Saturday, 31 July 2010


Been away for a week, hence the lack of updates. Managed to squeeze in some reading while I was on my hols - the latest Walking Dead trade + the first two volumes of 52.

All good baby!

I'm hitting the mart tomorrow - report will follow. Yeah!

In the meantime here are some pics that have been clogging up my phone...

A sad sight/site to begin with...

The empty premises of what up until recently was the excellent Playing Games, a board and roleplaying game specialist just round the corner from Gosh in Museum Street. No idea what has happened to them, I just decided to pop in for a shufty on my last visit up west and they were gone. A real loss. I bought a couple of boardgames from this shop. The downstairs section was a real treasure trove of obscure stuff.

A happier sight...

Spidey Skates! Spotted at a car boot. I didn't buy them, but they are things of beauty and as such I felt it was my duty to take a photo.

Also, from a junk shop in Green Lanes, a fab old box of VHS cassettes. Don't have a video, so no point buying anything but, as with the skates, I felt bound to take a pic of the fantastic Caine cover...

Err, that's it.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Advance Notice

I'll be at the mart on August 1st. If any of you are going and fancy a drink in the shithole of a boozer adjacent to the foyer of the Royal National let me know. We can compare our comic finds before lapsing into an uncomfortable silence and leaving.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A wonderful treat to the eyes!

Yes, while the great and the good of the comics world whack themselves off over Scott Pilgrim, I'm still thumbing through ancient superhero comics and drooling over crappy ads.

I am old.

Scan from Amazing Spider-Man #46 March, 1967

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Scans from 2000AD Annual 1980

Monday, 19 July 2010

Walking Back to Crappiness

I'm not the biggest comic news reader. Don't have the time. It's read the comics or read the news about comics. What you gonna do? As a result, I was largely unaware of the big Superman news until Mr Kirkham alerted me to it. To summarise, after a year or two when Superman hasn't even appeared in his own book, he's back, but instead of smashing up meteors and burning stuff with his eyes, he's walking across America.

Yes, walking.

The man who flies faster than a speeding bullet and leaps tall buildings in a single bound is going for a gentle cross-country stroll. Ridiculous. It wouldn't be so bad if during that stroll, Braniac landed on earth and smashed Supes over the head with a red kryptonite hammer, but apparently there aren't going to be any super-villains in this story.


Instead, Superman is going to chat to people. That's right chat. Chat and, (these are actual plot points from the first installment, by the way), fix cars, burn drugs and comfort suicidal women. OH MY GOD!

Now, I understand that I'm sounding like some precious, entitled fanboy by slating this nonsense without even reading it, but come on! This is Superman! Why on earth would anyone want to read twelve issues of a Superman comic in which he strolls across America having mundane conversations with a bunch of nobodies? It's a stupid idea!

Not that it should surprise us given that the whole concept comes from the mind of J Michael Straczynski, the man whose most recent stories include an arc on Thor where he put Asgard in Oklahoma and had Thor eat pancakes with pensioners - or something like that, I don't know how it turned out, because after two issues without Thor hitting anyone with his fucking hammer, I gave up.

I don't have a total downer on Straczynski. He's done some good stuff (be nice if he'd finish The Twelve). Who knows, this might even be good. I've heard a few people say that Thor got better, so maybe I'm doing it a disservice. But honestly, Oklahoma? Walks? Chatting? This is the kind of bollocks my two-year-old-son comes up with. He's always pitching me this one Spider-Man story where Spidey goes to Sainsburys to buy some pasta and cake for a party at Rhino's house. Straczynski would probably nick that idea if he could. It sounds more exciting than Superman's walk, at least it's got a villain in it.

So yeah, I'm less than enthused about this thing. Part of me wants to read it to see how bad it is. But it probably won't even be "funny bad", more likely it's going to be a bunch of earnest claptrap - Superman discovering the soul of America. Christ. I know there's a place for this sort of thing, but Superman's been shit for a while now and the last thing the character needs is to slow down. What's wrong with Lex Luthor blowing up The Fortress of Solitude or Bizarro kidnapping Lois Lane? Why do we need introspection in a Superman comic? Alright, a little bit perhaps. But a whole year's worth? I say thee nay!


Thursday, 15 July 2010

Shopping List

Been a while since I've bored you about what I'm buying hasn't it? I know you need to know, so matchsticks in eyelids and let's go...

Conan The Cimmerian #22
Few issues behind on Conan. It doesn't matter. Conan's easy stuff, he never changes. Chopping up guards, mercenaries and sorcerers. Nicking off fat merchants. Shagging ladies who wear no bras and floaty tissue paper instead of knickers. Yeah, minimum brainpower required, I'll catch up over a flagon of mead some night.

Batman #701
What happened to Batman when he was dead, or something. I like all the Morrison Batman shit. Well, most of it - Batman 700 was a bit wank. Rubbish pin-ups, average story. Hope this will be better. Don't mind Tony Daniels' art at all. So there.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #18
All the Starro shenanigans are done and we're into this new arc about interplanetary racism and planet sharing. It's still pretty good, not stunning in the way it was during the early Starro issues, but funny and left enough of centre to keep me buying.

Strange Science Fantasy #1
I know nothing about this, but it's clearly some sort of homage to EC and that's enough for me to buy it. Hopefully it'll have lots of saucers, ugly aliens and ray-guns inside.

Bulletproof Coffin #2
Weird, exquisite mish-mash. Only issue #2, so too early to say it's something special, but it really looks like it could be. Has a sort of a Daniel Clowes vibe about it - that's what I thought anyway. First thing I'll read.

Chew #12
Behind, behind. Not feeling the same need to read this as I did when it first came out.

Invincible Iron Man #28
If it weren't for the art, this would be the best superhero book out there. This new arc is the flipping business! Tony Stark trying to rebuild Stark International from the ground up while Justin Hammer's relations set about moving in on Tony's territory with Tony's own tech. Yeah, it's another spin on Armor Wars. But it's a fucking good one!

Night Business #1 -#3
I heard about this odd little set of comics ages ago and made a mental note to pick it up if ever it should land in Blighty. Hey presto, Gosh got some copies in last week. A tribute to 1980s exploitation flicks, this looks right up my alley. Read about it here if you want.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Shooter's Page

Rain pattering on the window, couple of hours to kill - time to sift through old comics. What a fine evening of solitary nostalgia it's been, chums. Just me and the long boxes, oh yes!

I've read a bit of vintage Teen Titans, some classic entries in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, some old Spidey, a little Strontium Dog and a beat up copy of Marvel Fanfare #9 from June 1983 which includes this beauty...

Click to enlarge

Top stuff. Editor-in-chief Jim Shooter riffing on some of Marvel's most iconic characters, trying to boil them down to their essence and then trawling through the archives to find the moment when that essence was distilled in a single panel. That's dedication!

And don't forget, this is Shooter at the high point of his reign of terror, striding the corridors of Marvel, slamming his collection of "Perfect Personality-illuminating panels" down on desks, hammering home how the icons should be done. I love it.

History there baby, history!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Eldica: A Great Shop

Eldica, which is hidden down an anonymous little side street off the Kingsland Road in Hackney, isn't a comic shop, but it's such a beautiful little treasure trove that I thought I'd give it a plug. The good folk who inhabit this Aladdin's Cave are primarily vinyl nuts, but they also sell vintage magazines, board games, the odd comic and a fair bit of random tat. I picked up a lovely old Bionic Man game from them for a fiver a few months back, and I make sure to pop my head round the door for more goodies every time I pass.

I admit that I haven't bought anything since then, (to be honest, records aren't my bag), but I still love the vibe about this place. There's always cool funk or old soul playing, sometimes there's a bit of incense to sniff as you pick your way through colourful old magazines and yellowing paperbacks to get to the counter. It's just got a magic about it. This is the kind of place that eBay is wiping off the map, yet it's still here, clinging on. Got to love it.

So yeah, Eldica, well worth a visit if you're passing and an absolute must if vintage vinyl is your bag. It also has a great website where staff and regular customers have compiled lists of their favourite old records. There's even a downloadable mix of some of the rare tracks you can find in the shop, I'm listening to it as I write this. Brilliant.

If you're in Dalston, check them out. The address is Eldica, 8 Bradbury Street, London N16 8JN.

The greatest thing ever... here

Monday, 12 July 2010


My useless humming heap of a computer gave up the ghost, necessitating a mindwipe of its hot, malfunctioning brain. Now I'm trapped in the fiery depths of machine hell.

I backed up all those precious photos and my music before the electro lobotomy. But now I find that while the computer works, my scanner will not, that photoshop has disappeared forever and that my cuntwallah of an iphone won't sync. It's all wank. Annoying wank.

So I can't put any scans up on the blog, which makes the whole thing pointless, because what use is a cunting comics blog without pictures of comics?

Gah. Fuck off!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

It dawned on me today...

that Raoul Moat... basically a real life British version of Nuke...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Reading Iron Man

My fracking computer has turned up its cyber toes, which makes blogging a bit difficult.
This update is coming to you live and direct from my mobile phone.
Shit, these keys are small.

Briefly then, Caught up on Fraction and Larroca's Iron Man last night. The new arc is arms dealingtastic! An absolute treat, EXCEPT for the art, which is a pretty big except. I'm not as down on Larroca as many, I can usually live with his photo referencing. In the case of New Universal, I even thought it was a good thing. But in Iron Man? It's not working. Tony Stark is basically just Sawyer from Lost with black hair. Pepper is Nicole Kidman. Frankly, it's damn distracting! Backgrounds are often a blur, or just photoshopped in. Panels are repeated. Figures strike unnatural, rigid poses. It's not good. Not good at all. Which is a real shame, because Fraction's script is as savvy as you are going to find anywhere in a Marvel or DC book. Honestly, it's brilliant - really sharp, relevant, political and exciting. AND it's rooted in classic Iron Man. Needs a new artist though. Sorry.

Can't type any more. Thumbs dropping off.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Mega Knitty One

From an ancient 2000AD competition, this Earthlet manages to look simultaneously cool and naff...


Scan from 2000AD Sci-Fi Special, 1984

Monday, 5 July 2010

Back issue boxes/Marvel: The End

There was a mart at The National yesterday, but I couldn't make it. This left me blue, because the need to shove my fingers into disintegrating boxes of tat is strong.

To be fair, I did get a mini-mart fix on Saturday. I'd planned to look in on the Dalston car boot sale anyway, but when friend of LLC, Mr John Bishop sent me a text to tell me that he'd already got there and that there were comics, I was out the door instantly.

John mentioned that there wasn't anything special to be had, so I was slightly surprised to pitch up to the comic stall and see this staring back at me...


Yup, in a plastic ring binder envelope, its colours gradually bleaching in the Hackney sun, a pretty damned decent looking copy of Amazing #39! Now, let's be honest chums, this is the kind of shit we saddos dream about. My heart jumped into my gob, I yelped, I grabbed...and then I saw the sticker on the envelope - £85!


The old man on the stall smiled at me

"Yeah, I looked all of the comics up in a book" he said, "I know what they're worth and I'm still selling them cheap!"

A quick look at his other "cheap" comics revealed various late Micronauts issues at £3 a pop, some early Defenders for a tenner apiece and a beat up old copy of Tomb of Dracula #7 at the "bargain price" of £7. I couldn't be arsed/had no right to tell him that he had no chance of selling any of them, but I did ask him to take Spidey #39 out of the shitty plastic and keep it away from the sun. He nodded sagely and stuck it right back on top of the pile.

Anyway, it turned out that John had missed this stall entirely. The one he'd visited was nearby and a good deal more reasonable. I picked up all six parts of Kraven's Last Hunt, Emerald Dawn and Marvel: The End. Eighteen issues for £9. Hardly the bargain of the century, but some solid comics that I'll enjoy reading.

I ploughed through Marvel: The End yesterday afternoon. What to say? 2003 bumpf from Jim Starlin. It's part cheesy shitfest, part high Starlin cosmic magnificence.

I enjoyed it.

Here's what it's about...

There's this source of energy called "The Heart of The Universe" which these alien dudes keep in a big spaceship. An old pharoah gets zapped up to their ship and is filled with the heart of the universe. This turns him into a bonkers Space Pharaoh...


He pitches up on present day earth, KILLS most of the superheroes, nailing them up on floating pink force field crucifixes...


He then transports all the World leaders to his space pyramid...

and, emerging from what appears to be an Egyptian ladies public toilet...

...informs everybody that he now rules the earth.


It's not all bad though...

Nice one!

Not nice enough for Doctor Doom though, or Thanos, both of whom want the heart of the universe for themselves! Doom sets out to fuck up da pharaoh by travelling back in time to shoot him...

while Thanos recruits the Defenders to launch a raid on the spaceship that contains the heart of the universe...

It's all a bit mad. Mad, but beautiful, because this is where the Starlin magnificence comes in! My shitty scanner can't do that double page spread justice, but when you've got it in your hands! WOW! It's truly, truly gobsmacking - all that spaceship, all those stars, the beams of energy shooting out the various funnels. Topola!!! And it's one of a TON of gorgeous cosmic splashes in this six-parter. Gold baby, GOLD!

Anyway, while Thanos and Doom are plotting their attacks, the various gods of the Marvel Universe get together to form a plan to stop Space Pharaoh. It's at this moment that we realise just how powerful the dude is, because he gets wind of this and fucks all the gods up on the spot!


I say total, but he's not completely successful as Thor and Zeus escape to recruit Infinity and Eternity.

Told you it was mental.

Meanwhile, Thanos and The Defenders get scrapping with the aliens on the big phallic Starlin spaceship. While The Defenders are all busy smashing aliens and robots, sneaky Thanos dives into the heart of the universe, absorbing its power and becoming numero fucking uno power in the whole Marvel U!

He travels back in time to where Doom is about to get fucked over by the Space Pharoah (who, it turns out, knew Doom was coming and has travelled back in time to stop Doom from assassinating him by assassinating Doom - headfuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!!!!!!!!!), and, after a classic no-but-yeah-but-no moment... improved omnipotent Thanos whips Space Pharoah off and turns him into a butterfly, (honestly), before travelling even further back in time to track down the aliens who originally tracked down the heart of the universe and destroy them before they could find it, thus ensuring his place as the unquestionable, all-powerful king of everything.


It's very confusing and, to be honest, once the Space Pharaoh's out of the picture it all gets a bit slow and metaphysical. Which is fine I suppose, but the fun sort of withers away. There's still time for a couple of awesome Starlin double page splashes of Thanos getting ready to engage EVERYONE in the Marvel U, (they all come back to life once Thanos changes history you see?). Then Adam Warlock turns up in the void and (blah-de-blah) convinces Thanos to see the error of his ways. Thanos destroys himself and woop-de-do, everything's back to normal.

The End.

Like I say, quite a fun little mini series, even if it does disappear up its own trippy arse towards the end. Worth picking up (if you see it cheap) for the Starlin art which is spectacular in places. Plus, you know - SPACE PHAROAH!

Oh, and it's got Hulk Smash in it too, which is always infinitely preferable to intelligent talky-talky Hulk as we all jolly well know.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Wonder Woman costume bilge

No mart for me today.
Missus has got a two hour driving lesson at 1.30, which pretty much puts the kibosh on my plans to hit the Royal National for decaying comics.
Never mind, I scored some good tat yesterday.
More on that tomorrow.
Now, here's my contribution to the big Wonder Woman costume debate...

I say keep the old costume but change the woman inside into a gorilla!
I'd buy it.

If they must change the costume though, I like this idea from Andy Riley...