Basil Gogos: A Celebration Of A Famous Monster

Growing up in Elizabeth, which is a fair distance away from Adelaide, the capitol of South Australia, I'd scour second hand shops and newsagents for my reading material every Saturday morning, rain and shine.  I'd buy almost everything I could find that grabbed my interest - the local library would sell their old books for a whopping five to ten cents each, and the Elizabeth South Secondhand Shop would sell me magazines and comics for around ten cents too - lots of Marvel and DC Comics, Gredowns, Yaffa reprints, Newton Comics - you name it, I devoured it.  One magazine that always caught my eye was Famous Monsters of Filmland.  I'm one of those rare creatures who thought Forrest Ackerman's prose was a bit, shall we say, redundant when it came to the amazing images that populated the magazine, and the incredible covers that the book featured.  Even the ads were great.

Over the years I lost all of my collection, but as I've grown older and money isn't either as …

Their Real Signatures: Led Zeppelin

I've just come back from a nice, long holiday.  Down to Melbourne, then off to Tasmania where we spent the better part of a week and change just driving around and exploring places like Brickendon, Eaglehawk Neck, Richmond, the coal mines and Maria Island.  Even got caught up in the snow storms.  Lovely!  I'd recommend it for anyone really.  Plus I bought a pile of stuff.  Boat ride back was horrid though - six meter swells saw us being pounded about all night long and has taken the better part of a week to recover from.  But, dear reader, I can see you yawning.

Back to business.  What we have here are the real signatures of the remaining members of Led Zeppelin.  That'd be Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and their bassist and all round instrumentalist/arranger, John Baldwin.

John Who?  Yep, you see, John Paul Jones is a stage name.  The man was born John Baldwin.  Not that he'll sign your tatty old copy of Houses Of The Holy like that.  So, here you go, gaze your eyes on ye…

They Don't Make Ads Like This Anymore: Marvel UK

These Marvel UK house ads are great to look at.  Generally the artwork in them was commissioned specially for these ads and this was no exception.  Take a punt and see if you can guess who the artist was.

Their Real Signatures: Kiss

We all know that the members of Kiss never used their real names.  Gene Klein, Paul Frehley, Stanley Eisen and Peter Criscuola all adopted stage names about as real as Gene's hair is now.  They became, in order, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss.  Ok, no big deal, after all lots of people changed their names when they became successful, or just to enter music.  Just ask Harry Webb, Arnie Dorsey or Tommy Woodward.  Better yet, don't ask Arnie.  His name change doesn't make a lick of sense.
However if you're like me, and hopefully you're not, then you've often wondered what the signatures of Kiss really look like.  I'm not talking about the scribbles that they've placed onto so many things over the decades, from titties through to arms, legs, wooden legs, album covers, books, magazines, comic books - you name it, they're probably signed it.  In Gene's case, he's probably asked for money to sign it.  Hell, I'm sure he…

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

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

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!

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.

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