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Showing posts from April, 2007

The Fur Flies

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We were given a new cat on the weekend - some people bring food, nibbles or booze to a BBQ, the Doc and Mrs Doc brought a cat instead. Go figure. Since I originally posted this we've settled on his name: I'll be calling him F.W. after a cat I had as a youth and everyone else will be calling him 'Fidget' because he just can't sit still. Trust me on this, and yes the initials do stand for what you're thinking

The photo you see here is an actual action shot of ole F.W. Last night the Kidlet told us that she'd just walked into the kitchen to find F.W. in the frying pan. I thought she meant that he was drinking out of the sink, so in I walked and found this. I grabbed the camera phone, F.W. struck a pose and BANG! There he is. Oddly enough this photo sums him up perfectly - he really is that thick. Nice looking cat though, even if he is all leg, foot and tail.

As one could expect Merlin, the King Of The House, isn't too happy and probably thinks he's being…

Artie Saaf: 1921 - 2007

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I heard word about artist Artie Saaf's passing last week in the form of a message that his son, Steve, posted on a mailing list that I frequent. Sadly I have to admit to being somewhat ignorant of Artie, something that I aim to remedy in the near future. In the meantime Mark Evanier has written an obituary about Artie that says far more than most people could. You can see a list of what Artie did do on Jerry Bail's Who's Who site.

it's always sad when one of the pioneers of comic book art passes away, and in this case it's no exception. My thoughts go out to Artie's family and hopefully we can post something with a bit more detail in the coming weeks.

More Vinnie (But Not How You Might Think)

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"Wanna buy a Porsche?"

Just to lighten the mood a little, here's a sequence from Amazing Spider-Man #286 featuring our man of the hour, Vinnie Colletta. Written by Jim Owsley (aka Christopher Priest), edited by Jim Salicrup, penciled by Alan (Might As Well Be Jim) Kupperberg and inked by Jim Fern.


Funny little sequence isn't it? I've always been amused to discover these little touches in comic books - one of my all time favourites was Jim Mooney inserting himself into an issue of Spectacular Spider-Man as one of Peter Parker's college professors, but the all time kings of such actions would be John Byrne and Dave Cockrum, who frequently inserted themselves and other Marvel staffers into various Marvel titles in the '70s.

Still if anyone else has Vinnie, or any other comic professional drawn into a comic book then by all means let me know where and we'll throw 'em all up onto the site.

Vinnie Colletta's Exit 'Conversation'

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Vinnie Colletta. Much has been written about Vinnie in the years since his passing (1991), not all of it is true or accurate. Speak to a professional artist and more often than not they'll have an opinion on Vinnie. "He was a no talent, no good hack," they say, "a bum that ruined Jack Kirby's artwork by haphazard inking and shortcuts." In some regards they're right, he was a bit of a hack. He also indeed did take a lot of shortcuts in his work, in some cases he erased the pencils so he'd not have to ink them. Jack Kirby would draw detailed backgrounds only to see them simplified by Colletta. Yet there were other sides to Vinnie.

When I first spoke to Don Perlin he chastised me for chuckling at the mention of Vinnie's name and told me that, "Vinnie was a very nice guy and Vinnie could do great work." He then explained to me why Vinnie would take shortcuts so here's how I now understand it: Vinnie was the go-to man anywhere he worked.…

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett, 1938 - 2007

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You may remember my earlier entry about our first trip as kids, the one that ended in me being nearly killed. Fun, fun, fun! I know I said that we had Mrs Mills tapes in the car, but on our second trip we drove my mother crazy by playing (and singing very loudly) The Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett over and over while she tortured us with Gladys. Sadly old Boris died very recently, but his cheesy song will live on forever - that's more than a lot of people can ask for.

Hey, it was so cheesy that even Boris Karloff sang a version of it. It was so cheesy that when Bobby performed it for the first time he was backed by Brian Wilson. How cool would that have been?

Random Updates

Well it's been a busy few weeks to use an understatement. We've managed to have one relaxing weekend to ourselves since the start of February and I doubt that's going to change anytime soon. Still, life goes on.

So what has been happening? Well for those keeping score, this week has seen the following:
Vinnie Colletta vintage interview, full of great stuff, transcribed. Not sure when or where this interview will appear because I transcribed it for a pal, but it's dynamite to say the least and will upset a few people when it does see the light of day. I'm not even allowed to talk about the content in any definite terms, but...well....
Alan Kupperberg 'What If?' interview, full of great stuff, finally transcribed. Expect that to appear very soon on both this blog and on Alan's site.
Newtons. I picked up two decent sized boxes of Australian comics and found five Newtons I didn't have. Cross them off the list! At last count I think I need about twe…

Nightmare #8: Another Australian Skywald

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NIGHTMARE #8

Date: Aug-Sep 1976

Contents:
Dracula Did Not Die by Al Hewetson & Antonio Borrell (Nightmare #15)
The Gargoyle Who Went To War by Al Hewetson & Fernando Rubio (Nightmare #15)
The Truth Behind The Myths About Bats by Al Hewetson & Domingo Gomez (Nightmare #15)
The Kid And The Killer And The Bum Rap by Al Hewetson & Francisco Cueto (Nightmare #15)
Tapestry Of Blood by Ed Fedory & Fernando Rubio (Nightmare #15)
This Grotesque Green Earth by Al Hewetson & Zesar Lopez (Nightmare #15)
Once Upon A Time In Alabama: A Horror by Al Hewetson & Maelo Cintron (Nightmare #15)
Ravings Of The Damned by Ed Fedory & Juez Xirinius (Nightmare #15)
How They Killed The Chicago Vampires by Ed Fedory & Emilio Bernardo (Nightmare #15)

Until I found this comic I never knew that a publisher had taken on reprinting the Skywald line of horror comics in Australia. I knew that publishers like Gredown had printed special issues of Skywald titles such as Hell Rider, and I expect t…

Relief - the first Solo Exhibition by Stephnie Wilton

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Well I'll be there on opening night, nibbling cheese and drinking wine...it's gonna be great!

UPDATE: Steph has posted a few of the images that she's going to be displaying at the Exhibition over on her blog. Pop on over, have a look and leave a comment - support an up and coming artist!

Eisner Awards 2007

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Colour me happy - it appears that Ross Andru & Mike Esposito are in line for the Hall Of Fame award for this years Eisners.

The Hall Of Fame nominees read as follows:
Hall of Fame Judges’ Choices:
Robert Kanigher and Ogden Whitney
Voters will choose four from among:
Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
Dick Ayers
Bernard Baily
Matt Baker
Wayne Boring
Creig Flessel
Harold Gray
Irwin Hasen
Graham Ingels
Joe Orlando
Lily Renée (Peters) Phillips
Bob Powell
Gilbert Shelton
Cliff Sterrett

You'd be able to make an argument for any of those on that list, but for my blood it's long overdue that Andru & Esposito get the nod. That the pair were the first comic book artists to break away to form their own company (not just once, but thrice!) speaks volumes for their insight and pioneering way. All of the nominees have their merit (indeed if they didn't they'd not be there) but this time it should be A&E all the way. Mind you if you want more of an argument about them then sure, there's ple…

"Finished Wit Mah Woman 'Coz She Couldn't Help Me Wit Mah Mind"

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This one is for the other half and her brother (who is far too good to lower himself to reading my blog). For some odd reason they really, really like Black Sabbath. Me? I don't mind them but more often than not I think that all their songs sound the same, although 'Changes' (along withParanoid) is apparently a damn good song to commit suicide to, or so some US courts would leave us to believe along with certain parents of teenagers who are looking for someone to shift blame and guilt upon.

Still, if anyone's been to a Sabbath concert then tell me - what was it like? And I mean a proper Sabbath concert, not one with Dio, Glenn Hughes, or God forbid, Ian Gillian as the lead singer. I'm talking about Ozzy!

The Monster Factory: Warren & Gredown

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THE MONSTER FACTORY

Date: 1976

Contents:
The Monster Factory (The Incredible People-Making Machines?) by Jose Bea (Eerie #72?)
Games Around Reality by Jose Bea
Through The Door Of The Silver Key by Jose Bea (Eerie #76)
The Final Hole by Jose Bea (Eerie #73)
Short Trip To Old Age by Jose Bea
The Solution In A Mirror by Jose Bea
A Walk Through The Subconscious by Jose Bea

Just when you think you've seen them all something comes along that makes you go, "Ummmm...that shouldn't be...". This is one of those books.

For a fair while now there's been a few of us collectors trying to track down as much output from the (now defunct) publishing company Gredown. In the process we've all networked and come up with various theories, but one thing remained consistent, the belief that Gredown published material from the likes of Charlton, Skywald, Atlas/Seaboard, Archie, ACG and a handful of other, now long gone, companies from the American Golden Age. The boundaries were fairly clear …

Mark McKenna

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Mark McKenna just turned 50 - a milestone in anyone's eyes.

His name might not mean much for most, but for those in the know his name stands for a lot of things, above all else, professionalism. Mark has been in the comic book game for over twenty one years now since his first published credit in 1986 - longer than some of his readers have been alive. He broke into DC Comics after a recommendation from Sal Almendola back in the early 1980s. From there he went on to become one of the now legendary 'Romita's Raiders'. The brainchild of John Romita, the project of training young artists on the job would remain one of Romita's lasting legacies. By my account he's had his work in around 430 comic books, by his own account he thinks by the time he retires he'd have inked over 7,000 pages. But enough of that - anyone can give up a biography.

I first became aware of Mark McKenna back in the early 1990s when I was buying a lot more comic books than I am today. One of …

Life On Mars

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WARNING - SPOILERS EXIST IN THIS POST REGARDING THE BBC SERIES 'LIFE ON MARS'.

I've been resisting writing about the brilliant TV series, Life On Mars, for a while now because I wanted to see the entire run. Two series, eight episodes per series, finite and with an ending. It's one of the best shows I've seen in years and if you get the chance then watch it - you won't be disappointed. I'm not going to go into any major detail about the show here, such as episode guides and the like, but I'll say this - if you yearn for shows like The Sweeny or vintage Minder, then you're gonna flip for this. Plus if you're a 20th Century Boy, like me, then you'll just adore the music and the cultural references contained within the shows (my all time favourite quote: "White dog shit! That takes me back."). What I do want to speak about is how I saw the ending, which has confused a lot of people, and what I think it meant.

You see, I believe th…

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