The holiday season is coming up and The Drill Down would like you to be ready for it. So as we do every year around this time, we’ve prepared a list of what we consider the perfect gifts to give… and get this holiday. So before you stand around for hours this Black Friday, spend some time with us.
Earlier this year, Borders Group Inc filed for bankruptcy. After a July 2011 deadline came and went without a buyer for the national book retailer, the company began liquidating its retail chain and closing up stores, with the last of them scheduled to shut down by the end of this month. When that happens, Borders will be no more.
Nearly a decade. That’s how long I worked for the Borders Group Inc. I transitioned to one of the Waldenbooks from a larger multimedia/book company and it was quite a shock. Antiquated registers and outdated search systems were the norm. But one thing the company had was passion. Passion for books and authors. New employees were quizzed about their book knowledge and any interview turned into a discussion of favorite novels and writers. I loved it, really loved it. Every three or four months there was a conference with authors and publishers speaking, eating, and sometimes even drinking with us. I have Borders to thank for letting me meet some of my favorite authors like Jim Butcher and Vince Flynn. I actually got to have dinner with dozens of writers over the years, many of them I had never heard of but that didn’t stop me from enjoying their company. I got to have a quiet one-on-one conversation with Charlaine Harris regarding her newest novel. This is before I had ever heard of Sookie Stackhouse of True Blood fame, way back when the series was known as The Southern Vampire series. I met and befriended the publisher for George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, even got on the advanced reader list for them, too. Oh, those were the days.
But those days ended. It was 2005 when I first started seeing changes, not for the better, might I add. Fewer conferences and far fewer writers in attendance, more conference calls berating under-performing stores (not mine, mind you), and an overall bleaker outlook from upper management. It was also about this time that Borders started changing CEOs almost annually, which never lends itself to a sense of continuity.
My love of Batman comes primarily from the Batman television series, which ran from 1966-1968. It’s where my love of Batman was born.
I remember, as a kid, watching and obsessing over the pop, campy fun of Batman and Robin fighting bright characterizations of Gotham City’s worst foes. I watched the 1966 Batman movie countless times as it aired on cable, and watched the television episodes each and every day as it re-aired on The Family Channel. The show is something that I have grown up with. So, to me it was quite surprising to look towards the other fans of Batman and see that they don’t share the same love for the series that I do, and that most fans like their Batman dark, brooding, and surrounded by a negative version of Gotham City. That’s why it serves as a great pleasure to see that Sequart Research & Literacy Organization has collected a group of 14 essays in a book called Gotham City 14 Miles showcasing the reasons why the television series is important.
The essays, written by top writers including one of my favorite comic scribes Chuck Dixon, focuses its energy on the Batman craze of the sixties, the role of women, camp, all of the celebrity appearances, and the series’ long-lasting effects on pop culture.