March 30, 2015

PULP FICTION EXAMINED

Upcoming release: Beat Girls, Love Tribes, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950-1980. Paul Bishop and David Foster from Spy Vibe sister-sites, Bish's Beat and Permission To Kill, have teamed up with a number of other pulp authors and pop culture scholars to create an exciting overview of mass-market paperbacks. From the press release: "The first comprehensive account of the rise of youth culture and mass-market paperback fiction in the postwar period, Beat Girls is a must-read for anyone interested in retro and subcultural style and popular fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion and culture, pulp fiction followed their every step, hyping and exploiting their behavior and language for mass consumption. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early fifties, through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. Boasting wild covers and action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves. Featuring over 300 pulp covers, many never before reprinted, as well 70 in-depth author interviews and biographies, articles and reviews, Beat Girls offers the most extensive survey of the era’s mass market pulp fiction. Novels by well-known authors like Harlan Ellison, Lawrence Block, Evan Hunter/Ed McBain, and by filmmakers Samuel Fuller and Ed Wood Jr., are discussed alongside neglected obscurities and contemporary bestsellers ripe for rediscovery. More than 20 critics and scholars of popular culture contributed to this celebration of a fascinating body of work." This project thrills me on a number of levels. As a kid who searched the bookshops every weekend for James Bond and Man From U.N.C.L.E paperbacks, my eyes always scanned over the piles of other authors and series titles that crammed the mystery and adventure shelves. There were so many I didn't have time to explore, but now Beat Girls can serve as an excellent introduction! And as an adult with a background in sociology, I'm especially interested to read about mass-market books and how they reflected youth culture and changes in society during the Cold War. Beat Girls comes out in November from Verse Chorus Press, but you can pre-order on Amazon here. Congratulations to Paul, David, and the Beat Girls team for what will certainly prove to be an essential addition to everyone's Spy Vibe library. 


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Leonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsBond LEGODeadlier Than the MaleSpectre ReportMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRoad to Hong KongInside Gerry AndersonRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearSPECTRE AnnouncedPopular SkulltureNew Gerry Anderson SetsNew SECRET AGENT setArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyModesty MondayFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishHome MoviesNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

March 28, 2015

PATTIE BOYD

Pattie Boyd was recently in town to open a new exhibit of her photographs at the San Francisco Art Exchange. I'm hearing great things about her work and even more about her wonderful energy and down-to-earth vibe. It's been many years since Boyd captured the imagination of Swinging London as a fashion model and wife of Beatle George Harrison, but she shows no sign of slowing down her creative efforts. You can learn more about the exhibit here. Below: Pattie Boyd models a Brilkie dress in 1964, photographed by Chaloner Woods with EMI pressings of A Hard Days Night (She appeared in the film, where she first met Harrison), Please Please Me, and With the Beatles. For those collectors out there, the AHDN record is the Mono pressing. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Leonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsBond LEGODeadlier Than the MaleSpectre ReportMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRoad to Hong KongInside Gerry AndersonRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearSPECTRE AnnouncedPopular SkulltureNew Gerry Anderson SetsNew SECRET AGENT setArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyModesty MondayFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishHome MoviesNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

March 27, 2015

RICHARD SALA: VIOLENT GIRLS

Fantagraphics just announced a limited-edition signed portfolio by the maestro of macabre mystery, Richard Sala! The writer/artist, whose work draws on many genre faves (James Bond, Fantomas, Judex, Dick Tracy, The Avengers, Dr. Mabuse, serials, and classic horror), is a regular here at the Spy Vibe lair. I always enjoy our lengthy discussions about mystery and adventure conventions, sleuths, diabolical masterminds, and Emma Peel. And I eagerly await each new project from Sala's imagination. He worked on a series of images recently that focused on kick-ass female characters (his specialty) and called it Violent Girls. Now that series can be yours to frame and collect! From the press release: "Violent Girls is a limited-edition portfolio featuring 44 action portraits lovingly inspired by the kind of dangerous females who have populated pulp fiction and B-movies throughout the history of pop culture—blazing their way through every kind of genre, potboiler, cliffhanger, and fever dream imaginable. Each print in this thick set is 9" x 7" and on sturdy archival matte paper that faithfully captures the look of the original watercolor art. The set has been created with the utmost care in a "pad folio" format, meaning you may either keep the set in it's handsome book form and place it on your bookshelf, or you may detach any or all prints you wish (pages can be removed cleanly with no tears or mess) and hang them on your wall. Printed by Jonathan Barli of Rosebud Archives. Best known for the macabre whimsy of his many pop gothic graphic novels, including The Hidden, Delphine, and Cat Burglar Black, Richard Sala has also exhibited his artwork internationally and drawn illustrations for Playboy, Esquire, The New York Times, Google and Penguin Books. His fondness for embracing the campy and the absurd is reflected in his affectionate depictions of these lovely and deadly violent girls. The lively original drawings of crisp, angular ink line-work and vibrant splashes of watercolor are reproduced with the utmost care on thick, acid-free sheets. The unique PadFolio format allows each archival print to be detached for individual use or to be kept intact in book form." Signed and numbered, limited to 250. Details here. Tumblr page here. Spy Vibe's Richard Sala posts: Super-Enigmatix Interview, In a Glass Grotesquely, Adventures of Richard Sala Interview, Rogue's Galleries, Invisible Hands, The Hidden. Below: Samples from the Violent Girls series. Enjoy!









Selected Spy Vibe posts: Leonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsBond LEGODeadlier Than the MaleSpectre ReportMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRoad to Hong KongInside Gerry AndersonRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearSPECTRE AnnouncedPopular SkulltureNew Gerry Anderson SetsNew SECRET AGENT setArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyModesty MondayFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishHome MoviesNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

March 26, 2015

LEONARD NIMOY TRIBUTE

Born on this day in 1931, Leonard Nimoy recently passed away at the age of 83. Nimoy grew up in Boston, and like his Star Trek partner and life-long friend William Shatner, he began acting at age 8 (the two men were also born only four days apart!). Small productions as a High School student and during a summer course at Boston College led him to Hollywood in 1949 to seek work as an actor. It took him two years to land small parts, and his first leading role came in 1952 with Kid Monk Baroni. Foreshadowing his most famous role in the 1960s, Nimoy played a sympathetic alien in the 1952 Republic cliffhanger serial, Zombies of the Stratosphere (a cult classic!). He appeared in small roles on a number of TV shows throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, including Dragnet, M Squad, Sea Hunt, Bonanza, The Untouchables, Wagon Train, Rawhide, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Combat!. His credits in the spy genre included The Man From U.N.C.L.E. "The Project Strigas Affair" (1964) costarring William Shatner, Get Smart "The Dead Spy Scrawls" (1966), and a long run playing an operative named Paris (replacing Martin Landau's Roland Hand) in Mission: Impossible (1969-1971). Images: Nimoy in Mission: Impossible. Story continues below.


Leonard Nimoy was cast as the half-Vulcan science officer, Mr. Spock, on Star Trek in 1966. Show creator, Gene Roddenberry, once called Spock the conscience of Star Trek. Nimoy's ability to bring dignity and earnestness to the role served Roddenberry's vision to tackle racial and political issues within the Sci-Fi framework. The pilot episode saw a multi-species bridge crew (and a female first officer, played by Roddenberry's wife, Majel Barrett!). The show was picked up, but not after some alterations. Russian and Japanese bridge crew members now joined Mr. Spock, but Barrett was relegated to the role of a nurse (boo!). Although the series was not as enlightened as Roddenberry had hoped as far as woman's liberation was concerned, it did highlight the first African-American female in a major role (communications officer on the bridge) and the first inter-racial kiss on US prime-time TV. Star Trek also dealt with Cold War-era tensions, as the Federation struggled to expand its community in the face of hostile alien races. And the thrill of the USS Enterprise and its mission "to explore strange new worlds and seek out new civilizations" captured the passion and curiosity (and patriotism) fueled by the very-real Space Race that was going on between the two world powers. But it was Spock's steady logic and faith in science that was the pivotal ingredient that draw in audience empathy and loyalty. Nimoy apparently enjoyed playing underdogs and he spoke positively about how Spock afforded him both an outsider to portray on-screen, as well as the wider popularity and success he needed to support his family. Star Trek became an integral part of Nimoy's career, with appearances as Mr. Spock throughout the original series, the animated series, Star Trek The Next Generationand the original-cast feature films (he directed two of the best!). He was also the only original series member to appear in the new Star Trek Franchise by J.J. Abrams (Majel Barrett's voice continued to be used as the Starfleet computer up through the the first Abrams film). Nimoy's final Spock roles were that of "Spock Prime", his original character now offering wisdom as mentor to a younger, alternate timeline Spock. Nimoy brought serious dedication to Mr. Spock throughout the years, and he drew on some of his experiences as the son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants to create the role. According to his first autobiography, I Am Not Spock, the famous Vulcan hand-sign was inspired by a gesture of blessing made by the Kohanim and stood as symbol for Almighty God (and Shalom).


Growing up in Boston, Leonard Nimoy developed an interest in Photography at the age of 13. It was a passion he would eventually return to later in life. I have taught Photography in private schools for over twenty years, mostly on the east coast, and I used to pass by Nimoy's rep, R. Michelson Galleries, in Northampton, Massachusetts. Nimoy's approach to his work was quite interesting. Rather than relying on the hunt for images out in the world, he considered himself to be a conceptual photographer. Driven by cohesive ideas, he worked on a number of series projects that mainly originated as studio constructions. One of the most memorable series was called The Full Body Project, which focussed on nude studies of plus-size women. It was fantastic to see an artist, who frequently chose nudes as his venue, to celebrate the beauty and dignity of people who are otherwise neglected in a society obsessed with body-type. In the intimate discussion film with William Shatner, Mind Meld (2001), Nimoy spoke of finding great serenity as an elderly man. As the two old friends talked in Nimoy's garden, the actor said that his days were now dedicated to serenity, creative work, and to giving back to the community as a patron of the arts and through charity  His final "tweet" before his death last month was, "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP (Live Long and Prosper)." Learn More: New York Times obituary, Mr. Spock the Photographer, Spy Vibe's William Shatner at 84. Image below: Michelson Galleries/Seth Kaye Photography. Essential Nimoy as actor and/or director: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. "The Project Strigas Affair" (1964), Star Trek (1966-1969), Mission: Impossible (1969-1971), The Wrath of Khan (1982), The Search For Spock (1984), The Voyage Home (1986), The Transformers: The Movie (1986), 3 Men and a Baby (1987), Star Trek The Next Generation "Unification" (1991), Mind Meld (2001).


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Shatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsBond LEGODeadlier Than the MaleSpectre ReportMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRoad to Hong KongInside Gerry AndersonRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearSPECTRE AnnouncedPopular SkulltureNew Gerry Anderson SetsNew SECRET AGENT setArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyModesty MondayFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishHome MoviesNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella Returns007 Audio Books ReturnDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsMattel X-15Thunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Danger Diabolik Soundtrack, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese BooksThe 10th Victim German EditionThe Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.
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