The Society of Illustrators in New York has a new exhibition featuring original Marvel Comics art. The Art of The Avengers and Other Heroes runs through October 20th.
The Twump Tweet I’m waiting for:
“Mr. Putin… tear down our firewall and let’s be friends!”
P.S. (Post-Summit) – Handing Putin everything he wants is making America great again? Denigrating the FBI, CIA, and every other intelligence agency is putting America first? Up is down and down is up!
P.P.S. (Pee-Pee Secret) – Standing next to Putin, Trump couldn’t stand up to him.
Watching “The Last Jedi” on Netflix. Hey, this Supreme Leader Snoke guy has a melanoma surgery scar exactly like mine, except it’s on his forehead.
In anticipation of Trump’s visit to England, Green Day’s “American Idiot” is making a comeback on the British music charts, almost fourteen years after its release. “American Idiot” is a very favorite album of mine, and the timing of its release was perfect, immediately before Dubya’s re-election. Billie Joe Armstrong does a good “Weird Al” Yankovic impression at the start of this video.
Something I enjoy about Green Day is that its numerous influences, from the Ramones to Brian Wilson, are apparent but not blatant. To my ears the band also took some inspiration from England’s Oasis. The song “Some Might Say” predates “American Idiot” by ten years.
I’m back on Watch TCM, except it’s only a computer screen this time, not the projector, and I’m in AZ, not MA. I never tire of seeing “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Even 50 years later, it’s a stunning achievement.
In a recently discovered interview with Stanley Kubrick, he revealed the original concept behind the “Star Child” evolution of Dave Bowman. Although Arthur C. Clarke’s name isn’t mentioned, he most certainly was involved with how the enigmatic conclusion of the movie is presented.
The closest that IBM has come so far in creating a real HAL computer is its Watson system, which performed so well on Jeopardy!, defeating both Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The decision was made by IBM to devote Watson to medical intelligence, but that hasn’t worked out as hoped, and there have been a lot of layoffs.
Speaking of computers being used for medical records — which was how I made my living for 36 years — one of the earliest visionaries in the field, Dr. Warner Slack, died a couple of weeks ago.
Before and after working for Marvel Comics, Steve Ditko was an artist for Charlton in Derby, Connecticut. In its Atlas days, before returning to superhero comics, Marvel was a step down from National Periodical Publications, aka DC, with Charlton at the low end of the comic book publishing business.
When Atlas nearly collapsed in 1957, Stan Lee kept the company going by using a large stash of previously unpublished inventory stories. But Stan had to lay off his reliable stable of artists who had drawn those inventory stories, including my pal Joe Sinnott. Joe was desperate for work and he found it at Charlton by anonymously penciling thousands of Romance story pages for Vince Colletta.
Ten years later comic books were back in a big way, and Marvel was taking over the top spot from DC. Joe had returned to the Bullpen, but Steve Ditko left for reasons that will never be fully explained. Ditko returned to Charlton, where he drew mystery stories, undoubtedly for a fraction of the page rate that he was earning at Marvel plotting and drawing Spider-Man and Dr. Strange.
One of the ways that Charlton saved money was by not having staffers who were specialists in hand lettering. Instead, Charlton had A. Machine. One of the fixed links I have on this blog is for Charlton Comics: The Movie. The team behind the project have uncovered the secret identity of the formerly anonymous A. Machine, as explained here.