Here’s a couple of pictures of a display I set up in our school’s lobby. These display windows are often pretty bare-bones (I don’t think our librarian enjoys the responsibility) so I co-opted them.
I’m showing off my students’ sustained silent reading projects from the first quarter. You can read the assignment’s log in the photos, but I received some truly impressive works.
Trying to get classwork done in the weeks before Winter Break is always a challenge… but when you’ve got an impending snow/ice storm barreling down on your school district, it becomes nearly impossible!
(For the record, I don’t think we’re in line for a snow day AT ALL, and I’ve tried to explain to my students the logical reasons why that’s the case… but no dice. They’ve decided. SNOW DAY.)
Hooray, it’s the last day of these Prismacolored comics! Thanks for putting up with them! Back to good ol’ black & white on Monday…
Every December, I postpone Thrift Store Finds for a month to put on The Christmas Comic Cavalcade: Four straight weeks of celebrating the holidays with sequential art and good cheer. I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much time I spend looking for comics to spotlight during the other eleven months of the year… but be that as it may, new posts will begin this Saturday and continue throughout the rest of December.
If you’re new to this blog and feeling in a festive mood, I thought I’d highlight three past favorites of the CCC I think you might enjoy.
Ant Man’s Big Christmas (a beautifully drawn, somewhat sadistic take on X-Mas starring The Avengers’ most diminutive hero)
Jeff Smith’s Bone Holiday Special (an eight page Christmas comic featuring the stupid, stupid Rat Creatures and some unexpectedly sneaky continuity)
Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2 (lots of awesome yuletide superhero stories, including one of my all-time favorite Superman tales by Paul Chadwick)
…if you like those, check back in this Saturday for this year’s additions!
I can do like, half a Tylenol PM… max. Otherwise, watch out.
I decided to try to color this week’s comic using a couple of Prismacolor markers. The results look OK in person but scanned… well, they’re a bit iffy. Like that white blob in the first panel is white out I used before I had decided to color the strips and I couldn’t chip it off.
Having said that, I’m going to post them all because y’know, it’s good to try new things even if they end up looking a bit rubbishy.
For the past few years, I’ve been drawing our family’s Christmas cards. It’s been a fun way to contribute to the holiday. Last year’s card was a riff on A Charlie Brown Christmas and we did A Christmas Story in 2011. This year, we went for a somewhat more traditional approach.
I hired Madeleine Witt to color this year’s comic and man, she outdid herself. You should all definitely go over and check out her blog; it’s as awesome as this GIF she made of the drawing!
One of my favorite teaching blogs.
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.
In 1989, I was eight years old. My Aunt Elaine bought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sewer Playset for me as a (probably too extravagant) Christmas present. Built with all sorts of cool action features, I loved that toy. It had some major design flaws but remained a hub of my action figure play for years afterward.
It is now 2013. My son Henry has but one thing on his wish list: The Sewer Lair playset for the current TMNT toy line.
You would think I’d be pleased that Henry has adopted my interests in a cross-generational gambit but gotta be honest everyone… this is causing my wife and some of the greatest annoyance we’ve ever experienced in a holiday season.
Elliot has been old enough to have definite opinions about what they want for Christmas for a few years now but he’s always been a fairly easy mark. He wants thinks like “a broom” or “art supplies.” This is Henry’s first definitive Christmas Wish and it’s driving us crazy.
First of all… look at those two pictures. The new Sewer Playset is on the bottom. LOOK AT THAT THING. Just look at it. That’s a full-grown adult standing near it to give you some sense of scale. IT’S GIGANTIC! Speaking frankly, a stationary 42’ inch tall sewer is the kind of toy we just don’t have the room for in our current living situation. We’ve tried to gently push Henry toward other TMNT items; Playmates Toys makes a smaller, fold-out sewer set that would be a good substitute and we’ve even showed him the LEGO Sewer Lair. Henry simply will not be swayed - he wants that Sewer Playset.
Also, let it be known: the Sewer Playset is an expensive toy, man. It seems to be retailing for somewhere around $80-$90 bucks in most brick and mortar stores. That’s a decent amount of scratch for our family right now and I worry that we’re going to get it for Henry, he’ll look at it… then become more interested in playing with the box it came in.
Of course, the icing on this cake is that the Sewer Playset has apparently been designated a “hot” toy by several magazines and online newsletters, which means the dang thing is scare these days. I haven’t seen one in stores for weeks.
Poor Henry sat through two and a half hours of show tunes and bad host banter for three seconds of this.
My traditional “Happy Thanksgiving” post. I drew this when Elliot was a toddler.