Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Studio Tour Part Seven: Caniff, Popeye, Frankenstein and more

Not content with filling my bookcases, I pile stuff on top of them, too! The barely seen GI Joe from a previous post shows his face as he sits next to a Tintin Moon rocket -- a San Diego Con purchase from sometime in the '80s. A jungle girl Betty Boop nodder takes the corner position and next to her is a line-up of hula girls, vintage and new -- including another Betty Boop.

Betty Page covers herself us next to a third Betty Boop -- a cowgirl this time. Funny -- I didn't realize I had so darn many Bettys here! The Phantom is a resin "garage kit" based on the concept drawings for a never-produced Aurora kit. He and his wolf, Devil are appropriately placed next to a resin copy of the Revell Flash Gordon model kit from the '60s. Behind them all are the recent Polar Lights reissues of the Aurora Odd Job and James Bond kits and an authentic vintage 007 action figure in its box (the box is great -- the figure not such a thrill). A boxed Francis the Foul Weird-oh kit sits waiting to be built some day.

From left to right, we have a trio of Dan Clowes Enid toys from Ghost World and two variations of a Japanese Phantom of the Paradise figure flanking the Moebius reissue of Aurora's Captain Action model (for which I sculpted a new alternate face part that was included in the kit). The original issue Aurora Tonto kit box came with a build up of the kit that I'm planning to restore. In front of the boxes are a pair of Aurora pirate kits, the remarkably well designed Blackbeard -- and Captain Kidd (both announced to be reissued at some point by Atlantis Models). Next to them we have the Toy Biz Hulk and Thing kits, facing off on a scratch-built base.

Yeah -- I like a good Western. All sorts of cowboys are represented here, from a Lone Ranger big little book inscribed by Clayton Moore, to a Bonanza model kit from the '60s (great likenesses!) to Toy Story's Woody and Jessie.

No, Popeye, I don't think you're a cowboy -- your shelf just happens to be in the same bookcase as the Western shelf. I've been a Popeye fanatic as long as I can recall -- growing up watching the Fleischer Studios cartoons on Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat every afternoon on WOC TV (Davenport IA) -- and discovering the E.C. Segar comic strip with the publication of the Nostalgia Press volume. New and old items share shelf space. My two favorite pieces here are the vintage sitting carnival chalk Popeye and the recent Jeep figure -- both great representations of the characters.

Another GI Joe keeps watch over books by Peter Arno, Will Eisner and more. A wide format Popeye big little book snuck onto this shelf as I ran out of room above. The bottom shelf is all art instruction books -- many of them leaned on hard when I was teaching in the comics program at MCAD.
Can you tell I'm a Milt Caniff fan? Here are two shelves worth of Steve Canyon and Terry and the Pirates books and collectibles -- with Roy Crane's Wash Tubbs and Capt. Easy sneaking in -- Noel Sickles' Scorchy Smith is there, too. Maybe the oddest item here is a pair of mint condition, never worn childrens' size Steve Canyon pajamas!

Hal Foster's Tarzan, a wonderful book on Rockwell Kent, Lynd Ward's Storyteller Without Words, and a boxed collection of miniature reproductions of early Tintin books are some of my favorites from this next shelf. The bottom portion of this bookcase holds most of the EC Library volumes -- and a bound volume of an early illustration/cartooning correspondence course.
The many faces of Frankenstein! I'm crazy for the Universal Studios monster movies -- and figural model kits -- so here we are! The "Big Frankie" is a Japanese vinyl reissue from some years back -- he stands in front of a more recent boxed glow styrene reissue from Moebius. The Lil' Frankie in front is a customized Munny figure I whipped up for a gallery show in Minneapolis. Various other Karloff-style monsters, new and old, fill the shelf.

Here's another shelf stuffed full of Max Allan Collins novels. He just keeps writing more!

My father loved ventriloquist act, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, having grown up on the radio show. I would pick up whatever items I could find in my antique shop and thrift store excursions, and they became birthday and Christmas gifts for Dad. When he passed away, the collection came back to me. I've added to it since.

Several vintage model kit boxes (some empty --some housing unbuilt kits) sit behind this great Lon Chaney Man of 1000 Faces resin kit. Lon's make-up box was damaged in our move -- it'll have to be repaired. A wax bust of Eddie Cantor (my sculpt) looks on. Too bad we can't see the Superman box better....

More books, a favorite issue of Mad, and a cool Metamorpho action figure finish up this part of the tour. We'll be back with more -- yes, there's more -- soon!

1 comment:

diana green said...

Wow, I didn't know there WERE any Phantom of the Paradise figures! I have some cool stuff, but not on this level!