Archive for the stand

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

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

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.

friday odds & ends

Posted in commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any new comics this week. I could give you a ton of excuses, but I realized the true reason I stopped comic-ing this week: I only have TWO comics left to draw about this past school year! One of ’em will be up on Monday to finish out last week’s batch, and then I have another “one comic covers a full week” strip similar to the comic I drew here back in February. That’s pretty much all she wrote for the 2009-2010 school year, and I think that sort of froze me up a bit. I don’t often have insight like this into my creative process (as cheesy as it sounds); most of the time, I’m just plodding away blindly.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I feel I learned a lot about the things that work and the things that don’t work about this comic, and I’m anxious to get started on next year… one that I think you’ll see, is a crucial one for both my career AND my school in general.

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I got sunburn this week. First sunburn of the summer, and with my pasty complexion, it’s sure not to be the last sunburn. I couldn’t sleep last night, so I stayed up late reading my new book, The Passage by Justin Cronin. I usually wait until I am done reading a book before I give it a recommendation, but it’s a real page-turner in the vein of early Stephen King. Heck, I think The Passage owes quite a bit to King, especially his post-apocalyptic masterwork The Stand, and I say that as a compliment.

I won’t give away too much more than that, except to say that Cronin does something absolutely genius in the first third of the book by setting the time directly before the world ends in a distant future America where a tank of gas is $200 dollars and New Orleans exists only as a toxic waste dump. By taking the problems of today and ratcheting them up to a not-entirely insane degree, Cronin creates this great “out of place” feel for readers that just gets more and more eerie as the story goes on.

That bein’ said, the first third of the book is a preamble for the rest of the story, dealing with the literal and figurative fallout of what happens in the beginning, and I’m only now getting into that section. If you’re looking for a great summer read, look no further.

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As I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t watch a whole lot of television. You could say that I am in the presence of television quite often, as I normally lie on the floor and draw while Ellen watches stuff… or we both watch things together, and I pay half of my attention toward. I’ll listen to a TV show, almost like a radio play, as I’m drawing comics. This is how I’m able to know what’s going on with ABC’s The Bachelorette without being able to pick any of the contestants out in a line-up.

There are some shows that I’ll put away the pen and Bristol board for, however. Summer for Ellen and I has become synonymous with “cooking reality shows” and Ellen and I were both pumped for the return of Bravo’s Top Chef and the lesser but still enjoyable The Next Food Network Star (from The Food Network, natch). Weirdly enough, we’ve also really gotten into this other show on Bravo, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. It’s a premise that’s absolute baloney, taking 12 aspiring artists and having them compete in challenges akin to those on Project Runway. I don’t think anyone expects “great art” to arise out of this hoary premise, but it’s been fun to watch in the past few weeks.