“It belongs in a museum (not a charity shop)!”

While I haven’t been able to make it into a beer garden since restrictions were lifted in England, I have been able to pick up some wonderful geeky purchases from second-hand and charity shops – each of them something I’ll enjoy longer than an outdoor pint in subzero temperatures.

The BFI Classics book on Withnail & I (£2.99), was great, and lasted a couple of lazy weekend coffees, and I’m looking forward to carving out 95 minutes to watch the 1978 remake of The Big Sleep, which stars Robert Mitchum, Oliver Reed, James Stewart and Joan Collins and cost just 99p.

But my favourite so far is a hardback copy of the 1981 Marvel adaptation of Raiders Of The Lost Ark (£1.99), which I picked up just a couple of days after writing about the latest developments on Indy 5, and devoured over a coffee that same day.

Firstly – just look at it! It’s classic 1980s Marvel artwork (John Buscema pencilling, Klaus Janson on inks), and while comic Indy and Marion might not be dead ringers for Harrison Ford and Karen Allen…

… the 2D Alfred Molina did alright out of it… although he looks a bit like Chevy Chase.

Well, he does until he meets his end in a way that feels like it’s drawn inspiration from the old EC Comics, never mind the Spielberg movie…

Of course, the thrill of John Williams’ music is missing from the action scenes, so writer Walter Simonson had to add a little something to keep the fights exciting… and he went for buddy-buddy banter and/or characters’ internal monologues.

Oh, and have you ever wondered how Indy hitched a lift on the U-Boat transporting the Ark of the Covenant? Well wonder no more…

Anyone who has ever read a novelisation or comic adaptation of a movie will know they sometimes veer off from the films we know and love, but overall, it plays out largely along the same lines to the classic film.

The biggest deviation is also one of the most noticeable though. Everyone remembers the fate of slimy Nazi Toht – remember this guy?

His melting visage is the stuff of nightmares even after all these years, and tests the censors every time the film gets shown before 9pm…

… but here in the comic, he dies during the truck chase when his car flies off the side of a mountain!

Of course that just leaves Indy’s old nemesis Belloq to meet his fate when he opens the Ark…

I wrote in the other Indy post, that nostalgia is a powerful drug, and I’ll admit I’m as big an addict as the next guy. That probably means I was going to love this anyway, but I’m really glad I stumbled across it – and I’d gladly have paid far more than a couple of quid for it.

As it turns out, it’s not an especially rare book – a cursory search online suggests you can pick up the same hardback from about £20, though I’m sure the individual issues would be a great deal more expensive.

That being said, if you’re a fan or just curious to see how a classic got the comic book treatment, you could do a lot worse.

Now to find somewhere to keep it safe…

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