July 20, 2009
I always enjoy comics that employ humour and parody. Recently there has been “The Age of the Sentry” and “Ambush Bug”. In the 1960s there were a number of interesting comics that should have been more successful than they were. The art and writing on “Inferior Five” was great. A few loose ends were later tied up in issues of “Angel and the Ape” where we discovered that Angel and Dumb Bunny were sisters. Oh and the “Ape” from “Angel and the Ape” was connected with Gorilla Grodd and that city of intelligent Apes. Recently Merryman was even involved in Final Crisis !! Personally I think it is continuity that ruined comics. Having to know the whole back history of the Marvel or DC Universe to understand who is who and what is what is a chore. I liked single issue stories and never saw the need for everything to be interconnected.
But sometimes you just wonder whats going on. Like the cover above. How can Superman and Superboy be side by side !! (But of course none of those heroes on the cover, apart from a two-panel cameo by Robin, appear anywhere inside the comic anyway….). Its like those odd early 1960s Wonderwoman stories where she teamed up with Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot when at the time they were all supposedly one and the same person !!
July 15, 2009
ITEM: Matthew Robson has been in the news recently. He is a 15 year old teenager who wrote a report for Morgan Stanley entitled How Teenagers Consume Media. According to the newspapers “Today he is the talk of Tokyo, Wall Street and the City. Fund Managers, CEOs and analysts are poring over his report.” This proves that Bankers are even more out of touch than I thought and there is little wonder we have seen the recent economic collapse. Put your money under the mattress.
Matthew’s report explains how teenagers don’t read newspapers or buy CDs. They rarely visit the cinema and never listen to the radio. They prefer to get their entertainment for free from the Internet (basically because they don’t have much money). BitTorrent and pirate DVDs are teenager’s formats of choice as they cost little or nothing. Obvious really. If I was the head of a Record Company I’d have been getting worried years ago !!!
ITEM: When I was a teenager, all those (pre-digital, pre-Internet) years ago I didn’t buy much music either. The radio was my main source of entertainment. Pirate stations played chart/pop music but if you dug deeper late at night you could find broadcasts of a more adult/underground format from the likes of Radio Seagull and before that Radio Geronimo which is where I first heard Country Joe and the Fish and The Fugs. Amazingly you can now listen to a few hours of airchecks from this legendary (and extremely obscure) radio station at their own odd site by clicking here (as long as you don’t mind wrestling with the dreaded RealPlayer software). If that is all too much trouble here is a couple of minutes from a tape of mine with an example of their late-night, laid-back, 1970s-style boadcasts. I believe the photo below shows the guys responsible for Radio 428/Radio Geronimo.
ITEM: On the same tape I came across this oddity. There have been a few stations calling themselves Radio Sovereign over the years. This extremely short-lived one from 1970 pretended to be an offshore pirate radio station when they were really an (illegal) land-based pirate radio station.
July 8, 2009
I always liked this Batman comic cover from June 1970.
Spanish Beatle fan Juan Carlos (at least I think that is his name…he doesn’t make it too obvious….) has produced some fantastic digital Beatle Comics that are well worth a look. There are 7 issues so far and he’s still only reached 1963 !! This project is evidentally a labour of love and the attention to detail of the Fab four’s early years in Liverpool seems spot on. I look forward to issue 8 and beyond.
All 12 of the UK Beatle LPs will shortly be re-re-issued (having been re-re-mastered) on CD either individually or as a boxed set. There will also be another CD collecting all the fab “b” sides and the singles that never appeared on any LP at the time. Why “All you need is Love” wasn’t on Sgt Pepper is a mystery to me…. or it just proves how much classic material the prolific Beatles were churning out in the mid 1960s !! My current dilemma is do I buy all this music all over again. I bought all the Beatle CDs when they were first available circa 1990 just to have them in my collection. To be honest from being a child growing up constantly surrounded by Beatle music (my father was a big fan and bought all the early singles in their “mop top” phase and I carried on buying the singles and LPs through their later “hippy” and solo musician phases) I haven’t really listened to Beatle music for 30 years !! (Yet I’ve remained a Yoko Ono fan throughout that time..) Will the spell be broken or will they still sound fresh ?? Perhaps I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve heard a few re-mastered tracks although they are bound to sound better than my scratchy 45rpm singles and the original CDs where the “stereo” often consisted of vocals from the left speaker and music from the right speaker !! Even my LP version of “Sgt Pepper” is in mono because so was my record player at the time !!!!!
July 1, 2009
These mini books appeared circa 1966. Despite 52 pages as each page was only 1″ tall there wasn’t room for much more than the odd word and thumbnail sketch (although this one does manage to include Spiderman’s whole origin story concentrated into a few pictures !!). I believe I got mine out of one of those bubblegum dispenser machines with those plastic egg shaped containers which usually produced the bonus of a rubbish plastic “toy” or even a Marvel mini book !!
I know there were also Sgt Fury, Hulk and Thor Mini Books. Although I never had one there was possibly a Captain America Mini book too.