Tuesday, 3 December 2019

The Marvel Lucky Bag - December 1969.

Only two records claimed the Number One spot on the UK singles chart in December 1969.

The first was Sugar Sugar by the Archies. The second was Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris.

Needless to say, I'll move swiftly on from that point but I will add that Kenny Rogers must have felt a bit fed-up, as his track Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town spent the entire month stuck at Number Two.

Amazingly, on the last chart before Christmas Day, there was not one Christmas song in the Top 50. The nearest we got to anything with any kind of relevance to the season was the presence, at Number 44, of the Hollies.

Admittedly, despite the band's Christmassy name, the record itself was not at all topical, being He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.

Over on the album chart, the Beatles began the month at Number One, with Abbey Road, before the Rolling Stones' Let it Bleed deposed them.

However, the Stones' triumph over their old rivals was short-lived, as, the following week, Abbey Road once more ascended to the top and stayed there for the rest of the month, making it the Christmas Number One for that year. Not that anyone ever talks about the Christmas Number One when it comes to LPs.

That month, the cinemas of the world unleashed upon us A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Hello, Dolly!, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? and something called The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes which starred Kurt Russell. As you'd possibly guess from the title, it was a Disney movie and, even though I've never heard of it, it spawned two sequels, both starring Kurt Russell.

Captain Marvel #19

Rick Jones moves into a block of flats whose sociologist landlord wants to torture his tenants to death, so he can make a fortune from writing a book about how he did it.

I'm not sure he's thought this plan through, as the book would be a confession to mass murder.

Still, in the end, it doesn't matter, because Captain Marvel's on hand to give him the good flattening he deserves.

Chamber of Darkness #2, enter... the Red Death

Chamber of Darkness unveils its second, diabolical, issue. In it, an escaped prisoner is replaced by a four-armed alien, a shaving man sees a ghostly face in his mirror, and we get a modern-day retelling of The Masque of the Red Death, set in a concrete bunker.

Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD #16, Hydra

Apparently, Hydra operatives follow Nick Fury around, in the hope he'll lead them to SHIELD's HQ.

Somehow, this leads to them being hypnotised into attacking completely the wrong building. Oh, Hydra, will you never learn?

Silver Surfer #11

No sooner is the Surfer reunited with his beloved Shalla-Bal than she suffers a potentially fatal injury which requires him to send her back to Zenn-La for medical treatment.

As the Surfer's repeatedly demonstrated the ability to resurrect the all-but dead, I'm not totally sure why he needs to send her back home, rather than curing her himself.

Sub-Mariner #20, Dr Doom

Hooray! Who doesn't love a good scrap between Namor and Doom?

As usual, Doomsie wants Subby to team up with him, in order that they can conquer the world together.

As usual, Subby doesn't like the idea.

As usual, it all ends in a punch-up.

Our Love Story #2

More sobbing onto pillows ensues, as Our Love Story hits its second issue of unbridled lachrymosity.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Given you are posting "Love Stories" Charlie is more than willing to deal with the titles being in non-alpha order!

Hey - in the UK was was "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" a hit? IIRC it was #1 in the US of A at this time 50 years ago?

Also, supposedly it was the inspiration for "We will We will Rock You."

Anyhow... just a few short weeks to the release of Jack Kirby's Dingbat Love!

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the original version reached Number 9 in the UK. The 1980s Bananarama version made Number 5.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - Yowza - I didn't know that! I'm youtubing Bananarama now! Nice cover, I must say!

So I just wiki'd them. Quote: "They often performed impromptu sets or backing vocals at gigs for such bands as The Monochrome Set, The Professionals, Iggy Pop, Department S, The Nipple Erectors, and The Jam.[6][7]"

I'm imagine our dear chums KD and Sean will know the most about these groups? Who the hell were "The Nipple Erectors"??? I know it's Xmas time and I should be more reverent but, well...

And "Iggy Pop"? That name keeps popping up...

But I could not find a Sheffield connection. This suggests that "free bus fare" may not be mandatory for synth-music-British-Invasion #2 success?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

UK Chaps are you familiar with the following? Might it be worth a purchase? I thank you, and Charlie thanks you, for your thoughts!

The Rise and Fall of The Trigan Empire started out in Ranger in 1965, a companion magazine to Look and Learn Then, the two titles merged, bringing The Trigan Empire to Look and Learn in 1966. ...told the story of a distant planet called Elekton and its strange culture that seemed like a mash up of Ancient Rome, futuristic technology and a good dollop of fantasy thrown in for good measure.

The stories were intriguing but it was Don Lawrence's photo-realistic artwork and stunning use of colour that made it compelling.

The Trigan Empire ran in Look and Learn until its final issue in 1982.

Anonymous said...

I reckon the girl on the cover of 'Our Love Story' #2 is overcome due to the emotional intensity of the lyrics to 'Two Little Boys'. That or because her boyfriend looks a lot like Peter Parker.


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sorry for posting so much...

Not only was Abbey Road # 1 50 years ago, but apparently it is the number 1 album now +/- since October 2019. Guess it was re-released.

And I was heart broken to read that Ringo's famous drum solo was kluged together by the engineer Geoff Emerick per his book. Just heard a recent interview with Ringo wherein he was asked about that drum solo... "how'd you do it Ringo boy?" To which he replied, "I don't know... no idea... doubt I could do it again." (Something like that.)

Redartz said...

Oh man, December 1969 was a sparkling time in my childhood! Frosty the Snowman first aired. I was still buying comics from Marvel and DC, but had started reading Archie. And as a huge "Peanuts" reader (got countless paperback volumes from Scholastic books at school, did you UK kids have book orders at school?), I was ecstatic when my parents took me to see "A Boy Named Charlie Brown ". Oh, and sorry for the lengthy, poorly conceived sentence above.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I know about the Nipple Erectors is that their singer was a pre-Pogues Shane McGowan, Charlie.
For further insight into how Ringo Starr's drumming was recorded -

The Marvel update of Masque of the Red Death was drawn by dashing Don Heck, who not only worked on two stories in that Chamber of Darkness issue but also put in an appearance in person (the artists themselves did the introductions, replacing the "horror host" of the previous issue).
Anyone who hasn't read it isn't missing much.


Steve W. said...

Cjharlie,. I once did a brief review of The Trigan Empire which you can find right here: https://stevedoescomics.blogspot.com/search/label/Trigan%20Empire

Redartz, I think we had school book orders but it was a long time ago, so I'm not totally certain. It does ring a bell, though, so we probably did.

Sean, thanks for the Nipple Erectors and Don Heck info.

DW, I'm sure she'll have no trouble finding a new boyfriend who also looks just like Peter Parker, or in making new female friends who all look exactly like herself. It must be weird to live in a world where John Romita is God and there are only about five faces shared between seven billion people.

Killdumpster said...

Steve, you mentioning all those songs sparked a childhood memory. I was putting together an Aurora Jekyll & Hyde model kit while those tunes played on the radio.

Doom vs. Namor always made for a good book. Definetly a "first grab". I don't think I missed a single issue of Supervillian Team-Up when that comic came out.

School book sales were a great source of excited anticipation. While I did get a Peanuts paperback once, I usually ordered horror classics or monster movie books. Later I would order Dynamite magazine.

I had a copy of Chamber of Darkness, but at that time I preferred Where Monsters Dwell-type comics at that time.

Killdumpster said...

I'd usually order the books in the "older kid" section. My 2nd & 3rd grade teachers would try to talk me out of them. I told them I had a dictionary. It may have taken me awhile, but I managed to whittle away at those books.

Heck, reading Marvel comics at an early age, a dictionary came in handy. I got it as a Christmas present because my parents were fed up by my asking what some of the words Stan Lee used meant. Lol!

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, oh my brother,
A day without Iggy Pop, like Rick Jones, is like a day without sunshine.

Killdumpster said...

Redartz, I also experienced the television debut of the Frosty the Snowman cartoon.

Jimmy Duarante LIVES!!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

IF we are going to recount Xmas shows, I can say with great certainty that I've spent the last 17 years working on the "Island of Misfit Toy."

Killdumpster said...

Charlie, I'm beginning to think I AM a misfit toy.

Redartz said...

KD- yes, that Frosty debut was a biggie. Still remember watching it at my Grandmother's house (she had a color tv). Ah, the designs of Paul Coker Jr....

KD and Charlie-likely to be etched on my tombstone: "Even among misfits you're a misfit". Never wanted to be a dentist, though.

Anonymous said...

Xmas shows? My fave American one was the stop-motion animated Junky's Xmas, William Burroughs' heart-warming tale about the difficulties of trying to score during the festive season...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

I should be sleeping right now, b/c I have to return to the island of misfit toys in about 8 hours but I can't b/c Red and KD have me laughing so hard.

Sean - you are a wizard! You come up with more shows, comics, etc. I never heard of. Junky's Xmas... w.t.h... LOL.

Maybe Charlie's heard of it... I'll ask.