Friday, January 19, 2018

Composer John Williams' Father, Drummer Johnny Williams





...here listed on a 1937 Raymond Scott Quintet 78!
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Recently Read: Golden Age Marvel Comics, Vol. 1


This volume is tabula rosa for Marvel comics, reprintings of the earliest comics Marvel published, starting in 1939: Marvel Mystery Comics 1-4. The (Golden Age android) Human Torch gets his start here; some of the other serialized strips are the Tarzan ripoff Ka-Zar (pulled over from the company's pulp magazines), Ferret, a bland detective with a ferret on his shoulder, The Angel, a bland superhero with no powers, the robot Electro, boldly drawn by Steve Dahlman. The star of the show is Bill Everett's lovingly written, drawn and colored Sub-Mariner, here, as always, an enraged terrorist wanting to sometimes destroy western civilization and helping it at others. A Roy Crane-influenced war strip, American Ace, died too soon, but every issue of Marvel Mystery Comics is worth your time, a precious snapshot of comics history.

Beware: avoid the original 2004 printing, which I unwittingly paid good money for. It's the worst comic book reprint reproduction I've ever seen; it looks like a bad microfiche source, wretchedly "fixed", with illegible lettering, dropped out and darkened art in every panel and incorrect coloring. That reconstruction was by Jerron Quality Color in Sparta, Illinois. The cover price was $50! The 2011 edition, by Pacific Rim Graphics (art) and Wesley Wong (colors) is markedly improved.

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Classical LPs I've Listened to Recently, January 2, 2018








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