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Tag: book

March 9th, 2014 – Book: ‘One Rough Man’ by Brad taylor.

by on Mar.09, 2014, under Books

One Rough Man (Pike Logan, #1)One Rough Man by Brad Taylor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this book to be excellent. Especially for the genre. I’ve been reading enough of these super human military types to find a similar thread of just about everything.

What makes this book better than the rest is that not only does all not go as planned, but it goes way off. The ending of the book would be mighty difficult to completely predict. The gear change is also more subtle than staged as a surprise twist. You can read along expecting one direction and find the book has taken another.

Even the hero is foulable and makes many a mistake. As do other characters. It’s a change of pace to read of a hero trying to figure out how to get out of an error.

I would have given five stars, but the writing of the story could have been better. It’s more a technical criticism. There are a number of areas in the book that are uneven. I think I see where editors did some slicing and dicing and the author tried to clean it up.

Bottom line: I recommend this book.

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March 9th, 2014 – Swampy’s Florida: Silver Springs preview!

by on Mar.09, 2014, under Cartooning, Swampy's Florida


Here’ s a bit of art that will be in the upcoming ‘Swampy’s Florida: Silver Springs’ I’m working on! Putting the book together now and hope for it to be avaialble in about three weeks.

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February 27th, 2014 – Sketch Daily – Jem lives on!

by on Feb.27, 2014, under Cartooning


Today’s Sketch Dailies involves the pop punk rock cartoon character Jem. I considered where Jem would be today and see her in a bar in Hoboken singing, as she can, the great American songbook….but still in her punk garb. Kinda as the fate of the singer in Copacabana.


Below are a few images of Jem in her prime:


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February 25th, 2014 – Book: The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune’ by Nancy Ann Long.

by on Feb.26, 2014, under Books, Florida History!

The Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod BethuneThe Life and Legacy of Mary McLeod Bethune by Nancy Ann Zrinyi Long

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a relatively short biography of Mary McLeod Bethune and very good. I debated giving it a 5 star rating. But, at the end are a set of individual memories of Bethune by various family and friends, which adds a so much to better define the biography.

The book is very thorough and well covers her life, along with the building of Bethune-Cookman College. It is also well written.

I’m trying to think of something to write bad about the book and it’s a bit tough. Maybe more about her personal life, but it appears her life was one of an endless engine for the college.

Bottom line: i recommend the book.

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February 20th, 2014 – Pirate Gators Sketch!

by on Feb.20, 2014, under Cartooning


Signed a couple of Swampy’s Florida books for my friends at the Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. This alligator pirate sketch is for the book we did for the annual Billy Bowlegs Festival. Last year we worked together to produce two Swampy books about the Chamber’s annual Billy Bowlegs Festival and for the last reunion in Fort Walton Beach of the Doolittle Raiders.

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February 17th, 2014 – Book: ‘The Red House Mystery’ by A.A. Milne

by on Feb.17, 2014, under Books

The Red House MysteryThe Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I an see why a.A. Milne didn’t see another mystery published. This one is a mighty stretch of reality that is poorly written and seems to have been written as the writer was thin king it all out.

The story opens well and i settled in with what I suspected a mystery in an English setting. Instead, I find myself, after the evil is done, slogging through, what seems, endless patter about what-might-have-happened, what-could-have-have-happened, who-did-it, who-didn’t, etc. All of this barely moving the story along at all for decades of pages.

Worse, the characters are never defined except for the beginning. Making this all worse involves two main characters who pretend to be Holmes and Watson. Seems Milne knew he had troubles defining characters, so he uses others to do it for him.

The solution is intellectually dishonest. Today would be impossible, but pretty hard to believe that such a mistake could have been made even in the 1920s.

Bottom line: I do not recommend this book.

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February 11th, 2014 – Book – ‘The Brothers O’Brien’ by William W. Johnstone

by on Feb.11, 2014, under Books

The Brothers O'Brien (The Brothers O'Brien, #1)The Brothers O’Brien by William W. Johnstone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one Hell of a good book. Not much for using “Page turner”, but page turning I was. Don’t know who in the Johnstone Clan wrote this, but this is the best I’ve read of the twelve or so read so far. The ghost writer really got the idea of early Johnstone books of defining characters and fleshing out story. Seems this might be a writer that had not written any of the other books I’ve read so far. Very good work.

One of the best things of this book is that the plot that develops in the second half of the book is very different from the other Johnstone books. There are some characters that are very different and even a bit of a sorcery angle spilled in. There is a cat in this book that is really well placed. Was never sure just how this book would end, except that this is still another series and that the brothers would survive. That’s something else in this book, as was the case with earlier Johnstone novels, mot everyone survives. There are some who meet their fate in ways very unexpected. Really like the levels as they get built throughout the book.

After a series of mediocre to bad Johnstone books, this charges me on to the dozens of others I’ve collected over the past year.

Bottom line: I recommend this book!

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January 9th, 2014 – Lots of work to do Today!

by on Feb.09, 2014, under Caricatures, Cartooning, Illusration


Tons of artwork has to get done today! From caricatures to hiking cartoons to illustration, etc! Was hoping to be at a presentation today by Rick Smith, son of author Patrick Smith who wrote the Florida legendary book, ‘A Land Remembered’, but that looks impossible two hours before his presentation. Pen to paper and I’ll post what I can.

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February 7th, 2014 – Book: ‘Tampa: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow’ by Michael Bane and Mary Ellen Moore

by on Feb.07, 2014, under Books

Tampa: Yesterday, Today & TomorrowTampa: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow by Michael Bane and Mary Ellen Moore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is more of a sales book of Tampa than anything else. There is certainly plenty of history here and that part is very well written. Then the book steers into the future and suddenly statistics and construction plans fill the pages. Seems the first and second parts were written by two different people, which would explain the two authors.

There are plenty of photos strewn throughout. All black and white except for a few center pages of color.

The history presented is mostly complete, though sections are missing. Little is mentioned of the mob activity or anything at all about the black community.

The book is best as a time capsule of life in Tampa in 1980. So very much is written about upcoming projects at the time, community committees planning the future, construction firms and banks.

Bottom line: I recommend it to anyone wanting to know of Hillsborough County’s history.

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February 4th, 2014 – Book: ‘Survival…Zero!’ by Mickey Spillane.

by on Feb.04, 2014, under Books

Survival...Zero!Survival…Zero! by Mickey Spillane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spillane could sure spill a fast-moving, well written, intriguing mystery. This one is just terrific. Today’s mysteries are so poorly constructed I know who did it and how within the first quarter of the book. There seemed to be solutions to the puzzles in this story, but with so much going on, it was not easy to figure out. Ya kinda can guess who might be behind this and that. It’s the whys and reasoning that had me baffled until the end. That makes this an excellent mystery in my book!

A few weeks ago I was deciding which book in the stacks to read next and saw I had two series action books written at the same time – around 1969 – and wondered how much they might be alike and how much of the culture – counter, being the media frenzy – was covered.

The first, a Nick Carter roust-a-bout hardly referred to the time period at all from it’s West Coast perspective. Spillane’s East Coast perspective was very different. The mess of the ’60s is a part of the story and is well spun into the novel. Spillane’s Mike Hammer has plenty to say about society intentionally jumping off a cliff. Historical viewpoints that only add to reasons to read this book.

I’d guess many of today’s narrow minded people might find this book to be ham fisted and being of a time past. Too bad for their lost of reading and considering other perspectives. There are too many people today who seem to forget our society had good reason for the bulk of it’s existence to look down on lazy slobs who hate life and don’t want to reason so much they must inoculate themselves than be a part of it.

What’s really interesting about people who think Spillane’s story is of the past are the movie studios spitting out non-stop explosive, gun blazing blockbuster movies and the big selling, gun blazing, gory video games that some of those same people must be putting money into. Those media monsters are far more ham fisted than this novel is.

Bottom line: I recommend this novel.

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