Thursday, October 29, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Booksteve-Thanks for talking with me this morning, sir. I do appreciate it.
B-That would have been about...?
A-Actually, I was the only person helping Woody at all, at that time. In the front room, renting space were Jack Abel and Syd Shores. I guess Woody and I must have worked together probably a year altogether, until I got on his nerves or did something awful to him. You know the SALLY FORTH page Neal Adams worked on?
B-There's very little info out there on that strip. You can find originals from SALLY and CANNON on Ebay or at some of these auction houses but never SHATTUCK. I finally found one Dave Cockrum drawing and that was it! I wrote to Howard Chaykin and he said, "That stuff is so long lost, I wouldn't know where to begin."
A-Just the inking, right?
B-I don't even see a trace of that in some of it. By the time the third issue of GANG BANG came out, Wood had been dead two years and they were still exploiting his stuff by reprinting old SCREW covers and fifties skin mag strips and cartoons.
A-I don't think I even saw that third one.
B-Going back a bit, what was your favorite Woodwork before you actually met him?
A-I'm sure Stan was very glad to get Woody.
A-Well, I learned a lot of stuff, of course. He taught me a great many things. He taught me how to set up a reference file and how to use it...even though I don't. Not at all the way Woody did. He taught me how to set up your tools. I still keep my ink bottles set up just like his. An ink bottle is the easiest thing in the world to tip over with a careless swipe of your hand. He built a contraption--this big thing--out of cardboard and masking tape. And it's got holes in it and a water bottle on the top of that anchors it down so you can't knock the stuff over. There are places to keep the lids for the water bottle and the ink bottle tops... Once a month Woody used to filter his India ink. I think this was when he was still living with Tatjana over on the West Side here. He had a lot of assistants and drawing tables all set up with ink bottles. Woody used to collect all the ink bottles and they'd filter the ink. Woody would strain the ink through cheesecloth and then he’d add distilled water and glycerin to make the ink the right consistency again. Then he’d refill all the ink bottles.
[girlish, falsetto voice] "Gee, we used to do that when WE were kids, Mr. Wood!" He was rolling on the floor. I could make fun of him. But Woody was not a funny guy in person, per se. He liked to play the guitar and sing Hank Williams songs.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Here's a unique find posted by Dave Rawlins over at Facebook. The music is the flip side of Bobby "Boris" Pickett's perennial hit record, MONSTER MASH and is entitled MONSTER MASH'S PARTY. The imagery, however, consists of a number of the TOPPS UGLY STICKERS from 1965. The original designs for these (if not the actual painted art) were by Wally Wood and Basil Woverton who would go on to both do similar characters for the covers of DC's PLOP in the mid-seventies!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
by Alan Kupperberg
I TIVO the GSN reruns of the "What's My Line?" kinescopes every night and Debbi and I often watch them during dinner. Yesterday they broadcast the WML? episode of June 22, 1958. After mystery guest Andy Griffith failed to stump the panel, the fourth and final contestant, a Mr. Alois S. Knapp, entered and signed in.
Mr. Knapp was a slight, elderly gentleman, sporting a white spade beard. My Spider-Senses began to tingle!
I knew this guy!
Moderator John Charles Daly saw to it that Mr. Knapp was seated and a card was super-imposed to show the folks in the audience and the folks at home just what Mr. Knapp's line actually was. The card read, "Owns and Operates Nudist Camp (self-employed).”
That's when the light bulb flashed on over my head, and I knew where I knew this guy from.
In late 1972 I was working for Wally Wood, ghosting Sally Forth and Cannon. It was Woody's habit to "pull swipes" or scrap on as much of his drawing as possible. His motto was, "Don't draw it if you can swipe it, don't swipe it if you can trace it, don't trace it if you can Xerox and paste it." Generally, I do not subscribe to this philosophy. I maintain a healthy swipe file and library but only refer to it when my "talent" or lack of it fails me. But, to each, his own.
Woody had many file cabinets filled with reference. Lots of Hal Foster and Alex Raymond and Reed Crandall tear sheets. And photos, torn from periodicals. Of places, things, animals, equipment, uniforms, etc. And people. Children. Men. Women. Men standing. Men squatting. Women running. Etc., etc. Whatever you can think of. At least one folder for each action, for each gender.
For one particular Cannon sequence Woody needed to "cast" the part of Jake, a farmer whom Cannon worked for.
This is Jake:
A lot of Woody's "people swipes" came from old nudist magazines, one of the very few good places to obtain that kind of photo reference material, showing musculature, in the early fifties when Woody was growing his swipe file.
Well, no doubt you've seen this coming for several paragraphs.
Jake was Alois S. Knapp.
I remember the specific swipe. Woody needed a shot for Cannon squatting by a farm tractor, making repairs. Out came the "Men Squatting" folder, from which was selected a shot, ripped from an old Nudist magazine, which included Mr. Knapp, nude and squatting. That's how this characterization was born.
This is a part of the shot that resulted from that piece of swipe:
In the original photo swipe, the nude Mr. Knapp featured quite a bit of "danglage" and this caused Woody and I to spend a good half an hour howling with laughter and riffing on the subject.
Thirtyseven years ago I saw a photo of an elderly nudist.
Yesterday I encountered his image again. And instantly recognized him.
I dunno what, if any thing, this demonstrates, beyond what a remarkable thing the human mind is, but I sure impressed myself.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009