Thursday, 26 July 2018

July 26th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

Wherever you go on the internet, people are getting excited about the impending release of the new Godzilla movie but, on this night in 1978, we had something even more exciting than that to look forward to.

And that was Gorgo!

It's true. That was the night BBC One was showing the terrifying true story of a prehistoric monster wreaking havoc in Ireland and London before the film gave us a shock twist that threatened to destroy our sanity forever.

But what of the Marvel UK mags of that week? Were they too threatening to destroy our sanity?

And, if so, did they succeed?

Star Wars Weekly #25

All I can say with any certainty about this issue is that it features a John Byrne Star-Lord tale and what appears to be Part 2 of the Tales of the Watcher story Run Roco Run.

It does seem amazing that Tales of the Watcher strips (which I remember as being extremely short) were being split into parts. They must have been given barely more than two or three pages per issue.

In other exciting news, the back cover features another informational piece by the Green Cross Code Man.

Needless to say, I have yet again taken his road-safety advice on board.

Mighty World of Marvel #304, Hulk and Dr Strange vs Paragon

The Hulk and Doctor Strange are still battling against Paragon, while the Invaders are still fighting Master Man and Warrior Woman. All three of these villains are products of an attempt to create the ultimate human being. Scientists! Will they never learn?

The back cover features a Hulk pinup by John Romita which depicts Bruce Banner in the process of Hulking out.

It strikes me that this is quite a rarity. I'm wondering if this is the only time the jazzy one ever drew Banner in the act of transformation.

Super Spider-Man #285, the Green Goblin

Spidey's still faced with the menace of the fake Green Goblin.

Meanwhile, Thor and Hercules are battling a whole bunch of bad guys in a tale I have no memory of, even though I must have read it.

The back cover features an ad for a thing called a Rota-Plane which appears to be a self-assembly toy with revolving wings. Just how airworthy this contraption was, I couldn't say because, tragically, I've been unable to find a single video of it on YouTube.

But, hold on a minute, I thought you could find a video of anything on YouTube. This is a turn of events even more likely to destroy my tentative grasp on sanity than the revelations of Gorgo could.


Timothy Field said...

I remember the Rotaplane ads, better still were the full-page adverts in Star Wars Weekly for the blatant Light Sabre knock-offs. Don't know how they got away with that.

Killdumpster said...


Gorgo is in my DVD library. Thanks for helping me decide what to watch tonight. It's been a few years.

If I remember correctly, Gorgo has the distinction of being a film that has no female stars or supporting characters, except for Gorgo's mother.

As far as the new Godzilla movie, I'm less than enthusiastic. In my opinion, Hollywood is incapable of making a good Godzilla film.

Guess I'm too old school. Give me the monster suits & bad dubbing anyday of the week.

Hmmm. Is there a post coming up discussing everyone's favorite giant Japanese monster movies possibly in the works?

Steve W. said...

Timothy,I always wondered how they got away with the light sabre battles in the movie Star Crash. George Lucas' lawyers must have been having the day off when that was released.

Killdumpster, I'm quite intrigued by it because of it featuring a whole pile of much-loved monsters.

Killdumpster said...

I wouldn't be surprised, since it was only one scene, that Lucas gave Roger Corman a walk on the light-saber in Star Crash. Lucas being a "beginner", and Corman an established "legend". Heck, they probably had drinks & laughs about it at the Brown Derby.

I remember riding with my father and going past a drive-inn theater whose marquee announced KING KONG VS GODZILLA! I begged for us to go, but he said the rest of the family wouldn't want to see it.

There was a DESTROY ALL MONSTERS pinball machine a an independent department store we used to go to. Never got to master it, because I only got to play it twice.

It cost 25 cents, while all the other games were 10 cents. My parents were insanely frugal.

I was quite the "pinball wizard" in my younger days. Mom would give me a dime and I'd still have credits after she shopped & checked out.

Colin Jones said...

I have no memory of Gorgo at all - if I've ever seen it I've long forgotten it!

Killdumpster, do you still have drive-in theaters in America? They never existed over here - the British weather is too unpredictable I suppose. Not much fun watching a movie in the rain!

Steve, do you know that next Tuesday (July 31st) is the 50th anniversary of "Dad's Army"? Don't panic!

Killdumpster said...


Yes, there are a few left, and there's two that are close to me locally.

The Riverside has special events like a four movie horror/sci-fi marathon that you can campout overnight after.

The Starlight has 3 screens, each playing double bills. They also have miniature golf & a cool Creature from the Black Lagoon pinball machine.

Steve W. said...

Colin, I've not seen Gorgo in at least twenty years, so I don't recall if it's any good or not. I do know that Steve Ditko once did a comic book adaptation of it. I was vaguely aware of the Dad's Army anniversary but not its exact date.

Apparently, three or four years ago, there used to be a monthly drive-in cinema in the centre of my home town. I must confess to having been totally unaware of its existence until about five minutes ago. I believe the site is now earmarked for a block of flats, so it looks like it won't be coming back.

Killdumpster said...

It's sad to see any of them go. My favorite was the Skyway. Always a triple bill, and if you had your parking lights on between features they'd come to your car and take your pizza order, then announce your number over the speakers for pickup.

It's a housing development now.

Anonymous said...

I caught an interesting interview on NPR a while back, with some guy that owns a drive-in movie theater up in Canada. Apparently they're getting squeezed by the big movie studios like Disney, and they have to show those crap movies for three weeks, about two weeks after everybody's lost interest. He says Canada is down to about 35 or so drive-ins now, and he's hanging by a thread.
I have fond memories of a local drive-in from when I was a kid, but honestly the only reason you went there was in hopes of making out with a girl in your car. Otherwise, what was the point?
When I was sixteen or so I took a nice girl to see Friday the Thirteenth part two or three at the drive-in and I never got up the nerve to make my move, and she and I had to sit through that piece of crap for no reason. I blame myself.


Killdumpster said...


Like in all aspects of life, nothing is worse than a missed opportunity. Always seize the day.

I always got lucky at the drive-inns, but I made sure that I had a little style. Took out this girl that was the daughter of one of the richest guys in my town. I had 4 bottles of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill in the cooler. Cheap stuff, but girls drank it like soda. I cleared out my cassette case & packed a pair of my mom's cut crystal wine goblets, rapped in linen napkins.

She was ultra-impressed. After just one bottle, she grabbed me and said " How do you feel about being raped?" I said "My parents aren't home, let's go back to my place". We shagged for hours.

We were together for a year, then I dumped her over something stupid. She always did anything for me. I had a tendency to treat women like toilet paper for a couple decades, which I now regret.

Always seize the day.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

I went to the drive ins a few times. NOrthwest INdiana had several through the 80s.

Never with a girl, always with buddies.

Last memory was seeing something like "Florida Prison Chain gang Girls" which was r-rated, not x, and generally idiotic. Went with my brother and 3 -4 other guys in our van. My brother (17) says I'll be back in a minute and goes with a couple of buddies. I figure to take a leak. (no, not to smoke dope)

10 minutes later as we are watching the movie the whole place lights up with bottle rockets and every other incendiary you could buy in Tennessee. My brother and friends are silhouetted by all this exploding in front of the screen as they run towards us.

It did not take a genius to figure this out, lol.

THey had used cigarettes for timed fuses...

Charlie Horse 47 said...

You know what, I did go with a girl once and drove away with the stupid ass speaker rolled up in my window. RIpped the thing out of the post that it was mounted to, outside, lol. Man did I feel stupid. (No I didn't "get any" in case you are wondering, lol.)

But it was designed to "break away" actually, so I put the speaker next to the post. Guess I wasn't the first to do that...

Did it once at a gas station too, some years ago, one early morning going to work. THank God that was designed to break away too!

Colin Jones said...

Never thought I'd see words like "shagged" and "toilet paper" on Steve Does Comics.

Surely the end of civilisation is nigh :D

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Colin That’s a big Lol!!! I

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Ooops. I realize I thanked Red for sharing but it' HB. Anyhow, that's a cool room! Yep - keep that dehumidifier running! Which reminds me to go empty mine, in the basement, LOL.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wrong Blog dudes. Sorry. I was toggling to BitBA.

Killdumpster said...

Colin, never underestimate how deep into the human life experience I can & will delve into.

I'm not Killdumpster for nothing.

Charlie, don't feel like a fool for forgetting the window speakers. I've been to drive-inns forever, and saw it happen at least 30-40 times. The best thing the theaters did was transmit radio to our car stereos. Finally great sound, if you had a good setup, which I always do.

The Skyway drive-inn was a kick-ass place. One day in my late teens I was off work on a Saturday, because I was employed at National Record Mart. Was home alone with nothing to do but get high.

My buddy called me and said,"Let's go to the drive-inn! I got a fifth of JD & a big bag of dope!" I rallied myself instantly and tore off down the road to pick him up.

On the way to the theater, he couldn't roll a joint. Found out it was fresh, as he had raided a mutual friend's patch. I said "Brian's going to kill you!"

Turned around and went back to my place to microwave the fresh weed. My family could be home at any moment, so I posted my pal on the porch. His job was to stall everyone till I could wrap everything up. Which he had to.

We booked out and when we got to the Skyway we knew almost at least 40% of everybody there. It was a great triple bill, MEATBALLS, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE & VANISHING POINT.

The Skyway's concession stand faced away from the screen, with a row of bleachers w/speakers faceing it. That's where we hooked up to bounce from car-to-car for girls,booze & drugs.

Incredible night, so much fun. I woke up in my driveway not remembering getting there. My pal didn't remember me driving him home.

Looked over my car for dents or blood.
Was Scott-free.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - may I ask what state you are in (geographical)? Just want to see how many miles separate us, lol.

It seems like an unnatural combination though: JD, weed, and comics?

Killdumpster said...


Pittsburgh,PA. That probably explains quite a bit.

Killdumpster said...

Weed and Jack Daniels is way history. Along with LSD, mushrooms & quaaludes.

I enjoy Steve's site not only for the fond nostalgic views of the comics we grew up with, but how his intros on his posts have the possibility of going anywhere. Steve seems to be not limited to a small linear plane.

Cheers, Steve.

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, if I recall correctly, you reside somewhere in Illinois.

When I was a "kid", hopped up on Jolt cola and cocaine, I drove an overloaded van from the 'Burgh to downtown Chicago in 6 hours.

I love road trips, and so does my '72 340 Dodge Dart Swinger. If you want to meet up sometime on a weekend for burgers & beers, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Shit, Killdumpster, you're from Pittsburgh?
Okay, now I get it. It makes sense now.;)


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I think we should all meet at Steve's in SHeffield! He is the one who brings us together! We could take him out for burgers and beer or fish and chips!

Steve - what say ye?

(PIttsburgh... Gary... Cleveland... Milwaukee... Lovely rust belt cities...) But you do have that spiffy PPG glass building!

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