Thursday, March 05, 2009

Everyone should carry a purple crayon.

As a kid, I remember reading the classics.  The fairy tales, tales of adventure, the usual.  Oddly enough, I skipped a lot of "kids" books, I was always looking for the older material.

In doing so, I missed some books, some books that should never have been missed.  God bless my girl and her child-like heart.  She bought "Harold and the Purple Crayon" for her niece.  I read it today, and I was blown away.

It's a straightforward concept, a four-year-old boy who has the ability to create his own little world with his purple crayon.  And create he does.

What's great about the story is that at no time does the character ever betray himself.  He's a four-year-old, and sure enough, he acts like one.  You feel part of Harold's world as he creates it.  You want to go where he goes, and you want it to be over when he does.

The genius of Crockett Johnson's book is in its simplicity.  He conveys so much, all with just a purple crayon.  And it's in that minimalistic setting that the story grows leaps and bounds, just like a four-year-old would if you gave him a crayon and the world as his canvas.

If you never read the book, do your childhood a favor, and go read it.  Then go read it to a kid.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Jim Lee stole my Sharpie... And that's the rest of that story.

Well, technically he didn't steal it, but I let him use it and continue to use it when I walked away.

This weekend was WonderCon, and I usually go all three days, but this time I only went on Friday.  And it was a great freaking day.  Got a chance to chop it up with Jim Lee, Brian Azzarello, and Mike Mignola for a bit.  Also got some great insight on hand drawn effects VS 3D effects (fyi hand drawn effects rules over 3D software any day).

On a down note, Paul Harvey passed away this past week.  Paul Harvey was an ABC radio broadcaster for as long as I could remember.  He had these segments on his broadcast called "The Rest of the Story."

They were factual stories on any number of subjects, but always ending with a twist ending.  I recall specifically one where the U.S. government was planning on releasing a 3 dollar bill, and on face of the bill, Santa Claus.

My dad used to love listening to Paul Harvey, and the one story my dad told me he heard was one that has stuck with me since I was a kid.

It was about a classroom in a very reputable university, the room was packed, because apparently the teacher who was going to teach the writing class was very famous.

The teacher comes into the room, and the room goes silent.  He steps to the podium and says, "How many of you in here want to be writers?"

The whole class rose their hands.  He looks around and says to them,

"Then what the hell are you doing in here?"  The teacher leaves the classroom.

My dad couldn't recall who it was.

Still, a great story nonetheless, and at the end of the day, what more could you ask for?