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Showing posts from April 8, 2007

Paul's Mum

One of my best chums is named Paul. I've known Paul since around 1990 when we were both in the music dealing business together. We've done many a deal and he has several nicknames, Small Paul (obvious, considering he's about 5 foot nothing), Little Black Bastard (due to his hair, which is now pretty much all gone, but he did have a great mane back in the day) and The Little River Man (due to his name). With Paul came his mother, a formidable person indeed, but someone I loved dearly from almost the first moment I met her. She was always decent to me and in my books that counts for a lot.

Her name was Jackie, but somehow I could never quite get myself into that state to call her that, although she used to tell me to. To me she was Mrs Paul or simply, Paul's Mum. I'd introduce her to people, "Oh, this is Paul's Mum, Paul's Mum this is Blankety Blank." She'd then look at me with a pained look that you see parents giving an idiot child and say, &qu…

Oh Shit!

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People may never learn...click for the full invite.

Marvel Movies: Iron Man And Ghost Rider Redux

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I'll be honest. I'm not sure how I really feel about the upcoming Iron Man movie. After seeing the unintentionally laughable 300 on the weekend I'm getting both tired and frustrated with movies that appear to be CGI heavy and thus missing all human emotion. You can program the computer, but you can't make it react in a natural, human manner. Having said that there's some actors who make the CGI creations look like Sir Anthony Hopkins when it comes to acting, but hey. Sadly at least one of those actors, Gwyneth Paltrow, is in the Iron man movie (and stop trying to tell me she can act - she's a hopeless, one dimensional actress with limited range and is all that is wrong with the current American acting community. Without nepotism she'd be working as a customer service consultant somewhere). Having Robert Downey Jr cast as the part-time alcoholic Tony Stark was inspired though. With his past Downey (who actually IS a good actor) should play that part with eas…

Triplets

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I know, I know, it's been done before, but it's still good for a cheap laugh.

The Summer Game, The Winter Book

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I'm going through a phase right now - I'm about to dump almost my entire collection of Don Bradman books onto a certain bookstore in Adelaide. I've decided to keep the ones I want to keep along with my clippings - because nobody's getting those for a long, long while, but I just realised that I have not only doubles of some titles, but bloody triples and even quads!!! I have to say that a lot of them aren't that much chop as it is, they're light on both content and detail and as such I won't miss them at all. Since we moved here in 2004 they've been in a box within a box and when I pulled them out the dust was heavy.

When it comes to such books there's a limit that you want to stick with. In my own opinion you really only need the following:
The Bradman Albums
Farewell To Cricket
The Art Of Cricket (with CD Rom)
Bodyline Autopsy by David Frith
The Don by Roland Perry (updated and revised edition)
Bradman by Michael Page
Bradman's First Tour and
Bradman -…

The Fly - A Simon & Kirby Gredown Classic!

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This was a very pleasant surprise. Last week I wandered into the finest comic book store in Adelaide to find the owners gloating over a box of goodies that they'd just bought. A quick look showed me that there were things in that box that I needed and wanted, so I did a deal and bought the bulk of the contents (doubles included, not that there were many doubles). I was damn happy to get two more of the elusive Newtons that I need to complete my collection, a pile of Charlton reprints (the entire box was Australian comics - something that the previous owner of that shop would have ignored. Luckily the guys who now own it are more than aware that collectors like me exist, guys who buy Aussie comics!) and more, including this gem of a comic - The Fly!

The cover to this comic doesn't match up with any of the original American series, The Adventures Of The Fly (published by Archie, of all people, in 1959). The Fly was notable for being one of, if not the, last hurrah for the famed t…

They're Back! Bradman Follow Up

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You may, or may not, remember this post from earlier this year. In it I had a little whinge about how I'd loaned two scrapbooks of original newspaper clippings about Sir Donald Bradman to the State Library in 2004 and how they'd then gone missing, presumably for all time. Well now I can share the rest of the tale. Mind you it'd help if you read the previous post first for the background information.

In around mid March of this year I received a text message, out of the blue, asking me to contact the Library. I thought, "Oh crap, not again!" but eventually I phoned. On the other end of the phone was a delightful young lady informing me that she'd located the books! Her story was that after Barry Gibbs passed away his office lay empty until early this year. Once the new person started moving into his old office she found boxes of paper and other office supplies, books and the like, which she turned over to the lady I spoke to. The boxes were then sorted through …

Norm Breyfogle: The Danger's Dozen

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I've written about Norm and First Salvopreviously on this blog, more than once. In fact I'm sure I'll write about both of them in years to come - why? Because both ooze talent and ability beyond description.

I first became aware of Norm working at First Salvo when publisher Thad Branco first approached me with some advice of how to make Norm's forum all the better. Since then we've become strong pals and stronger allies. In one of my deepest depressive moments Thad not only made light of what I was going through (but not in a dismissive or insulting manner), but also extended a hand by having me interview Norm about First Salvo for use in a future compilation of The Danger's Dozen. That was a bloody decent thing to do Thad. For that alone he'll always have my support and gratitude, let alone what he's given us all in using talents like Norm, Ron Frenz, Sal Velluto, Bob Almond and more names that I'm not sure if I'm allowed to mention just yet.

The…

Expert Opinion, Bullshit

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This appeared on the front cover of yesterday's Sunday Mail. McDermott is former Adelaide Crows captain Chris McDermott considers himself to be somewhat of a voice of informed opinion. Much like some tabloid journos running about he'll state his views and then demand that people give him evidence as to why he's wrong.

Here's your proof to the right Chris ole chum...eat that! And while one win doesn't a season make, consider this: before this game the Bulldogs were being mooted as Victoria's best chance for a premiership this season and we played them at the home of the Grand Final, the MCG, so you do the math. Mind you we did let the Doggies back into the game with two easy goals in the last quarter, but there you go.

Mind you the Official Port Adelaide Club Historian did the write up on the Crows result today, so don't expect any praise at all. He'd probably be too busy tugging himself silly over Port's second win in a row. One day Rucci might lose h…

Norm Breyfogle: Batman #471

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More Norm Breyfogle for Norm Month! Isn't that cover a stunner? You might want to click upon it to get a bigger, and as such better, view of the art.

It's hard to talk about Norm and not mention his Batman work. Batman is the character that Norm will always be identified with, even if he hasn't drawn the book for nearly a decade now, and is doing some incredible work away from both Marvel and DC. Still, rather than reading what I have to say I thought I'd turn this over to a pal of both Norm and me, George, who recently posted these comments on Norm's Forum:

"To me, Batman became as popular as he did for four equally important reasons:

1) The Release of The Dark Knight Returns
2) The Batman Movies (with Michael Keaton and Tim Burton)
3) The Batman Animated Series
4) Norm Breyfogle

"Each of them would have been equally successful without the others being released, but combined they created the mega popular Batman we have today.

"Batman was always a great char…

More Newtons: Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction

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Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction would, like Deadly Hands Of Kung-Fu, outlast the Newton imprint and continue on with other Australian companies, at times reprinting the same material. Only three issues of Unknown worlds were produced, and if you look it might appear as only two as the first issue only bore the title 'Science Fiction'. However it is accepted that this book is the first issue.

The first issue was also the source of one of Newtons exercises in contra. The comic was distributed around the first ever AussieCon in exchange for (I expect) free advertising in the Sunday Observer newspaper. If anyone can verify this (the Melbourne State Library don't answer my emails) then it'd be greatly appreciated. As several thousand of the first issue were produced it remains a common Newton to find.

#1

Date: August 1975

Contents:
Savage World by Wally Wood & Al Williamson (Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction #1)
Hey Buddy, Can You Lend Me A… by Mike Kaluta (Unknown Worlds O…

More Newtons: Monsters Unleashed

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Monsters Unleashed was another short-run title that first appeared just as Newton was about to close doors for the first time. Issue #1 appeared in December 1975, Newton shut up shop very shortly after it was released. It did survive the cut, so sales must have been good enough to warrant it's survival as other titles were canceled never to appear again in their original format. It first appeared on the Newton radar in October 1975 when it was announced as a new title in the letters section of other books. Eventually it was launched, and presumably canceled along with the entire line, in December of 1975. When the relaunch/restructure was announced in January 1976 Monsters Unleashed was promoted as being an 84 page monthly title with a cover price of $0.75. Three more issues would appear before Newton shut up shop for good.

At the time other publishers such as Gredown and Planet were making inroads with their horror magazines in Australia and the Dracula book was also selling fairl…