Saturday, May 24, 2008

Daily Thoughts

Betsy Ross, 13 Colonies Flag

It is memorial day weekend this morning. We are supposed to remember our fallen. One of my grandfathers taught mathematics to bomber pilots on the home front during World War II, the other was a merchant marine and went to fight in the Lincoln Brigade on the side of syndicalists in the Spanish civil war.

Anyways, I am looking at Grow Your Money, 101 Easy Tips To Plan, Save, and Invest by Jonathan D. Pond. The reason I picked up this book is that I saw Jonathan Pond on a pledge drive for the PBS Public Broadcasting Service. They were offering a free financial help book if you donated money to public television. I saw this while I was folding laundry at the laundromat. He looks and seems to be a practical man without a lot of fluff. I hope that his writing is as good as his speaking.

I went to my local library this morning. The computers were down. There was no internet access. I could not sign up to use the machines for an hour. We occassionally have the computers go down at our branch. The worst time for it to happen is in the afternoon when there are a lot of people. This is quite inconvenient. I walked around and looked at the books.

I checked out MBA In A Day Learn What You Would Learn At Top Tier Business Schools by Stevem Stralser, Ph.D.. I think it is a kind of funny title, because I could probably read the book in a single day, then review it in the next. I also checked out Viewpoints Critical Selected Stories by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.. I rather like L.E. Modesitt, Jr.'s writing, especially his ecologically oriented science fiction.

Finally, I picked up Comics Values Annual 2007 by Alex G. Malloy. I don't think it is too accurate, but I occassionally find out about a few science fiction and fantasy titles which I never heard about or read when I look through the listings. I usually don't pay attention to the prices at all. At our library we have the Official Overstreet Comic Price Guide 2008 edition. Overstreet is the guide used in most comic book stores.

At Roger's Time Machine in Manhattan, New York when I used to go there, they priced a lot of the comics at half the Official Overstreet Comic Price Guide except for some of the Golden Age, or Silver Age comics which were often guide price and some of the very popular titles. Most of the underground comics were priced differently than guide. There is no current price guide for underground, ground level, and independent comics. They are irregularly covered in the Overstreet and Comics Value guide, but they do not have much depth.

The prices are all over the place for this kind of material. A lot of the material is rare or not understood. This is one of the reasons I collect ground level comics. I can often get very interesting material at very reasonable prices. People often keep this kind of material on the shelves of stores for a long time. Some people call them alternative comics. Basically it is smaller presses that bring their material in at "the ground level". Usually it is not underground, counterculture, or drug focused comics that I am interested in.

I often like unique titles like Alien Worlds, Alien Encounters, Berni Wrightson Master of the Macabre, Ms. Tree, Death Rattle, Vaughn Bode, Fantagor, and Usagi Yojimbo. Everyone has their own tastes.

I just finished watching the old fashioned cartoon version of Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel) and Chuck Jones. I really like the storytelling even if it is very nonsensical.

I also watched the Butter Battle Book produced by Ralph Bakshi and written by Dr. Seuss. At the time this cartoon was done, it was considered quite controversial. It is about escalation and mutual destruction. It was also done during the height of the cold war.

If you think Dr. Seuss only wrote children's books, you are wrong. There is an excellent book called Dr. Seuss goes to war : the World War II editorial cartoons of Theodor Geisel edited by Richard H. Minear. It is really interesting to look at.

Ralph Bakshi was also famous for doing one of my favorite films, Wizards. He also did the animated version of The Lord of the Rings. He was also famous for creating the first animated film to get an x rating, Fritz the Cat, based on the character created by Robert Crumb. A lot of his work is very controversial.

I thought I would add a quote I found while reading Grow Your Money by Jonathan Pond,

"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge"-- Bertrand Russell

4 comments:

Mohamed Taher said...

As I had mentioned in my comment @ blogcatalog, I have added a link in my deep web (AKA Blog roll), see :

Would appreciate if you reciprocate. Best wishes, MT

Book Calendar said...

Yes, I saw your blogcatalog entry, it was quite interesting.

http://www.blogcatalog.com/user/hyderabadiz

I have added your link to my link exchange.

Da Old Man said...

Not to turn this into "comic chat" but I ahve found some of the lesser known titles are my favorites.
Bone and Groo may not be the typical books, but I liked them both.

Book Calendar said...

Sergio Aragones is wonderful. He is the illustrator for Groo. He also does silent illustratations for Mad Magazine.

Sergio Aragones has done some collaboration with the author of Usagi Yojimbo, Stan Sakai. There is a picture of Stan Sakai and Sergio Aragones together here:
http://www.usagiyojimbo.com/

Jeff Smith writes Bone. Bone was very popular for the teenagers for a while. We purchased some copies of Bone for the young adult section of the library.