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Saturday Musings: Signatures In Books #1

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HAW HAW HAW!!! One of my main hobbies is collecting signatures. Signed books, signed photos, magazines, index cards, letters - you name it, if it's signed, I'll collect it. I've been told it's a hobby, it's hoarding, it's healthy, it's an illness, it's a coping mechanism. Call it what you will, for me it's fun. If you should see me in a second hand bookstore you'll notice that I'm picking certain books up, looking at title pages and either putting them back or getting excited and grabbing them. That's what I do. Usually I'm lucky and find more than one signed book, sometimes I go months without getting anything and then it's over to the likes of eBay or pestering people I know to send me books they've written, but sign them first (hint: it doesn't work. People don't send me books they've written signed because, I suspect, they like to torture me. Bastards). But the best thing is finding books with messages and insc

Jack Kirby and The Art Of Theft

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For years I've been covering the very sensitive and thorny issue of the theft of Jack Kirby's artwork on my blog . I say sensitive and thorny because when the issue is brought up, quite a few collectors and dealers will do their best to shut it down.  Why? Because bringing this to light also brings to light both the underground and overground selling, trading and dealing in stolen art that has been going on for decades now. And the people who've engaged in these practices don't like being exposed. It's not just Jack Kirby who has suffered from this. From Joe Simon to Brian Bolland, from Steve Bissette to Neal Adams, from Bernie Wrightson to Alan Kupperberg, from Frank Miller to Ross Andru - almost any artist, especially those working in the American comic book industry, have suffered from seeing their art stolen from companies they worked for and then seeing it openly on sale. At times when those artists have approached the dealers or the persons selling, they'

Mystery, Myth & Misdirection: Hunting The Guyra Ghost - NOW AVAILABLE

The Guyra Ghost remains one of the most famous paranormal events to happen in Australia. In early April 1921, a series of strange, unexplained events began to happen in the small town of Guyra, New South Wales. Stones were thrown at a house, seemingly from nowhere, the walls rocked with bangs and thuds and a young woman claimed to speak to her dead sister.  But was it a ghost?  What did haunt the Bowen family?  This book also covers the reaction of a country, the media, the stage plays and parodies, the attacks and the now lost movie that was made about the haunting, in the Bowen house, while the haunting was actually happening. More importantly, this book names, for the first time, the most likely suspect for the source of the stone throwing, the failed attacks on Minnie Bowen and the reasons why.  Read about a mad rapist who lived in the Guyra area at the time, and where he fits into the story.The Guyra Ghost Mystery might never be solved, but this book, Hunting The Guyra Ghost, shed

Who Killed Peter Mitris? A Lurid, True-Life Tale Of Drugs, Murder, Criminals, and Comic Books

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Who Killed Peter Mitris? On April 17 1991, Peter Mitris, comic store retailer, comic book collector and dealer, and drug importer, armed robber, and drug dealer, vanished into thin air. Despite an extensive search, he was never seen again. The great Jack Kirby once famously said to a fan, “Comics books will break your heart.” If he had said that comic books would eventually kill you, he’d still have been right. In the case of Peter Mitris, it wasn’t the comic books that killed him though, it was a combination of brass knuckles and the ocean. For close to three decades now the mystery of Peter Mitris has both titillated and puzzled the Australian comic book world. The rumours, the myths and speculation of what happened to the man who helped organise the first real international comic book convention the country had seen, and, through his store, bought and sold comic books, including a near perfect Action Comics #1 have been spoken in hushed tones by those who claim to know. In

"One Little Grope," 14 Years Later

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The Taki Soma situation has reared his head once more, with people questioning the suitability  of Charles Brownstein to be heading up the Comic Book Legal Defence Fund. I wrote the words below back in 2006, and I feel that they're still valid now. Nothing of note happened back in 2006, but the world has changed in the fourteen years since, some for the better and some for the worse. What is a constant is that powerful men still appear to be able to get away with whatever they want to. Perhaps now people will read this and take some action, unlike 2006. -------------------------------------------------------------- When I first saw both of these images on  Michael Netzer's  site I was fascinated. I've never been a fan of censorship in any way, shape or form, and for a while I thought that Mike had been told that his initial image - the one on the bottom - was far too offensive for many, and probably borderline slander, which is why he changed it and added the extr

Miller vs Varley - Case (Almost) Closed

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For those following the Frank Miller/Lynn Varley court case, be aware that it's pretty much done and dusted now. While the exact details haven't been released, and they might well never be released, a recent letter that was filed in the case gives hope that Frank and Lynn have managed to sit down with their respective legal teams and hashed out a solution. Would that all court cases of this kind be solved so quickly? But then, in a perfect world, cases like this wouldn't come to the courts as the parties involved would be able to work their issues out beforehand. So, unless we hear otherwise, call this, case (almost) closed!

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