Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Shel Dorf, Meet Dick Tracy-1965

In the 1960s, my dad introduced me to his favorite comics character, DICK TRACY. In the 1980s, he and I bonded anew over Blackthorne's various DICK TRACY reprints, all curated by Shel Dorf. In 1988, I even got to meet Shel Dorf (briefly) at San Diego Comic-Con, of which he was one of the founders.

Here we have a 1965 article about Shel Dorf from the Detroit Free Press. It's also about Dick Tracy. And it came out around the time I was just discovering Dick Tracy, long before I ever heard of Shel Dorf. 


Thursday, June 01, 2023

Meet Merrie Spaeth at Comic-Con 2023!

Now that the San Diego Comic-Con has announced her, I can tell you that Merrie Spaeth--the former teen movie star, politician, and Presidential advisor who, it turned, out wrote quite a few horror comic books for Gold Key's new York publishing division in the early 1970s--is going to be a special guest!

Longtime readers may recall I stumbled across her heretofore unknown comic book career a few years back while looking up one of my favorite '60s movies, THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT. Merrie starred with fellow actress Tippy Walker in the George Roy Hill film. Hill later gave us THE STING and A LITTLE ROMANCE, amount many other hits. Peter Sellers played the title role, but it's a decidedly secondary part. Angela Lansbury, Tom Bosley, Paula Prentiss, and Al (Grandpa!) Lewis co-star!

As she grew into young adulthood, Merrie became interested in politics and made an unsuccessful run for office early in her career. She began writing and wrote for everything from THE WALL STREET JOURNAL to GRIMM'S GHOST STORIES. These days she is a communications specialist and this will be her first ever convention of any kind! See the Comic-Con website for details!
Here are the some of the many Gold Key comics on which she worked in the early 1970s.


Friday, May 26, 2023

R. I.P. John Dunning


A rare book collector, an award-winning mystery author, but most importantly to me, and old-time radio buff, John Dunning's mid-70s book TUNE IN YESTERDAY lit a fire under my already growing interest in old-time radio. 

Years later, I got my copy signed by Willard Waterman, radio's second Great Gildersleeve.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Dunning. And thanks for so much!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Medical GoFundMe for Booksteve



I had hoped to avoid this but I've had to set up a fundraiser for all the medical bills starting to come in. Please consider a contribution at the link just above. Many thanks!

My name is Steven Thompson, aka Booksteve. Last month, I went for a regular check-up to my PCP. While she was in the middle of telling me how healthy I was based on recent bloodwork, she checked my heart and detected A-fib. As it was a Friday evening, she told me to get to the hospital ER as quickly as possible. 

After spending 8 hours in the ER on various drips and getting various shots, all intended to bring my crazy rapid heartbeat down so they could figure out what was causing it, and the A-fib, I was admitted at midnight, and spent the weekend on a double drip of blood thinners, being poked and prodded and having my blood pressure and blood sugars checked every few hours...but they still haven't been able to figure out what's wrong with me! Since my release I have been on blood thinners and have two weeks to go on a heart monitor. At the end of the month, I am scheduled for an echocardiogram. 

All of this comes on the heels of MOHS skin cancer surgery on my nose a month earlier!

The good news is that I have actually FELT fine through all of this. Also, it has turned out that my cheap insurance is better than I expected as they have informed me that they have either paid or disallowed at least $25,000 worth of claims since this all began, leaving me on the hook for only about $5000 so far. We've already paid a few of the smaller bills that have come in but the larger bills have started to arrive--$897 for the hospital stay, $700 for the upcoming Echo, etc...I'n retired, working as a freelance writer-editor. My wife is disabled and works part-time from home. We aren't hurting. We get along just fine under normal circumstances, but as of this writing we have $60 in the bank, a little more due in on Friday, and if a Debt Ceiling deal isn't reached, our Social Security payments might be delayed. 

And the medical bills keep coming, I'm still having rapid heartbeat, and they still don't know how to proceed. I'd appreciate it if you'd consider helping out.

Friday, May 19, 2023

McHale's Navy Book Coming Soon

Another current project of mine is a long-overdue book on the great '60s military comedy, McHALE'S NAVY. The book is being written with author Denny Reese, who started it a few years back and brought me in recently to edit his manuscript and add to what he already had. It's progressing quickly and I get to re-watch so many great, fun episodes and call it "research!"

Watch for SET SAIL WITH McHALE'S NAVY to be officially announced from Bear Manor Media later this year.  


Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Maverick--Coming Soon!


About 10 or 11 years ago, I tool on a typing job for Martin Grams, typing some index cards into a Doc file for a book Martin was doing on the classic James Garner/Jack Kelly western series MAVERICK from the late '50s/early '60s. Then I moved on and forgot all about it.

At some point, Martin passed the book on to Linda Alexander, an author who had written a biography of Kelly. I learned about this when the book returned to me from Martin a couple years back, this time for a proofreading and copy-editing job. 

Being rather thorough as I tend to be, I rewatched the entire MAVERICK series (and the later movie and spinoffs) and found myself adding a considerable amount more to Linda and Martin's already detailed manuscript. Martin decided I had added enough that, along with my editing, I should be listed as a co-author.

I had never met Linda but recently friended her on Facebook since we "virtually" collaborated on the project. We're both awaiting a final PDF proof for approval and told it should arrive very soon. The book, to be published by Bear Manor Media, is already up on Martin's website for pre-order. I'd appreciate it if you took a look. Thanks!

There have been several other good books out about MAVERICK, but this one has info not found in those.

Monday, May 15, 2023

Leapin' Lizard!

I'm back. Still dealing with unexpected heart issues. On a heart monitor for another 3 weeks and then more tests. I feel fine, though, and have been busy working on some new projects. Seen above though is the splash for one I worked on a while back, about to be published this summer in BACK ISSUE! You can pre-order at the TwoMorrows link below.