Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Spring 1972, Black max dims, Adam Eterno shines

Just got these 3 copies from March and April of that month.
What a let-down with my favourite strip - a dull, ploding affair which has over the course of the three issues,Wilson held captive on a German Destroyer, freed by Max who intends to kill him himself, who then loses him. And that's it. THREE ISSUES to do that. Pffff...
Much better here is Adam Eterno. I've said before that the attraction of this strip for me is the wonderful, evocative artwork and the audacious way gold happens to appear to put the big guy in peril, rather than the character himself or the situations he's in.
And, boy, here that artwork sure is stunning stuff. The plant creatures are rendered brilliantly and the moodiness of the setting is top-notch stuff. If i ever could own a page of Eterno artwork, it'd be from this tale.

AIEEEE! Watch:
Plenty of "aaagh!" and "uuurgh", but no "Aieeee!" here.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Crikey! Issue 9

Picked this up in Forbidden Planet while in Manchester last week. Its a nice read, highlights for me being the first part of an overview of Marvel UK, a nice piece by Pat Mills on the influence Tammy had on future titles (despite suffering from doubling up of some text due to a printing error) but the best of all is a nice interview with Enrique Romero. He's mainly spending his time doing commissions now, and how i'd love an Axa or Modesty Blaise from him.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Vulcan - 11 October 1975

Got to admit, didn't buy this title when it came out. Think it was because i was already familiar with the characters, plus '75 was when Marvel UK was churning out tons of titles and that's where all me pocket money was going.
So, what do we have here?
MYTEK THE MIGHTY: Again, the colouring has ruined any atmos the strip had. What were they thinking? But its genius in that, with only two pages of strip, you have Mytek's hand demolish a building, pull a plane out the sky and then he emerges off-shore.
THE SPIDER: Left in black and white and much the better for it. This is why i love the Spider so much - up against "The Exterminator", he lunges towards his foe, only to activate a massive Rat Trap. Really. I mean, where'd you get one from? Acme? Or did the Exterminator go to all that trouble to build it himself? When that fails, he attacks with a drill on an extending tube that he "got the idea for this fiendish enemy-eliminator during my last visit to the dentist" And this is played straight. After that fails, the Spider is pinned down under the weight of a pile of "artificial giant diamonds"
Barking mad! Kids don't know what they're missing these days.
TRIGAN EMPIRE: An altogether more sensible, with lavish, beautifil artwork from Don Lawrence. This strip, above ALL others deserves a reprinting and to be seen on the shelves of Waterstones etc.
THE STEEL CLAW: Loevly moody art - but not much of a tale.
KELLY'S EYE: Again, lovely art, but the guys such a drip, its hard to connect with him. So a quick glance, then move on.
Nothing, not even when The Steel Claw sticks his finer in the plug socket or touches the electric fence, nor when Tim Kelly gets blasted by a giant bat or blown up by a cannon.

Battle 5 June 1976 - Rat Pack.

Two strips here stand out SO much more than the others.
Major Eazy has the better of the tales, better written ("i thought booby traps were forbidden by the Geneva Convention." "That's right. But if the Krauts can do it so can i".) and, of course, Ezquerra is a God.
But Rat Pack has Belardinelli. How can the guy have been so overlooked in his career? And how can he have been lambasted for his anatomy depictions? What's wrong with them? Or the plane? (which looks dead accurate to me) and just LOOK at those blast lines! Brilliance.
The Eagle Flies East: a shortend "Aiee!"from a looter in a hut.

Action - 15 May 1976 - Hookjaw

Inside a typically lurid cover (which looks like a panel blow-up but doesn't seem to be) we've got APPALLING artwork on Dredger. As i've said before, really can't understand how the art on one of the lead strips could deterioate so quickly. And boy has it here. So bad i'm not gonna show ya.
*how fun it is to slip into 70's speak again*
Green Grudge's War fairs best with the artwork by Belardinelli this issue (with his trademark self-portrait appearing more than once) but i've chosen to show two pages from Hookjaw. Again, the art has slipped but you've gotta admire a whole page devoted to a boy being eaten.
Odd too that one of the panels here was chosen for the hardback graphic novel over some truely stunning examples earlier in the run.

Green Grudge's War: a truncated "Aieee!" from a German guard and a much longer "Aieeeee!" next panel as the oil tank blows (dunno if its the same guy).

Sorry i've been away

Like i say, sorry for any regular updates here - been a combination of work, home, modelling stuff and the Net taking up so much time. Also been catching up on American graphic novels, but we'll gloss ove that.
Anyway, will try and post a lot more from now on in.