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December 11, 2007 12:00 PM

Drew: A Few of Our Favorite things

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I've put together a list of some of my favorite things that have fed me creatively in 2007. Take a peek and then share some of your favorite things of the year by leaving a comment.

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I was late to the party on this incredible TV series by Joss Whedon. I found this DVD boxed set on sale this summer. After watching the first episode, I couldn't get enough of this cross between Star Trek and the Wild, Wild West. I highly recommend it.

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If there was one sports icon I could emulate it would be Buck O'Neil. This is a great book that captures the essence of one of the real American heroes.

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I actually got this Paul Cotton CD entitled When the Coast is Clear in 2005, but it is so amazing that I had to include it. If I had only one CD to listen to on a deserted island, it would be this masterpiece by one of the most underrated artists in rock and roll. Cotton is a member of the country rock band, Poco, but this is a solo effort. It's infused with soulful guitar, great vocals and nautical themes. Simply brilliant. You can learn a lot more about Paul Cotton at http://www.paulcotton.com/.

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A collection of great Dick Tracy strips by Chester Gould. Ahhhh, how I miss the days of great comic strips. Want to know the next great comic strip? Go to http://www.gocomics.com/culdesac/. You can also see it everyday in the Rocky Mountain News. There is also a great blog by the creator of Cul de Sac at http://richardspooralmanac.blogspot.com/

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A coffee table book about the art of Jeff Smith, creator of the comic book series, Bone.

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Check out this fantastic collection of Tex Avery cartoons on DVD. Avery was the master of comic timing and over-exaggerated antics. If you saw Roger Rabbit, this DVD will show you where it all came from.

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I'm still working my way through this biography on the life and career of the greatest cartoonist of all time. It is incredibly compelling.

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A great collection of Farley strips by the late great Phil Frank. Phil passed away in September. I miss him.

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Part of my Flash animation education. I'm still learning Flash so I can bring you animated cartoons in 2008. Chris Georgenes is a trailblazer in the field, and this book is terrific. Check out his website at http://www.mudbubble.com and the fantastic flash cartoon Andrea's Xmas list at http://www.keyframer.com

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I love Pirates and all things nautical. Someday, I'd love to learn to sail. Until then I'll read about it. This is about Pirates and faith, an interesting combo, and a light read.

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I became a Rush fan after doing my first concert review on them back in 1978. I had no idea who they were at the time and spent the entire concert asking those around me for song titles. I've always found the drum talents of Neil Peart mesmerizing. This CD isn't as upbeat as past efforts (the song, Bravado, from the Roll the Bones album is one of my favorites), but it's very good. The instrumental Malignant Narcissism was just nominated for a Grammy. One listen, and you'll know why.

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I first read the book Ghost Rider by Rush drummer Neil Peart after my first wife, Debbie, passed away in 2004. It chronicled Peart's difficult time dealing with the loss of his daughter and wife just eight months apart. I could relate. This book is Peart's latest travelogue written about his motorcycle trips taken from one Rush concert venue to the next. His style is conversational and though I don't always agree with him, particularly on matters of faith, I find his books very good reads. His website at http://www.neilpeart.net/ is always worth a look.

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This a captivating behind-the-scenes look at, in my opinion, the greatest American rock band in history. I find Tom Petty's steadfast commitment to his art inspirational. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will perform the halftime entertainment at the Super Bowl.

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Tracy Ringolsby, the Hall of Fame baseball writer at the Rocky, had extra tickets for this concert during spring training in Prescott, Ariz. He invited my wife, Marcia, and me along. My dad was a huge Ray Price fan, and I could feel Dad's presence during the whole concert. I'll always be grateful to Tracy for the chance he gave me to remember my dad in such a special way.

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This collection of David Peterson's comic creation is breathtaking. It's a kind of a Lord of the Rings meets Mighty Mouse kind of thing.

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A book celebrating the art of Alex Ross, the best comic artist of all time. His watercolor renditions of Superman and Batman are as good as it gets.

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I grew up on the Lone Ranger. Check out this new series of comic books.

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I found this new drawing paper this year. It's cheaper than the Strathmore paper I used to use, which makes our accounting department happy. And the quality is every bit as good.

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A look back at, Bullwinkle, an American institution, which, after reading this book, I found out was really created mostly in Mexico. A terrific tribute to a real genius, Jay Ward. This, along with season one of Bullwinkle on DVD, was another part of my Flash animation education. That and a heckuva lot of fun.

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This is the first book I plan on reading after the first of the year. I was a huge Maravich fan as a kid. He's the only athlete I ever wanted to ask for an autograph (a BIG no-no in our business). I'm just thankful I had the chance to see him play in the old-timers game during the 1984 NBA all-star weekend.



Discussion

  • December 10, 2007

    10:33 PM

    Charlie77 writes:

    Great list Drew, I'll have to look into a few of those. I am especially interested in the Pirate book. It's a topic that has always interested me, and currently my sons are big into pirates and the new movies.

    Recently I started a series about a British sailer that rises through the ranks to captain and beyond during the late 1700s early 1800s. It describes the time period of buccaneer skirmishes of the American Revolution on through the large scale battle of Trafalgar. The author is Alexander Kent and he does an amazing job of describing the sailing battles.

  • December 10, 2007

    10:47 PM

    Mike writes:

    Drew,

    The two most powerful works I've seen this year are both movies.

    "Across the Universe" for a re-telling of the 60's counter-culture done to Beatles songs. The way the songs are covered often gives an entirely new (at least to me) interpretation of the lyrics and songs themselves.

    By far, my favorite this year was "Once." It is an indy film about two musicians in Ireland pursuing their respective dreams. The music is very raw indy/Irish rock. It is truly music with heart.

    *FYI I ended up buying the soundtracks to both movies as the music was so good.

    Mike

  • December 14, 2007

    11:31 AM

    Brian Barkey writes:

    Drew,

    Amazing art!

    What's the future for a football team that's "Mathematically Still Alive?" What's coming up next for the Broncos???

    A huge fan!

    Brian

  • December 14, 2007

    3:28 PM

    Brad writes:

    Hope from Snakes and Arrows sounds like it should be in the Serenity/Firefly soundtrack

  • October 10, 2010

    3:32 PM

    Adria Hammerly writes:

    I need to say, as much as I appreciated reading what you had to convey, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while. It's as if you had an excellent grasp on the matter, but you forgot to include your readers. Perhaps you should think about this from more than one position. Or probably you shouldn't generalise so much. It's better if you think of what others might have to say as opposed to just going for a gut reaction on the issue. Consider modifying your own thought process and giving other people who might go through this the benefit of the doubt.

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