Saturday, April 19, 2014

Booksteve Reviews: Ro-Busters-The Disaster Squad of Distinction

Back in the 1980s, when I was reading Britain's 2000AD as regularly as possible, one of my favorite series was ABC WARRIORS which, in time, I found out was a spin-off of another series called RO-BUSTERS.

RO-BUSTERS began not in 2000AD but in a mag I never saw called STARLORD. It was originally created and written by the prolific Pat Mills and featured art from, amongst others, future superstar comics artists on both sides of the Atlantic, Dave Gibbons, Steve Dillon, Bryan Talbot and Kev O'Neill.

The series was set in a future where sentient robots were used for everything from war to housecleaning and, in fact, its protagonists were a retired garbage droid, "Ro-Jaws" and a retired military droid, Hammerstein. It was the adventures of Hammerstein, with his original head, that made up ABC WARRIORS. Here we saw the musically named duo "in retirement" and yet recruited to head up a special task force for handling disasters.

This volume has all of the serialized original stories from the first few years, up to and including a couple of one-off tales from Alan Moore! The adventures are exciting and well-told but never without a sharp satirical bent. Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein at times make up a comedy duo on the level of Laurel and Hardy.

If you're a fan of JUDGE DREDD or the 2000AD classics, I can't recommend this title enough.

Thanks to Net Galley for getting me a review copy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Makes Jerry Lewis Go?-1957

This past week as I write this, the one and only Jerry Lewis did a live, controversial Q &A onstage. Love him or hate him, now, as then, Jerry Lewis is a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment world. Here's a vintage article I found buried inside a PD 1957 girly mag available at RETROSPACE   It's from just after the breakup with Dean and is much more interesting with the benefit of hindsight than it was even at the time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sinatra, The Philadelphia Freedom Award and Me

I spotted this shot online today. As the caption says, it's Frank Sinatra receiving the Philadelphia Freedom Award on the 4th of July, 1977 at Independence Hall. 

What the picture does NOT show is that I was there! I was 18 years old and had talked my parents into coming with me to the Annual Phil Seuling Comic Book Art Convention, normally held in New York City but that year held in Philadelphia for various reasons. The holiday weekend event was at a hotel only a few blocks from Independence Hall and early on the morning of the 4th, we had wandered down there looking the city over a bit. We ran into the ceremony about to start and stood toward the back of the relatively small crowd that was there. Maybe a couple hundred people. 

Frankie didn't sing that day but he spoke eloquently and led the crowd in The Pledge of Allegiance. Then it was back to the Con!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Congrats to Vivek Tiwary and Andrew Robinson!

Special congrats to Vivek Tiwary and Andrew Robinson whose already phenomenally successful graphic novel, THE FIFTH BEATLE (of which we were one of the first to review!) has now been nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award in not one but TWO categories, "Best Reality-Based Work" & "Best Painter/Multimedia Artist," to be presented in July at SDCC! Booksteve recommends! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Batman, Viewmaster and Me

I was a latecomer to Viewmaster. Since the whole point of one was to provide rather a 3-D effect and I couldn't see 3-D, I just never bothered with it. But at some point, I traded some comics to a friend for an old one, mainly so I could get the BATMAN reels seen above! I also got a NANNY AND THE PROFESSOR set. But that was it. Other than that and a handful of stray travelogue reels that came as part of my trade I never had any more sets at all!