Sara & Julia

Posted: April 17, 2021 in Comics, Cool stuff

Discovering new comics is a delight. “Sara” (TKO Studios, 2018) by Garth Ennis is about a band of female snipers in the Red Army, fighting the Germans in WWII. The main character is Sara, she is the best and she is deadly, but she also loathes the Communists. Ecxellent art by Steve Epting and colouring by Elizabeth Breitweiser. Julia Kendall is an Italian comic out of the Tex Willer stable, created by Giancarlo Berardi in 1998. There is about 230 books out in Italy by now and this is the very first that is published in Scandinavia (or Norway to be more precise). The heroine Julia Kendall looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn, and this is confirmed as being intentional in this book. Julia is a criminologist that is helping the police out when tough cases appear and this book “I avgrunnens åsyn” (Egmont Kids Media Nordic, 2021) is the first in a trilogy in which the hunt is on to catch a brutal serial killer. Excellent art by Luca Vannini. The second book has just been published and I hope we will get many more.

(My shot of said books)

BLACK SABBATH

“Sabotage” is the next 1970s Black Sabbath album to get the Deluxe Box treatment and we will get this one in mid-June. I have to say that the Sabbath fans are among the luckiest bastards alive these days. Luckily, I am one of them.

RAY FENWICK

British guitarist Ray Fenwick has a three CD Best Of release called “Playing Through The Changes” out on April 30. Most well known for his years in the Ian Gillan Band in the late 1970s, he has had a pretty diverse career and I think this is a pretty interesting set.

BLIND GOLEM

If you love Uriah Heep then Blind Golem´s debut album is for you. Not only does it sound a lot like classic Heep, but they have Ken Hensley as a special guest on their “A Dream Of Fantasy” album on a song called “The Day Is Gone” (really good tune actually and this must have been one of the last recordings he ever did). Check them out on YouTube. Great cover art by Rodney Matthews. Italian band, I think we may hear more from them from now on.

BRIAN JOHNSON

Good to see that AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson is set to publish a book about his life and career. Titled “The Lives Of Brian” (obviously a nod to Monty Python there) it will be out in October.

BABYMETAL

Babymetal has completed the 10 date-run at the Budokan in Tokyo and they have revealed an exclusive showcase live streaming that people can watch online for a fee on June 26. This is the first time that Babymetal attempts to draw an audience in this way and it is obviously designed to keep a high profile during the Covid-19 period. Other acts have done this, but live, and even put out official product of these concerts later. Babymetal is doing it their way, filming 10 concerts and putting together bits and pieces from all the shows for one exclusive stream. By then, we may well get word that there will be an official DVD as well. There will certainly be an exclusive The One Fan Club Box (I can say that much, it is what they do and we all know it). Su-metal played some piano on stage during the final date yesterday, which is a first. The lore at the end of the show did not give away too much. Maybe Covid-19 is screwing things up? Not easy to plan ahead these days and the rest of 2021 is certainly in doubt. The upcoming compilation “10 Babymetal Years” might give them some much needed publicity this month outside of Japan. I certainly hope they get some good press out of it.

(My shot of Tony Iommi with inserted images representing what is talked about in this post)

Old School Action

Posted: April 16, 2021 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

In order to avoid everything that is “woke” I now buy a lot of old stuff, films that were made in the old days. Call it a sanctuary. I also buy them because they are cheap and for the nostalgia factor. Robert Mitchum is good in “The Amsterdam Kill” (1977). He was getting on a bit then but he still had it, that elusive star quality. Leslie Nielsen plays a corrupt narcotics officer in this one, funny how he was often picked for portraying bad guys in the old days if you consider his latter days success in comedy. Not a great film but not bad, a bit like watching an episode of Kojak but with a bonafide star in it. Oh, and the jazz music in the action scenes brings the soundtracks of the old Dirty Harry movies to mind. “High Risk” (1981) is better and stars a pretty good cast (Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Ernest Borgnine, James Brolin, Lindsay Wagner etc). Some ordinary everyday guys decides that making a quick buck is the way to go and this takes them to South America where they hope to steal millions from a ruthless drug lord. Action ensues. Loads of action in both films really. “High Risk” almost has a Western feel to it. Good heist movie. Nice to see Lindsey Wagner it it too, I really liked her in the Bionic Woman show when I was a kid. James Brolin is great in this one, I need to find more stuff with him.

(My shot of said DVDs)

Commando 5427-5430

Posted: April 15, 2021 in Comics

Commando 5427-5430 is out today in the UK. Just search “Commando comics” should you want to subscribe.

(Covers courtesy of Commando)

Most of the snow had melted away a few days ago in these parts but to my amazement we have had a couple of days of bad weather that has changed all that now. It is like we are back in March again and that is a bit weird. Saw a Stag right outside my kitchen window yesterday and a few hours later I saw (probably) the same animal a second time passing by my back yard. I see them every now and then and I suppose this winter has been pretty hard for them. Seeing them makes me happy though, they are beautiful creatures. I have things to take care of once the snow finally disappears but for now I am quite busy in the house for obvious reasons. To relax and when time permits, I watch movies and work on the Deep Purple collection (updating the binders, see earlier post).

Got a bonus check from work recently and used it on purchasing new binders etc from a book store in the city (Östersund, Jämtland County), so the timing for this project was pretty good. Having a good time with this hobby at the moment and I hope to wade through all the magazines that I have collected in the last 20 years in the next few months as well, making the collection up to date. We shall see. April 23 is a date to look forward to, with new releases from Tommy Bolin and Babymetal coming up on the same day (that will cost me some money since I want the different editions of both). Still, supporting my favourite artists is a source of joy. As a collector of films on DVD I have noticed that a lot of old stuff is coming out and I like that. These films are usually a bit cheaper to buy even on release so that is a good thing. I will blog about that hobby way more than before on this blog. Expect a post on a couple of classic action movies this Friday.

(My shots of backyard view and some hobby related images)

The classic 220 Volt album “Eye To Eye” (1988) is rereleased on the Music On CD label this week. Produced by Max Norman (Ozzy, Coney Hatch), it was the most mature of their 1980s output and the album made waves across the globe (the video for “Love Is All You Need” was aired daily on MTV Europe for several weeks and the band had loads of radio in the States). Released with the bonus track “On The Other Side” it pretty much mirrors the original Japanese edition (seen on this image). This was the last 220 Volt album before they split in the early 1990s and of the five original releases, “Mind Over Muscle” is the only one still on the wish list now. The Music On CD label features artists such as Nils Lofgren, Weather Report, Cheap Trick, Agnetha Fältskog, Sheryl Crow, Sammy Hagar, John Norum, Accept, TNT, Don Airey and many others.

(My shot of original Metal Hammer ad, German edition, and the original Japanese CD)

Wonder Woman 1984

Posted: April 12, 2021 in Cool stuff, TV & Movies

Stuck in Covid-19 limbo, this movie must have suffered immensely. Bought it on DVD as soon as I could though, since Gal Gadot (pretty much The Last Great Movie Star) is in it. And yes, she is excellent, no doubt about it. I had my fears that they might have ruined the franchise (lots of that going around these days), but it is still acceptable in my book. They can still carry on for some time yet, as long as they have Gadot in there. 1984 was a good year in my life (hey, Deep Purple reformed after all!) and they have had some fun in recreating the feel of the era. I could launch a major rant here, but I will not. All in all, I was entertained and the wonderful 4th of July fireworks scene alone had enough positive vibes to it for me to be forgiving. Nice to see Lynda Carter flash by too, the original 1970s television Wonder Woman of my youth. Nobody could have foreseen what movies would be like today back then.

(My shot of said DVD)

Tiffany was a Swedish POP publication that was published 1972-1976 and since Deep Purple were hugely popular back then they would frequently pop up in different ways in the magazine. This MK3 poster that saw print in 1974 is a good reminder of them days and I certainly had this on my wall when I was a teenager. ABBA poster in colour on the back. Seeing this now takes me back and I still love this poster.

(My shot of said Tiffany poster)

Got an early birthday present yesterday (many thanks Kalle), a huge Babymetal Quilt made in (or certainly coming out of) China. I recognized the photo session from Japanese publication Nylon (February 2020) and managed to locate my copy in the (not so old) collection to compare. And sure enough, Nylon is the source. The image of Su-metal and Moametal on the quilt first saw print inside this publication (photograph by Yulia Shur). Only the Fox God knows what happened next, but my buddy bought the quilt in good faith and it will be used in the guest room in the house for sure. Moving stuff around at the moment and this has turned into a much bigger project than I thought. The guest room is in my sights so this was a very nice addition and a nice surprise.

(My shot of said quilt and magazine)

Watched “The Warriors” (1979) for the first time in decades tonight and it still holds up well. The music is pretty cool too, and one of the main songs was written by Joe Walch. Amazingly, the film was based on a book that was published in 1965, so the gang thing was nothing new when the movie came out. If anything, historians will tell you that gangs had existed for a long time in big cities like New York. No point in remaking this, nobody can touch the original.

(My shot of said DVD)