Peace on Earth

Oct 30, 2009


Why can’t we have Peace all the time ?

More Katina

Oct 23, 2009


You know how it is. You wait ages for a bus and then two come along together. I’d been looking for this record for years. Well, more truthfully, It had been somewhere in the back of my mind for years that if I ever found myself standing in front of another copy I’d buy it.
So, inevitably, as soon as a kind soul sent me an mp3 file of this “classic” someone else alerted me to a copy for sale on eBay. As expected with the synchronicity of these things, although the mp3 file had come from another country the eBayer selling said record lived only a few miles away from me. This single may even be the same copy I bought new in 1972 and “lost” in 1973 !!

So I can finally play the “b” side again for the first time in 36 years. Was it worth the wait ? I guess not. 

Katina – Don’t stick stickers on my paper knickers (version) Cactus CT4 B side


Captain Al Cohol

Oct 19, 2009

Captain Al Cohol

He’s an alien ex-alcoholic fighting crime and booze in the furthest reaches of Canada. Having accidentally caused the death of his family whilst on a drunken bender he rocketed to Earth to forget. But was he really the ideal role model to extol the dangers of alcoholism to the Inuit/Eskimos in 1973 ?

back cover

Captain Al Cohol pic



Star Wars Newspaper

ITEM: I’ve never seen “Star Wars”. I managed to avoid the first film in 1977 and since then I’ve studiously avoided all sequels, prequels, TV showings, cartoons, books and comics bearing the logo “Star Wars”. Its odd (considering what a voracious reader of Science Fiction I used to be) that films and TV shows in that format rarely attract my interest. I found Star Trek to be ludicrous. Kirk’s “Captain Slog”, where he loves and leaves a succession of alien princesses. The squeaky clean future of the “Next Generation”. Plots forever left hanging in “Time Tunnel” “Lost in Space” and “Land of the Giants”. Did they ever get home? Our own cash-strapped, unintentionally-funny “Blakes 7” and “Dr Who”. 100s of bad US TV shows from “Incredible Hulk”, “Lexx” and “Sliders” to “Buck Rodgers” and “Flash Gordon”. I watch them for five minutes and then my interest fades…..

As my TV has been taken over by “Emmernation Strictly Come X Factor Dale Street” I go and sit in a corner and read a comic until its all over. But I thought I’d give a few new TV shows the benefit of the doubt. The first episode of the american version of “Life on Mars” was pointless. The original UK version did it all so much better. The latest incarnation of “Stargate” actually made me laugh out loud. A stereotypical overweight “computer geek” teenager is brought in as a technical expert just because he’s good at role-playing games on his PC. Yeah, right. I’m still undecided about “Flash Forward”. Can they maintain the mystery for 24 weeks? I’m pretty sure the reason for all the blackouts will turn out to be…, perhaps I’d better not say……….Hopefully the plot won’t fizzle out like “Lost”.

There have been a few TV shows with a science fiction theme that have held my interest :-

“Seven Days” had an almost-believable (and unreliable) method of time travel based on something recovered from the Roswell alien crash site. “The Sarah Jane Adventures” and “Torchwood” were superior spin-off series from “Dr Who”. “Randall and Hopkirk (deceased)” featured a white-suited Kenneth Cope as a ghost only his partner could see.  “Goodnight Sweetheart” saw time travel used as a handy means of being unfaithful to your wife without her being able to find you out. It also explored what would happen if you made a financial investment/bought property 50 years ago and then immediately returned to the present to find yourself rich !!


And not forgetting “Primeval”, “UFO”, “The Prisoner”, “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” and of course “The Avengers” which were all entertaining in their own different ways.

PS: I’ve never had a SatNav device either. Here’s poor old Batman back in the “Golden Age” lost and having to ask directions. A different world !!

Sat Nav Batman

Simon Dee

Oct 13, 2009

The Simon Dee Book

Here is the full text from the article “Even the bad times were good sometimes”. from the Simon Dee Annual 1968.

Even the bad times were good sometimes

Susan Cadogan

Oct 12, 2009


In between lengthy periods working as a librarian Susan Cadogan (born Alison Cadogan) made some great records in the mid 1970s first with Lee Perry in Jamaica and later with Pete Waterman in the UK. “Hurts so good”, her reggae cover version of the Millie Jackson classic was the one that made number 4 in the charts and gave her an appearance on BBC TV’s “Top of the Pops”. My particular favourite of hers was “Congratulations”. This wasn’t a cover version of the old Eurovision song though. And it had a really fab intro



Oct 7, 2009

Archie 600

To celebrate reaching issue 600 Archie is about to marry Veronica.  Or is he?  Will Betty stop the wedding?  I always thought Betty and Archie were the most compatible. Veronica seems to be a high-maintenance kind of girl. We’ll find out over the next 6 issues.

Archie 601

Anyway it’s all an “imaginary” story set in the future. But time is an illusion in the Archie universe. They’ve been teenagers for sixty years now !! Betty and Veronica have certainly changed over the years though.


Elsons Presents

Beginning in 1967, Edward E.Elson built up a large chain of prime location gift shop/newsagents/convenience stores within Hotels, airports and large office buildings in the USA. By 1985, when he sold his company to our own W.H.Smiths there were over 200 shops.

In the early 1980s Elsons produced a few of their “own” comics. They actually consisted of 3 (remaindered?) coverless DC comics glued into a new cover. Now where have I seen that done before? (See the item on Thorpe and Porters Double Double comics on the right !!). Presumably in 1980 the practice of ripping covers off of unsold comics to return them for credit was still happening. There must have been mountains of coverless comics to pulp in the 1950s to 1980s. What a shame. And yet how surprising that no one in the USA had thought of repackaging them before……
Of course once the direct market began in force the systems of distribution/returns would change forever.

Elsons back cover

PS: Out of interest this particular comic contained the odd mixture of coverless copies of The New Teen Titans 3, Secrets of Haunted House 32 and Wonder Woman 275. As they are all dated January 1981 they would have been reasonably current. Perhaps they weren’t remaindered comics and may possibly have been “assembled” into their new covers as they were newly printed ??

PPS: There were six different issues produced. Oddly the covers for all six comics were identical with only the “series” numbers on the front of each issue to show they contained different comics !!

PPPS: And the apostrophe in “Elson’s” may well be grammatically correct but it does LOOK odd, just like those signs in Markets and Greengrocer shops where they sell “potato’s” and “carrot’s” !!! (I’ve just been reading that book about incorrect punctuation called “Eats shoots and leaves”…………..)