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Showing posts from June, 2006

The Five Second Quickie

Just a few bits before I flee out the door for another day at The Daily Grind.

Alan Kupperberg's site is coming along nicely. Pop by, register and send Alan a message. He's now available for commission work and you can see from the images on the site that he's a damn good artist who can draw the superhero stuff just as good, if not better, than a lot of people out there.

None of what I do, web-based anyway, would be possible without the assistance of my excellent, long time, chum Tim Aslat. Tim is a genius when it comes to pulling my fat out of the fire and the speed at which he can work - when he's motivated (read food and/or money) is incredible. If you're looking for decently priced web-hosting and site design then visit his site and ask away.

Michael Netzer has re-started his forums. The template looks brilliant, so if you're bored scoot on over and engage Michael in some conversation. It's worth it.

One of the best kept secrets in the world would have to b…

Speaking Of Good Evil Clown Artists

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Now there's a phrase you don't hear anymore. You always hear about an artist being a good 'superhero' artist (like Jim Lee for example), or a good, 'bad girl' artist (like Jim Balent for example), or a good 'weird' artist (like Jim Steranko for example) and even a good 'cosmic' artist (like Jim Starlin for example - come to think of it a lot of Jims are good artists). But never do you hear of anyone being a good 'nasty clown' artist. And that's probably because there's only one person alive who can wear that crown, one man who bears the Mantle Of The Good Evil Clown Artist - Alan Kupperberg.

Alan is a grossly under-rated artist and writer. He reminds me very much of another Jim - Jim Mooney - in that Alan is the complete package. He writes, pencils, inks, letters and colors. In his time he's done work at both Marvel and DC, he's worked on the Justice League, Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk - you name it, his pencil h…

The Return Of Lunchtime O'Booze*

Ahhhhh the things that the media here just won't report. I'm not exactly sure why they won't, but hey, if I cloud it enough then I'll be able to tell you. Just little juicy tidbits though, get the juices flowing and remember - ask the questions, get the answers.

Without any further adieu, here's the dreaded Return of Lunchtime O'Booze:

*TING* Round Two in the Dinner Battle between the Bikers and the MCS kicked off last week. A clear win to the MCS, and a few arrests took place. Round Three is eagerly awaited. Steer clear of diners with Pig descriptions in the title.

*TING* What former high profile (and borderline crazy) MP was driving in his car over the weekend? Well, he wasn't driving, he was a passenger in the car driven by a family member. They got pulled over and said family member (driver) blew over the .05 booze limit. Said former MP then got out of the car, opened the wallet and asked the fuzz if a few hundred dollars would sort the whole affair out. T…

A Rose By Any Other Name

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When is a swipe not a swipe? When it's called homage.

It's a damn fine line between theft and homage. I've noticed over the years that if some artists take an existing cover idea and re-draw it in their own style then it's generally called a swipe, or theft. There used to a great site years ago called 'Swipe Of The Week'. It's long, long gone now so don't bother looking for it, but in it's day it was a damn great site. They'd put up a panel, splash page or a cover that had been done in recent times and then they'd post the original that'd been swiped. My favorite was a Captain America image that'd been swiped all the way back to Jim Steranko - it'd been used about five times by five different artists from the late 1980s onwards.

The usual culprits were the likes of Rob Liefeld and most of the so called 'new wave' artists. I've always suspected that a lot of those artists were hoping that their current audience was ei…

Spooky: A Shameless Plug

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Another one bites the dust. I've been reading Spooky: The Warren Fanzine since it was first published and I've always found it to be a damn good read. It was with a certain amount of dismay that I discovered that Diamond will no longer act as the distributor for the fanzine - I can only expect they've chosen this line of action because it doesn't turn a decent sized profit for them. With small press it isn't enough to make a profit for Diamond, it's more of a case that you have to make a bucket of money for them. Wrong, but that's life and when you own the monopoly and refuse to allow anyone to challenge that monopoly, well you generally do what you want and damn the torpedoes.

The good news is that, despite Diamond's best efforts, Spooky won't be going for good. Copies can still be ordered via the web-site and they're going to be offering up a subscription service, via the Soaring Penguin site and back issues are still available while issues ar…

Growling In The Rain

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I hate it when it happens. You're just putting the finishing touches on your work when BANG! out goes the power the whole day's work is lost. Annoyance plus frustration. I'm not the kind who can easily reconstruct my lost work, so I'll just go ahead and do something entirely different, but I will include some stuff I remember writing about.

Michael Netzer has created yet another web-site. Interestingly enough he draws attention to the fact that he's not that in demand in the comic book world these days, thus he has more than enough time to work on these kind of sites. Now that amazes me, that an artist of Mike abilities, who's grown with each year that passes and is better than he ever was feels the need to create web-sites in order to remain active. Incredible. Especially when you look at some of the chicken scratching that pass for pencils these days. If anyone's out there reading this, then hire Mike Netzer. It'll be worth your while.

The fine folk ov…

Fallen Idols

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Classic!! Today's image comes courtesy of Mike Wieringo's blog. Mike is one of the more interesting artists running around the place today, plus he has a love/admiration for Ross Andru, so that makes him damn cool in my book.

For those who haven't had the dubious pleasure of visiting John Byrne's forums let me say right here, right now that Mike's drawing sums up how a lot of people feel about them. While Byrne is a talented artist and a damn good writer, his habits on the internet are well know and becoming quite infamous. I have my own stories about John Byrne, but rather than share them here and give the man more fuel, let me just say that I'm certainly not welcome at his forum and I can attest to pretty much everything that Mike has written on that image. During my short time participating in the forum I found my posts deleted, I was given a derogatory label by Byrne himself and finally just locked out. Why?

One reason I was given was because my email address…

Specks And Spicks

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The oh so brilliant Paul Ryan has some new pages up for sale. At his site you'll find a just discovered cache of Superman pages, along with some other DC artwork and, as always, he has a great collection of Phantom newspaper strips up for grabs. Paul is one of the nicest guys there is in the comic book industry and I'd recommend him even if I didn't know him. He's always available for commissions and trust me, it's well worth the wait.

The first image you see on this blog is his latest Phantom cover art. I defy anyone to tell me that he's losing his touch. Paul is like a fine wine - he gets better with age, which means by the time he's 100 he'll be Monet. Did I mention he's a nice guy? You have to say that, after all he dragged himself out of his sick bed in order to fulfill a promise for an interview a while back and wouldn't allow me to reschedule. Even with a head cold and bed-ridden he gave me one of the best interviews I've done. Plus he…

Spicks And Specks

Well we've finally opened up our on-line store. It's only taken three years to do it, but at last technology has caught up with me and it's allowing me to have a store-front without the huge start-up costs involved. Hopefully it'll make a bit of cash, and pretty much all that I do make will be going towards getting us to America.

Just to clear up some confusion. I'm not giving up writing books. Far from it. I fully intend to write as many as I humanly can. I have one on the go right now - still waiting to see when it can be announced - and I have a couple of ideas on the boil, one which has come directly from a publisher and another that I'm throwing around amongst friends. Either way there's a lot of writing left in me and I'll be working both the day job and also on the extra projects as time allows. To facillitate that I've cut my day job down to four days a week, allowing me every Monday free to work solely on my writing. So far it's worked -…

UPDATES & RANTS

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So, no San Diego for us this year. I was asked in an email as to what happened, why wouldn't we be coming to San Diego? Here's my response. It's a little different to the rant I sent back though, but you'll get the gist.

First off we had the financing all set up only to see it all fall through because some idiot felt that I'd not been in my current day job long enough to warrant financial approval. Work wise I could get the time off, but without the funds then why bother? That was done after we'd been told it had all been approved and was set in place - hence we told people were coming, made plans etc etc and now that's gone for a burton. We're trying our hardest to get it all in place, but at this stage the stark truth is that it's going to fall through because we simply just can't afford it. No-one is more angry about it than I am - my first book and I won't see the launch. There's no funding for projects like these. Trust me, we've…

Second Hand Vehicle

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Wanna buy a car? Believe it or not but you can actually own the Batmobile as featured in the movie Batman Forever. Why on earth you'd want the lump of crap is beyond me - you can't drive it anywhere and you'd not really be able to do anything with it other than place it in a traveling show and see if you can't make some cash that way.

Yet someone will fork out good money for it. Some people have more dollars than sense. If you're seriously thinking of bidding for this classic pile of rust, then reconsider and contact me. I'm still trying to raise some funds to get to the USA. My theory is if you have enough money to burn to buy the Batmobile then I can use some of that scratch.

The Dark Stuff*

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I've been reading a few books in my spare time lately - amazing how much you can get read on the bus. To the left is one that I finished a few weeks ago, Young Blood by Bob O'Brien.

For those who might not be aware, Young Blood details the now infamous 'Family' killings of various young men in and around Adelaide during a time period that ran from the mid 1970s through to the early 1980s. Despite there being more than one person involved, only one man ever stood trial and was found guilty of one murder, that of Richard Kelvin (son of newsreader Rob Kelvin). That man, pictured on the books cover, is Bevan Spencer Von Einem. Nasty piece of work indeed with some disgusting personal habits, which include kidnapping, rape and murder. He deserves to be behind bars and hopefully he'll remain there for the rest of his life. But that's not who I'm writing about.

The book itself left me a tad cold. You see once upon a time, back in the early and mid 1980s I knew people…

Two Tims

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Sadly Tim Hildebrandt has passed away. I was always a fan of the Hildebrandt brothers and their fantasy artwork and it's a sad day indeed for lovers of fine art. Greg and Tim brought a totally unique style to their work, their painting was superb and they had a synchronicity that only twins seem to share. Tim will indeed be missed by all.

On another note, Tim Cahill!!! What can you say? Despite the referee attempting to win last nights game for Japan by allowing a foul to be registered as a goal - thankfully said ref has come out, apologised and admitted he was wrong - the mighty Cahill got through the Japanese defence not once, but twice! Add to that a brilliant goal by Adelaide boy John Aloisi and you can see why all of Australia is both happy and tired today. Many predicted that we'd bow out of the World Cup in straight sets, without scoring, I've always said that we were a damn good chance to progress to the second round. All we have to do now is win against either Croa…

Buy A Colour TV Already!

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I love this stuff. Most people don't know but I collect old theatre programmes from various South Australian theatre productions. In this way I've collected a pile of Shakespeare programmes, all of the Katharine Hepburns, the Vivien Leighs, etc etc. One of the appeals (for me anyway) are the various ads you find in the programmes and on the rear.

Advertisements offer us a window to the past, to times when life was a lot simpler, easier and offered more freedom. This ad is a classic example: The Canberra TV Colour Club.

The concept was simple - you'd open a savings account with the (now long gone) CBC Savings Bank, they'd send you a book and each week you'd deposit cash into the account with the aim being a colour TV. Kind of like the Christmas Clubs that people still use. This ad dates from 1972, colour TV wasn't introduced here in Australia until 1975, so you had a good three years to save the biscuits for the idiot box, where you'd be able to watch shows l…

Tricky Situation

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This long weekend sees some of the premier events for collectors held in South Australia. Down at the Wayville Showgrounds you have the following: some clown selling dodgy bedding and other knock-off gear, the Mega Toy Swap Meet - always worth a look - and the even that we participate in, the Giant CD, DVD, Record and Comic Sale. All sounds good? Well there's one small problem this year - there's no comics.

We initially weren't going to go because of our Melbourne trip last week, but decided at the last minute that we would go, if only to dump some old stock and mainly to get rid of a pile of promotional CDs and some music magazines that have been accruing here since last year. So we phoned and said we'd take one table, for the Saturday only. Incredible as it sounds at such late notice we got booked in (we rang on the Thursday I think) and off we went. The television ads clearly say, "Giant CD, DVD, Record and Comic Sale!" Very loudly and very proudly. They e…

Forums

My time on the internet is limited these days due to a variety of reasons, time being the most critical. I keep getting asked to engage in conversation on various forums, mailing lists and the like, but if I did then I'd have no time to write, let alone time to spend with the family and just relax. It's always amazed me how people can be on-line for the better part of their lives. I used to do it, when I lived alone and wrote for a living, meaning that I was on the computer for the bulk of my life, chat rooms, ICQ, forums, mailing lists - the lot. Now? I don't miss it and I can't be bothered.

Having said all of that, there are two forums that I visit daily and actively take a role in. The first is Norm Breyfogle's forum. I host the forum on my own server and decided to do so after the original host decided to call it a day. I like Norm, I like the conversations we have, so I made Norm an offer and he accepted. Thus I get to participate in a forum that has decent con…

Bob McLeod: Superhero ABC

Long, long drive today - from Horsham back to Adelaide, around 500kms all up. Horsham is noted for, well, not many things really. It's a good halfway spot, I broke down there once back in the early '90s on my way to Melbourne and Mark Twain said it best when he stated that; "Horsham sits in a plain which is as level as a floor". Still it has a decent set of motels and we always stay in one with Foxtel. We left at the ungodly hour of 8am and were back here at home by 1pm. Decent run and we missed the bad weather. However I did return to find over 650 emails waiting for me to read. I gave up eventually and just mass deleted them, figuring that people would re-email me soon enough. Hence if you're reading this and I didn't reply to an email then send it back down and I'll get to it eventually.

One of the emails that I did get that I was waiting for was from Bob McLeod. I've always been a huge fan of Bob's from his early days at Marvel and right throug…

More Mooney

The great thing about an announcement is that you always get people wanting to come on board. In this case I'm more than happy to announce that the great Michael T Gilbert (he of Mr Monster fame) will also be providing a previously unpublished (and also unseen) collaboration between himself and Jim Mooney. Michael is a class act and a top draw artist, and having climb on is a coup.

So far the artists who've inked/finished various artwork of Jims include: Norm Breyfogle (beautiful Batman image), Mark McKenna, Bob Almond, Richard Howell, Joe Sinnott, Michael Netzer and Jim Tournas. I'm speaking to some more fine artists, so, as always, watch this space for further updates. In the meantime pop by those artists web-sites, have a look around and order some art - you won't regret it!

GENTLEMAN JIM MOONEY

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Here's your first peek at the cover art for the Jim Mooney biography. Titled "GENTLEMAN JIM MOONEY" the book has been picked up by TwoMorrows and given a publication date of early 2007.

Featuring a comprehensive overview of Jim's life and career, the book will surprise many. Discover just how Jim grew up with his own island. Find the connections between Jim and Bob Dylan and Clark Gable. See how Jim features in a night-club brawl with Errol Flynn. And then there's the comic books! The Legion of Superheroes. Supergirl. Spider-Man. Batman. Superman. Dial H For Hero. Son Of Satan. Man-Thing, Omega The Unknown and a cast of literally thousands.

Peppered with remembrances from some of Jim's closest friends and co-workers, the book is a must for anyone who wants to know more about the man. Read all new material from Tony Isabella, Fred Hembeck, Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, Richard Howell, Mark Ellis, Bill Schelly, Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott and more, a comprehensive checkl…

Don't Call Me A Geek

Until you've seen these priceless wonders. Each to their own I guess. It's an early day for me due to a paint explosion at the day job yesterday, which saw all kinds of toxic fumes entering via the air-conditioning ducts. 2/3 of the staff fled the premises, the rest of us stayed put. As I'm off to Melbourne/Camberwell tomorrow I thought it'd be prudent to hang around and then leave early today. Guess that worked a little too well as the fumes hit me this morning and tore out my throat and left me with the headache from hell. Still I left earlier than usual, came home, rested and got the crap out of the store room for the fair. All's good.

Now all I have to do is burn some CDs of MP3s to take with us - time for some serious '80s retro. I do this in order to see what the other half's breaking point is when it comes to such music. So far it's an impressive breaking point, but I have reached it on more than one occassion...this promises to be fun. …

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