Showing posts from May, 2006

More About Toth And, Well, Just More About Stuff!

Tom Spurgeon , who has forgotten more about comics than most people will ever know, has compiled a brilliant page celebrating the life of career of Alex Toth. The page has an obituary along with some excellent images and links to blogs, tributes, news sites and more. You want to know why Toth was, and still is and always will be, held in the highest regards? Go and have a read of the outpouring of grief and see for yourself. I've said, in a few places, that, in my eyes, there were pioneers in the world of comic book art. Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Gil Kane, John Buscema, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, Neal Adams and many others. Then there was Alex Toth. For me he was always a cut above the pack and he'll always remain there. Michael Netzer has made me blush . Let me say right here and now that's no easy feat. Michael is one of the beautiful people and I'm proud to be able to call him pal. He's one of the few honest people left in the industry and it never ceases to amaze

Alex Toth R.I.P.

We lost a giant this morning . Alex Toth has left us, and in doing so he's left us much sadder, and left the world poorer for his passing. Toth was one of the genuine geniuses of the comic book world. His vision was unsurpassed and his sense of design was unparalleled. From his beginnings back in the '40s, through to his superhero work at DC (he never did much work at Marvel, frustratingly enough) and through to his designing characters such as Space Ghost, Toth influenced virtually everyone. Steve Rude has built a career that draws heavily from Toth. A young Ross Andru took one look at Toth and instantly changed direction. The things that Toth did are still looked upon in awe by many. Thankfully Toth wrote a lot. Heaps in fact. If Toth liked a subject then he'd have no problems talking about it. My own encounters with Toth were far too few, but very memorable. I wrote to Toth asking about Andru & Esposito for a few reasons: 1] Andru, Esposito and Toth all worked at Fi

Michael Netzer

Busy morning, but I've a lot of writing I want to share. A pal of mine asked me recently in an email, "What is it about you and Netzer? Why do you like him? He's a nutjob!" Well it's true, Michael is a tad nutty, but then aren't we all? I thought about sitting down and writing a huge response about why Michael Netzer is misunderstood, why he gets a bad rap and why he gets picked on. I felt like writing about the good stuff that Michael has done. How he helps people. How he helped me by designing a cover to my Andru & Esposito book and refused payment. Michaels design helped sell the book to it's new publisher. I could write about how Michael is one of the most honest and pure people out there in an industry that has more than it's fair share of ego and people who'll insist they're great but aren't. I could mention his writing. His art...and that's where I stopped. You want to know why I like Michael Netzer? He's a pal first and

Jim Mooney's Cat

Supergirl's Super-Pet! I love this story - always have, always will. Mind you I wasn't even born yet when Jim Mooney and writer Otto Binder decided to give the fledgling Supergirl a pet cat. Streaky first appeared in Action Comics #261 (February 1960) and was an instant hit. Why? Too bloody simple really. You see Superboy had a pet dog, Krypto. Now every young boy wants a dog, or they actually own a dog. A dog isn't man's best friend, it's an essential toy, an invaluable chum and the only real pal a growing lad will ever own. Chums come and go, a dog remains your best pal, no matter how much you ignore it, no matter how much you kick it (and you shouldn't kick a dog), no matter what you do the dog will always come back, lick your face and play with you whenever you want. Humans don't do that. They don't show the same loyalty as a dog does. Now girls are complex. They want dolls and horses and, in a lot of cases, cats. Into the world of Supergirl Binder a

More Than Worth A Look

It amazes me that some incredibly talented artists and writers just can't seem to find steady work in the comic book industry. I'm not talking about some guy who can draw well, I'm talking about the likes of Joe Rubinstein here. Joe has been around longer than most and is still at the top of his game. One look at his most recent wor k will show that. Mind you I wasn't aware that Joe had a new book coming out with his work on it - because no-one has bloody well publicized it! Still we can get word out now, and this is one book that I'd recommend sight unseen. Why? Because anyone who knows comic book art will tell you - Joe is a cut above the rest and anything that bears his touch is pure Gold. Just check out my interview with Joe - after one post on the Inkwell mailing list I had the likes of Tim Townsend, John Dell, Mark McKenna and other exceedingly talented people donating their time and quotes to make the interview one of the best I've done. The ultimate acc

The Never Ending Battle...

For truth, justice and the American way!!! It's SUPERMAN! It's sadly ironic that when the first Superman movie was launched back in the late '70s the characters creators were broke and destitute. It took the efforts of Neal Adams to wage a war against Warner Communications and DC Comics to get Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster their creator credit and a modest pension. These guys had created the single most iconic figure of the 20th Century and were robbed for decades. Without Superman DC wouldn't be what it is today, and that particular franchise is worth billions to them. So it wasn't going to hurt to give the guys a very minute percentage of those billions, which they did, to allow both men to live out their last days in dignity. Upon Jerry's death the pension was transfered to his wife, Joanne, and she still gets it today. With that in mind as I've stated, it's sadly ironic that on the eve of the newest Superman epic the names of the creators are ag

Trivial Pursuits

I've reached a crossroads in my life. It was as simple as that earlier last week as I sent an email to the other half which contained my concerns. Those concerns were that I either had to give my writing up almost completely, finish what I had on my desk and concentrate on a government job that's clearly going nowhere, or give up the day job, pare it down to part time and really get stuck into my writing. I didn't want an instant answer, I wanted her to seriously think about the ramifications of my words, because concentrating on writing would see a huge, and immediate, dip in our combined income. Writing, especially in Australia where writers aren't really valued unless you're writing the most puerile works of fiction, are already famous or engaging in sensationalism journalism, just doesn't pay money. Mention to anyone you're a writer and they think of Harry Potter or Steven King and think you're rolling in it. Here's the wake up call. Since

Here Comes The Rain Again

All through Saturday night. Huge storms here. Thunder and lightening, very, very frightening. Hail. High, howling winds. Driving rains. As savage as it's been in a while. Branches blowing around, trees uprooted and falling over. The whole damn hog as a low pressure system crossed the state brining with it the first real winter storms. Damage everywhere. In the middle of all of this mayhem the idiot you see above woke up, stretched out, yawned and then yowled. Was he scared? Quite the opposite. He wanted to do a Captain Oates and venture forth into the raging storm so he could have a frolic and see if there were any mice about. The fact that only he would be stupid enough to go out in such weather doesn't phase him in the slightest. So yowl he did, until he got his fuzzy little arse thrown into the laundry. And he thinks I don't care, but it beats me why anyone would give up a dry, warm, safe house to run about like an idiot in a hurricane. So Richard Carlton is dead . He

I'm Now Officially An Author

Well I guess this certainly seals it - just in case anyone had any doubts. Still it's a rush to have my first book as a featured book in Previews, and now it's plastered all over Amazon - I mean, what happens if Oprah picks it up as part of her book club? I'll not leap on the chairs, but I might do the Paul Hogan and check under the back of the cushins for change. I guess with this under the belt and two more books on the way I can finally join the South Australian Writers Centre . Whoops, hang about - I've done my writing without a Uni degree. Damn. Oh well, one day soon. Is there anyone out there who can design a decent web-site for next to nothing? Want some practice? Get in touch.

Go Out With A Blast

Like everyone else I got emailed a pile of photos regarding the blast today at Pirie Street. Bloody inconsiderate bastard who did it - made my life a bit hellish, but then, funnily enough, the cops on site actually questioned and took away some of our clients - hence a bit of a lower workload. Great. Anyways, here's the best of the photos that I got. Rear view - awesome isn't it? Certainly it did the job. Notice that everything is all blown to shit, but the Adelaide City Council's parking meter is bolt upright and probably still working. I'm surprised that there's not a parkie sitting there waiting to fine the fire engines. You expect to see this kind of thing in Beruit or downtown LA, not Adelaide. Still other than the odd person rumbling about having to walk around the block to get to the pie shop, everyone was fairly casual about it. Just the usual Adelaide gossip machine in full motion. Lots of butt was skuttled. Roof shot - the whole building will be knocke

Ramble On

It's always interesting to know just how much, or how little, you're valued. I walked into management's office last week to tell them my plans of going part time. HR, in the meantime, had sent me an email informing me that they'd be in touch if ever anything came up that'd suit me, but the management of where I am implored me to remain, 5 days a week, for at least another month. I'm hanging about then as we can use the cash. Nice to know I'm wanted. Now I have to juggle my writing with the day job, but as the insomnia appears to have kicked in again that shouldn't be a problem. Sunday evening saw us watching TV when a promo came on for the news. "Tonight, we enter day five of the trapped miners oredeal." (yep, very apt as the reporting has been an ordeal). The other half looked over and said, "Oh give it up, they're dead already." Unusually for me I replied, "Well you don't know that. They could have survived, af

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