Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Pina Colada Song).

Lessons in Manliness

What Theodore Roosevelt's experiences in the Spanish American War can teach us.

Will Eisner's Preventative Maintenance.

New York comic artist, Will Eisner (1917-2005), is a legend in the industry and arguably the most influential comic illustrator of all time. He pioneered what he called the sequential art form and was a leading protagonist for the graphic novel genre and the use of comic strip art as an instructional device.

The early Eisner-Iger Studios (with friend Jerry Iger) employed such luminary artists as Jack Kirby (Fantastic Four/X-Men/Captain America) and Bob Kane (Batman). Eisner's own 'superhero' appeared in 1940 in the highly influential and popular comic, 'The Spirit', revered as "the Citizen Kane of comics": "a crimefighter dressed in a suit, fedora and the concession of a small blue eyemask".

During WW2 Eisner worked for the Pentagon, producing educational comics "whose mixture of hard facts with entertaining cartooning made them memorable and effective". From his post-war company, American Visuals Corporation, Eisner turned out illustrations for 'P*S: The Preventative Maintenance Monthly', one of his longest lasting contracts, published by the US Army between 1951 and 1972.

As a testament to his significance in the industry he helped shape, the Eisner Awards were established in 1988, the most prestigious accolades in the comic art trade. (Eisner reluctantly accepted a few Eisners himself) He died as a result of complications following a quadruple bypass in 2005.

L.A.'s new Arts High School:A 230 million Dollar debacle?

What's got everyone talking is the odd-looking tower that rises 140 feet above the 101 Freeway, directly across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The futuristic metallic edifice, with a wraparound spiral Dr. Seuss would love, is not part of a theme park. It is the signature adornment on a new arts-oriented public high school that will cost roughly $230 million.

That's far more than the going rate for a more conventional school, but district officials argue that they already owned the site of the former L.A. Unified headquarters. Sure, but aren't these tough times for public schools? Aren't school districts facing huge cuts? Aren't many aging schools in disrepair?

You have to wonder how this will sit with parents who are being asked to contribute several hundred dollars per student to cover programs and staff members that tax dollars used to fund.

Somehow when I saw the headline I knew it had to be Florida.

Oakland Park man finds skeleton in newly trimmed tree

OAKLAND PARK - How no one smelled the horror that authorities say may have been up in Glenn Parker's overgrown tree for a year is a mystery, but the partially mummified body made itself known last week.

Tree trimmers cutting branches so BellSouth crews could service phone lines cleared enough foliage to let Parker spot a skeleton in the tree Friday, he said.

"I hope I don't find another one," said Parker, 45, on Monday.