Monday, 17 April 2017

John Bolton's New Avengers

Here's king of the Bronze Age TV tie-in annual, John Bolton, with a couple of gorgeous pieces from the 1978 New Avengers book. There's puns aplenty from Steed, and boy does Bolton make the most of Purdey's patented ballet / kung fu high kicking skills. The first strip in particular is very in keeping with the show, like in the panel where Steed meets Professor L. Sing ( ouch! ), and he rests his bowler on the demon skull on the mantelpiece. Steed would absolutely do that.
Sadly, Gambit doesn't get to do his much-imitated-in-the-playground Nescafe hand move, but you can't have everything, can you?

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Hawk, Son Of Tomahawk

And then what happened is Tomahawk aged about 30 years, seemingly between issues, and found himself with an Indian wife, Moon Fawn, and two sons, Young Eagle, and Shaggy lookalike Hawk who, without so much as a by your leave, stole the old western ranger's book right out from under him. Kids eh?
Probably an attempt to juice up a failing title by introducing a 'Now' teenager as it's star, ( and to be any more 'Now' than Hawk, you'd have to be The Super Sons ) this title hadn't really changed in essence, and Son Of Tomahawk was still a great book, with Bob Kanigher & Frank Thorne still on top form.
Tomahawk himself had moved from rugged adventurer to grizzled retiree, though he could still open up a can a' whup ass on anyone who sassed him and his multi-cultural family. Plus how often do you get to see a comic strip hero grow old anyway?
Unfortunately, the idea didn't sell, and Hawk never really had a chance to show what he could do before the book was cancelled. A shame, as a generational adventure strip is a pretty good idea.
Here's the kid's debut.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

All The Myriad Ways & Means To Die

Here's two versions of the same story, adapted from Larry Niven's original, a tale that's probably the last word in alternate realities. Or one of the last words...
You won't mind one bit reading the same piece twice, as the first ( from Psycho #9 ) is by Jeff Jones, while the other ( from Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction #5 ) is from Howard Chaykin.
Plus, as you'll see, two subtly differing versions of the same story is entirely in keeping here.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Hansi - The Girl Who Loved The Swastika

Well, we were always gonna get here eventually.
Hansi - The Girl Who Loved The Swastika, if you didn't know, was published by Spire Christian Comics, part of a long running series of uplifting comic literature / propaganda only sold through Church outlets.
Spire did kiddies comics, bible stories, autobiographical book adaptations and a weird subspecies of Archie comics, where Betty lectured the Riverdale gang about the Good News coming their way.
Hansi was adapted from Maria Anne Hirschman's semi-autobiographical novel by Archie artist Al Hartley, who had recently become born again, and did most of Spire's subsequent output.
Hansi looks like a regular comic, but it certainly doesn't feel like one, though there is a sort of Marvel Classic Comics vibe about the way it zips through the material. Weirdly, it reminds me of all those Nazi exploitation video nasty movies from the early '80's, like Ilsa, She-Wolf Of The SS, being alternately shocking AND boring. Or maybe that's just me.
Did Spire make it to the UK, anyone know? I feel like I'd've come across them if they had, and picked up anything that even vaguely looked like a comic, but I don't ever recall seeing them. And I'd defintely've remembered reading Hansi.