Saturday, December 29, 2018

"Thompson is in Trouble"--A GoFundMe Request

My name is Steven Thompson aka Booksteve, and I live in Northern Kentucky with my wife Rene and son David. I'm a writer with a  dozen blogs who has been bylined on more than 28 books and articles in recent years and appeared on television documentaries.  Rene is a genealogist who works as a disabilities advocate and David is a college student, studying to be a teacher. We have two cats--Callie and Hobie--and one dog, Pepper, all rescues. 

We’ve shared a lot of GoFundMe campaigns in the past few years and even created a few for friends in dire circumstances. Guess it’s our turn now.

 We aren’t living beyond our means. We haven’t gone to movies, restaurants, concerts, conventions, or any other events in years. Rene’s smart phone is provided by her job. Neither David nor I have one. Until recently, we’ve gotten along just fine with Rene’s work, David’s tutoring money, and my part time bookstore job and income from writing, proofreading, and transcription.

But then the bookstore job went away and I had to give up the low-paying transcription work due to health and technical issues. My other freelance income slowed to a crawl. Right now, I have half a dozen projects but they’ve either already been paid or will be paid down the line on publication. Still, I should be working on them but I spend much of my days looking for jobs. I’ve applied for several recently that I’ve been extremely qualified for but I keep getting passed over.

So this December finds us a month behind in the mortgage, utility bills, car payment, and more, and borrowed ahead to stay as caught up as we are.

And now David, whose college education has been thankfully handled entirely by scholarships, needs application fees for Grad School and we simply don’t have the money.

On top of that, January has a number of one-off payments such as car taxes and driver’s licenses and now, after a trip to the ER today, medical bills.   

So we swallow our pride and ask if anyone in a position to do so might please help us catch up on our bills as the new year begins and help sponsor David as he continues along his journey to becoming the teacher he’s always wanted to be.  

I'm still looking for regular work and I'm still looking for paid writing, etc. gigs, but a little boost to help ease the anxiety right now would be truly appreciated. 

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Stan and Ollie

I don't go to movies anymore so I'll have to wait 'til Netflix or Prime or whatever to see STAN AND OLLIE but from what I hear, it's a lovely--if not strictly accurate--tribute that will hopefully introduce a whole new generation to the unique comedic genius of Laurel and Hardy.

When I was a teenager, the concept that Laurel and Hardy would be largely forgotten in just a few decades would have been unthinkable to me. It seemed at the time like there was a new book about them at least once a year and their films were still being re-released on the big screen.

The children's record seen above may have been my first exposure to Stan and Ollie. I never saw the Larry Harmon cartoons but my mother bought me this 45 because SHE knew who they were. I had no idea they were real people or that Stan was, briefly, still alive.

In 1970, I saw Robert Youngson's 1960s compilation documentaries, WHEN COMEDY WAS KING and LAUREL AND HARDY'S LAUGHING 20'S on the big screen. A few years later, I ran across John McCabe's classic 1960s book on the pair and more books followed quickly. Their movies were on television all the time, even the silent ones (on PBS).

But somewhere along the way, as with many aspects of pop culture that my generation just presumed everyone knew and would always know, Stan and Ollie were left behind. Oh, there are still obsessively devoted fans but at best they've become a trivia question to the average person over the age of 40 and I'd be surprised if you can find 50 people younger than that who have ever even seen or heard of them. 

Hopefully that will change now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

MeRrY ChRiStMaS!

This is art from a Waldenbooks coloring contest flyer that I did in 1986, colorized by me just recently. The original version was posted here twice before, 11 years back and 9 years back. Here's one.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

For Your Consideration--Ms. Molecule

It occurs to me that Netflix, Prime, Hulu, and all those other streaming services love superheroes, If any of you reading this knows anyone connected to any of those services, please suggest this post to them for their consideration. My wife's MS. MOLECULE strip, originally drawn by Sandy Carruthers, hasn't run for a couple of years now but the recent news that MIT has found a way to maintain stability and shrink items incredibly small shows it's timelier than ever. 

And unique! At full-size, our heroine is a college med student in a wheelchair. 

Rene King Thompson can be contacted through this blog.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Castle of the Creeps

I know it's Christmas season, not Halloween, but I just spotted this upcoming issue of the well-done current horror mag, THE CREEPS and saw that it reuses artist Ken Kelly's cover to my first ever issue of CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN. It's fair game, I suppose. It's been nearly 50 years and I'm sure Kelly's being compensated for it. Interesting to note that the ever-so-slight nip-slip on the original seems cleaned up here, unless that was just to avoid the online PC police. 

Trivia: According to online sources, Kelly is Frank Frazetta's nephew by marriage. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Veronica and the Tunnel of Love

You may have seen this floating around in recent years. It's amusing and actually quite well done but it's not real. It's shopped from the cover of a 1961 issue of BETTY AND VERONICA. That cover was, in fact, a redo from a 1955 issue of BETTY AND VERONICA. I knew all that. What I didn't know until today was that the original gag was used yet again--this time with a twist!--on a 1972 cover of ARCHIE!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Early Jack Davis-1944

Click to embiggen. Here we see one of the earliest pieces of Jack Davis sports art.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Marx Brothers in It's True! 1937

As evidenced by the inclusion of Maureen O' Sullivan, this was from the publicity period for A DAY AT THE RACES. Groucho's birthdate, by the way, is officially October 2nd, not October 21st.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Jeff Jones Print For Sale

Anyone have any interest in this? The late Jeffrey Jones, Native Son (Glimmer Graphics, 2008), signed and numbered limited edition print on acid-free stock, 11 x 14 in. This is NOT my copy but one found online because it's too big for my scanner. Mine is # 56/100 and has never been out of its thick mylar sleeve. Asking $75 postpaid.

Email me at if interested. I'll take this post down if it sells so if you're reading this, it hasn't sold yet. 

Saturday, December 08, 2018

The Life and Works of Pat Buttram--1936 Comic Strip

Pat Buttram was a very funny man. To folks of my age, he'll always be Mr. Haney from GREEN ACRES. To an earlier generation, he was Gene Autry's sidekick. To an even earlier generation, he was a radio humorist who actually had a comic strip about him in the 1930s WLS magazine, STAND BY. I haven't been able to track down info on who did this strip but it's quite well-drawn.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Keaton and Key-1931

I've read about a dozen biographies of Keaton but, assuming this story is in them, I blocked it for some reason. Easy enough to read between the lines that Keaton's story about this all being over a bet about losing weight was an attempt to stave off the type of scandal that had brought down his friend Roscoe Arbuckle earlier in the decade. For her part, Key was reported to have said the problem was an old golf bet! She didn't work much in Hollywood after this event. Keaton's career was already in its downward spiral anyway, hastened on by his wife Natalie and the Talmadge family and not helped at all by his self-medicating with alcohol. In the long run, though, Buster would have the last laugh, his classic silent films being rediscovered and justly lauded throughout the world. He would live long enough to be feted at film festivals and declared one of the giants in the history of the film industry.