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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) - Bishop George Berkeley

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography
My photo of the book suffers from the plastic wrapper for
protection; like they say:"don't judge a book by its cover!"

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Maier, a photographer found - streetphotography

Vivian Dorothy Maier (b.01Feb1926 - d.21Apr2009) was an American street photographer and a very good one, but the story is not only about her photography.

Maier worked for about 40 years as a nanny, mostly in Chicago's North Shore, pursuing photography during her spare time. She took more than 150.000 photographs during her lifetime, primarily of the people and architecture of New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, although she also traveled and photographed worldwide.
The remarkable thing is; she never shared her photographs with a wider audience. Even though she visited art museums, she never aspired to claim fame for her photography during her life.

Many details of Maier's life remain unknown.
She was born in New York City, the daughter of a French mother and an Austrian father.
Several times during her childhood she moved between the U.S. and France, living with her mother in
the Alpine village of Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur near her mother's relations.
Her father seems to have left the family temporarily for unknown reasons by 1930.
In the 1930 census, the head of the household was listed as Jeanne Bertrand, a successful photographer who knew Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

In 1951, aged 25, Maier moved from France to New York, where she worked in a sweatshop. She moved to the Chicago area's North Shore in 1956, where she worked primarily as a nanny and carer for the next 40 years.
For her first 17 years in Chicago, Maier worked as a nanny for two families: the Gensburgs from 1956 to 1972, and the Raymonds from 1967 to 1973.

Maier was privat to the extreme. Also in her presentation and dressing she was seen was as 'typical'.
She was well known for carrying around a camera, everywhere she went on privat exploits and yes, also while with the children she cared for.
She was also a hoarder and moved from employer to employer with an increasing amount of boxes.

In 1959 and 1960, Maier took a trip around the world on her own, photographing Los Angeles, Manila, Bangkok, Shanghai, Beijing, India, Syria, Egypt, and Italy. The trip was probably financed by the sale of a family farm in Saint-Julien-en-Champsaur.

When she ran out of employers (who all had been well off), money became tight.
The Gensburg brothers, whom Maier had looked after as children, tried to help her as she became poorer in old age. When she was about to be evicted from a cheap apartment in the suburb of Cicero, the Gensburg brothers arranged for her to live in a better apartment on Sheridan Road in the Rogers Park area of Chicago.
In November 2008, Maier fell on the ice and hit her head. She was taken to a hospital but failed to recover. In January 2009, she was transported to a nursing home in the Chicago suburbs, where she died on 21Apr09.

She had hoarded so much stuff, she needed to rent storage space, but she failed to pay the rent for a number of years so the contents were sold at an auction for a minimal amount of money, sight unseen. This included her negatives, prints, audio recordings, and 8 mm film. Some 150 rolls of film had been exposed but never developed.
Three photo collectors bought parts of her work: John Maloof, Ron Slattery and Randy Prow.
Maloof had bought the largest part of Maier's work, about 30.000 negatives, because he was working on a book about the history of the Chicago neighborhood of Portage Park.
In a roundabout way Maier's photos landed on desks of art directors and collectors.

Since her posthumous discovery, Maier's photographs, and their discovery, have received international attention in mainstream media. Her work has since appeared in gallery exhibitions, several published books (this one is my second), and two documentary films (e.g. Finding Vivian Maier (2013) - directed by Maloof and Charlie Siskel)

Brilliant streetphotography and a remarkable story, I am sure you agree!

Vivian Maier, The Color Work - on MyBlog 2020Q3



Blue Monday - Nicci French

For a number of years I had books by Nicci French on my shopping list, but either I did not find them (e.g. in booktowns such as Hay-on-Wye) or other novels were found higher on the list of priorities (e.g. by authors such as Ian Rankin, Arnaldur Indridason, Donna Leon). Or my backlog played on my conscience, it happens sometimes.
When I had purchased one or two Nicci French novels, 'Blue Monday' eluded me until this summer.
I must emphasize I only picked up the name 'Nicci French' at the start of the Frida Klein novels.

Nicci French is the pen name for the husband-and-wife writing team of Sean French and Nicci Gerrard and 'Blue Monday' was my start  of 8 novels which are set to star psychotherapist Frieda Klein.
'The Memory Game' (1997) was their first novel written together (they M.O is to write alternate chapters). 'Blue Monday', the first of the Frieda Klein novels, was published in 2011.
Sean French wrote novels and biographies, starting in 1993. Nicci Gerrard has published under her own name since 2003 (here I went solely on Wikipedia).
I suspect 'Sunday Morning Coming Down' (a title from a Kris Kristofferson song), is the last of the Frieda Klein novels (published in 2017).

It takes a little time to get used to the style of writing of an unfamiliar author and for me it felt like wading into a broad river: near the shore the water is almost stagnant but further in the tug of the current increases to an undeniable force.

The start felt a little chaotic to me, with disappearances without trace of two young children in two time segments differing 22 years and the introduction of Frida Klein, evidently a complex person.
Klein is a psychotherapist, a deep thinker (also in her own motivations) and with guilty feelings for overstepping the boundaries of her job description.
She is an insomniac and she walks the streets of London at night in an attempt to quiet her brain. Privately she prefers, craves, time alone but feels obliged to maintain a relation with her self-harming niece Chloe, shows care for her fallen mentor Reuben and then also a builder, literally, drops into her life!
It felt like a long time before I started to feel something for Frida Klein.

Then we get another character introduced, Alan Dekker, a patient of Frida. He has fantasies which Frida finds has similarities with the recent disappearance of a young child named Matthew. She decides to contact the policeman leading the search, Detective Chief Inspector Karlsson, even though she is struggling with this breach of confidence.
DCI Karlsson however has trouble translating Frida's 'mind-reading' to practical and useful information for the police to act on; friction is caused between them for both want to stick to their own fields of expertise.
But Alan Dekker's past bring a significant change of plot.
And the book deals in its final chapters another unsuspected blow.

'Blue Monday', at first, disappointed me a little, considering the very positive reviews I'd read a while ago, but the book got better. It has not fully convinced me, but I have 'Tuesday' and 'Wednesday' waiting on the shelf, and am convinced enough to read these next year. I will let you know!



Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

Rock and Soul Deep South - Dirk W. de Jong

De Jong is a photographer of long standing on this subject. For 25+ years he travelled far and wide through the USofA for musicians and their roots. There aren't many he hasn't met, talked to, aimed his camera at.
This photobook takes the reader to the Deep South, a roadtrip to the origins of American pop music. In search of the birthplace of rock & roll, its sources and beyond. Musicians and places come to pass: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Little Richard, on to Louisville KY, Nashville & Memphis YN, Muscle Shoals AL, Mississippi and New Orleans LA.

The only reservation I have with this book is, in my opinion, any book on music and musicians in the Deep South should include Tony Joe White, even if TJW, a.k.a. 'The Swamp Fox', is more blues than Rock & Roll (BB King and other blues musicians are included in this book, right?).
And an alphabetical index in the back of the book, of the musicians, would have been nice.

You'll find another book by Dirk W. de Jong, American Blues, further down this page. Equally liked by me, makes me look for my travellin'shoes!




Happy holidays!



Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)
A portrait of two sisters, the final version completed after 30 years!

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)
'Een man die, in alles wat hij maakte, altijd naar het hoogste heeft gestreefd.'

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)
Van Gogh about Matthijs Maris

Matthijs Maris, painter (in Rijksmuseum)

Matthias Marris (b.17Aug1839, in The Hague - d.22Aug1917, in London) was a Dutch painter, etcher and lithographer. He was also known as Matthijs Maris or Thijs.
He initially belonged to the Hague School, like his two brothers, Jacob and Willem, but his later works deviated more and more from that school into a unique style influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites.

When Matthijs was twelve, he registered at the Hague Academy of Art, but did not pass the entrance exam. Therefore, he took lessons from Isaac Cornelis Elink Sterk, secretary of the Academy. One year later he was admitted and studied there until 1855.
A grant from Queen Sophie enabled him to follow his brother Jacob to Antwerp, where they rented rooms together.  In 1858 Matthijs returned to The Hague, where Jacob already had a studio they could share.
In 1860 he traveled with his brother Jacob along the Rhine to Switzerland and back through France to the Netherlands.

In Cologne the brothers saw an exhibition that presented an overview of German art since 1800, which intensified the influence of German Romanticism on Matthijs.
Upon his return to the Netherlands Matthijs showed some of his works in Amsterdam and The Hague, but they were not well received. This led him to become bitter and withdrawn. Jacob was having success in Paris, and invited Matthijs to join him there, which he did in 1869.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 Jacob returned to The Hague with his family and the loneliness after the departure of Jacob was difficult for Matthijs.
There was bitter poverty for him, as for so many artists at that time in Paris, so he went back to work.
His style changed very little and was more reminiscent of the earlier period.
Later he would distance himself from these works, dismissing them as 'potboilers', only painted in order to put food on the table...

An art dealer Daniel Cottier convinced him to settle in London, which he did in 1877. There he painted more imaginative scenes: fairytale characters and enchanted castles. He made portraits, especially children of friends. He painted portraits and figure in gray-brown tones in many layers, using dry loose paint. The image is as it were veiled in mist.
Maris died aged 78, following a short illness, and was buried in London.

This exhibition showed a few paintings which were 'veiled' to a point one could hardly make out the person(s). One, of two sisters (above), he completed its final version 30 years after the first draft, the subjects having grown up to adults.
His work compels the viewer not only to view the paintings but also to extend maximum empathy in Matthijs Maris, in his person and his commitment.




Cris Toala Olivares - photography

While visiting the Leica Store in Amsterdam (below) I picked up a photobook about the Amsterdam canals. Even though I am quite familiar with these canals I found Toala Olivares added a magic touch and I could not resist buying this large sized coffeetabel book. Also for street photographers it is a source of outstanding inspiration.

Cris Toala Olivares, Amsterdam based photographer, was born in 1982 in Manta, Ecuador.
He followed an education in medicines in The Netherlands, before he decided to change profession when he felt to many constraints in offering proper care to patients due to the red tape in medical organizations.
This led him to sell his guitar to be able to buy his first camera..!
Since then he has been working worldwide as an independent self-taught photographer, including in conflict areas. International magazines, newspapers and press agencies such as Reuters and Associated Press have published his photographs.

Increasingly Cris has shifted his focus to documentary work, both in assignment as well as autonomously. The subjects of his picture stories are mostly nature as well as cities, and always include the human side of these stories. He takes a special interest to give a voice to people he meets that are not often heard.
Cris won with his projects several international photography awards.
He contributes to internationally renowned magazines such as GEO and National Geographic and is the author of the photo book 'The Amsterdam Canals'.

One of Cris' projects is a series on volcanoes worldwide. Besides the overwhelming power of nature, he focuses in particular the many ways people are cohabiting with these primal forces.
He explores religious meanings, symbols for national identity, touristic, agricultural and geothermal exploitation, as well as death and destruction.

Cris' newest project is the World Natural Heritage listed 'Wadden Sea', an intertidal zone, part of the Dutch, German and Danish coast.
The various and often conflicting interests behind human activities are offering an interesting story of this vulnerable nature reserve.
Am sincerely looking forward to see more of his work (see his website for 'completed' projects), which I will share here on my blog.




Rahi Rezvani - photography

Rahi Rezvani - photography

Rahi Rezvani - photography

This week I visited the Leica Store in Amsterdam, for this photo exhibition - the range of inspired photography is sublime!

Rahi Rezvani (b.1978) is an Iranian born Dutch artist, based in Amsterdam.
He was born and raised in Tehran. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from Tehran University of Art, and in 2008 a master's degree in photography from The Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.
Rezvani started working with the Netherlands Dance Theatre in 2006 for whom he has been producing all imagery and campaigns ever since
He has photographed artists and designers, including the portrait photographer Albert Watson.
Collaborating with the British band Editors, Rezvani conceived and directed the music videos for their 2015 singles 'No Harm', 'Marching Orders', and 'Life Is A Fear' as well as art directing the album covers for both singles.




Tin Star - crime drama tv-series

'Tin Star' is a British-Canadian drama series created by Rowan Joffe that debuted all episodes on Sky Atlantic on 07Sep2017; it was released on Amazon Prime in the USA on 29Sep2017. 
The ten-part series stars Tim Roth, Genevieve O'Reilly, Abigail Lawrie, Oliver Coopersmith and Christina Hendricks; excellent performances by all.

Really enjoyed Tim Roth as Chief Jim "Fuck Me" Worth; he plays a former Metropolitan Police detective and the new head of the Little Big Bear Police Service enjoying the start in a new life, but circumstance bring back Jack Devlin, Worth's violent alter-ego, into which he slips when under the influence of alcohol.

Former London undercover police detective Jim Worth is the seemingly gentle new police chief of Little Big Bear, a small town at the edge of the Canadian Rockies, where his family of four has moved to escape his violent past.
But, thanks to a chief of security for North Stream Oil, the oil company that dominates the town, Worth's past catches up with him and he and his wife Angela call into service Jim's violent, alcoholic alter-ego, Jack Devlin, to fight anyone they suspect of hurting their family.

Local head of public relations for North Stream, Elizabeth Bradshaw, wavers between ethics and criminality against a backdrop of rough oil workers and bikers.
Chief Worth also experiences the Canadian law regarding the rights of the First Nation and we see a fine role by Sarah Podemski as Constable Denise Minahik, a First Nations officer in Little Big Bear Police Service.

It's little bit different (in a good way!) than some other crime series, more brutal in a way but then the camera zooms out over the Canadian scenery: tranquil and beautiful.
It has been renewed for a 2nd series.




The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indriðason

THE SHADOW DISTRICT is more than Arnaldur Indriðason's latest book; it is also seems to be the beginning of a new series!
When I started reading I had expected to read another book of Erlendur's younger years and I was disappointed when I found it wasn't so. But that lasted only 2 or 3 pages, for I soon came to like the WW2 investigators Flóvent and Thorson (a.k.a. Thordarson), and the present day investigator Konrád.

This series features a retired but still active detective appears to be just as compelling. Two installments have been published so far, with 'The Shadow District' seeing the light of day in Indridason's native Iceland in 2013 and I read the English translation, as usual translated by Victoria Cribb who does an excellent job.
This (hardcover, signed by the author) book has a few pages of the follow up ('The Shadow Killer') in this series, so I hope to find a copy in 2018.

The retired detective, known as Konrád, is bored with his new life as a pensioner, but is reluctant to involve himself in police matters. Still, he can't help himself when Marta, his former partner, comes calling with an intriguing case.
Ninety-year-old Stefan Thordarson, a retired engineer, has been found dead in his bed, an event that might be tragic but hardly seems unusual, at least at first. The autopsy reveals that the man was smothered with his own pillow.
There is no indication as to who might have had a motive to do such a thing, particularly because the victim, even at his advanced age, was in good health and full of life.

Konrád quickly learns that at the time of his death, Stefan had been conducting his own investigation into a murder case, a follow up of the case he helped investigating with Flóvent (Thorson as a military liaison) during WW2. They'd arrested the murderer and Thorson left for D-day on Normandy. But he'd always been in doubt about the outcome and in his final years had reopened the case and found disturbing information.
So the book has two timelines (a bit confusing at times), one during WW2 and the other in modern times when Konrád retraces Stefan's investigation.
The backdrop of Iceland, the poverty in WW2 and The Situation (Icelandic women getting seduced and made pregnant by foreign military men) and local folklore (the Huldufólk), is again wonderfully painted on by the author. The atmosphere is pleasantly much like that of the Erlendur novels.

Looking forward to The Shadow Killer!



A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism
On the right is Duff's Salvage in Colorado - discontinued a few years ago

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America | Photojournalism

A Day in the Life of America: Photographed by 200 of the World's Leading Photojournalists on a single day: 02May1986.
A project by Rick Smolan (photojournalist) and David Cohen (editor), following the success of similar books by Smolan (and teams) on Australia, Canada, Hawaii and Japan.
Two hundred photographers were sent on assignment to complete a massive photojournalistic task.
Similar titles have been published since then, this is sofar the only one I have (bought secondhand last summer) and I found the photography to be of a very high quality.
The pages show superb photography, about iconic scenery, illegal immigrants, the affluent, people in jobs,in the workplace, with family, single portraits, groups of people in bands, in church, doing sports and a whole lot more.
A photojournalistic social document of the USA on a day in the 1980s.
In the back an index where the photos were taken, by whom, a brief bio on the photographers and an essay on the entire project.
I'll be on the lookout for more of these publications.

Rick Smolan is a former TIME, LIFE, and National Geographic photographer best known as the co-creator of the "Day in the Life" book series. He is currently CEO of Against All Odds Productions,[1] a cross-media organization which utilizes the skills of hundreds of the world's leading photographers, writers, filmmakers, designers, and programmers to merge creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology.





Tweets by D J Trump



Bruce Davidson 'American Photographer'

Bruce Davidson 'American Photographer'

Bruce Davidson 'American Photographer'

Bruce Davidson 'American Photographer'

'Bruce Davidson | American photographer', a retrospective exhibition. Fantastic!
This autumn (2017) the Nederlands Fotomuseum presents the first retrospective in the Netherlands of the work of American photographer Bruce Davidson (b. 1933).
Since the 1950s, Davidson has devoted his time and energy to photographing those for whom the ‘American Dream’ has turned out to be unattainable and who have attempted to hold their own in society.

Davidson depicts major themes as civil rights, violence, poverty, racism and immigration, all from a personal perspective.
For many years, for instance, he tagged along with a street gang in Brooklyn and travelled with civil rights activities to the South to take part in The Selma March. This approach has given him first-hand experience with the subjects of his work and enabled him to poignantly show what the ‘American Dream’ has meant for them.

The exhibition features almost 200 photographs, including work from his famous series 'The Dwarf', 'East 100th Street' and 'Subway'.

Profile at Magnum Photos
More photos on MyFlickr.com



Dark Lake tv-series (Svartsjön)

'Black Lake' (Svartsjön) is a 2016 Scandinavian TV series.
Originally released in Sweden and Denmark in October 2016, it is a co-production of TV3 Sverige, TV3 Danmark, TV3 Norge, Viaplay, and Jarowskij.
The eight 45-minute episodes were shown weekly on BBC Four from 16 September to 7 October 2017, with two episodes back-to-back each week.

The plot concerns 8 friends who travel to the north of Sweden, close to the border with Norway.
One of them, Johan, is thinking of purchasing a disused ski centre which has never officially opened.
It appears that the caretaker, Erkki, is trying to scare them away from the property, with assistance from two brothers who run a nearby snowmobile business.
Unexplained deaths begin to strike...

Johan (a role by Filip Berg) is the type of a leader, determined to overcome difficulties and buy this ski centre. His girlfriend (to whom he proposes) is a stark contrast: she is struggling with mental problems, a trauma dating back to when her younger brother drowned. Hanne (Sarah-Sofie Boussnina) is susceptible to the occult, something Johan rejects fiercely.
There is Mette, Hanne's sister, a very well educated and rational person; again a contrast with Hanne.
Elin is an old flame of Johan.
Lippi is Johan's younger brother.
Osvald is a friend of Johan. He is in a secret relationship with Lippi.
Frank is a friend of Johan, he introduces Jessan to the group.
Aliette Opheim plays Jessan. I recognised from the series Thicker Than Water. Such a striking beauty
one remembers well, but she is the first to die here..

Brothers Dag and Jostein are two local Norwegians and they are in cahoots with Erkki, the resort's caretaker over the past 20 years.
For a long time it is unclear why these three want to spook the visitors and have them leave.
Hanne finds out why this ski resort never opened to customers: a family had been murdered here, parents and their two small children. The mystery seems to be in the cellar, but the caretaker refuses them entry.
And Hanne feels there is a lost spirit trying to contact her. Mysterious events take place, those that see an eye becoming blood red become possessed by an evil spirit. Or are there logical explanations, engineered by Erkki, dag and Jostein. Surely they are responsble for the Sami writing on the walls: Kill Or Be Killed!

Relations get strained, esspecially when Hanne develops feelings for Jostein, Elin come on to Johan and Johan refuses to give up and leave, even after the first killings have taken place.

It may not be the most original screenplay, a house of horrors and people getting killed one by one, but the acting, scenery and a good pace made this series very entertaining for me.
Series 2 was reviewed on my BLOG 2019 Q1



COMIC ALBUMS 1970s & 1980s


Blueberry is Western comic series created in the Franco-Belgian bandes dessinées (BD) tradition by the Belgian scriptwriter Jean-Michel Charlier and French comics artist Jean "Mœbius" Giraud.
It chronicles the adventures of Mike Blueberry on his travels through the American Old West. Blueberry is an atypical western hero; he is not a wandering lawman who brings evil-doers to justice, nor a handsome cowboy who "rides into town, saves the ranch, becomes the new sheriff and marries the schoolmarm." Instead, in any situation, he sees what he thinks needs doing, and he does it.

The series spawned out of the 1963 Fort Navajo comics series, originally intended as an ensemble narrative, but which quickly gravitated around the breakout character 'Blueberry' as the main and central character after the first two stories, causing the series to continue under his name later on.
The older stories, released under the Fort Navajo moniker, were ultimately reissued under the name Blueberry as well in later reprint runs.
Two spin-offs series, La Jeunesse de Blueberry (Young Blueberry) and Marshal Blueberry, were created pursuant the main series reaching its peak in popularity in the early 1980s.

It has been remarked that during the 1960s, Blueberry "was as much a staple in French comics as, say, The Avengers or The Flash here [in the USA]".

Lieutenant Mike Blueberry

See also my write up on MyBlog 2010Q4 and MyBlog 2013Q4 ('de Pep')

Other comic series, not depicted here and which I liked very much (many of them coming to me through that weekly magazine 'de Pep') were (a.o.) Rob Palland, Rik Ringers, Erwin de Geweldenaar, Toenga, Michel Vaillant, Roodbaard, Blake & Mortimer, De Rode Ridder, Suske & Wiske, Bob Morane, Luc Orient... Good memories!

Comanche & World War II

Comanche is a graphic Belgian comic series which takes place in 'the Wild West'. The series was started by writer Greg and draughtsman Hermann. The latter was at some place replaced by Rouge and again later Rodolphe tok oer the pen from Greg. Comanche is the owner of the 'Triple Six'-ranch in Wyoming during the 19th century. However, she is not the leading character in most stories here. The men in her employment are the leading characters. Red Dust, the foreman and a former gunslinger is one of those leading characters. Other persons are Ten Gallons, a sack of bones with a brazen attitude, Clem Tenderfoot and Toby. Whem the first albums appeared they created a stir for the violence in graphic details. This violence was depicted by Hermann in much the same way as on film, e.g. in the socalled 'spaghettiwesterns'. This comic series was published by 'Le Lombard'.
De reeks wordt uitgegeven door Le Lombard. (Wikipedia: NL!)

nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comanche_(stripreeks) (NL)

'Tweede Wereldoorlog in Strips' (EN: 'WW2 in comics') by Pierre Dupuis I don't recall very much, though I did have an avid interest in WW2.
Pierre Dupuis was a French artist of realistic comics, best-known for drawing historical and biographical comics, especially about World War II.
He was born Pierre-Léon Dupuis in Dieppe, France, and made his first comic story in 1950. This first story, 'Aigle Noir', was published in Gong, a magazine by Éditions Elan. He then worked as the assistant of Paul Gillon on his production for Éditions Vaillant, including the series 'Fils de Chine'.
Dupuis contributed his second solo story to the Vaillant pocket book 34, before he made his first appearance in the magazine Vaillant with several short stories in 1951. This magazine is not the same as the comics on Michel Vaillant by Lombard.


Bucj Danny
Buck Danny - Tanguy & Laverdure

Now of these comic albums I was an avid collector, as from an early age (12?) I had an interest in military aviation. Buck Danny appealed to me the most, Tanguy & Laverdure were perhaps a little too French and only had a modest interest in Dan Cooper (I don't recall the exact motivations).

Buck Danny isthe leading character but he doesn't go anywhere without his partners Tumbler and Tucson.
Danny is an America who after leaving school goes in search of a job shortly before WW2 and lands a job as an engineer on Hawaii, on a shipping wharf.
With the attack on 07Dec1941 on Pearl Harbor Buck Danny joins the Navy as a pilot (promoted to the rank of captain, on board the USS Yorktown).

During the war he meets his loyal friends Sonny Tuckson and Jerry Tumbler. Danny is soon promoted to major and after the war is promoted to the rank of colonel.
In spite of his rise through the ranks he decides to leave the military after the war. With his two friends he goes to Arabia and they soon finds themselves in a smuggling adventure.The outcome makes them all three very rich.
And they return to the (US) Air Force as pilots.

Their adventures see them involved in aircraft engineering, in the Korean War and (those I enjoyed the most!) their confrontations with Lady X...
The maffia, rebels at war, Russian involvements and terrorists, they all are featured in Buck Danny's adventures.
Buck Danny could have been promoted to the rank of general but he refused to land behind a desk.
nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Danny_(stripfiguur) (NL !)

Tanguy & Laverdure (French:  Les aventures de Tanguy et Laverdure) is a French-Belgian comic series ('stripreeks') about the adventures of two pilots, Mick Tangy (French: Michel Tanguy) and Ernest Laverdure.
This series was published in a French comic magazine and started on 22Oct1959.
In the Netherlands this comic series was published in magazines such as Pep, Eppo and  Wham!
After the 3rd series, by Jijé, the serie was discontinued from Pep (Dutch). I was a long time subscriber of 'de Pep' .
There was even a television series on Tanguy & Laverdure, called 'Les Chevaliers du Ciel', broadcasted in 1967 uitgezonden on French television.
A second series, 'Les Nouveaux Chevaliers du Ciel', was broadcasted by TF1 in 1988.
Creator of this series was Belgian Jean-Michel Charlier, who had been a pilot hemself, for SABENA, and Frenchman Albert Uderzo did the drawings.
Uderzo was also respinsible for comics Hoempa pa (which I remember well from Pep magazine) and Asterix. Uderzo was more drawn to Asterix.

Tanguy & Laverdure was competition to series such as Buck Danny and Dan Cooper, which were published in Belgian comic magazines Spirou (Robbedoes) and Tintin (Kuifje).
Jean-Michel Charlier had been the scenarist since 1947of the Buck Danny series. In 'Gevaar op Groenland'  (EN: Danger on Greenland') a meeting takes place between Mick Tangy and Buck Danny.
Honurs were reversed in Buck Danny-albums 'Blauwe Engelen' (EN: 'Blue Angels') and 'De piloot met het leren masker' (EN: 'Pilot with the Leather Mask') in which several drawings were dedicated to Tanguy & Laverdure.
In 1967 Uderzo wanted to concentrate fully on Asterix and nam Jijé (Joseph Gillain) was responsible for the drawings.
Later Patrice Serres worked together with Jijé on the comic series. After Jijé died 1980, Serres took entirely. He was later succeeded by Alexandre Coutelis and Yvan Fernandez.
Jean-Michel Charlier also wrote a novel about Tanguy & Laverdure, L'Avion qui tuait ses Pilotes, published in 1971 (with illustrations by Jijé).
When Charlier died in 1989, the series ceased. A new album was published in 2002, written by Jean-Claude Laidin and drawn by Yvan Fernandez.

Tangy and Laverdure are very different in character. But both are very good friends and excellent pilots.
Mick Tangy or Michel Tanguy is serious of character, very correct, virtuous and he makes no mistakes. In the series he is promoted lieutenant to major.
His friend Laverdure regular calls Tanguy a 'boyscout', because he is always getting Laverdure out of a mess.
In spite of Tangy's good looks he is no womanizer, Laverdure thinks he is... If Tangy falls in love, the romance often ends in tragedy.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Tanguy_en_Laverdure (NL)

Dan Cooper
Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper (also known as Les Aventures de Dan Cooper) is a Franco-Belgian comics series about a fictional Canadian military flying ace and rocketship pilot.
The comics series was conceived in 1954 as Tintin magazine's answer to the Buck Danny series published in the rival Spirou magazine.
It was written and drawn by the Franco-Belgian Albert Weinberg (1922–2011); however, a handful of the stories were written by Jean-Michel Charlier instead.
As per the Franco-Belgian comics tradition, after being serialized in a weekly comic book magazine, each completed storyline would appear as a published album.
Dan Cooper is a test pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Early story-lines featured futuristic science-fiction themes such as piloting a rocketship to the Martian moon Deimos; however later stories were more rooted in present-day themes.

Speculative connection to D. B. Cooper:
Although fairly obscure in the English-speaking world since it did not appear in English translation, the comics series nevertheless gained a small measure of notoriety in 2009 in the United States as a result of speculation concerning the identity of the 1971 airplane hijacker who came to be known as D. B. Cooper, but who had actually identified himself as "Dan Cooper".
The Cooper Research Team led by Tom Kaye, working in cooperation with Seattle-based FBI agent Larry Carr, speculated that the hijacker may have chosen an alias based on the fictional character, suggesting that he may have been exposed to the comics while on a tour of duty in Europe, or that he may have been of French-Canadian origin.
Some of the comics storylines seemingly match aspects of the D. B. Cooper case, including jumping out of a plane with a parachute, as well as a ransom being delivered in a knapsack.

Berhanrd Prince / Bruno Brazil
Bernhard Prince - Bruno Brazil

Bernard Prince is a Franco-Belgian comics series, featuring an eponymous character and his sailor-adventurer companions.
The series was created by Belgian cartoonists Greg and Hermann for the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin, first appearing on January 4, 1966.
Synopsis Originally an agent of Interpol the heroic Prince, joined by the roguish Barney Jordan and the clever orphan Djinn, becomes an adventurer sailing through the contem-porary (1960s-70s) world on a sloop, the beautiful Cormoran.
www.bedetheque.com/ ... Bernard-Prince

Bruno Brazil is a Franco-Belgian comics series written by Greg, under the pseudonym Louis Albert, and drawn by William Vance.
It was initially serialised in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Tintin, first appearing on January 17, 1967.
The first album publication was in 1969, while the latest album was first published in 1995.
Bruno Brazil is the leader of a small, elite combat unit of the American secret service, the 'Cayman Command', of which each member has some special skills.
Together they fight crime and exotic threats. The series is notable for not avoiding casualties among the Cayman Command.

Roderik - Jeremiah

Jeremiah is a Belgian science fiction comic book series by Hermann Huppen. Jeremiah was created in 1979 for the German magazine Zack, and had a premiere in Sarajevo based Strip art magazine, since the editor of this magazine, Ervin Rustemagic, was also the Hermann's manager.
It has also been serialized in the French-language Métal Hurlant and Spirou magazine; as
well as the Serbian magazines Stripoteka and Politikin Zabavnik. Currently, there are 34 volumes and one 'Special Edition' in French and Dutch.

Racial wars have torn the U.S. apart, resulting in a post-apocalyptic world. Many small pockets of civilization still exist; from isolated super high-tech fortresses, hidden research labs, or racial groups in walled-in cities - all fighting each other among the more regular population which in many ways resembles the "old west".
Jeremiah and his friend Kurdy travel the country, taking odd jobs and getting mixed up in various affairs. Jeremiah, being the more noble of the two, often sticks his neck out to help others, while Kurdy is a more wily, opportunistic scoundrel.

Despite its setting, Jeremiah's underlying motif is of hope and the survival of mankind. The storylines carry little from album to album, meaning they can be read individually.
Jeremiah has been translated into several languages, and has a large fan base in Europe.
Various attempts to introduce the series to the American market have had middling results, mostly due to the different tastes of the American and European comic book public.
After failing to reach American audiences in the 1980s and 1990s success was found with Dark Horse, beginning in the 2000s. In March 2012 Dark Horse Comics begun another English language reprint series in collaboration with SAF; three volumes of the Jeremiah Omnibus, collecting tomes 1 to 3, 4 to 6, and 7 to 9 respectively, have been released as of October 2017.

The titles 'Amathea' and 'De Oude Man van de Bergen' (EN: 'The Old Man from the Moun-tains') were the only titles I could find of the Roderick comic albums.
Both were published in 1975 and created by William Vance.

De Koene Ridder
De Koene Ridder

De Koene Ridder (EN: 'The Brave Knight') was a Belgian comic series by draughtsman/scenarist François Craenhals.
The stories are about Roland van Walburghe, liege to King Arthus.
His daughter Gwendoline is very much in love with Roland, butRoland is not of high birth and the King objects to their love for eacht other.

The estate of Rastigne (Rougecogne) is in the Belgian Ardennes and thus Arthus is not the same as King Arthur.
The French title of this series is 'Chevalier Ardent' and was first published in Kuifje magazine, in 1966.
The Belgian Post Office printed stamps in may 2003, of 49 eurocent, displaying 'de Koene Ridder' on horseback.
Between 1970 - 2001 20 albums were published by Casterman and between 1979 - 1981 a series of short stories by Paul Rijperman.


Kuife ('Tin Tin') - Biggles - Lucky Luke - Agent 212

The Adventures of Tintin (French: Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of 24 comic albums created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé.
The series was one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century.
By 2007, a century after Hergé's birth in 1907, Tintin had been published in more than 70 languages with sales of more than 200 million copies, and have been adapted for radio, television, theatre, and film.

The series first appeared in French on 10Jan1929 in Le Petit Vingtième (EN: The Little Twentieth), a youth supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle (The Twentieth Century). The success of the series saw the serialised strips published in Belgium's leading newspaper Le Soir (The Evening) and spun into a successful Tintin magazine.
In 1950, Hergé created Studios Hergé, which produced the canonical versions of 10 Tintin albums.
The series is set during a largely realistic 20th century. Its hero is Tintin, a courageous young Belgian reporter and adventurer. He is aided by his faithful dog Snowy (Milou in the original French edition and 'Bobbie' in Dutch).
Other protagonists include the brash and cynical Captain Haddock and the intelligent but hearing-impaired Professor Calculus (French: Professeur Tournesol), as well as the incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson (French: Dupont et Dupond) and the opera diva Bianca Castafiore.
The series has been admired for its clean, expressive drawings in Hergé's signature ligne claire ("clear line") style.

Its well-researched plots straddle a variety of genres: swashbuckling adventures with elements of fantasy, mysteries, political thrillers, and science fiction. The stories feature slapstick humour, offset by dashes of sophisticated satire and political or cultural commentary.


Lucky Luke
Lucky Luke - Asterix - Bessy - Dommel

Lucky Luke is a western comics series created by Belgian cartoonist Morris in 1946. Morris wrote and drew the series single-handedly until 1955, after which he used other writers, beginning with Astérix creator René Goscinny. French artist Achdé has drawn the series since Morris's death in 2001.
The series takes place in the American Old West and stars the titular Lucky Luke, a gunslinger known as the "man who shoots faster than his shadow", and his intelligent horse Jolly Jumper.
Lucky Luke is pitted against various villains, either fictional or inspired by American history or folklore. The most famous of these are the Dalton Brothers.
The stories are filled with humorous elements parodying the Western genre.

Lucky Luke is one of the best-known and best-selling comics series in Europe and has been translated into numerous languages. 68 albums have appeared in the series as of 2014, at first published by Dupuis, then from 1968 by Dargaud, and from 1999 by Lucky Comics.
Each story was first serialized in a magazine: in Spirou from 1946 to 1967, in Pilote from 1967 to 1973, in Lucky Luke in 1974-75, in the French edition of Tintin in 1975-76, and in various other magazines since.
The series has been adapted to various other media, such as animated films and television series, live-action films, video games, toys, and board games. About half of the series' adventures have been translated into English.
Lucky Luke comics have been translated into 23 languages, including many European, African and Asian languages.


'Bessy' was a long-running Belgian comics series created by Willy Vandersteen and Karel Verschuere in 1952.
Together with 'Suske & Wiske' and 'De Rode Ridder' it was once one of his most popular and best-selling series, with successful translations in Dutch, French, German and Swedish. It was terminated in 1997.

Inspired by the success of Lassie, Willy Vandersteen and Karel Verschuere decided to make a comic strip series about a female collie.
Contrary to the original 'Lassie'-series, though, it didn't feature any child characters and was set in the Wild West rather than the present time. Bessy was given an owner, Andy Cayoon, with whom she had many adventures involving cowboys and Native Americans.

'Bessy' was first published in the French-language Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique on 24Dec1952 and translated into Dutch a year later, when the comics were published in De Standaard and De Katholieke Illustratie.
The series were also a tremendous success in Germany, where they were published in the youth magazines Pony and Felix. So much in fact, that Vandersteen's studio had a separate team drawing new titles, many of which were never translated in Dutch.
With 992 different titles, reissues included, 'Bessy' has the most album titles of all of Vandersteen's series. 164 albums of these were Dutch, 151 were French. The series was also published in Sweden under the name 'Bessie', which spawned 92 albums.

The high production unfortunately also had an effect on the quality of the stories and drawings. As a result, the German editions were discontinued by 1985. One of Vandersteen's assistants, Jeff Broeckx, then created a reboot 'Bessy Natuurkommando' ('Bessy Nature Commando') (1984-1992), where Andy and Bessy were reimagined as present-day conservators of animals and nature.
Andy received a love interest, Aneka, and a little street boy named Kid, who travelled along with them on their missions.
The scripts were written by Marck Meul. Twenty-three albums were drawn before the series was terminated in 1992.
Broeckx tried a new reboot and redrew the first seven stories of the original series, as well as the 12th story from the first series. By 1997 the series came to a definite halt.




Ferry Reijnders, artis painter (Amsterdam)

Had a fine visit today in Amsterdam, to the studio of Ferry Reijnders in Amsterdam.
We share a number of interests. He specialises in portraits (painting, sketches).
I very much admire such talents and commitment.




André Kertész - Mirorring Lige (exhition FOAM 2017)

André Kertész - Mirorring Lige (exhition FOAM 2017)

André Kertész - Mirorring Lige (exhition FOAM 2017)

Today I visited FOAM (Fotografie Amsterdam) for the exhibition ' Mirroring Life', a retrospective exhibition of the work of photographer André Kertész (1894–1985).
I have several books in my collection of him but never saw the images exhibited.
Kertész is famous today for his extraordinary contribution to the language of photography in the 20th century. This retrospective displays a large number of black & white prints as well as a selection of his colour photographs and historical documents.

The exhibition focusses on his early work made in Hungary (his homeland), Paris, where between 1925 and 1936 he was one of the leading figures in avant-garde photography, and on to New York, where he lived for nearly 50 years.
A true master and icon of photography.

MyBlog 2017Q1 has an extensive account on the books I have by André Kertész
FOAM andre-kertesz-mirroring-life



Barksskins by Annie Proulx

Annie Proulx speaks for the trees, her latest novel, 'Barkskins', is an epic of environmental despoliation. It plays out across 717 pages and over more than 300 years. The reader sets on a journey from the arrival of woodcutting French settlers in Canada in 1693 through environmental issues to date.

This is a lament about the loss of North America's "monstrous pine finery", in the author's thoroughly researched and detailed prose.
'Barkskins' refers to woodcutters and prepare yourself for (justified) doom and gloom.
Characters die from cholera, measles and smallpox, from shipwrecks and scalpings as well as botched amputations. More often, they perish in horrible logging mishaps.

This title is Ms. Proulx's 5th novel and 9th work of fiction. Her 2nd novel, The Shipping News, was published in 1993 and while she may not be the most prolific author, it is a testimony to her thorough research.

The book begins when two skinny and penniless Frenchmen, Charles Duquet and René Sel, who arrive in Canada as indentured servants.
Duquet soon manages to escape. He becomes a fur trader and an imposing timber entrepreneur. He changes his surname to Duke, and a logging dynasty is born.
Sel doesn't escape. A gifted logger, he works and he suffers. He is forced to marry an older woman, a native of the Mi'kmaw tribe. We follow the Dukes and the Sels over many generations.
'Barkskins' educates the reader about cutting and sawing and pulping and shipping and estimating lumber yields... There is more to it that than you might think possible!
Having said that, it becomes crystal clear this is a story about greed, profits and environmental issues.

Ms Proulx writes in minute detail, e.g. about the meals which offer fragrant lessons in backwoods cuisine: beaver bone soup, moose bone marrow, woodcock hung until it reached the desired "hallucinogenic point of decay," caribou haunch, eels with sour-grass sauce, roly-polies and pandowdies.
Bon appétit!
The research must have been enormous and shows the integrity of the author in relation to the subject.
She  decorates her sentences with unusual words ("queaches," "sphagnum") and flora (hairy-stem mastodon flowers). A moon is "a slice of white radish."
I love her florid composition of sentences, e.g. woman is described as being "more like a chest of drawers than a companion."

Do I have criticism on this book? Yes, I have.
Somewhere between the second half and the last third of the book the next generations of the Dukes and the Sels see the characterizations of the individuals becoming thinner and shallower.
Though the character of Lavinia brings the reader a long way to the end, I enjoyed the first half the most.

In that 'last third' of the novel, environmental issues and injustices done to the Mi'kmaw tribe rise to the surface. Americans are seen to log trees with scandalous culling practises and they see the amount of forest as an 'endless resource'.
The attitude of Indians, considering everything in Nature is connected, is laughed upon by the White Men and the Indians are deemed lazy and irresponsible for not exploiting Nature's resources. Indian culture is being eroded by violence and sabotage by the settlers, as well as by intermarriage.
The idea of replenishing forest growth comes from Europe and takes generations in America to take root (pun intended).
The struggle of preserving the environment against capitalist exploitation has been valid over centuries and current to this very day. Greed and profits may overpower  humankind, time is running out.
Barkskins is a good read and underlines the difficulties mankind continues to face.




American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

American Blues - Dirk W. de Jong

In 'American Blues' photographer Dirk W. de Jong recalls his travels through the United States over the years. Blues artists are the subjects here.
De Jong is a photographer of long standing on this subject. For 25+ years he travelled far and wide through the USofA for musicians and their roots. There aren't many he hasn't met, talked to, aimed his camera at.
This photobook takes the reader from the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, the source of
Country & Western, to the surrealistic 'rough'neighbourhoods of Tijuana, the Mexican border town.
De Jong traces the musical heritage of Chicago, Kentucky, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, Mississippi, New Orleans, Louisiana and Austin Texas.
The photographer meets artists who treat him on the hospitality of their home or go out on the road with him.
We'll read anecdotes and enjoy images of great arists such as Willie Nelson, John Hiatt, Willy DeVille, B.B. King, RL Burnside, Ray Charles, Al Green, Buddy Guy, a.o.
There's even a music CD included in the book I got, with some songs and the book has a QR code for 'Private Tapes' (can't tell much about it because I don't have much use for QR codes).

I am very pleased to have this book in my collection.
Dirk's 2nd book, Rock & Roll Deep South, is almost at the top of this page. Equally recommended!




Eyewitness by The Guardian

Photographs from the Guardian's centre page 'Eyewitness' spread.

Eyewitness by The Guardian

Eyewitness by The Guardian

Eyewitness by The Guardian

Eyewitness by The Guardian

'Eyewitness Decade' is a photobook that tells the story of the first 10 years of the new millennium in a series of stunning and awe-inspiring images.
Some record the unfolding of major world events: 9/11, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the financial crisis of 2008, President Obama’s inauguration.
Others tell more local and personal stories: a man sleeping rough in Cambridge, chess-players in Budapest, patients receiving treatment in Havana.
There is humor, there is disaster, but all photos are relevant.

Together these extraordinary images build in to a rich and kaleidoscopic view of a tumultuous decade.
Published (2010) by Guardian Books, edited by Roger Tooth.




Winslow AZ - Stephen Shore

Winslow AZ - Stephen Shore

Winslow AZ - Stephen Shore

Winslow AZ - Stephen Shore

Winslow AZ - Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore is a photographer I much admire.
He was born in New York, in 1947 and had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, at age 14!
At 17, Shore was a regular at Andy Warhol’s Factory, producing an important photographic document of the scene, and in 1971, at the age of 24, he became the first living photographer since Alfred Stieglitz 40 years earlier to have a solo show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art...
He has had numerous one-man shows, including those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago.
Since 1982, he has been director of the photography program at Bard College.

This book, 'Winslow AZ' which I bought this summer, led me to visit Winslow,Arizona last October.
About that visit I will share my photos and impressions on a travel account, yet to compile (sorry!).

In 2016Q2 I visited a retrospective exhibition of this work; see MyBlog
And on the book I bought, 'Uncommon Places' see MyBlog 2016Q3




Arendsoog - P.Nowee en J.Nowee

Now this is a book serie I was quite obsessed about during my childhood (b.1955): Arendsoog.
Think I started to read these books at or shortly after the age of 10.
Like Karl May/Kara Ben Nemsi- and the 'Conny Coll' books the author is not American. Here we have a Dutch author (in fact two!) who wrote cowboy fiction.

Bob Stanhope, a.k.a. Arendsoog, is an American rancher, living in Arizona. His name, Eagle Eye' was given to him by the Indians.
He has a partner named Witte Veder: 'White Feather'. Much like the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
Both have above average qualities and excellent marksmen.
The books are in fact detective stories in a Wild West setting.

Jan Nowee was a headmaster of the Paulusschool in Den Haag. In his spare time he worked as a volunteer in a Roman-Catholic library ('Vincentius')
Nowee found children, esspecially boys on a fruitless search for cowboy books. The Karl May books were a little bit too advanced for the young ones.
So Nowee decided to start writing himself. In 1935 he finished his 1st book 'Arendsoog'.
And Johannes Nowee published in 1936 no.2: Witte Veder.
Only after WW2 (1949) number 3 was published.
The KRO started in 1950 a radioplay based on these series, which took the books to a next level.
In 1958 overleed Johannes Nowee suddenly died, with book #20 only half finished
His son Paul decided to finish it. And while he was at it, he did another 43 books in this series!
Paul Nowee died in 1993.

In these Arendsoog books serious subjects, injustices, are discussed as well, such as repression of the Indians and the slave trade.
The Catholic Church, in lieu with the time the books were written in, is represented by a pastor for qualities such as virtue and civilised behaviour.

I was quite obsessed in reading and collecting them; I think I stopped with no.43 (of 65 published).
I kept them in a nice display on my room, while still living with my parents. Until one day, maybe out of spite for me not coming home every night anymore, my mother swapped them on the market for a few silly pockets she liked to read. Gone.
Later I bought these 4, but I don't think I ever read them, having outgrown them.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Arendsoog_(kinderboekenserie) (NL !)



Bob Evers - Willy van der Heide

Bob Evers is a Dutch novel series of boys' books, named for the main character, written by Dutch author Willem van den Hout, under the pseudonym Willy van der Heide.
The series was started in 1949; 32 volumes were published until 1963.
Van den Hout published two additional volumes in 1977, and the series was extended by Peter de Zwaan, who published volume 50 in 2010.
An estimated five million Bob Evers books were sold!

The main characters in these books are:
Bob Evers - Formerly Rob Evers, the son of a ship magnate from Amsterdam, he became Bob Evers, an American boy and friend of Arie and Jan.
Arie Roos - A chubby redhead, profligate with money and with a gift for gab; he is able to talk himself out of any trouble. Like Jan Prins, he is a student at the Hogere Burgerschool.
Jan Prins - Skinny and frugal, he plays the straight man to Arie Roos.

Equally fun it was to read the books by Leonhard Huizinga, on the twins Adriaan & Olivier, scoundrels they were!
Leonhard Huizinga (b.03Aug1906 – d.09 Jun1980) was a Dutch author. The most famous works by him were about the twins Adriaan and Olivier, rascals, up to their eyeballs in mischief.
He wrote mostly serious work, but these books about two adventurous students were possibly started in a dark period. He was a son of the historian Johan Huizinga.
The 10 titles were published between 1939 - 1980.

I think I read the Bob Evers books 1967-1970 or so, and the Adriaan & Olivier books after that (these young men are a bit complex and there is more than meets the eye in the relation between the twins).

nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adriaan_en_Olivier (NL !)



Sinterklaas arrives in town

Sinterklaas arrives in town

Sinterklaas arrives in town

Many events have their topic 'how are they dressed' and here we have how black is Black Pete!

I noticed one green 'Garden Pete' (going round with a wheelbarrow), some smudge Petes but most were chocolate brown.
My overall impression is parents making sure their kids have a photo-op with Black Pete and/or De Sint.
And of course the American influence of making the Mall part of Sinterklaas' arrival in town.




In The Dark - tv mini series

Recently watched this miniseries on telly, In The Dark, and liked it very much. Excellent British crime drama!

This BBC crime drama features issues such corruption, lies and unwanted pregnancy - be prepared to find its dark strands will draw you in!
This miniseries had 4 episodes, 2 storylines.
While 'In The Dark' is more the general feeling of these two stories, episode 1 starts in the darkness of nighttime: a man in a black coat is digging with a spade, in the rain, at night and he probably isn't digging up patatoes...

As in story #2 the filming starts something ahead in the plot and then winds back, increasing the sense of foreboding.
Time starts in an urban environment (Manchester, we'll find) and DI Helen Weeks (an excellent role
by MyAnna Buring) and a uniformed copper chase a drugs dealer. The chase ends simply, in a dead end alleyway. But no, the drugs dealer gets away by punching DI Helen in the stomach!
That is how we find out that Helen is pregnant... Though Helen hasn’t told anyone, not even her Paul (Ben Batt). We also get to know that Helen has difficulties with relations and she knows the baby may not be Paul's.
Plenty of personal drama (and I love her cynicism!) as she is an ambitious, successful detective inspector, and not sure if the whole mother thing is for her.
Helen becomes involved in a case in which the husband of her childhood best friend is accused of kidnapping two young girls.

In the second two-parter, a heavily pregnant Helen is pulled into the dark side of urban Manchester as she deals with an unexpected tragedy.

The series is an adaptation of the Mark Billingham novels, Time of Death and In The Dark. It is written by Danny Brocklehurst and premiered on BBC One from 11 July to 1 August 2017.

MyAnna Buring (b.22Sep1979, as Anna Margaretha My Rantapää) is a Swedish-born actress, known for her roles in The Descent, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Part 2 and Ripper Street.
In 2006, Buring guest-starred in 'The Impossible Planet', the first episode of a two-episode Doctor Who story. Her character, Scooti, perished in the vacuum of space; the scenes of her body floating towards a black hole were filmed in an underwater tank in Pinewood Studios, to create the effect of weightlessness...
She starred on stage and had roles in series such as Midsummer Murders, Inspector George Gently and Downton Abbey.

Ben Batt (b.28Nov1986) is an English actor, best known for his role as the villainous Joe Pritchard in Channel 4's comedy drama Shameless. He has also appeared in Scott & Bailey as DC Kevin Lumb.
He also had roles in series such as Wire in the Blood, Lewis, Casualty, The Edge of Love, Spooks: Code 9 and Death in Paradise.

David Jeremy Leon (b.24Jul1980) is an English actor, director, writer and producer.
As an actor, he is best known for appearing in photographer Rankin's directoral debut Lives of the Saints as Othello and Guy Ritchie's film RocknRolla. From 2011 to 2014, he co-starred with Brenda Blethyn in the ITV detective series Vera.
Leon has directed several short films Father, Man and Boy and Orthodox. He completed his first feature-length film, also called Orthodox, in 2015




Photo darkroom

Came across this display of a historic Photography Darkroom, for developing films and printing B&W photos.
I remember those days well, started in the 1970s and lasted until 1990s.
My first locations of a darkroom (still living with my parents, a 'Soesterberg Spotter') was out in the garage and next a woodcabin back in our yard - no heating so the developing fluids were close to 0 C in winter soimetimes). When I lived in an apartment I dveloped my films and did my printing in the box downstairs: I kept hurting my shins against the bicycle pedals!

The house I moved in with my family (1980s) had an established darkroom! I had plenty of room to move about and the previous owner had installed a kitchenette when he'd bought a new one for downstairs.
It was very comfy to work there for a few hours, I tuned the radio to Radio Luxembourg and drank a bottle of chilled white wine sometimes (I had a fridge there to store my films, fluids and printing paper.

My standard B&W film was Ilford FP4, though I sometimes used Kodak for experimenting (e.g. push processing). For printing I used Agfa mainly.
At first my enlarger was an Opemus, later replaced with a Durst. I upgraded the lenses, as I started to taking photos with Mamiya 6x4.5. The Durst also enabled me to work with filters, sometimes made by myself.

The advent of Photoshop, and later digital photography (meaning the end of using slide film), meant the end of the darkroom for me. Also for I found I was mainly working for my website and had to speed up the process of taking photos and processing the results.
But they were fine days!



Peaky Blinders, season 2

Peaky Blinders, season 2

Peaky Blinders, season 2

Series 2 (set in 1921) begins with the Peaky Blinders looking to expand their operation into London but they upset some powerful people in doing so. Tommy thinks he can profit from 2 warring gangs.

Two years have elapsed since Season 1. Freddie has succumbed to illness and at his funeral Thomas asks his sister Ada to return home, though she is scornful that he has been so successful with his mix of legal and illegal businesses.

Tommy (Cillian Murphy) runs into conflicts the gang leaders Darby Sabini (Noah Taylor; Sabini controls the southern race courses). He also meets with Camden Town gang leader Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy, love his Cockney accent!) to try to convince him to work with the Peaky Blinders.
Tommy initiates his plan to take over the southern racecourses; and the Peaky Blinders make a serious move on London's Eden Club.
With the help of Tommy, Polly steps up her search for her missing son, taken away when she was in no fit state to take care of her daughter and son.

Back in Birmingham Ada is abducted by Sabini's thugs, who give Thomas a severe beating, his being saved by the reappearance of Chester Campbell, who has told Churchill that he has a new undercover agent working in the area. Tommy finds himself blackmailed in a murder plot, but aims to use the situation to benefit from (he does not involve the family).

Campbell visits Thomas in hospital, aware that he killed Eamonn Duggan, a fact he intends to hold over him to use him as his spy. They both know that Grace has married and is in America.
Thomas writes to Winston Churchill, asking for an export licence, which is granted as another means of controlling him and he goes to London, hoping to ally with Alfie Solomons, leader of the Jewish race track gang, who is anything but welcoming.
Ada was been rescued by the Blinders from mugging and rape and as a means of laundering money, Tommy buys her a house.
Back in Birmingham he has to cover for increasingly unhinged older brother Arthur, haunted by the war trauma.
Thomas is able to discover what happened to Polly's children. The girl died but he locates the boy, Michael, who arrives in Birmingham to see Polly.

Arthur spearheads a ferocious takeover of Londons Eden Club, meanwhile Thomas and his new horse trainer become better acquainted. Grace has returned with her American husband to London.
Grace seeks contact with Tommy, but Tommy's powerbase in London has been obliterated by the coöperating London gangs and his mind is elsewhere.

As Derby day arrives, Tommy is faced with impossible decisions as he prepares to strike back at his enemies and take the family business to the next level.
Brilliant series!




Stores chaning owner

My collection of shops & stores closing its doors continue to grow: www.flickr.com/photos/...


Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

"Often, the best pictures are caught in a moment." ¬Mary Ellen Mark

Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

Mary Ellen Mark (Phaidon)

In London recently I bought this lovely photobook, a retrospective of photography by Mary Ellen Mark.
Published by Phaidon Press Ltd and editted by photograher and author (a.o.) Charles Hagen, it was 1st published in 2011 and this is edition was reprinted in 2016 in a new format.

Mary Ellen Mark (b.20Mar1940 - d.25May2015) was an American photographer known for her photojournalism / documentary photography, portraiture and advertising photography.
She photographed people who were 'away from mainstream society and toward its more interesting, often troubled fringes'.
She also liked photographing youngsters on the brink of becoming an adult.
Mark had 18 collections of her work published, most notably Streetwise and Ward 81.
Her work was exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide and widely published in Life, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, New York Times, and Vanity Fair.
Mark joined Magnum Photos in 1977 and left in 1981, joining Archive Pictures, and then in 1988 opened her
own agency.

She received numerous accolades, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from the George Eastman House and the Outstanding Contribution Photography Award from the World Photography Organisation.




Suspects, series 1 & 2

Suspects, series 1 & 2

'Suspects' is a British police procedural television series first aired on Channel 5 on 12 February 2014.[1]

Set in London, the series follows DS Jack Weston, DC Charlie Steele and their senior DI Martha Bellamy of Greater London Police while they investigate different types of cases including murder, attempted murder, missing people, drug overdoses, child abuse and sex crime.

Most of the show's dialogue is improvised in order to make it seem natural! The actors have a detailed story document and perform from there. Remarkable.
The show is filmed within the former London Electricity Building on Cambridge Heath Road, London. Camera handling is very dynamic, enhancing the pace of the series. The filming feels less staged and more as 'a third person viewing' .
Yes, these series 1 & 2 were very entertaining!

Fay Ripley as Detective Inspector Martha Bellamy (Series 1—4)
Damien Molony as Detective Sergeant Jack Weston (Series 1—present)
Clare-Hope Ashitey as Detective Constable Charlotte "Charlie" Steele (Series 1—present)




All About Saul Leiter

'It is not where it is or what it is that matters, but how you see it.' ¬Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter
'Photographs are often treated as important moments, but really
they are little fragments and souvenirs of an unfinished world' ¬Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter
'A photographer's gift to the viewer is sometimes beauty in the overlooked ordinary.'
¬Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter

All About Saul Leiter
Saul Leiter, photographer & painter

I was really pleased when I found an affordable edition last summer in London, of a Saul Leiter retrospective photobook . A well-produced Japanese edition, probably published in concert with an exhibition of Leiter's work in the Bunkamura Museum of Art.
Japanese art was much admired by Saul Leiter and he followed it his whole artistic life.

Saul Leiter (b.03Dec1923 – d.06Nov2013) was an American photographer and painter whose early work in the 1940s and 1950s was an important contribution to what came to be recognized as the New York school of photography.
Leiter was born in Pittsburgh,PA. His father was a well known Talmud scholar and Saul studied to become a Rabbi. His mother gave him his first camera at age 12.
At age 23, he left theology school and moved to New York City to become an artist. He had developed an early interest in painting.
The abstract expressionist painter Richard Pousette-Dart and photographer W. Eugene Smith encouraged Leiter to pursue photography and he was soon taking black and white pictures with a 35 mm Leica.

Leiter worked as a fashion photographer for the next 20 years and was published in Show, Elle, British Vogue, Queen, and Nova. In the late 1950s the art director Henry Wolf published Leiter’s color fashion work in Esquire and later in Harper’s Bazaar.
Edward Steichen included Leiter’s black and white photographs in the exhibition Always the Young Stranger at the Museum of Modern Art in 1953. Other publications followed.
In 2008, The Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris mounted Leiter’s first museum exhibition in Europe with an accompanying catalog.

I love his abstract photos in the streets, leaning from buildings, passing train or from a car, photo-graphing through condensed windows. It is an abstraction I admire and for which needs a 'zen'-like quality which Mr Leiter had and I lack.
Saul Leiter was a photographer of which one concludes 'I would like to be able photograph like that! '




Braquo, season  4

Until early-2016 I had never heard of this French crime fiction series: Braquo. In a sale I came across the Series I & II in dvd boxsets and since I 'discovered' the French series 'The Spiral' (and a few others in the meantime) I have become quite a fan of French crime drama!
And Braquo is in its own right spectaculair and gripping!

The name of the series comes from the French word braquage, meaning armed robberies, particularly of banks.

Braquo is a French crime drama television series created by Olivier Marchal and produced by Capa Drama with the participation of Canal+ in association with Marathon Group, Be-Films and RTBF.
It was first broadcast in France from 12 October to 02Nov2009.
The 2nd season started on Canal+ on 21Nov2011.
See MyBlog 2016Q1.
A third series has been broadcasted and a review can be read on MyBlog 2017Q3.

The introduction states that crime had changed, becoming more organized and also more violent. And so has the police. Enter Eddy Caplan (Jean-Hugues Anglade) and his team: Walter Morlighem (Joseph Malerba) and Roxanne Delgado (Karole Rocher).
Théo Vachewski (Nicolas Duvauchelle) was killed in an earlier episode. In episode #4 the main characters are not spared of trauma and threats either.

Braquoo 4
Roxanne, Eddy and Walter

Eddy and his team will find means to an end, even if they have to act outside the law, which sometime result in them being blackmailed into doing unlawful things.
While involved in crime fighting, they try avoid being taken down by Internal Affairs and 'political play', while dealing with conditions & deadlines set by crooks - in season 4 we see both IA and organised crime getting closer and closer to taking them down.

Braquo is action packed and develops at great speed, with a good deal of 'noir filming' and violence.

This 4th - and final - season of Braquo was shot between February and June 2015 in Marseille and Paris. It is directed by Xavier Palud and Frédéric Jardin and written by Abdel Raouf Dafri. It screened in France in September 2016.  
We see Eddy Caplan taking revenge on former Internal Affairs Vogel. Eddy's group come under investigation of a senior official of Internal Affairs and Eddy's superior, Michelle Bernardi, is demoted to street level and suffers the consequences.
Eddy is reunited with his brother Nathan, who is released from a long prison sentence.
Roxanne suffers from here trauma, with which this series begins.
The Turks (epsiode 3) take revenge and threaten Walter's children; a trail leads to Marseille and Walter takes the law into his own hands, while Eddy becomes more and more desillusioned...

Braquo 4
This final season has the same high quality as previous seasons, no mean feat, and is as dark and
perhaps even more bitter than the previous series.
I feel a sense of loss!




Robert Capa: Slightly Out Of Focus (WW2 memoirs)

Robert Capa (born Endre Friedmann; 22Oct1913 – d.25May1954) was a Hungarian war photographer and photo journalist, arguably the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history.

Capa fled political repression in Hungary when he was a teenager, moving to Berlin, where he enrolled in college. He witnessed the rise of Hitler, which led him to move to Paris, where he changed his name and became a photojournalist.
He subsequently covered five wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II across Europe, the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, and the First Indochina War, with his photos published in major magazines and newspapers.
During his career he risked his life numerous times, most dramatically as the only civilian photographer landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day.
He documented the course of World War II in London, North Africa, Italy, and the liberation of Paris. His friends and colleagues included Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway and director John Huston.
In 1947, for his work recording World War II in pictures, U.S. general Dwight D. Eisenhower awarded Capa the Medal of Freedom.
That same year, Capa co-founded Magnum Photos in Paris. The organization was the first cooperative agency for worldwide freelance photographers.

I was familiar with Capa's photography and his history, and expected a book very much focussed on his famous photos, perhaps even a heroic tale? But this is a book about a man fleeing repression, a life shaped by life and circumstance, about ambition and yes: a love story!
This book is not written by a photographer, but by a fully qualified author.
The foreword by Cornell Capa, Robert's youngest brother and he himself a distinguished photojournalist, a pleasure to read. Richard Whelan (author of Robert Capa: A Biography) described Endre Friedmann a.k.a. Robert Capa's life.

I found 'Slightly Out of Foucus' tremendously moving and a joy to read!



Robert Capa, photographer
Robert Capa, photographer (& author and co-founder of Magnum Photos Agency)

Robert Capa, photographer

Robert Capa, photographer

Robert Capa, photographer
One of the very last photos Robert Capa made, in Vietnam.

This book contains 98 b&w photographs that retrace the most important and tragic events of the previous century, from the Spanish Civil War to WW2, to the birth of the State of Israel.
They also include a series of portraits of Capa's friends, famous artists such as Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
Captions in this book as well as an introduction by Robert Whelan and biography, in Italian, English and French.

Editor Andréa Holzherr (Magnum Photos), published by SilvanaEditorale (2012)



Billy Collins: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (poetry)

I have to look back to 2011 for my first acquaintance with the poetry by Billy Collins (through a Dutch author). For poetry my bookcase is limited to books by Charles Bukowski and Billy Collins (and some single editions of authrors like Walt Whitman).
So I am no expert in reading poetry. But I am certain I like Billy Collins!

William James, known as Billy Collins, (b. 22March1941) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.
He is a 'Distinguished Professor' at Lehman College of the City University of New York (retired, 2001) and is the 'Senior Distinguished Fellow' of the Winter Park Institute, Florida.
Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the 'New York State Poet' for 2004 through 2006.
In 2005 Collins was the first annual recipient of its 'Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry'.
As of 2015, he is a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

What I like best about Billy Collins' work is the humor and 'daily observations' he could (for I don't know) have written while looking out the window or scribbling at the kitchen's table: so accessable!
There is probably much more to it in style and meaning, but for the less educated (such as me) the poems are mostly an immense pleasure to read.

You know the parlor trick.
wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you,
her hands grasping your shirt,
her fingernails teasing your neck.

from the front it is another story,
you never looked so alone,
your crossed elbows and screwy grin,
you could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you with a straight jacket,
one that would hold you really tight.

(¬ Billy Collins)

You are not the Mona Lisa
with that relentless look.
Or Venus borne over the froth
of waves on a pink half shell.
Or an odalisque by Delacroix,
veils lapping at your nakedness.

You are more like the sunlight
of Edward Hopper,
especially when it slants
against the eastern side
of a white clapboard house
in the early hours of the morning,
with no figure standing
at a window in a violet bathrobe,
just the sunlight,
the columns of the front porch,
and the long shadows
they throw down
upon the dark green lawn, baby.

(¬ Billy Collins)

Almost unknown as a poet in her lifetime, Emily Dickinson meanwhile has been recognized as one of America's greatest poets and, in the view of some, as one of the greatest lyric poets of all time.
The past 50 years or so have seen an outpouring of books and essays attempting to explain her poetry and her life.
The large number of poems she wrote (over 1700 of them) makes it easy for critics to find support for their theories. And the fact that her life, her poems, and her letters are often difficult, if not impossible to understand, invites speculation.

This compilation by Billy Collins' work was first published in 2000, by Picador. The work seems to date of the period 1988 - 2000, from 'The Apple That Astonished Paris', 'Questions About Angels', 'The Art of Drowning' and 'Pinic, Lightning'.





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Created: 22-Oct-2017