Tuesday, 22 September 2015

"Go Badge Mad, With Marvel!"

Marvel UK badges, December 1974 Bob Dylan once said, "Ma, take this badge off of me. I can't wear it anymore."

Clearly it couldn't have been a Marvel badge because a man would never feel such a way about such a thing. Why, he would go to his grave, clutching it to his chest, with rigor mortised fingers, sooner than have it removed from him.

I've mentioned in the past that, in my childhood, I had two Marvel badges, one with the Sub-Mariner on it and one with the Thing on it.

For some reason, Subby was bright red. Perhaps he was merely embarrassed to be depicted fighting seaweed. Or perhaps the people who were to blame for always miscolouring Dinky Toys' copies of Gerry Anderson vehicles had got hold of him.

The Thing, fortunately, was the correct colour and was accompanied by some fabulously 1970s lettering.

Thanks to my supreme detective skills (ie, getting some comics out of a wardrobe), I've tracked down the adverts for those very badges and discovered they were for sale in December 1974, which at least lets me know what I was doing in that month of that year.

I have nothing profound to say about the badges in this ad other than that, when I got mine, I was impressed by their larger-than-average size and that I think I got the best two, although I do also like the Silver Surfer and Conan ones. The Spider-Man one is also interesting for its unconventional camera angle and sense of design.

As with all offers from ancient comics, I'm sorely tempted to send off for them and see if I receive them. I like to think that somewhere, forty one years later, there's a warehouse in Tunbridge Wells with piles of these badges still in it, just waiting to be mailed out to the eager children of Britain, whatever their current ages.


Colin Jones said...

Yes, I remember this advert - I'd only started reading Marvel comics in November '74 and the only comic I was getting at first was Planet Of The Apes so I'd have seen this advert and not known who any of the characters on the badges actually were. And Conan didn't make his Marvel UK debut till March 1975 so there must have been readers who didn't know who he was ? By the way, Steve, I read your BAB comment about 'Girls' School' - amazingly I'd never heard the song despite it technically having been #1 for 9 weeks as half of a double A-side. But I searched on YouTube and there it was so I've finally heard it nearly 38 years late :)

Steve W. said...

Colin, I actually listened to it on Youtube after I'd posted the comment, not having heard it in donkey's years. It was possibly better than I'd remembered - vaguely reminiscent of The Who's Squeezebox - although it did give the impression that Macca had been watching too many St Trinian's movies before he wrote it.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which.... Supertramp, Steve? Really?
You'll be enthusing about pigs heads next....


Colin Jones said...

Ha - yes, Steve - your mention of Supertramp and 'Eton Rifles' in that comment was very topical.

Steve W. said...

Sean, I merely acknowledge the existence of Supertramp. I pass no judgement on them.

Colin, that's me. Subverting the system at every chance. It's why the elite live in mortal dread of me.

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