My Ancestry and Family Myth

Growing up I was told many things about my Family, some are verifiable truths, others are vocal tradition. I’m aware that some of these stories are told in other parts of the family, with no alteration.

My Mother had a hand written Family Tree. I have a few of those notes following her death in December 2019.

I wrote recently in memory of my Father who died in 1989 and would have been 90 on 26th May 2020.

I decided to update the Family Tree I had started on Ancestry several years ago. I started by asking one of my Nieces for middle names and Date of Birth for her and her sister’s children. I had never paid for Membership, I was limited to the free access.

I decided to pay for better access so I could check Documents and verify facts. I found one family myth false quite quickly but can understand why it was probably passed to me in good faith.

I’ve since decided I will revisit this twice a year and try to find more. I intend to update the Family Tree each year in May & December. These are the months of my Patrents’ birth. So I’ll let my Membership lapse after a Month but I’ll sign up again each year in May and December.

So here is what I found in May 2020. Continue reading

“I can’t breathe”, “Momma I’m through” – death of George Floyd 25th May 2020

I usually avoid Politics on this Blog and Social Media. Mostly as I use my Blog for my own enjoyment, that’s also why I don’t review things I don’t like.

Another reason I avoid Politics is that I am a serving Civil Servant in the UK and am therefore under obligation to publicly remain neutral. I have served Conservative and Labour Governments and it is critical the Civil Service remains apolitical.

That said there are times I feel the need to pass comment and keeping silent is hard.

This is one time and I’ve decided to break my silence. You May note that I am using weaker language than sone would expect to see, that is due to the fact I still feel a need to be careful with words I use. But to be clear, so long as I remain civil and respectful I’m not breaking the Civil Service Code.

I’m not sharing the video in this article. If you are reading this you’ve probably seen it. If you haven’t seen it you can find it easily enough.

George Floyd was killed by police on 25th May 2020 in Minneapolis, USA. Another death of an unarmed Black man in USA.

Continue reading

In memory of my father – John Edward ( Ted) Hargett 26 May 1930 to 18 April 1989

20200526_104149My Dad was born 90 years ago today. He died in 1989, 4 months after my oldest child was born. My children never knew him but I speak of him often and have tried to ensure they know who he was.

The photo of him here was taken on 16th October 1960, the day he married my Mum. His uniform shows he was a Junior Technician in the Royal Airforce at the time (it would be a four blade propeller now but I think the Rank is being phased out).

He was a complicated man though he seemed to be an open book. A kind and thoughtful person willing to help others.

He inspired my enquiring nature as a child, ensuring I knew that nature was important.

He encouraged me to ask questions and know knowledge was precious.

He taught me that racism was bad and instilling me with an understanding of the world

He encouraged me to read and to explore and he encouraged me to write. Continue reading

Smash! 2020 Special – Various Creators – Spoiler free Preview

Smash CoverSmash! Special 2020
Published by Treasury of British Comics

UK and DIGITAL: 27 May £4.99
Treasury of British Comics Website, & apps for iPad, Android and Windows 10
NORTH AMERICA: 10 June $10.99

Writers: Rob Williams, Helen O’Hara, Anita Break, Charlie Higson, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Muara McHugh, Simon Furman
Artists: John McCrea,Valentina Pinti, Tom Raney, Charlie Adlard, Anand Radhakrishnan, Andreas Butzbach, Chris Weston
Colourists: Mike Spicer, Jim Boswell, Gary Caldwell, Deeganto Joardar
Letterers: Simon Bowland, Ozvaldo Sanchez, SG, A. Cult, Jim Campbell

Featuring new stories from current creators these stories featured in a number of different titles such as: Smash!, Valiant, Lion and Fantastic.

There is a very bold contents page detailing the teams responsible for the stories in this issue and giving credit to the original creators. I’ve included this with the Preview pages below. Continue reading

War Picture Library: Battle of Britain – Art by Ian Kennedy

BattleofB CoverWar Picture Library
Published by Treasury of British Comics
16th April 2020

Art by Ian Kennedy
Writers Unknown

Paperback 128 pages £14.99 (UK)
ISBN: 9781781087794
Hardback £19.99 Treasury of British Comics webshop
Digital £9.99 Treasury of British Comics webshop & apps for iPad, Android and Windows 10

Originally published in Air Ace Picture Library 65 August 1961 and Air Ace Picture Library 182 February 1964.

There are two stories in this book, Steel Bats and Never Say Die. There is an explanation regarding the Writers involved in this book given on the Credits page:

“The Air Ace Picture Library comics were published without writer or artist credits. Artists can be more easily discerned by individual styles but the writers of the comics are a frequently more difficult to identify. However we know that between 1960 and 1965 the following writers contributed stories to the Air Ace Picture Library: E.W. Evans, Douglas Leach, Gordon W. Brunt, Edward G. Cowan, V. Stokes, Tom Tully, R.P. Clegg, James Hart Higgins, Syd J. Bounds, R. Wilding and A. Carney Allan, and the stories in this collection may well have been by some of them.”

A point surrounding this was made in Six Gun Gorilla by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokley.

I certainly concur that it is far easier to recognise Art and who drew it than who wrote a Script, of course Ian Kennedy is also still actyive and could easily attest to his work. Indeed I am aware that many people can also identify Letterers from this era where lettering was usually done by hand.

I really appreciated the statement above from the Editors.

In the 1970s when Rebellion’s flagship 2000AD launched, then owned by IPC, Credits were still not printed. Indeed at times Artist’s signatures were painted out, in 2000AD and other comics.

Credits are essential in my opinion and it is good to see that increasingly Colourists and Letterers are also included in most Credits.

Ian Kennedy has a very long career in Comics with credits including M.A.C.H. 1 and Judge Dredd for 2000AD, Dan Dare in the new version of Eagle in the 1980s, Commando and more.

There is an interesting article from the Courier, interestingly I believe owned by DC Thompson, publisher of the Beano, by Mike Donachie. Continue reading

Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars – Michael Moreci, Derek Charm, Arianna Florean, Mario del Pennino, Luis Antonio Delgado, Valentina Taddeo, Jake M Wood – Spoiler Light

SW CoverStar Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars
Issue 1
Published by IDW
20th May 2020

Michael Moreci
Derek Charm (1-5, 19-20), Arianna Florean & Mario del Pennino (6-18)
Luis Antonio Delgado (1-5, 19-20), Valentina Taddeo (6-18)
Jake M Wood

Star Wars Adventures are aimed at ‘All Ages’. I have said it before and it bears repeating that the term is not synonymous with ‘for children’. Yes, it generally means less violence and more dialogue but the complexity of the story is rarely reduced.

There are two big reasons I was looking forward to this issue. Firstly I love Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Secondly I know I usually enjoy books by Michael Moreci.

I was introduced to Michael Moreci by reading Tweets by Jim Campbell, whose judgement in quality books I can usually rely on. Hoax Hunters was my first Moreci, my favourite so far is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

This is a weekly series in 5 parts. There are five Preview pages at the end of the article. Continue reading

Usagi Yojimbo: Bunraku and other Stories – Stan Sakai – Spoiler Light Preview

UY CoverUsagi Yojimbo: Bunraku and other stories
Published by IDW
20th May 2020

Written, Illustrated and Lettered by
Stan Sakai
Colours by Tom Luth

Cover: Stan Sakai
Series Editor: Bobby Curnow
Collection Editors: Alonzo Simon, Zac Boone
Collection Designer: Shawn Lee

Originally published as USAGI YOJIMBO issues #1–7

Only the second time I have read any Usagi Yojimbo. As a long term Comic Reader obviously I have heard quite a lot about it. And indeed hearing a lot about it has slightly put me off starting. Where to start?

I’m aware the stories are episodic and many can be read independently but there are overarching storylines I believe. As a fan of Judge Dredd I can understand new readers feeling trepidation.

Usagi Yojimbo isn’t as old as Judge Dredd but November 1984 is still quite some time ago. Debuting in Albedo Anthropomorphics #2, published by Thoughts and Images Usagi Yojimbu has built a large international following

So seeing this collection coming out I thought it a good opportunity to dip my toes. Continue reading

Madi – A Graphic Novel by Duncan Jones, Alex de Campi and a host of Artists – Kickstarter Preview

Madi softMadi
Self Published via Kickstarter

Writers: Duncan Jones, Alex de Campi
Artists: Dylan Teague, Glenn Fabry, Duncan Fegredo, LRNZ, Ed Ocaña, André Araújo, Simon Bisley, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Tonci Zonjic, Pia Guerra, James Stokoe, RM Guéra, Chris Weston,  Rufus Dayglo, Annie Wu, David Lopez and Christian Ward.
Colourists: Matt Wilson, Namadi hardyoung Kim, Chris O’Halloran, Adam Brown, Jacob Phillips, Raúl Arnaiz, Giulia Brusco, Sergey Nazarov and Kelly Fitzpatrick.
Letterer: Alex de Campi

Available in 3 Formats
7¼ X 10½” paperback – Cover Duncan Fegredo & Jacob Phillips
8.3” x 12” hardback – Cover Yuko Shimizu
10 x 14½” cased hardback with over 40 pages of back matter

Set in the same shared world as the films Moon and Mute. I’ve seen both films and can assure you that you don’t have to see either to fully appreciate the other. I’m certain the same will apply to this Graphic Novel, though if you have seen the films I expect there will be some payoff.

The Kickstarter started today, mas I write (19th May 2020) and included Early Bird prices.

Duncan Jones has been behind several movies other than Moon and Mute such as Source Code and World of Warcraft. He is currently working on the film Rogue Trooper for Rebellion Productions, the Film & TV arm of Rebellion – the owners of the UK comic 2000AD, original source of Rogue Trooper and Jude Dredd.

Alex de Campi is a Comic and TV writer. Her Comic credits include Bad Karma, which I reviewed recently, Judge Dredd: Final Judgement. She has written several episodes for the Blade Runner TV Series which is due for release in 2021.

Continue reading

UK Native Horses

Adam_animals-199-9b8573fFrequent readers over the years will know of my interest in Horses. I haven’t ridden for decades but never lost my love for equines.

Watching Countryfile on Sunday 1th May 2020, Adam Henson presented a piece about his Horses and how he uses them to maintain parts of his farm naturally.

Living in Leeds I am lucky enough to have a prestigious Jousting competition nearby each Easter, the Easter Joust at the Royal Armouries. Attending and writing about the Easter Joust brought me to know the amazing Stunt Team Atkinson Action Horses who provide the Horses to Royal Armouries as well as Stunt Riders for a number of shows. TV and Film viewers will have seen the Horses and Riders of Atkinson Action Horses in shows such as Poldark, Victoria and Peaky Blinders.

DylanThere are a number of breeds of horses and each one has it’s own place in culture, be it for work or leisure. Stunt teams such as Atkinsons Action Horses train a variety of horses so that the different roles on screen can correctly be represented.

So, I’ve mentioned Horses used in entertainment, and briefly mentioned labour. But what of Domestic horses? The Horse in the foreground is Dylan is a Dales Pony, a Domestic Breed.

Wild Horses don’t technically exist in the UK, there are several free roaming herds but they are managed and not truly Wild, or even Feral. This sometimes reinforces the thought Horses are not Native.

Horses have been in the UK, and the surrounding Islands for a considerable length of time, there is archaeological evidence of their presence going back to 700,000BC. Continue reading

Sentinel Issue 2: Scales of Justice – Alan Holloway & Ed Doyle – Spoiler light Preview.

sen2 coverSentinel Issue 2
Self Published via Kickstarter

Kickstarter in final days
Alan Holloway
Ed Doyle
Ed Doyle

I reviewed Issue 1 earlier this month and recently I ‘met’ Ed Doyle in a Zoom conversation with the team behind The77 which was officially Launched yesterday. Ed and Alan are both in the debut issue of The77, though on separate strips.

The77 was due to Launch at Lawless, a Comic Con in Bristol that I help run, I’m a Moderator there, as is Alan.

The British Comic industry can be like that. The same people turning up ion different places. For example just search the name Jim Campbell on this blog to see just how much he turns up, one of the best Letterers in the Industry, worldwide.

It was interesting in the Zoom meeting to see the genuine interest from Creators of The77 that I had read this issue, because they haven’t. Oh the joys of receiving Preview Copies.

I’m previewing this from a Pdf Preview copy which makes including Preview images but I prefer Paper. And as this is a ‘retro’ comic in the style of the popular DC title, Starblazer, it really should be read on paper.

The publicity blurb for this issue uses the most obvious comparison, thus saving Critics falling for the cliché “Spartacus v Dragons”. Yeah, I would have gone there. Continue reading