Recent stuff

The 21st of June was my 28th Birthday, for one thing. I got a nice cake with fresh cream in :3

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On nyom

On Saturday I went to Lincoln for a reunion to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the course I did at uni there. Only one person that I actually did the course with showed up, though XD. But then again I spent all three years wanting to drop out and thinking constantly about suicide, so why did I go at all? I went because Lincoln has great book shops! Here’s some of the stuff I got:

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Bit battered, but the binding is strong

The 1963 Eagle Annual. For some reason I can never find Eagle annuals in good condition. This one is probably the best one I have! These first-incarnation Eagle annuals were heavy on the text stories (though the weekly was definitely more of a comic than a story paper). But they have strips too, including, of course, him!

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Still Frank Hampson style in the annual!

I also found another interesting item, the first Viz annual! This contains various reprints from the first 12 issues, which were self-published around Newcastle in 1979 and the early 80’s.

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Some early versions of characters that are still in it today

The artwork in this early stuff is pretty rough around the edges, but the gags are as funny as always! You can see why this was Britain’s most successful ‘self-published’ (though it had gone to a big company by then) comic ever.

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I also got some older stuff, including the School Friend Annual 1955, and one of those generic XXXX For Boys books from the 30’s or 40’s. Oddly, this one has lots of stories told from the point of view of animals. I did even wonder if it was actually a more modern book, printed in the style of the old fashioned kind, by some animal rights / socialist group. But then I saw one of the other stories is about a black boy who “dares” to come to a British public school and be good at boxing, so whatever.

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Dustjacket crammed in the back too, weirdly cut up.

I also got a book that’s part of “The Magnet Library”. I have another (also got in Lincoln and also with it’s dustjacket well preserved). I used to think the stories were reprinted serials from The Magnet, but actually they aren’t. The books aren’t published by Amalgamated Press, either. The other one I own is about World War 2, and features a “good German”, even though scenes of trench warfare and secret rays suggests it was published during the actual conflict! This story is called Scouts of the Sky, and appears to be about aerial piracy.

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Looks like Porco Rosso’s plane going down

Oh and of course I got the latest Commando’s. Including another of the Gold Collection with a fantastic Ken Barr cover.

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Is it any wonder these libraries lasted longest?

There was also some sort of military display going on in the city. I think I overheard somebody saying it was a commemoration of the 98th anniversary of the start of World War 1. I only caught the very end, though.

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Different regimental flags

I also noticed some interesting writing on a tall building that’s “out on it’s own” right next to the river. Never noticed this while I was there at uni:

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Looks like it was a print works once

Wonder if there was once waterwheel-powered machinery inside?

After the wandering and buying, I went off to the reunion. I also got a few more pictures later on, of the lights of the town and reflections on the Brayford Pool

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Found some Chinese writing

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A Terrible Tomboy – interesting book

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I found this book in Oxfam for £3 today, and thought it looked interesting. At first I thought it’d be like a short story I read in an issue of School Friend from 1960, where a tomboy who likes tinkering with motorbikes is “cured” by her prim-and-proper friend (if you think all old British girl’s comics / books were like that, you’re thick and brainwashed. Go and actually read some). But the story appears to instead celebrate her tomboyishness. Just look at these illustrations:

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Pictured: Not what you’d expect from 1904!

A girl who helps her brother explore dingy caves, and gives boys that (I assume, not read it yet) bully him a fwightful thwashin’? They ought to re-publish this today! It’d be far better than all this shitty, “original”, “It’s like cinderella except she doesn’t really love the prince, and it’s set in ☼JAPAN☼” bollocks. I can’t see why they shouldn’t reprint it today…

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Pictured: What you would expect from 1904

…oh. Never mind, then.

“Fun” weather

Apparently on Friday, Britain was going to be hit by a storm of a once-in-5o-years magnitude. I thought that meant it would be another 1987, trees down, buses blown over, roofs torn off and other cool stuff. It’d make great material for creating comics about (I’m going to do various semi-fictional events set in the ’87 storm one day). But instead all that happened was I was woken up by a flash of lightning in the middle of the night, and heard hailstones hammering on the window. Unfortunately I wasn’t awake enough to realise what was happening and watch 🙁

Anyway, the next day (during which I was very tired), it was pouring down when I woke up, but by the time I was dressed and opening my curtains the sky was fairly clear. Then by the time I got to work the rain was incredibly heavy, and constant! Even last Friday, when Download was on, paled in comparison. But then after about an hour of that, this happened:

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It’s always nice to have lovely, crystal-clear puddles yet the sun beating down and the ground rapidly drying. Luckily after that the sun more or less stayed, until right now. Though with periods of cloud cover and bursts of very strong wind.

I’m reading an American comic

Last post today, I promise XD.

Anyway, yes, I decided to get into at least one American comic, in the lead up to the Avengers film (which is spectacular, by the way). So what did I start getting? Avengers? Nope, something about a “war in the stars”.

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They ought to do a film about it.

That’s actually the British edition of the Star Wars comics, mind you. It differs from the American versions in that:

– You get less of the stories than you do in each individual American issue

– They are ‘behind’ the US releases

– You get parts of three stories in each issue

– In Forbidden Planet the American comics are about £3 each, for a whole chapter of one story. This is £3.15 for three half-chapters of three stories.

So on balance, I’ll stick with the British editions! I have three issues so far, so caught the end of some serials. So far two new serials have started, which I’m following more closely.

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The first is Agent of Empire – set just before Episode IV, it’s part James Bond, part screwball comedy. Oh and Han Solo is an old friend of the agent in question!

Then there’s Dawn of the Jedi – set about 10,000 years before the films. They still have space travel and laser guns though. I think in the Star Wars universe they had space travel (as in, easily travelling to inhabited planets orbiting other stars) something like 50,000 years before the films – meaning even “ancient religions” emerged in an environment of many different races, computers and hyperspace.

Shame, I was half hoping the story would be confined to one planet and one race (perhaps whatever planet the Star Wars Universe humans evolved on – though they are just like us, they don’t come from Earth!), using swords, plate armour and siege engines. And the force!

It’s really strange, right…

…though I have read loads of Victorian/Edwardian detective stories, and hundreds of Sexton Blake tales, I’ve never read a proper story about the daddy – Sherlock Holmes!

I have read this:

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Great cover!

Which is an unofficial tale, both in the Holmes canon, and also an unofficial “alternate” sequel to Prisoner of Zenda. Apparently the real sequel, Rupert of Hentazu, was a bit depressing – in this version, Sherlock Holmes rolls in and puts everything to rights, allowing the king to rule happily ever after (or whatever, I’ve not read either of the Zenda stories yet XD). I’ve also read a few stories in this:

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Crap cover!

But that’s all fanfic. Of course, today “fanfic” generally means “furry yaoi”, but this is old fashioned fanfic – which was published in enthusiast’s magazines. That meant it had, to a degree, an editor calling the shots, and so very little furry yaoi slipped through the net. These stories are pretty good, but they aren’t by Sir Conan-Doyle!

But then today, I saw this for a tenner:

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How could you say no?

It’s a bit of a block:

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The most recent other book in my collection with coloured page edges is from 1967!

But the grand, lavish binding does the contents justice. Either way it will fill up plenty of work break times. And I’ve taken bound volumes containing 3 months of The Boys’ Friend Library before, those are almost cube-shaped! Sherlock Holmes is a character other people at work will have heard of, too. At the moment I’m reading The Schoolgirls’ Own Annual 1940 at breaktimes. I have no shame.

Lyra Heroica

The title of this book jumped off the shelf at me in the charity shop. But it was £10.95 for a book of poetry, which I thought was a bit steep (you could get the entire output of Opal Quill on Ebay for that… and have £7 left). So I left it a week, but when I went back again it was still there…

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And anyway, so what if it was £10.95 for a book of poetry – it’s called Lyra Heroica! Oh and also, though you should never judge a book by it’s cover, this one’s cover is fucking awesome anyway.

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Oh and it used to belong in the Cambridge Union Society, to which I recently went for a really cool all-day Japanese themed party (the daytime bit shockingly under-attended. Mind you there was this big room selling anime figures, t-shirts and cosplay that I didn’t actually enter while things were in full swing, maybe everybody went there XD). Oh and the union society recently invited some guy who had been acquitted of rape to give a speech there. Of course, like racism, rape is one of those crimes that “sticks” in the minds of the left – once somebody’s been accused of it, they did it! (wipe those grins off, Express readers, you lot are exactly the same with child molesting and terrorism). Also the guy is rich, and so must be capable of that sort of thing.

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There’s no “withdrawn from stock” stamp in the book. Somebody owes a lot of thruppences!

 It’s just a shame that a book so cool is filled with, well, poetry. There’s no doubt stirring, inspiring lines in there somewhere – but you have to find them!

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The Sawtry sex shop

For ages now, I’ve wanted to write an angry blog post calling for the opponents of the Pulse & Cocktails sex toy shop “in” Sawtry to: FUCK OFF BACK TO THE UKRAINE, YOU SUB-BORN UNDER SAVAGES. BUT, I then saw this article about it on the local paper’s website. Note the lack of one single comment in support of the protesters!

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And page 2:

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And page 3:

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Well done Cambridgeshire, you have genuinely surprised me! And I may just have to take a run over there myself. I wonder if they have a DVD of that one where this guy cums on Lil’ Miss Kitty’s face then his secretary licks it off?

I almost wish a sex shop would apply for permission to open up in my village. I’d immediately set up a petition in favour of it and see how many names I could get!