10 “Bests” from 2010

1. Best novel that I missed when it came out: Guus Kuijer’s The Book of Everything (Scholastic, 2006).  Narrated by a nine-year-old, this is an all-ages book about love, faith, and growing up.  It has a sense of humor, too.  I devoted a post to this book earlier in the month. 2. Album of the Year:…

Top 50 of 2010

According to iTunes, these are the songs released in 2010 that I played most in 2010.  As such, the list is going to skew slightly towards the beginning of the year (since those songs have been in the playlist for a longer period of time).  The number at the far right is the number of…

Crockett Johnson’s gonzo Bosco ad, c. 1960

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Crockett Johnson worked with Lou Bunin on some television advertisements.  But he had a hard time taking Madison Avenue seriously, as indicated by his parody of an ad for Bosco chocolate syrup (below).  Though it’s undated, Johnson (known to his friends as “Dave” ) seems to have sent…

Merry Christmas from Mr. O’Malley

As noted last month, a color Sunday Barnaby ran from 1946 to 1948 — apt, because the original Barnaby strip that helped Crockett Johnson sell the comic to PM was also a Sunday strip.  Courtesy of the generous Colin Myers, here’s a Christmas Barnaby from 63 years ago — December 21, 1947. (Don’t forget: clicking…

Cat on the Street, Grinch on the Air

Quick post from Amtrak heading north.  On the way back from the Diane Rehm Show (now archived on website), I passed the person at right, who was selling copies of Street Sense and who kindly granted me this photograph.  I always enjoy spotting signs of Seuss in the world.  And, here, I suspect that Seuss…

“It’s only a step from Genius to Insanity”

This post is for my fellow intellectual laborers — be you academics, teachers, authors, artists, carpenters, curators, architects, doctors, plumbers, web designers, or… well, any job that requires you to use your noggin’.  If you think about it (and people reading this blog probably do think about it), intellectual labor covers many jobs — you…

My Book About Me

These days, I don’t talk much about my first book.  I wrote it when I was 7 years old, in collaboration with Dr. Seuss and Roy McKie.  As you can see, I improved upon their artwork with the aid of stickers from the United Fruit Company (of whose bananas I was then an avid consumer)…

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T: Soundtrack Extravaganza

Film Score Monthly’s newly released 3-CD original motion picture soundtrack to The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953) is a must for fans of Dr. Seuss, composer Frederick Hollander, or the film itself.  The rest of you might want to see the cult classic before purchasing.  And, for the record, if you’ve any interest in…

The Record

The Record: Contemporary ART and VINYL, edited by Trevor Schoonmaker (Duke University Press, 2010), is both beautifully produced and delightful to read.  Meditate on the photographs of phonograph-inspired art, or on the dozen or so brief essays, which are — to a person — all interesting.  No kidding.  I often just skip around in a book like…