Sounds strips

Dec 1, 2019

The Original Writer wasn’t a child prodigy. In fact you could probably call him a late developer. Born in 1953 his early published work was done for free and found within a couple of dozen fanzines in the 1970s.
From 1979 to 1983 he got a regular paying gig as writer/artist of a half page strip in the music newspaper “Sounds” whilst also drawing a comic strip for his local newspaper. He wrote strips for Dr Who weekly/monthly and then 2000AD from 1980, Warrior from 1982 and finally found fandom fame at DC comics from 1984 when he was in his thirties and remained quite prolific up to Americas Best Comics at the turn of the century. His last comics work appears to have been the 12 issue”Providence” in 2015. Then he worked on his epic 1200 page novel “Jerusalem” published last year.

This particular post is to remind readers of Curt’s time as an artist as well as a writer during the period March 1979 to March 1983. I acquired these strips a decade ago from a site that may no longer exist. The collection isn’t complete by any means but it’s quite interesting to see Curt’s earlier work in view of the body of work that would follow. As we live in strange times I’d better add a disclaimer that these strips contain a few swear words. some nudity, and the ability to annoy at least one “Sounds” reader who assumed the views expressed by a comic character in a comic strip must also be the views of The Original Writer.


Curt Vile

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Paul di Filippo

Jun 1, 2015

Beyond

As modern comics are rubbish, I’ve been re-reading this 5 issue mini-series from 2005. “Top 10” was an odd name for a comic series with a cast of thousands. At first glance it harks back to the “Hill Street Blues” TV series with the sergeant sending out his odd troops to deal with even odder situations. At second glance, like “Astro City”, the characters are all given unique and believable personalities. Many more glances are needed to peruse Jerry Ordway’s fantastic artwork. The writing of this particular follow-up series is so consistent with previous comics in the series that for a time I suspected that Paul di Filippo MUST be a psoo….psoud…alias for The Original Writer. This impression was only re-enforced when I discovered that this talented writer only ever wrote 8 comic books. These five and three for Marvel comics shortly afterwards.

Picnic

However perusing the InterWikiWebs, it appears that Paul di Filippo is a novelist with a number of Science Fiction books to his name. That’s if you can believe the InterWikiWebs. I mean, you may think that this Blog is just me writing whatever rubbish pops into my brain. Really it is compiled by a full-time team of 30 Web designers using cutting-edge technology and random word generation to make the whole thing APPEAR that it is produced by someone who is totally clueless!

Ordway

Can you spot Superman, the Green Hornet, Kato, the Lone Ranger, Tonto and the Black Cat in the above image?

The original writer

Sep 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

And about time too

Feb 1, 2014

The Bojeffries Saga

Next month they finally get around to re-printing the fab “Bojeffries Saga”. And later in the year, after being serialised in monthly floppies the Miracleman book “A Dream of Flying (Book 1)” will finally be available once again (and this time it’s been coloured properly). Two of the finest Graphic Novels ever.

PS: I’m still awaiting the publication of this book. It seems to have been in preparation for years but it IS a complex subject. Rob Kirby compiled a massive article on British Marvel comics in the April 2013 issue of “Back Issue” which I found absolutely fascinating but must have confused the hell out of the majority of it’s American readers!!!!

From Cents to Pence dummy cover

Actually, the sub-title is slightly confusing. British Marvel….ie the offshoot of American Marvel..only began in 1972. Marvel’s big mistake was to listen to some marketing genius who evidentally said they should try and maintain the look and feel of British comics when they introduced “Mighty World of Marvel” in the same size and same un-glossy covers as the current Victor/Buster etc etc. They would soon move to glossy covers but kept to the Black-and-white interiors and continued to annoy comic collectors who found imported Spiderman/FF etc comics had been stopped so as not to (in theory) dilute the sales of the British versions. Only towards the end, sometime in the 1990s did British Marvel finally adopt the traditional American size for their books.

It is true that British reprints of American Marvel Comics (usually random assorted strips rather than complete comics) were around from 1951ish though but they were just licenced reprints from the likes of Len Miller and Alan Class rather than anything organised by Marvel/Atlas/Cadance or whatever they were calling themselves at the time. From the mid 1990s Panini took on the role of supplying British kids with their X-Men excetera fix.

Occupy Comics

Oct 1, 2013

Occupy Comics 02

I missed issue number 1, probably because I wasn’t looking for it and probably because I don’t particularly agree with their politics. That being said the first three issues are definitely worth the price of admission if only for the text pages containing The Original Writer’s massive, detailed history of comic books. As it is written from his “anarchist in the UK” perspective it is ten times better/more insightful than a hundred american “histories” on the subject.

Occupy Comics 03

Tractor beam

Feb 1, 2013


Nuff Said 32

Nov 1, 2012

These are some of my favourite comicbook characters. Below is an example of WHY they are my favourites.

More Logic

Jun 8, 2010

I found a copy of issue No 3 at Knockabout Comics in London. Of course I should have thought of them in the first place as they actually publish the thing. I must make another visit to the “Dodgem Logic” website to see if  subscriptions are available yet. Number 4 is supposed to be out soon.

It is a good almost advert-free read for £3.50. I am pleased that magazines like this are still available in the UK in 2010. Oh and there’s a free gift of an exclusive iron-on transfer for your T Shirt or hippy tie-dyed Granddad Vest. It is a semi-clothed woman drawn by Melinda. I like the application instructions inside which say “Always ask an adult to help apply the transfer. Irons get very hot and should not be used by children”.
Lets hope they’re just being ironic because if little kids are reading this (and particularly last month’s) magazine we may soon be back around to a “Nasty Tales” type trial. Perhaps in a future issue they could include a free gift of one of those triangular pieces of cardboard that you used to swing through the air to make a bang/crack noise. I always liked them.

PS: I read this magazine whilst listening to “Dodgem Dude” by Michael Moorcock’s Deep Fix for the full multi-media experience !!!

Dodgem Logic

May 4, 2010

The colourful but confusing web site for the Northampton-centric “Dodgem Logic” is as odd as the magazine itself. I’ve just tried and failed to buy Issue 3 there. I did manage to buy the first two issues elsewhere. Issue 1 contained a free music CD (and it looks like you can actually download those tracks free from the website …if the links work !!).

There is also a fascinating article in issue 1 about the history of underground publishing from 1200 to 1975. That too can apparently be downloaded directly from their site.

Issue 2 comes with three variant covers. I hate that ! But it also contains a free mini comic. We seem to have come full circle from his time at the “Sounds” pop newspaper. As its title is “Astounding Weird penises” (with a cute 9d price stamp) you can guess the content.

Whether this is the beginning of a new empire or the last gasp of the underground comic/magazine format only time will tell. I’ll certainly try and get issue 3 at some point. It contains a free iron-on T Shirt transfer (which is most likely not suitable for public display ???).

100 copies

Mar 14, 2009

ITEM:   A couple more books have found their way onto my groaning bookshelves. A mere one hundred people will own this hardback edition. I’m sure many more will grab the paperback. A quick glance reveals that the logo was designed by Todd Klein. The book was printed in Canada. And there is a vast Bibliography at the back. Scarily I seem to own much of the weird and wonderful stuff in that list (although all my 2000ADs and Sounds newspapers were burnt in the great cull of ’86 !!).  I don’t have any of the Discography though, and I wasn’t aware that he produced some artwork for the 1982 B.J and the Bear Annual !!  Now might be the time for the completists out there to snap up one from their local Charity Shop/eBay whilst they are still 25p each ??

alan-moore-indispensable-edition

And I must look out that old copy of “Escape” to re-read the fascinating  account of his visit to the USA in the mid 1980s.

moore

Although, unlike some people, I don’t believe it to be the centre of the Universe with all ley-lines converging there, I do think that some magic has emanated from Northampton over the last 30 years.

ITEM:   Here is another book limited to 100 copies. However this is more probably to do with the steep cover price. And the fact that they will be hard-pressed to find 100 people like me that are actually still interested in what must be the most obscure comics on the planet !! 

fantasy

This book is all about the long-forgotten British comics of the 1950s from the small publishers who tried to copy the American comics of the day in both size and format. These pale imitation super heroes were sometimes entertaining but more often just plain rubbish. But looking back through the prism of time fascinating all the same. At 464 pages this work is a labour of love by compiler Mike Higgs. Yes the very same guy who wrote and drew the unique and funny “The Cloak” back in Odhams “Pow” comic in the 1960s. What I’d like next Mike would be a collection of “The Cloak”. How about it ??

ace-hart-and-val