Friday, 31 October 2008

Adventures in product placement

I just finished watching 30 Days of Night. Hmmm, t'was OK, a passable horror flick. I'm not a massive fan of the comic, but I was pleased to see that the makers of the film stayed faithful to the look of Ben Templesmith's vampires. Anyway, I won't bore you with a long review - suffice to say it's worth a watch, but don't expect Nosferatu or anything.

What you will get is one of the worst moments of product placement ever. It comes in the middle of the film as the survivors of a vampire attack come out of hiding to search for supplies at the local grocery. Obviously this is a bad idea, as amongst the pot noodles and abandoned Nectar cards, an eight-year old vampire is chowing down on a dead checkout girl...

mmmm. Best to leave her to it I reckon. But no, our plucky survivors alert her to their presence...
After some shenanigans in the toiletries aisle, they manage to pin her up against the wall...

and chop off her head...

Blimey. Time for a drink!

Yup folks, when you've had a hard afternoon committing infanticide, nothing quenches the thirst quite like an ice-cold Pepsi.

Oh dear.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Schlock Horror!

Over at the forum of top podcast 11 O'Clock comics, host Vince B has posted a wonderful selection of old Eeerie publications horror comic covers. I've swiped a couple of my favourites....

Walrus alien with provocative leather g-string

Monday, 27 October 2008

Panel of the Year

Swiped from the excellent Superman: New Krypton Special.

PS I've been described as "a bit bitchy and hard edged"

And I thought I was a big old softie.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Black comics and Man Toys

I enjoyed the bejesus out of the last issue of Final Crisis and the Submit one shot which should be read immediately beforehand. Submit is the blackest comic I've read since I ploughed my way through the monochrome madness of Essential Power Man Volume One. Alright, so it's written by a bald white Scot, but all the main characters are Afro-American. There is one conspicuous white cameo though...

Maybe I'm just imagining it, but that fellow on the left looks a lot like the David Tennant incarnation of Doctor Who to me.

Anyway, Submit: not only the blackest comic I've ever read, but also the most straightforward Grant Morrison tale I've seen for some time. No tripped out mystery to this one, it's just a simple story about Black Lightning and the Tattooed Man fighting Darkseid's evil horde of brainwashed loons. Top stuff.

Final Crisis #4 was also relatively straightforward. The story seems to have moved into a different gear with this issue. Darkseid's finally shown up and it's become clear that the speed force is the antidote to anti-life. That aside, Morrison writes a mean Green Arrow. I've never really had much time for that character, but Morrison makes him a heroic, angry liberal. Much more interesting than the wimpy leftie I've always seen him done as. Good stuff.

Away from the comics I've been hovering over the ebay bid button on some of the new DC Arkham Asylum Heroclix figures. The Batman villain figures are particularly pretty man toys...

Oh they'd look nice on my shelf.

Because the line is new, people are asking silly sums for the rarer figures though, so I'll wait a while before wading in.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Friday night

Drinking absinthe, reading Final Crisis.

Friday, 24 October 2008

I'm busy

Have some nerd tatts

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Disturbing Dennis

A nice find in Hackney Oxfam today, A 1959 Dennis The Menace annual in reasonable shape for 59p. It's full of the usual pranks and slipperings, but features a back cover which disturbed me slightly...

Click for a larger image

Like every other British kid, I read The Beano and became desensitised to Dennis's frequent beatings, but this one? I don't know, it's all a bit sus.

Leaving aside the angle of Dennis' arse or the fact that he's pointing to a "Handle With Care" sign, there's also something a bit dodgy about the way Dennis' dad is rolling up that sleeve, it's almost like he's about to flex his biceps for the men in the background. His expression is, well, let's just say he's focused on that arse and he doesn't look like he plans on holding back, a fact that clearly meets with the approval of those onlookers. Take a look at their faces, the chimney sweep's fucking loving it! And what's with the identical folded arms, splayed feet, clamped shut legs and ramrod straight postures?

No wonder Dennis looks so scared. Those are some creepy, sadistic looking bastards his dad has invited round to watch him take a hiding.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Shopping list

I've fallen behind on my reading again and find myself faced with another sizable stack of unread comics. I plan to make said stack even higher this week by adding the following...

Amazing Spider-Man #574
And now the LLC line on Venom: I'm an issue behind on Spidey. I hope we're all done with Venom now. Venom sucks nuts. That white Venom thing sucks nuts even harder. I just don't connect with the character, sorry. It's an old man who stopped reading comics in the 90s thing.

Captain America #43
So yeah spoilers and all, but Steve didn't come back. I'm fine with that. Absolutely fine. You know what though? I hope Marvel sticks with this new direction. Honestly, lets have Bucky's Cap for a good 5-10 years now. No copping out and bringing Steve back. Bucky's a good Cap. Let him breathe.

Criminal 2 #6
Fear Agent #24 1 Against 1 (Pt 3 Of 6)
Two of the finest books in the world and I'm pitifully behind on them both. I continue to buy the singles though and soon (VERY soon) I shall dedicate a whole day to ploughing through them.

Final Crisis #4 (Of 7)
Late! probably because JG Jones is struggling to meet deadlines. I see Doug Mahnke is taking over pencilling duties on some of the later issues. He's good and all, but I'm a wee bit worried that the change of artist is going to lend the book an inconsistent feel.

Final Crisis Submit #1
Given that I'm buying every fucking tie-in, I think it's safe to say that I have indeed submitted.

Superman New Krypton Special #1
I'm feeling used. I'm reading Superman and Action Comics, but now you're telling me that I need to buy this and Supergirl to understand what the fuck's going on? Bah! And another thing, the last part of the Braniac saga in Action (from which this whole New Krypton money spinner springs) wasn't half as good as everyone's making out. I mean Braniac got fucked up way too easily and as for Pa Kent - who cares? He's an old bloke in dungarees for fuck's sake! Booooring. Kill Ma too I say.

Unknown Soldier #1
I LOVED the preview that Vertigo did for this in the back of last month's House of Mystery. Great looking art and a new spin on the Unknown Soldier + there's a variant Rich Corben cover which I know is going to be ace. Rich Corben is magic!

I've also got the reprints of Bryan Talbot's classic Luther Arkwright on order from Amazon. I read these when they originally came out in the 80s and loved them. Looking forward to a good dose of nostalgia.

Monday, 20 October 2008

No More Heroes

I feel at peace with the world tonight because I did something good with my life. Yes chums, for months I'd been telling myself that I had to get around to watching the second half of the second season of Heroes, all the time knowing that doing so would mean sitting through hour upon hour of insipid, derivative bilge. Then BING! the light bulb went off in my misguided head: I didn't have to watch it! And just like that, I deleted all the unwatched episodes from my Sky + recorder. Excelsior!

There was a lot I hated about Heroes, but I think that the Peter Petrelli goes to Ireland story was the thing that finally did for me. While George Takei, Malcom MacDowell and Christopher Ecclestone were around I could just about stomach the show, without the weight they gave it, Heroes just got harder to bear with every episode. By the time we got to Ireland and were forced to watch a procession of dreadful American hams delivering a string of "begoras" and "to be sures" in the worst Irish accents ever, I was unable to cope anymore. It was time to admit that Heroes was toilet.

For a while during the first season I was quite into it. That smack addict who painted the future was pretty cool, and hey, what right thinking nerd isn't a sucker for a good old fashioned Haitian mindwipe? But to be honest I only watched as much as I did because I felt I should.

Fine, I thought, the whole thing is a big X-Men rip-off but it's alright. More importantly all those people who think I'm odd for reading comics at 36 seemed to like it a lot. Would they suddenly rush out and start buying Ex Machina? Maybe! Shit this show could save comics, in which case I owed it to the industry to like Heroes!


In reality I found myself telling fans of the show that if they liked Heroes they should read some of the classic superhero comics it was based on. What a dufus!

Let's face it most of the people who watch Heroes think it's a cool adult-orientated version of a genre which is really for kids. I know plenty of folk who love Heroes but think that anyone over the age of 12 who reads comics is a freak. Of course those of us in the know realise that the opposite is true. The lack of spandex and some of the other more traditional elements of superhero comics makes the show popular amongst normal folk, but it's also part of what makes it so shit. Superheroes without spandex are just watered down versions of the real thing. And that's what Heroes is: a non-nerd friendly approximation of the superhero genre.

Once I admitted that, it was easy to jack it in. And you know what? I'm glad that I'm free of it. Glad that I won't have to put up with Fat Matt and his wanky telepathy. Glad that I won't have to watch Mohinder turning into a second rate version of the Fly. Glad that I no longer have to put up with Hiro and cunting Ando bumbling about a couple of cunts. Glad that I've seen Sylar cock his head and sneer for the last time and glad that I won't ever have to hear Clare Bennett's sharp intake of breath as she comes back from the dead yet again.

Yes chums, I've come to terms with the fact that Heroes is a terrible show which does comics no favours at all. If you want well written superhero stories full of good characters and cool ideas go read some Alan Moore. If you want superheroes on the small screen pick up the DVD of Iron Man or The Dark Knight. Don't watch Heroes, it's pish and you know it!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Two photos taken with my crappy camera phone

Three women
Angel Station, Islington

Denim Man and Pimp
Graham Road, Hackney

Friday, 17 October 2008


Yesterday I schlepped around town with my slightly sick son in tow. Dodging the vast crowds of tourists who had come out to see Britain's Olympic team, we made our way to Gosh! where I picked up a goodly stack of new comics. On the way home my son puked all over himself and his buggy causing much alarm on the bus. Obviously I'd forgotten to take a change of outfit out with me. We both stank for the rest of the journey home. The joys.

In the evening I persuaded the missus that it would be a good idea to watch The Incredible Hulk on DVD because it had received some decent reviews. She said she'd heard it was shite. As per usual she was correct. Anyone who gave this film anything more than two stars wants their forehead slapping because...
  • The CGI is wank! Alright, it looks OK in a couple of places, but there are way too many times when the CGI characters look like they've been overlayed on the live action. Neither the Hulk or the Abomination move realistically, they act like Harryhausen models. I'm not knocking Ray Harryhausen saying that, I'm quite sure he'd have put together something a lot more impressive given the technology and the budget.
  • The script is so shite that I came to the conclusion that the only reason Liv Tyler whispered every single one of her lines was that she was too embarrassed to say them out loud.
  • I'm all for dropping in the occasional nod to the classic Hulk TV show, but the director clobbers you over the head with references to it. Poor Ed Norton has to deliver some cringeworthy lines as a result: "You won't like me when I'm hungry...wait that's not right"
  • University science labs DON'T look like that. Seriously, show me one university lab that has a chair complete with wrist and leg restraints surrounded by banks of beeping and whirring computers and twisty twirly test tube thingies! Garggggh!
There are many more things to moan about, suffice to say I really didn't like The Incredible Hulk. Ang Lee's version was probably better and that really is saying something.

After the Hulk I started to watch the Neil Marshall turkey, Doomsday which was also terrible. Unlike The Hulk though it seems to be good awful rather than God awful. Sadly I fell asleep well before the end, but not before I had the chance to laugh at Bob Hoskins attempting to deliver a couple of hilariously bad speeches with a straight face. I'll plough through the second half of the film when I get home tonight.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Special Guest Stars

Afternoon chums. I can't be arsed to wank on about the contents of my nerd sack today, so instead I've turned my blog over to two of my dearest old pals. First up, rising televisual star Mr Wheatley has taken time out from his hectic directorial schedule to provide me with his new web comic. Feast your eyes on this black and white treat...

If that's not enough for you, then have a butchers at Hulk-Loving antique dealer Big Dave F's latest e-mail to me in which he spouts off about his Missus and her new found love for comics...

Shucks! We’d all like our girlfriends or spouses to be part of our universe. Sadly most of us geeks don’t have girlfriends, let alone spouses who are doomed to endure us never growing up. But there are those exceptions that would prove the rule. The rare breed of female who is a regular to the shelves of the local comic shop or has a level 58 Druid on World of Warcraft. But as nerds we have more or less accepted that our penchants will be kept to ourselves, and our company shall be restricted to that of other nerds.

My long suffering wife hates comics and hates zombies. Now I know I’m a little late onto the bus, but I started reading The Walking Dead. Excellent! Not the best comic I’ve read…. no Spandex…. no underpants on the outside… no punching and smashing for freedom…. no what I know and love… but great nonetheless. I love zombie films, and Kirkman understands good zombie epics are about the people involved as much as the flesh eaters themselves. It’s the human side of things that make the story. It was this that led to my epiphany - my wife would love this story, nay she must love this story! For truly, Eastenders has nothing on this Human/Zombie epic!

The love of Dave's life...and his wife (Kerrrrching!)

I knew no matter how I begged; she would not even pick up a comic under her own volition, let alone read it. So, putting on my Ringmaster’s hat complete with hypno-disc (a la Circus of Crime)….. No not really, instead, I had a plan. Most females have a weird want to spend ‘quality’ time with us…. Hmmm I thought.

‘How would you like me to read to you tonight, my dear?’ I asked nonchalantly.

‘Errr… Yeah that would be nice…’ She responded as a look of puzzled wonder flashed across her Hun-like countenance.

That evening I sat her on my lap (errr…. bear with me) and began reading her the comic. Walking Dead #1. Yes, complete with accents, girly voices and sound effects. My gun shot is particularly good I’m told. By issue #10 (we reached it in one sitting) she was hooked. Waiting attentively by my comic box as I got home every night for another portion of the Zombie Holocaust.

At the stage of my writing this prose, she has put thumb to comic and leafs through pages like a seasoned pro. (Well nearly… ‘Ooh not so rough dear, and do put them back in their plastic sleeves please…’) She is even ahead of me! Issue 52, where as I am only on 39.

Here my tale ends, but perhaps I've given hope to the few of you nerds that have real partners as opposed to imaginary ones. Now as roleplay in the bedroom she even dresses up as a U.S. Marshall and I shamble around the bed trying to eat her brains… Huzzah!

Thanks to both of today's guests, by doing my work for me they've freed up valuable time for me to surf the net for porn and old Minder clips. If you'd like to help out, then send your submissions to the e-mail address in the sidebar. I'll publish any old gubbins. Cheeri-pops!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Fat old man glories in beating child at Heroclix. Later he returns to a one bedroom stinkpit where he feasts on ready meals in the shadow of 500 long boxes of yellowing comics and relives the moment he ground the child's Heroclix dreams into the dust

I've seen enough Spirit,
take me home!

Monday, 13 October 2008

The best Minder scene EVER!

Damn this is fantastic...

Paul Newman eat your dead fucking heart out.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

LLC recommends Minder

Best comic of the week? No contest, it has to be Minder, a little gem exclusive to London's finest shop Gosh!. To be honest I'm not sure there are even any left. If that's the case then I'm very sorry, I only hope co-creator LORD HURK makes some more copies available or puts it up on the web, because it's ACE!

Obviously Minder is a comic with limited appeal. If you've never watched an episode of the TV programme then there's really no point in you picking it up. If, however, you do remember the show then you'll love this affectionate send up.

Creators Janet Roque (who may or may not exist) and Hurk have refined and distilled the very essence of Minder into 19 glorious pages to produce nothing less than a missing episode. Alright, so it's a slightly surreal missing episode, but there's no doubt that Roque and Hurk (take note David Walliams) have nailed it. All your favourite characters are here...

Arfa & Terry


DS Chisholm

even Taff (or is it THE MOOG?!)

The story follows the familiar pattern of EVERY other episode of the show, which is of course what makes it so funny. Terry's birds, Arfa's dodgy merchandise, the inevitable punch-up - you get them all! Magic.

My one slight criticism is that Arfa never mentions "'Er indoors". Other than that I have nothing but praise for this comic. It's done so well that I can only hope that it's the first in a series of tributes to great British TV shows of the 80s. I can already imagine a Professionals, Gentle Touch and Dempsey & Makepeace comic done in the same style. Please, make it happen!

Friday, 10 October 2008

Attack of the Zombie Elephant!

Hooray, my copy of Tales From The Crypt Volume Three arrived in the post today. It's easily the best EC Archive yet. Why? Zombie Elephant is why! Not just any Zombie Elephant either, this is a Ghastly Graham Ingels Zombie Elephant...

All hail Zombie Elephant!

Thursday, 9 October 2008


Thanks to Portuguese LLC reader Diogo Campos who responded to this recent post with a picture of another huge superhero tile mural in Lisbon...

It's not the clearest pic in the world, but if you click it you can make out a good smattering of DC and Marvel favourites. Interestingly (to me anyway) the artist seems to have used the Marvel Handbook: Book of the Dead and The DC Who's Who guide for reference. There's also some Amazing Spider-Man in there and, in amongst all the spandex, a stormtrooper. Top stuff. Many thanks to Diogo who is doing his best to track down a better photo for me.


There's a brand new video up on the official Watchmen site. Check it out HERE

If that's not enough Watchmen for you, you can listen to Dave Gibbons talking about the movie and the motion comic on Word Balloon. Host John Siuntres also has recent interviews with the likes of Jeff Parker, Jeph Loeb and Jonathan Hickman available for download.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Them that dies'll be the lucky ones!

More scans from my son's book collection for you today. The lucky little tyke has inherited his mum's stash of Ladybird books, a fine bunch of 70s literature which includes the magnificent: Ladybird book about Pirates.

This masterpiece contains potted biographies of 22 REAL LIFE pirates written by the grandly named L. Du Garde Peach and is beautifully illustrated by one F. Humphris. I've never heard of this Humphris chap before, but he was very talented.

His cover alone is worth the 15p price tag! It's a powerful watercolour painting which is rendered all the more dramatic by the 38 years worth of muck that has accumulated on the book. I'd love to own the original. Here t'is. ARRRRRH!!!!

Click the image to supersize the high seas shenanigans

The interior art is equally as good. Here's Blackbeard...

The image is a bit blurred around the edges because of my crappy scanner, but you can still enjoy the flaming red pirate rage of Blackbeard in action. Top stuff.

There's even some lady pirate action to be had. Here's Anne Bonny and her companion Mary Read...


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Shopping List

No visit to London's magical West End last week as I only had one title on the old shopping list. My brain barely survived the disruption to its weekly routine of course, but I felt better about myself for not dropping a wad of cash. Still, one week without new comics is enough for any emotionally retarded man to bear, and I'm straining at the leash to lash the cash on some overpriced funny books. Here's what I'll be picking up this week...

The End League #5
Relentlessly depressing, deliberately derivative superhero team book by Rick Remender. The End League gets darker and more difficult to follow with every passing issue, but it's well written, cool stuff and I'm a big fan.

Action Comics #870
Geoff Johns' mission to clean up any discrepancies in DC continuity continues apace with part four of his Braniac story, and very well done it is too. He's successfully managed to build a new Braniac out of all the old versions of the character while still telling a rollicking good Superman yarn.

Final Crisis: Revelations #3
Oh dear which one is this again? I'm getting a bit confused by all the tie-ins that I swore I wasn't going to buy but in fact am. Ah yes, the Spectre threatening to kill the Question at some indeterminate point in the Final Crisis timeline, lots of quotes from the bible and some horrible art from Philip Tan. Still, I enjoyed the bit where Dr Light got turned into a candle and I'm now irreversibly locked into buying everything related to Final Crisis so...

Green Lantern #35
More house cleaning from Johns as he retells the origin of Green Lantern. This arc was obviously designed to be a bit of a filler while Hal Jordan gets on with all the Final Crisis stuff elsewhere, but it's turned out to be one of Johns' finest moments on the book. Lots of Sinestro, plenty of Hector Hammond and a plausible fusion of current events in the GL universe and the original Silver Age origin of the character.

Green Lantern Corps #39
How do you follow up the last story where a bunch of evil alien insectoid types dumped a truckload of eyeballs on the Green Lanterns for a laugh? Answer: You can't. What you can do is whet the appetites of your slavering audience for the upcoming Blackest Night story with an origin story for one of the multitude of new Lantern Corps. Yay!

Wonder Woman #25
Hmmm. I'm getting closer and closer to dropping this. The first few issues of Gail Simone's run were really strong, but the glory days of talking apes v techno Nazis on the beach are long gone and let's be honest, it's been downhill since then. Last chance to get good or it's off the list.

Avengers Invaders #5
Yeah, this is shit awful but I've bought four issues already so what are you gonna do? Ahh the mindset of the comic fan.

Invincible Iron Man #6
Eziekel Stane is the best NEW villain to hit the Marvel U for a long time and Invincible Iron Man is as good a reboot of a Marvel property as there's been in recent years. Can't say much more about this book than that. A gem.

Marvel Zombies III #1
Really? It's by Fred van Lente though, so it's might be OK.

The Twelve #8
Given that we're eight issues in and the Twelve still haven't done anything but moan about how shit modern life is, I should be hating this, but for some reason it works. Not only that, it's spawned a fine Big Dave F impression. Really, you should see his Mastermind Excello, it's uncanny.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Bring me the head of Andy Capp

News of The Kid and his excellent reviews is spreading. He has a letter published in Amazing Spider-Man #571 and also draws high praise from Jeph Loeb during the Hulk writer's latest chat with John Siuntres over at Word Balloon.


Nice bunch of vids courtesy of LLC chum Mr Wheatley. Check them out HERE


Get yourself an original Alan Moore script on ebay


Found in a box at the office library...

Made me think of Se7en. Although for that comparison to hold up I suppose it would have to be Flo's head and not Andy's in the box. I doubt Andy would care if Flo's head turned up in a box. Although maybe...Oh dear, The Capps in a remake of Se7en? Time to stop.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

The Mental Movies

Why does Lois look so worried?
Everyone else is clearly enjoying The Mental Movies.

Mmmmmmmm. Mental Movies.

Scans from Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #21, November 1960

Friday, 3 October 2008

Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink

My son has many books. This is a scan from my favourite...

Wacky Bull by Z Vrbova and T Morgan-Jones. Top That publishing, 2004

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Another fantastic review from The Kid

Funnily enough THIS is almost word for word how Big Dave F described the latest issue of The Hulk to me after several pints of lager.

Such a good review that I'm almost tempted to buy the comic.