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Showing posts from November, 2007

Gredown, Atlas & Seaboard: The Unpublished Bog Beast

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I've covered the Atlas/Seaboard connection with Gredown previously in at least two blog entries because, frankly, it interests me no end. However it wasn't until Spiros Xenos contacted me with the details of a previously unpublished Walter Simonson story that I gave any thought to there being something more to these releases. Since that time I've gone through and indexed a pile of Gredowns in the hopes of uncovering more of these unpublished Atlas era stories. I've always felt that an Atlas story would surface before something from Skywald but until all the material has been waded through we'll never know for sure. I'm very sure that I've uncovered at least two to three unpublished Peter Hypnos stories that should have appeared in various Warren Magazines. You can imagine how I felt when I discovered what I believe to be a previously unpublished Atlas 'Bog Beast' story, as drawn by Badia Romero and I presume written by Gabriel Levy.

The story, titled…

Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction: The Unseen Kelly Freas

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You're not seeing double as these two comics are not exactly the same. What you're looking at is the the rejected Kelly Freas cover to the Marvel magazine, Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction #1 as published by Yaffa* in 1979.

Variant covers on Australian comic books are just one of the reasons why they're in demand. When researching the Newton line (an ongoing concern by the way) I discovered that there existed a variant cover for issue #2 of the magazine, Monsters Unleashed. This cover featured slightly altered artwork and, as near as I can determine, this cover only appeared on the Newton comic of the same name (I have ordered a pile of Yaffa Monsters Unleashed, so I'll be able to determine if the cover carried across). So how did this cover surface on an Australian comic?

It's well known that Marvel would commission covers and artwork from artists that they would then have altered, thus preventing them from being used in their original form. It's an age old pra…

Home, Home Again

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The road trip is finished. We eventually covered over 5,000kms in just under twelve days, with five of those serious driving days - the rest were spent resting up at my mothers place on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. My reputation as a storm repellent was in full flight, all week storms were predicted every evening, none eventuated. Happens every time. It was a good two weeks, much rest and much did we see, and we took photos of most of it.

Yesterday we headed out of a little town called Warren in New South Wales at about 6:30am. I can't enough about Warren as we saw all of it in about five minutes, and that included checking the map to make sure we were in the right place the night before (we covered 1,000kms in ten hours). Once we found out hotel room I spent the evening watching the election coverage (for once it was riveting!) and listening to the other half snore happily away.

This was the scenery between Warren and Broken Hill the next morning (yesterday). For 600kms I dr…

Why I Don't Like Jack Kirby

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It'd be all too easy to title this little article, "Why I Like Jack Kirby", but that's not the point. It's a given that if you're of a certain age then you automatically must like Kirby and his art or you're an idiot. Generations of people grew up with Kirby's artwork in their comic books, be it the Marvel Silver Age or when he crossed over to DC in the early 1970s and attempted to revolutionise the comic book world there. Virtually every artist I've spoken to has sang the praises of Kirby and rightly so. The man was a true visionary. That a company, Marvel, could form an empire on the back of characters that he either created or co-created with Stan Lee (and let's face it, we may never know the extent of each man's involvement) and thrive for over five decades since speaks volumes. The Fantastic Four, the X-Men, The Avengers, Thor, Iron Man...the list is almost endless. However all of that bypassed me.

I first found Jack Kirby in the early…

The World Inside: A Convention Report from Steven Bove

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We were supposed to be at the New York Convention on the weekend. Tickets were booked and paid for, hotel rooms had been sorted out, it was all in place until we hit the biggest snag of them all - the US government. Due to circumstances beyond my control I had to apply for an entry visa to get into America. Apply I did and I was told that the outcome didn't look too good, but that someone would be in touch. We were told to sit tight and wait. I'd advised them of the various bookings but I might have been talking to a wall. I was pointed towards a sign that said, "Don't book anything until you've gotten the visa". Oh dear.

After a few emails and phone calls we finally got the word - we'd been knocked back for this trip but should be free and clear to travel in 2008. However that was last Wednesday, so by that stage it was far too late to do anything anyway, hence we packed up and started our road trip. I can't say I'm not annoyed, disappointed and u…

A Note To Brisbane Record Stores

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Just a short note mind you. The image you're seeing is the cover of a DVD titled 'The Song Remains The Same' by a band called Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin are one of the best known and most influential hard rock/heavy metals bands to emerge in the last 40 years. Everyone knows them, if only to puke when Stairway To Heaven comes on the radio. Everyone, that is, but anyone that works in a record store in Queensland.

Today I went in search of the deluxe version of this very DVD. Every store I entered, be it Sanity, Virgin or any number of stores both large and small, gave me vacant stares when I asked about this DVD. In Sanity, in EVERY Sanity store I went to the staffers, nubile young things with funny looking hair, disinterested looks and piercings, all asked who this band were and then denied any knowledge of both the band or the DVD. One lad even insisted that Sanity don't stock anything by Led Zeppelin. I didn't have the heart to tell him to turn around and pass me …

Monte Cristo: Something Wicked This Way Comes

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We're currently travelling around the countryside like a pair of demented Leyland Bothers, and other than encountering some very dodgy hotel rooms with drip feeders posing as showers, we're having a damn good time. So far, in two days, we've covered just under 1,800 kilometers and have stopped to snap off several happy snaps of ruins, the site of the Cowra breakout and much more. Including Monte Cristo.

Monte Cristo has the dubious reputation of being one of, if not the most haunted house in Australia. Pound for pound it has more reported ghosts than any other place outside of the odd cemetery, but you'd not want to hang with that fact. Their own web-site has the history of the place, so I won't go into extensive detail about what happened when and to who, but it is worth bearing in mind that more than one person have refused to enter the place or have had odd experiences whilst there.

You can count me in the latter list now. I've known about Monte Cristo for yea…

Original Art Stories: Alex Saviuk's Phantom

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I've always admitted that I like Alex Saviuk. He was one of Marvel Comic's unsung and as such under appreciated artists of the 1990s, a role that he also served at DC in the 1980s. There was nothing spectacular about his art, he wasn't a flash merchant on Spider-Man like Todd McFarlane, but he certainly wasn't a hack pumping out sub-standard art to make a living. Alex was, and still is, a solid, dependable artist, and no matter what the character, from Green Lantern to Superman, from Iron Man to Spider-Man he gave it his best shot. In what would become his longest, and best remembered run, he began drawing Web Of Spider-Man in 1988 with issue #35 and remained on the title, with few exceptions, until issue #116 in 1994. It was a good run on a popular title of the time and helped enhance Alex's reputation. He then moved from the book proper to the newspaper strip, Spider-Man, where he remains to this day.

His comic book career stalled when he was asked to launch a new…

Original Art Stories: The Holiest Grail Of All, Superman

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I don't care what anyone else has to say, but if this art is genuine then surely this must be the holiest of the Holy Grails that all comic book art collectors seek. If you're one of the few people on the face of the planet who, like Richard Lester, claim to never have heard of the character Superman, then stop reading right now.

That such a cover can still exist astounds me and makes me seriously wonder about it's veracity. I'd not be at all surprised to learn that the image is a fake, and indeed I'm hoping that some of the more knowledgeable people who sometimes frequent this blog will able to shed some light on it. In the meantime though it did remind me of the Sotheby's New York 1994 sale of comic book art - a sale that I'd have loved to have attended.

The sale featured a number of lovely items. The sale featured official Jack Kirby recreations of his early Marvel Silver Age covers, some of the same from John Romita and Dick Ayers, amongst others, and som…

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