Lots o’ Links (9/14/11): More Free Comics & Books, Gnatrat, and Nerds

14 Sep
A Picture of a eBook

eBooks: good. Free downloads not on my PC: bad. (Image via Wikipedia)

More stuff I don’t have time to talk about, but I want to share:

Michael Stern Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of eBooks, died last week. Hart did more than anybody to bring free books to the internet, and he did it legally. Thanks to his site, more than 100,000 books are available to anyone with internet access. From his obituary:

Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects…

Hart also predicted the enhancement of automatic translation, which would provide all of the world’s literature in over a hundred languages. While this goal has not yet been reached, by the time of his death Project Gutenberg hosted eBooks in 60 different languages, and was frequently highlighted as one of the best Internet-based resources…

Michael S. Hart left a major mark on the world. The invention of eBooks was not simply a technological innovation or precursor to the modern information environment. A more correct understanding is that eBooks are an efficient and effective way of unlimited free distribution of literature. Access to eBooks can thus provide opportunity for increased literacy. Literacy, and the ideas contained in literature, creates opportunity.

To celebrate the release of the new Ultimate Spider-Man #1 today, Marvel has announced Ultimate Spider-Man #0 as a free download on its Apple Marvel Comics app. If, like me, you don’t have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, you’re screwed… I wonder why apps don’t just work on one’s PC or laptop. (It appears to be a reprint of some or all of Ultimate Comics Fallout #4, the character’s first appearance. Can anyone confirm this?)

Cracked’s latest post is “7 Comic Characters Who Outlasted the Trends That Made Them.” Funny stuff, as usual. I never liked Cracked when it was a Mad Magazine copycat (except for when Don Martin moved over there), but the website is an often hilarious look at the real world.

About a month ago, Drew McWeeny (the only movie reviewer that matters, IMO) wrote an excellent, positive review of the new novel Ready Player One by the writer of Fanboys. He makes a couple of points well worth sharing:

In theory, I should be a huge fan of the film he wrote, “Fanboys.” … I found it so frustrating and awkward when I didn’t love it.  That’s a hard position to be in, because the first inclination is to give something a pass.  That’s just a human reaction.  I find, though, that when I am in that position, it is a stubborn point of pride for me that I have to be clear and on the record, and I have to set my personal feelings aside about the creators even if I’m afraid it’ll burn a bridge.  I don’t think you do any artist a favor by lying to them about your reaction to their work, and I don’t think you as an audience deserve to be soft-pedaled on something just because I know someone in the real world…

I don’t mind a certain wistful regard for one’s past, but our generation has grown up positively brain damaged by nostalgia.  I try to imagine my dad at the age of 40 getting all worked up over “The Mickey Mouse Club” or “Zorro” repeats, since that’s the equivalent of guys my age who still get weepy over “Flight Of The Navigator” or the animated “Transformers” episodes.  I understand that you liked certain things as a kid, and that’s wonderful for you.  I would never presume to tell you that you shouldn’t have enjoyed them, or that it’s in any way wrong for you to have enjoyed them.  What I have a problem with is this insistence on just digesting the same culture over and over and over, with your typical ’80s fanboy now serving as a sort of one-man Human Centipede, happily wallowing in the same few things ad infinitum.

Mark Martin, creator of the hilarious Gnatrat and 20 Nude Girls 20 (and some of my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics) has released a new Kickstarter-funded comic, Gnatrat Lives! Martin’s work is always brilliant and funny, and I will happily blind-buy anything he touches. And so should you! (More info in this post from the Marvel Masterworks Fan Site.)

This song will get stuck in your brain. Possibly forever:

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4 Responses to “Lots o’ Links (9/14/11): More Free Comics & Books, Gnatrat, and Nerds”

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  1. Lots o’ Links « All Day Comics - September 17, 2011

    […] Lots o’ Links (9/14/11): More Free Comics & Books, Gnatrat, and Nerds (alldaycomics.com) […]

  2. Speaking of Free Comics… « All Day Comics - September 17, 2011

    […] Lots o’ Links (9/14/11): More Free Comics & Books, Gnatrat, and Nerds (alldaycomics.com) […]

  3. New Model Army (or, Who Doesn’t Love Free Stuff?) « All Day Comics - September 17, 2011

    […] Lots o’ Links (9/14/11): More Free Comics & Books, Gnatrat, and Nerds (alldaycomics.com) […]

  4. ALL WEEK: Getting in the Swing of Things « All Day Comics - September 18, 2011

    […] Lots o’ Links #2 (UPDATE: Gnatrat Lives! is sold out; check out Mark Martin’s website for more info) […]

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