Tuesday, 29 July 2014

THE FIGHT OF THE CENTURY - (THE PREVIOUS ONE, OBVIOUSLY)...



Big JOHN BUSCEMA never thought that MUHAMMAD ALI
could box.  I used to doubt it myself, in fact.  I'd watch him dance around
the ring, taking punches, and then wonder why he'd been declared winner
when the other guy had done all the work.  However, as a symbol of what
black Americans could aspire to, he was the perfect choice to go up against
what some people might regard as the epitome of the white superman - quite
literally SUPERMAN.  Not that DC COMICS' blue-eyed boy was meant
to represent such a notion, but it was hard to deny that he was the perfect
peg on which to hang the accusation for those who were of a mind to.

I didn't buy the giant Treasury Edition back in 1978.  I didn't see
the point in pitting a real-life character against a fictional superhero, so
I gave it a miss.  It's now considered to be a bit of a collectors' item, and
DC reissued the classic tale in a deluxe, omnibus-sized edition in 2010.
They also published a larger treasury sized version, but I'm running out
of shelf-space as it is, so I opted for the slightly smaller tome.

There are some nice extras in the back of the book, such as repro-
ductions of pencil sketches and layouts, and an afterword by JENETTE
KAHN, not forgetting an introduction by NEAL ADAMS himself at the
front of this handsome volume.  A few panels seem to have been slightly
reworked, 'though I'm unsure if the larger edition likewise features such
revisions.  However, it's definitely one to seek out, especially if, like me,
you didn't purchase the original and now wish that you had.  Your local
FORBIDDEN PLANET is bound to stock a copy, and, if not,
they can probably order it for you.

Why not pop in today and have a look?!
   


THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING...




Remember I said in the previous post that things would be
back to normal with this one?  Well. let's compromise, shall we?
I'll meet you halfway by showing you some comics pages, but I'd
like to wrap up a little unfinished business at the same time.

The above image is from RUGRATS, a monthly comic pub-
lished by MARVEL U.K. in 1996.  It lasted all of 29 issues before
being cancelled, and I contributed to 27 of them, from #3 right up to
the last one.  I lettered one strip out of three in 7 issues, two strips out
of three in 5 issues, three strips out of three in 1 issue, and two strips
out of two (the strips were cut back from three to two)  in 13 issues.
That means that out of a total of 71 strips, I lettered 46 of them - in
short, the majority - right up to the final issue.  What's more, I
exclusively lettered the latter half of the run all by myself.

Now let's remind ourselves of what a certain blow-hard
said in the comments section a few posts back:


"You were supplied with a Rugrats script to letter
and took it upon yourself to rewrite the script replacing
licensor-approved jokes and dialogue with dreadful old
jokes and terrible puns of your own making!  Indeed so bad
was your job, that I forced you to reletter the strip and then
had to put up with your abject apologies as you squirmed in
embarrassment on the end of the telephone begging for for-
giveness.  Trouble is, once a freelancer has made that much
of tit of himself and shown you that level of ineptitude
you never employ him again or indeed recommend
him to colleagues and peers." 

Got that?  I've already pointed out the absurdity of his claim,
which is pure invention, but let's have a small recap.  The finished
strip would have to be on his desk for him to read any departures from
the script, meaning it was already returned.  He'd then have to post it
back to me to be re-lettered, and note that he claims he never gave me
any more work afterwards.  Under those circumstances, it would be far
more expedient to get a letterer closer to hand and cut me and the Royal
Mail out of the picture altogether.  As that's not what he says he did,
and seeing as how I was never asked (or 'forced') to redo a
strip, his claim has absolutely no credibility.

So, at just what point could his' imaginary story' have
occurred?  If he kicked me off the mag as he claims, then how
come I lettered the last 14 issues all by myself?  Unless, of course,
as luck (for him) would have it, my alleged crime didn't take place until
the last issue, in which case there wasn't going to be any further lettering
anyway.  And  if I'd revised the script (which, for reasons of space and
internal consistency, I occasionally did, after seeking and receiving
editorial approval), Marvel simply wouldn't have gone to any
extra bother for what was going to be the final issue.


So, nothing about his claim withstands even a superficial
consideration, which should come as no surprise to anyone who
knows anything about how comics were produced all those years
ago.  The verdict?  He's guilty of being a lying b*st*rd!

However, I misremembered two things.  It wasn't a cover
which had 27 balloons on it, it was an internal page - and it had
28 balloons on it.  You can see how copy-heavy some of them are -
one even has 33 pieces of lettering on it.  By contrast, an entire seven
page strip in an issue of Marvel's ACTION MAN from around the
same period has only 25 word balloons - some difference!  That
means the letterer on Action Man had less work to do than I
did on one single page - and got paid six times more.

I don't recall getting one single chuckle out of any of the
strips I worked on for Rugrats.  Humour should never be so
laboured - or so devoid of laughs.  I breathed a sigh of relief when
the comic was finally cancelled, I can tell you.  And that should tell
you all you need to know about it.  Now, let's see if  BILLY LIAR
has got anything to say about that, 'cos I could do with a laugh.
Probably the wrong person to go to for one 'though!
(He's crying inside, you see.)

Monday, 28 July 2014

LEECHES, LIMPETS & LIARS - (OR SHOULD THAT BE LEACHES?)...


Looks just like a little turd, eh?  Same as the photo on the previous post

A number of years ago, someone tried to do me a bad turn.
At the time, he was widely rumoured to be having an affair with one
of his employees and it was regarded as an 'open secret' by everyone
else who worked for him.  I won't bore you with the details, but when
this man eventually got his comeuppance, there was a general feeling
amongst those who knew him that he had only received his just
deserts and not one single tear was shed on his behalf (apart
from those he undoubtedly shed himself).

I won't lie to you - I despised the man and don't have a good
word to say about him, even to this day.  One thing I refused to
do, however, was participate in the gossip about his alleged affair.  I
didn't know then (nor do I now) whether it was true or not, and just
because he'd tried  to wrong me, I refused to take revenge by adding
fuel to the fires of what everyone else already believed.  It would've
been too easy ('though satisfying), and, pompous as it may sound,
I at least aspire to be honourable, even if I don't bother about
trying to be popular (or even nice).

I try to see the good in people, I really do.  Sometimes
it's fairer to say that I struggle  to see good in them, because I
don't really have a high opinion of a lot of my fellow human beings.
You've only got to look around to see what's happening in (and to) the
world to understand why.  However, one thing that dismays me is when
I see (or experience) someone trying to damage someone's reputation
by taking the easy route and telling lies about them.  Whether it be in
the form of a insinuation or assertion, it's wrong and it's evil, and
the lowlifes who engage in it have no honour and are truly
despicable human beings.

As I said in my previous post, liars don't have to prove their
lies, merely plant them, and then stand back and watch their evil
labours bear fruit.  Strangely enough, I've often found that the worst
of folk also appear to be the most charming and charismatic, but are
the ones most ready to resort to any means by which to achieve their
purpose or fulfil their ambition - regardless of how it impacts on
the lives of others.  Just so long as they get their way is all
that's important to them.

One thing I know, 'though, is that their words and deeds
usually come back to bite them on the bum.  Sometimes it doesn't
happen right away, but, sure as eggs is eggs, it'll happen in the full-
ness of time.  And, in my case, I'm not averse to giving the wheels of
justice a little push - without lying of course.  That I leave to those
with no shame and no honour.  You can usually spot them by
the teeth marks in the seat of their pants.

And there's usually a few boot prints right along with them.

Okay, peeps, you'll be glad to hear that normal service
(or what passes as normal around here) will be resumed in
the next post.  And I'm nothing if not honest!

PSYCHO ARTIST INDULGES IN CATALOGUE OF LIES...


You can just tell, can't you?

Never having been one to shy away from controversy, I
confront lies head on, not ignore them in the hope they'll go away.
Not for me the fear that someone might read them and believe them
to be true.  That's the insidious nature of lies - the liar doesn't have to
prove them, simply plant them and allow them to take root.   And let's
be honest - if it's lies about someone we're not too keen on, we're some-
times far too ready to think there might be some truth behind them.  And
let's face it, with my frank and forthright opinions on the state of British
comics and the deterioration in the quality of some of the content, I'm
hardly Mr. Popular.  There are people out there who are only too
willing (and eager) to believe the worst about me.  After all, I've
committed the heinous crime of not being overly-impressed
by what they do.

Recently, artist DAVID LEACH decided to thrust himself to
the forefront and comment on my post about the falsehoods being
perpetuated about me on the blog (and elsewhere) of one of his pals
and fellow cartoonists in the comics industry (such as it is these days).
You'll have heard the old saying about not suffering fools gladly - well, I
don't suffer them at all, and instead of pandering to his over-inflated ego
(which dwarfs by far any degree of talent he may have), I gave him short
shrift.  In a petulant, huffy fit, he retaliated by indulging in a catalogue of
outrageous lies, which he knows aren't true, but are designed purely
to insult me and damage my reputation as a former professional
lettering artist (and loveable human being).

You can read them in the comments section of this post.
That a professional comics contributor should resort to such fla-
grant fabrications in an attempt to damage the credibility and reputa-
tion of someone like myself - who is renowned for being meek and mild,
humble and modest, self-effacing and introverted  (okay, I admit I may be
stretching credulity with that part) - perfectly illustrates the kind of devious
disingenuity to which certain egocentric people are all too readily prepared
to resort, in their attempts to deride those they seek to silence.  I  find it
ironic that, under the pretence of condemning abusive and insulting
comments on someone else's blog, he indulges in the exact same
sort of behaviour himself.  And what's worse, lies through
his immensely fat @rse while doing so.

After all, if there were any truth to his claims, it would be far
easier not to publish them and thereby avoid the ensuing hassle.  I,
however, prefer to demonstrate just what these people are like - warts
and all.  And isn't it strange how the few individuals who attempt to shout
me down by spreading falsehoods and distortions are all friends with one
another?  I somehow very much doubt that it's merely a coincidence.
What do you call those who gang up to harass someone else?
Ah, that's right - bullies.

They should've picked on someone who's easily intimidated.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

BABE OF THE DAY - JERI RYAN...



Good news, lads.  I never really watched the programme,
but if I understand things correctly, there's nine of her.  Put
your names in a hat and I'll pick eight of you from amongst
them.  (All bribes gratefully considered.)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

BEST FOOT FORWARD? THAT WOULD BE FOLLY...

 

Now here's a blast from the past - the opening titles of
FOLLYFOOT, a popular TV series from the '70s.  Nice
to see that DESMOND LLEWELYN got a bit of regular
work between the JAMES BOND movies.

KID KLASSICS - THE MEASURE OF SUCCESS...



How do you measure success?  Is it by comparing your
achievements to the accomplishments of others, or against the
fulfilment of your own ambitions?  And when it comes to judging
the success of others, it's probably pretty pointless using your own
aspirations as the standard by which to do so, because they simply
may not have been aiming at the same target - nor shooting the
same kind of arrows in order to hit whatever target
they were aiming for.

I once freelanced for IPC's top-selling boys title, 2000 A.D.
I had my name in print, people requesting my autograph, and -
best of all - money!  Was I success?  Well, in one way, yes - but in
another way, not really.  I'd never had any particular ambition to
work for 2000 A.D. per se, only to work in comics in some way.
The fact that I started my 15 year career on the most popular
adventure comic in the country was merely a bonus.

Was I any more of a 'success' than the lad whose first job
was as a shelf-stacker in Sainsbury's and who then worked his
way up to the position of store manager?  Well, no, not really. Is
he any more of a success than me?  How do you measure it?  It may
never have been his ambition to work in a supermarket, but it was
mine to work in comics - and I achieved that.  (Interestingly, back
in 1988, MARVEL U.K. contacted me to offer me work - I
never had to approach them.  That's being a failure?)

If you're happy (or content) with your achievements in
life, then, in a very real sense, you're a success.  Whether you're
a biscuit salesman or banker, if you've attained the goals you set
for yourself then that's an accomplishment.  (Unless your ambition
was to be a failure - now there's an interesting paradox.)  Remember,
you can't be said to have failed at something you've never tried (after
all, you've got to be in a race to win or lose it), so don't ever waste
a second paying heed to those smug, self-satisfied types who
regard their own personal career situation as some
kind of 'international standard'.

Deep down inside, they're extremely insecure people who
need to feel that they've done better in life than anyone else
  in order to feel good about themselves.  Sad but true. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

BABE OF THE DAY - LYNDA CARTER...



Yes, I know, I know - LYNDA's already made an
appearance on BABE OF THE DAY, but how could
I refuse when she asked to be on again?  Could you say
no to Lynda?  (Behave - you know what I mean.)

WINNERS, LOSERS & LIARS - OR: FACTS, FABLES & FIBS...


           Me                                                     The other guy

Once again, I unfortunately find myself placed in the position of
having to address a certain controversial matter that I imagine most
of you won't have much interest in - might even be bored by, in fact.
I've dealt with the subject before, but the individual concerned seems
determined to pick at the scab by constantly adding, subtracting and
altering the details of his provocative and misleading remarks in an
malicious attempt to malign my name and impugn my good charac-
ter.  Such an attack cannot go unanswered, but if you prefer to
skip such posts, I completely understand.

******

I guess his hits must be down. Why else would he be trying to stir
things up again by posting such a blatant lie on his Blog?  What am I
talking about?  You remember me telling you about a comics forum I'd
joined a good while back and then resigned from on account of a hand-
ful of people who resented my membership doing their best to
create controversy around me? 

I grew weary of certain members being allowed to say anything
they liked either to or about me without the moderators calling them
to account, so I resigned from the forum.  My resignation, as far as I'm
aware, is still there for everyone to see.  After I'd resigned, one particular
moderator somewhat impotently banned me for - are you ready for this? -
leaving the forum.  Yup, that was my 'crime' - I'd left the forum.  The
site owner subsequently invited me to rejoin, but I declined because I
couldn't be bothered having to deal with the handful of @rseholes
who clearly regarded the site as their own personal playground
and didn't want to share it with me.  No big loss.

Got that?  So what do you call someone who completely ignores
the facts of the case (even 'though he's aware of them) and continues
to claim that I was banned from this forum because of my 'behaviour'? 
I'll tell you - a big fat feckin' liar, that's what!  This is a guy who has taken
frequent pops at me in the comments section of his Blog (without explicitly
naming me, but making it obvious to whom he was referring), prompting
me to respond on my Blog in humorous, mocking fashion of his childish,
obsessional behaviour.   When these responses to his provocation had
eventually served their purpose, in the fullness of time I removed some
of them because they were no longer topical.  Once, in a fit of one-
sided generosity, I removed a few of them to give the guy a
break and wipe the slate clean. 

But guess what? He's now claiming that I removed them in
order to 'play down' my 'aggression', thereby suggesting that he has
some kind of 'special insight' into my motives.  Let me tell you about
aggression:  This is the guy who once issued a thinly-veiled 'come and
have a go if you think you're hard enough' challenge to me on some-
one else's blog, and has been accused of being a bit of a bully on the very
forum he claims I was banned from.  (And from which, according to the
site owner, was himself once temporarily banned.)  He has been banned
from at least two Blogs that I know of, the owner of one of them being
informed that a warning would be issued to this person by his Internet
Service Provider for his behaviour.  (Whether it was or not I have
no way of knowing, but I hardly expect him to admit to it.
After all, he is a liar, remember.)

And now, as far as I can see, he's at it again in his best sly,
sleekit, sh*t-stirring fashion.  I've not long been alerted to the fact
that he's currently claiming to be the victim of 'trolling'.  (That usually
means that someone has ventured to offer an opinion contrary to his own.)
 I've previously mentioned here that I find such designations childish and
immature, and the first resort of the emotionally insecure who can't handle
any kind of dissent to their own rigidly-held opinions.  Well, guess what?
In two seemingly casual, throwaway sentences - "If you don't like the
phrase, stop doing it.  It's cowardly and it's childish and it's
not welcome here" - he appears to be pointing the finger in my
direction - without actually naming anyone of course, and thus
allowing him to deny having anyone in particular in mind.

He's done this before on quite a few occasions - it seems
to be a pattern of his.  He makes remarks that readily apply to a
specific circumstance or person, but does so in such a way that allows
him to deny it when challenged.  Then he levels accusations of paranoia
at whoever's calling him to account, hiding behind the fact that no names
were mentioned, even 'though it's fairly obvious just who or what his
comments or accusations were levelled at.  He's fooling no one of
course, apart from himself and a few sycophants, but it allows
him to evade accountability for his outrageous statements.

What he perhaps doesn't realise is that I restored most of my
previous posts about him quite some time back (in response to his
continued attacks on me on various Blogs, forums and Twitter sites),
long before he'd mentioned I'd deleted them.  Any that I didn't restore
was simply down to me not keeping them on account of them being no
longer topical, not because I was trying to conceal them for any reason.
In his typically obsessed way, he claims to have archived these posts,
so, if he'd be kind enough to supply me with copies of any he can't
find on my Blog, I'd be more than happy to re-post them.

To be completely honest with you, I find it utterly disgraceful
that a 'full-time professional comics contributor' should indulge in
such outrageously provocative and disingenuous behaviour, but he
obviously has problems of some kind.  In the meantime, kindly re-
member - I've given you nothing but cold, hard facts - whereas
he continues to deal in lies, distortions and insinuations.

Hardly the behaviour of someone you can trust, I'd say.

******

UPDATE:  In light of ridiculous claims on the man's blog,
note that all I've done is report the fact that he's revised the lies
about me on his site, and pointed out that he seems to be alluding
to me in his post about abusive emails - yet this he constitutes as
an attack on him.  He seems to miss the point that if he didn't
post lies about me and attribute motives to me of his own
invention, there'd be no need for me to comment on it.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

BABE OF THE DAY - TRACY SCOGGINS...



TRACY SCOGGINS has appeared in DYNASTY,
THE COLBYS, LOIS & CLARK, and BABYLON 5 -
plus quite a few dreams of mine.  I don't know about the TV
programmes, but in my 'productions', she won an award -
and now she's made BABE OF THE DAY!  Is
there no end to her stunning talents?

THE AIR THAT I BREATHE...



Here's k.d. lang with a classic track that she more
than does full justice to.  So sit back and relax and let
her dulcet tones envelop your lug'oles.

COOO-EEE! PANEL-BY-PANEL - RENT-A-GHOST LTD...



REG PARLETT was one of the greats!  Anyone who knows any-
thing about the history of British comics art would never even consider
disputing that simple, incontrovertible fact for a second.  Anything and
everything he drew was imbued with a spontaneity and deftness of line
that was effective, pleasing on the eye, funny, and seemingly (and no
doubt deceptively) easily accomplished.

What we have here is an episode of RENT-A-GHOST LTD.,
from the March 17th 1973 issue of BUSTER.  Each panel has been
scanned from the original art, and - thanks to IRMANTAS from the
wonderful KAZOOP blog - I can show the published page to allow
you to do a direct comparison, enabling you  to appreciate Reg
Parlett's artwork at its finest!

And, to my eyes, that's mighty fine indeed!











Wednesday, 23 July 2014

BABE OF THE DAY - LYNDSAY MARSHALL...



I first became aware of LYNDSAY MARSHALL in an
excellent programme called GARROW'S LAW a few years
back.  The above pic is a still from another programme she
was in, although I haven't actually seen it.  Still, what does
that matter?  She's still a babe!

YIPPEEE! PART FOUR OF JACK KIRBY'S CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN COVER & IMAGE GALLERY...



By now, if you've seen the other three posts in this run and are
really serious about collecting classic comicbooks, you'll want to add
these issues to your collection.  (Assuming that you don't already have
them, naturally.)  Don't know where to start?  Panic ye not, O DC disciple.
All of the JACK KIRBY CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN are
available in an Omnibus Edition which should be available at your local
comicbook store.  (Why not give FORBIDDEN PLANET a try?) 
You might even be able to pick up the previous two volumes of
the DC ARCHIVES books which featured the tales.

Interestingly, the Challs mag was still running when Jack Kirby
returned to DC in 1970, but was cancelled shortly afterwards.  A hand-
ful of reprint issues were subsequently published in the early '70s, and the
series was later revived for a short time, but not until after JK had departed
DC. There seems to be debate over who actually created and wrote the strip;
some sources credit Jack Kirby alone, others attribute it to Jack and DAVE
WOOD.  There always seems to be controversy around 'The King'.  JOE
SIMON claimed to have created CAPTAIN AMERICA on his own,
Jack claimed to have been solely responsible for every good thing at
MARVEL, and even his best-known '50s DC work has a cloud
of uncertainty over who did what.  Pattern or coincidence?

 Meanwhile, it's poor ol' STAN LEE who carries the can for
being a 'glory-hog'.  Hardly seems fair to me, I gotta say!
    







BABE OF THE DAY - NICHELLE NICHOLS...



Captain's log - should've flushed it away, the dirty
buggah!  But enough of such levity!  We gather here today
to admire the womanly charms of NICHELLE NICHOLS.
Just think - WILLIAM SHATNER got to snog her - and
was paid for it, the jammy rascal.   I'd have volunteered to
do it for nowt - even 'though I was only ten at the time.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

PART TWO OF THE COMPLETE FANTASTIC FOUR COVER & IMAGE GALLERY...



Welcome back!  Couldn't keep away, could you?  And who can
possibly blame you when there's some classic comicbook art by both
JOHN BUSCEMA and JACK KIRBY on display.  THE COMPLETE
FANTASTIC FOUR was a terrific MARVEL U.K. weekly periodical
which filled us in on the then-relatively recent adventures of the Fab
Four (no, Melvin, not THE BEATLES) , plus super classic stories
from the early '60s.  Who could ask for more for a mere 10 pence?

I suppose it's a shame that all these titanic tales weren't in colour,
but British readers were used to the majority of their regular weeklies
being mainly in black and white.  On the plus side (as I noted last time),
Marvel had finally managed to master the use of ZIPATONE (that's the
U.S. equivalent of LETRASET) so that the grey tones didn't obscure
the detail on the art, as had once been the case with previous titles.

Anyway, that's enough waffle from me.  I now unleash upon you
highlights from another three issues of  The Complete Fantastic Four.
More CFF still to come, frantic ones - be sure not to miss them!