When I was about 12, away at the St Vincent De Paul Boys' Camp on Lindisfarne off the north east coast of England, I won the Camper of the Week award. It was a booby prize for a kid who didn't win races but was cheery and helpful - hey, I'll take what I can get. I got a rather nice set of plates which is still being used chez Gray.
And now, in a seemingly never-starting stream of triumph, I've been nominated for a Kreativ Blogger award. No, it doesn't mean I can't spell ...
... it's a networking thing, I suppose. Someone who enjoys another person's comic blog - in this case Colin, of Too Busy Thinking About My Comics, of which more below - nominates them, thereby bringing their page to the attention of others. Here's the deal:
You must thank the person who has given you the award.
Copy the award logo and place it on your blog.
Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
Leave a comment on each of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.
So, blushing as I am, let's turn away from me and spread the good spirits.
First of all, thanks to Colin for the nomination.
Too Busy Thinking About My Comics
If you've never visited Colin's blog, it's one of a kind, with thoroughly thought through reflections on such subjects as Gerry Conway's recent Last Days of Animal Man mini series, and crime and punishment in superhero comics. And he wants you to join in the debate.
And here are seven other blogs I particularly enjoy (though anything on my blog roll is worth a look):
Mighty World of Bronze Age Marvel
Thoroughly sick of modern Marvel, Terence looks back through the mists of time at his personal Golden Age, the Seventies. I love to be reminded of those wonderful old stories in which you could never go two pages without a double spread of ads.
Painter, novelist and designer of everyone's favourite Light Lass costume, Carol Strickland writes about her artistic pursuits, with images and links to her projects, such as the best online resource for fans of the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman Central.
Supergirl Comic Box Commentary
Anj loves Supergirl in all her incarnations and here he looks at moments from her past while keeping an eye on current events and looking to the future. If you've interest in Kara Zor-El in any incarnation - from the Silver Age original to the Eighth Grader - this is the site for you.
Comic Per Day Reviews
Timbotron puts me to shame with a pithy review every single day, from a wider range of publishers than I frequent. Plus, he's not such a cynical old stick. (There's currently a malware warning attached to the site - I've contacted Timbotron and he says it's a glitch not to be worried about. I usually visit via my phone and haven't had any problems.)
The DC-dedicated Raging Bullets is probably the longest regular podcast around, as Sean and Jim take in-depth looks at events past and present, as well as offering up creator interviews and con reports. And this blog will keep you updated on new episodes, while linking to the Raging Bullets forums and columnists.
Bottle City of Kanga
And-Ru isn't the most diplomatic of comics reviewers but he is one of the funniest. Plus, he's waging a campaign to get Sensor Girl's current tarty costume dumped in favour of the stylish original, which is totally fashion forward if you're Cheryl Cole. Help him!
It Came From Darkmoor
Mark looks at the originated offerings of Marvel UK and the British characters created by Marvel US, keeping the flame burning for the likes of Captain Britain, Death's Head and the Clan Destine.
The Blog of Oa
Myron knows Green Lantern. He could probably name 7,200 members of the Corp, which is why this is a tremendous resource for fans of all things Oan, with reviews, video spotlight and articles. I'm green with envy.
So please, if you're unfamiliar with any of these blogs, visit, say hi. I'll likely lose my own reader, but there you go.
Now here's the bit I've been dreading, wherein I have to find seven interesting facts about me. Lordy, i think I'm fascinating. My other half's cats rather like me. But the rest of you fine folk?
Let's go for random:
1) When I was a teenager, a red-eyed, dark figure that should not have been at the botttom of my bed freaked me out with its reeking-of-malevolence thang. I passed out on feeling hands on my throat.
2) Similarly (?) I have been chatted up by both Bungle from Rainbow and an actor who played Ronald McDonald, only one of whom was in costume at the time.
3) I won a job editing UK DC reprints - such as the short-lived weekly Heroes - pretty much on the basis of being known to London Editions Magazines Editor-in-Chief Brian M Clarke from the lettercols of his DC The Superheroes Monthly and Dez Skinn's Warrior. And despite knocking tea on him at the interview. What a chap.
4) Durning my time at London Editions/Egmont UK/Fleetway I wrote a story for My Little Pony featuring a monster named the Schmooze who debuted in a MLP movie. Oh, Hasbro were delighted. I also got to colour in their rump marks on occasion
5) While working for UK publisher Chatto & Windus I showed a sweet, addled old lady who wandered into reception back out onto the street in a most caring manner. Later that afternoon my boss asked me if Iris Murdoch had ever showed up ...
6) My Great Grandad was a bigamist, which doesn't actually have much to do with me but hey, I'm desperate (he got a young girl pregnant while away in the Great War and did the decent thing, don't judge; admittedly, Great Grandma didn't deal with it well, and pretty much faded away from a broken heart while he was in prison ...).
7) I wrote to legendary DC editor E Nelson Bridwell in the Seventies asking for the solution to The Great DC Contest from Superman #169, May 1964 (one month before I myself arrived from Krypton). I was convinced the only place the letters D and C appeared in the story were a panel with puffs of cloud in the shape of those letter. He kindly wrote back that they were in word balloons. Darn.
And that's that! Thanks again Colin!