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Prog 633 of 2000AD dated 30th June 1989 was the final issue with a cover without a barcode. The back cover boasted that forthcoming issues would contain a free bar code for its lucky readers. Well, it amused me for at least 4.35 seconds…..

History lesson: The barcode was first proposed in the late 1940s/early 1950s and finally utilised in a few industries in the 1960s. The first use in retail happened in June 1974. A National Cash Register scanner was installed at Marsh’s supermarket in Troy, Ohio. On June 26, 1974, the first product with a bar code was scanned at a check-out counter. It was a 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum. The pack of gum wasn’t specially designated to be the first scanned product. It just happened to be the first item lifted from the shopping cart by a shopper whose name is long since lost to history. Today, the pack of gum is on display at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.

Nuff Said 67

June 1, 2017

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More Fantastic Tales

June 1, 2017

If I needed confirmation that I have TOO MANY COMICS here it is! A couple of years ago I pointed out the oddness of a couple of Thorpe and Porter comics from circa 1962/1963. Fantastic Tales No 8 and Fantastic Tales No 10 both sport identical cover images! The question was, were the whole contents of both issues identical too???

At the time I only owned issue No 8. I have recently acquired issue No 10, but am still none-the-wiser! Of course I’m unable to find issue No 8 (It’s within one of two hundred boxes). And stupidly I never thought to list the contents of that issue (or even open it, let alone read it!).

So, just for the record this is the rubbish/bonkers stuff that appears in issue No 10.
The Greater Evil
Bells and Noises
My Strange Godfather
The man who wasn’t there
Doctor Marlin’s menagerie
Annals of the Occult
The strangeness of Mr McGillicuddy
More Annals of the Occult
The Booster shots
Return of the Pequod
Yet more Annals of the Occult
The Old Man

Most of these black and white reprints were originally presented in ACG’s Forbidden Worlds 58 and Adventures into the Unknown 88 both cover dated September 1957. There were a couple of Charlton tales too. One whose origin I can’t identify and one which originally appeared in Out of this World 3 cover dated March 1957. (Oh, and I  mustn’t forget the adverts for T&P Classics Illustrated comics, sand-kicking Charles Atlas and Thorpe and Porter Western paperbacks).

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.

Climax

May 1, 2017

“Climax Adventure Comic” was one of the numerous (eventually over 400 different titles) Australian K.G. Murray comics published between the 1940s and the early 1980s. Mostly containing black and white reprints from a variety of sources. Issue number one from 1962 contained 100 pages for 2/- and the comic continued to appear once a year until 1972. Then they went completely mad and between 1973 and 1976 it climaxed two or three times a year.

Early issues contained reprints from Fiction House, Comic Media and Charlton. Later issues could contain material sourced from Portugal and South America. The issue I own consists of 52 pages for 20cents and contains random Marvel and Charlton material.

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.

invisible