I spent a pleasant Saturday lunch hour today reading Scraps No.2 which editor and designer (and my old mentor) Mike Higgs kindly sent me. I'd given it a plug a few weeks ago but now I've seen a copy it's even better than I'd anticipated.
With 16 pages in full colour, on glossy paper with superb reproduction, Scraps is an excellent magazine about vintage (mostly) British comics. It may be a slim publication but every page is packed with info and long-forgotten bits of comic history. The lead feature is an article about The Falcon, which ran in Radio Fun comic. It's very informative (I had no idea the character had sprung from the Inspector Stanley prose stories) and well illustrated. There's even a photograph of a free gift based on The Falcon, - or 'The Winged Avenger' as he was known in his seven year stint as a costumed superhero. (No relation to The Winged Avenger episode later seen in The Avengers TV series... except for the name... and a similar cape design. Hmmm.)
I also enjoyed the scans of original artwork of Gerald Swan comics, from Peter Hansen's collection. The standout pieces being two never-before-published cover roughs by Bert Hill, which are each reproduced full page size.
Peter also contributes an article on Ron Embleton, surely one of the greatest artists to grace comics. This is nicely illustrated with several samples from across Embleton's career.
It's not all about UK comics. There's a Comic ODD ments article which lives up to its name by featuring redesigned Danish Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel strips, and samples of a Captain Marvel Jr. strip produced by Albert Uderzo for the French market.
There's also a brand new Yesterfiles mini-strip by Mike Higgs. All in all, Scraps is a great mag that should be of interest to genuine comics enthusiasts who are willing to broaden their knowledge of comics history.
How to get a copy? It's free for customers who buy original artwork from Blasé Books, or visit Phil Clarke's table at the London or Birmingham comic marts. Alternatively you can buy it by post.
"If anyone would like a copy sent to them", say the editors, "it would be appreciated if you would tape a £2 coin in your written request to cover the cost of post and packing. Send this to the Blasé Books address:
Blasé Books, Hazelwood, Birchfield Road, REDDITCH B97 6PU.
"We like to do things in the good old fashioned way".
The only downside of Scraps is that it's published so infrequently. More please!