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Monday, July 17, 2006

O.C.C. Slideshow Available for Viewing

Thanks to member Steve Erwin, there is now a slideshow of the Oklahoma Cartoonists Collection to be viewed by any interested parties. Go here to check it out.

Thanks a bunch, Steve!

Business Week Magazine Recognizes Paul's Valley


From the Pauls Valley Democrat:

Move over Atlanta, Denver and Houston. You may be among the top 10 cities to live in but you didn’t make the list of communities that are ripe for investors. BusinessWeek.com, the online version of Business Week Magazine, recently listed the top 10 communities for entrepreneurs and Pauls Valley was among the 10 cities and towns that made the list.

“Communities across the country have always worked to attract businesses. But instead of offering a traditional incentive package and waiting for businesses to come to them, some of today's savviest cities and towns are taking the offensive, identifying a need in their local economy and then actively recruiting a specific entrepreneur to fill it,” BusinessWeek.com said.

The list was compiled by BW and the Boomtown Institute, an Illinois-based group dedicated to stimulating economic growth in small U.S. communities.

“What unites these communities is not just their search for entrepreneurs to build businesses, but the willingness to cater to them through a mutually beneficial partnership.

“But more than anything, these places are searching for a partnership with an entrepreneur who wants to call their community home,” BW added.

So, what was it about Pauls Valley that made the researchers sit up and take notice? BusinessWeek.com cited several reasons.

Primarily, the Industrial Development Authority, the ongoing recreational center grant application, the Santa Fe Depot, the Toy and Action Figure museum and the Okie Catfish Noodling Tournament were listed as reasons why entrepreneurs should consider investing in Pauls Valley. Currently Pauls Valley is working on a grant application with the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation for the recreational program, which evidently caught the eye of the magazine and the institute. The researches even listed Pauls Valley’s slogan “not your ordinary small town” as one of the “pros” to investing in the community.

The only negative the researches cited for Pauls Valley was a lack of nightlife. However, some groups are already working to remedy that situation. A committee comprised of members from Main Street Pauls Valley, the Chamber of Commerce and the Pauls Valley Arts Council are currently working on an artist relocation program designed to bring a variety of artists to Pauls Valley. The program would attract several artists, including those in the culinary arts, to locate in downtown Pauls Valley.

On top of that, the Pauls Valley Arts Council and the City of Pauls Valley will soon begin work on renovating the old city hall building into an Arts and Cultural Center, complete with a small performing arts theatre.

Other cities and towns making the BusinessWeek.com list were Effingham, Ill.; Louisville, Ky.; Clarinda, Iowa; Freeport, Texas; Prescott, Wis; Purcellville, Va.; Napoleon, Ohio; Crosbyton, Texas; and Spokane, Wash.

David's Mighty Men #1, published by Cross Culture Entertainment, 64 pages, $4.99


I've said it before and I'll say it again: I like well-done treatments of Biblical- and/or Biblically-related material in comics. And, folks, there are precious few out there. I've now added one more to the list, however, called David's Mighty Men.

D.M.M. is Biblically-related, as it places established Biblical individuals in fictional adventures. This particular volume features David, Shammah, Eleazar and Josheb Basshebeth (or "Adino") in two different adventures, "Trust" and "The Giant Mole Hill."

Written and illustrated by Javier Saltares, this is no great work in theology, nor is it meant to be. Rather, it's an entertaining romp filled with plenty of action and adventure by a creator who has respect for the source material. Saltares takes plenty of creative license in fleshing out three characters about which the Bible shares very little, and he proves his considerable talent in doing so. They are as diverse as they are interesting, convincing as they are well-crafted. What steals the show, however, is Saltares' art. Dynamic and action-oriented, his work clearly sporting a Manga influence, the characters fairly leap off the page in a highly-stylized and wonderfully expressive manner. And, while I generally hope for storytelling and characterization to be the driving force of a comic or graphic novel, I still love great art work. Besides, despite Javier's considerable talent at the drawing board, given time, I could easily imagine these characters stealing the show no matter how they were drawn, or by whom.

Well-versed fans will recognize Saltares' name, as he has done work for comics companies Marvel, D.C. and Dark Horse. He knows what he's doing, and he does it well.

David's Mighty Men is sometimes dramatic, sometimes humorous and always fun. How can you go wrong? It's recommended for all ages, and for Sunday school teachers to place on the bookshelves for their students. Find it at www.communitycomics.com, comic shops, and online retailers and auctions.

Mark Allen