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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I wanted to get some “big” entries done over the holidays, after I’d finished doing the last few incidental illustrations for issue 4 of my comic, and printed it, of course.

Except, I go back to work tomorrow and have not yet put physical pencil to physical paper. The cover date on the comic, when it eventually gets finished (hopefully before my birthday, at the end of June), is getting a little silly, too:

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Anyway, that’s enough about that. More important is this CD that I got at the end of October:

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What’s better than a double-disc compilation album of 50’s Rockabilly? One that’s ALL CAR SONGS

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Well okay, there’s a few bike songs, too. Available from Fopp’s bargain section now!

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The whole Scotland thing

Is well and truly over, by the time I remember I started this entry. Anyway, I aligned myself with the Queen and thought “It’s for them to decide”. Anyway, ages ago I wanted to start a magazine defending British comics called The Sentinel, and wrote a half-joking article about what might happen to British comics if Scotland went independent. So let’s just bung that in here.

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The Sentinel Wonders: What could Scottish independence mean for British comics?

Just what might happen to the output of DC Thomson when England finally gains independence from Scotland? (are you sure that’s right? -ed). There’s a possibility that we in England could see a price increase as products from north of the border will become subject to import taxes. However it’s also possible that The Beano, The Dandy and Commando (no doubt suddenly featuring many more stories of the various Scottish rebellions down the centuries) could see sales increases. DC Thomson may be able to capture the patriotic, forward-looking mood of a newly-independent nation by clearly branding their products as “Made in Scotland”. With big sales increases could also come a reduction in prices as the economies of scale shift. It’s also likely that the comics would be better-displayed in Scottish shops and so attract even more customers. There could be a knock-on effect down south as well. With a realisation that the “splitters” up North are boosting their economy and getting people into work as artists, writers and printers it’s possible that London-based publishers may decide to get back into the game. Could we see a return of Buster and The Eagle as England-based competition? Could other England-based comics such as The Pheonix become more popular as a response to Scotland breaking away? Scottish Independence could end up becoming the shot in the arm that comics produced on these islands desperately need. If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that I need to marry a Scot!

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 good haul

I had a successful charity shop rummage on Saturday, so here’s a quick look at some of the interesting finds…

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Yes, it’s issue 2 of Sonic The Comic, my brother would have had this back in the day. They had comics for £2 each, or 3 for a fiver, which I thought was a bit steep for 90’s stuff. There was another StC there, but it was missing it’s cover and a much later one (it had Knuckles in). Most of the box was Beano’s and Dandy’s, so I didn’t have a comprehensive dig, could issue 1 have been in there somewhere?

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I did get this Beano, though! It’s also one I had back in the day, where Dennis builds an elastic-powered plane big enough to ride on. Of course, I had dreams of doing the same thing myself XD. I also remember wanting to build a plane out of Plasticine and assorted geometric plastic shapes from school, and launch it using a lot of elastic, like an aircraft carrier steam catapult XD.

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¡Plop! 

More interesting than both of them was these, Chilean comics! I actually thought they were Colombian, as that’s where these editions were printed, and the prices ($550 for one and $3000 for the other!) are in Colombian Pesos. However I asked a Chilean guy at my work if he had “heard of it”, and he said it actually comes from there XD. Anyway, they are comedy comics with an interesting cast of characters (according to Wiki, one is an arrogant Argie who constantly talks about how amazing his country is XD). It’s also been going since the late 40’s!

I’ll do a “peep” at it on my comic blog one day. For now I’ll leave you with this: Almost every strip in it ends with ¡Plop! XD

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¡Plop!

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More Round The Horne tapes! I now have a full 8 episodes that I haven’t listened to. Ought to take them in the car of a morning. Nothing like livening up the morning commute by pissing yourself laughing!

“It’s the Polone Ranger! Howdy parder, what brings you down to these parts?”

“I’ve got a lousy agent…”

 The other week, I got this rather Un-PC-ly named book, from 1907:

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“John Chinaman at Home” …¡Plop!

I showed it to a Chinese woman at my work, who absolutely loved the photos. She asked me to buy her another copy if I saw it, however the ones on Ebay were £40-odd and up. There was also some of those modern photocopied editions with hideously generic covers available, but the company that makes them sells their glue-gunned POD books for the same price as original antique editions! Still, the photos are very interesting

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Anyway, Oxfam in Cambridge had put out a whole batch of antique books about China, including “Society in China” from 1894, which has a nice cover, which I failed to take a decent photo of:

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Those are a dragon and a flower

Anyway, I bought it for the woman at work. She even very kindly paid me back the £6.99 I spent on it :3, it has a few photos, though we later discovered most of the illustrations are actually line drawings. Several of them, of course, focusing on cruel punishments and tortures used in China at that time. Strangely the other book also dwells excessively on those, and even reports European tourists, missionaries and businessmen going out of their way to watch… ¡Plop!

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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?

Bidwells are a bunch of cunts

BEST HOLIDAY EVER!

I got back from Japan late on Friday, having taken nearly a thousand photos (probably) and bought literal armfuls of comics (I had to send some back by post, because my case would have been too heavy. It was less than a kilo under the limit anyway!). More details and picspam to come, mainly on my Things Japanese blog, but I have some more ranty and sweary stuff to say here too.

Oh yeah, while my back was turned the British comics industry came up trumps and launched a new story paper! Yes, the 136-page monthly Pulp Detective is available in WH Smith’s now! It’s also in a few other newsagents, though not one in Coventry, who decreed that it was “too small” and “wouldn’t sell” without even trying it – DIRTY TRAITORS!

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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