Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books, Glorious Books!

I have an obsession problem with books.

As a rule, I'm usually not allowed in Barnes & Noble or Borders. I cannot walk passed a dollar book bin without buying $10 worth. My visits to The Strand number in the teens per month. And despite the fact that I own a Kindle, I still continue to buy more books.

But before I resort to BAA (Book-Aholics' Anonymous, which should exist in order to treat such addictive tendencies as spending the better years of one's life buried in shelves, and the compulsion to sniff the stale antiquated aroma of crackly yellow pages), let me at least attempt to explain myself.

Reading is the only way I can stop worrying about everything else around me. Whether I'm engaged in the legend of Akira, or trying to swim my way through Hunter S. Thompson, I am there, and nowhere else. I'm a worrier at heart, and I also tend to micromanage my life in my head every two seconds (not like it does any good, but it's a habit for sure.) However, reading requires your attention, and it ensnares it. I'll read 10 pages before I realize that I've already gotten through that shitty subway ride home, or that I still have to pee really badly, or that I have a 2 year old film to finish editing (aheh *cough*)

I remember reading Life of Pi on a bus back to NJ, (which is pretty depressing in itself) after having just been broken up with my 1st boyfriend of 6 months. I cried my eyes out on the way to the bus, but was able to lose myself for the next hour while I laid my worries aside and wondered how the hell that kid was going to deal with all those freaking animals on a boat in the middle of nowhere.

That said, I have found some awesome books over the past year. Some of them are graphic novels/comics (which in my opinion, are not only books, but pieces of amazing artwork.) I try to update them on my Shelfari sidebar to the right, but that doesn't always do them justice. I just need to tell you about this shit.

∆ "Little Nemo: 1905 -1914"/by Winsor McCay
Back at NYU, when I was taking a "History of Animation" course, I was introduced to Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur." Mr. McCay was not only responsible for the breakthrough of animation, he also authored and illustrated the weekly comic "Little Nemo in Slumberland" back in the early 1900's. His works have influenced greats like Moebius and Maurice Sendak. Consequently, that same year, the director of NYU's Animation program, John Canemaker, published a book about his life and works.

Simply put, McCay's illustrations are extraordinary, phantasmagorical and beautiful. Everything has been painstakingly crafted in detail and imagination into something as boundless as one's dreams.

Now I have his whole collection, from 1905-1914 for only $50. Not too shabby. (A Strand find.)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5/Mirage Comics
Rybotz was doing his weekly rummage through the comic's section in The Strand when he came across this gem, which was published back in 1987. Only $5! As you may not know, I have been a TMNT fan since I was a wee one. (Somewhere, there is a picture of me as a baby with a much bigger stuffed Michelangelo.) The 1st movie was what really sealed the deal for me; our VHS is nearly worn out from the times I used to fast forward to "Turtle Power" playing over the credits...

What's amazing (at least to me) is that the story in #5 is what the movie was based off of. Most of the plot is the same: the fight in the junk shop, the trip up North on the farm, except:
  • The hot-headed fighter who gets injured is not Raphael as the movie dictates, but Leonardo
  • Shredder is in the junk shop, not the cool Japanese guy from the movie that does the "Attack!" signal with his hand (which I have mimicked on numerous occasions)
  • April looks like either a very Jewish girl or half Hispanic...which I can dig
  • The story takes place during Christmas in April's apartment; which makes it even more heartbreaking [I guess] when it burns down
I'm glad I laid this all out for you. All of you are now that much more versed in the world of TMNT. Your welcome.

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