The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Me, Elsewhere

Like most bloggers these days I'm finding myself spread thin over too many platforms and my ability to put together a well-thought out and coherent blog post is close to nil. So if you're finding my posting here a little diluted/sporadic feel free to join me on Twitter (HangFireBooks, ThriftscoutNYC) and Facebook. That way you can keep up to date on what I'm having for breakfast and my five favorite everythings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

49 New Scans my Flickr cover gallery. Including 3 from a beautiful Penguin SF series designed by David Pelham.

and numerous new additions from Bob Pepper and the Dillons.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Virtua Shadowbox

My shadowbox is nearly filled with charming and bizarre little dust collectors. Thought I'd share. Click-through to see it on flickr with notes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Linkage

Designer/Blogger Michael Newhouse and the proprietor of Windy Hill Books left comments on one of my old posts about Young People's Records perhaps identifying the mystery artist of this charming record cover:

Abe Ajay is the often unsigned artist of the majority of the YPR And CRG covers, according to the book Revolutionizing Children's Records by David Bonner. Bonner has a blog here.
Bonner's book looks like a fascinating reference on this storied series of records--which recorded talents like Raymond Scott and Groucho Marx--and came under the eye of Joseph McCarthy. Must read more.

Engraver, bookplate artist and blogger, Andy English shows off his designs for the Oak Tree Press limited edition of Philip Pullman's A Outrance ("To The Death") a lost chapter from the Golden Compass series.

Looks like a stunner. Sign up for an email publication notice here.

And collection development blog The Private Library explains why a pile of well-preserved science fiction paperbacks is more bibliographically valuable than "fine press publications, printed on handmade paper using hot metal type, bound in full Niger goatskin or similar materials, with no title having been produced in more than 100 copies"...and therefore more worth collecting and buying.

Seems obvious to me but it's a good argument.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New York Panorama

Those of you who listen to New York Public Radio or read the Times probably heard about the cool fund-raising effort by the Queens Museum of Art for the updating and maintenance of the New York Panorama.

If you haven't, in short you can "purchase" buildings in the massive scale model of New York City that was Built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, a "9,335 square foot architectural model includ[ing] every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs; a total of 895,000 individual structures."

As soon as I heard this I printed the form (pdf) and bought our apartment (private house/apartments are mostly $50) and last week I went out to survey my property; probably the safest real estate purchase one could make right now.

The model is fairly overwhelming with a cool pseudo helicopter tour, city sound effects and tiny planes taking off from JFK.

I found my neighborhood after a bit.

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

And with the help of Photoshop picked out my building.

Approx 3/4" tall, 1 1/4" wide.

And here's the Flatiron building where I worked for a few years at Tor Books.

14th floor. My window was on the opposite side of the building.

I wanted to find all my apartments, places of employment and the shitty dive bars I've frequented since moving to New York, but I was getting serious eye-strain.

Wishing for street level views on Googlemaps.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Watchmen Embroidery

Crafter Kittyzilla posted these fantastic Watchmen embroidery patterns on the Handmade Stuffs Blog. My two favorites are below with her explanation of the design process. I might have to learn how to embroider just to make a Rorschach.

I think Nite Owl II is my favorite of the bunch. I love the way the frame and background came out and he's making that "I'm a paunchy nerd who fights crime" face. Plus his quote is stupid and makes me giggle.
I wanted these to sort of look like a cross between a portrait and a religious icon. The religious icon I like not only for the look, but also because there's a certain mythological aspect to super heroes. Working with that, almost all of them have sort of the suggestion of a halo behind them. Also, I am one of those people who finds Rorschach absolutely adorable. I am properly ashamed of myself, don't worry.
Link via Kimmchi

Monday, April 6, 2009

Junk in My Trunk: April 4, 2009

(click on the photo to go to the flickr page with annotations)

My haul from last weekend. This was the second trip with my estate sale cohort found on Craigslist. The arrangement is still working great and I picked up many things that I would have had no access to otherwise.

My goal is usually to buy some non-book items that I can eBay immediately, make back my investment and then the books (and any items I keep for myself) are gravy. So far this strategy has been working but I am occasionally stuck with an albatross.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lazy Linkage

Running with a pretty low energy bar lately (If I were playing Gauntlet it would be saying "Warrior needs food...badly") so here are a few lazy links.

Craig Yoe (author of Clean Cartoonists' Dirty Drawings, and Modern Arf) has collected rare fetish art from Superman's co-creator Joe Shuster in a book called Secret Identity. This is the first I've heard of this period in his career so this is high up on my wish list. (link via Drawn!)

Parka Blog posted a fascinating photo set of artists'/graphic designers' work spaces. I always love these peeks into the creative process.

Lastly John Waggoner Jr.--a retired archaeologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers--searches for lost cemeteries and "grave houses", miniature wooden structures built over graves (early 1800s into the 1900s) that sometimes contained furniture, books, pictures etc. They're disappearing fast and he's on a quest to find and document them.

(from, link via bldbblog on twitter)