Monday, February 13, 2017

From the other great readers: Quests, socialists, knots & Mushroom Planet

When it comes to reader comments, I've spent a lot of time in the past couple of weeks with the amazing "Mark Felt Chronicles" (Part 1, Part 2). But, as usual, other awesome comments have also been submitted in recent weeks on Papergreat. Here's the latest roundup of that always-welcome and always-loved feedback...

1984 comic book advertisement for TSR's Endless Quest books: Tom from the Garage Sale Finds blog writes: "I loved those Endless Quest books. I still have a few I leave in the bathroom hoping my kids will get hooked. I'm not sure which book it was, but I remember one adventure where you come upon a bunch of slave elves and the decision is proposed whether to leave or free them. Well, of course I tried to free them. Unfortunately, once you free them, they attack and kill you. Taught me a valuable life lesson there. Don't trust anybody. :)"

1970 "Stop Pollution" first-day cover, octopuses and #FridayReads: Joan writes: "Well, I learned something new today about the plural of octopus, and I love these stamps, even if they do villainize the poor octopus."

Photos of Taftville/Ponemah Mill in eastern Connecticut: Seeking a little help, a person writes: "I'm trying to fine an old black and white photo of my grandmother with other coworkers at Ponemah Mill, Taftville, Connecticut, around 1940s. They were posed around the machines they worked. Please respond at I know there is such a photo. They all had copies. Mine was lost to a thief!!!"

Undated mystery photo of a plucky-looking young girl: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "The girl's hat is similar to those worn in the early 1930s. Her boots are also similar to that era. There appears to be blurry Model T in the background. They were manufactured into the late '20s, so would have still have been in use in the early '30s as well."

Ephemera for Lunch #30: Glory to the victorious people! Regarding the handwritten Russian note on the back of this 1964 postcard, Anonymous writes: "Translation: 'Dear Nadya! I congratulate you with the 47th anniversary of the Great October socialist revolution and wish you the best success in life and get only excellent marks at school. 07.11.64 Verochka"

Some 1965 Amazing Stories ads were too amazing to be true: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "re: 'WHY Buy Books? Send 10¢ for information.' For your dime, I suspect you would receive a list of local libraries."

Cool illustrations: The New Human Interest Library (Part 14): Jim Fahringer writes: "Loved seeing the many different knots from the chapter entitled — 'Things for Boys to Make.' It brought back many memories from my Boy Scout days. I remember so many of the knots but we remembered them by other names. For example the 'Sailor's or Beef Knot' was known as the 'Square Knot' when I was in Boy Scouts. One year while being a Boy Scout Lifeguard at Camp Tuckahoe we learned a new knot. I forget the name of that knot now but we used it to tie the lifeguard rescue boat to the wharf. It was a type of slip knot. In an emergency all you had to do was yank on the end and the boat would immediately come loose. The neat thing about the knot was that no matter how forceful the moored boat would pull against the knot when it was tied to the wharf, it would not come loose. I don't think I know how to tie that knot anymore. Loved seeing the various knots from this book."

Questions, answers & mysteries with Hookland's David Southwell (Part 2): Anonymous writes: "You should have asked [Southwell] about the influence of Scarfolk — it was conspicuous in its absence."

And Hookland's David Southwell replied: "Whilst I love and follow Richard (author of Scarfolk), I've never followed Scarfolk, nor Night Vale, because when people tell you what you do reminds you of X and that you and X represent some sort of pseudo-genre, you need to protect yourself and your work from being in the wake of something if you want it to bumble along being profoundly wrapped-up in itself. And trust me, Hookland is so profoundly wrapped-up in the peak 1970s Albionic weirdness that it is a response to, it's better that it doesn't get ideas of it being anything in relation to X, just carrying on with its own bumbling. Nothing harms the originality of any work more than thinking of itself as being part of a genre or existing as a response to another artist's work."

Scholastic Fest: #3, The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet: Paul Allen, a teacher and author of multiple blogs, writes: "Great write-up! I have written a biography of Eleanor Cameron due to be published this fall. I also have a Cameron website:, for those interested in more information about her and the Mushroom Planet. I ran into the same blanks trying to research [illustrator Robert] Henneberger. There's just nothing out there. But I did learn that he decided not to illustrate the final three Mushroom Planet books because he became involved with a religion that condemned the idea of space exploration."

Book front & back: "Love a Llama": Joan writes: "Personal vouching for llama hugginess. I love it."

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