Batmobile

Jul 1, 2020

These days people, even children, just buy things as and when they want them. The young me only got enough pocket money each week for two or three comics, perhaps some bubblegum, maybe a Jubbly in the summer. Everything else had to wait for birthdays or Xmas. I guess it would have been Xmas 1966 when I received my Corgi Batmobile. The box would have been thrown away with the wrapping paper.

Obviously I currently have too much time on my hands. I had to mess about with the size of the image and it took a while to find some A4 card that wasn’t too thin but not too thick to go through the photocopier. My scratched and well used model now has a great looking box to sit inside.

 

Randlecourt Printers

Sep 1, 2019

Surely this company (with its address of Melton Rd Thurmaston Leicester England) must be connected in some way with Thorpe and Porter. The two published “albums” both contain black and white reprints of Batman stories originally published between 1955 and 1965. I guess the books appeared here in the UK sometime circa 1966 to cash in on the Batcraze that happened once the TV show was introduced.

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Perhaps the original cover artwork wasn’t available as these books use the splash page artwork of the first stories for the book covers (with changes to the positions of word balloons). No one seems to have researched what the correct colours for Batman and Robin’s uniforms ought to be though. It annoyed me when I bought these books in 1966 and still annoys me now.


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Detective Comics 1000

May 1, 2019

We got there in the end. Despite supposedly finishing at issue No 881 in October 2011 I’ve finally got a copy of Detective Comics No 1000 in my hands. As usual it’s been issued with multiple (far too many) variant covers. Detective Comics No 1 appeared cover dated March 1937 although Batman’s first appearance within its pages was No 27 cover dated May 1939. Action Comics No 1 (featuring Superman) was cover dated  June 1938 and yet it still reached issue 1000 almost a year before Detective Comics did. Welcome to the wacky world of comics.

I just wish the contents were more like this particular “homage to the 1950s” variant cover.

The Death of Batman

Jul 1, 2017

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R.I.P William West Anderson   19/09/1928 – 09/06/2017

Nuff Said 66

May 1, 2017

I’ve just had to check the date. Is it May 1st or is it still April 1st? It’s bad enough that the once-mighty Adam Strange has recently been teamed with Johnny Quest and gang. But a team-up between Batman and Top Cat (?!?) is just too much. It’s not Brave and it’s not Bold. It’s not big and it’s not clever. It’s just silly.

Batman paperbacks

Sep 1, 2016

Batman Front

Before the advent of the TV series, Batman books were few and far between. The Atlas annuals weren’t very easy to locate. Once Batmania took hold Batmerchandise was everywhere. The first Batman paperbacks I saw were these from 1966 which featured a handful of fun late 1940s/early 1950s stories at one or two panels per page.

Batman Back

Joker Front

There was another New English Library/4 square Batman paperback at the time featuring The Penguin along with a novel entitled “The three villains of Doom”.

Joker Back

These English paperbacks had front covers that were slightly different to the American versions upon which they were based.

Signet Joker

Dinasaur?

Aug 1, 2015

title

How do you spell Dinosaur? Yes, I thought so. Back in 1958 DC comics evidently didn’t proofread the covers.

Detective 255

But they got it right inside on the splash page.

Detective

When Atlas produced their second Batman Annual at least they got the cover spelling of “dinosaur” right. But then they go and change the word “death” into “mystery”. When DC comics got round to re-printing this same story (in Batman Annual 6) they too corrected the spelling and this time changed the title to “Doom in Dinosaur Hall”. Evidentally “Death” was no longer allowed.

Mystery of Dinosaur Hall

It’s interesting to note that the first DC comics Batman Annual came out in the summer of 1961. Our first (1960) Atlas Batman Annual would have appeared in the autumn of 1959 beating them by more than 18 months. Of course Atlas had already been producing Superman Annuals for years.

Batman Annual 1960-1961 Atlas UK

Batman Annual 1960-1961 Atlas UK

Nuff Said 48

Nov 1, 2014

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Coming round again

Feb 1, 2014

It’s well over two years since DC comics re-launched most of their titles. So, it was inevitable that Detective Comics No 27 would come round again. Of course, the May 1939 Detective Comics No 27 is famous for featuring the first appearance of Batman. Now, a mere 75 years later the character has entered folklore and appears in more monthly titles than you can shake a stick at.

Detective 27

It’s probably time to shake a stick at Marvel Comics too. This month a number of their titles have re-booted back to number ones. I can’t get too excited. It’s not like it’s the first time. Flicking through a few of the new issues they look as unreadable as ever. I will pick up the new She-Hulk No 1, but the current creators have some very big boots to fill……

Batman Postcard

Dec 16, 2010

Due to my habit of slipping newspaper cuttings etc inside books I do tend to stumble upon some odd things. This tatty Postcard dropped out of a NEL Batman paperback (which was probably the first place I ever saw a few of Batman’s Golden Age adventures in black and white one panel per page !).

The drawing pin hole evidentally signifies that this card was pinned upon my bedroom wall in 1966 !! Interestingly the reverse states that it was printed by Gerald G. Swan. He was of course famous in the late 1940s/1950s for pulp magazines and some extremely odd UK comics. Although I have a Wells Fargo book of his dated 1964 I am surprised his company was still in business as late as 1966 (although checking the Interweb I see he would only have been 64 years young then).

The most interesting thing about last week’s relaunch of “The Dandy” was that it DIDN’T have a free gift sellotaped to the front. Once upon a time a free gift was only found in the first three issues of new titles, or used sparingly in existing comics for special events or to boost flagging sales. Now the bottom shelves are full of plastic bags containing so many toys and novelties that the comics also included seem like the free gifts.

In November 1965 the free gift of a Guy Fawkes mask in “Buster” must have tempted me. I’ve preserved one of these cardboard masks somewhere pushed inside one of the many Annuals that still reside in my “library”. Of course, I couldn’t find it today so I hope the people at http://www.bustercomic.co.uk don’t mind me borrowing their picture. I’ve no idea if Guy Fawkes actually looked anything like that. I think I may have mentioned before (and perhaps I’m stating the obvious and it is common knowledge ??) that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this image wasn’t the inspiration for the early 1980s Lloyd/Moore “V for Vendetta” strip.

What I did find was this similar idea of a very odd cardboard Batman mask from around 1966. I don’t know if this came free in a comic or was just sold as-is. Actually, it is so odd that if it didn’t actually SAY Batman on the forehead no one would know what it was meant to be !!

I just couldn’t resist looking up Batman No 62 from 1950.

The Knight and Squire have a remarkable number of similarities to their transatlantic heroes. Obviously they live in a mansion with a secret cave beneath. To emphasise that they are in England Robin says such gems as “Jolly meeting you here old bean”. Later the Knight requests a tea break whilst they are chasing the crooks. The phrase “The blighter’s balmy” is evidentally referring to the weather ?? Batman and Robin disguise themselves as the Brits to save their secret identities. Everyone lives happily ever after apart from the villains.