First up, huge apologies for no posts for such a long time, but the school holidays and all three Sprogs at home all the time means precious little in the way of reading and Blog posting.
But, the house is quiet now, so lets get back to it and I thought i'd start off again with a momentous issue - the last edition of Battle before merging with Action.
I hated titles merging - usually my favourite characters didn't survive it and, if they did, it never really seemed the same again. 2000AD is the only comic I can think of that went against that on the couple of occasions it happened there.
Anyway, the cover does the usual breaking it to us with telling us, with the "Big News" Exciting details inside!" blurb - I dreaded seeing that, knowing full well what it meant.
Anyway, inside we get another custom for such events - the hurried finishing up of stories that weren't going to continue, some done more clumsily than others: Joe Two Beans, Night Of Vengeance, Gaunt, Sea Wolf and The Bootneck Boy all had abrupt happy endings happening.
Aside from the Big News about to happen, we also get this time two things of note around the Johnny Red part of the comic - stunning as usual Joe Colquhoun art on a rather preposterous segment (can you really put a plane into reverse, come up behind the plane that's chasing you, use your propeller to rip his tail to pieces, and keep flying?), and a full page advert for the UFO Dinky toys. Really? Its 1977 - UFO had been off the screen for seven years, and yet they're still flogging the toys? Did the average reader even know of the show?
Also here we get brilliant Mike Western art on The Sarge, somewhat let down by that hideous idea of the time to colour in the centre pages with any pot of paint that's at hand: green pyramids, smoke and clouds during the day, yellow pyramids and green sky at night:
Other thing of note is this fantastic panel of a very prolonged version of the title of this here Blog. But, if I was being squashed between my sub and ship, think i'd do likewise:
A short "AIEE!" from a rapidly despatched Japanese soldier and the same again when a bunch of Americans get their raft blown up in Joe Two Beans. And then a 100% perfect "AIEEEE!" when another raft blows up in the same strip.
A lengthy as he falls "AIEEEEEEEE!" from the main bad guy in The Sarge. Guess it was a long drop.
And the squashed sailor in Sea Wolf.
'77 looks like a vintage year for the expletive.