Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Is the Post-Ban Action Underrated? 
Author Message

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:58 pm
Posts: 2829
Location: Highboro'
Reply with quote
The standard line, of course, is that the comic returned on December 4th 1976 bowlderised, too tame to be interesting to the punk kids any more, just a traditional adventure title, a sell-out, etc.

I was just wondering if anyone has actually read the post-ban issues, and if it's any good as a traditional adventure title in its own right. A completely different comic with a different agenda, certainly, but the traditional IPC adventure titles were often pretty good. Is there some worthwhile stuff we're missing out on between December 1976 and the final issue in November 1977, if we only stick to the notorious pre-ban issues?

Of course, there are different views on when the best period for Action actually was, and it's interesting that original producer Pat Mills and original editor Geff Kemp thought it had lost its way by mid-1976, long pre-ban, just as the excess violence period was kicking off, seeing that as a mistake and a failure.

Are any riches to be discovered in its second incarnation?


Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:13 pm
Profile
Mr Valeera
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 6:06 pm
Posts: 3380
Location: Lost in time, lost in space
Reply with quote
Spinball Wars is OK, but that is about it. The rest of the comic was above the D C Thomson output of the time, but it was also above the Fleetway output.

I think that because of 2000AD, Fleetway does get excused a lot of how bad it was at times

_________________
I started to say something sensible but my parents took over my brain!


Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:34 pm
Profile WWW

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:58 pm
Posts: 2829
Location: Highboro'
Reply with quote
Thanks for the reply, although this:

colcool007 wrote:
The rest of the comic was above the D C Thomson output of the time, but it was also above the Fleetway output.


... makes it sound like it was quite good, if it was better than both?

I was thinking about how a comic like, say, Speed tends to get dismissed (for being traditional and not very gritty) but, if you look at it, there's actually some quite nice material in it - if you're not expecting it to be something it isn't trying to be.


Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:58 pm
Profile
Online
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:56 am
Posts: 4954
Reply with quote
The later Action was a bit like Eagle round about the time it combined with Tiger. It hardly set the world alight, yet it featured regular work by loads of Fleetway stalwarts like Ortiz, Cruz, Kennedy, Burns, Bradbury, Western, etc. at a time when the traditional boys' adventure comic was becoming an endangered species.


Sat Jul 16, 2016 4:18 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
I found some of the Spinball Wars imagery still quite violent, even after the ban.

I never found that the later version of the comic was as 'neutered' as some early fans made out, but hey, I never bought it every week. Ardent enthusiasts must have known the difference and sales obviously plummetted...but maybe the comic just lost a lot of its' early momentum [wasn't it hastily withdrawn, to reappear a few months later, with a lot of changes?] that was difficult to recoup.

ACTION was a good shot in the arm for British adventure comics and it paved the way for more contemporary stuff.

I love some of its' 'sweaty 70s' graphics.

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:42 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:51 pm
Posts: 897
Location: UK
Reply with quote
colcool007 wrote:
I think that because of 2000AD, Fleetway does get excused a lot of how bad it was at times

Not sure I can agree with that. Which comics did you think? Battle, Valiant and Action I thought were all great stuff at that time (late 70s). Star*Lord was possibly Fleetway's best, whilst Tornado is much under-rated IMO. The new Eagle started off poorly but quickly became more interesting when they dropped the photo-stories. Tiger and Roy of the Rovers were probably the most read in my circle of friends. I can imagine those not interested in sport didn't like it but that would have been the subject matter rather than a critical analysis. I'm really struggling to think of poor boys adventure from Fleetway in that period.

_________________
STARSCAPE
http://StarscapeOnline.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Starscape ... 7891434222
comics, cartoons, music & movies


Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:38 am
Profile WWW
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
I specifically remember one amigo I had who openly stated he never liked comics: he pointed out the photo-stories [sometimes seen in the early 80s 2000 AD sci-fi specials] for particular scorn.

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:50 am
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:58 pm
Posts: 2829
Location: Highboro'
Reply with quote
philcom55 wrote:
It hardly set the world alight, yet it featured regular work by loads of Fleetway stalwarts like Ortiz, Cruz, Kennedy, Burns, Bradbury, Western, etc. at a time when the traditional boys' adventure comic was becoming an endangered species.


That's what I suspected, and everyone still seemed to be on top of their game in this era. I agree with Starscape that the adventure titles were broadly very good, and if you look back at any of the range today, it's easy to find material of interest - well told stories with good art. Some titles certainly seem to be underrated.

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:
I never found that the later version of the comic was as 'neutered' as some early fans made out, but hey, I never bought it every week.


Does it still basically keep that "tough" approach, then, except without the excess violence, or, presumably, quite so much of the original "greater reality" and maybe "desperate anti-hero" agenda?


Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:12 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
I think they dropped a lot of the 'social concious' stuff later on, Raven: an early strip had punk kids ruling a hypothetical future [I quite liked that idea, but the stiff-upper-lipped Mary Whitehouse Brigade would surely have been appalled at such a depiction] and another serial about football proved to be the straw that broke the camels' back: I remember an image about a hooligan chucking bottles around at a match actually made media headlines and got singled out for the reason the paper got banned/canceled.


An early strip called Blackjack had it's heart in the right place, with the story of an up and coming black boxer fighting inequality---the later versions of the comic avoided anything that could be mistakenly taken as racist or stir any sort of controversy [it's easier to avoid depicting race altogether in such a scenario] and so reverted to blander fare, which obviously isolated the early followers of the comic.

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:57 am
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:58 pm
Posts: 2829
Location: Highboro'
Reply with quote
Yes, I'm very familiar with the pre-ban material, ISPY. It's just the post-ban strips I hardly know anything about. I remember the bottle throwing being especially singled out.

Do you - or anybody else - know what happened to Blackjack at the end of his serial? Was his sight problem cured?


Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:23 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
I will have a look through my Action files later on today regarding the post-ban issues.

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:25 am
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:58 pm
Posts: 2829
Location: Highboro'
Reply with quote
Thanks, ISpy. I'd be interested to hear about any interesting looking strips exclusive to the post-ban era.


Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:54 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
Hiya Raven---the pre-ban issues seems to stop at issue 37, or at least there is a two-month gap before the comic starts up again in late '76 I think it is.


Looking through the later issues: yes, the material is a lot more routine and seems more akin to watching an episode of the Six Million Dollar Man on TV: there is violence, but it's sanitized. The pre-ban issues are certainly more 'interesting' if dodgy in bits, and I myself prefer the earlier incarnation: however the post-ban issues are worth a look to me at least: on par with other typical adventure comics fare of the period, but that's about it.

You seem to enjoy the IPC adventure strips of the 70s and I am sure you would recognize the same hallmarks in the later Action: slightly dodgy artwork in bits, but great charm in there as well.

Later strips included School for Survivors/ Jinx Jackson [which IS as pedestrian as it sounds!] Slaters Steamer [which comes over more like a CFF kids' feature] Spinball drawn by Berlardinelli and Ron Turner, and the Loner.


There are even some spot-gags by Barrie Appleby scattered throughout the letters pages, etc.


I enjoyed looking through this material and will return to it: this stuff should be of interest to anyone 'into' UK 70S comics, although it is surely de-gutted in the main, to be sure.
HOOKJAW is certainly more watered-down in the later incarnation. The colour episodes 'read' better than some of the indistinct artwork before the ban, in my view; there is blood later on but without the gratitous mutilation so beloved of some of the earlier artists and editorial.


Blackjack doesn't seem to make it to the post-ban issues, but I will look into that final instalment for you.


Meanwhile, here are selected illustrations from the post-ban numbers:


[the top one is from DREDGER]:


Image

Image


Image

Image

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:38 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:05 pm
Posts: 4275
Location: BLITZVILLE, USA
Reply with quote
The final page from Blackjack, from issue 29, dated 4 September, 1976.



Image

_________________
Baby Boomer Blog:

http://zoomertoonsrabsmith.blogspot.com/view/magazine


Image


Image

Uploaded with ImageShack.us


Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:28 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:05 am
Posts: 765
Location: Southampton/London
Reply with quote
I have the set (missing the ultra rare October issue) and read them all again only a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed the whole series, not just the pre-ban but then again, I'm a 70s kid at heart so can't get enough of the Adventure and Action strips.

It is a little less controversial but still highly enjoyable in my opinion.


Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:17 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software.