Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Life and Death of James Dean in Amazing Pictures

A rather unusual combination of comic strip and photographs was published by 'Top Spot' in September 1959, four years after the death of actor James Dean - which will very soon be exactly 60 years ago.

There had been an enormous output of magazine articles around the world about the life and times of Dean in the those early years after his tragic, untimely death at the age of just 24 years old. This one was printed in the UK by Fleetway Publications, and was distributed as far as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Zimbabwe and Malawi). 

'Top Spot' was also a short-lived effort - and in its two-year run there's a heady mix of comics, pin-ups of cinema starlets and short adventure stories. All squarely aimed at a male teenage market who had perhaps moved on from reading comics like Lion or Buster.

In this interesting five-page spread, there's a rather barbed final statement aimed at Hollywood itself - that it should "be blamed for cheapening Dean's greatness as an actor". But significantly, six decades on Dean's acting method is still clearly an influence to today's aspiring performers...

Enjoy the piece - and you should be able click on each page and view them as larger images...


You're Tearing Me Apart: Rebel Without a Cause at 60

It's impossible now to separate the cult of James Dean from the film that defined a teen-age. 
The mystery and mystique of Rebel, drawing on rare, never heard archive - and the making of a legend:

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