Never met a Corliss

July 1, 2016


Sad to hear of the recent demise of Judy Jetson, Penelope Pitstop and Corliss Archer. Three feisty females from the 50s/60s/70s. “Jetsons” and “Wacky Races” comics are still under copyright but the three Fox “Meet Corliss Archer” comics seem to be in the Public domain, along with a number of the comedy/teen/sitcom radio shows and even the short-lived TV show. Put your brain in neutral and then visit the “Internet Archive” to sample those if you’re brave enough.

Meet Corliss Archer

PS: The name “Corliss” had a surge in popularity in the 1940s and 1950s in the States whist the Radio/TV shows were current and then faded right away. Throughout the C20th the Media and “famous” people from film and TV have influenced the names of babies. In the C21st it has got even sillier. I read recently that someone somewhere has just named their new sprog “Brexit” !?!

Swiss Family Crusoe

July 1, 2016

At first glance you’d assume that the Gold Key/Western Publishing comic “Space Family Robinson” was based on the TV show “Lost in Space”. Actually it was the other way around. The comic began in 1962. The TV show first appeared three years later in 1965, and had obviously stolen the characters and idea from the comics. (Although I guess both owed a debt to the 1812 novel and 1960 film entitled “The Swiss Family Robinson”.

1967 Annual

In the 1960s “Lady Penelope” comic in the UK featured the adventures of the Robinsons in original to the UK stories using the Gold Key Characters. There were at least two Annuals here published by World Distributors. They featured reprints of the Gold Key strips interspersed with new text and art. Dark Horse Publications have collected all the Gold Key “Space Family Robinson” comics into five (expensive) hardbacks.

1968 Annual

Innovation comics in the early 1990s also produced a couple of dozen “Lost in Space” comics including two annuals. Like the earlier Gold Key comics they sported great painted covers.

Innovation comics lost in space annual

PS: “Robinson” doesn’t sound like a Swiss surname does it? Of course the novel was originally written in German and had the title “Der Schweizerische Robinson”, referring of course to “Robinson Crusoe”. Perhaps a more accurate title for this novel would have been “The Swiss Crusoes”?

PPS: Robinson Crusoe was originally written in 1719, almost 100 years before “The Swiss Family Robinson”. I find it quite amazing that Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” of 1719, and “Moll Flanders” from 1722, are still so readable almost 300 years after they first appeared.

Nuff Said 58

July 1, 2016

Can't we

More variant covers

June 1, 2016

In my quest to reach the furthest dusty corners of comicology I’d like to mention these two comics that I just happened to be reading recently. Marvel Treasury Editions were those comics produced between 1974 and 1981 that although not quite the largest comics ever produced (see elsewhere in this blog for one of those) at “tabloid” size they were certainly much bigger than the regular ones. Surprisingly, the majority of them had variant covers produced for UK distribution featuring pence rather than cents for the price.

Marvel Treasury Edition 16 UK price

I don’t know by what means Archie comics were distributed here in the UK. Before the advent of comic shops and direct distribution I hardly ever saw any. They didn’t very often appear on spinner racks when I was a youngster so I’m not sure if Thorpe and Porter officially imported them (although they were responsible for some black and white British reprints of Archie comics for a time here in the UK in the 1950s). Perhaps Archie comics (and Harvey comics…..which didn’t seem that commonplace either) came over in bundles of unsold back issues like the Dell/Gold Key/King comics you’d find in Woolworths selling for 6d each in the 1960s.

number 5

This Sabrina comic sports a UK only price on the cover. Oddly enough, none of the other issues in the series before or after show a similar UK price (although there are some other issues sporting two different barcodes, presumably for News stand and Direct distribution variants).

All Marvel comics (and presumably Archie comics) of the 1960s to 1980s that sported variant UK price covers were printed in the States at the same time and place as their own issues. But how many of these comics destined for export would actually have been printed?? These american comics showing UK prices must have surely accounted for less than 10% of the total print run. Therefore my prediction is that when the rarity of our UK variant issues are finally appreciated (like is already beginning with Canadian/Whitman/different cent prices variant covers) then they must at some point in the future become extremely valuable and much in demand for $$$$thousands by comic collectors in the States. Or not.

see also

One thousand

June 1, 2016

not action 1

A mere five years ago I was disappointed to see that Action comics (No 1 June 1938 – No 904 October 2011), along with the whole DC universe had reverted back to issue number one. They’ve evidently now had a change of heart. After 52 issues of Action Comics Volume 2 we seem to have back-tracked to Volume 1 again. They’ve added the 52 Volume 2 issues to the original 904 and now we are presented with issue number 957 continuing the original continuity. Bonkers or sensible? Who knows. That’s comics for you. And now Action comics is going to be published fortnightly unlike the previous monthly schedule. Wasn’t it 8 times a year in the 1960s and weekly in the 1980s?? I can’t keep up. Still, at this rate it looks like there WILL be an Action Comics Number 1000 sometime early 2018.

Here is an Action Comic that hasn’t the slightest relevance to any of the above.

Miller Action Comics

PS: And they’ve done the same thing to the numbering with Detective Comics. However most of the other DC titles have in fact started again at Number one.

It seems that the centre of the known universe is actually a barely-inhabited island called Forvik off the Shetlands (formerly known as Forewick Holm). The current ruler, Captain Calamity, has discovered that no documents exist to prove that it is part of the United Kingdom and is claiming it should be declared a Crown Dependency like Jersey and Guernsey and therefore capable of having it’s own currency, taxes and laws.


A guidebook is available right here.

Twenty eight

June 1, 2016


I think one of the greatest inventions of the modern age has been the humble mp3 player. I don’t want to access my music by tapping and scrolling past a million “apps” (whatever an “app” is) on a phone. I don’t want to stream stuff around the house via some complicated server and 100 button remote control. I don’t want to rescue my CD player and turntable from the shed just yet….though never say never. I’m quite happy with a plain and simple mp3 player. This one contains over twenty eight hours worth of my all-time favourite tunes and is still less than a quarter full. The music may not be CD quality but the convenience of a matchbox-sized box in my pocket makes up for that.

twenty eight

Blah blah blah blahdy blah blah etc etc etc here.