Nuff Said 65

April 1, 2017

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5000

April 1, 2017

Congratulations to D.C Thompson for soldiering on (get it?) with “Commando” and reaching the mind-boggling issue number 5000. With eight issues published each month it’s hard to keep up (although I’m unsure how many issues contain new content and how many are reprints each month). “Commando” began in 1961 and must be one of the last (comic strip) pocket-books still standing. In the 1950s to 1970s there were hundreds of titles and thousands of issues of these 7″ x 5″ booklets produced by Fleetway and numerous smaller companies such as Top Sellers as well as D.C Thompson.

Air Ace, Battle Picture Library, Batman, Beano, Bunty, Buster, Chiller, Combat, Cowboy, Dandy, Eagle, Judy, Lion, School Friend, Secret Service, Starblazer, Superman, Super Detective, Thriller, Top Secret, Valiant, War, War at Sea, Whizzer and Chips to name but a few.

PS: Circa 1964-1965 Fleetway experimented with these weirdly shaped 14″ x 5″ Picture Libraries.

Invisible Dick

April 1, 2017

The DC Thompson character “Invisible Dick” first appeared almost one hundred years ago in text stories beginning in 1922 within the first few issues of “The Rover” and later in “The Dandy”.

By the 1960s the stories were two page strips appearing mostly in “Sparky” comic (The comic for Boys and Girls!). Initially he used a jar of invisible liquid given to him by a sailor (?). The origin of the character changed over the decades. The 1960s version of Invisible Dick that I recall had a “magic” torch. This torch had been taken from a space ship by his astronaut father (?). Presumably cosmic rays in space had transformed the torch’s beam from light to black (?). Everything the beam touched became invisible (for a while) with the usual “hilarious” consequences.

A few years ago Obscure Reference Comics brought out a single issue which updated the character for the C21st.

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There’s been another dead popstar recently. Charles Berry was taken from us at the young age of 90. I only saw him live once in the 1980s. I thought he looked ancient then (he was around 59 at the time) and he was mostly just going through the motions. He redeemed himself at the end with a great “Johnny B Goode”. He appeared to still enjoy playing that tune. But ask many people and they only remember Charles’ 1972 hit (Number one here and in the US) version of the novelty song “My Ding-a-ling” (and actually recorded live at the Locarno Coventry England of all places).

Charles had used the tune for “My Tambourine” a few years earlier and must have been aware of the song from the time of it’s original recording in 1952 by musician/songwriter David Bartholomew who incidentally is still alive at the age of 98.

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Charles made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Nowadays people can find fame without even leaving their bedrooms. Jess Greenberg has received millions of UToob “hits” for her cover versions of rock songs. Admittedly she’s easy on the eye and it helps that she can also play her guitar like ringing a bell.

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PS: Check out Jess’ version of “Voodoo Chile” too!

Nuff Said 64

April 1, 2017

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The Sentry

April 1, 2017

Due to planet-wide amnesia everyone has forgotten that the Marvel Superhero age of comics began with The Sentry a few years before the far more famous Fantastic Four No 1 appeared. Startling Stories comics just don’t seem to be available or be featured in Overstreet. And when I have found a copy they have been remarkably cheap considering their rarity.

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The Sentry has the power of a million exploding suns and an evil alter-ego yet has appeared in some of the most far-fetched stories since 1940s Captain Marvel/1950s Marvelman/early 1960s Superman Imaginary Stories.

How did Marvel comics manage to call this hero “The Sentry” when Innovation comics had a character of the same name years before?

How did Marvel comics manage to call their comics “Startling Stories” when there had been a pulp magazine of the same name for decades?