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Showing posts from 2008

Vale 2008, Happy New Year

In the end I can't wait for tomorrow, but as we all know all too well, tomorrow never comes. There's only today and yesterday. I thought about doing an end of year wrap up, but frankly who really cares? Not I.

But as I find it hard to shut up, I'll say this - thanks to all those who read this blog during the year, including those people from Tanzania, Nepal, Qatar, Cameroon, Lebanon, Reunion, Bahrain, Maldives, Mauritius, Namibia, Armenia, Burkina Faso, Andorra, Belize, Cambodia, Kuwait, Netherlands Antilles, Georgia, Luxembourg, Senegal, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Oman who visited my blog at least once.

Thanks to the following people for making my year a damn sight better than it could have been - Norm Breyfogle, Alan Weiss, Alan Kupperberg, Dave Simons, Bob Almond, Tim Townsend, Jimmy T, Bob Shaw, Tony Isabella, Paul Ryan, Sal Velluto, Rob Allen, Mike Esposito (sorry Herman Munster, we are talking again), Brian Postman, Bryan Stroud, Fred Hembeck, Alan Grant, Will Murray,…

Potted Movie Review: John Rambo (2008)

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It would appear that I'm one of the all too few who not only remembers seeing the first Rambo film, First Blood (not Rambo: First Blood, but First Blood as it was then titled) at the cinema but will also admit it. At the time it was an impressive film, albeit overacted. It began a genre, that being the returned Vietnam veteran who goes slightly nuts after being discriminated against (usually for a crime that he did not commit, no apologies for gender bias here, the bulk of these movies are very male, in fact I can't recall seeing, or even hearing about, a female entry into that genre) and who then undertakes an ultra-violent response against those who have slighted him, namely a small town sheriff who generally calls the main character 'Boy' a lot, states how the war and those bright and shiny medals mean nothing back here and speaks in a drawl that'd not be out of place in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. The twist would generally be that the sheriff hims…

Sunset At Henley Beach

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I'm getting better at this whole taking panoramic photos thing. Sunset at Henley Beach, 28/12/2008, 8:15pm.

Adelaide Christmas Lights

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Each year the West End Brewery have a display of Christmas lights on the banks of the river Torrens. They've been doing this as far back as I can remember and I try and visit the lights each and every year, although lately I've been missing it. So we walked down tonight and took some happy snaps to share. These are two of the better photos. Enjoy!

First Look: Norm Breyfogle On Archie

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He’s drawn almost every icon that exists in comic books, from Superman to Batman to Spider-Man to Captain America, and now Norm Breyfogle is tackling yet another cultural icon: Archie. Archie, Jughead, Moose, Reggie, Betty and Veronica and company have seen a lot of talented artists drawing their adventures since their debut in Pep Comics in 1941. Artists the calibre of Dan DeCarlo, Stan Goldberg, Harry Lucey, Dan Parent, Al Hartley and Henry Scarepelli through to Gene Colan, Joe Staton, Bob Smith, Chic Stone, Al Milgrom and Mike Esposito, have all left their mark on Archie but rarely has there been a more "realistic" artist's style depicting Riverdale.

In a bold and daring move for the stylistic Breyfogle, he’s just wrapped up pencilling and inking the first issue in a four issue run on the ‘Archie’s New Look’ series. The concept behind the ‘Archie’s New Look’ series involves stories that are more realistic than the traditional Archie comic book; hence artists are enc…

Merry Christmas 2008

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Haunted Locations: Kapunda Cemetery

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Over on Facebook I've been uploading a lot of photos from our various trips and touching on some of the more unusual places we've visited. I've also been looking at some of the haunted places we've gone into and through, so as not everyone is added to our friends list I thought I'd copy/paste some of the commentary and photos to here for all to see. First up, one of the haunted places we've attended, Kapunda Cemetery.

The Kapunda cemetery has a strong history as being fairly haunted and it didn't disappoint us in the slightest. The cemetery lies in the shadows of the ruins of the Kapunda Reformatory. The Reformatory was built in the 1800s and was used to house children who broke the law, no matter how minor the law might have been. It was also used to house orphans, the intellectually disabled and other otherwise difficult members of society, generally people considered to be insane or just misfits. Instead of ADD people back then had the Reformatory.

The…

Original Art Stories: The Ghosts Of Avengers Annual #10 , Part II

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At a NY show I brought my trade of "The Greatest Battles of the Avengers" (which included the aforementioned Avengers Annual#10) to Joe Rubenstein to sign for his work on the reprinted within Avengers Annual#7. He noticed the Michael Golden drawn tale and said that he ghosted a page in it for Armando Gil and asked me if I could find it. I took it back to my table and after perusing the story's inked art styles I found it, the page you pointed out in your column. He asked me how I knew and I told him that I recognized the way he inked small feathering strokes. He acknowledged that he doesn't ink those that way anymore, interestingly enough, and proceeded to sign that page in my trade. No prize for my win but I was simply happy to have guessed correctly.

As for ghosting and or assisting among professionals, lots of ink artists do it and I was not an exception. I assisted/ ghosted for the following over the years w/o credit: Vince Russell (Cable over Ian Churchill …

Top 5 Out Of Print Comics? I Can Give You One!

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An interesting section of a blog can be found here - it details what's claimed to be the top 5 out of print comics, except some of them aren't, as such, out of print, as trade paperbacks can be found. For the record the 5 top comics, according to the site, are:
Give Me Liberty by Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons
The Longbow Hunters by Mike Grell
Starman volumes 3, A Wicked Inclination and 4, Times Past by James Robinson
Hitman by Garth Ennis and John McCrea
Miracleman by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, Garry Leach, Alan Davis and a host of others who's names I've just missed.

Of that list all are reprint possibilities with the one exception - Miracleman. Sadly that comic, as great as it is (and it is great) just isn't going to be seeing the light of day until someone with the patience of Job is able to sort out the copyright issues (or mess really) surrounding the character. Sad really as it's some stunning work and not easily found in the marketplace.

I wou…

Happy Birthday Dave Simons

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One of my best friends in the comic book world is having his birthday today, Saturday, 20th of December, 2008. Dave Simons! Unlike some people I do know what to say about Dave as I've already said it. A while back Bob Shaw took over representing Dave for art sales and commissions and he had me whip the following text up. So, without any further ado, here's my thoughts on the life and times of Dave Simons.

The wind was howling, rain was thumping and an ominous "DOOM! DOOOM! DOOOOM!" shattered the air and caused the ground to shudder as Dave Simons was born in a half ruined castle that sat upon a wind-swept crag. Howling harpies crouched upon the dilapidated battlements and goblins, ghouls and specters crept thru the darkened dungeons. Dave Simons always wanted to be a comic book artist and that's exactly how it ended up for him. "I always wanted to do comics since I was about eight years old," says Dave, "so I started making a point of drawi…

Original Art Stories: The Ghosts Of Avengers Annual #10

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Appearances can often, at times, be very deceiving. For years people have naturally assumed that the credits on certain comics were always correct, not so. The more I dig the more I learn about these books and who actually worked on them and more often than not the stories behind the stories can be just as interesting as the stories themselves.

In putting together Armando Gil's web-site, I had the chance to do the first part of an in depth interview with Armando. Naturally we spoke in detail about the Avengers Annual #10, which Armando inked over Michael Golden, one of the first times they worked together and probably the best known. Michael Golden recalled his views on the book in the recent Vanguard biography, Excess: The Art Of Michael Golden, "The books whole plot was contained in four or five typewritten pages," says Golden. "The last half of the main story, being the climax of the story, literally read: Then the Avengers show up and there's a big fight, …

Bad Tensile

Bored? Got some time to spend doing nothing but giggling? Via Satima, try this link and anagram yourself. Living here right now we have me: Bad Tensile, and his other half Ya Bell Rend!

These Are Some Of My Favourite Things

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I can't help but love these two items. I've always had a love for movies, old movies and in particular the old Universal Horror films and Marx Brothers, along with The Three Stooges, but that's a different story (Oh, growin' a bit of brain are ya?). Imagine my surprise and sheer delight when I picked these two gems up in Melbourne during my last two visits.

The first is an original Australian press sheet announcing the release of the 1941 classic The Wolf Man. This was the film that launched Lon Chaney Jr (the studios eventually dropped the Jr part) into the horror spotlight, although he had made a fair few movies before this and would arguably give his finest performances in non-horror films such as Of Mice & Men and High Noon. Still, without the exposure that the Universal Horror films brought him he might have remained a footnote in cinema, the son of a horror great.

The press sheet, although marred by two holes punched in the side, is in surprisingly good conditi…

New Web Site On Way

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Why so quiet? Because I've been working hard on a new web-site for none other than artist Armando Gil. All going well it should be launched sometime before Christmas. So far there's loads of great art - original art from Conan with John Buscema, original art from Xena, from the Avengers Annual that Armando inked Michael Golden on and loads more, plus art you've never seen before (the tiger here is but one example out of several). I'm going all out on this one so hopefully the wait will be worth it.

More news as it comes to hand.

Book Excerpt: Gentleman Jim Mooney: The 1970s - Spider-Man & The Marvel Method

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(Spider-Man by Jim Mooney and Bob Almond, created especially for the Mooney biography)

In this second part of the on-going excepts of the as yet unpublished Jim Mooney biography, Jim talks about how he adapted to the so called 'Marvel Method' of creating comic books. You can read more about Mooney at Marvel here.

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(A strapping Jim Mooney, 1950s, posing as an artists life model)
SPIDER-MAN & THE ‘MARVEL METHOD’

One of the by products of the ‘new’ Marvel was the ‘Marvel Method’ of producing comic books. Unlike other comic book companies of the time – in particular DC – the ‘Marvel Method’ was simply a method of production in which there is no script. In this method, a writer and an artist meet to talk about the story, both brainstorming and coming up with ideas, though the writer hypothetically had the final say. The writer would describe a paragraph summary of the forthcoming issue to his artist. The artist then went and drew it, elaborating, construct…

Book Excerpt: Gentleman Jim Mooney: The 1970s - Mooney, Gerber & Marvel

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(The last collaboration. Joe Sinnott inked this Jim Mooney blue line sketch of Ms Marvel in 2006)

In 2005 Jim Mooney and myself agreed that I'd be the one to write his life story. During the next year we spent a fair bit of time on the phone talking to each other and covering all the aspects of his life. We also corresponded, sending material, photos and art back and forth, and in doing so managed to capture the feel of his life, his art and his career. Jim's main regret was that his memory was failing somewhat due to age, thus it wasn't as sharp when he wanted it to be, other times he'd speak in detail about events dating back to the 1920s with such a clarity that I could imagine being there. These conversations exhausted him somewhat and most were brief, well brief for me, lasting around 30 to 45 minutes in length. Each time we spoke Jim would do his best to answer my questions (which I'd email through beforehand, mainly topics of discussion, in order to prepare h…

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