Entries in amusements (53)


Killer Diller

When I was a young teen I went through a short period of enjoying reading the adventures of The Phantom. Those comics were probably my last foray into graphic novels, but apart from the adventuring itself, the vintage forties illustrations were particularly appealing.

Click on the images for larger versionsOn the weekend I picked up a reproduction comic of The Phantom Versus “the Spy Ring” in an op shop for $1, and had fun reading it late yesterday evening. While this story came to a satisfactory conclusion, I had forgotten that these were serial! Damn. Now I’ll always wonder if the Phantom ever ran the spy chief Baron to ground.

I was glad however that his fiancé Diana featured prominently in this story, for I enjoyed her 1940s fashions, especially this beach pyjamas ensemble complete with headscarf and high heels that she wore on the dastardly Baron Danton’s yacht.

I have always hankered for a pair of beach pyjamas, but feel stymied not only by their rarity and expense, but the lamentable fact that any vintage jumpsuit I have tried on has proven to be too short in the body for me. You can see it a bit better in this detailed scan below.

In 40s parlance, aren’t they just killer diller*?

* That would be amazing.


A Delightful Little Diva

Oh, this illustration makes me chuckle – it’s delightful and funny. I once new a white cat just like this one, called Diva, and that naughty child is certainly being a bit of a diva!

This is the picture on the August page of my calendar, and it is a pleasant one to look at. The linework is masterful, as well as the trick of filling the negative spaces with a lovely palette of colour and pattern, and allowing the white of the page to fill the positive. It’s a very effective technique. Unfortunately, the calendar does not include illustration credits, but this looks 1920s or 30s to me.

Happy August, dear readers!


I See Unicorns!

A little while ago I was doing some picture research on vintage advertising on Pinterest, and I came across this priceless piece of advertising for ‘Magical Musk’ (the fragrance of hidden flowers), brought to you courtesy of Max Factor. Because how else would you advertise a floral musk cologne except with a rearing unicorn wreathed in mist? The perfume bottle itself reminds me of a soft-serve ice cream cone! … A unicone, as it were.


Graveyard of Dreams

I had stumbled across images of the Neon Boneyard before online, but the other day I had to do some picture research at work on neon signs, and I was reminded once again of the fairylandish wonderland that is the Las Vegas Neon Museum.

The Museum is located in a desert strip not far from Las Vegas, and first opened in 2012 with its first restored sign, the Hacienda Horse and Rider. Since then it has amassed over 200 signs in its Boneyard, nine of which are fully restored.

The gallery includes the Lucky Cuss Motel, the Bow & Arrow Motel, The Silver Slipper, Society Cleaners, Binion's Horseshoe, the Normandie Motel, the Hacienda horse and rider, the Landmark and 5th Street Liquors. Just the names are evocative enough to send me daydreaming of travel.

How I would love to go there! It would be glorious to wander amongst all these decayed and decrepit relics of history. One can only wander on a guided tour however, and they offer both day and night tours. During the latter, the restored signs are lit up, and the others are illuminated with dramatic lighting. I would be compelled to book both!

These great photos – appropriately vintage-looking – are by Pam Sattler, found on The Coolist.


The Lost Photographer

The Lost Photographer :: Elijah Lens // Pearl Film // Yuletide FlashI am always keeping an eagle eye out for Lost Things, and really it is quite remarkable how many there are in my hometown of Melbourne.

I don’t know if Melburnians are simply more careless, or whether in other cities the custodians of tidiness are more zealous about picking up after people. Perhaps there are Committees for the Restoration of Lost Property to Rightful Owners? For recently two friends (and already sometime contributors) of mine were overseas, one in London, the other in Hong Kong, and both were on the lookout. But neither of them spotted anything in either of those two great cities! It’s a mystery.

The Lost Boater :: Elijah Lens // Pearl Film // Yuletide FlashHere I am in a Melbourne shopping mall, taking a picture of a Lost Boater, forlornly residing on a table. My brother-in-law snuck up behind me to take a picture of me wearing a boater while taking a picture of a boater – he thought that would be rather amusing.

I post daily on my Lost Collections Tumblr blog – there you can check out the myriad of lost things I’ve amassed over the years (I’ve been capturing them on Hipstamatic for six years).