Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mystery Hoard on Tumblr


So I might be gradually migrating this to tumblr, not that I use either platform very frequently or well.

http://mysteryhoard.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It Was a Golden Age: Cracked, 1958





There Were Giants in Those Days





From the contents page of Cracked #5, October 1958. We see here half of the once-and-future Marvel Bullpen along with the once-and-future Mad Magazine "Usual Gang of Idiots". The creators of Superman, The Human Torch, and The Submariner rubbing elbows with the artists behind Little Annie Fannie and Torchy. And for all that, it still reads like any issue of Cracked from anytime during its 50-odd-year run.

The full list reads as follows.

Editor: Sol Brodsky.

Artists: Carl Burgos, John Severin, Bill McCartney, Joe Maneely, Bill Everett, Syd Shores, Bernard Bailey, Jack Davis, Bill Elder, Al Jaffee, Jerry Behar.

Writers: Paul Laikin, Bill Ward, Jerry Siegal(sic), Carl Memling, Dick Richards, Fernando West, Teddy Bee.



At this early date, John Severin is already the workhorse of the magazine, followed closely in term of pages by Bill Ward (who also appears here as "McCartney," I think). Severin does front and back covers and two strips.





Will Elder subscription ad



And is this a self-portrait of Human-Torch-creator Carl Burgos? Look closely:





Some nice post-EC early Jack Davis in this double-page spread. There is just so much going on here!





Lots of quality stuff here, the knowledge of which is bound to make you popular with the opposite sex.







Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Myra Breckinridge is a Marvel Comic Book?

“I’m quite happy with Raquel doing it,” recalls [Myra Breckinridge director Mike] Sarne, who nonetheless screen-tested her. “Because she has a marvelously artificial way of acting. And you could totally believe that she was a sex-change in a mad sort of way …. To me she fitted kind of stylistically into my Pop-art gallery. And Mae [West] fit into that, too; the pose, the walk —‘I’m Pop art, I’m a Marvel comic.” —quoted in ” Myra Breckinridge: Swinging Into Disaster” by Steven Daly, Vanity Fair’s Tales of Hollywood (Penguin, 2008)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Halifax Hoarder/Heister Has Hefty Hoard of History

Were the RCMP tipped off about this fellow John Mark Tillmann, maybe because he was trying to sell the Gen. Wolfe letter? Very interesting Mystery Hoard of Canadiana, rare print, antiques confiscated in Halifax. Some hilights from the story: a cop with a history degree and a Nova Scotian archivist named Mooseberger:

Suit of armour, Gen. Wolfe letter among stolen items stashed in Halifax home

By Melanie Patten, The Canadian Press


HALIFAX - An evidence tag hangs from the clunky top half of a suit of armour. Next to it is a handwritten letter penned two centuries ago by British Gen. James Wolfe that sits in protective plastic.

They are part of an illicit and eclectic collection of antiques, rare books, historical documents and paintings that the RCMP allege were brazenly stolen from across Atlantic Canada over 20 years and stashed in a suburban Halifax home until last week.

On Friday, the Mounties held a show-and-tell featuring some of the nearly 1,300 items seized from the two-storey home in Fall River, believed to be from universities, libraries, museums, antique dealers and private collections and worth more than $500,000.

There's a spear. A gas mask. A glass lantern. Early editions of Daniel Defoe's 1719 classic "Robinson Crusoe." A fishing net. A model canoe. Paintings depicting centuries-old scenes. A brass telescope.

"There are some items that I would say aren't historically significant, but are of value to the people who owned them," said Sgt. Colin MacLean.

"But the vast majority are antiques, historical items that form parts of collections that just can't be replaced."

The small sampling put on display for reporters ranged from the outlandish to the sentimental.

The suit of armour, which was a prop from a movie, was pinched from an antique dealer in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.

Another item — a red wooden chair — was snatched from a local senior citizen within the last year.

"It may not be one of the most valuable items here, but as a family heirloom, to be able to return that to this gentleman is very significant to him," said MacLean.

John Mark Tillmann, 51, faces several counts of possession of stolen property and is due in court Feb. 27 for a bail hearing. Police say additional charges are pending. RCMP say their investigation began when officers pulled over a car last July and allegedly found the letter written by Wolfe. The one-of-a-kind note, dated 1758, had disappeared from Dalhousie University's archives years ago.

Dalhousie archivist Mike Moosberger said staff realized the letter was missing after completing an inventory in 2009, but no one knew for sure whether it had been stolen or merely misplaced.

Moosberger was reunited with the letter Friday at the RCMP detachment, but said he was upset to see that it had been torn and is missing some writing as a result.

"It's obviously going to impact on the value because it's not a complete letter and it's damaged now," he said.

Similar Wolfe letters have fetched US$18,000 at auction, he said.

When the one-of-a-kind note is eventually returned to Dalhousie, Moosberger said there are no plans to keep it under permanent lock and key.

"It doesn't do anyone any good if we've got this material and it's shuttered away or kept in a safe somewhere, and nobody's going to have access to it. Then it might as well have been destroyed," he said.

"You have to see people using it. You have to see the reaction that you get from researchers when they see the original materials. It's really exciting."

MacLean, a history buff who holds a degree in the subject, said the police investigation was far from over. A couple hundred more items believed to be connected to the same case were found earlier this week in Halifax.

"We believe it's going to take us several months to work through all the exhibits, determine where they came from, locate the victims, the owners," he said.

MacLean said police are also working with authorities in the United States to determine whether some items were sold, including a first edition of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species."

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

from my review of Fanny and Romeo by Yves Pelletier and Pascal Girard.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Whiskers Annual, 1951

Merry Christmas from Cyril Gwyn Price, illustrator of The Whiskers Annual, a comics collection published by the London Daily Graphic in 1951. Price, also known under the pen name 'Gwynne', was  was an ex-miner from Wales who became a cartoonist in the 1930s, working for various newspapers and comic weeklies including strips for Illustrated Chips, Comic Cuts, Joker, and Jolly, moving to the Graphic in the 40s and 50s, where his work illustrated Enid Blyton tales.
Here is a great story featuring the charming cast of the Whiskers universe, including some bizarre magical creatures and of course Father Christmas.

introducing Nibby, the baby reindeer: