Archive for November, 2013

HPB Black Friday finds

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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I hit up the Half-Price Books Black Friday sale every year. My main goal is to pick up stocking stuffers for Ellen and the boys but I have to admit, I indulge pretty heavily in some buying for myself. This year, although they stuck with the standard $5 gift certificate for early bird shoppers, HPB switched things up a bit. Whereas the store normally offers a blanked percentage off your entire purchase, this year you could either get 40% off one thing… or $15 bucks off of a purchase of $50 dollars. I went with the latter sale and above are a few of my purchases.

Elektra Lives Again is an out of print hardcover; although the material has been reprinted in some Daredevil collections, it hasn’t been presented in this original, oversized edition since 1990. That was good enough for me. Although Miller’s Batman work remains some of my favorite superhero comics, I have to admit, I haven’t read much of his Daredevil run – an isolated issue here or there is about as far as I’ve gotten. I will say this: the book is absolutely GORGEOUS. This was right before Miller started working primarily in black and white over at Dark Horse and as such, the last time Lynn Varley’s coloring really did anything for me. Super glad to have this big book in my collection.

I was excited to locate a copy of Spaceballs: The Book published by Scholastic Press under their Point imprint in 1987. The book was written by “Jovial Bob Stine” who we all know from my previous Thrift Store Find post on movie storybooks, is in fact Goosebumps writer R.L. Stine. I especially wanted a copy of Spaceballs: The Book because it’s clear the people behind this effort were completely in on one of the biggest jokes of Mel Brooks’ send-up… the omnipresent marketing machine behind Star Wars. This paperback looks like it came straight from the scene on Yogurt’s planet (“Spaceballs-the T-shirt, Spaceballs-the Coloring Book, Spaceballs-the Lunch box, Spaceballs-the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower”) and that’s kinda cool.

Finally, I picked up Batman: Chaos in Gotham for the GameBoy Color… although I’ll be playing it on my GBA:SP. Batman’s weathered some fairly awful games over the years but most of his carts for the GameBoy system are surprisingly solid… and Chaos in Gotham is no exception. It’s a side-scroller with puzzle elements and it’s clear the design team went the extra mile on this one. The animation of the Batman sprite is fluid and appealing. He has a variety of moves and weapons and although I haven’t played very far into the game, there’s apparently a great level variety, with driving stages added into the mix later on.

Teaching Comics: Unfunded mandates

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , on November 26, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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Teaching Comics: Pre Turkey Day blahs

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , on November 25, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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True story: When I started teaching in the school district I’m currently employed with, their Thanksgiving break was A FULL WEEK. It was amazing.

Chalkboard Drawings: The “Hanna Barbara” edition

Posted in chalkboard drawings with tags , , , , , , on November 24, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

I draw a picture of myself on my classroom’s chalkboard everyday. I collect those pictures as camera phone photos and post them on Sundays. See the rest here.

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This week, all Hanna Barbara characters! No drawing on Friday because I worked a fourteen hour day (my regular workday plus parent/teacher conferences) and I couldn’t get up the steam to work out a fifth HB drawing. I shoulda done Dirk Dastardly though…

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Thrift Store Finds: Beavis & Butthead #11 (Marvel Comics)

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

Happy Almost Thanksgiving, everyone! This week, we’re looking at Beavis & Butthead #11, published by Marvel Comics in 1994.

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Cover price was $1.95, I paid a quarter. This book was published under the Marvel Humor banner, which later morphed into Marvel Absurd.

Although The Simpsons gets the lion’s share of credit for the reemergence of animation in prime time television during the 1990’s, it’s important not to underestimate the contributions of MTV during this time. MTV’s Liquid Television was a shining beacon of adult-level animated entertainment. It was also a proving ground for many future prime time animated efforts like Aeon Flux (good), The Brothers Grunt (awful), and most popularly, the dim-witted duo Beavis and Butthead. B&B were an unstoppable, omnipresent juggernaut during most of the 1990’s, with their long-running cartoon, the much-hyped big-budget movie, and the plethora of licensed materials for sale in stores.

For those who do not remember the concept, Beavis and Butthead are two incorrigible teenage idiots who are motivated by hormones, television, and food… in that order, pretty much. The animated series divided time equally between the boys’ stupid adventures and time spent killing brain cells in front of the TV watching music videos, in a wonderful “bite the hand that feeds them” stroke of comedy, on MTV itself. The Marvel Comics follows much in the same mold.

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Teaching Comics: The end of the beginning

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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A colleague of mine (and a damn fine teacher in his own right) did a little math and figured out we now give up over 20% of our school year to standardized testing in a school year year. OVER TWENTY PERCENT.

Teaching Comics: Measure your measure

Posted in 2013-2014 school year with tags , , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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I want to be clear, this is a complete failing on my part… or at least, on the part of my district. My students did a very good job working with this test but most of the scoring information the test gave them at the end was nothing they could understand, outside of their Lexile level.