When I was clearing out the old house I came across a lot of my old print publications that I thought I’d lost. I took them with me and, today, have spent the afternoon scanning covers and updating bibliographies. With some magazines I was actually quite surprised just how much I wrote, and whilst I doubt the effort of listing them all will give me any real benefit, it does give me piece of mind that I now have a complete list of my publication history.
One of the items amongst everything that I found is an old copy of “Battle Action Force” comic from February 1986. I recognised it as soon as I saw it, despite the cover in my head looking slightly different. In it, is my first publishing ‘credit’, a letter from 14 year old me.
I read two comics religiously as a kid: Star Wars and Battle Action Force. I still have most of those comics and have brought a lot of them with me to my new lodgings. As much as I am a HUGE fan of Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe (which I migrated onto much later) there was something special about those stories of the toy’s UK branding. Tonally, I remember the stories being very different to Hama’s, and seeing those covers has brought back fond memories and a longing to read them all again.
But back in 1986, there was something about those stories that perplexed me. Both the characters of Gung-Ho and Roadblock were made out to be bad asses, and between my friends we’d argue who was the stronger. And so I sent in a letter asking who would win in a fight. As you can see, I didn’t get a proper answer but I did get to see my name in print (and a free Action Force figure – Blowtorch, in case you were wondering). Seeing my name in the comic made up for the crappy reply. I felt etched into history, my name in print making me more real than anything else. I’d had my first taste of ego stroking and I liked it.
And as we all know, Roadblock could easily kick Gung-Ho’s ass!