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Quick Takes: Amazing sum for Spider-Man comic

March 09, 2011

A comic collector has been caught in Spider-Man's web, paying $1.1 million for a near-mint copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, which features the wall-crawler's debut.

ComicConnect.com Chief Executive Stephen Fishler said Tuesday that the Silver Age issue, first published in 1962, was sold Monday by a private seller to a private buyer.

It's not the highest price ever paid for a comic book — that honor goes to Action Comics No. 1, the debut of Superman, which went for $1.5 million — but Fishler said the price paid is the most for a Silver Age era book.

It originally sold for 12 cents.

—Associated Press

Kennedy Center gets $10 million

Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein is making a second $10-million gift in less than six months to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to help reach younger and more economically diverse audiences.

The gift announced Tuesday makes Rubenstein, of Bethesda, Md., the largest single donor in the center's history, with donations totaling $23 million.

Rubenstein became the center's chairman last year and is co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a private equity firm.

His gift funds programs to reach younger audiences, subsidizes ticket prices and devotes money for opera programs.

—Associated Press

Blogger mom lands book deal

Kelly Oxford is a blogger, Twitter star and inspiration for a new CBS sitcom. Now, she has a book deal.

It Books and HarperCollinsCanada, imprints of HarperCollins Publishers, announced Tuesday that they would publish her memoir in the summer of 2012. The currently untitled book will be a "a series of side-splitting essays."

Oxford, who lives in Calgary, Canada, is a wisecracking, stay-at-home mother of three with such famous fans as Jimmy Kimmel and Jessica Alba. Her life is the basis of "The Mother of All Something," a planned CBS sitcom for which Alba will serve as executive producer.

—Associated Press

Collins explains his retirement

Phil Collins fully intends to quit music — just not for the reasons people may think.

After a barrage of headlines reporting his motivations for quitting — some said it was bad reviews, feeling unloved by fans and poor treatment by the press — the British singer, drummer and actor took to his official website to clear the air.

Writing that he felt the media were painting "a picture of me that is more than a little distorted," the 60-year-old said he was most confused that his retirement was such a major story, reported first in the April issue of FHM magazine, since he hadn't "spoken to anybody in the press for a few months."

In his online statement, Collins broke down his reasons for walking away from his more than four-decade career, which includes multiplatinum success both as a solo artist and with Genesis, Grammy awards and an Academy Award for his music in the film "Tarzan."

His main intention for hanging it all up? To be a full-time father to his two young sons.

—Gerrick D. Kennedy

Japanese Garden closing for work

Visitors who want to take advantage of the Huntington Library's Japanese Garden during the warm spring weather have less than a month to make the trip to San Marino. On April 4, the Huntington will shut down the scenic outdoor attraction for renovations that are expected to last a year.

The Huntington said the Japanese Garden is scheduled to reopen in the early spring of 2012, to commemorate its centennial year.

The renovations will include major work on the existing Japanese house, the ponds, water infrastructure and more. In addition, the Huntington will install a ceremonial teahouse donated by the Pasadena Buddhist Temple.

The Japanese Garden, which occupies nine acres, was created in 1912.

—David Ng

Eddie Izzard will play the Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a venue that has pretty much seen it all — classical, rock, jazz, Broadway, dance and more. On July 20, British comedian Eddie Izzard will appear in "Stripped to the Bowl," a concert performance that the Los Angeles Philharmonic is billing as the venue's first-ever all-comedy presentation.

Those with long Bowl memories may recall another comedy presentation: Monty Python's sketch show that played at the historic venue in 1980 and that was later turned into a popular concert film. Was that theater or live comedy? Bowl fanatics can debate.

—David Ng

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