Archive for March, 2011

2010-2011 school year: day eighty three

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Right, Mr. Foley appeared in a TON of comics previously. Here’s one where he was being funny… and here’s one that follows immediately after where he was being not as fun.

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2010-2011 school year: day eighty two

Posted in classroom management, comics with tags on March 23, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I know the third panel is an abomination against all things held sacred to man. I wrestled around with it for a looong time before I decided “Eh… good enough” but I am with you on reviling the thing. We are together on this, my friends.

Just a friendly reminder: All of my DonorsChoose projects are “Almost Home” funded right now, making it even easier to make a difference in the life of a student by supplying them with awesome new books for our classroom lending library. I have one graphic novel project, one author-specific project, and one “general needs” project in the offing. If you donate, I promise never to draw a girl putting on lipstick ever again!

2010-2011 school year: day eighty one

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 22, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

I don’t know if this comic’s a success or not… but it’s true.

2010-2011 school year: day eighty

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 21, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Of course, there’s even less time now. I think we’re at around nine weeks at this point? Jeez.

Phil appeared a couple of weeks ago, for those continuity nuts amongst you.

chalkboard photo post #25

Posted in chalkboard drawings on March 20, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

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thrift store finds: superman/doomsday: hunter/prey

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , on March 19, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

(Thrift Store Finds is a mostly-weekly “column” of sorts where I discuss some of the cool books I’ve happened upon in my neighborhood St. Vincent DePaul store. Please don’t mistake me for an expert on any of the books I am writing about… I’m just a fan of a bargain.)

I started collecting and reading superhero comic book in 1992.

In 1993, DC Comics orchestrated one of the biggest event stories ever done in superhero comics when they introduced The Death of Superman to readers. A comic story line that did exactly what it set out to do, The Death of Superman was not only a huge seller amongst regular comic book readers, it was the rarest of beasts: a comic book that crossed over into the general population. I don’t know if it was a slow news day or whether people were actually emotionally invested in the idea of Superman shuffling off this mortal coil, but folks went absolutely batshit crazy over these comics. The major news outlets reported Superman’s death at the hands of the brawling monster Doomsday as though it was hard news, and people responded in kind. Folks who had never before darkened the door of a comic book shop bought multiple copies and stashed them away.

Readership was at an all time high in ’93… but eventually, things died down. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Superman returned to comics about a year later in a grand resurrection that involved four different people claiming they were Big Blue and many, many crossovers and tie-in comic books.

I read The Death of Superman in ’93, but I remember marveling more at the amount of tie-ins and special die-cut, poly-bagged enhanced covers than enjoying the story… which, by the way, left one huge plot point completely unanswered for readers. Superman is killed by a rampaging Hulk-like monster called Doomsday… but Doomsday is left trapped on an asteroid, alive and well by the time Superman came back to the land of the living, sporting a brand new mullet hairstyle.

All that’s the long way around saying “Hey, look what I found at the thrift store this week! The defacto sequel to The Death of Superman, Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Prey!”

I should mention that one doesn’t often see modern comic trades in the paperback stacks. Every once and awhile, I’ll come across a trade… but for the most part, this was a rare find.

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odds and ends

Posted in odds and ends, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

As is likely clear from my weekly trolling of all our local thrift stores, one big vice that I have is books. I love books. Love to own ’em, love to have ’em, and I really love  fancy-pants special editions of my favorites books, comics, and stories.

Behold one fancy collection that I will have to somehow live my life without owning:

The Bone 20th Anniversary Full Color One Volume Collector’s Box Set. It comes with an art print signed by Bone creator Jeff Smith. It comes with three pewter figures of the Bone cousins. It comes with a 22k gold-plated recreation of Phoney Bone’s gold coins. It comes with a facsimile of Bone #1 in black and white. It comes with a DVD documentary.

Oh, it also comes with one of my favorite comic stories ever, in hardcover with a beautiful new coloring job… presented in a handsome red case.

Cost: $350 dollars… although Cartoon Books is offering a version for $1,000 dollars wherein Smith will draw and Hammaker will watercolor a sketch for you. I honestly prefer Bone in B&W as that is how I originally encountered the story, but you cannot argue with how beautiful Steve Hammaker’s work is. Plus, I LOVE that Phoney Bone coin.

Alas and alack… I think I’ll probably use that money to feed and clothe my children. I will content myself with the original One Volume edition, which proudly sits on the shelves of both my classroom and my own private collection.

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I was excited to read Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts this week, a sort-of travelogue by cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her studio mate Laura Renick-Reinhart.

I’ve become a fan of Knisley’s work in the past year, especially her contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better campaign. It inspired me to write my own comic in response!

HHH found its’ beginnings in a rather unique fashion- Knisley and Renick-Reinhart opened a Kickstarter project to fund a trip to Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure, with the goal of visiting the new Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida. The deal was this: if the readers would fund their trip, they’d get to read the comic about the trip. The ladies’ project was a resounding success- they asked for $2,500 dollars… they got over $7,000. Had I been in a position to donate at the time, I certainly would have… but I’ve contented myself with resting on other’s laurels and buying a PDF of the comic after the fact.

As far as the comic pertains to the more lofty stated goal of the strip (connecting their recent break-up woes with significant others to their love of Harry Potter), I thought HHH missed the mark. There are some interesting swipes at the thesis; in particular, I liked the observation Lucy makes about dealing with her logical-thinking ex-boyfriend versus her more emotional travel companion. Still, by and large the “heartbroken” stuff felt shoehorned into the comic and wasn’t my favorite part of the 25 page book.

From the perspective of a travelogue, I enjoyed Horribly Heartbroken at Hogwarts immensely. Part of the goal of this project seemed to be glorying in all things Potter and the authors carry that off with style. I, for one would jump at the chance to pay for Knisley and Renick-Reinhart to take another trip in the future, if it means more comics like this. Ladies, if you’re ever interested in a sequel, I will gladly fund your trip to visit the places in England and Scotland where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Download the comic for $3 dollars!

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Finally, I wanted to share this with all of you. A few months ago, I told you all about my son Elliot’s love of Ralph Consentino’s Batman: The Story of the Dark Knight, to the point where he has the book memorized and will quote it for you in odd places. I got in touch with Ralph and he generously sent Elliot a lovely drawing of the Dark Knight himself.

Ellen is the manager of an art gallery/framing studio and she decided to have both Ralph’s drawing and my own sketch framed… and here’s the result:

A beautiful job, if I do say so myself. I wanted to thank Ralph again here on the blog- it was a genuine thrill for Elliot… and myself!