If you you haven't been to Sideshow, you are missing something special. Although they stock a wider selection of books than Kayo in San Francisco, their genre sections are filled with uncommon treasures. Browsing in the James Bond area, we looked an original script from Dr. No (very exciting to hold!), and saw many Fleming first editions and rare magazine publications. I was able to finally find a copy of Fleming's article about Raymond Chandler in the London Magazine from 1959. Score! Double O's Tanner picked up the Moonraker record/book. I had fun looking at a vintage Shadow magazine in their small collection of pulps, which had a story related to my current Miki Zero novel project. After our purchases, it was back to the Double O lair to prepare for the evening. Sideshow image below from Illustration Matters.
I must interview Double O Section's Tanner for the For Your Shelf Only series soon. Walking into his lair was like entering a complete library devoted to everything we hold dear. Do you remember those walls of computers on the set of Billion Dollar Brain? Tanner's bookshelves were equally as vast and dizzying. I saw full collections that represented a number of pop culture areas, but the spy genre materials were especially exciting to look at. There were many rare and proof editions of Higson's young Bond, hard to find Bond hardcovers, Easton Press editions, illustrated UK annuals, and more. It was all I could do to tear my eyes away and head out for the next phase of our mission. Here's a brief preview of Tanner's collection.
After browsing more books, toys, and props, we headed to the Egyptian Theater to meet the creator of Spy Bop Royale for a screening of Fleischer Superman cartoons hosted by animation historian Jerry Beck. My pal Brian Walker (Hi and Lois) has often mentioned Jerry, and I've seen Jerry interviewed in documentaries, so I looked forward to seeing him in person. After a brief hello, Jerry took the stage and spoke about the development and tone of the early Fleischer shorts. The Egyptian showed 35mm and 16mm prints, which were beautiful to see on the big screen. Remember that the cartoons made to watch in a theater with a crowd, and there were a few moments of spontaneous applause that were wonderful to experience. Some of the dynamic highlights were the robot scenes in The Mechanical Monsters, a machinegun-toting Lois Lane shooting it out with baddies from a runaway train in Billion Dollar Limited, and the costumed Nazi agents in Jungle Drums- real pulp thrills! The three of us then returned to the Double O lair to watch some clips from a very extensive library of Eurospy movies. I can tell you that it was hard to fall asleep! Superman still below from Jerry Beck's blog.
Tanner and I then hit another book store, which had extensive sections devoted to film, animation, and graphic novels surpassed only by The Strand in NYC. We browsed together through the Ian Fleming, Deighton, Batman, and TV tie-in books. Plenty of Man From U.N.C.L.E. paperbacks out there if Spy Vibers are searching. There were some cool pieces in the special case, including Batman books signed by Bob Kane, Adam West, and Julie Newmar. Tanner was quite excited to find one of the rare Raymond Chandler editions by the Folio Society and Batmanga signed by Chip Kidd. I picked up a sketched/signed Batman trade paperback, one of the Wonder Woman collections from her Mod Swinging London era, and a beautiful Sotheby's catalog devoted to rare comics and original art.
On our way back to LAX, we stopped at the Grammy Museum for an hour to look at the new Ringo Starr exhibit. Talk about boyhood dreams come true! The collection at the museum was quite large, and an hour was not enough time to take everything in. The cases, which were arranged in three main areas, were filled with interesting artifacts, including family photos, school reports, letters, posters, instruments, and clothing. The highlight for me was being able to stand close to Ringo's original Ludwig drum kit from the Ed Sullivan Show and A Hard Days Night. I couldn't help walking around the display with one eye closed to recreate the camera angles of some historic shots. And like the other drums in the exhibit from later Beatles days and Ringo's solo career, it was exciting to get close enough to see all of the tiny dings in the drum heads and cymbals where Ringo banged out his celebrated backbeat. Lots of history in those pock-marked surfaces!
Another highlight was seeing famous fashion, like Ringo's original black suit, knitted tie, Beatle boots, and his collarless gray suit from the early years. We also saw his Sgt. Peppers costume and many outfits worn in music videos, films, and concerts. A chronological display of album covers lined the upper walls of each room, and there were areas for listening, remixing, and viewing rare film clips. Ringo has not been discussed as often as his bandmates, and this show did a good job reminding the public how essential his musicality and personality were to the chemistry of The Beatles. It also served as a wonderful overview of Ringo's long and diverse career in music and film. If you are a Beatles fan, do not miss this exhibit. Photos are not allowed in the museum. Images here are from the press opening.
Special thanks to Tanner for making this LA mission a success! I look forward to our next spy summit!
Spy Vibe is having a giant Summer Sale! Items include First Editions of Fleming, Gardner, Deighton, Rare Large-Print 007 editions, Raymond Benson, Gulyashki, Man From UNCLE, Beatles, Corgi, music items and CDs, and More! Save with combined shipping. Head over to eBay for details here. Happy collecting, fellow Spy Vibers!
Check Spy Vibe for recent posts about Batman '66 and Warhol, our fiendish villains archive, Cold War Comics, Sam Mendes back for Bond, Spy Vibe heroes and Wild Things, book design dopplegangers, Christopher Lee, Bettie Page, Dashiell Hammett, Miles Davis, WWII spy Krystyna Skarbek, recycled James Bond covers, interview with Fu Manchu author William Maynard, Man From UNCLE manga, Orson Welles the Shadow, rare Piero Umiliani Kriminal soundtrack, new Beatles Yellow Submarine game, James Bond audio book re-issues, Mid-Century Modern in Peanuts, my review of SKYFALL and more. Spy Vibe is now on Pinterest! Check out our image archives and follow us here. For Your Shelf Only collecting series links: Jon Gilbert, Raymond Benson, Jeremy Duns, Peter Lorenz, David Foster, Rob Mallows, Roger Langley, Craig Arthur, Fleming Short, Matt Sherman.
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