DC Action

Jun 30, 2008

There have always been UK comics reprinting DC material. Some were more successful than others. DC Action lasted a mere 6 issues in 1990. I must have issues 1 and 2 somewhere but here are the other 4 issues.

The Superman and Batman magazine-sized UK reprint comics also being published by “London Editions” at the time had a more respectable period on the newsagent’s shelves. In line with many UK comics before and since they often had a “free gift” taped to the cover such as this Green Lantern metal badge.

Loving Awareness Band

Jun 28, 2008

In 2005 the legendary Loving Awareness LP of 1975 finally appeared on CD. The original LP only sold a few thousand copies in the couple of years before punk music pushed prog rock even further underground than it already was. The LP being available only in either a plain white or plain black sleeve along with claims by their management that they were the next Beatles didn’t help sales.

The music was however perfectly executed by seasoned musicians who would go on to form the nucleus of “The Blockheads” of “Ian Dury and the Blockheads” fame. (If you’ve recently returned from outer space and haven’t ever heard “Hit me with your Rythm Stick”, “Reasons to be Cheerful Part three” and the first Album “New Boots and Panties” go and check it out now.)

The Loving Awareness Band were managed by Ronan O’Rahilly which meant their music was plugged constantly on Radio Caroline. Extracts of their music still appears within Caroline jingles to this day.

Time is right to find one another
There is love in all to discover
Don’t you ever wonder what you’re really here for
Don’t you ever wonder what you’re really here for

And what’s it to you if I love you
What’s it to you if I love you -oooh

All want existence
Don’t want not to be
All want a consciousness
Don’t want not to be free
All want loving
Don’t want not to be loved
We’ve got to rid ourselves of fear
-and doubt, and pain and insecurity
You see – aimless use of energy

All want loving – You know
Don’t want not to be loved
Why can’t we live a life of love
In harmony and peace, equality
Understand the oneness in all life

What’s it to you if I love you
What’s it to you if I love you

Lets make love all night
Let’s make up our minds forever
Just stop this telling lies whatever
Happened to the Flower Power
Hiccup on the sulphur power
Power for the wrong desire
Power for the wrong desire
How did such a good ideal
turn so sour

All want existence – you know
Dont want not to be
All want a consciousness
Don’t want not to be free
All want lovin’
Don’t want not to be loved
We’ve got to rid ourselves of fear
-and doubt, and pain and insecurity
You see –  aimless use of energy,
Hatred raised, shameless faces of hypocrisy
When all we want is love

All want loving
Don’t want not to be loved
Why can’t we live a life of love
and harmony – peace – peace and equality
Understand the one there’s in all life
The one there’s in our life
The fear, the doubt, the pain and insecurity
You see – aimless use of energy,
Fear and doubt and pain
All the bullshit going down in Spain
All we want is lovin’
All we want is love

When are we going to find this loving habit
When are we going to find it
Reach out and grab it !

You only get the goodies you really need
and you really need them now
You only get the dirties you really dig
and you release them
You only get the goodies you really need
and you really need them
You only get the dirties you really dig
And you releave them
Everything is going out tonight
when we dig your plan

One thing to remember loving is a habit
to get into in this incarnation
fallin’ to the feelin’
true love reappearing
overflowing like a recreation
Day by day
In every way
Life is getting better and better
Believe it

From the days of “Peace” and “Love” they were roughly the lyrics to the last track  on the album entitled “Existence”.  Don’t you ever wonder what you’re really here for ?? 

I like the Lois Lane of the 1960s and early 1970s. Usually she is ever-optimistic of one day being Mrs Superman. Here when he fails to show up for her birthday party she finally cracks.

Our Atomic Future

Jun 25, 2008

Charlton Comics Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds 5 from 1957. The future then was expected to be an improvement on the past. Now we’re not so sure.

Lets just have a closer look at the last two panels.

In the year 2008 our electricity costs are at an all-time high. Fifty years on and many power stations still use gas or coal. Older nuclear power stations are due to be de-commissioned and our government is dragging its feet as regards decisions on replacements. The set-up costs for nuclear power stations are enormous. What do you do with the waste? There are numerous issues of safety and financing to consider.

I’m not sure if I’d be happy with a mini nuclear reactor under my bonnet. Although with petrol at £6 per gallon…………………….

Devilina

Jun 23, 2008

Atlas Comics

For a few months in the mid 1970s Seaboard adopted the name “Atlas” and attempted a line of colour comics. The initial impetus soon faded with most titles lasting only 3 or 4 issues. Their black and white magazines fared no better. Devilina only appeared twice.

And yet the contents of this first issue weren’t bad at all and contained a well-crafted adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

They must have decided on the title “Devilina” very late in the day. The magazine was originally to be called “Tales of the Sorceress”. This advert actually appeared in Devilina No 1. With haphazard editing like that you know the company is going nowhere fast.

I always wanted to send off for some “Sea Monkeys”. In fact there was loads of stuff in those classified ads of the comics of the 1960s and 1970s that we in the UK could only drool over from afar.

“Weird Tales of the Macabre”, one of Seaboard’s other short-lived black and white magazines also had an advert for the shortly to be renamed “Tales of the Sorceress”.

Now where have I seen this cover before?

Nuff Said 5

Jun 22, 2008

We more usually associate Steve Ditko with Spiderman/Dr Strange/Mr A/Captain Atom/Hawk and the Dove and hundreds of Mystery/Suspense shorts for Marvel and Charlton. This appeared in Wally Wood’s “Witzend”.

Charlton’s Go-Go

Jun 21, 2008

Most of the remaining issues in the UK seem to be owned by Silveracre.com !! 

Ally Sloper

Jun 19, 2008

Most likely the UK’s earliest recurring comic character (He first appeared in 1867 !!) Ally Sloper appeared regularly in various publications until the early C20th and once again in 1976 for 4 issues devised by the late comicbook historian Denis Gifford and published by Alan Class.

The contents of these magazines were a not altogether successful mix of the antique (in appearance) and the modern.

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Issue 4 contains Jack Kirby’s rendition of Ally Sloper as Sloperman !!

DC Comics 1962

Jun 15, 2008

Having amazingly maintained a price of 10 cents for twenty-five years (mainly by reducing the page count) DC comics finally increased to 12 cents in 1962. The regular-sized issues would remain that price until July 1969 when they jumped to 15 cents. I wonder how much longer in these inflationary times comics will still be available for $2.99 ?

 

This shows just what a big deal that increase was in 1962.  These days they certainly wouldn’t bother with a full page to justify the reasons for a price increase.

True Stories

Jun 13, 2008

It was high upon a dusty shelf towards the back of a shabby second-hand shop but it shone like a beacon the moment I looked through the window. I entered with trepidation and approached the scruffy, balding man seated with an enormous black dog on his lap.
“You weren’t here last time I came this way” was my opening comment.
“And I won’t be here next time unless things pick up” he mumbled.
“This is only a sideline to my proper job as a female impersonator.”
Anticipating my incredulous stare he produced a grubby card which appeared to be a photograph of Danny La Rue kissing a big black dog.
“She’s in the act too.” He nodded towards the animal as if I may not have noticed it was there.
Desperate to change the subject I asked
“How much for the Selco?”
“The what?”
“That Tape Recorder up there.”
“Oh, fi….ten pounds to you. A bargain.”
“Does it work?”
“How the fu…..oh yes, perfect, perfect.”
“I’ll take it.”
“Wh?”
He struggled to an upright position throwing the dog to the floor, and breathing heavily dragged the Tape Recorder from its shelf and dropped it unceremoniously on to a stack of Pickwick LPs. I put out one hand to balance it and stop it falling to the floor, presenting him £10 with the other.
“Most people haggle.”
I shrugged my shoulders and carefully avoiding bits of dog and junk made my way to the door.
“It comes with some Tapes” the proprietor shouted after me. I waited whilst he disappeared into the back for three or four minutes. I could hear noises and cursing. The dog glared malevolently at me. Finally he emerged triumphant with a large cardboard box containing dozens of reel-to-reel tapes.
“There you go.”
And I did. So also did the shop a few weeks later.
At home I examined my haul. The machine worked! The box contained forty-three tapes of Alan Freeman’s Pick of the Pops on the BBC Light Programme recorded between 1963 and 1967. All right? Not arf!!
 

This comic, along with Tales of Suspense 64 and an early Fantastic Four was my introduction to Marvel Comics. Before them I’d only ever come across DCs. Somehow I never threw this comic away and as I read it so often as a child I wrecked it so its never been in a good enough condition to sell!!

Here is a Strange Tales Annual 1 cover in far better condition than mine. However, unlike my issue this one lacks the Thorpe and Porter UK price stamp of 1/6d (One Shilling and Sixpence)!!

The above comics had been purchased from a Second-hand Book stall. The next Marvel Comic I bought (in fact the first NEW Marvel Comic I ever bought off the spinner racks) was Fantastic Four Annual 3 containing the Wedding of Reed and Sue and a cast of thousands. The rest, as they say, is history……………

Nuff Said 4

Jun 11, 2008