Thursday, 2 December 2010

Smash! 3rd May 1969

Second comic out of the box and its no real suprise - this title is a tad bigger and taller than the others so it'd be easier to come across first.
A real mixed bag here.
"Master Of The Marsh" was a strip i read back then only for the incredible moody artwork. And that stills holds true now - if it wasn't for it the strip'd be a right dull affair.
Next up is "Erik The Viking" starting - a curious oddity in that its actually a reprint of "Karl The Viking" from Lion. It early days for Don Lawrence on this strip but there's the odd panel or face here and there which are precursors to the magnificence he'd go on to produce for "The Trigan Empire".
After the duffness of "Nutt and Bolt", "Percy's Pets" and "The Wide World Wanderers" we come to creepiness of "Cursitor Doom". Here he's up against the ghost of highwayman Black Patch and, while the art isn't as nice as when Eric Bradbury was on it, this page is really rather good. The use of black on the ghostly figure on the left and the scratchy rain effect on the right are excellent and wouldn't look at all out of place currently in "Defoe", no?
Where we DO have Bradbury moodiness is in "Bunsen's Burner" . Another example of classic 60/70's boys comic method and why i love them so much - take a regular scenero and put a bizarre twist on it. Here we have two guys taking an ancient steam car around the world in order to gain an inheritance. Okay, a bit odd but not too implausable.
But a criminal called The Inventor has been paid to stop them. And how does he choose to go about it? By unleashing his "fantastic mechanical crab" that's how.
Because that's what you do when you need to stop a clapped out old banger. Not shoot the occupants, nor blow it up or any number of typical dastardly ways. Absolute genius and absolutely lovely art from Eric.
The moodiness keeps going over the page with "Janus Stark", a strip which had really hit its stride in terms of art which you can here is engaging and incredibly evocative despite the tale being almost all set-up and not much happening.
And that's it. Of the remaining strips, i would've mentioned "The Swots And The Blots" but, as its not done by Leo Baxendale and whoever did do it is just not in the same league, i won't.
Far too early for such an expletive.

No comments: