Friday, January 29, 2010

Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

I'm sure you'll all be pleased to know that today's entry consists of more Mediocre Narcotica comics! My fellow seniors and I have upcoming job interviews on the brain... let's see how our favorite fake punk band front man handles the situation:

"Job Interview" featuring Mediocre Narcotica, art and lyrics (c) 2010 Chrissy Spallone

And for our second comic, since some of the kids get frustrated with my emotional impenetrability, here's a comic about an issue that I actually have a genuine opinion about:
"Beat Your Meat" featuring Mediocre Narcotica, art and lyrics (c) 2010 Chrissy Spallone

Have a nice weekend everybody!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rock With You

When last we met, I alluded that this entry would be ripe with doom and gloom.

Unfortunately, the local flora and fauna haven't been doing what I would prefer for them to be doing. Luckily, to fill the void, a few punk rock songs spontaneously generated in my mind, as they do. You see, I've been kind of lonely since coming back to Syracuse -- the Bible study groups haven't started up yet, and most of my classes are online, so I haven't seen the gang much. I enjoy being one of the guys, but I can't pretend that I'm in the IM program forever! There are some library science classes such as cataloging that, while not part of the core, are nevertheless important to my career plans, and the reality is that several of these classes are only available online.

Happily, I have a little punk rock band inside my head that plays original songs sometimes for me when I feel all alone. I've named my personal band Mediocre Narcotica. Also, I'm going to take a shot at the zen art of comic strips, as a more limiting alternative to full page or multi-page stories. The first comics of the New Year!

This band will now play a short set list for you. If you enjoy it, there will be more to come -- try to imagine the instrumentals as you read the lyrics.

"Revenge of the Nerds" featuring Mediocre Narcotica, art and lyrics (c) 2010 Chrissy Spallone

"You're Losing Your Edge" featuring Mediocre Narcotica, art and lyrics (c) Chrissy Spallone, 2010

One of my art teachers said my cartoons were like a perversion of the Archie Comics universe. I guess this is my answer to Josie and the Pussycats. What the heck, it's my senior year, guys! I think I deserve to amuse myself with a silly, fake, tongue-in-cheek punk band.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dancin' Machine

Sorry for the entry-lack, loyal readers, but I spent the holiday season at my parent's house, and they have a cable package which includes 24-hour music video channels.

If that weren't enough of a distraction, we have a new dog now! Meet Diogi, a 2-year-old mutt we got at the animal shelter. He's part Bichon Frise, but the rest of his...cultural heritage remains a mystery. He looks like he might be sort of Asian, and maybe part schnauzer, too.

To warm you up on these cold winter nights, a bunch of snowy action scenes featuring Diogi can be found under the cut. There would be more of them if I hadn't run out of white paint.

Photography and drawing are two different mediums, each with their advantages and disadvantages. There are many who paint portraits by copying a photograph of their subject, but I always prefer drawing from life; copying directly from a photo sometimes yields a stiff and or corny and or soulless and artificial drawing. Plus, I learn little from the experience. But our new dog is so fast, it's impossible to draw gestures so quickly. So in this sort of case, using photography or freeze-frames from films can be helpful in capturing some of the poses. Rather than just duplicate the scene captured, however, I just make use of the gestures, colors, direction of light, and other useful information and incorporate it into a more spontaneous drawing with a simpler and/or more attractive composition.

Are these pastel puppy pics too cloying? Well, with the change in weather, I have sucked plenty of inspiration from the withered, frostbitten teat of mother nature. So for the other half of my readership, the dark side returns next week. If all goes well, that is. It will be so dark and gloomy...I'm really going to outdo myself this time. Look forward to it, spooky kids.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Improper cataloging can be dangerous ;)

For this Bibliowhining article, I'm going back to my humble beginnings as a librarian blogger to share my experiences with cataloging comic books -- specifically, comics of the serialized magazine-type variety. I originally wrote this guide for a couple of my friends and colleagues in IST 616: Organization and Access, but I hope it will be helpful to other librarians and library workers. It's not a complete tutorial on cataloging comic books, but it deals with one of the most common problems: how to determine the title of the work.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2010 will bring more dialogue between librarians and comic book industry professionals so that future generations will be able to find that special issue with the utmost ease.

Let the lessons begin after the cut.

How to Find the Title of a Comic Book
By Chrissy Spallone, MSLIS Candidate, Syracuse University
Graduate Assistant, Cataloging Dept., Bird Library

Recently, someone at Archie comics came up with the brilliant marketing plan to have Archie choose between Betty and Veronica.

(spoiler alert!)

But what is the title of this particular comic book? Is this issue part of the “Archie” series, or is it a separate miniseries titled “Archie Marries Veronica” or “Archie Marries Veronica: “The Proposal””?

Here’s the title page, which is what is usually referred to when cataloging books:

The title is the same as on the front cover. Also, the issue number is not present, only the information indicating that this is part 1 of this particular story. The issue # on the front cover is #600, but if we were to catalog this the way we catalog a regular book, it would be separated from the rest of the comic books under the “Archie” title. Plus, it might be filed physically somewhere after “Archie and Friends” and before “Archie Meets the Punisher,” two “spin off” titles separate from “Archie”.

But let’s look at the indicia, located on the opposite page from the inside back cover (click to enlarge):

The indicia never lies: here we can see that this comic book is under the “Archie” title. It’s “Archie” #600. On the front cover and title page, liberties are often taken for artistic or promotional reasons. But the indicia in the back almost always has a typed-out, dry listing of the official information. Catalogers should look at this when making decisions about titles, etc.

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share this information with your favorite librarian.

By the way, "In The Back" would have been so much more appropriate for this entry title.