With Further Ado #205: Summertime Highlights

Hey, I know you’re rushing off to the beach, or trying to get out of work a little early today. So, this week is just a highlight reel of some cool things:

I also just received the 2022 Steve Rude Sketchbook. WOW!  It was part of his most recent Kickstarter. I miss the days of seeing Steve and his wife at San Diego Comic-Con and buying a sketchbook during the annual pilgrimage. But you know what, getting anything from Steve Rude in the mail is always cause for rejoicing! He’s got all sorts of things on his website and his next Kickstarter starts on July 14th .

Shelly Bond (did you know she’s a proud Ithaca College graduate?) has a fabulous new book out called Filth and Grammar: The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook.

It’s kind of a how-to-edit comics, but I think it’s a “new must” for every creator looking to break in. The Kickstarter was looking to raise $20,000 and it overdelivered with over $85,000. Pretty impressive, right?  You can still purchase this one on her site here.

I rescued a few paperbacks from my friends at Wonderland Comics in Rochester. It’s a great little comic shop that always seems to have some lost treasures out for sale.  This loot was just great:

I found four Flash Gordon paperbacks. These tell the prose version from Alex Raymond’s wonderful strip. You might think that Flash Gordon without the art is kind of pointless, but ever since I read the Avon paperback version of The Lion Men of Mongo (when I was a sixth grader), I’ve been hooked. Most of the adaptations were written by Ron Goulart and with wonderful George Wilson covers.

These 1980 editions are very curious: they are the British versions with wonky covers by British artist Melvyn Grant. This series sports a kooky logo (I don’t think it was ever again used) a topless witch and a version of Flash Gordon that looks an awful lot like Sam Jones, who was the lead of the Flash Gordon movie being released at the time.

I also rescued five The Shadow paperbacks. These were published by Pyramid back in the day, and I just loved them.  The stories were fun, but those Steranko covers were so fantastic.

And let me fast-forward to a pulp convention just a few years ago.  We were all packing up, and Jim Steranko pulls me aside and says, “Ed, I need your help with something.”  As he’s an artistic hero of mine, I responded with “Sure, Jim, whatever you need.”

We were breaking down our exhibition booths and wrapping up the convention. He then directs me to help put the original Shadow paintings into his car. Handling those paintings was one of those experiences I will never forget.  Hell, I’d rather have touched a Steranko painting than the Mona Lisa, you know?  That was one special day, let me tell you.

One last item:  latest issue of Vanity Fair (with Dakota Johnson on the cover) has an astounding ad on the inside back cover. It’s for the upcoming Pulp Power: The Shadow, Doc Savage, and the Art of the Street & Smith Universe by Neil McGinness. How could such a genre book be advertising in a snooty magazine like Vanity Fair? I found it perplexing until a fellow pulp fan pointed out the obvious – Conde Naste owns VF and The Shadow and Doc Savage. It all quickly made sense to me.

You can order this one from your local bookstore, comic shop or via one of my favorite online booksellers Bud Plant!  (And to bring it full circle, I miss seeing his booth each year at San Diego Comic-Con too.)

Ok- that’s it. Go out and have fun. And don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen!