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Showing posts from April, 2009

Original Art Stories: Yeesh! The Price Of Art These Days, He Says!

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I posted this one on FaceBook only yesterday but was told that it deserved a wider audience, so here goes.

Now this I can't understand. The sketch you're looking at is on eBay right now. No crime there. Norm probably did this at a convention, took him under five minutes and he either gave it away to someone or charged them an amount so small that it wouldn't have bought him much more than a can of fizz. The seller of the sketch is based in the UK and has the item described as follows: "BATMAN original ART 12x8 hand drawn & signed NORM BREYFOGLE". By now I'm sure you're wondering what the problem is - it is what it says it is: a sketch hand drawn and signed, and also dated, by Norm Breyfogle, and better yet, it's a sketch of what is probably his signature character (is anyone from DC listening? Bring Norm back to Batman!). Here's the kicker though - the seller has it listed with a Buy It Now price of approximately $260 Australian.

That's righ…

Don't Think, Just Buy: Norm Breyfogle's Archie

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Long time readers of this blog will remember me breaking the story of Norm Breyfogle working on Archie late last year - well now the first issue is about to appear and has been solicitated. Archie Double Digest #200 will be appearing in stores in July, if not sooner, and here's your first look at the finished cover, as drawn by Norm. The story is an interesting one and should keep people interested, even if they're not a fan of Archie, plus it's Norm - I doubt anyone would have thought of such a pairing back in the early 1990s...

Here's the official blurb, fresh from the desk of Archie Comics: "Goodbye Forever": Archie's dad finally receives the promotion he's been working a lifetime for, but it comes at a price: the family must relocate and leave Riverdale! How will this affect Archie's two best girls, Betty and Veronica, not to mention his best friend, Jughead? Who will rise to bedevil Mr. Lodge and Mr. Weatherbee in Archie's absence? Can …

Original Art Stories: Gene Colan Captain America #601

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I'll be buying this comic just for the cover. I'm not sure there's anyone around who draws Captain America quite like the master himself, Gene Colan. You can find some more scans over at Tom Brevoort's blog.

Being For The Benefit Of Mr Colan...

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STARSTRUCK: A Benefit for "Gentleman Gene" Colan

On August 15, 2009, the off-Broadway science-fiction comedy StarStruck by Elaine Lee, Susan Norfleet Lee, and Dale Place, basis for the 1980’s comic book series by Elaine Lee and Michael Wm. Kaluta (who provided set and costume designs for the original production), will be presented for the first time in 25 years as an audio theatre-style live reading at the famed Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, CA.

Proceeds will help pay the medical bills of comics legend Gene Colan, the bills stemming from his bout with liver failure in 2007 and 2008. Colan is best known for his distinctive artwork on such titles as Iron Man, Daredevil, Batman, and Tomb of Dracula (from which the character Blade was introduced).

The reading will employ pre-recorded sound effects and live effects performed by a team of foley artists, coupled with composer Dwight Dixon’s music from the original production. The evening will be MC'ed by Steve Kane, the "r…

Dave Simons: An Update From Dave!

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This has been a horrid week for everyone - God knows why it's all hit at once, but it has and we have to deal with it. For those who aren't aware, this is the latest medical update from Dave Simons, as posted on his Dave Simons Appreciation page on Facebook.

"I got out of the Brooklyn V.A. Hospital recently. Overall, I'm very happy with the service they gave me. The Brooklyn VA might be even a bit nicer than the Manhattan VA, if possible.

"Many tests were done--CAT scans, blood tests, MRI, and of course blood pressure every five minutes.

"After about six days, it seemed that they had enough data to put together a picture. I am most definitely in stage 4, which is incurable. The best that can be done is to retard the advance of the cancer by use of radiation. Later chemotherapy will be used.

"The doctor also gave me 6-12 months to live. This, however, is not graven in adamantium. Its more like an average, and there's no reason why I couldn't be the …

Who Watches The Watchmen?

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Potted Review: Four-Color Heroes!

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Right from the start allow me to state - this CD was sent to me by Andrew Boscardin. I've never met Andrew, never even spoken to him, nor emailed him, but he sent me his music to review, which I'm more than happy to do. I'm not sure if Andrew knew I'd enjoy this disc, but I did. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

If you like your jazz smoking hot and Scotch On The Rocks cool all the same time then you're gonna dig this puppy. I unwrapped it and put it on the CD player in the car and found myself just sitting there, long after I'd stopped, just soaking it all in and wondering just where Dean and Frank might be. It's smooth, it's freeform and it's everything that I've always loved in jazz music - sweet vibes, cool horns, subtle guitar, understated drums and driving bass lines - my only gripe is that, at 60 minutes long, it's just to short. I could have sat back and listened to this for hours on end, thankfully I have a CD player th…

Frank Springer: 1929 - 2009

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I hate waking up to such news as it always depresses me even more, but Frank Springer has passed away. According to his friend, Jeff Jaworski, Frank had been in ill health with prostate cancer for a while and had been hospitalised since February of this year. He slipped away peacefully on Thursday at his home. I only spoke to Frank once, when I interviewed him, on his birthday of all times, back on December 6th, 2007. Ironically, although I wasn't aware of it at the time, that was his birthday, so I sent over a nice little present both as a thank you and as a happy birthday. Frank was very giving of his time and I'm damn happy to have been able to have had the opportunity to speak to Frank, even if only for a few hours and let him know how much I appreciated his work way back when, especially his inking over Frank Robbins.

Frank will be missed.

Frank Springers family have requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the DC-MD-VA Chapter of the

Black Diamond: My Adventures In KISS-Land

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This week an unexpected book arrived in the mail, I say unexpected not because I didn't think I'd get a comp copy, but unexpected because I didn't think that it'd ever happen - the 10th anniversary edition of Dale Sherman's excellent Kiss biography, Black Diamond.

Dale had contacted me mid last year to tell me that the publisher of the original two books wanted to re-issue the first volume in an expanded and re-written format. That sounded like a damn good idea to me and I replied to Dale that it's an authors dream to revisit work after an extended period of time with the view of fixing any errors and bringing it all up to date. This week I put aside a few hours and sat down and read the book. It's a cracking read and I recommend it to anyone who has a passing interest in Kiss as it sits there on the shelf as a companion to David Leaf's overview and the view of Kiss by Gene Simmons. Black Diamond isn't always complimentary towards the band, but…

The Holiest Of Grails

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On the surface of things this just looks like another tacky fibre-optic lamp, and, in a way, I guess it is just that. To me though it's been one of my life's quests, the holiest of holy grails.

We had this lamp in our lounge room back in the mid 1970s when I was growing up. I've taken this image - probably the only one I have of the lamp, from an old Instamatic photo of me and my brothers from Christmas one year, going on the look of us I'd hazard a guess and say it must have been around 1974 or '75. As we're all smiling I'd not date it much later, plus I recall we got rid of the trashy white Christmas tree around that time (trust me, I don't want that). I never knew what happened to the whale lamp though, but somewhere down the track it found it's way into the bin and I've never seen one since. I've looked and looked, shown the photo to many a dealer but to no avail - most people have never heard of one, let alone seen one. I've se…

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