Robert Ryan was known for his bigoted, violent characters in movies like The Wild Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, and Bad Day at Black Rock, but off the screen Ryan was a civil rights activist and pacifist, a fascinating dichotomy that Jones brings to life in his book and in our conversation.
Finally, I ask J.R. Jones to share some of his memories of the novelist and short story writer Richard Yates. Jones also grew up in Deerfield, so we hear a bit about how the Deerfield library and community inspired his early interest in film.
Known for Darth Vader and Son and the Jedi Academy series as well as Clumsy, Funny Misshapen Body, & A Matter of Life, Jeffrey Brown has been a prolific cartoonist and author. We discuss why the Village of Deerfield is in every one of his books, some of the themes of his adult graphic memoirs, how his Star Wars books came about, why it's difficult to make jokes about R2-D2 and C-3PO, and how he gets all the science into his Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series.
His website is jeffreybrowncomics.com or check out his books through the library. You can also find My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris at the library, which Jeff recommends.
Library News: Learn more about, Read Without Boundaries, our year-long adult reading program.
Legendary photographer and writer Art Shay’s work has appeared in LIFE, Time, Sports Illustrated, and many other publications. Our conversation is full of first-hand accounts of some of the most the famous people and events of the 20th century--and local Deerfield history. We learn that Nelson Algren and Billy Corgan often visited Shay in Deerfield and Eleanor Roosevelt and James Baldwin were in town to support a proposed integrated housing development in the late 1950s and early 60s. Shay was part of the Deerfield Citizens for Human Rights, a group supporting integration.
We also hear about Shay’s interactions with Ernest Hemingway, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, John F. Kennedy and more! At 95, Shay was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Lucie Foundation and has a current exhibit at the American Writers Museum, Capturing Stories, which features his photographs of authors (through Spring 2018).
Just a note that Shay does use a bit of colorful language in this interview--you might want to preview it before sharing with young listeners.