The Bojeffries Saga

April 30, 2008

I wonder if there is a reason why this odd graphic novel from 1992 (expanded from the 1980s strips in “Warrior” magazine) isn’t currently available?  Written by Alan Moore and drawn by Steve Parkhouse, I love the opening section where the rent man arrives at the Bojeffries’ reality-bending household. Here is a brief resume of the family.

Even by Alan Moore’s standards this book was surreal.

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Idols Magazine

April 29, 2008

Bill Harry had been involved in pop publishing for many years (Mersey Beat Magazine, and books about the Beatles) when he launched “Idols” Magazine in the UK in the 1980s. This publication covered a broad spectrum of Movie Stars from the Silent era to current Actors, TV, Pop Stars….anyone who someone else might idolise. Always a great read.

Syd Meats

April 27, 2008

Boothby Graffoe has the distinction of being the only comedian named after a Lincolnshire village. From 1988 to 1990 he had a manic weekly 2 hour radio show on BBC Radio Lincoln. An early adopter of the “zoo” format, Boothby filled the studio with friends, listeners and whoever would bring him free beer!

Very few records were played over the two hours. Much of the time was spent with Boothby’s stream-of-consciousness comedy, odd phone-ins and, most weeks, a topical humerous “sogne” (his spelling) from Syd Meats. Here are just two examples of Syd’s “art”.

Things I don’t like blues includes Syd’s misguided attempt halfway through a live performance to devise fresh lyrics only to find that “it didn’t work” !!

Snailscame about due to a news item at the time which claimed the EEC (European Economic Comunity) of which the UK is a member had reclassified the French delicacy of snails as a fish rather than as a meat. I believe the reference to “partial trousers” refers to a running joke in the show at the time regarding the torn jeans worn by Cher in a then current music video.

Syd has his own web site but his music doesn’t seem to be available there. I think its time for a Syd Meats revival.

Man of Action

April 24, 2008

Here is a piece of music that was played on the hour every hour for almost four years! Used as the station identification theme for the offshore pirate radio station Radio North Sea International from 1970 to 1974, this tune still sounds majestic today. It transports me back to those days better than any time machine.

The Les Reed Orchestra – Man of Action

Superboy UK Annuals

April 23, 2008

Superboy Annual 1956/1957

K. G. Murray of Australia produced monthly black and white reprints of some DC Comics throughout the 1950s. The main titles were “Superman”, “Superboy”, “Batman” and “Superadventure”. These reprint comics were reprinted for UK consumption both as monthly editons and also hardbacked 160 page Xmas Annuals. These Annuals were published by a company called “Atlas” in the UK with no connection at all to the Atlas/Timely (later to be Marvel Comics) of the USA.

Superboy Annual 1957/1958 

The Superboy Annuals were available for approximately 14 years, from 1953 to about 1967.  Along with Superboy stories there were always  Rex the Wonder Dog and Detective Chimp stories. Even in the mid 1960s kids in the UK could read about the adventures of Rex the Wonder Dog and the Detective Chimp when they would have already become distant memories in the States.

Superboy Annual 1964/1965

The quality of paper used in the 1960s books is diabolical. Many stories are in this odd red and black and white colour scheme.

The stories that are in colour have evidently been coloured here in the UK. It looks like a child has been using a crayon, but no thats exactly how the book was sold!!

Superboy Annual 1965/1966

Superboy Annual 1966/1967

Here is the small print from the above annual showing the connection between K.G. Murray, Atlas and Thorpe and Porter. The Superboy and Detective Chimp stories in the book seem to have been licensed from the Australian company of K.G. Murray, who in turn had licensed the material from National/DC. As usual the cover was no doubt drawn by someone in the UK.

Batman Gum Cards

April 21, 2008

Once the Batman TV Show began, so did Batmania.  A number of sets of Bubble Gum Cards appeared in 1966 and 1967. I collected them all and even sent off for the Albums to stick them in. Later Albums came with little pre-cut slots to lodge the cards in place which was far more sensible.

The first two series of cards were painted, probably by the same guy(s) who had painted the Civil War and Mars Attacks cards of a few years earlier. I like this Catwoman card. 

 

see also:-  More Batman Gum Cards

At about the same time as the cards a number of Colouring Books appeared. Somehow this one is still on my bookcase to this day.

Warren’s Eerie No 1

April 21, 2008

In the late 1960s I was the proud (?) owner of the first 20 issues of Warren’s “Creepy” magazine. I also had most issues of “Eerie”. Eerie No 1 however eluded me. I didn’t know then that there hadn’t actually been an Eerie Number One as such. The series had officially begun with issue No 2 !!!

Due to the success of “Creepy” Jim Warren was planning a companion magazine. He heard rumours that a rival company (Perhaps Myron Fass ?) were about to launch a horror comic/magazine using the name Warren had chosen. The story goes that to beat them to the punch, Jim  Warren hastily assembled an “Ashcan” edition of Eerie No 1 containing reprints from earlier issues of Creepy. Enough copies were printed and “distributed” to supposedly secure the trademark of the title “Eerie”. 

This all seems odd to me as there had already been at least two comic books in the early 1950s in the USA and another in the UK that had used the title “Eerie”. It wasn’t until Creepy Issue No 81 when I saw this editorial that I discovered the story of the missing Eerie No 1 and that pirate copies had been produced. I admit I’ve still never seen one.

 

PS: As of March 2009 you can purchase a hard back book collecting the first six issues of Warren’s Eerie (with presumably more volumes to follow). This book surprisingly contains Eerie Number One.