Thursday, December 06, 2007

Shipping More to the Bissette Collection at HUIE Library...

Another jam-packed day, but among my interminable chores every month is the continuing prep, packing and shipping of my collection to Lea Ann Alexander and her staff at HUIE Library, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

This is an ongoing project, now into its third or fourth year, and I thought I'd post a sample ship list just to give you some idea of what info I provide to Lea Ann and her co-workers (and HSU instructor Randy Duncan, who instigated this whole process with his usual "oh, I'm not really doing anything special" diplomacy and grace). Note, too, I am also regularly donating books to The Center for Cartoon Studies Schulz Library and selling off some collectibles in the Quechee Gorge Village Antique Mall booth (dealer #653) -- it's a process, folks.

Here's the contents list for two boxes going out next week. Mind you, this isn't a particularly representative shipment -- there's almost no art, scripts, documents, comics or graphic novels in this particular shipment, which constitutes most of what has been donated already to the HUIE Special Collection. The link to the Collection is forever available to you on the link menu at right -- in time, this information will be online in some form, another huge project related to this special collections venture.

FYI, the goal is to ensure my collection is available long after I'm gone to comics/movie/media/etc. researchers, scholars, creators, fans, etc. and Maia, Danny, Mike and my own heirs (and minimize their nightmare of dealing with "my shit" after I'm gone).

Just thought you might enjoy a snapshot of the process this morning. Have a throbbin' Thursday, folks!

Bissette books:

* DEAD MAN’S HAND (October 2007, Center for Cartoon Studies student anthology, White River Junction, VT) -- Two (2) copies. This student-edited and published anthology features a new 6-page story by Bissette, “Tenderfoot,” completed fall 2007. This was created and published for its debut at the October 2007 SPX independent comics convention in Bethesda, MD; note these copies are signed by most of the CCS participants (inside front cover).

* Foreign Edition of SWAMP THING: SWAMP THING L’INTEGRALE: VOLUME III: LA MALEDICTION (2005, Delcourt/Guy Delcourt Productions, France) -- Note the inclusion of one special piece by yours truly, the original pencil art for the final page of SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #24 on the final page of this collection. I was invited to contribute additional material to this collection series, sans payments, and sent photocopies of many of my original pencils. Alas, few were used.

Related books:

* John Totleben’s FETAL BRAIN TANGO (1991, TundraPublishing Ltd, Northampton, MA) -- “Volume Two in the Tundra Sketchbook Series” features a delightful collection of John’s sketches, doodles and color pieces in many media. John was, of course, my fellow artist on SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, a fellow XQB (ex-Kubert School student) and a dear friend of 30 years!


* “DIANE...” THE TWIN PEAKS TAPES OF AGENT COOPER (1990, Audioworks/Simon & Schuster Audio, NY) -- Based on the David Lynch/Mark Frost TV series, performed by Kyle MacLachlan, who played FBI Agent Dale Cooper on TWIN PEAKS. Single cassette, library casing (cut packaging), but complete. I love David Lynch and Mark Frost’s work, and Marge and I loved and love TWIN PEAKS -- this audiocassette took years to track down; this is a second copy from my home collection.


I’m sending you a chunk of my expansive cinema/film book library this shipment, the tip of the iceberg -- more coming in the future! Believe it or not, these are all (choke) doubles. Note the dominance of genre (all genre) studies, which is a particular interest of mine, and of review books covering specific eras, specifically the late ‘60s-early ‘70s -- the years of my personal maturation and of the American cinema, post-MPAA code repression of what could be filmed and shown and during the initial years of freedom promised by the new MPAA Ratings system. All books listed here are original hardcover editions in dustjackets, unless otherwise indicated.

* JOE BOB GOES BACK TO THE DRIVE-IN (1990, Delacorte Press, NY) and
* IRON JOE BOB by Joe Bob Briggs (aka John Bloom) (1992, Atlantic Monthly Press, NY) -- Paperback editions. “We Are the Weird” (newsletter) and “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In” (newspaper column, two books collections) codified Bloom under his pen name Joe Bob Briggs as one of the popular advocates of junk culture and satiric male paradigms of the ‘80s and ‘90s. These books followed the demise of his column, booted from its Texan-based syndicate due to content and the dwindling drive-ins surviving into the ‘90s. Briggs and my buddy Chas Balun (THE GORE SCORE, etc.) both parodied and codified an approach to criticism and cinema writing that is now popularized and prevalent, particulalry in genre magazines (RUE MORGUE) and circles.

* THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ANDY WARHOL by Victor Bockris (1989, Bantam Books, NY etc.) -- pb edition, slight wear. Bockris’s excellent bio of 1960s pop artist Andy Warhol covers all aspects of Warhol’s life, art, filmmaking and career.

* PROJECTIONS 7, edited by John Boorman and Walter Donohue (1997, Faber & Faber, London/Boston) -- The seventh volume of this excellent paperback-format cinema magazine; I have nearly a complete set, this is a double. Boorman is the famed director of POINT BLANK, EXCALIBUR, DELIVERANCE, etc., and PROJECTIONS was a key resource in the ‘90s.

* JOSEPH LOSEY: A REVENGE ON LIFE by David Caute (1994, Oxford University Press, NY) -- Expansive, definitive biography of seminal filmmaker Joseph Losey, who survived the notorious 1950s HUAC blacklist to make some of the key films of the ‘60s and early ‘70s. Great book, great bio, and essential guide to Losey’s life and films.

* A HISTORY OF NARRATIVE FILM (SECOND EDITION) by David Cook (1981, 1990, W. W. Norton & Company, NY) -- Arthur Knight’s THE LIVELIEST ART remains the most readable cinema history, but Cook’s book is more expansive, comprehensive and exhaustive, a magnificent book. Together, the Cook and Knight books are key texts in any cinema library.

* THE WESTERN: FROM SILENTS TO THE SEVENTIES (New and Expanded Edition) by George N. Fenin and William K. Everson (1973, Grossman Publishers, NY) -- The original 1962 edition of this book was the first excellent book on any film genre published in the US, followed in 1967 by Carlos Clarens’s definitive AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE HORROR FILM. This is an essential work and a landmark in cinema studies for my generation, hence its inclusion in the collection! This is the revised edition, encompassing the major changes the genre enjoyed in the ‘60s (Sergio Leone, Sam Peckinpah, etc.) and early ‘70s.

* SCIENCE FICTION FILM DIRECTORS, 1895-1998 by Dennis Fischer (2000, McFarland & Company, Inc., NC) -- Comprehensive critical overview of key genre directors, including an introductory brief history of sf films and concluding section on key sf films by non-genre directors; all in all, an invaluable tome for the collection.

* WAR MOVIES by Brock Garland (1987, Facts on File Publications, NY/Oxford UK) -- Efficient alphabetical overview of the war film genre is fortified with Garland’s concise history of the genre in the short introductory piece, a handy reference.

* THE FIFTY-YEAR DECLINE AND FALL OF HOLLYWOOD by Ezra Goodman (1961, Simon and Schuster, NY) -- hc some wear, no dj. Worthy and solid read providing an industry insider take on the American film industry through to the end of the 1950s, roughly the eve of the collapse of the classic Hollywood studio system.

* THE BFI COMPANION TO CRIME, edited by Phil Hardy (1997, University of California Press, CA) -- BFI is the British Film Institute, and this book series in invaluable; I contributed to the BFI COMPANION TO HORROR, which I think is already in the collection. I think. Great overview of crime films to the late ‘90s, excellent resource and guide.

* THE LIVELIEST ART: A PANORAMIC HISTORY OF THE MOVIES (REVISED EDITION) by Arthur Knight (1957, 1978, The Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., NY) -- Still the most readable, engaging one-volume history of cinema; I made sure to ship the revised edition, which brings Knight’s seminal 1957 tome up to the key changes in cinema internationally of the mid-’70s. A magnificent book, best one-stop film history read available.

* WOMEN IN FILM: AN INTERNATIONAL GUIDE, edited by Annette Kuhn and Susannah Radstone (1990, Fawcett Columbine, NY) -- Excellent cross-referenced guide to women filmmakers in all aspects of cinema and the film industry.

* 3 Volume set: SCIENCE FICTION, HORROR & FANTASY FILM AND TELEVISION CREDITS, Second Edition, by Harris M. Lentz III (2001, McFarland & Company, Inc., NC) -- I’m glad I’m also able to donate this set to the collection, it will undoubtably prove of use to many down the road. Vol. 1: Credits (filmographies for many key genre performers, filmmakers, writers, special effects and makeup artists, cinematographers, etc.), Vol. 2: Filmography (comprehensive alphabetical listing with credits of all known genre works circa 2001), Vol. 3: Television Shows (the same, only for TV series and one-shots).

* DIANYING: ELECTRIC SHADOWS: AN ACCOUNT OF FILMS AND THE FILM AUDIENCE IN CHINA by Jay Leyda (1972, MIT Press, Cambridge MA) -- slightly worn pb edition. The essential history of Chinese film in the English language, and given the incredible explosion and new access to Asian cinema today, an more vital book than ever before. Leyda’s net is cast over the Chinese film industry and medium’s growth from its roots in the 1890s to the mid-1960s; great book.

* MOVIE LOT TO BEACHHEAD: THE MOTION PICTURE GOES TO WAR AND PREPARES FOR THE FUTURE by “the Editors of LOOK”, preface by Robert St. John (1945, Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., NY) -- hc with minor wear, sans dj. Unique, rather extraordinary book on the WW2 alliance of Hollywood and the Pentagon and US gov’t to produce a coherent propaganda front for America via motion pictures -- studio features, documentaries, shorts, military programs, etc. This includes the Warner Bros. cartoon studio SNAFU animated shorts (see pp. 56-57), the ‘recruitment’ of initially reluctant Chinese Americans to play Japanese villains, the role actors and actresses played (both actively serving in the military, and/or entertaining the troops, etc.), and much, much more. Remarkable book, and invaluable to any student/instructor/researcher charting propaganda of any kind, and the role of ‘entertainment’ in gov’t sponsored wartime propaganda.

* LORENTZ ON FILM: MOVIES 1927 TO 1941 by Pare Lorenz (1975, Hopkinson and Blake, NY) -- Excellent collection of early film criticism from the end of the silent era to WW2, another primary volume in my collection.

* PEOPLE WEEKLY MAGAZINE GUIDE TO MOVIES ON VIDEO, edited by Ralph Novak and Peter Travers (1987, Collier Books/Macmillan Publishing Company, NY/London) -- Now, I collect old TV and video movieguides. I am using them for a number of projects to track the pop cultural shift in assessment of genre films -- horror, sf, fantasy and ‘trash chic’ films. This is one of many, and they’ll all end up in the collection. Keep ‘em. These are ephemeral in one way, yes, but these are great barometers for popular tastes -- good and bad -- and will be of use to some lonely researcher down the road. Trust me.

* BIG SCREEN LITTLE SCREEN by Rex Reed (1971, The Macmillan Company, NY) -- worn hc, sans dj. Rex Reed’s film reviews and articles from 1968-71 for WOMEN’S WEAR DAILY covers four of the liveliest years in American film history, including his own role in the notorious X-rated MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (pg. 263, which Reed cites as one of the worst films of 1970 herein).

* THE REEL TINSEL by Bernard Rosenberg and Harry Silverstein (1970, The Macmillan Company, NY) -- slightly worn pb edition. Fine collection of unique photos (most behind-the-scenes) and 24 interviews with film actors, directors, producers, etc. provides much of value and many great anecdotes.

* PRIVATE SCREENINGS: VIEWS OF THE CINEMA OF THE SIXTIES by John Simon (1967, The Macmillan Company, NY) and
REVERSE ANGLE: A DECADE OF AMERICAN FILMS (1982, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., NY) -- Though I rarely agreed with Simon’s views -- his views of cinema are a generation removed from mine, and he often despised the very films most important to me personally -- he was a tremendously affluent and articulate cinema critic, and these collections of his 1960s reviews and essays and subsequent overview of the 1970s are invaluable. The years 1963-66 and 1970-82 are covered here, making these ideal companions to some of the other critical anthologies in this shipment.

* SCREAMS OF REASON: MAD SCIENCE AND MODERN CULTURE by David J. Skal (1998, W.W. Norton & Company, NY) -- Skal is among the most perceptive and intelligent of all writers to specialize in writing pop analysis of the horror/sf/fantasy genre and its cultural underpinings, purposes and importance, and this is one of his most incisive books, tracing the archetypes of science and scientists as embodied in each respective generation’s popular sf/horror films.

* RIVER OF SHADOWS: EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL WILD WEST by Rebecca Solnit (2003, Penguin Books, NY etc.) -- Best book I’ve ever read on influential photographer/inventor Muybridge, whose photographic studies of humans and animals in motion are still primary reference works for cartoonists and artists. Muybridge’s 19th Century high-speed photography experimentation also fueled the birth of cinema.

* ENCHANTED DRAWINGS: THE HISTORY OF ANIMATION by Charles Solomon (1989, Alfred A. Knopf, NY) -- First Edition, with plastic dustjacket; rare! Glorious overview of the animated cartoon, fully illustrated and among my favorite books on the subject -- and a necessary addition to the HUIE Library selection. I hope this gets some use.

* BEYOND FORMULA: AMERICAN FILM GENRES by Stanley J. Solomon (1976, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., NY etc.) -- Fine introductory critical text/analysis of primary American film genres: westerns, musicals, horror, crime, detective and war films, focusing on seven-eight key titles from each genre to define parameters, themes, permutations, the language and the function of each. Some wear to this edition, a second copy heavily used.

* PRODUCED AND ABANDONED: THE BEST FILMS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN, edited by Michael Sragow (1990, Mercury House, Inc., San Franciso) -- worn pb copy. Terrific anthology collecting essays, articles and reviews of some of the most overlooked films of the ‘70s and ‘80s, including many of my personal favorites. A great film class or festival(s) could (and has) been built around this book!

* THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN: THE FILM COMPANION by Richard Taylor (2000, I.B. Taurus, NY/London) -- KINOfiles Film Companion 1, first in the series, offers the best single-volume overview of Sergei Eisenstein’s classic 1925 Russian feature film BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, from production to release and legacy. Comics scholars note the classic “injury to the eye” imagery gracing the cover; what would Dr. Wertham have said, had he been paying attention?

Dinosaur books:

* Boxed set LITTLE LIBRARY OF DINOSAURS by Isaac Asimov, illustrated by Christopher Santoro (1989, Chatham River Press/Arlington House, Inc., NY) -- boxed set of five compact illustrated children’s dinosaur books by the famous science and science-fiction author Asimov, printed on heavy-duty cardboard stock and in original packaging.

Action Figures/Toys:

* Dinosaur brass figure: Plesiosaurus (1941, Sell Rite Giftware, NY) -- My favorite old dino shelf figure, one of a handful of 1941 brass-coated lead dino figures I had (some already shipped to the HUIE collection) -- see the “SRG” listing on pp. 89-90 of Dana Cain’s Dinosaur Collectibles (1999, Antique Trader Books).

* Dinosaur Pewter figure: Raptor (1998) -- Cool pewter dinosaur, a shelf knick-knack in my drawing studio of yore.

* Dinosaur stone figure: Tyrannosaurus rex (circa 1990s) -- another Bissette studio shelf dino doodad.

* Dinosaur plush stuffed toy (circa 1990?) -- Another Bissette studio shelf item, origin unknown, possibly from Japan (import); likely a gift from Maia or Danny.

* GAMERA toy (1996, Bandai): l’il tiny plastic figurine of JIGER from GAMERA VS. JIGER/GAMERA TAI DAIMAJU JAIGA aka GAMERA VS. MONSTER X, WAR OF THE MONSTERS or MONSTERS INVADE EXPO ‘70 (1970, Daiei), in original packaging with ‘monster container’ and ID tag attached. Note this figure and character is NOT listed in Collecting Japanese Movie Monsters by Dana Cain (1998, Antique Trader Books); it should be on pg. 153, but no go!

* GODZILLA plastic figure (1990?) -- Source, unknown: original Japanese 1990s series Godzilla figure.

* Two GODZILLA plastic figures in eggs (199?) --
- Large tan egg w/scale pattern: ES Toys wind-up walking Godzilla in egg: you wind up the top section of the egg, then press the tiny release button on the side of the egg to release the walking Godzilla. This MAY be from the Takara “Wind-Up Egg Series”, FT6011 (Godzilla) -- see Sean Klinkenback, An Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles (1998, Schiffer), pg. 124 -- or an imitation of that product.
- Small purple egg: Bright green Godzilla or Baby Godzilla from 1990s series, source/manufacturer unknown.

* GODZILLA tiny figure (painted, circa 199?) -- Tiny painted Godzilla figurine, ‘squashed’ style.

* GODZILLA toys: Tiny RODAN, KING GHIDORAH (aka GHIDRAH) in plastic bubble (as packaged) (1991, IMS) -- Japanese toys in toy dispenser bubble packaging, complete with small brochure/folder for entire line of Godzilla figures in this format.

* GODZILLA toys: SD-GODZILLA DAIKESSEN (1992, Bandai) -- This is also known as “Superdeformed boxed set” or “SD GODZILLA GIANT MONSTER SET”, featuring 10 1” “finger puppets in box set” -- this is the complete set, in original packaging (with only slight wear, due to storage), of the ten-figure “tiny” Godzilla/Toho monster universe monsters for the 1990s revisionist Godzilla movies. More on these when I lay hands on the right book! See Cain, Collecting Japanese Movie Monsters, pg. 40; Klinkenback, An Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles, pg. 121.

* GODZILLA toys: GODZILLA WORLD monsters in box (1994, Morinaga) -- trio of classic (1950s-’70s) era Godzilla/Toho monster figures, in original packaging, featuring Godzilla (classic design, circa GODZILLA vs. MOTHRA, 1964), Angulus aka aka Anguilas aka Angiras (circa GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN, 1955) and the non-Godzilla monster Baragon (from FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD/ FURANKENSHUTAIN TAI CHITEI KAIJU BARAGON, 1965). The candy was eaten long ago (it’s pictured on the box); see Klinkenback, An Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles, pg. 113, TC1038 “Godzilla Chocolate (1994-1995),” which indicates two figures per box -- hmmm, this had three.

- NOTE: someone with more time than I have just now should consult one of the Godzilla guides -- Klinkenback, An Unauthorized Guide to Godzilla Collectibles, and/or Collecting Japanese Movie Monsters by Dana Cain (1998, Antique Trader Books, which I believe IS in the HUIE collection already via prior shipment) -- to double-check my references here, and hopefully identify those items I cannot.

* GRO DINOSAUR (circa 199?) -- In original packaging; manufacturer, year of release unknown and unlisted.

* JURASSIC PARK III Raptor figure (2000, Hasbro) -- Bissette studio shelf toy, gift of my daughter Maia; push the little yellow button in the red gash wound, and hear the raptor gurgle!

* RAT FINK (1990) -- Miniature Edward “Big Daddy” Roth RAT FINK figurine from the early ‘60s, from its 1990 licensed merchandizing revival; further info unavailable, not sure where this studio shelf curio came from.

* THE CARNEGIE COLLECTION: A COLLECTOR’S GUIDE (Sixth Edition) (1998, Safari Ltd./The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Miami FL) -- Just found this booklet would should be kept in the collection with the Carnegie Collection dinosaurs sent in earlier years. This is a complete (circa 1998) guide to the Carnegie Collection of plastic dinosaur figures, which was among the best of the ‘90s.


* Dinosaur puzzle: POCKET PUZZLE TRAYPLAY PUZZLE: STEGOSAURUS (198?, Fink & Company, Inc. AK) -- Hey, an Arkansas-manufactured dino puzzle! In original shrink-wrap packaging, for very young (15 pieces, “Ages 3 and up”) players; second copy, the first (a gift for my kids when they were toddlers) long ago worn out and disposed of.

* Movie promo card: THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (1995, Kitchen Sink Press) -- Promo card from Kitchen Sink after its move to Northampton, MA and consolidation with Tundra, not sure why this was released or in conjunction with what KS product, but here ya go. Directors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro had registered internationally with their prior (debut) feature DELICATESSEN, still a classic.

* JURASSIC PARK invitations (1992, Gibson Greetings, Inc., Cincinnati OH) -- Two packages, unopened.

* View-Master ‘Classic Tales’ THE LITTLE YELLOW DINOSAUR (1971 edition, GAF Corporation, NY) -- 1971 re-issue of ‘classic’ (I remember it from my formative years, but don’t know when it was originally released) View-Master three-reel dinosaur tale, presented in the distinctive dimensional-model 3-D View-Master dioramas. I believe the booklet credit “scenes created by Mary Lewis” (see 16-page booklet, last page) refers to the booklet illustrations, not the dioramas. The bright, primary-colored dinosaurs make this appealing to younger viewers, though older or more ‘sophisticated’ dino fans (like me) preferred the more ‘realistic’ dinosaur coloration.

* 3-D glasses and my ticket stub from BEOWULF (11/16/07 screening at Reald Cinema venue in Minnesota) -- Well, the very weekend Henry Wagner and I flew out to spend the weekend with Neil Gaiman to interview Neil for THE NEIL GAIMAN COMPANION (2008, St. Martin’s Press, NY), Neil’s new feature film BEOWULF was opening -- and Hank and I went to see it with Neil’s personal assistant Lorraine Garland and her friend Jen. We did so at Neil’s insistence that the film had to be experienced in digital projection 3D, which simply isn’t available in Vermont, so off we went. I have an extensive collection of movie 3-D glasses, which will soon be on its way to HUIE to join this latest addition! BEOWULF the movie was fun, but the 3D was spectacular.

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