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Showing posts from January, 2009

Facebook Comic Con is Here! Free Sketches!!

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If you've ever wondered why I firmly believe that Michael Netzer has vision and drive beyond our comprehension then wonder no further and read on McDuff...

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Facebook Comic Con is an unofficial virtual comics convention at Facebook. Inspired by Ed Reliuga, FBCC hopes to provide a 'convention away from conventions' environment. For the countless comics professionals and fans on Facebook.

As an incentive to launch this effort and enlist as many fans and pros as possible, founder Michael Netzer is offering a free virtual convention sketch to the first 1,000 members to register at the con and who request a sketch. Requests will be accepted as a wall post on events page for this offer, in this group. Sketches will be uploaded to photos section in low rez web format. High rez files for printing will be emailed to everyone wishing them.

Let's get the show on the road with an effort to inform every comics fan (and non-comics fans) about it. Tell your friends …

"Not Inherently Notable"

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Believe it or not, but the title of this blog entry is the official reason given as to why Dave Simons does not have an entry on the Wikipedia web-site. Allow me to explain.

This morning I decided to give in and prepare an entry for Dave on the Wikipedia site. I took an existing article that I wrote, began to edit it and got the formatting in place. I did everything that the Wikipedia people ask for, gave reference and a rich history. Here's what I wrote (as far as I got), with the Wikipedia formatting removed for this blog:

Dave Simons is an American comic book writer and artist. Simons has worked in comics since the 1970s and is well known for his work on Conan, Ghost Rider, Howard the Duck, Dracula, Forgotten Realms and more recently Courage the Cowardly Dog. He has worked with some of the giants in the field such as John Buscema, Bob Budiansky and Gene Colan.

==Early Years==

Dave Simons grew up in New York and always wanted to be a comic book artist. "I always wanted to d…

Bonnie Prince Charlie

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"On that first morning David was kitted out in his blonde wig and a kilt with a great tartan sash and a sporran and a claymore and a dirk and his three-cornered hat and he said, "Jack, just tell me one thing, do I look like an utter prick?" and Jack thought about that for a moment and then said, "Yes," and they were friends ever afterwards." --Doreen Hawkins, widow of Jack Hawkins, taken from the book, The other Side Of The Moon by Sheridan Morley, 1985

The less said about this movie the better, and frankly I was amazed beyond words to discover this movie programme at my favourite little junk market this morning. Who'd have thought that they'd even bother releasing such an item and that it'd survive in such pristine condition down the years.

Now you tell me, how would you have answered Niven's question?

The Only Reason I'd have Voted For Him

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That is, if I were American, which I think I'm not. I'm happy to be an Australian. But after the blanket coverage that the inauguration got yesterday on our televisions - and I mean saturation coverage, there's not been such coverage of such an event with such little impact upon this nation before that I can recall, indeed even our own PM didn't gain this much coverage when he was sworn in, makes me wonder if we're not already the 51st state of the USA.

Still, after seeing this photo of Obama enjoying a dart out the front of a hut in Kenya, well that's a lot more appealing to me to me than seeing some old and frankly not very attractive rednecked skank with a fully automatic rifle posing in a bikini beside her pool while claiming she can see Russia from her front windows. Her politics went out with the likes of the foot shooter himself, Alexander Haig. It remains to be seen if Obama can now walk the walk, he can certainly talk the talk though, but after eigh…

Original Art Stories: Batman #460: A Tale Of Two Covers

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One of the best things about plunging into an official biography is the sheer volume of material that you tend to collect. Most of that research material generally goes into the vaults or the bin depending on the quality and relevance to the project at hand. And it matters not how much research you do, eventually something is going to pop up that'll take your breath away and cause one of those special moments of amazement, which is exactly what happened here.

In mid 2008 I was offered a pile of material relating to Norm Breyfogle, who I was still the official biography for, after being commissioned by A First Salvo. Sadly the bio is now in search of another publisher, but that can wait until it's fully completed. In amongst the material were documents, scripts and pages of original art, preliminaries, sketches and much more. It was one of those finds that you always hear someone else grabbing, in this case it was me.

Amongst the cache was an envelope with the original scrip…

File Under Coming Soon: Trevor Von Eeden

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Hot on the heels of the Armando Gil web-site (and I've updated that with new art) is the all new site from the ACAB web-world...none other than Trevor Von Eeden! I have to admit that I get the same feeling from this site as I do from Armando and the others - Trevor is a genuine legend in the comic book industry - hell, he co-created Black Lightning, and if that's all he did, and not those stunning Green Arrow and Batman stories back in the day, then he'd be fondly remembered. But there's more, loads more. Wait til you see some of the art I've got lined up for this one...more news as it comes to hand.

Normally I'd Not Bother, But...

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...it's a cause close to my heart.

I'm sick and tired of being run off the road, nearly run over and terrorised by idiots driving 4WD's in the city streets, so I've decided to open my own little Facebook group called South Australians Wanting To Ban Those Pieces of Crap 4WD's From Adelaide. The description says, "Sick and tired of seeing those shitty Burnside Buses, or the Norwood Cabbies driving along the city streets spewing pollution, causing accidents because they can't bloody drive anyway and you can't see past them when turning. I'm not the only one who's sick of being stuck behind one of these clueless twats who think they rule the roads so let's get together and raise numbers to have ALL 4WD's banned from the streets of Adelaide. Generally it's one person driving them, no passengers outside of a gay Poodle and they're utterly useless. And let's face it, only arrogant wankers drive them."

In all seriousness, there…

Blasts From The Past

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We've just spent the bulk of the morning sorting through boxes of material that have been in our storage unit for the past few years. In some cases the boxes haven't been opened in over ten years or more so you can imagine the amount of pure rubbish that we're throwing out and also the delight in finding items thought to be long lost and/or stolen by ex spouses and/or casual fling partners (moreso in my case).

One of the finds was a cache of newspapers dating back to the 1940s. I began to rummage through them looking for old Bluey & Curley strips for Alan Weiss and was entranced by the advertisements of the era. These three ads were taken from the one newspaper, dated October 30, 1947. The first two ads instantly reminded me of those fake ads that you see in issues of Viz (and isn't it funny how some of those 'ads' have found themselves in emails claiming to be the real thing? As if doctors ever advised anyone to get fit by eating lard) and the last ad …

Perfect Art From The Ashes Of A Dead Publisher

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Despite all the crap that A First Salvo became two great things, personally, came out of it and these are it. It was my idea initially to have Alan Weiss ink Norm Breyfogle and vice versa, and I always wanted to buy the end results, so you can imagine my joy when this finally arrived in the mail. However I've always felt a bit bad for introducing Alan to the Salvos, considering what happened, but as has been pointed out to me by another close pal, if you're going to go supernova who better to flying the ship than Alan Weiss? Good point.

This was pencilled by Alan and inked by Norm. Apparently it was used as a pin-up and I'm pretty sure I do have the image in one of my four issues of Dangers Dozen somewhere, but I'm not going to bother to pull them out. Alan's pencils were very tight and Norm did his usual sterling job of inking. I've yet to see an image yet that Norm hasn't enhanced and improved with his brush.

This image, pencilled by Norm and inked by…

Looking Back With Armando Gil

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"He's one mysterious Dominican." With those words of wisdom Dave Simons introduced me to the world of Armando Gil. Hailing from Santa Domingo, Armando Gil is a name known to virtually every collector of original comic book and any fans of comic books in general. He forged a career at Marvel with one of the most distinctive inking styles seen - at times his art looked like molten steel, fluid yet firm and strong enough to hold up against anyones.

When asked inker Bob Almond had this to say about Armando, "I always thought he looked best over Michael Golden like in Avengers Annual 10 and The Nam, but I recall some impressive work over others as well like how much he enhanced Ron Wilson's work on the Superboxers graphic novel...and while he didn't do many long runs at Marvel, some issues stick out even to this day like his efforts inking Ron Frenz on a good run on Kazar, a shorter run with Pat Broderick on Micronauts, and an issue over Gene Day on Master of …

Knapp's Sack

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I TIVO the GSN reruns of the "What's My Line?" kinescopes every night and Debbi and I often watch them during dinner. Yesterday they broadcast the WML? episode of June 22, 1958. After mystery guest Andy Griffith failed to stump the panel, the fourth and final contestant, a Mr. Alois S. Knapp, entered and signed in.

Mr. Knapp was a slight, elderly gentleman, sporting a white spade beard. My Spider-Senses began to tingle!

I knew this guy!

Moderator John Charles Daley saw to it that Mr. Knapp was seated and a card was super-imposed to show the folks in the audience and the folks at home just what Mr. Knapp's line actually was. The card read, "Owns and Operates Nudist Camp (self-employed).”

That's when the light bulb flashed on over my head, and I knew where I knew this guy from.

In late 1972 I was working for Wally Wood, ghosting Sally Forth and Cannon. It was Woody's habit to "pull swipes" or scrap on as much of his drawing as possible. His motto …

First Salvo: More Publishing Fun & Games

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People might remember back in late October I spoke about the now defunct publisherFirst Salvo and how they treated Alan Weiss and myself, namely by commissioning a story and not paying us, and also refusing to pay Alan for outstanding work that he'd done for the company. Just for the record, to date they've still yet to pay either of us (as I've told them - they can refuse to pay me, that doesn't bother me, much, but they are honour bound to pay Alan) and have not responded to numerous emails. Since that initial post I've had more contact with artists who've shared various stories with me about the conduct of the Salvos, how they promised a lot of work and then ceased contact without explanation.

Publishers do go under, especially small press publishers, so there's nothing wrong there. However it's generally accepted as being good business practice to at least let people know that you've gone under without abuse or silence. Most people will accep…

Road Stories From South Australia: The Rainbird Murder Hut

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(The Rainbird Hut as seen from the top of the hill)

I'd heard about the Rainbird murder hut when I used to visit Kapunda back in the mid 1980s (I had a vested interesting in visiting, but we won't go into that). This trip around Lyndal decided to visit some of her relatives in yet another haunted cemetery so I went all out to locate the Rainbird hut.

(The Rainbird hut as seen from the road)

First off, what is the Rainbird murder hut? Allow me to explain. In the mid 1800s a man named Robert Rainbird emigrated from the UK to SA and ended up with his family on the outskirts of Kapunda, living in a little two room hut. In 1861 around five or six Aboriginal men attacked Mrs Rainbird, raping and killing her in her room in the hut, the same men also murdered their two young children as they attempted to flee (Robert Rainbird, the father, was working the land at the time). They the attempted to bury Mrs Rainbird in the traditional manner but the bodies were soon discovered. Ultimately al…

Original Art Stories: Dave Simons Triptych

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I've decided this year to showcase some of my favourite art purchases as they either come in or are paid off. So why not kick off 2009 with the last art purchase of 2008 -literally. I finished paying for this stunner at 3pm on the 31st of December, 2008. So, without any further ado, here's the Alternate Fantastic Four by Dave Simons.

Dave mentioned to me in an email a short time ago that he had four left over blank cards from the recent Rittenhouse Fantastic Four set. He'd already sold one, so that shot down my original concept, but I asked Dave if he could use the remaining three to draw the Alternate Fantastic Four from FF #347-#349 as a triptych. Dave checked out the issues in question and this is the result!

I've always loved those three issues and considered Walter Simonson's run to be one of the best that's been on Fantastic Four, indeed I rate it on an even par with the Byrne run as equal second, behind, of course, the original Stan Lee/Jack Kirby ru…

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