Showing posts from January, 2008

New Day, New Site

When I launched the parent site to this blog back in 2003 I never expected that it'd still be going five years later, but there it is. The idea for the site was that I might be able to sell some of my collection, eBay screwed that pooch for good. In quick time the site became a repository for interviews, articles and a pile of other good, fine stuff that I was doing at the time. Via the site I met a lot of people, some good, some bad, and some are now lifelong friends, so if the site only did that then it did more than I expected it to. When I first started it I did a basic site design, with primary colours and made sure it was easy to maintain. Everyone around me was telling me to use either php or something designed in Dreamweaver, but frankly I'm not a web-master by any stretch of the imagination - I wanted something fairly idiot proof that I could do myself. I didn't want to be tied down to relying on anyone to upload or lay stuff out - as I thought of something I want

Alan Grant Talks Norm Breyfogle

Hey Marvel, DC, Dark Horse - all of ya!!! Go and read the latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine . But since you probably won't bother then please allow me to quote none other than Alan Grant as he speaks about an artist you've passed by. "The artist on Detective at the time was Norm Breyfogle . 'When a writer and artist hit it off, like Wagner and Ezquerra, they add a dimension to stories nobody put there before. Some kind of synergy shines through. You can see it in nearly everything John's worked on with Carlos. All the important characters John's created, I'd say, were done with Carlos. I felt the same about Breyfogle - Norm was my Carlos and I was his Wagner!' "Grant was recently asked to write an introduction for a book showcasing Breyfogle's art. 'I read over the first two years of Batman we did together. I hate blowing my own trumpet about anything. I don't usually do it. My work either stands up on its own or falls down, I c

Heath Ledger; 1979 - 2008

It came as a definite shock. A blow. Out of the blue and when all the dust settles it'll go down as one of the more senseless losses that the Australian motion picture industry has seen in a very long time. Cast off the controversy that surrounded Ledger and you'll find an actor that hadn't even gotten near his full potential. I first saw Ledger in the film Two Hands , where he more than held his own against Bryan Brown, an actor at the height of his powers. Ledger not only carried the movie but stole entire scenes from others such as Susie Porter and the then also rising star, Rose Byrne, and showed a poise and maturity beyond his years. That this movie isn't better known on a global scale is simply criminal. If you get a chance to see it then settle in and get ready for the ride of your cinematic life. It's a shame that most people won't get the chance to see it on the large screen, where it truly belongs. Ledger then went Hollywood where he made a few la

An Open Letter To Marvel From Dave Simons

Following in the spirit of Michael Netzer's ' Open Letter To DC ' I'd like to present the world with the following. Dave Simons, artist, contacted me a few days ago with the following letter and sketches, in which he makes a good case for the return of one of Marvel's more nuttier creations, Squirrel Girl . That Dave is more than willing to draw the character, and is more than able to do so, only adds to the appeal. But enough from me for now, here's Dave's letter: Just when I was bemoaning that Marvel can't do "cute" and "fun" any more, they come out with Squirrel Girl in Great Lakes Initiative . I just discovered her online. This is the kind of character that I love! It was no accident that I cut my inking teeth on Howard the Duck . What I'd like to see happen is for Squirrel Girl to get involved in a romance, possibly with some completely ordinary jerk, as in manga "magical girlfriend" type stories. She needs a bit

An Open Reply To Michael Netzer

Dear Michael, You know I love you right? I've told you enough times, you're one of my favourite people. I'd happily walk through fire for you and I'll defend you to the death, however I have to ask, with all due respect, what the devil are you thinking about approaching DC with an empassioned plea to save J'onn J'onnz: The Martian Manhunter ? You know it won't work, it could never work, and there's several good reasons for this. But by begging DC to do the decent thing and not kill off one of their oldest characters is just playing into their hands. What kills a comic book character quicker than poor sales? Interest. Apathy will always save a character from being killed. The title might be canceled, but the character will survive until someone like Frank Miller comes along and rapes it. But hey, it's there. Barring acts of God and Miller, someone might pop along and go, "Hey, I've always wanted to bring back Tappin' Tommy , I might do so

Original Art Stories: Ivan Reis's Nightmare

Anyone who collects original art has heard various horror stories about the risks of sending the art via the post. Boxes turn up late or not at all, and it always seems that by writing the words, " Fragile - Do Not Bend Or Damage " on the side of anything is viewed as a challenge for the postal workers, not a warning. I've had two items turn up looking like a truck ran over them in a puddle - the first being a lovely Jim Mooney Batman pin-up and the second being a Norm Breyfogle commission. Luckily for me both artists had packed the art in such a way that it'd have taken a lot to damage the art itself, but give the postal monkey's their due, they certainly gave it a good try. The Mooney package was so damaged that I couldn't bring myself to open it for about a day. When I finally did I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I once had a Breyfogle package clearly marked, and paid for, Air Express that came via the slowest boat known to man. No explanation other than

Original Art Stories: The Fake Steve Rude

This kind of stuff just burns me. Over the last couple of days I've helped shut down at least one pirate on eBay. Said seller was offering up those shoddy CD-Roms you've all seen with comic books scanned onto them. The classic part was that he claimed that all the material was public domain - as I said to Tom Brevoort and the legal team at DC , if stuff like 52 , Crisis , Fantastic Four , New Gods and Spider-Man are public domain then watch me make a million in a week. Of course they're not public domain, selling them takes money out of creators pockets and the legal teams did the right thing and shut the lot out. Now this surfaces. A few days ago Steve Rude , in the hopes of raising more funds to keep his Rude Dude company afloat (he's self-publishing the brilliant series Nexus) placed the original watercolour painting of issue #2 of Thor: Godstorm onto eBay . Go and look, and bid. It's well out of my price range, as much as I'd love to own it (and don

Original Art Stories: Mike Zeck & John Buscema

This past week I was subjected to a series of questions as I'm a premium member of the Comic Art Fans site and have my own gallery there which shows off my original art collection. It's no big deal, although even a five question questionnaire is a bit odd for me as I'm usually the one asking the questions, not answering them. One of the questions went like this: How long have you been collecting comic art and what prompted you to start? My answer was, Blame Mike Zeck . I contacted Mike in 2001 to buy some signed comic books and he threw in a Captain America convention style head sketch. I got it professionally framed and haven't looked back since. Mike is one of the genuine nice guys and one day I hope to be able to buy a Zeck splash, pin-up or cover. That's almost the entire story, I edited it more than slightly as I didn't want to send back answers that would fill people's email inboxes. But yes, the answer is correct, it was indeed Mike Zeck who started

Sir Edmund Hillary, 1919 - 2008

Edmund Hillary, First Atop Everest, Dies Jan 10, 6:11 PM (ET) By RAY LILLEY WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Sir Edmund Hillary, the unassuming beekeeper who conquered Mount Everest to win renown as one of the 20th century's greatest adventurers, has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced Friday. He was 88. The gangling New Zealander devoted much of his life to aiding the mountain people of Nepal and took his fame in stride, preferring to be called "Ed" and considering himself just an ordinary beekeeper. "Sir Ed described himself as an average New Zealander with modest abilities. In reality, he was a colossus. He was an heroic figure who not only 'knocked off' Everest but lived a life of determination, humility, and generosity," Clark said in a statement. "The legendary mountaineer, adventurer, and philanthropist is the best-known New Zealander ever to have lived," she said. Hillary's life was marked by grand achievements, hig

Looking Back With Frank Springer

Growing up I always thought highly of Frank Springer's work. His was a name that I saw quite a bit on the books that I bought, especially on the Invaders where he worked with Frank Robbins, creating an All Frank Art Team in my youthful eyes. I loved reading the Invaders, it was unusual for a World War II book in that it featured superheroes that were featured in the current books and the art was just light years away from the standard Kirby influenced art and the like that was appearing in other books. At that point I'd not been exposed to artists such as Noel Sickles or Milton Caniff so it was fresh for me to see that style imposed on a character such as Captain America . Say what you will but it wasn't Sal Buscema (not that there's anything wrong with Sal). Down the track when I really began to take notice of artists name I discovered that any book with the name 'Frank Springer' on it was an instant buy. Why? Because no matter how bad the story might have bee

Ross Andru vs Marlon Brando

This was written for inclusion in the Andru & Esposito: Partners For Life book but I'm not sure if it made it as I've yet to read the finished product - nothing sinister, I rarely, if ever, read anything that's published under my own name. I figure that, if I wrote it, then I have more than a rough idea of what it's about and what it says and my ego isn't that large that I need to sit and read my own work. However this story has always tickled my fancy somewhat and I remember clearly when Mike told it to me. I couldn't stop giggling and the idea that one of the 20th century's finest actors would cross paths with one of the 20th century's finest comic book artists has always fascinated me. Such divergent paths, yet for a fleeting second in time they met up, squared up and went their respective ways. I'm not sure if this article made the final cut of the book, if it did and you own a copy then you've read it. If not then read on, you might jus

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