Friday, August 14, 2009

This Weeks' Reading List: 14th August

God, what a week. Launched the Blaq Books blog, scoped out the store and began work on the bookshop. As such there wasn't as much time left for reading, but I did get a few things in and finished. I know I'm early, but I'm off to see the movie Balibo this evening and we've a heavy weekend lined up, so I might not have the time to write this tomorrow.

What did I finish this week?

MAGAZINES:
Back Issue #35. Villains issue. Interesting, albeit too brief, Pro-To-Pro interview with Mike Zeck and J.M. DeMatties about Kravens Last Hunt. J.M. is a prince and I've yet to find anyone who doesn't like him. Other than that the usual BI contents, articles that I generally skim and a decent Mike Vosburg interview.

Alter Ego #88. Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson issue. Interesting stuff as Wheeler-Nicholson's family members are interviewed for their memories about the man who formed DC Comics. Such a shame to discover that DC has written Wheeler-Nicholson out of their official history, but then this is a company that keeps up the lie that Bob Kane created Batman on his own. A back-up interview with Win Mortimer's wife is also an interesting read.

Jack Kirby Collector #53. You know, for a publisher that'd like to see me hung in effigy on a daily basis, I do buy a lot of their product. No hard feelings on my end. This issue of the JKC focuses on the Stan Lee-Jack Kirby collaborations, much to the overall disgust of a lot of the members of the Jack Kirby Yahoo mailing list. Sadly a section that initially appears to be an interesting look at the many inkers of Kirby at Marvel is nothing more than an exercise in cut 'n paste from Wikipedia (oh, the IRONY of it all - those who know will understand). Highlights include an interview with Stan Lee in which Stan, delightfully, forgets vital information and a damned decent article by Ger Apeldorn. Nice, big pictures, but, and this might just be me, some of them look just too far down, generation wise, to have the same impact and power as the original comic books do. Oh well.

BOOKS:
Brian Cronin: Was Superman A Spy? Disclosure time: I've fed Brian a few stories over the years and I am mentioned in the 'Thanks' section of the book. Having said that I bought this book off eBay - no comp copy for me. Interesting book, focusing on some of my favourite things - stories behind the stories and gossip. Brian does a great job with his Urban Myths Revealed blog and this collection of the best of them should be on everyone's bookshelves. Oh, and Brian, I know what really happened with the missing Warlock...but I'm not allowed to tell.

Geoff Slattery: The Brownlow - A Tribute To The Greats Of Australian Football. A damned good collection of articles and interviews with Brownlow medal winners from 1924 through to 2002. Some good insights, especially with the view of the sale of the medal itself by some of the winners. Almost all the winners state that they'd rather a Premiership medal over the Brownlow, including the repeat winners. And frankly who wouldn't? Nathan Buckley might have gotten a Brownlow, Robert Harvey won two but I expect that they'd give them all up to be Mark Bickley, a dual premiership captain. That's the ultimate medal.

Mike Coleman & Ken Edwards: Eddie Gilbert. God love Eddie Gilbert, the best cricket player you've never heard of. Eddie was an insanely fast bowler - how fast? The first time Bradman faced him he near killed him and did three things to him in the space of four balls - the first being to put him on his arse, the second was to knock his bat out of his hands - the only time that ever happened - and the third was to dismiss the master for a duck. Bradman spent a lot of his career ducking Gilbert after that. Gilbert was so fast that the 1932-33 English touring team - the infamous Bodyline side - refused to play against him. Gilbert never played for Australia though, why? Because he was an Aboriginal. Gilbert played in a era of racism and ignorance but broke through those barriers by sheer force of will and talent. What happened to him though, and how he was treated, was shameful. This book should be read by all Australians.

ON THE READING LIST THIS WEEK
Still contains...
Lee Hale & Richard D Neely: Behind The Scenes Of The Dean Martin Show
Maxine Marx: Growing Up With Chico.
Bruce Beresford: Josh Hartnett Definitely Wants To Do This...
Kevin Brownlow: Behind The Mask Of Innocence - Sex, Violence, Prejudice, Crime: Films Of Social Conscience In The Silent Era
Paul Buhle & Dave Wagner: Hide In Plain Sight - The Hollywood Blacklistees In Film & Television 1950 - 2002

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Danny,

I read Back Issue #35 and my favorite article in that was the Hobgoblin article with Ron Frenz, and Roger Stern.

I remember growing up, everyone wanted to know who the Hobgoblin was. It was such a big deal. I used to collect comics at that time off spinner racks at local convenience stores.

Then one day the drama was over, it was Ned Leeds and he died in some comic I never heard of "Spider-Man vs. Wolverine". That comic wasn't available off the spinner rack, and even if it was, it was too expensive for kid to buy.

All the drama was over. What could have been a massive "BOOM" went out with a whimper. I've never gotten over the disappointment of finding out Ned Leeds was the Hobgoblin, and that he was killed before Spider-Man figured it out.

Reading this article to the "why's" and "how's" of this happening made me feel a little better. It just goes to show office politics happen everywhere, including comic book companies.
George "The Stooges"

Robert Thomas said...

Agreed, an excellent and detailed article which chartered the tortured path and office politics during the Hobgoblin era.

A pity Chris Priest(J Owsley) declined to take part but his views on the topic are well described on his web site.