The Walking Dead #59 Solicitation (2009)

The Image Comics March 2009 solicitations where released a few days back;

and for me, there is only one talking point – this;



MARCH 11 * 32 PAGES * BW * $2.99


Following on from the intriguing and potentially devastating cover art for #58, this is really upping the ante – can this series get any better?? It probably can, though I don’t know how…..

Toys I Wanted But Never Got (part 2) – The Amazing Spiderman Web Shooter (1970s)

I was a UK Marvel fan of the Seventies – as a young boy I loved to get the Mighty World Of Marvel, fascinated by the incredible superheroes and the amazing art. Check out this ebay guide and you will understand what I mean;

I thought Spider-man was great – loved the TV show, had the Mego action figure;

but there was thing that eluded me. I wanted it more than most anything else during an intense period of Spider-Man worship – I needed the web shooter toy, but alas, I never got it, and neither did anyone else I knew, though I recall either ads in comics or even on the television of the time (more likely to be press ads though??). I know it does not look much in its packaging, but that cheap little glove and firing mechanism was my Holy Grail in the late seventies.

There is not a lot of information out there on the toy – like who produced it, how much it cost, when it was available (was it out in the UK???). If there is anyone else out there who has been affected by the subject matter of this post – get in touch. Don’t suffer in silence. Let us try and pool our meagre collective memories on this most fleeting and elusive of Superhero merchandise.

Note – The web shooter toy image is taken from the ebay item that was/is for sale;

The Adventures of Rupert Bear intro and closing credits (1970-1974)

The first Television iteration of the classic characters adventures – this ITC produced gem ran initially from 1970 until 1974, but was repeated throughout the 1970s. For some reason this really moved me when I first saw it again (courtesy of youtube, from where these clips are taken). Maybe it was because I haven’t seen this in over 30 years. The music (a superb childrens theme, sung by Jackie Lee that made it into the top 40 in the early 1970’s) and visuals resonate with me, remind me of the magic hour between morning and afternoon school lessons when I would go home for dinner as a young boy and this would be on the television;

The Adventures of Rupert Bear opening sequence

Whoever uploaded that on youtube – thank you.


All the links that were worth including on the original Rupert Bear TV show – the latter 3 links in particular are worth your attention if you have any interest or affection for the show.

Any chance of getting this out on DVD, or an episode uploaded to a video hosting site?? Also, does anyone else, like me, remember reading the name ‘John Jelly’ in the credits, and that name never really leaving their memory???

The Walking Dead 56 review

Although this issue lacks the WOW factor of issue #55 (and does not have the startling cliffhanger conclusion of that issue), issue #56 is a slow burner. It took me a re-read of the issue to really get it. My first impressions were that it was a let-down after the high drama of the previous couple of episodes. Reading it again, I realised that this was a more subtle drama.

The main interest lies in the increasingly fractious relationship between Rick Grimes and Abraham Ford. Where previously Rick seemed content to let Sgt Ford take a firm grip on leadership of the survivors, he is now reasserting himself, and there appears to be an impasse developing. An impasse that looks likely to result in a bad outcome. We learn a little more about Ford towards the end of the book, and it is not in keeping with the previous ‘action hero’ persona. The new characters suddenly become a little more than saviours – more problematic and possibly posing more danger than previously thought.

A slow burner of an issue, but by the end of it the tensions and drama are beginning to boil. As they head on towards Washington DC, you get the sense that this group will have a hard time remaining united.

Neon Neon and the best mixtape ever (2007)

Only chanced across this the other night but it is a thing of beauty – a mix tape by Neon Neon, the collaboration between Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys and DJ Boom Bip. The mix is fantastic and there is not one bad track on it. It puts the work of Debbie Gibson into a whole new perspective, it is really that good.

There are so many good tracks on here, not least the Neon Neon stuff, the incredible Goblin with the theme to the Dario Argento shocker Tenebrae and the bombastic brilliance of Tears for Fears with ‘Mothers Talk’, taken from the hugely successful (and very 80’s ‘Songs From The Big Chair‘)

Here is the tracklisting – marvel at it!!!

Neon Neon: “Theme Song”
Goblin: “Tenebre”
Neil Young: “Sample and Hold”
Paul McCartney: “Temporary Secretary”
Kraftwerk: “Numbers (Wicked Mix)”
Tears for Fears: “Mother’s Talk”
Neon Neon: “Raquel (Extended Mix)”
Debbie Gibson: “Only In My Dreams (Extended Club Mix)”
Janet Jackson: “Pleasure Pricipal (Eli Edit)”
Prince: “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man”
Neon Neon: “Fuckin’ Off Cover (Outtake)”

and you can click to get the mix to download for free here from pitchfork

Neon Neon have a thing about the DeLorean DMC-12. It’s the car pictured at the top of the post with it’s ceator, John DeLorean. To find out more about the car that was featured in the Back To The Future films, see here

Young Liars #10 review (2008)

David Lapham has taken us on a bewildering journey over the last few episodes, but suddenly, and jarringly, we are back to something that is almost normal by the eccentric and almost halluciogenic qualities of this title. Dealing pretty much exclusively with the fate of Cee Cee, it plots her empty and tragic life, filled with grisly (yet touching) memento mori, the grief of loss and how sex becomes a way of numbing the pain and a weapon to use against men. The title of this issue, ‘Get Happy’ is taken from the Elvis Costello & The Attractions album from 1980. It is ironic, as the more Cee Cee tries to ‘get happy’ by seeking solace in men, the more miserable and self destructive she gets.

The problem for me is, as much as I want to like this title, and sometimes I do, I just find the narrative too disparate. How have we got to this part of the story? I am aware of all the characters, but I only really know their names. I dont know what if anything motivates them, and then we get to this issue, and we find out that Cee Cee got rejected when she was pregnant, had a miscarriage and went off the rails in a big way. I dont get it though. I dont understand why we find this out now, when it bears no real connection to issue 9, 8 or 7. Are we back to flashbacks and retrospective storytelling?

As a standalone issue it is fine. I dont know how sensitively the miscarriage and its aftermath are handled (a gratuitous amount of blood is depicted). I dont get it. I am lost as far as trying to orientate myself with the plot of Young Liars.

Verdict – its more confusing when its trying to tell a linear story about one of the cast of characters. It is not working for me anymore – none of it adds up. The whole is not greater than the sum of its parts. This issue can be best summed up with the lyrics from one of Elvis Costello’s peers, The Specials – it doesn’t make it alright.

The best excuses for not getting your homework in on time – the technology edition, plus Swans and Lorries in France (2008)

As technology has transformed the way students work, research (no more waiting 3 weeks to get the one crappy book the library has on Dickens pass notes!) and produce work, so technology has also transformed the pathetic excuses that get wheeled out when the homework is due in. Check it out;

Homework excuse survey 2008

But my favourites are the non-technology ones – more inventive – especially the one about the Swan.

Walking Dead 56 – 5 page preview (2008)

Looks like we are getting ‘The Walking Dead’ issue 55 this week (on Dec 17th). Christmas has indeed come early, and the Kirkman edict ‘on time in 2009’ is already bearing fruit – this is the fourth issue we have had since October!

Anyway, 5 page preview – contains SPOILERS…….

I get the feeling that on page 6, someone takes a big gasp of air……