Action - 35 years old today

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Lew Stringer
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
Lew Stringer wrote:
Raven wrote: PS: Lew, I notice you say on your blog messageboard that "the level of violence in that Hook Jaw image (illustrating your piece) is about as far as Action went." Ahem! Now that's not entirely true, is it?!
No, because you've truncated the quote, which continued "although there was another image where a body exploded with limbs flying off". As far as I'm concerned that image was of a more graphic level than someone being kicked in the head. Your opinion may differ, and that's fine.

I did read that, and maybe I should have quoted it, too, but the Hook Jaw violence in that 11th September issue I'd say was much stronger than the image on your blog, for a start, as well as all the Kids Rule Ok, Dredger stuff, etc. I'd have to look up the limbs image to refresh my memory, but I thought that wasn't as strong as some of the others, either.
Fair enough. I'm not saying you're wrong. Opinions are bound to differ.
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Raven
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Raven »

ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I thought that much of the strips in ACTION were a bit on the derivitive side: HOOKJAW merely upped the violence on JAWS and made the shark bigger, with the added bonus of vaving a harpoon-like protrusion sticking from beneath the shark's mouth [offering up even more violence].

However the most derivitive strip for me was DEATH GAME 1999, which later became SPINBALL WARS. This was too clearly culled [lock-stock-and-barrell] from 1975 sci-fi flick ROLLERBALL, with elements of bad-taste low-budget film DEATH RACE 2000 [also from '75] chucked in as added 'bad taste' influence. ROLLERBALL wasn't all that good a film, and this comicstrip unofficial 'variation' was probably more entertaining: the violence in this was extremely lurid, but more laughable than disturbing in my experience.

Comics do tend to be a reactive, rather than proactive, medium (witness even today, The Dandy's riding on the coattails of TV celebrity culture) and Action did tend to take popular cinema properties and do their own version (cranking up the sensational violence) - Hookjaw and Death Game 1999 being the most blatant examples - adding to the comic's exploitational feel.

Lew Stringer
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:
ISPYSHHHGUY wrote:I thought that much of the strips in ACTION were a bit on the derivitive side: HOOKJAW merely upped the violence on JAWS and made the shark bigger, with the added bonus of vaving a harpoon-like protrusion sticking from beneath the shark's mouth [offering up even more violence].

However the most derivitive strip for me was DEATH GAME 1999, which later became SPINBALL WARS. This was too clearly culled [lock-stock-and-barrell] from 1975 sci-fi flick ROLLERBALL, with elements of bad-taste low-budget film DEATH RACE 2000 [also from '75] chucked in as added 'bad taste' influence. ROLLERBALL wasn't all that good a film, and this comicstrip unofficial 'variation' was probably more entertaining: the violence in this was extremely lurid, but more laughable than disturbing in my experience.

Comics do tend to be a reactive, rather than proactive, medium (witness even today, The Dandy's riding on the coattails of TV celebrity culture) and Action did have a tendency just take something popular in cinema and do their own version (cranking up the sensational violence) - Hookjaw and Death Game 1999 being the most blatant examples - adding to the comic's exploitational feel.
Exactly. It was a deliberate attempt to follow the fads of the time. I'm surprised it didn't feature a kung fu strip come to that.

Perhaps I didn't find Action too excessive because I was a bit older, at 17, and I saw it as part of a publishing culture that included Legend Horror Classics, Monster Mag, Tales of the Zombie, Vampire Tales, etc.

Sorry to hear it disturbed you as a kid. I'm not saying comics can't be scary or give kids nightmares; the idea is to evoke emotions after all, but it's the attitude of banning comics that I'm against. (Which isn't your attitude I know. Just saying.)
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Raven
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Exactly. It was a deliberate attempt to follow the fads of the time. I'm surprised it didn't feature a kung fu strip come to that.
Probably just a few years too late for Kung Fu? Had it come out around 73-74 I'm sure it would have.

Lew Stringer wrote: Perhaps I didn't find Action too excessive because I was a bit older, at 17, and I saw it as part of a publishing culture that included Legend Horror Classics, Monster Mag, Tales of the Zombie, Vampire Tales, etc.
I think the difference with those is that they seemed to be 'magazines' aimed at older - or 'mature' - readers, whereas Action was clearly targeted at children, with the likes of colouring competitions to "win a super-duper Cassette recorder" and coloured felt tip pens on the back cover.


Lew Stringer wrote: Sorry to hear it disturbed you as a kid. I'm not saying comics can't be scary or give kids nightmares; the idea is to evoke emotions after all, but it's the attitude of banning comics that I'm against. (Which isn't your attitude I know. Just saying.)
I'd always advocate *self* regulation - getting the comic banned only puts lots of writers and artists out of work, after all.

Incidentally, I wonder how strong the 1977 (out in '76) first Action Annual is, obviously prepared long pre-ban.

steelclaw
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by steelclaw »

Raven wrote: Incidentally, I wonder how strong the 1977 (out in '76) first Action Annual is, obviously prepared long pre-ban.
I had a look through the 1977 Annual it doesn't seem to bad compared to the comics 'Hookjaw' has a lot of blood in it, although all all but 2 stories have punch -ups in, the 1976 Summer special doesn't seem to bad either.

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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Raven »

steelclaw wrote: I had a look through the 1977 Annual it doesn't seem to bad compared to the comics 'Hookjaw' has a lot of blood in it, although all all but 2 stories have punch -ups in, the 1976 Summer special doesn't seem to bad either.
Interesting. thanks for checking, Steely.

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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Lew Stringer »

Although there is a close up of someone getting shot in the face in the book. All flash rather than gore, but still something that wouldn't be allowed in the relaunched version of the weekly I imagine.
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steelclaw
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by steelclaw »

Why is it so difficult to post on these forum these days?????? It only took me 20 mins I can't take it anymore I give up.

And the Racist content in 'Black Jack' So maybe it's worse then the comics.

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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by felneymike »

Wasn't the "racist" story actually against racism though? With bullies getting thier comeuppance? I'm sure I read a review of that annual somewhere (probably the Seven Penny Nightmare website). Because Grange Hill used a similar plot at probably around the same time. Once again Action simply adapts what was popular at the time into a comic XD

steelclaw
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by steelclaw »

Yeah I suppose it was in away but you would never get away with some of the names they were calling him today in a comic for kids.
Grange hill was a few years later.

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philcom55
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by philcom55 »

Oddly enough even Love Thy Neighbour was thought to be 'against racism' in those days! :roll:

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Digifiend
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by Digifiend »

How is that anything to do with racism? It's a biblical quote isn't it?
steelclaw wrote:Why is it so difficult to post on these forum these days?????? It only took me 20 mins I can't take it anymore I give up.
That Fast CGI error again? Should be fixed now.

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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by felneymike »

Digifiend wrote:How is that anything to do with racism? It's a biblical quote isn't it?
steelclaw wrote:Why is it so difficult to post on these forum these days?????? It only took me 20 mins I can't take it anymore I give up.
That Fast CGI error again? Should be fixed now.
I beleive he is referring to a sitcom of that name where a black family move in next to a white one XD

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

Eddie Booth and his wife weren't exactly shining examples of 'white superiority' in Love thy Neighbour but I thought that Nina-Baden Semper was quite a cutie back in '72.



Image
Don't fancy yours much: our Nina, on the left.

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ISPYSHHHGUY
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Re: Action - 35 years old today

Post by ISPYSHHHGUY »

steering back on-topic, here's a typically lurid representation of Death Game 1999:

I first encountered this strip and comic in a pile sitting in the school science lab, of all places:

Image

The versions of this strip I saw were probably the mid-period strips [just before the ban and before the 'Spinball Wars' revamp], and it was pretty nasty stuff; some of the Japanese death-game players comitted 'hari-kari' rather than admit defeat on the 'games arena', for example. Pretty tasteless stuff, but quite memorable nevertheless. As I said, ACTION certainly wasn't a boring comic, and the reaction it engendered more than likely paved the way for 2000 AD in March 1977.

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