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Saturday, September 27, 2014

76 Days Of Bramley: Day #1

For no other reason than to celebrate one of the finest comic book cover artists that Australia, and possibly the world, has ever seen, over the next 76 days I'll be showcasing a cover that Maurice Bramley drew.  Why 76?  I'll let people guess and see if they can figure it out.  They won't be his 76 finest covers, just 76 covers chosen at random from my own collection.

So, Day One: Frogman #4 (Horwitz)


If you want to know more about Maurice Bramley, then click this link and read all about him!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Digital Museum - Marvel In Australia Part 1

A few weeks ago I went on a road trip to Canberra and Melbourne to visit both the National Archives and also the National Library, with the goal to sit down and study the John Ryan collection in Canberra, a number of comic books and correspondence in the Archives and the Jack Elliott collection at Monash University.  Thanks to the kindness of then people working in those institutions I was able to gain a lot more information than I previously had – the Ryan collection is stunning in scope and diversity alone.  Seeing the collections and the contents of the archives got me to thinking about how precious some collectors and archivists get over what they possess and how difficult, if not impossible, it is to gain any form of meaningful information from those collections held in private hands.  Yet those who have the information and refuse to share it are quick to leap on the mistakes of others.  To that end I’ve decided to throw my own collection open for research purposes, but it’ll be electronic only – nobody will lay hands on the physical copies unless I am there, but scans and the information that I have gained will be open slather for those who might need it.  If you think I have it, just ask.  If I do have it, then you can access it.  My hope is that others will follow suit and a digital repository can be established.

I thought I’d start with the comic books, so, to begin with, here are the initial statistics of my collection of Australian Marvel Comics reprints.   The scope is on Marvel reprints from the 1950s through to the 1980s and does not include the Marvel Australian issues that Marvel began to issue in the late 1980s.  The Australian publishers/imprints listed in these charts are Horwitz, K.G. Murray, Yaffa, Page, Newton and Federal.

FEDERAL                              
ALPHA FLIGHT   1
                2
                nn
 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN               2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                8
                9
                11
 AVENGERS; The               3
                4
                5
                nn
 CLOAK AND DAGGER    nn
 CONAN THE BARBARIAN             1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                11
 CONAN THE DESTROYER              nn
 CRYSTAR             2
 DAREDEVIL        1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                10
                11
 DEFENDERS       1
                3
                4
                5
                7
                9
 DUNE   nn
 FANTASTIC FOUR            3
                4
                5
                6
                8
                9
                10
                11
                nn (1)
                nn (2)
 GHOST RIDER    1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
 INCREDIBLE HULK; The 2
                3
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                12
 IRON MAN         2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                8
                nn
 MARVEL TALES 1
 THOR    3
                4
                6
                7
                8
                10
                11
 X-MEN; The       1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8

HORWITZ (watch this blog for a more detail Horwitz listing)                         
APACHE KID       2
ATTACK                                7
AVENGERS          1
 DAREDEVIL        1
 KID COLT OUTLAW         19
                88
                92
 OUTLAW KID     3
                29
 SGT FURY           1
                1a
                2
                3
                4
                7
                10
 STRANGE TALES               2
                4
                5
                6
 WESTERN KID   27

K.G. MURRAY                    
CLIMAX ADVENTURE COMIC      10
                11
                12
DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU      1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
FLASH GORDON                               nn
SAVAGE TALES  1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
 SAVAGE TALES ANNUAL              nn
 SUPER GIANT   2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
                16
                17
                18
                19
                20
                21
                22
                24
                25
                26
                27
                28
                nn (1)

NEWTON                             
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN                1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
                16
                17
AVENGERS; The                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
CAPTAIN AMERICA         1
                2
                3
                4
CAPTAIN AMERICA ANNUAL      1
CAPTAIN AMERICA/SPIDER-MAN SPECIAL           1
CAPTAIN MARVEL           nn
CONAN THE BARBARIAN              1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
DAREDEVIL         1
                2
                3
DAREDEVIL GIANT SPECIAL          nn
DAREDEVIL, THOR & THE X-MEN               nn
DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU      1
                2
                3
                4
DOCTOR STRANGE          1
                2
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                4a
DRACULA            1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                nn
DRACULA ANNUAL         1
FANTASTIC FOUR             1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL          1
GIANT MAN DR STRANGE            nn
GIANT TEAM-UP ANNUAL           1
HULK ANNUAL  1
INCREDIBLE HULK; The  1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
                16
IRON MAN          1
                2
MONSTERS UNLEASHED               1
                2
                3
                nn
NEWTON FOUR IN ONE
1
NEWTON HOLIDAY SPECIAL         1
 NEWTON HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR           nn
                nn
 NEWTON SPECTACULAR              1
 NEWTON SPECTACULAR: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN   nn
 NEWTON TRIPLE ACTION             1
                nn
 ORIGINS OF GREAT MARVEL COMIC HEROES     1
 ORIGINS OF GREAT MARVEL COMIC HEROES     1
 PLANET OF THE APES     1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
                12
                13
                14
                15
                16
                17
                nn (18)
                nn (19)
 PLANET OF THE APES ANNUAL  1
 SCIENCE FICTION            1
 SILVER SURFER 1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
 SILVER SURFER SPECIAL               1
                nn
 SUB-MARINER 1
 SUB-MARINER SPECIAL                1
 SUPER HERO SWAP CARD ALBUM           nn
 TEAM-UP           2
                3
 TEAM-UP SPECIAL          nn
 THOR    1
                2
 THOR ANNUAL 1
 UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION          2
                nn
 X-MEN SPECIAL               nn
 X-MEN with THE AVENGERS       1
                2
                3
 X-MEN; The       4
                5
                6

PAGE                     
OUTLAW ADVENTURES nn
SIX-GUN WESTERN LIBRARY        4
                7

YAFFA                   
2001       1
                2
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
173
                174
                175
                176
                177
                178
                179
                180
                181
                182
                183
                210
                211
                214
                215
                184-185
                186-187
                188-189
                190-191
                192-193
                194-195
                196-197
                198-199
                200-201
                202-203
                204-205
                206-207
                208-209
 AVENGERS; The               1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                nn
 BIZARRE ADVENTURES nn
 BLACK PANTHER              3
                6
                7
 BLADE THE VAMPIRE SLAYER     nn
 CAPTAIN AMERICA        1
                2
                3
                5
                6
                7
                8
 CAPTAIN MARVEL          1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                8
 CHAMBER OF CHILLS     1
                2
                3
                4
 CHAMPIONS; The           1
                2
                4
                5
                6
 CONAN THE BARBARIAN             1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
                11
 CREATURES ON THE LOOSE         1
                3
                5
                6
                7
                8
 CRYPT OF SHADOWS     1
 DAREDEVIL        1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
                10
 DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU     1
                nn
 DEFENDERS       1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                nn
 DOCTOR STRANGE         1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                nn
 DRACULA LIVES               1
                2
                3
                4
 ETERNALS; The 1
                2
                3
                5
                6
                7
 FANTASTIC FOUR            1
                2
                187
                188
                189
                190
                191
                192
                193
                194
                195
                196
                197
                198-199
                200-201
                202-203
                204-205
                206-207
                208-209
                210-211
                212-213
                214-215
                216-217
                218-219
                220-221
                222-223
 FEAR     2
                4
                5
 FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER; The                5
 GHOST RIDER    1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                7
                8
                9
                10
 HAUNT OF HORROR; The             nn
 HOWARD THE DUCK      1
 HUMAN FLY      1
3
                5
HUMAN TORCH; The      1
                2
                3
                4
                5
INCREDIBLE HULK            6
                7
                8
                9
                10
INCREDIBLE HULK; The  1
                2
                3
                4
                5
INVADERS; The 1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                nn
IRON FIST            1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
IRON MAN          1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                9
JUNGLE ACTION               1
                5
JUNGLE ACTION FEATURING THE BLACK PANTHER           2
                5
JUNGLE BEAST  nn
KID COLT OUTLAW          1
                2
                7
KING CONAN     1
                nn
KINGDOM OF KULL; The               nn
KULL THE CONQUEROR 1
                2
                3
                4
KULL THE DESTROYER     5
                6
                7
                nn
KULL THE KING  nn
KUNG FU MASTER           nn
LEGION OF MONSTERS; The        1
                nn
LUKE CAGE POWER MAN             4
                5
                6
LUKE CAGE, POWER MAN            1
                2
                3
                8
MAN THING       2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
 MAN-GODS FROM BEYOND THE STARS nn
 MAN-THING     1
                2
 MARVEL SUPER ACTION              1
 MARVEL SUPER-HEROES              1
 MARVEL TALES 1
                2
 MARVEL TEAM-UP         1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                9
 MARVEL'S GREATEST COMICS   1
                2
                3
                4
 MASTER OF KUNG FU   1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                7
                9
                10
                11
                12
 MASTERS OF TERROR    nn
 MERLIN               nn
 MIGHTY MARVEL WESTERN; The             1
 MIGHTY SUPER TEAM; The         nn
 MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN; The         1
 MONSTER OF THE SWAMP         nn
 MONSTERS UNLEASHED              1
                2
                3
                nn
 MOON KNIGHT                1
                nn
 MS MARVEL      1
                3
                4
 NIGHT OF THE VAMPIRE              nn
 NOVA  1
 OMEGA THE UNKNOWN             1
                2
                3
 OUTLAW KID; The           2
 PETER PARKER THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN               1
                2
                3
                4
 PLANET OF THE APES     1
 PRINCE VALIANT             1
 RAMPAGING HULK; The              1
                2
                3
                nn
 RAWHIDE KID   1
                2
 RED SONJA        1
                3
                4
                5
                nn
 ROM: SPACEKNIGHT     nn
 SATANA              nn
 SAVAGE SHE-HULK; The               1
 SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN      1
                2
                4
 SECRET LIVES OF THE X-MEN      nn
 SERGEANT FURY'S WAR BATTLES             nn
 SGT FURY           1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                7
                8
                10
 SHOCK STORIES               nn
 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN      6
                7
                8
                9
                11
 SPIDER-MAN THE INVINCIBLE   nn
 SPIDER-WOMAN             1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
 STAR-LORD        1
                2
                nn
 STRANGE TALES               2
                4
 SUB-MARINER 1
                4
                5
 SUB-MARNIER 3
 SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS        1
                2
                3
                4
                5
 SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP           1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                nn
 TALES OF THE ZOMBIE  2
                3
                4
                nn
 TALES TO ASTONISH STARRING THE SUB-MARINER         2
                nn
 TERRIFYING TALES          nn
 THOR    1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
                nn
 THOR THE MIGHTY         nn
 TOMB OF DARKNESS     nn
 TOMB OF DRACULA       1
                2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
 TWO-GUN KID 1
                2
                4
                9
 UFO CONNECTION         nn
 UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION          1
 UNTAMED WORLD OF CONAN  nn
 VAMPIRE TALES               1
                2
                3
                4
 VAULT OF EVIL 2
 WEIRD TALES    nn
 WEREWOLF BY NIGHT   2
                3
                4
                5
                6
                7
                8
 X-MEN; The       1
                2
                4
                6
                7

                8
8

These comics are available for research purposes, so if you’re working on a book, or an article or whatever, then feel free to email me, or contact me via Facebook, Twitter (@20thCenturyDan) or even Skype (danbest67).  All I ask in return is credit in your work and a copy of the finished product.  The comics have all been scanned (covers only) and the interior stories have all been entered into a data base with full details on writer/artist credits, page counts and any additional notes as required.  Do note that I need to update the database though as not all of the comics I have are listed here – there’s easily another two hundred Marvel reprints via the Horwitz imprint alone, I’ll add those stats as time goes on, but, for now, you get a rough idea of the scope of this collection.   For what it’s worth, I’ve been divesting myself of my Australian DC Comic reprints via eBay as I’ve decided to focus on just the Marvel reprints, the horror imprint of Gredown and Australian produced comics.
Next up – the statistics for my Gredown comics.  Then the magazines, fanzines, correspondence, interviews, electronic material and much, much more…

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Vale Stan Goldberg

I'm very sad today, as I've been digesting the loss of Stan Goldberg. I got to know him when I was working on the Andru & Esposito book.  He was a very kind man, gracious with his time and was utterly tickled that someone from Australia would be be interested in his work and him as a person. I managed to speak to him a few times and correspond a bit, we spoke about Mike a lot as they were very, very good chums, and we found a great middle ground talking about Frank Robbins, who Stan knew via his regular trips to Mexico.  Stan was a brilliant chum to Mike Esposito - when Mike was struggling after being sacked by Marvel in the early 1990s, Stan was right there, offering Mike as much work as he could handle with Archie and ensuring that he had an income for as long as he needed one.  He did this without being asked to do it, he saw Mike was in a bit of a situation and decided to step in to help - that says everything anyone ever needs to know about Stan.


I shall miss him.  He was there at the start of Marvel, both times, first with Timley Comics in the 1940s and 1950s, and then again when Marvel relaunched in the late 1950s and the 1960s.  Stan also did a massive amount of work for Archie. He was one of the pioneers and is often overlooked because he was happier doing non-superhero work - check out the romance and Archie style Marvel Comics of the 1960s, usually signed Stan L and Stan G - Stan Lee and Stan Goldberg! If his work people, in particular kids, happy then Stan was happy.  He deserves your accolades, and he has more than earned his rest.


Godspeed Stan Goldberg. You were one of the greats and you will not be forgotten.

Monday, August 11, 2014

July 10, 1977: The End Of An Era

In the history of Australian comic books and cartoons the date July 10th, 1977 is a milestone that nobody really knows about.  So, what happened on that day?   Simply put its the day that an era ended for good.  

Syd Nicholls, the creator of Fatty Finn, Middy Malone, was a pioneer in Australian comic book and cartoon history.  Nicholls passed away on the 3rd of June, 1977 after falling from the balcony of his Potts Point apartment.  While his death didn't come as a great surprise to many who knew him as he was showing signs of depression in the months leading up to June, mainly due to his sight fading, his passing left a void in the Australian cartoon scene that has never really been filled.  Nicholls was more than just an artist, he was a respected journalist, he worked in silent movies -his Fatty Finn was made into a film titled The Kid Stakes in 1927 (Nicholls appeared in the film as himself), he was a publisher and he was a strong advocate for Australian produced comic strips, to the point of fighting with syndicates such as K.G. Murray and Yaffa, as well as the Federal Government, in order to restrict the importation and preference of foreign comic books and strips over locally produced products.  Many artists from the 1940s onwards including Monty Wedd, Keith Chatto and others, owed their careers to Syd Nicholls.  Once he passed the Australian comic scene as a viable industry, which had been sinking steadily since the mid-1960s stagnated, with a few exceptions by the likes of Gerald Carr, until the emergence of the Southern Squadron in the mid-1980s.

Which brings us back to the 10th of July, 1977.  On that day, a Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald replaced Nicholls Fatty Finn strip, which had been running since 1923 for a total of 54 years, with Stan Lee and John Romita’s Spider-Man strip.  Instead of passing the strip to another Australian, as has happened with Ginger Meggs since Jimmy Bancks passed away, the choice was made to end Fatty Finn and replace it as a flagship strip with the one thing that would have horrified Nicholls – an American strip.  The only solace was that two Australian strips were introduced; Ken Emerson’s The Warrumbunglers and Theo Batten’s Lucky Cat (and more on Lucky Cat and Theo Batten in the coming weeks).


Fatty wouldn't have been happy.