Telemarketing Kills Charity

Unless I am expecting a call, I try to avoid answering the home phone.  9 times out of 10, it’s a solicitor — telemarketer seeking funds for a charitable organization usually, but sometimes a company conducting a poll.  If I have the energy, I ask to be taken off the organization’s call list (a strategy that…

I’m Gonna D.J. at the End of the World: R.E.M., the Cover Band

As R.E.M. has called it a day this week, I’m paying tribute by highlighting a facet of their career that is not being talked about that much — or, at least, not in the articles I’ve seen.  And that is… R.E.M., the cover band!  One of their hits was a cover of the Clique’s “Superman.”  Rather…

Ferdinand at 75

Soon after its publication in the fall of 1936, the title character of Munro Leaf’s Ferdinand began to take on a life of his own.  Since the story is set in Spain and the book appeared just months after the start of the Spanish Civil War, people began to speculate on Ferdinand’s political allegiance, labeling him variously as…

Complete Barnaby: flyer

The first promotional flyer for The Complete Barnaby is here.  And no, the strips you see on it are not of the resolution that you’ll experience in the book itself.  Fantagraphics is still working on cleaning up the scans.  But, at least, a hazy glimpse of what’s to come… in June 2012! Here’s a pdf: Complete…

Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss Biography. Appendix D: End Your Silence

The final appendix omitted from my forthcoming biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (2012) also chronicles their early opposition to the war in Vietnam and — unusually — has Ruth’s name on it as well.  Why did she sign this one?  I think because she particularly abhorred violence.  One of her friends told me that even cartoon violence upset…

Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss Biography. Appendix C: Assembly of Men and Women in the Arts Concerned with Vietnam

A month or so back, I posted the first and second omitted appendices from my forthcoming biography of Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss (2012).  At the risk of trying your patience, here is the third. Its importance is Johnson and Krauss’s early opposition to the war in Vietnam.  Krauss’s name is not on this petition, but…

Labor Poem

Yesterday, songs.  Today, a poem.  There are many poets to whom we might turn (Whitman and Sandburg rush to mind) for Labor Day, but I’ve opted for the title poem from What Work Is (1991) by America’s new Poet Laureate Philip Levine (b. 1928).  When you hear him read, he often shares a story about the…

Labor Songs

Today, the first of three Labor-Day-themed posts.  Here’s a mix of songs about work.  And, yes, I’m aware that many other songs that could be included here — I came up with enough additional songs to fill a second CD, and then some.  Since much of this blog is devoted to children’s literature, I should also…