Sunday, 30 March 2014

Grave Tales

So you are probably aware that I'm a big fan of older British horror movies, right? Not just Hammer (although they are my main love), but the Amicus studio portmanteau horrors which frequently found Hammer alumni involved.

Fast forward to the 21st Century and we have a new anthology film to watch - Grave Tales.

The film opens with a researcher looking into gravestones and coming across a grave digger (the excellent Brian Murphy, probably best known for George & Mildred) who proceeds to tell her tales about the inhabitants of the plots...

Watching the four stories (featuring old Hammer hands Eduard de Souza and Damien Thomas) I had a strange sense of deja vu and then another connection dawned on me: three of the tales were based on short comic strips from the 70s magazine House of Hammer

One Man's Meat sees a butcher disposing of a body with unforeseen consequences.

Callistro's Mirror has a collector taking extreme measures to acquire a valuable mirror which has a dark history.

The Hand tells of two convicts on the run - one of which is determined not to go back to prison, at any cost.

the fourth story (and in my view, the weakest) features Norman J Warren (director of Satan's Slaves) as a pop video director with a band willing to pay any price for success.

At only 75 mins it's a short running time and nips among quit nicely. It's worth catching up with (despite some dodgy dubbing) but I'm surprised Dez Skinn hasn't sued them yet!

Sunday, 23 March 2014


Hands up who likes Jack Kirby?

Good gracious, almost all of you.


As I've said before, I grew up reading British anthologies - they are my inspiration for PARAGON - so never really found a place in my heart for superheroes, which were predominantly an American thing. This probably explains why I have no interest in muscular men in spandex pants hitting each other.

But I just don't get the love for Kirby; look at this page from The Prisoner (which other online blogs have been drooling over)

The anatomy is appalling. How long are those arms?

Consider his British contemporaries, the Franks Hampson and Bellamy.
While Kirby was churning this out, Bellamy was drawing Fraser of Africa

The beautiful stippling and sepia tones on that astonish me. And the man could turn his hand to everything; he drew the Winston Churchill biographical comic, the Happy Warrior (soon to be reprinted), science fiction (ever seen his Dr Who illustrations for the Radio Times? His Star Trek comics? His Thunderbirds work?) and of course, Garth - the Daily Mirror three panel strip.

I'm sure you are aware of Frank Hampson and his creation Dan Dare and the beautiful airbrushed space-scapes within it, and of course the fantastic alien worlds and spaceships, so here's one of the last pages he drew

even at the end of his life, he held a beautiful line.

So tell me again why this Kirby chap is so lauded?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Spencer Nero Digital Compendium - now available!

It’s been two-and-a-half years (!) since Spencer Nero first made his lion-thumping, skull-perforating debut in PARAGON #9. Now, all eleven stories to date have been collected into a single hefty tome (you could club a Nazi to death with it!) documenting Spencer’s two-fisted pulp adventures in the year 1936! What’s more, the collection (subtitled ‘By Jupiter’s Jockstrap!’) also includes the original pitch for the series, as well as bonus sketches by James Corcoran from the ‘White Spider’ story, and a foreword from Spencer himself, in which he reveals his... interesting views on comic-books and their readers.

If you prefer to buy your 1930's adventures in a 21st Century manner, you can now purchase a digital edition for only 99p!

Click the link here        

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Spencer Nero Compendium

As PARAGON have produced two volumes of the Jikan Chronicles and the Icarus Collected, I think it's about time we had a Spencer Nero Compendium - collecting 60 pages worth of the Civil Centurion's adventures!

So, who wants a copy?

Sunday, 2 March 2014

AAIIEEE!!! resurrected

And the first artwork is in for the new issue, by the brilliant SKD
Keep your eyes peeled for more very soon!