Archive for August, 2010

limeades for learning

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 31, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Sonic Drive-Ins are currently involved in their yearly Limeades for Learning campaign. While in previous years, participation was contingent on going to a Sonic and buying a hamburger or tots, this year they have opened a website and are allowing EVERYONE to vote to fund teacher resource projects.

Would you believe I have a couple of projects in the running? If you’re a longtime reader of the comic, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find this to be the case.

I’m really passionate about building up my classroom’s lending library- I feel it’s a sorely overlooked aspect of most high school classrooms and in the past year I’ve had great success in finding new ways to get exciting, interesting books to my students. I’m hoping to use Limeades for Learning to fund at least one of four projects, including a set of music-themed books, a set of spooky horror themed books, an expansion of my classroom’s graphic novel lending library, and one general reading project.

How can you help? It’s crazy-simple.

1. Go to Limeades for Learning and register. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do, just give them your e-mail address and respond to the confirmation e-mail.

2. At the Limeades website, click “Find a Project”. Then go to “Location” and search “Ohio”, then add a Location filter for “Ohio” and the city of Middletown.

3. You’re there! All four Middletown projects are intended for my classroom.

You get one vote a day for the next 30 days. If everybody who reads this comic voted on even half of the days in the month of September, I’d handily win. Right now it looks like “College Bound Students Need New Reading Opportunities” is in the lead, but “Create Lifelong Readers with Graphic Novels” is a particular pet project of mine.

I’ve been consistently amazed in the past year and a half at the heartfelt responses I’ve gotten when I’ve asked for help on my little classroom projects like this, so I’d like to thank you all in advance for any time that you can give me. I’ll also beg your forgiveness, as I’m going to be hounding y’all about this for the next few weeks.

i’m still here

Posted in commentary on August 26, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Just wanted to drop a quick line and let people know that I’m still amongst the living. The 2010-2011 school year is upon us down in Southeast Ohio and I am busy getting to know my students and getting reacquainted with colleagues.

I am looking at a September 7th start date for the comic strip this year, so mark your calendars! I think this is going to be an interesting year for me, career wise… and hopefully that translates to the comic strips I’ll be drawing.

Anyhow, thanks to the people who have been checking back here everyday despite the lack of updates. Rest assured, they are on their way.

vacation comics #9

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 17, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

“Soaking” is Elliot’s preferred adjective to describe any extreme state of being covered in something. He has, at various times this summer, been soaking dirty, soaking muddy, soaking hot, and soaking sweaty. Ok, that last one kind of makes sense.

vacation comics #8

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 16, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I hit a kid.

vacation comics #7

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 12, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I felt like I needed to do an update on yesterday’s comic immediately after I drew it because it seemed I was coming off as a controlling butthead.

vacation comics #6

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 11, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

vacation comics #5

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 10, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

You could probably change “bad at baby small talk” to just “bad at small talk of any kind.” Honestly, I went into school for the first time yesterday and I couldn’t believe how awkward I was, talking to adults. That’s what an entire summer of talking to/with a 2 year old’ll do to ya.

vacation comics #4

Posted in comics with tags , , on August 9, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

“Sy-sa coco-na” is something Elliot was saying a lot last month. I wanted to write it down to remember it. I think it’s his version of  a line from the song “Lime in the Coconut” from The Muppet Show.

He’s moved on to being obsessed with Lady Gaga since then.

thrift store finds: star trek: the motion picture: the pop-up book

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Although I try to limit the majority of my thrift store purchases to comic paperbacks and books for my classroom lending library, I am not made of stone. When I encounter something especially weird, baffling, geeky, or otherwise neat, I will pick it up. Such was the case with Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Pop-Up Book!

What a name!

Confession time: I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of Star Trek. I did have relatives who were into the show however. My maternal grandmother was a dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie. She read every Star Trek paperback she could get her hands on. She watched Star Trek: The Next Generation. She collected Star Trek plates from the Franklin Mint! Grandmas and Star Trek don’t normally go hand in hand, but mine did.

I don’t think Grandma’s love of Kirk and company affected my own interest in Star Trek either way… it was just something I never got a handle on. I tried to watch the TV show multiple times to no joy. All I could see were cardboard sets. When Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered in 1993, I literally FORCED myself to sit down and watch it every week for like a month and a half because, as a kid who liked comics, Star Wars, Monty Python, and all other matter of geeky ephemera , it just seemed like the type of thing I should be into. I just wasn’t.

It’s only been in this past year or so that I’ve gained any real appreciation for Star Trek. I truly enjoyed the rebooted Star Trek that was in theaters last year; it was a terrific popcorn flick and I liked it so much that I saw it twice (once in the theater, once as a double-feature at a drive-in). Enjoying that movie lead me back to some of the earlier films like Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan which, to my surprise, was a truly awesome movie even independent of its Trekker origins. Some of the other Star Trek movies I’ve sampled since then… eh, not so much.

BUT, you say… if you’re not into Star Trek, why did you even bother to buy this book? I’ll show you why in a second, but before that let me just say something about pop-up books.

Generally, I am anti-pop-up-book. They are sometimes really clever and certainly Robert Sabuda deserves some kind of medal for the amount of craziness he’s figured out how to pour into his pop-up creations… but I have a two year old son. Pop-up books last about three, maybe four days in this household before you’re simply staring at a book full of torn pages and glue smudges. Most of the pop-up books we encounter in the thrift store are similarly afflicted. When I looked at ST:TMP:TPUP (awesome acronym), ALL the pages were in great condition. Whoever owned this book before it ended up in the thrift shop, it wasn’t a toddler. All the pages work beautifully from the transporter room

to the Enterprise coming out of drydock

and then you get to this page which made me laugh out loud. It has to be the most boring use of a pull tab ever employed in a pop-up book. I’m going to switch over to video to do it justice.

The copy on the page says: Mr. Spock reacts to all the excitement in his usual way.

There you have it. Star Trek! The Motion Picture! The Pop-Up Book! Eight pages of eyebrow raising fun.

odds & ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , on August 6, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

It’s Friday! I haven’t done an Odds & Ends update in awhile!

Ellen and I are powering through the first season of Veronica Mars on Netflix. I’ve already seen these episodes but Ellen never has. It’s been a lot of fun. On watching VM for the second time, I’m even more impressed with the show than I was on the first go-around. It’s aged remarkably well for being a teen drama taking place in high school.

It’s also clear that the writers put a LOT of work into the mystery which, unlike a lot of television shows, plays entirely fair with the audience. It’s been fun to watch Ellen react as the season-long “Who killed Lily Kane?” story arc unspools, considering I know who, in fact, killed Lily Kane… and as for me, I’ve enjoyed picking up on stuff that I completely missed on my first viewing.

If you’ve never seen Veronica Mars, it’s worth watching. If you have seen it, it’s worth revisiting.

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Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour came out a few weeks ago, but I only found a copy this past Saturday. Seriously, I looked ALL over New York and I couldn’t find one lousy copy! I really wanted to get one for my classroom, as these books were HUGELY read among my students last year… and I’m expecting a rush on them in September thanks to the upcoming movie.

While I enjoy the books, the Scott Pilgrim series hits a lot of sweet spots for people that aren’t necessarily my sweet spots. I’ve never been a big fan of Japanese manga, the style on which most of the series is based… and I stopped following video games sometime in the early 1990’s, so some of the references that cartoonist Bryan Lee O’Malley makes fly right over my head. That being said, I really enjoyed the last book in the series. Although there’s still a lot of laugh-out-loud moments and some REALLY well designed action sequences, I most appreciated the maturity with which O’Malley approached the relationships in this book, and I’m shocked that I’m saying “mature” and “Scott Pilgrim” in the same paragraph. I’m looking forward to seeing what some of my students from last year who devoured 1 through 5 think of this one.

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Some of you might remember last year when I asked readers to vote for me in a contest for Poe Ghostal’s Points of Articulation, wherein I had to take Poe and draw him as a character from the 1980’s toy line He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You can see my take on Poe here.

I was thrilled when I won second prize in that contest- a Mer-Man action figure from Mattel’s new Masters of the Universe Classics line. If you’ve never heard of MOTUC, it’s a toy line created exclusively for collectors where the toys from the Eighties are retooled and reimagined for the 21st century. As regular readers of the blog know, I’m something of a… well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a fan of He-Man these days (the cartoon, when revisited, is pretty horrible) but I have a soft spot for Masters of the Universe.

I finally got around to taking ol’ Mer-Man out of the box and DAMN it is a nice toy! He’s super-posable and comes with a lot of cool accessories including his trident, weird looking coral/corn sword, and a differently designed head that you can swap onto the neck.

The going rate on these toys is something like $30 dollars, and fans of He-Man pay for these once a month on Mattel’s MattycCollector website. I don’t know that I’m ready to dive in regularly collecting these at that crazy price point, but this is a pretty sweet toy. I can imagine Elliot and Henry enjoying him when they’re ready to play with action figures.

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And now, for your enjoyment… Henry faces.

Thank you and goodnight.