Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Studio Tour Part Six:Tracy, Abner, Cantor, Kirby and more

The studio tour continues with several more bookcases full of stuff. The top of this bookcase holds a vintage Li'l Abner candy box, a recent 4-pack reissue of the Aurora monster models and an original Weird-oh's Digger box. I love Bill Campbell's wild artwork for these Weird-oh kits. Digger is built and painted -- but some parts came loose in the move, so it's not on display at the moment.

My Dick Tracy shelf contains a mix of vintage and modern items. A built Tracy Aurora kit is missing in action, as it, like Digger, fell apart during the move. Decades old model kit glue is either like no glue at all -- or so strong you can never get the kit parts separated!

The most meaningful piece on this shelf is a note from Tracy creator, Chet Gould. I'd sent him a drawing of him as Tracy -- he sent back the best advice I ever got: "Never give up."

The Secret Files paperback contains a short story co-written by me.

Li'l Abner is one of my favorite comic strips -- and I've collected a lot of Abner stuff. Not shown here are another set of figurines, greeting cards ghosted by Frazetta, a batch of albums, a movie poster -- and who knows what else.

One of these days I'll score the matching Abner chalk figure to go with the Daisy Mae shown here.

This is a rather deep bookcase, so it's ideal for the wide format strip reprint books you see here. Yes, I love vintage newspaper strips. And Sgt. Bilko, it seems.

I'm a huge fan of the nearly forgotten comic actor and singer, Eddie Cantor. Not too many folks are collecting Cantor, so that means I've gotten some good buys on these items -- but I do wish he were still better appreciated by modern audiences. The photo is a repro -- not a real autograph -- but I do have his signature in a copy of one of his books.

The rarest item here has to be the store display for the boxed jigsaw puzzle. It's tough enough to find vintage jigsaw puzzles in complete and nice condition -- but how many of these store counter standees could possibly still exist? Big little books, arcade cards and a board game round out the collection. Not shown: CDs, LPs and a big stack of sheet music. Wishing for a nice DVD collection of his movies -- not likely to happen -- but I can dream, can't I?

Jack Kirby content dominates this bookcase. Modok, Etrigan and Galactus action figures represent Kirby's creations. Why Galactus is giving the "high sign," I don't know.

The autographed photo of TMBG's John and John is a little out of place here -- but for now, that's where it sits.

Gotta finish the Marvel collection up with the last couple Thor volumes....

More good stuff here -- Jack Cole's Plastic Man and Will Eisner's The Spirit, bound volumes of Metamorpho (Ramona Fradon) and Red Sonja (Frank Thorne) and more. I had more Spirit volumes -- but they, and many other books, were ruined when a former landlord, in the act of watering the lawn, sprayed water into a window above the built-in bookcase in which they were stored. I was not aware that the water dripped down into the back of the case -- and the books were later discovered to be water damaged and riddled with mold. Hundreds of dollars worth of books were ruined. I presented him with a bill which he dismissed and never paid. I should have gone to small claims court over it I suppose -- but I knew he was going broke -- I'd have never collected from him.

The desk that holds my scanner/printer has this nifty little batch of shelves on the side. The Dark Horse editions of Lone Wolf and Cub take up two of the three. Hulk is a Happy Meal toy left behind by one of my grandkids! That chunk of wood is part of a wheel from a Planet of the Apes wagon -- a gift from a UMA friend. Garage is a pop-up book from the UK that I've had since childhood.
A vintage GI Joe sits atop this bookcase -- mostly out of frame. A pressbook for the Karloff/Lugosi film The Invisible Ray is another UMA gift. My painting for the Johnny Dynamite trade paperback is the only piece of my own art on the wall. Joe Rubinstein's oil portrait of Ms. Tree from the back cover of issue #50 seems to be being ogled by a clown-faced Elvis Costello. A lovely little K.O. Munson pin-up fills a little wall space.

The Aurora Tarzan box top is a repro. Russ Cochran's Edgar Rice Burroughs Library of Illustration boxed book set is a favorite item. I've spent a lot of time admiring the art reproduced in its pages. Flanking it are bookends of Will Rogers and Wiley Post that belonged to my father. The paper Howdy Doody puppet is a Snickers premium from the '50s. A little bust of Eddie Cantor sculpted by me and a gorgeous red and black bakelite box round out this batch of stuff.
A Gil Elvgren pin-up is featured on this cool figural 26 Girl game board. My Jayne Mansfield hot water bottle (or bubble bath container -- whatever it is) is missing its cap. Anybody have a spare one? The great box art on this Japanese Batmobile model kit is far superior to the kit itself! More books, of course, and a couple vintage baseball patches with my name on 'em finish up this segment of the studio tour. More to come!

1 comment:

John R. Platt said...

Oh man, sorry you lost so many books to mold. We just moved out of a place that flooded several times and had a bad mold problem. My books seem to have survived -- they were in the driest part of the house -- but we lost some of my wife's paintings and lots of other stuff. And of course, we didn't get a penny in compensation. Sigh.