In the early ’70s Marvel launched a series of black and white weekly comics that featured reprints of comics previously published in the States. Most of those reprints featured Marvels biggest selling characters – Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, etc. – and were printed on cheap newspaper stock and sold for pennies. Many of those weekly reprint editions would feature one of the original US comics printed in its entirety with two or more support strips 6-8 pages in length. They were hugely successful and I’ve no doubt they helped create an entire generation of British comic book fans. Continue reading Rampage Monthly (Marvel UK)→
Weaving a story utilising Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi’s existing stage band (the band in the film were members of the ‘real-life’ band) and under John Landis’ brash direction, The Blues Brothers is over-the-top exuberant fun. Everything is done to excess – the comedy is broad (“Sell me your children!’), the music infectious (church parishioners jump twenty feet into the air) and the car chases extreme (why have a car chase with two police cars when you can use 200?). Continue reading The Blues Brothers (1980)→
My introduction to the 22nd century Mega-City One lawman came via a copy of the 2000AD Annual from 1978, a Christmas gift from a relative. Although the two Judge Dredd stories were interesting they didn’t have that much of an impact on me. Rather it was the Dan Dare and MACH 1 stories that caught my eye. Saying that though, the graphic scene from the Dredd story ‘Whitey’s Brother’ where the villain gets disintegrated did creep me out. Continue reading Dredd (2012)→
I’ve been a fan of JG Quintel’s off-beat cartoon Regular Show since I discovered it while watching the entries from Cartoon Network’s Cartoonstitute new pilot scheme a couple of years ago. The Cartoonstitute project is initiated every couple of years as a means of attracting new talent to the network: animators are given a limited budget and commissioned to create a seven minute cartoon with no editorial interference of any kind. The best cartoons are then optioned as possible series. Regular Show was by far the best of the last batch and it’s now in it’s fourth season (each series consists of forty ten-minute episodes) with a fifth season already commissioned. Continue reading Regular Show→
A series looking at some of my favourite
book covers and cover artists.
#4Robert McGinnis’ paperback covers from the ’60s and ’70s.
There’s something beguiling about Robert McGinnis’ women.
As they stare defiantly at you from one of his paintings they seem to share a collective, enigmatic look. Sometimes that look is beckoning, other times challenging. Often it’s dangerous. And although his women are sexual – at times overtly so – they are rarely submissive or meek. His women are not victims but rather willing participants in whatever sordid misdeeds are consummated under the covers (of the books, that is). Continue reading Paperback covers #4: Robert McGinnis→
While researching some images to illustrate my Jack Kirby article I was reminded of his truly bizarre cover to OMAC issue 1. I’m not sure if Kirby was just having an off day or he really did believe that one day women would come in boxes… either way it’s one disturbing image.
It’s a testament to Jack Kirby‘s lasting legacy to the comic book industry that just the epitaph ‘King’ is enough to identify him and the kind of comic with which he is synonymous. Kirby’s influence on the medium cannot be understated – he was present at the birth of the comic book industry in 1938 (the Golden Age) and he was one of the prime architects at it’s rebirth in the early sixties (the Silver Age). In a career spanning over 40 years he almost single-handedly created the visual lexicon of the comics medium, imbuing it with a dynamism, excitement and energy not seen before and he was instrumental in transforming the funny books from throw away pulp reprints to an art form in it’s own right. There isn’t an artist or writer working in the field today who doesn’t owe him a debt of gratitude, whether they know so or not. Continue reading Kirby, King of Comics (2008)→
MISCELLANEOUS CURIOSITIES FROM COMICS, MOVIES AND TOYS