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Stephen Kroninger
August 2010
The Gorbals Vampire
posted:
BBC 4 Radio documentary about British censorship of comic books back in the fifties. 
The Gorbals Vampire: Novelist Louise Welsh investigates the strange case of the Gorbals Vampire, an episode of mass hysteria from 1954 which led to changes in Britain's censorship laws.
Novelist Louise Welsh investigates how a comic-book vampire brought horror to Glasgow's south side and its impact on Britain's censorship laws. Glasgow's Southern Necropolis is an eerie place at the best of times but when two local policemen answered a call in September 1954 they encountered a bizarre sight. Hundreds of local children, ranging in ages from four to 14, were crammed inside, roaming between the crypts, armed with sharpened sticks, knives stolen from home and stakes. They said they were hunting down "a vampire with iron teeth" that had kidnapped and eaten two local boys. The policemen dispersed the crowd, but they came back at sundown the next night and the next. The local press got hold of the story and it soon went national. There were no missing boys in Glasgow at that time, and press and politicians cast around for an explanation. They soon found one in the wave of American horror comics with names like Astounding Stories and Tales From The Crypt, which had recently flooded into the West of Scotland.
 
Academics pointed out that none of the comics featured a vampire with iron teeth, though there was a monster with iron teeth in the Bible (Daniel 7.7) and in a poem taught in local schools. Their voices were drowned out in a full-blown moral panic about the effect that terrifying comics were having on children. Soon the case of the Gorbals Vampire was international news. The British Press raged against the "terrifying, corrupt" comics and, after a heated debate in the House of Commons where the case of Gorbals Vampire was cited, Britain passed the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955 which, for the first time, specifically banned the sale of magazines and comics portraying "incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature" to minors. This programme explores how the Gorbals Vampire helped bring the censorship of comic books onto the statute books.

more background here including a link to the complete "The Vampire With The Iron Teeth"  comic. 
The Gorbals Vampire
My Dog Tulip
posted:


MY DOG TULIP, an animated feature film based on the acclaimed best-selling memoir by author J.R. Ackerley, featuring the voices of Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini, is the first acquisition of the newly reopened New Yorker Films. A bittersweet retrospective account of the author's 14-year relationship with his adopted Alsatian, Tulip, the film will have its world theatrical premiere on September 1, 2010, at Film Forum in New York City, followed by a national release.
MY DOG TULIP, which was written, directed and animated by award-winning filmmakers Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, is the first animated feature ever to be entirely hand drawn and painted utilizing paperless computer technology.
An official selection of the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, MY DOG TULIP is based on the book by British author and distinguished man of letters J.R. Ackerley. Ackerley hardly thought of himself as a dog lover when, in middle age, he came to adopt Tulip - a beautiful, yet intolerable 18-month-old German shepherd. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the ideal companion he had been searching for in vain. Originally published in England in 1956, "My Dog Tulip" is now published in the US by the New York Review of Books in their Classics Series and is the series' best selling book. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, the film reveals Tulip's often erratic behavior, canine tastes, and Ackerley's determined efforts to ensure an existence of perfect happiness for her. Although unrated, MY DOG TULIP is directed toward an adult sensibility.
   Behind the scenes with Animator and director Paul Fierlinger
Tomi Ungerer Film
posted:

Tomi Ungerer Film

Brad Bernstein of Foolsday Productions is currently working on an exciting new project on the life and times of Tomi Ungerer. Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, is a 100-minute biographical sketch that incorporates animation within the documentary form to tell the controversial story of Mr. Ungerer’s life and career.

To see the trailer click on the image above or visit www.foolsdayproductions.com/tomi

The documentary is a biographical sketch that delves into the brilliant mind and incredible personal journey of a forgotten 20th Century genius. It is the story of Tomi Ungerer’s controversial life, told through his illustrations, words and actions. The goal of this film is universal: To show the absurdity – and wonders – of American culture through the lens of the bold, progressive and prolific works of Mr. Ungerer.
"I love putting taboos through the hoops without sparing hypocrisy, showing up the ridiculousness of the human condition. My anger is essential to my work. Humor is a defense mechanism against the evils of society.” - Tomi Ungerer
Thanks to Alan Fiore for bringing this to my attention.
Complete Yokoo Posters Exhibit
posted:

The Daily Heller: Steve Heller: The Incredible Posters of Tadanori Yokoo "...possibly the greatest major influence on contemporary poster design. But does the current generation of designers even know who he is?"

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