ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Only 9 days remain until Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd) - the one day of the year that, even if you don't usually frequent comic book shops, you really should stop by a local purveyor. Some of the hottest art around is (and always has been) created by comic book artists. Comics can be Antagonistic, Brilliant, Creepy, Dramatic, Edgy, Funny, Gruesome, Hip, Intelligent, Jazzy, Kitschy, Lifelike, Meandering, Nervous, Opulent, Prophetic, Quirky, Revelatory, Steampunk, Tender, Urgent, Virulent, Wacky, X-rated, Yearning, and/or Zealous.
When I was a kid, we were allowed to read almost anything. I read The Snake Pit and
21 Stayed when I was 10 for goodness sake. They were books my parents had, and were considered fair game for any reader in our house, which mainly meant my mum and me.
Despite the lenience toward material published as a book, comic books (like gum) were forbidden.
When I was 7, my Great-Grandpa Fishburn died. I think my Auntie Kay, who was probably 16 or 17 at the time, was left to babysit me and my brother John (he was 3) while the family attended the funeral. Right around the corner from Grampy's house on West Lincoln Blvd. was a little "corner" store, kind of tucked into the ground actually, as the street was on a bit of an upslope.
Kay gave me fifteen cents, and sent me down to the store to get whatever I wanted.
Nice auntie! Or - she just wanted me out of her hair. I got a comic book "Classic" ---
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates as graphic novel. It was FABULOUS. I picked that title because even though it was in comic book form, at least it was adapted from a book, so I figured I could talk my way out of having broken a rule. I devoured it over the course of the afternoon; I was in heaven. (Being the kid who was always trying to copy the illustrations from my textbooks and library books on to stolen sheets of my dad's typing paper.)
Wonder whatever happened to that comic?
These are the first few pages from
Twelve is a Beautiful Number by the wonderful New York City artist, Yuko Shimizu:

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