Sideways comics

Sep 29, 2011

The “Golden Age” UK/Australian Atlas/K.G.Murray Superman No 24 published in March 1952 reprinted the cover story from Action Comics 155 from a year earlier. The rest of the comic was made up of DC material from other places such as the Johnny Quick story that was originally found in Adventure 150.

Apart from the missing gun on the cover the oddest thing about this comic, (and presumably other comics issued by Kenneth G.Murray at the time) was that half of the comic consisted of two DC pages reduced and printed sideways. Not something you see every day.

Superman 24

Nuff Said 30

Sep 29, 2011

I couldn’t actually find any interesting modern stuff so perhaps you could paste your favourite picture in the convenient space provided on the screen. (You should find some sellotape in the cupboard or possibly in the second drawer down).

And then again…..At least modern stuff is relatively affordable. I’ve recently been sent a few pages from an old Tandy Catalogue from 25 years ago. Everything within looks completely naff and monsterously overpriced. Over £900 for a dot matrix printer that is still only “near letter-quality”! Almost three grand for a computer with a mere 20Mb hard disk! Sad to say I once had one with a similar specification.The portable CD player looks like it is housed in the same box as their £14.99 cassette players…..

extracts from a Tandy Catalogue 1986-1987

Car Radio

Sep 23, 2011

Whilst replacing the broken radio/cd player in the car my mind wandered back to the days when they weren’t an integral part of the dash but an expensive bolt-on extra. When I bought cheap second hand cars in the 1970s invariably the previous owner  kept the radio. I’d resort to chopping chunks out of the dashboard to ram mine in place or I’d just nail one underneath the dash and chuck an antique speaker somewhere in the back. Wire coat hangers were invaluable. An electric aerial would have cost more than I’d paid for the car. As my current car is 7 years old I’ve no idea what you get these days. Probably we’ve gone back to just leaving a gap in the dashboard where people can put their idevice ??? 

Thirteeen and a half ?….Fifteen ?…..Twenty One Guineas ?? Blimey !!

TV of the future

Sep 17, 2011

In 1969 it was thought that at some time in the future the boffins would be able to produce cathode ray tubes of such slimness that it would be possible to hang a television on a wall, just like a picture. Either that or reverse engineering of video displays recovered from crashed alien spaceships would produce the same results.

3D TV ??? As if that could ever become a reality !! And as for wireless telephones with screens that people can carry around with them! The sheer amount of people/machinery required in the Telephone Exchange connecting everybody would be incredible. Preposterous Science Fiction nonsense!!

The older you get, the more thoughts of the past there are to think about….I think. I had a strangely un-nerving experience of deja-vu the other day. Walking down a corridor I suddenly had a flash-back to the 1970s where in a different corridor in a different city I was having a “flash-forward” to 2011. It’s difficult to put into words…. And then yesterday whilst driving along a road I now rarely visit I suddenly developed total recall of the sights, smells and sounds of driving around that same bend many years ago in a 1960s car, whole vehicle creaking like an C18th galleon, looking out through the letterbox-windscreen, watching the speedo needle bouncing up and down, hearing the rattling tappetts and the buzzing noise from the gearlever, the wind whistling around the flapping hood, the increasingly loud rattle of the bonnet as the side catches loosened and not forgetting the constant whineing of the rear differential. Just for a few moments and then it passed.

I regularly drove across these roads late at night in the 1970s piloting a variety of Triumph cars. Assorted Heralds/Vitesses/Spitfires and GT6s. My Herald Convertible was basic in the extreme compared to my current vehicle. Marginal motoring meant the “spare wheel” was usually on the car rather than in the boot. No RAC membership then, but I usually made it home. There was no point locking the doors at night when the plastic rear window on the hood was held on by staples and sellotape. Security was achieved by removing the rotor arm from the distributor when the vehicle was left in a pub car park. Tools were always at the ready. Once a bottle opener in the glove compartment came in useful to force open the clutch fluid cylinder when low fluid level had created a vacuum that made the screw top impossible to turn. I recall running out of petrol on one of these slip roads in the rain and the dark. The good old Standard-Triumph engineers had fitted the petrol tanks inside the boots of Triumph Heralds and kindly provided a “reserve” lever. Turning that lowered the petrol pipe slightly into the dregs of fuel and gave you a further half a gallon to continue your journey.

Hot car? Luke warm would be a better description.

         Here is a Triumph Herald 13/60 in Greece that hasn’t moved for a few days and may have trouble passing its next MOT.


Sep 12, 2011

I don’t know how many “issues” of the Commercial Radio Audio Magazine were produced in the early 1970s. I’d love to hear them. All I’ve got is an approx 20 minute long sample tape that I sent off for circa 1972.

The Commercial Radio Audio Magazine sample tape 1972?

Space Comics

Sep 1, 2011

Being completely underwhelmed by the avalanche of No 1 DC comics I find myself reading a comic from before I was born.  Issue 75 of the Arnold Book Company’s Captain Valiant, Ace of the Interplanetary Police Patrol….or is it called “Space Comics” ?  From what info I can find, this comic began with issue number 50 (!?!) and after a few weeks as a monthly was published twice a fortnight until the final issue, number 81 in 1954. Other Arnold comics such as Black Magic and Justice Traps the Guilty were more often published monthly, and often consisted of 68 squarebound pages rather than 28. The usual suspects of Mick Anglo and Denis Gifford etc were involved in this issue. The Arnold Book Company was headed  by Arnold Miller, son of Len. Mick Anglo would soon be opening his own studio and launching the Marvelman franchise for Len Miller. 57 years later it would be raining.

Space Comics 75 ABC Comics (Arnold Book Company) April 1954