Free Comic Book Day 2003

In less blood pressure raising issues, tomorrow is the second free comic book day. To raise the profile of the actual paper comics, these have always coincident with big comic movie openings, Spider-Man last year and X-Men 2 this year. Show up at a shop and they’ll give you a comic. There seems to be a good spread this year of genres, age levels, etc. You can get Archie or Batman Adventures for the younger kids, X-Men for those who dig the movies but have never read the comic and so forth. It’s good to see the comic industry trying to address the fact that fewer and fewer people even know they still
exist. I really like that they do this.

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I’m not sure how I missed it, but I had never seen David Rees’ weird
clipart cartoons until yesterday. It’s now my favorite current comic strip.
I read a bunch of the
Get your War on
strips which are mostly in the “almost too close to
reality to be funny” camp. My absolute favorite, though is this strip
from My New
Filing Technique is Unstoppable
. Follow this link and read it, and
you will have a very accurate portrait of my life. In fact, I printed
this out and look at it every few minutes and laugh. My
coworkers may think I am losing my mind.

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Here’s a little news to be positive about

Classic BLOOM COUNTY Strip Now Online.
Starting today’s subscribers to the MY COMICS PAGE
website will be able to view Berkeley Breathed’s
BLOOM COUNTY and OUTLAND comic strips.
The site plans to post six daily strips one day,
followed by a Sunday strip next day, every day of
the week, until the entire 1980-1995 run is online.
MY COMICS also plan to eventually re-publish
the full run of Breathed’s 1978-1979 college

I found this information on the ZENtertainment mailing list.

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Here’s an article I saw Tony Isabella post about on Usenet. It’s a
column in the Akron Beacon-Journal about
Harvey Pekar and Valentine’s Day
. I am enough of a Pekar fan to
have most of the run of American Splendor in the comic
books, although I’ll admit I’ve been lax about finding out when these recent
Dark Horse mini-series come out. I’ll walk into a comics shop and see
two whole series on the shelves that I knew nothing about. I really
enjoyed (if that is the right word) the Pekar and Brabner graphic
novel Our Cancer Year. Sadly in this piece they say
that Harvey’s cancer is out of remission. I wish him the best. He’s
had a tough life.

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I’m really enjoying the James Kochalka sketchbook diary Volume 2. The
downer is that like all comic strip collections it takes no time to
read, so you tear through it in 30 minutes and then you have a year to
wait for the next one. I like the daily strips too but I lack the
wherewithall to follow it every day so I’ll keep buying the books as
long as they come out. I’m playing my RealPlayer with my ripped CDs on
random, and one of his songs came up a few minuts ago. I have 577
tracks in there, so there’s about a 1/25 chance the next one will be
his. Roll the dice, bob your head. Michelle Malone is rocking me with
“Medicated Magdalene” at the moment. Go, you babelike rock chick you!

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Kevin, my old buddy from my days in Kansas brought this to my
Random House, Rosetta End Quarrel Over E-Books

A snippet from it:

Random House has settled its lawsuit against RosettaBooks over
Rosetta’s sales of electronic versions of eight popular titles,
including Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” and William Styron’s
“Sophie’s Choice.” Rosetta will continue to publish the disputed
works and will work with Random House on bringing additional titles to
the e-book market. “We are very glad to be able to put our differences
behind us and to now work collaboratively rather than combatively to
enhance RosettaBooks’ and our commitment to electronic publishing,”
said Random House senior VP Katherine J. Trager.

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Back in the hotel. I’m listening to WREK via the archive, last
week’s Hour
of Slack
and Bob’s
Slacktime Funhouse
while D has a bit of a nap. I’m trying to get
in touch with an old Georgia Tech/WREK buddy of mine who lives like
six or eight blocks from this hotel. That will really suck if I never
do see him and am this close.

I did finally make it to the the
Cartoon Art Museum
. It was worth doing, but was smaller and had
less stuff than I thought it would. It’s only a few blocks from the
Moscone Center, so you think that they’d throw a few flyers over that
way. After that, I got on the train. I had downloaded the PalmOS trip
planner from the BART website so had
just enough information to get around. I got off at 16th and Mission,
took a left on Valencia and started walking. Around the time I thought
I must have had the Borderlands Books address
wrong, I saw an Ethiopian restaurant that I decided to eat at. As I
turn in, I see that it’s next door! Beauty. I tried yet again to buy
Charlie Stross’s Toast and other Rusted Futures. They
had a copy but it was “damaged”, which meant that the POD company had
put a different book inside the right cover. I had thought that I’d be
willing to buy a bent or dogeared copy, but that’s too “damaged” for
my tastes. I’ll have to order this goddamn book online. I did end up
buying a copy of a Moorcock book, the one he cowrote with Paul
Butterworth and that has the Hawkwind characters in it. The cashier
and I talked Moorcock, and that this wasn’t a great book in relative
terms. “Hey, Hawkwind are characters – how good does it have to be?”

I continued on a bookstore tour of the district, and also bought a
Lynda Barry book at Dog Eared
. I could easily have dropped more money on this trip, but I
had so much stuff in my backpack (including the comics I bought from
the 3/$1 bin at Jeffrey’s Toys and
. It was all fun. I got done and ready to leave earlier than
I had thought, so I had time to run back to the hotel and drop off my
pile of booty (to get it off my booty). Then to the Moscone for the
wifi hijinks related in the previous entry. Whew, caught back to the present.

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Technology TopicI’m looking at working with a few Java packages for fun things on the
side. I want to develop some small Java Servlets running under Tomcat,
preferrably using Velocity as
the template engine and Cayenne as
the database connectivity/persistence layer. We’re looking at using
the latter at work, so I’m getting a little experience with it. I
found a pretty cool article on building a weblogging tool using much
of the above (not Cayenne though) at Oreilly’s website in
this article Building
an Open Source J2EE Weblogger
. Cool stuff.

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So this weekend I’ll be at Orycon. The
schedule is up on the web
but here is my chunk:

Slusher, Dave

Fri 2:00 PM, Wilson Are Comic Book Plots "Real" Literature? Fri 3:00 PM, Nehalem Luddite SF Sat 10:00 AM, Santiam Code & Crossbones: the E-Piracy Issue Sat 3:00 PM, Riverview (Table 3) Wind Up Toys

Here’s a little insight into the way I go about things. I know a few
people who are on some of these panels, so I’ll probably e-mail them
and see if they have any thoughts on them. This “Luddite SF” one is
something I’m being punished for suggesting by being the only panelist
listed. I may see if I can draft another participant so I don’t have
to sit up by myself for 50 minutes. For each of the 3 real panels,
I’ll make notes similar to what I’d do to prepare for an
interview. I’ll make bullet points of broad discussion topics, draw
lines that link together possibly related points, fill in around with
examples where they are available, etc. For all of these panels, I’ll
walk in to them with possible points to make, things I’ve thought
about, etc.

I hate not being prepared for things, be it meetings at
work, presentations, etc. I prefer getting the meeting agenda ahead of
time, so I can think through the issues before getting into a room
with umpteen other people. Most people seeem to not care and see no
problem with filling a meeting with underinformed opinions of
something they just heard about for the first time 12 seconds ago. I
guess I’m just a different breed of cat. My company was in the venture
capitalist process recently, and I was called into one due diligence
meeting, not even about the product line per se but about some build
infrastructure I and one other guy built. For this, I prepared Visio
diagrams of the architecture, of the work flow, etc. None of this was
done for the product but I did this for the toolset. Why? It wasn’t
expected of me but I just didn’t like the thought of going into a
meeting unprepared.

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I’m trying not to feal personally defeated. I’ll bear up under this
onslought of Republicanism. I guess I’ll just start caring more about
guns and money. Give me back my tax money and let’s go shoot