Duck Duck Book

addendum to number 36 – portland indy
08.8.2006, 10:23 am
Filed under: events, films

Portland Indy Animation Festival 2006 [film event].

Local independent animated films will show at the Hollywood Theatre this Friday and Saturday (11-12 August) at 7.20 and 9.20 p.m., $5 per show. I can’t say much more than that, since I don’t know a speck about the films, their directors, or the history of this possibly annual festival, but it sure sounds great!


addendum to number 36 – portland zine
08.8.2006, 10:21 am
Filed under: events

Portland Zine Symposium 2006 [event].

The sixth annual festival of zines, still free and open to all, runs this weekend, Friday-Sunday, 11-13 August, (mostly) at Smith Hall at Portland State University.  The main space will be full of tables filled with great stuff brought to you by zinesters and zine-y organizations; and there will be workshops (Saturday & Sunday), a potluck (Thursday night), an open mic reading (Friday night), a zinester prom (Saturday night), and a program of short films (Sunday afternoon). 

If you decide to come, stop by the library’s table and say hello, or come to our workshop on Sunday afternoon!

36 – fables
08.2.2006, 10:52 am
Filed under: comix, fiction

Fables [comic book series] / Bill Willingham, writer ; Lan Medina, Mark Buckingham, Craig P. Russell, Tony Akins, pencillers ; Steve Leialoha, Craig Hamilton, Jimmy Palmiotti, inkers ; Sherilyn van Valkenburgh, Daniel Vozzo, colorists ; Todd Klein, letterer.
New York : DC Comics, c2002- .
[MCL call number: GN WILLINGHA; number of copies and holds vary for each volume]

Imagine that the fairy tales are real. All those people (including the animal people), they’re all regular folks. Then imagine that there is an enormous war in the world where they live, and that after getting their asses kicked by the forces of evil, the fables are forced to flee their world. Some make it through the gap into, well, to here. Modern, present-day, our-version-of-earth. The one you’re in right now, where you’re reading this.

Now the fables have established a kingdom in exile in New York City — those who got out have, anyway, Beauty, the Beast, Little Boy Blue, Cinderella, and others. Except, obviously if you’re one of the Three Little Pigs or Thumbelina, you’re not going to blend right into 21st century urban life, so the animal and other un-human-looking folk live at “The Farm” in upstate New York. The fable community has its own laws, institutions, holidays, traditions, and taboos — in short, it’s a whole culture, and the fact that fable society has to exist undetected underneath the surface of human society puts a huge amount of stress on everyone in Fabletown. The tension between the fables at The Farm and those in Fabletown is palpable as well, and of course everyone fantasizes (or schemes) about the possiblity of someday returning home.

As volume one opens, Fabletown’s deputy mayor Snow White is busy managing government for figurehead mayor Old King Cole, and when her sister Rose Red disappears under mysterious circumstances, she puts Bigby Wolf (formerly the Big Bad Wolf, now reformed and on the job as Fabletown sheriff) in charge of the investigation. Through this whodunit we are introduced to all the major fairytale players, and the story begins.

N.b.: Fables is up to #51 in its comic book form, and the single issues have so far been reissued in seven trade paperbacks (issues #1-47). The first issue of Willingham and company’s spin-off series, Jack of the Fables, was just released this July — for that you have to go to the comic book store cos it’s not in graphic novel form yet.

36 – military draft handbook
08.2.2006, 10:50 am
Filed under: social sciences

The military draft handbook : a brief history and practical advice for the curious and concerned / James Tracy, editor. 
San Francisco, CA : Manic D Press, c2006.
[MCL call number: 355.2236 M644 2006; six copies, no holds]

Anyone who is paying attention knows that U.S. military recruitment efforts are up.  The wars in Afganistan and Iraq have seriously overtaxed the military’s personnel resources, and new recruits are needed to meet current and future obligations. 

It’s hard to imagine the government instituting a new draft, but then, they have gone to a lot of effort over the last fifty years or so to make sure that young men between the ages of 18 and 25 are registered with the Selective Service System.  And even if there isn’t a formal draft, it’s clear that the military is willing to go to lengths to convince young people to join.  (See, for example, the article “Sister, Uncle Sam Wants You Too,” by Vanessa Huang, reviewed in Duck Duck Book number 18.)

So, if you want to be ready to deal with military recruiters, or be more prepared for the possible advent of a formal draft, or even if you just feel like you should know more about the issues surrounding military recruitment, take a look at The Military Draft Handbook.  You’ll find a brief historical overview of the draft in the United States, peppered with helpful statistics and personal stories of draftees; information about the mechanics of a possible draft in today’s United States; methods for draft evasion that work and don’t work, and why; and a bit of information about dissent against military recruitment.  The main text is followed with some helpful appendixes and a short bibliography. 

Overall, The Military Draft Handbook is instructive and clearly written, and at a mere 128 pages it shouldn’t take you too long to read.

36 – field guide to roadside
08.2.2006, 10:49 am
Filed under: technology

A field guide to roadside technology / Ed Sobey. 
Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, c2006.
[MCL call number: 625.79 S677f 2006; two copies, no holds]

Perhaps you have used one of those lovely guides that help you to tell the difference between two similar mushrooms, or that illuminate why elk poop is different from deer poop.  Most of us know that if we need help with wildflowers, mushrooms & fungus, trees, birds, small mammals, animal tracks, minerals, and the like, there are field guides aplenty to come to our aid.  They are pocket-sized, and generally their contents are arranged so that you can find lots of helpful facts when all you actually know (for example) is that it’s April and you’re looking at a small, white wildflower in the Columbia Gorge.

But what if your interests lie elsewhere?  What if you look up at the wires on the telephone pole and wonder which ones are telephone wires and which are electricity?  Or what if you want to know the name of the kind of drawbridge that swings around instead of lifting up into the sky? 

The Field Guide to Roadside Technology is ready to come to your aid.  Information in the guide is arranged by location.  For example, if you’re wondering about the drawbridge, go to section 2, “Bridges.”  If you need help with telephone wires, turn to section 9, “On Utility Poles and Towers.”  Each entry explains a bit about the behavior and habitat of the item, and then gives information about how the item works, details of its unique characteristics, and a few interesting facts.  Black and white photographs illustrate each entry, and there is an index at the end of the volume.

And, Sobey’s author photo (page 205) shows him riding an elephant.

N.b., there are now several field guides to things you may never find in an actual field — Quirk Books has a whole series, including guides to gestures, stains, cocktails, tools, dreams, and more.  Multnomah County Library has a few of them:

Field guide to stains : how to identify and remove virtually every stain known to man / by Virginia M. Friedman, Melissa Wagner, and Nancy Armstrong. 
Philadelphia : Quirk Books ; San Francisco : Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, c2002.
[MCL call number: 648.5 F911f 2002; 14 copies, no holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]
Field guide to gestures : how to identify and interpret virtually every gesture known to man / by Nancy Armstrong and Melissa Wagner. 
Philadelphia : Quirk Books ; San Francisco : Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, c2003.
[MCL call number: 302.222 A737f 2003; three copies, no holds]

Field guide to produce : how to identify, select, and prepare virtually every fruit and vegetable at the market / by Aliza Green. 
Philadelphia : Quirk Books ; San Francisco : Distributed in North America by Chronicle Books, c2004.
[MCL call number: 641.64 G795f 2004; 11 copies, no holds]

but there are many more, by different authors and publishers.  Try searching your library’s catalog for books with the phrase “field guide” in the title.  You might be surprised at what you find!