Quentin's Weeknotes 2/9/19-2/15/19

This Week:


Book Notes: Encyclopedia of Black Comics by Dr. Sheena Howard

Review/Notes on The Encyclopedia of Black Comics by Sheena C. Howard. Forward by Henry Louis Gates. Afterward by Christopher Priest (Link)

Date Finished: 2/13/19

It's a real treat to be able to read something about a subject you love and feel close to, and discover a whole other side to it that you never knew. This was definitely the case with The Encyclopedia of Black Comics, which (as with any book about race in America) held up a mirror to the world of comics and sequential art and provided an extended counter-narrative to the one I knew.

The real beating heart of this book is the amazing life-stories of the people who make up the biographical entries. Some of the most enlightening to me were:

-Orrin Cromwell Evans, who, with the publication of All-Negro Comics in 1947 became the first African-American publisher of comic books.

-Vernon E Grant, who helped introduce Manga to western audiences through his translations, after serving in the Vietnam war and living in Tokyo.

-Ollie Harrington, political cartoonist for many prominent African-American newspapers, for which he was eventually forced to leave the country for fear of his life and livelihood.

-Micheline Hess, an early colorist at Milestone comics who made the transition to web-comics and now writes amazing and gorgeous comics with Black female protagonists.

-Ariell Johnson, owner of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, the first (?) Black woman to own a comic store

-Jackie Ormes, the first female African-American cartoonist who wrote some of the first positive representations of Black women in comics in the 1930s and 40s.

-Sanford Greene, who simultaneously drew Power Man and Iron Fist and also illustrated Hip-Hop album covers by MF Doom and other Hip-Hop artists.

This book has also given me lots of great comics to go and check out, and I'm glad to have such an evocative and informative springboard for new stuff to read. Huzzah Dr. Howard!


Quentin's Weeknotes 2/2/19-2/8/19

This Week:

And he had a complete set of the Infamous Bibles, individually named from error's in typesetting.

These Bibles included the Unrighteous Bible, so called from a printer's error which caused it to proclaim, in I Corinthians, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God?"; and the Wicked Bible, printed by Barker and Lucas in 1632, in which the word not was omitted from the seventh commandment:, making it "Thou shalt commit Adultery." There were the Discharge bible, the Treacle Bible, the Standing Fishes Bible, the Charing Cross Bible and the rest. Aziraphale had them all.

the progressive movement has, in rather short order, thrust into mainstream US politics a program to address climate change that is wildly more ambitious than anything the Democratic Party was talking about even two years ago.


Quentin's Weeknotes 1/26/19-2/01/19

This Week:


Quentin's Weeknotes 1/19/19-1/25/19

This Week:

Ninety percent of anything is mostly garbage and that remaining 10 percent is not only excellent but worth dying for. The only way to get there is to try to be excellent with your art.

  • I discovered the website Fonts in Use, which provides font names for a whole host of historical magazines, books, albums, and other pieces of media. As someone whose job involves a bit of graphic design, I appreciate having a good repository of fonts for inspiration or assistance.
  • I have been reading Viriconium,  M. John Harrison's masterful series of novels. While reading up on Harrison, a vitally important figure in the modern speculative fiction, I ran across this long post by illustrator Jonathan Coulthart entitled "Covering Viroconium", analyzing the (mostly failed) attempts to make decent cover art for his genre-bending, enigmatic books. Here's the example I've been reading from, which is, at best, loosely representative of the contents--as Coulthart points out, it makes the novel look Steampunk (which it's not, in any meaningful sense), and also depicts the hatching of a mechanical bird, an event that is not present in any of the text.
  • I put the finishing touches on the syllabus for my Hartwick College Course "Collections Management." It's a two-credit practicum course designed to give students the basics of Museum object handling, inventory management, and on-going collections maintenance. I tweak it a bit every year, and this year, have front-loaded more practical stuff, while leaving more abstract questions towards the end.