Showing posts from January, 2014

Before The Comic Code Authority Came The Horwitz Code Of Publishing Ethics

Everyone knows, and has seen, the Comics Code Authority which was established in the USA back in September 1954 and its workings.  Entire books have been devoted to its formation and history and how it fits into the comic book industry as a whole.  In a nutshell it was established as a direct result of the Senate Hearings of the 1950s and its function was to control what could be published under the guise of comics books – publishers either conformed to the Code or vanished.  History would like us to believe that the Code was the first of its kind anywhere, but, as you’ll soon see, that history is wrong. The furore surrounding comic books spread far and wide.  The Senate hearings were big news in Australia and groups here were doing their own bit to get comic books off the shelves.  Groups were formed in virtually every state with the aim of controlling what children read and with the ultimate goal of banning comic books completely in favour of more wholesome literature, such as

Leonard Lawson - Information Wanted

One of my major projects for 2014 is none other than Leonard 'Lennie' Lawson.  I've gathered a lot of research material already and have begun work, but, as always, I want the full picture.  I want as much as can be found.  However I've hit a dead end. As such I'm putting it out there, if anyone reading this knew Lawson, or knows anyone who knew him either inside prison or outside, then feel free to drop me a line and we'll chat.  Confidentiality will, of course, be the key, no names will be used unless people want them to.  So, get in touch and let's discuss Lawson, for bad or for good.

Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi Vintage Ads

This post speaks for itself really.  A clutch of vintage ads released in Australia when Return Of The Jedi came out, circa 1983-1984.  They just don't make movies, or advertisements, like this anymore sadly enough.  Still, we must be thankful that people clipped and saved stuff like this, and that people (like me) are willing to buy and digitalise the material so others can view it.  There'll be more to come, including the article that appeared in the ABC 24 Hour Magazine, one of the hardest to find of all the Star Wars related cover stories. I think it'd be a safe bet to say that a lot of people would never have seen these ads before, so enjoy! An original entry form for for a preview screening of Jedi. Open a bank account, meet Darth Vader! It wouldn't take long before all three movies were on the same bill.  At one stage you could see all three films, plus the Ewok flick.  The sheer joy of it all. The ABC played the Empire radio show.

'Vumps' Australia's First Ever Comic Book?

Is Vumps the first comic book issued in Australia?  All of the evidence certainly points towards it.  Vumps was a true one-off and promoted as the ‘first Australian comic-paper’ - a claim that has long been accepted as being accurate, mainly as its predecessors, such as the Melbourne Punch (1855 - 1925), the Bulletin (1880), The Rambler (1899) and The Bull Ant (1890-1892) were either tabloid newspapers or magazines.  The Melbourne Cartoon, published in the 1890s was more a political commentary and George Robertson’s Head Over Heels (1874) was more illustrated prose and verse than outright comic style art.  Norman Lindsay, who had edited and contributed to The Rambler, had been incorporating animals in humours situations into his strips in The Lone Hand as early as 1907, much of this work can be found in books such as Norman Lindsay’s Cats and Norman Lindsay’s Bears, both featuring excellent reproductions of some of his lesser known works.  Despite the presence of Lindsay and his art

The Last Alan Moore Interview? Looks That Way...

It surely looks that way.  Head over to Solvobooks and read this amazing Alan Moore interview , as conducted by  Pádraig Ó Méalóid .  To say this is one incredible interview is to understate it.  Padriag addresses some of the more controversial topics that appear to surround Moore, and Moore doesn't hold back. Essential reading. There's some people that wish they could get a scoop like this, myself included.

Maurice Bramley's 1940 Spider Man

Who created Spider Man?  If you said Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, or even Jack Kirby, you might be forgiven for being a bit wrong.  Back on the 1st of June, 1940, writer Sydney MacDonald and artist Maurice Bramley created a story for The World's News titled The House Of The Spider Man.  That's right - 1940.  Well before Stan, Steve or Jack did anything with the name. To be fair, what MacDonald and Bramley did was a text story with illustrations and there's not a hint of anything super heroish involved, but, as some people have tried to give credit to some artists and writers on less, we might be able to add this one to the pile of confusion. Presenting the Maurice Bramley Spider Man from 1940.  You can find this information, and much much more, at the newly created Maurice Bramley Appreciation Society on Facebook .

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