June 11, 2001
SIGHT UNSEEN, I'm going to recommend The John Buscema Sketchbook, a forthcoming release from my pal J. David Spurlock and
his Vanguard Press. (How can I recommend a book I haven't seen? Well, I've seen David's other entries in his "sketchbook" series about
folks like Al Williamson, Carmine Infantino and Neal Adams, so I know he always does his subjects justice. And I know the work of this
subject. John Buscema has been a comic book "workhorse" for years but, boy, he draws better than just about anybody. Matter of fact, I
expect I'll find his "sketchbook" even more interesting than his finished art. During all those years drawing for Marvel, John would routinely
flip over the page he was drawing and sketch something, just for his own amusement, on the back. Collectors of original art actively seek out
these little treasures and fret over which side of the page is more deserving of framing.)
An e-mail from David informs us that the book is doing to press shortly, despite the fact that his ad didn't make it into the May issue
of Previews, the catalog from which comic book shops advance-order their wares. It has to go to press in order to be out for this year's
Comic-Con International in San Diego, where Mr. Buscema will be making a rare West Coast appearance. (I'll be conducting an interview with him
on Thursday at 1:00 and he'll be part of a Marvel Bullpen Reunion on Saturday at 4:00.) This means that the deluxe edition — signed and
numbered by Buscema and including a bonus portfolio — may be in short supply. There will be other editions later but you might want to
keep your eye peeled for the fancy $39.95 one...perhaps tell your local comic shop owner and reserve a copy. For more info, peek in at www.creativemix.com/vanguard.
FRIGHTENING STATISTICS DEPT.: Gary Grossmann is a rabid fan of Groo and other aberrant comic
books that I do with Sergio Aragonés. He's been helping me with a complete Groo Index that will soon be added to this site and he
informs me that, as of today, we have done 3793 pages of Groo stories. Looking at our back-up features, we find 75 pages of Sage
stories, 59 pages of Rufferto stories, 9 pages of Li'l Groo stories, 6 pages of The Minstrel, 6 pages of Pal & Drumm,
35 puzzle pages, and 68 misc. pages. All of this comes out to a total of 4051 pages. This does not include the letter pages or the
covers, and there have been something like 200 covers. Sergio is, by the way, presently drawing the first issue of our next Groo
mini-series, which is subtitled "Death and Taxes." Neither of us have any idea when it'll be out...or even what happens in the second
STEVE GIBSON runs Gibson Research at www.grc.com. I don't know the man
except by rep. He's a world-class expert on computer security and his efforts, wholly independent, have exposed numerous flaws in commercial
software, most notably flaws that might allow someone to bust into computer and steal data. I admire his efforts, and was fascinated to read
his story about how his own site was recently knocked off-line by a hacker who turned out to be a 13-year-old kid! Here's a direct link to his article, parts of which are way too technical for me and probably for you, as
well. But you should be able to get the gist of it.
SHOWTIME recently ran a fine documentary called Hail Caesar!, all about the various Sid Caesar TV shows. It did not
perpetuate all of the popular misconceptions we've mentioned here — though somehow, a lot more attention was paid to Woody Allen than to Mel
Tolkin and Lucille Kallen. However, as POVonline reader B. Baker points out to me, they did decide that Larry Gelbart had won an
Oscar for writing the movie, Tootsie. This will come as news to Mr. Gelbart, who believes he was nominated but beaten by the guy who
wrote Gandhi. It's apparently one of those "press recount" deals like they've been doing in Florida.
GOOD ARTICLE by William Raspberry on the allegations of vandalism at the White House by departing Clinton staffers. Here's
the link and, if you're in a hurry, just read the
last couple of paragraphs.
NOEL BLANC, son of Mel, discusses his work and his father's in this article. And there's a nice interview with Stan Freberg over at The Onion. Here's a direct link to that.
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