Red Comet revisited

Apr 25, 2011

Gosh, he certainly does look red on the cover. The muddy black and white interior artwork isn’t that marvelous either but I’ve scanned it anyway. It was difficult to read in the comic also, with the last story looking particularly washed out as if they were running out of ink in the printing press. I suffer for my art. Now it’s your turn.

Red Comet – The Interplanetary Marvel No 3 Atlas Comics UK

I never liked Judge Dredd (or 2000AD for that matter). That comic began during a period when I had little interest in comics and was perhaps buying just a couple of Warrens each month. I wouldn’t return to purchasing UK comics on a regular basis until the 1980s and Warrior. I’d buy an issue of 2000AD perhaps once a year just out of curiosity. At the risk of enraging Tharg and his supporters, I don’t see that Mr Dredd has any personality to engage the reader. I wouldn’t care if he got blown up or not. I’m sure that was the idea. He’s just a cypher. Like in the Astro City comics that came much later it is the characters both good and bad inhabiting the Megacity that drive the plots. A couple of years ago I purchased a random issue of 2000AD which contained what I consider to be one of the better Judge Dredd stories. So to contrast and compare here is a UK SF comic strip from almost 50 years after the Red Comet. If nothing else it shows how the printing processes have improved immeasurably. Splundig Vur Thrigg. 

Judge Dredd story – 2000AD

PS: These comics below appeared in a forum earlier this year as jpg images. I decided to convert them into cbz files for my own convenience.  As you seldom see copies of Miller and Atlas comics these days, let alone scans of them I thought they were worth putting back out to the Interweb again…….

Diamond Adventure Comics No 11 Atlas Comics UK

Captain Tornado No 86 Miller Comics UK

Marvelman No 328 Miller Comics UK


PPS: The Marvelman comic is from 1959. The back cover has this advert for the Magic Tricks/Novelties Mail Order Company (and shop) Ellisdons. They were still going strong in the 1960s when I would send off for a variety of fab gear/tat that usually required a Postal Order of around 1/6d not forgetting the 6d post and packing. Do you remember the strange “throw your voice” device you had to hold in your mouth and be careful not to swallow !! Or the wonderfully named “Seebackroscope” ??

Turn your radio off

Apr 23, 2011

Try as I might I can’t find much worth listening to on the radio. I was hoping that having now replaced the crumbling cloth mains lead and warmed up this old radio that perhaps the valves might have retained some Jack Jackson from the Light Programme. As most of his 1960s shows were pre-recorded rather than broadcast live I hope the tapes are still safely stored in Broadcasting House but I somehow doubt it. And I can’t find much of his output on the internet either. Meanwhile, tuning up and down the dial in the here and now of 2011 if I listened for the next twenty years there wouldn’t be two consecutive tunes that I actually liked. Even BBC Radio 7 has gone. 

PS: I see that the “Lux and Ivy’s Favourites” series has now reached volume 15. Get yours now ! Although not all of the 300+ tracks are essential there are usually a few life-enhancing tunes on each compilation. I think I’m going to make myself a “Favourites of Lux and Ivy’s Favourites” file !! One day in the not too distant future I’m sure all the free “Cyberlockers” like Rapidshit will be closed or curtailed by the authorities and all music will be i-priced so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

PPS: Another musical mix that ought to be in everyones collection is the 59 minute long DJ Food – Raiding the 20th Century Words & Music Expansion (starring Paul Morley and a cast of thousands). Still available all over the Internets for free while stocks last.

Twin Earths

Apr 18, 2011



“Twin Earths” was a syndicated newspaper strip which ran from 1952 to 1963 in a number of American newspapers. It somehow came to be reprinted in comic book form by Atlas Publications/Gordon & Gotch mainly for Australian consumption in the 1950s/early 1960s although it looks like some of the later issues may possibly have been available in the UK.


The whole premise of the plots revolved around the existance of a duplicate of the planet earth orbiting (and behind) our sun and consequently forever hidden from our view. The inhabitants of this “other” earth were more advanced than ourselves and travelled here via flying saucer.

As jpg images of “Twin Earths” 13 recently appeared on a UK comic book forum I became curious enough to collate the images into a cbz file and to try and find out more info about the series.

Twin Earths 13 – Atlas Publications

There didn’t seem an awful lot of info to be had. Typing “Twin Earths” into Google mostly sends you into an Electrician’s world of Twin and Earth cable.

However, the Book Palace does show the covers of all 29 issues from the first series. There was a second series (in the early 1960s ?) which oddly began at issue No 11 and even more oddly featured the same cover picture on issues 13, 14 AND 15 !!!


Twenty years ago a company by the name of R. Susor Publications re-printed a number of “Twin Earths” strips in comic book form in the USA. Since then this other planet earth seems to have vanished.

This is a test

Apr 18, 2011

The BBC are currently showing a batch of “Top of the Pops” TV shows from 1976. I heard someone being interviewed who expressed the opinion that all music from 1976 was complete rubbish as the whole year was a no-man’s land between Glam Rock and Punk. I think she was talking rubbish. Perhaps many of the acts featured on TOTP in 1976 veered towards middle-of-the-road crooners and lightweight Disco and pop groups like Sailor but I was buying a lot of music then so it couldn’t have been all bad. Every single year since pop was invented has contained a mixture of the sublime and the ridiculous. However, saying all that I was paying little attention to the Bay City Rollers or Showaddywaddy in the 1970s. I was too busy visiting junk shops in search of Rocksteady/Ska 45s or attending concerts at the Empire Pool Wembly to see the likes of David Bowie and Alice Cooper.

The February 28th 1976 issue of New Musical Express contained a free poster listing the best-ever pop singles up to that date. I presume the list was compiled from votes sent in by readers? I find the list quite sweet in its concentration on 1960s mainstream chart pop. I suppose everyone’s list of 100 tunes released before 1976 would be different. I would take the Kinks out of their list and include the Fugs, the VU, the Staple Singers, more Beach Boys, some Ska, Sinatra’s My Way, at least 4 tunes by Irma Thomas, Round Round by JK, etc etc……………….  

In the beginning

Apr 1, 2011

Action Comics is about to celebrate its 900th edition (thanks in part to a period when it was issued weekly). From 10 cents to (drawing the line at) $2.99 isn’t too bad over a 73 year period. Let’s hope they’ve now done with that rubbish/drawn out Lex Luthor story and we can see a return of the comics’ proper star character. I don’t know what they were thinking of having Lex as the “star” of Action. It’s as ridiculous as having Spiderman as a member of the Fantastic Four !! Luckily that is unlikely ever to happen. If it ever did I would eat my Queen-size Millie the Model Annual !! Anyway, if Action Comics continues its current monthly schedule (and “floppies” continue to get printed) number 1000 should arrive in a mere 8 years time in 2019. Coincidentally by then it will be exactly 100 years since Ma and Pa Wayne found the infant Kal El in his crashed space ship in that alleyway as they walked home from a night at the theatre.