Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Now, back to our regularly scheduled photo adventure:

Where's the Volcano?; Or: Here There Not Be Monsters, And Gorging Upon What We Truly Saw From On High, Part the Second

We were aloft by 6:30 PM or so, drifting up and over the Quechee fairgrounds and nearby river, looking down on the village. Below us, folks were savoring the spectacle from their lawns, yards, decks and porches, looking up at us, and we conversed with a few during our lower altitude drift over Quechee. Gary knew many of them, and they knew him, lending a surreal 'down home' ease to the entire experience.

Vehicles threaded back and forth on Route 4, below, but the most beguiling sights were natural -- the river, the trees, the pastures and gores.

While much of the fun we had that evening isn't recorded in Marge's photos -- tracking our progress against those of the balloons airborne before us, looking back at the final balloon to leave the ground (Gary's brother's), charting our drift by the landmarks of Quechee village -- these photos should still give you a sense of our little jaunt between Quechee and White River Junction.

Of course, it was the view-from-on-high of the Quechee Gorge itself that was most eagerly anticipated by most of us aboard Gary's airship, and he didn't disappoint. Though one doesn't have any control really over where the winds will take the balloon, Gary unerringly rode the currents until we were just over the overpass, where tourists stop on Route 4 to gaze down into the rushing waters far beneath. Gary caught a perfect breeze and carried us right over the Gorge's narrowest channel, gently letting us drop closer, closer...

Tomorrow: How It Was The Giant Bees Didn't Get Us; Or, The Green Slime Slavers Five Weeks in a Balloon; Or, This May Be Jules Verne, But How Did I Miss Being in a Ray Harryhausen Movie and End Up in an Irwin Allen Fiasco?

[All photos copyright 2006 Marjory Bissette, don't fuck with 'em.]

More entertaining and highly informative comics-related links for your celebratory day of independence:

* John Rovnak, mighty mogul of online comics retailing, just posted my latest review, being that dissecting
  • Rick Veitch's upcoming Abraxas and the Earthman graphic novel,
  • which was actually his first solo graphic novel work (harking from 1981-83). Check it out, and while you're there, check out
  • all the reviews at PaneltoPanel.net,
  • which John and I will be adding to over the next two weeks -- so bookmark that link page!
  • PaneltoPanel.net
  • is a great new resource for online comics purchasing, and I highly recommend John's service.

    * As I mentioned on this very blog last week, I was one of six instructors of the first 2006 Summer Create Comics Workshops. Fellow instructor (and Eternally Vigilant & Caring Anchor of All CCS Reality) Robyn Chapman shot some primo pix of the week's labors and posted them
  • here in all their glory.
  • Check 'em out, and kudos to Adam & Peter for their intern assist and attentive participation throughout the week (that's Year One CCS Alumni
  • Adam Staffaroni
  • in one of the pix, giving an inking demonstration to the summer workshop students, working on the strip art you can see yourself by clicking on his name in this parenthetical comment), and to all the students who attended and gave their all -- what a great, focused and creative group! Take a bow, Emery Ames, Andrew Becker, Cal Benedict, Harlan Butt, Erik Denkinger, Gaetan DeSimone, Laura Garcia, Keith Hunter, Meara Kinne, Jim Medway, Javon Miller, Mike Pero, Simon Reinhardt, Liberty Roach, Maggie Siegel-Berele, Hilary Spitzer, Pete Wallis, Tyler Ward and Adam Whittier! You were fantastic, and it was great fun to work with you and get you know you, however brief our fleeting time together. These dynamos completed many drawings, character designs, dummy tabloid newspaper covers, comics pages & stories, and (under the guidance of Robyn, Aaron Renier and Alec Longstreth) two complete published 8 1/2" x 11" comics, The Continuous Quest of Elliot, Sylvia & Como (The Dog) and The Life & Times of Inky Solomon (featuring the sage cartoonist and imaginary founder of CCS, created by none other than Seth in connection with James Sturm and the CCS) -- and all in a mere five days.

    * For an amazing video tour of the CCS student residence most likely to be the first-year abode of many CCS freshmen and temporary dwelling of visitors and staff, check out
  • Radical Warren's Hotel Coolidge Walkthrough!
  • As you do so, bear in mind this is most likely where D.W. Griffith, Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess and the cast and crew of the silent classic Way Down East stayed waaaaay back in March of 1920, before it was called the Hotel Coolidge (Calvin Coolidge was President just then, natch, and hence no landmarks were as yet named after him). None of them died there, so their ghosts do not wander the halls... but maybe others do? Enjoy the tour!

    And if that doesn't brighten your day, I don't know what will, other than the inevitable fireworks. In the words of that forever unknown but often-read Asian wit, "Light And Run Away!"

    Have a great 4th, one and all!

    Ragmop quote of the day (the first of a July series):

    "Woman is smart, Dinosaurs is smarter."