Sunday, 2 February 2020

Seven Moons' Light Casts Complex Shadows

Thanks for bearing with me, gang. As some of you know, I've been mega-busy lately, putting together the first three issues of Stan & Jack for publication, as well as various corporate bits of artwork I'm doing, so both here & The Kids site have had to slightly take second place.
I'm still a little leary of continuing to post full issues of things from the Bronze Age, having come close to being legally burned a couple of times, and I have actually had thoughts of combining the two blogs in some way ( 'Great news next week, chums!' ) but let's try putting up some smaller pieces and see how that works.
Here’s sci-fi writer Samuel R. Delany teaming up with Howie Chaykin for the 2nd issue of Epic Illustrated, shortly after they did the early graphic novel Empire for Byron Preiss.
As editor Archie Goodwin said in that issue’s Overview, It’s a story that definitely isn’t your typical Marvel rip-snorting action, but actually true science fiction, as opposed to Space Opera.
Archie: ( It’s ) a subtle work of implication, exploring a moment and the events that make such a moment complex. 
It also feels like a segment in a larger tapestry, and Delany is masterful at delineating a complete world, and it’s fully rounded characters, in the story’s short running time.
As for Chaykin, he’s years ahead of the game as usual, being a one-man future of comics even at this point. No one’s better at being Howard Chaykin than he is.

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Christmas With The Kids From Rec. Road


That's right, and our liltin' leader has a mixed up message for Rec. Road Assembled at this hearty holiday time. To find out what it is, head on over to, pilgrims!

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

The Savage Sword Of The Kids From Rec. Road Times Infinity

This week at Rec. Road, It's...........

While over at:

We're talking the condition of your collection. Is grading a thing you're concerned about? Or were ( and are ) you just happy  to get a readable copy?
Tell all, at

Friday, 13 December 2019

Whatever Happened To... Johnny Thunder?

Johnny Thunder was a long running cowboy hero from a period when both Marvel & DC had a ton of 'em. Like Daredevil, mild mannered John Tane had promised his Ma he'd never raise a hand in violence and so became the town's schoolmaster, but unfortunately his Sheriff Pa was always on at him to become his deputy and help out with the owlhoots causing trouble around town.
If you're unsure of John's solution, you've clearly never read a comic before, as sidestepping the mask route beloved of DC's Nighthawk and Marvel's original Ghost Rider, John becomes Johnny Thunder, scourge of desperados everywhere, by the simple expedient of... er, dying his hair and naming his horse Black Lightnin', even though it's as white as a polar bear sucking a mint in a snowstorm.
Granted, Johnny was no Jonah Hex, but he was drawn by Gil Kane, raising him instantly head and shoulders above all the other western heroes out there. Here he is in '50's action:

But whatever happened to him? Well, it seems he got involved with another sharpshootin' hero, a female one named Madam.44. and the pair spent a good few issues circling round each other after discovering their respective secret identities. I don't have that story, sadly, but here's the follow-up, courtesy of Whatever Happened To...?

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

The Savage Sword Of The Kids From Rec. Road Again Again Again

Thulsa Thoth Lipshitz Strikes! Or should that be Thulsa Thoth Lipshitz Thrikes? Whichever, it's all happening over at Rec. Road this week, where swords are savage!
While over at:

We're asking, which creator would you follow absolutely anywhere, and buy everything they do no matter what? Even if they were assigned your absolute least favourite character or series? We're picking ours. Pick yours, at

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

The Savage Sword Of The Kids From Rec. Road Again Again

Regular followers of The Kids From Rec. Road will, of course, already know where we're going to find our villain. The rest of you, even if you don't know him, you do know him, if you know what I mean... y'know?
While over at:

We're asking: Who's the one character you'd follow anywhere, even if they were assigned your absolute least favourite creative team? We're picking ours. Pick yours. Join in at

Claw The Unconquered

In an age of derivative Barbarians, I think it's fair to say that Claw The Unconquered was probably the most derivative sword and sorcery hero out there. When your first issue is illustrated by Ernie Chan, the man only just behind John Buscema & Alfredo Alcala as artist with most Conan stories under his belt, you're really inviting kids to pick the book up by mistake, thinking they're getting the Cimmerian.

Claw is the rightful king of yadda yadda and instead of a right hand is cursed with a Demon blah blah, is being hunted by a sorcerer because of something something and spends his first 11 issues stealing magic jewels, fighting slimy monsters, rescuing wenches and generally doing everything that Conan does every month.
It's all perfectly acceptable stuff, and everyone involved does a solid, professional job ( scribe David Michelinie, for instance, admirably coping with what must've been a difficult premise ) but there's no energy to any of it, and you sort of sense no one's hearts are really in it. Until the last issue.

Don't get me wrong, Claw #12 is no lost masterpiece, but here Michelinie takes the gloves ( and gauntlet ) off and goes for broke.
Sure, the honourable bad guy is an old cliche, but it's one that I always like, and there is a genuine, brooding sense of futility about the world depicted in this story.
Claw is a doomed man, fighting an irrelevant war, basically because he has nothing else to do with his time, and for the first time, you feel it.
Keith Giffen also takes the opportunity with both hands, and the art fair drips with blood red passion, matching the script stroke for sword stroke...