Saturday Drive-By

This is going to be a very short one, today.

We've had a rough ten days or so here, mostly because of a vile sort of flu or chest cold or something that had both Julie and myself out of commission for the better part of a week. So work-related things piled up like you wouldn't believe... and I won't go into the whole litany of stuff because it's really very dull from the outside. Just too many things to do and not enough time.

But I hate to miss a week. So I'm going to steal a riff from Bill Reed and throw up some cool pictures and a couple of fun links you may not have run across.

First of all, here's a shot that has very little to do with comics, but nevertheless makes me smile a great deal.

That's Katrina, my former pupil and current TA for the Cartooning Class at Madison, rehearsing her role as Alice Sycamore in the high school's production of You Can't Take It With You. Opening night was last night, which is why this column is a Saturday post instead of a Friday one. Katrina was very proud and happy to have gotten "my first non-bitch role!" That's Ryan up there with her, who wasn't in Cartooning but easily could have been if he wanted, he's got some pretty fair artist chops himself -- he did the poster for Arsenic and Old Lace that I put up here last fall.

My other aide, Rachel, also has a part in the show and actually took the picture. The entire drama department at the high school is front-loaded with former Cartooning students -- all girls. There is clearly some sort of genetic link between middle-school cartooning and high school theater for teen girls. In addition to Rachel and Katrina, this particular production featured Jessica, Amanda, Tiffany, and Emily, all of whom did very well. Going to the play ended up being a nice belated Mother's Day gift of sorts for Julie, since the Cartooning alumni are really about as close to kids of our own as we get.

Speaking of the Cartooning alumni, the anthology benefit comic collection featuring the best of the graduates from the last decade is definitely a go for this fall. Most of the kids are gearing up for finals at the moment, in both college and high school, but they are finding time to work on this comics project here and there as well. I am overjoyed at what I see in the various proposals and thumbnails and such that they are sending in. Here's a sample from Brianna.

This book is going to RAWK.

...Really, it is, that's not just me having a Dad moment. One of the finest things that can happen to a teacher is to see your students blossom and surpass you. And this is really the hell of a good group coming together for this. More information on the project will be forthcoming as we get closer to a release date but right now we are hoping to roll it out this fall. In the meantime, Brianna's pic is too good not to share.


And here's a couple of links for you.

A rebuttal to last week's Jim Croce cape-tugging column that made me blow my beverage out my nose because I was laughing so hard. I thought about trying to rebut the rebuttal but really, his was too funny. So you win this round, sir. The rest of you, go read and enjoy.

A Herculoids cartoon is never wrong. Almost all the rest of the Alex Toth cartoons from that era are (legitimately!) out now on DVD, I don't know why this one isn't. But in the meantime, there's always YouTube.

And finally, a DVD recommendation. Again, not strictly comics, but I've talked about these films many times before and no one seems to mind.

Fanex Files: Hammer Films is simply the best Hammer documentary I've ever seen. It covers not just the horror movies most people know about, but also the suspense and adventure films they made (Did you know, for example, that there is a whole series of swashbuckling pirate Hammer films with Lee and Cushing as well as all the Gothic horror stuff?) It's cut together from interviews and convention panels and has lots of rare still photos. If you have any interest not just in horror or genre films but in actors and movies in general, I think this will be a fun thing for you. Here's the trailer.

So those should at least provide a small diversion for you all, and I'll be back with the regular full-length column next week. See you then.

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