Dalek Death Ray Ice Lolly by Walls (1970s)

Walls loved licensing fictional characters to sell their ice cream in the 1970s (but then again, so did Lyons Maid, who used the Six Million Dollar Man for one of their confections. In the mid 1970s Walls used Doctor Who as its inspiration for a new iced lolly. There were other examples of the BBCs Doctor Who being used to advertise products, like the John Pertwee iteration of the Doctor on chocolate bars, and the thrill of collecting Tom Baker-era Doctor Who cards in packets of Weetabix, but this particular licence from Walls, featuring the classic Who villains the Daleks, is a little bit special. Why? Because the artist behind the illustrations is the renowned Frank Bellamy, a British artist from Northamptonshire who produced outstanding work for Eagle and TV21.

The lolly itself was a chocolate and mint creation, and as chocolate and mint go together very well, it was a good choice. What is a real treat is the detail that went along with the lolly – for more information, I would like to refer you to the following links (see below), as they are excellent resources (especially the Frank Bellamy links).

What a great name for an ice cream. You just cannot imagine anyone daring to call a lolly a ‘death ray’ anymore. Or have it illustrated by a leading comic artist!

Links!!!

http://frankbellamy.blogspot.com/2008/07/frank-bellamy-licks-daleks-into-shape.html – A great feature on Frank Bellamy and his involvement with the ‘Dalek Death Ray’

http://www.frankbellamy.co.uk/notes/walls.htm – Again, another great feature on Frank Bellamy and his involvement with the ‘Dalek Death Ray’ ice cream from Walls

http://www.dalek-mania.co.uk/TOYS50.htm – A site devoted to Daleks and Dalek merchandise – this link takes you to Dalek Death Ray merchandise, but go up one level and a whole glut of Dalek related ephemera awaits…

http://forums.doyouremember.co.uk/food-drink/2990-names-ice-lollies-18.html – the doyouremember forum has some nice pictures of the product (one of which is at the top of this post)

http://forums.doyouremember.co.uk/food-drink/2990-names-ice-lollies-20.html – more ‘Dalek Death Ray’ nostalgia at doyouremember

Review – Unknown Soldier #5 (Vertigo) (2009)

Warning – Spoilers!

The balance of intrique and action is well maintained in another absorbing installment of Johsua Dyart’s African based adventure. We learn more about Moses’ past, some of which we only glimpse at, but what we see gives clues as to his mindset, and his ability to unleash ferocious but calculated violence and killing. He also encounters Agent Howl, and we go back to the early 1960s and see Howl as a young CIA operative in the thick of Western machinations in African politics.

There is a broad scope but Dysart stages all these elements in such a way that he manages to maintain an exciting and thoroughly readable issue, with a thrilling final few pages as the forces of the LRA close in on their target. Their target, however, is aware of their presence and is already fighting back….

If you have not read this title yet, I am sure that back issues can be found on ebay etc. Either that or wait for the trade paperback, but I urge you to invest some time in this fascinating and exciting title.

The Last Stand 2


Around a year ago I posted a link to a fantastic and free online flash game called The Last Stand – http://www.thoseweleftbehind.co.uk/2008/02/last-stand.html

Well, there is a sequel to that shooter, and it is;

http://www.zombiegames.net/games/The-Last-Stand-2.html

and it is as addictive as the first game.

Can also be found here;

http://www.freeonlinegames.com

Unknown Soldier (Vertigo) (2008 onwards )

Another bold and brilliant title from DC Vertigo

To some, portraying the grim reality and horrors of war in a comic book may seem glib or trivialising the subject. Joshua Dysart, in his powerful new title ‘Unknown Soldier’, is addressing the dreadful situation in parts of Africa where children are expendable, used as soldiers in civil wars and cross border disputes. The setting is Northern Uganda, in 2002, when the Ugandans People’s Defence Force has just executed Operation Iron Fist against the LRA.

The central character in ‘Unknown Soldier’ is Dr. Moses “Patrick” Lwanga, pacifist, medical doctor and a philanthropist, who travels back to Africa and encounters the horrors of war. It essentially deals with the exploitation of innocents in war and is fantastic. It does not draw away from the terrible and the bloody and does not hide from the truth. It is both a thrilling adventure and a potent political scream of anger. The writing is accessible, resolutely angry at this situation while maintaining a tight and focussed script. The art, by Alberto Ponticelli recalls the style of Eduardo Rissos work on 100 Bullets, as it captures the stark reality of war and death and the heat and dust of Africa. It is surely destined to be looked back on as a classic title, worthy of mention alongside other great Vertigo titles (The Invisibles, 100 Bullets etc.

You can get a preview of the first issue here.

Issue #5 is due to ship today, February 25th, 2009.

http://www.unknownsoldiercomic.com/ – This is a companion site to the comic and is filled with extras and fascinating detail, and as such is highly recommended.

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/vertigo/121772268614990.htm – Writer Joshua Dysart talks about ‘Unknown Soldier’

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=18519 – CBR article on the launch of ‘Unknown Soldier’

The List – The Top 5 Walking Dead Covers (2003-2009)

The Walking Dead generally delivers on cover art, with some future covers being amongst the best yet, as seen here, here and here. However, this list is celebrating the best cover art up to the current published issue (#58). Here we go, from no.5 to no.1;

5)Issue 36. Art by Charlie Adlard, Colours by Cliff Rathburn


What is unusual and interesting here is the perspective this cover takes, an aerial approach shot over the Prison where Rick and his fellow survivors had taken refuge. It contrasts the emptiness of the prison compound with the teeming undead filling up the periphery, crowding around the fences, seeping into the edges of the cover itself. They are juxtaposed with the solitary humans inside the ‘safety’ of the yard. Although not as overtly ‘dramatic’ as a lot of Adlard covers, this understated piece works well in highlighting the sense of the survivors isolation, and of being outnumbered, despite the relative safety of the Prison.

4)Issue 25. Art by Charlie Adlard, Colours by Cliff Rathburn


Tony Moore was the original artist on The Walking Dead, and illustrated the first six issues, to be then replaced by Charlie Adlard, who continues on the title to this day. Moore did continue to provide the covers for the series until this issue, when Adlard took over the covers. This is a statement of intent – a bold, bloody statement, as Adlard transforms the survivors, with the aid of newly acquired prison riot armour, into Gladiators cutting swathes through the undead hordes, their blood splashed against the warriors shields. The placing of the title – in the centre of the cover – is another bold move and it works, as it highlights the stature and intent of the characters striding forward, almost pushing the title into your face as they do so.

3)Issue 6. Art by Tony Moore


Another Tony Moore classic, with brilliant, vivid colours from Cliff Rathburn (whose use of colour on these covers to dramatise, set moods and define themes is a boon to the title). Obviously an inspiration to Charlie Adlard when he rounded off the ‘No-One Is Safe’ arc with the sombre issue #48, Issue #6 has a haunting quality, with the silhouette of Rick and the makeshift cross especially effective. The lurking danger in the background is quieted in this moment of sorrow and reflection, almost as if the undead themselves are paying respect to the fallen.

2)Issue 47. Art by Charlie Adlard, Colours by Cliff Rathburn


All of the ‘No-One is Safe’ cover art is a treat, framed by the vivid red backgrounds courtesy of Cliff Rathburn, but this one, issue 47, is a magnificent and dramatic cover. Although the cover arts relation to the actual storytelling is tenuous (and that comes as part of the territory with this title), its all part of the fun. Taking it at face value, what you have is a very striking and effective cover. Lori, who is Ricks wife, is on the ground in a defeated pose, clutching her newborn daughter tightly while appearing to scream / cry in anguish / anger, while the helpless infant reaches out to her mother for comfort / reassurance. Over the pair stands a mysterious figure, holding a gun that appears to point at the mother and child. It a scene of death, of an execution, with the last few moments of the victims captured in chilling detail. In the background we can see that the once impenetrable defences of the prison are now broken and accessible. The danger and despair are palpable, with the despairing Lori framed against a harsh red background the colour of blood.

1)Issue 9. Art by Tony Moore


This is just genius, and shows that despite how great Charlie Adlard covers are, it would be great if Tony Moore would contribute a new one every now and again. This cover is just so well designed and delivered, taking a unique perspective but making it easily recognisable and accesible. It shows Rick, posed as if taking a break / exhausted, seemingly unaware and in danger, from the perspective of the approaching undead, as we look straight into the eye of the zombie from point blank range, targeting its potential victim. The fly adds additional detail (maybe the dead do not blink?) but does not dilute the power and menace of the piece, with Rathburns colours understated around the edges to give clarity to the piercing blue eye of the revenant. One of the best comic covers I have seen.

There were plenty of covers that nearly made it, such as the suspense of issue 33, the iamge of the apocalypse that is issue 4 and the ‘all out action’ of issue 54. For a great overview of the cover art of this title, try here – http://www.comicvine.com/the-walking-dead/49-18166/ – a full spread of Walking Dead covers, up-to-date and with detailed information on each issue. If you are a fan of The Walking Dead then this is a truly great resource.

The Walking Dead – More teaser images – ‘The Dead Do Not Watch’ (2009)

More spoilers and teasers from The Walking Dead, courtesy of this new image on the IGN comics site. A follow up to the ‘The Dead Do Not Stalk‘ and ‘The Dead Do Not Track‘, this poster art gives us some further clues on the identity of the mysterious figures. It seems that ‘they’ are human, and part of some military organisation (indicated by the way they are dressed and their weapons), and that all the current survivors are under threat, as we see Rick Grimes and Abraham Ford in their sights. This suggests that the shadowy figures may have tracked the survivors back to their base camp. Are they after the Dr. Eugene Potts? Sgt. Ford? Are they getting too close to Washington DC and are seen as a threat? Are ‘they’ the remnants of the Woodbury community? Are ‘they’ hunter-killers? Cannibals?

The above image, and a small article on the teaser art, can be found at IGN. Apparently more information will be made available on the site in the coming days – and TWLB will report on it thereafter.

The Creeps part II – The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson (1988 – )

Interview with David Hart from the LA Times

Buzzgrinder celebrate David Hart and his musical partner Adam Papagan

Is really the home page for Chip The Black Boy?

Images courtesy of;
http://www.wittenburgblog.com/2007/02/video-junior-christian-science-bible.html
http://nerdnirvana.org/2009/01/14/weird-christian-tv-show/