It’s not unusual for comicbook characters to fade away and re-appear years later. It is unusual for a 12 issue limited series to halt in its tracks midway through the story and then to continue after a gap of over 3 years.

The first issue of “The Twelve” was number 0 (?!?). This appeared about the same time as I began this blog. Issue 8 was dated December 2008. Issues 9 – 12 weren’t published until this year. I now find myself owning 15 issues of what was to be a 12 issue miniseries. (issues 0, ½, 1-12 and a one-shot called “Spearhead”).

At £8.39 this book collecting the second half of the story would have made far more sense than buying 7 comics at £3 something each!! I’m sure more and more people are waiting for the “trade” these days.


Mar 20, 2010

ITEM: Something is finally happening with regards to the missing issues of “The Twelve”. Over 12 months ago I posed the question of what had happened to issues 9 onwards. This one-shot comic dated May 2010 recently appeared out of the blue. An untold story of how The Twelve first came together in WW2 it doesn’t really advance the story much but on the last page it does at least confirm that the last 4 issues of the original series will finally appear. It’s always nice to tie up loose ends.

ITEM: Something I never used to pay any attention to was the obituary columns in the newspapers. Suddenly the local paper no longer features my Grandparent’s generation with “fascinating” tales of their hobbies of doing Jigsaws, keeping Budgies and watching television but obituaries of my own contemporaries. Sometimes their demise is self-inflicted but more often it is due to natural causes. In the national newspapers obituaries of war heroes seem to have been replaced by 1960s pop singers. Scary. Alex Chilton (of Box Tops and Big Star fame) and DJ/Author Charlie Gillett (the thinking man’s John Peel) died recently. Fred Wedlock has also passed away. Surprisingly I discover he was barely 38 years old when he recorded his one novelty hit in the early 1980s. So perhaps he wasn’t “The oldest swinger in town” at the time after all.


ITEM: Also in the recent obituaries was a large article about Dorothy Calvert. The Calverts first hit the news with their involvement in Radio Sutch which metamorphed into Radio City (the original offshore one) broadcasting from the Shivering Sands forts. A number of forts were built in the Thames Estuary by the Army and the Navy circa 1942 to house anti-aircraft guns. By the mid 1960s they had been abandoned for 20 years and must have been cold and damp places for DJs to live and work. Those catwalks between the towers look particularly dangerous. Although Reg Calvert met his demise in 1966 (which I’m sure is recounted in detail elsewhere on the Interweb) in the “Pirate Wars”  Dorothy continued to run Radio City after her husband’s death. It was one of the more interesting pirate radio stations with a varied output that even stretched to the odd comedy show. Alas the original Radio City didn’t even last until August 14th (when most of the original offshore pirates closed down) but finished in February 1967. I believe the authorities had decided that Shivering Sands was within the “3 mile limit”. I’m off to “google” the Shivering Sands and all those other forts such as Sealand right now.


Mar 7, 2009

ITEM:  For creative writing you can’t beat  the customer’s comments for Bic Biros at Amazon.  In fact you can have hours of fun at this site without ever having to spend a penny.  I was amused to discover that you can buy a box of nothing  here!!


ITEM:  I tell everyone who will listen (and even some of those who won’t) that The Fugs (I think the “g” was supposed to be pronounced “ck”) are one of the most under-rated Pop Groups of the 1960s. The VU, Zappa, Captain Beefheart, The Grateful Dead etc are rightly famous. The Fugs languish in relative obscurity. Their music is a fascinating mix of underground poetry and humour and obscenities and noise and beauty.
Here is a short extract from Tuli Kupferberg’s unique take on life entitled “Nothing”.


ITEM:   Comics are nothing like they used to be. Thats what the article entitled “The End of an Era” as featured in The Rockets Blast Special Volume 2 No 7 was saying back in 1967. Then they were lamenting those far off days of 12 years earlier when EC Comics, Fiction House etc etc had faded away. Fandom then didn’t seem overly interested in the current comics yet in hindsight 1967 was a Golden Age of fascinating stuff on the spinner racks.


ITEM:   I have to admit that like the writer in The Rockets Blast I am happier looking at older comics. Lets face it the new comics are never going to be produced with me in mind as a reader. Well almost never.  J. Michael Straczynski has been writing a comic (for Marvel Comics surprisingly) entitled “The Twelve”. This has definitely been my favourite comic over the last year. Twelve heroes from the 1940s have reappeared in the modern day (without having aged ) and we see them trying to adapt to and understand the modern world. There are twelve secrets to be slowly revealed about their past.

Originally envisaged to be a 12 issue mini-series something has gone awry. So far I have 10 issues, the most recent of which is Number 8 (???). This is because there was an issue zero and also an issue 1/2 (half). But issue 8 was cover dated December 2008 and to the best of my knowledge the final four issues have disappeared off the face of the earth or been devoured by Galactus or something. Hey, come on Marvel and Mr J.M.S, I want to know how it ends. I’ve bought the Hardback book containing the First 6 issues as well !!


This seems to be the proposed cover for the so far unissued Issue 9.

ITEM:   And you thought there was no thought going into this. I kept going into the comic shop and asking for The Twelve Issue 9 with Tuli’s song running through my head “January…nothing. February …..nothing, March…lots more nothing…………..”