Saturday, 25 March 2017


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

There's no messing about on this blog - here's part two of
our FURY cover gallery, so that you can all gape at CARLOS
EZQUERRA's action-packed artwork.  Little did I realise when
I was buying these comics back in 1977 that just 8 years later I'd
be lettering his STRONTIUM DOG strip in 2000 A.D., which
was only a few weeks old when Fury first went on sale.  It's a
small world, eh?  Right, let's go!

Friday, 24 March 2017


Images copyright MARVEL COMICS

FURY was an odd mag for MARVEL, in that it tried to emulate
the appeal of rival weeklies like VICTOR, HOTSPUR and BATTLE,
and steal a slice of the U.K. war comics market for itself.  It never really
caught on 'though, consisting of a hodgepodge of reprints from Marvel's
back-catalogue of various war-themed stories, and lasted for a mere 25
issues before being merged into MWOM (And take two demerits if
you don't know what those initials stand for.)  On the plus side, from
issue #3, the covers were drawn by CARLOS EZQUERRA, so
let's look at the first 'dirty dozen' of them right now!


Until a few years ago, a handful of JAJ/PYREX cups,
like the one in the photo, used to reside in a cupboard in the
kitchen.  I think they occupied a kitchen cupboard in just about
every house I've ever lived in, but I associate them with two in
particular - this and the previous one.  At some indeterminate
stage they disappeared (given to a relative I suspect), but I
recently acquired a replacement set on eBay.

Just looking at them brings my childhood back to me in
a rush, and I'm once again a 10 year old boy in the kitchen
of the house I lived in at the time;  or a 14 year old teenager in
the home I currently occupy.  It's almost a mystical thing, this
sense of 'time-travel' on such occasions, and I'm sometimes
amazed at how even one item can conjure up memories
of entire periods of one's past life to mind.

So I've had a cup of tea in one of my 'new' cups, and
lingered in yesteryear for a spell.  Is there any specific item
from your youth that you'd like to have again, to help recall
a particular period in your life with a keenness and clarity
that, somehow, only a tangible object can bestow?

   The comments section awaits.    


JOLENE BLALOCH smoulders sultrily
on the stairs, getting in my way as I rush up to
the toilet.  Later, Jolene, later - turtle's head
we're talking about here, lass - so move!


Images copyright DC COMICS

Well, I said I would and now I have.  At least in part, in that
here's the first issue of DC's The MASTERWORKS SERIES
Of GREAT COMIC BOOK ARTISTS, featuring the artwork of
FRANK FRAZETTA.  The second issue likewise showcases FF's
work, and it'll be appearing here fairly soon - on CRIVENS!, ab-
solutely the best blog you've ever seen in the last 30 seconds!

Thursday, 23 March 2017


Okay, so here's a question for all of you, prompted by
the previous post.  First of all 'though, let me set the scene.
You're part of a group of six that works for a small business,
and one day someone suggests setting up a Lottery syndicate.
"We'll each pay £12 into it every month in advance, and if
ever there's a winning ticket, we'll split the amount be-
tween us in equal shares."  So that's what you do.

Remember, this syndicate is only open to employees,
not outsiders.  One month you pay in your £12, and a few
days later, you give a fortnight's notice because you're sud-
denly offered a higher paid job elsewhere.  Shortly after, your
former colleagues strike it lucky with a huge Lottery win and
you rub your hands with glee because the ticket was one
of the ones you helped pay for before leaving.

But no!  Your erstwhile colleagues protest that the
winnings are for employees only, and that, as you're no
longer an employee, you're not entitled to any share of the
prize.  "It doesn't matter that you were an employee at the
time the winning ticket was bought, fact is, you're not any
more so you're entitled to Jack Squat" they all say in a
smug manner.  "Employees only" they repeat.

Now, if you've even an ounce of sense about you,
I'm sure you can see the flaw in the argument of the lucky
but greedy winners.  If you're an employee at the time when
what later becomes the winning ticket was purchased, because
you contributed to it, you're entitled to your fair share of the
proceeds from it.  That's pretty much the same scenario I out-
lined in my previous post, so the same principle surely ap-
plies in both cases.  To suggest anything else is simply
absurd in my not-so-humble view.

Furthermore, if the ticket came up trumps before
you left your old job, but the syndicate wasn't awarded
its winnings 'til several weeks after you'd left, we wouldn't
be having this conversation.  Because it's screamingly obvious
what the fair, right, and proper thing to do is in a case like this.
Namely, give you the share to which you're morally, ethically,
and even legally entitled (unless previously established to
the contrary in the agreed and accepted terms and condi-
tions under which you worked), and cut the spurious
cr*p that you're no longer entitled to it.

The date of the prize presentation ceremony isn't at
all relevant in the matter of entitlement - only the point in
time when the prize was won is what counts at the end of
the day.  The presentation merely celebrates the already
acknowledged fact of the winner's right to the prize.

Your honour, I rest my case.

So here's the question:  do you consider the Lottery
syndicate to be correct in their reasoning, and, if so, do
you think you'd share their view if you were the former
employee?  The comments section awaits.

  (And waits...c'mon, Criv-ites, let's play.)  


I once knew a woman who feigned friendship with me
so that I'd help out in the little shop she ran.  If a man has a
weakness, it's to feel needed and appreciated by the so-called
'fairer sex', and many a man has been duped by such 'womanly'
wiles.  She was forever proclaiming what a lot she thought of me,
and wanting to hug and kiss me, and overwhelm me with her 'fem-
inine charms'.  It was obvious that this was only to make me more
amenable to her bidding whenever she wanted to use me in some
way, but don't get the wrong idea;  the friendship was merely
platonic, as she was a bit of a tomboy with some disgust-
ing habits that turned my stomach on occasion.

While I was in the shop for six months on my own, I
was visited by a 'mystery shopper', and as a result of my at-
tentive customer relations technique and charming manly-man
manners, I won a prize.  It was £100 worth of gift vouchers and
a bottle of champagne (or cheap equivalent), plus a certificate of
achievement to hang in the shop.  For some reason I now forget,
there was a delay in the presentation, and I'd left the shop's em-
ploy before the prizes were belatedly awarded to the winners.
However, there was a prior agreement between me and my
colleague to split the vouchers, with her also getting
the bottle of champers as I don't drink.

Thing is, she told me I wasn't getting my half as I'd
left the shop before the presentation, and, in her view, the
prize was for the shop, not the person who'd won it.  This of
course was total nonsense, as it had been my sole efforts which
had secured the privilege and plunder, with me being specifically
mentioned (not named, but described) in the mystery shopper's
assessment of why both I and the shop were considered worthy
of reward and award.  It was the equivalent of telling me that
because I'd left the shop's employ before payday, I wasn't
entitled to wages I'd earned before leaving.  Not that
she did that, but, logically, it's the same thing.

So I was robbed of £50 - by a so-called 'friend', who,
once I was of no further use to her, pretty much abandoned
any pretence of friendship past the most superficial of nods in
its direction.  You all know your bold host isn't the sort of per-
son to tolerate such an injustice lying down 'though, and without
going into the specifics, I made sure her act of theft (for such it
was) did not go unpunished in some (legal) way.  She was a liar,
a thief, a cheat, and a fraud, given to devious manipulation in
pursuit of personal benefit, so she's certainly the type of
'friend' I can easily and happily do without.

Have any of you ever had such a 'friend'?  Feel free
to unburden your soul in our confessional comments sec-
tion.  Go on, spill the beans to your fellow Criv-ites.


Images copyright DC COMICS

I acquired this magnificent tome yesterday (Wednesday - apt,
eh?) - WEDNESDAY COMICS - a collection of the strips which
appeared in the broadsheet of the same name back in 2009.  How-
ever, you don't want to listen to me witter on about it when you can
look at some of the pages contained therein instead, so here you are.
Available from your local FORBIDDEN PLANET and all good
comics shops.  And if your local store is out of stock, I'm sure
they'd be prepared to order you a copy.

Interestingly, the SUPERMAN strip is drawn by artist LEE
BERMEJO, who, as far as I can ascertain, isn't related to LUIS
BERMEJO, who drew JOHNNY FUTURE in U.K. weekly comic
FANTASTIC in the 1960s.  However, it's somehow apt that Luis
drew Johnny Future and Lee drew The Man of Tomorrow,
as according to a certain theory by moi, the two heroes are
related.  Click this link and discover in what way.

However, back to the book for a mo.  As well as the strips
on view here, there's also KAMANDI, DEADMANGREEN
sample pages of PLASTIC MAN and The CREEPER, not
included in the broadsheet.  What's not to like?

Run out and buy one today!

Wednesday, 22 March 2017


Image copyright MARVEL COMICS

Yesterday morning, I woke to a thick carpet of snow in my town.
It was like a classic Christmas scene, but by afternoon, the snow had
started to melt and only patches remained.  It's the same this morning,
with those patches reluctant to disappear completely, and a Yuletide
atmosphere still casting its glow over the surrounding terrain.

It reminds me of a time, 44 years ago, of a similarly Festive
feeling, when I first bought The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL
#15, and returned home after an afternoon adventuring with a pal to
find that my family had acquired a canine chum.  PRINCE was his
name, a mongrel who looked just like a mini-Alsation, and was the
first of three dogs we had over a period of around 25 years.

The above cover is interesting, in that most of it looks to have
been pencilled by JIM STARLIN and inked by JOE SINNOTT,
with the exception of the SPIDER-MAN figure, which has a distinct
JOHN ROMITA flavour to it.  Could this be a patch, dropped in
over Jim's original Spidey figure, or did he just do a good job of
channelling Romita senior's web-slinger?  Whaddya think?

Anyway, this cover's full of memories and associations for me,
and, if you're old enough to have bought it back then, it'll be the
same for you, too.  Hope you enjoyed seeing it again.


Ah, EMILY, the picture of loveliness,
as usual.  Just what we mere men need
on a cold day such as this to lend a little
warmth to our hearts.  Ta muchly.


Images copyright DC COMICS

Back in the day when BERNIE WRIGHTSON was still
spelling his first name as 'Berni' (to avoid confusion with an
Olympic swimmer of the same moniker), DC COMICS issued
a series entitled The MASTERWORKS SERIES Of GREAT
COMIC BOOK ARTISTS.  The 3rd issue was devoted to the
art of Berni(e) Wrightson, and I thought, following the recent
demise of the artist, that his fans might like to have a look
at this comic and perhaps add it to their wants list.

(Ever had that feeling that there's something you should
remember, but however hard you try, you just can't?  So it is
with this issue.  A still, small, nagging voice seems to be trying
to remind me that perhaps I didn't get this comic until a few years
after it was published, when I returned to my present home after
four years away - but I'm just not sure.  Maybe I actually got it at
the time, which means I acquired it in the previous house to this
one - I can see either scenario being the case.  I know there's
something to be remembered about this mag 'though, but
just can't recall what it is.  Still, I'm glad to have it.)

And now, to you falls the thrill of the hunt as you scour
eBay in search of a copy of this 34 year old mag.  If you're
a fan of Bernie's art (who isn't?), this is one comic you simply
must add to your stash - assuming you don't already have it.
And fear not - I'll get 'round to showing the first two issues
(FRANK FRAZETTA) in the series pretty darn soon.


Issue #s 4 & 5 (NEAL ADAMS) were advertised on
the back cover, but were never published.  The indicia says
that the 3 issue series was published by DC for SEA GATE,
'though comic sites usually say it was published by the latter,
who licensed the material from the former.  Sea Gate was a
company started by PHIL SEULING, the man credited
with starting direct market distribution.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


I'd always imagined that the story of RAY CUSICK not
profiting from his design for The DALEKS was a relatively
recent revelation.  (Around the 1980s sometime, which seems
recent to people of my age.)  Surprisingly however, it was being
reported as far back as 1965, only a couple of years after The
Daleks had first appeared on TV in Dr. Who.  Read all about
it in the above article.  It's a bit faded, so you'll have to apply
yourself.  (Click to enlarge, click again for optimum size.)  I
wonder what he thought when he first saw the MARX
TOYS version of his design?
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