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Showing posts from August, 2009

Original Art Stories: Brian Kong's Stolen Images

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I know I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at the levels, or depths really, that some people sink to in order to make a few bucks. What you're about to see is a case of an artist who is both a thief and also utterly ignorant about it.

Check out this baseball card. It's an original sketch card as drawn by artist Brian Kong. For those who might not know Brian or his work, here's the quick biography as displayed on the site of his dealer, Comic Art House: "Brian has worked on comics, trading cards & in advertising for the past 15 years. He has worked for companies such as Marvel, DC, MLB, NBA to name just a few. In the last 3 years, Brian has created over 10,000 original sketch cards (REALLY) for some of the most prolific properties including: MLB, X-MEN, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Heroes : seasons 1& 2, NBA, DEXTER, Marvel Masterpieces 1& 2, Iron Man Movie, Lord of the Rings: Masterpieces 2, Spiderman 3, Star Trek : TOS: seasons 2-3, Marilyn Mon…

Potted Movie Review: Balibo

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I don't often get seriously emotional at the movies, or if I do then it's generally one set emotion, sadness, rage, joy...however in sitting through Balibo I ran the gauntlet of several emotions, from frustration through to rage through to sorrow through to utter impotence. That six people could be murdered by the Indonesian militia during the invasion of East Timor in late 1975 staggers me, not to mention the over 180,000 Timorese that were also murdered, raped and tortured. That the murderers of both the Balibo Five and Roger East have often been named but never been held to account frankly disgusts me. A war crime is a war crime, but, as we're seeing even today, it's a difficult thing to prosecute a war crime when there's essential resources involved, such as oil.

I think every Australian over the age of 40 has at some point been aware of the Balibo Five, such was the public indignation over the years as more and more information came to hand. The men were jo…

This Weeks' Reading List: 14th August

God, what a week. Launched the Blaq Books blog, scoped out the store and began work on the bookshop. As such there wasn't as much time left for reading, but I did get a few things in and finished. I know I'm early, but I'm off to see the movie Balibo this evening and we've a heavy weekend lined up, so I might not have the time to write this tomorrow.

What did I finish this week?

MAGAZINES:
Back Issue #35. Villains issue. Interesting, albeit too brief, Pro-To-Pro interview with Mike Zeck and J.M. DeMatties about Kravens Last Hunt. J.M. is a prince and I've yet to find anyone who doesn't like him. Other than that the usual BI contents, articles that I generally skim and a decent Mike Vosburg interview.

Alter Ego #88. Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson issue. Interesting stuff as Wheeler-Nicholson's family members are interviewed for their memories about the man who formed DC Comics. Such a shame to discover that DC has written Wheeler-Nicholson out of thei…

Remembering Jim Mooney

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Today is always a bit of a bittersweet day for me because it's the day where I always remember the birthday of Jim Mooney. Today would have been cause for celebration as he would have turned 90 - a milestone in anyone's book. Sadly Marvel and most other people are busily celebrating the passing of others and appear to not be bothered with someone such as Mooney, who began drawing comic books a mere 18 months after the launch of Action Comics #1, worked at DC from the 1940s through to the late 1960s, returned to Marvel in 1968 and remained there until the early 1990s and drew his last comic towards the turn of the last century. In doing all of this Mooney helped build the bedrock upon which other men built their own careers on, so I thought I'd help fill the void a bit and remind people that, yes, artistic giants such as Mooney did walk upon this planet and they are remembered and are still appreciated.

In the past I've written a lot about Jim Mooney and it still both…

This Weeks' Reading List: 6th August

This week was spent writing a bit and working on a super secret project, which, amazingly enough, is coming to fruition. If it all continues to rum smoothly then expect to see a huge announcement. Well, huge for us anyway and it could very well benefit local authors, hell, ANY author who wants to see an outlet for their own publications. Watch this space for more details as they arise.

Reading wise I spent a bit of time finishing off half and 3/4 read books, just to get them out of the way. This involved a speed read of what came before to refresh my memory and then a normal (normal for me) read to the finish line.

What did I finish this week?

S.P. Mackenzie: The Colditz Myth. See last week's entry for the general thoughts. It seems life in WWII POW camps was less like Stalag 13 and more like Stalag 17 - and even that's downplaying it. The best bit, in my view, was learning that even while banged up the officers managed to send anti-Hitler propaganda into the neighbouring …

Noel Coward In Australia

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Believe it or not Noel Coward visited Australia and New Zealand once and here's the proof of that visit. This double sided card was issued as a souvenir of Coward's appearance in Melbourne on the 28th November, 1940. I have no idea how many of these exist these days, nor it's worth but I expect that the numbers aren't very high in both departments.

As a souvenir it's a nice little item, postcard size and I'd expect somewhat desirable to Coward collectors - and yes, I expect that those people are out there. I've always said that people collect anything, including barbed wire.

Once Coward left Australia he wrote a book, collecting his broadcasts. Titled 'Australia Visited' and published by Heinemann (London) 1940. Before anyone asks, nope I don't have it, yet, but considering that Coward's speeches still amuse me, I'll be looking for a copy very shortly.

Marie Ney and Noel Coward, in Australia, 1940. An acclaimed at the time, but now la…

From 350,000 To Zero: The 'Lost' Beatle - Jimmy Nicol

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Amazing isn't it? When the Beatles played Australia for the only time in 1964 Ringo was out with an illness, so in stepped drummer Jimmy Nicol. Jimmy was with the band when they touched down in Sydney to a torrential downpour, not that it stopped an estimated 1,000 fans plus a handful of journos from coming out to see them as they did a lap of the airport in the teeming rain.

From there the band flew to Adelaide where an estimated 350,000 people wagged school, skipped work and generally took the day off just to see them - that was around 1/3 of the total population of South Australia at the time. It remains probably THE largest, crowd to turn out to see the band. George Harrison and Paul McCartney always commented on the size of the crowd, even thirty years after the event. Jimmy was there...amongst the adulation and was turned out to greet the masses of Lunchtime O'Boozes all of whom wanted a quick soundbite.

In Adelaide Jimmy played four concerts, one of which was filmed …

This Weeks' Reading List: 1st August

It's been a very busy week. Fights with the workplace, some pressures, stresses and an on-going battle with depression has seen my reading limited but on the upside I have completely emptied the storage unit and thrown out reams of useless crap and, best of all, unpacked several hundred books and placed them upon the shelves. Excellent!

What did I finish this week?
King Of Comedy: The Life & Art Of Jerry Lewis by Shawn Levy. I like Levy's style of writing, his book on the Rat Pack is one of my all time favourites and this book is greatly assisted by the same informative, yet entertaining style of reporting. There's stuff in here that I never knew about Lewis, and to be honest, he's never been one of my favourite comedians (Marx Brothers boy that I always was) yet this has caused me to reconsider my appraisals of the man. Levy shows that Lewis, like most comedians, has a definite dark side, which erupted during the writing of the book, as the postscript shows, as…

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