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We studied history chronologically every year in grade school, too. In seventh and eighth grades, however, time had to be taken out to prepare for the tests on the state and U.S. constitutions, so American history itself was split between the two years, with only a little bit of overlap/review at the beginning of eighth. What a nice change it was to not have to completely start over and to study events more in depth!

Brian Fies

From the top....

I worry about the teaching of U.S. history when it's *entirely* contrarian, and it seems the only text universally assigned is Zinn's. History's not all heroic but it's not all genocide, either, and I meet/read a lot of people happy to throw out the revolutionary babies birthed by Washington and Jefferson with their slaveholding bathwater. I worry about what happens to a country that a lot of kids are taught to be ashamed of. As a nation we're not *uniquely* evil and in a lot of respects, on balance, better than many. Balance and complexity are hard to teach, and harder for people to incorporate into black-and-white world views.

I love that when you were hired to write a history of rodeos you came up with something so thoroughly researched as to be unusable. Admit it: that sounds like you.

Ces and "Sally Forth" are Exhibit A in the argument that strips can get better after their creators move on. The key is that he's made it his own, with his neurosis and pop culture immersion, which strikes a chord. I think more than almost anything, readers like to feel they're getting a personal take on the world. You always know how the best cartoonists feel about things. Read "Sally Forth" for a while and I think you know Ces pretty well.

Derf went in a different direction than I expected. I thought he'd write a mournful elegy about how comics have been chased out of their own convention, but he makes a great point about how the speculator market boom and crash, along with eBay and the Internet, makes the used comic book booth an anachronism. The market's changed. Old baby boomers think their collections are worth a fortune until they try to sell them and discover no one's interested.

Like Derf, I see comics and even original artwork I could have once bought for a few bucks now priced for thousands. Well, fine, but out of the 100,000 people trouping through SDCC there are maybe a few dozen who'd even consider paying it, and they already know who the vendors are and what they've got. The elite don't need to shop at your booth; the peons can't afford to.

That said, looking through old comics is always one of my favorite parts of a con and I'll miss Mile High.

Mary McNeil

Sorry - I stopped reading Sally Forth.


'You put the supply out there, and the demand will follow,'

No reports of our now more intelligent Secretary of Energy's grasp of history.

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