Saturday, 26 December 2009

It's Boxing Day!

which gives me an excuse to post a panel of a walrus knocking out an octopus...

and share my excitement about THIS

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Bargain hunting

So this is Christmas, as I believe someone once said. Magic. Time for me to post the now traditional LLC Christmas picture. Here it is...

Third year in a row I've gone with that. Still sleighs me (geddit?)

Anyway, this Christmas is vastly improved by the fact that Christmas Eve doubles up as new comics day. Quite a busy one at that. I'll be making the trip to Gosh to pick up my festive haul of colourful tat, and I hope to be back four days later for the start of their sale. No ordinary sale this one either, they'll be slashing a host of hardcovers to half price which is going to make shopping at Gosh cheaper than shopping at Amazon. On top of this I can report that the majority of back issues in the basement are now priced at one shiny pound apiece. No rubbish either, all recent stuff in NM condition. Them's some good deals folks!

I'll be splurging the £20 note which Auntie Vi always slips in her Christmas card on some of those goodies. But I have to admit that my bargain hunting has already begun. Yes chums, I've been spunking my dosh freely at The Borders liquidation fest over the past week or two. Picked up some great stuff at 40% discounts (Detroit Metal City vols 1+2, Darwyn Cooke's Spirit vols 1-3, Essential Punisher vol 1) then returned to snaffle up Essential Ghost Rider Volume Two for a fiver on 50% off day, then yesterday braved the post-apocalyptic style clusterfuck of 90% off day at Angel Islington.

Of course the shop had been stripped of most of the decent stuff by the time everything was slashed to 90% off, but this didn't stop the bargain hungry mongs of N1 from fighting over battered copies of Patrick Mower's autobiography and the like. So crazed was the feeding frenzy, that the soon to be jobless staff were forced to make several announcements telling people not to hit each other in the quest for cheap tat.


I still managed to dig out a few treasures in the scrum - Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese (£1.70) some crappy compendium of old Western comics (£1.40) and the George Pellecanos novel, The Night Gardner (40p). I'm going up west tonight and am very tempted to stop off in the Oxford Street branch to see if there's owt lying about worth snaffling up. Doubt it, but today's the last day so I feel obliged to check since I'll be in the vicinity.

After that I'll be returning home to wrap presents and eat huge amounts of food. Huzzah! I hope you have a super time too and that Santa unloads a sack of colourful comic goodness all over your eager faces.

See you at the Gosh! sale.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Merry Christmas to...ME!

The kind soul who gave me THIS delivered 22 assorted 2000AD, Judge Dredd and Starlord annuals to my motherlovin' door!

Ho-Ho-Ho indeed.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

And now...

...Super Friends #30!

That is exactly how I would react in this situation

Uncomfortable moments in comic history...

Remember kids: Intelligence... no match for a punch in the face

Greatest panel ever?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Here is the news

Horrible hangover + lively two-year-old son = PAIN

Scan from Iron Man ~#127

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Big Dave F's Nerdgasm Quiz Part III

Good morning imaginary web chums! I'm off to a Christmas do today, so no time for any sort of comic content. Thankfully my good pal Big Dave F has provided me with a report on his latest quiz night. Sadly I wasn't able to attend this excellent event, but by all accounts it was a beezer night!

Here's Dave's report...

Its been over a week now and still the sounds of nerdish laughter and merry making echo through my mind. Yes, I’m still riding the crest of the resounding, successful wave that was Big D’s Nerdgasm Quiz III.

The previous quiz was a humble affair with a paltry 12 people – three teams and four prizes. Dom had rustled a team up, and my old friend Mr. Wheatley graced the venue - taking time of from his busy schedule of fighting Madonna’s film crew. A modest smattering of other nerds were sprinkled around the pub. Unfortunately sometimes a small crowd can be harder to control than a large one, with Dom’s team, (drunker than Tony Stark at happy hour), calling out answers, shouting encouraging slogans like: YOU NERDY CUNTS to other team members and leaving their 3rd place prize – a squishy Silver Surfer – crushed, desolate and beer-stained under the table for me to find when clearing up…. Poor, poor Norrin. I had never thought the theme to Battlestar Galactica could be turned into a football chant…. I was proven wrong.

But, like a mother who’s children can do no wrong, I still loved them and sent them invites for Nerdgasm III… None of them came.

No matter. Like Hulk’s strength my enthusiasm was boundless. I laboured to promote the event and it paid off. Eight teams and a total of over 40 people - nerds of all denominations, shapes, sizes and comic preferences flocked to my banner. It felt like I was in the cantina at Mos Eisley and I had the death sentence in 12 systems. Why, even The tattooed lady brought friends in Star Wars t-shirts, ensuring that females too played a part in this male dominated arena.

Prizes were many and nerdtastic: Hulk v Juggernaut figures, Marvel magazines and posters, the 2009 updated hardback Marvel encyclopedia, and the first appearance of Wolverine – Hulk 181 – in the form of boxer shorts (Nerd size). Another more seasonal gift pack was an action figure Jesus on wheels, some Last Supper after dinner mints, and a Holy Toast maker (you can imprint your own toast with an image of the Virgin Mary).

The highlight of my evening was meeting a new friend, an LLC regular, Eye-Melt (AKA John) what a man! Astounding his team with his nerdy knowledge, he assured them a first place and took the Hulk boxers for his troubles. He even had time to yarn with me about Herb Trimpe’s fantastic Hulk 161 cover, although I had to refresh his memory with the name of the half-man, half-fish and all hate antagonist: AQUON! For those of you who haven’t read the story arc, it is, (and make no mistake), a fucking corker! Hulk helps overthrow an underwater tyranny so that these deep sea dwellers can have their life-long wish of life on the surface. But their squat bodies are so used to the depths and pressure of 20,000 fathoms that they all begin to burst into bloody pulps as they rejoice in the sunlight, while Hulk looks bemusedly on… Magic! Hope to see many more of you at future quizzes.

Big D out

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

As new as the hydrogen bomb!

Click the image to make the invisible visible

Ad from 1953, reproduced in Hey Skinny: Great ads from the Golden Age of comic books

Monday, 14 December 2009

A Christmas Story from Mega City One

It's Christmas Day in Mega City One and Judge Dredd is on the city wall, looking out over the Cursed Earth. He's sent word to the starving mutant masses gathered at the gates that the good folk of Mega City One are going to make them a Christmas gift of food...

Stupid Muties should know better of course...

Guess again shitheads...

And so...

HO! HO! HO! Another cheery mass execution. Merry Christmas readers!

Scans from 2000AD #450, December 28th 1985 (with art by Steve Dillon)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

I wouldn't give this artist the time of day

To Gosh! Where, along with my usual stack of overly violent superhero books, I picked up a few cheap all ages comics from the back issue bins for my two-year-old to rip to pieces. He likes his colourful pressies, particularly his copy of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #51, and naturally I'm happy that he's enjoying learning some early life lessons through the age-old educational medium of costumed vigilantism.

My missus seems OK with him looking at these toned down tales too. She does have a slight issue with the full page ad for X-Men Forever in the middle of the Spidey book which features a pretty scary looking drawing of Sabretooth. Her main gripe though, is with the opening splash...

It's not Paste Pot Pete's spooge gun that raises her hackles, it's the clocks. She gets that this is The Daily Bugle and that they've got a bunch of clocks showing different time zones pinned to the wall. What she doesn't understand is how it can be five past four in one city, ten to two in another and twenty to five in a third.

Excellent, my son's first proper comic and there's a whopping great mistake on the first page! Get used to it kid!

ADD: While I'm on the subject of introducing kids to comics, here's a pic posted by a proud father on a comics message board...

"Daddy, why is the man sticking his tongue in the rotting cadaver's mouth?"

Friday, 11 December 2009

The leaders of the secret army of spies and terrorists

A corking 70-year-old Fletcher Hanks panel. The guy in the blue suit is a ringer for Bill Clinton, no?

Scan from "Presidential Assassination" by Fletcher Hanks originally printed in Fantastic #1, December 1939. Reprinted in I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets, Ed Paul Karasik, 2007.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A lame superhero

Boo! Rubbish! But this character would be redeemed in my eyes if that last panel was a literal representation of her power in action. In other words, if her head triples in size and detaches from her body in a hail of purple healing beams, she's fucking cool. If not, she's lame.

Those scans are from Adventure Comics Presents Dial H For Hero #489. I used to love Dial H For Hero when I was a lad. But, after buying several issues for 30p at last Sunday's mart, I realise it was bollocks. For those who don't know, the basic premise of the comic was that kids could send in their ideas for superheroes . The best submissions would then appear in the comic. There were some really bad ones, worse than Unicorn even...

Actually, Jelly Woman sounds quite good. I'll have to track down a copy of Adventure Comics #488 to see her wobbling greatness in action.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Quick Bits

Very quickly...

Received an email from Patrick Wensink. Apparently he's got a book out: Sex Dungeon For Sale.

Sounds spiffing!

Anyway, to celebrate the release of said book he's having a colouring competition. The winner gets a copy of Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed To Thrizzle Volume One.

If you fancy a pop at that, HERE'S where to go.

Well worth winning that prize. Tales Designed To Thrizzle is flipping Ace!

If you love issues 189 and 190 of The Justice League Of America as much as I do, then you need to listen to a man talk about them! Yes, I've gone so bonkers on these issues that I actually sought out a podcast about them. It's by a chap called Tom Katers, (of Around Comics fame), who's recorded his thoughts on just about every issue of the Justice League to have seen print! He's in the process of doing the same thing for The Flash.


HERE'S a link to the page with his review of the Starro issues. I imagine I'll be listening to the rest of these in the near future. Top stuff!


Great Starro panels of our time

Ripping the piss out of old comics eh, it's as easy as shooting starfish in a barrel. BUT, don't forget chums, old comics may be easy to mock, but they're also brilliant. Take Justice League of America #189, a typical piece of Bronze age silliness in which Starro the Starfish Conqueror takes over Manhattan.

Now I love Starro, but he is a bit daft - an intergalactic megalomaniac who also happens to be a telepathic starfish? It's an idea straight out of a '50s B movie, so naturally any comic in which he features is going to have an element of camp schlock about it. Yet, for all the silliness in JLA #189 there are also some genuine moments of genius, including one amazing panel which has gone straight into my list of all time favourites.

Here's the set-up: Back in Adventure Comics #451, Starro's efforts to take over earth are thwarted by Aquaman. Long story short: Starro takes a good fucking hiding and is sliced into calamari-style pieces. One of his suckers floats around for years until a young boy fishes it out of the water. The sucker takes over the boy and his parents, forcing them to restore it to health by feeding it protein. It's during this process that we get this...

Click the pic for a closer look

How creepy is that? There's dad and his little lad standing in a pile of rubbish, opening tin after tin of food, while mum kneels on the floor (still in her apron) ladling gloop into toddler Starro's blowhole! It's magnificent, proper horror! A surreal subversion of happy family life which would grace the wall of any modern art gallery, (well I think so anyway), and the kind of panel which stops me in my tracks and makes me remember why I love comics so much.

Perhaps he is a bit silly, but come on folks, admit it - HUNGRY TODDLER STARRO IS THE HORROR BOMB!

Scan from JLA #189, April 1981. Art by Rich Buckler and Frank McLaughlin

Monday, 7 December 2009

Market Value

That it is Cap, that it is. And never more beautiful than when the comic mart is in town.


Yes, ageing nerds on Woburn Place. A fine sight that signals the coming of December's stinkfest at The Royal National. Ah, those empty nerd sacks, soon to be stuffed to bursting with cheap tat! Fills my flabby manbreast with excitement so it does.

I heard several dealers moaning about the sparse crowd at this month's event, but to me it seemed pretty packed - surprisingly so given that Christmas is round the corner. I certainly had trouble getting through the crowds to the bargain longboxes, I even ended up having a pop at one social inadequate who spread himself across three boxes and refused to move to allow anyone else a look. The tosser ignored my polite request to budge up, so I gave him and his wheelie case a shove. Ha! Take that you filthy imp. LLC picking on weedy nerds since 1972. Have it!

Once he'd been moved, I was able to dive in and retrieve a good number of yellowing goodies. Let's have a bit of a rundown shall we? First, and most exciting, JLA issues 189 and 190 for 30p a pop! WOOT! In case you don't know that's these babies. Oh yes, BOLLAND STARRO covers. Magnificent. Top story too. Read it in bed last night and will be taking a closer look at it in an upcoming blog entry.

Also purchased for 30p - Flash #304. It's probably pants, but I thought the cover was a beaut'...

Hi-tech shit man. Colonel Computron sounds like a complete cunt!

Added three more 2000AD progs to my collection (37, 44 and 57) for a combined spend of £2.75! Picked up Warren Ellis' collection of CBR columns, Come In Alone for £2.95. Snaffled up the first trade of Image's Proof for a fiver and lingered over the Tomb of Dracula Omnibus for a long time before deciding against and grabbing a couple more cheap single issues instead for a grand total spend of...£11.85. Good haul!

On the way out I had a look at the VERY expensive comics on this stall...

Bit of a blurry pic, sorry, but note the fact that the boxes are positioned facing the wall and that there is no direct access to them from the main floor. To get to them you had to get the approval of the dealer before filing down past a wall of hugely expensive key issues. Every one of those boxes is probably worth five figures. Heavy stuff, those old boys in the photo were ready to part with huge amounts of wonga. Different world.

Away from the comics, there were more DVD stalls than I'd seen before. The mart seems to have become a bit of a meeting place for collectors of obscure films and TV series and it looked to me like the DVD dealers were doing better business than their comic counterparts. I watched these duffers spend a hefty wadge on dodgy looking Al Jolson flicks...

...before moving on for my traditional trip to Heroclix man's stall. Nothing tempted me this time, but I was taken by this display of £1 Hulks trying to smash their way out of their bargain box...

Grand stuff.

Captain America in London scan from Captain America #305, May 1985 (25p from yesterday's mart)

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Adventures in appalling cover art #1

I went to the mart today. I was not tempted to buy this...

Original cover artwork for an issue of Look-In featuring the "hilarious" Freddie Starr in all his comedic glory. Love the choice of colours. You wouldn't want to look at that with a hangover would you?

Who the fuck would hang this atrocity on their wall? Freddie Starr? I reckon even he'd balk at it.

More on the mart tomorrow.

Saturday, 5 December 2009


Quickly then (got the missus and son staring at me, waiting to go out)

Tomorrow: Dave's Quiz. I can't go, but you should, it's brill.
Greenman & French Horn pub St. Martins Lane WC2N 4EZ 6.45pm

Also there's a mart at The Royal National. I might make that.

Right, eye-daggers being thrown.

Check this out...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Item One
Saw the latest issue of Superman (which of course doesn't feature Superman) proclaiming "A bold new direction for Mon-El!" and immediately dropped all Superman Family books. I dunno, maybe I'll catch up on the whole flabby New Krypton crossover this weekend and change my mind, but I really haven't been enjoying this padded out piece of robbery much. The Mon-El/Guardian stuff in Superman has been a complete bore. The Supergirl saga leaves me cold and the Flamecunt and Nightprick bollocks in Action Comics is a total drag. I have enjoyed the New Krypton series, but it's pretty much unreadable unless you buy the other three Super titles and, to be honest, I'm not sure I like it enough to keep doing that.

Item Two
Had a shufty around Orbital on Saturday - the missus was looking in the antique bookshops on Charing Cross Road so I thought I might as well slope off for a bit of a mooch. They really have done a good job on the place. It's definitely the go-to-shop for back issues in London, there are thousands of single issues in there, thousands. I believe that their manga store has closed down which is a shame, but they have maintained a decent selection at the main store. The art gallery is still in place and there's a vintage movie poster store opened in another of the alcoves towards the rear of the store. The small press section is brimming with obscure zines and photocopied comics and, of course, all your current spandexery is available at the front of house. Lovely shop and well worth checking out if you find yourself with some time to kill.

Item Three
I'll still be picking up my weekly fix from Gosh though. Here's what I'll be loading up on this week...

Blackest Night - Flash #1
Johns and Kolins on The Flash. This is the only Flash I need to read. I'm a fan of Kolins, even liked his Omega Flight mini, and nowhere has he ever been as good as on Johns' Flash. He's a much better choice for the crackly, zippy world of speedsters than the detail obsessed Ethan van Sciver.

Blackest Night - Wonder Woman #1
I loved the start of Gail Simone's tenure on Wonder Woman. All Nazis and apes so it was. It went a bit dry after that though so I ditched it. Is she writing this? I dunno. Haven't got time to look because my son will be waking up in a minute. I'll buy it anyway.

House of Mystery #20
Err. I'm nine issues behind on this, so the real mystery is my continued support of a book which I'm no longer reading. There will come a day when I get time to read it. On that day I will realise that I don't like it. So it goes.

Mighty #11
Ah, now, I'm three issues behind on this, but that's OK, cos there's only one more issue to go after this one and then I'm going to read the lot. I heartily recommend you pick the entire story up when it's traded too because it's a little dark gem.

Sweet Tooth #4
The adventures of Deer-Boy and Clint Eastwood. A comic which successfully draws on sources as diverse as Bambi and Mad Max, Sweet Tooth satisfies my need for post-apocalyptic-road-movie-style-shenanigans while stealthily pulling on my clogged heartstrings with some good old fashioned weepy bits.

Thor #604
Hmm. I HATED Stracyzinski's run on Thor. Really HATED it. I mean it might've got good, but after two issues of the Thunder God wandering around small town America doing NOTHING, I gave up. Several folks have called it brilliant so maybe I should go back and read it, but in the meantime I might give this issue a look becasue it's written by Kieron Gillen. I'm hoping he knows that the God of Thunder needs to be smashing people over the head with Mjolnir A LOT! We'll see.