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Showing posts from 2018

Stan Lee: 1922-2018

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I had intended to start a new series today, detailing a certain period in recent comic book history, but the news that came in this morning came as a bolt from the blue. I always thought Stan was immortal, now he truly is. Gone, just a month a couple of weeks shy of his 96th birthday. That's an AMAZING life in anyone's books.
Stan Lee, may you rest in peace. And thanks for all the goodness over the decades.

Wally Wood's Will!

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Another of those great documents that you rarely, if ever, get to see. Here we have the last will and testament of the late, great Wallace Allan 'Wally' Wood. Drafted just over a year before he shot himself in his apartment in November, 1981, the will is very simple and to the point. But then, by the time Wally drafted this, there wasn't a lot to leave behind, only debts and art really.
And the art was the source of legal action between J David Spurlock, representing Wallace Wood Properties, who sued Wood's ex-wife, Tatjana Wood, for art that had been returned to her by Marvel, DC and other companies after Wood's death. The legal fight wasn't pretty, but a suitable solution was finally negotiated. 
Still, not a good thing really, fighting over the remains of an artist. But these things happen.


Remembering Norm Breyfogle

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Norm Breyfogle was more than just a comic book artist to me. He was a friend. A very close friend, and one whose friendship I cherished above others.
I first met Norm back in early 2003 when I approached him for an interview for my now defunct Adelaide Comics and Books web-site. Norm instantly agreed and the arrangements were made for a phone call. Our first call lasted for hours as we spoke about many topics, and even talked about his career. It set the tone. I remember that week very well, we spoke on the phone every night for five days, just talking about stuff. We found we loved debunking conspiracy theories and shared our favourite theories, discovering that we had one in common which involved the moon landings and the Hubble telescope. He was tickled that I’d managed to upset David Ickie (long story, but funny) who he felt was a crank anyway. We loved the same stuff, we loved the same artists, writers and books, the same concepts in life. Films, music and opinions, it was rare th…

Norm Breyfogle: 1960 - 2018

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It's now common knowledge that Norm Breyfogle passed away on Monday, 24 September. His passing leaves a large void in the comic book world, and the outpouring of genuine grief and sorrow would have amazed him. But he'd have been quietly happy with it all.
Right now his funeral details haven't been locked down, but you can send a message of tribute via the Erickson Crowley Peterson Funeral Home.
On a personal level, this loss is devastating for me. Norm was like a brother to me, and I'm not saying that lightly. Right now my emotions are all over the place, but I will write down my own personal tribute Norm very soon.

From The Vaults: Roy Thomas 1965

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Another gem from the vaults, this time a little article about Roy Thomas from fifty three years ago. This one comes from the St Louis Post Dispatch, which was Roy's local newspaper, and is dated Monday, May 17 1966.

The article covers Roy's involvement in the fanzine, Alter Ego, while he was teaching English Literature at Fox High School in Arnold, Missouri. Roy had just taken over the publishing of the magazine from the legendary Dr Jerry Bails, and was running with it. Of interest is that, in the last paragraph, there's mention of an offer that Roy had just received an offer to become an editor for a comic book company. That company was none other than DC Comics. One month later Roy had visited, been hired by Mort Weisinger, quit and was working for Marvel Comics.

The rest, as they say, is history.


From The Vaults: Siegel & Shuster 1941

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It should come as no surprise to anyone that I've kept up an active interest in both Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster since the long running court case over the ownership of Superman. That case is now long finished and belongs to the ages, but my interest still runs high, and, I believe this is rightly so. After all the pair did create the most iconic of all superheroes, Superman, along with a lot of the associated characters and mythos that are still in use today by DC Comics.

The problem with writing, and also reading, about Siegel and Shuster is maintaining a sense of impartiality. It's easy to be caught up in the unfairness of what happened to the pair, just the same as it's easy to blame them, especially Jerry, for making some horrendous business decisions. There is enough blame to be apportioned on both sides of the fence, and certainly the unethical business dealings of those at DC Comics, in particular the likes of Harry Donenfeld who first ousted Major Malcolm Wheeler…

Benjamin DuBay vs Stephen King: Jim Warren's Deposition

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A recent case that appears to have slipped under a lot of radars, and that's a shame as it's turning into a right doozy, is Benjamin DuBay vs Stephen King.

In short DuBay, the nephew of comic book creator Bill DuBay, is claiming that King, the legendary author of all things horror, stole the concept for the hugely popular series (and a rather poor film) The Dark Tower from Bill DuBays Warren series The Rook. Naturally King denies this, as you'd expect him to. There's an obscene amount of money involved with this, as you'd expect, as King's work is probably more profitable than anyone out there.

The case has been quietly motoring along the usual grounds, but depositions released show the full extent of the back story of how Warren worked as a publisher, and how The Rook came into being. That's always a good thing for historians, but what really separates this case from most other copyright cases are accusations of forgery, witness tampering, theft and outri…

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