Happy Merry Happy


Some holiday cheer courtesy Tim Danko.

And here’s one from Jo Waite.

Finally, “A Noam Chomsky Christmas”.


QuickArse is now available in Indonesian.

(Also English if you’re into that kinda thing.)

Back in California visiting my family for Christmas. Haven’t been back in ages.

Since I’m in the market for books for my two (soon to be three) nieces, I’ve been thinking a bit about the children’s books I was raised on, and what constitutes a good one.

I cut my teeth on the Greek and Norse myths of Ingri and Edgar d’Aulaire. They and the Tintin books seemed to be well known to most folks in Massachusetts, but when we moved to the West coast they were much harder to find. The d’Aulaires specialized in printmaking, and their pictures gave their stories an old world feel that perfectly complemented these timeless stories. Just try to find one of their books now.

After that it was the Tove Jansson’s Moomins, Peanuts, old copies of Mad magazine, and Charles Addams’ collected New Yorker cartoons. (Yeah, I didn’t realize at the time how lucky I was.) I remember running home from first grade, enthused ’cause I’d spotted a new Addams cartoon in a magazine. I grew up thinking the social satire of Mad was normal, and that the Addams family house would be a fun place to live.

It’s a challenge to find good books for kids that aren’t patronizing. One I managed to bring from Cambodia – “In the Land of the Elephants”, by Srey Bandol. And there’s classics to dig up, like Dr. Seuss.

A while back I got my hands on a copy of McSweeney’s: a nice bound landscape format book with an insert CD by They Might Be Giants. Today I’m looking at a similar landscape format book, but it’s ““Philadelphia Chickens” by Sandra Boynton. I’m finding the second one vastly more entertaining. (Maybe it’s my tastes that are changing.)


Maybe I should take a stab at illustrating one. Fortunately Art Spiegelman has jumped in with the “Little Lit” series, which Barbara Kerr first clued me in on. Also on the ‘Oversize’ rack, now you can find Sfar’s ‘Little Vampire‘! I’m looking forward to the next few holidays and birthdays.

And on notions of Childhood: Did Calvin and Hobbes grow up to be the protagonists in Fight Club?


Young Adults?

Harry Potter? Try Dennis Potter. Or better yet, D. Manus Pinkwater.

Happy and merry, all. Don’t put too much rum in the Egg Nog.


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