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Sunday Morning Op Shop Find: Fifty Years Of The Port Adelaide Institute (1902)

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Believe it or not, this ad is actually for clothing.  There's not a stitch in sight, but the aim of the ad was to show that Famous Hercules Clothing, in 1902, was just as strong as the legendary German bodybuilder Eugen Sandow.

Or perhaps not.  I mean, who knows now?  All the same, it's a great ad, from a book that is now 115 years old and still fully intact.




I found this copy of the book at an op shop, of course, and was delighted to discover that it was the original owner was one Arthur Lipson, the grandson of Captain Thomas Lipson, R.N., who was the first Collector of Customs at Port Adelaide.  How good is that?  He got this book in 1902 and it remained in the family, I presume, until the point where it got dumped out, for whatever reason.  The photos and sketches of Port Adelaide from the mid 1800s through to 1901 in this book, alone, are worth the price of admission.





And then there's Eugen Sandow.  Pride of place at the front.  That's history for you.  Bring it o…

Sunday Morning Op Shop Find: Orson Welles

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Ain't it a stunner?  The Lives Of Harry Lime, complete with non-fiction stories by none other than Harry Lime himself, Orson Welles.  I tell a slight fib though, this book wasn't an Op Shop find, this one was a few bucks at a book fair here in Adelaide last week.  It was worth heading out in the cold and rain, just for this one.  And there were other books to be found, including an extensive study of the Bounty mutiny dated 1884.  Can't complain.

I was fascinated by the film The Third Man from the time I first saw it on TV.  It just bewitched me, and the speech Harry Lime gives on top of the ferris wheel about morality is still utterly chilling.  If you've seen the film, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.  If not...
Holly Martins: Have you ever seen any of your victims?
Harry Lime: You know, I never feel comfortable on these sort of things. Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Tell me. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots st…

They Don't Make Ads Like This Anymore: Vampirella!

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My guess is that this poster made it to more doors and walls in the early 1970s than paint.  Hell, I still want one!  I mean, how could it get any better than this?  The poster was drawn by Jose Gonzales and first appeared on the cover of Vampirella (Warren) #19.  Frankly, who cares where it appeared.  Along with the giant Frankenstein's Monster poster drawn by Jack Davis, this was essential and anyone who had one was to be envied, and cursed, but admired until the day their mother/wife/girlfriend/all of the above had enough with looking at it and ripped it in two.

Jealousy.  Bloody awful thing really.  I mean, if you can't fall in love with Vampirella, then what can you do?

And yes, I still want one.  And yes, if you have one, you're a bastard, but well done.  Very well done.

They Don't Make Comic Books Like This Anymore: Alien vs Arachnid

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The first team up of the major superheroes, and, frankly, still the best.  Easily.

'Nuff said.

They Don't Make Ads Like This Anymore: Amazing World Of Superman

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So.  This.  In 1973 the town of Metropolis, Illinois, had a Superman themed exhibition.  The whole town turned out to celebrate, and DC Comics were right in there with them.  To really get into the swing of things, the local newspaper, The Metropolis Planet (I mean, what else would you call your newspaper) issued a special edition, the cover of which is posted below.  And yes, I am still very much digging my new A3 scanner, thanks for asking.

The newspaper is full of ads for various local businesses, all cashing in on the Superman name and brand.  There's photos of special events, packed with facts from the TV show and the comic books.  Look! There's Carmine Infantino!  And Sol Harrison!  Both at different events, proudly hoisting the DC flag.  There's the Reverend Charles Chandler.  And some guy named Mike Forbes, who dressed up as Superman and wandered around posing for photos for the occasion.  In fact, anyone and everyone you could think of, related to Superman and hi…

They Don't Make Ads Like This Anymore: Frank Miller's 1981 Marvel Ad

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Now I have no idea if this ad ever made it to any American publication, as the only place I've ever seen it is in the Panel Power Comicon III programme.  The Comicon was held in Sydney that year, and the programme is packed with illos by Barry Windsor-Smith, Jack Kirby, Mike Royer, Gray Morrow, Carl Barks, John Dixon, Glenn Ford (who drew the cover), Paul Gulacy, Gil Kane, Frants Kantor, Peter Ledger, Paul Power, Bill Stout, Paul Wheelahan, Colin Wilson and a pack of other luminaries.

Good luck tracking it down.  It's well worth it, if for the sketches and drawings alone.  And no, before you ask, you can't have my copy.  I fluked it at a comic book store in Melbourne years ago and have held it close to hand ever since.


Mind you, if you went to the 1981 Comicon, and can remember it, then by all means, share your thoughts in the comments section.

Now, just what was Daredevil doing with those binoculars?


Australian Gothic: Dracula Down Under - Now On Sale

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Australian Gothic can now be purchased at Amazon.  Go, run and buy it, and tell your local bookstore to stock it.  You'll not regret it.

Sunday Morning Op Shop Find: Seduction Of The Innocent

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Since I first heard about this book I've wanted one, but each time I bid on a copy on auction sites, or enquired on book sites, I missed out.  I had resigned myself to the fate of only having an electronic copy, never a physical one.

Imagine my shock and horror when I walked into an Op Shop (or charity shop for you overseas folks) and found this edition mixed in with some old books, priced at a whopping $4.00.  I picked it up and opened it, yes, it was there.  The British edition, missing the bibliography, but with the introduction by Randolph Churchill, son of Sir Winston.

As I held it in my hands my first urge was to run as fast as I could out the store, never to return.  I quickly came to my senses, handed over a $5.00 note and told them to keep the change.  I left, so very happy to finally have this in the collection.  I know that the work has been largely discredited, mainly by my excellent friend Dr Carol Tilley, but that doesn't lessen the thrill of the find.

You see, …

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