Three most excellent presents

Since the advent of gift cards, presents haven’t been nearly as exciting as when I actually got-orgave-gifts. Yet thanks to family I got 3 very excellent gifts.

1) Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Okay, I asked for this one as my copy seems to have disappeared into the ethers. Given my inclination to mangle punctuation and some grammar, this is simply an indespensible guide. Note to Nikita and the nitwits: USE THIS BOOK!

2) The Killing Joke written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Brian Bolland. Released as a one shot in 1988, TKJ is thought by many (myself included) to be the best Joker story ever told. Released in a deluxe edition back in March, the new version, aside from being a HC, contains recoloring of the book by Bolland to better reflect what he wanted for the original book. There’s also an intro by Tim Sale and an epilogue by Bolland himself. Despite Moore somewhat disowning his own work, saying it’s not his best, TKJ is the Batman story all others should be judged by.

3) Genesis Live: When in Rome. Taken from the Rome gig on Genesis’ 2007, 20 date world tour, this 3 DVD set finds the band in fine, if slightly geriatric form. The concert itself is split over two DVD’s, while the third disc is a documentary of the tour’s origins and ends at opening night. Phil Collins, clearly saying goodbbye to the high notes he once hit, still sounds in fine form. When Mike Rutherford picks up his 12 string for some of the older, Gabriel era material, no one plays the guitar better. The hilight for me (aside from some great nods to the past) is the drum duet between Collins and Chester Thompson. It begins on stools and graduates to their respective drumkits and is just amazing to behold. Clocking in at 2 and a half hours, When in Rome is a great souvenier of a band that has never gotten the respect it so richly deserves.

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8 comments

  1. Style Guides come and go, but the mere fact that Strunk and White has outlasted all of them is a testament to its value. And given it’s usefulness, nitwits will likely avoid it like the plague. After all, when you’re as “smart” and “revolutionary” as they are, who needs silly things like punctuation and grammar rules and/or logic? =)

  2. lol Too true, Rich. Elements of Style is the best old standby, imho. That and the Chicago Elements of Style are sitting beside me, holding my extra coffee cups. (Kidding! )

  3. If you are doing non-fiction, one of the best in my opinion is the MLA Stylesheet. The information on the proper way to do attributions in a long work is priceless. Too many writers I have encountered recently fail to provide proper documentation for their material.

  4. Still got TKJ in the comic stacks, along with a leather bound Complete Frank Miller Batman and first edition Arkham Asylum from 1989.

  5. sadly, I lost my original TKJ long ago; but I do have The Frank Miller Batman, but never got the Arkham Asylum; there is a 15th anniversary edition, of it I want to pick up though.

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