Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Have You Fed The Fish?

I spotted this in my local free paper this weekend. Badly Drawn Boy played live in a Bedminster chippy just down the road from my house last Saturday? I wouldn't have believed it if you'd told me. Damn, and I thought spotting Simon MacCorkindale in The Tobacco Factory couldn't be beat...

Badly Drawn Boy official website

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Don't make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

According to The Superhero Quiz, I am The Hulk

I am "a wanderer with amazing strength".

As if that wasn't bad enough, according to The Supervillian Quiz, I am The Joker

I am "the Clown Prince of Crime... a brilliant mastermind but criminally insane. I love to joke around while accomplishing the task at hand".

Let's see...
Have had green hair? Check.
Owned purple jeans? Check.
Have destroyed property whilst on a mindless rampage? Well...
Kill people on a whim? Er... okay, so maybe this isn't an exact science...

The Superhero Personality Quiz
The Supervillain Personality Quiz

Stripping Down #15 - The 'Lost' CI Reviews Part 3

Why 'lost' reviews? See here...

Marvel Legends #1 (Panini UK)
“Out Of Time” by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting (Captain America (v5) #1)
“The Mask In The Iron Man” by Joe Quesada & Alitha Martinez (Iron Man (v3) #1/2)
“Blood Oath” by Michael Avon Oeming & Scott Kolins (Thor: Blood Oath #1)

Filling the vacuum left by Titan’s acquisition of Batman Legends, this new anthology spotlights Avengers mainstays Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Surprisingly, it is the lead strip that proves to be the highlight, with Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting’s atmospheric story kicking off with the apparent murder of The Red Skull. Equally surprisingly, the Iron Man story more or less picks up from it’s previous run in Panini’s long-defunct Marvel Heroes Reborn, with the rare Wizard ½ issue prelude to The Mask In The Iron Man. Neither Joe Quesada’s writing nor Alitha Martinez’ art are anything special, but it’s a satisfying enough read. The mighty Thor, like Iron Man, is currently without an ongoing series in the US, so we’re treated to the Blood Oath mini series, which came out at the tail end of 2005. However, the story itself focuses on the Lee/Kirby era, as the God of Thunder joins The Warriors Three on a quest for five items that will avert their execution. Michael Avon Oeming delivers an enjoyable script, complemented by the seemingly ubiquitous Scott Kolins. A promising start for this title.

Marvel Legends #2 (Panini UK)
“Out Of Time” by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting (Captain America (v5) #2)
“The Mask In The Iron Man” by Joe Quesada & Sean Chen (Iron Man (v3) #26)
“Blood Oath” by Michael Avon Oeming & Scott Kolins (Thor: Blood Oath #2

Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D. discover a terrorist plot beneath the streets of Manhattan and try to determine it’s link to the Red Skull’s recent assassination. Being mainly familiar with Mark Gruenwald and Paul Neary’s 1980s run on the Star Spangled Avenger, this downbeat, gritty Captain America is a welcome change. Ed Brubaker’s narrative is reliably tense and Steve Epting’s visuals are a quantum leap from his early work on The Avengers, having improved beyond all recognition. The Iron Man strip benefits from regular artist Sean Chen’s contribution, as fetishistic foe Whiplash defeats Shellhead, seemingly exposing the latter’s identity as Tony Stark in the process. Thor and The Warriors Three climb Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and encounter Lerad the giant eagle in the second part of Blood Oath. It’s a fun tale, with strong art, though the jump to the climatic double splash page left me with the feeling that a couple of story pages went AWOL at the printers…

Marvel Legends #3 (Panini UK)
“Out Of Time” by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting (Captain America (v5) #3)

he Mask In The Iron Man” by Joe Quesada & Sean Chen (Iron Man (v3) #27)
“Blood Oath” by Michael Avon Oeming & Scott Kolins (Thor: Blood Oath #3)

Ed Brubaker’s Captain America reads more like an episode of TV series 24, with taut pacing, multiple plot threads and the sense that the titular hero is constantly one step behind the villains of the piece. In fact, three chapters in and I’m still not sure who’s behind all this, or indeed if the Red Skull’s death should be taken at face value. Probably not, given that Brubaker’s narrative suggests that nothing is what it seems. Following his recent appearance in The Avengers United as part of The Invaders, Union Jack makes a welcome reappearance here. Even more intriguingly, we are reacquainted with Cap’s former sidekick Jack Monroe, aka Nomad, who appears to have become a drifting drunk. In a gripping cliffhanger, Monroe is shot and thrown into the boot of a car. I only read a few issues of Mark Waid and Ron Garney’s 1998 reinvention of Captain America, but I’m really impressed by how much the character’s developed in the past decade. I never thought I’d ever say this, but Captain America is a ‘must read’. By comparison, Iron Man promised much last issue but is let down by a “it was only a dream” cop out midway through this issue’s instalment. I like the concept of Tony Stark’s armour gaining sentience, but Joe Quesada’s writing lacks the sophistication and polish of his series predecessors Kurt Busiek and Roger Stern. In the final strip, Thor slugs it out with Hercules, whilst the Gods of Olympus wager on the outcome. Although slightly less enjoyable than the previous two episodes, this is still an entertaining story that provides this anthology with a sense of balance. Whilst it would be good if Captain America didn’t hog the cover every month, it’s difficult to find fault with Marvel Legends.

Posted by Picasa

Who Farted

A combination of light sleep and hangovers means that I often wake up at the crack of dawn on the weekend, whilst my beloved has a lie in. This leads to the time honoured tradition of a pot of tea - or, in the case of a severe hangover, a mug of Bovril with Tabasco sauce, a failsafe cure - a barrel of biscuits and a Doctor Who video or DVD. So as not to wake my loved one, I watch the latter whilst wearing headphones. This occasionally leads to some unexpected 'extras' on the soundtrack...
This week: "The Mark Of The Rani", hardly one of the Sixth Doctor's - or indeed the series' - finest moments. Episode two, thirty seven minutes and forty five seconds in, the Doctor awakens an unconscious Peri in a mine shaft. Is the Doctor's unexpectedly loud (and possibly unscripted) "Shhh!" a thinly veiled attempt to disguise an equally insistent botty burp? Or maybe the Doctor is sending a warning to The Master in Tersuran, something he was to repeat in The Curse Of Fatal Death?

It's long been accepted that 'whoever smelt it dealt it' and 'whoever denied it supplied it'. Is it also reasonable to assume that 'whoever created the distraction caused the infraction'? Maybe I just need to drink less and sleep more...

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Stripping Down #14 - The 'Lost' CI Reviews Part 2

Why 'lost' reviews? See here...

The Avengers United #73-74 (Panini UK)
“Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” by Joe Casey & Scott Kolins
(Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #5-8)

“The End…And The Beginning!” by Jim Shooter + David Michelinie & Dave Wenzel (The Avengers (vol 1) #175)
“The Destiny Hunt!” by Jim Shooter + David Michelinie & Dave Wenzel (The Avengers (vol 1) #176)
“A Viper In Our Midst!” by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
(Journey Into Mystery #115)

“The Challenge!” by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
(Journey Into Mystery #116)

Joe Casey’s exploration of The Avengers’ early years continues to impress. Back stories explaining Jarvis’ involvement in Hawkeye’s imminent induction and Captain America’s crippling obsession with seeking vengeance for Bucky’s death lend the narrative – and characters – more credibility. In the concluding chapters, Hawkeye, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch replace Iron Man, Thor, Giant Man and the Wasp in the team’s first major line-up change. Whilst I’ve had mixed feelings about Scott Kolins’ art in the past, he’s pulled out all the stops here and produced some of his best work. Wil Quintana’s colour art (and the paper quality) has resulted in some overly muddy pages at times, but this is a small gripe. Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has been a welcome diversion from the current series, helping the memory of Chuck Austen’s largely execrable run to fade before Brian Michael Bendis mixes things up next issue. In the main archive strip, the origin of Michael/Korvac is revealed before an assemblage of Avengers finally discover their foe, promising one heck of a climatic conflict. Dave Wenzel is not in earlier artist George Perez’ league but he does a good job particularly in the closing pages and despite Pablo Marcos’ occasionally heavy handed inking. Tales Of Asgard wraps up each issue with, predictably, Loki up to his old tricks yet again. These stories were never a must read for me as a kid and the passage of time hasn’t done much to change that opinion. Given their prodigious output at the time, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are below par on this series, though at least inker Vince Colletta is consistent. Consistently crap, that is.

The Avengers United #75 (Panini UK)
“Disassembled” by Brian Michael Bendis & David Finch
(The Avengers (vol 1) #500-501)

“The Hope…And The Slaughter!” by Jim Shooter & Dave Wenzel
(The Avengers (vol 1) #177)

“Hulk Remembers…” by Fred Hembeck (The Avengers (vol 1) #500 (Director’s Cut))
“The Man In The Ant Hill!” by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
(Tales To Astonish (vol 1) #27)

A 100-page anniversary issue and the debut of the much aniticpated Disassembled, as a series of crises tear The Avengers apart. So, was it worth the wait? Well… not really. I have to put my cards on the table and say that I think both Brian Michael Bendis and David Finch are overrated. Regardless, it’s fair to say that neither deliver their best work here, with even the ‘shock’ deaths of Jack Of Hearts, Ant Man (Scott Lang, not Hank Pym) and The Vision lacking in impact. It’s easy to compare this to the Under Siege storyline that ran through #271-280 of the original US series which, in my opinion, has so far proved superior to the opening instalments of Disassembled. Still, I was reassured that the climax of The Michael/Korvac Saga, one of my favourite Avengers sagas as a teen, wouldn’t disappoint. And, sure enough, as I read the 18 pages that comprised the original #177, it didn’t. However, as the source of this reprint has been the 1991 trade paperback collection, this has not only resulted in poor quality reproduction of each chapter’s splash page, but also in a ‘new’ 4-page epilogue written by Mark Gruenwald and drawn by Sal Buscema. As might be expected, it does nothing to enhance the original storyline and in fact needlessly undermines the ambiguous ending of Jim Shooter’s original script with heavy handed exposition. This epilogue was quite rightly dropped from the subsequent 2003 collection and, to be honest, I could have happily done without it here. Fred Hembeck makes a welcome reappearance with an amusing two page ‘talking heads’ narrative as Hulk recalls his contribution to the team’s formation and subsequent ousting, with not a little bitterness. As might be expected, it’s a hoot and a nice diversion from otherwise downbeat material. Wrapping up the issue is a reprint of Tales To Astonish #27, featuring the first appearance of Ant Man (Hank Pym, not Scott Lang). Well, to be strictly accurate, the story introduces Pym, his discovery of the size-changing formula and subsequently terrifying adventure as he tests the formula on himself. It’s the kind of sci-fi fantasy short that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby excelled at in the 1960s and, obviously realising they were onto a good thing, it was a mere eight months before Ant Man’s regular series debuted in Tales To Astonish #35. In summary, The Avengers United #75 delivers an overhyped and underwhelming first half, but compensates for this with the (predominately archive) second.

The Avengers United #76 (Panini UK)
“Disassembled” by Brian Michael Bendis & David Finch
(The Avengers (vol 1) #502-503)

“The Roots Of All Evil” by Bill Morrison (Marvel Double Shot #2)

As the cover promises, the conclusion of Disassembled promises yet more mayhem and death. Those who haven’t been in living in a bubble in the two years since this storyline was originally published in the US will be aware that Hawkeye meets a controversial end this issue. During an unexpected Kree invasion, Hawkeye is struck in the back by a stray blast, igniting his quiver full of explosive arrows. Comandeering a Kree jet pack and flying into the ship itself, his last act is one of self-sacrifice, though a rather pointless one. Doctor Strange turns up at the end of the issue’s first instalment, which rarely bodes well during a crisis. Lo and behold, a flip of the page reveals that The Scarlet Witch, driven insane by the loss of her imaginary children yonks ago and by her perceived betrayal by her friends and teammates, has been subconsciously causing the string of disasters that have decimated The Avengers. I’m not going to spend time here arguing the toss about the implausibility of this narrative and the explicit cock-ups that Bendis makes in this story – heck, there’s an entire section of Wikipedia dedicated to that. However, it’s sad that Bendis seems to have used Chuck Austen’s misjudged interpretation of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the basis for this schlock horror, largely ignoring their predecessors Kurt Busiek’s and Geoff Johns’ sterling storylines and characterisation. Artist David Finch’s contribution relies overly much on large panels and single or double splash pages, with the best part of four pages in the final chapter comprising cut and paste panels of The Scarlet Witch from past issues. In fairness, Finch has a good eye for layouts and copes well with detailed crowd scenes. However, I find his Jim Lee-esque facial art a bit monotonous, with characters frequently looking constipated. Maybe it’s the pain of having to deliver such bad dialogue… Frank D’Armata’s colour art is more of a hindrance than a help, the blood red wash over Hawkeye’s death scene creating ‘atmosphere’ at the expense of clarity. So, after much hype, and the best part of six years in The Avengers United, Disassembled ends this series of The Avengers on a bum note. Thankfully, a reliably well-written and informative Avengers Spotlight feature helps make sense of The Scarlet Witch’s convulted history. Following next issue’s Finale we can look forward to the debut of The New Avengers in #78, albeit with the same creative team of Bendis and Finch. In place of the regular classic strip, there’s some light relief to be had with
The Roots Of All Evil, written and drawn by Bongo Comics supremo Bill Morrison, and containing some much needed belly laughs. At the suggestion of The Enchantress, Loki decides to revert from ‘God Of Evil’ to ‘God Of Mischief’, causing all manner of problems for the erstwhile Avengers. The line-up is a rather unusual one, including The Black Knight and The Falcon, but rendering The Avengers in the style of The Simpsons and Futurama is an inpsired move. The sight of a bald Thor (victim of a helmet lined with hair removal cream) was enough to make me chuckle out loud, but it’s just one of several admittedly juvenile but extremely funny moments. More please…

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jukebox Juicebox #26

Two Culture Clash “Two Culture Clash” (2004)
This Wall Of Sound release purports to be an innovative creative pairing of electronic music producers with (predominantly Jamaican) reggae/dancehall greats. The sleeve notes even go so far as to sniffily dismiss other efforts as “half-baked, ham-fisted assemblage of dancehall vocals grafted onto electronic beats in a studio on the other side of the Atlantic”. So, has bringing the producers to Jamaica and locking them in a studio with the island’s “lyrical wordsmiths” produced the “unprecedented” success that writer David Katz clearly believes it is? Well, of course not. There are some undeniably great moments on this album, but be under no illusion that Two Cultures Clash has resulted in something completely new. Instead, the producers seems to have moulded their sound to complement the performers, most of whom dish out the lyrical clichés that both characterise and damn the musical genre. If you can accept that this won’t be the earth-shattering, life-changing album that the hype suggests, then you can settle back and enjoy nearly an hour’s worth of good music. How Do You Love? is a deliberate shot at the charts, with Jon Carter bringing out the best in vocalists Patra (who guested on his Monkey Mafia single Work Mi Body) and Danny English. The two Jacques Lu Cont tracks - …And Dance and Na Na Na Na – are perhaps the album’s dancefloor highlights, with a minimal, pulsing beats that prove impossible to resist. General Degree provides vocals on both, but the addition of Ce’Cile on the latter is like a pumped up version of Ciara’s Cookies. It should be no suprise that Roni Size doesn’t disappoint on Knock Knock, a muscular rhythm suiting Spragga Benz’s rough monotone delivery, whilst West London Deep’s Rudie No! featuring Big Youth comes on like The Specials in space. There are inevitably a couple of disappointments. Kid606 seems uncharacteristically restrained on This Anuh Rampin’ and it’s left to Switch on the subsequent Love Guide (featuring Ms. Thing) to take the sound in an abstract direction that the Kid is usually more than capable of. Phillipe Zdar (Cassius/Motorbass) injects Get Crazy with an infectious, pulsating rhythm, let down only by Innocent Kru’s tired (and tiresome) lyrics. But these are small gripes. Elsewhere, Howie B. and Horace Andy team up for Fly High, a dub extravaganza that is arguably the best song that Massive Attack never recorded, whilst Justin Robertson’s retro dancehall ballad Save Me closes the album. Showcasing a vocal from Nadine Sutherland, Save Me is guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine… and get you skanking uncontrollably. As long as you skip the sleeve notes' hyperbole , then Two Culture Clash is a great album. It's not as ground breaking as it's instigators think it is, but it is worth more than a casual listen.

Tracklisting: 1. How Do You Love? / 2. ... And Dance / 3. This Anuh Rampin' / 4. Love Guide / 5. Get Crazy / 6. Olé / 7. Enuff 4 You / 8. T Fly High / 9. Backstabbin' / 10. Knock Knock / 11. Na Na Na Na / 12. Nuff Marijuana / 13. Rudie No! / 14. Save Me

Adrian Sherwood “Becoming A Cliché / Dub Cliché” (2006)
I’ve been a fan of Adrian Sherwood since his maulings of Depeche Mode’s People Are People and Master & Servant turned me onto his prolific On-Usound productions in the 1980s. That said, I somehow managed to miss his debut solo album, 2003’s Never Trust A Hippy, altogether. In fact, even this album seems have slipped out quietly at the end of last year and caught my eye as I was browsing the reggae/dub section in my local Fopp store. The album sleeve depicts Sherwood’s head atop an anatomical diagram, surrounded by the names of the artists guesting on this album. As you might expect, it’s a formidable line-up: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Little Roy, Dennis Bovell, LSK (aka Lee Kenny), Samia Farah, Raiz, Jazzwad, Mark Stewart and the late, much-lamented Bim Sherman. The album’s title could refer to Sherwood’s perceived status as the heart and soul of the contemporary dub sound, that there is a typical Adrian Sherwood/On-Usound blueprint. Whilst recalling the glories of his Pay It All Back collections, there’s plenty of evidence across the two albums that Sherwood is an innovator as much as an institution. Opening track Animal Magic is in some respects an update of 1988’s Last Train To Doomsville from Pay It All Back Vol. 2 featuring as it does Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and infant back-up vocals, in this case from Sherwood’s daughters Denise and Emily. Monastery Of Sound - as the title suggests - throws Gregorian chants into the mix, the song really coming into it’s own on track 11, with long-time collaborator Mark Stewart adding an unmistakable vocal edge. Another track available in two versions on the original disc is You Wonder Why, the LSK version preceded by a French version by Samia Farah (a third dub take appears on CD2). There’s a difference in the versions that makes their inclusion essential, rather than self-indulgent. A special mention for Bim Sherman, whose sampled vocals enliven Nu Rizla and hammer home just how much his presence is missed. The main album closes with Bloodshed featuring Raiz from Italian act Almamegretta. My sole experience of Almamegretta was hearing their incredible version of Massive Attack’s Karmacoma over ten years ago; suffice to say Raiz is still in good form and provides an edgy variation to the On-Usound blueprint. Dub Cliché, available with limited quantities of the album, is an essential purchase (though my PC seems to throw a hissy fit every time I try to play it!) The minimal dancehall sound of Dubshed is set alight by Dennis Alcapone’s vocals, whilst the mighty Dennis Bovell returns for Clichéd Dub Slave with rousing slogans including “From conception to the grave / Work, no play / Slave!” I could go on, but I think you've got the message. Go out and buy this album. Now!

Tracklisting [Becoming A Cliché]: 1. Animal Magic / 2. Two Versions Of The Future / 3. A Piece Of The Earth / 4. Monastery Of Sound / 5. Dennis Bovine Part 1 / 6. J'Ai Changé / 7. You Wonder Why / 8. The House Of Games / 9. Nu Rizla / 10. St Peter's Gate / 11. Home Sweet Home / 12. Forgive Yourself / 13. All Hands On Desk / 14. Stop The Bloodshed
[Dub Cliché]: 1. Monkey See, Monkey Dub / 2. Dubshed / 3. Zoo Time / 4. Clichéd Dub Slave / 5. The Noise From Brazil / 6. Stepping Crowd / 7 Sans Toupee / 8. Silly Billy Remix By Activator / 9. Moving House / 10. J'Ai Dubé / 11. Dennis Bovine Pt 2/ 12. Silly Old Dub

Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 05, 2007

Stripping Down #13 - The 'Lost' CI Reviews Part 1

Comics International's absence from the newsstands for the past few months, due to it's change of ownership, has meant that several issues' worth of my reviews will now never see print. Rather than consign them to the dustbin of history, I'm publishing some of the reviews here, either in their original or expanded form, as part of my regular Stripping Down feature. Consequently, several of these issues are no longer available on the newsstand but you should be able to pick them up on eBay...

Batman Legends (vol 2) #1-2 (Titan Magazines)
“All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder” by Frank Miller & Jim Lee (All Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder #1-2)
“Batman & Son” by Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert (Batman #655-656)
“Worlds Finest” by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness (Batman/Superman #1-2)

Sensibly not wishing to mess with a winning formula, Titan’s relaunch of Batman Legends largely follows the Panini blueprint: US-size, 76 page format with slick card covers, reprinting 3 stories every 4 weeks. Even Jim Lee’s front cover harks back to the one used for Panini’s premiere issue. Inside, the editorial is crowded by the inclusion of an exhaustive Titan Magazines roll call that takes up a third of the page. Credit where credit’s due and all that, but it does make for a rather bland opening. Whether this has also influenced the decision to use ‘framing shoulders’ for each of the three stories splash pages, but it’s a bad move which craps the art and looks quite dated. It’s obviously too soon for a letters page, but there appears to be a regular Bat Signals section which, unsurprisingly, is an opportunity for Titan to tout their Batman-related wares and reprint some mini-interviews with Frank Miller (#1) and Jim Lee (#2). The interviews are a poor relation to the previous volume’s features, mostly written by Comics International’s Mike Conroy and always an informative and insightful read. So what of the comic strips themselves? Apart from Sin City, I haven’t read much of Frank Miller’s work since his work on Daredevil and Batman. However, if I was expecting something on the scale of Batman: Year One, I could only be disappointed. This even makes Jeph Loeb’s Hush seem like a classic, with ill-defined central characters and some excruciating lines (“There’s something rotten in Gotham City. It wears a badge.”) As with Hush, Jim Lee’s art provides plenty of T&A (in this case reporter Vicki Vale) but little to really spark the limp script into life. If anything, the second chapter is even more of a narrative mess, particularly as Alfred and Vicki Vale seem to have been involved in a car smash between chapters. Batman & Son, picks up the regular series a year or so on from the Panini Batman Legends run, which is annoying. The gap summed up with the throwaway editorial line “Batman has finally cleared all the super criminals out of Gotham” – wha huh?! The story also seemingly kicks off with the resolution to the previous (US) issue’s cliffhanger as The Joker poisons Commissioner Gordon and murders Batman’s doppelganger before the real thing defeats him. So, it’s only the second half that concentrates on setting up the current storyline, which it does quite well. Bruce Wayne, superficial socialite, reappears after a long absence and Morrison handles this well, with a scene as Alfred teaches Wayne to relearn his pseudo characteristics and mannerisms. Talia Al Ghul’s plot to transform her League of Assassins into an army of Man Bats intrigues, not to mention her relationship to the titular child. All of these threads develop satisfyingly in the second instalment. Andy Kubert’s art, whilst not his very best, makes the most of a strong script and his depiction of the ninja Man Bats is especially exciting. Despite a highly unimpressive showing in the previous volume, the Superman/Batman storyline (which, confusingly, precedes the Panini run) isn’t as bad as I thought. The writing, particularly the split narration from the lead characters, doesn’t work as well as Jeph Loeb evidently thinks it does and suddenly finding Lex Luthor as President of the USA is a bit hard to swallow. That said, it’s a reasonable story with a good cliffhanger in the opening chapter and an interesting clash between Superman and his future self in the next. Better still, Ed McGuinness art is a big improvement on Michael Turner (who illustrates the aforementioned subsequent story arc). McGuinness’ bold lines and clear storytelling more than make up for the shortfalls in the script. It’s impossible to avoid constant comparison with the Panini’s previous incarnation of Batman Legends, but Titan’s effort is pretty woeful so far. Hopefully, better choice of comic strips including an archive section will improve this comic’s fortunes but it needs to happen sooner rather than later. At present, the best thing about this title is that it’s compiled and printed in the UK, which at least means a minor boost to industry and the economy but isn’t really the point of buying a comic. Hopefully, Titan’s Superman Legends title will be less of a disappointment when it hits the newsstands in March…

Titan Magazines' Batman Legends page

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I Nearly Married A Primate...

Taken from the Apes Mail letters page in Marvel UK's Planet Of The Apes weekly #62, cover dated 27 Dec 1975:

Dear Stan,
In previous "Apes Forum" pages, girls have fallen for Galen, but I have fallen for Zira. I fell for her when I saw the film in Bournemouth in 1974. Ever since I have been her best fan. When I win the football pools I will go to America to visit her.
G.I. White, Poole, Dorset

On behalf on Marvel head honcho Stan Lee, POTA editor Neil Tennant (when the Pet Shop Boys were merely a twinkle in his eye) cautiously responded:
Romance, it seems, is blossoming everywhere. And it isn't even springtime!

I've Googled for subsequent news stories along the lines of:
Dorset pools winner changes name to 'Gorilla Interest' - imprisoned in U.S. for acts of bestiality.
I'll let you know when I find one....

More evidence of unhinged Marvel UK correspondents can be found in my
Feb 2006 item
Comic Book Letters Pages Aren't What They Used To Be...

Posted by Picasa