These days conspiracy theories are everywhere.
Will the world end in 2012 when we have a close encounter with Planet X ??
Is the Earth (or the Moon) hollow ??
Are the ruling elite really Lizards in disguise ??

You can go on and on with this kind of speculation. But there is one odd thing that is visible daily that few people seem to comment on.


These endless aeroplane contrails (condensation trails) in the sky over virtually every urban development on the planet. They are observed (by the few that actually bother to look up above their heads) across the USA, the UK, Europe, Australia etc etc.

I have watched them above my house. I assume they are flying every day, weekends included. Of course you only see them on clear days. However the days aren’t clear for long once they’ve arrived.There are usually at least two planes, sometimes more, flying back and forth. Nothing delights them more than playing “noughts and crosses” and flying through an earlier contrail to complete the “x”.

When I point them out to anyone else they dismiss me saying they are just planes going to and from our nearest airport 30 miles away. I reply that if that was the case it must be the busiest airport in Europe. They are not lots of different planes. They are the same few planes flying around all day. The regular scheduled flights are easy to spot. They fly much higher on a level course. Their contrails are thin and fade quickly.

The planes I am concerned about seem to leave thick, long contrails at strange angles in the sky. The trails hang in the sky after they have moved on for at least 30 minutes before fading. If you are into conspiracy theories and look around the Internet you find people calling this vapour “Chemtrails”. They suspect the Government is spraying us with chemicals, or trying to prevent Global-warming or hiding UFOs or who knows what else.

I’m just curious. If its military exercises its a waste of money. If it really is scheduled aircraft why are they drawing “x”s in the sky. If they are spraying us with chemicals is it doing us good or bad ????

Have you looked up to the sky recently ?????

Planet Comics

Mar 28, 2009



For a few years in the 1970s the Australian comic company K.G.Murray called themselves “Planet Comics”. Most of their monthly magazines contained 96 pages of American reprints in black and white.


The Bumper Batcomic ran for 20 issues in this format although K.G.Murray had printed Batman reprint comics in one form or another since the late 1940s.This issue is from May 1977. What is even more surprising is that it wasn’t just DC comics they reprinted. There were many many Charlton comics reprinted in Australia. There were issues of  The Peacemaker, Captain Atom, Unusual Tales, Vengeance Squad…even Haunted Love !!


I like this issue of Planet Comics featuring Ditko at the height of his powers. I’m unable to identify some of the back-up stories. They are too gruesome to be from Charlton or DC. They look too modern to be pre-code. I suspect they may originate from Skywald or even Eerie Publications. Incidentally, during the 1970s K.G. Murray also produced Australian editions of Warren’s Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella.

The “Terror Tales Album” comics are a mixed up medley of DC and Charlton horror stories. Over these two issues the terror tales are introduced by just about every “host” that the two companies used across all their different titles through the 1970s !!




For further information on comics Australian style head over to this site and all will be revealed.

PS: This advert was on an inside cover. Evidentally locally drawn, is that really Supergirl ??



Mar 21, 2009


Katina – Don’t Stroke My Pussy Cactus CT3 A side

Katina – Don’t Stroke My Pussy (Version) Cactus CT3 B side

I know this record may not be particularly politically correct but so what…its a free country. Oh no, I forgot. It isn’t any more. We only pay lip service to the idea of democracy these days. It almost makes you long for the early 1970s when nonsense like this was made. Of course she’s referring to her cat !! Play this record whilst wearing flared trousers and watching an episode of “Life on Mars”….

I can’t even find a picture of Katina. There would probably have been a picture, or an advert or a review of the single at the time in the pop papers like “Record Mirror” and “Disc and Music Echo” but where do you put your hand on copies of those now ?? Those are the sort of things that ought to be archived on the Internet !!


The follow up single by Katina went by the snappy title of “Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers”. It was also released on the Cactus label (CT4) in 1972. Cactus was home to some great “english” reggae from the likes of Judge Dread and Rupie Edwards. I actually marched into my local record shop in 1972 and asked for this record by name. Surprisingly they had a copy. Alas despite searching my shelves and boxes I can’t find it anywhere now. Not even out there on the Internet. All I’ve been able to find is a poor quality recording made from the radio  (RNI) at the time of its release  that isn’t of a good enough quality to share. I can decypher the lyrics though…….

The lyrics go something like this exactly like this:-

I went out with a boy who put stickers all over his car.
“Disc Brakes”, “Put a Tiger in my Tank”, and “Ma, Don’t burn your Bra”.
We went out for a drive one day and when we stopped he read:
“Clunk Click every Trip”, “Make Love not War”. Drop dead !

Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
That’s one thing that I don’t allow.
Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
I may have liked it once, but I don’t allow it now.

Standing on a platform waiting to catch a train.
I found I couldn’t move and how can I explain?
I heard the rattle of a pail as the man walked away.
I looked down and right across me read “Grand Opening, Everyone Welcome, Come Today!!”.

Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
That’s one thing that I don’t allow.
Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
I may have liked it once, but I don’t allow it now.

All the words in the world won’t change my mind.
There’s a way to get me going and it’s not too hard to find.
The rules of the game are really rather nice.
I’ll try anything once, and the nice things twice !

I got the sack the other day. I really don’t know why.
I was dressing this window model and I looked up to the sky.
Then suddenly the manager came in and before I could even speak,
I was “In the Sale”, “Reduced by Half” and “Bargain of the Week” !!

Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
That’s one thing that I don’t allow.
Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers.
I may have liked it once, but I don’t allow it now.

Cactus CT4A

“Don’t stick stickers” also appeared on a compilation LP entitled “Just Reggae” on the Polydor label in 1975. This LP seems to be as rare as Katina’s single. I did see a copy for sale on eBay in France for 28 euros. I was tempted for about 10 seconds but it seemed rather expensive just to hear the one track I wanted.


PS: So If there is anyone out there with a “clean” mp3 copy of “Don’t Stick” (and its “b” side “version” !!!) by Katina to share with me I’d love to hear from you.

100 copies

Mar 14, 2009

ITEM:   A couple more books have found their way onto my groaning bookshelves. A mere one hundred people will own this hardback edition. I’m sure many more will grab the paperback. A quick glance reveals that the logo was designed by Todd Klein. The book was printed in Canada. And there is a vast Bibliography at the back. Scarily I seem to own much of the weird and wonderful stuff in that list (although all my 2000ADs and Sounds newspapers were burnt in the great cull of ’86 !!).  I don’t have any of the Discography though, and I wasn’t aware that he produced some artwork for the 1982 B.J and the Bear Annual !!  Now might be the time for the completists out there to snap up one from their local Charity Shop/eBay whilst they are still 25p each ??


And I must look out that old copy of “Escape” to re-read the fascinating  account of his visit to the USA in the mid 1980s.


Although, unlike some people, I don’t believe it to be the centre of the Universe with all ley-lines converging there, I do think that some magic has emanated from Northampton over the last 30 years.

ITEM:   Here is another book limited to 100 copies. However this is more probably to do with the steep cover price. And the fact that they will be hard-pressed to find 100 people like me that are actually still interested in what must be the most obscure comics on the planet !! 


This book is all about the long-forgotten British comics of the 1950s from the small publishers who tried to copy the American comics of the day in both size and format. These pale imitation super heroes were sometimes entertaining but more often just plain rubbish. But looking back through the prism of time fascinating all the same. At 464 pages this work is a labour of love by compiler Mike Higgs. Yes the very same guy who wrote and drew the unique and funny “The Cloak” back in Odhams “Pow” comic in the 1960s. What I’d like next Mike would be a collection of “The Cloak”. How about it ??



Mar 7, 2009

ITEM:  For creative writing you can’t beat  the customer’s comments for Bic Biros at Amazon.  In fact you can have hours of fun at this site without ever having to spend a penny.  I was amused to discover that you can buy a box of nothing  here!!


ITEM:  I tell everyone who will listen (and even some of those who won’t) that The Fugs (I think the “g” was supposed to be pronounced “ck”) are one of the most under-rated Pop Groups of the 1960s. The VU, Zappa, Captain Beefheart, The Grateful Dead etc are rightly famous. The Fugs languish in relative obscurity. Their music is a fascinating mix of underground poetry and humour and obscenities and noise and beauty.
Here is a short extract from Tuli Kupferberg’s unique take on life entitled “Nothing”.


ITEM:   Comics are nothing like they used to be. Thats what the article entitled “The End of an Era” as featured in The Rockets Blast Special Volume 2 No 7 was saying back in 1967. Then they were lamenting those far off days of 12 years earlier when EC Comics, Fiction House etc etc had faded away. Fandom then didn’t seem overly interested in the current comics yet in hindsight 1967 was a Golden Age of fascinating stuff on the spinner racks.


ITEM:   I have to admit that like the writer in The Rockets Blast I am happier looking at older comics. Lets face it the new comics are never going to be produced with me in mind as a reader. Well almost never.  J. Michael Straczynski has been writing a comic (for Marvel Comics surprisingly) entitled “The Twelve”. This has definitely been my favourite comic over the last year. Twelve heroes from the 1940s have reappeared in the modern day (without having aged ) and we see them trying to adapt to and understand the modern world. There are twelve secrets to be slowly revealed about their past.

Originally envisaged to be a 12 issue mini-series something has gone awry. So far I have 10 issues, the most recent of which is Number 8 (???). This is because there was an issue zero and also an issue 1/2 (half). But issue 8 was cover dated December 2008 and to the best of my knowledge the final four issues have disappeared off the face of the earth or been devoured by Galactus or something. Hey, come on Marvel and Mr J.M.S, I want to know how it ends. I’ve bought the Hardback book containing the First 6 issues as well !!


This seems to be the proposed cover for the so far unissued Issue 9.

ITEM:   And you thought there was no thought going into this. I kept going into the comic shop and asking for The Twelve Issue 9 with Tuli’s song running through my head “January…nothing. February …..nothing, March…lots more nothing…………..”

Magic and Robots

Mar 1, 2009

ITEM:  Due to numerous requests (that’s Bill Numerous, somewhere in the USA..and no that’s not his real name)  I need to explain the title of this blog. Bill has a very literal view on things and complains that magic and robots are incompatible. His favourite robot is Robby and apparently he is saving up for one of those life-size Japanese Robots. My blog mislead him as it doesn’t contain enough robots !! Someone else keeps ending up here by typing the phrase “sex with Batman”.  He or she is going to be really disappointed too !!!

I could have called this blog  “Owl Stretching Time” or “Mr Potrozebie” or anything really but I just happened to have uncovered an old board game of the same name. So, for Bill and the one other person who hasn’t learnt how to google, “The Magic Robot” was produced by Merit Games of England from the 1950s to at least the mid 1970s and went through various incarnations. The earliest ones boasted a traditional magician as the centerpiece. Throughout the 1960s he was replaced by a small green robot. As this game needed no electricity or batteries it was evident to the 7 year old me that magic must be involved somehow. How else could the Robot work !!



 You placed the Robot into a notch in the middle of a circle of questions. There were a number of interchangeable sheets with varied subjects. Then you rotated the robot until his magic wand pointed at the question you needed an answer to. Then you lifted the Robot onto a mirror around which were a number of possible answers to your earlier question. The Robot would then spin around and come to rest with his magic wand pointing to the correct answer to the question. He never failed to point to the right answer. Even today I’m not sure how he does this. I suspect magnets are involved but I’m loathe to destroy his stand to find out !!

There was even a rare and rather fetching golden robot available in the 1970s. I’d like to track him down.


ITEM:  I can’t remember the last time I was excitedly looking forward to attending the Cinema to  see a film based upon a comic character. The last time was probably when the first ever Superman film came out. I never expected to ever visit the Cinema to see what are essentially the old Charlton Comics’  “Action Heroes” deconstructed. But if  Watchmen lives up to even half of its hype it should be fascinating. Its 18 certificate already means that its not been made with children and merchandising quite as much in mind as Spiderman, Iron Man etc.


After 20 years of people claiming that Alan Moore’s graphic novel was unfilmable it will be interesting to see how they overcome various stumbling blocks. The most obvious problem was Dr Manhattan’s lack of any clothing whatsoever. The solution seems to have been computer-generated genitalia !!  Even the subplot of  “The Tales of The Black Freighter” seems to have been overcome. There will be a DVD release with an extra 30 minutes added to the already generous 2 hours 40 minutes film inserting the Pirate interludes amidst the action.

Once again Alan refuses to give his approval to a film using his plot and characters. I respect his integrity but probably this time director Zack Snyder might actually do the source material justice.



You can even buy the “Black Freighter” as an individual DVD. And for those people who believe that there shouldn’t have been a movie version of Watchmen and that the comic is the definitive version here is an odd halfway-house DVD of the 12 comics with sound and some limited animation.

And I’m off to the cinema again. I can’t cope with American “movies” with their tedious plots about spoiled teenagers etc etc so it’s nice to see a couple of films with plots that I can understand. “The Damned United” is all about Brian Clough’s 44 days at Leeds United in the 1970s.


Another film about a subject I comprehend is “The Boat That Rocked” which is a ficticious account about Pirate Radio in the 1960s by Richard Curtis. In the mid 1970s I once went out on a small boat to see the Mi Amigo. In real life it looked small and clapped-out. It was thought the only thing keeping it afloat was that it was perched on a mountain of beer cans thrown overboard by DJs and crew !!