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Showing posts from August 31, 2008

Michael Pate: 1920 - 2008

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Sad to report that actor Michael Pate has passed away overnight at the age of 88. A true renaissance man, he served in the South Pacific during World War II, acted in film and television and won an Australian Writers Guild award for adapting the screenplay for the movie Tim which he also produced and directed and helped develop a young Mel Gibson. He also wrote a number of teleplays for television back in the '50s and '60s.

It surprised me to discover years ago that Pate, who'd I'd always assumed to be an Australian only exclusive actor, had such a rich history in film in the USA and UK. Indeed he was a worldwide actor and by all accounts appeared in over 300 television shows in the USA along with movies alongside luminaries such as Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis and many more before returning home to Australia to apply what he learnt in the local scene. He was never an attractive man by any account, but he was an …

Happy Birthday Gaspar Saladino!

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In what seems to be a change from the usual grist of the mill, today is Gaspar Saladino's 81st birthday. You might well ask who is Gaspar Saladino, but trust me, if you've ever read a comic that was published from the 1960s through to the 1990s then the odds are better than good that you've seen Gaspar's work. You've seen it in places such as classic Justice League comics, Avengers and thousands more. A lot of people might not be aware but that brilliantly insane lettering in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth was also done by Gaspar. By hand. He wasn't an artist per-se, but he went beyond being a letterer. He was a designer extraordinaire and his influence is still being felt years after he retired and began living the quiet life.

As is clear from this image, what Gaspar did elevated the medium of comic books and lifted into another category completely. The design layouts on this page are as dynamic as can be - let's put it this way, the on…

The Things You Find In The Rain: Sgt Fury #1

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I kid you not. I wasn't even aware that this puppy even existed until today. We wandered down to a local car boot sale (where, ironically, people were actually selling crap from the boots of their cars instead of trestles) and found the above comic in stunning condition on a table surrounded by knitting catalogues. Can't complain. What leap out at me, after the initial shock, was the cover by Maurice Bramley. As anyone who reads my crap on any on-going basis would know I have a very soft spot for Bramley and this is no exception and I still maintain that he did better covers than most of his American contemporaries. The cover here is kind of odd as it shows what we're expected to believe is Sgt Fury driving a jeep with the Russian hammer and sickle on it. You might ask what's so surprising about that. Only that the comic book in question was published in the mid 1960s and that the story itself was based during World War II. The cover art to this gives an impress…

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