Friday 24 June 2011


Peter Falk (1927 - 2011)

Legendary actor PETER FALK, famous for playing rumpled raincoat-wearing Los Angeles Police Detective Lieutenant COLUMBO, has died at the age of 83.  BERT FREED was the first actor to play the part in a 1960 episode of The Chevy Mystery Show, entitled "Enough Rope" with THOMAS MITCHELL in the role when the plot was used as the basis of a stage play called "Prescription: Murder" in 1962.

LEE J. COBB and BING CROSBY were originally considered for the part when it was decided to turn the play into a one-off TV movie, but Cobb was unavailable and Crosby turned it down. The rest is history - Falk made the role his own, first in the 1968 TV movie, and then in a semi-regular series from 1971 until 1978. Falk reprised the role in 1989 and continued playing the part for several more years, his last portrayal being screened in 2003.

The actor developed Alzheimer's disease a few years ago, and died peacefully at his Beverly Hills home on June 23rd.


Gene Colan (1926 - 2011)

Sad to learn that MARVEL legend GENE (The Dean) COLAN passed away on June 23rd (yesterday). Who can forget Gene's astounding artwork on DAREDEVILIRON MANDr. STRANGEDRACULA and HOWARD The DUCK, not to mention his pulse-pounding panels on DC's BATMAN and WONDER WOMAN?

I can't even begin to do full justice to his career, so click on the side-link to MARK EVANIER's blog for a worthy appreciation of the man and his work.

Saturday 11 June 2011


You're looking at the design patent of G.I. JOE, first released in 1964 by HASBRO (Hassenfeld Brothers).  Look at the illustration closely - count the parts.  I make it 20, yet the ads which used to appear in American comicbooks back in the '60s (The Adventures of Andy and George), it was claimed that ol' Joe had 21 moveable parts.  So I just have to ask - did he originally have an extra part that was 'removed' before he went into full-scale production?  And if so, what do you think it was?  (The mind boggles.)

And in case you ever wondered, 'G.I.' apparently stands for Government Issue, though competing explanations include Galvanized Iron (after the initials stamped on metal military equipment), General Infantryman, or an army classification rendered in Roman numerals - GI.  No doubt there are various others.

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