Thursday, 9 August 2018

August 9th, 1978 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

If you're a fan of vigorous physical activity that's not quite as good as the Olympics, you were in luck in this week of forty years ago because, thanks to BBC One, we were getting a healthy dose of the Commonwealth Games from Edmonton, Canada. This was back in the days when we were so bad at the Olympics that the Commonwealth Games was the only chance we ever got to see British sportspeople not come in last.

Among those British athletes coming so not last that they actually won gold were Daley Thompson, Alan Wells, Brendan Foster, Geoff Capes, Tessa Sanderson, Sonia Lannaman and David Moorcroft.

Possibly moving at a more leisurely pace than any of those people was ex Blue Peter host Valerie Singleton. She was in the process of travelling the entire length of Offa's Dyke, for Nationwide. I can think of nothing interesting to say about this event but I just like the thought of Valerie Singleton travelling the length of Offa's Dyke, which is the sort of feat you'd more normally associate with John Noakes and Shep.

Anyway, Marvel UK, what was it up to in that self-same week?

Star Wars Weekly #27

What's this? Waterworld? Are we about to read the greatest movie sci-fi crossover since Starcrash Meets Death Race 2000? Does Kevin Costner finally get to team up with Harrison Ford?

Call me a wet blanket but I suspect he doesn't.

As for the cover's question of whether Chewbacca is dead, I'm guessing he's not.

I can say absolutely nothing about the contents of this issue but I do know the back cover is a full-page cartoon feature about Fatty Foulke, the legendarily huge Sheffield United goalkeeper whose playing weight ended up peaking at 26 stones and who once stopped a game by breaking the crossbar. It's always good to see a Sheffield sporting legend getting national coverage.

Mighty World of Marvel #306, Hulk vs the Leader

This is an odd cover. If you'd never read a Hulk story before, you might think the Leader is this tale's protagonist and the Hulk is its villain.

That aside, by an incredible coincidence, this issue's back cover also features the Fatty Foulke back-page piece. Clearly, you can never get too much Fatty Foulke in your life.

As for the insides, I do believe Daredevil is still up against Kraven the Hunter, while, in The Fantastic Four, the High Evolutionary's literally walking on air and is all set to take on Galactus to decide the fate of Counter-Earth.

Super Spider-Man #287

Unless I miss my guess, Spidey's still up against Bart Hamilton's Green Goblin.

Other than that, I can say nothing of this issue's contents.

Nor can I confirm nor deny the presence of Fatty Foulke on the back cover. That information is currently unavailable to me.


dangermash said...

This week's Spider-Man is the first half of Part 3 of 5 in this Green Goblin story, or week 5 of 10 to us U.K. readers.

Taking a quick look at the pdf, the most interesting bit for me is Glory Grant popping round with a home made carrot milkshake for PP to try. He's not impressed. Apart from that, just a scuffle with Silvermane's gang and MJ fretting why PP hasn’t visited Aunt May in hospital.

And in your MWOM description, Steve, glad to see no mention of They Who Shall Not Be Named.

Steve W. said...

Who? The Invaders?

Steve W. said...

I kind of feel guilty for not mentioning them. I wonder which random person has been turned into a super-soldier in this issue?

dangermash said...

Yes I was thinking The I*******.

Killdumpster said...

Mostly at least half of the blame of the I******* was the "Artist Whom Will Not Be Named"...

It's so sad, introspect, that a potential premise with iconic characters was such a disappointment.

Some great covers by Jack Kirby & Gil Kane on the American issues , though.

Timothy Field said...

Were the weird football facts adverts for crisps?

Killdumpster said...

I think all of us have beat this dead horse into a bloody pulp.

Killdumpster said...

Are you saying a potato chip (which I believe you folks call "crisps") used an athletic sport as an avenue for their advertising?

That is weird, especially when most nutritionists say a 2 oz bag takes a day off your life.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

C'mon UK dudes! The "I" saved Britain from the clutches of Ubermensch Mann! A little gratitude! LOL!

I enjoy beating the "I" horse, or flogging the "I" dolphin, or pounding the "I" porpoise...

The unnamed artist, who drove us all nutz that read that series, has caused untold PTSD.

But still I ask myself, why the heck they (and DC) gave this dude a job on primo books? I mean, were they short of artists in a desperate way? He also did Cap, The SHadow... was he working for free so the profit margins were fat or...?

Hey Premier League actions is just 48 hours away!!!

Killdumpster said...

I would buy the books, knowing what was inside. If I bought 1 or 2 other books, I*******s' was the last one. F***** R****** got entirely too much work. I remember a Marvel Premier starring Legion of Monsters. Ghost Rider! Werewolf by Night! Morbius! Man-Thing!

A Marvel Zombie/monster kid's dream book. Kick-ads cover.

Bought it Just on that, opened it up, and there it was. F**** R******. That excuse that everyone uses for his slipshod non-backgrounds & physically impossible anatomy contortions because he was "retro-like of the golden age" didn't jibe with that tale. He just sucks. Would rather read the same tales drawn by Don Heck or Don Perlin.

FB was just down right horrible.

Like I said about the horse.

Nuff Said!

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, I think it was the guy was just fast. Deadlines went met too many times.

Killdumpster said...

Meant non-met. So many reprints with new issue covers.

Killdumpster said...

The "Dreaded Deadline Doom". And Marvel didn't have anyone like Kirby, who could crank out 300 pages a day, and still be QUALITY.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I tend to assume you know who got regular work on the Invaders and the Shadow because his work had a bit of a '40s feel to it.
But then, he also drew the H**** F** so... maybe not.


Steve W. said...

Timothy, the football facts ads were indeed for crisps. Smiths crisps to be precise.

As for Frank Robbins, I am starting to feel sorry for him. I'm sure he was a lovely man and I do like his work on the Shadow and Luke Cage, even if I have serous problems with his work on anything else.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Wait, Robbins drew Luke Cage too? I experienced Cap, Shadow, Invaders and developed PTSD accordingly, but also Luke??? I never read an HF story though the covers seemed decent at times.

Well FRs stuff did have a 40s feel which is how I rationalized buying Invaders and Shadow but it still hurt.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve thank you for allowing these quarterly therapy sessions in which i/ we can exorcise the FR demons haunting us since the early 1970s. Much obliged sir.

Hey did you guys know the first two albums by the GoGos went platinum??? I just learned that reading a back ish of Creem magazine from 1983! How’s that for trivia???

Colin Jones said...

I had all three of this week's issues so I must have seen the Fatty Foulke crisps ads but I just googled him and apparently he played cricket too.
And he died aged 42, the same age as Elvis and Billy Fury...spooky or what??

Nowadays the only point of the Commonwealth Games is to remind us that the Commonwealth still exists. Does anybody care about the Commonwealth except the Queen?

Steve W. said...

Charlie, Frank Robbins did indeed draw Luke Cage at one point. I have no idea how many issues he drew but, by clicking on this link, you can find my review of one of the issues he drew.

I must confess I didn't even know the Go-Gos had made more than one album. I'm afraid they weren't exactly high profile in Britain. In fact, looking at Wikipedia, only one of their albums made the Top 75 and that peaked at number 75.

Colin, I have a soft-spot for the Commonwealth Games. There's an endearing pointlessness to them. Sort of like the Commonwealth itself.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

HI Steve, as long as you are chatting about music, lol...

Have you UK dudes ever heard of Ian Dury? THe dude has a relatively huge and positive writeup in that July 83 issue of Creem as compared to Tears for Fears and Culture Club who are described mostly as cream puff posers.

Steve W. said...

Ian Dury is a legendary figure in British music and was something of a national institution. He had a number of hits in the late 70s and early 80s, including a Number One with Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. His debut album New Boots and Panties sold a bucketload and is regarded as one of the all-time great albums. He sort of belonged in the same niche as Squeeze and Madness in being a purveyor of lyrical New Wave/Pub Cockney pop.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Shazam... I never heard of the gent and he's famous. Then again Go Gos with 2 platinum albums and they sell zilch in the UK. Go figure... LOL. But that was 35 - 40 years ago so...

I wonder if situations like that still exist between the UK and USA with the globalization and what not. What do you think?

I mean, here I am watching Midsomer Murders, Murder in Paradise, Father Brown, etc. on Netflix and these are all UK shows. One thing that amuses the wife and me is in those shows, when a woman chances upon the murdered victim, she screams bloody hell for several seconds. It's actually become quite amusing to us.

Killdumpster said...

I always put Ian Dury in the same kind of category with Nick Lowe & Elvis Costello. Believe a couple of those guys were on the same label at one time or another. Slash or Radar Records, probably distributed by Columbia here in the states.

They were a little light-weight for me at the time. I was full tilt for heavy metal & "real" punk rock back then

Killdumpster said...

Now that I think about it, I believe they were on the Stiff Records label.

Steve W. said...

They were indeed on Stiff Records.

Killdumpster said...

I went to my storage unit today, to pick up some music (I know I have a compilation with Plastic Bernard somewhere.)

Loe and behold. A comics box containing titles beginning with the letter "I" was visable and physically attainable.

Pulled out the I-guys books. Nope. There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ANYONE can convince me FB got work because "he was reminiscent of the golden age of comics".

All characters in any form of closeup look like they have Downes syndrome. A lizard eyes, one on each side of their head, is closer to a human face than in FB's illustrations.

And now to the epileptic twitching impossible joint and finger twitching in front of virtually non- existent backgrounds and mongoliod eyes and... err ... chest feels.. tight..... might need to...catch .... breath.......

Ladies & gentlemen, thank you for viewing "Really Bad Comic Art Theater".

Have a safe trip home, and don't forget to tip your waitress.

Killdumpster said...

He got work because he was fast. Plan and simple. His panels were probably layed up in under 5 minutes.

It's an insult to the golden-age artists that actually cared about their work to compare them to "You Know Who."

Killdumpster said...

All right. I Wiki'd F**** R******. He is dead. He also was a writer & artist during the golden age. His writing accomplishments outway his graphic art endeavors.

While many artists (Kirby being a prime example) who improve upon their art over years, in my observation FB's art regressed.

He probably knew alot of guys in the business, was relatively quick and could use a buck or two.

All this doesn't make his stuff any better, though.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - I'm with you... sounds like "supply and demand" and oddly one would think his art would have killed demand.

Dave S said...

Factoid: Frank Robbins was the original choice of penciller for Roger Mckenzie's run on Daredevil. When he wasn't available, the job instead went to a relatively inexperienced artist by the name of Frank Miller.

So maybe we should be thanking Mr Robbins for not being available as it eventually led to the Miller /Janson run on DD!

Incidentally, that's a strange tactic Spider-Man is employing on that last cover. I'm not sure I'd have the confidence to attack four armed men balls-first.

Steve W. said...

Thanks for the Frank Robbins DD info, Dave. I must confess I was totally unaware of it.

As for Spider-Man's goolies-first approach to danger. That's why he's a hero and the rest of us aren't.

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