I’m reading Ubby’s Underdogs: The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon by Brenton E. McKenna, Australia’s first Indigenous graphic novel. I’m looking forward to blogging about it when I finish. Magabala Books is launching this exciting tale of adventure and mystery on Friday week, 20 May in Broome. If you’re in the area join the fun at Sun Pictures – click on Ubby’s Invite to see the details.
And now for why you can call me Doc…
‘All of his [Poe’s] books were burned in the Great Fire. That’s thirty years ago – 2006.’
‘Ah’ said Mr Bigelow wisely, ‘One of those!’
‘Yes, one of those, Bigelow. He and Lovecraft and Hawthorn and Ambrose Bierce and all the tales of terror and fantasy and horror and, for that matter, tales of the future were burned. Heartlessly. They passed a law. Oh, it started very small. In 1999 it was a grain of sand. It began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressures; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves’
– Ray Bradbury (1950) The Martian Chronicles
Luckily for us, Ray Bradbury’s future didn’t eventuate. Now that we’re inundated with comics and graphic novels, I wrote a thesis on them (and it swallowed way too many years of my life). Cos my baby Graphic novels: Enticing teenagers into the library is out in the world, googleable for all, you can read it. I don’t recommend you read it all, just dip into the bits that take your fancy. There is a table of contents, but sadly no index.
This is a nice short summary:
This thesis investigated the information habits of teenagers, including their recreational reading and internet use, and means of encouraging library use among teenagers, particularly through graphic novel collections in public and school libraries in Australia. A mixed methods approach was used which included focus groups with teenagers, a survey of public libraries, and interviews with public and teacher librarians.
Things happened. Things changed. A girl full of light could get that light snuffed out, and when everything around her was dark, she could roll up in a ball and ignore the whole world, starting with her best friend.
I decided to read Shine by Lauren Myracle (Amulet Books, May 2011) because a few years ago I read ttyl and liked it. I hadn’t even read the blurb of Shine and expected something light and fun, um no. Since I’d only read one of LM’s books I wondered if her books were diverse, but someone on twitter said Shine was very different from LM’s other books. And I agree, Shine is amazing. It’s more like the books I usually read, full of angst and heartache, so I was quite at home, despite initially expecting something different. And Lauren Myracle has quite a way with her words, my favourite kind of author.
It was delicious telling secrets in the hushed privacy of the forest, where not even the sunlight could cut a path to the leaf-covered ground.
Shine is the harrowing tale of the brutal beating of Patrick because he’s gay. He’s left for dead at the Come ‘n’ Go gas station where he works, with a gasoline nozzle shoved in his throat and the words “Suck this, faggot” written on his chest in blood. Patrick’s friend Cat narrates the story of her search for who did this horrific crime. During her search for the truth she has to face the demons which have plagued her for the last three years. The story encompasses a myriad of issues: growing up gay in a small town with its ingrained homophobia; poverty; domestic violence; rape; drug abuse; as well as the mystery of who attacked Patrick. There’s even a slice of romance on the side.
whatever. maura can snort until all the brain-mucus has left her head and pooled at her feet. i will not respond.
I just discovered Will Grayson, Will Grayson by those gods of the letter John Green and David Levithan is the first YA novel with a gay main character to make it to the New York Times Best Seller List. Lee Wind told me this while spreading news of a new online book club for LGBTQ teenagers at The Trevor Project. The first book is Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, but who cares about that when the book club will officially launch with Will Grayson, Will Grayson on April 29. Woohoo!! Get reading if you haven’t already. I done my homework and how could I not love those two Wills? I did, it’s just Will2’s depression made things somewhat distressing.
what could i say? that i didn’t just feel depressed – instead, it was like the depression was the core of me, of every part of me, from my mind to my bones? that if he got blue, i got black? that i hated those pills so much, because i knew how much i relied on them to live?
I have a thing for reading words that could have come from my head. The words in my head continue with something else that I won’t write here.
i couldn’t say any of this. because, when it all comes down to it, nobody wants to hear it. no matter how much they like you or love you, they don’t want to hear it.
Or you’ve told them so many times, the record is well and truly shattered. There was one person I could tell these words to. It was those same words he thought and told me, that killed him. Reading Will2’s thoughts made me think what I thought every time SpiderSam spoke the same words that went through my head,
Excuse me, that’s my line!?
Jack and I found another poem Sam wrote. He wrote it in his high school folder so that might have been 1998. Compare the progression of his poetry in 12 years.
far from sound
by Sam Cropley
I’m from an english background
my life is far from sound
for I am bound by the rules of society
even if it doesn’t apply to me
by its floors, by its see of doors
by the people that control
by the thugs that roll
You for your money and possessions
for u don’t carry any weapons
for you see no need
as my life isn’t run by greed
As with At the door I changed no words. I only added a title and (not much) punctuation. It b all his own words