Happy St George's Day!

Did you know...?
St George is also the patron saint of Catalonia, Portugal, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Palestine and Moscow.

Don't forget....
the celebrations in Birmingham this weekend!

Global Market Information Database

Further to requests from some of you, we looked into adding further countries to GMID (accessible via Athens). We now have 50 new Travel & Tourism reports available, bringing the total to 77. There are also 282 Country Factfiles. 'Travel & Tourism' as a text search will allow you to view all the reports (click on 'Country Reports' on the left). The contents include a summary, key trends, market indicators and consumer demographics with sections looking at issues specific to each country. On the left are the industry reports which offer tourism statistics.

Just a mention or two

I'm on a road trip this weekend, so no real post, but...

I caught a glimpse of the rough Spirit trailer. I have been not terribly interested (and even less optimistic) about this movie from the get-go, and this hasn't changed my mind. I have a feeling the film will fall into the great bin that holds Billy Zane's Phantom and Alex Baldwin's Shadow movies.

This poster doesn't seem to be creating too much of a kerfuffle, certainly compared to the dread MJ statuette and some covers; there's a graduate paper in image analysis for someone there.

A beautiful Saturday!

Today was the best day of the year here in Seattle, sunny all day with temperatures that must have hit seventy. The lakes were filled with boaters, parks were crowded with ballplayers and runners, the Dalai Lama was making an appearance this afternoon at a program at the football stadium, and there was a green technology fair at the convention center.

So, of course, I spent the shank of the afternoon in a dark room at class on writing comics.

Class Act

Shary Flenniken, whom you may remember from her strip "Trots and Bonnie" in the old National Lampoon, was teaching a class called Scripting the Graphic Novel for Writers and Artists at the Richard Hugo House, a local center for the literary arts. The class was scheduled to coincide with Marjane Satrapi's appearance in town on Monday.

I had been expecting a class focusing on the details of full-script versus "Marvel" methods and similar technical issues. I guess this betrays my formalist bent; Shary's presentation, well-received by the eleven attendees, ranged from creativity exercises and brainstorming methods to scriptwriting practices and publishing concerns.

Most of the students were writers first and foremost; some of them had had little or no exposure to comics. More than one was looking for the appropriate vehicle for her story, or another way of telling it, after having tried prose and screenplay. There was a strong creative energy in the class and a great deal of respect for the promise of the "graphic novel" form.

Shary provided guidance in visual- and action-based writing that was on-target for the audience and the context. And she told funny stories, too!

check out Shary's website

A is A
There's a huge announcement bouncing around the internets right now:

It looks like at long last Steve Ditko is going to have a new book coming out. I'm sure I'm going to get it, and I'm sure I will be thrilled to see new art from one of the greats, but I'm not as sure that I'm going to enjoy reading it. We'll see. Check out the details on Ditko Looked Up.

Interim linkage

Here are a few pieces from my recent bookmarks file:

The First Second feature Mentor's Corner has had some great essays on the structure and function of comics: Steven Seagle on Beginning-Middle-End and Calistra Brill on Time caught my attention in particular. These approaches provide a contrast to Neil Cohn's psycholinguistic investigations, which drive me crazy (but which I always read).

And speaking of alternate perspectives, it was interesting to find a fairly comprehensive overview of comics history on a marketing job search website.

A new journal, Graphoscope, should soon be joining the ongoing conversation, although I am always made a bit chary by the overuse of the word "criticism."

Just for fun, The Daily Batman is self-explanatory. I wonder how long it can go before it gets dull.

This weekend, I am passing up the Dalai Lama for Shary Flenniken - I'll tell you all about it.

Research on...the Olympics

A new A5 subject booklet has been published by Intute this month, Internet resources for Olympic studies. The booklet offers a taster to some of the best online information resources for researching the Olympic Games, which have been selected, evaluated and made available through the Intute. Categories include history of the games, London 2012, Olympic people, research, event management and contemporary issues in sport.

A search in LeisureTourism (non-Athens passwords apply) will also reveal some useful results. The abstracts database is very thorough as it also searches within books for relevant chapters. The 'In Brief and In Depth' tab can be searched for full-text articles and there are a number related to the Olympics. Don't forget Athens - many of the databases should have articles to support your studies.

A related conference, Staging Mega Sporting Events - Opportunities & Challanges is also happening on 24th April 2008, free admission and open to students, academics and researchers at Coventry University Business School. Special focus will be given to the Olympics.