’76 – ’08. Comic book art and covers

Wolverine N°173 Collector Edition. Cover Arthur Suydam. 2008. France.

TVTA is pleased to present a selection of comic book goodness from the mighty houses of Marvel and DC. Publication dates are between 1976 and 2008, and feature the talents of Arthur Suydam, John Byrne, Dick Giordano, Joe Kubert, Matthew Ryan, Jackson Guice, Keith Giffen, Larry Mahlstedt, and Jerry Ordway among others.

So, team-up with TVTA and plunge your comic book peepers into our following gallery of greatness!

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Corgi Toys die-cast vehicles catalogue 1971/72

Q: What do The Magic Roundabout; Popeye; Noddy; Batman; James Bond, The Saint, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Daktari have in common?

A: They’ve all had die-cast vehicles made for them by Corgi!

TVTA is pleased to present scans from the 1971/72 Corgi Toys catalogue French edition, featuring well-known stars of TV and film, as well as iconic Corgi models like the Lunar Bug and Simon Snorkel fire engine.

Enjoy 🙂


James Bond Aston Martin DB5; Batmobile and Batboat; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


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Ode to reading

I’m linking up with Denise at Girlie On The Edge Blog where she hosts Six Sentence Stories and everyone is invited to write a story or poem constructed of six sentences based on a prompt word.

This week’s cue word is Marvel


Ode to reading 

Happy am I to allow conjured words to dance upon my stage,
The bliss of poetry tumbled from ink and sprinkled on the page.

Hungry am I to devour and read, poems, micro stories,
Five-thousand word tales, novellas on a leash, messages in a bottle.

The immersion into the belly of the beast of the epic novel,
Gifting tens of thousands of fibrous words as if spun from a throstle.

And just as oils and nutrients are essential for the skin,
The writer must read to grease the gears of creation from within.

You read you write, a revolution of inspiration, articles, reviews, blogs, papers
On socioeconomics, antagonists and protagonists, 25¢ Detective Comics.

The Classics, the Romantics, a bestselling psychological thriller,
Or a childhood Marvel comic, about the King of the Monsters – Godzilla.


Poem: by Ford.

Image: Marvel Comic N°338. Herb Trimpe cover. 1979. UK.

January 20. 2021.

1971 die-cast models and art from Matchbox

Curious. Does anyone else think the mountain race track peak looks like Batman?

Art vs Photography and the two combined

I’ve mentioned before that some of my favourite toy advertising images come from the 1960s and 1970s. This is because many products back then were advertised using original art – often drawn by in-house company artists, rather than the product photography style which became popular in the years that followed. That’s not to say photograph adverts were employed pre-1980s, they were, but perhaps it was cheaper to produce ad materials with drawings rather than photos back then?

The following images from the 1971 Matchbox Collectors Catalogue illustrate perfectly, and with some charm, how products might capture the imagination of the buyer when rendered as art. As well, some images feature both art and photography. The ideal mix, perhaps.

Cover. Matchbox Collectors Catalogue. 1971. France.

Matchbox Speed kings. 1971.

Matchbox Autopark. 1971.



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A Translation + Draig Tân + Project #2 update!

Poetry…

I’ve written more of it than I can remember, and have been fortunate to have had some of it published. But I can honestly say I’ve never had a poem translated into another language – until recently.

The images you see are unique artworks by my good friend and collaborator Spira who translated into the Hellenic language the poem part of our 2020 collaboration when we marked the 2500th anniversary of the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis which took place in 480 BC during the Greco-Persian Wars.

The poem is entitled The Breaking of Bread and you can read it in its original English language version here along with its companion sculpture in the Spira/Ford collaboration project #1.

It is an honour and a treat to see my work translated, and for it to be done in such an artistic way is a treasure to behold .


Draig Tân (Welsh Fire)

In 2018 my eldest cousin and I, armed with ancient family photos and documents, and a subscription to a well-known online ancestry site, made some research on our family tree. We already knew about the paternal side – all from England, Birmingham, Peaky Blinders land, ay! But we knew little of the maternal side other than links to Shropshire and Worcestershire, and the intriguing but unproven link that our Great Grandparents came from Wales – thanks to elder family members remembering something about a ‘Welsh connection’.

Well, it came as exciting news when my cousin and I learnt from the documents we supplied that our maternal Great Grandparents and the lines before them came from Powys in Wales. Finally the dots had been joined. Welsh blood ran through us! Get in there you red dragon and up the Manics!

Then… 

Back to Spira, who I told of this news, and who made a sculpture not only in celebration of our collaborations, but with a nifty ‘red dragon’ nod to my new Welshiness.

Draig Tân (Welsh Fire) by Spira.

The sculpture is called Draig Tân (translated to Welsh Fire). Please check the rest of the images here


My thanks to Spira, a Wizard of our age, and the finest person I could wish to collaborate with  😎


The Remains of She

And talking of collaborations… what news of Project #2 coming later this year?

I can tell you that the sculpture parts I’ve seen so far are both haunting and beautiful. Ancient anachronistic awesomeness awaits! I can tell you that the recent writing parts I made are organically pushing me to incredible boundaries and beyond.  

There will be more Welsh fire. Hellenic spells. The Wizard and the Shaman will give precious gifts to the one who will bring renewal to the Earth. Look to the skies. The spring. A resurrection. Friends, in these dark times there will be a light to save us all.

Project #2. The Remains of She. Exclusive extract


The Remains of She. Coming in 2021!

You wait five years, when along comes…

this…

What could it be, vintage mates? Hm, a piece of small red plastic; some component to match with other pieces, to complete a set?

A little clue…

Another clue…

Still no idea? Okay, another clue…

Easy peasy lemon squeezy?

If anyone guessed correctly that it is the stage platform for the 1991 Playmobil Romani Circus Jazz Band – then award yourself a mighty 3,000 vintage points!

Below is the band from my old picture gallery, naked of a stage (every band needs a stage, right?)

And below, here is the band onstage at last…

The drummer jazz dude with his little blue drum kit is my fave. He’s missing a cymbal and an extra pair of drumsticks (one can never have enough drumsticks) so the set is still not 100% complete, but I can source these parts another time. For now, having that stage finally turn up at a decent price makes all the difference.

Below is a picture (courtesy of eBay) showing the jazz band in the Romani Circus play set…

Thanks for looking 🙂

And, while we’re on about music… (and apologies for leaping from Playmobil to politics) …

F#@k you Brexit!

I’m pissed off to learn that the UK Conservative government has just shafted British and European touring artists by not agreeing to waiver performance visas in light of the recent Brexit trade agreements. The EU said they made an offer to allow continued frictionless travel between countries for performers, and that the UK rejected it. The UK are of course blaming the EU. I know who I’d rather believe.

As a drummer who once played live around Europe in numerous bands, the joy of performing to a wide and diverse audience is a pure high; but for bands and artists who earn a regular living from performing – this is also a cruel and unecessary blow to their livelihoods, which have already been savaged by Covid-19 restrictions.

Links: Musicians’ Union and The Gurdian and The Independent

The British music industry in 2019 contributed an estimated £5.8bn to the UK economy. The UK government – in restricting the freedom of travel for musicians – is causing a major self-harm with its shallow and spiteful gesture made to those who work in the arts. But then, what else would you expect from the government who produced Brexit Britain.

“For the first time, he heard something that he knew to be music. He heard people singing. Behind him, across vast distances of space and time, from the place he had left, he thought he heard music too. But perhaps, it was only an echo.” ― Lois Lowry

or…

“Welcome to the Brexit, sir. I’m sorry.” – Netherlands Border Control

😂🤣😂

Fashion and Working Women in Socialist-era Hungary and Romania

Nok Magazinja 2. 1984. Hungary.

TVTA is pleased to welcome for the first time here vintage images from Hungary and Romania. These two countries join our ever-growing rosta of international advertising, posters and print images as seen in decades gone by.



Images come from the socialist-era print publications Nok Magazinja (Budapest, Hungary, translation: Women Magazine) featuring articles and photos of fashion, the arts and women’s interests; and Dolgozo No (Bucharest, Romania, translation: Working Woman) featuring articles and photos of working women and politics.

Both publications are represented here by dates from the late 1970s to the late 1980s.


“New Winds are Blowing in Fashion.” Nok Magazinja 5. 1986.

“We Wear it at Home.” Dolgozo No. Feb 1979. Romania.

Dolgozo No. Feb 1979. Romania. Cover.

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