Monthly Archives: July 2013

Superheroes, Fantasy, and Science Fiction

I think I’m falling out of love with superheroes right now. I just can’t muster up the excitement. Not even Earth 2. Right now, I’m decidedly more into manga, again. Sometimes, I curse my fickleness. 

But, honestly, the superhero genre is only tangentially related to the point of this post. The real problem is a conundrum I’m facing when it comes to science fiction and fantasy.

I want to write science fiction as much as I do fantasy. I love both, I’m passionate about both. But fantasy just calls to me. It just seems more, I hate to use the word, “natural.”

Perhaps the issue is one of outlook and interest. I’m a natural at history. And it is so easy to adapt the history I read into ideas for new fantasy projects. This is not to say that I cannot adapt those same inspirations to science fiction, but my natural inclination is to fantasy.

Maybe it’s how I think about science fiction. Maybe I’m too concerned with applying the realism of science. Maybe I’m trying too hard to predict the future. And that shouldn’t be what I obsess over. I should be looking at making it fun and exciting even has I try to hammer whatever themes I wish to explore. 

What concerns me is varied. For one thing, getting the science right, even if it is only structural support. I am also deeply concerned with depicting a culture that has believably progressed from our own. 

Now, I prefer space opera and cyberpunk to harder schools of science fiction, so how truly concerned I should be is up in the air. But I hate to make mistakes. 

And it is so much easier to muck up science compared to magic. . . 

So far, I haven’t touched on possible combinations of the two. I do have a love for science fantasy. I’ve blogged about my love for this mash up genre (even as it is arguably older than science fiction and fantasy proper). 

I have a lot of projects I want to write. Hell, I have a bucket list of genres I want to get to. And science fantasy is at the top of my list. But how do I approach it? How do I get the science and the magic to play nice? Or should the the uncertainty be between advanced technology and obviously not as advanced cultures? 

I keep thinking about knights on motorcycles. How do I get it to work? Well, I could create a modern secondary world where the social upheaval caused by World War I never happened. I could see the German Empire expy using such forces. And perhaps the British as well. Another option would be a post apocalyptic setting where humanity has descended into another feudal system. Or maybe mash up biker ethics with a notion of chivalry and loyalty to a feudal type lord.

But could I introduce knights on motorcycles in an expy of 1381 England? Honestly, no. This is, honestly, one of my big problems with Dune. How the fuck does a feudal system exist in space. And to exist for ten thousand years (more if you read the prequels)? 

Clearly, don’t ask my opinion about medieval stasis (or really cultural stasis) because that will set me off on an epic rant. Yes, it is easier to create a world that hasn’t changed in x thousands of years. But it is freaking dull. 

And in that, I think my science fiction side comes in. Even as fantasy comes naturally to me, my outlook is decidedly more science fiction friendly. I’m not enamored of monarchy and romantic visions of peasants. I do have a dark take on that period. But I’m not grimdark. Tragic, yes. Grim, dirty, and occasionally disgusting? Fuck no.

I’m a worrywart at heart. I shouldn’t be too concerned with this at the moment. Hell, I’ve got a ton of other projects on my plate. But I like to think and plan ahead. 

And who knows? Maybe I’ll figure it out in the near future? Nothing is set in stone, after all.

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On Gay (LGBT) Superheroes

Andrew Garfield, star of the recent Amazing Spider-Man reboot, caused a furor a few weeks ago with his comments regarding the possibility of portraying a gay Peter Parker. The furor is interesting and, honestly, not unique when it comes to comic books. Arguments about LGBT themes and characters in comics are not rare. Nor are arguments about race, gender, and culture.

Comics are in a very precarious position right now. As a business, it needs new readers and fans in order to expand. But at the same time, publishers don’t want to alienate long time fans. (I think this only refers to Marvel, DC, and those smaller publishers that publish corporate owned properties.) A lot of new fans (and old fans) want an increase in the level of diversity in the various heroes and villains that Marvel and DC put out. More women, more people of color, more LGBT, etc.  But there is also a strong contingent that argues against diversity, though they may couch those arguments to mask their true motivations. And what of the politics of those fans who don’t frequent comics websites? While the industry is moving in the right direction, there is a strong conservatism within the industry.

Would I like to see Peter Parker explore his sexuality? Hell yes, I think it would be interesting (and hot) for Spider-Man to be written as bisexual (rather than gay, which raises a whole ‘nother can o’ worms).  Peter Parker is meant to represent the underdog, the poor kid who struggles to make good. So writing him as bisexual, or Latino, or African American, or all three would be very interesting. But how can it be done?

And that, I think is the question I want fans, particularly those in the pro diversity camp (myself included), to think about. In what media do you want this to happen in? Marvel 616? Ultimate Marvel (where this happened with Miguel Martinez)? Cartoons? Cinematic?

Let’s say I succeed Dan Slott as the next writer of Spider-Man (what ever title that may be). And, for argument’s sake, Joe Quesada and my immediate editor approve a story line that explores Spidey’s sexuality. What then? Would the cinematic Spidey be bisexual, too? Is that, perhaps, the end goal? A LGBT cinematic action hero?

Personally, when it comes to increasing diversity in comics, I’m strongly in favor of introducing new characters. Rather than writing or rewriting a character, create new characters.

But there is a problem.  A (potentially) fatal problem.

It takes years for some characters to come to the heights of popularity that Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, etc. have.  I want to see Northstar get elevated. And Wiccan and Hulkling. And Karolina Dean.  I could go on. But those characters will take years (if ever) for them to attain those storied heights.

But it is not impossible. A great miniseries or ongoing staring Northstar might be the first push (or maybe just focusing more on him in whatever team book he appears in).  Though, is that the endgame?

Because Batwoman has achieved that. She has her own ongoing series, often praised as the second best of the Batman family after Snyder’s Batman). But she has, yet, to attain the levels of popularity that Wonder Woman has.

Perhaps the way to go is not to wish Wonder Woman or Spider-Man as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, but rather to promote Batwoman and Northstar into similar positions.

Maybe they won’t get a movie on their own. But maybe with enough attention, they could have supporting roles in their respective franchises? (I’d love to see the Bat family expand in the movies, but the X-Men franchise is a mess- really needs a reboot).

The more I think about this, the more I wonder if the issue may not be comics after all but the adaptations spawned by those comics. Is this really about the comics or the movies?

Because, the more I think about it, a bisexual Spider-Man means that Northstar (or Wiccan and Hulkling) aren’t getting that attention.  And they are the ones who need it.

 

I Don’t Want to Put My Foot In It

Yesterday, I wanted to wrote a blog post discussing my idea that genre popularity comes and goes in cycles. For example, sword and sorcery and space opera cycle in and out about every twenty or thirty years. This would be in contrast to an article in Fantasy Faction that argued that urban fantasy is more like Neanderthals. I really had issues with the article (and to be honest, I have some issues with Fantasy Faction in general). But, I don’t know nearly enough about Neanderthals to determine whether or not the whole premise is flawed. And I hate putting my foot in my mouth. 

Not only do I not know enough about Neanderthals, but I also need more facts to back me up on my own premise. How does one determine which genres are in and which are out? How do I weed out my own (and individual critical) bias? 

Are there hard numbers? What should I do about passionate fandoms? (Sword and sorcery has a very passionate fanbase, when can I say “this particular time is an upswing, a surge in popularity”?) Can genres die or do they recede, awaiting a new take, a new cultural climate?

I don’t know. And if I write about it, I really want to do the research. 

Which is why I’m largely reluctant to do “research” blog posts. Yes, I’ve done some individual work analysis that doesn’t require research and sourcing, but I’m always wary about those posts. And I’d love criticism of those pieces. Did I get my analysis of Cowboy Bebop right? Am I being too occidental, too American in my criticism of Naruto? Have I missed the point about Glee and Harry Potter? I hope not, but I’m always concerned about getting it wrong. Spectacularly wrong. 

And I have been wrong before. I took a class on modern American poetry and we were studying William Carlos Williams. The class was assigned to explicate a poem of Williams. I don’t remember the poem now, but I do remember getting the poem wrong. So very wrong. It was almost funny how badly I missed everything. 

I don’t want to make that mistake. Either in doing poor research or in reading badly.

Part of why I’m questioning myself, not that I don’t always do it, is because I’m annoyed with myself. 

For one thing, in my post about my concerns about Harry Potter before finally reading the damn books, I neglected to bring up race as an issue. Are the five African Briton, two Indian Briton, and one Chinese Briton enough? Are their roles big enough to pass muster? With who? 

I also read an inspiring interview with George R.R. Martin over at I09 this morning. Damn, so much food for thought. I think I may have to rethink some of my positions. And I also have tons to think about after a blog post on Orbit by Brent Weeks. Maybe I should give him another look?

Today so far has made me rethink a lot of my own preconceptions. I need to think about this. And figure things out on my own. Now, it’s back to research and writing. 

At Golden’s Book Exchange

Today, I finally managed to find the time to go to my favorite used book store, Golden’s Book Exchange. I had fun. I found some new treasures. But my grandiose plans of what I had on my list went out the window. 

While I had largely talked myself out of looking for art books, I decided to see if I could find any for the hell of it. 

I feel like an idiot. The art books have been under my nose the whole time! They are across from the As and Bs in the science fiction and fantasy section! I just needed to turn around! Argh.

So, I found the art books. The selection is small. And, for me, rather unimpressive. I had hoped to see some Bridgman, Hogarth, and Loomis in addition to some books on pastels. There were none. The library will remain my primary resource for art learning. 

The history section, for me, is usually disappointing. My primary area of interest in history is the ancient and classical world. And, for this trip, I was also looking for books of medieval history (research purposes). I didn’t see anything that caught my eye. My tastes in history books tend to the academic rather than popular, though.

I am singularly disappointed that I could not find Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in the spy/ thriller section. Then again, given that I found some Iain M. Banks in the contemporary fiction section, maybe I was looking in the wrong place?

So, what did I get? The usual. Six science fiction and fantasy novels.

Those Iain M. Banks novels? I picked up Player of Games (I already have Consider Phlebas). My grand plan went to hell, however, when I saw the complete Chronicles of Narnia. I just had to have it. I also found a copy of Cherrie Priest’s Boneshaker lying around and pounced (it was literally on the floor). I also picked up a Peter F. Hamilton (I had hoped for Earth by David Brin). And, I did it, I picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

So, all in all, a very good shopping excursion. I’m pleased with my purchases.

It will just take time to get around to reading them. I do have all that research to do. Which has me giddy with excitement in and of itself. 

So, Potter will have to wait for me to revise my opinion. Or thoroughly slam him to perdition!

And I may have to take time for some art books, regardless if I make a go at comics. Damn it all to hell, I’m losing the art on my walls! Stupid yard sale. 

 

When is the Film Better Than the Book? Bond Edition

Which is the better version of From Russia with Love? Novel or film?

I was struck with this question when I recently reread From Russia with Love (and having watched the film version a few months earlier). 

To me, the film version of From Russia with Love is better than the novel. 

Why? How can I make this claim?

The film is more complex. Spectre, the villains of the film, play the British and Russians against each other rather masterfully. While the British correctly read this as a trap (which they don’t in the novel), Kronsteen works things in such a way that Bond never guesses the true foe. 

The scheme unravels (in both versions) only when Grant gives into his sins. In the novel, Grant has a psychological hatred for the British (which only comes out during his villainous breakdown), but, in the movie, it is Grant’s greed that gets the better of him. 

I also think the film does a better job of setting up a conflict. Who is Bond struggling against in the novel? Who is the main antagonist? Is it the General, Klebb, or Grant?

In the film, it is clear that Grant is the main antagonist, and the conflict between the two equally matched agents. 

But I have an issue with this, as well, because Rosa Klebb is relegated to a less prominent role. I would prefer to see Klebb get more characterization. (I really want to see a woman be the main antagonist without a man stealing their thunder- like in From Russia with Love or The World is Not Enough). 

To be honest, I think the early Bond films are generally superior to the books. Maybe there was more passion. Maybe Fleming’s involvement improved the films (and removed some of the silly bits from the novels). 

It is only when the silly bits begin to dominate the films that the novels reassert their dominance. Namely, Diamonds are Forever and Live and Let Die dominate, blow out of the water, their film “adaptations.” 

What other films are better than their novels? I’ll get back to you on that. 

The Thrill of the Research Blues

I’m going to add Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to the list of books I’m looking for at Golden’s Book Exchange on Saturday. And maybe I’ll add Lev Grossman’s The Magicians to the list (my failed attempts to read that damn novel has become a running joke). At the moment, I have both books (along with Life of Pi and Air Gear vol. 1) checked out from the library. Hell, I’m trying to read TTSS right now. But I’m going to have to take a break from reading it because I have way too much research to do to take the time for pleasure reading. 

I blame myself. I hoard library books. At the moment, I have thirteen out. And I’ve got another seven waiting for pickup. Three of which are interlibrary loans that I can only have for three weeks. (Though I am thrilled that they came so quickly)

So, while I want to finish TTSS (and even The Magicians), I’ve already renewed them once (which is the limit). So, I will just have to buy the damn books and read them when I get the time.

To weasel out of my own problem, the film adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is still fresh in my mind. And damn, that was a great movie. Blew Skyfall out of the water. (And that opens up a whole other can of worms)

But I’m also wildly excited to start the research process. I can’t wait to learn new information about the medieval period. I’m thrilled to see where all of this research will lead to in my next project. 

I’ve already learned so much about village life in mid fourteenth century England that I never knew. And an equal amount about town life. This is freaking gold! Especially given that my epic fantasy historcisim (that sounds terrible) will deal as much with the peasantry as it will with mighty lords. I can’t wait to discover more!

I’m actually more thrilled than disappointed. 

 

Looking over this post, I’ve noticed two avenues for future posts. Looking at the old adage that the book is better than the adaptation. And discussing some of my writing schedule, without giving too much away.

Before I Take the Plunge, What’s My Beef with Harry (Potter)?

As I revealed in a previous post, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and make a concerted effort to read the  Harry Potter series. But what has taken me so long? What’s my (having not read it) beef with Harry Potter?

For one thing, I take pride in the fact that I’m above such popularity. Harry Potter is so popular that to not read (or watch) it is to have a certain cool factor. Yes, it is quite stupid. Especially if I do like Bleach and Naruto (which also have their issues with being “too” popular). 

While I have avoided Potter in part due to its popularity (and Rowling’s attitude towards fantasy), that doesn’t mean that I don’t have set impressions of the series going in that will give me headaches as I finally read the books for myself. 

The first problem I have with the series is the tone of the narrator. Yes, I have read the first two or three chapters of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. To me, the narrator is just too condescending. It feels like the narrator is talking down to the reader. And I find it personally infuriating, even if the work is written for kids. (This is, honestly, my big problem with Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea. My word, the narrator’s tone is horrid).

And yes, never jump into a book series with the middle book. Even with spoilers, you have no idea what’s going on. 

Now, lets look at a few plot elements, narrative streams, etc. that I’ve read from various sources that I’m worried about:

The abuse that Harry receives while being raised by the Dursleys is a huge source of anticipatory annoyance. I get that Rowling is writing in a specific narrative tradition- the oppressed orphan who makes good. But most of those narratives were written before the effects of abuse became widely known. 

Harry, to my mind, does not act as an abused kid would. Unless you count his hero complex and (justifiable) distrust of (some) adults. But what gets into my craw is that it is so obvious that Harry is abused. And no one does anything about it. Seriously, no teacher, no neighbor ever questioned, ever called the British equivalent of Child Protective Services?

This leads into my second issue. Even as a theme of Harry Potter is tolerance, the series itself is not overly tolerant towards mundane humans. Muggle is as much a “n,” “f,” or “w” word as “mudblood” is in the context of the series. But there are no sustained positive depictions of ordinary humans. There are only the monstrous Dursleys.  And, returning to the abuse, people aren’t that stupid or blind. Unless there is a spell involved.

While I’m at it, I’m not entirely too sure about the depiction of muggleborns. There are only two muggleborn characters of any consequence: Hermione Granger and Lily Evans. And one of them is dead. So, isn’t Hermione little more than a well written token? 

And speaking of diversity, while Rowling does a fine job of including a diverse cast of characters, why couldn’t she include LGBT characters in text? No, Dumbledore does not count because he is outed outside of the narrative. Couldn’t Colin Creevey have had a crush on Harry? Or something?

And, of course, there is the blanket black washing of Slytherins into a bigot’s paradise. Yes, this is told from Harry’s point of view, but could there not have been a moment where a Slytherin classmate of Harry’s calls him out on Harry’s own bigotry? Maybe Theodore Nott or one of the little mentioned Slytherin girls?

Furthermore, what the hell is up with dark wizards? I know the scope of the series is relatively limited, but I just do not understand why being a dark wizard is equated with being a pureblood bigot. Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if Riddle cynically used pureblood bigotry for his own ends. But still, what would a dark muggleborn wizard look like? What about one on the level of Riddle or Dumbledore?

Speaking of Dumbledore, I seriously have issues with his relationship with Harry. Namely, there should have been a precision f bomb launched at the old geezer by Harry. Did Harry really have a choice, or is Dumbledore’s manipulations far more monstrous than is popularly supposed? (If you’ve read my criticism of Naruto, you’ll see a pattern. I don’t get why Naruto is so loyal to Konoha, either)

I am going to reserve judgement on Snape until I actually read the series. Personally, I get the impression that, much like the Dursleys, Snape is an unpunished monster. The Dursleys get away with abusing Harry. And Snape gets away with abusing at least three fourths of his students. Seriously, his value as a spy cannot be greater than the emotional scarring that he inflicts on hundreds, if not thousands, of pupils. 

Well, no matter how my reading of Harry Potter goes, I feel that there will be a series of posts discussing my thoughts on the books. 

(And, clearly, in reading over this post, I think I’m revealing bits of running interests and themes. If I were to write something influenced by Harry Potter and Naruto, there would be a significant amount of rebelliousness on the part of my young hero(ine). 

Talking Myself into It ( A Debate with Myself)

Reader feedback will be appreciated. (Just letting you know)

I didn’t go to Golden’s this past weekend. But I’m hell bent on going next Saturday. There were a number of reasons. Among them, I was helping to watch my nieces and the son of my brother’s girlfriend/ fiance/ wife (I have no fucking clue what she is)’s friend, and, well, the little terrors were wearing everyone ragged. And I was unsure if I should wait and see if Golden’s carries the books I’m looking for (I went ahead and emailed them). I’m still going. And I’m likely to pick up quite a few science fiction and fantasy books. I always do. 

But when I go to Golden’s isn’t the purpose of this blog post. That is just background.

What I’m trying to do is debate with myself what course of action is the best one. (And, maybe, get some feedback) 

I want to write a shonen manga. Or a comic book that is inspired by shonen manga. Or a shonen manga my way. When I think about writing comics, the direction always lies towards a manga influence. Now, this is problematic on several fronts. 

Art. I’ve posted several times about my struggles with art. I would like to do the art for my various comics projects myself. But, the truth is that I’m not a very good artist. It would take years of practice to build the skill. And even then, I doubt I’ll ever reach a professional level. 

Great art can save mediocre writing. But great writing cannot salvage terrible art. So, what should I do? (By the way, I think I’ve successfully talked myself out of buying any art books).

Well, option one (the duh option) is to find myself good artist to help bring the project alive. (Although I don’t know how I’d salvage the GPP) But do I have the mindset to collaborate, to accept another creator’s input?

Another option is to try and adapt a textual/ visual centric idea into an exclusively text based reality. Could I adapt the shonen manga narrative technique into an exclusively prose format? That could be an interesting and fun challenge. 

But, perhaps, the way to determine the best course of action is to look at how I envision the work to be published. 

I want the serialized experience. I’ve read scanlations and I’m a huge fan of monthly comics. If I were to work on a manga inspired project, I want that sense of anticipation that serialization brings. To be honest, both collected editions and tankobans take too long to be released. Especially some American comics. 

And, to add to the problem, what kind of publication do I envision? Should I attempt to go with an indie American company (like Image)? Or should I try my luck with a manga publisher (if any are actually still publishing global manga)? How about web publishing? Given the state of OEL manga and the fraught relationship of manga to American style comics, perhaps a self published web comic is the best option. 

Wait, if I’m not going to do the art, I need to think about the artist. My model is a weekly shonen series. Could an artist, by his or herself, really publish twenty pages a week? Or forty eight in a month? All of the web comics I know usually publish a page or two a week. That might work for the GPP (not really), but it will certainly not work for the big one. 

So, now that I’ve thought about it. Perhaps a long running prose web serial inspired by shonen manga narrative techniques is the best direction to go in. And I could use the GPP as a test case, to see if my idea can work. 

So, I’ve convinced myself to at least try a prose centric approach with a web serial publishing plan. 

But this is just me debating with myself. 

I’ll update when I have progress to report. (Or if I change my mind)

And be sure, I’ll have a post up detailing my trip to Golden’s. And maybe Hastings at some point. 

Until then, later. 

From Austin to Waco; Trading San Francisco and Austin

There have been a lot of changes made to my plan for Wizard Punk. From being a comic book to being a trilogy of novels, I’ve revised my ideas, plans, and direction for this project.

As the project moved mediums, the protagonist found himself becoming a young woman named Honor Gale. (My protagonists are rather like actors. Honor has been around for a while, jumping from idea to idea. Much like several of my gay protagonists.) So, the project is now Witchpunk, a novel trilogy with some suitably punk titles. 

Originally, the first book is set in Austin, Texas. Book Two would have moved to Houston or New Orleans, and Book Three would have moved to Los Angeles. 

Gradually, though, I wanted to set everything at one location, Austin. The more I thought about it, the less I really wanted to set the project in Austin. Waco, Texas just called to me. 

In part because Waco is a far more conservative and depressed setting. And I want what that kind of setting brings to the conflict of the narrative.

I also think that I’m being premature in my ambitions for a trilogy. Especially if my plans pan out. Seriously, more than one novel is stretching credulity. 

If there is only one Witchpunk novel, then the lone novel will be called The Goetic High

So, Austin loses a novel set there, but I’ve got another project set there, don’t I? Actually, no. Austin’s losing out again, damn it.

If I were to plop a city the size of Uruk or Ur into a modern metropolis, where would make better sense, Austin’s Zilker Park or San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park? Clearly, Golden Gate Park is more suitable because of size.

Never fear, though, in exchange for Two Cities, Austin is getting Tyler Spang (the gay porn comic). I’m not sure that is much of a consolation prize, however. .. 

That’s not to say that I’ll never return to Austin as a setting. I love that city too damn much to only explore it once.

Now, I’ve got to get back to adding a third high school to Waco ISD and wholesale replacing St. Edward’s University with the fictional Webster University (I think Spinner Cypress is a better name, anyway, compared to Webster Cypress). 

I’ll end with Happy Fourth of July!! 

Taking The Plunge, And Other Shopping Objectives

I’m finally going to take the plunge. I’m finally going to try and read the Harry Potter books. 

For years I’ve prided myself on having not read the Harry Potter series. But I think the time has come to bite the bullet and read the damn books. 

Though, to be fair, this will not be the first time I’ve attempted Potter. I used to own Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I tried to read it, but just could not connect. I’m hoping that this time, by starting at the beginning, I’ll be able to make progress. 

Or I could come out of this even more down on Harry Potter than I already was. Time will tell. And be sure, I’ll blog about it, for good or ill.

So, how am I going to buy Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone)? I’m taking a trip to my favorite used bookstore this weekend, Golden’s Book Exchange.

Mind you, getting Harry Potter books will not be the main objective Saturday. 

My primary objective will be looking for art books, history books, and (maybe) cook books. I’m especially looking for art books. Why? Because I want instructional books easy to hand.

A few months ago, I wrote about the problem of checking cook books out from the library. I experienced similar problems with art books. But, the fault is not with checking books out. The fault lies with how I, personally, check books out. I’m a hoarder. I’ll have six, seven, twelve books out at any one time. And that is seriously not conducive to learning. 

Now, the last time I went to Golden’s, I looked to see if they had any art books. I couldn’t find any. But, I might not have been looking hard enough. 

Hell, it was only this last time that I discovered the YA section, the home schooling section, the horror section, and the paranormal romance section. So, there may very well be areas I missed. 

So, what is on my list, this time?

Art Books- I’m especially looking for books by Bridgman, Hogarth, and Loomis. Though if there is a Chris Hart book on drawing manga figures, I’ll pick that up, too. Also, any general art book. Especially on pastels (hey, I’m really into pastels). 

History Books- I’m looking for medieval history and ancient history. But I’m not holding out much hope. Golden’s has more World War and American history.

Cook Books-I’d like to get my dad a book on cheese making (please, don’t ask). And maybe one for my brother.

And I really hope they have a copy of Larousse’s Encyclopedia of Mythology. Or something similar. I’ve got a project brewing dealing with gods. . . 

And, of course, I’ll wander by the (great) science fiction and fantasy wall to see what new goodies are there. Maybe some Tanith Lee? Maybe more Morecock? Can’t wait to see 

And of course, there is Potter. 

But the cream of the crop would be if I can find a copy of Childcraft’s Make and Do or another good craft book for children. 

Now, I know perfectly well that I can get everything I want on Amazon. But you know what? I’m old school. I love going to a brick and mortar old school used book store. Knowing that I have no clue what I’ll find is exciting. Amazon can’t give me that.

Though I do use it too if I want something specific.

Look for my follow up post on Saturday night when I recount what I got.

But, next time, I’ve got city issues.