Saturday, May 29, 2021

Eyelight Coffee & Comics Opens in Sanford, North Carolina


Hand-crafted hot and frozen coffee drinks and comic books - a great combo! Brian John Mitchell, longtime small press publisher and the mastermind behind the mighty Silber Records label, has opened a new coffee shop in Sanford, NC. Also available there: teas, baked goods, and fresh plants. You can even set up a comic book pull list! More details here: THEEYELIGHT.COM

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Classical LPs I've Listened to Recently, May 28, 2021


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Monday, May 24, 2021

Magazines I've Read Recently, May 24, 2021


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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Recently Read: You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!, by Fletcher Hanks, Edited by Paul Karasik


Paul Karasik's You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! has completed the task of collecting in book form all 51 of Fletcher Hanks' stories written and drawn for early '40s comic books - and what odd stories they are. Even taking into account that many of the better stories were published in Vol. 1, I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets, there's more than enough disturbing, outrageous and daring work here to entertain the most jaded comics reader - work full of anger, inadvertent humor, naïveté and creepiness. Most new Hanks converts flock to the outer space exploits of Stardust the Super Wizard and the unique weirdness of Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle, but my favorite Hanks work features the exploits of lumberjack Big Red McLane. How many nefarious competing lumberjack companies can there be to keep generating new plots? Hanks himself seemed to realize the limits of his formula when he sent McLane into the big city for a boxing saga at the tail end of his run.

WWII begins to make its way into many of Hanks' series towards the end of the book, when his stories, with page designs more commonplace, began incorporating fifth column saboteurs and red-blooded American boys ready to thwart them.

Karasik also writes a fascinating forward displaying Hanks' art school samples, includes Hanks' sad death certificate, and uses rare original Hanks artwork as endpapers. It's, all in all, a beautiful package, printed on non-glare paper and reproducing the original coloring. If you own the first volume, this second one's a must. If not - buy them both.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Comics I've Read Recently, May 11, 2021


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More Classic Signet Paperback Covers


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Nix Comics' Ken Eppstein's How I Spent My 2020 Staycation

Help Nix Comics publisher Ken Eppstein publish some of the work he's done over the past year. $15 for two zines includes shipping in the US!

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Conan the Barbarian, drawn by Alfredo Alcala


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Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Columbus Museum of Art Interviews Columbus-based Artist Bryan Christopher Moss


The interview includes previews of his comics created during the pandemic, commissioned by the Columbus Museum of Art

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Classical CDs I've Listened to Recently, May 8, 2021


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Friday, May 7, 2021

Recently Read: On the Way Home, by Laura Ingalls Wilder


A diary kept (and unintended for publication) by Laura Ingalls Wilder, On the Way Home details the covered wagon trip her, Almonzo, young daughter Rose and some fellow adventurers took from De Smet, South Dakota (where their luck had long ago ran out) to Mansfield, Missouri, where they would live for the rest of their lives.

Containing observations on the towns they traveled through, the people they met, the worthiness (or unworthiness) of the countryside, Wilder's short notes will be of interest to those who have read the nine "canon" Wilder books and want to know what Laura and Almonzo did next. What really makes it a worthwhile read is the context Rose gives the diary. The text is accompanied by photographs of the family and contemporary pictures of the towns they traveled through, along with a map of their travels, easily referenced with the text. An afterward by Rose really brings the book to life and we realize while reading it that the "voice" of Laura in this book series has been, at least partly, the voice of Rose all along. It's like seeing a curtain drawn revealing the machinery inside. Rose's memories of the homecoming are vivid, full of emotion and suspense. Especially effective is Rose's explanation of a photograph (included in the book) taken of her at the age of two years and four months. Rose remembers the annoying occasion with clarity and sharp wit.

I will be interested to learn, in biographies of Laura and Rose, to what extent Rose shaped the sound and structure of Laura's writing. I'm guessing it was substantial - a fact that, however interesting, does nothing to dispel the quality and the magic of the books. 

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