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Pulp Cover: ‘The Big Lie’


Hank Janson was born Stephen Daniel Frances in London in 1917. Although he had never been in Chicago or even America, he was one of the earliest exponents of the British pseudo-American gangster books that were all the rage in Britain in the 40s and 50s. He was a prolific writer, producing a book a week and also wrote under the pseudonyms of Ace Capelli, Johnny Grecco, Steve Markham, Tex Ryland, Duke Linton, Link Shelton, Max Clinton, Astron Del Martia and probably more. He soon ran into the censors and was tried several times on obscenity charges, had many books seized and destroyed and eventually moved to Spain. He wrote nearly 300 books some of which were eventually reprinted in America by Gold Star Books (1960s). The British Jansons are quite scarce and highly collectible with some great covers, particularly those done by Reginald Heade.

For more information on Janson see Steve Holland’s book The Trials of Hank Janson published in 1991 by BAE in Richmond Kentucky. It includes many nice color reproductions and an extensive checklist.


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‘Under a Vast Sky’ (海阔天空) The Story Behind the Hong Kong Protests’ Unofficial Anthem


For Real Time China, Joyu Wang writes: “Under a Vast Sky” (海阔天空), a monster ballad from the early ‘90s by Hong Kong rock band Beyond, has become the unofficial anthem for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests.

“It means to destroy the old and establish the new. Even if we are disappointed—we shouldn’t be discouraged–because our world will have a better future eventually.”

The 1993 hit has become the rallying cry for protesters angry over a China ruling that limits political reform in Hong Kong. Nikki Lau, a Hong Kong resident who has participated in the protests for the past three days, said protesters have sung the song nearly 10 times each day.


“We need a song that everyone can sing along to,” Ms. Lau said. “[This song] is part of the collective memory of Hong Kong people.”

Watch a clip of the music video with English subtitles:

The song was written by the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Wong Ka-kui, to express the singer-songwriter’s disappointment in Hong Kong’s music industry in the 1990s, according to drummer Yip Kwok-ming, who worked with the Canto-pop band. Beyond, which was formed in 1983, are seen by many as Hong Kong’s equivalent to The Beatles because both bands’ songs carry strong political messages.


Mr. Wong once was famously quoted as saying “there’s only the entertainment industry but not a music industry in Hong Kong.” The rock star died after a tragic incident in which he fell off a stage in a Tokyo television studio in 1993. Read the rest of this entry »

[PHOTO] Clint Eastwood Skates on the Street of Rome, Ca. 1960s

Clint Eastwood skating on the street of Rome, ca. 1960s

vintage everyday

Sissy Spacek Accepts the Pig’s Blood Challenge



[VIDEO] The Eyes of Hitchcock

[Check out Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition) [Blu-ray] (2012) at Amazon.com]

Detective Tales: ‘Rim of Danger’


[PHOTO] Ingrid Bergman


Kellar in His Latest Mystery: Self Decapitation



Jukebox Musical: ‘Hot Rythym’


A Monogram masterpiece! Lowly jingle writer Robert Lowery tries boosting crush Dona Drake to singer status, is stymied in part by dizzy Irene Ryan, who unexpectedly gets the canary spot on records/radio. All this and slapstick too … Tim Ryan the blustery boss falling over trash cans and wife Irene (they were a performing team), then in walks Harry Langdon to tie up link with comedy’s Greatest Era. Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage Signage: ‘Color TV King’


Pulp Cover: ‘Thrilling Detective’


Pulp Covers

Vintage Hemingway: ‘The Sun Also Rises’


Scribner’s, 1926. This is a later printing with a different and more modern dust jacket from the stated first.. Check out the tagline: “Wherein the lost generation that followed the War goes to the devil with a smile on the lip but with despair in its heart.”

Flickr -Hemingway: Expository Writing Class 

[More: Hopkins Rare Books, Manuscripts, & Archives]


New Detective: ‘Blood On My Doorstep’


Pulp Covers

Sacré Bleu! French Twist


She must battle these forces alone, trying desperately to save her marriage — faced with blackmail, a killer, and unknown terror. How could one little French girl get into so much trouble?

Pulp Covers

Full Plate: Anthony Bourdain


The chef-turned-television host on the world’s cuisine, the ‘absurd’ foodie culture and why he has left restaurants behind

editor-commen-deskIf you’ve read “Kitchen Confidential“, you’ll know you can’t think of restaurant food quite the same way. Bourdain’s hipster wise-ass writing style is actually funnier and more memorable than his tv travel show narration style, I think, but the sensibility is the same. Best night to eat out, according to Anthony? Tuesday, his book says. I dined once at Le Halles in New York, where he was (and perhaps still is) executive chef, and even though it wasn’t a Tuesday, the food was great. The book that made Anthony Bourdain a household name remains a favorite of mine, I’ve probably given away more than one copy. Here’s at taste of this weekend’s Wall Street Journal profile of Bourdain, go here to read the whole thing.

“Are you here to see the chef?” whispers a waiter at Sant Ambroeus restaurant in Southampton, N.Y. He’s not referring to the restaurant’s actual chef but to chef-turned-television host Anthony Bourdain, kitchen-confidentialwho is sitting outside on the patio.

[Check out Anthony's book "Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly" at Amazon]

Although Mr. Bourdain now focuses his career on showcasing world cuisine rather than creating his own dishes, to the waiters and busboys eagerly refilling his coffee cup, at least, he’s still “Chef.”

“Bourdain once described Vladimir Putin’s face as being as taut as a Real Housewife’s.”

He earned his title: He spent nearly 30 years as a cook and a chef before writing his best-selling book “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000. That led to a series of television shows. His current show, “Parts Unknown” on CNN, which has won three Emmy Awards, provides a look at the culture and cuisine of different cities world-wide; its fourth season begins on Sept. 28. (Watch a promo for “Parts Unknown: Russia.”)


He still remembers his days in the kitchen well. “Most of my life I’ve been a pretty pessimistic guy, and I’ve had a pretty dark view of human nature,” he says, referring to how he used to see the world from the kitchen. It’s taken touring around the globe to turn him into a reluctant optimist.

“I assumed humans were basically bad people and if you stumbled…you would be devoured. I don’t believe that anymore.”

He likes going to controversial locales, and he doesn’t hesitate to criticize world leaders, if only in jest. (Mr. Bourdain once described Vladimir Putin‘s face as being as taut as a Real Housewife’s.) He hopes that his shows offer a new perspective on foreign locations. Read the rest of this entry »

Sundance Film Festival: Hong Kong Edition


Mark Ruffalo in a scene from ‘Infinitely Polar Bear.‘ The Metroplex

I wonder if our Hong Kong Bureau is prepared to do press screenings and hang with the celebs? Stay tuned, maybe we can smoke out Deb Fong for a bag of popcorn and a guest pass…Unknown

 “It’s part of our mission to expand beyond our own borders.”

– John Cooper, director of the Sundance Film Festival

Dean Napolitano writes:

Movie lovers in Hong Kong won’t have to travel all the way
to Park City, Utah, to catch the best in American independent films. The Sundance Film Festival is coming to Hong Kong in an abridged edition that will screen eight films from this year’s film bash.

[Isn't today Apple's iPhone 6 worldwide debut? check out Amazon to Trade In Your iPhone]

The festival kicks off on Friday with “Whiplash,” which grabbed the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic competition, about a young drumming prodigy and his overbearing teacher. Other highlights include “The Skeleton Twins,” a comedy-drama about a suicidal man that’s won rave reviews, and Mark Ruffalo as a manic-depressive family man in “Infinitely Polar Bear.Read the rest of this entry »

Election Results In: Batman Wins

Vote Batman

Designer Buzz: Pantone Universe Coffee Pots


This isn’t a product endorsement, or ad, just an eye-catching combo of design + design. Or maybe I know too many caffeinated graphic designers. I could be wrong, but I expect this will enjoy success.

Whitbread Wilkinson has just launched Pantone Coffee Pots in three different sizes. The colorful percolators have a retro Italian style -that is pretty darn cool- and come in your choice of Pantone Colors. Read the rest of this entry »

GRAFFITI OF THE DAY: Be a Non Conformist!


BLACK is BACK, JACK: Johnny Cash’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Is For Sale


In 1970, ABC gave Cash a customized Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow Long Wheel Base. The car features a partition between the front and rear seats and Cash’s initials on the rear doors. If it looks familiar, it should.


The Rolls showed up on Pawn Stars a few months back. Now it’s headed to auction with no reserve. Look for it at the Barrett-Jackson event, September 25-27 at Mandalay Bay…(more)

Road & Track


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