Showing posts from September, 2006

Silver Age Gems

You'll have to click on the image to get the whole story, but there's been more than one time that I'm convinced that the artists, or at least the writers, knew exactly what they were doing with these kinds of covers. This one is a true classic!!! And yep, it's real. No wonder he's grinning.

Maurice Bramley, Part II

You may remember a while ago I posted, with scans, a short entry on Australian artist, Maurice Bramley . Since that post I've come across some more books that feature his art, mainly cover art, and I thought I'd keep sharing. Kevin Patrick and myself had an email exchange about Bramley and in the process more information has come to light. Thus we can now add this into the mix. According to Kevin; "Local comic artist/collector, Daniel McKeown, wrote an insightful article about Bramley's work for Horwitz, and made a compelling argument that Bramley was a prolific 'swiper' of plots/page & panel layouts from the Timely/Atlas stories that appeared in Horwitz's line of war comics. "Bramley, to my knowledge, was born in 1910 and was a prolific illustrator/commercial artist throughout the 1930s & 40s, working on weekly magazines, newspapers, pulp novelettes, etc. He even did some propaganda posters for Australia's war effort during the 1940s - and

Describe The Worst Concert You've Ever Seen? Brilliant!

The worst concert I ever went to? Easy answer: Bob Dylan . It must have been in 2001. Lantana had just come out and my pal Kerry dragged me to that as well, good flick. I liked Kerry, she was a lot of fun to hang around and a hoot with a dry, evil sense of humour, but she left to live in Brisneyland and I’ve not seen her since early 2002. There was a lot of unrequited and unconsummated sexual tension and a physical attraction going on between us, but it was more fun like that. I doubt the physical act, at the time, could have lived up to the taunting, teasing and half-arsed promises, so it never happened, nor was it ever entertained. The general feeling was why ruin a perfectly good friendship with five minutes of roly poly? Mind you that has nothing to do with this narrative so I’ll stop the digression. Bob Dylan had announced he was coming to town, more to the point the promoter announced that he was bringing Dylan to town and Kerry phoned up and asked if I wanted to go. I demurred

Atlas/Seaboard, Gredown & A Bit Of Charlton

Two more gems for you to feast your eyes upon. Today's entries look at two Australian reprint books from the '70s/'80s, this time they're crammed pack full of Atlas/Seaboard goodness. I won't even begin to go into that companies history, suffice to say you can read all about it at this damn fine site . I have spoken to a few artists who worked at Atlas/Seaboard ( Alan Kupperberg is but one) and the things that we know for sure are that the company lasted less than a year from start to finish, again leaving a finite amount of product out there to collect (61 comics in total), that it was formed by Martin Goodman, former owner of Marvel Comics and that the company utilised an incredible array of talent in the form of Neal Adams, Steve Ditko, Larry Lieber, Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin and many more. Kevin Patrick and myself are speculating that the reason these books were licensed to the Australian market was due to a connection between Goodman, Sol Brodsky and I

Skywald, Gredown & Hell Rider

Hell Rider. One of the most under appreciated and rarely seen of all the Andru & Esposito works. I've seen more of their Golden and Silver Age works than this, and I've yet to find a single person with a page of original art from the series. Created by writer Gary Freidrich in 1971 for the now defunct Skywald company (better known for their horror magazines such as Psycho & Nightmare) the series featured art from the Andru & Esposito team and ran for a mere two issues. A third was advertised but no copies were ever printed and it appears it never got further than a cover mock up that appeared in an ad. The art team of Andru & Esposito came as no great surprise to me as the pair were Skywald's art directors at the time. Here's what Mike Esposito had to say about Skywald recently: Skywald was Sol Brodsky and I, with his friend Israel Waldman. Sol wanted to put out comic books so he called me up and said, “Mike, do me a favour, would you and Ross work for u

Heroes and Villains: Australian Comics and their Creators

This appeared in my inbox today, and as it's going to be a damn good show I thought I'd share the email with you. There's several displays going on, plus a lot of extras. I know that when we're over in Melbourne in early November we'll be popping down to visit the exhibition and lose ourselves in an afternoon of Australian comics. Anyway, onto the blurb! -------------------------- Hi everyone For those of you who aren't familiar with my name, I'm Kevin Patrick, the former editor/publisher of The Panther . Now, it's been over 4 years since the last issue (#5) of The Panther appeared, but that doesn't mean I've turned my back on Australian comics - no siree! One of the new projects I've taken on since then (which had its beginnings back in 2003, but really started taking shape in September 2005) is a new exhibition on the history of Australian comic books, which I've been curating for the State Library of Victoria in my hometown of Melbourn

The Wedding

Oh, and this has also managed to keep me occupied. I fully intend to write a nice, long piece about the day, but in the meantime here's two photos and some comments. It rained for pretty much all the week leading up to the ceremony. Then it rained on the day. It was a grey day and we both thought, "Jeez..." Funny thing happened. We walked into the gardens (we got married at the Botanical Gardens here in Adelaide) and the sun broke free and shone down for the entire ceremony. I kid you not - you can't make that stuff up. The photos, and there's a few because the people who were there were just awestruck, all show this bright sun behind us. I loved it. I bowed my head as we walked in because, quite frankly, emotion was getting the better of me. The spell was enhanced as we walked past my lad and he whispered, "I'm on the job Dad." The job he had was to make sure his uncle Ronald behaved. I'm convinced that Ronald put him up to it, but it made me ch

Future Projects

Isn't it amazing when you sit there and realise that you're working on projects without knowing? Right now I've finished the Jim Mooney book. It's with sadness that I've finished because I really wanted it to go forever, it's been that much of a blast and so very different to my time spent working on the Andru & Esposito book, but it's done and I've just sent the text off and the images will now follow. And today I walk into work and have to ask for about a month or so off, sans pay, because I'm just too far behind in my work. Here's what's on the table: BOOKS I'm working on three projects with artists now, all of them with major artists and all of them have the potential to be breakouts. I've never attempted three such major projects at once, but I'm up for it. Each one will be different, each one requires a lot of work and each one has tapes sitting here ready to transcribe. So far I have seventeen tapes in total for those t


We visited one of Adelaide's best kept secrets today in the form of a local trash and treasure market and whilst rummaging through the various boxes of magazines, books and other assorted junk that you just love to look at, the other half found these delights amongst others. The first two books are digest sized and date back to around 1974. The contents are completely hopeless. The art is fairly poor and the stories aren't much better, but I had to buy them if only for the Keith Chatto cover art. In fact, I did only buy them for the Chatto covers even if they're not examples of Chatto at his best. Both books are small - the same size as those UK war comics that everyone is familiar with. I've seen some Charlton and Dell comics reprinted here in the same small format, but these are new to me. I have no idea if the stories are locally drawn, certainly the art in Tales Of Terror is superior to the Candid Confessions, which suffers both from poor art and even poorer publis

Steve Irwin: John Byrne's Comments

Well it appears that the comic book industry's favorite dickhead, John Byrne, has been at it again (have a read and see what you think - Byrne really kicks in on about page three). This time, much like Germaine Greer, he's targeted Steve Irwin. It appears that Irwin was an 'asshole' for dying the way he did, and at the end of the day Byrne is glad that he's dead. And all of that on the same day of his death. And why? Because Byrne believes that Irwin used his son to tease a crocodile. I don't know what footage Byrne watched - knowing Byrne he's never seen it and is only going from a photo - but Irwin didn't tease any croc with his son. The lad was in the pen with Irwin while he fed the creature, but never was the lad used as bait for a tease. Also Byrne felt that Irwin should have been more like David Attenborough - a kindly, quiet man who stalked his prey at a very long distance. In short Byrne has missed the point of Irwin's life and career. As us

The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook

I'll be upfront, as I always am, and state right here, right now that I have a connection with the author of The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook , Steven Bové. I first ran across Steven on Michael Netzer's old forums (now his new forums) and I'm sure that, as is the way with Mike's forums, we probably started out fighting. Since then he's become a pal and has often posted comments here on this blog. That being said I've come to respect and admire Steven's love for the medium and his dedication to the advancement of the future of comic books. Part of this dedication has seen Steven offer a successful course at his local college for aspiring comic book artists. Perhaps his best known work, and what should be his legacy, is The Comic Cartoonist's Workbook . This book was compiled, written and published by Steven through his own imprint, BovéWorks, and it follows in the same footsteps as Stan Lee and John Buscema's How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, The

Marvel UK: Spider-Man Part II

God, what a week. Fremantle finally won a final so that should make Dr Nick a happy man. It's only taken them eleven years, but this was only their third ever final. At least he'll be happier than he was last week, although you'd never have guessed as he was a delight at the wedding, despite me reminding him constantly that his side went down to mine on the same day. Anyway, down to business. David Johnson has emailed more of those great UK Marvel covers through for all to see. I know I keep promising to set up separate blogs for this stuff - and I will, just in good time. I'm about to throw in the day job and then things will start happening. In the meantime here's another batch of classic early '70s UK Marvels. See if we can play spot the artist. #20 Cover date: 30 June, 1973 I know it's not him, but the hands look very much like Jim Mooney. #20 back cover art Looks like either Ron Wilson or Jim Starlin. The Kirby like pose is classic Wilson, yet the a

The Krypton Companion Part II: Jim Shooter

I can't stop reading Michael Eury's Krypton Companion . Well written, well researched and a damn good read. Finally a Neal Adams interview that's interesting and not the standard fawning stuff that I've been reading for the past few years (ie: no great mention of his Batman work). In amongst the interviews and articles lurks an interview with Jim Shooter that really raised my hackles. Shooter's story is fairly incredible. For one thing he broke into DC as a writer at the age of thirteen. Amazing really, but that's where the problems for me start. You see Shooter has always been a highly frustrated artist, and not a very good one at that. I can remember asking Don Perlin about an issue of Ghost Rider that Shooter laid out and Perlin finished, Perlin told me that the book needed a lot of work to get it up to publication standard. Shooter had his run ins with Gene Colan , telling him how to draw at Marvel in the early '80s, resulting in Colan leaving Marvel for

Behind The Scenes: The Krypton Companion

Michael Eury's Krypton Companion finally hit the stores here yesterday, so I instantly ran out and bought a copy. It's hard for me to review such a book, for obvious reasons. For those who don't know the Jim Mooney interview and the Mike Esposito pieces are mine, and I'm credited appropriately. That's not the problem though. I like the book. The interviews and information contained within are great. Michael contacted me at the start of the year and asked if I had anything on Ross Andru and Mike Esposito relating to their Superman work and if I had any information to share about Jim Mooney. I provided him with a partial chapter from the Andru/Esposito book and an interview with Jim where we spoke about DC and Superman/Supergirl. All was good and I'll still be happy to assist Michael with anything he works on - and he knows it. He only has to ask and if I can then I deliver the goods. Michael is a class act, a great editor and a damn good writer and nope, I don&#

Peter Brock: 1945 - 2006

They say these things come in threes. Well this week sees that particular truism proved right with the tragic passing of Australian racing legend Peter Brock. Brock was more than just a driver. He transcended his sport and used the media to become larger than life. He started racing in a homemade Austin in 1967 and in 1969 began his highly successful relationship with the Holden Racing Team and there he remained until 1987. His partnership with Holden was so successful that they launched a racing package for their signature car, the Commodore, called the 'Brock Commodore' . No other Australian racer has had that honour and very few worldwide get it. But Brock did. His fame wasn't limited to Australia, he was recognised internationally with UK Motor Sport magazine who rated Peter Brock in the top twenty most exciting drivers of all time, a list which included the likes of Senna, Schumacher, Fangio and Nuvolari. Not too shabby. Brock was known by several name, King Of The

Of Bitter Souls Trade Paperback: Signed & Sketched & For Sale

For those who like to collect nice, pretty signed things, Norm Breyfogle is offering up what must be the deal of the year. For a mere $25 - and that INCLUDES the postage (a little extra for overseas orders) Norm will send you a brand spanking' new trade paperback that includes the first six issues of the brilliant series Of Bitter Souls , signed on the front cover and complete with a sketch. I've included three examples of the sketches that Norm has done in books that have already gone out. Supplies are limited so get in fast. You can order from this link . Anarky . Created by Alan Grant and Norm. As you can see Norm isn't doing the standard trick of an 'included sketch' and just doodling a rough little head sketch - Norm is doing damn good full sized covention sketches. Norm usually sells such sketches at conventions for more than he's offering the entire package here for. Batman. This is Norm's signature character and even his rough sketch shows that

Steve Irwin: 1962 - 2006

Sadly the hits just keep on coming. Perhaps one of our highest profile exports in recent times, Steve Irwin died today after being speared through the chest by a stingray while diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, while filming a segment for an upcoming series. As as been reported that this is only the third known fatality in Australian history from a stingray attack (the other two deaths being in 1938 and 1945), and as stingrays are better known as being defensive creatures, there's already speculation surrounding the circumstances of his death. As the attack was probably filmed we may discover if Irwin was attempting to interact with the ray in a manner it felt was hostile or threatening and it merely chose to defend itself in the only way it knows how. If that is the case, then it's a wasted death, a stupid death and one that an environmentalist such as Irwin should have easily avoided. Typically John Howard got his oar in by making a public comment about Irwin a

Colin Thiele: 1920 - 2006

The word icon is thrown around a bit too easily these days, but one person I met years ago actually lived up to the true definition of the word. Colin Thiele was responsible for one of my three favourite books as a child - February Dragon. The imagery that Thiele managed to get across on the page, via written word, did as much as anything I can recall in shaping me as an author of sorts. Thiele's books were always well written, they never spoke down to their audience and he managed to make children's books seem like adult reading. Thiele was born in 1920 in Eudunda, South Australia and did his schooling around Eudunda and Kapunda - beautiful land and land I love to visit. From there he attended Adelaide Uni and served time with the RAAF during World War II. During his time as an author he also taught and retired from the education field in 1980. I remember meeting him in the early 1980s when he attended my school to give a speech on writing. Thankfully I was able to pass on my

Sleep Deprivation

It's now 5:45am and I've been awake for two hours. Sleep is an oddity for me these days because when the insomnia kicks in it kicks with a vengeance. There's many factors, I've too much work on my plate , the upcoming nuptials and the day job , which is thankfully winding down. As they've broken all their promises there it might be time to start writing on another blog... It doesn't take much to wake me up. The Legendary Merlin can do it easily enough by yowling to be either let out or let in, depending on his mood. The other half sawing wood in the middle of the night can do it. Anyone moving inside or outside the house can do it. In short, anything can do it. So what woke me up today? It was a doozy. I awoke to the sounds of a female screaming for assistance. The other half woke up and I asked, "You can hear that?" Her response was yes. The screaming continued; "Let me go!! Stop!! I didn't do anything, please let me go!!! HELLLPPPPP!!!!&q

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