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Dale Martin

I still want my MTV

Growing up as a teenager with access to one of the few cable systems to carry MTV when it debuted on August 1, 1981, I spent a lot of time watching the channel and its original five VJS. So when VJ : the unplugged adventures of MTV’s first wave arrived on our shelves to be cataloged, it immediately caught my eye.

In it, the four surviving VJs – Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn —together with co-writer Gavin Edwards compile an oral history of the early days of the channel, back when it really was “music television.” They reveal details of their lives before they were tapped for the brave new occupation of “VJ” , behind-the-scenes tales of the channel’s shaky startup (when even cable operations in Manhattan – where the VJs were living—didn’t carry the channel & so they couldn’t have a full picture of what their efforts were creating), through MTV’s heyday in the mid-80s. Especially enjoyable for me are their reminiscences about fifth VJ J.J. Jackson (who died in 2004), and the scoop on their individual (and sometimes sudden) departures from the channel. Read More..

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Steal This Idea

As a cartoonist, I like to try and keep my creativity on at least a steady simmer all the time.  While my weekly comic strip helps keep those fires burning, I also enjoy seeing what other artists do to keep their creative juices bubbling…

The latest book on this topic I’ve discovered is poet Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist.  At 140 heavily-illustrated pages, it’s a quick read … which is a good thing, because after finishing it you’ll still have time to put some of his energizing tips right to use!  He even includes a page of “what now?” ideas to help get you started. Read More..

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