Annotations for ALBION #4
by Damian Gordon, Pádraig Ó Méalóid and the Bash Street Contributors
All corrections and comments to Damiantgordon@gmail.com
Version 1: 13/4/2006, Created after my first read-through I made a few notes which became version 1.
Version 2: 24/4/2006, Created after serveral re-reads and excellent contributions, including some from the Great Maker himself, John Reppion.
Cover: Charles Peace
Cover Tag Line
"PEACE IN OUR TIME" The tag line has a double meaning, it is a famous quote (explained below), also it refers to the fact the (Charlie) Peace is now in our time (the present).
As Eroom Nala points out: "Peace in Our Time" comes from Neville Chamberlain just prior to WWII but is also an Elvis Costello song
7 Panels, Peace Negotiations
Panel 5: "HE WAS A COPPER'S NARC" A police informer. Term extended from one who informs about drugs (narcotics) to any informer
The musket hammer goes CLICK in this panel. Not sure why, the hammer is clearly already "cocked" (excuse my French), so is it being double-cocked ?
1 Panel,The Spider
9 Panels, Faceache and The Spider
Panel 7: "HOW'S MARTINA? STILL MISSING YOU AND HER REMARKABLE COSMETICS. I EXPECT." The Spider must be refering to Martha, from "Martha's Monster Make-up" which came from "Monster Fun" to "Buster"
"THE MALTESE FALCON" - A detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, written in 1930, that has been adapted several times for the cinema. Founder of the hard-boiled private detective genre. The Maltese Falcon is also famous for the fact that the black bird itself serves asa McGuffin, that is, a plot device that propels the story forward but is proven ultimately worthless - although it wasn't termed that at the time. Hitchcock would later popularize the use of a McGuffin in his films. Are we seeing a McGuffin here ?
9 Panels, The Vault
Panel 1: "THIS IS WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO GET AT, HUH? A HALLOWEEN COSTUME AND A FLASHLIGHT." the flashlight is, of course, Tri-Man's power ray that gives him his triple powers, I wonder do Eagleton and Nolan not know this ?
mythicalbeast says "I think Zip Nolan was merely being disparaging about poor old Tri-Man's gear. There's no way it'd be in the armoury if people just thought it was a flashlight."
Is that Billy the Cat's Helmet ? or Katie's?
Pink Spounge? jarethshair says "The pink spounge looks to me like an "Iron Eater" which I think ran in the Beezer. They were alien sponges that..erm...ate iron."
Panel 2:"THEY SEE THEM AS THEIR IDENTITY" For some reason this reminds me a lot of the exchange in "Watchmen" between Dan and Laurie:
"That sounds like the sort of costume that could really mess you up"
"Is there any other sort?"
"JONATHAN SMALL (1956 - 1984)"
- Tri-Man's adventures started in Smash in 1969, based on this he must have been 13 years old at the time.
Panel 3: "SQUELCHY" John Reppion explains "In the original comics Grimly Feendish was often accompanied by weird monsterous children which he called "squelchies" "
Raymond Scurr adds "I know John identified the "Squelchy", but when I first saw it I thought about a strip "Wally's Weirdies" (I think was the title). It had a boy with a number of "alien squelchies""
Panel 4: Raymond Scurr identifies the furry bulk in this picture as being Mytek (revealed fully in Albion #5, page 22).
Panel 6: Viking (?) Helmet, Adam Eterno's ? Robot ?
Loki says "The "Viking Helmet" looks to be the Leopard from Lime Street's mask."
mythicalbeast says "The 'robot' on page 4 panel 6 is none other than 'Zenda' from The Prisoner of Zenda, if I recall correctly, or was it 'Zenga'? Wonder if his evil brain's been removed? "
Loki agrees "The robot is probably Zenga"
Panel 7: In one of the display cases Louis Crandell's Steel Claw is visible. It looks like he wears a plastic prosthetic hand now.
mythicalbeast says "who's to say it isn't the Gauntlet of Fate?"
Panel 9: Look's like another version of Mole (one of Dolmann's dolls)
9 Panels, The Legend Testers
Panel 1: "ROLLO" is Rollo Stones from "The Legend Testers"
Panel 3: Rollo Stones and Danny Charters, The Legend Testers. A pair of 40th century archeologists who travel back in time to test the authenticity of various museum pieces. Ran in SMASH! for two years from 1966.
I wonder are they just hanging around the Castle to watch events unfold ?
books floating include "BYRON", "THE LOCH NESS MONSTER: FACT"
Raymond Scurr says " looks like there also a book about Jack the Ripper" ?? "
Panel 4: Jigsaw of Plane "DL 1"
Panel 5: more books "THE ROMAN EMPIRE"
"GHOSTS" Raymond Scurr says "there's an open book with a picture of a ghost. Some readers might not realise that it's one way many ghosts were shown in British comics (The Duke's Spook == Shiver). It's a generic form, so I doubt could be attributed to any specific strip. Of course, it's a similar form to the Ghostly Trio in "Casper", so maybe it's a universal representation. Headless ghosts were also popular -- and on the same topic, the time in which I read Grimly Feendish, I think he only had two companions -- a 'squealchy', and a small guy who often pulled his head along on a small trolley. "
"JOURNEY INTO SPACE AND TIME" "DR. D.DIAMOND" Doctor Diamond was a time-travelling inventor who journeyed in space and time using a clock (The "Time Clock") and liked wearing an Edwardian frock coat (clearly not at all like Doctor Who). He met up with Tim Kelly early on in the run of "Kelly's Eye" in Valiant and they shared a number of adventures together.
Panel 7: Horn-headed costume is The Steel Claw's superhero uniform
Frankenstein Head --??
Loki says "Might be as simple as Frankie Stein - nb the air bubbles - I think the head is still alive"
Raymond Scurr adds "Definitely Frankie Stein -- dang, there goes my thoughts for Albion 2"
Panel 9: Cybernaut from "The Avengers"
7 Panels, "Did I say you could get up?"
Panel 5: "BUCCANEER" by "P.H.BIRCH"
6 Panels, More Peace Negotiations
Panel 1: "SHAKESPEARE AND ME" by "EDWARD LION-" John Reppion says"I believe that the full name would read Edward Lionheart" Eroom Nala adds "Edward Lionheart is the character played by Vincent Price in Theatre of Blood a great film. I love how Robert Morley gets his just desserts although Richard De Angelis would probably condone it as cruelty to animals but don't forget it's only a movie."
"SOLAR WIND 1976"
John Reppion says "Yes, as we all know Solar Wind is "yesterday's comic, today, at tomorrow's prices", a late 70's/early 80's comic book transported through time to be sold in the present day. The brainchild of Mr. Paul Von Scott, SW is a fantastic read and is highly recommended by Leah and myself, not to mention scores of other people."
Panel 6: Raymond Scurr says "Mask of the voodoo character in "Horronation Street" ?? "
6 Panels, Peace's Story
Panel 2: Raymond Scurr says "Seeing the watch -- and knowing that Charlie Peace had travelled through time somehow -- brought "Toby's Timepiece" (?) to mind . I might have the title wrong - and it might have just appeared in an annual rather than being in a series (?). In the story a boy is given a pocket watch that he can use to travel through time"
Panel 3: "ROBINSON" In the real world, on October 10, 1878, a Constable Robinson caught Charles Peace after being shot in the arm.
Panel 6:"DRACULA '73" well there was a Christopher Lee / Peter Cushing movie called "Dracula A.D. 1972"
poster "THE WACKS - NAGS HEAD - JUNE 6TH" Martin Campbell says ""The Wacks" poster refers to The Wacks who were in Smash (I think - maybe it was Wham)in the late 60's. These were 2 wannabe Beatles, from Liverpool (hence Wacks - thats what Liverpool folk or "Scousers" call each other - a bit like "mate" or "pal"), who's musical career was less than successful. Looks like thay made it big afterwards. "
John Reppion adds "The Nags Head (on The Wacks poster), whilst being a popular pub name in the UK anyway, might very well refer to the main watering hole frequented by many of the characters from Only Fools and Horses; Shane's stuck a few sit com references in there too. "
graffiti "PERRIVALE" "CHIN SLAND"
Raymond Scurr says "Gasworks Gang - the only reference I could find to the strip was: http://www.bookpalace.com/acatalog/BioFull_DudleyWatkins.html right at the moment I can't remember which comic it appeared in, but I can picture some of the characters from it."
The Gasworks Gang were Lord Snooty's enemies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Snooty
Euan Marley says "It might be worth mentioning that Charlie Peace opening a music shop fits in with the historical character who was apparently a fine violinist, as mentioned by Sherlock Holmes in The adventure of the Illustrious Client. My source for this is this website,
See also the entrance for Charles, (Not Charlie) Peace in Wikipedia. It says there that he used pistols in a robbery. As I recall the character in the Buster didn't but was rather more of a weaselly burglar, who would run away at the first opportunity, though that might be my false memory. The main point is that Charlie Peace in Albion is much more like the historical Charles Peace, both in his musicality, his use of pistols, and his In the Buster, when he travels through time, he is astonished by the appearance of the multi storey buildings. The two multi storey buildings behind him are perhaps meant to refer to that. Obviously he wasn't naked in the comic when he passed throug time, that I would have remembered. I think the comic was set in Manchester, where the historic Charlie Peace was operating, though he also spent time in Sheffield. He did in fact operate in London for two years and was caught ther, but taken back to Sheffield where he was accused of committing a murder. I notice that he refers to his escape as "a new name, a new town, a new time". He did in fact move around, though I don't think he went to Scotland. He says that he headed up here to Liverpool, suggesting that the new town was Liverpool. Is it stating the obvious to say that what gave him the feeling that the authorities were after him was reading the Janus Stark story in the Valiant were the Victorian Authorities had done the same thing. "
5 Panels, Peace in the 70s
Charles Peace is reading the same comic book he sold to Danny in issue #1
Panel 4: Another image from the comic, unknown charater behind bars
Panel 5: "SCUTTLE AND SCUTTLE SIGNWRITERS" ???
mythicalbeast says "On page 8 we have the dubious presence of Fred Scuttle giving his famous salute..."
Benny Hill http://www.televisionheaven.co.uk/hishill11.jpg
Raymond Scurr adds "Benny Hill had a comic strip (probably in Buster?) during the late 60s/early 70s (he was slightly slimmer in the strip). A few other comedians had strips - Charlie Drake, Freddie "Parrot Face" Davies (who???), even "The Goodies" -- though their strip was (c) "The Goodies" so I'm guessing their permission would be needed for an appearance"
7 Panels, "You're Just Hiding"
5 Panels, "A Castle ..."
Panel 4: Raymond Scurr says " lots of trinkets -- troll, "Judy for Girls" annual, Rupert annual, The beezer. ?? Is the gargoyle anything ??Brooker Fishpaste"
Panel 5: I can only imagine that this must be Curistor Doom
9 Panels, Meanwhile in the Castle
Panel 4: In the Gym, ??? and is that "Dr. Ratty Rat"?
mythicalbeast says "Not sure if that's Dr. Ratty Rat"
Must be Oddball Oates, he has the exact same jumping style;
mythicalbeast says "how cool to see Odball Oates again! How come he hasn't aged at all? Don't remember his lickle 'erbs having any anti-ageing properties?"
9 Panels, The Female Wing
Panels 1-9: Faceache may have the face of a frog, but he has the heart of a prince.
Panels 1-3: we now know this is Martha, from "Martha's Monster Make-up" which came from "Monster Fun" to "Buster"
Panels 2 & 4: Martin Campbell says "The woman leaning against the door reminds of Keyhole Kate from Sparky, she is looking around (being nosey?) - maybe theres no keyholes to look through, or maybe she's rehabilitated."
9 Panels, Previous Escape Attempt
Panel 4: "JAMES HOLLIS" Rubberman from SMASH! Comics
Panel 5: "WE GOT TWO OR THREE OF THESE GUYS IN THE STATES" I wonder who ? Maybe Reed Richards, Patrick O'Brian, and Ralph Dibny
Panel 8: "HE WAS ... NEUTRALIZED" Oh my God ! They killed Tri-Man. Grrrrrr......
9 Panels, Grimly Feendish
Panel 4: "EAGLE EYE?" Ah Ha, Ian Eagleton, the warden is "Eagle Eye, Junior Spy" the strip which first introduced Grimly Feendish
Panel 8:"CHILDREN THESE DAYS ARE OBLIVIOUS TO THE GREAT TRADITION OF ENGLISH MONSTROSITY!" John Reppion explains "In the original comics Feendish was often accompanied by weird monsterous children which he called "squelchies" "
9 Panels, Eagleton as a boy
Panel 8: "THE WORLD'S GONE SOFT! SEE WHERE YOUR TELETUBBIES HAVE LED YOU ?!" Teletubbies is a BBC children's television series, particularly aimed at babies and pre-school toddlers, featuring four colourful tubby creatures: Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po, who live within a futuristic dome (the "Tubbytronic Superdome"), set in a landscape of rolling grasslands.
9 Panels, 73286
6 Panels, On the Road
Panel 1: Gangster Robot and Devil Robot
Panel 4: "SUMNER'S NUTS" -- could this be a reference to IPC Publisher Andrew Sumner? Joe McDonald adds "When Andrew Sumner set up the Albion deal with DC Comics Bob Wayne and WildStorm's Scott Dunbier, he was also the publisher of IPC's men's weekly, NUTS"
"CHOCOLATE DIGESTS" -- biscuits
5 Panels, Bash Street Earthworm
Panel 1: "ROCKLEY F.C." "FANNY ADAMS" "KWEET" ???
Panel 2: "ALL RIGHT, ROBBIE? ARE ENOCH AND BERT ABOUT, D'YOU KNOW?" That's obviously the same Enoch (the captain, as identified in the last panel) and Bert (as identified in panel #1) in that strip, so, as are mentioned in Page 19, Panel 2.
Panel 5: Is that logo on the side the same as Danny's shirt from the Bash Street Kids
I wonder is it actually supposed to be The Black Sapper
or is it just based on the Black Sapper design ? The image of the Black Sapper in the above page has two drills, one on either side, but Charles Peace's digger has only one drill. I was reading an old issue of SMASH! today and "Nutt and Bolt, the Men From W.H.E.E.Z.E." had built a digger very much like the one Mr. Peace has??? Hopefully we'll find out next week...
The Iron Fish
NOTE: Professor Gray learned a little about submarine building from Capt. Nemo (from LoEG v2#4, page 10, panel6) http://www.geocities.com/jessnevins/league4.html
looks like the numberplate of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
the numberplate of John Steed's Vauxhall in "The Avengers"
On the crates in the background;
"FORK HANDLES" from The Two Ronnies sketch;
"SO CRATES" In Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) Ted (Keanu Reeves) calls Socrates this.
Mark Jack says "Partly obscured but I`m sure Ivor the Engine`s name plate is hiding behind a crate."
Martin Campbell says "I think the chequered object on the left is part of the space-car from "The Whizzers of Ozz" from The Topper. This was piloted by Krik & Krak who were from the people known as Whizzers from the planet Ozz. There were friends with an earth boy whose name I forget. "
2 Panels, The Buoyant Queen
Panel 1: "THE CLASSIC "SAPPER" EARTHWORM DESIGN" a reference to the "THE BLACK SAPPER" ? http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/b/blacksap.htm
incidently a "sapper" is ...
Panel 2: "BUOYANT QUEEN"
The "Queen of the Seas" was created by Ken Reid for SMASH! Here is a sample strip with an Irish flavour http://www.comicsuk.co.uk/Interviews/KenReid/QueenOfTheSeasStrip1.htm
crate marked "K REID INC"
6 Panels, On Board the Queen
Panel 1: "THE QUEEN OF THE £$%EIN' SEAS" as explained above, The "Queen of the Seas" was created by Ken Reid for SMASH! Here is a sample strip with an Irish flavour :-
4 Panels, Let's Do it Old Fashioned
Panel 4: Captain
Eroom Nala asks: "Hasn't anyone noticed that the question mark on his key chain (last image last page) could mean he's a member of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Either that or else he's stolen it from the true owner."
This is a very looooong shot, but it could be Sexton Blake's key chain.
Why? Well because Sexton Blake was originally going to appear in "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" as a main character, but didn't;
And Sexton Blake also appeared in both "Knockout" and "Valiant". Mind you in 1978 he underwent a name change in the Tornado comic and became Victor Drago.
So maybe Charles Peace knew him at some stage
"HOW I WROTE ELASTIC MAN" by The Fall
Contributions by: Martin Campbell, Mark Jack, jarethshair, Loki, Euan Marley, Joe McDonald, mythicalbeast, Eroom Nala, Raymond Scurr, John Reppion