odds and ends: the stand, the strand, and other stuff

I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but I’m horrible about promoting myself. I’m going to be teaching a class about drawing comics for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders on Saturday, August 11th at Pop Revolution Gallery and Framing. The class is going to involve lessons on designing characters, brainstorming ideas, and drawing finished comics. Check out the website!

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I AM STILL READING DUNE. The book simply WILL NOT END!

I’m still enjoying it, but it’s been years since I’ve hit upon a novel where, no matter how much I read, there still seems to be 200 pages left to go.

I suppose part of my slow-going stems from trying to read Dune while visiting the beach with my family. With two young children, you get to read about a paragraph and a half before you have to look up and tell the younger one to stop eating sand, or the older one not to feed the younger one sand, no matter how much the younger one says that he likes it.

Ellen’s been reading The Stand for the first time and I’m sort of jealous of her. I’ve been trying to get her to read the book for years; it’s one of my favorites and I’ve probably read it about 10 times. Through a series of goofy circumstances I detailed here, she started the book while we were down the shore. I’m a little jealous of her getting to read a book I’ve read so many times with new eyes!

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Ellen and I also managed to see both of the big superhero movies to come out in the last month. We took in The Amazing Spider-Man while we were down the shore and saw The Dark Knight Rises last weekend.

Comparing the two flicks doesn’t really do either justice; they’re both aiming for different targets and the methods and means by which they hit those marks will obviously not be the same. That being said, I felt the same way about both movies. They were good but flawed. Just thought I’d mention.

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One more book thing, and then I’m done. While in New York City, I visited my favorite bookstore, The Strand. I was a bit disappointed with what I found- somewhere between my yearly visits, The Strand has changed from a pure used book store to a true book store. You can pick up brand new books for full price! Heresy! The best part about going to The Strand as a teenager was buying books dirt cheap! I guess I can’t fault the place for wanting to make a buck, but it seems a little sad to me.

The Strand does still have the used books you understand, they’ve just scaled back quite a bit. I managed to find one out of print comic collection for which I’ve been searching for what seems like years.

Published in 2000, A DC Universe Christmas collects many of DC Comics’ most famous Yuletide stories. You all know I’m a big fan of Christmas comics, so when I heard this existed, I immediately started scouring used book stores and comic conventions to no joy. My favorite Superman/Christmas story is not collected here, but there are many other great stories to enjoy, including an early Frank Miller take on Batman and a weird Legion of Super-Heroes tale where the LoSH try to hunt down the star that hung over Bethlehem on the First Christmas!

Like I said, it’s out of print and I had a hard time running it down… but if you have the means and the interest, it’s a nice package.

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