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Prime Minister's Signatures - A Neat Dozen

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Following on from previous posts that showcase some of the signatures I have in my collection, I was asked if I have any Australian Prime Ministers. The answer is, of course! Not all of them, but quite a few. A dozen in fact. Out of the 30 Prime Ministers that this country has had, I have 12 of them, some on more than one item. Most are in books - autobiographies and the like - some are cuts from letters and three are from an amazing Member's book that once belonged to the Conservative Club of Melbourne in the early 1930s. And when I say amazing, I mean it's fascinating. Each member has their full name and address listed, and guests speakers details are entered, complete with signatures. Honorary Members included three Prime Ministers (both former and future) and a number of noted economists, leaders in the conservative movement and military. You don't want to know what I paid for that, suffice to say it wasn't cheap and I couldn't afford it then and certainly could

You Don't Get Deals Like That Anymore

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May 7, 1942. Billboard Magazine (USA) Read this and weep. In 1942 you could buy 100 Golden Age comics for $1.95. If you wanted 1000 of them, you'd get change from $20. Complete with covers mind you! Now where did I leave that time machine?  

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

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