"Of all the arts in which the wise excel, nature's chief masterpiece is writing well." - Andre Breton

"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and advebs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place." -William Strunk Jr., E. B. White

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Alice in Wonderland books

 Sorry the image looks pixelated, this was taken from my phone.

I personally like the fantasy or fiction story of Alice in Wonderland I guess because I love to escape reality sometimes. These two books I gotten about a year ago from my school because of  the remake of Alice in Wonderland in the works of Tim Burton. I wanted to see the movie so badly, but I couldn't at the time it was in theaters, so I gotten these two books Alice in Wonderland: The Visual Guide and the actual book but it's called Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll I would have gotten Through the Looking Glass, but it was more than my budget, but I gotten a joy out of these two books. It gave me ideas of what the characters were in the story and what not and it was quite different from the animated cartoon Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, but you can still see a lot of the characters there. The Burton version was more action and more dramatic than the cartoon, but that's how cartoons are, they leave out parts of the book. I also love the illustrations in it too: eccentric that's how I like it.
I don't know if these books are available in other stores or were just to make a sell at my college store, but if you come across these books, I recommend to get them!
I personally thought that Tim Burton did the illustration for the Alice's Adventures in Wonderland like some update but it's by another artist name Camille Rose Garcia. Who knew?! His style is very distinctive.

What makes a fan? The Policy of Truth

Good question, what makes a fan really? Well fan is short for the word fanatic and they come in all forms, shapes and sizes. A fan to me is someone that obviously have an adoration or passion of something such as art, literal, politics, etc. Being a fan is someone that can relate to something or someone or show appreciation to something or someone. Being a fan is having a collection of what is to be desire but not to have so much of an obsession where it can eat you alive, meaning you are having public obsessions, or hating their partner just because you wish to be with them that way and so on. To me, that's not what is being a fan about, I mean it's fine to have fantasies to help the mind, but letting overtake your reality is simply not worth it. And then being one to do distraught things like killing a musician, sacrificing a lot for someone that barely knows you exist, etc.When you say you "love" them, do you really mean you love them or you will love them until they grow old or don't have the money. Saying you have an adoration or they inspire you is more of the proper way of saying it. And by accepting the artist's or something's imperfections also prove that you are a fan as well. When you are a fan of something, doesn't mean you have to love everything they do, I mean is that even possible?  A lot and all mean two different ways.

I show my obsession in minimal ways, such as I have a small Soft Cell collection, I even did a scrapbook with photos, interviews and what not, using my creativity and so on. I am certainly NOT one of those sickos that worship the musicians and stuff, that's not me at all. Even my Pet Shop Boys collection is small, but that doesn't mean I'm not a fan of their work. My collection maybe small, but my collection is something I can enjoy. A fan is also someone that you can have a reasonable conversation with another fan by sharing you likes, dislikes and so on. Even sharing music to others and see what you have in common maybe. It's not the amount of memorabilia of a band you have, it's the thought and the heart and personality that counts. I mean you can have a massive collection and still be a jerk. Showing and flashing around your collection and making people look or feel bad can lead to some trouble with others. There's a right way and a wrong way to do that. Telling them about your collection is one thing, but flashing it to people and what not, isn't going to prove you're a fan, except seeing it as a game and strategy and competition to the point you forget what is really being a fan about. Everyone have to start somewhere.

Not everyone is mention to have a big collection like others, a collection proves that you can afford it or people that care about you buy you stuff. Or even going to a concert proves that you have money or at the time having money to go and see what you like. But in having a collection, you should also know facts even if it's minimal facts or do research and you might find something else that you like out of your comfort zone. I'm ecletic and I'm open to all kinds of music and any decade. If you would have seen my iPod before it died, I have music from the 50's to now almost. I only had about 1,248 songs but that reveals I can listen to the new sound as well as others. I happen to be the one that is considered lucky or blessed to have sweet fans some I known longer than others, and even I haven't seen them in person, they are lovely. I didn't have to be all big and bad and brag to get anything, it was just being myself and kind to people as I usually am unless someone is crossed with me. A collection alone need support with the facts that you should know or want to know. As I said before, I get what I can, I am in no rush and all the stuff I have so far, they are enjoyable to me and I certainly have my money's worth out of them.

I also have a pin/button collection
A sticker collection
And a small Tim Burton collection developing

My favourites from my small collection

 I love my little collection I have been developing, but I do have favorites considering that some are harder to find than others or just pure art in the making and gifts too. I will explain why a handful of my collection are special to me.

The first one you see from the top left is a collage scrapbook full with Soft Cell/Marc Almond photos I have collected along with interviews some are rare now I got it from an unofficial site long ago that doesn't exist anymore, so since I live in America, it's pretty rare those interviews are. It's six years old now, I usually would make collages in the summer time because I have so much of their photos, I didn't know what to do with them so I had a smaller notebook once, but since I made so much, I have a bigger one and even still was too much for the binder. So I had to use another folder to separate photos from collages and interviews to make some space, since I was introduced with tumblr, several Soft Cell/Marc Almond fans showed me and posted some more interviews I never seen in my life! Anyway, I will update it soon. And the cover art me and another friend did when I was in middle school, so I was a fan at a young age of the new millennium. I know that the band doesn't exist and stuff, at least the musicians are still living. I wasn't born around their time, but when I first heard them, "Tainted Love" was on a music television station even though it went off and then when I went downstairs the news was on and they played "Tainted Love" again! was it fate or coincidence? I do have plans with the collages one day as a massive art project. I officially became a Soft Cell fan at August 3, 2005. Before that, I was still developing on what to become a fan or not, well you now know my answer.

Pet Shop Boys' Catalogue is worth a lot to me is because it's my first Pet Shop Boys' book I ever gotten as a late birthday gift to myself along with Marc Almond's Tainted Life(I still haven't read it all yet to see it as a favorite) after going through a minimal, rough time. And what's also special about it, is that it's an art book which bunch of images and facts to them and it's a heavy book, well not that heavy but it's about the same mass as a text book especially having 336 pages. Since I am an artist, it was and still is something an artist should have with not only an art book but also having another band you adore and I only been a fan for about a year and some.

The third folder consist of rare photos of Soft Cell and Marc Almond basically it's the other notebook that store the other part of my photo collection, and when I find extras, I usually use them for my projects in high school such as the collaged skateboard for my physics class. I did the front cover as well, I'm love stickers as well.

Pet Shop Boys' Annually is one of my favorites because it's one of the books that are out print and are harder to find and in America they are so expensive like $200! Plus another artist gave it to me as a gift which is radical! And for it to be damn near twenty years old, it's in real good condition! It's like having a book that is almost biographical but it's only sixty-one pages. I mean to know that the band members had to struggle to make money at a young age and knowing the singer had an uneventful life, reminded me of another artist I love which is Roy Lichtenstein, I did a report on him in high school and he too, had an uneventful life started out until went to places kept going and did his artwork which was the stardom of comic book art, that you see today, him and Andy were the start of the Pop and Op art era. But going back to the whole not rich at first and knowing that the singer didn't have much people to encourage him especially wearing an outfit to the point people actually lost hope for him to be a pop star, but he proved the nay sayers wrong, so in a way, Annually proved to me even people you least thought that couldn't do anything, can be someone. I'm a struggling artist myself so I know how it feels.I don't have a degree just yet, but I did make some money with commissioning drawing, so It's a start. Annually was actually suppose to be a constant issue like their Literally magazines, but it didn't do so well in sales so that's why it was only one book of this title. gotten this info from www.geowayne.com and Catalogue I think. But this book you get the idea of how the Pet Shop Boys work and what they did before became official on Aug 19, 1981 which is a day after my birthday if I was in 1981, I would have been a day older than them since my birthday is on Aug 18th. I mean knowing that the band had to pay into their fan club and making sure the fans have something prove that they have care for their fans, even knowing before they became official doing art like things like being in other bands, doing other art pieces on a structured level, etc. Overall, it's a lovely small book and was glad to get it as a gift.

Pet Shop Boys' Special was another favorite because it's considered an "unofficial" book and it consist of big photos and facts and info that you never thought about! I was shocked to know that Soft Cell was often compare to the Pet Shop Boys! Even though Soft Cell was one of their major influences. A good friend of mine from another country told me about it, and it sounded like something I would want to have and for a good price too, why not? It was also something for myself on knowing that one of my grandfathers passed away and it came the day before the funeral. It's almost the same size as Annually, I personally call it Annually part two or Pre-Annually because some of the facts are similar. Special is like a magazine in book form really.I mean I haven't heard pin-ups in a book before unless it was a comic book or a magazine. I think this one gives more in depth information than Annually but both are really good books in my opinion! It's only available in the UK, I had to get it on the UK version of Amazon.

The Smash Hits magazine, where do I begin! On my second blog about my art observations, this was one of my most difficult finds ever! I kept hearing that Neil Tennant interviewed Marc Almond, I didn't know it was all the way true, I thought they were just saying things but what did I know. I have two of my good friends to help me search it because I found an image of it but the text was too small to read! So we found just about all his interviews but not the Marc Almond one! So I knew it exist but wanted to read it because I remember I was doing my homework and a fan told me some podcast was on some site about Neil wanting his old job back. So I gave it a good listen and I was in for a shock to my life! They read bits of the interview that Neil did of Marc back on July 8, 1982 which I find it hilarious because it was a day before Marc's birthday and two days before Neil's birthday, like some chain going on here. And I asked several fans if they have it, only a few said and only two sent it to me: A German fan that sent me a photocopy at the time, plus three Marc Almond CDs which was awesome, she had duplicates so I can't complain. And a fan from the UK that had it at his home but couldn't find it at all so he bought it instead, which shocked me because I didn't expect that so I was in tears to actually have the magazine itself! It was a pretty good interview I think, it may not mean much to fans, but it does for me. Plus after reading bits of Marc's autobiography, i can simply argue with Marc about his views on interviewers, because I don't see anything wrong with this particular interview, but I guess the others make the good ones so bad. But basically it's a gift from another artist and it's a vintage magazine what can be better?! It have other 80's musicians too.It did have another review Neil did but of Boy George, but I'm glad they settle their differences and are good friends now. They are both talented I think. I do plan one day to get the Smash Hits yearbooks that Neil did before he did Pet Shop Boys full time.

PopArt DVD because my aunt bought it for me as well as Soft Cell's The Art of Falling Apart I need it to be replaced at the time, so I got more to go, but I can wait or make CDs out of them, don't worry, this isn't no profit thing this is just my collection that's all and it's a creative one too. I like seeing music videos it had the songs of Opportunities to London including three extended version songs, and it have a thick booklet of one clip of each video. And it just have that Andy Warhol look and feel, just like some of their videos.

The "Opportunities" vinyl because it's the first and more likely the only vinyl I have in possession, I don't really care for vinyls because I don't have a record player working no was soon and it collects up space. Plus I have Catalogue and it have several images of their vinyls may not be all of them but, vinyls are just plastic and consist of photos and getting more vinyls would be a waste of my time. I want a collection that I can actually use or get joy out of it! If I was in the 80's or so, I would love to get them, but they aren't really my point of interest; however, I do love this one because it was a gift for helping out two friends on their move and hey, I can't really complain for something vintage and it's free too?! Even though the b-side is "Was That What it Was" was one of Pet Shop Boys' least favorite songs they done, but I like the fact that I just have one vinyl. I don't need so many to prove how much a fan I am of theirs, I know I wasn't in that time, and my collection of stuff maybe small but that's the beauty of it, I have a long ways to go and I'm not rushing it either. I get what I can, and I like how the band don't want fans to get too much into them and want fans to live their lives, that's a smart attitude. And is it really possible to get ALL their stuff anyway? I don't think it is and if it is, I congratulate those who do have all their stuff, but that's not me, even if I would want a decent size of  a collection. Plus several fan send me songs on audio so I'm good for now, and I will get what I can. Anyway, I'm glad I have at least one vinyl, but I'm not making it a habit of getting more.

Pet Shop Boys'
Performance because it's a very artsy, theatrical concert with a moral value to it, and it was a gift by an associate. And I am still currently working on more art reviews to it. I never thought I needed so much time to do an art review but it's worth the writing, and as an artist's point of view, it's something I would already consider as a favorite, I mean you get a commentary that is hilarious, rehearsals, entertainment and a moral value all in one! It's not like something I have seen before unless it's a musical like Tommy but that was more of a rock/classic musical. I would have that in a collection if you didn't already.

Soft Cell's Non Stop Exotic Video Show: I have been wanting this for a while, I know this and Soft Cell: Live in Milan are the only DVDs I know of that have Soft Cell footage. A Marc fan asked me what I wanted and told her about 3 things and I told her I'm not picky or nothing and she surprised me with this DVD. I was in a joyous mood! They omitted certain things that Marc says but I love it completely, it's almost to be rare now I think. This and their twelve Inch singles have similar images on the album art. I even like the main menu too, if there was only more of their stuff, but a lot of Soft Cell memorabilia are rare. And this DVD holds the memory of Soft Cell when they were a group.

Pet Shop Boys' Ultimate Deluxe because I like the title of it and it have a CD and DVD with some good footage and it was another gift by the same one who bought me Performance and sent me some of the audio as well. Some of the videos I haven't seen before and they are in good quality as well. And a lot of them can be found on youtube as well.

Last of the them is the PSB music cards the friend who bought me two PSB stuff, told me about these music cards on eBay and they were a bargain and free shipping now that's a sale! Just like Pet Shop Boys' Cubism I gotten for under ten dollars. They are three music cards with images of the band and facts on the back and one of them have a fact that Neil interview Marc which was awesome, it's like my searches are being found and confirmed again.

It's not in the photo, but I do love The Most Incredible Thing, I forgot to include it in this post!

So not really bad for someone who lives in America and on a note, I didn't ask fans to buy me anything, they did it on their own free will. And I personally appreciate it deeply in my heart, that there are some good people in the world. Just thought I share these with you guys or whoever that reads this blog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

One of my packages came today!

It's one of the few out of print books/ unofficial as well of the Pet Shop Boys called Special. It's like a magazine in hardcover form. I will write a post about it soon!
I think its going to be considered one of my most prize possessions!
Since its kinda rare