Saturday, August 9, 2008

THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.!

THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E.!

The Moulin Rouge Affair from The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. series has been posted in several parts on YouTube. You can reach the lines by clicking below:






HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONNIE STEVENS!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CONNIE STEVENS!

Connie Stevens is forever engraved in my memory as singer Cricket Blake in Hawaiian Eye, and for her duet recording "Kookie Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)", with Ed, "Kookie" Burns from 77 Sunset Strip.

YOUNG BOND!

YOUNG BOND!

The Young Bond website has posted the below teaser:

Something special is coming...

Young Bond fans of all ages are advised to check the news pages of
www.youngbond.com or The Young Bond Dossier for a VERY exciting announcement this Monday, 11 August.

Sharpen your skills...get ready for War.

IT ALL SOUND OMINOUSLY WONDERFUL! CHECK IT OUT ON MONDAY FOR THE SCOOP!

NOT THE NEW OFFICIAL BOND THEME!

NOT THE NEW OFFICIAL BOND THEME!



Our blog buddy at Hemmingway's Lounge posted this up early this morning. I have to admit it made me laugh. It's not Alicia Keyes and Jack White, but it might be better than their finished product...

Friday, August 8, 2008

NEVIL SHUTE NEWSLETTER!

NEVIL SHUTE NEWSLETTER!

Nevil Shute is one of my favorite novelist. I’ve never failed to be engaged by one of his novels – my favorites inclue Trustee From The Tool Room, No Highway, A Town Like Alice, and Round The Bend. Shute doesn’t get much press these days, but there are a few hardcore fans who meet for the occasional convention and participate in this monthly newsletter.

Bish

FROM THE EDITOR

The newsletter is late this month, as I have been away to France for my holidays. I'll try to publish on the first of the month in future. Thank you very much to all those people that have send me emails with good wishes after last months Newsletter. When asked to do the Newsletter I contacted Laura Schneider, and she told me that I would be in contact with many very nice people. She was right, thank you.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

From John Anderson
j.c.anderson@metronet.co.uk

With just a year to go to the next Nevil Shute Conference, planning has been underway for a while and we have just launched a website for the Conference see
www.uk2009.info .At the moment there is just a single page which has links to the venue chosen and to York tourist attractions. The site will develop as planning progresses and will include an online booking form plus information on getting to York to help you plan your visit.

So whether you're a first timer or a veteran of previous Conferences, you will all be very welcome

From Mike Blamey:
mikeblamey@yahoo.co.uk

I am an individual, probably unique, who was, albeit not family, actually 'touched' by NSN (I was 6 months old and almost certainly asleep) when he came with father to visit our house near Portsmouth for supper in 1941.
Apropos Shute sequels. I have had a lovely correspondence exchange with Subra following his last suggestion. He very kindly offered a critique of a few short pieces of 'my' writings: and I have taken on board his views. If appropriate I would be happy to share them with you.

I note the comments about copyright and sequels: my intention was and still is to try to write in Shute's style but using the detailed knowledge of textiles, textile machinery (as wide a field as Shute's knowledge of aviation) gained in a 45 year career in such as the basis of my theme. Adding characters and situations with which I am very familiar in just the same way as Shute did so masterfully.

From James Fricker:
fricker@optusnet.com.au

When Runagate becomes available to fans, I would love to sail on her as a crew. Anyone else interested?

I used to race on Fiji Express, an Adams 13 (46 footer). Return from one race was forecast 40 knots reducing, but was in fact 50 knots on the nose for 20 hours, across Australia's Bass Strait (a home turf of Nevil Shute), with the mast touching the water four times even though we had the storm jib and a triple reef on the main sail, such was the roll of the huge cross-swell. We even had one crew up the mast at one stage to correct a rig failure. Our brilliant skipper was on the helm and I was on the main through the night, with other crew under hatch below. These days I mainly windsurf.

Editor: After visiting Runagate in January 2007, Mike Meehan, John Anderson and I decided that Mike Meehan should try to keep in touch with the owner of Runagate. Mike’s last email to Barry, the owner of Runagate, was on June 13. Barry didn’t respond until July 16. Here is his email to Mike:

Hi Mike
Sorry I have just picked up your email (I dont check it very often)
My plans are still a bit up in the air regarding Runagate but I have at least started to do some work on her. I am removing the spray screen which is obviously not original and looks completely wrong. I am hoping to build a small wheelhouse at some point however this is a very tricky operation due to the mast passing through the cockpit and the gaff sail on the foremast needing clearance just in front of the mast, further complicated by the companionway. I think that I have come up with a compromise design that will look right and not involve changing anything else. I know some Hillyards were built with wheelhouses and I would like to see some before I go ahead but I think they may have had Ketch rig's
Hope is all ok with you
regards Barry

Editor: So contrary to what I wrote last month, Runagate is not for sale at the moment. Instead work is going on on her. Good news.

From Paul Spoff:
PAULSPOFF6@aol.com

I've still got my Christmas present, "The Seafarers," unread. I really do hate to read it, it's my LAST book. Do others feel the same way?

Editor: I emailed to Paul that he should read the book. I had the same feeling as he has, didn’t want to start, because it would be the last book of Nevil Shute that one would read without having read it before. Still I read it, and while reading was thinking all the time, “I wish that this book would never end”. It ended of course and it is a beautiful book. So I urge anybody that has not yet read “The Seafarers” to do so.

Paul emailed again:
OH MY GAWD---Wow, what a read. It took me two days for an hours worth of reading. I slowly read and savored every word. I can hardly wait till I can read it again. It's possible that some of our members have not read The Seafarers as of yet, it was worth the wait, BUT IT NEEDS TO BE READ. I can easily see how this could have been the first third of a much longer story.

When I got to the part when one of their friends treated them to dinner because of his buying a boat with 380 gallons of petrol, I didn't know whether to cheer or weep.

When I was about three, during the War, my mother and my brother had to go to De Kalb Illinois, our original hometown. It was snowing, (NOT THAT I WAS COGNIZANT OF IT) and as luck would have it, we ran out of gas/petrol. We trudged half a mile in the snowy northern Illinois vast farm land to a gas station general store. There were several farmers in the store sitting around a pot bellied stove to ward off the winter cold.

Mother explained the situation and also stated that she hadn't enough gas ration stamps for any more gas. One of the farmers spoke up and said, "Aint you that Pratt girl from De Kalb?" Mother answering yes was then told, "Well, you went to school with my daughter Becky." He then proceeded to give her several pages of gas stamps. It was deemed that farmers could get all the gasoline that they wished for the war effort. Then with another man they went and retrieved and filled up our car and saw us safely on our way. The stamps lasted us to the end of the war.

I can see the BBC, the people who do FOYLE'S WAR, doing a nice two hour movie on THE SEAFARERS. The girl that was the "farm wife" in the next to the last episode would be perfect for the part of Jean. I don't have a clue as to a Donald though.

The way they do FOYLE'S WAR, it's like taking a trip back in time. I'm sure they could capture the flavor of THE SEAFARERS.

I do urge those who have not read The Seafarers, to do so as soon as possible. Wishing all a great rest of the summer.

From Bob King:
nbking@gmail.com
Recently on an Alaskan cruise we met a couple from Melborne. When I asked if he knew of Shute he replied that years ago he'd run a taxi service in Melborne and one of his regular passengers was Shute's secretary of many years. I told him of the Shute Foundation and asked him if he'd mind corresponding with any of us about stories of Shute. He said he'd be glad to and gave me his card.

Editor: I have contacted this person and asked him if he maybe had some anecdotes for us. Lets wait and see.

From Brian Wickland:
bwickland@prodigy.net

I am particularly interested in NSN's wartime activities and have read with great interest those contributions your readership over the past two years. Query: Surely there must be broadcast recordings of the voice of NSN: would it be possible for a GB-based member to check with the BBC?

Editor: Would it be possible for a GB-based member to take this up?

From Cedric D:
dalsecl@prtel.com

Instead of sequels, let's think of inheritors...
I believe that those who miss a new Shute novel could find satisfaction with Clare Francis, perhaps Cormac McCarthy, Len Deighton, for examples. I remember "Goodbye Mickey Mouse", "Piece of Cake", "Aces High", "Danger: UXB", and "The Shepherd" as having special impact.

At a certain stage in my life, I went in for mystery writers, such as the John D. MacDonald: Travis McGee series, Sjowall & Wahloo: Inspector Beck series, and Nicolas Freeling: Castang series. (And Van der Valk series)


I recently purchased "South Pacific" and watched it for the first time. I would suppose Shute readers would enjoy the Mitchener original stories.

Editor: Great idea, I myself also like Michener very much. And if you like sailing, how about “We didn’t mean to go to Sea”, from Arthur Ransome. A childrens book, but still.

LOCATE YOUR LOCAL SHUTIST

Write in if you want your name listed and would like to get together with other Shutists in your vicinity.

AUSTRALIA

Jim Wells lives in Lindfield, Sydney
Richard Michalak lives in Paddington, Sydney
Ruth Pearson lives in Adelaide
Neil Wynes Morse lives in Canberra
James Fricker, Melbourne

HONG KONG

Julian Stargardt

THAILAND

Bruce A Clarke lives in Bangkok

USA

Jim & Kristi Woodward live in Broken Arrow (east of Tulsa), Oklahoma, USA.

Priscilla Pruitt lives near Bellingham, Washington State

Bill McCandless lives in Joliet near Chicago.

Joy Hogg, Harrietta Michigan (northern lower Michigan, near Traverse City and Cadillac)

David B. Horvath, dhorvath in the cobs.com domain, near Philadelphia Pennsylvania, USA.

Al Benkelman Warrenton, Virginia

Mary L. Barnich, lives in St. Petersburg FL

HOLLAND

Joost Meulenbroek, lives in Enschede

RAT PACK NEWS – ROBERT RANDISI!

RAT PACK NEWS – ROBERT RANDISI!

Friend and writer extrodinaire Robert Randisi has been have tremendous (and well deserved) success with his series of Rat Pack mysteries published by St. Martin’s Press.

Three are currently two published books (Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime, Luck Be A Lady Don’t Die), a third set for publication in December (Hey There – You With The Gun In Your Hand), and a fourth in the writing process (You’re Nobody Till Somebody Kills You).

The books feature Sand’s Casino pit Boss Eddie G. who finds himself rubbing dangerous shoulders with the Rat Pack in ‘60s Vegas. The books are a lot of fun and must reading for all cool cats with a love for the era.

I heard from Bob yesterday with some very good news. He has sold the film rights to his first Rat Pack Mystery (Everybody Kills Somebody Sometime) to to Sandy Hackett, the late Buddy Hackett's son.

Bob will be writing the screenplay and the plan is to begin filming in January 2010. Sandy Hackett will star as Sands Casino pit boss Eddie G., who in the story is asked by Frank Sinatra to help find out who is sending Dean Martin threatening notes, while they are filming Ocean's 11 in 1960 Las Vegas. All of the Rat Pack members appear in the book, as well as other historical characters like Sands boss Jack Entratter, George Raft and Angie Dickinson.

I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

THE SPY WHO CAME FROM HEAVEN!

THE SPY WHO CAME FROM HEAVEN!

This is so hokey it’s funny – The Spy Who Came From Heaven is a seven part spy web series from
Two M Films. It’s a nice little spoof of ‘60s era spy films and worth a quick viewing.

“With the help of an army of Easter Bunny Girls, mogul Godiva Silvertoe intends to increase the value of her billion dollar chocolate enterprise with a diabolic plan to destroy the world largest chocolate provider: Switzerland. Will agent Heaven Lee be on time to save Easter before it’s too late…”

WEBISODE 1 "MISSION"
WEBISODE 2 "CASINO ENCOUNTER"
WEBISODE 3 "BUNNY MEETING"
WEBISODE 4 "EASTER LAB"
WEBISODE 5 "REMOTE CONTROLLED"
WEBISODE 6 "SILVERTOE EXPRESS"
WEBISODE 7 "HAPPY EASTER AGENT LEE"

TO VIEW THE SERIES CLICK HERE

A tip of the fedora to our blog buddy at Permission To Kill

ELVIS DUETTING FROM THE GRAVE!

ELVIS DUETTING FROM THE GRAVE!

Thanks to technology, Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride and LeAnn Rimes will be among the country stars performing with the king of rock 'n' roll on "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets.

"The new album, due out Oct. 14, will also feature Gretchen Wilson, Wynonna Judd, Sara Evans, Amy Grant and Anne Murray.

Sony BMG is releasing the disc in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. They say it's the late icon's first duets album and the first Christmas compilation of its kind.

While Presley only recorded 20 Christmas songs, his holiday albums have sold more than 25 million copies in the U.S. alone.

His 1957 release, "Elvis' Christmas Album," is the top-selling holiday release of all time with 9 million in sales, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America.

2008 WORLD FANTASY AWARD NOMINEES!

2008 WORLD FANTASY AWARD NOMINEES!

The World Fantasy Convention 2008 will be held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

LIFE ACHIEVEMENT

winner Leo & Diane Dillon
winner Patricia McKillip

NOVEL

Territory Emma Bull [Tor]
Ysabel Guy Gavriel Kay [Viking Canada/Penguin Roc]
Fangland John Marks [Penguin Press]
Gospel of the Knife Will Shetterly [Tor]
The Servants Michael Marshall Smith [Earthling Publications]

NOVELLA

The Mermaids Robert Edric [PS Publishing]
Illyria Elizabeth Hand [PS Publishing]
"The Master Miller’s Tale" Ian R. MacLeod [F&SF May 2007]
"Cold Snap" Kim Newman [The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club, MonkeyBrain Books]
"Stars Seen through Stone" Lucius Shepard [F&SF July 2007]

SHORT STORY

"The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics" Daniel Abraham [Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra]
"Singing of Mount Abora" Theodora Goss [Logorrhea, Bantam Spectra]
"The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change" Kij Johnson [The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, Viking]
"Damned if you Don’t " Robert Shearman" [Tiny Deaths, Comma Press]
"The Church on the Island" Simon Kurt Unsworth [At Ease with the Dead,
Ash-Tree Press]

ANTHOLOGY

Five Strokes to Midnight Gary A. Braunbeck & Hank Schwaeble, Eds. [Haunted Pelican Press]
Wizards: Magical Tales From The Masters of Modern Fantasy
Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois, Eds. [Berkley]
Inferno: New Tales of Terror and the Supernatural Ellen Datlow, Editor [Tor]
The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling, Eds.[Viking]
Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories John Klima, Editor [Bantam Spectra]

COLLECTION

Plots and Misadventures Stephen Gallagher [Subterranean Press]
Portable Childhoods Ellen Klages [Tachyon Publications]
The Secret Files of the Diogenes Club Kim Newman [MonkeyBrain Books]
Hart & Boot & Other Stories Tim Pratt [Night Shade Books]
Tiny Deaths Robert Shearman [Comma Press]
Dagger Key and Other Stories Lucius Shepard [PS Publishing]

ARTIST

Ruan Jia
Mikko Kinnunen
Stephan Martiniere
Edward Miller
John Picacio

SPECIAL AWARD—PROFESSIONAL

Allison Baker and Chris Roberson for MonkeyBrain Books
Alan Beatts and Jude Feldman for Borderlands Books
Peter Crowther for PS Publishing
Gordon Van Gelder for F&SF
Jeremy Lassen and Jason Williams for Night Shade Books
Shawna McCarthy for Realms of Fantasy

SPECIAL AWARD—NON-PROFESSIONAL

Midori Snyder and Terri Windling for Endicott Studios Website
G. S. Evans and Alice Whittenburg for Cafe Irreal
Stephen Jones, Editor for Travellers in Darkness: The Souvenir Book of the World Horror Convention 2007
John Klima for Electric Velocipede
Rosalie Parker and Raymond Russell for Tartarus Press

THE EQUALIZER!

THE EQUALIZER!

The Rap Sheet has a nice article today on the classic ‘80s show, The Equalizer, starring Edward Woodward as a veteran covert operative who, seeking redemption for his dark deeds, quits a CIA-like agency and puts a classified advertisement in the paper reading simply: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer."

Edward Woodward was perfect in the role of Robert McCall bringing to it all of the deadly charm he displayed as a reluctant professional killer for a shadowy branch of the British Government's intelligence services known as 'the Section' in the British crime series Callan from ’67 to ’72. The show was best when elements from McCall’s espionage past reared up to bite at him.

I was pleased to learn from the article crime novelists Michael Connelly and Terrill Lee Lankford are reportedly working on the script for a big-screen adaptation of the series.

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE AT THE RAP SHEET CLICK HERE

FRENCH CRIME WAVE!

FRENCH CRIME WAVE!

The New York Times has a good article on French New Wave crime films of the ‘50s and ‘60s tied in with their coverage of 38 French noir films being screened as part of Film Forum’s French Crime Wave film festival.

“A film is like a battleground,” says Samuel Fuller, playing himself, in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1965 “Pierrot le Fou,” one of 38 noirs in Film Forum’s ambitious, entertaining, blood-and-doom-soaked series “French Crime Wave,” which begins Friday and runs through Sept. 11. The line seems like a throwaway in that busy, demanding picture, but it resonates strongly in the context of this series because when the young French cineastes known as the New Wave went to war with their elders in the late ’50s and early ’60s, the crime film was, in many ways, the field on which the decisive battle was joined.

“This genre became the contested territory for a variety of reasons, chiefly because movies about crooks could be made on the skimpy budgets available to budding auteurs like Godard and François Truffaut, his Cahiers du Cinéma colleague. Besides, the young critics felt, with some justice, that the established French cinema, which relied heavily on historical dramas and adaptations of classic novels, wasn’t reflecting contemporary reality. Godard once remarked that “before us, the only person who really tried to see France was Jacques Becker” (who has three films in this series) because he told stories about gangsters. And the younger filmmakers admired the speed and unpretentiousness of American movies. Godard dedicated his debut feature, “Breathless” (1959), to Monogram Pictures, a small Hollywood studio that specialized in low-budget westerns and thrillers.”

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE


It's worth a trip over to the French Crime Wave home page for a look at the films playing during the festival and their synopsis.


TO GO TO THE FRENCH CRIME WAVE FILM FESTIVAL PAGE CLICK HERE

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NEW U.N.C.L.E. FICTION!

NEW U.N.C.L.E. FICTION!

I’ve been blogging a number of items about The Man From U.N.C.L.E recently and it has brought back a lot of memories as it was my favorite show growing up.

While I have a full set of the original Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Girl From U.N.C.L.E. ACE paperbacks (in both their American and British incarnations), full runs of both The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. pulp magazines, a complete set of the Gold Key Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Girl From U.N.C.L.E. comics, copies of all the British Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Girl From U.N.C.L.E. (comic) annuals, and a boat load of other comics, Whitman books, Big Little Books, and associate ephemera, it’s always nice when another publication comes along – especially in these latter days when U.N.C.L.E. fiction (even fan fic) has been reduced to a trickle.

I recently came across “The Rainbow’s End Affair” by Jill Thomasson. The story is a classic gen theme with lots of action, danger, and suspense. Fans will enjoy it. There are a number of other other stories in Jill's series and you’ll receive a listing when you order.

To order send $12.00 (check or money order) made out to E. Thomasson 423 East 14th St., Alton, IL 62002-7246

TWILIGHT MADNESS!

TWILIGHT MADNESS!

For those following the vamipre tales from author Stephanie Meyer there is a good article at Meridian Magazine . . .

“Most books when they are published creep quietly and obscurely on to book shelves, hardly noticed by the reading public. Not so for Mormon mom, Stephenie Meyer, whose fourth book in her vampire Twilight saga became available last Friday night at midnight. Readers across the world had been anticipating Breaking Dawn, the conclusion to her series with racing pulses and couldn't wait to take a bite out of the last installment.
Friday night featured 4,000 parties at bookstores and libraries across the United States alone where readers in anticipation dressed up in prom attire and debated how the story would end. BYU Bookstore sponsored a blood drive to mark the event. Book groups sponsored “Vampire” nights for members so they could finish the story together.

"When she appeared on Good Morning America, Friday morning, the program received 1,000 emails with questions and comments for Stephenie, a record for the show. She has had to limit her appearances to venues that can handle thousands of fans and events in Los Angeles and New York sold out in 45 minutes.

"On Saturday, the first day her book was available, it sold 1.3 million copies to fans eager to learn who the heroine, Bella, would choose between her romantic possibilities: Edward Cullen, the vampire who has swept her off her feet or Jacob Black, her best friend and a werewolf? And if she chose Edward, would it mean she would also choose to become a vampire herself?

"There's no way to please everyone," Stephenie said. "The (e-mail) messages I get say, 'If Bella doesn't end up with Edward forever, I'm going to burn this book,' and the next one I get will say, 'If Bella doesn't end up with Jacob forever, I'll burn this book.”

"In some ways, the numbers tell the story. After three years, Stephenie had sold 10 million copies of her book. The initial printing of Breaking Dawn is 3.5 million. Her books have dominated the USA TODAY bestseller list all summer with her first book Twilight at No. 1 and her second and third books New Moon (2006) and Eclipse (2007) weighing in a Nos. 2 and 4. Last summer Stephenie knocked J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows off its No. 1 spot on the list.

"Yet, it is the enthusiastic dedication of readers to the characters and stories that is most telling. Speculations on the plot twists fill the blogosphere. Websites have been started by enthusiasts where a digital clock counted down the milliseconds until the next book appeared. Though the book was meant for youth, it has successfully crossed over to adults and they confess things like this from Twilightmoms.com"

TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

AGAINST ALL ODDS: WAR PICTURE LIBRARY VOL. 2!

AGAINST ALL ODDS: WAR PICTURE LIBRARY VOL. 2!

OUT NOW!

Published by Prion Books on 4 August 2008. This is the follow-up to last September’s release, Unleash Hell. A dozen great stories from the early years of WAR PICTURE LIBRARY when it was at its best.

Gripping stories by the likes of Donne Avenell, Willie Patterson and Ian Kellie and artwork by some of the finest European, South American and British artists at work in the early 1960s, including Nevio Zeccara, Juan Gonzalez Alacreu, Jorge Moliterni, Jose Ortiz and Solano Lopez.

The second volume, like the first, is made up of a mixture of air, land, and sea-based stories.

SYNOPSIS

In September 1958, Britain's children thrilled to the first issue of War Picture Library, where they could read of the valiant struggle of a motley group of British soldiers from the British Expeditionary Force whose units were overwhelmed by German forces swarming through the frontiers of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. "Fight Back to Dunkirk" was a page-turner of the first order, a shilling shocker that grabbed your attention for 64 explosive pages. The good news was, when you'd finished, there was another one waiting on the spinners at the newsagents. Over the coming months and years, War Picture Library revealed to its young (and sometimes not-so-young) readers just what their fathers and uncles had been through in combat. The diversity of characters and breadth of locations available, from the home front to the steaming jungles, meant that there was something new for readers every month. Fifty years on, the stories still have the power to thrill and horrify us.

Against All Odds is a carefully selected collection of some of the most amazing war stories and striking war art ever produced, reproduced 25 per cent bigger than the originals so you can feel every bullet hit, every crashing wave and every nerve-shattering explosion. This is military history as you've never read it before.

CONTENTS

FINEST HOUR (WPL 175, Dec 1962), Art: Giorgio Trevisan; Script: S & J Thomas

THE TROUBLED SEA (WPL 117, Oct 1961) Art: Harry Farrugia; Script: (unknown)

FOXHOLE GLORY (WPL 170, Nov 1962) Art: George Heath; Script: Donne Avenell

THE THIN BLUE LINE (WPL 96, May 1961) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: (unknown)

STRIKE SQUADRON (WPL 84, Feb 1961) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: Ian Kellie

BANZAI (WPL 80, Jan 1961) Art: Annibale Casabianca; Script: Douglas Leach

ROAD FROM TOBRUK (WPL 154, Jul 1962) Art: Juan Gonzalez Alacreu; Script: (unknown)

UP PERISCOPE (WPL 10, Jan 1959) Art: Nevio Zeccara; Script: Alf Wallace

ROGUE LANCASTER (WPL 181, Feb 1963) Art: F. Solano Lopez; Script: Willie Patterson

PARATROOP (WPL 158, Aug 1962) Art: Jorge Moliterni; Script: Donne Avenell

THE VALLEY OF DEATH (WPL 120, Nov 1961) Art: Jose Ortiz; Script: (unknown)

SNARL OF BATTLE (WPL 162, Sep 1962) Art: Ramon de la Fuente; Script: Donne Avenell

Order you copy via Amazon.co.uk

GRIMJACK!

GRIMJACK!

Blog buddy Chris Mills (whose own comic caracter Femme Noir is a must read) featured Grimjack as his comic cover of the week stating:

"Tim Truman's cover for the first issue of Grimjack, probably still my favorite comic book series ever. Created by writer John Ostrander, the 80's series combined hardboiled detective fiction with sword & sorcery, sci-fi and sheer strangeness. Freelance tough guy John Gaunt, a/k/a Grimjack, worked the mean streets of the pan-dimensional city of Cynosure, where all universes meet, and physical laws can change from block to block.

"Amazing, inventive and gritty as all get out, Grimjack remains a marvelous example of the unlimited creative potential of the comic book medium, and I cannot fathom why the reprint volumes from IDW a couple years ago didn't sell a lot better. "

All I can add is DITTO!

LOU TEICHER - R.I.P.

LOU TEICHER – R.I.P.

Lou Teicher, of Ferrante & Teicher, Popular Piano Duo of ’60s, Dies at 83.

Lou Teicher, half of the piano duo Ferrante & Teicher, whose florid and sentimental versions of movie themes and love songs made them gods of easy listening and earned them wide popularity beginning in the 1960s, died on Sunday in Highlands, N.C. He was 83 and lived in Sarasota, Fla.
The cause was heart failure, said Scott W. Smith, Ferrante & Teicher’s manager.


A classically trained pianist who was something of a prodigy, Mr. Teicher was a musician of extraordinary dexterity, the speed and clarity of his and his partner’s playing being among their crowd-pleasing qualities. The two met as children at the Julliard School
of Music, and their friendship became a professional team in the mid-1940s. Eventually, with their hit recordings of the themes from the films “The Apartment” and “Exodus,” and “Tonight,” from “West Side Story,” among others, they became known as “the movie theme team.” And for their appearances onstage or on television in matching flashy outfits and at the keyboards of imposing instruments, they were called “the grand twins of the twin grands.”

For the full obit on Teicher click here.

A tip of the fedora to Bill Crider.

U.N.C.L.E. AUCTION UPDATE!

U.N.C.L.E. AUCTION UPDATE!

Here is a closer look at the fantastic collection of photo stills from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. currently available on e-Bay.
To see the entire collection click here.


NEW BOND VILLIAN – DR. SWATCH!

NEW BOND VILLIAN – DR. SWATCH!

While Omega might be James Bond’s watch of choice, Swiss watch company Swatch is catering it’s newest line – the 007 Villain Collection – to fans of the numerous Bond baddies.

The official press release follows:

DR. SWATCH PLAYS BAD GUY TO BOND, JAMES BOND

Has Swatch gone over to the other side? In a surprising and provocative move, the mischievous maker of Swiss fashion watches has aligned itself with the enemies of the world’s most famous gentleman spy. “We’ve discovered the dark side of the myth,” said Nicolas G. Hayek, also nicknamed Dr. Swatch. “And we love it. It’s absolutely fascinating.” To avoid any possible misunderstandings, the notorious inspirator of the plastic Swiss watch hastened to explain his intentions: “James Bond would not exist in Ian Fleming’s novels and all the Bond films if strong, powerful villains were not also there. The villains and their henchmen play a crucial role. And if Bond is alive and well today, it is thanks in no small part to the inspiration and enduring power of his enemies.

Indeed, the fascination with Bond’s adversaries has inspired an entirely new collection, due for release in early September. The Swatch 007 Villain Collection is a tribute to the entertaining villains who light up the dark side of twenty-two James Bond films, from Dr. No to the forthcoming Quantum Of Solace.

The Swatch 007 Villain Collection evokes the most memorable of Bond’s adversaries. Who can forget these outlaw heroes, armed to the teeth and dressed to kill? From stylish Dr. No with his metal hands to Oddjob and his deadly bowler, they’re villains Bond fans love to hate.

Swatch is no stranger to special outlaws, in sports for example, and their borderline behavior. The brand is a prominent supporter of outstanding athletes and performers in the special “outlaw” free-style disciplines that test the limits of the sporting experience. From Geraldine Fasnacht to Mat Rebeaud, free-style skiers, X-boarders and free runners, Swatch embraces all special “outlaw” performers.

The Swatch 007 Villain Collection pays tribute to outstanding outlaw actors, too: Christopher Walken’s malevolent Max Zorin deserves his stylish Retrograde; Gerd Froebe’s Goldfinger gets a massive, golden Irony THE Chrono; Lotte Lenya’s Rosa Klebb wields a pair of knuckle-dusters welded to an Irony Lady. And in homage to Casino Royale, poker-faced master of malice Mads Mikkelsen (alias Le Chiffre) takes an Irony Big with an Ace of Spades. There’s more, of course, but the curtain won’t rise on the Villains for another few weeks…

Wrapping up his comments with a mischievous smile, Nicolas Hayek, founder and head of the Swatch Group, the world’s largest watchmaking group, put on his corporate hat: “OMEGA is James Bond’s watch of choice, but real, interesting villains prefer Swatch.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

REDNECK TANK TOP!

REDNECK TANK TOP!

MY SON SPOTTED THIS AND PASSED IT ON.

YOU KNOW YOU'RE A REDNECK IF YOU HAVE ONE OF THESE HANGING IN YOUR CLOSET!

IT'S REAL INTERESTING WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH AN EXTRA PAIR OF Y-FRONTS...

U.N.C.L.E.UPDATE!

U.N.C.L.E. UPDATE!

Wes Britton over at The Spy Report tells us TCM will air "The Spy in the Green Hat" on Monday, August 18 at 4:30AM PT.

This was a Man From U.N.C.L.E. movie adapted from two episodes that starred Jack Palance as the principal baddie. Robert Vaughn has said this was his favorite MFU outing, and there’s much to recommend it—especially Janet Leigh as a psychotic killer.

Set your DVRs now!

THE NEXT JAMES BOND!

THE NEXT JAMES BOND!



JERRY LEWIS AS JAMES BOND -- IT COULD'A HAPPEND!

HEY, LADY!

WISEGUYS!

WISEGUYS!

HERE'S A GREAT VIDEO FROM OUR PALS, THE WISEGUYS!

IF YOU EVER HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CATCH THESE GUYS IN CONCERT DON'T MISS THE CHANCE -- THEY SWING HARDER THAN A WREAKING BALL ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT!

Monday, August 4, 2008

PWA SHAMUS AWARD NOMINATIONS!

PWA SHAMUS AWARD NOMNATION!

The Private-Eye Writers of America (PWA) have just announced their nominations for their yearly Shamus Awards. Congratulations to all!

(A long time ago I was a nominee for the Best Short Story Shamus for my I tale Quint And The Braceros)

Best Hardcover:

Head Games by Thomas B. Cavanagh (St. Martins Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Mike Garrity.

Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House Books), featuring Moe Prager.

The Color of Blood by Declan Hughes (William Morrow), featuring Ed Loy.

A Welcome Grave by Michael Koryta (St. Martins Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Lincoln Perry.

A Killer’s Kiss by William Lashner (William Morrow), featuring Victor Carl.

Best Paperback Original:

Songs of Innocence by Richard Aleas (Hard Case) featuring John Blake.

Exit Strategy by Kelley Armstrong (Bantam) featuring Nadia Stafford.

Stone Rain by Linwood Barclay (Bantam) featuring Zack Walker.

Deadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins (Hard Case) featuring Ms. Michael Tree.

Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Mortalis/Ballantine) featuring Jude McManus.

Best First Novel:

The Cleaner by Brett Battles (Delacorte), featuring Jonathan Quinn.

Keep It Real by Bill Bryan (Bleak House Books), featuring Ted Collins.

Big City, Bad Blood by Sean Chercover (William Morrow), featuring Ray Dudgeon.

When One Man Dies by Dave White (Three Rivers Press), featuring Gerry Figuroa.

The Last Striptease by Michael Wiley (St. Martins/Thomas Dunne Books), featuring Joe Kozmarski.

Best Short Story:

"Kill the Cat" by Loren D. Estleman, DETROIT NOIR (Akashic), featuring Amos Walker.

"Trust Me" by Loren D. Estleman, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, June 2007, featuring Amos Walker.

"Open Mike" by James Nolan, NEW ORLEANS NOIR (Akashic), featuring Vincent Panarello.

“Hungry Enough" by Cornelia Read, A Hell of a Woman (Busted Flush Press), featuring Philip.

"Room for Improvement" by Marilyn Todd, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Dec. 2007, featuring Lois Hepburn.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

MINDER REDUX!

MINDER REDUX!

Fans of the '80s British television show Minder (and I count myself among their legion) will be at first excited and then probably dismayed to hear the TV classic - a mix of gritty violence and off-beat humor - is to be revived with Shane Ritchie (one of the stars of the long running English soap-opera EastEnders) playing con man Archie Daley, the nephew of 1980s wheeler dealer Arthur Daley (the difinitive George Cole). Actor Lex Shrapnel will play the 'Minder' role (originally portrayed by Dennis Waterman) in the new six-part series, to be broadcast on England's Channel Five next year.

The original cult series, starring Cole and Waterman, first aired in 1979 and ran for 15 years.

Unfortunately, the producers claim the 2009 version will move away from the gritty storylines of the 1980s in favour of more family-based drama. "We want to satisfy fans of the original, but will also add different elements in order to excite new viewers," said Jonathan Young, the executive producer for Talkback Thames, who are making the new series. This will probably doom the new series out of the box.

Each hour-long episode will be a self-contained story located around iconic London landmarks such as the London Eye and Borough Market. Channel Five's Ben Gale said the revived show would have "all the humour and charm of the original Minder".

"The assembled on and off-screen talent is exactly what's needed to bring this celebrated series to life for a new audience," he added.

You can share your opinions on this in the 'Minder News' section of recently opened The Minder Lounge, here: Minder http://www.thetvlounge.co.uk/minder/viewforum.php?f=7

Also, the Minder DVD's have now been added to the TV Lounge store here: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/theuktelevisi-21/026-4570706-5798803?node=0&page=2

THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION AFFAIR!

THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION AFFAIR!

E-bay is currrently running an auction for 905 8x10 glossy photos from The Man From U.N.C.L.E. television series. I've never seen many of these photos (neither have any of the hardcore U.N.C.L.E. fans in the U.N.C.L.E. Yahoo Group) and am blown away at the size of the collection.

Billed as the finest collection in the world, here's the rest of the product description:

Condition: Most of these photos are in very good to excellent condition. Some few will be of lesser condition with editorial writings or stamps on the back to identify the actors or other incidental information that was necessary for publicity purposes or show significant signs of use.
After collecting U.N.C.L.E. for over 40 years, I consider myself to be a reliable authority to determine whether a photograph is vintage or not. Most of these photographs are original or vintage and have been in my collection at least 20 years or more. Of the very few that I have acquired in the past 23 years, some are original - a few could be reprints, but of excellent quality. All of these photographs are silver-gelatin prints - none are digital reproductions and none were originated by me.

These photos are being offered only as collectibles with no rights given or implied. I will not accept a return for this lot.

504 photos from ...the television series: VN numbered - 8x10 inches - some of these have episode information printed on the back or paper overlay attachments (many are "key set photos" that came from the MGM Studios archives).

102 photos from ...the television series: 7x9 inches - most with info pages still attached.

267 photos from the film releases: - 8x10 inches (some are "key set photos" that came from the MGM Studios archives) -- To Trap A Spy The Spy With My Face One Spy Too Many The Spy in the Green Hat The Helicopter Spies How To Steal The World.

32 photos from The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. spin-off tv series starring Stefanie Powers as April Dancer and Noel Harrison as Mark Slate: 7x9 inches and 8x10 inches - some with info pages attached.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with guest stars... Sharon Tate Darren McGavin Jack Lord Vincent Price Janet Leigh Dorothy Provine Rip Torn Sharon Farrell Elsa Lancaster Jack Palance Nancy Sinatra Gena Rowlands George Sanders Abbe Lane Victor Buono Patricia Crowley Richard Kiel Luciana Paluzzi Senta Berger Slim Pickens Rosey Grier Anne Francis Ricardo Montalban Carroll O'Conner Jill Ireland Eddie Albert William Shatner Kurt Russell Neile Adams Madeline Rhue Sonny Bono Cher Barbara Feldon Judy Carne Ray Danton Diane McBain Michael Ansara France Nuyen Anna Capri Vera Miles Mary Ann Mobley Norman Fell Martin Landau Joan Collins Shari Lewis Ted Cassidy Akim Tamiroff Bill Dana Terry-Thomas Joan Crawford Telly Savalas Chad Everett Lynn Loring Broderick Crawford Bradford Dillman Carol Lynley Julie LondonBarry Sullivan Leslie Nielson Tony Bill Herbert LomAnne Jeffries Susan Oliver Diana Hyland Cesare DanovaRobert Culp Jeannine Riley Angela Lansbury Barbara Bouchet and guest-starring on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. --- Boris Karloff as the insanely devilish "Mother Muffin" ... and many, many more!

HERE'S THE CATCH: THE OPENING BID IS $117,500! Good luck to those of you with bottomless checkbooks -- for the rest of us, to check out the photos on the site click here.