Studio Ghibli

The Japanese animated film maker Studio Ghibli (株式会社スタジオジブリ Hepburn: Kabushiki-gaisha Sutajio Jiburi) was Founded in 1985, after the success of the animated feature film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and headed by the directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata and the producer Toshio Suzuki. The name Ghibli was given by Hayao Miyazaki from the Italian noun “ghibli”, based on the Libyan-Arabic name for the hot desert wind of that country, the idea being the studio would “blow a new wind through the anime industry”. It also refers to an Italian aircraft, the Caproni Ca.309 Ghibli. Although the Italian word is pronounced with a hard ɡ, the Japanese pronunciation of the studio’s name is with a soft g. 

Prior to the formation of the studio, Miyazaki and Takahata had already had long careers in Japanese film and television animation and had worked together on Hols: Prince of the Sun and Panda! Go, Panda!; and Suzuki was an editor at Tokuma Shoten’s Animage manga magazine. Studio Ghibli was founded after the success of the 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which was written and directed by Miyazaki for Topcraft and distributed by Toei Company. It is based on the first two volumes of a serialized manga written by Miyazaki for publication in Animage as a way of generating interest in an anime version. Suzuki was part of the production team on the film and founded Studio Ghibli with Miyazaki, who also invited Takahata to join the new studio.

The studio has mainly produced films by Miyazaki, with the second most prolific director being Takahata (most notably with Grave of the Fireflies). Other directors who have worked with Studio Ghibli include Yoshifumi Kondo, Hiroyuki Morita, Gorō Miyazaki, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi. Composer Joe Hisaishi has provided the soundtracks for most of Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films. In their book Anime Classics Zettai!, Brian Camp and Julie Davis made note of Michiyo Yasuda as “a mainstay of Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary design and production team”.[5] At one time the studio was based in Kichijōji, Musashino, Tokyo. In 1996, Disney and Tokuma Shoten Publishing agreed that Disney would distribute internationally Tokuma’s Studio Ghibli animated films

There is a close relationship between Studio Ghibli and the magazine Animage, which regularly runs exclusive articles on the studio and its members in a section titled “Ghibli Notes.” Artwork from Ghibli’s films and other works are frequently featured on the cover of the magazine. Saeko Himuro’s novel Umi ga Kikoeru was serialised in the magazine and subsequently adapted into Ocean Waves (film), Studio Ghibli’s only animated feature length film created for television and it was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. Between 1999 and 2005 Studio Ghibli was a subsidiary of Tokuma Shoten, the publisher of Animage. In 2001, the Ghibli Museum opened in Mitaka, Tokyo. It contains exhibits based on Studio Ghibli films and shows animations, including a number of short Studio Ghibli films not available elsewhere. Studio Ghibli is also known for its strict “no-edits” policy in licensing their films abroad due to Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind being heavily edited for the film’s release in the United States as Warriors of the Wind.

In 2008, Toshio Suzuki stepped down from the position of Studio Ghibli president and Koji Hoshino (former president of Walt Disney Japan) took over. Suzuki said he wanted to improve films with his own hands as a producer, rather than demanding this from his employees. Suzuki decided to hand over the presidency to Hoshino because Hoshino has helped Studio Ghibli to sell its videos since 1996, also helping to release the Princess Mononoke film in the United States. Suzuki still serves on the company’s board of directors Two Studio Ghibli short films created for the Ghibli Museum were shown at the Carnegie Hall Citywise Japan NYC Festival: “House Hunting” and “Mon Mon the Water Spider”.

Takahata developed a project for release after Gorō Miyazaki’s (director of Tales from Earthsea and Hayao’s son) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – an adaptation of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. The last film Hayao Miyazaki directed before retiring from feature films was The Wind Rises which is about the Mitsubishi A6M Zero and its founder. Gorō Miyazaki will direct his first anime television series, Sanzoku no Musume Rōnya, an adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s Ronia the Robber’s Daughter for NHK. The series is computer-animated, produced by Polygon Pictures, and co-produced by Studio Ghibli.

In 2014, Toshio Suzuki retired as a producer and assumed a new position of general manager. Yoshiaki Nishimura replaced Suzuki in the producer role. Toshio Suzuki also announced that Studio Ghibli would take a “brief pause” to re-evaluate and restructure in the wake of Miyazaki’s retirement. Lead producer Yoshiaki Nishimura among several other staffers from Ghibli left to found Studio Ponoc in 2015, and are working on the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower. The 2016 animated fantasy film The Red Turtle, directed and co-written by Dutch-British animator Michaël Dudok de Wit in his feature film debut, was a co-production between Studio Ghibli and Wild Bunch. In 2017, Toshio Suzuki announced that Hayao Miyazaki has come out of retirement to direct a new feature film with Studio Ghibli.

Among Studio Ghibli’s best films are Laputa:Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, Tales from Earthsea, Ponyo, Arrietty, From up on Poppy Hill, The Wind Rises, The Tale of Princess Kaguya and When Marnie was There.

Eight of Studio Ghibli’s films are among the 15 highest-grossing anime films made in Japan, with Spirited Away (2001) being the second highest, grossing over US$290 million worldwide. Many of their works have won the Animage Anime Grand Prix award, and four have won the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. Five of Studio Ghibli’s films received Academy Award nominations in the United States. Spirited Away won a Golden Bear in 2002 and an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film in 2003. Totoro, a character from My Neighbor Totoro, is the studio’s mascot.

John Lee Hooker

American Blues singer, songwriter and guitarist John Lee Hooker was born circa August 22, 1912 or 1917. in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in Tallahatchie County, although some sources say his birthplace was near Clarksdale, in Coahoma CountyIn 1922 his mother married William Moore, a local blues singer and guitarist In Shreveport, Louisiana who provided John Lee with an introduction to the guitar (and whom he would later credit for his distinctive playing style) , off whom Hooker learned to play a droning, one-chord blues that was strikingly different from the Delta blues of the time. Another influence was Tony Hollins, who dated Hooker’s sister Alice, helped teach Hooker to play, and gave him his first guitar. For the rest of his life, Hooker regarded Hollins as a formative influence on his style of playing and his career as a musician. Among the songs that Hollins reputedly taught Hooker were versions of “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Catfish Blues”.

. At the age of 14, Hooker ran away from home, reportedly never seeing his mother or stepfather again. In the mid-1930s, he lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where he performed on Beale Street, at the New Daisy Theatre and at house parties. He worked in factories in various cities during World War II, eventually getting a job with the Ford Motor Company in Detroit in 1943. He frequented the blues clubs and bars on Hastings Street, the heart of the black entertainment district, on Detroit’s east side. In a city noted for its pianists, guitar players were scarce. Hooker’s popularity grew quickly as he performed in Detroit clubs, and, seeking an instrument louder than his acoustic guitar, he bought his first electric guitar.

Hooker’s recording career began in 1948, when Modern Records, based in Los Angeles, released a demo he had recorded for Bernie Besman in Detroit. The single, “Boogie Chillen’ became a huge hit. Despite being illiterate, Hooker was a prolific lyricist. In addition to adapting traditional blues lyrics, he composed original songs. In the 1950s, like many black musicians, Hooker earned little from record sales, and so he often recorded variations of his songs for different studios for an up-front fee. To evade his recording contract, he used various pseudonyms, including John Lee Booker, Johnny Lee, John Lee, John Lee Cooker, Texas Slim, Delta John, Birmingham Sam and his Magic Guitar, Johnny Williams, and the Boogie Man. His early solo songs were recorded by Bernie Besman.

Hooker rarely played with a standard beat, but instead he changed tempo to fit the needs of the song. This often made it difficult to use backing musicians, who were not accustomed to Hooker’s musical vagaries. As a result, Besman recorded Hooker playing guitar, singing and stomping on a wooden pallet in time with the music. He recorded and toured with Eddie Kirkland. In Hooker’s later sessions for Vee-Jay Records in Chicago, studio musicians accompanied him on most of his recordings, including Eddie Taylor, who could handle his musical idiosyncrasies. “Boom Boom” and “Dimples”, two popular songs by Hooker, were originally released by Vee-Jay.

Hooker performed “Boom Boom” in the role of a street musician in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1989, he recorded the album The Healer with various other notable musicians, including Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt. He recorded several songs with Van Morrison, including “Never Get Out of These Blues Alive”, “The Healing Game”, and “I Cover the Waterfront”. He also appeared on stage with Morrison several times; some of these performances released on the live album A Night in San Francisco. On December 19, 1989, Hooker performed “Boogie Chillen'” with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton in Atlantic City, New JerseY.

As part of the Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels tour, the show was broadcast live on cable television as a pay-per-view program. His last studio recording on guitar and vocal was “Elizebeth”, a song he wrote with Pete Sears, accompanied by members of his Coast to Coast Blues Band, with Sears on piano. It was recorded on January 14, 1998, at Bayview Studios in Richmond, California. The last song Hooker recorded before his death was “Ali d’Oro”, a collaboration with the Italian soul singer Zucchero, in which Hooker sang the chorus, “I lay down with an angel.”

Hooker spent the last years of his life in Long Beach, California. In 1997, he opened a nightclub in San Francisco’s Fillmore District called John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom Room, after one of his hit songs. Among his many awards, Hooker was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in 2016. Two of his songs, “Boogie Chillen” and “Boom Boom”, were included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. “Boogie Chillen” was also included in the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the “Songs of the Century”.He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Some of his other songs include “B”Crawling King Snake”, “Dimples” and “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”, The Healer,  Mr. Lucky, Chill Out and Don’t Look Back” which won a Grammy Award in 1998.

Sadly Hooker fell ill just before a tour of Europe in 2001 and died in his sleep on June 21, 2001, in Los Altos, California. He was interred at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland. He was survived by eight children, 19 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.

Donna Godchaux (Grateful Dead)

Famous for being a member of the Grateful Dead, the musician Donna Jean Godchaux (nee Thatcher) was born 22 August 1947 in Florence, Alabama. Prior to 1970, she had worked as a session singer in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, eventually singing with a group called Southern Comfort and appearing as a backup singer on at least two #1 hit songs: “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge in 1966 and “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley in 1969. Her vocals were featured on other classic recordings by Boz Scaggs and Duane Allman, Cher, Joe Tex, Neil Diamond and many others. She then moved to California and met future fellow Grateful Dead member Keith Godchaux, whom she married in 1970.

Donna introduced Keith to Jerry Garcia after Garcia’s performance at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner in September 1971. At the time, Donna Jean was not working as a musician. She joined the band shortly afterwards, remaining a member until February 1979. Donna Jean provided back-up and lead vocals in the group’s music. During their membership in the Grateful Dead, the couple also issued the mostly self-written Keith & Donna album in 1975 with Jerry Garcia as a Keith and Donna Band member. In turn, they performed as part of the Jerry Garcia Band. Keith and Donna’s son, Zion “Rock” Godchaux of BoomBox, was born in 1974. After the Grateful Dead, the couple started the Heart of Gold Band. Donna did not perform again with any Grateful Dead band members until after the death of Jerry Garcia. Shortly after her husband’s death in 1980, Donna Jean turned to religion. She married bassist David MacKay (former Fiddleworms member and bassist for the Donna Jean Godchaux Band) and the couple moved to her childhood town of Florence, Alabama, to record at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.

In 2009, Donna Jean formed a brand new band, the Donna Jean Godchaux Band, with Jeff Mattson (of Phil Lesh and Friends, Zen Tricksters, and Dark Star Orchestra), after re-entering the music scene with Mattson and Mookie Siegel (of David Nelson Band, Phil Lesh and Friends, and Ratdog) to form Kettle Joe’s Psychedelic Swamp Revue, later known as Donna Jean & the Tricksters. She occasionally makes guest appearances with Bob Weir & RatDog, Zero & Steve Kimock, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dark Star Orchestra and Dead & Company. In 1994, Donna Jean was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Grateful Dead. She resides in Killen, Alabama, and remains an active member of the Muscle Shoals music scene when not touring with the Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson.

Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears)

Roland Orzabal was born 22 August 1961, He is best known for forming the band Tears for Fears, along with childhood friend Curt Smith.  Roland Orzabal met Curt Smith when they were both were teenagers. They first formed a band in their teens, for which Smith taught himself to play bass guitar. They next formed the ska influenced band Graduate, releasing an album in 1980 achieving minor success in Europe. Smith and Orzabal also became session musicians for the band Neon. Fellow band members included Pete Byrne and Rob Fisher who went on to become the duo Naked Eyes. After Graduate and Neon disbanded, Smith and Orzabal founded Tears for Fears in 1981. Their debut album, 1983’s The Hurting, reached no.1 in the UK and produced three international hit singles – “Mad World”, “Change”, and “Pale Shelter” – each with lead vocals performed by Smith.

Their 1985 album Songs from the Big Chair was even more successful, yielding hits including “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (with Smith again on lead vocals), “Shout,” and “Head Over Heels” (which Smith co-wrote). The duo spent the next several years recording their 1989 album The Seeds of Love, which proved to be another international best-seller. Smith’s last single as a lead vocalist with the group (and his only lead vocal track on the album) was “Advice for the Young at Heart”. Following another world tour, increasing tensions between Orzabal and Smith prompted Smith to leave the band in 1991 and he moved to New York.

In 2000, routine legal paperwork obligations led to Orzabal and Smith’s first conversation in nearly a decade. The two patched up their differences and, along with Smith’s associate Charlton Pettus, began writing a new album – Everybody Loves a Happy Ending – released in 2004. Prior to this, “Mad World” was covered by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules for the soundtrack of film Donnie Darko. It was released as a single and reached no.1 in the UK during Christmas 2003. The single re-ignited interest in the group’s earlier work and their 1992 Greatest Hits album was re-released and re-entered the UK Top 10 for several weeks, garnering its second UK platinum disc.

After leaving Tears for Fears, Smith released his first solo album, Soul on Board, in 1993. The album was unsuccessful in the UK, and was not released at all in the U.S. After moving to New York, Smith formed the band Mayfield with guitarist-producer Charlton Pettus and which also featured Russ Irwin. According to Smith, the name of the band was a play on words (Curt is Mayfield) based on the name of the legendary American soul singer Curtis Mayfield. The band was mostly a live act but did release a self-titled album in 1997, which met with little success. Smith later released the album Aeroplane under his own name. In the U.S., this was a six song EP, but in Canada and elsewhere, it was essentially the earlier Mayfield album combined with additional songs from the U.S. EP. In October 2011, Smith announced on his website that he will re-release the Mayfield album on 15 November 2011. The new release, on his KOOK Media label, will include a bonus version of the song “Trees” featuring Janice Whaley

In April 2007, French record label XIII Bis Records released Halfway, Pleased in France. Its 14 tracks included the original version of “Who You Are” (which was recorded by Tears for Fears on Everybody Loves a Happy Ending); a live version of “Snow Hill” from the 2005 Tears for Fears UK tour; the single version of “Seven of Sundays” (also recorded as a duet with French singer SO); and a cover of “On Ira Tous au Paradis” (also available on A Tribute to Polnareff). Two music videos were made for “Seven of Sundays” – one as a solo track, and one as the duet with SO. All the songs except “Seven of Sundays” were co-written by Smith and Pettus. The solo version of “Seven of Sundays” was co-written by Pettus and Chesney Hawkes; Smith released the album in the U.S. and the rest of the world in May 2008. The KOOK release features a slightly different track listing, eliminating the Polnareff tribute and adding two new acoustic tracks (“Coming Out” and “Seven of Sundays”).

Smith has made limited live concert appearances in the Los Angeles area to support Halfway, pleased. In January 2009, he announced that he will perform a weekly residency at The Standard Hollywood in West Hollywood, CA during the month of February 2009.In July 2013 Smith released his fourth solo album, his first since 2008. In January 2010, Smith released the standalone single “All Is Love (featuring Zoë Keating),” The second track in the series, “Perfectly…Still (featuring Universal Hall Pass)” was released in August 2010.mSmith occasionally collaborates with other artists. He worked with the French singer So (Sophie Saillet) providing vocals on her track “Les Autres”, and the pair worked together again on Smith’s track “Seven of Sundays” (Saillet also appeared in both videos for the song). Smith is also featured on The Shadow Bureau’s 2011 track “Don’t Give Yourself Away” with artist Linda Strawberry, inspired by the 2010 Australian film Griff the Invisible. Smith and longtime collaborator Charlton Pettus also composed and recorded the score for the 2011 film Meth Head, starring Lukas Haas. Smith contributed an original song, “This Is Christmas”, to an episode of the fifth season of the TV series Psych.

In August 2010, Smith debuted a live music web series, “Stripped Down Live With Curt Smith”,which he produces along with his manager Arlene Wszalek and Streamin’ Garage CEO Mike Rotman. Each episode is devoted to a single featured artist. The band or musician plays acoustic versions of their songs (the show is streamed live via UStream), Smith interviews them between sets. guests have included Hypnogaja, Carina Round, Chris Pierce, Peter Himmelman, Common Rotation, Gary Jules, All Day Sucker, The Daylights, Matthew Sweet, The Fallen Stars, Nightmare & The Cat, Whiskey Saints, Fitz & The Tantrums and Friendly Indians. In 1988, Smith appeared at the Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute performing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, with accompanying musicians Phil Collins, Midge Ure, and Mark Brzezicki on stage.In 1989, Smith appeared onstage with various other performers at Stevie Wonder’s birthday concert at London’s Wembley Arena.

Smith has also tried his hand at acting. He had a minor role as a desk clerk in The Dead Connection (1994), had a more significant role as a professor in 2000’s The Private Public and made a surprise appearance to open Psych’s 2010 Comic Con panel, singing onstage with Psych co-stars James Roday and Dulé Hill. He appeared, in the “Psych” episode “Shawn 2.0”,and also wrote a variation of the opening theme. His single “This is Christmas” appeared in the episode “The Polarizing Express”. He again appeared as himself in the show’s 100th episode, “100 Clues”, and the episode “A Nightmare on State Street” as himself. In May 2009, Smith performed at the Artist for the Arts Foundation benefit at Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, Santa Monica, California. Performing live, alongside Colin Hay (Men at Work), Fee Waybill (The Tubes) & Venice (Crazy on You) and over 70 members of the Santa Monica High School (SaMoHi) Orchestra and Girls Choir. In 2014, Smith appeared in the horror film Crazy Bitches as a Police Detective.The song “Mannequin”, from the album Deceptively Heavy, was also used as the theme song for the movie.

Vernon Ried ( Living Colour)

Vernon Reid, the American guitarist and songwriter with Living Colour was born 22 August 1958. Living Colour are an American rock band from New York City, formed in 1984 by English-born guitarist Vernon Reid. They grew out of the Black Rock Coalition, a non-profit organization founded by (among others) Reid for black musicians interested in playing rock music. Reid was well known on the downtown New York jazz scenes because of his tenure in Ronald Shannon Jackson’s Decoding Society. Reid assembled a number of bands under the name Living Colour from 1984 to 1986.Early band members included bassists Alex Mosely, Jerome Harris and Carl James, drummers Greg Carter, Pheeroan Aklaff and J.T. Lewis, keyboardist Geri Allen, and vocalists D.K. Dyson and Mark Ledford, with Reid occasionally singing lead vocals himself. The band’s sound was vastly different from the songs that showed up later on their major label recordings. Material from this period included instrumental jazz/funk workouts, politically pointed punk rock burners, experimental excursions via Reid’s guitar synth, and an early version of the song “Funny Vibe”, which was reworked for their debut album Vivid.I n 1992, Skillings left the band due to creative differences and was replaced by Doug Wimbish. This new line up released their third full-length album, Stain, in 1993.

Stylistically, the band’s music is a creative fusion influenced by free jazz, funk, hip hop,hard rock, and heavy metal. Their lyrics range from the personal to the political, in some of the latter cases attacking Eurocentrism and racism in America.Living Colour rose to fame with their debut album Vivid in 1988. Although the band scored a number of hits, they are best remembered for their signature song “Cult of Personality”, which won a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1990. They were also named Best New Artist at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.
Despite retaining their strong fan base, Living Colour disbanded in January 1995, after failing to settle on a common musical goal during sessions for their fourth studio album. Four of these tracks were included on the compilation Pride.Following the breakup, individual band members released a variety of solo efforts.

After disbanding in 1995, Living Colour reunited in late 2000. at CBGB as a gig billed “Head>>Fake w/ special guests”. Head>>Fake was the currentdrum and bass project headed by Calhoun and Wimbish. Glover was on the bill to sing a few songs and Reid came on after three songs. The reunion was followed by the release of the band’s fourth studio album, Collideøscope, in 2003, their first album not to chart in the United States, although it was critically praised.[citation needed] In 2005, Sony Records released Live From CBGB, a live album recorded on December 19, 1989, as well as another best of compilation, Everything Is Possible: The Very Best of Living Colour, with songs fromVivid to Collideøscope.In August 2006, Glover took on the role of Judas Iscariot in a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, touring with JCS veteran Ted Neeley. Doug Pinnick, vocalist and bassist of King’s X, filled in for Glover on lead vocals. Glover’s tour of the musical ran through June 2008, and he then rejoined the band. On September 22, 2006, Skillings joined the band for the first time in fourteen years when they played at a private party which drummer Jack DeJohnette threw for his wife Lydia. Wimbish was unable to come back from his base in London to play for the event, so Skillings agreed to take over for the special private event.

The band performed a week-long European Tour starting on December 12, 2006. In May 2007, the band released their first live DVD – On Stage At World Cafe Live. On July 11, 2008, the band performed at the 1980s hard rock-themed Rocklahoma festival at Pryor, Oklahoma. Once again, Skillings performed with them in August 2008 for a Black Rock Coalition Band of Gypsys tribute in Harlem. They performed “Them Changes” and “Power of Soul”.On October 25, 2008, MVD Audio and CBGB Records released CBGB OMFUG MASTERS: August 19, 2005 The Bowery Collection, a soundboard collection of songs from the Save CBGB’s benefit show. On November 25, 2008, Inakustik and MVD released The Paris Concert, a DVD recorded at New Morning, in Paris, France, during their 2007 European Tour. The band released their fifth studio album, The Chair in the Doorway, on September 15, 2009 on Megaforce Records. The album sold approximately 2,800 copies in its first week and landed at No. 159 on the Billboard 200. This was the band’s first album to chart since Stain in 1993. The band is currently touring the world in support of the record.According to an interview on breakdownroom. net, Glover hopes to release another album with the band next year. “We’re going to do something different [for us] and make a real record, right now, right after we’ve done this one,” Glover said with a laugh. The band’s song “Cult of Personality” received fresh exposure from 2011, as it was used as the entrance music for professional wrestler CM Punk. In 2013, Living Colour performed the song live at during Punk’s entrance at WrestleMania

Ray Bradbury

Best known for his dystopian futuristic novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , The American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction writer Ray Bradbury was born 22 August. Throughout his youth Bradbury was an avid reader and writer. He knew as a young boy that he was “going into one of the arts.” Bradbury was drawing, acting and writing. In 1932, one of Bradbury’s earliest influences was Edgar Allan Poe. At age twelve, Bradbury began writing traditional horror stories and said he tried to imitate Poe until he was about eighteen. At the time, his favorites were also Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter as well as comic books. He listened to the radio show Chandu the Magician, and when the show went off the air every night he would sit and write the entire script from memory. In his youth, he spent much time reading H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of 12 he wrote his own sequel. The young Bradbury also was a cartoonist and loved to illustrate. He wrote about Tarzan and drew his own Sunday panels.

Bradbury claimed a wide variety of influences from Robert Frost, William Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, to Thomas Wolfe. He attended Los Angeles High School and was active in both the Poetry Club and the Drama club, continuing plans to become an actor but becoming serious about his writing as his high school years progressed. Bradbury graduated from Los Angeles High School, where he took poetry classes and short story writing courses where the teachers recognized his talent and furthered his interest in writing.When he was seventeen, Bradbury read stories published in Astounding Science Fiction, and said he read everything by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and the early writings of Theodore Sturgeon and A.E. Van Vogt, but cited H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as his big science fiction influences. In 1936, Ray Bradbury discovered a handbill promoting meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society. Thrilled to find there were others with his interests, at the age of sixteen Bradbury joined a weekly Thursday-night conclave. Soon Bradbury began submitting his short stories for publication. After a rejection notice from the pulp magazine Weird Tales, Bradbury submitted to other magazines.

During World War Two Ray Bradbury started a career in writing after, he was rejected by the military during World War II. Having been inspired by science fiction heroes like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, Bradbury began to publish science fiction stories in fanzines, he was also invited to attend meetings of the Los Angeles Science Fiction Society, which met in downtown Los Angeles. His first published story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma”, which appeared in the fanzine Imagination! in January, 1938. Bradbury’s first paid piece, “Pendulum,” written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories in November 1941,and he also published “The Lake”, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. His first collection of short stories, Dark Carnival, was published in 1947, Bradbury’s short stories, “Homecoming’” was also spotted and subsequently published in Madamoiselle magazine where it won a place in The O. Henry Prize Stories of 1947, Bradbury also wrote his classic story of a dystopian book-burning future, The Fireman, which was later published under the name, Fahrenheit 451.

Besides his fiction work, Bradbury wrote many short essays on the arts and culture, and In the 1980s, Bradbury concentrated on detective fiction. Several comic book writers have also adapted Bradbury’s stories. Particularly noted among these were EC Comics’ line of horror and science-fiction comics, which often featured Bradbury’s name on the cover announcing that one story in that issue would be an adaptation of his work. The comics featuring Bradbury’s stories included Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Crime Suspenstories, Haunt of Fear and others.

Bradbury sadly passed away on June 5th, 2012 after a lengthy illness, however he remained an enthusiastic playwright throughout his life and left a rich theatrical and literary legacy. Bradbury became one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. His obituary stated that Bradbury was “the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream.” Many of Bradbury’s works have also been adapted into television shows or films, he is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, and More than eight million copies of his works, published in over 36 languages, have been sold around the world.

Battle of Bosworth Field

August 22 marks the anniverary of The Battle of Bosworth Field (or Battle of Bosworth). It was the last significant battle of the Wars of the Roses, the civil war between the Houses of Lancaster and York that raged across England in the latter half of the 15th century. Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians. Their leader Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty. His opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, making it a defining moment of English and Welsh history.Richard’s reign began in 1483 when he was handed the throne after his twelve-year-old nephew Edward V, for whom he was acting as Lord Protector, was declared illegitimate and ineligible for the throne. The boy and his younger brother disappeared in mysterious circumstances, and Richard’s support was eroded by rumours of his involvement in the death of his wife. Across theEnglish Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richard’s difficulties to challenge for and claim to the throne.

Henry’s first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, but he arrived successfully on the second attempt on 7 August 1485 on the southwest coast of Wales. Marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard mustered his troops and intercepted Henry’s army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire. Thomas, Lord Stanley, and Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support. Richard divided his army, which outnumbered Henry’s, into three groups (or “battles”). One was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford. Richard’s vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxford’s men, and some of Norfolk’s troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry and end the fight. Seeing the king’s knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened; Sir William led his men to Henry’s aid, surrounding and killing Richard. After the battle, Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, now a residential garden.

Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably; the Battle of Bosworth was popularised to represent the Tudor dynasty as the start of a new age. From the 15th to 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil. The climax of William Shakespeare’s play Richard III provides a focal point for critics in later film adaptations. The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, and memorials have been erected at different locations. The Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built, in 1974, on a site chosen based on a theory that has since been challenged by several scholars and historians. In October 2009, a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, suggested a location two miles (3 km) southwest of Ambion Hill. Recently remains have been found on the site of the old Greyfriers Abbey in Leicester(which was destroyed during the dissolution of the monastries and is now a car park) which have been confirmed as those of Richard III.