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1. Peppercorn Jack Cheese

I'm in a real 'bread and cheese' mood lately. To draw, and to eat. Not sure why, but I'm enjoying doing both.
I just broke off a bit of this wedge and had it with some kalamata olive ciabatta bread for an afternoon snack. So good! My fridge has a handful of other little wedges of interesting cheeses that I hope to manage to get drawn before they get eaten. We'll see.

This was done with all Prismacolor colored pencils on 8" x 10" (20.32 x 25.4 cm) Strathmore bristol.

I actually used a "Bronze" colored pencil on this. I don't know if I've ever used it before! Somewhere along the way I decided the Gold, Silver and Bronze colored pencils were for amateurs. REAL colored pencil artists make their own gold, silver or bronze colors from other color combinations. Which is true, actually.

But this bronze is a really good color, and not even metallic looking. It gave the cheese just a little yellow/gold oomph it needed.

(these are not my images - they're pulled off the web - no © infringement intended)

A good example of what I'm talking about with the metallic colors is my 3 Musketeers Mini drawing. Its Silver, right? But of course I never touched the actual "Silver" pencil. I used a lot of greys, and blues and reds to pick up the reflections in the wrapper.

Same thing here with the Twix Mini. Its all yellows and goldy-browns and whatever else was needed to render the shiny gold foil - without using the "Gold" pencil ever.

Part of the fun of doing shiny things is analyzing what the colors actually are made of (at least I think so). Well, that's true for things that aren't shiny as well. But shiny stuff is a little harder maybe.

This Witor's Noir chocolate was shiny, but a little less so than the Twix, and with a lot of brown. Again, no "Gold", but a lot of other colors.

Well, you get the idea. Its like in illustration class when they told you to never use the "Flesh" color paint! And remember the 'flesh' colored crayon? 

Wow, I really wandered off the mark here. I just wanted to share my cheese drawing. 
I will clean up the background, and put prints in the shop. I think a little grouping of bread and cheese prints would look nice on a kitchen wall. Hmmm, I'll have to work on that . . .

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2. “Chandelier”

I’m not too old to be deeply moved by Sia’s “Chandelier.” It makes me think of someone I once knew well and lost, for various reasons, one of them being her lifestyle choices. She died before she could break free. Kristen Wiig and Maddie Ziegler were outstanding in their Grammy performance piece of this song. … Continue reading “Chandelier”

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3. Two months into 2015: my year of risk

My resolution for 2015 is a single word: risk. I'll be turning 56 this year. The opportunities I will have to take physical risks are narrowing.  I also want to take social risks, and emotional risks, and risks with my writing - all kinds of risks.

So far, I've had a frank conversation with someone I respect but who also used an exaggerated campy "gay" voice to make some points.  I think it was eye-opening for both of us.

And in three weeks, I'm signed up to do that Urban Escape and Evasion class, which includes a day spent trying to elude pursuers after you are "kidnapped."

This past weekend, I competed in a Brazilian Jiujitsu (grappling tournament).  In this tournament, we were split up by gender, but in my grappling classes I grapple with men, usually only with men since none of the other women in my school regularly take BJJ class.  One of my regular partners is 228 pounds, which let me tell you is a lot of weight when someone centers it and pins you.

For a long, long time, I said there was no way I would grapple past what I needed to do for whatever color of sash I was working on in kung fu. It felt too ob-gyn-y. Too rape-y. You couldn't tell me that one of the best positions was on your back with your legs wrapped around some guy's waist.  It seemed too vulnerable and weird.

Guys will often grow up wrestling with their friends.  None of the girls I know ever did that.

But then my kung fu school started offering BJJ classes four times a week and I started going to them. I am still don't have a very good offense. And at  my gender and my age and my weight compared to many of my partners, I mostly play defense.  But I have a damn good defense.
BJJ Tournament april looks dominant
BJJ Tournament April refuses tap
BJJ tournament better back of gi
BJJ Tournament Syd
Bjj Tournament Syd 2

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4. Short blog to let you know I am alive…

I meant to have a new blog post in January, but after doing Knott’s and going to see family, I was a bit worn out to be honest. But that is neither here nor there, I have a few shows coming up soon, plus working on new art along with commissions. Without further ado, let us begin with some shows.

Long Beach Comic Expo is coming up on February 28 and March 1st at the Long Beach Convention Center. I love doing show and hope to see everyone there.logo_expo

Then it is off to do the 3rd Annual Spook Show on March 7th at the Halloween Club in La Mirada. I did this show last year and had a blast; great music, horror, and food.spookshow3-halloweenclub-costume-superstoreFinally I will be ending March with two big shows. First up is Monsterpalooza on March 27th-29th at the Marriott Burbank Hotel and Convention Center. Well I won’t be there, but Shawn will be there representing me. So please stop by and say hello to him.monsterpalooza2015splashv1.04And the reason I won’t be there is because I shall be going to Emerald City Comicon on March 27th-29th for my second year at the Washington State Convention Center. I had an amazing time last year and can’t wait to go back, maybe this time I will get a chance to look around.logo Now for a quick look at a new piece I have of a dark fairy with wings and horns. She playfully sits on a stone block in front of a doorway. Is she here to stop you from entering or to entice you to your doom? Available as a print at my store.il_570xN.733400137_ofm7That is it for now, I am off to pack up for the shows. Take care and keep creating.




The post Short blog to let you know I am alive… appeared first on Diana Levin Art.

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5. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Michael Golden


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G.I. Joe 027Michael-Golden-Oktober-Guard-Pinup-GI-Joe-Yearbook_1369113674


golden - marvel universe - 1982

Michael Golden is part of an elite class to emerge out of comics Bronze Age(1970-85), along with other legends like Mike Zeck, Frank Miller, and John Byrne. He worked briefly at DC in the late 70’s, before making a name for himself over at Marvel with his dynamic, detailed drawing style on the miniature superhero team, The Micronauts. Golden would go onto create one of the most popular Uncanny X-Men characters, Rogue, with writer Chris Claremont, and enjoyed critical success with his work on The ‘Nam(a war comic written & edited by Vietnam War veterans Doug Murray & Larry Hama).

Michael Golden is also an accomplished advertising, and commercial design artist, but he still finds time to create covers for some of the biggest titles in comics, including The Fantastic Four, and The Walking Dead.

You can listen to a recent podcast with Michael Golden talking about his early days in comics at Panel Borders here.

For the latest news, and art images from Mr. Golden, you can follow his facebook page here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

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6. Shocking Schiaparelli - MEETINGS AT THE PALACE - Venice

Elsa Schiaparelli
(Venice, Italy) Elsa Schiaparelli, the cosmic fashion designer who created the color Shocking Pink, was born into an aristocratic, intellectual family in Palazzo Corsini in Rome in 1890 -- her great-uncle, Giovanni Schiaparelli, discovered the canals on Mars; her father was a professor of Oriental literature; her mother was descended from the Medicis. Elsa Schiaparelli - Fashion Artist was the topic of today's inaugural conference of Incontri a Palazzo or "Meetings at the Palace," a series of lectures held in the piano nobile of Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice's Museum of Fabric and Costumes.

Miley Cyrus in Schiaparelli jumpsuit at Oscar parties Feb 22, 2015
Elsa Schiaparelli was a wild child. She liked to be called Schiap, not Elsa. Schiap ran away from home at the age of six and was found three days later marching at the front of a local parade. Criticized by her mother for her homely looks, she spent a lot of time with Uncle Giovanni, the astronomer, gazing at the nighttime sky through a telescope. In 1911, while at the University of Rome, Schiap published an mystical, overtly sensual poem, and her horrified parents sent her to a convent in Switzerland. Schiap went on a hunger strike and got out of the convent, then ran off to England and became a nanny. While attending a theosophical conference, she fell in love with the lecturer, Wilhelm Wendt de Kerlor, who claimed to be a Polish count, theosophist and spiritualist, whom she promptly married. They spent several seasons in Nice, then went to NewYork in 1916 on an ocean liner where Schiap became friends with Gabrielle Picabia, the wife of the avant-garde artist Francis Picabia, who would tug her into their circle of famous friends like Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. 

Elsa Schiaparelli - Photo: Man Ray
The couple produced a daughter whom they called Gogo, who contracted polio. But Count de Kerlor turned out to be a con man and a womanizer, and when he had an affair with Isadora Duncan, Schiap asked for a divorce, and in 1922, took Gogo to Paris.

Schiaparelli trompe l'oeil Bow Tie Sweater
Schiap quickly became part of the Paris scene, encountering fashion icon Paul Poiret, who supported her fresh ideas. Schiap considered herself an artist who channeled her creative energies into fashion, and since she was touched by the cosmos, there was an element of other-worldliness to her designs. Her rise to fame was due to a simple hand-knitted black pullover with a white trompe l'oeil bow tie that Vogue declared a masterpiece and was a huge hit in the US.

Marlene Dietrich wearing Schiaparelli
According to Bio.com: "For Schiaparelli, fashion was as much about making art as it was about making clothes. In 1932, Janet Flanner of The New Yorker wrote: "A frock from Schiaparelli ranks like a modern canvas." Not surprisingly, Schiaparelli connected with popular artists of the era; one of her friends was painter Salvador Dali, whom she hired to design fabric for her fashion house."

Shocking de Schiaparelli Perfume
Schiap became a success on the Place Vendôme, counting Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo among her clientele. She invented culottes, the evening gown, the built-in bra and dared to expose zippers. In 1937 she launched a fragrance, "Shocking," its pink glass torso bottle based on Mae West's body. She began collaborating with the Surrealists, especially Salvador Dali, with whom she created a lobster dress which was worn by Wallis Simpson.

Wallis Simpson in Schiaparelli lobster dress
Schiap closed her business in 1954, and published her autobiography Shocking Life. She died in her sleep in Paris in 1973.

Kate Blanchett in Schiaparelli
In 2007,  Diego Della Valle, CEO and President of Tod's, acquired the brand Schiaparelli. In addition to Miley Cyrus wearing the brand to the after-Oscars parties, Schiaparelli has been recently worn by such celebs as Kate Blanchett and Lorde.

Lorde in Schiaparelli
Like many originals, Elsa Schiaparelli's spirit continues on long after her body was laid to rest.

Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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7. Quote Show invitation!

Dear all,

I would love to invite you to the gallery show opening of the Quote Show at Hero Complex Gallery tomorrow:

“We are the music makers … and we are the dreamers of dreams” - Quote Show
Show from Feb 27 to March 15
Opening reception, Feb 27, 7pm

Hero Complex Gallery
2020 South Robertson, Blvd, Studio B, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Have a lovely evening!

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8. Logic Problems

Watch out for these logic problems to prevent your reader from being pulled out of the story.


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9. Self-Checkout

In many local chain stores,
The cashier is now passé.
You check out by yourself whenever
You’re prepared to pay.

You scan each item one by one;
The codes reveal the price
And if you have a coupon,
It’s accepted – very nice!

If you need help, a store employee’s
Waiting in the wings
And when you’re done, some bags await
For you to pack your things.

At first I wasn’t thrilled about
The whole self-checkout plan,
But since it seems to speed things up,
I’m now a loyal fan.

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10. pf roundup & forward...march!

Greetings to all and welcome to the last Poetry Friday round-up of February! I'm delighted to be your host as we leap over this year's invisible 29th into March, my birthday month.

Inspired by fellow Piscean Laura Shovan's February Poetry Projects (if you haven't, check out three years' worth here, here and here), I got to thinking about the word "march."  What a great word!  In addition to being the month of the god Mars, you can slow-march to the beat of your own drum or quick-march someone else off to their room.  You can play a march with the band, you can lead a march to demand rights or protest wrongs, and you can observe the march of time or progress.  The origins of this meaning of "march" are quite old, dating to when the Franks and even the Indo-Europeans before them marked off boundaries by foot.

Best of all, "March" is a tasty mouthful.  That -ch ending is explosive, definite; and yet it also has a softness, a long-lasting breathy end that belies its hard beginning.  As I considered this -ch sound, I realized that I have a particular fondness for words that end in -ch--they pop up again and again in my poems--and a project, a challenge, was born!

So here is a collection of -CH words, one muscular verb for eaCH weekday of MarCH.  I'm going to stretCH myself to post five -CH poems weekly throughout MarCH!  A few will be previously published, but most will be brand-new. Please join me in this CHallenge, poetry friends! 


2 march
3 stretch
4 twitch
5 punch
6 fetch

 9 unhitch
10 bleach
11 smooch
12 pitch
13 arch

16 inch
17 approach
18 botch
19 munch
20 hatch

23 clutch
24 crouch
25 snatch
26 besmirch
27 quench

I'll repost each word on its day, and you can send me your responses by email or leave them in the comments for that post.  I'll share all the responses for each week on Sunday mornings, and on March 31st I'll announce the "Stretchiest Marcher" (the poet who responded to the most words) and send a poetry prize his or her way!

And now...the round-up, courtesy of Inlinkz!  It's my first time using it, so let me know if anything is not working.   


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11. 50 States Against Bullying: MAINE

Last week, I flew from the west coast to the east coast for two school visits on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign. Both of those schools had snow days, so I used my free days to explore the D.C. area, but I'll be back to make up those states, because 48 States Against Bullying just sounds...ooh, so close.

After a weekend back at home, I hopped in a plane and flew from the west coast to the east coast again to attempt a school visit in Maine.

But again...snow day!

This time, I was able to move my flight back a day in the hope that there wouldn't be two snow days in a row. So what to do with my free day in Bangor? Well, the most important thing any author can do in Bangor is pay his or her respects to the home where many, many, many brilliant and dark stories originated.

I'm talking, of course, about the home of Mr. Stephen King.

The gate around his house has evil looking metal sculptures guarding the inhabitants on the other side, so I didn't dare walk up to the door. But I wanted to!

Then I did a little fanboy touring around town, visiting the storm drain that inspired the famous paperboat and clown scene in IT. Of course, the drain was covered in snow, so I couldn't take a photo of it, but I know I drove over it!

I also visited the cemetery where they filmed some scenes from Pet Sematary, including Mr. King's cameo.

By the way, if your're not from here, you're probably saying Bangor wrong.

The next day...no snow day! So I was able to visit Mount Desert Island High School.

I know what you're thinking: It sure doesn't look like a desert! And I knew you were thinking that because I thought the same thing. But this whole area obviously likes to play with how words are pronounced. It's pronounced dessert, like what you eat soon after dinner and usually again before bed. The story goes, some French guy came here and saw the mountains where nothing grew on top of them and thought they looked like deserted mountains. Did you hear that? Deserted. So that's why...

Nope! Still doesn't make any sense to me, but whatever.

Inside, they displayed their #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards.

The students were amazing to speak with and had many great questions, plus some silly ones. For example, apparently I look like I drive an Audi. I wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not, but the Audi website calls them luxury performance cars, and that sounds pretty good.

By the way, the students at MDIHS are All About Those Books.

The school librarian took me and local author (and friend) Christina Baker Kline out to lunch. And yes, Ms. CBK is an awesome author, but guess what. She used to babysit Stephen King's kids! If you're thinking, "I think I recall a story in Stephen King's On Writing about a babysitter," you're right. But that was his babysitter, not theirs. Please don't get the two confused.

This was followed by coffee with YA author Carrie Jones, whose debut novel came out the same year as mine. And we were in the Class of 2k7 together, so there is much history shared!

On my way back to the hotel in Bangor, I had to stop and get a pic of this miniature golf course covered in snow. The place is called Pirate's Cove, which made me laugh because the Pirate's Cove where I live is a nudist beach. But I didn't see any nudies running around here.

And that's probably a good thing right now.

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12. No. There Will Be No Black Tower Toy Figures!

Right. In November of last year I was contacted by a man who makes 54mm military figures for gamers.  He had quite a nice web site.

He told me that he realised even in poorer countries where there are comics you can find toys or action figures based on comic characters  I was told he had looked at UK comics -he had gone to comic shops (Forbidden Planet, Travelling Man and a couple others) but was shocked to find that unlike when he was younger there were no British comics and the staff basically told him "Dandy" and that was it.  So, he decided to go to local newsagents -they "always" had comics.  He found the Panini DC/Marvel reprints and "just loads of magazines with awful made in China cheap toys".

Then he went to Thought Bubble, the comic event.  "Three different people told me I ought to contact you" ad he checked out the online store and blogs and got in touch.

He is quite right, toy and figure wise (particularly 54mm/1/32nd) UK comics have produced nothing.  Odd really but it probably comes from (1) no one contacting a company and (2) few people -even at the companies- have a knowledge of their own action heroes

Luckily, I had some rough rear, side and front design illoes I had put together for a toy company in the 1990s (nothing happened) and I sent these to him,  A couple of the BTCG books and that was it.  I saw the basic designed figures that are made before molding.  Heard from him in December and he was going to produce an initial ten figure set of BTCGs main characters. End of January I sent him a letter.  Then an email.  Now I hear back.

His bank "business advisor" who had been all for the project decided, just before he made the expensive molds, that he could no longer support the idea of funding the project.  The man apologised and said he would have sent the master figures to me but was so angry everything was dumped.  It seems he is also now moving to New Zealand to set up a business unrelated to gaming/toy figures.

I was disappointed but as we say in comics "It is not done and dusted until the cheque is cashed!" so was not heart-broken.  I thought it was interesting that the man reported: "The banks want to take your money from the business but will NOT back it!"   I've heard that so many times.

What I was **** off about was that my illoes were also thrown out.

So, any figure manufacturers out there get in touch.  I have the characters, blogs and outlets to publicise.  But not for free!

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13. Environmental Book Club

 In What is Cli-fi? And Why I Write It in The Guardian author Sarah Golding describes climate fiction as "fiction that foregrounds climate change." Her interest in writing it appears to go beyond using it as a setting, world, or spring board for a plot. She's trying to do something specific with her cli-fi books for young readers. She hopes that her characters' concern for the environment will spread to her readers.

On a related note, you might want to take a look at The Necessary Evolution of Environmental Writing by John Yunker at the Ecolit Books blog. He writes about needing stories "that inspire lasting change and have the power to change our worldview."

So both writers are talking about using environmental fiction in a proactive way, at least, if not one that is actually instructive.

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14. Mystery Grab Bag Sale Runs Through Monday

Thanks to everyone who already purchased a grab bag! We have a few more left just... $20 a piece in my Etsy shop.

I'm gonna close the sale at the end of day on Monday, and sort books for shipping on Tuesday, so get them while the getting is good!

Each package will include at least 4 to 5 vintage books that are super awesome. The $20 includes shipping and packaging, and will hold guaranteed awesome stuff and maybe a surprise here and there. Way, way, way over a $20 value. The suspenseful thrill alone is world hundreds! All books shipped media mail. Allow 2 weeks for delivery, though it usually taken less time for the PO to deliver. Continental United States only please. Remember, all books will be vintage, but they will be in good condition. Still an old book is not a new book, but you get my drift... If you put a note with your child's age and likes, I can try and accommodate.

 Click here to sign up!

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15. Quote Show

Dear all,

I would love to invite you to the gallery show opening of the Quote Show at Hero Complex Gallery tomorrow:

“We are the music makers … and we are the dreamers of dreams” - Quote Show
Show from Feb 27 to March 15
Opening reception, Feb 27, 7pm

Hero Complex Gallery
2020 South Robertson, Blvd, Studio B, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Have a lovely evening!

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16. Harry Potter and the Window into Behavioral Genetics in DNA

Sound like an interesting book title? Maybe to the more science-oriented fans in this fandom, or those of us particularly interested in genetics. Professors at Rutgers University have turned towards using Harry Potter as an introductory level example of behavioral genetics to answer the famous question: what drives our personal characteristics and actions, nature or nurture? Harry looks like his father (except he has his mother’s eyes, we know, we know–pretending that young Lily’s brown eyes in the movie match Harry’s blue ones–we know). According to Professor Snape, Harry acts like his father; and, as Hermione pointed out for us in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry’s amazing Quidditch skills are not surprising because James Potter was an award-winning Seeker. Harry never grew up with his parents, so did nature play a bigger role in the formation of his character than nurture? (Of course, denying the fact that Harry is a fictional character, as alive as he seems to us, whose formation only comes for the pen of J.K. Rowling). However, Rutger students prefer to look at the Black family and their pure-blood relatives for their experiments. Rutgers reports:


For the past several years, first-year Rutgers students – mostly science majors and all Harry Potter fans — have been learning from Yu and the popular J.K. Rowling novels about the scientific approaches used for studying behavioral genetics.

“Because of the richness of the characters and the many families in the Harry Potter books, there are so many examples of physical resemblances and behavior similarities among family members,” Yu said. “The scientific question that we look at is whether these behavioral characteristics are due to genetic inheritance or because they live under the same roof. It’s the age-old question: ‘is it nature or nurture?’”

Yu says studying behavioral genetics through the tales of Harry Potter books is providing students with an introduction to college-level science and giving them a better understanding of how scientists think and apply scientific approaches to their research.

“They are taught how to spot certain patterns in behaviors that allow them to come up with a hypothesis as to whether the behavioral characteristics are genetically influenced,” said Yu. “They also have to ask themselves whether it is the environment because these characters are living under the same roof.”

At the beginning of the course, Yu explains what behavioral characteristics are, and asks students to pick a parent-child pair from the seven Potter novels and identify a behavior the parent-child pair share that might be genetic. The students engage in animated discussions about their chosen example, in order to come up with a class-consensus example.  This semester they had to decide if it would be the athleticism of the Potters or the compulsive behavior of the Blacks – the family of pure-blood wizards.

The Blacks won out, as many students in this year’s class are deeply intrigued by the family’s compulsiveness of carrying things to extreme, even though various members of the family displayed this compulsion in vastly different ways — from the maternal patriarch’s distain of anyone NOT of ‘pure blood’, to Sirius Black’s devotion to Harry Potter’s wellbeing.  The next step was to design an experiment that would support or refute the hypothesis that the Blacks’ compulsive behavior was genetically based. Last year’s class — which selected the Potter family’s athleticism to study — decided to use mice for determining the heritability of athleticism. Students, guided by Yu during class discussion, designed an experiment to first train the mice to run straight on a track and not to run back and forth, as mice are prone to do. Then mice would be bred selectively for differences in running speed, and the results would be analyzed to establish whether the behavior was genetic.

For this year’s experiment, the students have just begun to define the research design, which Yu said he will help guide during the rest of the semester.  Students are full of enthusiasm and ideas.  Megan Coakley suggested using mice of different colors for easy tracking of their parentage – “black, white and something in between” – and offer food to these mice to see if some show compulsive eating. Naweed Karimi recommended breeding mice for their compulsiveness tendencies.


If it strikes your fancy, the rest of the article can be read here.

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17. Sony’s Top Animation Exec Bob Osher Was Fired Today

In the role that he held for seven years, Osher oversaw Sony Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

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18. Discovering Chris Raschka’s brilliant picture book, THE COSMO-BIOGRAPHY OF SUN RA


I was wandering around my local library, picking my way through the biographies in the children’s section, when I came upon a surprising picture book about the great jazz musician, Sun Ra.

You could have knocked me down with a feather. I love Sun Ra, but I never expected to find a picture book about him.

Though Sun Ra’s music has a small but loyal following, he’s always been on the fringe. A little “out there,” so to speak. Not of the mainstream. In fact, Sun Ra himself contended that he was not from this planet. He claimed that he was from Saturn.

Clearly, this was a work of love for Chris Raschka.

Here’s the book trailer — check it out — and I’ll continue below.



One nice thing about Chris Raschka is that he’s already won two Caldecott Medals. And the terrific thing is that after you win awards like the Caldecott Medal — the highest award for illustration in children’s literature — then people kind of let you do what you want.

So the smart people at Caldlewick Press didn’t tell Chris Raschka that doing a picture book about Sun Ra was crazy. They didn’t say that 99.8% of picture book readers had never even heard of Sun Ra. And that the parents probably hadn’t either. No, they said, “Great, let’s do it.”


The artwork is vibrant, colorful, free, spontaneous, wildly alive. In other words, it magnifiently matches its subject matter.


But the truly brilliant stroke to this biography comes in the first few sentences, as follows:


Sun Ra always said that he came from Saturn.

Now, you know and I know that this is silly. No one comes from Saturn.

And yet.

If he did come from Saturn, it would explain so much.

Let’s say he did come from Saturn.


Well, on My 22, 1914, Sun Ra landed on Earth.


And so the story goes.

I love a book when it clearly comes from a personal space, not from a cold, SunRa71calculated look at the marketplace. Raschka created the book that was in his heart; I know this is true without ever having met the man. It is a celebration of the true artist, brave enough to go his own way. Two men, in fact, Sun Ra and Chris Raschka, who followed the beat of a different drummer. Because that’s what real artists do. They create the work and let the rest of us sort it our for ourselves.

I’m here to say, thank you, Chris Raschka, for this incredible gift.

Your brilliant book.

Here’s a quote from Chris Raschka taken from an interview with Smithsonian magazine:

“I wanted to write about Sun Ra because he steps outside the boundaries of traditional jazz more than anyone. I was aware of him in high school because he was so far out there, even rock ‘n’ roll teens like myself knew about him. When his selection of singles came out I was even more struck by the breadth of his interest in all kinds of music. It was my experience with Sun Ra’s own openness to things that made me more open to him. Openness is something any teacher strives to instill in his or her students. I think all of my jazz books about the four musicians I’ve written about so far, are about people that most ten year olds have never heard of. My hope is to let kids hear these names early, so that when they are teens or adults the door is already just a little bit open.”


I’ll close with a clip from Sun Ra himself, created during his time here on Earth. Open your ears, your heart, your spirit.


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19. Where Do You Draw a Line?

So here’s a question for you. How much leeway do you allow books, especially those from earlier times, when they are sexist, racist, classist, condescendingly colonial, etc? It’s been rattling around my brain a bit since I finished Foundation. Given Asimov wrote the stories in the 1940s, I can forgive him a little for his lack of inclusiveness when it comes to women. But only a little because part of me thinks he should have known better. And when I read H. Rider Haggard’s She, the whole thing was so absurd and the book so terrible on so many fronts that I could only laugh. But the misogyny and anti-immigrant sentiments in Dracula horrified me in a way that I could not find funny. I could laugh off Haggard, get away with being annoyed at Asimov, but Stoker made me angry. I could probably pinpoint why if I sat and thought about it for awhile but my brain is tired and doesn’t want to expend that much effort at the moment.

Instead, it just knows that there are some books I can forgive their moral transgressions and some I cannot. Do you find that to be the case too? And if so, do you know why you can forgive some but not others?

I’m not talking about the authors themselves. If I had to like the authors in order to enjoy the books then there would be a lot fewer books on my TBR pile. I try to keep an author’s personal leanings, whether they be grade-A jerk or heavenly angel, out of my opinions of their books. Of course if an author whose books I like turns out to be a really nice person that makes me happy, but it is not a requirement.

I like to think when it comes to books I can be generous and understanding, but truth be told, I sometimes can’t make the effort. I’d like to say there is a definite line and if the book crosses it then it’s all over between us. But it’s actually a line in the sand that keeps shifting. Where the line ends up depends on my mood, what kind of story it is (adventure, romance, mystery, drama), when it was written, whether the issues (sexism, racism, etc) appear to be deliberate or unconscious (don’t ask me how to tell, I don’t know, but I still make the judgment), how much a part of the story it is (a page, a scene, a chapter, the whole book), and probably a few other things that aren’t coming to me at the moment. It’s probably not entirely fair to change the standards all the time but I also don’t think it’s fair to have one blanket standard either. It’s case-by-case.

My brain is running out of gas so I will leave my thoughts there for now. I’d really love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Filed under: Books, Reading

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20. An exercise in perspective, not one but two steam turbines and a...

0 Comments on An exercise in perspective, not one but two steam turbines and a... as of 2/26/2015 9:20:00 PM
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21. Ranking Harry Potter Characters in terms of Dateability

Throwback Thursday, Fun Friday, a combination of both–going out on a limb here to try something new and fun/silly on the Leaky News page. Bustle recently posted a hilarious list of “25 Harry Potter Characters, Ranked by Dateability.” You can read the list on their sight, here, and peruse their pros and cons of each character–Dolores Umbridge ranks below even Lord Voldemort, holding the glorified 25th position on the list. At Leaky, we would like to know who would be on your list (the goodies and the baddies) and your hilarious reasons why. We will compile a list of the most recurring characters as well as the accompanying reasonings behind each choice! Get your Quick-Quotes Quills and godspeed!

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22. Her Royal Spyness (2007)

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness #1) Rhys Bowen. 2007. Berkley. 336 pages. [Source: Library]

I wanted a quick, light read: light on history, light on mystery. I was satisfied enough with Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen. Why "satisfied enough"? Well, the book moved quickly for me. I was interested in the time period it was set. (England, spring of 1932) I was also curious about the "royal" aspect of it. (The heroine is 34th in line to the throne.)

The premise of this one is simple. Lady Georgiana (Georgie) may be royal, but, she's also young and poor. Being royal makes her eligible for making a good marriage, perhaps, most likely an arranged marriage. But it keeps her from getting a regular job and earning her own way. To escape a social event designed to match her to someone she doesn't want to marry, she lies to her family and arranges to go to London. Her brother is allowing her to stay at his place--the family's residence--but he's not allowing her to take any servants or providing any money to hire her own once there. She'll be completely on her own for however many weeks she chooses to escape. She'll get reacquainted with some people, meet several new people, etc. She'll also socialize with the queen on occasion. (The queen wants her feedback on the married American woman, David is infatuated with.) One of the people she meets is a potential fling. His name is Darcy. The two could have some light fun together. But. She's uncertain about him and if she even wants to have a fling.

So. The mystery. A body is found in the bathtub. A dead body, of course. (I kept thinking of Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers). She discovers the body, and since it's in her brother's house, well, she fears that everyone will conclude that her brother "Binky" did the crime...

I found it entertaining enough. I didn't find it to be the perfect read, however. In terms of characterization and dialogue and description. It kept me reading at the time, but, I'm not sure it's one that will stick with me.

Still, I think I will read one or two more in the series to see if it improves.

ETA: I have read about three or four chapters in the second book. Enough to know that I don't think it will suit me after all. It's just not a good match for me. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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23. Indie Month-to-Month Sales December 2014: It’s a Bitch Planet type month


By Kate Reynolds

December felt like a rough month for comics, with seven titles seeing a drop of over 40% of their readers. The month wasn’t all bad, however, as it also saw the release of Bitch Planet from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. It had the highest release of December, followed by Rumble (Image), Hellboy and the BRPD (Dark Horse), and The Valiant (Valiant Entertainment).

This month 133 independent titles hit the top 300 list, which is down from last month’s total of 140. Despite the loss of seven title, indie sales were up 1.2% with 1,506,427 issues sold compared to last month’s 1,488,193. That brings the average number of comics sold to 11,327 which is also up from last month. Nice to end the year on a positive note!

In terms of individual publisher, Image leads the pack with 9.89% retail market share and a 10.40% unit market share, which is slightly down from November. IDW picked up this slack with a 6.10% retail market share and a 4.17% unit market share, followed by Dark Horse with a 3.47% retail market share and a 2.95% unit market share. Boom! Studios came out ahead of Dynamite this month, with a 2.66% retail market share and 2.82% unit market share compared to Dynamite’s 2.58% retail market share and 2.26% unit market share.

UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.

Thanks to icv2.com and Milton Griepp for permission to use these numbers, which are estimates only.

12.) Walking Dead #135 (Image)
10/1/2014    WALKING DEAD #132 (MR)    326,334    (+367.5)
10/1/2014    WALKING DEAD #133 (MR)    69,561    (-78.7%)
11/1/2014    WALKING DEAD #134 (MR)    68,093    (-2.1%)
12/1/2014    WALKING DEAD #135 (MR)    67,361    (-1.1%)

Unsurprisingly, the Walking Dead continues to be the king of indie comics. Slight decrease this month, but still going strong.

41.) Wytches #3 (Image)
10/1/2014    WYTCHES #1 (MR) 67,996   
11/1/2014    WYTCHES #2 (MR) 58,345    (-14.2%)
12/1/2014    WYTCHES #3 (MR) 43,240    (-25.9%)

This stellar series from Scott Snyder and JOCK is still finding it’s footing, but 40k readers is nothing to scoff at for a third issue.

50.) Bitch Planet #1 (Image)
12/1/2014    BITCH PLANET #1 (MR) [*]    $3.50    IMA    39,011

Strong debut for this #noncompliant title from Kelley Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. With only one issue out before the end of 2014, many “Best Of” lists still included Bitch Planet. I’ll be interested to see what kind of second issue drop it has, but in the meantime you should just read this book.

54.) Outcast #6 (IMAGE)
6/1/2014    OUTCAST #1 71,788   
7/1/2014    OUTCAST #2    55,126    (-23.2%)
8/1/2014    OUTCAST #3    46,717    (-15.2%)
9/1/2014    OUTCAST #4    45,401    (-2.8%)
11/1/2014    OUTCAST #5     39,967    (-12.0%)
12/1/2014    OUTCAST #6    36,354    (-9.0%)

We’re still seeing some steady drops for this title.

56.) East of West #16 (Image)
6/1/2014    EAST OF WEST #12    7,056    (-3.7%)
7/1/2014    EAST OF WEST #13    26,531    (-1.9%)
7/1/2014    EAST OF WEST #14    26,361    (-0.6%)
9/1/2014    EAST OF WEST #15    25,593    (-2.9%)
12/1/2014    EAST OF WEST #16    35,920    (+40.3%)

Huge upswing this month as East of West beings “Year Two”.

63.) Autumnlands Tooth & Claw #2 (Image)
11/1/2014    TOOTH & CLAW #1 (MR)        41,181   
12/1/2014    AUTUMNLANDS T&C #2 (MR) [*]    33,272    (-19.2%)

Even with a slight title change, this comic managed to only suffer a standard second issue drop.

92.) Afterlife with Archie #7 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2013    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #1    41,533   
11/1/2013    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #2    19,188    (-53.8%)
1/1/2014    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #3    24,266    (+26.5%)
3/1/2014    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #4    24,165    (-0.4%)
5/1/2014    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #5    27,071    (+12%)
7/1/2014    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6    25,702    (-5.1%)
12/1/2014    AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #7    27,157    (+5.7%)

An increase in sales this month for Afterlife with Archie, although if it holds true to pattern we’ll see a decrease next month.

112.) Sex Criminals #9 (Image)
3/1/2014    SEX CRIMINALS #5 (MR)    22,593    (+0.07%)
6/1/2014    SEX CRIMINALS #6 (MR)    26,309    (+16.4%)
8/1/2014    SEX CRIMINALS #7 (MR)    24,385    (-7.3%)
10/1/2014    SEX CRIMINALS #8 (MR)    23,938    (-1.8%)
12/1/2014    SEX CRIMINALS #9 (MR)    22,597    (-5.6%)

Another decrease for Sex Criminals, but it’s holding steady in the lower 20k range.

113. Rumble #1 (Image)
113    12/1/2014    RUMBLE #1 (MR)     22,527

I’m going to go ahead and say that 20k readers for a comic about a Warrior Scarecrow God is a pretty solid debut.

114.) Hellboy and the BRPD (Dark Horse)
12/1/2014    HELLBOY AND THE BPRD #1    22,368

It’s Hellboy, it’s Mike Mignoala (and John Arcudi, Alex Maleev, David Steward), so naturally it’s the best-selling Dark Horse comic to come out this month.

115.) Wicked & Divine #6 (IMAGE)
6/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #1 (MR)    42,948   
7/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #2 (MR)    27,962    (-34.9%)
8/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #3 (MR)    27,208    (-2.7%)
9/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #4 (MR)    25,668    (-5.7%)
10/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #5 (MR)    25,424    (-1.0%)
12/1/2014    WICKED & DIVINE #6 (MR)    22,159    (-12.2%)

The second story arc of Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie’s, and Matt Wilson’s irreverent and blasphemous comic starts off by…alienating readers? I just finished the first trade, and I’m itching for more, so this drop feels a bit anomalous.

119.) Low #5 (Image)
7/1/2014    LOW #1 (MR)    43,340    --
8/1/2014    LOW #2 (MR)    28,426    (-34.4%)
9/1/2014    LOW #3 (MR)    24,308    (-14.5%)
10/1/2014    LOW #4 (MR)    23,530    (-3.2%)
12/1/2014    LOW #5 (MR)    21,584    (-8.2%)

Another drop for Low, which might drop below 20,000 next month.

121.) The Valiant (Valiant)
12/1/2014    THE VALIANT #1    21,364

For all of you feeling concerned for Valiant, this new mini-series combining the talents of Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera had a strong debut.

132.) Black Science #11 (Image)
7/1/2014    BLACK SCIENCE #7 (MR)        28,147    (+13.1%)
9/1/2014    BLACK SCIENCE #8 (MR)        22,429    (-20.3%)
10/1/2014    BLACK SCIENCE #9 (MR)        21,639    (-3.5%)
10/1/2014    BLACK SCIENCE #10 (MR)    21,125    (-2.4%)
12/1/2014    BLACK SCIENCE #11 (MR)    19,688    (-6.8%)

Slight drop.

140. Southern Bastards #6 (Image)
4/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1 (MR)    38,029   
5/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2 (MR)    25,811    (-32.1%)
7/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #3 (MR)    21,313    (-17.4%)
9/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4 (MR)    22,317    (+4.7%)
10/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #5 (MR)    21,932    (-1.7%)
12/1/2014    SOUTHERN BASTARDS #6 (MR)    18,637    (-15.0%)

Sizable drop.

142.) They're Not Like Us #1 (Image)
12/1/2014    THEYRE NOT LIKE US #1 (MR)    $2.99    IMA    18,015

Strong debut, even with a standard 20-30% drop we should still see the next issues above the 10k mark.

143.) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW)
11/1/2013    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #13    35,653    (+50.5%)
12/1/2013    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #14    22,990    (-35.5%)
1/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #15    27,461    (+19.4%)
2/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #16    26,942    (-1.9%)
3/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #17    26,683    (-0.9%)
4/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #18    26,091    (-2.2%)
5/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #19    22,820    (-12.5%)
6/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #20    20,711    (-9.2%)
7/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #21    20,871    (+0.8%)
8/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #22    21,642    (+3.7%)
9/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #23    19,491    (-9.9%)
10/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #24    20,762    (+6.5%)
11/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic#25    26,619    (+28.2%)
12/1/2014    My Little Pony Friendship is Magic#26    17,454    (-34.4%)

A significant drop this month after a significant climb in the previous month. My Little Pony often bounces back from drops, but this may just be a case of attrition finally catching up to the ponies.

144.) Star Trek Planet of the Apes #1 (IDW)
12/1/2014    STAR TREK PLANET OF THE APES #1    17,307

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, Star Trek fans are the best fans to have on your side…if you’re looking for strong sales.

151.) BTVS Seasons 10 #10 (Dark Horse)
7/1/2014    Btvs Season 10 #5    18,827    (-2.8%)
8/1/2014    Btvs Season 10 #6    18,121    (-3.7%)
9/1/2014    Btvs Season 10 #7    17,701    (-2.3%)
10/1/2014    BTVS SEASON 10 #8    17,729    (+1.6%)
11/1/2014    BTVS SEASON 10 #9    17,067    (-3.7%)
12/1/2014    BTVS SEASON 10 #10    16,448    (-3.6%)

Some minor attrition.

155.) Escape from New York #1 (Boom! Studios)
12/1/2014    ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK #1    $3.99    BOO    15,450

I love that this is the SECOND Kurt Russell property that Boom! Studios has recently put out. I, and fifteen thousand other members of society, have been waiting a long time for this.

158.) TMNT Ghosbusters #3 (IDW)
10/1/2014    TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #1 21,223   
11/1/2014    TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #2    16,624    (-21.7%)
12/1/2014    TMNT GHOSTBUSTERS #3    15,264    (-8.2%)

Minor third-issue drop. Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening continue to masterfully capture the tone of both franchises, providing laughs and warm fuzzies to all who read this series.

159.) My Little Pony: Friends Forever #12 (IDW)
7/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #7    19,850    (+9.5%)
8/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #8    17,444    (-12%)
9/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #9    16,803    (-3.7%)
10/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #10    16,587    (-1.3%)
11/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #11    15,630    (-5.8%)
12/1/2014    MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #12    15,202    (-2.7%)

Minor attrition.

160.) TMNT Ongoing (IDW)
2/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #31    $3.99    IDW    14,684    (-2.0%)
3/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #32    $3.99    IDW    15,040    (+2.4%)
5/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #33    $3.99    IDW    16,736    (+11.2%)
6/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #34    $3.99    IDW    17,442    (+4.2%)
6/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #35    $3.99    IDW    15,174    (-13.0%)
7/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #36    $3.99    IDW    15,415    (+1.6%)
8/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #37    $3.99    IDW    15,470    (+0.4%)
10/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #38    $3.99    IDW    15,498    (+0.2%)
10/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #39    $3.99    IDW    15,235    (-1.7%)
11/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #40    $3.99    IDW    14,734    (-3.3%)
12/1/2014    TMNT ONGOING #41    $3.99    IDW    14,970    (+1.6%)

Some mostly minor ups and downs have this series going relatively steady for the last ten issues. Turtle Power!

166.) Birthright #3 (Image)
10/1/2014    BIRTHRIGHT #1     $2.99    IMA    27,234   
11/1/2014    BIRTHRIGHT #2    $2.99    IMA    18,484    (-32.1%)
12/1/2014    BIRTHRIGHT #3    $2.99    IMA    14,247    (-22.9%)

This title still hasn’t found it’s happy place.

163 & 169.) Doctor Who 11th #6 & #5 (Titan)
8/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #1    41,068   
9/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #2    15,947    (-61.2)
10/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #3    14,854    (-6.9%)
10/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #4    13,411    (-9.7%)
12/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #5     13,477    (+0.5%)
12/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 11TH #6     14,538    (+7.9%)

An increase in both issues released this month. Color me impressed!

167.) Doctor Who 12th #3 (Titan)
10/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 12TH #1    33,891   
11/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 12TH #2     15,277    (-54.9%)
12/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 12TH #3     14,144    (-7.4%)

Much smaller drop this month, a smidgen below the 11th Doctor on this same issue.

168.) Doctor Who 10th #5 (Titan)
7/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 10TH #1    39,707   
8/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 10TH #2    10,410    (-73.8%)
10/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 10TH #3    14,608    (+40.30%)
11/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 10TH #4     14,296    (-2.1%)
12/1/2014    DOCTOR WHO 10TH #5     13,743    (-3.9%)

Minor drop. If we’re going strictly by comic readers, the 11th Doctor is the crowd favorite.

171.) Alien vs. Predator Fire and Stone #3 (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014    ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1     20,319   
11/1/2014    ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2    13,942    (-31.4%)
12/1/2014    ALIEN VS PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #3    13,261    (-4.9%)

Still selling solid for a mini series.

173.) Prometheus Fire and Stone #4 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2014    PROMETHEUS FIRE AND STONE #1    19,468   
10/1/2014    PROMETHEUS FIRE AND STONE #2    14,407    (-24.8%)
11/1/2014    PROMETHEUS FIRE AND STONE #3    13,624    (-5.4%)
12/1/2014    PROMETHEUS FIRE AND STONE #4    13,237    (-2.8%)

Finishing strong before the conclusion in Prometheus: Omega.

177.) Aliens Fire and Stone #4 (Dark Horse)
9/1/2013    ALIENS FIRE AND STONE #1    19,878   
10/1/2014    ALIENS FIRE AND STONE #2    14,240    (-28.4%)
11/1/2014    ALIENS FIRE AND STONE #3    13,357    (-6.2%)
12/1/2014    ALIENS FIRE AND STONE #4    12,735    (-4.7%)

Minor drop.

182. Predator Fire and Stone (Dark Horse)
10/1/2014    PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #1 [*]    17,166   
11/1/2014    PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #2    12,695    (-26.0%)
12/1/2014    PREDATOR FIRE AND STONE #3    12,128    (-4.5%)

Predator Fire and Stone may be trailing behind the other Fire and Stone series, but it’s still holding its own.

 175.) Manifest Destiny (Image)
6/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #7    21,500    (+44.8%)
7/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #8    15,060    (-29.9%)
8/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #9    14,672    (-2.6%)
9/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #10    14,312    (-2.4%)
10/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #11    13,620    (-4.8%)
12/1/2014    MANIFEST DESTINY #12 12,987    (-4.6%)

Some standard attrition for the last few issues.

178.) Crossed Plus 100 #1 (Avatar)
12/1/2014    CROSSED PLUS 100 #1    12,666

I expected Alan Moore to attract more readers for this debut.

180.) Shaft #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
12/1/2014    SHAFT #1 (MR)    12,430

A standard second issue drop should see this falling below the 10k mark by the second or third issue.

183.) Spawn #249 (Image)
7/1/2014    Spawn #245    12,090    (+2.1%)
8/1/2014    Spawn #246    13,343    (+10.4%)
10/1/2014    SPAWN #247    12,023    (-9.9%)
11/1/2014    SPAWN #248    11,934    (-0.7%)
12/1/2014    SPAWN #249    12,121    (+1.6%)

Slight increase this month sees Spawn holding steady.

184.) Nailbiter #8 (Image)
5/1/2014    NAILBITER #1 (MR)    22,746   
6/1/2014    NAILBITER #2 (MR)    15,193    (-33.2%)
7/1/2014    NAILBITER #3 (MR)    16,581    (+9.1%)
8/1/2014    NAILBITER #4 (MR)    14,706    (-11.3%)
9/1/2014    NAILBITER #5 (MR)    14,947    (+1.6%)
10/1/2014    NAILBITER #6 (MR)    13,340    (-10.8%)
11/1/2014    NAILBITER #7 (MR)    12,361    (-5.3%)
12/1/2014    NAILBITER #8 (MR)    12,096    (-2.1%)

Minor drop this month.

187 & 192.) Adventure Time #34 & #35 (Boom!)
7/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #30    14,487    (+5.1%)
8/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #31    14,099    (-2.7%)
10/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #32    12,632    (-10.4%)
10/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #33    11,929    (-5.6%)
12/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #34    11,442    (-4.1%)
12/1/2014    ADVENTURE TIME #35    11,138    (-2.7%)

Some attrition following a large drop in October.

191.) Copperhead #4 (Image)
9/1/2014    COPPERHEAD #1    24,272   
10/1/2014    COPPERHEAD #2    17,250    (-28.9%)
11/1/2014    COPPERHEAD #3    12,079    (-30.0%)
12/1/2014    COPPERHEAD #4    11,241    (-6.9%)

A smaller drop this month hopefully means the numbers will hold steadier for next.

193.) Django Zorro #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
11/1/2014    DJANGO ZORRO #1    15,468   
12/1/2014    DJANGO ZORRO #2    11,001    (-28.9%)

The drop falls within the average second-drop range, though it is on the higher end.

194.) Garbage Pail Kids #1 (IDW)

I personally think some fads should stay in their decade, but ten thousand readers proved me wrong this month.

195.) Angel and Faith Season 10 #9 (Dark Horse)
8/1/2014    ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #5    11,957    (-4.1%)
9/1/2014    ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #6     11,593    (-3.5%)
10/1/2014    ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #7    11,457    (-1.2%)
11/1/2014    ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #8    11,129    (-2.9%)
12/1/2014    ANGEL AND FAITH SEASON 10 #9    10,946    (-1.6%)

If this series was a surgeon, I feel like it would have steady enough hands to operate on me.

196.) Army of Darkness Vol. 4 #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
12/1/2014    ARMY OF DARKNESS VOL 4 #1    10,814

Army of Darkness:Hitched debuted to similar numbers, and I expect it drop find its niche around the 5k mark.

199.) Shutter #7 (Image)
4/1/2014    SHUTTER #1 (MR)    18,984   
5/1/2014    SHUTTER #2 (MR)    12,267    (-35.4%)
6/1/2014    SHUTTER #3 (MR)    9,887    (-19.4%)
7/1/2014    SHUTTER #4 (MR)    9,107    (-7.9%)
8/1/2014    SHUTTER #5 (MR) 8,140    (-10.6%)
9/1/2014    SHUTTER #6 (MR)    7,499    (-7.9%)
12/1/2014    SHUTTER #7 (MR)    10,669    (+42.2%)

A huge spike in readers this month as Shutter begins its second story arc. I’m a huge fan of this series…and it’s not just because the main character and I share the same first name.

200.) Big Trouble in Little China #7 (Boom!)
6/1/2014    BTiLC #1    $3.99    BOO    24,160    --
7/1/2014    BTiLC #2    $3.99    BOO    14,838    (-38.6%)
8/1/2014    BTiLC #3    $3.99    BOO    14,076    (-5.1%)
9/1/2014    BTiLC #4    $3.99    BOO    13,370    (-5.0%)
10/1/2014   BTiLC #5    $3.99    BOO    12,598    (-5.8%)
11/1/2014   BTiLC #6    $3.99    BOO    11,483    (-8.9%)
12/1/2014   BTiLC #7    $3.99    BOO    10,482    (-8.7%)

Another steady drop for this title. I’m probably biased because of the number of Kurt Russel fans in my life, but I hope to see this stabilize soon.

201.) Drifter #2 (Image)
11/1/2014    DRIFTER #1 (MR)    $3.50    IMA    20,887   
12/1/2014    DRIFTER #2 (MR)    $3.50    IMA    10,443    (-50.0%)

An abnormally large second issue drop for indie comics.

202.) Chew #45 (Image)
2/1/2014    CHEW #40 (MR)    11,193    (-2.6%)
4/1/2014    CHEW #41 (MR)    10,835    (-3.2%)
6/1/2014    CHEW #42 (MR)    10,981    (-1.3%)
9/1/2014    CHEW #43 (MR)    10,777    (-1.9%)
11/1/2014   CHEW #44 (MR)    10,526    (-2.3%)
12/1/2014   CHEW #45 (MR)    10,407    (-1.1%)

Minor attrition at play for one of Image’s long running comics, even with a slight increase in cover price this month.

203.) Graveyard Shift #1 (Image)
12/1/2014    GRAVEYARD SHIFT #1    10,388
205.) Wayward #5 (Image)
8/1/2014    WAYWARD #1 (MR)    29,240   
9/1/2014    WAYWARD #2 (MR)    15,053    (-48.5%)
10/1/2014    WAYWARD #3 (MR)    10,795    (-28.3%)
11/1/2014    WAYWARD #4 (MR)    10,318    (-2.3%)
12/1/2014    WAYWARD #5 (MR)    10,009    (-3.0%)

Minor attrition this month. While it might drop below 10k with the next issue, this comic definitely has a solid fanbase.

206.) Ragnarok #3 (IDW)
7/1/2014    RAGNAROK #1    15,598   
10/1/2014    RAGNAROK #2     12,941    (-17.0%)
12/1/2014    RAGNAROK #3     9,940    (-23.2%)

Ragnarok (the end) may come for this title if the numbers continue dropping like this. Pray to the gods (the Norse ones) that this doesn’t happen!

 207.) Star Trek Ongoing #39 (IDW)
6/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #34    10,216    (+4.8%)
7/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #35    10,089    (-1.2%)
8/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #36    10,017    (-0.7%)
9/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #37    9,893    (-1.2%)
11/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #38    10,150    (+2.6%)
12/1/2014    STAR TREK ONGOING #39    9,931    (-2.2%)

Up last month, down this one.

209.) George Perez's Sirens (Boom!)
9/1/2014    GEORGE PEREZ SIRENS #1    24,900   
12/1/2014    GEORGE PEREZ SIRENS #2    9,837    (-60.5%)

A rather large second issue drop. It looked fascinating when it came to my attention, so the drop is surprising.

210.) Supreme Blue Rose #5 (Image)
7/1/2014    SUPREME BLUE ROSE #1 (Mr)    26,100    --
8/1/2014    SUPREME BLUE ROSE #2 (Mr)    16,268    (-37.7%)
9/1/2014    SUPREME BLUE ROSE #3 (Mr)    13,603    (-16.38%)
10/1/2014    SUPREME BLUE ROSE #4 (MR)    12,147    (-10.7%)
12/1/2014    SUPREME BLUE ROSE #5 (MR)    9,783    (-19.5%)

Another steep drop for Supreme Blue Rose.

 211.) Rasputin #3 (Image)
10/1/2014    RASPUTIN #1 (MR)    21,373   
11/1/2014    RASPUTIN #2 (MR)    11,693    (-45.3%)
12/1/2014    RASPUTIN #3 (MR)    9,775    (-16.4%)

The hits keep coming for Rasputin, which at least somewhat holds to historical accuracy.

 212.) Transformers More than Meets the Eye #36 (IDW)
11/1/2014    Transformers MTMTE #35     9,390    (-2.9%)
12/1/2014    Transformers MTMTE #36     9,159    (-2.5%)

Minor losses as More than Meets the Eye heads into a new story arc.

 213.) X-Files Season 10 #19 (IDW)
7/1/2014    X-fILES SEASON 10 #14    10,850    (-5.6%)
8/1/2014    X-FILES SEASON 10 #15    10,581    (-2.5%)
9/1/2014    X-FILES SEASON 10 #16    10,067    (-4.9%)
10/1/2013   X-FILES SEASON 10 #17    9,865    (-2.0%)
11/1/2014   X-FILES SEASON 10 #18    9,915    (+0.5%)
12/1/2014   X-FILES SEASON 10 #19    9,121    (-8.0%)

Natural attrition for an unnatural book.

215.) Lady Demon #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
12/1/2014    LADY DEMON #1    9,016
217.) Lumberjanes #9 (Boom!)
4/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #1    13,129    --
5/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #2    9,904    (-24.6%)
6/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #3    9,150    (-7.6%)
7/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #4    9,988    (+9.2%)
9/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #5    10,099    (+1.1%)
9/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #6    10,029    (-0.7%)
10/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #7    9,999    (-.3%)
11/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #8    9,543    (-4.6%)
12/1/2014    LUMBERJANES #9    8,917    (-6.6%)

Another drop, but this issue of Lumberjanes followed a spectacular finale to the first story arc, and gave readers some truly spooky storytelling.

218.) John Carter Warlord #2 (Dynamite Entertainment)
135    11/1/2014    JOHN CARTER WARLORD #1    15,930   
218    12/1/2014    JOHN CARTER WARLORD #2 8,858    (-44.4%)

Large second issue drop.

219.) Bobs Burgers #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014    BOBS BURGERS #1    20,157   
9/1/2014    BOBS BURGERS #2    11,030    (-45.2%)
10/1/2014    BOBS BURGERS #3    9,571    (-13.2%)
11/1/2014    BOBS BURGERS #4    10,160    (+6.2%)
12/1/2014    BOBS BURGERS #5    8,829    (-13.1%)

The increase last month may have been a fluke, as we see a large decrease this month.

220.) Revival #26 (Image)
5/1/2014    REVIVAL #20 (MR)    10,341    (-0.4%)
6/1/2014    REVIVAL #21 (MR)    9,808    (-5.2%)
7/1/2014    REVIVAL #22 (MR)    9,931    (-1.9%)
8/1/2014    REVIVAL #23 (MR)    9,425    (-5.9%)
10/1/2014    REVIVAL #24 (MR)    9,019    (-4.7%)
11/1/2014    REVIVAL #25 (MR)    9,535    (+5.7%)
12/1/2014    REVIVAL #26 (MR)    8,696    (-8.8%)

Sad to see another drop after last month’s bump, and not just because I really wanted to make more revival jokes.

221.) Alex + Ada #11 (Image)
5/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #6    9,869    (+1.1%)
6/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #7    9,579    (-2.9%)
8/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #8    9,453    (-1.3%)
10/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #9    9,370    (-0.9%)
11/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #10    8,946    (-4.5%)
12/1/2014    ALEX + ADA #11    8,619    (-3.7%)

Some natural attrition for Alex and Ada. The trope of “teaching a robot to love” may be a niche audience, but I am still a huge fan of this title.

222.) Sonic the Hedgehog #267 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #265    8,869    (-1.7%)
11/1/2014    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #266    8,822    (-0.5%)
12/1/2014    SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #267    8,608    (-2.4%)

Sonic continues to shake off minor attrition each month. He’s not afraid of anything as longs as he’s still got some rings.

225.) GI Joe (2014) #4 (IDW)
9/1/2014    GI JOE (2014) #1    6,848   
10/1/2014    GI JOE (2014) #2    9,708    (-42.4%)
11/1/2014    GI JOE (2014) #3     8,602    (-11.4%)
12/1/2014    GI JOE (2014) #4    8,282    (-3.7%)

A stabilizing drop this month for the GI Joe.

226.) Rai #5 (Valiant)
4/1/2014    RAI #1    29,137   
6/1/2014    RAI #2    13,448    (-53.8%)
7/1/2014    RAI #3    10,665    (-20.7%)
8/1/2014    RAI #4    9,394    (-12.4%)
12/1/2014    RAI #5     8,280    (-11.9%)

Another fast drop for Rai this month. I hesitate to call it attrition while the losses are still over 10%

227.) Squarriors #1 (Devil's Due)
12/1/2014    SQUARRIORS #1 (MR)    8,276

The first issue of Squarriors was funded via Kickstarter, with a total of 420 backers. While 8k may seem like a low debut number, it’s almost twenty times the initial number of Kickstarter backers. Not so bad then.

228.) Sonic Boom #2 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014    SONIC BOOM #1    17,228   
12/1/2014    SONIC BOOM #2    8,216    (-52.3)

Large second issue drop for Sonic Boom.

229.) Conan the Avenger #9 (Dark Horse)
8/1/2014    CONAN THE AVENGER #5    8,941    (-2.6%)
9/1/2014    CONAN THE AVENGER #6    8,820    (-1.4%)
10/1/2014    CONAN THE AVENGER #7    8,547    (-3.1%)
11/1/2014    CONAN THE AVENGER #8    8,250    (-3.5%)
12/1/2014    CONAN THE AVENGER #9    8,105    (-1.8%)

Slow and steady attrition.

230.) Godzilla Cataclysm #5 (IDW)
8/1/2014    GODZILLA CATACLYSM #1    11,868   
9/1/2014    GODZILLA CATACLYSM #2    8,859    (-25.4%)
10/1/2014    GODZILLA CATACLYSM #3    8,624    (-2.7%)
11/1/2014    GODZILLA CATACLYSM #4    7,981    (-7.5%)
12/1/2014    GODZILLA CATACLYSM #5    7,892    (-1.1%)

Minor losses this month.

232.) Tomb Raider #11 (Dark Horse)
7/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #6    10,149    (-3.7%)
8/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #7    9,429    (-7.1%)
9/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #8    9,125    (-3.2%)
10/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #9    8,748    (-4.1%)
11/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #10    8,153    (-6.8%)
12/1/2014    TOMB RAIDER #11    7,730    (-5.25)

Attrition is a comic book’s worst enemy. If superheroes can’t fight it, why should Lara Croft be able to?

233.) Transformers: Drift - Empire of Stone #2 (IDW)
11/1/2014    TRANSFORMERS DRIFT EMPIRE OF STONE #1    9,246   
12/1/2014    TRANSFORMERS DRIFT EMPIRE OF STONE #2    7,729    (-16.4%)

A pretty minor second issue drop as far as these things go.

234.) BRPD Hell on Earth #126 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #120    8,127    (-2.2%)
7/2/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #121    8,092    (-0.4%)
8/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #122    8,004    (-1.1%)
9/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #123    7,762    (-3.0%)
10/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #124    7,759    (0.00%)
11/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #125    7,534    (-2.9%)
12/1/2014    BPRD HELL ON EARTH #126    7,535    (0.00%)

Minimal attrition, with readers staying ever faithful.

235.) Annihilator #5 (Random House)
9/1/2014    ANNIHILATOR #1    10,345    --
10/1/2014    ANNIHILATOR #2    6,482    (-37.3%)
11/1/2014    ANNIHILATOR #3    8,383    (+29.3%)
12/1/2014    ANNIHILATOR #4    7,519    (-10.3%)

The numbers have been up and down for Annihilator. We’ll look to next month’s numbers to establish a firmer trend.

238.) Intersect #2 (Image)
11/1/2014    INTERSECT #1 (MR)    18,292   
12/1/2014    INTERSECT #2 (MR)    7,437    (-59.3%)

A huge second issue drop for Intersect. I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that it will still be on next month’s charts.

239.) New Vampirella #7 (Dynamite Entertainment)
6/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #1    22,864   
7/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #2    9,445    (-58.7%)
8/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #3    8,732    (-7.5%)
9/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #4    8,287    (-5.1%)
10/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #5    7,784    (-6.1%)
11/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #6    7,378    (-5.2%)
12/1/2014    NEW VAMPIRELLA #7    7,417    (+0.5%)

A tiny upswing this month.

240.) X-O Manowar #31 (Valiant)
5/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #25    12,493    (+45.4%)
6/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #26    10,083    (-19.3%)
7/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #27    9,183    (-8.9%)
8/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #28    9,634    (+4.9%)
9/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #29    8,566    (-11.1%)
11/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #30    8,354    (-2.5%)
12/1/2014    X-O MANOWAR #31    7,398    (-11.4%)

A significant drop after a month of semi-stability.

241.) Cowl #7 (Image)
5/1/2014    COWL #1 (MR)    20,851    --
6/1/2014    COWL #2 (MR)    13,569    (-34.9%)
7/1/2014    COWL #3 (MR)    11,604    (-14.5%)
8/1/2014    COWL #4 (MR)    10,893    (-6.1%)
9/1/2014    COWL #5 (MR)    9,852    (-9.6%)
11/1/2014    COWL #6 (MR)    8,208    (-16.7%)
12/1/2014    COWL #7 (MR)    7,343    (-10.5%)

Another significant drop this month, with no signs of stopping.

244.) Humans #2 (Image)
11/1/2014    HUMANS #1 (MR)    17,274   
12/1/2014    HUMANS #2 (MR)    7,132    (-58.7%)

I officially dub Decemeber the month of the ridiculous second issue drops.

246.) God Hates Astronauts #4 (Image)
9/1/2014    GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #1 (MR)    16,689   
10/1/2014    GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #2 (MR)    10,178    (-39.0%)
11/1/2014    GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #3 (MR)    8,017    (-21.2%)
12/1/2014    GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS #4 (MR)    7,008    (-12.6%)

While God Hates Astronauts is still dropping a bit more than average for a fourth issue, the drops do show signs of slowing down.

247.) Sonic Universe #71 (Archie Comics)
10/1/2014    SONIC UNIVERSE #68    7,438    (-1.8%)
10/1/2014    SONIC UNIVERSE #69    7,378    (-0.8%)
11/1/2014    SONIC UNIVERSE #70    7,161    (-2.9%)
12/1/2014    SONIC UNIVERSE #71    6,998    (-2.3%)


248.) Godzilla Rulers of the Earth #19 (IDW)
3/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #10    6,677    (+0.2%)
4/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #11    6,917    (-3.6%)
5/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #12    7,890    (+14.1%)
6/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #13    6,980    (-11.5%)
7/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #14    7,144    (+2.3%)
8/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #15    7,156    (+0.2%)
9/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #16    7,181    (+0.3%)
10/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #17    7,167    (-0.2%)
11/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #18    7,065    (-1.4%)
12/1/2014    GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #19    6,964    (-1.4%)

Some recent attrition, but the numbers are still slightly higher than they were just ten issues ago.

249.) Rachel Rising #30 (Abstract Studio)
4/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #25    7,378    --
6/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #26    7,260    (-1.6%)
8/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #27    7,319    (+.8%)
9/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #28    7,188    (-1.8%)
10/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #29    7,036    (-2.1%)
12/1/2014    RACHEL RISING #30    6,952    (-1.2%)

The losses for Rachel Rising are so minimal they’re almost not worth mentioning. Terry Moore’s masterpiece continues to have a cult following.

250.) War Stories #3 (Avatar Press)
10/1/2014    WAR STORIES #1 (MR)    9,487   
10/1/2014    WAR STORIES #2 (MR)    6,723    (-29.1%)
12/1/2014    WAR STORIES #3 (MR)    6,865    (+2.1%)

A third issue gain isn’t unheard of, but it is still applaud worthy.

251.) Bee and Puppycat #7 (Boom!)
5/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #1    12,204    --
6/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #2    7,557    (-38.1%)
8/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #3    8,031    (+6.3%)
9/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #4    7,556    (-5.9%)
10/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #5    7,255    (-4.0%)
11/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #6    7,055    (-2.8%)
12/1/2014    BEE AND PUPPYCAT #7    6,801    (-3.6%)

Continued attrition won’t stop my love of this title.

252.) Savage Dragon #200 (Image)
6/1/2013    Savage Dragon #181    4,556    (-0.8%)
10/1/2013    Savage Dragon #182    ????    ????
11/1/2013    Savage Dragon #183    4,603    ????
1/1/2013    Savage Dragon #184    4,366    (-5.1%)
3/1/2013    Savage Dragon #185    4,457    (+2.1%)
5/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #186    ????    ????
5/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #187    ????    ????
6/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #188    4,319    ????
7/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #189    ????    ????
8/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #190    5,078    ????
10/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #191    ????    ????
12/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #192    ????    ????
2/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #193    4,979    ????
4/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #194    ????    ????
6/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #195    ????    ????
7/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #196    ????    ????
8/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #197    ????    ????
9/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #198    ????    ????
10/1/2013    SAVAGE DRAGON #199    ????    ????
12/1/2014    SAVAGE DRAGON #200    6,798    ????

We haven’t exactly had solid numbers on Savage Dragon for some time. That said, the 200th issue managed to get the book back on the board, in spite of a $8.99 price tag.

253.) Goon Occasion of Revenge #4 (Dark Horse)
7/1/2014    GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #1    9,736   
8/1/2014    GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #2    7,865    (-19.2%)
10/1/2014    GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #3    7,436    (-5.5%)
12/1/2014    GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #4    6,794    (-8.6%)

Just above average drop this month for Goon.

254.) Simpsons Comics #216 (Bongo)
3/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #210    6,334    (-2.7%)
4/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #211    6,390    (+0.9%)
6/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #212    6,619    (-3.6%)
7/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #213    ????    ----
8/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #214    7,079    ----
10/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #215    6,818    (-3.7%)
12/1/2014    SIMPSONS COMICS #216    6,758    (-0.8%)

Negligible attrition.

257.) Justice Inc. #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)
8/1/2014    JUSTICE INC #1    12,020   
9/1/2014    JUSTICE INC#2    8,651    (-28.0%)
10/1/2014    JUSTICE INC #3    7,546    (-12.8%)
11/1/2014    JUSTICE INC #4    7,057    (-6.5%)
12/1/2014    JUSTICE INC #5    6,660    (-5.6%)

Edging ever nearer stabilization.

258.) Abe Sapien #18 (Dark Horse)
2/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #10    7,995    (-6.1%)
3/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #11    7,825    (-2.1%)
5/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #12    7,559    (-3.4%)
6/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #13    7,674    (+1.5%)
7/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #14    7,469    (-2.7%)
8/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #15    7,244    (-3.0%)
9/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #16    7,143    (-1.4%)
10/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #17    6,998    (-2.0%)
12/1/2014    ABE SAPIEN #18    6,652    (-4.9%)

Continued attrition makes this the poorest selling Hellboy adjacent title on the list.

259.) Mega Man #44 (Archie Comics)
8/1/2014    MEGA MAN #40    6,924    (-4.7%)
10/1/2014    MEGA MAN #41    6,899    (-0.4%)
10/1/2014    MEGA MAN #42    6,946    (+0.7%)
11/1/2014    MEGA MAN #43    6,771    (-2.5%)
12/1/2014    MEGA MAN #44    6,531    (-3.5%)

Mega Man continues to be very content in the 6k range.

260.) October Faction #3 (IDW)
10/1/2014    OCTOBER FACTION #1 [*]    9,181   
11/1/2014    OCTOBER FACTION #2 [*]    7,174    (-21.9%)
12/1/2014    OCTOBER FACTION #3 [*]    6,445    (-10.1%)

If the decreases slow down for the fourth issue – like many do – then we should see this on the board again next month.

261.) Shadow Show #2 (IDW)
11/1/2014    SHADOW SHOW #1    8,634   
12/1/2014    SHADOW SHOW #2    6,412    (-25.7%)

Standard second issue drop.

263.) GI Joe a Real American Hero #209 (IDW)
9/1/2014    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #204    7,651    (+16.6%)
10/1/2014    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #207    6,494    (-16.1%)
11/1/2014    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #208    7,810    (+20.3%)
12/1/2014    GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #209    6,344    (-18.8%)

There’s been some flip-flopping back and forth for the previous few issues. Ideally next month we’ll learn whether it’s trending up or down.

264.) Vampirella Feary Tales #3 (Dynamite Entertainment)
10/1/2014    VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #1    10,571   
11/1/2014    VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #2    6,607    (-37.5%)
12/1/2014    VAMPIRELLA FEARY TALES #3    6,341    (-4.0%)

If the drops continue to be this small next month, I’ll officially commit to Feary Tales finding it’s niche.

265.) Little Nemo Return to Slumberland #3 (IDW)
8/1/2014    LITTLE NEMO RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #1 [*]    11,883   
10/1/2014    LITTLE NEMO RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #2 [*]    8,130    (-31.6%)
12/1/2014    LITTLE NEMO RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #3 [*]    6,320    (-22.3%)
266.) Uber #20 (Avatar Press)
7/1/2014    UBER #15 (MR)    7,456    (-0.5%)
8/1/2014    UBER #16 (MR)    7,082    (-5.0%)
9/1/2014    UBER #17 (MR)    6,934    (-2.1%)
10/1/2014    UBER #18 (MR)    6,684    (-3.6%)
10/1/2014    UBER #19 (MR)    6,436    (-3.7%)
12/1/2014    UBER #20 (MR)    6,303    (-2.1%)

Each month brings minor losses to Uber. From what I’ve heard about the book, these casualties might mirror the violence within the pages.

267.) Harbinger Faith #0 (Valiant)
12/1/2014    HARBINGER FAITH #0    6,170

I won’t lie, it’s not usually good to see a first issue so far down this list. However, there are occasionally increases after a zero issue, so we won’t say farewell yet.

268.) Adventure Time Banana Guard Academy #6 (Boom!)
7/1/2014    ADV TIME BGA #1    $3.99    BOO    10,402   
8/1/2014    ADV TIME BGA #2    $3.99    BOO    8,287    (-20.4%)
10/1/2014   ADV TIME BGA #3    $3.99    BOO    7,977    (-3.7%)
10/1/2014   ADV TIME BGA #4    $3.99    BOO    7,453    (-6.6%)
11/1/2014   ADV TIME BTG #5    $3.99    BOO    6,514    (-12.6%)
12/1/2014   ADV TIME BTG #6    $3.99    BOO    6,148    (-5.6%)

The Banana Guard is definitely the black sheep of the Adventure Time family, but it seems to be stabilizing at least.

269.) Game of Thrones #23 (Dynamite Entertainment)
3/1/2014    GAME OF THRONES #19 (MR)    7,043    (-6.3%)
4/1/2014    GAME OF THRONES #20 (MR)    6,938    (-1.5%)
8/1/2014    GAME OF THRONES #21 (MR)    7,010    (+1.0%)
11/1/2014    GAME OF THRONES #22 (MR)    6,696    (-4.5%)
12/1/2014    GAME OF THRONES #23 (MR)    6,120    (-8.6%)

Perhaps readership will increase with the advent of the next television season.

270.) TMNT New Animated Adventures #18 (IDW)
4/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #10    5,911    (-1.6%)
5/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #11    6,075    (+2.8%)
6/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #12    7,577    (+24.7%)
7/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #13    7,158    (-5.5%)
8/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #14    6,420    (-10.3%)
9/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #15    7,589    (+18.2%)
10/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #16    ????    ????
11/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #17    6,228    ????
12/1/2014    TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #18    6,084    (-2.1%)

Minor drop this month, although a bump up could happen at anytime it seems.

271.) Woods #8 (Boom!)
5/1/2014    WOODS #1    13,916    --
6/1/2014    WOODS #2    9,352    (-32.8%)
7/1/2014    WOODS #3    8,852    (-5.3%)
8/1/3014    WOODS #4    8,272    (-6.6%)
9/1/2014    WOODS #5    7,649    (-7.5%)
10/1/2014    WOODS #6    7,103    (-7.1%)
11/1/2014    WOODS #7    6,554    (-7.7%)
12/1/2014    WOODS #8    6,067    (-7.4%)

At this point a seven percent drop just seems standard.

272.) Unity #13 (Valiant)
3/1/2014    UNITY #5    12,268    (+15.3%)
4/1/2014    UNITY #6    9,351    (-23.8%)
5/1/2014    UNITY #7    8,653    (-7.5%)
6/1/2014    UNITY #8    9,442    (+9.1%)
7/1/2014    UNITY #9    8,485    (-10.1%)
8/1/2014    UNITY #10    8,491    0%
9/1/2014    UNITY #11    7,602    (-10.5%)
11/1/2014    UNITY #12    6,508    (-14.4%)
12/1/2014    UNITY #13    6,066    (-6.8%)

One of the smallest losses the title has taken yet!

273.) Abigail and the Snowman #1 (Boom!)
12/1/2014    ABIGAIL AND THE SNOWMAN #1    6,050

Comics targeting children that aren’t based on previous intellectual property are always a hard sale. That doesn’t stop Abgail and the Snowman from being an adorable series.

274.) Samurai Jack #15 (IDW)
7/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #10    6,741    (-20.4%)
8/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #11    7,489    (+11.1%)
9/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #12    7,135    (-4.7%)
10/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #13    6,657    (-6.7%)
11/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #14    6,245    (-6.2%)
12/1/2014    SAMURAI JACK #15    6,023    (-3.6%)

Some attrition in the last few months.

275.) Spongebob Comics #39 (Universal)
8/1/2014    SPONGEBOB COMICS #35        6,491    ????
9/1/2014    SPONGEBOB COMICS #36        6,405    (-1.3%)
10/1/2014    SPONGEBOB COMICS #37        6,417    0.00%
11/1/2014    SPONGEBOB COMICS #38        6,201    (-3.4%)
12/1/2014    SPONGEBOB COMICS #39        6,007    (-3.1%)

Minuscule attrition.

276.) Sons of Anarchy #16 (Boom!)
6/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #10 (MR)    7,875    (-7.7%)
7/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #11 (MR)    7,394    (-5.9%)
8/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #12 (MR)    6,955    (-5.9%)
9/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #13 (MR)    6,506    (-6.5%)
10/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #14 (MR)    6,537    0.00%
11/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #15 (MR)    6,271    (-4.1%)
12/1/2014    SONS OF ANARCHY #16 (MR)    5,930    (-5.4%)

If the trend continues, this title may soon drop off the top 300 list.

278.) Skylanders #3 (IDW)
10/1/2014    SKYLANDERS #1 [*]    12,361   
11/1/2014    SKYLANDERS #2 [*]    7,665    (-38.0%)
12/1/2014    SKYLANDERS #3 [*]    5,882    (-23.2%)

Skylanders as a franchise already sees children clamoring for more. If it came down to a decision between a new Skylanders figure and a Skylanders comic, I’d probably choose the toy. That said, my friend reads these to her 2nd grade classroom and they adore each issue.

279.) God id Dead #25 (Avatar)
6/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #15 (MR)    8,262    (-1.3%)
7/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #16 (MR)    8,029    (-2.8%)
7/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #17 (MR)    7,759    (-3.4%)
8/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #18 (MR)    7,358    (-5.2%)
9/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #19 (MR)    6,857    (-6.8%)
9/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #20 (MR)    6,667    (-2.8%)
10/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #21 (MR)    6,579    (-1.3%)
10/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #22 (MR)    6,457    (-1.9%)
11/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #24 (MR)    5,902    (-8.6%)
12/1/2014    GOD IS DEAD #25 (MR)    5,874    (-0.5%)

The readers held faithful this month as Avatar Press launched an over-sized edition to celebrate the title’s 25th issue. The $5.99 price tag may have scared off the new readers the comic hoped to attract with a new jumping on point.

280.) Eternal Warrior Days of Steel #2 (Valiant)
11/1/2014    ETERNAL WARRIOR DAYS OF STEEL #1     6,785   
12/1/2014    ETERNAL WARRIOR DAYS OF STEEL #2    5,760    (-15.1%)

A lower than average second issue drop.

281.) Twilight Zone #10 (Dynamite Entertainment)
12/1/2013    Twilight Zone #1    21,723   
2/1/2014    Twilight Zone #2    11,537    (-46.9%)
3/1/2014    Twilight Zone #3    10,061    (-12.8%)
4/1/2014    Twilight Zone #4    9,014    (-10.4%)
5/1/2014    Twilight Zone #5    8,140    (-9.7%)
7/1/2014    Twilight Zone #6    7,528    (-7.5%)
7/1/2014    Twilight Zone #7    6,976    (-7.3%)
9/1/2014    Twilight Zone #8    6,633    (-4.7%)
10/1/2014    Twilight Zone #9    ????    ????
12/1/2014    Twilight Zone #10    5,680    ????

Back on the board after a month away.

282.) Flash Gordon #10 (Dynamite Entertainment)
4/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #1    $3.99    DE    14,398   
5/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #2    $3.99    DE    8,255    (-42.7%)
6/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #3    $3.99    DE    7,034    (-14.8%)
8/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #4    $3.99    DE    6,657    (-5.4%)
8/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #5    $3.99    DE    6,257    (-6.0%)
12/1/2014    FLASH GORDON #7    $3.99    DE    5,658    (-9.6%)

Another drop like this might see Flash Gordon drop off the charts.

283.) BSG Death of Apollo #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
12/1/2014    BSG DEATH OF APOLLO #1    5,626

I want to know what this debut says about fan feelings towards Apollo.

284.) Massive #30 (Dark Horse)
6/1/2012    Massive #1    22,173   
7/1/2012    Massive #2    16,600    (-25.1%)
8/1/2012    Massive #3    15,310    (-7.8%)
9/1/2012    Massive #4    13,427    (-12.3%)
10/1/2012   Massive #5    12,698    (-5.4%)
11/1/2012   Massive #6    11,455    (-9.8%)
12/1/2012   Massive #7    10,854    (-5.2%)
1/1/2013    Massive #8    10,206    (-6.0%)
2/1/2013    Massive #9     9,936    (-2.6%)
3/1/2013    Massive #10    9,795    (-1.4%)
4/1/2013    Massive #11    9,661    (-1.4%)
5/1/2013    Massive #12    9,489    (-1.8%)
6/1/2013    Massive #13    9,371    (-1.2%)
7/1/2013    Massive #14    8,983    (-4.1%)
8/1/2013    Massive #15    8,713    (-3.0%)
10/1/2013   Massive #16    8,345    (-4.2%)
11/1/2013   Massive #17    7,957    (-4.6%)
12/1/2013   Massive #18    7,770    (-2.3%)
1/1/2014    Massive #19    7,387    (-4.9%)
2/1/2014    Massive #20    6,976    (-5.6%)
3/1/2014    Massive #21    6,841    (-1.9%)
4/1/2014    Massive #22    6,650    (-2.8%)
5/1/2014    Massive #23    6,470    (-2.7%)
6/1/2014    Massive #24    6,372    (-1.5%)
7/1/2014    Massive #25    ????    ????
8/1/2014    Massive #26    6,144    ????
9/1/2014    Massive #27    ????    ????
10/1/2014    Massive #28    ???    ????
11/1/2014    MASSIVE #29    5,681    ????
12/1/2014    MASSIVE #30    5,622    (-1.0%)

In honor of the end of the Massive, here’s all the numbers we have on the series from start to finish.

285.) Dungeons & Dragons Legends of Baldur's Gate (IDW)
10/1/2014    D&D LEGENDS OF BALDURS GATE #1     9,341   
11/1/2014    D&D LEGENDS OF BALDURS GATE #2     7,642    (-18.2%)
12/1/2014    D&D LEGENDS OF BALDURS GATE #3     5,563    (-27.2%)

Such a large third issue drop does not bode well for this title, sadly.

288.) Fairy Quest Outcasts #2 (Boom!)
11/1/2014    FAIRY QUEST OUTCASTS #1    8,958   
12/1/2014    FAIRY QUEST OUTCASTS #2    5,389    (-39.8%)

Another above average second issue drop.

289.) Singery #2 (Image)
11/1/2014    SINERGY #1    9,380   
12/1/2014    SINERGY #2    5,309    (-43.4%)


290 & 295.) Crossed Badlands #67 & 68 (Avatar Press)
9/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #59 (MR)    5,991    ????
9/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #60 (MR)    5,991    0%
9/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #61 (MR)    ????    ????
9/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #62 (MR)    ????    ????
10/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #63 (MR)    ????    ????
10/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #64 (MR)    ????    ????
11/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #65 (MR)    5,410    ????
11/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #66 (MR)    5,303    (-2.0%)
12/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #67 (MR)    5,304    0%
12/1/2014    CROSSED BADLANDS #68 (MR)    5,159    (-2.7%)

Attrition continues for Crossed Badlands.

291.) Shadow Midnight Moscow #6 (Dynamite Entertainment)
5/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #1    7,772   
6/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #2    ????    ????
8/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #3    5,735    ????
9/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #4    ????    ????
10/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #5    ????    ????
12/1/2014    Shadow Midnight Moscow #6    5,301    ????

Even without all the numbers, it’s clear that they keep dropping.

293.) Judge Dredd #26 (IDW)
1/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #15    6,296    (-14.1%)
2/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #16    6,456    (-2.5%)
3/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #17    6,475    (+0.3%)
4/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #18    6,274    (-3.1%)
5/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #19    6,152    (-1.9%)
7/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #20    ????    ????
7/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #21    ????    ????
9/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #22    5,715    ????
9/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #23    ????    ????
10/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #24    ????    ????
11/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #25    6,055    ????
12/1/2014    JUDGE DREDD #26    5,184    (-14.4%)

A steep loss this month, but the title was relatively stable for most of 2014.

294.) GFT Grimm Fairy Tales #105 (Zenescope)
7/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #100 (MR)    11,722    (+56.9%)
8/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #101 (MR)    6,740    (-42.5%)
9/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #102 (MR)    6,462    (-4.1%)
10/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #103 (MR)    ????    ????
11/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #104 (MR)    5,341    ????
12/1/2014    GFT GRIMM FAIRY TALES #105 (MR)    5,166    (-3.3%)

Still going somewhat steady after a hundred issues. An accomplishment that very few indie titles can boast!

298.) Q2 RTN Quantum & Woody #3 (Valiant)
10/1/2014    Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #1    8,226   
11/1/2014    Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #2    5,802    (-29.5%)
12/1/2014    Q2 RTN QUANTUM & WOODY #3    5,073    (-12.6%)

This may be the title’s last time on the chart, but I hope we see it back again.

300.) Magnus Robot Fighter #9 (Dynamite Entertainment)

3/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #1 $3.99 DE 27,497
4/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #2 $3.99 DE 9,898 (-64.0%)
5/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #3 $3.99 DE 8,333 (-15.8%)
6/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #4 $3.99 DE 7,898 (-5.2%)
7/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #5 $3.99 DE 7,205 (-8.8%)
9/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #6 $3.99 DE ???? ????
10/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #7 $3.99 DE ???? ????
11/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #8 $3.99 DE 5,402 ????
12/1/2014 MAGNUS ROBOT FIGHTER #9 $3.99 DE 5,053 (-6.5%)

2 Comments on Indie Month-to-Month Sales December 2014: It’s a Bitch Planet type month, last added: 2/26/2015
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24. The book you write when you find out your great great grandmother is a ghost

Now this is a book on family history you don't find to often! Hannah Nordhaus has roots that go far back in New Mexico history and her great great grandparents owned one of the finer homes in Santa Fe. Now a hotel (and out of the family's hands), the hotel has been famously haunted for decades supposedly by Nordhaus's gg grandmother, Julia Schuster Staab who died in 1896. American Ghost is the story of how the author went looking for Julia, both her ghost and her truth.

German Jews who relocate to Santa Fe is a pretty interesting family history without much added to it, but Nordhaus finds out a lot more as she looks for the reasons why Julia left Germany. Because the Staab family was so prominent in New Mexico history, newspaper coverage is abundant and there are also letters, diary entries and some personal histories along with general records that Nordhaus is able to mine for information. She also goes in a different direction as well and tries to communicate with Julia's ghost.

At first, the "ghostbusting" chapters seemed odd to me, like the author was padding the narrative. But slowly she makes it clear that her attempts to reach out to the ghost, (and find out of there even is a ghost), are also a bit about finding herself or perhaps finding how she feels about her ancestors. These chapters also provide a bit humor which is welcome as Julia's life has some truly tragic downturns and, as expected, not all of the family left Germany so there is some enormous sadness found there.

I have read several books about finding your family but this is the first one where a family member is a famous ghost which is really fairly outrageous when you think about it. I will admit I am envious of Nordhaus however--she has so much family history to fall back on, such a solid place to start from and I have only the tiniest shreds in comparison. But that envy did not reduce my ability to enjoy American Ghost a lot or glean some tips from her search.

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25. Kristina Marie Darling: Poet Interview

Confession: I don’t really keep records on Poetic Asides, but I’m pretty sure Kristina Marie Darling has the record for most poet interviews in PA history.

Kristina Marie Darling

Kristina Marie Darling

If this is your first time hearing her name, Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over 20 books, which include Vow, Petrarchan, and Scorched Altar, all available from BlazeVOX Books.  Her writing has been recognized with fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.  She was recently selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

Visit her online at http://kristinamariedarling.com.

It’s been fun watching her writing evolve over the years, and in Darling’s collection Scorched Altar: Selected Poems & Stories 2007-2014, it’s now possible to get a sampling of her writing from 12 different sources.

Here are a few of the pieces you will find:


Recreating_Poetry_Revise_PoemsForget Revision, Learn How to Re-create Your Poems!

Do you find first drafts the easy part and revision kind of intimidating? If so, you’re not alone, and it’s common for writers to think the revision process is boring–but it doesn’t have to be!

In the 48-minute tutorial Re-Creating Poetry: How to Revise Poems, poets will learn how to go about re-creating their poems with the use of 7 revision filters that can help poets more effectively play with their poems after the first draft. Plus, it helps poets see how they make revision–gasp–fun!

Click to continue.


What are you currently up to?

I’m getting ready to leave for a residency at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and couldn’t be more excited. I’ll spend my time there working on a new collection of erasure poems, which examines the egregious amount of gender violence in Shakespeare’s tragedies. The fragmented, elliptical poems ask reader to consider whether the literature we’ve inherited has normalized gender violence, since plays like Hamlet, King Lear, and Othello are so present within the public imagination.

Part critique, part excavation, the poems are intended to redirect the focus of scholarly and readerly attention. It is when we become conscious of underlying beliefs and assumptions in culture, and their roots, that change emerges as a real possibility.

scorched_altar_selected_poems_stories_kristina_marie_darlingScorched Altar is a collection of selected poems and stories published by BlazeVOX [books]. How did this collection come about?

That’s a great question. I initially contacted Geoffrey Gatza, the fabulous editor in charge of the press, to inquire about the possibility of a Selected Poems.

It turns out that Geoffrey had the same idea himself, and I simply e-mailed first. Since I had worked with BlazeVOX on numerous previous collections, I knew that my Selected Poems was in very good hands.

Was the process of selecting pieces from previous collections different than putting together a new collection?

When I compiled the poems from my previous collections for Scorched Altar, it was a much different process than working on a brand new collection. For me, writing a new poem or poetry book is an intuitive process, and I don’t reflect much on what I’m doing, at least in the drafting stage. If I allow myself to become too self-aware, that allows me to become self-critical, and then no writing gets done at all.

What I really enjoyed about the process of compiling Scorched Altar was that it prompted me to reflect on my body of work as a whole, to see patterns emerge from my writing over the past seven years, and to see progress and growth. The act of examining my poetry over the course of several years also helped me see what ideas, obsessions, and literary forms I returned to most frequently. And as a result, I came away from the process with many ideas for new projects, experiments, and poems that were completely different from anything I’d ever written before.

In many ways, the act of examining my body of work showed me what is possible within it.

Many of your pieces, especially in collections like Correspondence and Fortress, have a very visual element to how they’re arranged on the page. Do you ever perform these in readings? If so, do you have to explain how they’re set?

I think every poetry reading has some element of performance. Whether the poet shouts their poems, or sings them, or invites audience participation, I’m positive that all writers have a constructed persona, which is an extension of the work itself. With that in mind, I love performing my footnote poems at readings.

I typically read them in a completely flat, monotone voice, almost like the bad math professor that just about everyone had in college. I love seeing the audience lulled into a sense of comfort by the unexciting presentation of the work, only to be surprised by the wildly imaginative content.

You’re an active literary critic. Does this inform your writing? Help? Hinder?

I’m glad you asked about my reviewing and involvement with literary criticism. I love reviewing books, because it exposes me to poetry that is completely outside my comfort zone. This is great because it helps me question and interrogate what I normally do in my own writing. It pushes me to try new things and experiment more within my own practice. And it helps me see more clearly where my poems fit within the larger literary community.

The best thing about reviewing, though, is that it helps build relationships within publishing and writing. I’ve met friends, collaborators, and even mentors when working on reviews. And there’s nothing better than free books!

You’ve published 17 collections now. How do you keep the writing flame lit?

By reading and reviewing other poets. As long as you’re constantly being exposed to new ideas, literary forms, and aesthetics, you’ll always have something to write about.

I also run a small press, Noctuary Press, which has been great for my own creative practice. The press primarily publishes women’s writing that takes places across and beyond genre categories. Although I pride myself on my ability to question genre distinctions, reading submissions for the press has shown me the tremendous variety inherent in contemporary cross-genre writing by women. My work as editor has helped me see what’s possible within the hybrid forms I typically inhabit, and it’s a great deal more than I had initially envisioned.

One poet who no one knows but should–who is it?

Erin Bertram. She has several magnificent chapbooks out, including one from Kristy Bowen’s fabulous Dancing Girl Press. I’m just waiting for someone to realize that her first full-length book needs to be published (so I can buy it and read it!).

Who (or what) are you currently reading?

I’m very excited to check out Donna Stonecipher’s Model City and Dawn Lonsinger’s Whelm. I also just picked up Olena Kalytiak Davis’s newest collection, which I’ve been eagerly awaiting for quite some time.

And if you haven’t checked out Carl Adamshick’s Saint Friend, just published by McSweeney’s Books, then you sure are missing out. It’s a terrific collection, even better than his first book, Curses & Wishes.

And usually I ask for one piece of advice for poets, but we’ve done a few interviews together now. So instead, and this is probably still one piece of advice for poets, I’m going to ask you about your amazing organization and follow-up abilities, because you do a better job than most. Could you share how you stay organized and on task for writing, submitting, following up, etc.?

I’m probably going to out myself as a total nerd with this answer, but here goes:  Excel Spreadsheets. I keep track of everything (applications I’ve submitted, review copies sent, deadlines for applications) in a couple of gigantic spreadsheets.

If I could offer one piece of advice to poets, I’d say keep records of where you send your work, whether it’s review copies, applications, or poems. If you don’t remember where you sent something, then there’s no way you’ll ever be able to follow up with the decision maker.

And believe me, persistence pays off, especially in small press publishing.


Robert Lee Brewer is the editor of Poet’s Market and author of Solving the World’s Problems. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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