Here we have the first of several shelves in my studio packed with books by my friend and collaborator, Max Allan Collins. My sculpt of pin-up model Bernie Dexter as "Switchblade Siren" seems quite at home here. One of these days I'm going to produce a limited edition run of this figure -- it just hasn't happened yet. The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics reprints a Ms. Tree story by Max and me.
More books placed on the shelf in no particular order -- though I do have all the Hastings House/Nostalgia Press Prince Valiant books all together. The black book resting on top of the others is a photo album of my dad's -- pictures of him growing up on the farm in the '30s -- and in the service in the '40s. At some point, I may scan and share some of those photos. The gorilla is a Mold-a-Rama figure from Como Zoo in St. Paul.
Books, books and more books -- and a resin Dracula "Soaky" -- a fantasy item, as one was never commercially produced ( a gift from another UMA pal).
I loved this goofy Animal Lore book when I was kid, and recall many an hour flipping the pages to make the different combinations of animals. I also recall my father and me making our own versions -- folding paper and each of us drawing a part of the animal. That original copy is long gone -- this is a replacement I bought a few years back.
Somehow or another I seem to have started a collection of Joe Bonomo items! I think it started with this little boxed set of mini-books, which, if I recall correctly was a gift from my friend Barry Luebbert Phillips. All the books in the next picture down are stuffed into this little box!
This copy of stuntman Bonomo's self-published autobiography/photo scrapbook came from an auction of the the estate of Herman Cohn. Herman ran the local newsstand where I bought all my comics, magazines and paperbacks as a kid. Bought my first Playboy there, too! This copy is signed to Herman by Bonomo.
I was thrilled when I opened this collection of editorial cartoons to discover it was a signed copy. I've since learned that pretty much every copy out there is signed as well! OK -- maybe not a rarity -- but I still like it!
A recent find at a Half Price Books store -- this '30s Mickey Mouse book is pretty darn sweet. I don't actively collect Disney items (except for Pinocchio stuff) -- but when something like this falls into my hands for cheap (ten bucks!), I'm not going to walk away from it.
A pair of the Prince Valiant volumes I collected back in the late '70s. I think I got all these at Readmore Book World in Rock Island. Readmore was (is?) a great bookstore, and I used to drive there several times a month to pick up new books, magazines and comics.