I want to reserve this little bit of paragraph space to mention a little public thank you to Phil Hendrie, who's radio show I listen to on the computer. It's held me through many hours of drawing comics, and is, quite simply, the funniest, most creative show on the radio. Friday night of the 23rd will be his last program before he moves on to pursue other venues for his creativity. Thankfully, he's maintaining his website with old audio clips and archived shows, indefinitely. If you're someone in need of some fine audio entertainment other than music, I recommend picking up a backstage pass. Some of you may have recognized a few Phil Hendrie-esque names slipping into Better Days once in a while as tribute to him. He'll be missed.
And now, onto the books.
I've loaded myself up with reading material, lately. At the recommendation of others, I picked up the first book in CS Forester's Horatio Hornblower books. It's a very easy read and I'm breezing through it quite nicely. It follows the career of Horatio Hornblower, who seems to attain rank from book to book. The author covers a series of actions in which Hornblower grows from an unsure, green midshipman, to a more bold, experienced one, who's got a taste for action. Each chapter is a self-contained little story about one of his adventures. They're fairly brisk, easy to grasp, and fun, and each one is titled like "Hornblower and Something in Italics that Partains to the Story". I also grabbed The Fountainhead to tackle when I finish with CS Forester. The Fountainhead is another enormous Ayn Rand novel. She wrote it before Atlas Shrugged and it interests me because it focuses more on the individual lives of the characters, instead worldwide cataclysm. It also concerns how Objectivism relates to the arts, from what I hear.
I also re-acquired the Cartoon History of the Universe books. I used to have the first one when I was a young teenager, but I'd since lost it. For anyone looking for an entertaining overview on recorded history, I'd recommend these books. The presentation is nothing short of amazing. The fact that he did all this research and sat down to compose everything from the Big Bang to the Rennaissance in three large books, is quite impressive and amazing. I'd just finished re-reading the first book for the first time in over a decade. The humor is somewhat whimsical. I wouldn't call it stellar. It's very dependent on puns. But it's educational in a cute way. I'd recommend the books to anyone looking for an overview. There are certainly downsides to presenting such things in cartoon format. He often simply glosses over some very pivotal and important spans of time that are worth more detail. Also, the author, Larry Gonick, is your typical University Leftist, judging from his brand of sarcasm in many of the historical depictions. He merely breezed past Alexander the Great's conquest of everything between Egypt and India in a few of the book's final pages. The most noteworthy thing he had to say about Alexander was his sarcastic reference to him as being Aristotle's "revenge" against him being passed up for promotion to the head of a philosophy school founded by Plato, when he died (Artistotle was Alexander's personal tutor when he was a boy).
The New Worlds comic is coming along very well. It's all in color and it looks great, in my opinion. I'll be unveiling what I have on July 4th, which is a Teusday. After that point, it'll start updating once per week, starting July 12th. A few of my friends have already gotten a sneaky sneak at the comics and their comments are very encouraging.