Saturday, 29 September 2012

Pretty Little Thing

John Dog sings Pretty Little Thing.

More songs at

Written and arranged by Raymond Butler and performed by John Dog. © All rights reserved.

The vintage Camay soap ad images are from, with a little added Zest.

For all John Dog posts, just click.

Cross-posted at Bob’s Beats.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Today’s drawing from Kafranbel, Syria

From here, via a post on Al Jazeera’s The Stream blog: Syrians bewildered as embassy protests spread.

For more Kafranbel protest cartoons, see the Foreign Policy magazine slideshow from July.

At Shiraz Socialist, Pictures of Libyan democrats and anti-Fascists, reblogged from The Atlantic Wire.

See also Terry Glavin on Extreme Right atrocities in Benghazi and in Kabul.

That last link leads to the blog of Skateistan, a skateboarding project in Kabul, and a post mourning five children, students, volunteers and youth leaders at Skateistan, killed by a bomb last Saturday. They were Khorshid, Nawab, Mohammad Eeza, Parwana, Assad. More about them in this BBC TV News report.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Artblogging: New York

An etching by John Sloan, Roofs, Summer Night, 1906, from an online gallery of his work at Sloan’s New York, found via a post on Sloan’s art by Charley Parker at his Lines and Colors blog.

Dover published a book of his prints in 1978, New York Etchings 1905-1949, which is worth seeking out.

Flying Concellos, a 1936 etching by Reginald Marsh, one of a number of his prints to be seen at Harris Schrank Fine Prints. From the gallery’s description:
Arthur Concello’s act made circus history when his wife Antoinette joined him in performing the triple somersault in the late ’30s at Madison Square Garden, New York, the two performers both attaining the triple to display the highest peak of team flying ever witnessed at that time.
Dover published a nice monograph in 1983, Reginald Marsh’s New York by Marilyn Cohen.

Sailor’s Delight, 1945, by Cecil Bell, from a post by Uncle Eddie, New York: Paradise for Painters.

From Greg Constantine’s book, Vincent Van Gogh Visits New York. See the rest of the drawings on Michael Sporn’s Splog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

As the seventeen-year-old Karl Rossmann, who had been sent to America by his unfortunate parents because a maid had seduced him and had a child by him, sailed slowly into New York harbour, he suddenly saw the Statue of Liberty, which had already been in view for some time, as though in an intenser sunlight. The sword in her hand seemed only just to have been raised aloft, and the-unchained winds blew about her form. ‘So high,’ he said to himself, and quite forgetting to disembark, he found himself gradually pushed up against the railing by the massing throng of porters.
The opening of Franz Kafka’s Amerika. The illustration is from Kafka for Beginners by David Zane Mairowitz and Robert Crumb.

From The Jew of New York, a wonderful book by Ben Katchor.

Snuff Shop, 113 Division Street, New York, 1938, photographed by Berenice Abbott.

Filming New York in LA: Sam Fuller talks through the opening scenes of his film, Pickup on South Street. Also a treasure worth finding is a little book of photos with words by Mr Fuller, New York in the 1930s.

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, The Message, from a selection of New York songs posted by Kenan Malik to mark the day today.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Silent Three

Jacqueline Rayner wrote a very nice piece for The Guardian last month about girls’ comics of the 1970s and 80s; a whole area of British comics publishing that has since been completely wiped out. The above title, School Friend, is a couple of decades older. Inspired by Ms Rayner’s article, I went looking for some old girls’ comics for my eight year old daughter to try. The first story in this annual, The Silent Three, has a character called Peggy, and so I had to get it.

We’ve been reading a few strips from it each evening, school stories, ballet, skating, circus, western, mystery and war stories, featuring girls from lots of different countries being loyal to their friends and thwarting rivals, and occasionally rescuing men from mortal peril, and Peggy has enjoyed the novelty immensely. There’s also one story with a princess, but we haven’t got round to that.

Here’s The Silent Three, a school mystery that involves dressing up with masks - just the thing for Peg! Click pages to enlarge.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

US Navy Privateer down - Baltic Sea, April 1950

The Danish daily Politiken, Wednesday the 12th of April 1950.

This selection of Danish newspaper clippings come from a scrapbook I bought some years ago in a Copenhagen antiquarian bookshop. They concern the search operation for a US Navy Privateer plane shot down over the Baltic Sea near Latvia on the 8th of April 1950 by Soviet aircraft. There’s a brief account of the event at

In 1956 the United States accused the Soviet Union of holding a number of airmen prisoner from the crew of the US Navy Privateer shot down in 1950 and from the crew of an Air Force B-29 list in the Sea of Japan on June 13th 1952 (see TFR 27-86 here). The Soviet Union denied this (see TFR 27-8). 

In 1975 the Pentagon acknowledged the plane was on an intelligence mission, not a training flight as originally claimed. AP reported US Navy officials as saying that there was ‘no credible evidence’ that any of the crew escaped the plane and ended up in Soviet prison camps.

Speculation revived in June 1992 after comments by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to NBC News that American prisoners of war from Vietnam were sent to Soviet labor camps and some might still be alive. Later that month US envoy Malcom Toon in Russia following up reports of missing Americans expressed doubt about Yeltsin’s comments, but in November 1992 Russian emissary Dimitri Volkogonov presented a letter from President Yeltsin to the US Senate Select Committee on POW-MIA Affairs stating that the USSR under Stalin had executed some American prisoners after World War II, and forced others to renounce their citizenship. Dimitri Volkogonov also talked of more than 730 US airmen being imprisoned in the Soviet Union, some of whom were executed.

The lost crew were Jack Fette, Howard W Seeschaf, Robert D Reynolds, Tommy L Burgess, Frank L Beckman, Joe H Danens, Jack W Thomas, Joseph J Bourassa, Edward J Purcell, and Joseph N Rinnier Jr.

Here’s a 1956 news story on the reaction of the remarried wife of Howard W Seeschaf to claims that he might be alive.

And here’s a 1994 story on Jane Reynolds Howard, remarried wife of Lt Robert Reynolds, who was told in 1958 that her first husband was still alive by a man who said he was a former cellmate of Reynolds’ in a Soviet psychiatric hospital. And another from 1997, still searching.

Friday, 7 September 2012

For Sale - a Patent Burglar-Rattle

A short early comic strip by William’s slightly less famous brother, Jack B Yeats.

For Sale - a Patent Burglar-Rattle
(1) The inventor made a new mammoth police-rattle.

(2) The rattle ready, the inventor waited for a burglar.

(3) The burglar came, and the inventor pressed the button.

(4) But that rattle was too powerful. It simply rattled the inventor clean out of the window, while the burglar decamped with his booty.

The strip was published in issue No. 198 of Chums, dated June 24, 1896. You can read more about Yeats’s comics career at The Irish Comics Wiki. He’s now better known for his paintings.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Betty Boop M.D.

Miracle cure Jippo, now available on the NHS.

For more on this great 1932 Betty Boop cartoon, pay a visit to the Classic Cartoons blog.