FROM THE 1998 FILMFAX ARCHIVES: THE RAT PACK

An old friend recently contacted me via social media about a question she and her husband had been pondering during dinner. It had to do with the infamous Rat Pack and instead of searching Google, she contacted me to ask about the group’s inception. I wrote her back based on what I remembered and the result pleased both her and her husband.
Of course, it also got me to thinking, how DID I know the answer to her query? The senior moment passed when I realized I had, albeit many years ago, written a rather tongue-in-cheek article about that very subject for Filmfax’s sister publication, Outre Magazine.
It was a favorite piece of mine as the subject is a favorite. Even though the articles are all done on spec, I didn’t have to sell this one very hard at all. A simple query was all it took. One of the many reasons I loved writing for the magazine was just that: They liked what I wrote and I liked their subject matter. A perfect fit. Besides, it allowed me to keep my chops up while I continued to research Lee Marvin Point Blank.
And so without further ado…..Oh, one more thing. The cable show I referenced but did not state by name was Mystery Science Theater. Very funny show in it’s day but I didn’t want to risk legal action….or something like that.
So NOW, without further ado, my homage to (please hold your applause until all names have been completed) Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop, and supporting players Shirley MacLaine, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall. I give you, THE RAT PACK!
Rather appropriate for this Good Friday, don’t you think?

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 1

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 1

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 2

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 2

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 3

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 3

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 4

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 4

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 5

The Rat Pack in Outre, Page 5

 

 

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GREG HILDEBRANDT (PT.2) ON STAR WARS, LOTR AND MORE!!

Now that Star Wars fever is spiking, I figure it to be  the perfect time to post part 2 of my 2009 Filmfax interview with Greg Hildebrandt. What makes it perfect –aside from the terrfic cover art, of course — is the amazing tale he tells behind the creation of the iconic poster of the first film.
There are also some other pretty fascinating insights fom the man who resides in a castle in New Jersey (!). It is not that well known but the team of The Brothers Hildebrandt actually split up for a period of time, which Greg speaks of quite candidly in the interview, probably for the first time. Greg also talks about how he got involved in fine art gallery exhibitions, the J.R.R. Tolkein family estate’s opinion of Greg & Tim Hildebrandt’s Lord of the Rings artwork (LOTR) , the Hildebrandt’s own foray into the realm of fantasy storytelling, the dream fulfillment of how the brothers came to render the daily strip of Milton Caniff’s Terry & the Pirates, and a whole lot more!  All told, it’s a pretty impressive career. So much so that it could not be contained in just 2 parts. The concluding part will be posted soon, with a cover that tops them all. Seriously! That’s soon to come, so in the mean time enjoy part 2 of my interview with one of the unsung perveyors of pop culture’s landscape.
Of course, if you want something to read afterwards while waiting for the conclusion to be posted, there’s always Lee Marvin Point Blank. Until then, enjoy…

Cover of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2.

Cover of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2.

Page 1 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 1 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 2 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 2 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 3 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 3 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 4 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 4 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 5 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 5 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 6 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 6 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 7 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 7 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 8 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 8 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 9 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

Page 9 of Filmfax Greg Hildebrandt interview, Pt. 2

 

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STAR WARS ARTIST GREG HILDEBRANDT: FILMFAX INTERVIEW

With the news Star Wars film saturating the media these days, I thought it a good time to post my own EXTREMELY slight connection to the franchise. In 2009 I was contacted by Filmfax magazine publisher Mike Stein about interviewing graphic artist, Greg Hildebrandt. Together with his identical twin brother, Tim, the two of them covered the landscape of iconic pop culture imagery.
I greatly appreciated the assignment but wondered to myself, ‘Why me?” My mainstay was film as I continued researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank in hopes of publication. I discovered that the fact that I had interviewed comic book artist and childhood hero Neal Adams for the magazine, proved to be the catalyst for Mike Stein’s decision. It didn’t change the fact that I knew close to nothing about the commercial art world, let alone the Brothers Hildebrandt. The closest I ever got to familiarity with that existence was having a best friend who graduated from the Califonia Institute of the Arts. Well, the gauntlet put before me, I grabbed at it with both hands and dove into researching the work and art of the men who gained fame in the 70s with their Lord of the Rings calendars, children’s book illustrations, pin-ups and, most famously of all, the original Star Wars poster — a story by the way that’s it the next issue, which is an amazing tale in its own right!
I met with Greg in Santa Monica’s now defunct gallery/store known as Every Picture Tells a Story, with co-owner Lee Cohen in attendance. I have no idea why it no longer exists but it’s a damn shame as it housed original artwork from everybody’s favorite childhood illustrators. Focusing on the interview was difficult at best surrounded by such visual splendor. Making it worse was the fact that in the midst of the interview, actor Elliot Gould ambled into the store. That’s right, quirky 70s film icon and the original Trapper John, himself! My professionalism was sorely tested as he is, was, and remains one of my personal favorite film stars. Lee  Cohen later told me that he comes in all the time looking for artwork for his grandson.
I gritted my teeth at a missed opportunity and proceeded to interview Mr. Hildebrandt. Glad I did, too, as it turned out to be a truly wonderful experience. He’s a good guy with a great story to tell. Read it for yourself and stay tuned for Part 2 when the Star Wars connection comes into full focus. In the mean time, have you ever wondered why the likeness to the Clash of the Titans poster and Star Wars poster is strong? Read below and find out why…

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1 cover

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1 cover.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 2

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 2.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 3.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 3.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 4.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 4.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 9.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 9.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 10.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 10.

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