The original writer

September 1, 2014

the original writer

There may be a handful of readers who won’t know who wrote this comic as the writer isn’t credited (no doubt on his own insistence).

9

attention parents

The original writer continued to send the Marvelman story down unexpected paths with the 9th issue and it’s explicit depiction of childbirth.

nine

PS: If you read the small print you discover that this (the October issue) shouldn’t actually exist. How odd. I don’t think the original writer would ever have made mistakes like that.

published monthly

Miracle Man

November 1, 2013

Miracleman

In the 1980s Dez Skinn thought it would be a good idea to revive the old L. Miller/Mick Anglo character “Marvelman”. Alan Moore along with Garry Leach and Alan Davis produced some well-received strips in “Warrior” that updated the character without completely discarding the more light-hearted 1950s stories (which now became “dreams” fed to the subconscious mind of the unconscious Michael Moran).

Warrior Summer Special

But Dez had opened a can of worms about who actually owned the trademark of “Marvelman” that would rumble on for the next 25 years. It’s so complicated you could write a book about it. George Khoury did, and inevitably had to title it “Kimota” !!

Miracleman 06

So when it was decided to reprint the “Warrior” pages in Eclipse Comics in the States, to “avoid problems” the character’s name was changed to “Miracleman”. Perhaps they shouldn’t have used that name either! There was already a “Miracle Man” courtesy of Top Sellers/Thorpe and Porter. Circa 1965 there were 13 issues published in the UK which were slightly modified versions of Mick Anglo’s late 1950s Spanish “Super Hombre”. But wasn’t “Super Hombre” already trademarked by DC Comics?? (See one of my earlier posts…gosh, my brain hurts….)

Miracle Man 09

Miracle Man 09 Thorpe and Porter/Top sellers 1965?

Today the american Marvel Comics/Disney own the rights to “Marvelman” having purchased them in 2010 from Mick Anglo (1916-2011) who had owned them all along. Who owns the rights to “Miracle Man” now though??? Marvel Comics are due to reprint the Warrior/Eclipse “Miracleman” material in the new year. Presumably then Marvel/Disney have purchased the rights to the Eclipse material from either Neil Gaiman or Todd McFarland or whoever won their protracted court battle. I hope the “new” reprints will be in colour and I hope they will restore the character back to his original name.

More loose ends

July 10, 2010

ITEM:    I thought that Marvel Comics (or should we call them the Disney Corporation now ?) had purchased the rights to Marvelman so they could quietly bury a character with a similar sounding name to their own. Yet here we are in 2010 with a 6 issue limited series and a book. Who’d have thunk it ? Only reprints though. Perhaps new material may not be too far away ?  And lets hope that Mick Anglo is receiving some belated financial reward for these characters he created over 50 years ago.

ITEM :    When I said there has only ever been one Honey West comic (by Dell Comics in 1966) I didn’t realise a new series by Moonstone Comics (and written by Trina Robbins) was beginning next month. Watch out for that ocelot Honey. It bites.

ITEM:      One of the useful things about Amazon is pre-ordering stuff and then completely forgetting all about it. A nice surprise in the post this week was Series 2 of  “Chance in a Million”. This time we learn the reason why Tom doesn’t have a job. He constantly wins money on the Premium Bonds. How many Premium Bonds does he have ?? Ten !!  He is even considering cashing in 4 of those as it is the other 6 that win every month. Wish I could be so lucky…………

ITEM:    Back in those far off days when I was young and naive (30th of November 2009 to be precise) I thought it would be a good idea to post a simple/quick music quiz here. I don’t know if it was deemed too easy or too hard. More than 50 people listened to the audio file yet nobody even attempted to answer any of the questions or even ask who it was singing.  Once again my finger hovered over the “delete entire blog” button. Heck, I was even depressed when a mere handful showed the slightest interest in downloading this (to me) classic….. I decided few shared my sense of humour.

But as I am tying up loose ends, at last, here are the answers to the quiz no one did (although they aren’t necessarily in the right order): Two nice girls, Fever in my pocket, Kim Wilde, VU, Three, Maureen Tucker, Ricky Wilde, Guess I’m falling in Love, Marty Wilde, Love and Affection, Sweet Jane. There were no trick questions…..apart from the socks….

ITEM:     The best thing about digital music is the id tags. I’ve too many cassette tapes where I’ve no idea who is singing. Often they are mix tapes given to me by other people years ago. For example, this catchy tune. I know who recorded the song originally but it doesn’t sound like him. It sounds like ______ so I looked up his discography but couldn’t see this song listed. Similarly, last year I puzzled over this. I’m still puzzled now.

ITEM:    Despite saying I don’t like the One from the Heart film, at £2.99 it seemed worth another viewing. In fact it will make an ideal (cheap !!)  birthday present for _______ next week. I was amazed to discover that the DVD box held 2 discs. As well as the film there is Audio commentary by the Director Francis Ford Coppola, 4 Documentaries, 10 deleted scenes, The Tom Waits Score Alternative tracks, 4 found objects (??!!??), 4 rehearsals, 2 Trailers, Photo gallery and 4 Easter Eggs (??!!??).  So if they can do all that for £2.99 don’t you think it’s time they started selling all music CDs for 99p each. It would end piracy at a stroke and re-vitalise the music industry. 

ITEM:     After almost two years of silence the Dorktones have returned !! Their Podcasts are back. (see the right hand column for the link)……. “If it ain’t Dutch it’s not much” was one of their catch-phrases…..hopefully they won’t play quite as much Frank Zappa music this time though. Their own garage rock is worth a listen too.

ITEM:    And talking of Podcasts. The UK band Stackridge always puzzled me. They weren’t funny like the Bonzos, they weren’t particularly heavy rockers or folk or blues. They probably liked not to be fitted into one catagory. They only ever did one song that I liked but that could be my problem, not theirs. Even despite not liking their music I never miss their monthly Podcast. Presented by “Fatty Fudge” it is about as English and as civilised as you can get. Stackridge music is enlivened by music from friends/other bands. A pleasant hour by the fireside with a nice cup of tea is had by all. Lummy Days is here.

ITEM:    A final thought. I wonder if you can still buy these ? I’ve just buried one (along with a few other things) in the garden inside an old cigar tin. Future generations/Time Team 3010 can puzzle as to what they are. (Of course all computer hard drives will have been wiped when the sun goes semi-nova in 2750 !!! …………………….

Marvelman Junior

April 4, 2009

After more than 10 years you’d think that L. Miller & Co Ltd would know the name of one of their Super Heroes but by 1963 as sales declined there seems to have been some confusion.

young-marvelman-or-marvelman-junior

The final Young Marvelman hardback Annual was issued for Xmas 1963. The title of the book now calls the character “Marvelman Junior” and yet throughout the book are “Young Marvelman” stories from the 1950s comic of the same name. And he obviously still sports his “YM” logo !!

marvelman-junior-annual

There has already been much written on the Internet about Marvelman and The Marvelman Family (as opposed to Captain Marvel and The Marvel Family) and their 1980s revival. The adult character “Marvelman” had to cry out “Kimota” to transform himself. This Young/Junior version merely had to cry “Marvelman” to gain his powers. Tragedy would befall him many years later when he fell into the clutches of Dez Skinn and Alan Moore.

ym

L. Miller and son

March 13, 2008

From the late 1940s until around 1966 L. Miller and son published a variety of comics in the UK. Many of them were black and white reprints of Fawcett titles from the USA. The most well remembered today are their reprints of Captain Marvel comics. Throughout the 1950s there were many others like Flash Gordon and Robin Hood.

                               flash4.jpg                               robinhood15.jpg

Once National/DC had forced Fawcett to cease publishing the big red cheese, Len Miller and artist Mick Anglo decided to continue with a UK version of the superhero.With a few subtle changes of costume and identity, and a cry of “Kimota!” instead of “Shazam!” Marvelman was born. 

marvelman-109.jpg

Marvelman and the Marvelman family continued in new adventures until 1963. L. Miller and son comics folded in 1966 and their assets were aquired by Alan Class. Here is my copy of Mystic 30. Published in 1963 it seems to contain pre-code horror stories originally found in Fawcett’s “This magazine is Haunted” from the early 1950s. Although the cover seems to be a UK sourced, toned-down drawing, the interior contains some gruesome fare. Whilst in the States “Horror” comics in the early 1960s had been reduced to the likes of House of Mystery and Tales to Astonish, comic buyers in the UK were still being exposed to pre comics code material.

mystic-30.jpg

But of course in a few years time there would be Warren’s Creepy and Eerie on the spinner racks.

mystic.jpg