Saturday 28 February 2009

Welcome to Earth

Hello to new Follower MJ Who. We come in peace...

Lily Allen and friend

Here's the lovely Lily Allen and feline friend from this month's Q cover shoot.

K-9 Mark 4(th Reich)?

Thanks to the ever-wonderful Outpost Gallifrey, here is a sneak peek at the logo for the currently-filming new series of K-9. According to the show's associate producer, Paul Tams, this logo will appear in the title sequence and on the metal mutt's new CGI ( bleh! ) body. Now, I might be getting eyeball-strain from too many hours net-surfing, but doesn't the "K" look a teensy bit like a swastika? Or is it just me?

Soundtrack: Horny As A  Dandy, by Mousse T. vs The Dandy Warhols.

Thursday 26 February 2009

Wendy Richard

The actress Weny Richard has died, aged 65,  after a long battle with cancer. Best known today as battle-axe Pauline Fowler in Eastenders, Ms. Richards had a long career in TV and films. I'll always remember her as Miss Brahms in the quintessentially 1970s sitcom, Are You Being Served? Here she is as a young starlet, the gloom and doom of 'Enders far in her future.

Soundtrack: Prime Mover by Zodiac Mindwarp.

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Counting down...

I really am getting pathetically excited about the Watchmen movie: I'm gonna have to get a grip on myself, act my age etc. etc. But if turns out to be crap after all this waiting and hype I might have to grow a beard, change my name to Alan, move to Northampton, start worshiping a snake god...
It should all be easy enough, apart from the Northampton bit.

Soundtrack: Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead.

Sunday 22 February 2009

Captain Britain in Middle Earth?

Over at Pete Doree's fantastic Bronze Age Of Blogs there's been a discussion about how poor the original Captain Britain strip really was, regardless of nostalgia, rose-tinted glasses etc. It did make me think about Cap's appearances in the Black Knight strip in Dez Skinn's Hulk Comic. This was a great, atmospheric strip with an Arthurian slant and some wonderful artwork from John Stokes. I'll always remember the moody depiction of a solitary, amnesiac character, wandering the coast of Cornwall, only to be identified by The Black Knight as the long-lost Captain Britain.
Here is the cover to issue 20, pencilled I think by Paul Neary. Cap here seems to be facing down some strange, negative versions of Tolkien's Nazgul  -  and not a Hobbit in sight!

FOOM Poster

This is one of my all-time favourite pieces of comic artwork, by the legendary Jim Steranko. The poster came as part of the Friends Of Ol' Marvel membership kit, along with a membership card featuring stirring words from Stan "The Man" Lee, and a few superhero stickers. My copy of this poster had pride-of-place on my bedroom wall for well over a decade, so its dynamic figurework, design and colour are all imprinted in my grey matter. The above isn't my copy ( it's pretty tatty nowadays and lives in a box at my Mum's place ) but belongs to some random ebay-er who wants $250 for it. Gulp! What more can I say, but...Excelsior!

Soundtrack: Black Cherry by Goldfrapp.

Saturday 21 February 2009

Come in, have a cup of tea. Biscuit?

I'd like to welcome two new Followers: Pete Doree at The Bronze Age Of Blogs, who has been sharing a great collection of '70s and '8os comics with us...

And Saranga at Pai ( love those names! ) who I've been Following for some time but haven't commented on yet: I'll have to do something about that, her blog is very interesting for its mix of comic reviews and women's issues.

Soundtrack: Into The Valley by The Skids.

Salvador Dali

As I explained waaaay back in my first ever blog, I got the name "The Glass Walking-Stick" from an essay by the great GK Chesterton, author of The Man Who Was Thursday. So here's another eccentric genius with his glass walking-stick, Salvador Dali. 

Soundtrack: a giraffe on fire.

Friday 20 February 2009

New comics Feb 09

Here are some of the mags I got today from my Comic Connection, Edward aka The Enthusiast. Because Amazing Spider-Man is published sort -of-weekly nowadays I actually received 13 issues. Phew!
Looking at these comics it seems a very conservative list: I was reading the exploits of these 3 characters 20 ( or more! ) years ago in one form or another. Back in the '80s and early '90s, when I had more time and money to spend on comics, I was reading a more eclectic list: Sandman, Love And Rockets, Cerebus, Bone, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Hate, Weirdo, as well as yer standard super-hero stuff like FF, X-Men, Thor, Hulk etc.  I seem to have filtered out the work of such creators as Eddie Campbell, Kyle Baker, Daniel Clowes, Peter Bagge and Charles Burns in favour of retro adolescent fantasy. Does this indicate an oncoming mid-life crisis or am I just talking crap?

Soundtrack: Live At Shea Stadium by The Clash.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

Truth, Justice and The American Way

Another pic from the archives of Life magazine: Superman adorning the nose of a B-17 Flying Fortress of the US 8th Bomber Command, southern England, Sept. 1942.

Soundtrack: That's Not My Name by The Ting Tings.


I'd just like to say hello to all my lovely Followers: Joe Bloke, Trix, Darius Whiteplume and, of course, The Igloo Keeper. Cheers guys!

Soundtrack: Drain The Blood by The Distillers.

Monday 16 February 2009

Pickman's Model by Hannes Bok

I've just started reading Beyond The Golden Stair, one of the late Hannes Bok's few forays into the written word. It seems pretty good so far; I might do a review later. Bok was primarily known as a wonderful creator of fantasy and horror book and magazine illustrations. This is one of his masterpieces, illustrating HP Lovecraft's Pickman's Model.

Soundtrack: Tin Soldiers by Stiff Little Fingers.

No kissing zone

A No Kissing sign has been unveiled at Warrington Bank Quay railway station. A spokesman has said that this is a "light-hearted" way of easing traffic congestion: apparently people spend too much time kissing goodbye at the station entrance, holding up traffic and generally being a nuisance. Perhaps they ought to put up a No Jobsworths sign instead. Personally, I think the above photo is the only sane response.

Soundtrack: Give 'Em Hell, Kid by My Chemical Romance.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Would you like a roll in ze hay?

I've just been watching Close Encounters for the ten-thousandth time (approximately) and it's occurred to me that the film's secret weapon is Teri Garr. I know, I know, the special effects and sheer spectacle still look amazing even in today's CGI-saturated media landscape, Richard Dreyfuss is just perfect as everyman Roy Neary, and the direction is impeccable of course. But...
Teri is just so funny, sexy and believable as Ronnie Neary, trying to deal with her husband's seeming mental breakdown. The fact that she is such a cow to him and then walks out on him might go against her, but hey  -  I'm the forgiving type. She's also great in one of my other favourite films, Young Frankenstein, as herr doktor's "lab assistant", Inga. Woof!
On a more serious note, Teri Garr has been living with MS for over 20 years and has done a lot of work for America's National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which named her Ambassador Of The Year in 2005. So, here's to a very talented, and brave, actress.

Soundtrack: The Last Waltz by The Band.

Thursday 12 February 2009

The Grim Ghost

Over at The Bronze Age Of Blogs, Pete Doree has been talking about The Destructor, one of the few decent comics the short-lived Atlas Group published in the '70s. Here's another diamond in the rough: Ernie Colon's Grim Ghost. This was a character with a lot of potential in the age of Ghost Rider, Son Of Satan etc. but it wasn't to be as Atlas soon sank under the weight of its own mediocrity. Anyway, here are three great covers, two from Colon and one from Russ Heath.

Soundtrack: Desolation Row by My Chemical Romance.

Monday 9 February 2009

The New York Look 1969

Pic courtesy of life Magazine Photo Archives.
Joe Bloke of Grantbridge Street and Other Misadventures recently said we ought to check out these archives. He's right, they're definitely worth a look for hundreds of random images from the history of Life Magazine. Obviously very American-orientated, but that's not a problem when you find pics like the one above. Oh for a time-machine...

Soundtrack: Tempted by Squeeze.

Sunday 8 February 2009

Sledging UK or Who Needs The Alps?

Another good day sledging, this time at Coaley Peak and Selsley Common. We even managed to drag Sophie along today and she had a great time. The kids have definitely not seen as much snow as this in their lives, and we haven't for a long time either. More snow is forecast for tonight but, even if we don't get any more, we made the most of the last weeks' snowfall. We've been left with a broken sledge, a few bruises, loadsa photos and some great memories. Same time next year?

Soundtrack: Brimful Of Asha by Corner Shop
Carwash Hair by Mercury Rev

Movie update: I watched about half of Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy last night. I've always avoided the so-called "Frat Pack" of Will Ferrell and friends, apart from the SNL "More Cowbell" sketch which I've always thought was great. Anyway, Anchorman was hilarious and showed me what a snob I've been. I'll definitely have to watch the whole film when I get the chance.
"Hey Ron, I'm riding a furry tractor!"

More snow...

This is me, Sarah and James up on Painswick Beacon ( Stroud ) today, in some of the deepest snow I've seen since I was a kid. There were loads of people there, sledging on pieces of plastic, green recycling- box lids, baby baths (!), snowboards, and - in our case - cracked plastic sledges. Good fun.

Friday 6 February 2009

The Garbage Man

I've heard tonight that Lux Interior, frontman of The Cramps, died a couple of days ago of heart failure, aged 62. The Cramps's Wikipedia entry describes their music as garage rock / trash punk / psychobilly: pretty accurate for once. Lux and his wife Poison Ivy Rorshach were consummate rock 'n' rollers who synthesised all their passions ( 1950s rock and roll, trashy horror films, really tight leather trousers ) into one kick-ass, wild, unpredictable band. A lot like Keane, really  -  ho ho. The psychobilly genre of the '80s really comprised  a bunch of also-rans trying to be The Cramps, but failing. The Cramps were genuinely one of a kind.

"I've got a garbage brain that's driving me insane..."
RIP Lux Interior 21/10/1946  -  4/2/2009.

Soundtrack: Off The Bone by The Cramps.

Snow time for bad puns

Here are some ( slightly blurry ) photos of our back garden Sarah took yesterday. This was before the snow really hit Gloucestershire hard this morning. Blizzard time! What gets me is the one day this week I had a day off work ( Wednesday ) it didn't snow - bugger! Anyway, I finished work early today and we went for a walk through the slushy streets of Quedgeley down to the canal, just as the sun began to set, turning the snow pink. Then home for sausage, chips and curry sauce. I know, I know: it's a dirty job, this jet-setting lifestyle, but someone's gotta do it. The temperature has dropped ( it's meant to be minus 5 tonight ) and now the road outside is like a sheet of glass - nice! As the council has made a right balls-up of the gritting, the main roads will probably be just as bad. Memo to self: buy some skates.

Wednesday 4 February 2009

Lost toys part two ( Muton )

( Pics courtesy of Vortex Productions. )
Another long lost toy, foolishly abandoned when I was a teenager and too "old" and "cool" for such things. What was I thinking? This is the mighty Muton, a Denys Fisher action figure ( were they called "action figures" in those pre-PC days, or just "dolls"? ), based I believe on a Japanese original.
The main attraction of Muton is, of course, the ability to see his internal organs ( nice! ) through the exo-skeleton, and to be able to take his head off to reveal the mutant brain within. These were serious considerations for the young male planning a morning of toy battles. Issued alongside Muton were Cyborg and Android, all ready for team-ups and/or clashes. Happy days!
Soundtrack: Labelled With Love by Squeeze.


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