couple of issues.
Amazing Spider-Man #563
Yeah, so everyone knows about this one now and how it's recapturing that whole wisecracking Spidey vibe of yesteryear, blah de blah. I have to admit I'm still slightly pissed off not to have seen any A list Spidey villains yet, but there's enough going on to keep my interest anyway. I'd be even happier if this were a monthly title written by Dan Slott and drawn by Marcos Martin though.
War Is Hell First Flight Phantom Eagle Max #4 (of 5)
I'm loving this Ennis/Chaykin collaboration about bonkers WWI fighter pilots. The main character is as gloriously unhinged as any of Ennis's long list of fucked up creations and Chaykin's art is as urgent as ever. There's a real sense of doom hanging over proceedings and I wouldn't be surprised to see everyone involved dead by issue #5. Fair enough, war is hell after all.
Enemy of the State is one of the Marvel's best stories EVER (yeah I liked it that much) so Mark Millar's return to Wolverine has me proper excited. No doubt it'll get a right good slagging from the Millar hating comics community at large, but I can't help but feel that this is going to be great. I mean come on, a geriatric Logan on a road trip through a post apocalyptic Marvel Universe - how can that not be great superhero comics?
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
Monday, 16 June 2008
Firstly big shout out to Clubber Lang, who found his way to LLC via THIS OLD POST. Thanks for dropping by Clubber and, yes, I have plenty more Fighting Fantasy deaths up my sleeve. Here's a particularly nasty one for your delectation...
...OUCH. My prediction...Pain!
If FF has had as profound effect on your life as it has mine, then I suggest that you join THIS FACEBOOK GROUP (sadly you'll need a Facebook account to share the sadness, sorry).
Next, thanks to Spinx for taking the time to look me up. I met Spinx on the Northern Line a month or so ago when I was fairly drunk, he was reading some Silver Age Flash reprints and had the misfortune of being a captive audience while I ranted nonsensically about Gorilla Grodd. Apparently I also recommended Criminal to him, which was quite sensible of me really. Hope you're enjoying the trades mate, Brubaker+Phillips = comics goodness!
That's the bulging electronic mail sack out of the way then, what else is itching my comics anus? Well, I'm currently in shock at the news that Marvel are releasing Secret Wars II and its various tie-ins as an omnibus. Seriously...
Yup chums, that's right: £58 of your hard earned for a luxuriously presented collection of some of the WORST comics Marvel has ever put out.
For the love of Stan and Jack!
Why are they foisting this shite upon us? Could it have anything to do with the fact that The Beyonder turned up in Bendis's Avengers Illuminati recently? Is Bendis about to reintroduce The Beyonder in Secret Invasion? Does his reappearance really warrant an omnibus? And could this be the first omnibus that ends up making its way into the bargain buckets of your local comic shop?
I think so, because honestly, can you see ANYONE buying this?
Saturday, 14 June 2008
Friday, 13 June 2008
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Yeah, very slick presentation D&D pedalers.
The game will always remain the same, eh?
Well maybe, but not your kind of same. Isn't that right MR WHEATLEY?
Why the long face then? Well, the fact is, that the enjoyment I got out of reading it only makes me more pissed off that the next issue sees Detective begin another interminable looking tie-in with Grant Morrison's Batman title. Not only will this multi-parter mean very little to those of us who have no interest in Morrison's book, it will also likely herald a change in tone and pace on Detective.
You'd think that DC would have learnt their lesson after the tedious Ra's al Ghul crossover rendered Detective unreadable for a few issues earlier this year. Alas not. Shame really, you only need to look at #845 to see that Dini is doing just fine on his own.
Tec #845 is an outstanding little murder mystery, full of cute character observations and interactions. A book where, in the best traditions of Batman, the action takes place at night, a book where Batman himself is at the centre of the action, and, above all, a book where Batman gets a chance to be a detective. That's what makes these little Dini tales so good. Truly he is the man who has put the Detective back in Detective Comics
The story has Batman hunting a ritualistic serial killer. He's aided in his investigative work by a supposedly amateur group of internet sleuths - The Heirs of Dupin. Marvellously these IM chatting detectives turn out to be a bunch of DC's most inquiring minds including Detective Chimp, The Riddler and (I think) Barbara Gordon. It's a great idea, which is brilliantly executed in a six page sequence that sees Bats and Detective Chimp competing against the Riddler in anonymity.
The Riddler is a central figure in the issue. Dini has reinvented him over the course of his run, casting him as an ex-con trying to go straight by using his famed powers of deduction to set himself up as a detective. That he chooses to use his new found profession as an excuse to prove that he's a more capable sleuth than Batman suggests that he isn't quite the reformed character he claims to be.
Dini's Batman certainly seems unwilling to accept that his old foe has had a change of heart, interestingly (and perhaps subconsciously) he even appears set on driving the Riddler back to a life of crime through his constant questioning of the former villain's motives. The scenes involving Batman and Riddler are carefully written studies in thinly veiled hostility then. They work because they move the story along while telling us plenty about the two protagonists. It's all very neat, and all very different to Grant Morrison's approach to the character. I like it that way.
Tellingly the one scene in the comic that jars slightly is the two page conversation between Batman and Catwoman. Dini does his best to work it into the story by having Batman ask Catwoman for her thoughts on the murders which he is investigating, but Catwoman's lack of interest in the case and references to events taking place in Morrison's Batman book suggest that she has only been introduced here with an eye on the forthcoming crossover. Sadly I won't be around to find out. I read one issue of the Ra's al Ghul tie-in before dropping Detective for the remainder of that story. I won't even bother with the Batman RIP crossover. Instead I'll return when Dini is once more allowed to resume writing his own detective stories. I'm only sad that I'll have to wait a few months for that to happen.
Yes, it's female Red Skull! Apparently this was one of Becky's favourite dolls as a child. I've now adopted her (the doll, not Becky) as LLC's official mascot. Sehr gut!
So aside from going through boxes of old toys and cleaning up baby sick what have I been doing? Well I've read both DC Universe #0 and Final Crisis #1 again, this time in tandem with the excellent Final Crisis annotations site. I know I've already mentioned it, but seriously, if you're reading Final Crisis you need to check out the annotations. I've seen a bunch of reviews of Final Crisis where people have complained about the confusing nature of the book, but everything becomes a lot clearer with the help of Mr Wolk's fine blog. Read it, read it, read it. If nothing else, the extra time spent on it will make you feel that you're getting value for money out of at least one of your expensive American comics.
Monday, 9 June 2008
Saturday, 7 June 2008
Friday, 6 June 2008
Yes, he's a hype mongering tart. Yes, his comics are cynically manipulative and yes, he shamelessly plays up to his 30 something audience by pandering to their shared sense of nostalgia. BUT honestly, who the fuck cares? Not me chums. Not me! I say bring it on. And bring it on he has with Kick-Ass #3, a comic which may just be the best superhero book on the stands this week.
Yeah that's right: THE BEST SUPERHERO COMIC ON THE STANDS! Why? WHY?
To be fair, there are writers working in the mainstream Marvel Universe who understand that Marvel's books should be the comic equivalent of amphetamine. Matt Fraction for one. The first two issues of his Invincible Iron Man book have been top quality. There's no fucking around here, Iron Man gets on his suit and blows things up.
Open up issue two and you get Iron Man tackling M.O.D.O.G.* and his goons on the first two pages. No nonsense, no preamble, just bang, bang, bang. Like Kick-Ass, this is mighty Marvel action that barely lets up from start to finish. In short, it's a brilliant Marvel comic with which I have just two gripes...
GRIPE 1: the moment Fraction introduces this lot...
..you know they're all going to die. I'm not spoiling anything by saying that, it's just a fact. Anyone reading this issue will look at that panel and know instantly that this team are being set up as cannon fodder. There's an argument for saying that this is deliberate, but I don't think it is. Either way it's hardly a shock when they get wasted.
GRIPE 2: Oh God, please no! Not the dreaded rainy comic book funeral scene...
Listen though, forget those gripes, they don't really matter. This is a great comic.
So that's my two favourite books of the week out of the way, what about the rest? Well I enjoyed Vertigo's House of Mystery #2 a lot. Regular readers (hi mum!) will know that I loved this title when I was a kid, so buying the relaunch is a no brainer for me.
Sentimentality aside though, I have to say that I like this new version a lot. The central story has a bit of the same vibe as LOST about it, while the short stories that you'd associate with the original House of Mystery remain true to T.H.O.M. spirit. It all makes for a respectful take on a classic DC title, and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
Elsewhere, props go out to Amazing Spider-Man artist Marcos Martin who is drawing the bejesus out of Spidey in the latest arc. I think this is the first time I've seen his work, but it really is special. I'd call it a cross between John Romita Junior and Darwyn Cooke with a dash of Ditko for good measure. The man is clearly going to be big star (Best cover since the relaunch by the way).
*Mental Organism Designed Only for Genocide
Thursday, 5 June 2008
ahem, yes, anyway, putting the obvious aside it is interesting to note that Golden age Batman and Robin slept in their costumes, something which they share with bronze age Doom...
But not their Golden age Marvel counterparts Cap and Bucky...
or indeed Laurel and Hardy...
I have 15 long boxes of comics. Of those, 10 contain comics in alphabetical order. Box 11 contains nothing but Green Lantern, the other 4 contain comics to read, comics to file and odds and sods. Let's ignore the last four boxes and generate a random number between 1 and 11
There are probably 150 comics in the box. Using our handy random number generator we get...
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
I have a feeling I'll be referring to this until the bitter end.
Finally got round to reading the first three issues of Garth Ennis and Howard Chaykin's War Is Hell. Wow! Great stuff. I've dropped The Boys and my interest in Dan Dare is waning, but War is Hell serves as a reminder of just how good Garth Ennis can be.
I wonder if it was Ennis or Chaykin who was responsible for this idea...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but that looks like an example of memento mori, which would be wholly appropriate given the ever present spectre of death that haunts the pilots in the story.
The lads at Comics Daily are really on their A game at the moment. I don't always agree with their opinions, but their reviews are some of the most articulate and well considered I've found on the internet. Check them out HERE.