Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim poster

“Two thousand five hundred tons of awesome.”

At the beginning of the year Summer 2013 promised to be a great one for fans of big-budget, large spectacle action movies. With the promise of three sequels, a re-make of an old TV classic plus the reinvention of a beloved superhero (that promised to be most anticipated film of the year), it looked like I was going to be spoilt for choice to pick a favourite. Alas, things didn’t work out that way. Continue reading Pacific Rim (2013)


The Mighty World of Marvel

The history of Marvel UK in the 1970s

The Mighty World of Marvel

Probably responsible for introducing more British readers to Marvel Comics than any other publication, The Mighty World of Marvel was launched on Saturday 30th September 1972 with a cover date of 7th October (it was common practice for comics to be dated a week after their release to ensure they stayed on the newsagent shelf longer). It was published in one form or another for the next 10 years and despite starting life as one of the best selling and most influential comics in the country its end was sad and ignoble.

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Marvel Treasury Editions

Marvel Treasury Edition 1

I have nothing but fond memories of Marvel Comics’ Treasury Editions, the over-sized reprint books the company published between 1974 and 1981. I would receive at least one every Christmas, probably because they were always on sale around that time and were readily available from most large newsagents. There was just something very satisfying about the larger size of the Treasury’s – they just had more impact and, well, were more special. Continue reading Marvel Treasury Editions

Alan Class Comics

Astounding Stories issue 67

The history of Marvel UK in the 1970s

Foreword: Alan Class Comics

In the early ’60s, while American comic book readers enjoyed a revolution in the industry, thanks mainly to Marvel Comics’ new roster of relatable and fallible characters, UK readers had a more difficult time enjoying this renaissance. For a while the only way readers in this country could read a US comic was by hunting for second-hand copies in flea markets. But if you were lucky enough to be on holiday at one of Britain’s many seaside resorts then you had the opportunity of reading Marvel’s stories courtesy of Alan Class ComicsContinue reading Alan Class Comics

Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye

In early 1938 Action Comics no. 1 was published and a new genre of entertainment was born – the comic book had arrived. Although comics, in one shape or another, had been around for over three years it took this comic to cement the industry and create the first superhero and an American icon: Superman. Written and drawn by two Cleveland youngsters, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the comic was published by National Allied Publications (later DC Comics). Action Comics was an instant success: the first issue sold 130,000 copies and within three years Superman comics would be selling over 1.5 million copies a month.  Continue reading Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye

Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

 Tucker and Dale vs Evil poster

“He looks like he’s gonna walk it off.”

The horror-comedy Tucker and Dale vs Evil takes one of the quintessential tropes of horror cinema – a group of pretty college students chased and terrorised by blood thirsty hillbillies – and neatly turns it on its head. Tucker and Dale, charmingly played by Alan Tudyk (Firefly) and Tyler Labine (Reaper), are kind-hearted and innocent red-neck friends who travel to the Appalachian Mountains to work on Tuckers new holiday residence, a proverbial cabin in the woods. Along the way they encounter a group of college students who, thanks to the influence of countless horror films, believe the two friends to be pitiless, blood-thirsty killers. The misunderstandings mount as several of the students, through their own stupidity, accidentally kill themselves and the rest of the group blame the hapless friends who are then forced to defend themselves when the students attack. Throw in a rather dim sheriff and a neat twist on the ‘dumb blond’ character and you have a film that pays homage to the horror genre while gently poking fun at it. Continue reading Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)