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8.15.2006 - [Bambi And Her Pink Gun Assassinated?] Hide

"Johnny Bacardi" has let me know that there's a strong change that the English translation of [BAMBi And Her Pink Gun] by Kaneko Atsushi might be "on hiatus". That means only 2 out of 6 volumes might see the US (not counting the series-ending [BAMBi Alternative]).

For the evidence, see this thread from the DMP Books message board, where the admin tersely breaks the news. This is absolutely horrible in my eyes, since I was counting on the English translation to accentuate my enjoyment of the Japanese originals. Plus, I was excited that more people in the US would be able to find out about Kaneko Atsushi and his work.

Time will tell if the other 4 volumes see the US market, but you can still purchase the first two, which are quite great, but sadly incomplete as a narrative, since things really pick up in the next two volumes.

In any case, I can only assume the first two volumes sold poorly, and that was seen as excuse enough to enact a slow cancellation. Still, don't let that stop you importing the Japanese originals, and looking into [SOIL], his latest, truly amazing series. That's also available monthly in [Comic Beam] magazine, which is worth tracking down.


8.14.2006 - [The Last Sleater-Kinney Concert] Hide

I loved Sleater-Kinney. I use the past tense because their last official concert as a band was on 8.12.2006, in Portland, Oregon, at the Crystal Ballroom. I took some vacation time to fly to see them; I saw one of their first concerts in 1995, and I thought it fitting to also see the last.

It goes without saying that they were ultra-awesome, in front of a sold out "hometown" crowd. I didn't care for the opening band, or even that their friend "Ed" from Pearl Jam stopped by. All I wanted was Corin, Carrie and Janet, and they played a show to end all shows, at least for me.

There's no way I can describe it, but here are 10 pictures that should set the stage for you. Click on each to see a larger, uncropped version (some of the small ones are magnified). They're Carrie heavy because I adore her, and because I was on her side of the stage. The only way it could have been better was if Laura MacFarlane (the original drummer) could also have magically joined them. No matter - it was amazing.

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge

Sleater-Kinney, 8.12.2006, click to enlarge


8.1.2006 - [Use Charity Navigator For Smart Donations] Hide

As I mentioned last month, I'm in the process of reshaping my life a bit, to let my values guide me more than popular culture has as of late. This is a hard process at times, but it's quite satisfying, and one element of these changes is putting my mind to common problems, like how to best help those who need it.

In the past, I was all about volunteering my time, since my financial resources were meager. Now that I'm blessed with more success, I'm very excited to actually get to donate money to various programs, of which there are thousands. To cull the wheat from the chaff, I've been using Charity Navigator, the leading resource for finding charities that not only do good work, but are fiscally responsible. It might not be obvious to some, but charities come in all shapes and sizes, and even the biggest might be paying their CEO too much, or spending too much acquiring donations, rather than in applying the money to their project. Charity Navigator studies their financial paperwork, and offers and clear and concise report on hundreds of charities in the US, so you can find the ones that meet your particular vision.

I've already picked out a few dozen that I want to explore further, and I'll be talking about my choices later, as I start my donation plan. In general I'm interested in food banks, services for the homeless and the more "needy", along with international aid, both in materials and more direct assistance. I'm shying away from environmental concerns, not that I don't believe that they are important, but because I think people should come before my love of plants and animals at this time. Of course, the Earth houses everything including us, and we are called to be good stewards, so I'm sure to support those "green" projects soon enough.

Yes, I'm actually quite serious about all of this, so I have a separate savings account now solely for this project. My point in telling you this isn't to highlight my personal actions, which are nothing compared to those of others, but perhaps to inspire others to start similar campaigns. Plus, since I'm a neophyte in this area, I'm sure others might be able to share some programs that they are currently supporting. Why not tell me about them in the message board, so I can find out more?



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