Sunday, 21 May 2017

RIP Rich Buckler

Aw jeez, and now we lost Rich Buckler too. Although I have to be honest and say that Rich wasn't my favourite artist in the Bronze Age, and that as a kid, his constant swiping drove me crazy, I did admire his design sense, especially on Black Panther and Deathlok, which was probably his magnum opus.
Deathlok was a great character, and Rich clearly loved him as much as we all did. Even though Doug Moench wrote most of the series, you could tell it was really Buckler's baby all the way.
Like in this issue, the first one I ever bought, where Rich takes over script and art and threw me slap bang in the middle of the story with not a clue to what was going on, but it all absolutely rocks, especially those first three pages. Can you imagine a Marvel hero treading the American flag into the dirt these days?

Monday, 15 May 2017


Who's up for a midnight movie? Something grimy, sleazy and low budget, like Basket Case or Eraserhead.
Nah, that's old hat, man. You want something really wild. Like... Kultz. Don't see it. Be it.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

RIP Catweazle

Just found out from Kid Criven's blog that Geoffrey Bayldon passed away last week. Can't believe that didn't make the main news. For the benefit of our chums across the pond, Bayldon was one of those old school British character actors who appeared in everything, but to Bronze Age kids he is, was, and always will be Catweazle, the spiky, loveable 11th century wizard stuck in our time that ran for two series in 1970 & 1971.
Catweazle was sneaky, selfish and childlike, completely bemused by the modern world, especially by electrickery and the magic telling bone, and was easily one of the greatest children's characters and children's serials ever.
Catweazle was enthralling, charming and brilliantly funny, and though he was surrounded by a great cast, it was Bayldon that made it.
I actually rewatched the series a few years ago on youtube, and it was still as magical as I remembered it. ( Though I would say the first series is by far the better one. )
In fact, it was such a hit in our house, and so memorable, that even my dad, who couldn't care less about the stuff I was into, would always bark 'Catweazle's still going, then' every time Bayldon appeared on Midsomer Murders or Waking The Dead.
Here's the intro to the show:

And here's the wacky wizard in his own, inevitable, Look-In picture strip, with bizarrely, a different supporting cast. Anybody know the artist?

Friday, 12 May 2017

Harvey Kurtzman Goes Underground

The counter culture cartoonists of the early Bronze Age considered Harvey Kurtzman the 'Godfather of Undergound Comix'. Harvey, for his part, demanded a blood test.
But you can see what they meant: As the creator of Mad, and therefore of satire in America, Kurtzman paved the way for every cartoonist who wanted to stand up and point out where society was going wrong, and make you laugh in the meantime. He also returned the compliment a few times.
( Tales Calculated To Sell You ) Bijou was Kitchen Sink's homage to Mad, parodying Underground heroes like The Furry Freak Brothers, Snappy Sammy Smoot, Mr. Natural and The Checkered Demon, and it came with a new hauntingly horrific Kurtzman cover.
His frontis to Snarf is even better, skewering Conan and his barbarian brethren with the point of a razor sharp HB pencil.

But Harvey's main contribution to the underground was Kurtzman Komix, another compilation from Kitchen Sink, this time of Klassic strips from the '50's. It comes with a new Kaustic Kover and an intro from Kurtzman disciple Robert Crumb, and it's Harvey at his timeless, manic best. Here's a selection.