Monday, 30 November 2009
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
To The Green Lanes Fish Bar for chips and a chat about manga with the comics-loving husband and wife team who do the frying. You know that these folks are into their manga and anime, because the walls of their chippie are covered in framed pics of manga characters. They also do a neat little sideline in toys and statues, lining up Japanese action figures for sale alongside the onion vinegar and ketchup. It's a strange combination. I wonder if they ever sell any of the toys.
The fellah is the real comics nut in this relationship. He tells me that he has been collecting since 1969 and fondly recounts the days when he used to go down to Forbidden Planet in Denmark Street for his fix of American comics. His interest in superheroes has waned since then, but he's still crazy for the manga, especially the Chinese stuff that he used to pick up in Hong Kong as a lad. I brag about the piles of comic-related tat that clog up my house, and his missus rolls her eyes as he tells me of his huge collection. He recommends something called Storm Riders to me, his favourite series, it's been going since the '60s apparently.
I confess that I don't know much about manga but recommend Uzumaki and The Drifting Classroom to him. He hasn't heard of either, and to be honest I doubt whether they'll be his cup of tea, but you never know. He has read 20th Century Boys and tells me that the film adaptation is also worth checking out.
I'm tempted to buy one of his robot man-toys, but I don't. I must resist the lure of man-toys. I pay for my chips - very nice they are too - and say goodbye.
Here are some exciting pics of the manga chippie...
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Just been sipping some tea from a pot, eating a jam scone and reading "You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation" the second volume of the collected comics of Fletcher Hanks. What a top time! I fucking love comics (and tea).
The Hanks book is brill. Perfect accompaniment to a nice drop of Assam, and a fitting follow-up to yesterday's recommendation: Prison Pit. Hanks produced some crazy strips of course, and they are beautifully reproduced here, but the book is also worth buying for a nice intro from Paul Karasik which contains some very early Hanks art and a brief history of his life and death. A brutal alcoholic who kicked his four-year-old down the stairs before deserting his family completely, Hanks packed in comics in the early 40s, disappearing from the public eye and dying in 1976 as a drunk down-and-out on a park bench.
So, a thoroughly disagreeable chap who wasted his life and talent. Not quite the fairy-tale it could be, but he did leave a legacy of some very strange and angry comics AND it should be noted not only did he draw them, he wrote, lettered and coloured them too. Top stuff.
On to other matters: Dave F has fixed a date for the next Nerd Quiz - Sunday December 6th from 6.45pm at The Greenman & French Horn pub, St Martins Lane, London's magical West End. I'll big it up again nearer the time, but just thought I'd mention it nice and early now.
A nice link from Mr Wheatley to a blog about an upcoming Judge Dredd fan film. Looks fairly decent.
That is all.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Prison Pit by Johnny Ryan begins with a huge phallic drill descending from space to fuck a barren planet in the arse, and ends with a prosthetic alien slug arm sucking off the main character as he lies slumped in the desert. In between these two magical moments there's a fight with a jizz monster and an attack from a villain who shoots a scythe made out of hardened alien Nazi pus from his nipple. Knowing all this should be enough to convince you that this is a book which belongs on your bookshelf. In case you need to know more though, here's a brief outline of the plot...
Some MMA wrestler type guy is about to be dropped down the shaft of a huge cock drill for some crime or other (probably) which he may or may not have committed. In an attempt to escape he takes one of his guards hostage, but it turns out that the other guard hates his colleague anyway and he shoves both men down the rabbit hole!
Prisoner and guard tumble down and down, fighting all the way until they eventually find themselves in The Prison Pit, a barren dimension filled with cactuses, bleak crags and cock-shaped bones. The asshole in the sky closes and there they stay. After an extremely bloody scrap our hero eventually kills, pisses on and eats the guard and chops off his razor-clad arm to use as a weapon.
After this he stumbles on a strange slug-like creature which is slurping up the manky juice of a cactus-like tree. Repulsed by this sight, hero kills the slug and is immediately confronted by a trio of baddies led by a devil-skulled Nazi wrestler with a gigantic mace instead of a hand. Nazi informs him that the creature he's just squashed is in fact a Slorge, a beast which digests the slime of the Blugg tree and shits out fecid, a drug which (and I quote) "makes you feel like you're the #1 most fucking awesome maniac!"
Anyway, it turns out the dead Slorge belonged to the Nazi devil skull wrestler and his cohorts. He orders our hero to find him a new Slorge, but hero declines. A mad fight with Nazi's sidekicks ensues. Hero appears to have won but is eventually beaten when he has his arm chopped off with a pus scythe. Nazi tells him he won't get it back until he brings a replacement Slorge back from the wastelands of the Prison Pit.
Hero sets off to find a Slorge, and does just that. Unfortunately this Slorge belongs to a multi-eyed naked twerp who wanks off until he is surrounded by a cum monster type construct which hero has to fight. The monster gets the better of him drowning him in jizz.
Lying dead in the desert, our hero is resurrected when the Slorge attaches itself to the stump where hero's arm used to be! Fecid surging through his system, hero rises from the dirt to kill and eat Jizzman. Now bonded physically (and it would seem telepathically) with the Slorge, hero feeds his new arm with juice from the Blugg tree and is then given a blowjob by the slug arm. Book One ends!
I don't have much more to say really. It's as good as it sounds - like something written and drawn by a disturbed 13-year-old on crystal meth. Every bit as hard and tasteless as Ryan's previous outings in Angry Youth Comix, yet fundamentally very different. This is first and foremost an action comic and fans of action will love it. I thought it was brilliant and hilarious, but clearly, it is also very, very offensive. I like offensive, you may not. Either way this is a comic that has to be seen to be believed and deserves your attention.
Sunday, 22 November 2009
Hey-ho imaginary web chums! Been doing tons of reading and not much 'putering. There's also lots of family stuff going on so, you know, writing streams of unimportant bilge about men in leotards has had to take a back seat for a few days.
Real life eh? Wank isn't it?
Hopefully I'll get a bit of time to write some stuff tomorrow. In the meantime here's a picture of Conan saying bollocks...
Scan from Conan The Cimmerian #16 (November 2009)
Friday, 13 November 2009
Off to brave the flood plains of South West England for a few days. I shall be taking the following reading material with me...
Drifting Classroom vol 6
Invincible: Happy Days vol 11
Jersey Gods 1-9
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (a 35-year-old novel with no pictures for crying out loud)
Cities In Flight by James Blish (yet more ancient SF prose)
Essential Spider-Man Vol 1 (for my son who likes to leaf through the black and white pages while telling me stories of Spidey and Rhino's trips to Sainsbury's).
Back next week. Ta-ra!
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Evening all. Can't stop long, as I'm planning to read some comics before flopping out. Just a brief note on a couple of luvverly covers from today's haul...
This stunner from Mike Allred makes me sad about how far behind I've fallen on Jersey Gods. It's a beautiful hybrid of indie and silver age which captures the spirit of the book perfectly. I'm going to get back on track with this very soon.
EDIT: Just received an email from Jersey Gods artist, Dan McDaid. He read my previews yesterday and offered to send me all the issues of Jersey Gods for free! I told him that there was no need as I already have all the issues in a nice pile waiting to be read, but I am bowled over by his offer, and it makes me want to ensure that as many people as possible go out and read Jersey Gods. It's a brilliant book, Glen Brunswick's writing is amazing, the covers are always ace and not only is Dan McDaid an incredible artist, he's also clearly a top, top bloke! So, go on imaginary web chums, support nice, talented people: BUY JERSEY GODS!
Message ends. On to the next cover...
Block out the title and substitute Batman and Robin for a stricken Holly Johnson, cos this looks like a lost Frankie Goes To Hollywood album cover to me. Hints of Prince too. Whatever, it's a proper piece of pink magnificence on a par with this...
Can't wait to get stuck in.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Good morning. Today I will be taking my son to a toddlers drop-in where I will meet with other mothers and debate the inability of toddlers to share. Later, we two men will leave the women and return to our lair for lunch and Essential Spider-Man revision. Then we will rest in preparation for tomorrow when it will once again be time to lash the nerd sack to the buggy and hit the West End for some comics. Here's what I'll be stashing alongside the nappies and Sudocrem...
Action Comics #883
The tedious adventures of Nightprick and Flamecunt. Why am I buying this bilge?
Batman and Robin #6
Three cheers for Phillip Tan! Aye, you heard me right fanboy! I know it's quite the thing to wank off over Frank Quitely and then use the Tan issues to wipe yourself, but I haven't got my knickers in a twist about the artist change up on Batman and Robin because I happen to think Tan is doing an excellent job. Told.
Comic Book Comics #4
I can't believe this is out. It's so fucking good that I'll probably read it in the shop, on the bus and again when I get home. A genuinely fine piece of scholarship and a top comic too.
Drifting Classroom Vol 6
In volume 5 loads of kids caught the plague. Kids who didn't have the plague chased the sick kids around and stabbed them to death with sharp sticks. '70s manga is the b@mb!!1!
Oh fuck, I'm about six issues behind on Warren Ellis' Hellblazer rip off now. I like it so I keep buying it. Mind you, I haven't been reading it, so it might've turned shit in the last few months. I reckon it's about 70/30 to still be good.
What kind of a fucking preview was that, eh? Tosser.
Green Lantern Corps #42
Zombie alien shenanigans. I'm the only person who isn't completely bored of this aren't I?
Behind, behind. Can't remember what's happening, dum-de-dum-de-dum.
That issue where The Plutonian killed Singapore made me laugh, so I'm still getting it.
Jersey Gods #9
Bollocks, I'm six issues behind on this and it's fucking brilliant. What a wanker.
I've already mentioned that I'm too old for this comic. I'm also far too stupid to understand all of what's going on and don't know anything about any of the bands referenced throughout. To be honest it leaves me feeling a bit like an ageing father trying to tap his feet in time to his teenage child's favourite band. I like it though and fuck my old boots if it isn't pretty.
Mental starfish from space vs conceited alien. The dog's bollocks. Can't believe I forgot about it when I was listing DC's good comics yesterday. Cunt.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Nothing much of any interest to say today -what's fucking new, right? Just a few bits and pieces that have been running around my head of late. Number one: Marvel's actually quite a bit better than DC at the moment isn't it? I mean I'm enjoying my Blackest Night and all, but if you look at Marvel they've got all the cool writers - Hickman, Aaron, Fraction, Remender, Brubaker, Millar, Ellis, van Lente, Abnett & Lanning, Cornell, Diggle. That's quite a list. I'm not saying that the writers at DC are shit, I mean they've got Johns, Morrison and Rucka, but the geezers at Marvel are hipper, funnier, edgier and dare I say it, younger (I think).
The whole Norman Osborn Dark Reign bollocks bores me, but you know...Old Man Logan, Ghost Rider, Cap, The Fan Four, Secret Warriors, Iron Man - those are all top quality comics. I'm not even reading Hercules, Daredevil, The Guardians of The Galaxy, Nova or The Punisher, but I hear they're all brilliant too. They can't fail to be when you look at the calibre of creators working on them. It really is an amazing line-up. In fact I'd say you could pick up just about any Marvel book at the mo and enjoy it - take Doctor Voodoo for flip's sake. Two issues in and it's fucking brilliant. Really. Remender writing a mental voodoo story with all sorts of A list baddies. Great art from some fellah whose name escapes me (sorry) and a lot of it is set in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans which in itself is a fantastic idea. Issue two has all these demons running about in the wrecked city killing the population. It's the perfect setting - Nightmare in New Orleans! Brilliant. Where else are the demons going to go but a disaster-hit city mired in despair and misery?
Meanwhile, nothing much seems to be happening with DC's books. I'm soldiering on with the whole New Krypton saga, but it really isn't much good at the moment and it's costing a lot to keep up to speed with the stodgy story. Blackest Night? It's good, but I reckon it must be a turn off to a lot of people who aren't heavily invested in the DCU. Flash Rebirth has been terrible thus far and seems to have disappeared completely. Wednesday Comics was good. Batman and Robin is brilliant. Nothing else is really getting me excited, although I am enjoying The Mighty which is set outside the DCU.
Anyway, I'm once again trying to force myself to drop some titles and it's the DC stuff which is looking most likely for the chop at the mo. Meanwhile I'm having to force myself not to pick up all the Marvel books.
Grabbed a copy of 2000AD the week before last. Been enjoying the old stuff so much, I thought it was time for one of my yearly attempts to get into the current incarnation of the comic. Nyeer. It was OK.The Dredd story was enjoyable enough, but the rest left me a bit cold. There's this one story about a war between Heaven and Hell where a naked woman strolls about being asked to give blowjobs to demons. I'm reading it and thinking, fuck's sake, you couldn't give this to a kid to read. Which is a shame really, because the beauty of classic 2000AD as far as I'm concerned is the way that it offered up subversive, independent thinking in the guise of adventure stories for kids. Yes there was violence, but it was over the top, slapstick stuff. There wasn't any bad language or sex and you could happily bung it on the bottom shelf at the newsagents. I know that the market for the thing is 30+ men now, but for me it's lost what made it great. Anarchic comics for 11-year-olds, that's what I want, even if there isn't any demand.
Monday, 9 November 2009
Stroppy Canadian biddies asking Dave to turn down the theme tune to Lost In Space...
Shut it Zelda!
Later: Confused Spanish tourists are ordered to hold up a sheet of Doctor Who monsters...
before doing a runner...
We got a team together (Thanks Mr Wheatley, Gareth and the cuntishly funny Duncan) sadly we finished last. Oh well, at least I knew that the full name of Mr Sin is in fact Mr Sin AKA The Peking Homunculus. This makes me better than you.
I hope there will be a quiz next month, (c'mon Dave, you know you want to), I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
I've got mountains of new American comics to read, so what am I doing? Kicking back with some bad British comics from the 1970s of course! What else are Sunday afternoons for, eh?
My comic of choice today is The 1976 Smash Annual, which is pretty grim, even by late '70s standards. It's littered with racist nastiness, nowhere more so than in a football story called The World-Wide Wanderers, one of those text pieces that filled the pages of British hardback annuals back in the day.
The World-Wide Wanderers is a tale about the greatest football team the world has ever seen, a crack unit who also happen to be a a bunch of racial stereotypes.
Anyway, so good at the beautiful game have The World-Wide Wanderers become, that their own fans have grown bored of watching them routinely annihilate the opposition. Faced with falling crowds, millionaire owner Harry Kraft, turns to computer Whizz, Aristotle Smith who feeds a copy of the rules of Association Football and a bunch of info about the Wanderers players into a super computer that comes up with a new exciting way of playing football based wholly on racial stereotypes...
Thus in the Wanderers next match against the (I kid you not) European All-Stars they set out to bamboozle their white opponents with a uniquely offensive brand of football...
Fats walks the ball into the net. The All-Stars complain. Unfortunately for them, the referee is from Tibet and waves their complaints away with the following explanation...
Ah yes, no gentlemen in Tibet, just a bunch of skull-kicking nutcases. The fellah who wrote this should be working for the Chinese government. But I digress, on with the game, and time to shine the spotlight on Moto, Wanderers' Japanese star...
Two-nil. Yay for the unstoppable foreign footie machine! Roared on by their demented crowd they swing into racial overdrive...
Two penalties follow, the first dispatched, kung-fu style, the second...
Half-time and the score is 6-0. Second-half starts with Bulgy the Turk cutting a square of turf out with his dagger, plonking the ball on it, waddling up the field and placing it carefully in the All-Stars goal...
And so it goes on, we get goal number eight when Fijan keeper, Sharky sneaks up the field and scares the All-Star keeper off with "a ferocious cannibal yell" before hiding under his cap, taking a backpass from the All-Star keeper whipping off his cap to reveal his "grinning black face" and backheeling into the net.
Number nine arrives courtesy of Bandy the Indian. Intoning a sacred Hindu incantation, he whips out a piece of rope from under his shirt, throws it in the air, where it magically stiffens allowing him to Climb above the All-Stars defence and head Chang the Afghan's cross into the net.
The game moves into the last minute, and it's time for Wanderers captain and only white player (obv) Carruthers, to put the icing on the racist cake. Surrounded by his racial inferiors he runs unchallenged, monocle string flapping in the breeze, to plant number ten in the old onion bag...
Stitch that. A thorough hiding for the European All-Stars. What a rip-roaring yarn. Who the fuck came up with that one eh?
Scans from Smash Annual, 1976. Writer and artist uncredited.
Friday, 6 November 2009
Busy, busy, busy. Just enough time to throw one last reminder into the ether - SUNDAY IS DAVE F's NERDGASM QUIZ!
It kicks off nice and early - 6.45pm
Venue - The Green Man and French Horn
You've been told!
At all day Stag Do tomorrow, so no posting from me.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
The Missus and I were discussing the possibility of having another sprog last night. Nice idea on paper, but I fear any further spawn would spell the end for my comic collection. We're fortunate to live in a place where I get a whole room to dump my tat at the moment, the appearance of another child would call the feasibility of that into question.
I suppose I could get rid of a bit of stuff, just enough to free up one longbox to use as a cot. Bit of a sacrifice though. No, best to stick with the one child I think. Anyway, all the talk of doing away with my comic room prompted me to retreat from reality and give the old lair a good tidy. Here's what it looks like after a clean...
Shelf One: Bit of manga, some old SF mags, my Fighting Fantasy and Lone Wolf books, a few trades waiting to be read and a couple of (gasp) non-comics related items.
New cubes: The missus just bought the lad a wardrobe, meaning that I inherited the old IKEA cubes we were using to store his clothes in.
Top shelf: A few hardcovers, booze, Christopher Reeve postcard, Starro Heroclix and Starro Slaves!
Compartment A: Indie stuff that won't fit in boxes, Lovecraft stories, SF novels
Compartment B: Starman Omnibus 1-3. Yankee comics waiting to be filed.
Compartment C: Copies of Back Issue and Alter Ego. JSA trades. Old Comic Buyers Guide
Compartment D: Wednesday Comics. Some Yankee comics which are waiting to be read.
Compartment E: Gravel. Unclassifiable tat.
Compartment F: More unread Yankee filth.
Compartment G: Bags and Boardzzzz. Empty Starro Box.
Compartment H: More exciting tat.
Three more longboxes: One of filed stuff, two of stuff waiting to be crammed into alphabetical order. I really can't be arsed to do this at the moment. The 2000AD inheritance: Crated this up and put it in order last night, fucking dirty, sellotapey, dusty job it was too. I now know exactly what issues I need to complete my run of the first 600 progs. It ain't that many.
Altar of The Man-Toys: Shelf of Heroclix topped off with original Shaun Phillips page from Marvel Zombies #1, Marvel postcards and tank of rotting Sea-Monkeys.
Shelf Two: The bulk of my trade collection. Top shelf contains all the EC Archives, The Creepy and Eerie Archives and various Jack Kirby omnibuses. Second shelf is a hotch potch. Third shelf is all Showcases and Essentials. The rest is a fairly chaotic jumble.
And that's it, your exclusive tour of the LLC Lair. Exciting stuff!
Monday, 2 November 2009
A day of torrential rain in London yesterday. I decided it was perfect weather for a family outing to a museum, the British Museum to be precise and their Day of the Dead special. Lots of Mexican music, dancing, dressing up and scary masks. Woohoo!
Sadly, thousands of other people also thought that the event sounded like fun - cue a hideous crush as the hordes fought to get good vantage points for the mariachi bands and brightly paited floats. It really was an uncomfortable and chaotic squeeze. Here a mustachioed skeleton collides with an unsuspecting lady...
Luckily I was on hand to record the moment of impact for posterity.
Anyway, long story short it was a bit shit. The boy seemed to enjoy looking at all the people, but laughter quickly turned to tears as he soaked himself falling in a huge puddle outside the museum. A fine day to forget to pack a spare outfit. No matter, his mum was more than happy to accompany him to Baby Gap in search of new trousers, leaving me free to make the short, soggy trip to the comic mart at The Royal National. WOOT!
The appalling weather made for a sparsely attended event, which was a shame for the dealers, but good news for those of us who did make the effort. It was nice and easy to get to the comics, not too many hard-to-move stinkers in front of the long boxes, no stampedes for the 25p single issues etc. Smashing.
I headed straight for the backroom where the British comic dealers had gathered, spreading out their issues of Hotspur, Battle, Warlord, Victor and Commando on fold-out tables, each one a splendid riot of faded colour. Magical stuff. First stop, this stall...
2000AD heaven, baby! Hundreds of issues going right back to prog 40, all in excellent condition, and all priced at £1 a piece with discounts for bulk buys. I picked up 23 issues, took a £3 discount and left the blue altar of happiness a satisfied man.
Had a chat with fellow shopper Mike Leader, who was buying some nice cheap EC reprints, before heading for the main room where I snagged two more 2000AD progs, including #38 for 50p!
From there, a quick squizz at Heroclix man's stall, but nothing really called out to me, (not at the prices he was charging anyway), so on to Krypton Komics's bargain buckets where I snagged a badly beaten up copy of Locas, the Love and Rockets omnibus. It's got no dust jacket and has a huge dent in the bottom, but at £4.95 for 700 pages of comics that normally retails at £36, I still reckon it was a bargain.
I was about to leave Mr Krypton and start my traditional hunt for cheap Wolfman and Perez Titans comics, when I spied this atrocity...
£1? It had to be bought, if only to compare Lord Hurk's unofficial Minder comic with the "Authorised Edition". Having done so, I can confirm that both are excellent reads but that Hurk does a much better Arthur Daly than the uncredited artist from the annual...
That's the worst drawing of George Cole I've ever seen - and, as a collector of George Cole portraits, I can tell you that I've seen thousands. Can't knock his Dennis Waterman though.
After buying that, there really was nowhere left to go. Did in fact manage to find a couple of cheap New Teen Titans issues (5 and 9 at £1.50 a pop, for any weirdos who actually give a fuck) but with that monster copy of Locas and all those 2000ADs already threatening to tear a hole in my soggy nerd sack, I felt it best to make an exit.
Paused briefly to marvel at the return of the long box of X-Men Annual 10...
...before making my way back to normality.
A fine mart. A fine haul. Good times!