Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fahrenheit 451 gets a new look

The Ray Bradbury novel, Fahrenheit 451, which was publish in 1953, is now being released in a graphic novel format.
The artist who adapted the novel, Tim Hamilton, says he initially found the idea of taking on such a well-known book, intimidating. Hamilton did not collaborate with Bradbury, but he did get some sense of what the author thought the book should look like. Bradbury supports this interpretation of his story as he did the movie in 1966. In fact, he has given his full backing to the graphic adaptation. For Bradbury, a comic book collector since age 9, the idea is exciting.
"Buck Rogers came into my life in October of 1929," he says. "So you see, I have a strong interest in illustration, and a graphic novel is part of my life."
Bradbury was inspired to write Fahrenheit 451 after, at the age of 15, he saw images of books being burned in Hitler's Germany.
"It killed my heart and killed my soul," he says, "and the memory of Hitler burning the books caused me to sit down and write Fahrenheit 451."
With the latest book regulations, the idea of book burning isn't impossible to imagine. Bringing the story to a new medium will also attract a new generation of readers. Being politically, socially and actively aware of what is going on in the world is waning in much of today's youth. Bringing back the "good fight" and sparking a social conscious is an admirable thing to do. There are many such books awaiting to be resurrected in this and many other new forms today. Reading for pleasure is great. When the written word causes the reader to pause, if only for a moment, and think about a social injustice or new idea, then something wonderful has happened.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You're never too old or too young

I hear people say "I'm too old [young] to do..... People limit themselves by self established rules based on miscellaneous guidelines by unknown masses. When these same people see someone succeed they rationalize. "They're lucky, rich, talented, etc." What drives anyone to do anything? It all comes down to motivation and perseverance. The really successful ones have passion. A passion goes way beyond motivation. It is what drives someone to do something that they love. They do it for love and no other reason. Success tends to happen on its own. Children are taught to use their imaginations when they are very young. As they begin to grow, they are taught to use their intellect. A well rounded person uses both. Modern public education tends to stifle the natural creative side of a student. Art is considered an expendable subject when budgets are being made. Its no wonder that today's society is full of disgruntled people. The Tony Award winning actress Carol Channing set up a foundation to preserve the arts in the schools. As a senior citizen, she is very active with her work. She knows, personally, how important artistic release is to a young mind. She refuses to let age hinder her passion.
Then there's Alexa Kitchen. She has been drawing comic books and graphic novels since she was five. Actually, as soon as she was old enough to hold a crayon she was creating. Her parents recognized her passion and actively supported it. She had enough material for a book by the age of six. She has since been published with her latest book "Grownups are Dumb" out next month.
Alexa is now ten years old and shows no sign of stopping. What's the difference between her and other talented kids out there? Well, she was never told she was too young or that she couldn't do it.
There are so many "dream stoppers" out there that it boggles the mind. A dream stopper is someone who tells you to get your head out of the clouds, face reality and loves to use the word "can't". Too many people listen to them and too many people are them.
Like our current President of the U.S. , anyone can be anything they choose to be if they set their minds to it. If they have a passion for something good, they should follow it. No one can tell you who you are, only you can do that. So here's to dreams in all their lovely, creative forms.