Staff Favorite: Putting the Marvel Back in Miracleman

Miracleman: A Dream of Flying (Book 1)
Written by: The Original Author (Alan Moore)
Illustrated by: Gary Leach
Located in the Graphic Novel Section (GN MOO)

Summary: KIMOTA! With one magic word, a long forgotten legend lives again! Freelance reporter Michael Moran always knew he was meant for something more-now, an unexpected series of events leads him to reclaim his destiny as Miracleman! The ground-breaking graphic novel that heralded a literary revolution begins here in A DREAM OF FLYING. After nearly two decades away, Miracleman uncovers his origins and their connection to the British military’s ‘Project Zarathustra’ – while his alter ego, Michael Moran, must reconcile his life as the lesser half of a god.


After 30 years of on-going legal battles, Marvel Comics, finally has the right to release the original Alan Moore run of Miracleman. The series began back in 1982 and was published in a black and white British magazine called WarriorWarrior, at the time, decided to hire a young up-and-coming writer, named Alan Moore to revive a 1950s comic book, called Marvelman, which featured a superhero who received powers by uttering the word Kimota (at the time the most popular superhero in the world was Captain Marvel, so many companies would blatantly rip off his origin). After a brief run, Warrior ran out of money and was forced to cease publication of the book (it was also publishing Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta at the time). After that an American company, Eclipse Comics, began re-issuing the series in color, but had to change the name to Miracleman because of on-going legal disputes with Marvel Comics. Moore would continue writing Miracleman until 1989, when his protege Neil Gaiman took over the series. In 1989, Eclipse went bankrupt and the series was never finished. From that point on, Miracleman, became a sources of legal contention, unresolved until 2011. Because there was no clear indication of who owned the series, re-releases of the Miracleman was not allowed. It was such a rare item that older issues of it would go for up to $1000 on ebay. Eventually, Neil Gaiman created a mini-series called 1602 for Marvel, and used all of the proceeds to wrest legal control of the book away from Image Comics founder, Todd McFarlane. Gaiman even dedicated 1602 to McFarlane by saying “To Todd, for making me do this!”

If you are familiar with an of Alan Moore’s work, then Miracleman should be right up you alley. In it Moore begins his deconstruction of the superhero that he would go on to explore in books like, The Watchmen and V for VendettaIt would also pave the way for the gritty realistic superhero, that would show up in things like Frank Miller’s, The Dark Knight Returns or Warren Ellis’, The Authority.

You can find Miralceman on the New Book Shelf for the next three months or you can learn more about its history and themes in the following articles.

Books by Alan Moore

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“Poetry” in Full Bloom

 

If I national-poetry-monthlook 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you
” – Pablo Neruda

In 1996, the American Academy of Poets began recognizing the month of April as National Poetry Month. This month long initiative was implemented to bring awareness to the “art of poetry”.  The goal of the academy (in part) is to introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry in innovative ways.  This includes making sure that poetry is part of the school curriculum and obtainable to students.  It is also a way for the academy and other writers to recognize the works of famous poets.

As somewhat of a self-proclaimed poet, I am often moved and inspired by beautiful prose and verse.  I grew up reading books by Shel Silverstein and later became inspired to write about the musings of my own soul.  For me, poetry is uncomplicated.  It is a way to visually express ideas using words.  Some of my favorite poets include:  Pablo Neruda, Ntozake Shange, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes.  It is my belief that writing brings beauty to the mind in much the same way that art brings beauty to the eyes.

If poetry is of interest to you, consider celebrating National Poetry Month by checking out a few poetry books at the PSC Library.  The American Academy of Poets compiled a list of 30 things you could do to recognize poetry as an integral part of the American culture.

Women’s History: A Legacy for the Future

March is a month beaming with historical pride and cultural celebrations .  Not only have we come to accept it as the gateway to a new season, but as the birthing of “new” day.  Born are not just the leaves and the flowers, but the American spirit that has been forged by the great works of those throughout history.  This includes the works of phenomenal women who have become pioneers and leaders in fields that were once dominated by men. Their works have become a launching pad for future generations to soar into new heights. During the month of March, we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments:

1849 Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.

1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony organize the National Woman Suffrage Association to fight for women’s rights, especially the right to vote. More than a century later, Anthony was honored when the U.S. Mint created a coin using her image.

1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.

1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode, who owned a furniture store in Chicago, intended the bed to be used in apartments.

1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours.

1970 Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

1981 Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice.

1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.

2005 Hillary Clinton becomes the first First Lady to be elected to public office. She joins Congress as a U.S. Senator from New York.

2009 Sonia Sotomayor is nominated as the 111th U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic American and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s top court.

For more information on famous women in history, stop by PSC Library and check out some of the titles that we have on display:

Little Cabin in the Woods

It’s cold in Chicago Heights, really cold. So… on a cold blustery day, where would you rather be? If you pictured the ideal place to zap yourself to, anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Cabin covered in snow.
This is where I would go.

Photo by Pixabay / CC BY

Yup, not Florida, not Mexico, not somewhere warm… but a little cabin all covered in snow. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with homesteading and outdoor living… blame the books: Little House on the Prairie, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain… you name it, I’ve probably read it. More recently I’ve upped the anty, trying to learn skills that I can apply to a homesteading venture: canning, wood crafting, cabin building, raising livestock. My favorite TV shows of late have been Frontier House and Alaska: The Last Frontier. Bring on the gardens, the chickens, and especially these guys:

Sheep in snow
I have a thing for sheep

Photo by Editor5807 / GNU FDL

So, for now I’m scouring the Prairie State College Library for books to help me out with my dreams and endeavors and practicing what I can in my little apartment covered in snow. How about you?

For books on homesteading topics, check these out!

Staff Favorite: Insert Coins and Search for 80’s Geek Nostalgia in Ready Player One

Ready Player One (1)

Ready Player One | Print Copy | eBook | Audiobook
by Ernest Cline
(FIC CLI)

It is the year 2044 and climate change, limited physical resources and The Great Recession has rendered life on earth virtually unbearable. To escape the misery, the majority of humans ignore the fact that they are living in vertically stacked trailer parks and spend their waking hours in the OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation where the sky’s the limit (think of OASIS as Facebook meets World of Warcraft meets the Matrix without all the mean AI robots). In the OASIS, people go to school, build and explore virtual worlds, experience space flight, play video games, listen to music, hang out with friends … in fact in the OASIS people can do pretty much anything they want, given that they have enough “credits”.

OASIS was created by an eccentric, socially awkward programmer named James Halliday (whose character is a mashup of Steve Jobs and Howard Hughes with a lesser known eccentric programmer, Richard Garriott thrown in), whom died five years before the story takes place.  After his death a video will is release to those in OASIS along with a book that was dubbed Anorak’s Almanac, which purports to be a journal written by James Halliday’s on his passions and obsessions. The video says that whoever can collect three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) that are hidden throughout the OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling stake in Halliday’s company. This becomes known as the Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday’s Easter Egg. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as “gunters,” a truncation of “egg hunters.” Gunters devote an enormous amount of time to studying 1980s pop culture, the decade Halliday grew up in and was perpetually obsessed with, in the hope it will assist them with locating and solving the puzzles involved with the Egg.

When we are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Wade Watts (an allusion to the Marvel superhero, Deadpool), it is five years after this announcement of the hunt. A lonely Oklahoman teen, Wade goes by the name of Parzival (a reference to a Arthurian Poem from Germany) in the OASIS. Obsessed with cracking Halliday’s puzzle Wade spends the majority of his free time studying Halliday’s passions for all things ‘80s, from Galaga to Rush to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

His journey spans the length and breadth of the OASIS, taking the you on a magical mystery tour to distant planets that are influenced by everything from Blade Runner to Back to the Future. Along the way he finds friendship, love, and the ultimate enemy in the shape of Innovative Online Industries, a powerful corporation who will stop at nothing to win the contest and turn the OASIS into a purely commercial destination.

Will Wade find the keys before the evil corporation? To find out stop by the library’s fiction shelves and grab a copy of Ready Player One. You can also continue reading after the jump for ways to watch the music, play the video games, and listen to the music referenced (or easter egged in the book).

Continue reading “Staff Favorite: Insert Coins and Search for 80’s Geek Nostalgia in Ready Player One”

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

The Giver  (The Giver Quart...As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of my favorite summer activities is reading outside, on the beach, in a hammock, in Grant Park, wherever I can find a comfortable spot. This summer a friend recommended that I try The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry. It was the best series I read this summer.

The Giver, the first book in the quartet, tells the tale of a young boy named Jonas who appears to live in an ideal community.  There is no strife, no fighting, everyone knows what to do and what is expected of them.  Then, Jonas is assigned an unusual role in the community, and suddenly everything around him seems different. It will take all his courage to fulfill his new purpose.

Each book in the series follows the story of a young man or woman forced to struggle against events much larger than themselves. Inspiring and thought-provoking, this quartet is the perfect summer read.

Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

Just Browsing

Just BrowsingI love to go to the library. Really go, not just log in from home or my phone. Of course I do that too, but here is one big reason I go — browsing. I just love what I find when I’m browsing the shelves. It may be something new to intrigue, something old and forgotten or something I wouldn’t have seen yesterday because it didn’t occur to me until this morning!

Here’s what I found today.

Continue reading “Just Browsing”

These are a Few of my Favorite Things!

I’ve always loved going to my local library.  As a child, my sisters and I took advantage of the summer reading programs.  We’d bring home our tracking sheets and write down every book we read, desperately trying to get to 100 titles so we could win the ultimate prize, a gift certificate to a nearby ice cream parlor.  Many people have great memories of using the library as a child, but forget that libraries can be just as much fun for adults.  Here are a few of my favorite things about the Prairie State College Library:

Fiction Collection – PSC Library’s fiction collection includes award winners, urban fiction, and graphic novels.  Come find the perfect book to read on the beach or by the pool.

DVDs – Did you know that PSC Library has a DVD collection?  Click here to browse.  The collection includes documentaries and educational videos, as well as more recent popular titles like The King’s Speech and The Artist.

Great Online Databases Anyone visiting the library can use the computers in the Computer Lab to access our online databases.  Students and faculty can also access these databases at home with a username and password.  Be sure to visit my two favorites, ARTstor and Films on Demand. ARTstor is a digital image library that provides access to beautiful images of art, sculpture, photography, and architecture.  You can either browse the collections, search for a specific work, or look up all the work by a specific artist.  Be warned, this database is as addictive as Pinterest.  My other favorite, Films on Demand, is a collection of videos that cover a wide range of topics.  View footage of TedTalks, plays, famous speeches, documentaries, and more.

Make sure to take advantage of all PSC Library has to offer this summer.  If you ever need help, stop by the reference desk or give us a call at (708) 709-3552.

 

Angels and Demons

Last week, the Catholic Church celebrated the election of Pope Francis.  As white smoke rose from the Sistine Chapel, signaling the end of the conclave, onlookers cheered and moved toward the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to view the new head of the Catholic Church.  

This historic moment made me think of one of my favorite books, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.  Set in Vatican City, Angels and Demons takes place during a fictional, less peaceful conclave. The top four Preferiti, cardinals most likely to be elected Pope, have been kidnapped and begin to turn up hideously murdered in various locations around Rome.  Harvard Professor Robert Langdon races against time to save the remaining cardinals and the fate of the papacy itself.  Like Brown’s other widely read novel, The DaVinci Code, this story is filled with puzzles, riddles, and clues that Langdon must decipher.  It’s the perfect combination of action and mystery.

Interested in learning more about the papal election process?  Check out these resources from the library:

   

Books We Love

https://i2.wp.com/syndetics.com/index.aspxLooking for a great book to read? Come check out the library’s Books We Love display.  A combination of classic literature and new treasures, these titles are our favorites.  We laughed, we cried, we couldn’t put them down!

Run through the streets of Vatican City with Robert Langdon in Angels and Demons as he tries to stop an Illuminati plot or travel to Barcelona shortly after the Spanish Civil War and enter the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books in The Shadow of the Wind.  Follow the troubled tale of addict and card dealer “Frankie Machine” in The Man with the Golden Arm or fight through the harsh post-apocalyptic landscape of The Road.

If you prefer comedy, try Wake Up, Sir! the tale of a young man whose personal valet, Jeeves, steers him through one difficult situation after another.  Romance enthusiasts should grab The Time Traveler’s Wife, a love story about a man with a genetic disorder who travels through time and the woman who waits for him.

For more great titles, check out the books below and come visit the Books We Love display in person.

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