OK, i don't have any snazzy photos or anything, but once again Ferndale has a comic book store. A GOOD comic book store! You may have found me whining previously about how far a drive it is to a decent comic book store. Now i can walk to one again!
Detroit Comics is everything i look for in a comics shop - organized, clean and well lit, with all the mainstream superhero titles and a great selection of hardbound and trade paperback reprints and graphic novels. Manga is a bit light, but since it's in abundance at the local bookstores, not important. There aren't too many back issues, but that's something that will take care of itself in time. Kid friendly areas, action figures and a smattering of art vinyl, and local comics related and inspired crafts and artwork provide much eye candy. Comfy sofas to check out the merchandise... very nice!
In my two trips so far i've picked up many books - Plastic Culture, I Love Led Zeppelin, Essential Defenders 2, and Talk To Her - along with new and reprint comics. Detroit Comics is on the west side of Woodward Avenue between Nine mile and Woodward Heights, next to Rainbow Liquor (formerly Battelle's). Easy to find from I-696 or Eight Mile. See you there!
Adult Swim has posted the pilot for Drinky Crow Show, which premieres tomorrow night on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. It's absolutely divine, close in quality to the Maakies cartoon by Tony Millionaire where the characters originated. Check it out here, along with pilots of the other new shows like Fat Guy Stuck In Internet, rate your faves, and cruise through classic episodes of Robot Chicken. Many smiles to be had.
Penguicon 5.0 is just days away - April 20-22 at the Troy Hilton. This hybrid Linux/Science Fiction convention is unlike any other, and always has an outstanding guest list and unique ambiance.
This year's guests of honor are:
Tech- Bruce Schneier
All these guests, amazing food tastings, computers, nitrogen ice cream, open source installfests, masquerade, movies, games, computers, chocolate, swordplay, dancing, ninjas, pirates, beef, computers, and so much more await.
And, Francine and i will be doing an Asian ball jointed doll presentation on Saturday afternoon.
You so want to check this out!
As reported today by BoingBoing, my favorite Neal Stephenson novel, perhaps even my favorite science fiction novel, The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer, is being produced by George Clooney for The Sci-Fi Channel as a six hour miniseries. Even though a really great adaptation is perhaps too much to hope for i'm still pretty chuffed that someone with Clooney's commitment to quality is overseeing a teleplay certain to give this multifaceted book a wider audience. It's now over a decade old, but this dense, colorful jumble of cyberpunk, steampunk, nanotechnology, history and sociology is still fresh and perhaps more relevant.
Though it won the Hugo in 1996, The Diamond Age is controversial even among Stephenson fans, in part i think because the dual protagonists deny the ending of a standard closure. In my unscientific poll of Stephenson readers, it seems that people who thought the book was primarily about Nell loved it, the people who thought it was about Hackworth, not so much. i don't recommend this for someone planning to read it for the first time (much spoilage), but the excellent Wikipedia entry has some elaboration on this issue. Like Dune, Diamond Age is a madly cultish book, and undoubtedly any television adaptation will multiply the book's fanatic admirers.
It's funny, recently i was thinking about The Diamond Age while reading about The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. Some writers had issues with Oprah developing charities in South Africa rather than North America, or with lavishly equipping and housing a small number of girls, rather than warehousing and training the largest number of students possible with the funds allotted. The idea of giving girls education, culture, and tools specifically to enhance their leadership potential reminded me of the Victorian and Chinese girls with their runcibles. It seems to me that if a billionaire is investing in the futures of young people, it's all speculative, but positive. Without wealth exceeding even Ms. Winfrey's, there's simply no way to prove the more practical approach, but her goal isn't merely standard competence, but exceptional acheivements. When Oprah explained her interest in African girls was because, more than Americans they appreciate and grab the opportunity, it led me to consider the tension between cultural paradigms illustrated by the Victorian girls and the Mouse Army. If someone was actually able to build 'ractive' illustrated primers, i think it likely that Oprah would be willing to bankroll them to empower her girls.
Multifaceted genius and revered saint of the Church of the SubGenius, Robert Anton Wilson, departed this plane today at 4:50 am pacific time. Memorial information will likely be updated on his blog. Hoist a glass or a blunt in his name, then perhaps try out a different reality or two... or 23. Thanks, Bob, for doing more to assist my understanding and curiosity than anyone else but my parents. Fnord.
Many readers of this blog are fans, admirers, or friends of Robert Anton Wilson. His unique combination of iconoclasm and humorous, compassionate optimism influenced me profoundly my whole adult life. If you are a Discordian, SubGenius, or a Thelemite, you likely praise Bob. Meeting him was one of the joys of my life, and i'll always regret that he and my late husband never met. For some months deteriorating health has prevented Bob from presenting the talks and online courses which provided him urgently needed income. Now it seems likely that the post-polio syndrome he has suffered for many years is ending his life. Currently he is at home being cared for by family, friends, and hospice. For more information on Wilson's condition and needs, see Mark Frauenfelder and Douglas Rushkoff's Boing Boing post. Also, Robert Anton Wilson's Website and the Maybe Logic Academy's Blog have links where you can contribute according to your will and ability. Here's hoping the small and large gifts provide Bob with a bit of comfort and awareness of how much he is loved.
The Dark Horse Twenty Years 25 Cent Issue may be old news to some of you, but i just saw this pinup compendium last week and fell in love with this image. BTW, the Dark Horse booth, with great buys, new stuff every day, and lots of freebies, was a high point among DragonCon exhibitors.