Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Here's Gentleman JIM REEVES doin' his thang.
Catchy, catchy, catchy.  Did I mention how catchy
this is?  It's pretty catchy!


I know only three things about this babe:  1)  Her
name's CANDY LOVING.  2)  She was a PLAYBOY
model.  3)  I love CANDY.  (That's all there is.)

Monday, 26 January 2015


All images copyright D.C. THOMSON & Co., Ltd

When you think about it, it at first seems strange that one of the
staple features of British comics for boys in the 1960s and '70s were
stories about the Second World War.  However, to many of the writers
who penned these adventures and who'd experienced the conflict first-
hand, that period must've seemed like fairly recent history.  After all,
it was closer in time to them than my own teenage years are to
me - and that only seems like yesterday.

THE CRUNCH included a story called HITLER LIVES, but
that was set in the present day (after recapping events at war's end
in early episodes) and wasn't really a war story in the traditional sense.
I suppose kids of the time enjoyed war stories 'though, otherwise, despite
the predilections of the writers, they wouldn't have appeared for as long
as they did.  Neither would comics like THE HOTSPUR, WARLORD
or BATTLE have had such long runs - unless, of course, it was
mainly World War II veterans who were buying them.

So, full marks to The Crunch for trying something at least slightly
different.  Not that the difference was radical, because, whatever the
setting, most adventure stories are either war, sport or cowboy stories
at heart - even science-fiction ones.  Think I'm talking nonsense?  Well,
consider - 2000 A.D.'s HARLEM'S HEROES was a sports story,
bounty-hunter STRONTIUM DOG (first seen in STARLORD) was
a cowboy story, and ROGUE TROOPER was a war story.

It's a bit like STAR TREK.  My father could never get into the
programme because of its SF trappings, but, essentially, Star Trek is
not too dissimilar to a war story set in a submarine.  KLINGONS and
ROMULANS are the Nazis, KIRK, SPOCK and the rest of the crew
are the good guys, and the ENTERPRISE is a submarine, but travel-
ling up in outer space instead of down in the depths of the sea.  You'd
be surprised (or maybe not) at how many Star Trek plots could
be transferred directly into a Second World War setting.

However, that's enough padding from me.  Now you can get
on with what you came here for.  Namely, ogle these fantastic front
and back covers from The Crunch - a comic that surely deserved
a longer life than it had.     

Sunday, 25 January 2015


All images copyright MARVEL COMICS

I never bought the first nine issues of STAR HEROES Pocket
Book - if indeed I even saw them!  I think I did see the first issue (or
an ad for it), but decided against buying it because I wasn't really into
science fiction comics.  At the beginning of 1981, walking from Southsea
into Portsmouth town centre, I spied the tenth issue in a shop and bought
it immediately.  The reason?  See for yourself - the original X-MEN!  As
with some of the other pocket books, it was like reading '60s comic
FANTASTIC all over again, and my then-youthful little heart
skipped a beat in anticipation of re-living my childhood.

I've now got all these stories in full-colour MARVEL MASTER-
WORKS and OMNIBUS volumes, as well as various other reprints,
but I couldn't part with my PBs because of the particular time in my life
that they represent to me.   Madness I know, but they've got a charm of
their own, even 'though they were far from perfect in their reproduction
of these classic strips.  I also acquired the next two or three issues in
Southsea/Portsmouth, and that's where I tend to think of whenever
I look at these cracking covers from a long-gone era.

The very same covers that you're now about to savour, O
dribbling Criv-ite, so I won't hold you back any longer - go to it,
frantic one!  And be sure to let the rest of us know what you think
of them in the comments section!  Lines are now open!

Okay, okay,, chill out!  There's no need to shout.  Here's
the first nine issues of the title to complete the set.


There are two menaces called DENNIS in the world, as I'm
sure most of you know.  There's the real one - ours - who lives up
to his name with gusto - and there's the cutesy American version who
doesn't really fulfill his anarchic designation in quite the way that the
British one does.  There's no way of knowing which of them was created
first, but ours saw publication before his State-side counterpart.  U.S.
Dennis debuted in sixteen newspapers on March 12th, 1951, whereas
U.K. Dennis appeared in THE BEANO, cover-dated March 17th,
but on sale several days before that date (amazingly, probably
also the 12th) and actually published on the 7th.

Anyway, here are the covers of another six DENNIS THE
MENACE Books (which became an Annual with the edition for
1987) to remind you that when it comes to menacing, nobody
does it better than our stripey, spike-haired little 'hooligan'.

The back cover is the same as the front, folks

I must confess that things like the 'Menace-Mobile' leave me cold.  I
prefer Dennis strips set in realistic situations that readers, young
and old, can relate to (and laugh at as well, of course).  It works
as a humorous image on a cover 'though, I suppose

Saturday, 24 January 2015


All images copyright MARVEL COMICS

A fresh and frozen thin coating of snow adorns the streets outside
my window as I type - ah, lovely.  I sometimes wish it could be Winter
forever, so clean and white does everything seem in all  its frost-framed
finery.  Sorry, I'm being entirely self-indulgent, as the current state of
the weather has absolutely nothing to do with this post.  (Unless I
wanted to make a bad pun about it being a 'chiller' of a day.)

Contrary to what some Criv-ites might think, I don't, alas, possess
every British MARVEL comic ever published.  I probably had most
of them way back when, but that's no longer the case.  Take the Marvel
Pocket Books from the early '80s - I bought a good many of them at
the time (with the exception of YOUNG ROMANCE, which I don't
recall ever seeing), but sometimes they just weren't in the shops.

This meant that I'd start collecting a particular title, but then have
to give up on it because it just seemed to disappear from the shelves
after several issues.  Case in point:  there were 28 issues of CHILLER
PB, but I only possess the first eight of them.  And when it comes to the
CONAN one, I only have the first two.  Did I once have more and give
them away for some reason?  To tell the truth, I can now no longer
recall with absolute certainty, but it's a possibility.

When it comes to STAR HEROES (not shown), I didn't buy it 'til
it started reprinting the early X-MEN tales in its tenth issue, changing
its name to reflect the new direction shortly after.  Likewise, I may have
purchased the first SPIDER-MAN PBs (or may not), but the only ones I
have now are a few with LEE/DITKO tales.  I'd almost certainly have
bought the first issue, but if I continued with it, I suspect that I later
gave away any which didn't contain reprints of the earliest stories.

But what's all that to you?  Do you care?  Of course not!  All you
want is to see the pretty piccies - and who can blame you?  So here's a
hodge-podge of covers from an assortment of whatever Pocket Books
I don't have complete sets of.  There's bound to be something you'll
like.  I'll  get around to showing you the FANTASTIC FOUR and
the X-MEN ones reasonably soon.  Promise.

I bought this one in Southsea/Portsmouth in 1981 - and more than likely
the other three also.  That probably explains why I don't have any issues
after #12 - they were nowhere to be seen in shops back home