Thursday, 30 August 2012

Last minute Summer Special thing

Tomorrow's the last day of August, which SORT OF means it's the last day of Summer. Again. And Summer's not Summer without a few Summer Specials, right? Well, with that in mind, and with a slightly undersized scanner meaning lots of fiddling about with MS Paint, let's be having a look at...

The Bash Street Kids Summer Special 1999!

See what I mean about the scanner? Got no problem with over-sized comics, but it doesn't help with people who're doing important things like this!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Steve Bell's Cheeky Puzzles

Everyone knows about the satirical penguin-fancier Steve Bell, don't they? Well, before he started drawing John Major as a pathetic version of Superman and David Cameron as a walking, talking condom, he did stuff for the kids. As well as a funny thing about gremlins in Jackpot, he did some puzzle pages for Cheeky. These are the two I've found so far - there may or may not be more of these (I haven't read every single issue of Cheeky ever). Also they're both mazes, but VERY WELL DRAWN mazes. Observe.

I know I haven't mentioned this yet, but if it isn't immediately obvious, ALL the pictures on this blog can be clicked on to be made bigger. And then clicked again to be made even bigger. Magic, eh? As if your own eyes have a "zoom" function!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Hunt for the Flinklegloop

Presented here is a fun, silly story by a fun, silly man called Jimmy Glen. It concerns James, the World's Worst School Boy, and in this strip from a 1990 Dandy, James is on a nature ramble. He gets pestered by his strange "friend", Hazel the Nut, who speaks in her own odd dialect. Turns out she's hunting for something called a "flinklegloop" (which is poolgelknilf backwards, obviously!). Let's see how she does:

Ah, of course! She can't find one, because she doesn't know what they look like. Nobody's ever caught one, because nobody's ever seen one before. That's where the Dandy readers come in. Nice way to get the imagination stirring, yes?

Fast forward twelve weeks, and we get to see what several kids think a flinklegloop might look like!

They all got a prize there (I'd've given a bigger prize to Anna-Marie Knott for that nutty deer-headed mothman... thing). And they got to see their artwork in a (then) massively popular comic too! Those wonderfully weird designs were done having been given just a single nonsense word. Not a description, not a given number of limbs or eyes or whatever, just a word. And who knows how many other entries there were? Never stop a youngster from doodling is the lesson here, I suppose. Or beware of flinklegloops, because they're mad.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Les Barton's AUTOTEACH

From the 1979 Topper annual, one of the funniest comic strips ever made about a robot teacher and its class of murderous pupils. Enjoy!

For me, the funniest parts are the headmaster's reaction at Autoteach's entrance, and when Autoteach rises from the edge of the cliff with a mighty "That's what YOU think!".

Haven't read many Topper or Beezer comics, so the annuals (of which there's a plentiful amount!) always bring up nice (or hilarious) surprises such as Autoteach here. More to come in the future, obviously.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

X-Ray Specs has a horrible disease

There's excessive movement lines in comics, then there's RIDICULOUSLY excessive movement lines in comics, then there's ridiculously excessive movement lines in comics that look like they were drawn after sixty-three cans of LSV. During an earthquake. And then there's this one by Mike Lacey (maybe, or perhaps Henry Davies?), from the 1985 Monster Fun annual.

When the characters are standing still, are they supposed to look like they're wobbling with excitement?

What's going on there then, eh? Nice bit of product placement too - Buster comics, a Yorkie bar, and Disney cartoons. A fun strip overall, but those lines!

Thursday, 23 August 2012

A book about robots by someone who hates robots

In 1985, Wayland Publishers decided to put out another book in their Topics series of educational titles - this one would be about robots, and would introduce children to this fascinating and constantly evolving science. The man they chose for the task of writing said book was a Mr. Graham Rickard - who it turned out really didn't like robots. He just wanted to go skiing instead! But, ski poles don't pay for themselves, so the book had to be written. Graham wasn't going to go quietly though - here's an opportunity to grab the kids from an early age, and to tell them that robots are NOT a good thing. Here is that book, time to do some learning!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Max Overload! - Part 2

Here we go again, with the next comic from Dark Horse's short-lived games magazine, Max Overload! - today, it's a nice little comic about ToeJam & Earl, written by Anne Caulfield (travel writer and Lenny Henry script writer), and drawn by Woodrow Phoenix (who also did Ecco the Dolphin for Sonic The Comic and The Sumo Family for The Independent On Sunday). Let's get the funk out, or something...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Obligatory Dandy Dedication

I'm a few days late with this, clearly, but everyone's heard the news by now: The Dandy is dead. Sort of. It's still got until the 4th of December (nice of them to let it shuffle on to its 75th birthday), so that's... another fifteen issues to go? And it'll carry on in digital form after that. What that entails, I do not know. I don't have an iPad and'm not really a fan of reading comics on a computer screen, so it may as well be dead.

There's been tributes and comments all over the place this last week - nice sentimental stuff from the likes of John Wagner and Lew Stringer; "sensible" bollocks from big-heads like Charlie Brooker; a sad little satirical cartoon from Lee James Turnock; and an agreeably honest look at what went wrong from Kid Robson. So, what more can I add? Nothing much, except for a look back at happier times.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Up the Boo Aye, Shooting Pookakies

Right then! Up the Boo Aye, Shooting Pookakies, published in 1980, is a collection of poems by the Rochdale Cowboy, Mike Harding - poet, singer-songwriter, author, broadcaster, stand-up comic, travel writer, filmmaker, playwright. The only thing he hasn't done is the illustrations for this book - they were done by Rodger McPhail. Usually, he's a top-notch wildlife illustrator, but when presented with Mr. Harding's strange imagination... Oh, what results! Presented here is the majority of the book's illustrations, save for a few black-and-white ones and the odd double-page spread (no matter how many attempts I made, I couldn't get these scanned properly - but the book's cheap enough on Amazon anyway).

Monday, 13 August 2012

Monday Morning

Well, I was considering making "Sunday Night Cartoons" a tradition or something around here, but got distracted by Eric Idle and the Who last night, so it didn't happen. Instead, here's some Monday morning cartoons - the kind you don't usually see unless you're having a day off and everyone else has gone out.

James the Cat (Kate Canning, 1984)

The Shoe People (FilmFair, 1987)

Will Cwac Cwac (Siriol Animation, Ltd., 1984)

Mr. Men (Mister Films Ltd., 1974)

Charlie Chalk (Woodland Animations, 1987)

Yep, it's another "lazy" post. But there's bound to be a bit of entertainment for someone amongst this lot - if I'm honest I'm still a bit too worried about jellyfish to do a post of any substance this morning. At least the Mr. Men theme tune'll be stuck in my head all day.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Terror in the Skies!

Several years ago, I read Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods?, and for a couple of months after that I was completely sold on the idea that we were visited by intelligent beings from other planets, at the dawn of civilization, and that all the ancient carvings and statues, supposedly of gods, were actually depicting those visitors wowing us with their technological know-how. Then once I tried discussing it with other people, as well as putting a bit of rational thought towards it, I realised it was complete and utter bollocks. Still, for that short space of time it was nice to have my view of the universe altered - I'd definitely recommend reading that book if you haven't, just don't take it seriously, 'kay?

This morning, I read something else, something NEW - something that no matter how much I think about it, I can't find any holes in it. A theory bandied about over the decades but one that's never really been given a lot of exposure. Something that had me grinning and laughing with the "Oh My!"-ness of it all - something that when I've tried to talk about with people in my daily life it's all fell to pieces because I was too excited. Something that's instantly made the whole world seem at once a lot more interesting, a lot more exciting, and a WHOLE lot more terrifying. That thing?

Giant airborne jellyfish.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The Postman Brings Things

Today, like most days, the postman had some things for me. Those things will now be looked at.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Assorted Betty Boops, for your pleasure

Stuck somewhere without the necessary tools to do a "proper" post, but still up for a bit o'blogging? Never fear, YouTube's here! Today it's full of Betty Boop stuff. Here you go.

Betty Boop's Penthouse (1933)
I've loved the music in this cartoon, specifically the monster's theme, ever since Tony Robinson showed it to us on Stay Tooned!, sometime between 1990 and 1995.

I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal, You (1932)
Featuring a giant Louis Armstrong head. Music videos were loads more fun in the 1930s.

Minnie the Moocher (1932)
See? Told you so.

Bimbo's Initiation (1931)
Betty's not in this one much, but she's still there. And it's also one of the best cartoons ever made ever.

Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle (1932)
From the days before the censors even thought of messing around with cartoons. Steamy hula-dancing, rotoscoped cannibals, and good old Fleischer surrealism. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Max Overload! - Part 1

Back at the beginning of 1994, Dark Horse decided to launch a video games magazine, for some reason. Dark Horse's background was, of course, in comics, so it seemed like they could offer something unique to the world of gaming magazines. And offer they did, in the form of Max Overload! (exclamation mark their own). 

And that unique thing? Comics, that's right. Other gaming publications had done this before - Sega Power had Captain Ages and his punk pal, Rewop (good, but more of a piss-take than anything else), whilst Sonic The Comic and Load Runner were more comics with magazine-ish bits in them. Max Overload was a "proper" magazine (with reviews and previews and news and stuff), but it had comics as "main features", so to speak. Hard to explain really - it's a magazine with comics in it. There we go. Oh, and this first issue includes some free Lemmings stickers.

Guide to Economic Survival

I've seen this done on other blogs, so why not on my one too? These are some of the things I've acquired over the last few weeks.