Monday, 31 August 2009

Disney buys Marvel!

So Marvel will now presumably disappear down the throat of Walt's monster.
I could accept this if it meant a Garth Ennis Mickey Mouse Max book.
Somehow I think this might spell the end for the Max line though.

Seeing Things

The cover to Batman and Robin #3...

Flip it...
Anyone else see The Joker?

Random book in Hackney road

Found this 1966 paperback in the street...

Quite the title.

I was never really a big Man from U.N.C.L.E. fan, although, I do dimly remember enjoying the odd episode on telly back in the day. I doubt I'll ever read this novel then, but it is a nice thing.

There's a great page in the back inviting the reader to join U.N.C.L.E...

Sell your soul to U.N.C.L.E. at Box No. 666.

Sunday, 30 August 2009


After saying I wasn't going to buy or enjoy Fantastic Four #570, I went and did both. It was in my box at the new shop, so I paid for it, read it and flipping well loved it! Yes, Reed's looking all ripped, but it doesn't end up mattering that much because there is enough traditionally good Fan 4 action in Hickman and Eaglesham's first issue to make me want more.

I got a strong Chris Sprouse/Tom Strong vibe off of Eaglesham's pencils and thought Hickman hit all the necessary notes with the main characters - Ben and Johnny banter, Sue going to bed while Reed works, Reed labouring to invent cool humanity saving stuff.

Heck of a last page too.

Flash Rebirth #4 on the other hand, was an utter pile of brightly coloured impenetrable poo. I'll stick with it, but I now have absolutely no idea what's going on and can't really be bothered to fire up Wikipedia to find out. As far as I can tell, (and bear in mind I was fairly drunk when I read the latest issue), Professor Zoom is having some sort of ruck with Barry Allen and another geezer, (who I don't recognise), in the Speedforce, while Wally West charges about saying meaningful things which I don't understand. It's a right load of old bollocks. Maybe it'll all make sense if I reread it sober.

Blackest Night Titans #1 More tie-in tosh, with a horrible, horrible zombie snogging cover. But, (for shame), I grooved on it. It's got pencils by Ed Benes, who draws people in that '90s, Elfin, Michael Turneresque style which normally turns me off, but actually works very well here. His fight scenes are particularly good, and the ladies will appeal to any saddos out there who like to whack off over their comics (ahem). The story is a solid enough romp. Overall, a very pleasant piece of throwaway entertainment.

Green Lantern #45 Doug Mahnke draws the bejesus out of a bunch of different aliens in this issue. Him and Ivan Reis? Phoosh. I'm an easy sell on Green Lantern, but these two are making my fix of intergalactic punch-ups even more enjoyable. Some great pissed off Sinestro action in this issue, I'm going to soil my plastic pants when he finally faces off against Mongul for control of the Sinestro Corps.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Happy Birthday... The King of Comics.
He would've been 92 today.

Thursday, 27 August 2009


Few pints last night. Followed by lukewarm lamb donor at this place...

I admire their name, but am always disturbed by the fluffy yellow chick.
Anyway. More drink at home after kebab.
Now is morning. Eyes hurt.
Took delivery of latest Invincible trade from postman in pants (me not him).
Watched episode one of The Prisoner. Magnificent stuff. I always turn to classic TV when I'm hungover.
Later = work. I may drag my alcohol and kebab damaged body to the comic shop on the way to the office.
Now though, I sleep.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Since when did Mr Fantastic look like a Chippendale?

I'm dropping Fantastic Four this week, not because I think the new creative team of Hickman and Eaglesham will be shit or anything, I'm just making an attempt to cut back on my single issue habit at the moment, and this seems like a good jumping off point.

Anyway, I'll probably end up checking the new stuff in trade if it's well received, although I must admit that Marvel's preview pages fro the new series have me a little worried from an artistic standpoint. I mean, call me old fashioned, but Reed should not look as ripped as this...

Alright, so Jack Kirby never drew him as a seven-stone weakling, but Reed shouldn't look like bodybuilder. Of course this being a preview page, this could just be some alternate universe Reed, but if it's not, then I don't like it. So there.

Monday, 24 August 2009

We stayed all day

Just back from a day at London Zoo, supervising toddler and grandparent.
You'll get nothing more from me tonight.

Scan from 2000AD Annual 1982 (art by Brian Bolland)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bizzare transport choices of the super-villains #34

"With my great power I can travel any way I choose"

"And you chose a slide?"

Scan from Fantastic Four #20, November 1963

With respectful nods to the Fantastic Four panel a day thread over at the 11 O'Clock Comics forum.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Saturday morning stuff

Bits and bobs...

After knocking the entire Superman family of comics yesterday, I'm suddenly enthused by the whole thing again. Read a good chunk of Supergirl and World of New Krypton at work last night + the Superman Blackest Night tie-in and really got into the story. The Blackest Night tie-in is a nice pastiche of classic slasher flicks. James Robinson wrote the thing and I think there are signs here that he's sharpening up again. So, to cut a long story short, I'm not dropping the super books (although I'm still a bit bored by the whole Nightwing and Flamebird thing).

Jonathan Ross. He knows quite a bit about comics. Hear him prove it with this interview on the Geek Syndicate podcast.

Read lots of cool manga here.

See the ebony ' ercules, Honey Boy Zimba take on Giant Haystacks, here. He's got one of the hardest headbutts in the business you know?

And finally, London Loves Comics reader, Big Dave F has sent me another rant. I'm afraid I don't have time to cut any of the extraneous madness, so you'll get to enjoy it in its raw form, which, let's face it, is probably best. The journey begins after this pic of the great man...

"Okay True Believers – Gaze into Big D’s Magic Pot of Sacred memories.

I think comic collectors of our Vintage have a huge weakness for nostalgia…

Memories of spandex clad adventures mingled with the evocative funk of old paper, the distant, but o-so intense tactile sensations of pulling comics, gently… lovingly from their plastic sleeves at the late Comic Showcase and being chastised by its grumpy troll like inhabitant. The half-a-playing card for the mandatory deposit of your bag at LTS (later Paradise Alley) off Denmark Street by an equally morose non-descript.

In fact, let me digress, my childhood memories are replete with really fucking rude comic shop owners. I remember many moons past a Comic & Vintage magazine shop in Parkway in Camden. Even as a kid I spent what pocket money I had earned, won, stolen, or bullied from others with less upper body strength, at this store. But did that earn me the right to be spoken to with any degree of decency? Did it fuck. I remember the cunt exploding on me because I wanted to look at a Hulk Special that was way up beyond reach behind the shop assistant, and very shyly asking if I could see it. I had, had a windfall somehow…. A birthday perhaps… or me and some friends had raided a Bar Mitzvah… anyhow, the point was that I was feeling flush and looking to make a comic splurge. He really offloaded on me… I mean in no uncertain terms told me he wasn’t going to waste his precious time reaching for a comic that a little time waster like me wasn’t going to buy. My delicate 12 year old sensibilities were crushed.

And who among you remembers the crazy old guy at Mega City in Camden? He’d follow you round the store, sighing audibly if you got anything down from the shelves and then ask you to leave if you hadn't bought anything after 5 minutes. Poor Zack, a good friend of mine and one of the great unwashed, used to spend nearly every penny he got at Mega City, (which was basically his dole money) even to the point of having to go down to Soho square to eat with the Hare Krishnas. Seriously I'm talking about real devotion to comics here. To have this cardigan wearing, misanthrope of Mega City giving him a right royal ‘get out of the shop’ was just to much for Zack. He never went back there. I think I heard a rumour that the old crazy guy was in fact the managers dad and that he had drafted in because they were short staffed… Could it be one of those Comic Store Urban Myths, who knows… or in fact cares?

I suppose at our age we can take comfort that these antecedent comic store bully boys are now lonely, grey, fat, balding, bespectacled, patchouli smelling, amorphous Lovecraftian blobs in Che Guevara T-shirts and an ear-ring.

As if that should be payback enough. I still would love the sweet taste of revenge. (God I am a terrible fucka for wanting revenge!) A dish best served cold? Fuck me, how fucking perfect would that be, meeting them 25 years later:

‘Oi you cunt… Remember me? You used to be rude to me in that comic store where I used to spend all my money…Yeah that’s right… Look into my eyes… make the connection… Lets see you be rude now you fucking mug! WALLOP! Fakkin Caaaant!


Aaaah it gives me a semi just thinking about it…

I am sorry I have digressed far too much when all I meant to do is relive some comic nostalgia.

Feast your eyes on this (rather recent) splash of Kirbyesque hordes!

Fucking love em!

Now Hulk Annual 5 (1976) was a real treat. Although Sal Buscema provided pencils and Jack Abel inked the majority of the comic, the cover was pure Kirby. 64 fucking pages of Hulk trading with 6 of the best golden age Kirby monsters. Groot, Blip, Goom, Taboo… Fucking genius...

Now, you may or may not know Xemnu the Living Titan, unless you’ve either read vintage Hulk or Defenders. This dude seemed to have a real grudge against the Hulk for some reason. But aah! Digging further into the Marvel mists of time I finally see why…

Journey into Mystery 63 has us witnessing the first ever comic entity being headlined as The Hulk. Although in orange fur and looking more like Sasquatch, its definitely our good friend Xemnu...

I'm sure I'm not the first to discover this, but I was quite thrilled to make the connection. It’s a gem of a story, with The Hulk, as he was then known, being nursed back to health after a crash landing, by an unsuspecting propane gas salesman, and then for good measure hypnotising the entire world population, in order that they build him a rocket to get back to his home planet, before he destroys the Earth…. Fun ensues…

So, there you have it. Kirby is great, so are his monsters, and the accolade for being the first ever Hulk goes to Xemnu. Who has obviously had it in for the Green Usurper ever since.

I hope the trip, or perhaps stumble, down memory lane was as fun for you as it was for me… Big D out."

Friday, 21 August 2009

Shopping List

Fuck my old boots, is it Friday already? Time to strap on the old nerd sack and hit the comic shop. Here's my mercifully short shopping list...

Gravel #13
Conan #13
Yes, one's a barbarian and one's an ex SAS combat magician, but both these feckers are granite-jawed hard men, and I love them for it. Of course they also use their nous to get the better of enemies, but when it comes down to it, Conan and Gravel are fighters. Men from the wrong side of the tracks, who have to bump heads to earn respect. Anti-hero comics for boys, which scratch the same itch that Judge Dredd used to back in the day.

Blackest Night Superman #1
At this point I have to come out and say that I'm utterly locked in to Blackest Night. Yes, some of the writing in the first few issues has been cheesy, and, yes, it is at heart just another zombie book, BUT it's also old style superhero comics - a gloriously stupid mishmash of fights and set pieces which has the feel of a proper event comic.

If anything, it's more like a traditional DC Crisis than a Green Lantern story. I know it isn't one, and I know that it doesn't involve the entire multiverse, but it has a grand and important tone to it and is clearly going to have big repercussions throughout the DCU. I'm a sap for buying it, but good golly, it's a fun read.

Final Crisis Aftermath Dance #4
These Final Crisis Aftermath books are stacking up on me now. I've liked the first couple enough to lock in for the lot, but I'm now wondering when I'm ever going to find the time to catch up.

Wednesday Comics #7
Er's really good! I've wittered on about it a lot already: HERE and HERE.

Astounding Wolf-Man #18
This is winding down now. I think Kirkman announced it will end with issue 25. That's fair enough, I've enjoyed the book plenty, but it's not as earth-shatteringly brilliant as either Walking Dead or Invincible, so if it needs to go for Kirkman to keep up to speed on his other books then so be it.

Viking #3
Stunning presentation. OK story. The former draws attention to the latter. Different enough from anything else to keep me on board, but not sure it's as good as the other viking book - Northlanders. Can you believe that there are two viking comics on the go? What's that about?

Supergirl #44
Superman Annual #14
I am very, very close to dropping the entire Super line at the moment. World of New Krypton is the only one that really compels me to read it, the rest of the line is a bit tepid. Action Comics is the worst of the bunch, but Superman and Supergirl have also been distinctly underwhelming of late. I still think it's ridiculous to put out a Superman comic without Superman in it. I'll give the annual a look, but unless it's really good, my Super habit stops here.

Dark Entries
Now then, this is interesting. An original Hellblazer graphic novel written by Ian Rankin. I'll probably hold off on this until I can get it at a big discount online, but I'm very curious to see what Rankin does with the medium.

Unfortunate choice of title though. No tittering at the back!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Horror!

So, apart from clunky old Green Lantern stories, what have I been reading? Horror mostly. Yup, I'm on a definite ghoulish tip at the mo. Reread some of the classic old stories from Creepy Archives #1. Not enough for me, so I snagged a second hand copy of volume two for twenty quid online. Hopefully that'll arrive in time to sate my lust for '60s terror tales. There's real black magic at play in those old Warren comics, I'm telling you.

In the meantime, I'm making do with current day chillers. Walking Dead Volume 10 took me all of half an hour to blast through and, as usual, left me feeling like I needed to watch an episode of The Cosby Show or some other similarly pleasant sit-com to restore my sense of well-being and mental balance.

Honestly, every volume of this book gets progressively more depressing. All of the main adult characters have now reached varying degrees of insanity, while the children are completely and utterly fucked up. Still, top notch stuff. Although, given that it takes about five minutes to read through a single issue, I don't know how anyone manages to read it on a monthly basis.

There's a less visceral sort of horror going on in Warren Ellis' Frankenstein's Womb. Indeed, I suppose you could argue that this piece of biographical fiction isn't horror at all. It's not a Frankenstein's Monster story really, (although he does narrate the story), but rather an examination of the forces at work in Mary Wollstonecraft's life that led her to write Frankenstein. Given that those forces are the very same ones that underpin Frankenstein itself, I think it's fair enough to call this a horror story. Marek Oleksicki's art, (which draws on the classic look of Bernie Wrightson and Angelo Torres at their most ghastly), certainly imbues it with a suitably gothic look.

It's a great piece of work which I rated highly enough to try and get my comics hating girlfriend to read. She passed on it, her loss. What with this, Crecy and Aetheric Mechanics, I think it's safe to say that Warren Ellis is doing his best work for Avatar at the moment.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009


Oh fuck, L@@K! It's NEKRON, and he's forcing his way into the DC Universe through some kind of huge inter-dimensional space vag...

"Nekron? Who dat?" I hear the imaginary audience in my head cry.
"Ha!" I reply "Why, he's the latest D list villain to be dredged up by that cheeky Geoff Johns chap."

It's true chums. Mr Johns has recently revealed that this obscure DC character is the big bad boss behind the whole Blackest Night palaver. Yup, hard on the heels of The Black Hand, Johns is hitting us up with yet another awemungus reimagining of a not-so-classic bad guy.

Nekron's made a few appearances down the years, but his big moment (and first appearance) came in the pages of Tales of The Green Lantern Corps #1 - #3 back in 1981. This curious three-parter takes us back some ten billion years to a time when the DCU had just formed and all was peaceful. On the planet Oa, the immortal race that will eventually become the guardians spend their working days doing worthy science stuff...

and their weekends playing catch with giant crystal D&D dice style beach balls...

It's a nice life which goes on for yonks, until one rotten apple spoils everything...

All very Old Testament. Indeed, the moral of this tale is that looking for answers to life's big questions is a really bad idea. Hmmm.

Anyway, to cut a long story short the fella in the panel above is called Krona, and by prying into the origin of the universe, he unwittingly unleashes evil upon the cosmos. People start killing each other Cain and Abel style, leaving the Oans with little choice but to drop their beach balls and figure out how to restore peace to the Universe. To this end, they fire Krona off into space and form the Green Lantern Corps. Yay!

Years later Krona reemerges, gets beat down by the guardians and fired into eternity again, which is where Nekron comes in...

anyway, blah-de-blah, Nekron wants to take over the living universe and turns Krona into a super-powered space zombie complete with an army of alien undead. They bust on the Green Lanterns and the guardians. Nekron is all set to take over everything, when Hal Jordan breaks into his dimension and resurrects all the dead Green Lanterns to fuck Nekron up...

Krona and his space zombies are forced back into the huge minge in the sky...

allowing the Guardians to glue it shut with their green laser goo...

Thus imprisoning Nekron and his undead army forever. Or so they think...

So there you have it, a brief Nekron lesson. If you want to read more about the chap behind The Black Lantern Corps, the entirety of his origin story is reprinted in the trade paperback collection Tales of The Green Lantern Corps.

Story originally printed in Tales of The Green Lantern Corps #1 - #3, May-July 1981.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

The greatest day!

sister-in-law: "You collect comics don't you?"
me: "Yes"
sister-in-law: "Would the first 500 issues of 2000AD be of any interest to you?"
me: "..."

She has a friend who has the first 500 issues of 2000AD in her attic and was about to throw them out. I told her I would give her some cash for them, but she just wants them off her hands.

Son being born now number two on the list of all-time great days.

Friday, 14 August 2009

You click, make BIG!

From Tales Designed To Thrizzle #1 by Michael Kupperman.
Fantastic comic AND it's being collected. Get VOLUME ONE!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Good Times

Today is my son's 2nd birthday! We watched a Spider-Man cartoon on Youtube before hitting the park and eating chocolate cake for lunch.



Enjoy the same animated treat that we did.
I'd forgotten that '60s cartoon Spidey speaks with the voice of a stern 50-year-old...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Off the stack

Polished off volume three of The Drifting Classroom last night. Man, I love this book. It's a wild, anarchic ride which is by turns hilarious and disturbing. The comparisons with Lord of The Flies are obvious, but it's unfair to pigeonhole this as a knock-off, it has a crazy sensibility which is all its own. I'll be picking up volume four on Friday.

Other collected editions on my list include the special bookplate edition of Darwyn Cooke's Parker and volume 10 of The Walking Dead. I've also ordered the new Invincible trade from Amazon, but Walking Dead is one trade I cannot wait for. It gets bought and read on the day it comes out. I'll zoom through it at Drifting Classroom speed.

Made some progress on the single issue mountain this morning, knocking off Irredeemable #5, Sherlock Holmes #3, Chew #3 and Blackest Night Tales of The Corps #3. The last comic on that list is one which some fans have been complaining about. Apparently they feel ripped off by the fact that a good chunk of it is taken up with a pencils only, director's cut of the Blackest Night #0 issue. I can understand this, but personally, having the chance to check out Ivan Reis' incredible pencils is a plus not a minus point for me. After all, the man is a monster! Stripping out the inks and colours really shows up the detail in his work.

Plus, in one of the other stories, you totally get to see Kenny Rogers as a Green Lantern...

Chew #3 was strong, strong, strong. We get properly acquainted with Tony's love interest, Amelia Mintz, a restaurant critic who can write about food so accurately that her readers get the actual sensation of eating the food she's writing about. She's great. There's also an appearance from E.G.G., a pythonesque team of beret-wearing food standards-hating terrorists. Black humour, wonderful cartooning and characters with clear voices. Chew really is worthy of the hype it's been getting.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Scanning various comic book forums this morning, I happened upon a very detailed report on the recent Chicago Comic Convention. Tucked away in the middle was this gem...

"We stopped by Steve Bryant to chat (hooray!), and he told us two horrifying things about Lou Ferrigno: a) he doesn't wash his hands when he goes to the bathroom (Steve witnessed this) and b) he told a woman that she has “beautiful toes,” and then asked if he could take a picture of them"

Obviously I've forwarded this important information to Popbitch.

Hulk cover puny man's shoulder in germs!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Port Blacksand and Khare

The cover to my favourite Fighting Fantasy book...

I'm a city boy me, and this was the first one where you got to go urban. Port Blacksand is propah! Full of weird shops, drunken monsters, cutthroats and dark alleys!

It's not as good as the ultimate Choose Your Own Adventure city book though...

I believe that this later got rebranded as an FF book, but when it first came out it stood apart from the main line. The second installment of Steve Jackson's epic Sorcery quadrilogy, (not a real word, but it should be), Khare was an ace book full of killer statues, sewer monsters, vampires and the obligatory dangerous taverns. Blew my tiny mind as a lad and still has a prime spot on my bookshelf.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Expensive Archives/Nerd Tantrums

As you may have noticed from a couple of the scans I posted last week, I've cracked on Dark Horse's Creepy Archives. I've been resisting this lavish reprint series for a long time, because following it is going to be an expensive business. Each archive reprints five issues of the classic Warren horror mag. There were a total of 145 issues and the cheapest price I can score each archive for is £24. Sooooo, 145 divided by 5 = 29 and 29 x £24 = £696. Add to this the fact that I'm also going to want to pick up the Eerie Archives (which ran for a total of 139 issues and are being reprinted in the same five issues per archive format) and you're looking at a grand total of £1,368!

Granted these things don't come out every week, but that's still a fuck load of wedge to drop on reprints. They are beautiful though, big glossy black and white works of comic brilliance featuring art from the likes of Frank Frazetta, Reed Crandall, Joe Orlando, Al Williamson and Gray Morrow. The stories by Archie Goodwin (in the main) are also entertaining. As a horror comics fan, it's pretty much the perfect package for me. I've already finished the first Creepy Archive and am now jonesing for the second. I just can't get enough of that old horror. S'the good stuff baby. THE GOOD STUFF!

Talking of big, beautiful expensive reprints, I found myself compelled to buy the DC omnibus of Kirby's Demon on Thursday. It wasn't on my list, but Gosh! are currently offering it at £19.99 which is cheaper than Amazon. They're also knocking out the Kirby Losers omninus at a similiarly large discount, but, you know, buying two omnibuses on the same day would have left me feeling so bad about myself and my horrible comic habit that I decided against it.

I did grab the third volume of Drifting Classroom and Warren Ellis' Frankenstein's Womb. Haven't had the chance to read the Ellis thing yet, but I can tell you that it smells fantastic. Mmmm, glue!

Picked up the rest of my comics from the new shop, which was a mildly depressing experience. I go there now more in hope than expectation and, true to form, they'd fucked up my pull list, (I do not read Buffy the pissing Vampire Slayer!) and failed to get me Jersey Gods, All Winner Comics or (horror of horrors) Wednesday Comics.

This caused me to throw a hissy fit in the middle of the shop, wailing that they couldn't possibly hope to survive if they couldn't get it together to order Wednesday fucking Comics. I apologised, but remain less than enamoured of the way they do business.

Honestly, I can't see the shop surviving for too much longer. It has erratic opening hours, cluttered and confusing racks and (I presume in an effort to save money) does not order all of the week's new comics for Thursday. I'm constantyly being told that my missing comics will arrive on Monday and I'm always replying that this is a recipe for disaster. I've also suggested that they automate their pull lists, stop doing their mail orders on the back issue bins (which are completely inaccesible as a result) and quit over ordering on comics which they have no hope of ever selling to get their hands on variants which they are not guaranteed to be able to shift.

Fair enough, it's none of my business how they run their shop. But I'd actually like them to succeed. They give me a big enough discount to make it worth my while to see them stay in business, so I'm going to keep ranting at them until they a) see sense b) tell me to fuck off or c) go bust.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Big Dave F talks Rulk

I said I'd write something about Red Hulk, but the moment got away from me. Fortunately, my good friend Dave F has emailed me his thoughts on the latest incarnation of his favourite character.

I've posted some of Dave's Hulk related gubbins before, but I feel that I should preface this latest effort by reminding you that Dave really, really, REALLY loves The Hulk. People think I'm joking when I tell them that he's spent the best part of his adult life trying to turn into Lewisham's equivalent of the gamma-irradiated freak, but honestly, I'm not. Here's the picture that proves the point...

He's a lovely fellah, but you wouldn't want to make him angry.

Anyway, I digress. A quick shot of Rulk, and the virtual floor is all yours my steroid chomping chum...

"Okay, okay… Red Hulk reviews… Looks like I better step up to the plate.

Every muggy bonehead tried telling me: Dave we don’t like intelligent Hulk. Dave we like old Hulk. Dave we like Hulk smash! If indeed we like Hulk at all…. (which many of you don’t… I understand and accept that… You stupid fucking tossers!)

Well…. Yeah… Truth be known so do I. Dave like old Hulk. But if you like ice cream you don’t condemn a new flavour until you’ve tried it… Hmmm Cherry flavoured Hulk. Fuck Yeah… From the moment I read the first comic I knew it was gonna be a total no-brainer.

What a reinvention! Rick Jones as a weird new Abomination?! Hulk using guns?! Not knowing if Red Hulk really was Banner?! (I mean the Hulk has been split into multiple manifests many times before) Could I accept this?

I don’t condone violence against women, but that Art Adams splash of Red Hulk hitting She-Hulk so hard her tits look like the’re gonna explode...well, I knew this was the comic for me. And fear not true believers the things we know and love are still happening: Ol Walrus face Ross is still pulling out his grey hair, Doc Samson is still the jealous little ‘I wanna be as strong as the hulk’ guy, Banner is still the troubled physicist, and green Hulk is back to being his lovely childlike self. But true to the best vintage Hulk comics, everyone and I mean everyone is throwing themselves at the Red Hulk (Just like they used to do at the green Hulk)… A king sized smash fest in almost every issue! Aaaah, nostalgia… I could almost smell the mouldy back issues from LTS.

Very, very silly moments ensue from issues 1-12, but they are priceless moments. Moments that have you saying: can they really do that? What the fuck! Oh come on!

I must admit I nearly tore the comic in two when Red Hulk broke green Hulk's arm and choked him unconscious. But I read on and have come to believe that Red Hulk has gotta be one of the best things to come out of Marvel in a long time.

Knocking out the Watcher. Beheading Terrax. Breaking Silver Surfer's neck. Yes, these things actually happen…

Oh Yeah and the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk series has finally been concluded.

Was it good?: Quite

Was it worth waiting 3 years for?: No

Nothing is worth waiting 3 years for unless it turns up, apologises, take off its clothes, (bar the red stilettos), and then sucks your cock like it's suffocating and your balls are full of oxygen…"

There you go, London Loves Comics: first for all your mildly misogynistic, Hulk related fetishes.

Thanks for the email Dave.

What was he trying to tell me?

Not the sharpest tool in the box are you mate?

Scan from Creepy #2, 1964

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Shopping List

Morning. Tried to make a bit of progress on my teetering "To Read" pile yesterday, got through two comics before nodding off. I will strap on my indoor adventure gear and try again today. Something needs to be done, because I have another nerd sack full of overpriced tat to bring back to my cave this week.

Want the list?
Didn't think so.
Well fuck off, you're having it anyway...

Frankenstein's Womb (Warren Ellis GN): Ah yes, a little Ellis novella. These are pretty good. Crecy remains one of my favourite comics of recent years. Could this be as good? Check out the art HERE, very reminiscent of an old CREEPY story.

Female Force #5 Princess Diana: Look, I'm probably not going to buy this, it's obviously going to be shit. The question is, will it be funny shit or just godawful shit. Godawful I imagine. Besides, the important stuff has already been covered

Irredeemable #5: Whining hero gone bad. Shades of The Authority and MiracleMan. S'good though. This is a special cheapo issue (50p or summat) which is accompanied by a cut price trade of the first four issues. Smart move by BOOM! If you haven't already, give it a go.

The Mighty #7: Oh look, another superhero gone wrong. Yeah, this and Irredeemable, there's something in the air. What does it all mean? Don't ask me, I'm thick. This is good though. Chris Samnee is killing on the art.

Final Crisis Aftermath Run #4: Christ on a shitting bike, I've got a huge pile of these Aftermath titles to get through now. Fucking ridiculous. I did read and enjoy issue #1 of this. It was a pleasing meta-textual heavy romp through the world of superhero comic violence. At least I think it was. I was most likely high when I read it.

House Of Mystery #16: Another one I'm woefully behind on. Started buying it out of some unhealthy sense of nostalgia for the title. Quite enjoyed the Vertigo quirkiness at first, but got a little bit fed up of it after a while. S'ok, haven't a fucking clue what it all means though.

Superman World Of New Krypton #6

Wednesday Comics #5

Chew #3: All those people paying hundreds of pounds for issue #1 are going to be fucked off if this suddenly goes shit on us. No sign of that happening after an excellent second issue. On to number #3.

Jersey Gods #6: This is every bit as good as Chew, but no-one's buying it. High cosmic spliced with low rom com. Intelligent writing. Crackling good art. One I look forward to.

All Winners Comics #1: These 70th Anniversary specials from Marvel have been really good. You lucky people who've been ignoring them are going to have a very nice trade to pick up when all's said and done. The only sad thing about all these golden age revamps is that they make me wistful for The Twelve.

Exiles #5: A book I would never have picked up but for a recommendation by X book loving blogger Neil. Loved every issue. Apparently no-one else even knew it was being published though, and, after the next issue, it will disappear down the same hole as the likes of Checkmate, Irredeemable Ant-Man, The Order, Captain Britain and every other mother-loving comic I've enjoyed in the last five years. Cunt.

I'm dropping Spider-Man because it's getting on my ample man-tits. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some issues, but a lot of it (I'm staring at you American Son) is not that good. It seems to come out every other day, and, to be honest, I really don't need to read Spider-Man more than once a month. Bored of Aunt May's interminable wedding preparations, really not interested in Peter Parker's roommate and have just about had my fill of Harry fucking Osborn. Goodbye.

I'm also wavering over Iron Man, a book which I like a lot, but which I've fallen way, way behind on.

Of course Cap Reborn #2 is also out this week, but I've successfully resisted the temptation to pick it up and will digest its meaty WWII flavoured goodness when the trade is served up.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


4) Kickstart your new life as a serial killer!

Ad scanned from Creepy #3, 1964

Sunday, 2 August 2009


There was a mart today and a small press zine expo. I failed to make either. Too busy clearing up diarrhea. Yay parenthood!

Anyway, I did manage to power my way through The Drifting Classroom Volume Two, the manga classic from 1972, recommended by none other than London's number one comic shop manager, Mr Salmond of Gosh!

Given that I have to leave for work in 10 minutes, I don't really have time to write anything sensible about this bonkers screamfest. All you need to know is that it's a comic about an entire school disappearing down a huge hole in the ground and reappearing in a fucked up post-apocalyptic future where all the teachers and pupils go completely batshit crazy and start killing each other!

All the characters shout, there are some horrifically funny murders, and stuff like this happens on every motherloving page...

Way to treat a frightened cripple fellah!

Given the insane body count, (we're averaging a death every two panels at the moment), I'm wondering how there's going to be anyone left by the time I get to Volume 11. Who cares? Honestly this is brilliant stuff - Lord of The Flies on speed! You have to read it!

Can you really pass on a book where eight-year-olds say stuff like this?

Of course you fucking well can't. Go buy it!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Wednesday Comics Part IV

So, Wednesday Comics then. We've hit week four of 12, which means that we're just about ready to tuck into the meat of our 15 stories. From what I've been reading, it seems that the good folk of planet internet are fairly united in their views on which strips are succeeding and which ones aren't. What I'm going to say isn't radically different to anything anybody's already said then, sorry. I feel the need to blather on a bit though, so for what it's worth, here is my take on all 15 strips in reverse order of preference...

15. Wonder Woman. I don't think I've seen a single positive review of this strip, and I'm afraid that I'm not about to write one here. I do admire Ben Caldwell for trying to do something interesting with the format, but it just isn't working. Even on A5 paper there's too much going on in those tiny boxes. It's confusing, murky and almost impossible to tell what's happening in a lot of the panels. I didn't even read the latest installment. Looked at it, thought it seemed like hard work and decided to skip to something more fun.

14. Teen Titans. Berganza and Galloway's Titans isn't bad, but it's not spectacular enough to stand up to the other strips in Wednesday Comics. I can see that the art is good, but it reminds me too much of an anime style cartoon to keep my attention. Like a few of the other strips, I don't feel that it's making use of the format, and that what we're getting is a blown-up page from a standard sized American comic.

13. Green Lantern. Quinones has done a good job of reproducing the look of Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, but as of yet, Busiek hasn't captured the spirit of Cooke's book. Things aren't moving fast enough and Green Lantern hasn't done anything memorable. There is an interesting story developing, but I feel we could have put everything that's happened thus far into issue one and had a bit more ring-slinging action.

12. Superman. I love the Bermejo art, but Arcudi's Superman is a whiny little girl who needs to stop moaning about about how shitty his life is and punch Brainiac or something.

11. Batman. Given that it's by Azzarello and Risso and that it features a femme fatale who's very similar to the character Megan, this feels a lot more like reading 100 Bullets than it does Batman. That's not necessarily a bad thing, and the creators have conjured up an effective mysterious, brooding atmosphere which has me enjoying the story. BUT, it is supposed to be a Batman comic and, at the end of the day, Bats hasn't really done much, has he?

OK, so those are the stories that I have quibbles with. It's unfortunate that three of them feature DC's Trinity, as for this thing to appeal to a wider audience, it really needs super-strong Batman and Superman stories. Not that either of those strips are dreadful, they just aren't packing in enough action for my liking. No matter, from here on in everything about Wednesday Comics starts getting wonderful again...

10. The Demon and Cat Woman. Solid stuff this. Alright so there's nothing particularly groundbreaking going on, but the choice of characters is a really interesting one that Simonsen and Stelfreeze are working well. Being the nerd that I am, I'm irked that The Demon isn't speaking in rhyme, but I can let that slide because this reminds me of one of those odd Brave and The Bold team-up books which I used to pick up from the newsagents as a kid.

9.Sgt Rock. Yeah, this is basically a standard Sgt Rock comic blown up to super-size. It's also a bit of a pain that Rock has been strapped to a chair for four weeks, but he is at least being beaten up by Kubert-drawn Nazis, which is enough to keep me gurgling contentedly.

8. Supergirl. Blimey, this is a surprise! No disrespect to Palmiotti and Connor, but given the stellar list of creators on board Wednesday Comics, I wasn't expecting to be picking this strip out as one of my favourites. The thing is, it's a hoot! A genuine piece of all-ages superhero fun which looks cute and reads really well. The idea of having Krypto and Streaky causing mayhem by acting like a real cat and dog is a simple one, but perfect for this format. I've really enjoyed Connor's art, there's lots going on in the background of her panels which makes it a joy to go back over.

7. Metal Men. Another bright, light-hearted superhero romp. It's become bit of a cliche when talking about this to say, "Blimey, that Dan Didio can actually write can't he?" but let's face it, he can and it is a bit of a surprise. It helps that he's got a fantastic art team in Lopez and Nowlan who are producing some flat-out beautiful pictures of morphing robot people, but still credit where credit's due, Didio is pacing things well and ending each week with a nice cliffhanger.

6. Metamorpho. I can't believe this is only number 6! After week one I had it as number one, but while Allred's art continues to impress, things have slowed a little on the story front. That's hardly mattered because the layouts have been the most innovative in the comic and Gaiman is giving his characters distinct and interesting voices that keep things from teetering into standard faux silver age fare. Part four ended with a nice cliffhanger which suggests that the story is about to get back on track.

The remaining five strips are virtually impossible for me to split. I honestly think that they are all as close to perfection as you can get with a page-a-week comic. But, if we're doing a list, I suppose I have to rank them in some order, so here goes...

5. Strange Adventures. Christ this could just as easily be number #1 as #5. Classic space pulp with a twist. Paul Pope isn't so much knocking the ball out of the park with this one as hammering it into space. I'm loving that Saturday morning adventure serial vibe, Pope's visionary art and weird colour palette and the Space Baboons! I know it's really passe to say that something rocks just because it's got monkeys/Nazis in it, but sometimes there's a joy to be had from monkeys in spaceships, especially when they're as nasty and dirty as these ones. I could go a regular Paul Pope Adam Strange book quite happily.

4. Deadman. Action! That's what makes this strip. Indeed this week's installment may just be my favourite single page in Wednesday Comics thus far. There's a mystery to be solved here, but messrs Bullock and Heuck aren't getting bogged down with the minutiae of solving it. Things are going to be explained, but, (take note Mr Arcudi), we're going to have fun along the way. Bright colours, big fights and mystical mayhem. Love it.

3. Hawkman. From the first installment, which was narrated by Hawkman's bird army, to the latest where we get a full-on space battle juxtaposed against Hawkman's fight with an alien hijacker at 30,000 feet, this has been Grade A stuff. Baker's art is big and bold and his script is just a joy. Exciting, occasionally tongue in cheek superhero pulp as you like it!

2. Kamandi. Ah, now this is the good stuff. Incredibly detailed, fine-lined art from Ryan Sook. No speech bubbles, just caption-based storytelling from Dave Gibbons. As a whole it feels a bit like one of those old Daily Express Rupert Annuals to me. Old-fashioned is what I'm trying to say. That doesn't mean it's slow or tame. This is a full-on action packed story, but it's not in your face action, it's grand and magical. A very classy piece of fantasy that would make Jack Kirby proud.

1. The Flash. And so to The Flash. Or should that be The Flash and Iris West? Because Kerschl and Fletcher have created two comic strips out of one to make a very enjoyable whole.

The Iris strip is done in that polka dot old school style (is it called half-tone?) that screams retro romance comics. The Flash stuff is cleaner, less poppy, but insanely good.

There's a head spinner of a story taking shape here that reminds us that The Flash is more than just a man who can run really fast - he's a man who can run so fast that he can travel in time! It's top stuff, and it works even better when it's played against the very down to earth concerns at work in the Iris West strip. Take those elements and throw in Gorilla Grodd and you're on to a winner. This is innovative yet classic storytelling, a real sleek beast of a thing and pretty much my idea of the perfect comic.