Tuesday, 29 December 2015


I know, it's not comics, but I just heard Lemmy died. Lemmy?? Died??? How is that even possible?
For an eon, the joke has been: When World War III happens, the only survivors will be Keith Richards, Lemmy and cockroaches.
I guess all we can do is play a song. Here's the moment that iconic rock n'roll met iconic comedy, the moment when everybody in England went: Wow! Motorhead!
It's Lemmy on The Young Ones.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Snappy Sammy Smoot

Skip Williamson's eternal innocent, Snappy Sammy Smoot, appeared all over the place throughout the Bronze Age, from undergrounds like Bijou Funnies & Comix Book, to The National Lampoon.
Sammy is comics' version of Candide, or a sharper dressed Goodman Beaver depending on which reference works better for you.
He's myopically optimistic, innocent to the point of delusion, and just a little bit more lost in the modern world than the rest of us, which helps to sweeten Williamson's satire and make his points a little less savage than they might be.
Skip has a brilliantly surreal drawing style ( ripped off by a million advertising and poster illustrators throughout the early '70's ), and I can weirdly see Sammy popping up in the background of a C.C. Beck Shazam! strip of the time. He'd fit right in next to Sunny Sparkle.

Skip clearly also loves words and how they can combine, making rhythyms that are just funny in and of themselves. Try saying some of Sammy's dialogue out loud without laughing.

And don't think he can't get down wit th' yout' of today, either. Oh no, Sammy knows how to update his act in line with changing fashions.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Jonah Hex: Christmas In An Outlaw Town

Christmas is all about family, so they say. Even for Jonah Hex, who's spending this holiday season with his dear ol' dad. Wait, would that be the same dear ol' dad who sold Jonah into slavery when he was just a kid? Well, at least they don't have to watch the umpteenth repeat of Only Fools & Horses.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Happy Xmas, Chuck!

I am Charlie Brown. I know that now, and have come to terms with it. We can all fool ourselves, and say we're just like Conan or Frank Castle in our ability to know exactly what to do in any situation, to take life by the throat and take no shit. But in reality, we're all Chuck. That's why Peanuts is The World's Greatest Comic Strip, and why I'll post it here at the drop of a hat. Luckily it's Christmas, so I don't need an excuse. I guarantee not a single british channel will show A Charlie Brown Christmas this year, 'cos they never do. To make up for that, here's some of the gang's classic yuletide strips from throughout the '70's.

And if you, like me & Snoops, are about to have a Poochie Christmas, remember it's only once a year. Just drink more to cope with it.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Tyroc was the first black member of the Legion Of Super-Heroes, and might still be the only one for all I know, having lost track of who's in The Legion way back in the 20th Century.
Anyway, Tyroc comes with a great behind-the-scenes story I'd like to share with the class. It goes like this:
In Superboy Starring The Legion # 207, in a story called The Rookie Who Betrayed The Legion, Mike Grell had drawn the tales' misunderstood villain as a black guy. Unfortunately, famously conservative editor Murray Boltinoff wasn't impressed, and bizarrely told Grell he didn't want any negative mail from DC's black readers.
When Iron Mike pressed the point, Murray mumbled something vague about there being plans at some point to come up with a black Legionnaire, and he didn't want that spoilt.
So begrudgingly Grell changed the character's face, leaving just enough to make it obvious that what readers were looking at was a black man painted pink:

And, natch, tons of mail came in accusing DC of doing just that.
Then a few months went by, with still no black Legionnaire, and with Mike constantly badgering Murray about it, until finally, in Legion#216 Tyroc appeared with, as Grell said in an interview in Back Issue:
'The stupidest power of all. Aside from that, what was worse in my mind-as a writer, as a reader, as an artist, as an inhabitant of the planet Earth-was the concept of the explanation as to why there had never been any black people in the 30th century: They had all gone to live on an island, which sounds like the most rascist concept I have ever heard. So ( in protest ) I cobbled up a costume that was a combination of Elvis Presley Las Vegas shows and old blaxploitation movies.
With such a mismatched beginning, Tyroc never really stood a chance, and in fact mostly disappeared from the pages of The Legion thereafter, only popping up every five years or so to remind us he was still around.
But I still kind of like him, ludicrous artists' revenge of a costume and all. Here's his debut.