|©the enchanted easel 2015|
©the enchanted easel 2015
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|©the enchanted easel 2015|
©the enchanted easel 2015
The main conference and exhibit halls for BEA 2015 started mid-day on Wednesday, and ran for half a day. This unusual late opening was convenient for travel, because I was able to drive up in the morning and save a day in the hotel. However, it gave an odd feel to the exhibit hall, almost as if it were a preview and not fully open for business. Although there were plenty of people in the hall, it seemed to me less crowded than usual, and the mood seemed subdued. It'll be interesting to see if things are different today, the first full day of the conference.
I spent most of the afternoon in meetings with publishers, talking about the Cybils Awards and Kidlitcon 2015, but I did find time to catch most of the Best in 2015 Fall Graphic Novels panel and the Marvel Presents: Star Wars panel.
The graphic novel panel included Derf Backderf (Trashed), past Cybils Awards winner Ben Hatke (Little Robot), Jeremy Sorese (Curveball) and Maggie Thrash (Honor Girl). I was particularly interested in Ben Hatke's discussion about how working on a picture book in turn influenced his comics art style, and Little Robot looks adorable. Jeremy Sorese's Curveball sounds like a fascinating science fiction comic, and I'm glad I picked up a sample from the Nobrow booth.
Marvel Editor Jordan White moderated the Star Wars panel, with writer Charles Soule and artist Alex Maleev. I've been a Star Wars fan since the original movie came out in 1977, (I was 13) and I was interested to learn about the new Star Wars comics coming out. Kanan: The Last Padawan tells the story of how Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels survived Order 66, and it's exciting to see Lando get his own comic series.
During the Q&A at the end of the panel, @MizCaramelVixen, creator of BlackComicsMonth.com, asked whether there would be an effort to increase diversity both within the Star Wars universe and among the creators. The panel's response to her very important question was disappointing. Editor Jordan White at least tried to address the question seriously, but Charles Soule basically dismissed the question by saying the Star Wars universe has always been diverse, and Alex Maleev asked whether it wasn't enough diversity to have a Bulgarian working on a comic about a black man (Lando). Both either missed the point or intentionally ignored it. Saying that the Star Wars universe is diverse is a smokescreen. Sure, there are many different species of beings, but all that CGI doesn't hide the fact that Lando has been, for a long time, the Star Wars universe's token person of color. And having a Bulgarian working on the comic does not address the very real need to have writers and artists of color working on the comics.
Much as I love Star Wars, how much more awesome would it be with a real diversity reflecting the glorious variety of people in our world? And one way to improve on that would be to employ more creators who represent that diversity in all its forms. (I do have hopes for The Force Awakens, and look forward to seeing John Boyega and Lupita Nyong'o, and I hope other diverse cast as well.)
After the exhibit halls closed, I headed to the Hudson Theatre in Times Square for a party and presentation about Brian Selznick's new book, The Marvels. The party started with wine and hors d'oeuvres, which wasn't as much fun as it sounds, because it mostly consisted of fighting through crowds and battling in Hunger Games-style death matches over trays of hors d'oeuvres. I've never enjoyed crowds, so I managed to get a glass of wine and then tried to stand out of the way in the corner until it was time for the presentation.
The presentation was worth it, though! Brian Selznick is a terrific speaker. He started with a video presentation of a series of art from the book. The art was incredibly beautiful, and the part of the story it told was so sad and moving that I wasn't the only one wiping my eyes at the end. Then he talked about the creation of the book, including spending time in London doing research at the Dennis Severs House, which was an inspiration for the book. He also showed his process of creating the art for the book, starting with tiny thumbnail sketches of each page which he then bound into a tiny book.
After the presentation, we all got copies of The Marvels ARC, which Selznick signed for us. They also gave us a surprise gift: an adorable tiny book of art similar to the one that Selznick had created as a mockup! The Marvels looks like an incredible book, and I look forward to reading it.Add a Comment
Google's interactive film division has announced four new animation projects, and introduced a developer's kit that allows anyone to produce interactive animation.Add a Comment
In competition, neck and neck
They held each other's pace.
The crowd was rooting silently
The whole entire race.
The both of them so well-prepared,
They'd practiced and they'd trained,
So every possibility
Their brains had entertained.
The final minutes soon approached
And I was thrilled to see
Both Vanya* and Gokul* were winners
Of the Spelling Bee!
*Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam
were declared co-winners of the 2015
Scripps National Spelling Bee last night.
Deadline announced today that Universal Television has optioned the rights to Image’s Eisner-nominated The Wicked + The Divine. The comic, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson, will be adapted via Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s production company, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. This is the same deal that will bring about the TV adaptation of Sex Criminals – the two-year deal with Universal included adapting not only their own material into television shows, but also allows Fraction and DeConnick to spotlight other creators’ IP.
McKelvie took to Twitter with the announcement:
Been sitting on that one for a while. Hey! Cool! And so happy to be working with Matt and @kellysue.
— Jamie McKelvie (@McKelvie) May 30, 2015
And then Chip Zdarsky, Illustrator for Sex Criminals, took it to another level:
With Both WicDiv and Sex Criminals TV shows being produced by Milkfed, that means a Milkfed Shared Universe, fyi. Suck on THAT, Marvel.
— Chip Zdarsky, ok. (@zdarsky) May 30, 2015
The Wicked + The Divine focuses on members of the Pantheon, people with superhuman powers, a result of merging with the reincarnated spirit of a mythological deity. The first issue was released in June of 2014.Add a Comment
The app allows readers to sample, purchase and read eBooks and recommend them to friends. The service has more than 300,000 books in its library with titles from more than 600 publishers. The site also includes curated recommendations from its staff editors, as well as from authors.
Readers can highlight passages and make notes in eBooks and then share these in their social reading stream.Add a Comment
In The Malaysian Insider Ooi Kok Hin finds the local Lack of appreciation towards Malaysian literature a worrying phenomenon.
Sadly, he reports:
Usually I'm reluctant to generalis [sic] my experience but in this case, I'm pretty sure that my ignorance of our national literature is shared by most of my peers, and perhaps Malaysians in general.And, amazingly:
We read short stories and trimmed version of major literary works in our school. But we never really instilled a love for literature, let alone our own literature.
For example, Tan Twan Eng's first novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Romanian, Czech, Serbian and French.One wonders indeed ..... Read the rest of this post Add a Comment
One wonders why there isn't a Malay translation in spite of the fact that the story is set in Penang.
I had my first Dinosaur Police event yesterday, at the Hay Festival in Wales! And I got to wear my brand-new dinosaur-inspired hat! My sculptor friend, Eddie Smith created it (the same guy who helped me build the giant Seawig and talking cake hat), and my local tailor, Esther Marfo, made the dress. (Oh, and I made the book!)
This photo's by Jay Williams for Telegraph Books, and I was awfully excited to be included in the gallery between Pam Ayres and Virginia McKenna, both of whom I got to meet in the Green Room. Here's a doodle of my awesome Scholastic UK publicist, Dave Sanger, bravely helping me on stage to lead the audience in a very rousing rendition of the Dinosaur Police SONG. It might not have been the most tuneful number on the day, but we all sang it with great gusto. (Thanks, Philip Reeve, for writing the lyrics, and Sarah Reeve, for teaching me some ace uke chords to play with it!)
Here's Dave, sheltering from the rain under the umbrella of my enormous hat. Oh... and I have some exciting news about David!
Not only is he a fab publicist, but he's signed a book deal with Quercus for a book for adults, All Their Minds in Tandem, coming out next spring. Yay, Dave! I can't wait to read it.
So for our event, we did some drawing, and some roaring, comics, and general mucking about.
I showed everyone my way of drawing Trevor the T-Rex, and here's one of the drawings from a girl in the audience named Grace. We discussed various possible dinosaur professions, and this one's a dinosaur astronaut. (Here are some guides on my website to drawing dinosaurs, if you want to have a try.)
And it wasn't just people in Wales drawing dinosaurs; here's a picture tweeted in from South America of Inspector Sarah Tops at the same time by Mercedes Ortiz!
And then I got to sign and draw in lots of books. Thanks so much, everyone who came along! (Photo tweeted by Steph Roundsmith at @kidsrwreview.)
Big thanks to the other Sarah, who managed our event, and Glyn Morgan (@GR_Morgan), who was working another event but made me feel very famous by pulling me aside for a photo to tweet.
Actually, a lot of us had fun with the hat. Here are authors Ed Vere, Holly Smale and Tom Moorhouse.
I only had time to go to one event, so I went to see Holly give a talk with Megan Farr and Arabella Weir. Holly and Arabella have both written stories about teenage girls very much like they were as teenagers, and it was kind of funny because I think it they'd met each other as teenagers, they would have loathed each other. Since they're both grown-ups now, they can talk about these things in a friendly sort of way, but I think the audience could still feel the undercurrent of their semi-fictional teenage selves at war. (Which made everything way more interesting than if they'd been very similar.)
The most surprising question actually came from a child in the audience, who said: "You're both obviously very intelligent women. So why are you writing books for children?" (Cue a big intake of breath from several people up front and in the audience who make books for children.) Holly and Arabella answered it well, saying that it can be even harder to write for children, because children don't let writers hide behind unnecessary literary nonsense: either a story works for them, or it doesn't. In fact, Holly didn't even set out to write for children. She made the Geek Girl protagonist 15 years old, and that's what made the editor decide it was a children's book. Both Arabella and Holly said they never dumb down allusions and jokes because they're writing for kids, and Holly pointed to Shakespeare references in her stories.
Both writers said it's harder to make people laugh than cry, which I very much agree with. It reminded me of a line tweeted recently by Ewa SR:
Being funny doesn't mean being dizzy or less talented, on the contrary, it takes more skill.
Another thing that takes a whole lot of skill is moderating talks. Big cheers to people who moderated MANY talks, including Daniel Hahn (who was compere for 18 talks during the festival!) and the Telegraph Book's Martin Chilton, who also had to read a whole lot of books and ask a lot of good questions. Here's Martin, looking lovely in the dino hat. (And yes, he DID suddenly sprout a lavish blond fringe.)
I was sad to miss illustrator Jamie Littler's event with Danny Wallace, but I hear it was a storming success. (Here he is, with the newspaper rose we were all given.)
One of the hardest things about this year has been not having enough time to catch up with friends. And this festival was wonderful for that. On the first morning, I came out of my bedroom at George House to find my great friend, writer Moira Young, also coming downstairs to breakfast. Yay! Here's Moira, with wonderful Shirley Smith, who lives in the house and turns it into a guesthouse once a year, just for the festival. I stayed with her in 2012 and was thrilled to be back.
And it was great to catch up with Moira and her architect husband Paul. Another big treat was getting to have a girly slumber party with Holly Smale, when she found she wouldn't be able to catch the last train home. After dinner, we stayed up WAY too late chatting in the pink bedroom, in our little twin beds, then came back together on the train. Good times.
And the other people who made it a fun visit was the group of Norwegians at the festival - a 'noggin' of Norwegians as I've decided they're called - and they took me out to dinner on the first night: Helga and John Rullestad (who hosted me in Norway for the SILK Festival) and their good friend Odd Henning Johannessen. (Thanks so much, Norwegians!)
Thanks so much to Mary Beard and Heather Salisbury at Hay Festival for inviting and looking after me, Shirley for putting me up, Dave for being my glamorous dinosaur assistant, the team at the Hay Festival bookshop, Dave and Harriet Bayly for the second night's dinner, drivers Darren and Mark, Sarah, the stewards and everyone who made the festival run so smoothly and be so much fun. And big thanks to Eddie and Esther for all the costume help!
Question: What is the difference between soft science fiction and hard science fiction? How do I know which one my novel falls under? Answer: In generalAdd a Comment
Brian Michael Bendis
VC’s Cory Petit
Wolverine is grizzled, dirty, and tired — but Old Man Logan is downright nasty. Logan’s resolve is killing now in the midst of Secret Wars, his motivations are questionable, his ‘costume’ is covered in blood — welcome to the new Old Man Logan #1.
Author Brian Michael Bendis has a knack for writing characters like this, likely affected by the heroes of his youth portrayed on the big screen. It’s impossible not to feel the vibes of characters like Sam Spade of The Maltese Falcon burning off the pages of this issue. This incarnation of Old Man Logan doesn’t even pretend to care that it’s walking in the footsteps of the original series with Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, the comic is devoted to getting down to the core of the Wolverine character and reminding us why he’s so damn cool in the first place.
Andrea Sorrentino’s art was always stylish — incorporating elements that pushed the medium further with really dynamic color flourishes and poses. Steve McNiven’s more polished pencil set is really hard to live up too from the previous series, and that’s where Sorrentino’s really shines as a creator — he forges his own path in this comic. In fact, the different tricks of the medium and elements of coloring and lettering that make this tale so organic is perfectly weaved within the narrative. I’m not sure where the talent of colorist Marcelo Maiolo and Sorrentino intersect, but I never ever want them to stop working together! When the story breaks free of the regular style of art and thrusts into the lush splash page, we’re introduced to the versatility that Sorrentino’s own art that has grown ever since his time spent on projects like Green Arrow. He’s become more bold since then, and is now unafraid to take even more risks as the story goes on with Maiolo.
One of the best parts of this issue is how the reader really isn’t sure if Logan has gone crazy or not in this story. He definitely seems to be pushing against some line of morality, seemingly now playing the role of The Punisher within his own story. It’s also great to see the character of Logan finally get a bit of a break. We’ve been living in a culture with a Logan on virtually every team within the Marvel Universe. When Charles Soule finally let wolverine die, the character may have found the solace that he needed. Now that we have Logan back in a different sort of capacity I can actually appreciate the character for who he is.
Old Man Logan isn’t a particularly nice dude, but with his family ripped apart and evil continuing to prevail, he doesn’t really have a lot to be happy about. Thankfully, this story isn’t a nuanced character study, it’s an exploration into the dark parts of Wolverine’s psyche that allows him to kill. It’s interesting to see how the Marvel Universe at large is integrated into this story, at the same time, the way that the greater Marvel world was developed within the original story was some of the greatest strengths of the original volume. We need to see the pieces of the Marvel Universe sparingly, but we still need to see them lightly developed within the story structure of Old Man Logan. The only gripe I have in this comic is that one scene in particular plays a little too close for comfort in how it adapts Emma Frost into the Wolverine mythos — other than that, it’s all peaches and cream.
The light ties to Secret Wars are standard at the moment, but effective. Just a slight mention of Secret Wars seems to legitimize whatever sort of tie-in currently inflected within the titles themselves. Sorrentino and Bendis have crafted a tale worthy of Millar and McNiven’s tenure on the title. If we had to have any sort of continuation of Old Man Logan, this is an excellent new path for the title to embark on. Through utilizing circumstance and really making use out of the little moments of mythology conducted in the Marvel Universe during Secret Wars, Old Man Logan #1 is a successful tie-in. Continuing the legacy of one of the grumpiest and oldest superheroes ever further utilizes the strength of Marvel’s flagship event that is dedicated to exploring the outcasts, rebels, and Sam Spades of the Marvel Universe.Add a Comment
"Literature as it's known in the West isn't taught at schools. Children do learn when Jane Austen lived, but they don't usually read any of her books," says publisher John McGlynn, whose Lontar Foundation translates Indonesian works into English.I'm not really sure what to say about someone like Goenawan Mohamad, chairman of the national committee for Indonesia is guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair (!), spouting stuff like:
We Indonesians are more sociable and love a good dose of noise. Aside from that, of course, we don't have long winters for sitting inside to read War and Peace for example.Okay .....
Most of what comes onto the Indonesian market is straightforward bestsellers translated out of English. That's what earns the publishers money, says John McGlynn. "The books with the largest print runs -- if we can call them that -- are popular novels and those with a religious leaning: a woman finds first God and then a husband," he says with a critical note. "More and more books are being published, but many of them are terribly written."Stil, I see some promise in that 'more and more' .....
|A Nap Before Band Practice|
More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink #illustration #poetry #bordercollie #dog (at 17th Avenue Studios)
One of the big critical darlings of last year, Lumberjanes is a fabulous comic series written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, with art by Brooke Allen and co-created by BOOM! Studios editor Shannon Watters.
For those unfamiliar, it follows a group of young women spending the summer at scout camp, where they encounter supernatural phenomena like Yetis, giant falcons and the like. It started out as an eight issue mini-series, but demand proved so high, that BOOM! decided to make it an ongoing. Lumberjanes is great fun and, for my money, a terribly important and accessible all-ages comic.
It’s no surprise then that Hollywood would eventually come calling, and so via 20th Century Fox in a report from The Wrap, a movie adaptation is on the way with Boom’s Ross Richie, Stephen Christy, and Adam Yoelin teaming up with Fox’s Kira Goldberg and Ryan Jones to produce the film. Will Widger, who is best known for his 2014 “Black List” script, The Munchkin, will take on writing duties for the film.
It’s a bit of a bummer that an all female created series, that focuses on female characters, has a male screenwriter; but his script for The Munchkin (which is pitched as a Chinatown type thriller about the world of The Wizard of Oz) sounds idiosyncratic enough that he may have a good spin on the material.Add a Comment
Question: How would you show slow progress without boring your audience? By slow progress, I mean your character practices ballet/sword fighting/chessAdd a Comment
When I was a youngster, I remember reading Mollie Whuppie in one of the many fairytale collections at the public library. I am a fairytale kind of person. Mollie Whuppie is a little short on sparkles and ball gowns and a little long on violence and greed.
I don't know why I like the story so much. It may be the archaic dialog between Mollie and the giant she torments. It might be that Mollie is an unexpected hero - the runt of the family, and a girl to boot.
When I figure it out, I'll let you know. I have to admit, I did not tell the original ending. That ending is a bit too gruesome for my tastes.
Today, I decided to share Mollie Whuppie with the sixth graders at Nazareth Intermediate School. My version has some (ahem) blood in it and there's lots of action. I guessed, correctly, that the guys would like it. What I didn't expect was all the questions the kids had during and after the story. One question that cropped up in three of the four classes was this. "How did the King know what the Giant had and where he kept it?"
Yeah! How did he know that? And why did he keep sending this tiny girl out to steal from the Giant? And why did the parents abandon the three youngest children and not the three oldest children - who might have a better chance of surviving?
And why did Mollie carry the treasures back to the King? Why not keep them for herself?
And why didn't those old time storytellers ask these questions themselves and answer them in the story? (My question.)
Perhaps Kings were such powerful people that listeners at the time thought Kings knew what everyone had and where they kept it. I bet that they felt that way at tax time.
And powerless people always like stories about small powerless people who prevail.
Now, about keeping the loot for herself, Mollie had to protect her sisters who might suffer at the hands of the King if Mollie "cheated" him.
As to abandoning the youngest rather than the oldest, I invite you to offer reasons for that.
In the meantime, these questions make great writing prompts and I imagine a comic book series about The Adventures of Mollie Whuppie. Although there are picture books out there starring Ms. Whuppie, she could be a superhero.
Mollie Whuppie, Unexpected Hero!!!
The Nerd Riders got to hang out with the awesome author of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE, M.G. Buehrlen. There were questions asked, questions answered and swords drawn!
One more translation prize to close out the week: they announced that Oliver Ready's translation of Before and During, by Vladimir Sharov, has won this year's Read Russia Prize (and what a relief it is that a contemporary work and new translation and not one of those Tolstoy or Dostoevsky re-translations won -- not that they aren't estimable, too ...).
This will be Best Translated Book Award-eligible for next year's prize, and it'll be interesting to see if it makes the cut.
I do have a copy, and should be getting to it; meanhwile, see the Dedalus publicity page or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Nothing in life is alien to you:
I was a penniless girl from Summum
Who stepped from the morning train in Spoon River.
All the houses stood before me with closed doors
And drawn shades- I was barred out;
I had no place or part in any of them.
And I walked past the old McNeely mansion,
A castle of stone 'mid walks and gardens,
With workmen about the place on guard,
And the County and State upholding it
For its lordly owner, full of pride.
I was so hungry I had a vision:
I saw a giant pair of scissors
Dip from the sky, like the beam of a dredge,
And cut the house in two like a curtain.
But at the "Commercial" I saw a man,
Who winked at me as I asked for work--
It was Wash McNeely's son.
He proved the link in the chain of title
To half my ownership of the mansion,
Through a breach of promise suit - the scissors.
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born,
Was only waiting for me.
- Ida Frickey in Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters
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