Thursday, 13 July 2017

Madballs are gross!

This ad was on the back of a 1986 Marvel Thundercats comic.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Wildest Superhero ever!


Awesome ad for Human Fly from Marvel's Godzilla #16 (Nov 78)

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #15- Book of Weapons, Hardware and Paraphernalia

Who knew that the paint on Captain America's shield could retard ablation? Or what Machine Man's Baritone Larynx transducer assembly looks like? I didn't, but those exciting facts and many more are contained within the pages of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #15- Book of Weapons, Hardware and Paraphernalia. 

The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe or OHOTMU for nerds in the know, was a series documenting a good portion of the characters from the Marvel Universe, this final issue is the cherry on top- all the accessories these guys use to clobber each other.

Eliot R. Brown gives us all kinds of technical specs, like Doctor Octopus using lamb's wool padding on the inside of his chest harness. I would use padding as well, those robotic arms would really chafe if you're a tubby bastard.

Alright, so the inside of Deathlok's head might look a bit like an old radio, but the insanity is cranked up a notch when you get to Machine Man. Just look at all that info!

Iron Man's helmet has food dispensers! Hope he likes Pez.

I think one of my favourites is the Wrecker's Crowbar, never again will I say "the holdy bit" or "curvy end".

Track this issue down, if found in bargain bins it's an absolute steal!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012


As my comic collection is constantly growing I thought it might be time to invest in some industrial shelving. After considerable thought I opted for two units each 1.8m high. According to the seller each shelf  holds 200kg! According to my calculations each unit would hold 25 boxes, so would be adequate. Hey, these will last me a lifetime surely?

I'd just finished one set of the shelving and placed the last of the boxes onto the top shelf and stepped back to admire my handiwork. It looked pretty impressive. There was a loud clunk from the bottom of the shelves, and the whole lot twisted and started leaning forwards. I instinctively put out my hands to stop it toppling.

 Every time I decide to do any sort of furniture assembly/moving house/DIY it turns out to be one of the hottest days. So I was sweltering and decided it would be best to work in just my shorts. It's amazing how vulnerable you feel when you're minimally clothed and six foot of paper and steel are about to crush you.

I felt sick- I had no option. It was stand there and be crushed, or get the hell out of the way. The racking crumpled like tinfoil, and the whole lot came crashing down with such a racket. Just next to the shelves was a vertical pile of 2000ad (about 4ft tall). It was scattered like a pack of playing cards. I could see some of the boxes were damaged, I just couldn't assess comic damage yet, as I couldn't even reach them. It was a painstaking task of pulling out the boxes (trying to keep the lids on), shelf by shelf, dismantling the racking as I went.

 My Bendis Daredevil box had a gouge out of it, and some of that run were a little bent. The front of an Amazing Spider-Man box was obliterated, and about 10 Bagley issues got pretty bashed. A box of Incredible Hulk had one corner beaten into a rounded edge, just a few issues away from #181.

I rang the company straight away, they insisted the weight allowance stated was correct and I insisted it was not. They had comebacks such as "It's never happened before" and "We have some here with loads of stuff on". They said they'd replace the shelves, but I told them I wasn't prepared to go through this hell again and demanded a refund. They agreed and the shelves were picked up the other day.

 Back to stacking them up I guess...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

First appearance of Techno Viking

Man-Thing #18, apparently.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

IGN pub quiz

A couple of weeks ago, an old work buddy of mine asked if I wanted to take part in the IGN pub quiz. I was keen to flex my nerd muscles (the questions were all film, video game, a few comics and general nerdery). We came third, which is still pretty cool, as it proves at least we still have some grip on reality. This was the swag I wound up with.

Not bad at all, especially considering the booty was divided between six of us! I was particularly proud of the spot prize question which won us a heap of GTA goodies. Guess the circumference of one of the nerd hosts' heads. I was 8mm out. BAM! Yes, I think the knuckleduster mug will come home with me... 

Other news- one of the neighbours put some piles of comics outside their house. mainly 2000ad, a load of old White Dwarf mags, some tatty Marvels. Nothing special, but hell, if they're going, I'll take em!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Fool's Gold

Now and again at car boot sales, whilst rummaging elbow deep in crates of crappy junk, I come across something particularly special. At the same time as being higher than any conceivable value, it is also utterly worthless. Yes, it's the dodgy knock-off. There's a plethora of shitty fake Power Rangers and wannabe Batman toys, but the following are some of the best/worst I have managed to obtain.

Dodgy army Superman

This guy is a treat. There's no date or info anywhere on him, but it's fairly obvious he's a repainted/remoulded G.I. Joe. The plastic is kind of brittle and discoloured in places, and a bit rough. They didn't worry about ditching the pouches on his trousers or even the combat knife! And his hair looks strange for a reason. I'm pretty sure the original would have had a hat or helmet glued on, so luckily for us, the (re)designers were artistic enough to simply paint some realistic hair on. I have to say, I'm impressed with the 'S' decal on his chest. Not sure if he was supposed to come with a cape, I doubt it, although wouldn't be surprised if he was originally packaged with an assault rifle.

 Crappy factor 4/5
Amusement factor 4/5 
 WTF factor 4/5

Dodgy weird manga/robot Batman and Robin

These guys measure about 4cm and are fully non-poseable. I actually found the 'Batman' a year or two before the 'Robin'. When I plucked him from a box, along with a couple of Star Wars weapons and a Dinobot sword, the seller actually laughed at me, insisting I just take the small pile of coloured tat out of his sight. His loss, my gain! The fake Robin was in amongst another pile of misc., and I was pretty happy to find him. No idea what they are, the similarities between them and Batman & Robin are few, but enough. I don't think these guys are super-rare, I've seen them since, but still quite chucklesome.

Crappy factor 3/5
Amusement factor 5/5 
WTF factor 3/5

 Dodgy Aryan He-Man

Alright, first of all I have to tell you I am not a Nazi. Now that's cleared up I can share this oddity. So this 'He-Man' figure is probably about half the height of the original figure. He's badly moulded out of really crappy plastic and even his muscles have muscles. His face still has that sort of desperately constipated look of the original, but it's terribly painted. You may have noticed his chestplate. Yeah, it's a swastika alright. Now, considering where this was made (presumably East), the swastika is even now, used as a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Sadly, over in the West, we are more likely to associate it with Hitler and his Nazi party. If the ideal of Aryan warriors was the blonde, blue-eyed He-man, this guy is not far off. It's just the sort of crappy toy you'd buy in a newsagents or win at the funfair. Then make a big fuss about it in the local newspaper.

Crappy Factor 5/5
Amusement Factor 1/5 
WTF factor 6/5 

So keep your eyes peeled for crap like this, it will give you a greater appreciation for 'true' action figures, thus making you a better person.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Celebrity Come Dine With Me

Fantastic Four #379 August 1993

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


For an update. I've been busy blah blah.  The car boot sales have been pretty dire, although when I went up north for a weekend I snagged a nice batch of Battle Beasts. I do really like these, but it's just another thing I shouldn't really collect, so straight onto eBay with the little blighters.

See? They are bloody ace.

Got this clock from the car boot a few weeks ago, it's supposed to be a talking alarm clock, but sadly no longer. As soon as I saw the metallic pink Batmobile I knew I couldn't leave without it. What a treat!

So, not many car boot triumphs this Summer, although I did find an inspired use for that Mego Spidey outfit. 

"Eeeeeyyyy! My uh, Spider-Sense ain't the only thing that's tinglin' round here..."

Friday, 3 June 2011


The car boot sale yielded little. I found the Mego Fonz for £2, and got him just because he looked better than I remembered. 

I was going to get rid of him on ebay, but he grew on me a bit, with his opposable thumbs. And when I checked on ebay, I realised he wasn't actually worth that much anyway. I figured the Fonz(s) on ebay were so cheap, I'd just replace his t-shirt (which looks like something Mr. Cunningham had used as a snotrag) and his missing jacket by picking up one of them. I had a quick look.

This guy was perfect! He looked like he'd suffered an injury whilst operating heavy machinery. I wouldn't feel guilty about stripping him. Sadly, someone else saw the appeal in the rare variant 'crushed-head Fonzie' and outbid me. Blast it. So Fonz will remain dressed like a hobo for a while longer. We also dropped in on a jumble sale I'd seen advertised. It was pretty feeble, but amongst the cookery books and crappy biographies I found a Werewolf by Night #6 in good shape. There was no sign of any more comics, and I was one of the first through the door. Who knows?

Last week I picked up a couple of boxes of comics won on ebay from South London. I roped in my good friend Mr. Mwai into driving me there and off we set. When we got to the house, it looked a little... rustic. I knocked on the peeling door, and a tiny, slightly grubby looking chap who looked like a cross between Alan Moore and a bullfrog answered, ankle deep in newspapers and junk mail, the hallway wall behind him with patches of torn off wallpaper. 

"Hi Dan", I said, taking his clammy blue hand in mine and giving it a friendly shake. He looked a little confused.

"I'm here for the comics...?" Hmmm. Did he drop too much LSD in the 60s? Is it the guy's dad or something?



"Um.. does Dan live here?"


Right number wrong road. So we picked up the comics with no hitches whatsoever, a decent enough batch of late 80s/early 90s. Mainly Marvel, and not too much dogshit. The predictable stuff, sadly lacking the Uncanny X-Men #266 (First Gambit) but luckily New Mutants #98 (First Deadpool). Some nice McFarlane Amazing Spider-Man, and this guy must have been a speculator- 2 copies of Spider-Man #1, 5 copies of X-Men #1 and 6! copies of X-Force #1. These comics in total are worth the equivalent of a ball of lint. Other highlights include a full set of Secret Wars II and some early 80s Avengers, so pretty happy nonetheless. 

For Nell's birthday, we went to Brighton (my first time). Tons of hippies and dread-headed snowboard types, but the first four bookshops we went in all had some comics. We had a look in Dave's Comics, which was spread over two shops, and was well set out and quite inviting for the non-comics or casual reader types. After a pleasant stroll we found ourselves in an antique/collector type place, where there were yet more comics. Some overpriced silver age stuff, and a box of 50p comics where I pulled out the Marvel adaptation of Time Bandits, and....another copy of New Mutants #98. Only too happy to take it off the hands of someone who is trying to sell Byrne's later X-Men run for £20 a pop. Come on, this comic isn't exactly a hidden gem! It's pretty common knowledge, although up until just a few years ago they were taking up substantial space in the bargain boxes. Don't think it'll reach the heights of Hulk #181 for a while, but It'll pay for our train fare for the day.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


The weekend of Kapow! arrived, and what a treat it was. After a decent fry-up in Angel, me and Dom strolled up to the con where massive queues awaited. Not to  worry, as it was nice and sunny, and fairly quick to get in there. There was an impressive array of exhibitors in there, we made a bee-line to the Pros vs Fans comic quiz, hosted by Wossy. It was pretty amusing and when we got out we met up with Dave who had dressed up as a surprisingly good Bane.

 The whole weekend pretty much consisted of rifling through bargain boxes, looking longingly at pricey back-issues and drinking beer in the sunshine with like-minded nerds. We didn't really queue for any autographs, but managed to get a few. Bane won the costume contest, Dom got a gypsy curse put on him by a 'street poet', and I got a few Hulks I was missing. Dex was getting a nice sketch by Simon Bisley, who in response to me watching intently, flipped me the bird. The big jerk. On the whole I think it was a pretty successful con, there were a lot of predictions of this being a massive failure, but everyone seemed in pretty high spirits and dealers seemed keen to do another. Apart from the poor bastards who queued for hours at certain panels and didn't get in.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

2000ad vag

Ok, I think that's enough of that. Perhaps perp works well for perpetrator, but the abbreviation for vagrant doesn't seem to work so well in print.

Go on then, one more.

Is it coincidence the cover of this issue is covered in cocks as well?


Monday, 14 March 2011

Swag 2

Not much this weekend, picked up this weird old handheld on Saturday for £2. Baikin-Kun 1982 Bandai. It seems the game is to look after baby bacteria(?!). It's intact and working, but a bit yellowed. I bought it with the intention to sell, but now I got it home, I'll probably just chuck it in the box with my other Game & Watches.

 The Car boot sale was pretty rainy by the time I got there on Sunday, there was virtually nothing there, but I did spot a bag of Batman related tat on a table. The lady wanted a quid but I knocked her down to 50p. Most of it was junk (Joker keyring is OK) but I only bought it for this rather awesome Batman badge.

London Comic & Small Press Expo

I made it to London Comic & Small Press Expo on Saturday, I was a bit late but it seemed the event was still in full swing.

I had a tight budget so tried to make the most of it. I bumped into Mike Leader on the way in, and he recommended Hildafolk by Luke Pearson. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it. What a beautiful book. It immediately evoked the work of Tove Jansson, and upon reading did have a flavour of that sort of East European folk tale. Absolutely lovely. I thought it was a little pricey at £8, but glad I bought it. It even smells nice.

Next I had the good fortune to purchase Freakleap from Joe List. Some amusing stories, hit and miss, but when it's funny it's damn funny. His work reminded me a little of Otto Seibold, but creepier.


My good friends the Goodman Brothers were present, selling the Square Eyed Stories comics (I really need to finish another strip for that comic) and Dave gave me the latest issue of his own comic Bahala Na which is always a reliable source of entertainment.

Post-event, we had a little gathering, Mike Leader, Nevs Coleman, Nell and the Mighty Dave French turned up (we had a nice long discussion about which acronym we preferred for S.H.I.E.L.D.).

Ultimately after attending the show (and watching one of the discussion panels) I left feeling inspired, and promising myself I would be selling my own work at a table this time next year. There's always such a wide variety of comics, and work there that makes me think I could do this! Alas, I always say this, and I just never seem to get my shit together. We'll see anyway, I'm already working on a few bits and pieces, and have a couple of ideas that might just work. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Paris and Swag!

Just got back from a lovely time in Paris (apart from getting my MP3 player nicked). As soon as we got off the Eurostar I saw this advertisement for a Moebius exhibition, so it was pretty much set in stone we were going.

It was great to see a load of original paintings of work I'd seen in print for years. His show filled the whole gallery, and it took quite a while to get round. Recommended! 

We went to a vast market at St Ouen, where Nell bought a nice Brian Froud art book and the Taschen Betty Page, along with some jewellery and a handbag. There was a guy selling English language comics, and had some decent alternative stuff from the 70s and 80s including some Corben and the like, but we settled on a couple of old film posters.

When I got back to England I went up North to visit my ma in her new place, pick up my large backlog of comics from Planet Eater and hopefully score some decent swag at the car boot sale. Sadly for whatever reason Planet Eater had managed to miss a couple of issues from my Amazing Spider-man run. Coincidentally, one of them was 649 which is currently going for 15 quid on ebay. Hmmm.

The car boot sale was a good size considering the season hasn't really kicked off yet, but the only swag I acquired was a Mego Human Torch without his 'fire' costume, and from the same guy a Mego Spidey outfit. He took a quid for both so I should make a bit of a profit there. He had a Mego Frankenstein's Monster, but he was in such bad shape I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Wish I had now.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Is it possible to overdose on Thrill-power? I've had a bad cold the last few days, so have been sat in absolutely hammering the 2000ads. Some incredible work in those early days. Favourites so far include-

Flesh, the story of how in the future there is a shortage of meat so a time machine is used to go back to prehistoric ages and harvest dinosaur meat! An obvious answer surely? Except they concentrate on herbivores, so the carnivores go apeshit with hunger and attack the base! And to top it off the base happens to be built over a nest of giant spiders. Who also attack them! Good stuff, just the sort of over the top violence kids love.

The ABC Warriors, a team of robots assembled to take on jobs too risky for humans.

Strontium Dog, the mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha and his mate Wulf Sternhammer. The first story was pretty mental, involving him going to Hell. It turns out it's a 'fake' Hell created by the mind of another mutant, but still scary enough to keep a ten year old scared shitless for a few nights.

And of course the Judge Dredd stories have been pretty great on the whole. I've read some of them in collected form at some point, but it's nice to read them chronologically and complete. Highlights have been The Judge Child, where Dredd and co. set off to find a prophetic child who can foresee the doom of Megacity One, and the stories introducing Judge Anderson, Judge Death and the Dark Judges, with some stunning artwork by Brian Bolland.

It looks like I'm just about to start on the Apocalypse Wars stories now. I'm not even halfway through the pile yet!

Sunday, 13 February 2011


I joined Freecycle a while ago, mainly because now and then an oddity crops up that I never really wanted before, but as soon as I'm aware of it's existence I need it. This was true in the case of a stuffed (toy) penguin becoming available, just as the show I was working on needed a creature building that was half-lion, half-penguin. Sadly, the person who put an oscilloscope up for grabs never got back to me. Must have been a lot of people after one of those. Anyway, skimming through the emails I see someone has a full set of 2000AD from 1 -556 only missing 3 issues! I'm quick off the draw, and next morning I'm lucky enough to be the chosen one! The guy only lives down the road, so although I have no transport I get my rucksack and a couple of Ikea bags and pick up the haul. And what a haul! Also about a dozen 2000AD and Dredd annuals. Issue 1 is in pretty good shape (considering those earlier issues appear to have been printed on bog roll), it's got tape down the spine to keep it in one piece, but it's complete. I already have #2 (First Dredd) so keep the nicer copy. The owner cut a few pin-ups from the backs of some of them (he was a kid to be fair), but who cares? These comics aren't worth a particularly huge amount financially, but entertainment-wise they're priceless! There's work from Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Kev 'O Neill, so much early work from many other big names. So for the next few weeks I will be subsisting on a steady diet of Zarjaz Thrill-power.

Some of the haul!

Friday, 28 January 2011


I received a book voucher from Nell's folks for Christmas, so obviously I was going to try my hardest to spend it on comic-type books. I got a couple of books by Jason ( The Last Musketeer and Werewolves of Montpellier- both highly recommended), and finally picked up Laika by Nick Abadzis.

This was a great book! It certainly melted my ice-cold heart. Convincingly fleshed out characters (presumably based on real people) on the Soviet Space mission in the 50s. Their mission- send a dog into orbit to see if a human could survive the trip. The artwork is clean, with lush colouring and on nice paper. A decent read for all ages for sure, and well worthy of the Eisner it won.

It's pretty cheap on Amazon at the moment, so get over there.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Blasted hippies

Easy for him to say, a Norse God with a magic hammer.

Thor #154 July 1968

Friday, 2 April 2010

The Thing about girls...

Good old Reed. To take Ben's mind off being a hideous lump, he'll show him what a hot wife he managed to score. They don't call him Mr. Fantastic for nothing...

Fantastic Four #68 November 1967

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Ants in his pants

After seeing the Beyonder on TV, Spidey appears somewhat excited. Even his Spider-sense is tingling.

Secret Wars II #7 January 1986

Monday, 4 January 2010

The Brain

Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #2 November 1968