Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Complete Apeslayer Part 1

Off on my hols for the week, so here's something meaty to be getting on with.
As promised, here we go with the first part of the complete, no-you-didn't-imagine-it Apeslayer. For those who came in late, or haven't read previous posts, Apeslayer was either the nuttiest or greatest idea British Marvel ever had, depending on your point of view. It's certainly the most notorious.
Realizing that the UK Planet Of The Apes Weekly was very quickly going to catch up with the stories in the American monthly, and therefore run out of new material to print, somebody decided to adapt Killraven into the book, by the simple expedient of redrawing all the martians into apes, and changing all the character's names to ape-centric ones.
Apeslayer ran nearly all the way up to when Craig Russell joined War Of The Worlds, by which time they'd caught up with the POTA monthly, and could carry on with the all-new Kingdom On The Planet Of The Apes.
So Apeslayer became this strange little interlude we all thought we'd dreamt, until years later when we all realized how we'd, sort of, been taken in. God knows what the original artists, like Howie Chaykin and Herb Trimpe thought of it all, if they even knew, but I for one, loved Apeslayer at the time, and I still kind of wish someone would do some original strips with him.
So here's the Chaykin issues to begin with. If you want to see the rest of this epic saga, well, you know what to do.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The Tomorrow People

The Tomorrow People was ITV's answer to Dr Who, except with even less money for special effects.
For those who weren't in the UK at the time, The Tomorrow People were basically the X-Men, except they all had the same powers. They were a group of teenage mutants who were the next step in human evolution due to their telepathic skills and ability to 'jaunt' ( teleport ) and who'd taken it upon themselves to protect us 'saps' ( Homo Sapiens ) from all kinds of threats.
As the self-appointed best representatives of Humanity, they were also the first point of contact for any nice aliens out there, and were always jaunting off on adventures to other planets.
Too, they spent a lot of their time helping new Tomorrow People 'break out' and discover their true nature ( subtext much? )
The reason that, even if we'd realised, we didn't care about the lame special effects was a) we were too busy jaunting around the playground and b) that incredibly trippy and spooky opening title sequence:

Luckily, the inevitable Look-In comic strip had unlimited special effects, AND John M. Burns. Here's a killer story where the People go all Dennis Wheatley, and face off against the Devil, something that never happened in the show, more's the pity.
Not only is Burns artwork as wonderful as always, but the writer, presumably longtime Look-In scribe Angus P. Allen, makes the effort to use lead Tomorrow Person John's incredibly posh school-teacherish speech patterns.
The only thing wrong with this strip is that it reflects a later roster for the gang, and not the team from the first series ( and on the cover above ), thereby missing out on one of the show's best unintentional running gags.
Throughout the first series, the character of Kenny was played by a young lad with no acting experience, who turned out to be so bad that each episode has a scene where the People are off on another adventure, and Kenny starts to come with John, Carol & Stephen, before one of them invariably says: 'Er, no, Kenny, you stay and look after the lab'
Honestly, check out a couple of episodes on youtube, it happens every damn time.