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Comics World

Welcome to Comics World!


As a dedicated fan and collector of comics since the early 1960s, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge, trivial and deep, about the medium, how it works and why it is so loved. I hope that through this page your own love of comics and everything to do with them is encouraged to blossom!

The Origins of 'Doctor Strange'

Doctor Strange’s very earliest appearance in July 1963 was in the pages of Strange Tales #110. His original run, drawn by his creator, the enigmatic comic book recluse, Steve Ditko arose after August 18, 1955, when Hurricane Diane destroyed the premises of comic publisher, Charlton, in Connecticut, where Ditko was working. 

The Words of Jack Kirby

Perhaps the most influential and prolific comic book artist of all time, Jack Kirby (1917 – 1994), was also a writer and editor.

Lee, Kirby and the Cosmic Imagination

Between the end of the 1950s and 1970, a creative explosion took place in comics. As has been previously discussed, Stan Lee, becoming frustrated in his career as a comic book editor, decided to write stories the way he had always wanted to write them.

Stan Lee, Cultural Icon

Stan Lee, born Stanley Martin Lieber, December 28, 1922, is for many a living cultural icon.

The Darkening of Comics

’Initially, Watchmen gained a lot of its readership because it was taking an unusual look at superheroes, but actually it was more about redefining comics than it was about redefining one particular genre,’ said Alan Moore, the famous writer of what has been called the greatest comic book of all time, to a London music newspaper a few years ago.

'V for Vendetta': Epic or Irony?

It’s peculiar that V’s mask from Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel V for Vendetta has become an iconic representation of the ‘Anonymous’ organisation, a real-life anarchic group operating mainly online to disrupt elements of what it perceives as the establishment. 

Marvel versus DC, Round 3

I’ve said earlier that there was one way for DC to go which might work in terms of out-creating Marvel: go ‘super-grim’, in an effort to match the Ironic and bleak nature of today’s culture generally. Batman vs Superman did just that, as predicted. 

The History of Comics 3

The decline of comics in Britain paralleled the rise of television. Colour television arrived in Britain in 1969 and its relative inexpensiveness and ease of access posed a real problem to publishers.

The History of Comics 2

During the 1940s, America was the ‘superhero’ of the world, coming to the rescue of Europe and the Pacific with its extensive military powers. It’s not surprising that the comic book superhero flourished during those period, both amongst the troops and with readers at home.

The History of Comics 1

We are all born into an already existing culture, much of which we take completely for granted.

Key Moments in My Comic Book History 12

Seen as a kind of ‘flagship’ of IPC Magazines’ children’s range for a while, Valiantwas a boys’ adventure comic of the British anthology style which ran from 1962 to 1976.

Key Moments in My Comic Book History 11

In the days prior to the internet, I remember being so excited by one comics story in particular that I began transcribing the entire script to a non-comics-fan friend of mine, in the hope that, when I posted it to him, he would get as interested as I was in the world of comics.

12 Things That 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' Gets Right

The ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series of films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier earned $259.8 million in North America and $454.7 million in other territories, adding up to $714.4 million worldwide.

Marvel versus DC, Round 2

I’ve argued before in this blog that Marvel have the upper hand on DC in terms of a successful cinematic venture stretching out into the future, mainly because they have a particular kind of heritage to draw from and DC doesn’t.

Key Moments in My Comics History 10

In the Australian desert, comics to which one had subscribed didn’t appear through a letterbox to land quietly on one’s mat, but were hurled, tightly wound in an elastic band, from the passing car of the newsagent into the garden.

Key Moments in My Comics History 9

If you had cosmic-level super-powers -the kind of abilities that would put you in the same rank as the gods- what would you do with them?

An Question and Answer Session

Occasionally, I get asked some interesting questions about comics on the website, where you can find my 'expert' page. I have expanded slightly on one of these question and answer sessions below:

The Magic Behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has master-minded the apparently unstoppable behemoth which we all know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but exactly how he has done it, or how he was even able to do it, rests very much with the fact that he was in harmony with the original spirit of Marvel as generated by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the other founding members of Marvel Comics.

Key Moments in My Comics History 8

With Gene Colan’s art, you got the feeling of three dimensions and real objects and people in real motion.

Why Protagonists Get Thinner

As you can read much more about in How Stories Really Work, and as has been written about earlier on this blog, protagonists are meant to be interesting. In fact, being interesting is both their strength and their weakness.

Key Moments in My Comics History 7

At one end of a super-hero comic book art spectrum you have the stunning realism of Alex Ross, whose work on Marvels revealed a whole new way of looking at super-types; at the other end, you have the dynamic short-hand, almost coded style of the prolific Jack Kirby, who bestrides the comic book world like a behemoth.

Key Moments in My Comics History 6

If you wanted to set your son on the road to a broad general knowledge which would give him confidence and ability at school in the 1960s and 70s, you could have done worse than my father did and subscribe to the amazing magazine Look and Learnwhich was packed with articles on science, history, geography, nature and much more, along with incredible artwork and comic strips ranging from Bible stories to the science fiction adventure ’The Trigan Empire’.

Key Moments in My Comics History 5

Collecting comics, especially Marvel comics, has been a passion since about the age of 5. There were many milestones and many memories. One of the most pronounced was this cover showing the first appearance of the Vision, hauntingly drawn by the legendary John Buscema.

Key Moments in My Comics History 4

In the 1960s, British comics like ‘Smash!’ (along with ‘Pow!’ and ‘Wham!’) serialised American Marvel and DC Comics stories as well as creating original (usually funny) stories of their own.

Key Moments in My Comics History 3

British children growing up in the 1960s (like me) often had their first introduction to Marvel comics characters through syndicated stories that appeared in ‘Fantastic’ and ‘Terrific’. These were British-style weeklies with serialised, black and white versions of the current Lee/Kirby tales that were unfolding across the Atlantic.

Comics, comics, comics!

I have in my possession a collection of comics dating back to the 1960s, about 5,000 in total. It’s not a fact which has been widely known as some of these are quite valuable.

Key Moments in My Comics History 2

I grew up on comics -British weeklies, American superhero monthlies, educational comics, anything I could get hold of. They were and are fascinating, wonderful things. I still have a collection of over 5,000.

Key Moments in My Comics History 1

I grew up on comics -British weeklies, American superhero monthlies, educational comics, anything I could get hold of. They were and are fascinating, wonderful things. I still have a collection of over 5,000. This is the cover of the first comic that I can remember reading. Anyone else remember TV 21?

Marvel Comics and Movies: Why DC can never emulate Marvel's film success

Stan Lee, so the story goes, was thinking about getting out of the whole business of comic books back in the late 1950s. He’d worked his way up from errand boy to a script writer and editor at the company that had become Marvel Comics, and had tried his hand at everything from westerns to horror to romances and the game was getting boring. Then, legend says, he was told that, as he was on the way out, why didn’t he try writing some stuff that he wanted to write, with no real editorial guidelines other than his own preferences?

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Protagonist

Protagonists should always be interesting. In fact, they are designed to be the most interesting character in any story, something you can read much more about in How Stories Really Work. But they also serve a function in a story, and once that function is done, the story is over.

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