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Articles on this Page
- 08/30/18--05:00: _Read it here: CIRCU...
- 08/31/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: WA...
- 09/01/18--05:00: _AL FELDSTEIN'S "Joh...
- 09/02/18--05:00: _Western Films You M...
- 09/03/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: FOOTB...
- 09/04/18--05:00: _MICKEY SPILLANE's p...
- 09/05/18--05:00: _Comic Gallery: PRIZ...
- 09/06/18--05:00: _Sweat Mag Art by St...
- 09/07/18--03:00: _Not-so-Forgotten Bo...
- 09/08/18--05:00: _Read it Here: "Jinx...
- 09/09/18--05:00: _Movie Posters of 19...
- 09/10/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: JUNGL...
- 09/11/18--05:00: _WILL EISNER sails w...
- 09/12/18--05:00: _Look-N-See Gum Card...
- 09/13/18--05:00: _Mort Künstler Sweat...
- 09/14/18--03:00: _Forgotten Books: TH...
- 09/15/18--05:00: _BASIL WOLVERTON'S S...
- 09/16/18--05:00: _Movie Posters of 19...
- 09/17/18--05:00: _Pulp Gallery: POPUL...
- 09/18/18--05:00: _Read it Here: WYATT...
- 09/19/18--05:00: _The Enduring Myster...
- 09/20/18--05:00: _Weird Faces of VIRG...
- 09/21/18--03:00: _UnForgettable Books...
- 09/22/18--05:00: _TEXAS LEADS THE WAY...
- 09/23/18--05:00: _Movie Posters of 19...
- 08/30/18--05:00: Read it here: CIRCUS FISTS by Robert E. Howard (1931)
- 08/31/18--03:00: Forgotten Books: WATERFRONT FISTS by Robert E. Howard (2003)
- 09/01/18--05:00: AL FELDSTEIN'S "Johnny Prep" (1948)
- 09/02/18--05:00: Western Films You MAY Have Missed (1919 Part 2)
- 09/03/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: FOOTBALL Magazines
- 09/04/18--05:00: MICKEY SPILLANE's protoHammer, "Mike Lancer" (1942)
- 09/05/18--05:00: Comic Gallery: PRIZE COMICS WESTERN (1950-51)
- 09/06/18--05:00: Sweat Mag Art by Stanley Borack
- 09/07/18--03:00: Not-so-Forgotten Books: BALL FOUR by Jim Bouton (1970)
- 09/08/18--05:00: Read it Here: "Jinx Heap" by MICKEY SPILLANE (1942)
- 09/09/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1919 (Part 1)
- 09/10/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: JUNGLE STORIES
- 09/11/18--05:00: WILL EISNER sails with THE HAWK (1948)
- 09/12/18--05:00: Look-N-See Gum Cards - Men of the West (1952)
- 09/13/18--05:00: Mort Künstler Sweat Mag Art
- 09/15/18--05:00: BASIL WOLVERTON'S Spacehawk and "The Lost Tribe of Mercury" (1940)
- 09/16/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1920 (Part 1)
- 09/17/18--05:00: Pulp Gallery: POPULAR DETECTIVE
- 09/18/18--05:00: Read it Here: WYATT EARP in "One Way to the Grave" (1949)
- 09/19/18--05:00: The Enduring Mystery of LANCECON '84
- 09/20/18--05:00: Weird Faces of VIRGIL FINLAY
- 09/23/18--05:00: Movie Posters of 1920 (Part 2)
Sailor Steve Costigan, the hero/narrator of most these tales, is a sort of proto-Breckenridge. He begins his fictional life as a pretty much standard Howard hero (not that there's anything wrong with that), and gradually develops the voice, personality and sense of humor that will become Elkins trademarks. The stories, too, reflect this learning process. The early tales focus almost solely on boxing matches, with page after page of flying fists. But as the series progresses, the slugfests shrink to a page or two, as window dressing to more complex stories.
The Wildside Press collection Waterfront Fists and Others contains, in order of publication, fifteen of the twenty Costigan stories published between 1929 and 1934 in Fight Stories and Jack Dempsey's Fight Magazine. The other five, along with a good number of Elkins tales, appeared in Wildside's The Complete Action Stories. Another six stories and one fragment finally saw print in Howard fanzines and lmited edition hardcovers.
Waterfront Fists, meanwhile, contains a weird boxing storing, Howard's longest boxing tale - "The Iron Man," and a couple of brief nonfiction tidbits. But the main attraction is definitely Steve Costigan. My favorite of the Costigan stories is "Circus Fists," which is about as perfectly executed as a Costigan yarn can be. I was so impressed that I posted the whole story yesterday, and invite you to read it HERE. Also of special note is "Texas Fists," in which Costigan finds himself on Howard's home ground and encounters the sort of larger-than-life characters that laster populate the Elkins stories.
Yeah, I know this one doesn't qualify as mystery, adventure or the wild west, but it features some great art by EC master Al Feldstein, and that's enough for me. It's from Aggie Mack #1, from Jan. 1948, as found on comicbookplus.
This time, I got the audiobook through InterLibrary Loan, narrated by Bouton himself. It's extra-cool hearing him laugh at the funny parts, but hard hearing him choke up when discussing the death of his daughter.
Reviewers say you don't have to like baseball to appreciate Ball Four. I'd agree, though it certainly helps. The book is formatted as a diary of Bouton's 1969 season with the now-defunct Seattle Pilots, and later with the Houston Astros, but includes many digressions about Bouton's career with the Yankees (1962-67) and reminiscences of his fellow players. The focus is on baseball, of course, and Bouton's knuckleball in particular, but the book is about much more. It's a long book, and there's plenty of talk about sex, drugs, booze, politics, religion and life in general. And there's never a dull moment.
For baseball fans of the era, it's a feast. It's like spending a little time with Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Clete Boyer, Elston Howard, Carl Yastremski, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Lou Pinella, Reggie Jackson, Ted Williams and many others. Some of the real-life characters in the book came across well, while others were portrayed as ignorant and small-minded. Some of those folks, as revealed in the 1971 funny-as-hell sequel I'm Glad You Didn't Take it Personally, were embarassed, some livid and some are still holding a grudge.
As the first tell-all book about professional sports, Ball Four exposed many dirty little secrets (like the pep pills called "greenies," the boozing and the players' favorite sport of "beaver-shooting") shone light on the absolute power owners weilded over the players. In the wake of the immediate outrage, the book has been credited with paving the way for sweeping change, including free agency, collective bargaining and higher (if not ridiculously higher) salaries for players.
This latest edition, titled Ball Four, the Final Pitch, includes the addendums Ball Five (Ten Years Later), Ball Six (Twenty Years Later) and Ball Seven (Thirty Years Later), and includes an account of his return to the big leagues with the Atlanta Braves in 1978. The orignal book was edited by sportswriter Leonard Schecter, who no doubt helped craft the humor. Sadly, this volume it does not include I'm Glad You Didn't Take it Personally, also edited by Schecter. Looks like I'll have to reread that one the old fashioned way.
As early as Winter 1941, Mickey Spillane began providing short text stories to comic book publishers, and most (if not all) were reprinted in the 2004 Gryphon Books collection Primal Spillane. Many of those appeared in Marvel mags like Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch, All-Winners and Marvel Mystery, and are still under copyright. But some stories from other publishers are now in the public domain, and can be found on comicbookplus.
"Jinx Heap" is from the March 1942 issue of Blue Bolt.
From Sept. 1948, and Jumbo Comics #115, comes one of many of Eisner's adventures of The Hawk, as by "Will Rensie." Thanks again to comicbookplus.
This Big Little Book features Dan Tempest, as drawn by Russ Manning. Manning is best known (to me, anyway) for his work on Tarzan comics and comic strips between 1965 and 1979, and his depiction of Dan Tempest in 1958 is a twin of his later Tarzan.
But is that what really happened? Or was it all a hoax, as this antique fanzine claimed? What's the real skinny? You be the judge.
NOTE: The cover above is pretty muddy, but if you squint hard, you'll find Lance Casebeer, the King of Paperbacks himself, wending his way through the revelry.
Art Scott sent this bit of news, wishing Bill Crider was still around to see it. Me too.