Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 9: Doctor, doctor, can't you see I'm burning, burning

Among the most beautiful of "board games" from UK comics are the early Doctor Who annuals — yes, back when they were even calling him "Dr. Who" in the story texts. And there was only one Doctor! You kids and your need to have a dozen or so Doctors. Why, in my day, we have four or five, and we managed to do just fine, a rubber monster and a wobbling cardboard spaceship or two aside.

But oh, this is gorgeously drawn and designed, isn't it? Compared to our modern-day photo art and computer designed Doctor Who annuals (not that I won't feature at least one of those games), this is Fine Art, with a capital F.A.

"Escape from Planet X" in Doctor Who Annual 1967 (World Distributors, Manchester, 1966)
(Click picture to Planet of Giants-size)

Lovely, isn't it? For best result, the instructions "meet robots — go back to start" really should be read in the voice of Dr. Zoidberg.

Here's some more uncredited art from that Doctor Who Annual. Remember that classic episode where the Doctor went to a Galactic Pig Roast?

And years (about 1200 of them) before the Thirteenth Twelfth Doctor was stuck in a incredible shrinking TARDIS in the episode "Flatline," the First Doctor, a master-mind capable of spanning all spatial infinity and all temporal entity with his incredible knowledge of science, mathematics, and reversing the polarity, already had. Parse that sentence, Strunk and White!

In conclusion, Doctor Who itself may have gotten more technically proficient, but Doctor Who Annuals can never recapture the beauty and charm of their early days. Set the TARDIS controls for the heart of the sun!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Month of... Board Games! Day 8: Jimmy Olsen's Blue (Game Token)

A game that allows you to play as Jimmy Olsen? Versus Superman and Silver Age Brainiac and the well-before-his-time plump businessman version of Lex Luthor? Sign me up! Even though it's just a glorified version of Parcheesi. Well, for that, I can only say...Sorry!

"Super Track" from Superman Giant Game Book (World Distributors Manchester, 1967)
(Click picture to Turtle Boy-size)

Here's the instructions for "Super Track"...yeah, like you didn't already know how to play Parcheesi. (Hint: no cheese is involved.)

Sorry, this annual had the cardboard insert with the punch-out playing pieces missing, so you'll just have to use the ones from the similar Batman game, or make your own, or steal some from another game. Probably Parcheesi.


A Month of... Board Games! Day 7: “Do you expect me to talk?” “No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to play this game!”

"Spytracker" from TV [Century] 21 Summer Extra 1965 (City Magazines, UK, 1965)
(Click picture to espionagisize)

Here's the instructions for this game with a really cool design. Print the instructions, cut them out, memorize them, then swallow the paper. It will self destruct in five seconds.

Sure, the instructions may be complicated, but here's the cool part: there are separate instructions for enemy agents. Bonus: you don't have to follow the rules!

So, choose a side: the White Spy or the Black Spy (copyright ©1961 Antonio Prohías). Just remember, in the spy game, the only one who wins...are the gadget makers.

A Month of... Board Games! Day 6: The board game for twenty men...twenty big men

I'm not just whistlin' dixie there in the title to today's post (mainly because, like Peppa Pig, I cannot whistle).

Nope, you really can play this game if you have nineteen friends to play it with! Or, judging from the title of the game, 998 friends! Wow! I don't think anybody has that many friends Facebook excepted.

So for tokens you can use nine hundred ninety-nine different things. Buttons, stamps, Batman action figure's your call! Do not use bananas.

"999" from Bananaman Annual 1985 (D.C. Thomson & Co., 1984)
(Click picture to Attack of the Giant Bananas-size)

Yes, Bananaman! You remember him from Nickelodeon cartoons, right after Dangermouse! featuring the voices of UK comic icons Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie, a.k.a. The Goodies!

So, Bananaman!

Not Bananarama.

Friday, August 12, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 225: Today in Comics History: Are Brie Larson and Brendan Fraser an item?

Panels from Ms. Marvel (2006 series) #18 (October 2007), script by Brian Reed, pencils by Aaron Lopresti, inks by Matt Ryan, colors by Chris Sotomayor, letters by Dave Sharpe

Thursday, August 11, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 224: I bet Lou Grant never did, you know what, he did this all the time

Panels from "Where R U Spider-Man???" in Amazing Spider-Man (1999 series) #1 (January 1999), script by Howard Mackie, pencils by John Byrne, inks by Scott Hanna, colors by Gregory Wright, letters by Liz Agraphiotis

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 223: Stop trying to make the Inhumans happen, Jonah

Panel from "Beware of the Hair" in Spidey Super Stories #4 (January 1975), script by Jean Thomas, pencils by Win Mortimer, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Artie Simek

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 222: He's no Jimmy Olsen*

Panels from Marvel Team-Up (1972 series) #51 (November 1976), script by Bill Mantlo, breakdowns by Sal Buscema, finishes by Mike Esposito, colors by Janice Cohen, letters by Irving Watanabe

* But then again, who is?

Monday, August 08, 2016

366 Days with J. Jonah Jameson, Day 221: Supervillain Team-Up

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man (1963 series) #62 (July 1968), script by Stan Lee, layouts by John Romita, pencils by Don Heck, inks by Mike Esposito, letters by Sam Rosen