emb021

Members
  • Posts

    253
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by emb021

  1. I've posted here in the past about Ditko's various Objectivist comic book work (I plan on doing one in the near future about his several new comics that have come out). There is another thread on DC Comic's hardcover reprint of all his Creeper work. Its in the style of their recent hardcover collections of Jack Kirby's work, rather then their Archive series. DC is now putting out 2 large Omnibus volumes (again, in the same style as the Creeper collection and their Jack Kirby collections) of Steve Ditko's DC work. Volume 1 is out, and volume 2 is coming out in December. Again, a little background. Steve Ditko is a fairly well known comic book artist (and a writer some times). He is probably best known as the co-creator of Spiderman (if Stan Lee isn't trying to claim full credit) and the creator of Dr. Strange. He has created/co-created several other characters that are not as well known (Captain Atom, the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, Question, Mr. A, Static, Mocker, Creeper, Hawk & Dove). He got into Objectivism sometime when he started doing Spiderman, and the philosophy had a big impact. It did influence some of his work done at Marvel & DC, and really had an impact on his independent work. Many of his characters could be called 'objectivist superheroes', as they many times embodied (and expressed) Objectivist philosophy. As noted, the 2 Omnibuses are fairly large. The Creeper collection was 280 pages at $40. Omnibus Volume 1 is 460 pages and Volume 2 is to be about 400 pages, both for $60. (you can get good discounts at Amazon, btw). Omnibus 1 has the complete run of Ditko's "Shade, the Changing Man" and "Stalker" (a series written by Paul Levitz and inked by the great Wally Wood). The rest of the volume is filled with short stories (2-8 pages) done for various DC "horror", suspense, mystery, science-fiction titles from the 70s and 80s (similar to stories Ditko has done for Marvel and Charlton over the decades). Omnibus 2 has the Ditko's work on the short-lived "Hawk & Dove", the "Starman" series he did (written by Paul Levitz again), and various superhero stories he did during the 70s and 80s (Man-Bat, The Demon, Legion of Superheroes, etc). Of interest to readers here will probably be the "Shade" story and the "Hawk & Dove" series. "Shade: the Changing Man" was an interesting, if short-lived, series that combined elements of science-fiction, super heroics, fantasy, spy/crime, and more. Ditko apparently had the first 17 issues plotted out, but only 8 were published with a 9th finished. Some of the elements of the story were used in the later Mocker series. The star of the comic was Rac Shade, a top security agent for Meta, a world in another dimension from Earth, who was accused of treason and sentence to prison (and eventual execution). He is innocent, but is unable to prove it. He breaks out of prison and works to clear his name. Other agents believe he is also innocent, and work to prove it. Complicating this is his fiance believe him guilty and is after him. He has a death sentence, so any Meta agent is free to kill him. Further complicating things is his fiance blames him for an explosion that injured her parents, so she is really after blood! Unknown to them is that her parents are REALLY the head of the Meta criminal underground, and they had a hand in framing Shade!! During the course of the story, Shade works to gather evidence, as well as fight other escaped criminals. He eventually proves himself to his fiance AND Meta's President, but still must gather evidence for a new trial to prove it. Sadly, the series ended before this was done. As noted, a similar story-line was used in "The Mocker" book. There is no exposing of Objectivist philosophy, but its clear that Rac Shade is meant to be an Objectivist hero, fighting to prove his innocence. "Hawk & Dove" was the other original series by Ditko at DC (the others being Creeper and Shade). This series was sadly cut short when, due to health problems, Ditko had to leave the series early (he only did their first appearance in "Showcase" and their first 2 issues). This was an interesting philosophical series that most, including the writers, didn't fully get. The main characters were 2 brothers, Hank and Don Hall. Hank believe in the use of force to solve problems, Don in being more reasoned (but was usually indecisive). They were granted powers and outfits to use to fight crime. Forgotten by those who followed was that their father was actually the middle ground, representing working things out and justice over vigilantism.
  2. Here we are with the 7th volume, another complete volume with both sundays (in COLOR) and dailies. And here we have some of the BEST stories of Little Orphan Annie. I had read parts of several of these stories, so its a great collection I've been looking forward to. The introduction is also great, with a section highlighting a sunday-only strip called "Little Joe" that Harold Gray ghosted for his cousin for a couple of decades (sadly, the wikipedia article doesn't credit him). This strip I've heard of and wonder if we will ever seen a complete reprinting of this overlooked strip. As to LOA, we have 4 main stories. Two re-occuring characters are introduced in this volume. First, is the sinister Asp, a dangerous associate of "Daddy", who now rounds out the roster of the permanent characters in LOA. The next is the mysterious Mr. Am, who will come back on occasion, so I think this makes him the last re-occurring character to the strip. This character, a mysterious, almost Santa Claus like character, adds a strange element of mysticism to the strip, more so then Punjab. Who IS Mr. Am, and what is the source of his powers and knowledge? So, first off we have Annie again on the road after the conclusion of the Jack Boot story from the last volume. She meets up with a nice flower lady, Ginger, in a powerful story. We learn more about Ginger. She used to be rich, but now is poor. Gray uses this story to speak about how some people succeed and others don't, and that in bad areas good people can emerge as well as bad. In this story, she runs afoul of mobsters looking for protection money, and the story takes a tragic end. In the next story, the gangsters are out on bail. Annie tries to enlist the help of a crusading lawyer named "J. Preston Slime", who is really in league with the gangsters. They go out on another hit on a mysterious rich man, and run afoul of "Daddy" and his new associate, the Asp! Gray uses this story to speak of the law vs. justice. With "Daddy" back, he is off on another adventure, this time with Annie. He has 2 billion in gems, but is being pursued by the evil Boris Sirob and associates. Sirob is portrayed as a ruthless foreigner. So they leave the country. In another land, they encounter the mysterious Mr. Am. He becomes a new friend, who is able to render a great service with the story with Sirob comes to a conclusion. "Daddy", Annie and Mr. Am return to the States. But now having lost his billions, and down to only a couple of million, "Daddy" must leave. Annie stays with Mr. Am. But, as usual, the busybodies come out of the woodwork, and drive Mr. Am away, and Annie is put in the charge of the Brittlewits. The husband is a fool, look for easy money, and falls in with a crook named Brabble. But Annie finds a new friend and ally in an old man who lives in a "haunted house", where the ghosts of his extended family apparently reside as well. The matter of Brabble and Bittlewit comes to a nasty conclusion. As with the story of the mobsters who killed Ginger, we again get Gray's view of law and justice. Rounding out the story is the first of a two-part story that runs thru 1938. In a different way, Annie is removed from her friends and comes into a small town. Here she quickly finds a homeless mother, Rose Chance. Tying to find her help, they wind up moving in with a poor widow and run afoul of the local rich man, Gudge who owns half the town, and has a mortgage on the rest. They win allies in the local trucking company (run by Jack, an orphan himself), and are joined by a new, mysterious stranger, Shanghai Peg. We learn of his connection with the widow. Gudge is after the mortgage, and thru the help of their new working class friends, Annie and friends are able to help. Rose cooks up doughnuts in the kitchen, which Annie sells to the local truckers and others to raise money and earn their keep with the widow. Gudge then tries to put pressure on the police and later the sheriff, to get rid of the 'bum' Shanghai Peg. But in a pair of dramatic scenes, Shanghai wins both the police and the sheriff to his side. This doesn't stop Gudge, who starts a campaign to shutdown both the trucking company and Annie & friends little enterprise. But thru some smart thinking by Annie, she and her friends triumph over Gudge. Annie and Shanghai start to look into the matter of the death of widow's husband. He was murdered 20 years ago, and for no reason. The records were all lost in a fire. There seems to be some connection to Gudge, but its not clear. This part of the story closes with the return of Rose's husband, who seems a possible no-good-nick. We will have to wait for the next volume for the conclusion. Does Rose return to her husband, or does happiness come to Jack, who has fallen in love with Rose? Is the mystery of the murdered husband solved? And does Gudge play a part in that? The Rose Chance-Shanghai Pete is considered the BEST LOA story of all time. I can't wait for the next volume. In addition to the conclusion of the Rose Chance/Shanghai Peg storyline, we have a new storyline with the sinister Axel in it as well.
  3. Here is a recent interview with Joe Staton that speaks about the Anthem GN. I wasn't aware the art was taken from his penciled work. This may explain why some don't quite like it. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30753
  4. Here we are with the 6th volume, another complete volume with both sundays (in COLOR) and dailies. Finally, with this volume we move past what was covered by the past 5 volume Fantagraphics series. We have several new storylines and characters. This volume covers the years 1935-36. First off, is the Eli Eon storyline (which I've mentioned before), a minor classic, IMO. This one deals with Annie & "Daddy" meeting a crazy old inventor of a miracle material, Eonite. This storyline is broken up into 2 chapters. First off is a chapter that more focuses on Annie & "Daddy" getting back on their feet, with visits by Punjab. Punjab at this point works for a good friend of "Daddy", Henry Morgan. Punjab would soon become one of the few standard characters in the strip, working for Warbucks. During this time, they rescue Eli, who has been attacked. We later learn this was done by the command of crooked businessman who is in many ways the opposite of "Daddy", J. Gordon Slugg. After trying to use force to get Eli's invention, he turns to trying to use trade unions (but "Daddy" treats his workers too well for them to want to unionize) and then a political rabble rouser to turn the crowd against "Daddy", Claude Claptrap. Sadly, this leads to a greater tragedy. In many ways, Gray uses Slugg here to compare and contrast with "Daddy", showing the differences in how these 2 businessmen conduct themselves. Apparently the liberals at the time hated the strip for it. "Daddy" is now once again broke, when old friend Wun Wey returns, and informs "Daddy" that large holdings of his in Asia are actually very valuable. "Daddy", Morgan and Punjab journey to Asia, while Annie stays with Wun Wey, who will be dropping her off at a school. Sadly, sinister forces kidnap both. Annie escapes and is on the road again. The story continues with Annie in Hollywood, working as a double for a spoiled brat child star and in the next chapter, a romance between two minor characters Annie mets in Hollywood. In some ways, one sees some of the same nonsense today with Hollywood. A bried interlude story allows Annie to move East a bit, and find a new town, Buttercup, for the final story. The final story, actually broken up as 2 chapters, is another classic: the Jack Boot story (again, one I mentioned before), a story of a hardworking, innocent man whose life is turned upside down due to meddling busybodies and an old enemy. He seems nothing more then a simple shoe repair man. In the first part of the story, he deals with a crocked, possible competitor, George Chiselopolis, and the issue of charity (which I had covered in past postings). In the second part of the story, we learn more about Jack's background, which comes out when 2 new characters appear in town, who have a 30-year connection to Jack Boot. One is Fred Free, a river bum who travels the world and occasionally returns to a little shack near town. The other is the well off gentleman, Hunterdon H. Halk, who moves to town and impresses everyone (of course). This will lead to the next volume which will include the introduction of 2 more classic characters: The Asp and Mr. Am. Sadly, I don't know when we may see this volume.
  5. Here we are with the 5th volume, another complete volume with both sundays (in COLOR) and dailies. This one covers the years 1933-35. We have several new storylines and characters. First off, is the Dan Ballad storyline, here called "Who'd Chizzle a Blind Man". Annie, again on her own in the big city (Daddy is stuck overseas), teams up with a blind violinist, "Uncle" Dan Ballad. Annie sings, Uncle Dan fiddles, and they get good tips. Then a sharper comes in named Charles C. Chizzler, who becomes their manager and tricks them in signing a contract that gives him 50% PLUS expenses. They are pulling in a $100 a night at halls, but are being given only $5-10 by Chizzler. When Annie gets sick, another sharper comes into the scene. He's different. While he'll go after rich guys, he draws the line at ripping off blind men and kids (this is something we occasionally see in LOA: the bad person who has some good elements, and will actually help out Annie). So he tricks Chizzler out of all his money and gives it to Annie. And to wrap up the story, Dan Ballad is found to have inherited money and title in England, and so leaves Annie as we see "Daddy" working his way there. In the next story, we find Annie trying to get a job, but running afoul of annoying "do gooders" (who don't want kids to work- hint at the problem with 'child labor' laws and minimum wage), when "Daddy" comes to the rescue. Then we have a couple, the "Bleeks" who claim to be Annie's real parents. Is that possible? Will we finally get the answer to her parentage hinted at a few times in the past by Miss Asmaha (who makes a brief re-appearance). We have a long story where the Bleeks try to prove Annie is their daughter, and succeed. But it appears to be just a scheme by them to get money from "Daddy", who still cares for her. But then "Daddy" has serious problems with his business (due in no small part to his long absence). Some try to help him "save" his business at the expense of others, but "Daddy" won't (hmm, shades of today with bailouts and such). At the end, "Daddy" sets aside money to pay his taxes, and is ripped off by a crooked lawyer named Hare. Due to this, "Daddy" runs afoul of a crooked prosecutor named Phil O Bluster, which is the focus on the next story. Bluster, with his associates Ward Healy, Bill McBribe, and a crooked Judge Cogg (note those names!), try to railroad "Daddy". He's doing it for political gain. He sells himself as a "friend of the pee-pal" (frequent spelling that Gray uses) against a rich man like Warbucks (who obviously didn't earn his money fairly. Yeah, right). So we see corruption, including jury tampering, and a Judge in the pocket of the prosecution (who knows Warbucks is innocent, but doesn't care). The Judge hopes this will get him a higher position, too. Later in the story, we see the crookedness of Mr Bleek, when he gets in bed with criminals and they start breaking into rich houses. Bluster, unable to catch this gang, is under pressure from the "pee-pul" to get things done. Meanwhile, Mrs Bleek comes to care more and more for Annie. In the fourth story, these crooked politicans and judges get their comeupance, in no small fact due to the assistance of "Daddy's" friends Wuy Wey, Flophouse Bill, and Jake the storekeeper (from past volumes). "Daddy" is freed and helps clean up the town. Now he is poor once again, and forgotten by the public. And in the final story, Annie and "Daddy" work to get back on their feet. "Daddy" takes on any work he can (as he's had to do in the past when he lost it all), and not wanting to mootch off his friends, or even get a loan from them, they decide to move on for greener pastures. And we met for the first time Punjab!!!
  6. Here we are with the 4th volume, another complete volume with both sundays (in COLOR) and dailies. This volume covers the years 1932 to 1933. We have several new storylines and characters. First off, "Daddy" gets a new wife. But she is trouble and is soon 'dealt with'. "Daddy" will remain a bachelor (or is that widower?) for the rest of the strip. A new character is introduced who I have mentioned in the past: Wun Wey, an asian character. But not the stereotypical asian of the time, either a menial or a 'yellow peril' villian. He is an associate of "Daddy", treated as an equal. He will be a minor character for a few years before he fades away. The main storyline in this volume is the long "Cosmic City" storyline, which I had previously mentioned, actually broken up over 3 chapters. It follows the basic storyline of most Annie stories: "Daddy" goes away and puts Annie under the charge of others. Something goes arrie, and Annie is on her own, finds a small town, and some ordinary people to live with. But here is some mystery/danger there that Annie gets involved with and must resolve. After this, Annie is either reunited with Daddy or moves on to the next town. In "Cosmic City", Annie moves in with the Futiles, a elderly couple. She is able to help them out, eventually setting up a small store for Mr. Futile to run. But she runs afoul of the town 'richie', a Mr. Pennypincher. There is a mystery to resolve with him, which she does. As is usually, the town busybodies think the work of him, because they don't know his real side. I first read the "Cosmic City" storyline in a Dover edition, and it wasn't until later that I got to read the 'rest of the story'. You'll get it all here in this volume.
  7. Been a while since I'e been here. And there have been 3 additional volumes. So am posting my reviews from Amazon, a little expanded.
  8. Am familiar with Joe Staton's work, and have to agree that it seems a little crude (perhaps the right term is 'loose'), compared to his usual work. Perhaps this is due to him working in b/w when he usually does color comics. I think Steve Ditko would have been a better choice.
  9. This time I will cover the new Ditko comics: Ditko Once More, Ditko Presents, Act 2, Act 3 All of these are black and white, 32-page comics. You may order them directly from Robin Snyder. All are $4 each, but you must include postage. Full info on ordering them may be found here: http://ditko.blogspot.com/p/ditko-book-in-print.html "Ditko Once More" is a kind of hodgepodge of stuff. Most of the work are single page items, in many cases a large panel filling the whole page. Some put forth Ditko's Objectivist ideas, others put forth his dislike of nosy fans. There are a couple of multi-page stories dealing with his new 'Hero' characters. We see the appearence of his "Outline" character in a few pieces, and an appearance of a new character I'll call the "A is A Man" in several one-page pieces. The next 3 comics are different. They mainly consist of 8 page stories (all set in little towns in the 1930s) staring several of his new hero characters: Miss Eerie, Mad Man, !?, The Outline, The Cape, as well as some with The Gray Negotiator. I suspect that Act 4 (out, but I don't have) and Act 5 (coming soon) will continue in this style. * "Ditko Presents" introduces the new character of "The Madman". He's really Matt Madder (a lot of the character names in this one are like that), who is an apparently violent man who has escaped from a mental ward and was accused of killing someone. So he decides to be a "Madman" and find out who's really behind the crime. "The !?" is the next new character, a masked character who is taking money from criminals and returning it to the victims. "A Crime Story", a continuing story of criminals getting their just deserts. "Miss Eerie", is yet another new hero character, a women who dressing up with a frighful mask and fights crime. * ACT Two continues this with the following stories: The next "Madman" story, another story with "The Cape" (see my first item for more about this 'character'), the continuation (conclusion?) of "A Crime Story", another story with "The Grey Negotiator", and a new 'character' "the Almighty Zero" in a three page intro. * ACT Three continues this with the following stories: The next "Miss Eerie" story (and we learn who Miss Eerie really is), another "Grey Negotiator" story, a 2 page story introducing 'Fan-Man' and 'Fan-Boy' (who like anti-hero comics) against the "A is A Man", a VERY different story with "The Cape", which will be continued, a 2-page story with "The Outline" and "Hero", and several 1 & 2 page pieces.
  10. Ditko with Robin Snyder continues to put out 32 page b/w comic books. So far, they have put out Ditko Once More, Ditko Presents, Act 2, Act 3, Act 4, with an Act 5 promised soon. I recently got Ditko Presents and Act 2 & 3. So will do a brief overview/review of all of them soon.
  11. Its interesting when one relies on your memory for things. I recenty finished reading thru the Creeper volume. In reviewing my prior review, I see I made some mistakes, do in part to conflating Jack Ryder (the Creeper's real identity) and other Ditko characters. I really thought that Jack Ryder expressed more Objectivist views, but he doesn't. My mistake. One thing I did find interesting, was that the Creeper stories in which Ditko had a larger hand in (Showcase/Beware the Creeper & later Showcase/World's Finest), Jack Ryder works as a network security troubleshooter, not as a tv commentator/report. HOWEVER, I think ALL of the Creeper stories written by others have him be a tv commentator/report (usually of a 'right wing' sort, I think by writers not able to do a proper Objectivist report, and falling back on that. So instead of being portrayed as a tougher John Stossell, he's shown as more of a Bill O'Reilly type). As to the Shag stories. There are 4. All are available in the "Ditko Package" for $7 from Robin Snyder. Info on order it (and other Ditko stuff) here: http://ditko.blogspot.com/p/ditko-book-in-print.html
  12. All- I've posted here in the past about Ditko's various Objectivist comic book work (I plan on doing one in the near future about his several new comics that have come out). Well, DC has finally put out a hardcover reprint of all his Creeper work. Its in the style of their recent hardcover collections of Jack Kirby's work, rather then their Archive series. So, a little background. Steve Ditko is a fairly well known comic book artist (and a writer some times). He is probably best known as the co-creator of Spiderman (if Stan Lee isn't trying to claim full credit) and the creator of Dr. Strange. He has created/co-created several other characters that are not as well known (Captain Atom, the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, Question, Mr. A, Static, Mocker, Creeper, Hawk & Dove). He got into Objectivism sometime when he started doing Spiderman, and the philosophy had a big impact. It did influence some of his work done at Marvel & DC, and really had an impact on his independent work. Many of his characters could be called 'objectivist superheroes', as they many times embodied (and expressed) Objectivist philosophy. Now, as to the subject at hand, The Creeper. Ditko created this character as one of his first at DC. Ditko had previously left Marvel (and left doing both Spiderman and Dr. Strange) and went to Charlton, to work on a revived Captain Atom, and creating a new Blue Beetle and the Mr. A-influence Question. He would later leave that work as Charlton dropped their attempt at a superhero line, and came to DC. There he would create 2 Objectivist-influenced comics, the Creeper and Hawk & Dove. Sadly, his tenure was shortlived due to health issues, which meant that H&D was soon turned over to someone else, and even on the Creeper, others were soon scripting it. The Creeper was really network investigative reporter and tv host, Jack Ryder. But in the first story, he loses his tv job when he pisses off his sponsor and become a member of the network security as an investigator. In most later uses of the character, Ryder would just be a tv reporter. In either position, he has things in common with other Ditko characters such as Mr.A. & the Question, who were also reporters, and others who were investigators of various sorts. He is asked to help look for a Professor Yatz, a defector from communism, and Ryder has to go undercover at a costume party. But the pickings are slim, so his outfit is an all-yellow body suit with green shorts and red gloves and boots, green hair and yellow face makeup, and a red rug as a sort of cape. He finds Yatz, but is shot. Yatz gives him several items. One is a serum that heals Ryder and gives him increased strength and stamina, the other is a molecular re-arranger that will cause Ryder's 'Creeper' outfit to appear and disappear. After giving him these things, Yatz is killed. Ryder uses these gifts to become the Creeper. He creates a persona of laughing crazily, contorting his body, even saying things that throw off his opponents (other writers will try to say that as the Creeper, Ryder is insane due to the serum, tho that was never in Ditko's version). As to Objectivist philosophy, the Creeper doesn't express it, tho Ryder does in his behavior and comments with others. As noted, this book collects all the Creeper work by Ditko. Since the character is owned by DC, others have done work with him that isn't always in-line with how Ditko set him out. This is what is included: Showcase #78, 1968. Origin and first appearence in this try-out series. Plot & art by Ditko, script by Don Segall Beware the Creeper #1-6, 1968-69. His short lived series. Plot & art by Ditko (#1), dialogue by Dennis O'Neill (#1); art by Ditko (#2-5), written by Dennis O'Neill (#2-6); art by Ditko & Jack Sparling (#6); inked by Mike Peppe (#5, 6). This series only lasted 6 issues, and Ditko's involvement lessened, especially in the last 2 issues. 1st Issue Special #7, 1975. 1st Issue Special was another try-out title. The Creeper got one issue as a tryout. No new series emerged. Ryder is back as a tv reporter/commentator. Script by Michael Fleisher, art by Ditko & Mike Royer. Showcase #106/Cancelled Comics Cavalcade #2, 1977/78. DC brought back Showcase, their original try-out title. the Creeper would get an issue. BUT it was never published, tho completed. It was later 'published' to keep its copyright as part of the second 'Cancelled Comics Cavalcade', so for many people, we are seeing this for the first time. Ryder is back to being a member of the network security team, as he was in his own comic, and Ditko has him as a more 'happy go luck' person then he was previously. We also see an appearance by another Ditko creation, Odd Man. He would get a backup story in the unpublished Shade comic, and later be completed and published in World's Finest. I wish DC had included him. Ditko only ever did one story with him and never really explained him. Story & art by Ditko. World's Finest Comics #249-255, 1978-79. DC started to put backup series in many of its comics at the time, and the Creeper got a series of 8 page stories following the style of the prior (unpublished) Showcase issue. All are story & art by Ditko. Now, what is interesting is that there are about 3-4 stories (not sure how many off hand) done by Ditko of a character called "Shag". AFAIK, these where further Creeper stories intended for WF that where never completed, so Ditko changed the Creeper into Shag and put them out as his own character. One of the Ditko collections from Robin Snyder has them all. Well, hope this is of interest.
  13. Beat me to it. Plus the fact that he got the Nobel Peace prize before he had done anything to deserve it (still hasn't), and that the nomination for it had to go in with a couple of weeks of taking office...
  14. I actually get books from several small publishers which use Lulu and Amazon/CreateSpace as their printers. they sell thru Lulu, Amazon, etc to their customers. They get their own ISBN numbers. The books have their name and contact info. Most have a website/webstore (some of which just link to lulu, amazon, etc). the quality of the books are very good. they are good, quality paperbacks. they can handle b/w artwork fairly well. Covers are good. While about 5-10 years ago POD wasn't that good, but I think for small publishers or self-publishers, POD is the way to go (you can also go with e-publishing with POD, offering your e-book for less then the print work). What makes it great for these publishers is they don't have to order and pay for a large print run, then sit on it as it slowly sells. Publishers I mean are Altus Press, Airship 27, Blood n Thunder, Wildcat Books, Age of Adventure, Age of Aces, and a few others. Hope that helps.
  15. As a bibliophile, I find the problems LFB seems to have with getting this book out strange. I am a fan of several small presses, who have now gone to using POD publishers like CreateSpace (part of Amazon) and Lulu. The books I get from them are good, quality paperbacks. They can apparently also do hardbacks thru Lulu (no idea with CreateSpace). These are, in many cases, small operations (1 guy, or a couple of people), yet are able to put out quality stuff. The Ludwig von Mises Institute has in recent years become (IMO) a sort of libertarian publishing powerhouse. They seem to be pumping out new (or in many cases, reprints) of works on an almost weekly pace. They just came out with a new, hardcover edition of Mises' "The Theory of Money and Credit". When ITIL took over LFB, they said they would restart the old Cobden Press imprint to bring out new and classic libertarian works. Yet, the Branden book seems to be their first effort, and they seem to have problems. Reading some other things they've said, seems to indicate they haven't taken advantage of the advancements in printing (I read of them complaining of the costs of putting together books. Yet Mises is doing it easily, and note my comments about the small pressing doing it). I look forward to seeing this new work, but really think ITIL/LFB needs to find out how Mises et al are doing things.
  16. err,...you do realize that my post was in jest? A somewhat clumsy attempt by me to spoof the "OOist" mentality that you were referring to. (Yeah, I know...."Don't quit my day job!") Oh, I got the joke. Mine was that if you were a 'proper Oist', you would have denounced me. ;) Reason has been slowly putting up those articles on their website. The Peter Bagge cartoon was from that issue. The Comics Journal message board as well as Yahoo Group about Ditko has been discussion it a bit. Also, on their Hit & Run blog, they've had some good discussions (marred only by the occasional non-libertarian aholes), even discussing some of the recent press on the new Rand books. Some good, some bad. Its funny that some are complaining about the Rand videos they've been doing, as if they are annoying. Yesh. they announced this a month ago. I hope this leads to similiar videos on other libertarian thinkers.
  17. I watched that one recently. A very good and positive interview. What I find interesting is that overall the videos have been very positive about Rand. Almost too positive. Even from people (NB, BB, and TM) who had negative personal experiences they have been positive.
  18. All- Am putting this in humour as I think that's the right place for it. This is a blog site I came across that is a satire of Rand: http://ayndie.wordpress.com/ Its billed as "Life advice from Ayn Rand, the creator of the everlasting truth of Objectivism -- firmly founded on reason, logic and the absolutism of reality." Not sure where the author of this site stands. They seem to know their stuff, as seen by their list of false and real objectivist. (but surprised that SOLOpassion is on the list of false objectivist...)
  19. Gee, Jerry, thanks. Couldn't you just denounce me and forbid me from speaking to you again. That would be more OOist. On a different note, Reason's latest video is up and its an interview with Barbara Branden. Nathan is someone else they were interviewing, so that should be interesting.
  20. I don't know if anyone is watching the videos Reason is putting up for their focus on Rand. Overall they've been pretty good and even handed. Was surprised that Tibor Machan didn't bring up some of the negative experiences he had at the hands of Rand et al. they've also posted Peter Bagge's cartoon that ran in the lastest issue: http://reason.com/archives/2009/11/10/will-everyone-please-stop-frea As I noted, his take is kind of close to mine. I read her in college, and like a lot of what I read, but some I didn't. I guess I should be thankful never to have met someone like the woman in the 3rd panel. Or met any Rand 'devotees' like in panel 4 (tho his take regarding her aesthetic tastes is close to mine). His point in the last panel is spot on. I have never understood the vitriol of some of her critics, most of whom seem to admire people whose philosophies have lead to mass murders (Marx, Mao, et al).
  21. All- As some may be aware, Reason Magazine (along with its associated websites) are doing stuff focused on Rand this month. The latest issue came out (Dec 2009), with a cover article on Rand and other stuff. I really liked the one page comic by Peter Bagge. His take on Rand is close to mine. He more pokes fun at the Rand haters & lovers then Rand herself. I almost wish he has spent 2-3 pages on her. Reason TV has two videos on her so far (am hoping for more).
  22. I am fan of Star Trek, just not a huge fan. I had many problems with the new Star Trek movie. I could accept the idea that this is an ‘alternate universe Star Trek’, so long as we can accept that all the other tv shows and movies ’still happened’, in the original universe (were the original Spock came from). That said, I was bothered by some of the STUPID stuff in it. From another posting I did on the movie: SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!!!! * Nero’s motivation. Ok, as I understand it. A star goes supernova. It somehow ‘threatens the galaxy’ (not sure how. I’ll buy it threats several nearby systems, but that should be about it), as well as Romulus. Ambassador Spock promises to save Romulus (why him and not someone else??). He gets a super ship from Vulcan, along with a sh*t load of red matter (whatever the h*ll that is), which only requires a drop to destroy the supernova (if so, why have the whole sh*t load of it on the ship???). Spock fails to save Romulus. Nero blames Spock for failing to save Romulus (not accidently causing its destruction, but failing to stop its destruction). Nero & co along with Spock get pulled back into time. For revenge against Spock for failing to save Romulus, he destroys Vulcan (the only planet who was able to create the ship and means to destroy the supernova and save Romulus, please note). Then to save future Romulus, plans on destroying the Federation (which, note, did NOT cause the supernova or the destruction of Romulus). The threat to future Romulus was the supernova. Which he has NOT prevented!!! The only way to stop said future supernova is the super ship & red matter, which won’t be created because he destroyed Vulcan!!! Which means he has ultimately doomed Romulus. Does no one logically work things out in movies????? Other issues. * unless the whole Enterprise was staffed by cadets expect for Pike & Spock (not clear), why would Pike put a cadet as XO (and potential acting captain???) * I have a hard time accepting that TOS crew all met and were around the same age. My thinking was that Scotty and Bones would be a little older then Jim. Spock maybe as well. Jim had worked his way up in the ranks and on different ships (based on comments about his past life on TOS) before getting command of the Enterprise, tho he was VERY young for that. Uhuru, Sulu, and Chehov would all be younger then Kirk. Now they seem to be around the same age. * So Spock is some kind of instructor at Starfleet Academy while Uhuru is a cadet? Uh, doesn’t Starfleet have a no fraternization policy??? I.e., that should be against the regs. * An Orion woman in Starfleet??? I have a little hard time accepting that. From what we know of them, I frankly have an easier time accepting ferengi & klingons joining Star Fleet (oh, they already did!) then Orion women. Was this done as a joke about Kirk doing it with alien women??? Lame. * Uh, the Kelvin seems to have only one warp nacelle. I thought it had been established that ships had to have at least 2?? Also, the secondary hull seems to be mainly a shuttle bay full of shuttles. Lots and lots of shuttles. But the interior of the ship looks huge with open spaces. Doesn’t seem reasonable. * same issues with Enterprise. The engineering area looks like some huge factory, not what we saw in TOS. What, no jeffreies tubes??? * ok, Nero & co are supposed to be future romulans. Where are the forehead ridges? Also, romulans aren’t stronger then humans (this was already established in trek lore), so how could that one guy lift kirk up like that? * its not clear how much time passed between the defeat of Nero & the awards ceremony at the end. Sooo, how did Pike get promoted to Admiral in that time (and not just a first level admiral from the bars on his shoulders)??? Oh. And Kirk gets promoted from a cadet to the rank of Captain. Uhhh, that’s a jump of about 6 ranks!!!!! That’s a bit hard to believe!!!
  23. As these 4 are considered 'grand masters' of sf, I have no idea why anyone would need to be weaned away from them. When it comes to "literarily respectable sf writers, whatever those are, are IMO, poor SF writers. They typically have poor understanding of science, much less the conventions of science fiction (usually they rehash some concepts that have been around in sf for decades, don't do anything new or original with the idea, but the literarti, being ignorant of sf, think its 'bold' and 'innovative'). As to the topic of the thread. While I am not a big fantasy reader, I DID read Goodkind. Overall I found him a pretty good writer, and one who is usually able to do a good job of presenting O'ist ideas in his work. His novels have different levels of philosophy in them. "Faith of the Fallen" is probably the first that really gets into the philosophy. If you are looking for short stories by him, sorry, but as far as I know, he really hasn't done any.
  24. Wasn't aware. Hadn't heard anything.