Dragons: A History of Mythology and BeliefsWritten by Johann Erickson
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dragons whose whole existence was to serve and protect a kingdom, or prince, and they display most sterling qualities of loyalty and sacrifice.
Part of reason it is so hard to define what constitutes a dragon, is wide variance in their physical images. In Eastern culture dragon started out as an elongated, almost serpentine creature, usually, but not always showing four shortened legs, and a spaded tail. They were covered in scales, had a crest on head, and were brightly colored in many hues. In Western culture, traditional image of dragon is of an almost reptilian animal, usually green, with wings like a bat, and breathing fire. Some also have feathers. Which is likely what leads to confusing dragons with gryphons (leonine in hind quarters and raptor-like in front quarters) and phoenix (a mythical bird).
As mythology of dragons in both cultures became shared through world travel, line between two images blurred, so that some Western representations, now show a definite eastern influence.
Today, popularity of science fiction, and such role-playing games as Dungeons and Dragons, means that dragon figurines are a hot commodity. From pewter or other metal game pieces, to wood carvings, Chinese jade and crystal, dragon has become a symbol of magic and mystery, a tangible piece of other worlds, that can be held in our hand, and admired for exquisite craftsmanship put into every piece. Whether they are hand cast pottery, or hand-blown glass, dragon figurines add a splash of brilliance to a desktop, bookcase, or display pedestal, where they can rule over their kingdom.
- The Tarasque dragon-like monster of Tarascon, France, was charmed and led back into city by St. Martha, where he was stoned to death by people.
- Dragonroot, also known as Jack-in-the-pulpit. Used for medicinal purposes, but only after root is dried. Taken internally while fresh it causes death by gastroenteritis.
- Leviathan, a biblical creature who has wrapped his body around Earth, and holds its tail in its mouth, lest Earth fall apart.
Johann Erickson is the owner of Online Discount Mart and TV Products 4 Less. Please include an active link to our site if you'd like to reprint this article.
How Did the Comic Book Get It's Start?Written by Dave Gieber
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So where did actual comic book begin? Some say it was with reprints of Carl Schultz' Foxy Grandpa, from 1901 to 1905. Although others say it was Great Britain's Ally Sloper's Half Alley. In 1902, Hearst published Katzenjammer Kids and Happy Hooligan in books with cardboard covers. For a time, Yellow Kid himself was a top contender. But it depends how rigid you are in your description of a comic book. These examples, for sure, were predecessors to modern comic book, which exploded in 1930's.
The Whitman Publishing Company, in 1934, became one of pre-launchers for modern comic book. They published forty issues of Famous Comics, which was a black and white hardcover reprint. The first regularly published comic in more recognizable modern format though, was Famous Funnies. It featured such memorable characters as Joe Palooka, Buck Rogers and Mutt and Jeff.
Superheroes as we know them today took a strong foothold in 1930's. In 1938, Max C. Gaines, who was one of comic industry giants, brought "Superman" to Dell Comics publisher, Harry Donenfield. Donenfield scored comic coup of century when he published a story written by two teenagers, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster- and so "Superman of Metropolis" (the title of their short story they wrote in their own fanzine) was born. Superman was to set a standard for comic book heroes that persist to this day.
Dave Gieber, a former rocket engineer, has decided to take up residency on the Internet. He is the owner and editor of several websites, one of which was built around one of his childhood passions; www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com . You can visit here to keep up to date on the world of comic books and comic book collecting. Feel free to sign up for my comic book ezine at www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com/comic-book-ezine.html