Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Send For Kelly

Send For Kelly was the best strip The Topper had, which is presumably why it ran in colour in the centre pages. The misadventures of hapless secret agent / detective Nick Kelly ( and his assistant Cedric of course ) are basically a British version of Inspector Clouseau, with tons of slapstick to spare.
But what makes it great is the artwork of George Martin. Not only is it spookily close to that of Footrot Flats' Murray Ball, looking like particularly good animation, but it's kind of like Don Martin too. Martin's work was genuinely Mad, looking like the scratchings of a lunatic, and Send For Kelly looks nearly as unhinged to me, making it automatically funny.
I mean, look at that clown waving at you in the first panel. He wants to kill you.
Meanwhile, there's mysterious goings on down at the circus. Quick, Send for Kelly!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Bizarre Adventures presents: Slayride!

Here's a corker of a yarn guaranteed to leave a nasty taste in the mouth, alongside those leftover brussel sprouts and dry turkey. It's from the penultimate issue of Bizarre Adventures, a horror anthology that also included a superb Steve Bissette Dracula story, and a new Tales Of The Zombie from Doug Moench, so if you ever come across it at a con, don't be put off by that dreadful photo-cover, there's better stuff inside, honestly.
Slayride is by the always reliable ( and I mean that in the best way ) Bruce Jones, and is, as I say, a late Christmas cracker.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Have A Kung Fu Christmas

So before we all close up shop for the season, here's the greatest Christmas song ever, and one which you sadly won't be hearing in between Slade & Shakin' Stevens any time this year. From The National Lampoon's seminal 1975 Good-Bye Pop album, it's Kung Fu Christmas.

And here's not only a Kung Fu, but a Blaxploitation Christmas story, with the first meeting of ace Bronze Age double act Power Man & Iron Fist. 
Ok, technically this tale takes place on New Years Eve, but a) It's still snowing and b) I'm betting Luke's been celebrating all damn week. This is early John Byrne at his best, and if it's also full of Chris Claremont's patented writer's tic's ( like Iron Fist verbalizing every single thought that enters his head ), well, it is the season of good will to all men. Let's give Chris a break.
Wherever you'll be this yuletide, whatever you'll be doing, enjoy and have an absolutely Kung Fu Christmas.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Have Yourself A Sandman Little Christmas!

And here's a cast-iron Christmas Classic from the debut issue of Team-Up. If you've never read this one, it's got Spidey being a little too keen to kick ass instead of spending Christmas Eve with Gwen Stacy, The Torch wearing one of Fred from Scooby-Doo's old outfits and being all Scroogey 'cos Crystal's dumped him, and The Sandman...well, I won't spoil the surprise, but even super villains need a break at Yuletide.