Book Time – Day 23 NaBloPoMo 2016

After our short blast of summer, today was wet and surprisingly cool. So I went into the city and cleared my holds and lay-by at Cracked & Spineless New & Used Books. And I’ve spent the rest of the day reading and trying not to drool over my bounty!

As I’m sure many of you know, I’m a huge fan and student of cinema. I love the history and culture that surrounds and informs it, particularly the pop culture source material that cinema draws from. As a child of the 60’s, I grew up watching Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, so when Richard showed me this secondhand treasure today I really had to get it!

 

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Sir Christopher Frayling is an academic and educator, and has written widely about pop culture. His style is scholarly but very accessible, something that’s often lacking in these kind of titles. But it’s obvious the man loves his work. I think I first came across him back in the late 90’s with a wonderful documentary and book Nightmare: The Birth of Horror. 

Speaking of which, I also picked up today the revised edition of The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn.

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This is a stunning collection of (often rare) artifacts from Hammer films, such as annotated script pages, unused promotional artwork, rare still shots and even private correspondence. The revised edition includes recent productions, including The Woman in Black (2012) which is a really lovely, old school Gothic horror film that is worth watching if only for a really fine post-Harry Potter performance from Daniel Radcliffe.

And finally, there was this beastie!

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This book goes right back to the very beginnings of Marvel and it’s really fascinating to see how some of the enduring characters have changed over time. Equally, it’s fascinating to note how many of the essential traits of characters such as Luke Cage, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have made their way across to the movies.

Recently, I went to see Doctor Strange (2016) and was thrilled that the production designers took note (and really paid homage to) the psychedelic and surreal artwork of Steve Ditko.

I think this book is a gem for anyone who loves pop culture history and comic books. Also, it really underlines how much the comics have informed the production values in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Tomorrow I’ve got a busy day. A load of sheep manure is turning up for the garden and I’m meeting a friend who’s writing an article about my work at Oak Tasmania, so I’m off for an early night of more reading 😀

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