The other day I was trying to decide whether to buy a physical book or download one. I thought “but what if that crazy solar flare destroys the electrical grid? All these digital books will be completely gone.”
So, when this finally happens and we’re all suddenly living in the 19th century, technologically, I’ll be the guy whining about how now he’ll never get to read Pet Semetary.
If you’re interested in buying a copy of my adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s A Kidnapped Santa Claus, you’re in luck! I will personalize it, do a little doodle and send it directly to your home via Priority Mail (sorry: Americans only).
The book itself is hardcover, 72 b&w pages and is suitable for all ages. It adapts Baum’s story about a group of daemons who try to ruin Christmas by (spoiler!) kidnapping Santa Claus. It’s up to his loyal assistants to try and save the day!
If you are interested, simply send $25 to my PayPal account at comicbookarob (at) gmail. Make sure you include your address and to whom you would like it inscribed!
Pretty clever and that’s a pretty good Holden Caulfield. I sheepishly admit I don’t recognize two of the references but I’ll spare myself the humiliation of telling you which. In any case, a good excuse to find out more.
I uploaded some documents to my Kindle but can’t figure out a way to have it display the cover art (as opposed to the default generic book cover). Is it something I’m doing wrong uploading it or is it a settings issue? Any tips for an old man trying to Get With the Program?
Some light summer reading
My friend, the former cartoonist-turned-essayist Tim Kreider has a collection of his writings available now. The essays are witty and heartbreaking in equal measures. Check out his website for details about the book and how you can see Tim in person at one of his famous readings: http://www.thepaincomics.com/
I am currently reading And So It Goes, a biography of Kurt Vonnegut by Charles Shields. It’s a very interesting experience: I’ve been reading Vonnegut’s books for more than half of my life, some a few times over, and since he includes a lot of autobiographical material in his books I felt like I knew a lot about him—more than I know about some of my friends.
I’m not very far into the book (I just finished the bombing of Dresden) but I’ve already learned a ton of new stuff, especially about his childhood and early family life. If you’re a big fan of his work you should definitely check it out.
One interesting aspect of the book is that he really didn’t become KURT VONNEGUT (beloved author) until he was in his 40s. Prior to that he went from career to career, supporting a large family, struggling to get make it as writer and generally feeling like a loser. I admit I took some solace in this.
I also think it’s peculiar that he titled the book And So it Goes when, as Linda Ellerbee (who also had a book with that title) pointed out, Vonnegut’s phrase as just “So it goes.”
I recently read Frank Kaplan’s excellent biography of Frank Sinatra Frank: The Voice but it got me wondering about the rules for biography writing.
The book is loaded with examples of things which would seem to be impossible for a biographer to discover through research: people’s inner thoughts, exact conversations which happened decades ago, etc. Obviously you expect a certain degree of reconstruction and filling-in-the-blanks and speculations from any biography but at times it almost felt like a novel in its ability to get inside so many of the characters heads. At what point does something cross the line from non-fiction to something like Norman Mailer’s Executioner’s Song, a novel based on real life events which the author exhaustively researched?
I did find the book a compelling read and hope he’s at work on volume 2.
I’m reading Looking for Calvin & Hobbes by Nevin Martell. It’s okay but really suffers from Bill Watterson not cooperating. The author has to use a lot of secondary sources (old interviews, quotes from people he went to college with, etc.) which makes it seem really padded at points. If anything, it really made me wish someone would just collect that five or six interviews Martell extensively quotes, along with some commentary.
Anyway, the part I found most interesting was Watterson’s Early Years of Bitter Struggle. He starts off as a political cartoonist and gets fired. He spends years pitching ideas to comics syndicates with no luck. The usual story. At one point when Calvin & Hobbes is finally crystalizing, the syndicate approaches him about him taking over their new Robotman strip (they’d bought the rights to the character but didn’t have anyone to draw the strip). Maybe have Robotman be another one of Calvin’s imaginary friends?
Obviously Watterson turned them down, which in itself is interesting. Who among us would have the nerve to make the same decision? After years of trying to get ones foot in the door I imagine most of us would probably do whatever it was the syndicate wanted. When I first started in the comics biz I think I was very fortunate that my publishers, Antarctic Press, were very hands off and let me develop Box Office Poison in whatever ways I saw fit But what if they hadn’t? What if after a few issues they said “You know what, sales are terrible. Can you give Sherman superpowers?” It’s easy to look back and say that I would’ve told them no dice and walk away but I’m not so sure.
One fairly modest life goal I’ve set for myself is to get a hardcover edition of every Kurt Vonnegut book. In this modern day of ebay I realize that this kind of thing is a lot easier than it used to be so I’m going old school and only getting ones I find through sheer chance in used bookstores, etc. Unfortunately, I’m at the point where the only ones I’m missing are the early, rarer ones and one thing ebay has done is make it a lot harder to stumble across such things.
Wish me luck!
GOOD OMENS IN YOUR PANTS
LOOKING FOR ALASKA IN YOUR PANTS
She’s not in there, Pudge, however much you want her to be!
Great Expectations In Your Pants.
Limitless In Your Pants
I Never Promised You A Rose Garden In Your Pants.
Anything Goes In Your Pants, By John Barrowman
this is actually pretty accurate.
GOOD OMENS IN YOUR PATNS
View From The Bridge IN YOUR PANTS.
A Fine and Private Place in Your Pants
A Crack in the Edge of the World IN YOUR PANTS
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt in Your Pants
Anonymous asked: I saw on facebook tha you'd began reading George RR Martin's 'A Game of Thrones'. I'm really hoping you do a post on the book once you finish it (or did you just plow through it in a week of Hikkikkomori-ing?). With an HBO series coming in April and a comic book adaptation announced this week, the series is really heating up! Please share yo' thoughts.
I’m about half way through at this point (it’s going slower than I like but I think that has more to do with my reading habits lately) and am generally liking it. The biggest hurdle for me is that I have a hard time keeping the huge supporting cast straight—the various Sers, Septas, captains of the guards, etc. At first I was making a concerted effort to distinguish them all but eventually I just figured that anyone of any real importance would stand out and that generally seems to be the case (I think the mini-series might avoid this problem since there will be a visual component and TV generally is good at giving you cues as to who is important to a story).
One thing that surprised me is that the story seems less the D&D story I thought and more about political intrigue and conniving.
I’ll post an update when I finish and let you all know if I’m moving onto book 2…
By the way, I really like this Ask-a-Question thing and encourage everyone to send one in so I don’t have to think up blog entries!