Another attempt at drawing a Marvel superhero character - this time The Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis Doctor Doom. I don’t remember whether I especially liked him, but I clearly put in the effort here. It’s hardly Rembrandt but I’ve definitely tried very hard to get the shadows and folds right. Not a bad picture for an eight year old. It’s not something I think about often but it’s obvious I thought of myself as an artist just as much as a writer. I’ve spent most of my life imitating things I like in one way or another, so I tend to view all this stuff through that lens. I liked reading comics, so obviously I wanted to make comics of my own. Just like later on I’d write stories about Star Wars or Doctor Who or whatever else I was into at the time. When I grew up, it was comedy and music. When I was eight, it was comics. But it felt like much more than that. Pretty soon, we’ll start seeing evidence of me fantasising about having my own business empire that made not just comics and books but toys too. I clearly had ambition. But I doubt I really wanted to be Richard Branson. I think I just saw creativity as a core part of my identity - an identity I was still building and being encouraged to experiment with in my Topic books - and artwork was a core part of that creativity. At some point, I stopped drawing. Some time around the age of 14 or 15. I don’t know why - maybe Art GCSE clashed with something else on the timetable. Maybe I realised I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. Maybe I just stopped reading comics. But at some point it slowly faded out of my life, so it’s strange to look back and see how much time and effort I put into doing this stuff. Sometimes I regret letting it go. But I probably took it as far as I was able. As for the ‘amusing’ bit at the top - “Number Five of Four Pin-Ups” - it’s true, this is the fifth full-page picture in the book, so I guess that’s partly what I meant. But obviously there weren’t originally meant to be just four - I was just trying to be funny. I’ve copied the style of the joke from a magazine I liked called Frantic, without fully understanding it. The front cover of Frantic No 2 (published March 1980) proudly boasts it’s “NUMBER TWO (in a field of one)”. I loved the absurdity of that and obviously wanted to reproduce it here, but hadn’t realised it really meant “This comic is rubbish”. So it just comes across as goofy and doesn’t make much sense. Watch out for more of that as the books roll on…
Dinosaurs 1 Space Travel Ships Sport Dinosaurs 2 Judge Dredd: The Blood of Satanus Captain Carnivore A-Maze-Ing! Star Poster: Super Jesus The Micronauts: Giant Karza The Origin of Electro Optical Illusion Time Frantic Thingies Men in Space Topic Book Word Find Puzzleman Evel Knievel: Fury Falls More Puzzlers Star Poster: The Hulk 1 Grobschnitt’s Page Captain Starlight Star Poster: The Hulk 2 The Yellyog Gang The Adventures of Puzzlemaster Jupe Woman Line Pin-Up: Doctor Doom Lazer Lash The Human Maze Three Squares Raven Mad Marvel Sketches Robschnitt’s Age: 1 Snotty Notty Space Battles Metalorian Man Robschnitt’s Age: 2 The Superhero Sports Day Captain Kirk & Pywal Carbo-Catalogue How Dumb Are You? The Space Invaders: 1 Pin-Up: The Empire Strikes Back The Space Invaders: 2 Gi-Gant-Ic! Index
The Dreaded Doctor Doom
April/May 1980
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TERM 3 1980 continues with the embassy siege and The Empire Strikes Back
Pin-Up: Doctor Doom
The Hulk Puny humans won’t be able to resist this amazing pin-up!
The Origin of Electro Waen Shepherd, TV Star, turns evil and drains the city!
Super Jesus A special pin-up of your favourite Nazarene webslinger
HELP ME KEEP THIS WEBSITE ALIVE
April/May 1980
Pin-Up:
Doctor Doom
Grobschnitt’s Page Meet Grobschnitt, the dome-headed Harbinger of Mischief
Apeth (from Ota Sbees) Ritern ov thu perpal geriller
Exploring the Underworld Eight boys go exploring in a dangerous cave
TERM 3 1980 continues with the embassy siege and The Empire Strikes Back
The Dreaded Doctor Doom
Another attempt at drawing a Marvel superhero character - this time The Fantastic Four’s arch- nemesis Doctor Doom. I don’t remember whether I especially liked him, but I clearly put in the effort here. It’s hardly Rembrandt but I’ve definitely tried very hard to get the shadows and folds right. Not a bad picture for an eight year old. It’s not something I think about often but it’s obvious I thought of myself as an artist just as much as a writer. I’ve spent most of my life imitating things I like in one way or another, so I tend to view all this stuff through that lens. I liked reading comics, so obviously I wanted to make comics of my own. Just like later on I’d write stories about Star Wars or Doctor Who or whatever else I was into at the time. When I grew up, it was comedy and music. When I was eight, it was comics. But it felt like much more than that. Pretty soon, we’ll start seeing evidence of me fantasising about having my own business empire that made not just comics and books but toys too. I clearly had ambition. But I doubt I really wanted to be Richard Branson. I think I just saw creativity as a core part of my identity - an identity I was still building and being encouraged to experiment with in my Topic books - and artwork was a core part of that creativity. At some point, I stopped drawing. Some time around the age of 14 or 15. I don’t know why - maybe Art GCSE clashed with something else on the timetable. Maybe I realised I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. Maybe I just stopped reading comics. But at some point it slowly faded out of my life, so it’s strange to look back and see how much time and effort I put into doing this stuff. Sometimes I regret letting it go. But I probably took it as far as I was able. As for the ‘amusing’ bit at the top - “Number Five of Four Pin-Ups” - it’s true, this is the fifth full-page picture in the book, so I guess that’s partly what I meant. But obviously there weren’t originally meant to be just four - I was just trying to be funny. I’ve copied the style of the joke from a magazine I liked called Frantic, without fully understanding it. The front cover of Frantic No 2 (published March 1980) proudly boasts it’s “NUMBER TWO (in a field of one)”. I loved the absurdity of that and obviously wanted to reproduce it here, but hadn’t realised it really meant “This comic is rubbish”. So it just comes across as goofy and doesn’t make much sense. Watch out for more of that as the books roll on…
Lazer Lash An exciting criminal spy adventure in a world made of lasers!
Woman Line Which of these five squiggly lines leads to the woman?