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Showing posts from November, 2006

Maurice Bramley, John Dixon, Keith Chatto, Horwitz, Timely, Charlton

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Today it's another grab bag of various goodies, picked up from various second hand bookshops in the country and from other sources. I've only started collecting the Horwitz line for about a year or so now but already there's a sizable collection gathering in the workroom.

THE LONE RIDER
Issue #4

Date: circa 1958/59.

Not sure who the cover artist is here. It has the hallmarks of a Bramley, and it's likely that it is him, but it's unsigned and Bramley more often than not signed his work. It is a Horwitz though, and this one contains Timely (Marvel) era western stories, including an early effort from John Romita.

NAVY ACTION
Issue #58

Date: late 1960.

This is a Bramley. Not only is the cover done by the man but he contributes to the bulk of the insides and the book includes a great splash page of a navy ship entering Sydney Harbour. It does have what appears to be a Timely back-up story to flesh it out, but all in all this is a good book to get.

ATTACK
Issue #1

Date: circa 1959.

Jerry Bails & Dave Cockrum

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It's been a horrid few days. First the man who can rightly be considered to be the founder of comic book fandom as we know it, Dr Jerry Bails, passed on in his sleep. That was a huge blow to me personally. I'd never met Jerry but I had corresponded with him via email, as had thousands of others, and like the others Jerry took the time out to make me feel pretty damn special. His is a loss that will reverberate around the world, but I think that Jerry would have taken it all in his stride and just laughed it all off. He was one of the last of the nice guys and I'm gonna miss him dearly. Roy Thomas is planning a tribute issue of Alter Ego - fittingly as Jerry founded AE - and when more details arrive I'll let people know.

The hits just keep coming though. This morning I woke up to the news that Dave Cockrum has also passed away. Dave was more than just a mere comic book artist - without him the X-Men as we know it might not exist. Dave created Storm and Nightcrawler and h…

Odd Beatles Review

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Look closely and you'll see why this review of the latest Beatles album in todays Sunday Mail had me giggling all day. It's not the review, it's the name of the reviewer...you may have to click on the image to fully appreciate the joke.

More tomorrow, hopefully. The body is starting to give way.

Home, Home Again

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Ahhhhh it feels good to be back home. We're both burnt to a crisp and exhausted but we're happy we did the trip. When all is said and done we've amassed a huge amount of research and taken over 300 photos - some of which I'll be sharing over the coming weeks. As it stands though we've come home to discover that the main computer is kaput. It's sitting upstairs, as good as an oversized paperweight so for now I'm having to exist using the lap-top. Not that I mind, but I am aware that I don't want to kill this machine either. My computer minded pal is coming over today so perhaps he can shed some light on how to get the bastard up and running. Still until we get it fixed, and all the photos transferred over I can still share some shots and observations.

It's hard to convey the emptiness of locations like this in a digital photo. This shot was taken when we reached the end of the road that we got lost upon, and it was this place where I decided no…

Trip: Day III, Post I: Lost

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No posts yesterday. Why? You ask...easy answer. Because we got lost.

The day started easily enough when we stumbled across a very famous house indeed. Although we didn't instantly recognize it, later it was pointed out to us.

This was our first ruin of the day. Looks great doesn't it? Pity the photos didn't quite come out, but considering what it is I might quickly cruise back today to try and get a few better shots. The more musically minded will be sitting there going, "Hey, isn't that?" and the answer is, yes, it is the house on the cover of Midnight Oil's classic album Diesel And Dust. The property is well fenced off and is signed with 'Trespasses will be shot' signs all over the place. With the warnings in mind we decided not to jump the fence, but just contented ourselves with taking as many photos as possible. I can't tell you exactly where it is, not that it's a state secret, just that I can't say the location because it…

Trip: Day I, Post II: Redruth

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It's now 9:00pm and I'm finally kicking back with a frosty Heineken. The other half is soaking herself in the tub, and we're staying in one of the best places you could ever hope to stay in Burra - I'll have to take a photo of it. It's great - a complete cottage on the outskirts of town. Quuiet? You can hear the night fall here. BLISS!!!

Before we arrived we popped by Redruth Gaol. Mind you Redruth is a stones throw from where we are, so it wasn't a great effort.

Front of Redruth Gaol. Anyone who has ever seen the movie Breaker Morant will instantly recognise the building in the photo as it was used for the prison in that movie. Why? Because it looked the part! Me? I kept expecting to see Edward Woodward to pop up from around the corner. Rule .303 indeed!

When we got there it was firmly closed up, but I wasn't about to allow that to stop me from getting some photos of the inside courtyards of the building. So how did I do it? Well the answer was …

Trip: Day I, Post I

Beautiful!!! We've finally arrived in Burra after leaving home at 10am this morning. It took this long because we clearly stopped along the way, several cemeteries later we finally found what I was looking for - RUINS!!! More on them later, and photos, but for now let this whet your appetitie.

We found one located somewhere between Kapunda and Taree. Beats me where, but I did manage to jump the fence and run through a paddock covered in cow-shit, which dotted the feild like landmines. I finally hit the top and snapped off some great shots - the back of this house was built into the side of the hill itself, making for the rear of the house being somewhat lower than the front.

We found another brilliant one just outside of Burra itself. Great place- HUGE high roof. Several rooms, no floor, three fireplaces and a large cellar that contained my arch enemy - not a farmer with a shotgun but a swarm of bees. Took some quick shots and managed to get back to the car unstung. Again,…

Charlton, Marvel, Maurice Bramley, Len Lawson & REG

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ACTION COMIC #12

Date: circa 1947

Not an easy comic to find and I was amazed to snare this one as cheaply as I did and in the condition that it's in. Headlined by Len Lawson's THE LONE AVENGER, Action Comic had at least three series and the entire book ran from 1946 through to 1956. This issue features Len Lawson's The Lone Avenger, Albert DeVine's Jet Jackson and Phil Crouch's Dennis The Menance. There's not been much written about Lawson, what is well known is that he did suffer from a major brush with the law. Lawson was a major talent on the Australian comic book scene although it's his non-comic book related work that's remembered more than his excellent art and stories. For his career he was both prolific and successful and was riding the wave of his most successful creation, The Lone Avenger, when tragedy struck.

In June 1954 Lawson was tried for the rape of two women in Sydney's Terrey Hills. Lawson was given the death penalty, although that wa…

Gredown & Charlton: House Of Yang

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It's been a bit since I covered any comic books and I think for the next couple of days I might focus on some of the Australian side of things, starting with some classic kung-fu. The Australian reprints of Charlton's early 1970s series House Of Yang is a classic example of how good Gredown could be be when it came to handling reprint material. Much like the Hell Rider reprints, the House Of Yang comes close to being a perfect, sequential series of reprints, but does fall short with the out of sequence reprinting of issue #2, as you'll soon see. Gredown still exists as a publishing company, but each time I've made contact with them about their comic book ventures of the 1970s I've been met with silence and total bafflement. It would appear that no-one is left there who is even aware that they once published some of the most interesting, and now collectible, comics to appear on the Australian market from the 1970s. Whatever information they might have been able to s…

Feline Torture

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Ok, so what's with the ex-mouse? Are we bored today? Not really, just kicking back and taking things too damn easy. However after looking at Merlin, and more to the point having him smell like the image opposite, we decided to bath him.

Merlin's natural colour is grey, just like the dead mouse, however of late he's become a nice shade of brown. No good. Last time he browned up we washed him and he refused to speak to us, or interact, for a good fortnight. This time we went all out and filled the bathroom sink with warm water and shampoo first, and then collared the little grey bugger. Was he happy? You can bet cash that he wasn't.

Still it took the pair of us to both hold and wash him. The struggles and yowls were incredible - you'd have thought we were chopping him up and getting the wok ready instead of trying to get the lovely scent of Old Mice out of his fur. Ole Merle can be a stupid cat at times. Clearly water, soap and cat all adds to a special kind of feline …

Et Tu, U2?

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Well that was a concert. Thirteen years, well twelve years and three hundred and sixty four days to be precise, all ended last night about 8:50pm when U2 took to the stage at Aami Stadium to a deafening roar from an estimated 60,000 people. Billed as the social event of a lifetime, screaming idiots, acolytes, sycophants, posers, people who got dragged along, got free tickets, paid shitloads of money, wanted to be there, had no interest in being there, cared, didn't care were all crammed into the ground like sardines in a can. All we were missing was the brine, but some people more than took care of that.

We'd bought our tickets in February two days before the band announced they were going to cancel the shows and re-schedule. That was annoying and it led me to reiterate my views on such events - I don't believe they're going to happen until the band is out there on stage. Despite the reports on the idiot box and also on the radio (and as an aside to Channel 10. No, U2 w…

Ruins And Other Passtimes

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It may come as a shock to some people but my life isn't consumed by comic books and the history that surrounds them. Quite the opposite actually. I've many other hobbies to pass the time, it's just finding the time to do them. Hunting ghosts and taking photos are two hobbies that I often try to combine at the same time.

Now that the other half has finally decided to do something with her time and talents (I'm not at liberty to give away what she's doing, but she did mumble something about a shovel and graves), it's given me the chance to engage in some photography. But not just any photography - I like taking happy snaps of the more unusual and unique subjects - headstones and old ruins. Especially old ruins. I'm fascinated by old ruins and always have been. I love looking at them, walking inside them and having a poke about. I always curse when I pass an old ruin and I've not got a camera handy, so when the missus decided to take off for the afternoon a…

Blue Devil: Alan Kupperberg Looks Back

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History remembers the comic book, and the character, The Blue Devil, in two very different, and distinct ways. Created by writers Gary Cohn and Dan Mishkin, aided by artist Paris Cullins, Blue Devil came across as DC’s answer to Daredevil (ironically Marvel’s answer to DC’s Batman). The character’s origins were as flimsy as they came: stuntman and special effects artist Daniel Patrick Cassidy found himself hired to create and play the title character in the movie titled ‘Blue Devil’. As part of the job Cassidy created a full-body costume with a hidden powered exoskeleton and built-in special-effects devices, much like Marvel’s Iron Man. However things don’t often go to plan and two of Cassidy’s co-stars accidentally freed a demon named Nebiros. During the resulting battle, Nebiros managed to hit Cassidy with his demonic energy resulting in the costume being permanently grafted to his body. Instead of fleeing to a psychiatrist, Cassidy decided to pledge his life to fighting crime and t…

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