Friday, January 11, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
As I look back over the years at Comics Buyer's Guide, I'm reminded that 2012 saw Brent Frankenhoff and me coming up with three books in addition to the 12 monthly issues of the magazine.
They are Comics Buyer's Guide Presents Dangerous Curves, Comics Buyer's Guide Presents the Greatest Comic Book Covers of All Time, and A Parent's Guide to the Best Kids' Comics. Each is fun, the first two basically being romps through the wonder world of comics images and the last being A New Concept.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The press release concerning cancellation of Comics Buyer's Guide with #1699 appears on the magazine's website.
It's been a delight to have had the opportunity for the last three decades - plus a prior decade with the magazine's creator, Alan Light - to communicate so wonderfully with comics collectors, comics fans, and comics professionals. Over the years, we were able to reach out in a variety of ways, including coming up with the term "Done in One" (to identify stories told completely in one issue, announced in CBG for April 5, 1996). We also helped create a trade journal that was the inciting force behind the Free Comic Book Day outreach project that Diamond Comic Distributors implemented and that continues every May. Don and I were excited by Krause Publications' challenge of revamping an advertising newspaper into a full-fledged information resource. It has been an energizing challenge to adapt to the changes of the field, as it grew from a niche interest to something popular enough to command the covers of national pop-culture magazines.
John Jackson Miller has provided a look at the history of CBG on his website; check it out!
How about me? Hey, the same week that Krause Publications announced the end of CBG saw the first installment of my contribution to a new outlet for me: a monthly post on Comic-Con's "Toucan" blog. Hope you enjoy it!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Derivative Ghost Story
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The American Association of University Women first attracted my attention decades ago by the quality of its incredible used-book sales. While the AAUW is laudably devoted to such efforts as supporting education for women, I confess it was the lure of massive quantities of used books that drew me to the organization. This year, I'm targeting the 76th annual book sale of the Appleton, Wisconsin, branch; it's scheduled for October 25-28 in the Northland Mall, and high-energy sorting activities have been going on for many, many days. I'll be donating a considerable run of American Heritage, myself - thereby clearing some bookshelves and hoping to find a home for a publication I've loved but haven't consulted for some time.
But one of the delights of handling hundreds of discarded books is stumbling over unusual items - often, those of no interest to most prospective purchasers. Case in point: the shock I got when I picked up a tattered book titled Mr. and Mrs. Mouse. Credits on the title page are as follows: Illustrated by Ida Bohatta Morpurgo. English Version by June Head. Publishing information ran: Ars Sacra, Herbert Dubler, Inc., New York, N.Y. It was copyright 1943 by Herbert Dubler, Inc. And, yes, I'd absolutely had a copy - last seen probably 60 years ago. I hadn't been looking for it. It had never entered my thoughts later. But it evoked a double-take and an ensuing quick grab, followed by residence in my tote bag and an IOU in the cash can.
An online search has turned up little information. "Ida Bohatta" was apparently a popular German illustrator of children's books, and a Google search of images shows the book cover, where it's titled Mauschen Sorgen. So was the U.S. version in any respect outstanding? Well, after I finished reading it, I did, indeed, savor one entry - a poem accompanying this illustration - which I think became something of a family saying:
"I have the most astounding news,
The best you've heard for ages,
They're giving bits of cheese away
In pretty wire cages."
"Don't you be taken in, my dear,"
Said cautious Mrs. Grey.
"I never trust the humans when
They give their cheese away."