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!

WALLOP!’

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."

4 comments:

Gordon said...

I've seen Jonathan Ross many times in Forbidden Planet London. He basically buys all the new release comics but I guess he's probably the last person to worry about the costs. He's very tall and wears the pointiest pair of white shoes I've ever seen.

mr wheatley said...

they were rude... thats for sure.
Though i do remember going to LTS with Giuseppe, who as we left loaded up with as much stuff as he could carry and ran down the stairs. so the half playing card rule wasnt that bad a thought.
Forbidden Planet denmark street will always be my fave. ahhh memories.

Anonymous said...

Jameson showed me one in Islington once.... Cant remember what is was called though...
Anyone remember?

D

mr wheatley said...

fantasy comics?
it was a bit shit.