Monday, December 29, 2008

Comments of Praise, Richly Compiled

Some Bellairsian inspired ephemera found around web:

I am currently plowing my way through all of the John Bellairs books. Gothic horror novels for middle school kids, with illustrations by Ed Gorey. Still great, twenty years later.
Someone’s going through the entire Bellairs corpus. Happy reading!

The Celtics are the most Jeckyll-and-Hyde team I’ve ever seen, and that includes the 1999 Red Sox. One night they show up and shove your face into the yellow snow like an 8th grade bully drunk on power. The next night they’re Johnny Dixon getting pushed down by Eddie Tompke and having his deerstalker hat stolen.
Tell Him Fred (it’s always weird seeing our home-made graphics on others sites)

The characters from the books I grew up with: Taran and Princess Eilonwy and Lord Gwydion, Johnny Van Dixon and Professor Childermass, Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger, Tom Dennis and John Dennis Fitzgerald, the Ingalls family.
One of the 100 things this person loves.

The first author I remember being obsessed with – as in, I’ve got to read everything by this person – was John Bellairs.
It’s Favorite Author Meme time again and someone’s picked John’s The House with a Clock in its Walls.

Sloane is the bad guy....the only thing he needs is the eyes, human eyes, and he’s chosen Johnny as the perfect dozer....
Nice to see Johnny Dickson and friends in what appears to be some sort of class assignment. You can quiz yourself over The Eyes of the Killer Robot, too, but we have no idea what this means. Unless “dozer” is just a sly Slavitza Jovan reference?

Obviously I’m not the target audience. however, I’m not sure how well novels written in the 1980s but set in the 1950s resonate with today’s ten year olds.
Catherine Dalek poses this comment on her summer reading list…we had a similar chat a few months ago at the forum about this subject and how John would have been affected by, or would have affected, children’s literature trends were he still around.

Use the spell, fool.
What’s the best punchline in the fantasy book, ever? Jim Lehmer says it’s this one, the wisdom of wise Michael Scott from Bellairs's The Face in the Frost.  Good one, Jim.

...his characters are all kind of nerdy (like ME! Maybe that’s why I loved them so!), but they become heroes (like ME when I saved my sisters from being eaten by a runaway Great Dane when I was 12–okay, maybe I’m getting carried away) when they solve mysteries and banish the otherworldly in these suspense filled books.
Yet another fan.

Then I glanced over and noticed a series of five John Bellairs books that I remembered enjoying in high school (including one called Whistle and Hum). I thought about finding them for a while after I woke up, until I realized they don’t exist.
Are these things read, or do I but dream?  Only in a dream would someone find a new Bellairs book.  Whistle and Hum, huh?

Grandma’s surgery…failed. I’m sorry Johnny.
An alternate ending to The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt.

Last night, a giant moth wanted to fly into the office. It had a fat white furry moth body (amazing!) and big black-barred wings and was so very insistent that I got up and pulled the curtain. Shades of The Face in the Frost.
Moth Memories (or, a Bug’s Life)

...I can’t even think of anything to specify for this. The mere existence of good John Bellairs fanfic would make my entire year better.
Right. Maybe this person ought to get together with that kid that used to stop by our site by and demand we want fanfic, too. Except we always got the impression he wanted anyone else to write it for him.

In my entire life I’ve only owned one graphic novel: the Death of Superman. It was the summer of 1993, I was in Chicago, and though I’d never read a comic book I was aware that Superman was dead. Feeling that this was monumental occasion enough to warrant buying a comic book for the first time, I did so. Not ten minutes later I was in a very lovely and posh bookstore on Michigan Avenue, digging through their John Bellairs selection, when a very familiar face and tanned pair of tall legs slid past me. Tom Selleck? I thought, dumbfounded.

John Bellairs, the Death of Superman, and Tom Selleck.  Oh my.

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