Thursday, 2 April 2020

April 2nd, 1980 - Marvel UK, 40 years ago this week.

There's nothing this site appreciates more than failure.

And, on this night in 1980, it had plenty to appreciate because it was the night on which BBC Two's arts show Arena looked at Stephen Pile's The Book of Heroic Failures, a tome dedicated to true-life tales of those who've faltered.

Ironically, despite its subject matter, the book was a massive success, even spawning a sequel, thus defeating the whole point of its existence.

But you know who never fails?

Tarzan.

And, on that very evening, he was, no doubt, triumphing once more, as BBC One served up his movie Tarzan and the Spider People.

I've no doubt at all that I've seen this movie, as I've always found ancient Tarzan films irresistible but that doesn't mean I've any actual recollection of it.

Still, it features giant spiders and that means it must be good.

Also succeeding but in a very different way, were Genesis who, that week, hit the peak of the UK album chart, with their LP Duke.

Meanwhile, on the singles chart, the Jam were still supreme with Going Underground.

As for Marvel UK, they were going completely mad. Not satisfied with the million and one books they were already publishing; this month, they launched even more. At this rate, they were going to end up producing more books than their parent company.

But what were they? And how am I going to tackle them all in one post?


It's issue #2 of the company's first pocket book, as Chiller dispenses more action from the lord of the undead.

This month, we're blessed with continuing drama from the later issues of Tomb of Dracula but we also get a Ghost Rider tale that includes the Phantom Eagle. How this meeting happens, I could not even speculate.

Marvel UK, Frantic #2, Miss Piggy and Star Trek

It's the second issue of the book which promises to bring endless mirth and merriment into our lives, as we get the Muppet/Star Trek crossover we all demanded.

I really don't know what Fun Funerals is. I assume it's not based on a TV show?

Marvel UK, Savage Sword of Conan #30

It's yet more of Conan's daily struggles with the paranormal, as our hero must confront The Moon of Blood.

That's not a title which rings any bells for me, so I'll assume it's not a Robert E Howard adaptation.
Incredible Hulk Weekly #57, Silver Surfer

The Hulk's still battling Sasquatch, thanks to the artistic pairing of Sal Buscema and Alfredo Alcala, which is not a team-up I can remember ever seeing outside of this Hulk tale.

The Surfer's still battling that big mutant bloke who's taken over the universe in the far-flung future.

The Beast's trying to make amends with Iron Man for having tried to strangle him to death.

From The Defenders, we finally get my most fondly remembered storyline of theirs, as the Valkyrie enrolls at college.

Granted, that means the introduction of Lunatik can't be far away - which isn't such good news.

Elsewhere, Iron Man's still battling the Mandarin's robot Hulk.

Rampage Magazine #22, the Hulk

For those who, even after all that, haven't had enough of the gamma-powered brute, there's good news because he's in Africa and the target of hunters who're out to kill him.

The New X-Men have their first encounter with Magneto - and don't do very well, from what I remember.

Dr Strange is on the hunt for someone called Xander in some place called the Quadriverse.

Spectacular Spider-Man Weekly #369

It would appear Doc Ock's trying to steal a nuclear submarine.

Bearing in mind that the last time he got involved with nuclear reactors, he managed to blow up an entire island and end up being haunted by the, "ghost," of Hammerhead, you'd have thought he'd have learnt his lesson by now.

Then again, maybe the nuclear submarine belongs to Aunt May and he's only picking it up for her? Who can know?

Star Wars Weekly #110

Of the main Star Wars tale, I know nothing.

But I do know this issue features the staggering conclusion of whatever tale it is Star-Lord's involved in, as he annihilates a load of lizard people and walks off into the sunset with some old bloke.

Next week, he'll be replaced by Howard Chaykin's Monark Starstalker.

Marvel Superheroes #360, Count Nefaria

The Avengers haven't been faring too well against Count Nefaria - but now Thor's showed up and it's game on.

The Original X-Men find themselves up against Magneto and Lorna Dane.

The Champions are battling Pluto who's trying to force Hercules to marry Hippolyta.

Starburst #20, Leela

Hooray! Leela - the woman after whom they named a character in Futurama - makes the cover of the UK's top sci-fi mag,

Then again, so do Princess Leia, that woman from Forbidden Planet and Caroline Munro.

And it would appear we get a comparison between the first Star Trek movie and The Black Hole, neither of which I remember setting my mind on fire.

But what's this? The FF's Thing in his own TV series? When did this happen? Did it happen at all? And, if it didn't happen, why didn't it happen?

Doctor Who Weekly #25, the Movellans!

The nation celebrates as Doctor Who's most Discotastic villains the Movellans make the front cover.

That's right, the magazine's still looking at the robot foes of the Doctor.

Other than that, my knowledge of this week's contents is limited.

Therefore, I shall assume the strips which were present last week are still in situ.

Star Heroes pocket book #1, Battlestar Galactica

If Marvel UK's Chiller pocket book was feeling lonely, it need feel so no more because, hot on its heels, the company's launched another one, as Star Heroes hits the newsstands.

Battlestar Galactica and The Micronauts? In one comic? Who wouldn't want to buy that?

Probably me but I'm sure it's a good fun read, regardless.

The Fantastic Four Pocket Book #1

And we get yet another pocket book as the Fantastic Four version of that genre is unleashed.

And it hits us with a classic, as Dr Doom decides to wreck Reed and Sue's wedding, leading to all kinds of Kirby-drawn chaos.

Spider-Man Pocket Book #1

I've no idea what's in this, the first issue of Spidey's pocket book but I gather it's a title which, generally, makes heavy use of Marvel Team-Up tales.

63 comments:

Steve W. said...

Thirteen books a month, Marvel UK were now producing. What happened to the good old days when they were down to two books and these posts were easy?

Timothy Field said...

A heroic effort Steve, don't worry I'm sure these titles will drop like flies soon enough. I suspect the Thing tv show refers to the God-awful animated series. One of our American cousins should be able to fill you in on the full horror of it.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Steve - I was thinking you could just do a "Zoom" or internet thingy for us all to dial / connect into? We could then sing you happy birthday! Also, you could give us a brief synopsis of where Marvel UK is headed! I gather like Tim Field above writes above, that this explosion is a mere flash in the pan? A bit of fool's gold?

And this may qualify for dumb question of the year, so I apologize, but did Marvel UK ever write their own FF, Spidey and such or was it always reprinting the monthly comics we had.

Anonymous said...

Well, it looks like a lot of titles Steve, but only four of them are weeklies, and two of those - Star Wars and Doctor Who - are licensed. So in some ways its not so different from the days of just two weeklies, with the Hulk and Spidey in 'em.

Basically, the result seems to be that Marvel UK found another outside earner like Star Wars, and realized it was easier to sell us monthlies - with the higher cover price allowing for a smaller circulation - with full stories, which they'd already started doing before '79.

So with the Marvel UK revolution over its time for a show trial, as the whole new look weekly thing would seem to have been a bit of a pointless exercise.
To be fair to Dez though, and save him from the people's firing squad (sorry dangermash), the Pocket Books were a good idea, using the smaller size to make a monthly more affordable for younger kids. Maybe he should have done them from the start...?

-sean

Anonymous said...

PS "Into the Quadriverse" is the start of Jim Starlin's short run on Dr Strange, looking good inked by the mighty Rudy Nebres.
Unfortunately Marv Wolfman was still the writer, but Judo Jimbo started doing that with the next part (although with it being Rampage thats probably at least a couple of issues away).

Sorry Steve, but I think theres a new back up comic strip in Dr Who. Either Absalom Daak is back, or its about the Sontarans.

-sean

Steve W. said...

Sean, thanks for all the Quadriverse and Dr Who info.

Charlie, I don't have a clue where Marvel UK is headed. My memory of it is the company's output became ever more intangible and random as the 1980s progressed.

As far as I can recall, Marvel UK never produced any Spidey or FF material of their own. They did, however, produce their own Ant-Man, Nick Fury and Hulk stories, for a very short spell.

Tim, it looks like you're right. Here's a sample of it for anyone who, like me, had never previously seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwI3Ug-mpWU&list=PLoPZ11NBT31S0O0kDFWefpwRxFi8jNNtp

Anonymous said...

Marvel UK weren't entirely headed toward the intangible - the Moore/Davis Captain Brexit being a notable example.
I recall an interview with Alan Davis where he said they were both keen to do the series as they hoped it would lead to breaking through to work for the US parent company.

Considering the impact people like Moore, Dave Gibbons and that lot had on DC its easy to forget that at the time it seemed odd they didn't follow John Bolton to Marvel, who were much better set up to take advantage of that transatlantic brain drain.
A shame they didn't let SezDez spend the money on a Warrior-type monthly of new stuff - the 80s could have been quite different for Marvel UK.
(Easy to say in hindsight of course)

-sean

Anonymous said...

I see Savage Sword of Conan was still Britain's number one sword and sorcery action magazine, at that time. I wonder if anyone remembers numbers two and three?

DW

Killdumpster said...

The Thing show that was mention, I belsieve, was the Saturday morning cartoon "Fred & Barney meet the Thing".

They never met. Half the show was new Flintone antics, the other half was a young Ben Grimm that used a magic ring to transform into the Thing. WTF!

Has to be seen to be believed. Godawful. Definitely proved that Hanna-Barbara were breakfast cereal commercial whores.

Anonymous said...

I think the available page number restraints of the UK originated material, at this time, probably limited the impact. Once they got to play with their US counterparts on a level playing field the results spoke for themselves. Also, however good the work was (and some of the Stokes, Gibbons and Lloyd etc pages were really good) if just didn't look like Marvel artwork. Three pages of highly illustrative Black Knight, had nothin in common with a Kirby, Romita or Buscema paced twenty pager. Tightly executed 6 page stories worked fine in 2000AD (and very well in Warrior) but not for Hulk.

The Daredevils was obviously Marvel UK's response to Warrior, and sadly struggled to make it through the first year. I suspect a monthly title featuring 8 new pages each of (solely for arguments sake) say, Marvelman, Captain Britain, V for Vendetta and D.R. and Quinch (let's call it 'All Alans Astonishing Adventures') may still have struggled to find a market at Marvel UK.

DW

Anonymous said...

I think thats right about a title with new material featuring Marvel characters, DW. Plus, Hulk Weekly also suffered from Dez' idea of a British kids anthology comic being a decade or so out of date (closer to Valiant or Lion circa 1970 than 2000AD).

But he's always said he would have done Warrior as a Marvel monthly if he'd been there longer, and it doesn't seem unreasonable to suppose if anything it would have done better from a larger publisher with presumably more of a cash flow behind it than ..er, Dez' comic shop in New Cross.
The irony of course - especially as supposedly Jim Shooter knocked back Moore and Davis as he thought their work would never sell in the US - is that eventually Marvel spent a small fortune to reprint Marvel/Miracleman.

I think the Delano/Davis CB mag was maybe a more serious attempt than Daredevils to tap into that 80s boom - it was actually exported to the US direct market - but by that point they'd already missed the boat a bit.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Did Marvel UK ever consider buying or paying royalties for UK works like the Leopard from Lime Street or such? OR was it strictly a Marvel US with some Captain Britain?

Anonymous said...

K.D.-
"Thing ring do your thing!"
Yeah, that was awful. But in Fred and Barney meet the Shmoo" did they actually get to meet the Shmoo? And what was the Shmoo, anyway, but some Lovecraftian horror from a primeval era?
Possibly a Shoggoth? Was Bedrock the lost city described in "The Mountains of Madness"?

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Charlie, it was Marvel US stuff, along with Captain Brexit, Night-Raven and some other domestic Marvel universe characters.
And from the 80s on titles licensed from other media like Dr Who, Blake's 7, and ... er, Worzel Gummidge (you probably don't know what that is, in which case I suggest you consider yourself fortunate and don't ask).

-sean

Anonymous said...

It was pretty much Marvel US reprints plus Captain Britain and Doctor Who.

Sean, I remember the US format Captain Britain dummy, which never eventuated, and reckon this is the way they should have gone with the Delano/David CB monthly. If it had looked like a Marvel comic it probably would have sold enough to continue. Apparently they did plan a reprint of the Moore/David material, in that format, around that time but it was blocked by the fall out with Moore (another extremely long winded saga which we'll get to in time ;-) I wonder how those X-men classic reprints of Captain Britain sold, in the mid 90s.?

I also wonder whether Dez would have gotten the material he did for Warrior, if it had been for Marvel (with, presumably, less ownership options).

DW.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Surely Marvel considered licensing Catweazle? He could have wandered into a cave, found some magic bracelets, put them on and.. voila... He changes into Rick Jones???

Honestly, I just don't get it. UK had a solid tradition of comics, considering your weeklies which were maybe 6 pages or so, with several stories? Surely those creators could have read a few Marvel / DC comics and mimicked what they saw? It's not like Stan and Roy went to comic-book-writing school?

Leopard from Lime Street is basically the same as your basic Marvel comic. Swing into action, get caught, escape, capture villain, go home.

Anonymous said...

DW, completely agree that the mid-80s CB would have been much better served by the US format.

Actually, I just looked up Marvel UK on the wiki - it has a pretty good outline of the history - and it seems they finally got the hang of doing new stuff that did pretty well in the US in the early 90s, when Paul Neary was in charge.
(I'd stopped keeping up with comics by then, so wasn't really aware of all that)

Moore, Alan Davis, Gary Leach and Steve Dillon all worked for 2000AD in the first half of the 80s, so its hard to picture non-ownership being a deal breaker - those were early days for them back then.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Charlie

I don't think it was that UK creators couldn't produce in the US tradition, as obviously once they did they were widely popular. It was simply much cheaper to reprint the US material, which probably seemed like it would last forever, when Marvel UK kicked off in 1972. Then, as Sean said, when they did run out of A grade material, the initial original material was edited by Dez, who's take on the market was ten years out of date.

DW

Anonymous said...

Sean

Yes I'd also stopped paying attention when those US format Marvel Uk titles were published. Ironically, the Moore Captain Britain stories were created under a presumption of work-for-hire, which Marvel found out wasn't the case when they first tried to reprint the stories. With the gift of hindsight and all that...

DW

dangermash said...

I'm just chomping on popcorn while you all tear into Dez.

Unknown said...

http://starlogged.blogspot.com/2012/11/1984-spider-man-london-calling-marvel-uk.html?m=1

Anonymous said...

Sean, why do you always refer to Captain Britain as "Captain Brexit"? I think you are being unfair to the good Captain as he'd surely count as one of the Liberal Elite and therefore be anti-Brexit :)

"Moon Of Blood" is definitely not a Robert E. Howard story.

Steve, I've been reading the comments from the previous post and apparently you've just had a birthday (or have you??) - well, a belated Happy Birthday if indeed it was your birthday. And if it was, I think I know your age...56?

Anonymous said...

Marvel got the work-for-hire thing wrong because British copyright law is different from that of the US, weighted a bit more to the creator of a work than the publisher. You'd think Dez - who had worked for IPC previously - and the Marvel UK wonks that came after him would have known that.
But I suppose thats the comic book biz for you - even in the US they never really bothered to lock down that stuff properly (see Marvel v. Kirby and his estate).

-sean

Anonymous said...

Colin, I am just astonished by how Brexit fever took over and dominated the UK so it seems appropriate, and unlike Captain Make-America-Great-Again its not a pain in the arse to write out regularly.

Also, I hope you noticed I mentioned Blake's 7 above and wasn't mean about it! See, I can listen (but don't expect any change on Captain Brexit) (;

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Might ole Charlie ask you UK gents a favor... (And I sincerely apologize if I asked before) but what did Dez do to generate so much "passion?" You guys know by heart but your cuzins over here only really have suggestions and snipets of passionate remarks.

Steve, CJ, and CB, if this is part of the magnificent write-up you did on UK comics, at BitBA, I apologize. Though I did print it, to reread, it is now in climate controlled storage until I down size.

Steve, unless it violates some copyright, can you republish what you wrote for BitBA here? I would be profoundly appreciative as I limp through virus mania!

Good news, we did find toilet paper! My Sears catalog from 1973 is spared!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Please... Details on Dez! I can't stand the suspense!

Also, the BitBA blog is going strong regarding TV cartoons. We need more UK input beyond Roobard and Custer!

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the problem people have with Dez is that the quality of the weekly mags deteriorated horribly when he was in charge; the loss of glossy covers, too many stories jam-packed into each issue, a reduction in page numbers and a more British and less American feel to the comics.

Personally, I can see the good and bad in Dez. While the weeklies saw a huge downturn, he did expand the company's monthly range and gave work to British creators.

I can reprint the BITBA article, as long as Redartz, Martinex and the two Colins don't object.

Colin, thanks. Obviously, for purposes of Internet security, I can neither confirm nor deny that that is my age.

"Unknown," thanks for that link. For people who don't know, it's a link to an article about a British drawn and written Spider-Man story which Marvel UK published in the mid 1980s. I'd been previously unaware of its existence.

Anonymous said...

On that subject, there was actually a bit of new Spidey from Marvel UK pre-Dez -
www.bronzeageofblogs.blogspot.com/2009/09/frank-hampsons-spider-man.html
Says quite a bit about how different British comic artists were compared to American back then, no?

-sean

Steve W. said...

I remember that poster, and I remember the letters page, a few issues later, being filled with readers complaining about it. Poor old Frank.

Anonymous said...

I like the realism of it Steve, the way it actually looks like a kid in a home made Spider-Man costume (although its obviously a bit awkwardly redrawn from something else).

Interesting to see the lower left - c.1976 Marvel Comics and Frank Hampson
Thats got to be the first time any artist got shared copyright on an image of a Marvel character, surely? Presumably that didn't go through head office in the US...

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sean - that is a darn good find! It is rather intriguing art and, based on the sole splash page on the link, I would definitely read that comic! I mean, it's quirkiness reminds of the Steve Ditko!

SDC - can you like find that comic and scan in all the pages to show us!!!???

Steve W. said...

Charlie, the image Sean linked to is just a one-off poster included in an issue of Marvel UK's Titans comic. That's all there is of it.

I'll see if I can find the comic which, "Unknown," linked to, which is a different project altogether.

Killdumpster said...

MP-
Yeah, in Fred & Barney Meet The Shoo they had misadventures together.

They didn't eat the Shmoo, though, like they did in Lil' Abner. Suprized that Fred Flintstone's monumental appetite didn't lead a story in that direction.

Either poor writing, limited knowledge of the character, or not wanting to freak out the little kiddies.

Charlie-
If they would've had Beverly Switzler (Howard the Duck's gal pal) wander in a cave and find Nega-Bands, then maybe Ms.Marvel-Carl Manvers/Captain Marvel comics would've been more enjoyable

I could see Howard tearing into Carl's uber-feminist views.

Anyone at Marvel who may be reading this, feel free to use that concept.

I would buy that book.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

KD - A universe is only allowed one set of wrist bands, per cave, in the middle of nowhere.

Steve - as I looked at that Spidey poster Sean linked to I think I see your parlimaent building or Big Ben or something? Was it obligatory that your comics were all in London and the same 2 - 3 land marks each issue?

Did they ever set them in Sheffield or Manchester? I recall one of you UK chaps saying the problem was that London was the only UK city that had some high buildings from which Spidey could do some web swinging. So, he was obliged to be in London. (Can't wait until you are reviewing the ASM issues in London, in about a year!) But Hulk, Cap, et al. didn't really need tall buildings.

Anonymous said...

Charlie

While I personally, and with the gift of 40 years hindsight, may be critical of a number of choices made by Dez and others, he should, rightly, be remembered for Warrior magazine. This remains one of the best and most influential British comics and its impact remains real to this day. I met him a couple of times, strictly as a fan at Conventions, and he came across as caring deeply about comics and trying to improve them as he saw fit at the time.

Whilst I like Hampson that Spidey poster makes no sense. London doesn't have New York height buildings and the perspective on the houses of parliament and Big Ben would have to be from a helicopter. Having said that, the teenager with Spider powers probably remains the most far-fetched thing in the image ;-)

DW

Anonymous said...

Well, I expect that was a futuristic version of London - it really looks like Hampson reworked an old pic that for some reason hadn't been used anywhere before.
You only have to look at his following Spidey poster - obviously from the same original project - which has an even more tangential relationship to the Marvel universe.
https://starlogged.blogspot.com/2013/10/1977-frank-hampson-in-spider-man-marvel.html
I mean, thats Dan Dare with the 'tache, right?

Got to agree with DW on Dez in person. No-one would have got involved in trying to publish a comic aimed at an older audience in the UK back then unless they had a genuine enthusiasm for the form.
Although as a publisher Dez does seem to have something of the bottom-line bean counter about him that sits oddly with that. But as unfortunately we don't yet live in a glorious Latverian-style workers paradise (those of us not from Sheffield anyway) its probably helpful to have someone like that around to make things happen.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sean, Charlie brings up a salient point. Spider-Man needs tall buildings. How would he have fared in Sheffield I wonder. I've never seen it, myself, but would he have had to rely on taxi-cabs, maybe share them with drunks as we do here?
Spider-Man would not be the weirdest guy I ever saw in a cab.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Sheffield is a glorious paradise M.P. - they don't need no superheroes.

-sean

Anonymous said...

Or taxis.
(Obviously that should have read "glorious workers paradise" above. Duh, its late here)

-sean

Anonymous said...

Sheffield sounds like Rock Candy Mountain. Perhaps I will go there when I'm ready to die.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Is it just Charlie or did anyone else notice that Hulk had nipples on Rampage Magazine this time around?

M.P. - Sheffield don't need taxis b/c they have free bus / trolley service. It's b/c of that that they have produced such formidable and glorious groups like ABC, Human League, Heaven 17 and several others which escape me at the moment, but I know Sean and Steve DC know them! Maybe English Beat and Bronski Beat? I just don't remember these things Friday evenings!

Sean - I keep putting in your links and finding amazing stuff. That Dan Dare guy could really draw! That is a super spread!

Anonymous said...

Charlie's right. Or this alternate universe's incarnation of Charlie, at any rate. There's more versions of him than Superman. Sean, keep doing the voodoo you do.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

Its only the English Beat in the US Charlie, for legal reasons I believe. Here they were just The Beat. Pretty sure they were from somewhere in the midlands, not Sheffield.

-sean

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Hi Sean,

Since you are SDC's resident artist... for Hamspson to draw Spidey with that ill-fitting uniform it must have take longer? I mean, it's not like drawing the anatomy and then some lines for boots, belt, etc. and coloring it. He has to draw the uniform with extra space, wrinkles, creases... I've never seen that before on Spidey.

So my question is how much longer does it take if it can be quantified? Is it an hour, two hours... 10% 20%?

Cheers! And I'll try to keep Charlie off my PC.

http://bronzeageofblogs.blogspot.com/2009/09/frank-hampsons-spider-man.html


Anonymous said...

Steve's an artist isn't he? Surely that makes him the Steve Does comics resident artist?
Anyway, fwiw Charlie, I reckon it depends.

People are different. I suppose the look of Marvel-type superhero comics was developed to meet the need for speed, but for artists from a different "tradition" not used to drawing that way... it might still take a while?

-sean

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Hey y'all don't forget ol Mikey here, the Artistic Actuary. I know that Des detesting Dangermash can be a bit of a square but artistic blood runs deep in thes3 mash veins.

Sean with might be our resident Romita, community Colan, district Ditko, even resident R****** but Mike Mash is the one those ladies would rather pin up against their walls with his mastery of the wet into wet technique. You know what I'm sayin'?

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Charlie wants to know how to reach The Artistic Actuary. Charlie was mesmerized by that last paragraph and thinks Charlie and the Actuary may have been separated at birth!

Charlie notes that this is the first time he has seen Ditko and R*bbins used in the same sentence.

Where are Danger Mash and the Actuary from, if Charlie may ask? The UK but like a big city like Sheffield?

Charlie is going to walk his pet dachshund now. He discovered minks and muskrats in the ponds around his house and it keeps the dog busy.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

Hey Charlie! You both sound like cool cats. I would invite to you for a foursome but I'm not sharing these crazy gals with anyone!

The twin and I both stared as village boys. We're originally from a sleepy village about 35 miles North of London. Dangermash is now In a village in Kent, which I guess suits him but, me, my location has to remain a secret. That far out Johnson dude has told me to lay low for a while. If word got out about where I was, there's no way any woman could keep six feet away from me!

Charlie Horse 47 said...

HI Actuary, This is Charlie's brother Charlie Horse.

Charlie is walking his Dachshund so I figured I'd sneak in. After that he needs to wax his Johnson.

SO, he won't be able to correspond for a bit.

He does want you to know that he keeps your Johnson in his thoughts and prayers and is truly delighted your Prince Charlie, after whom he was named (or was it Charlie Brown?), is "on the other side" of his C-19 thingy.

Anonymous said...

Is "walking my dachshund" some sort of American slang?

AA, chess portraits! No wonder the ladies are so keen to check out your dachshund!

-sean

Anonymous said...

Charlie, RE Muskrats
I go for regular walks in a local park with a very large pond and water system and sometimes I see muskrats. Hairy little buggers. I know there are multiple Muskrats, but I always refer to the one I see as Musky the Rat.
I consider seeing Musky as an omen of good fortune, much like I do when I see Snappy the Turtle.
But I give Snappy a wide berth. He ain't messing around. He will stare you down.

M.P.

Anonymous said...

We've also had a lot of American Coots lately. They are like a flotilla of retarded ducks. I dunno what kinda omen that is.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

M.P.

Just thought you should know that Muskrat is good eatin! In fact, they sell / used to sell them in meat markets in parts of Chicago.

I've seen im in Annapolis MD as well in the meat stores, skinned and gutted but heads and paws still on. (You wouldn't want to mistake it for a beaver or mink... them ain't good eatin!)

And, in Detroit during Lent, they are allowed to be eaten by Catholics on Fridays even though we Catholics must abstain from meat. The Bishop always grants an exemption during Lent to eat Muskrat.

By the way, Coons ain't good eatin neither.

Nor are Crows. They suck. Don't eat 'em no matter what you might hear and be tempted.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

B.t.w. Charlie and Charlie's dachshund come back with a muskrat and the bitch bit my hand when I tried to take if from her. (They was out back walking around the ponds cause the dog loves chasing minks and muskrats.)

I told Charlie he could just maybe for once out off waxing his Johnson and kick his dog in the head and go do something with the muskrat cause I didn't want it in my back yard. I mean, we coulda eaten it but the dam dog near ripped the things head off and I just got this thing about eating meat that another living creature has bitten into that ain't me.

Charlie just looked at me and said Gooney goo goo gus gus.

Anonymous said...

M.P., Charlies, is "muskrat" a euphemism, or do you actually mean the semi-aquatic rodents?

-sean

Anonymous said...

No, Sean, I'm talking about gosh-darn no-foolin' muskrats.
This is not a code referring to loose women. We're actually talking about the animal.
I'm not responsible for what Charlie says, and I'm not sure he is either. But I was referring to the aquatic animal.
I think Charlie thinks in metaphorical terms, he may be a mutant offshoot more prepared mentally to deal with the coming apocalypse.

M.P.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Sorry I did not get to you sooner Sean. We were watching La Village Francaise. I expect that as the SDC resident francophone you may have seen the series? If not, give it a whirl! I think you'd enjoy it.

We were indeed talking about Muskrat "rodents."

I did indeed see one yesterday while walking the dachshund behind the house among these small ponds around me. And I saw gutted ones in the meat market in Annapolis MD years ago, skinned but heads and paws on.

And in Detroit, an perhaps other areas, they are exempted from being considered meat, during Lent, so you can eat them when abstaining from meat.

I've personally never eaten a muskrat. I've heard they are quite good, like duck, which I suppose makes sense. I mean, Magret de Canard is exceptionally fine tasting meat, in my opinion (the breast of duck), so who knows... perhaps the muskrat is similar given similar diets.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/catholics-muskrat-lent_n_5cb62bbbe4b082aab08d93e8

Now as to what happens when Charlie walks the dog among the ponds... I'm just his caretaker.

Cheers, CH-47

Charlie Horse 47 said...

And I would never talk about loose women on this site! It's a family site. I mean me and charlie is family and we both love it here.

Anonymous said...

It might come down to eatin' muskrats, before this pandemic is over with.
Or maybe just using them as toilet paper.
But if you do, watch out, because they got claws and sharp teeth.

M.P.

dangermash said...

Morning all. Sorry about that. Mike's actually staying with us at the moment. We're keeping him in the cellar while the lockdown's on. He won't be bothering you all on SDC for a while now I've taken his phone away.

Funny you should be talking about the culinary delights of North American critters. It's Mike's birthday today and I asked what he fancied for dinner. He says it's been too long since he feasted on beaver, so I nipped our to Sainsbury’s and came back with a beaver steak. The wife's prepared it for him and is on her way down to the cellar now. Hope he enjoys it.

dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dangermash said...

Unfortunately, Sean, Mike's stuck in the cellar with only my collection of chess magazines for company. He doesn't have much material to choose from at the moment.

Charlie Horse 47 said...

Dangermash...

IF indeed Mike is an Actuary, I'll trade you one Charlie for one Mike? Maybe Mike can tell me how many more years I still have with Charlie?