Thank you

May 1, 2014

500th post

May 1, 2014



April 1, 2014


Namtab comics were quite popular in the States but never really took off in the UK. A small company whose name now escapes me produced Black and White (including the covers) British reprints for a while in the 1960s. They are hard to find now.

Hulk Smash!

March 1, 2014


Until the Interweb happened it was a little-known fact that “Smash!” 38 from October 1966 contained the first-ever “UK-sourced” strip concerning the Marvel Universe. Featuring the Hulk vs The Matador, apparently the story takes place between issues 3 and 4 of “The Avengers” which then had the Hulk as a member. Although I bought “Smash!” every week in those days I never noticed anything odd about the story at the time.

Monster and the Matador

Previous issues of “Smash!” had featured reprints from The Hulk’s six-issue short-lived early 1960s comic and stuff from “Tales to Astonish”. I don’t know if this artwork really was commissioned by Odhams or if it was a try-out by Marvel USA given to some (Spanish) artist. For whatever reasons the artwork didn’t see the light of day in the States until a couple of years ago when it, along with British originated Hulk strips from the 1980s “Hulk weekly” and text stories from various Hulk annuals were collected together in a graphic novel.

Twenty three

March 1, 2014


Twenty-third out of a set of twenty twenty-five twenty-three is somewhere around here.  Here it is. No it isn’t. It’s here.

And about time too

February 1, 2014

The Bojeffries Saga

Next month they finally get around to re-printing the fab “Bojeffries Saga”. And later in the year, after being serialised in monthly floppies the Miracleman book “A Dream of Flying (Book 1)” will finally be available once again (and this time it’s been coloured properly). Two of the finest Graphic Novels ever.

PS: I’m still awaiting the publication of this book. It seems to have been in preparation for years but it IS a complex subject. Rob Kirby compiled a massive article on British Marvel comics in the April 2013 issue of “Back Issue” which I found absolutely fascinating but must have confused the hell out of the majority of it’s American readers!!!!

From Cents to Pence dummy cover

Actually, the sub-title is slightly confusing. British Marvel….ie the offshoot of American Marvel..only began in 1972. Marvel’s big mistake was to listen to some marketing genius who evidentally said they should try and maintain the look and feel of British comics when they introduced “Mighty World of Marvel” in the same size and same un-glossy covers as the current Victor/Buster etc etc. They would soon move to glossy covers but kept to the Black-and-white interiors and continued to annoy comic collectors who found imported Spiderman/FF etc comics had been stopped so as not to (in theory) dilute the sales of the British versions. Only towards the end, sometime in the 1990s did British Marvel finally adopt the traditional American size for their books.

It is true that British reprints of American Marvel Comics (usually random assorted strips rather than complete comics) were around from 1951ish though but they were just licenced reprints from the likes of Len Miller and Alan Class rather than anything organised by Marvel/Atlas/Cadance or whatever they were calling themselves at the time. From the mid 1990s Panini took on the role of supplying British kids with their X-Men excetera fix.

Fry knee

February 1, 2014


Yes, that’s how you pronounce “Phryne”. The glamorous Miss Fisher, played by the glamorous Essie Davis, as seen in ABCs “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” is yet another private detective who solves crimes without ever appearing to need to get paid for her services! She is a thoroughly modern lady living in late 1920s Melbourne. A big house, butler, assistant, the latest Paris fashions and a sporty Hispano-Suiza car are somehow all available to her.