Added 1 new A* page:Okay so last Friday, while a new front door was being put on my apartment in 18 degree F weather, rendering my A* workspace temporarily uninhabitable, I spent the day hitting all the town hot spots! That's let's see six parks, the big cozy coffee shop / cafe (three times: breakfast, lunch, and hot cocoa!), the student-operated creamery on the university campus (chocolate cookie dough ice cream! : d), the university libraries (signed up for a university library card!), and the public library (got a public library card!).|
Loads of fun! On the largely empty uppermost floor of the university's "old" library (power strips and disarrayed blinds—a far cry from their swank "new" library adjoining it, with a central atrium where a student musical recital was going on), I found some good stuff! In their "oversize" section, this not-so-little Little Nemo in Slumberland collection—sized to match the original broadsheets in which it appeared, ie nearly the size of a full modern newspaper page! Imagine a single comic taking up the whole page, every Sunday!
Much bigger than the already pretty big editions I had from Fantagraphics, the two volumes of this giant (and heavy! you'd basically have to lay these on a strong table and sort of crane yourself over them, I guess) effort from Sunday Press Books, for those of you who don't want to lug them out of the university library in a cart, *are* listed on Amazon, for a suitably hefty price. The color seemed to me to be a little faded compared to the Fantagraphics releases, but they definitely give you a much better impression of the sheer size at which newspaper readers early in the last century got to enjoy Winsor McCay's wild flights of comic fancy.
Also stuck away in that old upper floor is the university's pretty decent science fiction and fantasy book collections; here's a fun title from classic (1967) sci-fi for you:
According to the book's forward, this was one of two book titles an editor came up with—then I guess they got Philip K. Dick to write a story for the title! I haven't read the story but I guess maybe I should some day.
And I found where they keep their comics (or "graphic novels," if you like : P), that's the really important part—although their computerized directories also seemed to show a bunch stowed in locked "compact storage" in the basement of the new library—a pretty interesting arrangement of long rows of book stacks on tracks, that slide right up against each other and lock in place, so you can't get at their pulpy insides. : o They also had a long row or two of unlocked compact stacks down there, and (after cranking them apart with the large hand wheel conveniently situated on the ends of each stack) those had tons of really old books on them, which is kind of neat, but no comics I could spot. : P
I also of course mapped out the location of the comics and sci-fi collections in the public library too—smaller collections there and perhaps overall more recent and less varied, but still respectable.
So that was productive! The final big discovery was in the town's frozen botanical garden: a coyote. : o I only saw him or her from a distance, and they trotted off up a lightly forested meadow (trailed by a member of the local tiding/charm/flock/gulp/murder/mischief/tittering/conventicle/tribe/congregation—I am not not making those up—of magpies, who view the garden as their turf) before I had any sort of chance to grab a photo, but it confirmed the rumor I'd heard about a coyote in the park over conversation at Thanksgiving dinner with a local family (old friends of my dad's : ); the theory is that the coyote or coyotes are tempted in by a chicken coop on the premises of one of the adjoining houses.