Sunday, July 15, 2007

July 15, 2007
I found a book called "Chasing Rainbows: Collecting American Indian Trade & Camp Blankets" written by a zany friend, Barry Friedman, who is the foremost expert on this stuff. I was looking for Indian blanket designs to incorporate into a certain character's wardrobe. Got some good, moody stuff:

Seems rather Apache Noir, if there is such a thing, and I believe there is.

Lessons Learned And Then Learned Again
Finished “The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics” by Dennis O’Neil this morning. Jason Strykowski lent the book to me and while i knew virtually all the concepts in the book, it’s sometimes enlightning and refreshing to revisit the form and review the fundamentals. Among the nuggets I got from O’Neil:

• Realistic dialogue involves the reader more completely than any other single device. [“Like, duh!”]

• Don’t imitate the masters but seek what they sought. [“Money!”—Hugh O’Brian]

• We know things by their opposites—we have a concept for light because we know dark, of low because we know high, and so forth. Maybe tragedy seems all the more tragic because when we’re witnessing it we have a recent memory of comedy. [Yes, I believe one of the reasons a BLT is so tasty and satisfying is because of the cold lettuce and tomato contrasted with the hot bacon. Same dynamic with the taco or hamburger. What’s tragic is when the lettuce and tomato are heated as well, like at some fast food joints, and there is no contrast.]

• One of the reasons we read stories is to imagine ourselves having another existence—heightened, more exciting and fulfilling, but recognizably human. [which is why Casper The Friendly Ghost is so richly rewarding to me]

• Storytelling is probably man’s first act of civilization. [Although if you asked men they would probably nominate the push up bra as the first benefit of civilization].

• When authors in How To books try to define and explain “humor” they always use an example that’s not funny: “A man walks into a psychiatrist’s office and he says, ‘Doc, you’ve gotta tell me. Is it possible for a man to be in love with an elephant?’
“The psychiatrist says, ‘Absolutely not.’
“The man says, ‘Are you sure? Because this is very important. please, doctor, look me in the eye and tell me you’re absolutely positive that a man cannot be in love with an elephant!’
“The psychiatrist says, ‘I studied at all the finest schools. . .I have every degree a man in my profession can earn. . .I’m absolutely, positively certain that a man cannot be in love with an elephant!’
“The man sighs, whips out a three-foot piece of jewelry, and says, ‘In that case, doc, can you tell me where I can get rid of an engagement ring this big?’” [and then Mark Evanier, who wrote the Humor segment, goes on to say], “If I had more room in this piece, I might have had him ask three times—that would really point up his urgency and build us up for the payoff—but I don’t think I’d stretch it out any long than that.” [Thank God! I can only stand so much laughter before I pass out.]

“All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, hmmmm-mmmm-mmm.”
—Simon & Garfunkel, “The Boxer”

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