Sunday, 29 March 2015

Withnail auf Deutsch! Wir wollen sie hier und wir wollen sie jetzt!

Britische Kunst.A clip from the German version of the film. Wir wollen sie hier und wir wollen sie jetzt.

Posted by Ian DB on Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sunday, 22 March 2015

You Gotta Be F***ing Kidding... A Thing From Another World Gallery

One of the select items currently on offer from Withnail Books via eBay is a vintage paperback of The Thing From Another World. It's actually the UK first edition, published by Cherry Tree Books (under their short lived Fantasy Books imprint), with great cover art by Terry Maloney. It's the only copy I can find currently for sale anywhere online. Here it is:

Campbell's novella was originally published in the August 1938 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction under the title Who Goes There?, but by 1952, when this edition reportedly appeared (there's no date inside), the story had become the basis of the Howard Hawks movie, hence the re-titling. The excellent Bear Alley blog has the details of the Fantasy Books line here.
UPDATE: The Withnail Books copy has now SOLD.

The story didn't make the cover of Astounding back in 1938, but was given pride of place when Shasta published a collection of Campbell's stories in 1948, with a truly bonkers dust jacket design by Hannes Bok.

Be prepared to pay comfortably into three figures for a copy of the Shasta edition which still has its wrapper, even more comfortably if it's one of the 200-odd (out of the 3,000 print run) which was signed by Campbell.

There's a later Shasta printing – post-movie – with a different design.

Nice, but the Bok definitely wins. To round off, here's a choice selection of The Thing things, from other early editions through to the essential John Carpenter movie (with its US one sheet painted by Drew Struzan in the course of one night, so tight was his deadline) and beyond...

(Those last three are Mondo prints by Tyler Stout, Randy Ortiz and Jock respectively. No, you can't get them any more – like all Mondo prints, they sold out in seconds – and no, you can't afford to buy them on the secondary market, even if you can find one for sale...)

Sunday, 15 March 2015

A LLAP Cover Gallery, And The Best Leonard Nimoy Interview You'll Ever See

As a youth, long before I had ever heard the term 'cosplay', I once haphazardly sewed strips of gold material around the cuffs and and onto the chest of my best blue polo neck sweater, because I thought it would make me look more like Mr Spock. (It didn't.)

The very fact that I wanted to be like Spock, rather than Kirk, is thanks to Gene Roddenberry for envisaging a character that geeks could aspire to be, but even more thanks to Leonard Nimoy for embodying that character, and making him by far the coolest person on the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

Nimoy's recent death wasn't a surprise to fans who had been following his health problems for several years, but the shock and sense of loss at his passing was nevertheless remarkable, and a testament to the impact he made both as an iconic character, and from all accounts, as a thoroughly nice bloke.

My favourite story to sum up the man came from Quint over at Ain't It Cool News:

I do want to leave off sharing an anecdote that I'm not sure even Mr. Nimoy was aware of. I was told a story once about the early days of the Star Trek reboot. Before they solidified the script Abrams and team knew that they needed a bridge from the last series to this one. They toyed with Spock, they toyed with Kirk and they even toyed with both together.
Remember for a long time Nimoy wanted to seperate himself from the character, so they decided they'd approach them both and see who showed interest and make their decision on which way to go from there. They went to Shatner first and told him the story and how they were thinking about doing it. His reaction was that he'd come back, but only if it was Kirk without Spock.
Then they went to Nimoy, told him the story and how Spock would fit in if he agreed. He loved it and said he would do it. He only had one question: "Do you think you could find a place in it for my friend Bill?"

I never met Nimoy or saw him at a convention (though I did book him as guest onto The Big Breakfast once), but I can't imagine that there was ever a better career overview interview with him than the hugely extensive one conducted a few years ago by the Television Academy Foundation. Put it this way, you're over an hour in before he even starts talking about Star Trek.

You can see it HERE and I can't recommend it highly enough. There's a real treasure trove of similar interviews with TV actors and producers on this site, including ones with pretty much all the rest of the surviving Star Trek cast.

One little factoid Nimoy reveals which I'd never heard before: when NBC launched the series back in 1966, the marketing department feared that Spock's 'Satanic' look would put off stations in the Bible Belt, so promotional material airbrushed photos of Nimoy to straighten out his eyebrows and take the points off his ears...

Marketing people, eh? I'm with Bill Hicks.

Spock almost instantly became Star Trek's poster boy (much to the chagrin of one William Shatner, who thought he was the star) and since then Nimoy's face has appeared on the cover of hundreds if not thousands of publications. Here's a few which caught my eye googling around, including covers for various editions (and a nice fan-designed variant) of Nimoy's two volumes of autobiography, the confusingly titled I Am Not Spock and I Am Spock...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Biggles Gets A Bastard Behind the Eyes

Blog's a bit late this week... mainly due to Sunday being a bit of a washout after a Saturday night lock-in at the Robin Hood, which featured a near-encounter with the local darts legend The Phantom Arrow (it's a very long story).

Anyway, Sunday was given over to a Bastard Behind the Eyes, hence no blogging.

To make up for that, here's some jolly nice pictures of Biggles, from a pile of his adventures which has just arrived in the Little Shop. Nothing to excite the hardcore collector I fear, but lots of reading for those that like that sort of thing. The copy of Biggles Takes a Holiday is a 1949 first edition, but it's seen better days. Some bluff cove has even seen fit to stub out his cigar on page 87, leaving a ruddy great burnt hole into page 88.

The illustrations (by 'Stead', aka Leslie Leonard Stead) are rather spiffing though.

This has always been my favourite bit of Biggles though...

I was delighted to discover that thanks to dedicated fan Roger Harris, the original artwork the Biggles figure was copied from for the above now resides chez Palin...