Not Just for Nerds: Comics on the Big Screen

Monday, July 31st, 2017

By Pop Culture Connoisseur Jodie Brandt


The quirkier side of pop culture has met mainstream media, and the result has been spectacular.  Marvel Studios and DC Entertainment are in a race to make the biggest and best comic book inspired movies.  As budgets push boundaries, so do the films themselves.  Heroes like Iron Man, Wonder Woman, and Captain America have graced the big screen and left the masses clambering for more. Once, only the nerds would have been caught poring over the comics for clues as to what might come next.  For years, comic books were seen as a niche market, but now with A-list stars like Robert Downey Jr., Ben Afleck, and Scarlett Johansson on the cast list and amazing cinematography backing up nuanced stories, a much large portion of the audience has turned to sequential art stories to get their fix in between films.


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Sam Shepard, 1943-2017

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, actor, and writer Sam Shepard has died.

Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers on November 5th, 1943, in Fort Sheridan, Illinois.  His father was an Army officer and former Air Force pilot, so the family moved frequently from military base to military base across the country.  By the time Shepard graduated from high school, he was living in California.  Having worked on a ranch as a teenager, he briefly studied agriculture at Mount Antonio Junior College, but dropped out to pursue acting and writing. 

Before long, Shepard had found his place in...

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Happy Birthday, Beatrix Potter!

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Beatrix Potter, best known for her beautifully illustrated children's stories featuring Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and other animal friends, was born on today's date in 1866 in London, England.

Though never formally educated, Helen Beatrix Potter was a curious and dedicated student of the natural world.  She began drawing and painting at a young age, often using her pet rabbits Benjamin Bouncer and Peter Piper as models.  Her family summered in Scotland, and later the Lake District in northwest England, where she...

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Happy Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Today marks the 118th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway's birth.  A war-time ambulance driver, journalist, big-game hunter, and novelist, Hemingway's spare and straightforward writing style seemed to capture feeling of his generation, from the everyday horrors of war to the sense of stark reality they faced even after the conflicts had ended.

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Art Puzzles

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Summer's a great time for outdoor family fun, but when you're tired of bugs and sunburns, we've got you covered for indoor activities as well.  Check out our newly expanded puzzle collection!  In addition to our fine art puzzles, we've also got Harry Potter, history and nature themes, and more!


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Jane Austen: 200 Years Later

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

Today marks 200 years since Jane Austen died.  Though today she is among the most popular and widely read novelists, her works regularly adapted for stage and screen, when her works were first published, the author was listed only as "A Lady."  It wasn't until after Austen's death that her identity was revealed.

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Literary Ambassadors

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Like to combine reading and travel?  We've got just the picks for you.  The editors at Condé Nast Traveler recently asked foreign ambassadors to the US for the one book they would recommend visitors to their home countries read before their trip.  Their answers range from historical classics to modern thrillers.  Where will you read next?

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