Blog Heap o'Links
Just random links galore
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Cap's shield • Fri 2011 Sep 2, 9:59amJack Kirby (1917-1994) was born today 94 years ago. Kirby was one of the most influential comic book artists ever, and as a big fan I've been pleased to see several blog posts and tweets marking the occasion already this morning. And I also think this is one of those times that a picture really is worth a thousand words, so check out the gallery below for several examples of Jack's original artwork. • Fri 2011 Sep 2, 9:39amJack Kirby, the mighty heart of the American comic book industry, would have been 94 years old today. …a tiny, even insignificant sample of his awesome image-making power, many of which were culled from around the Internet…
Join or Die • Fri 2011 Sep 2, 9:33amFour pages of a 1754 edition of The Pennsylvania Gazette featuring the first editorial cartoon ("Join, or Die" by Benjamin Franklin) is now up for auction and is expected to fetch more than $100,000. • Fri 2011 Aug 26, 10:38am[In the song] Cobwebs by… Loudon Wainwright III… Maynard G. Krebs… is blamed for starting the vogue of using the word 'like' as a quotative. • Fri 2011 Aug 26, 9:49amA renowned political cartoonist whose drawings expressed Syrians' frustrated hopes for change was grabbed after he left his studio early Thursday and beaten by masked gunmen who broke his hands and dumped him on a road outside Damascus. One of Syria's most famous artists, Ali Ferzat, 60, earned international recognition and the respect of many Arabs with stinging caricatures that infuriated dictators including Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and, particularly in recent months, Syria's autocratic Assad family. He lay badly bruised in a hospital bed Thursday evening with his hands swathed in bandages, a stark reminder that no Syrian remains immune to a brutal crackdown on a five-month anti-government uprising. Ferzat remembers the gunmen telling him that "this is just a warning," • Wed 2011 Aug 24, 4:14pm

Steve Chabot, a Republican, had cell phones and cameras confiscated in order to "prevent an embarrassing Youtube video from making the rounds," according to Carlos Miller, who runs a blog documenting efforts by the state to stifle the First Amendment rights of photographers. ... Police said the cameras were taken "to protect the constituents." A local television station, however, was allowed to videotape the meeting and the brazen move by Chabot and the cops. [video]

Superman • Mon 2011 Aug 22, 2:45pmAn Archive of Superman newspaper strips, and other interesting comic book stuff. … Superman daily strips began appearing in newspapers across the country on January 16, 1939. … A long time ago I set myself the task of assembling a collection of each one of these daily strips, and while I have many individual strips I have been lucky enough to have put together a near complete set of the Superman daily newspaper strips from mid 1959 through the end of the run in April 1966. I have created this web site, proudly, so that these strips can be read and enjoyed by Superman fans for the first time in 50 years. • Tue 2011 Aug 2, 11:54amFrank Hafemann never did care for Humphrey Bogart. "We didn't strike a chord," said Mr Hafemann of the famed 1940s Hollywood actor yesterday as he nursed a beer in Launceston's Lloyd's Hotel yesterday. "I got to know Bogart when I worked on Key Largo with him, not my type, so aloof, but John Wayne, now there was a guy, he'd have a drink with you anytime," recalled the retired Hollywood special effects man, who is in Launceston on what he termed "an indefinite holiday." "So how did I come to get here?" the spry 86-year-old white-bearded Mr Hafemann asked himself softly. "I was looking for a holiday in Australia, but I couldn't believe the noise in Sydney, I hated it, so I asked where would I find a place which was a bit quieter and I was told Tasmania was the answer," Mr Hafemann said. His Hollywood career as a special effects man and builder stretched from 1945 to 1981.
Alfred E Newman • Tue 2011 Aug 2, 11:39amFox has canceled one of its longest-running shows — the late-night sketch comedy veteran "Mad TV." The Saturday night mainstay's current 14th season will be its last on the network • Tue 2011 Aug 2, 11:12amYma Sumac died Saturday at age 86. There may have been, at some point in human history, a singer with a wider vocal range than this woman. But that singer never entered a recording studio. • Sat 2011 Jul 30, 3:17pmLikely inspired by the Chinese art of paper-cutting, these highly-detailed false lashes by Taiwanese designer Ting yu Wang incorporates designs, animals, and sometimes even a whole scene that will fit atop your eyelids.
Fantastic 4 • Wed 2011 Jul 27, 7:54pmI discovered a sort of superheroish first issue from an unnamed company that I associated with monster titles that I generally passed over. … The book was Fantastic Four number one, and as I said, that was fifty years ago. I nearly missed it: a week or two later I fell across Fantastic Four number two; the book was bi-monthly back then and I doubt I would have bothered with it had I not read and loved the first issue. … —Mike Gold
Smiley Bone • Tue 2011 Jul 26, 12:51pmWhen you first began Bone, did you ever expect the comic to become as big as it is? Oh no, my big hope was just that I'd be able to pay for my print run. When I first started, my best hope was just to make it through the first year because I had promised my wife that if it didn't work out in the first year — if I didn't have some reason to believe it would make money — I would actually give it up and go back to my day job as an animator. So I'm very grateful it worked out. • Fri 2011 Jul 22, 2:45pmAlex Steinweiss, the man who invented the album cover in 1939, has died at the age of 94.
Star Trek Enterprise • Thu 2011 Jul 21, 6:47pmOh Scotty, Montgomery Scott, Master of Transporter Controls. How we loved you. They didn't let you command the ship very often, but we know that's because Kirk knew you were the fuckin' balls and so he bitch-rapped you like McCartney did to Pete Best who was too good-looking and so he got Ringo Starr who was not. Although he did bang Barbara Bach. … • Thu 2011 Jul 21, 6:46pmIt's no secret that comics sales are declining. The numbers of readers are declining, the numbers of stores are declining, the amount of cash being made is declining. It happened once before when comics were sold only on the newsstand, back in the Neolithic Era for you who are too young to remember. What saved it then was the Direct Market but that's now killing it; the market is constricting and the numbers of readers are finite. What may save it this time is going digital — comics here on the web. The reason is this is where the eyeballs are. — John Ostrander • Wed 2011 Jul 13, 5:11pmRob Grill, the longtime lead singer and a very nearly original member of the Grass Roots, the immensely popular rock group of the 1960s and afterward, died on Monday in Tavares, Fla. He was 67. … complications of a head injury he sustained in a fall last month … • Thu 2011 Jul 7, 3:37pmKevin Dunn, who has starred as Shia LaBeouf's father in all three Transformers films, had trouble watching his hometown take its lumps. "You know you're watching a popcorn movie, but it kind of hurts to see those buildings go," he says. "It was shocking. The Wrigley Building takes a hit. The Jewelers Building gets totally destroyed. Wow, those Decepticons didn't leave any brick unturned." … Says Dunn with a laugh: "I hope it doesn't hurt the Chicago psyche to know that we are becoming the go-to place for movie destruction." • Fri 2011 Jul 1, 8:14pmAs of today, July 1, the historic United Media is officially shutterinig its Madison Avenue doors. "Peanuts" and "Dilbert" recently took their fortunes to Universal Uclick in Kansas City, and then, early this year, the other shoe dropped: United Media announced that come June, it would outsource its newspaper features to Universal, ceasing to operate as a full-service syndicate and developer of talent. The Madison Avenue castle is dead. Long live the queen. • Sun 2011 Jun 5, 12:18pmA healthy democracy needs a free and diverse press — but Americans today have access to more sources of news and opinion than ever before: more broadcast networks than before, cable networks, satellite TV and radio, the Internet. Any diversity argument for NPR and PBS is now a sad joke. • Sat 2011 Jun 4, 5:26pmJames Arness, a real-life World War II hero who came home to create television's ultimate lawman in Marshal Matt Dillon, died today at his entwood, Calif., home. He was 88. • Sat 2011 May 28, 4:22pmMusician Gil Scott-Heron, who helped lay the groundwork for rap by fusing minimalistic percussion, political expression and spoken-word poetry on songs such as "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" but saw his brilliance undermined by a years-long drug addiction, died Friday at age 62.
Mouse ears • Fri 2011 May 27, 10:06amThe Walt Disney company has withdrawn its application to trademark the term 'SEAL Team 6', on its toys, games and a TV show... said it was withdrawing its application with the US Patent and Trademark Office "out of deference to the Navy's application" for these trademarks… [All the massive criticism and mocking had nothing to do with it. Micky, Goofy, and Donald going after Osama bin Beagleboy seemed like such a good idea at the time?]
Superman • Mon 2011 May 23, 7:08pmThe DC Universe has gone through so many needlessly confusing transformations a roadmap to the place would give M.C. Escher vertigo.
Amazon • Fri 2011 May 20, 9:02amAmazon announced that eBooks are now the most popular sales format on, outselling the joint sales of hardback and paperback books. Since April 1, 2011, for every 100 print books Amazon has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle editions. It took Amazon just about four years to make that statement come true, and it represents the tipping point. • Thu 2011 May 19, 4:42pmNoted illustrator and sometime comics artist Jeffrey Catherine Jones died yesterday of complications from emphysema.... In one of the highest compliments imaginable, illustrator Frank Frazetta called Jones "the greatest living painter."...
Wonder Woman • Sat 2011 May 14, 10:20amI badly want there to be a Wonder Woman movie, a film that captures the character's playfulness, her code of honor, her proud sexuality, and her plain old fashioned badassery. But it's incredibly difficult to imagine any Hollywood project capturing that mix.... • Tue 2011 Mar 15, 8:58amDisney's planned remake of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine has been shelved. Oscar-winning director Robert Zemeckis had been planning a 3D performance-capture remake of the band's 1968 psychedelic classic. has quoted sources as saying that the decision to pull the project is the result of the disastrous opening of the Zemeckis-produced Mars Needs Moms film. [Well, at least SOME good can come out of Mars Needs Moms bombing!] • Mon 2011 Mar 14, 4:41pmAccording to the box office tracking site, Box Office Mojo, that ranks among the top ten worst openings ever for a film distributed that broadly.