Choosy Beggar Books

The Wright Brothers

Posted in Art by mvblair on December 23, 2016
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Orville and Wilbur Redenbacher, two of Dayton’s most famous residents, lounging around the Gem City, which is most certainly not in North Carolina.

Oregon District, Dayton, Ohio

Posted in Art by mvblair on December 22, 2016
watercolorful-cities

Here is another water color city

Dayton Skyline

Posted in Art, Miscellaneous by mvblair on December 14, 2016

Mao-Era Cartoons

Posted in International Comics by mvblair on December 8, 2016

One blog that I frequently check is Everyday Life in Maoist China maintained by Covell Meyskens. The author scours Chinese websites to find pictures, mostly from the days of Mao or thereabouts, and reposts them. Lots of great, old photos that are not collected elsewhere and that I would never be able to come across alone. I was delighted to see this post with scans of old political cartoons.

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A few of the cartoons show some pretty ugly racism directed especially toward the Japanese, though one of the cartoons shows particular sensitivity to African-Americans. If I could read Chinese, I’m sure I could comment more on the content, but at least the artwork in is as good and accessible as anything in the West. Several of the cartoons really shine and make great statements, especially from the anti-war side. Although, those anti-war cartoons are also somewhat hypocritical (not from the artists’ points of view, but the state’s) given the People’s Republic of China’s rampant militism. Frequent commentary in the political cartoons of communist countries includes the commentaries on racism in the United States. This is a fine and legitimate target for political cartoons, but again, given China’s treatment of minorities, it is also somewhat hypocritical.

For more on Chinese cartoons, check out this post about Sanmao and this post about Battle of Wits: We Are Chairman Mao’s Red Guards.

Temple Israel

Posted in Art by mvblair on October 24, 2015
This is the old Jewish Synagogue that used to be on First Street in Dayton. It was in use from 1893 until 1927. It is architecturally interesting because of the multiple entrances. Dayton is home to several large, active, and very diverse Jewish congregations.

This is the old Jewish Synagogue that used to be on First Street in Dayton. It was in use from 1893 until 1927. It is architecturally interesting because of the multiple entrances. Dayton is home to several large, active, and very diverse Jewish congregations.

Posted in Art by mvblair on October 20, 2015
Victoria Theatre (yes, the British spelling, please)

This is the Victoria Theatre (yes, the British spelling, please), one of Dayton’s finest jewels. Originally built six-stories high, it has been torched, flooded, and burned since it became one of the first opera houses outside the East coast in the United States.

Sacred Heart…Again

Posted in Art, Miscellaneous by mvblair on October 17, 2015
This is a beautiful building in Dayton. I can't stop painting it, probably because I drew one nice pencil sketch based on a photo and it's easy to trace...

This is a beautiful building in Dayton. I can’t stop painting it, probably because I drew one nice pencil sketch based on a photo and it’s easy to trace…

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count…

Posted in Art by mvblair on July 22, 2015
Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite subject of mine.

…it’s the ears of corn in your field that count. Abraham Lincoln has always been a favorite subject of mine.