On the eve of moving to Japan…

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What a time to get into American comics, eh? Not the modern shit, of course – 40’s – 50’s EC and 50’s – 70’s Marvel! There was a bad crash on the road where I worked, and I was compelled to sit in a nearby car park for most of the day, with only the first 20-odd Fantastic Four issues for company, what a rush!

And the old EC material is astonishingly good. Dare I say it predated Japan’s Gekiga / Seinen as the first really “adult” comic storytelling (ignoring Tijuana Bibles and story papers, for a moment XD)? If there had never been a “code”, the US might have a comic market as big and diverse as Japan’s or France’s by now. And I dare say other countries would have followed the yank’s lead (the other country does in everything else). The code did more damage to comics as a whole than anybody really realises.

I’m done with Doctor Who.

Because what the FUCK is this SHIT?

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I was also interested, on my other blog, to note that India will apparently be more monoracial in 300 years time. Imagine if they showed a similar scene in the Britain of 2314, with all white characters?

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And what’s this in the next issue? “The Weeping Angels of Mons”. Note they are going to end up in “the trenches”. The trenches, as in those things that hadn’t been dug at the time of the retreat from Mons?

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Never mind, eh? No doubt the whole point of the story is to say “the right things” about class war (class war from the perspective of yanks, anyway. Or maybe Brits who wish they were yanks, which is even worse). You can see the heartless generals ordering working class men into No-man’s Land at gunpoint already, can’t you? Never mind that they were actually being led into battle by junior officers, most from exactly the same educated, privileged background as those generals, and an order of maginitude more likely to be killed. As they were supposed to be “leading by example”, and snipers always went for officers. To say nothing of the fact that several of those junior officers, leading their men to doom, may have been the nephews or sons of the generals planning the attack… or even that 22 generals themselves died in pointless charges, over the course of the war (no doubt trying to prove that their amazing “run towards the enemy’s machine guns” tactics will work, this time).

Still, we all know what “amazing, shocking revelation” is coming up on the TV show. I suspect a lot of people are planning to bail, at that point. I might as well just git while the gittin’s gud. It’s made for San Francisco hipsters, now, anyway. It’s no longer for the likes of us. The £40-a-year-licence, stripped-to-bare-bones BBC can’t come soon enough, if you ask me.

EDIT: I had a peek at the next issue in the shop. Yeah, tin helmets and trenches before Archduke Ferdinand’s body was even cold. Top research, there.

Die, hideous creature, die!

Protip: If you are going to complain about old Doctor Who comic strips featuring the Doctor resorting to violence to solve things…

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make sure you don’t do it in a comic in which he recruits a couple of Ice Warriors to help him build an army to lead a mutiny on a slave ship…

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…and then brush off his companion’s concerns about them being left to roam the galaxy in a captured warship.

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Mind you, is that line so “notorious”? Given the rarity and expense of Doctor Who-containing issues of TV Comic, I’d be willing to bet that article is the first time many whovians have even heard of it. Is that article, in fact, an attempt to give the previously-highly-obscure line it’s notoriety, and thus another attempt by the chattering classes to discredit and undermine traditional British adventure comics? To persuade modern comic fans that they are not even worth bothering with?

Such attitudes, rife in the pages of 2000AD and the Megazine, very nearly infected me. Luckily somebody was able to sneak an article about Sexton Blake in, which turned me onto my current path. How long will it be before the original (and by far best) Dan Dare begins to be offhandedly dismissed in this manner? The Billy Bunter stories are already branded “elitist”, “classist”, “racist” and many other things which it is difficult to find any evidence of if you actually read them.

A couple o comics

A while back, Cambridge Oxfam had a load of early 90’s Beanos in. They included this one:

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Which I beleive is the first ever one that I got (though I can’t remember exactly, pretty sure it had The Pink Glove on it though). Up until then I’d been getting “Turtle Comics”, and pestered my mum to buy them whenever she went to the shop. Of course “Turtle Comics” was probably a flavour-of-the-month craze cash-in, which had been cancelled. So my mum got a “steady rock” of the British comics industry (they had such a thing in those days… just about) “to keep that brat’s mouth shut”. Now I’m a sad, single shut-in with more comic shelves than walls. Result!

On the subject of cool comics, this actually exists:

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Though I only have issues 1 and 3. Better ebay the others, eh?

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!

The Blackbeard thing

So yeah, it turns out that there was actually two separate Blackbeard 2-part mini series made in the mid 2000’s! The one I saw the first part of and the one I watched the last night. The one I saw the first part of was supposedly based on Blackbeard’s real life (what is known about it anyway), whereas the one I watched last night was more of a boys’ own adventure story with Blackbeard as a character. Not that his real life wasn’t a boys’ own adventure story! Wicked theme tune mind you.

This DC Comics re-launching thing got me looking at their blog, where they posted up a few character pictures of newly-redesigned heroes…

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 Er… isn’t that just Gene The Hackman crossed with Shakara?

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Isn’t that Durham Red??

Oh yeah, kind of glad I didn’t go to Donington now. It’s pissed down all day… still looks like Friday had the best weather and the best bands. I could have done a day ticket but I still need to save like mad.