Monday, September 16, 2013

LOEB: Fantastic Finds!

Illustration by C.F. Payne

I actually had some reluctance in joining the League, since unlike most of the other contributors, I am not a collector in the traditional sense. I joked last week about how I was a collector of images, but that really pales in comparison to some of outrageous items many of you have unearthed from the various corners of the goodwill and garage sale globe.

While I may not accumulate as much as my peers, I have been known to frequent rummage sales, garage sales and used book sales and have found some rather interesting items during those trips. This past summer in particular I've often tweeted "garage sale find" with a picture of whatever odd thing I've found. 

J.C. Leyendecker is easily my favorite illustrator. He had unique rectilinear style and sharply defined features in his figures, with well developed compositions and a certain charm to his storytelling skills. However, he was very reclusive, even in his heyday during the Roaring '20s, and has since been overshadowed by Rockwell as the Saturday Evening Post's golden boy, so I was very surprised to find these two framed pictures of his covers. The one with the toymaker is actually one I had never seen reprinted before, so that was quite a find indeed.

I found those pictures at the Lutheran church's annual rummage sale last year were I also acquired this nifty T-Shirt. 

While my hometown may be small, the local library's used book sale always delivers the goods. I've found a wide variety of titles and found many surprising special interest selections. (A pity there isn't this much material on the actual shelves) I think the one book I've bought that left the biggest impact on me was "Dennis the Menace: His First 40 Years". 

Up until finding this tome about a year ago I hadn't know Dennis the Menace as anything other than a Diary Queen mascot and one of many newspaper comic strips that had long since past its prime. Seeing the origins of this comic, I was blown away by its quality. The amount of detail that Hank Ketcham was able to pack into a single panel all with just a few choice strokes of the pen! There was a perfect balance between light and dark that produced an incredible sense of definition to such an abstract cartoon world. The inside cover was even autographed by Hank Ketcham! Who gives that away?! 
I couldn't believe that in all my time reading old comics, I had never seen this one. Oh how I wish I had back when I was doing those panels for Sleep Care, I really could have learned a thing or two on how to reign myself in and push my boundaries at the same time. 

The book sale's movie selections have increased by leaps and bounds in the past few years. With such great bargain prices, I can afford to buy something I've never said before, watch it once, and if I don't need to watch it again, just donate it back for the library to benefit a sale yet again. 

What could have potentially been my greatest film find was a VHS Tape of "Jetman", a Japanese superhero series from the early '90s. It had a sleeve and label written in English, so I assumed it was something a video distributor had hastily dubbed in order to capitalize on the success of "Power Rangers". Sadly, I'll never know what was on the video because nothing happened when I tried to play it. On closer inspection, I noticed a label along the side that said "Not to be used outside of the province of Malaysia". If I wanted to watch it I would need a Region 2 or 3 VCR, but I think I just threw it away out of disappointment.

Fortunately I've had better finds when it comes to collecting film promotional material. I have a number of movie posters in storage awaiting the day when I can find a residence with more wall space for me to hang these up proudly like the works of art that they truly are. 

I found a framed copy of this Bob Peak masterpiece at a Baptist Church rummage sale for three dollars! My dream is that one day I'll have a place with an entertainment lounge with wall space to display a couple of posters like this. I may have to purchase some of Peak's other posters to balance it out the awesome or else tie the whole house together around a common theme. 

This poster for a 1941 spy thriller that I bought at an estate sale in July for four dollars may be the oldest in my collection. I've got a special place in my heart for these old suspense features and the posters during that era have an engaging kind of simplicity with their blocky letters and bold colors. Maybe I just need to gather enough of diverse catalog of posters that I can swap them out every month or so just to keep things fresh. Though it would be difficult to plan the wall color around constantly changing decor. 

Perhaps Bogie himself can close us out with his own thoughts on discovering a rare find:

Other Collectors in the League:
* Kal's Action Figures


  1. The illustrations of Leyendecker look so nice!My goodness how special to have those pieces. I so miss Dennis the Menace. That looks like a cool book. Also, I love your movie posters! I hope you post more eventually.

    Ya know, I think of you as a collector. I mean one of the best things about collecting is that it can mean so many different things. You keep doin what you do, especially in that Keep Calm and Kill Zombies shirt. I know who I'm gonna be wanting on my side when the zombie apocalypse happens. lol

    1. Maybe I should put that shirt in an emergency kit along with a machete so that I can be wearing it during the end times and say "No, I'm wearing this ironically" or something like that.

  2. Excellent finds my friend! That t-shirt is indeed a find! And I always love finding some seemingly obscure or forgotten love at a yardsale (or other second-hand source) like an artist you appreciate or a film you want to show your love of.

    And I'm so glad you got over your reluctance and decided to blog for the League. It takes all kinds of different blogs to make the League the great collective it is, and I for one find yours fascinating! Keep it up!

    1. Always appreciate the encouragement and its been a good ride thus far. Thanks!

  3. Love love love the Excalibur poster. Awesome read.

    1. Thanks Patrick. Its reassuring to know that you're not just here for the pretty pictures.

  4. Erik, I understand you hesitation to join the league, as most of the collections appear to be toys. I don't collect a lot of toys, but I do love to collect things.

    I love the Keep Calm and Kill Zombies Tee, looks like one i'd buy for the wife. And that Excalibur poster has always held a special place in my heart, it has one of the best high fantasy looks for a poster, ever. Enjoyed your post, keep up the good bloggin.



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