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As a kid I used to read those comic books especially Asterix, Lucky Luke, Iznogoud and Tintin. René Goscinny was quite a genius with Alberto Uderzo.
Same board. Those comics (and a few others, such as Gaston Lagaffe) rocked my childhood (in french) and I know them by heart.

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My first overseas trip was to Europe in 1987. One of the stops I made in London was to purchase every single Asterix book that I didn't already have (because they were as scarce as hen's teeth at home) and had them shipped back to New Zealand.

R.I.P. Albert Uderzo, a truly iconic member of 20th century literary society - even if certain people will look down upon his "graphic novels" as not real literature. The joy which he and Rene Goscinny brought to me, and countless millions of others, was pure and unalloyed.
 

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My dad used to love reading these Asterix cartoons (he even read Cosmopolitan and Oprah on top of his farming and cars magazines...maybe he wanted to expand his knowledge on everything). My brother and I always fought as who will get dips on reading them first. RIP creator whom I never knew.
 

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Curly Neal, Globetrotters’ Dazzling Dribbler, Dies at 77

He admittedly “didn’t know anything about being funny” when he joined the comedic basketball team, but he became one of its biggest stars.


Curly Neal performing with the Harlem Globetrotters during a game timeout in 2008. His ball-handling skills established him as one of the team’s foremost stars, alongside the likes of Meadowlark Lemon and Hubert “Geese” Ausbie.

Curly Neal performing with the Harlem Globetrotters during a game timeout in 2008. His ball-handling skills established him as one of the team’s foremost stars, alongside the likes of Meadowlark Lemon and Hubert “Geese” Ausbie.
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press


By Marc Stein
March 26, 2020

Fred “Curly” Neal, whose dribbling wizardry made him one of the most well-known members of the beloved Harlem Globetrotters traveling basketball team, died on Thursday at his home near Houston. He was 77.

The team announced the death but gave no other details.

Nicknamed “Curly” upon joining the Globetrotters in a humorous nod to his shaved head, Neal played in more than 6,000 exhibition games for the Globetrotters from 1963 to 1985, mostly against the Washington Generals, their hapless foils.

In one of the most highly anticipated elements of the Globetrotters’ routine, Neal would dribble all over the court, frequently sliding on his knees, never losing control of the ball no matter how close to the hardwood he had lowered himself. Then he would bounce the ball through a flailing defender’s legs near the free-throw line and dribble in for an uncontested layup to finish off the move.

“Oh my gosh, he revolutionized ball handling,” Nancy Lieberman, who played for the Generals against the Globetrotters in 1988, said in a phone interview. “Everything you see Kyrie Irving doing and Steph Curry doing now, all of it started with the Trotters. The Trotters made dribbling a show.”

Neal’s trickery established him as one of the team’s foremost stars, alongside the likes of Meadowlark Lemon and Hubert “Geese” Ausbie, and helped the Globetrotters’ traveling show become a regular feature of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” in an era when the National Basketball Association did not have a robust national television presence as it does now.

At the height of the Globetrotters’ popularity in the 1970s, with Neal’s supreme ball-handling skills and long-distance shooting as prime attractions, they inspired multiple animated TV series, including “Scooby-Doo Meets the Harlem Globetrotters” in 1972.

They also performed some of their basketball tricks on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” accompanied as always by the strains of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” their trademark song. And they played themselves on television shows like “The White Shadow” and “Love Boat” and in a made-for-television “Gilligan’s Island” movie.

“His basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide,” Jeff Munn, the Globetrotters’ general manager, said in a statement on Thursday. “He always made time for his many fans and inspired millions.”

Frederick Neal was born on May 19, 1942, in Greensboro, N.C., and played collegiately at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, where he averaged 23 points per game as a senior to earn All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association honors. Future N.B.A. stars such as Lou Hudson and Al Attles were high school and college contemporaries, but Neal was not drafted by an N.B.A. team and struggled to land a job in the pros.

“That’s what I wanted to do, really,” he told The New York Times in 1983.


Neal, left, and Meadowlark Lemon in about 1970. The Globetrotters retired Neal’s No. 22 in 2008 in a ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

Neal, left, and Meadowlark Lemon in about 1970. The Globetrotters retired Neal’s No. 22 in 2008 in a ceremony at Madison Square Garden.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

But an offer soon materialized with the Globetrotters, and Neal eventually succeeded Marques Haynes, a 1992 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, as the Globetrotters’ ball-handling sensation.

Neal and Haynes “taught me how to dribble,” Isiah Thomas, the former All-Star guard who led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back N.B.A. championships in 1989 and 1990, said on Thursday on Twitter.

“I was blessed to be close with Curly and Marques Haynes,” Lieberman said. “Curly learned from Marques and took it to a whole different level.”

The Globetrotters retired Neal’s No. 22 in 2008 in a ceremony at Madison Square Garden — an honor bestowed upon only four other players in the team’s history: Wilt Chamberlain (13), Reece “Goose” Tatum (50), Haynes (20) and Lemon (36). He continued to serve as a Globetrotters ambassador long after he stopped playing.

Neal, though, recalled very humble beginnings to his Globetrotters career in his 1983 interview with The Times, saying: “I got a questionnaire letter, as a free agent. I would have to pay my way to camp. The Globetrotters sent me a plane ticket and gave me room and board.”

Another challenge, he said, was learning how to entertain fans as part of a traveling basketball troupe renowned for throwing buckets of confetti — or water — on fans sitting courtside.

“I didn’t know anything about being funny,” Neal said.
Information on his survivors was not immediately available.
In an interview with bullz-eye.com in 2008, Neal revealed that he had actually begun shaving his head at age 12 — long before he got his nickname.

“The kids in the neighborhood, we decided to do something mischievous,” Neal said. “My mom didn’t like it at first. She said, ‘What happened to you?’ And I said, ‘I went to sleep in the barber’s chair.’”
Neal stuck with that look throughout his high school and college career. He said it was Bobby Milton, the Globetrotters’ coach when Neal arrived, who decided, “We’re going to call you Curly.”

[The New York Times]


RIP, sir. :cry:
 

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RIP Albert Uderzo 😢

Asterix is definitely the most iconic figure of France. My favourite book is "Tour de Gaule".
 

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Terrence McNally, Tony award winning playwright has died of Coronavirus age 81. He wrote many plays including Masterclass, and Frankie And Johnny which was filmed with Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. I saw it in London with Julie Walters and Brian Cox many years ago. While not a ‘celebrity’ per se, he was a very important and influential artist. He survived lung cancer and the AIDS crisis. He was quite happy to joke about his previous health problems, and was iconic on Broadway and in the gay community. A great man. RIP Sir.
 

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Rev. Joseph Lowery, 'Dean' Of The Civil Rights Movement, Dies At 98

March 28, 2020 6:45 AM ET

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday

6-Minute Listen

The Rev. Joseph Lowery speaks at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., during an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Reverend Joseph Lowery, co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died Friday, according to a statement by the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights. He was 98 years old.

The statement said Lowery died peacefully at home Friday night, surrounded by his daughters.

Known affectionately as the "Dean" of the Civil Rights Movement, Lowery was a part of pivotal moments in the nation's history – from early civil rights struggles to the inauguration of the country's first black president. Even in his 90s, Lowery's fervor never dimmed.

At an appearance on the national mall in 2013, at the age of 91, he led the crowd in the chant "Fired Up? Ready to go?" The event marked 50 years since the 1963 March on Washington, which Lowery attended as a contemporary of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. At that 50th anniversary appearance, he warned that hard-fought gains were under attack.

"We ain't going back," he said. "We've come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice."

Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Dr. Joseph E. Lowery seated center, at a press conference at the U.N. Church Center in New York, 1979.

Lederhandler/AP

Joseph Echols Lowery was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1921. He was the son of a teacher and a shopkeeper. The young Lowery experienced firsthand the brutalities of the Jim Crow South and would spend his life fighting for racial justice.

One of the first protests he organized was as a young Methodist minister in Mobile, Alabama in the early 1950s. It was aimed at desegregating city buses.

In a 2011 oral history for the Civil Rights Project at the Library of Congress, Lowery recalled sitting in the bus seats reserved for whites. "Everybody cleansed themselves, purged themselves of weapons, and had prayer," he said. "And we took out on the bus route sitting in the front of the bus."

Civil Rights Exhibit Highlights Successes, Work Left To Be Done
The Summer of '63
Civil Rights Exhibit Highlights Successes, Work Left To Be Done



From there, Lowery helped coordinate the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, the non-violent movement that desegregated the city's public transportation and led to the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

As the new group's vice president, Lowery marched, survived jail, and had his property seized by the state of Alabama.

Changing The Face Of The Nation

In the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., Lowery led the delegation that delivered demands to segregationist Governor George Wallace. Wallace turned state troopers on marchers as they crossed Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge. The violent confrontation prompted passage of the Voting Rights Act.


Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Joseph E. Lowery gestures during an interview in his Atlanta office, Friday, July 19, 1985.


Ric Feld/AP

Four decades later, at a gathering of civil rights foot soldiers in Montgomery, Lowery reflected on that accomplishment, noting that the number of black elected officials in the country had gone from less than 300 in 1965 to nearly 10,000 by 2005.

"It changed the face of the nation," said Lowery.

In 1995, Lowery accepted an apology from former Alabama Governor Wallace."Thirty years ago he beat us," Lowery told NPR at the time. "Thirty years later he came to greet us. I think that's significant."

Cooking Up Change: How Food Helped Fuel The Civil Rights Movement
The Salt
Cooking Up Change: How Food Helped Fuel The Civil Rights Movement


A Lifetime In The Freedom Struggle

Lowery was a gregarious figure with expressive, bushy eyebrows, and a signature soul patch below his lower lip. He remained at the helm of the SCLC for decades. His social consciousness spread to a broad range of issues, at home and abroad — from apartheid in South Africa and Palestinian liberation to police brutality and states' rights.

The day before the 2016 election, he implored young people to get the polls, saying "We labored in vain if you don't vote."


Joseph Lowery, center, marches with Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Michael Dukakis, his wife Kitty and Mayor Andrew Young of Atlanta in 1988 during the 25th anniversary of Dr. King's march on Washington, DC.

Jerome Delay/AFP/Getty Images

"There are long distance runners in this struggle and he was certainly one of those," says Stanford University history professor Clayborne Carson.

Carson is the founding director of the Martin Luther King Research and Education Institute. He says Lowery was an activist even before the founding of the SCLC. "And he remained an activist long after lots of other people decided that the civil rights movement was over," Carson says. "I think he saw it in broader terms and from his teenage years to the end of his life he saw himself in the freedom struggle."

Rabble-Rouser

Lowery pastored churches in Atlanta, and retired from the pulpit in 1992. But even in his retirement, Lowery remained at the forefront of social debates. He was among the first old-guard civil rights figures to advocate for LGBT rights.

Lowery had a reputation as a rabble-rouser. He was not one to shy away from the truth in deference to decorum. Speaking at Coretta Scott King's funeral in 2006, he faced a front row packed with presidents and their spouses – two sets of Bushes, the Clintons and the Carters.


The Rev. Joseph Lowery speaks out against the war in Iraq during a rally in Piedmont Park in Atlanta on Saturday, April 1, 2006. The Rev. Lowery's remarks against the war and the Bush administration at the funeral of Coretta Scott King in February drew criticism.

Mark Young /AP

"I'm gonna behave," he promised. But before long he was taking on President George W. Bush and the Iraq war. "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there," he said to a standing ovation. "But Coretta knew and we know there are weapons of misdirection right down here."

'A President That Looks Like You'

In 2008, Lowery backed then-Senator Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for president. It was a split with many movement veterans who supported Hillary Clinton's campaign. President Obama asked the Rev. Lowery to give the benediction at his inauguration a year later. Lowery told NPR what it was like to get that phone call.

"It struck me forcefully that hey, you're talking to, you really are talking to the 44th president of the United States," Lowery said. "And he's a fellow that looks like you." Lowery said despite fighting for voting rights so that one day there might be a black president, he never imagined he would live to see that day.


The Rev. Joseph Lowery gave the benediction during the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

He did, and offered a prayer for the occasion:"In the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."

Later that year, Mr. Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Lowery and his late wife Evelyn established the Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights at Clark Atlanta University. There, a new generation is learning to forge change through non-violent tactics.

[NPR]


RIP, Rev. Lowery.
 

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Most won't know him, but since I nominated them once in BSG, I'll post it here. Tres Warren dies at 41.


In March 2020, the music world mourned the loss of Psychic Ills founder, frontman, and songwriter Tres Warren. At the time of his death, Warren was overflowing with creativity, actively writing new songs, and excited about the next phase of the band. He was preparing to go into the studio alongside longtime collaborator Elizabeth Hart and their bandmates to record the sixth Psychic Ills full-length, which was supposed to be out this fall. While those songs were tragically not recorded, the band did record a pair of covers for a new 7". “Never Learn Not to Love” and “Cease to Exist” are the first new Psychic Ills songs to be released since 2016’s Inner Journey Out, and while they no longer precede a new album as originally intended, they stand as a celebration of Tres Warren’s beautiful musical spirit.
I liked their psychedelic 2011 album Hazed Dream most.

 

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We've been losing so many great Jazz icons lately. Ellis Marsalis will be very missed RIP. RIP to Adam Schlesinger as well. :cry:
 

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Genesis P-Orridge has passed away.
Monumental body of work that needs to be discovered, in Psychic TV as well. Surely not easy listening, but a very interesting and complex artist nevertheless.
 

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The amazing no wave disco singer Cristina has sadly died at just 61 from Covid-19. She released two incredible albums on Ze Records in the early 80s. Her music was fun and full of irony in a slightly camp over the top way. She oozed class and intelligence and cool and was a totally unique performer. She made some really lasting music too. She will be very missed.




 
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