Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Girl Behind the Glass

This is one of my favourite old Atlas Comics stories - art by Jay Scott Pike. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Thylacines 2

Sorry. Can't stop for long. Have to clear a lot of thylacine doo-doo off my lawn and then I need to feed the dodo's.

Friday, 26 June 2009


If you people get any of these coming into your garden you better let me know as soon as possible. They are best dealt with by us professional monster hunters.


Monday, 22 June 2009

The Goons Vs. The Loch Ness Monster

We're inching even closer to the end of Loch Ness Monster theme month here at Cryptid Kid...and I've discovered I feel dizzy if this site doesn't have a Loch Ness oriented posting. The Goon Show was a BBC radio comedy show from the 1950's featuring Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. Here is a comic strip of its incarnation as The Telegoons - a BBC animated show circa 1966 (which even I am not old enough to remember). Naturally the Telegoons travel to Loch Ness where they [SPOILER ALERT]. Just kidding. I think you get the general idea around here now...
Peace my people...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A gentle rain falls softly on my weary eyes...

Here's a link to some You Tube footage from the War of the Worlds stage show. This is an older version of the show and for people interested in such things the Richard Burton hologram is now considerably better...


Thursday, 18 June 2009

The Chances of Anything Coming from Mars

Last night I went to see the War of the Worlds show at the Trent FM Arena here in Nottingham. Wow! If this ever on anywhere near you go and see it. A true multi media experience - CGI, full size model work, cinema, holograms, pyrotechnics and live performance. The band and orchestra were superb - with Jeff Wayne conducting - driving the whole thing forward by effort of will and personal charisma. A brilliant ensemble cast, yet surely special mention must be made of Justin Hayward. His rendition of 'Forever Autumn' was a tour de force. The only possible criticism might be that they need to build in more time between numbers for audience applause. It also seems incredible that a show as technically complex as this is being moved around the country performing one night stands. I suspect they could've filled the arena for a couple more nights.

Not Yeti

People are always saying to me, "Surely, there's more to Cryptozoology than the Loch Ness Monster?" And I say, "Huh? Really? Are you sure? Let me google that and get back to you." As the end of the month approaches let me ween you off the heroin that is Nessie with the methadone that is the Abominable Snowman courtesy of the artistic genius of Don Newton - also a great artist on The Phantom. This page is from the Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves by Charlton Comics in 1974. This page was, I think, also reprinted in Peter Hainings Ancient Mysteries book - don't have that to hand but I guess it was mid/late 70's. Peace my people.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Nessie Regina

Well, we are getting near to the end of this series of posts which are intended to share material linked to my article in this month's Fortean Times (the Crypto Kid Investigates). Here is the novelty certificate mentioned which 'proves' ahem that I saw Nessie. As the article tries to point out - I guess no one really 'sees' the creature:- they either mis-observe the chimera of various other phenomena (did I coin that phrase? Don't even know any more) or they deliberately fake.

Today I am feeling cynical...today I feel that if a plesiosaur rose out of Loch Ness and bit me in the ass (to paraphrase Matt Hooper) - I'd probably just say, "Hmmm, nice animatronics! Where's the film crew...?"

The question remains...what did George Spicer and his wife see cross the road and dive into the loch? It is the genesis of the modern myth that requires the most explaining still. They had little to gain and risked widespread exposure to ridicule. Which is a nasty thing. I think if I ever did see anything beyond the normal mode of human experience (whatever it was) I'd keep it to myself. And so probably should you.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

A Lifelong Affair with Ingrid Pitt

Thirty two years ago in self-catering accommodation Inverness...I began a love-affair with Ingrid Pitt. I was just 11...she was chronologically 40, but immortalised in the movie Vampire Lovers - showing on late night TV. Yup, just the right age to watch Popeye in the late afternoon and Hammer Horror at bedtime. My bed was conveniently located in the lounge...she by turns was beautiful and yet also scared the bejesus out of me. She pops up in some great films: The Wicker Man, Where Eagles Dare and even Who Dares Wins (and that's just the movies beginning with 'W').

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Tales Out of School

I am reminded that my parents took me out of school in June 1977 to look for the Loch Ness Monster. I think the Local Education Authority might frown on that now - but I'm assured that all necessary forms were filled in. Note my Chinese sounding school name - a 'wong' is a field in old english. I also think I arrived back about the same time as the postcard.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Face in the Water?

I've mentioned that I'm posting things that wouldn't fit into the pages of the 'Crypto Kid' investigates article in Fortean Times this week. Here's a page from the Daily Mirror circa 1975 which shows the Rines photos of...well...of what...these pictures seemed quite freaky in 1975...but they don't really match the expectations of us plesiosaur fanboys. Roll forward to 1977 and my Dad drew what was supposed to be a scuba diver complete with breath mask/regulator in felt tip over the image of the 'monster's' head to demonstrate to me that it could be anything. If you ignore the diver-cum-parachutist Dad drew and turn your head 90 degrees you should see the rocky bottom of the loch instead of the sea-slug/monster. Did nobody realise this at the time? Well as the guy on CBBC's Prank Patrol is always saying...High Five? Scuba dive!

Monday, 8 June 2009

That's me in the corner...that's me in the spotlight

See down on the bottom right? That's me they're talking about y'know. I don't know who's more fed of me plugging this particular issue me or you. Good magazine though...worth the price for the article on imaginary friends. http://www.forteantimes.com/front_website/themag/

There's the link. See how they call me the Crypto Kid? It's confusing having two very similar nicknames. Oh well.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

They Won't Let You Live Past 30

This week I'm thinking a lot about June 1977 because of my "Crypto Kid" - still not figured out why my name had to change in print - article in Fortean Times (#250). If you're on the same continent as a W H Smith or other major magazine retail outlet I crassly exhort you to spend your hard-earned cash on it (while you still can). In the article I make reference to the fact that my eleven year old alter-ego found Scotland a much better country than England because of the easy availability of Marvel Comics and so scanned in here is one of the comics that made him feel that way. Superheroes were slightly (and very unusally for me) out of vogue at the time. I was strongly attracted to Logan's Run because it was a comic of an 'adult' science fiction movie. This film had a 'AA' admission certificate (fourteen years and above) so realistically there was no way that I was going to get to see it in the foreseeable future. Issue 6 is an epilogue to the events in the film but it does recap the events around pages 6&7 making them look very exciting indeed. What you can see here is a Jim Steranko cover - really stood out from the morass of other comcis on the Inverness newsagent wall rack where I saw it. I really enjoyed this issue - John Warner's script is great - not sure what else he wrote, I'll have to check. And Terry Austin's inking could probably make even my pencilling look good (and an artist I ain't). The euthanasia at 30 concept in Logan's Run never struck me as a problem at the time. Even when I was 18 I remember thinking people who were 24 were positively ancient. How did they get to be so old?
The picture is me at Lower Foyers - monster hunter Frank Searle's base of operations. Taken a few minutes after he gave my question about sightings of the monster on land short shrift. So yeah, probably went home and read the Logan's Run comic to console myself. In the back is a Thanos solo story - which was cool - and allows dealers even now to ramp up the price of the issue.
See you in the the funny papers, my people.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Stranger than People

Here's a couple of things that didn't quite make it into the latest issue of Fortean Times - one grainy polaroid of me and my mother, Shirley, on top of the tower at Castle Urquhart overlooking Loch Ness. She was freaked out by the height but is trying not to show it here. This is June 1977, so I am just barely eleven years old.

The other is the cover of the Stranger than People annual circa 1968 - I first saw this book in infants school - maybe even in a rainy playtime box, can't recall now. But this picture is the first image of the Loch Ness Monster that I ever saw.

Since it's now almost exactly 32 years since the events described in the article I'll be telling you more tomorrow about what happened that week...see you then people.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Asylum in our Backyard

People often ask me...does your dilapidated mansion really overlook a former insane asylum? Yes it does. Although in the summer the trees block the view so you can only just make out the very top of the chapel bell tower. It is like living next to Arkham Asylum from Batman or maybe Dr Seward's asylum in Dracula. Some people who live even nearer to it than I do have become excited and contacted the BBC. See link below - this is my first ever link so I hope it works.

Compare and contrast to Enrique Alcatena's Arkham Asylum (pictured). Did I ever tell you how Gotham in Nottinghamshire is the inspiration for Gotham City in Batman? No? I'll explain it some time. All I need to do now is discover that Mapperley is the inspiration Arkham - but H P Lovecraft never came to Nottinghamshire - as far as I know.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Barnabé at Loch Ness

Etienne Gilfillan, the multi-talented designer on Fortean Times, recently sent me this Barnabe comic strip that he wrote for the French magazine Spirou. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing it with you, just don't ask me to translate it. The only thing worse than my French is my Spanish!

Slayer in the Mist

Over on his blog Enrique Alcatena has been posting some superb images from his STARBLAZER days. Time for me to follow suit but with something slightly different...here's the cover to Slayer in the Mist painted by Ian Kennedy but based closely on Enrique's interior art work. The script written so along ago that I don't even want to think about it...bashed out on my girl friend (now wife!)'s portable typewriter when owning a word processor was a far off pipe-dream.

Monday, 1 June 2009

All the Fun of the Fair...

I've been obsessed with the British Hardover annuals, probably, all my life. They stand like mileposts in my childhood. Here's a couple with interesting covers. The TV Comic Annual 1968 shows 2nd Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton, taking a roller coaster ride with Beetle Bailey and Popeye - now there's something you don't see too often! Unfortunately, it looks like the Daleks at bottom left are going to spoil everyone's day - or at least Adam Adamant's (caped guy jumping onto the ride superstructure...if you recognize any of the more obscure characters then let me know.

Next! The TV Tornado Annual (not marked with the year but copyright 1967). From my point of view great to see the Phantom and the Green Hornet in the same place at the same time. Not sure why Magnus Robot Fighter is taking center stage - weren't too may kids pretending to be him in the schoolyard...nor why fleet of foot Kato is getting left so far behind. Maybe he was tied up parking Black Beauty. Take it easy my people.