Saturday, 28 February 2009

On your knees and suck it Cap!

or am I just seeing stuff that's not really there again?

Teething problems

To Fantastic Realm in Finsbury Park where I was disappointed to find that only three of the eight comics on my pull list had found their way into my box.  To be fair, I was able to get two of the missing items from the rack, but there was no sign of Fear Agent, Gigantic or, (and this really surprised me), Green Lantern. The boss man told me that Fear Agent hadn't come out, that he'd been shorted on Green Lantern and that I was the only customer who had showed any interest in Gigantic, so he'd forgotten to order it. All of which worries me. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful for the discount, but if I'm going to have trouble getting my books, then I'm going to do the equivalent of the money I'm saving at the new place on tube fares to Gosh. Which is exactly what I ended up doing today! 

You see, I was convinced that Fear Agent did come out this week and, while I'm sure he was sincere in his belief that all the West End shops would be sold out of Green Lantern, I love the book so much that I had to see for myself. Gosh had both comics + Gigantic AND Lord Hurk's latest offering, Urgent Telex (which to be honest I had planned on visiting Gosh to pick up anyway). 

Now, I don't want to knock Fantastic Realm too hard, because in the main they seem just fine. I understand that they are a newer and smaller outfit than the West End stores, I was also well aware when I signed up that they didn't have as much independent stuff as I'd like and, of course, they do give me an excellent discount. As long as they don't read this and throw me out on my ear, I'm happy to continue shopping with them, but I do hope that today's problems don't become a weekly occurrence.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Moore speaks!

Look, it's an interview with Alan Moore

"The average age of the audience now for comics, and this has been the case since the late 1980s, probably is late thirties to early fifties—which tends to support the idea that these things are not being bought by children. They're being bought in many cases by hopeless nostalgics or, putting the worst construction on it, perhaps cases of arrested development who are not prepared to let their childhoods go, no matter how trite the adventures of their various heroes and idols".

I feel so small.

Shopping list

Been a while since I posted up a shopping list, but here's what I'll be picking up tomorrow, minus the groceries which I got last night...

Note: "pot for Jack" is not a drug reference, but a reminder to buy a couple of jars of pureed fruit for my son. Ah, how life has changed.

I suppose I don't need these lists now that a chap in a comic shop puts all my books in a nice box for me, but I'm a sentimental old man who enjoys writing things down + I don't trust the new shop to remember everything yet.

Looking forward to the new Green Lantern obv. New Conan is always nice, especially when our barbaric pal is about to embark on a career as a mercenary. Gigantic #3 should be good, and there's more Remender goodness to be had from Fear Agent.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Visit these people

Every once in a while some pile of old gubbins or other which I've stuck up on this self indulgent blog gets linked on a more popular site and my hits go through the roof. Now, I might hang on to one or two of the people who arrive here via said link, but, in the main, folks don't return and the tumbleweed starts blowing again pretty darn quickly. Which, you know, is fine by me - honest! I did this thing for a year or so while no-one was reading it, so I'm amazed that anyone comes back at all. BUT, let's face it, it is nice when people have a butcher's at your bilge, soooooo, (if you've got the time), make some people happy by having a look around their blogs...

Push listing (for short, sharp, bitter and very funny reviews and previews)

Wild Tyme (for considered, well written commentary on pop culture)

Captain America 327 (for a nice fella's comic thoughts and some kick-ass Subbuteo men)

You look like a little kid with a beard (who probably gets a fair amount of traffic anyway, but deserves a visit from you because you need to check out his fantastic fantasy miniature painting skills. Seriously, I'm mega jealous of this ability)

Pulps from the bothy (who rarely writes about comics, but sometimes makes me wish I didn't live in a big stinking city)

Pornokitsch (for nice old paperback covers!)

And if anyone else out there has a blog which they want to plug, bung the address in the comments section and enjoy as one or two (if you're lucky) hits flood in.

Monday, 23 February 2009

My son is asleep...cue SPEED BLOG!

Lad's napping, so a brief window for blogging...

Picked up Secret Warriors after hearing some good things about it. I have to say it was a lot better than I thought it would be. For those not in the know, you've got Nick Fury and his team of superpowered nobodies working underground because Norman Osborn has disbanded SHIELD. Blah de blah. It's a fast moving action comic with Fury going all Jack Bauer on a bunch of baddies, before using some sort of cloaking device to waltz into the Oval Office undetected and lay the law down to Barack Obama. There's a massive, great fucking twist at the end AND (because it's that diagram loving nutter Jonathan Hickman on writing duty) you get a bunch of excellent charts and maps in the back which will no doubt draw comparison with his work on Nightly News, but are actually more like a fanboyish tribute to the glory of the 1980s Marvel Handbooks. The art is perfectly nice (by a fellah whose name escapes me) and apparently Brian Bendis was also involved on scripting. All in all a very enjoyable comic. I will buy issue #2!

What else? Read another stonking issue of Green Lantern Corps where Kyle Rayner manages to get hold of a fit alien bird despite the fact that she tumbles to the fact that he's a bit of a weirdo who draws and then hordes pictures of deceased Green Lanterns at the moment of their deaths.

Ploughed through Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham's JSA trade The Next Age. Top stuff obv.

Started rereading John Byrne's short but fantastic run on The Hulk. Oh man, it's good stuff. Hulk smashes a stag to death in the first couple of pages and works his way up the tree of life from thereon in. Woo-hoo! Keep your thinking Hulk, this is the Jade Giant for me!

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Golden Age euphemisms for masturbation #102

Panel from "The Beast from the Deep" originally published in Tales of Horror #7 (1953)

Friday, 20 February 2009

I got nothing

Spent last night drinking lager and champers with old chums. Vaguely remember coming home and downloading torrent of Sliders?!?! Awoke with a thumping headache. Swallowed handfuls of painkillers, felt well enough to sleep again. Woken minutes later by postman delivering Dazzler Heroclix figure. Unable to get back to sleep. Started watching Sliders?!? Felt sick. Had breakfast. Felt better. Started trying to write blog. Felt sick. Now girding flabby loins for trip to comic shop. Pitifully short shopping list for me I'm afraid, consisting of Phonogram Singles Club #2 (which probably hasn't come out), Amazing Spider-Man (which I am well behind on and getting a bit bored with to be honest) and Supergirl (which I'm only putting on the list because I can't handle the thought of turning up at a comic shop and only buying one or two comics). That's it, there's some other good stuff out this week (Ghost Rider, Godland, Invincible) but I'm trade waiting on all that gubbins.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Brubaker's pissed off!

Anyone else reading Incognito, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' new comic about a super-villain in witness protection? if not, then go buy it, it's FANTASTIC! I wrote about the first issue very briefly last month and compared it (favourably I might add) to Mark Millar and J G Jones's Wanted. Seems I wasn't the only person to catch a hint of the Wanted vibe off the book - Brubaker himself referred to the number of people who had mentioned this during an interview he did on Word Balloon.

Turns out he's a tad pissed off, as the book is NOTHING like Wanted at all. The fact that his main character has gone from living a life of super-powered crime to grinding out a living as a down-at-heel filing clerk is actually a meta-comics reference. The premise being that when you take someone from mainstream superhero comics and put them in witness protection, the safest place to hide them is in underground comics. Now he says it, I can see it, and it's very clever indeed. BING! I'm sorry I was so stupid Mr Brubaker, I'll pay more attention next time. Promise.

I can understand his frustration with us dunderheads then, but I must admit to having a little chuckle at his comments on the matter in the back of issue #2...

This speech works best if you imagine him jumping up and down on Final Crisis and Watchmen as he delivers it. 

Whatever, I might be too stupid to pick up on the meta-schmeta stuff, but I do know good comics when I sees 'em, and this is good comics kids! Issue #2 has another excellent text piece about pulp age heroes. The focus this month is on Doc Savage, and it comes with an outstanding painting from Sean Phillips which (for those of you who don't have the issue) can be seen HERE

Got to love that Phillips fellah. I think him and Marcos Martin are my two favourite comic artists at the mo.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Some comic related stuff I've been doing

Bought Dazzler for 50p on ebay
Regular readers will know that I like a bit of the old Dazzler, I also happen to think that Heroclix figures are things of great beauty, so you know:  KERCHINNG!

I've got quite a collection of these little plastic people now, but still haven't got the faintest idea how to play Heroclix. No matter, they are my favourite variety of man toy and I will continue to buy them.

Defended Millar and Hitch's Fantastic Four run on a comics message board (AGAIN)
The haters have been whacking themselves off in delight ever since it was announced that Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham will be taking over from Millar and Hitch on Fan Four. While I have no doubt that the new team will do a very fine job on the book, I also think the criticism of Millar and Hitch has been well over the top. In the main their run has been excellent - lots of crazy ideas, strong characterisation and good art from Hitch all of which has been delivered without any of the hideous delays that people were claiming there would be. But I really should stop defending the book on message boards, because it seems impossible to convince anyone else that this is a good comic.

Bagged and boarded until I ran out of bags and boards
I'd like to be one of these cool types who just tosses their comics in a corner when they've read them or gives them away to children's hospitals - but I'm not, I'm a deeply unstable collector who has an unhealthy need to bag, board and file every comic I buy. Sadly I've neglected my bagging and boarding responsibilities for close to a year now and as a result have a large backlog of comics to seal up and consign to the dark long boxes which clutter up my life.

These teetering piles of unbagged floppies have been making me very unhappy of late, and so I have begun the long process of preparing them for eternal rest. I spent three hours on the little fuckers t'other night, three robotic-like hours. Gahh! Thankfully I ran out of bags and boards or I'd have carried on until my eyes started bleeding. 

Only another hundred or so to do before the hell of alphabetical filing can commence.

Bought £50 worth of trades on Amazon
What I didn't mention is that this bagging and boarding all took place on Valentine's night. What can I say? After 12 years together me and the missus very rarely end up making sweet, sweet love. She was spark out by 10, so you know, bagging and boarding it was! She is, however, still a wonderful woman and proved as much by providing me with a £50 Amazon token on my birthday. Obviously I spent all of this on comics (because clearly I don't have enough to read already). Here's what I got for  a nifty...
  • Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits (Ennis/various artists)
  • Kingdom Come (Waid/Ross)
  • Justice Society of America: The Next Age v. 1 (Johns/Eaglesham)
  • Hulk Visionaries: John Byrne (BYRNE!)
  • Hellboy: Conquerer Worm v. 5 (Mignola)
  • Godland Volume 4: Experimento Afterlife (Casey/Scioli)
A fine haul, I'm sure you'll agree. I've already read Byrne's Hulk, but lost my originals in the great Brighton wallpaper disaster of 96 so took this opportunity to replace the run in one hit. I've also read Kingdom Come, but thought it was about time I owned a copy. The rest is all new stuff which will join my ever growing "To Read" pile.

Monday, 16 February 2009


I got no time again (holding the baby)

have A LINK to a cool comic site

and a picture of Hulk punching a deer to death...

Byrne's run on Hulk is the best!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

I have five minutes

Yes! A five minute window has opened and I have chosen to use it to blog because hey, who needs to shower, right? Anyway, five minutes isn't going to allow for much, so here are some brief thoughts on stuff I've been reading on the loo or during bus journeys where I've been able to find a seat on my own (because I get embarrassed reading comics next to non-comics reading adults on public transport)

Captain Britain and MI13 #10
Back when I first recommended Captain Britain, I wanked on about the stuff that makes bad team books shit: "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" I said.

I like Captain Britain, because on the whole Paul Cornell has managed to strike a good balance between these elements, but I have to say issue #10 was a bit too talkie, talkie, relationshippy, blah, blah, blah for my liking. Yes, there was some good Dracula action to be had, but for an issue which I and many others had been touting as a perfect jumping on point, I could've done with fewer heart to hearts and more stakes through the heart - know what I mean?

So yeah, if you bought it and were a bit bored by all the soul searching, I apologise. Stick with it, the action is bound to ramp up next issue and it really is an excellent book. Honest.

House of Mystery (various issues)
Still enjoying this one. What's it about? Well, that's a bit of a MYSTERY! Geddit?! Ha! I'm thinking we're exploring the power of stories and storytelling a la Final Crisis, but without the leotards. Could be wrong though. Anyway I like it.

Jersey Gods #1
Ah no, not another Jack Kirby as genre book! Hmmm, yes but to be fair it's a damn good one. New Gods and Eternals with a sort of sitcommy bassline. I liked it a lot and recommend you pick it up.

The Darkness: Accursed Volume 1
I bought this trade because it's being offered on the cheap (four or five quid, can't remember) and the fellers on the 11 o'clock podcast are always banging on about how good it is. I've managed to avoid The Darkness completely down the years and had no idea what it was about. For those who don't know, there's this mafia hit-man who is a vessel for shitloads of demons or something. He's taken over some south American banana republic where he's got everyone hooked on demon crack and, with the help of his mad scientist sidekick, created a devil woman who he can shag (because he can't shag real women as shagging would kill him because of the demons or some shit). Anyway, it's utter nonsense which scares me a bit in a 90s comics uber-violence sort of way and the art is of that Michael Turneresque sort where all the women have piercing eyes and elven bone structures. Despite all that I enjoyed its over the top madness. Ridiculous comics. Fuck that was all one really long paragraph wasn't it? Sorry haven't got time to sort it out.

Adventure Comics #0
This had a $1 price tag, but the bloke at my new comic shop chucked it in my nerd sack for nowt, which was nice. Reprints Adventure comics #247 (The first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes) which is all well and good. But, you're really going to want it for the short back-up story by Geoff Johns which acts as sort of a prelude to a prelude to Blackest Night. Yes Green Lantern completists, you need to buy this comic.

There's more, but my five minutes is up. S'laters!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

An appeal

ATTENTION IMAGINARY WEB CHUMS! The chaps over at Comics Daily have something important to say to you

And they're right, because as I say in their comments section: If ANY book where DOCTOR DOOM meets DRACULA on the MOON gets cancelled, then we have FAILED!

Honestly, Captain Britain and MI13 is one of a handful of Marvel comics which is actually worth reading at the moment. Don't let it die!


Tuesday, 10 February 2009

I swear on my life this is the last scan I'll ever post from Dazzler #5

Day three of our Dazzler #5 odyssey...

...I like this panel a lot. It's supposed to showcase Beast in all his agile glory, but artist Frank Springer has managed to make our hero look as though he's just fucked up a particularly difficult trampoline jump and is about to break his neck on that table. Got to love the expression on Beast's face - "SHIIIIIIIT!"

Monday, 9 February 2009

Deluded mobsters of the Marvel Universe #1



I don't care what Mr Wheatley says, Dazzler is ACE!

Scans from Dazzler #5 (yesterday's scans came from the same issue) reprinted in Essential Dazzler Volume 1.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Interactive Dazzler Attack


Saturday, 7 February 2009


So that's it, I've finished Final Crisis, and...I LIKED IT! 

I'm not going to be one of these cunts who looks down their nose at everyone who didn't like it, or sneer at the people who've been honest enough to say that they didn't understand a fucking word of it. I'm convinced a bunch of the people doing that (not all of them, but a bunch of them) didn't understand it half as well as they're claiming anyway. 

No, I can see where the haters are coming from because let's be honest chums, big chunks of it made absolutely no flipping sense at all. There you go though, what did you expect? No-one ever said Grant Morrison comics were easy reading. I used Wikipedia, Final Crisis annotations and the wisdom of several well-informed comics podcasters to help me along, and I managed just fine. In fact better than fine, I enjoyed the experience all the more for the additional work I had to put in to understand what was going on. It all felt a bit like sitting around discussing books in my sixth form English class really, which was something I used to enjoy, so you know... NOSTALGIA, YAY!

I dug the story (a story about stories. KEWL!) and mostly, the art was fine too - I wasn't bothered by the change of artist, it all looked fine to me. So I take my comic hat off to the creators. My main issue with the whole thing was the screwy release schedule that saw vital parts of the story released in the wrong order. Legion of Three Worlds hasn't even finished yet, and that's supposed to take place somewhere in between issue five and six of Final Crisis. Batman 682 and 683 are part of the story, but unless you were observant enough to notice the hastily added Final Crisis logos on the covers, you'd never of known. As for Superman Beyond, well, why were these issues not just part of the main series? Yes the creators might be at fault for not meeting deadlines, but why did DC just turn a blind eye to the problems? I mean how bonkers is it that Grant Morrison has to come out AFTER the thing's over and tell us what order we should have read it in...

BATMAN #682 – 683 

Honestly! Bit late now feller! DC should've done this months ago. If they didn't know that this was the order, well...then they want shooting. If they did know and released it in the order that they did because bits of it weren't ready when they were meant to be, then they also want shooting! It might be a bummer when an artist isn't completing his work quickly enough to get a book out when it should be, but when your'e dealing with an event it also makes no sense to ignore the fact that chapter two isn't ready and press ahead with releasing chapter three anyway. By doing that I suspect that DC just alienated a lot of their readers who were already pissed that they weren't getting the paint it by numbers event book that they have come to expect. Ach well, never mind, lessons to be learnt I suppose. 

Me, I'm happy enough to go back and digest the thing in the order that Morrison intended. I honestly think it was a top read and reckon it'll be even better now we know what it should look like as a whole.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


No time, no time, I'm on baby duty. I have added some links on the right hand side of the page though. Since the most popular searches that lead people here (apart from the ones for spandex based porn) seem to be for info on comic shops and comic markets, I've indexed all my reviews of said shops and marts under two headings: LLC does comic shops and LLC does comic markets.

Oh, and while we're at this linking malarkey, HERE'S a site which I saw for the first time today. Made me laugh a lot. Added to Linkorama, natch!

There you go,  I'm off to wipe up snot and shit. S'laters imaginary web chums

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


An old school pal who does something mysterious in comics distribution (for some reason he won't reveal exactly what or who he works for) contacted me via Fakebook and offered me a  discount on comics at Fantastic Realm. Frankly I'd be a mug not to say yes to this offer, and so from this week I'll be giving up the traditional trek to the West End and getting my comics from Finsbury Park instead. I feel a bit sad about this really, but discount comics are discount comics - what you gonna do?

Of course as good as they are at spandex, Fantastic Realm aren't the best for indie stuff so I'll still be making the occasional trip to check the shelves of Gosh for new products from the likes of Lord Hurk and TSOD. But it looks like the traditional Thursday journey up west is about to become a thing of the past.

Here's my first non West End shopping list...

Amazing Spider-Man #585
Astonishing Tales #1
Final Crisis Legion Of Three Worlds #3 (Of 5)
House Of Mystery #10
Invincible Iron Man #10
Jersey Gods #1
Mighty #1

The new Scott Pilgrim is out this week too. I've got my name on the list for one of Gosh's bookplate editions. Hopefully they won't read this and strike me off the list for desertion. You're still my favourite comic shop folks!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Mega-City Comics

Mega-City Comics! There's a comic shop blast from the past. Now in its 23rd year, Mega-City is one of the capital's more established comic shops and a must visit for any comics fan who finds themselves in Camden Town.

Given that it was the closest comic shop to my school, it should come as no surprise that I wasted a fair chunk of my youth in this place. I have vague memories of turning up for the opening day back in 1987 and have continued to stick my head round the door ever since. As far as I can see, little has changed in twenty years, which is no bad thing as it remains one of the better shops in London.

A stone's throw from Camden Tube station, Mega-City is located at the far end of Inverness Street, one of the capital's historic markets and a street made famous in recent years as the home of Britpop landmark The Good Mixer. In an effort to clean it up and draw the tourists in, the street has been pedestrianised and given a shiny sign, but it will probably always attract the alchies from the Arlington Road doss house round the corner and, however many undercover cops patrol it, you're still going to get drug dealers whispering offers at you as you make your way towards Mega City.

Brightly lit, with a nice high ceiling, the shop is well laid out. New comics are neatly arranged on the wall to your left, while back issues and new trades are collected in the centre. At the far end there is a decent selection of well priced 2000AD back issues and a wall full of expensive X-Men which seem to have been there for years.

Given that Camden has a long tradition as a goth and punk magnet, it seems entirely appropriate that the shop should carry a large selection of alternative books and magazines... 

Not my thing, but I like that section a lot. It roots Mega-City in Camden and suggests to me that the owners are switched on to their potential customer base - something which probably helps explain the shop's longevity.

The rest of the right-hand wall is taken up with Mega-City's extensive collection of trades. It's a well ordered and diverse selection which covers everything you might expect to find from the big two as well as a decent amount of manga and some of the more prestigious archive style publications from the likes of Gemstone and Disney.

The staff are a pleasant, knowledgeable bunch, and I enjoyed a good yarn about the state of comics retail with the chap in the picture below...

Being the div that I am, I didn't ask his name, but he's been at Mega-City for as long as I can remember and probably owns the place. Anyway, nice chap who had some interesting tales to tell of the capital's now defunct comic shops and his days of working the marts back when they were huge events held at Westminster Central Hall. 

He acknowledged that price increases and the efforts of Amazon to squeeze comic shops out of business on trades is making it harder than ever to keep things profitable, but he was generally positive about the future. The fact that he runs an excellent, clean and welcoming shop should stand him in good stead. Mega-City has managed 20 odd years already and, on current evidence, can look to the future with confidence.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


Fffuck! Overslept, missed comic market. No time to post anything as I have to go to work. Not much chance of posting anything tomorrow as I'll be on baby duty. In lieu of any real content, have a picture of a price list...

Not the best of pics, if you can't make it out here's the important stuff: $2.99 comics now cost £2.25, $3.99 comics now cost £2.99. 

I can't cope without my monthly fix of Green Lantern but other than that, this increase just about spells the end for me and single issues I think.