Showing posts from January, 2015

The Senator, The Director & The Comic Books: Kefauver, Hoover and the 1950 Anti-Comic Book Questionaire

Senator Estes Kefauver and FBI chief, J. Edgar Hoover, had an interesting relationship over the years.  Files reveal a raft of correspondence between the two, almost all of it complimenting each other, however the relationship between Kefauver and Hoover got off to a rocky start.  In January, 1947, Hoover was offended enough by remarks made by Kefauver to raise them with the then US Attorney General Tom Clark.  Hoover took umbrage at a report issued by Kefauver in which the FBI were painted as novices and that the Truman administration was planning to cut funding to the FBI as a whole.  Hoover’s outrage was passed on to both Clark and also Kefauver directly, resulting in an instant apology from Kefauver in which he claimed ignorance to the remarks and deflected the blame onto his underlings.  “Certainly no one on the Committee, or connected with the committee wish to do you or the wonderful work of the F.B.I. an injustice,” Kefauver wrote to Hoover, “and I regret exceedingly if any

Praise For Newton Comics - The Rise & Fall

The long awaited full history of Newton Comics, the Australian publisher of the 1970s, has been out for a fortnight and the praise is rolling in. Here's some of the comments that have been received. " ​I loved this.  Just loved it.  Fascinating stuff." - Mark Waid ( Eisner Award-winning American comic book writer) "A pretty amazing story of Australia's history with Marvel and what people do for the love of comics. Great book that I think joins your others as a fine addition to the medium's history." - Michael Netzer (Artist/writer; Marvel Comics, DC Comics) "I really enjoyed it. It rekindled a lot of memories for me. As a kid Newton was a "gateway" into Marvel Comics for me - as I suppose it was for many kids in the mid 70s. I had my wales adorned with their posters - had a couple of shirts with the dodgy iron-on transfers on them and I still kept all those comics." - Mark Ptolemy "Thoroughly enjoyed, and highly recomme

Original Art Stories: Stolen Swamp Thing Art Alert

This message was posted on Facebook and is reprinted here with the kind permission of Steve Bissette .  With SWAMPMEN out this week (from Jon B. Cooke, George Khoury, TwoMorrows, 2014), it's time to remind everyone in the community that the painted cover art to SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #34 and the final page of that issue ("Rites of Spring") are STILL STOLEN PROPERTY. These belong to John Totleben and yours truly, Stephen Bissette—only they don't, because they were stolen right out of the DC Comics offices in 1984-85.   These are STILL STOLEN PROPERTY. Anyone owning, trafficking, trading, or harboring this original art—SOTST #34 cover painting and the final story page—is involved (knowingly or unknowingly) in criminal activity. John and I also have children; mine are now adults. They are looking, too. Even after we're dead and gone, this will be sought-after STOLEN PROPERTY.   This is not going to 'go away.' It's disgusting to think that the

The Death Of The Australian Comic Book Industry #1: 4,000,000 American Comics

There's been several theories on what killed the Australian comic book industry at the end of the 1950s. Some of them are very valid - publishers such as K.G. Murray, Horwitz and the Yaffa Syndicate clearly found it to be more economical to import material, and in some cases smuggle material into the country (that's a topic for a future post), and some theories no longer hold up under the glare of historical research -  for example,  Len Lawson did not single handedly kill the comic book industry.  Comics thrived after Len was convicted in 1954 and it was finished when he was convicted again in 1961.  So what helped kill the Australian comic book industry?  The relaxation of import restrictions appears to have contributed more than anyone has ever acknowledged. As soon as the ban on importing was lifted towards the end of 1959 Lilliput Productions cut a deal with Woolworths, a major retail shopping chain, to sell American comic books. Lilliput would import the comics and Wo

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