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  1. #101
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    Chomp bars do still exist, I got one last year in a Christmas Selection tray thing. It was nice, but also a cheap way to remove fillings if you're not careful!

    I bought the first issue of The House of Hammer from a charity shop a few months ago and enjoyed it a lot, to be honest the text features weren't all that but the comic strips were fun. I thought it might be worth something so put it on Ebay, but only got £1.99 for it sadly.

    Can't say I've ever heard of Smash, or that DC and Marvel characters were ever published together in the same comic, which is interesting stuff, and something which would never happen today...
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Chomp bars do still exist, I got one last year in a Christmas Selection tray thing. It was nice, but also a cheap way to remove fillings if you're not careful!

    I bought the first issue of The House of Hammer from a charity shop a few months ago and enjoyed it a lot, to be honest the text features weren't all that but the comic strips were fun. I thought it might be worth something so put it on Ebay, but only got £1.99 for it sadly.

    Can't say I've ever heard of Smash, or that DC and Marvel characters were ever published together in the same comic, which is interesting stuff, and something which would never happen today...
    The text features in HOH were of pretty much the same standard as early DWM's if I remember correctly, although it's been over 30 years since I owned any copies! I'm surprised you only got £1.99 for it on Ebay though, Alex, I thought it would be worth a bit more than that!

    I'd heard of Smash, along with those other Power comics, for a long time...ever since the letters pages in the early 70s editions of Marvel weeklies MWOM and Spider-Man, when readers would reminisce about them in the letters pages. It has only been in recent years with the rise of covers available on the web that I've actually been able to see any of them though! And that was my first thought when I came across that Smash cover as well, that you'd never get DC and Marvel characters published together in the same comic nowadays....it certainly can't have happened very often over the years!

    Something a bit less obscure today, my personal favourite of the DC Thomson humour comics...


    I often felt that Ginger wasn't the best of the company's cover stars, just being a poorer quality Oor Wullie rip-off, and preferring the antics of the animal characters Biffo The Bear, Korky The Cat and Mickey The Monkey of their other comic covers. But the other strips have long been favourites of mine...Colonel Blink, The Badd Lads, The Numbskulls, The Hillies And The Billies, Smiffy, Little Mo and back cover stars Pop, Dick & Harry. The Beezer, and the Topper, were the best of Thomson's humour comics as far as I was concerned, although they were always overshadowed by the Dandy and Beano.

  3. #103
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    The Numbskulls
    In my opinion, the single most genius and surreal comic strip of all time. Whatever happened to the poor guy whose head was operated by a team of incompetent midgets?

    Better than that, The Numbskulls opened up all kinds of philosophical questions about the nature of identity and consciousness. Though mostly it was just about the silly jokes.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    It was nice, but also a cheap way to remove fillings if you're not careful!
    So are The Lads...

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    In my opinion, the single most genius and surreal comic strip of all time. Whatever happened to the poor guy whose head was operated by a team of incompetent midgets?

    Better than that, The Numbskulls opened up all kinds of philosophical questions about the nature of identity and consciousness. Though mostly it was just about the silly jokes.
    The one in the throat shovelled the food down to the one in the stomach. What he did with it doesn't bear thinking about!

  6. #106
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    Todays cover is another of those short-lived 1970s comics, but like in the case of many others, this is no indication of poor quality. Published by IPC, Starlord was a companion title to 2000AD but aimed at older readers, unfortunately it only ran for 22 issues in 1978 before merging with 2000AD. Although Starlord was the bigger seller of the two titles, 2000AD was a cheaper title to produce largely because of the poorer quality paper used, and so 2000AD survived and is still in publication today.



    Two long-running 2000AD strips which started life in Starlord were Strontium Dog and Ro-Busters, with other strips including Timequake, Planet Of The Damned and Mind Wars. Starlord was not only printed on a higher quality paper than 2000AD, but had a higher price tag. This, when IPC discovered that they didn't double their readership with two titles but had rather split the existing readers into two camps, was the final nail in Starlord's coffin...the rare instance of the bigger-selling title being axed in favour of its poorer-selling rival because of what was seen as a brand name. It was probably the right decision though, as 2000AD continues to flourish to this day...would it have had the same success if 2000AD had been merged into Starlord though?

  7. #107
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    And talking of Strontium Dog, that looks like Johnny and Wulf on the cover.

    Wolfie Smith went over to 2000AD, but it didn't last that long, and ended up being pilloried by Tharg for failing as I recall.

  8. #108
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    It was difficult to take Wolfie Smith seriously, given Citizen Smith was on TV at the time. But I have fond memories of Starlord, which did indeed 'feel' like a very luxurious comic compared to others at the time. And as a 7 year old, it was many years before I realised that Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein were 'comedy' names. Mek Quake like big jobs!!

  9. #109
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    Todays cover is from the mid/late 70s DC Thomson action/adventure comic, Bullet. This was a favourite of mine, possibly the only UK comic I had ordered from my local newsagent for practically its complete run.



    It ran from Feb 1976 - Dec 1978 before being merged into Warlord. The main character was Fireball, a Jason King lookalike secret agent. Other strips included war series 3 Men In A Jeep, Smasher - a giant robot which destroyed cities, and terror tales from Solomon Knight.

  10. #110
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    I've been missing this thread over the last couple of days, it's one of my all time favourites. Is everything okay, Kenny?
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  11. #111
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    I was just going to ask the same thing, Alex, the 'Cover of the Day' has become a bit of a breakfast tradition here.

  12. #112
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    Here's a comic I bought!

    Launched in 1984, the Marvel UK Transformers Comic ran for a fairly obscene 332 issues. It was a weekly comic that featured storylines from the monthly US version of the comic. So comic writer Simon Furman had to fill in the gaps with extended storylines.

    As I remember there was an extensive mix of artists, all of whom seemed to have their own takes on what the Transformers looked like and how big they were. Sometimes they'd tower over office blocks, sometimes the very same characters would be twice the size of a human.

    Desperation seemed to be the key driving force behind the comic as the series went on and more and more toys were introduced. The Pretenders, who were Transformers who chose to hide inside shells resembling orange wolves or humans-in-spacesuits, neglecting to remember that these shells were at least fifteen meters tall and therefore a rubbish place to hide, were only topped in the insanity stakes by the Headmasters, Transformers who had little robots who transformed into their heads.

    The first review of Transformers #1, from a Usenet forum in 1984 (if you can believe that!) sets the tone.
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=...c/dgMOYd_32hwJ

    <what's the use, eat me>
    My vote for worst comic of the year would have to go to Marvel's
    TRANSFORMERS #1. Has anyone out there seen it? I'm still trying
    to figure out why I wanted to spend $.75 on it in the first place,
    but any reason I may have had was inadequate.

    The premise is that two groups of 'robots' evolve on a faraway planet
    and start an eons long war for control of same. This knocks the planet
    from its orbit and sends it spinning through our solar system (!)
    The goodguy robots send an expedition out to punch a path through the
    asteroid belt, where they are ambushed by the badguy robots and all end up
    crashing into Earth and being suspended for ages in a volcano. Then they
    wake up and start the battle again.

    I had thought I had seen bad comic writing at its peak during Marv Wolfman's
    tenure on MACHINE MAN (MM 10-13 in particular are classically bad comics
    and can be savored as such), but I think Ralph Macchio has topped even this.
    The following is typical :

    --The AUTOBOTS. Whereas life elsewhere in the cosmos usually evolved
    through carbon-bonding, here it was the interaction of naturally
    occurring gears levers and pulleys that miraculously brought forth
    sentient beings.

    In addition, both sides go through incredibly bad sequences to establish
    the identity of each robot in the worst 'of course you know..' manner,
    and there are gaping holes in even elementary plot logic.

    First has been accusing Marvel of what ammounts to dumping. I cannot
    think of any other reason for this comic to exist,and admit to being
    mystified about its intended audience (esp given the price).

    On a more pleasant note, many thanks to y'all out there for
    plugging Swamp Thing and Summerset (sp?) Holmes. I am enjoying them.

    Clear Ether
    Ted Nolan ..usceast!ted
    Nevertheless I adored every metallic moment.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  13. #113
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    And there was also Action Force, which eventually became G.I.Joe as in the US version. This was a 24 page weekly comic that combined reprints of the US G.I. Joe with new British strips.

    I remember these from the time as another cute toy range with a promotional comic strip. Action Force stormed our school and around the age of 8-9 we were all getting our parents to buy these little soldiers. My main memories are of the Action Force aircraft carrier (about five foot long!) in the window of Beatties that nobody could afford - except for one lucky wealthy kid, who proudly showed it off at his birthday party.

    The other was the difficulty of obtaining the Storm Shadow figure. The best bet was to go to Argos and order their pack of 'Four Random Figures' which would come in an exciting brown paper wrap. If you were lucky, the elusive white-clad ninja would be inside. I'm sure that Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow did a huge amount to popularise Ninjas, paving the way for the Mutant Ninja Turtles - and so on.

    Still, the comic was standard Marvel tie-in fare. It was great at the time but I'd dread to read it now.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  14. #114
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    Fraid I've never read those titles Steve, but I like the idea of keeping the thread going until Kenny gets back. And he better, or there'll be trouble!



    This is cheating a bit as it's a cover of one of the graphic novel collections, but I chose it because it's a beautifully weird painting which helps show just how odd a series this was. And it's painted by the always superb Brian Bolland as well, responsible for some amazing work in 2000AD, and much else besides.

    Doom Patrol was always a bit of an odd comic, featuring Superheroes who were considered...well, f***ed up wasn't probably the way they described it in the sixties, but you get the gist. They tended to always be involved in weird and strange cases as well, and whilst the comic was well received it only lasted five years (1963-1968), with everyone dying in the final issue.

    Or for nine years at least. Because then they were revived a couple of times, though each time unsuccessfully until 1987 when a second series was properly launched which lasted until 1995. The first 18 issues, written by Paul Kupperberg weren't that great, but then Grant Morrison arrived on the scene and turned the series in to something truly special. The supervillains got weirder (above are the delightfully anarchic The Brotherhood of Dada) but the one thing Morrison managed to do throughout the run is really bring out the humanity of our very unusual heroes, especially Robotman, the survivor of a terrible crash whose brain was saved but nothing else, who really grounds the series.

    Unfortunately Morrison left with issue 63, and the new writer, Rachel Pollack, kept the weirdness but lost the heart of the series, and it was cancelled a couple of years later. But Morrison's run really is something special, and definitely worth tracking down if you can.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I've been missing this thread over the last couple of days, it's one of my all time favourites. Is everything okay, Kenny?
    I'm glad to see that you've being enjoying the thread, Alex. And sorry that I've disappointed you with no recent updates, but normal service will be resumed in a week or so. I hadn't been planning on taking a break from the thread, but it just happened due to lack of time. I've been on holiday from work and was away for a few days; unfortunately when I came home I had to start building a patio and preparing for a big family BBQ so simply haven't had any time for posting! After I go back to work next week I should have more time on my hands (ironically!) and will get back to this thread once I've finished my Queen Time Team obligations! I just haven't had time to review the last album for that thread either...

    And Steve, I had to smile when I saw those covers you posted...both those titles were on the agenda and only hadn't been featured yet because of a toss of the coin! You guys feel free to post any covers you like while I'm having a break, it's nice to have a break and see other peoples picks

  16. #116
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    No need to apologise Kenny, I was just worried something might have happened, but I'm glad to hear it's just because you've been busy, and look forward to your returning to the thread soon.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  17. #117
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    I'm sure I'll manage a few intermittently over the next few days. Something a bit different today...American comics are famed for crossovers between characters from different companies and genres. We've had the likes of Superman/Spider-Man, Batman vs Predator etc but now and again you come across something completely unexpected such as these...




    The first cover speaks for itself, but as Archie isn't exactly a household name here in the UK an introduction may be in order...


  18. #118
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    Heh, both of those sound great, I shall have to track them down.
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  19. #119
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    Doom Patrol was always a bit of an odd comic
    Sounds like a bit of a winner to me!

    And - OMG DC + WB! Who sanctioned that crossover?

    Post 'The Dark Knight' it seems unimaginable that Superman will ever meet Bugs or Daffy again for a rematch. Although I wouldn't mind that happening in the style of the latest Superman movie.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  20. #120
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    Default can remember them being in the shops at the time,

    I've got to admit that although I was going to feature both the titles that Steve picked, I've never actually read either of them! I can remember them being in the shops at the time, but at a time when my comics reading was minimal then these licensed series based on toy lines just didn't appeal to me in the slightest! However, they were very popular at the time, although Transformers had a much longer run than Action Force which became a monthly publication after a year or so. Action Force actually began life in the UK as a strip in the IPC war comic, Battle Picture Weekly (which I'll be featuring soon on this thread) which was eventually renamed Battle Action Force due to the popular licensed tales almost taking over the comic. IPC lost the license to Marvel in 1986. And the popularity of the UK version of the Transformers comic meant that once again, Marvel UK had to improvise and start to create new stories of their own once they caught up reprinting the original American material, stories which they'd slot in to run alongside the US material. Thus the UK Transformers run is nowadays more highly regarded than the US one simply because of this...but I've still never read a single page, to this day...or seen any of the movies!

    And Alex, it's nice to see you mention Doom Patrol. I remember reading Doom Patrol stories back in the 70s (must have been reprints - maybe DC's 100-page Spectacular or the likes) and enjoyed them, but didn't come across them very often. I like that Bolland cover, and I'll have to check out that Morrison run now some time soon.

    Seeing as it'll probably be several days before I get a chance to get back to this thread, I'll post a couple of completely different covers this morning. The first is from US publisher Gold Key's original run of Star Trek comics, the first of which was published in 1967 shortly after the first season finished its original broadcast. There were only a few issues published each year, and it ran for 61 issues until 1979 when they lost the license to Marvel who then published an adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


    Next up, we have a cover from a short-lived American publishing company from 1975 called Atlas, who were set up with the intention of being major competitors for DC and Marvel.



    Is it a superhero comic? Is it a sci-fi comic? Is it a horror comic? Itís actually a bit of them all, totally freakish but in unbelievably bad taste. Now and again you come across something which is just so bad that itís unmissable, and Morlock 2001 falls into that category. This really has to be seen to be believed. Itís awful! Itís also unintentionally hilariousÖunfortunately (or probably that should be thankfully?) this only lasted 3 issues in 1975 and so thereís no way of knowing exactly where the storyline was going to goÖ

    Set in a totalitarian 1984-style future where books are banned etc, a scientist manages to grow a human looking plant in a giant pod. (Thatís the sci-fi bit!) The creature looks totally human but unsurprisingly is actually a living plant which is born/hatched (?) wearing what looks like a superhero costume (thatís the superhero bit!) and gets given the name Morlock after characters in a long-banned book. Unfortunately anyone who gets touched by Morlock immediately starts to transform into a plant, rooted to the ground wherever they are standing. Worse yet, If Morlock doesnít regularly take a special serum (of which there is only a very small amount in existence) then he turns into a mindless walking tree creature, which eats anything it touches and turns their bodies to slime. In the second issue, the creature even kills off an innocent young blind girl who is trying to protect him! (Of course this is the horror bit!)

    Itís impossible to say for sure if the character was popular or not, but judging by the retitled third issue Morlock 2001 and The Midnight Men (with The Midnight Men part taking up the largest part of the logo) itís probably safe to say it wasnít. An equally ridiculous story by a totally different creative team sees Morlock apparently killed off on the last page, bur as a fourth issue was never published itís not certain whether this was meant to be a cliffhanger or whether the series would continue simply as The Midnight Men.

    But what really makes thing worse is the people involved in creating this messÖthey really should have known betterÖwriter Micheal Fleisher (of Jonah Hex fame) and artist Al Milgrom (of various Marvel titles) were behind the first two issues. Both were replaced in the third issue by writer Gary Freidrich (Ghost Rider etc) and artists Steve Ditko (on pencils) and Berni Wrightson (on inks).

    This was published by a short-lived (and largely forgotten nowadays) company called Atlas (referred to nowadays as Atlas Seaboard, to save confusion with the 1950s pre-Marvel Atlas) who were set up with the intention of being major competitors for DC and Marvel. I have vague memories of buying a couple of Atlas comics at the time in a local newsagents, although given the local distribution problems of any US comic which wasn't Marvel, it could even have been a couple of years later; unfortunately Morlock wasn't one of them...I don't think I'd forget reading that!

    I love the first cover, btw...not that it makes much sense. It shows Morlock in both his human and monster form.

  21. #121
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    Back to the realms of ghoulish humour today with IPC's second attempt at a comic based on ghosts and monsters...


    Again, it wasn't a runaway success only lasting 73 issues between 1975-76, after which it merged into Buster. It had so many great characters though, and cover stars varied throughout its run... Kid Kong, Frankie Stein, Gums, X-Ray Specs, Creature Teacher and Terror TV all had a turn. Other characters such as Kid Kong, Draculass, and Tom Thumbscrew. The comic was also notable for it's regular pull-out comic in the middle pages, each week we had a different crazy - but great! - Badtime Bedtime Storybook mini-comic. Great stuff...it's just too bad it couldn't find a big enough audience to survive. But it was quality while it lasted!
    Last edited by MacNimon; 6th Aug 2013 at 7:09 PM. Reason: Spelling!

  22. #122
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    It was indeed and this was MY comic. I bought every issue and continued to buy it once it merged. I just wish that as a 9 year old, I had the sense to keep them. Sadly, they were in the bin come Sunday and my brothers had read them too.
    Iím being extremely clever up here and thereís no one to stand around looking impressed! Whatís the point in having you all?

  23. #123
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    That's weird because I remember Monster Fun, and the characters you mention above, but was only two when it stopped being published. It's always possible an older friend had copies that he lent me, though, I guess...

    Edit: Ah, I've just seen that they kept on publishing annuals until 1986, so that's probably what I was remembering...
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  24. #124
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    Today, we have some British superhero action from 1963. You may remember a few weeks ago, I posted a cover from a 1980s title, Warrior, which revived the character Marvelman in a modern setting. Well, here's the original in action...


    Marvelman was created in the 1950s by writer/artist Mick Anglo when British reprint rights for American superhero Captain Marvel were withdrawn, due a legal dispute in America in which DC comics were sueing (Captain Marvel publisher) Fawcett Comics because they reckoned that the character was too similar to Superman. DC won the legal battle, Fawcett stopped publication and cancelled all repint licences abroad, and as the character was a very popular comic in Britain in the 1950s they had to come up with a character which was very similar, and do it very quickly...and so Marvelman was born!

  25. #125
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    He still looks a heck of a lot like Superman. And look at him bothering King Canute there! What a git.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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