Free Comic-Con Souvenir Book features Ray Bradbury!

With less than a week to go, Comic-Con International logos have appeared all over the San Diego Convention Center!

One of my favorite authors of all time–perhaps my favorite–is featured in this year’s Comic-Con Souvenir Book!

Ray Bradbury!

The 260-page epic 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book pays special tribute to 100 Years of Ray Bradbury. The book, which is jam-packed with articles, plus original artwork by many popular artists, is available for free download at the Comic-Con@Home web page by clicking here!

The free Souvenir Book is in PDF form and has many clickable links, which lead to all sort of cool offers and websites that will interest fans.

I love that the Souvenir Book’s cover and Introduction is: Ray Bradbury, Riding a Dinosaur, on Mars. I suppose that after Ray jumped off his dinosaur, he entered a rocket ship and headed to Earth, and walked right into your home, mind and heart.

Ray Bradbury combined fantasy, science fiction and reality in a way that was so brilliantly poetic and wildly imaginative and thought-provoking that I’m not exactly sure how to describe it. His uninhibited prose breaks through the walls in our mind and exposes regions of truth and wonder we might not otherwise explore.

When I lived in Denver, I attended a speech he made about his writing and his amazing life. That might have been the most inspirational (and fun) talk I’ve ever heard. He was brilliant, enthusiastic, but really just a nice, ordinary guy like you and me. And like you and me he was a big fan. A fan of creativity and pretty much everything in life. He loved both pop culture and fine art, and everything in between.

He wrote popular short stories in the days of pulp fiction magazines. He wrote stories and novels that are now considered literature. He wrote the screenplay for Hollywood classic Moby Dick. His celebrated stories have been turned into numerous television shows and movies. He has been a major influence for generations of writers and dreamers.  He was engaged in too many projects to mention, such as the creation of Disney’s Epcot Center. Even the idea of becoming safely lost in a city, put forth in his essay “The Aesthetics of Lostness,” was used in designing San Diego’s very own Horton Plaza Mall.

Did you know Elton John’s classic song Rocket Man was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Rocket Man” in his book The Illustrated Man? (By the way, the story is simply amazing. It’s one of my favorites.)

Ray Bradbury loved and attended comic book conventions, and frequently spoke at San Diego Comic-Con. From the 1970 convention at the U.S. Grant Hotel, to the 2010 event at the San Diego Convention Center, he was a guest at Comic-Con over the course of four decades!

He was a tireless lover of life whose imagination soared into the farthest reaches of the universe and even beyond. His mind never stood still.

If you’re a writer, read his Zen in the Art of Writing to instantly wipe out writer’s block and unleash your full potential. And read all of his short stories again and again. He was a master. Some say he was the greatest writer of the 20th century.

I do a little writing of fiction myself. If you want to read a short story that I’m sure was unconsciously influenced by Ray Bradbury, you might enjoy clicking One Strange, Shimmering Dream.

Ray Bradbury, in my opinion, provided a perfect example of how to lead a full life. He loved people. He loved living. He never stopped dreaming and creating. He loved everything.

Now download the free 2020 Comic-Con Souvenir Book by clicking here and get busy filling your eyeballs with wonderfulness!

Read a book and take flight!

I love this fun street art on Aero Drive. You can find it right next to the Serra Mesa-Kearny Mesa Branch Library parking lot. Painted on an electrical box is what will happen when you read a book. Your imagination will take flight!

If the library is closed and books are unavailable, your mind can take flight in a different way. Simply turn north and watch as small airplanes take off and land at nearby Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (which is more commonly known as Montgomery Field.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Comic-Con Museum offers fun at home!

Are the kids bored being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic? Are you bored?

The Comic-Con Museum has created something enjoyable for everyone to do! They’ve produced their first Fun Book!

Fun Book #1 has pages to color, instructions on how to draw a cute cartoon character, word puzzles and other activities! Download the .pdf here and print it out!

The Comic-Con Museum has launched a web page called Comic-Con Museum@Home, where all sorts of cool stuff will be appearing in the future, including lots of exclusive videos. Check it out here!

Like many of you, I’m really going to miss Comic-Con this summer, which was cancelled for the first time in 50 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. But time flies and next year will be here before we know it.

And the Comic-Con Museum still plans a Grand Opening in 2021!

I can’t wait!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Let’s celebrate Read Across America Week!

Soar to new heights. Read.
An outdoor mural near the Linda Vista library. Soar to new heights. Read.

Read Across America Week kicked off on Monday!

Read Across America Day, which begins a week-long celebration of reading, was created by the National Education Association. It’s held on the school day that is nearest to March 2nd. That’s Dr. Seuss’s birthday! And, as many of you know, Theodor Seuss Geisel was a famous resident of La Jolla in San Diego!

I thought I’d celebrate Read Across America Week with some past photographs concerning the written word. And photos that celebrate Dr. Seuss, too!

Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
Eat. Sleep. Read.
Eat. Sleep. Read. A shirt for sale at the Festival of Books at Liberty Station.
Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. On the shelves are Cat's Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...
Street art in Normal Heights. Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. Book on the nearby shelves include Cat’s Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof…
Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Library books are transported by public volunteers from an old branch library to a brand new building down the street. Those who will participate in the historic Book Pass, wearing yellow scarves, fan out along seven blocks of West Washington Street in Mission Hills.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Library books are transported by the hands of those who love to read to their new home.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Chris Vannoy, US National Beat Poet Laureate 2018-2019, reads live poetry in the Zoro Garden during the Garden Theatre Festival in Balboa Park.
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. Mason Cooley
Mark Twain is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Sculpture of Mark Twain on a bench. The humorist is reading his own classic American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Mr. Samuel Clemens, American author of many famous books and stories, relaxes under a tree in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park during 2015 TwainFest.
Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.
Moby Dick reading marathon on the poop deck of the 1863 tall ship Star of India.
Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges . . . I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library . . .
Words engraved outside the San Diego Central Library. Yo que me figuraba el paraiso bajo la especie de una biblioteca. From Poem of the Gifts, by Jorge Luis Borges. I who had always thought of Paradise in form and image as a library.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
Visitor to art gallery at the downtown San Diego Library looks at a rare Shakespeare First Folio, open to Hamlet. The nearby wall features a mural of 17th century London and the original Globe Theatre.
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody's front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
A simple, homemade lending library box next to somebody’s front yard in Crown Point, a neighborhood on Mission Bay. Leave a book or take one!
It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.
It’s Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham! This fun art was photographed outside the Legends Gallery in La Jolla, hometown of popular children’s book author Theodor Geisel.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.
Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat are cast in bronze at UC San Diego in La Jolla, not far from the place where the famous children’s author resided much of his life.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Do you love to read? I love to write!

If you’d like to check out my short works of fiction (and a few poems), click Short Stories by Richard.

Library honors those who dare to write!

To write a book requires great daring.

An author labors every day, hour, minute, writing, brainstorming, re-writing, doubting, dreaming, despairing, pouring out heart, soul and some of their deepest, most vulnerable thoughts for the entire public to read.

Will the finished words be criticized?

Will the author be ridiculed?

Will all that hard, agonizing work simply be ignored?

During the month of February, the San Diego Central Library is honoring the work of local writers. Books and eBooks that have been published in the past year are on display in the Local Author Showcase. The beautiful books have taken center stage on the first floor of the library for everyone to admire.

Writing is difficult. Writing a book is extremely difficult.

Congratulations to those who dared and succeeded!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Art and wisdom outside National City library.

Sculpture of two people holding hands on sidewalk.
Sculpture of two people holding hands on sidewalk.

Yesterday, as I walked past the National City Public Library, I paused to look at some fun art on the sidewalk. Then I noticed a wise quote in many languages printed on a monumental wall at the building’s front entrance.

In many languages: I always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of Library. Jorge Luis Borges
In many languages: I always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of Library. Jorge Luis Borges
Street art near the library.
Fun street art near the library.

Las Aventuras de Dehdohz en Casa.
Las Aventuras de Dehdohz en Casa.
Read.
Read.
Many faces.
Many faces.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Funny cats, coffee, books and a teacup!

This black cat likes drinking lattes.
This black cat likes drinking lattes.

Check out these photos of fun street art on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. A small electrical box just east of the Normal Heights landmark sign is painted with three funny cats.

They are drinking coffee, reading books, or sitting in a teacup!

Coffee. Cats. Books. Sometimes the answers to life's troubles are quite simple.
Coffee. Cats. Books. Sometimes the answers to life’s troubles are quite simple.
Cat in armchair reads Of Mice and Men. On the shelves are Cat's Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof...
Cat in a comfy armchair reads Of Mice and Men. Books on the nearby shelves include Cat’s Cradle, The Cat in the Hat, Puss in Boots, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof…
This kitten likes oolong tea.
This kitten in a teacup must like oolong tea!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Books fly in a children’s reading mural!

Favorite fairy tale and storybook characters come to life in a faded mural by the Linda Vista Library.
Favorite fairy tale and storybook characters live in a mural by the Linda Vista Library.

A mural painted on a building wall next to the Linda Vista Branch of the San Diego Public Library promotes children’s reading. Books take wing and fly!

Small scenes from fairy tales and fables appear in a colorful landscape surrounding a castle. The mural is home to The Tortoise and the Hare, Humpty Dumpty, Puss in Boots, the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, Mother Goose, the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and other classic storybook characters.

Murals fade, but worlds painted by human imagination do not.

Flights of imagination. Books take wing.
Flights of imagination. Timeless stories take wing.
Once upon a time there were magic books that could fly. Their goal was to teach children.
Once upon a time there were magic books that could fly. Their goal was to teach children.

Soar to new heights. Read.
Soar to new heights. Read.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

I also write fiction. Like fairy tales, my short stories concern life. You can read them at my website Short Stories by Richard.

Behind the scenes look at the City Archives!

Old books contain important records in the cold vault of the San Diego City Clerk's Archives Center.
Stacks of old books contain important records in the cold vault of the San Diego City Clerk’s Archives Center.

Yesterday I stepped into City Hall to enjoy an educational event open to the public during the City Clerk’s 3rd Annual Archives Month. When I entered the Archives Center in the basement of the San Diego City Administration Building, I didn’t really know what I might experience.

I saw and learned more from this behind the scenes tour than I expected!

I and a few others were led into a small lecture room and introduced to City of San Diego Archivist Jerry Handfield. He’s an energetic historian and professional archivist who in the past has served as State Archivist for both Indiana and Washington.

Jerry Handfield presented an overview of his job and explained the critical importance of maintaining genuine, reliable, trustworthy public records.

We learned that good governance depends on maintaining accurate records. Trustworthy public records protect the rights of citizens and promotes public trust in government. A healthy democracy relies on trust in its institutions.

Archives play such an important role that in 1850, when San Diego was a tiny town with very limited resources, the city’s newly created common council directed that a very expensive iron safe be appropriated to the clerk for the safekeeping of city records.

As an archivist, Jerry Handfield provided a list of reasons why records matter: they protect life (medical records), protect the public from disasters (maps and floor plans), protect property rights (deeds), and include all sorts of other critical information. He mentioned insurance and bank records, marriage licenses, work licenses and business records.

We learned that for an archivist preservation is a constant war. It’s a war against time, negligence, disasters like floods and mold, decay caused by acids in paper, and other often unpredictable factors. Some media that store records, such as floppy disks and magnetic tape, degrade over time, become corrupted or technologically obsolete.

Some of the City Archive’s older paper documents are given a special chemical treatment to help preserve them. Many are placed in acid-free sleeves or boxes and placed in a temperature and humidity controlled cold vault.

The City Clerk Archives is continuously working to digitize its many hard copy records–to preserve them for all time and make them readily available to the public via the internet. But there remain thousands upon thousands of documents and photos to be scanned and classified.

After the lecture we stepped into the cold vault and saw shelves stacked high with archival material. Then we stepped into a room where photos and negatives are scanned and digitized.

Ranged all around the main room of the Archives Center are additional interesting displays. I saw many Mayoral Artifacts that were presented as gifts to the city from all over the globe. Among these are an assortment of beautiful decorative plates.

Enough of my inadequate written description. Let’s look at a few photos and you’ll get a better idea of what I experienced!

San Diego City Archivist Jerry Handfield describes the importance of accurately recording and carefully preserving critical information.
San Diego City Archivist Jerry Handfield describes the importance of accurately recording and carefully preserving critical information.
Stacks of special boxes containing official records fill the temperature and humidity controlled cold vault at the City Archives.
Stacks of boxes containing official records fill the temperature and humidity controlled cold vault at the City Archives.
Archivist Jerry Handfield shows visitors shelves of old canvas and leather-bound books, including some that contain City Council Resolutions.
Archivist Jerry Handfield shows visitors shelves of old canvas and leather-bound books, including many that contain past City Council Resolutions.
In one room at the Archives Center, old photographs are scanned and categorized in order to be digitized for easy public access.
In one room at the Archives Center, old photographs are scanned and categorized by trained volunteers, in order to be digitized for easy public access.
Many cool historical photos of San Diego cover the walls!
Many cool historical photos of San Diego cover the walls of this room!
Man and Children in Halloween costumes, circa 1960.
Man and Children in Halloween costumes, circa 1960.
First Official Map of San Diego, June 1867.
First Official Map of San Diego, June 1867.
A treasure trove of San Diego history at one's fingertips!
A treasure trove of San Diego history at one’s fingertips!
Mayoral artifacts displayed at the San Diego City Clerk's Archives Center include many gifts from around the world.
Mayoral artifacts displayed in the main room of the San Diego City Clerk’s Archives Center include gifts from other cities and people around the world.
Armetale plate with Seal of City of San Diego.
Armetale plate with Seal of City of San Diego.
Paper mache oni mask from Mizusawa, Japan.
Paper mache oni mask from Mizusawa, Japan.
Filner Mayoral Artifact RF-4. Ballast Point Whaling Station, San Diego, California (1820's).
Filner Mayoral Artifact RF-4. Ballast Point Whaling Station, San Diego, California (1820’s).
While walking about the City Archives I spied the cover of an Official Views San Diego Panama-California Exposition souvenir book.
While walking about the main room of the City Archives I spied this cover of an Official Views San Diego Panama-California Exposition souvenir book.
Boxes upon boxes hold tons of paper records in the basement of City Hall!
Boxes upon boxes hold tons of paper records in the basement of City Hall!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You might say this blog is a sort of digital archive. You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Readers, writers gather for Festival of Books!

Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!
Those who love to read meet those who love to write at the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!

This morning I headed to Liberty Station in Point Loma to enjoy the San Diego Union-Tribune 3rd Annual Festival of Books!

I was excited to see that a positively enormous crowd had gathered to celebrate reading and writing! I didn’t attend any of the panels, but I did walk around to check out fascinating displays by local authors, publishers, cultural institutions and organizations that promote literacy. I spoke to many of the writers and was inspired by their creative energy and optimism!

These days the written word might be read on phones more frequently than on paper, but those words are just as vital as ever.

What would life be without words?

Words connect people.

Words define the world to our minds.

Words are how we create meaning.

The big San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books was held at Liberty Station in Point Loma.
The big San Diego Union-Tribune Festival of Books was held at beautiful Liberty Station in Point Loma.
Many local and regional authors showcased their books at the festival.
Many local and regional authors showcased their books at the festival.
Readers could meet friendly authors, get a signed copy, and make new discoveries!
Readers could meet friendly authors, get a signed copy, and make new discoveries!
Looks like Frida Kahlo is into that book.
Looks like Frida Kahlo is into that book.
Books as decor??? READ THEM, you silly people!
Books as decor? READ THEM, you silly people!
Write Out Loud, who produces TwainFest and other cool literary events, smiled for my camera! PoeFest in Old Town's spooky-at-night Adobe Chapel is coming in October.
Write Out Loud, who produces TwainFest and other cool literary events, smiled for my camera! PoeFest in Old Town’s spooky-at-night Adobe Chapel is coming in October!
I read a few days ago that the La Jolla Playhouse's musical Diana is heading to Broadway. Thumbs up!
I read a few days ago that the La Jolla Playhouse’s musical Diana is heading to Broadway. Thumbs up!
These cool folks representing the San Diego Repertory Theatre told me their digs at Horton Plaza are getting an upgrade!
These cool folks representing the San Diego Repertory Theatre told me their digs at Horton Plaza are getting an upgrade!
An exciting new era is beginning at the San Diego Symphony. Their new conductor is internationally acclaimed Rafael Payare!
An exciting new era is beginning at the San Diego Symphony. Their new conductor is internationally acclaimed Rafael Payare!
I know why these folks are smiling. Comedian Steve Martin's funny farce, The Underpants, is now playing at the Old Globe Theatre!
I know why these folks are smiling. Comedian Steve Martin’s funny farce, The Underpants, is now playing at the Old Globe Theatre!
Letras Sin Fronteras had their bookmobile at the festival.
Letras Sin Fronteras had their cool bookmobile at the festival.
The state of Maine asked Coronado author Tamara Merrill to write a book about prejudice in that region's past. It's titled Shadows in Our Bones.
The state of Maine asked Coronado author Tamara Merrill to write a book about prejudice in that region’s past. It’s titled Shadows in Our Bones.
I remember seeing Sheri Fink with her fun Whimsical World children's books during my walks near Seaport Village!
I remember seeing Sheri Fink with her fun Whimsical World children’s books during my walks near Seaport Village!
I love the cover of The Happy Little Garbage Truck by author Josan Wright Callender!
I love the cover of The Happy Little Garbage Truck by author Josan Wright Callender!
I caught an energetic performance by San Diego Taiko at the festival stage.
I caught an energetic performance by San Diego Taiko at the festival stage.
I also enjoyed seeing some cool Star Wars cosplay!
I also enjoyed seeing some awesome Star Wars cosplay!
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
First 5 San Diego was promoting parents reading to their children at a very young age.
Some fun, easy books that a young kid would surely love!
Some fun, easy books that any young kid would surely love!
San Diego Writers, Ink had a table at the Festival of Books. They nurture local writers with classes, groups, workshops and readings!
San Diego Writers, Ink had a table at the Festival of Books. They nurture local writers with classes, groups, workshops and readings!
Author Jim Stevens said I couldn't read a few sentences from any page of his novel without laughing. I did . . . and I did!
Author Jim Stevens said I couldn’t read a few sentences from any page of this novel without laughing. I did . . . and I did!
San Diego Zoo Global Press has launched fun children's books about animals! I met author and illustrator of Periwinkle's Journey, Suzy Spafford, of Suzy's Zoo fame.
San Diego Zoo Global Press has launched fun children’s books about animals! I met author and illustrator of Periwinkle’s Journey, Suzy Spafford, of Suzy’s Zoo fame.
A penguin makes a journey...
A penguin makes a journey…
Anyone could piece together poems like mosaics at the Words To Go table.
Anyone could piece together poems like mosaics at the Words To Go table.
I learned UC San Diego Extension is building a new facility in downtown's East Village. Very cool!
I learned UC San Diego Extension is building a new facility in downtown’s East Village. Very cool!
Some fun kids art at their table!
Some colorful kids art at their table!
Local word lover Richard Lederer, the Wizard of Idiom, was showing his many books and silently correcting my grammar.
Local word lover Richard Lederer, the Wizard of Idiom, was showing his many books and silently correcting my grammar.
Mister is the true story of a chicken, inspired by a San Diego teacher!
Mister is the true story of a chicken, inspired by a San Diego teacher!
Eat. Sleep. Read.
Eat. Sleep. Read.
KPBS had a table display of this year's One Book, One San Diego titles.
KPBS had a table display of this year’s One Book, One San Diego titles.
Visitors to the festival could write the title of their favorite book on this big chalkboard.
Visitors to the festival could write the title of their favorite book on this big chalkboard.
The San Diego Public Library had a booth, plus a nearby bookstore at the festival.
The San Diego Public Library had a booth, plus a nearby bookstore at the festival.
Visitors could write suggestions for the San Diego Public Library. Ebooks appeared to be a popular desire.
Visitors could write suggestions for the San Diego Public Library. Ebooks appeared to be a popular desire.
The Union Tribune had a special exhibit concerning journalism. Truth is Always the Strongest Argument.
The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper had a special indoor exhibit concerning journalism. Truth is Always the Strongest Argument – Sophocles.
The Festival of Books is an amazing San Diego event where writers and readers meet and share a love for the written word!
The Festival of Books is an absolutely amazing San Diego event where writers and readers meet and share a love for the written word!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!