Saturday, 6 March 2010

In which I get an award

Greetings readers. I had planned to bring you the final unwanted chapter in the story of my relentless search for further back issues of Charlton Comics' unloved 1960s Archie rip-off, Freddy. But I'm afraid that will have to wait. Please try and be patient.

A certain Mr. Coniam, a 'blogger' who appears to have a great deal of time on his hands, if the huge number of blogs he writes is anything to go by, has unexpectedly awarded me The Creative Blogger Award.

I usually have no respect for awards at all, and affect to despise both those who give them and those who receive them, but I'm making an exception in Mr. Coniam's case. Any man who writes a blog entitled The Marx Brothers Council of Great Britain as well as another solely devoted to the intricate analysis of every forgotten Dennis Wheatley novel (in order, no less) is obviously a man of discerning taste who both knows what he's talking about and truly understands and savors both the futility and the joyous, pointless excitement of wallowing in pop-cultural history, while your everyday life crashes and burns around you. So, despite even his misguided suggestion, amongst the comments following one of my posts, that Morecambe and Wise's Night Train to Murder is "magnificent", I remain pleased to accept this award. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, etc. The British are coming!

Apparently, though, it's not as simple as that. These awards are beastly things, something like chain letters. I can't just accept it and be done with it, and go about my business. In order to receive it, I have certain duties to fulfill, all of which revolve around the number seven. But instead of having to promise to send loads of creeps from my junior school class 5p each, I am now supposed to reveal 7 facts about myself, and award further awards to 7 other 'bloggers'. Complicated, eh? And does anybody really give a toss about moi? Besides, the concept of a 'fact' is inherently problematic. I ask you. To tell you the truth, I could live without it.

Anyhow, here goes. Let's start with the 7 blogs lucky enough to receive awards from me. Blimey. I feel exhausted already.

Ideally, I'd give awards to all the "followers" up there on the right who read my blog, of course, including that mysterious chap Jerry who doesn't seem to have one of his own, but has a rather fetching picture of a budgerigar as his 'icon'. But I'm afraid I can't. So I apologise in advance. Here are the lucky nerds who get The Creative Blogger Award from me (if they, or you, care):

The deranged ramblings of British trash film-auteur par excellence and connoisseur of all things smutty Fred Karno, who has himself been churning out zero-budget film rubbish of the highest order since the 1980s. One day the mainstream media will surely discover him and proclaim him as a genius, as Stan Laurel did for Marcel Marceau. I fear, though, it may be some time after his demise, unfortunately. Mr. Karno doesn't post as much as he ought to, but you're sure to find some obscure saucy film-fun at his blog.

Splendidly poetic and perceptive travel writing, social commentary and pondering on existence from the enigmatic I AM PENTAGON. He doesn't write enough, either. But take a look! His latest, after about a decade of silence, is all about a graveyard. That's the stuff.

As a big Western fan, I am a loyal devotee of the DC Comics western Jonah Hex, which - somewhat implausibly - is being made into a film after being cancelled in the late '80s then more recently revived. A fine fellow called Dwayne writes a splendid blog about it all, and has provided detailed analyses of every issue of his adventures. He's also keeping a careful tally of how many owlhoots Hex has offed over the years. And it's plenty. Now he's dealing with the spin-off comic Hex , which saw the scar-faced bounty hunter in a post-apocalyptic Mad-Max rip-off future. You know you need to head right on over!

Ever wanted to live your life in the wholesome style of Enid Blyton's immortal George, Anne, Julian, Dick and Timmy the dog (woof!)? Of course you did. You didn't? Well, here's your chance. From choosing the right brogues for the Famous Five look, to chasing children who won't wash with carpet beaters, by way of how to make ginger-beer scones, it's all charmingly documented here in lovingly eccentric detail.

And relax. A chap called Drake does this one. I'm not sure how to accurately sum it up in a couple of sentences, but suffice to say a recent post devoted to a photo of a cute redhead in a tight outfit ("am I shallow to melt over a pic like this?" says Drake. Yes, you are. But I'm more than happy to reprint it here) follows immediately after a post about Top Cat advertising Kellogg's Corn Flakes in the 1960s. I feel a distinct affinity for Drake's worldview.

Keep up the good work, Drake! I salute you!

Nostalgia, incisive analysis and humorous comment on old comic books, the main things that make life worth living. And Pat, who writes this, was the first blogger to post an encouraging word of comment on my humble blog (a friendly disagreement about Donald Duck comics, I seem to recall). I'm sure he has plenty of awards already, but here's another one for his Bat Cave. I often spend my lunch hour reading Silver Age Comics. It's jam packed with important information I can't afford to miss about gorillas in comics, Ace the Bat-Hound and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen's signal-watch (zee-zee-zee).

If there's a theme running through my choices it's a certain degree of - shall we say - eccentricity going on here. And Mr. Dartman is no exception. There's all kinds of crazy stuff to be found in his World of Wonder, and as this is where I obtained a copy of the deleted rock n' roll album Chuck Berry '75, I feel I must give Mr. D an award - even if he contravenes all health and safety regulations by also making available the tragic post-Monkees travesty LP Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart. If you don't believe how bad it is, just take a look at that sickly picture above. That should give you some idea. Yes, I just had to have it! But I regretted it.

So there you are. Sorry I could only do seven. And now, finally, the facts about me. Stay awake at the back, there. Just give me the facts, ma'am.


1. This is the first award I've won since I took first place in the London Borough of Hounslow 'Peace' poster competition (it was the 11-13 age group, about 1982, I think).

2. My winning picture, exhibited in Hounslow Civic Centre, was a ghastly watercolour painting of a war scene, complete with mushroom clouds, death, destruction, etc., melting into a giant cup with a CND symbol on it.

3. The prize was a book token for Ten Pounds. Or something. I may have spent it on the first British edition of Herge's The Blue Lotus.

4. Despite my pride at such an honour, the event was nonetheless tinged with regret. Which I will now attempt to convey to you.

5. In the following week's Middlesex Chronicle they mistakenly said that a drippy girl from a posh school had won first prize, and had a picture of her gloating in front of her painting instead of a picture of me gloating in front of mine (which, frustratingly, I believe could be glimpsed at the edge of the picture).

6. I was forced to wear my ill-fitting school uniform to the prize giving ceremony, and had a 'bowl' haircut. The newspaper made sure to publish a group shot, which wholly demonstrated this, though at the same time I was partially obscured behind someone's shoulder.

7. Just like The Gallery on Take Hart, they did not return my picture, presumably depositing it, along with all the others - with relief - in a dustbin as soon as Hounslow Council's Leftist agenda had been fully satisfied by its well-publicised exhibition.

I hope you enjoyed that intimate glimpse into my private world. You will not find my prize-winning poster in THE HOUSE OF COBWEBS. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.


  1. Thanks so much for the award, brightened up my day it did! I'm not used to winning awards and have no speech prepared but would like to thank all the asteroids for not hitting the Earth today, that would have been a total bummer.

    Thanks again!

  2. Dear Mr Cobweb,
    I am overwhelmed with emotion at your award, especially after the fuss I caused you with the 'Stan Stennet affair'. I will have to write something now...
    I look forward to your twelve part dissertation on Baby Huey.
    Mr Karno

  3. Tell me more about the Stan Stennet affair (he's the chap who was on-stage with Eric Morecambe when he died, yes?)
    And if you persist in denying yourself the transcendence that comes of watching Night Train to Murder a couple of nights a week for the past several months and counting, the least you can do is spell my name properly. Actually, no, leave it. I rather prefer it that way.
    And why was all that apocalyptic chaos "melting into a giant cup"? No wonder you won.

  4. My dear Sir, apologies. The incorrect spelling of your name was the result of my frenzied excitement at winning something. I have now made amendments so that in the future I can claim that I never made the mistake in the first place. I am sworn never to mention the scandalous affair of which you speak.

  5. Thanks, Karl! However, I will run the risk of breaking the chain, mainly because I think this is the third such award I've won and I'm running out of facts about myself to disclose without getting a little too personal.

    BTW, Boyce and Hart wrote and recorded one of the great stalker songs of all time: I Wonder What's She's Doin' Tonight. Terrific hook, upbeat singing, and absolutely crazy.

  6. What is this thing called "blogger"? It sounds rather rude...