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1. Cover Revealed for New Sarah Ahiers Book

Assassin's Heart Cover (GalleyCat)

The cover has been unveiled for Sarah Ahiers’ Assassin’s Heart. We’ve embedded the full image for the jacket design above—what do you think?

According to EpicReads.com, Kate J. Engbring served as the designer for this project. HarperCollins Children’s Books has set the publication date for February 02, 2016.

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2. Former Scientologist Ronald Miscavige Sr. to Pen Tell-All Book

Former Scientologist Ronald Miscavige Sr., the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, has signed a book deal with St. Martin’s Press, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.

The title is called, If He Dies, He Dies. Tony Ortega has more:

The title is a reference to a now infamous story that came out in theLos Angeles Times this April about the arrest of two private investigators in Wisconsin who told police they were being paid $10,000 a week by David Miscavige to surveil his father, and had been doing so for more than a year.

A release date for the book has yet to be revealed.

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3. Catching up with Dynamite: Voltron, Aliens/Vampirella, more Swords of Sorrow, Jose Gonzalez, Alice Cooper and MORE


We’ve fallen a little behind on our Dynamite news so here’s a big catch-up post with all the news — and rest assured more is to come.

Corrina Bechko (the excellent Invisible Republic from Image and Star Wars: Legacy) will write the Aliens / Vampirella horror crossover. Javier García-Miranda does interiors while Gabriel Hardman, another Beat favorite, provides the covers. A Vampirella/Aleisn team-up sounds a bit odd, but ampi can corssover with anyone, and here she investigates a bloddy mystery on Mars. OK THEN! The book comes out in September.

VampiAliens01-01_flat VampiAliens01-02-copy VampiAliens01-03-copy AliensVampi01-04 VampiAliens01-06-copy AliensVampi01-12





§ More Swords of Sorrow! A Swords of Sorrow: Miss Fury / Lady Rawhide one shot and a Cosplay Edition of Swords of Sorrow #3, inspired by cosplayer Tabitha Lyons. The scene reënects J. Scott Campbell’s cover to SoS #1 withTabitha Lyons as Red Sonja, Tasha Mackenzie as Dejah Thoris, Chiquitita Cosplay as Jungle Girl, and Mojo Jones as Vampirella.

Slated for release in September, the Swords of Sorrow: Miss Fury / Lady Rawhide special unites the rebellious Western heroine of yesteryear with the unpredictable — perhaps dangerously so — costumed crime-fighter, whether they like it or not. Written by Mikki Kendall and illustrated by Ronilson Freire, the one-shot comes with a cover by artist Mirka Andolfo.




SoSFuryRawhide-01-03c SoSFuryRawhide-01-04b SoSFuryRawhide-01-05c SoSFuryRawhide-01-07c SoSFuryRawhide-01-15b



• A 250-page artbook devoted to Jose “Pepe” Gonzalez, with an intro by Joe Jusko and hundred of images from the Vampirella artists career. Check out the gallery below, this stuff is nice.

Renowned for bringing to life the most beautiful women the art world has ever seen, Gonzalez’s career spans from drawing British romance comics to movie stars, book covers to commercial advertising. For the first time ever, author David Roach covers Gonzalez’s entire career, transcending his vast body of Vampirella work to explore the full breadth of the master’s creations.

ArtJoseHC-VampiWrath-Final-(Page-01) ArtJoseHC-pg15-image02-Bogart300Dpi ArtJoseHC-Frontis104-300Dpi ArtJoseHC-Chap07pg42-EssenceDress ArtJoseHC-pg16-VampiTigers600 ArtJoseHC-Chap06pg19-Barbie ArtJoseHC-pg27-DeLos50-300dpi ArtJoseHC-Chap06pg05-C-Wild ArtJoseHC-Chap07pg23-Romance ArtJoseHC-Chap07pg09-A-GrayCouple ArtJoseHC-pg11-image01-Forest300dpi ArtJoseHC-VampiWrath-Final-(Page-07)



• Alice Cooper vs. Chaos!, a five-issue miniseries pitting the world-renowned rock ‘n’ roll icon against Evil Ernie, Chastity, and Purgatori. Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Batman: Eternal) and Jim Terry (The Crow: Skinning the Wolves) share writing duties for the event series, with Terry performing double-duty as the series artist. Joyce Chin (Swords of Sorrow) will provide covers. This sounds weird but I guess you had to be there!

“Diving headfirst into the Chaos! universe has been incredible, like being pushed out of a plane into a combat zone filled with gods, nut jobs, and the most gorgeous women you could fathom,” says co-writer and artist Jim Terry. “I’m doing my best to keep up with it and hopefully kick in a little dramatic flair, as well as my own (and Tim’s) particular brand of madness. Add Alice Cooper to the mix and we’re hoping to leave fans breathless from action, horror, and mind-bending rock ‘n’ roll surrealism.”

AliceChaos01-01 AliceChaos01-03 AliceChaos01-05 AliceChaos01-10 AliceChaos01-18



• Finally, a new six issues miniseries called Voltron: From the Ashes, written by Cullen Bunn (Deadpool, Captain America) and illustrated by Blacky Shepherd (3 Days in Darkness). Set two hundred years after the events of Dynamite’s previous Voltron series, the miniseries will introduce a new team to pilot the five lions that form the Defender of the Universe. The debut issue will launch in September 2015 and feature cover artwork from acclaimed Transformers artist Alex Milne. Mecha stuff if you like that kind of thing.

VoltronVol2-01-05 VoltronVol2-01-09 VoltronVol2-01-04 VoltronVol2-01-02-03

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4. It's Time To Eat - a bookwrap


Author and Illustrator:  Helen H. Wu

Ages 2-5

Unwrapping some illustrations for you...

About the book...

Monkey Mama swooped Marcus Monkey up into his highchair and offered him a healthy, scrumptious lunch. But sometimes what adults think is sumptuous is not so for little ones.  Marcus quickly got down out of chair and zoomed out the door...he was definetly  had other plans.  

His first stop was to his friend Pauley Pony. He asked him if he wanted to play but Pauley was just about to begin his lunch, one of yummy straw, so he declined.  He did use his manners and offer Marcus some too, but Marcus did not want to eat that old stuff.  He then ran off to meet Sammy Squirrel, and Peter Panda but again he did not want to partake of their lunches which consisted of acorns and bamboo shoots respectively.  Oh my! 

He charged off to Mother Hen's coop where she was about to feed to her brood some wiggly, squiggly fresh out of the garden worms.  Marcus was mortified and got out of there quickly.  He than ran into a swarm of bees and memories of sweet honey flooded his mind.  They did offer him some nectar but all of sudden he started to sneeze because his allergies had kicked in from all of the pollen.  

With wheezing and coughing he ran back to his home and his yummy lunch but will he be satisfied and thankful for his food?  Will Mother Monkey scold him for running away?  Did he learn a valuable lesson about food and being obedient that day?  I am sure you will agree with his decision one that put a big smile on his mother's face.  

The illustrations are engaging and expressive enriching the text.  This would be a great read aloud for very young children and a dialogue opener for the best foods to put into our body to make us strong and healthy.

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5. The Great War ... - an audiobook review

The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War by by David Almond, John Boyne, Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Dubosarsky, Timothee de Fombelle, Adele Geras, et al. | Read by Nico Evers-Swindell, JD Jackson, Gerard Doyle, Richard Halverson, Sarah Coomes, Nick Podehl
(2015, Brilliance Audio) is a powerful collection of short stories that view World Ward I and its repercussions from many different points of view.  

The link to my short review for AudioFile Magazine is below.  An audio sample is available at the link as well. Publisher recommended for grades 5 and up.

 I'm still working on a follow-up post to my trip to the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco. It was a great experience.

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6. So What?

I hate to admit this, but as usual, I can't help it. It irritates me when I read a children's book where it's so obvious that the author did not do their homework before writing the story. There's no plot, there's no conflict and most of all, there's no story going on. I recently read one that left me saying to myself, "So? Big deal, the kid took a bath!" And trust me, that is completely all the story is about.  And I don't believe a traditional publisher would have ever given it a second look. I have nothing against self-publishing, heck I'm getting ready to release one Sept. 1, but it's books like the one I just read, that give self-publishing a bad rap. It wasn't well thought out and to be blunt, only a 1 yr. old would like it.

The illustrations in the book I mentioned are beautiful, otherwise this would not be a book. I do believe that good illustrations are vital to a good picture book, however a good story is even more important. The story needs to capture a child's imagination. They need their "giggly" side to come out once in awhile. And they need to learn something or at least have a reason to want it read to them again and again.

I'm not trying to say that all my stories are perfect, that they capture everything they should, but I sure give them my best try and I've done my homework. We should all take pride in what we write and make sure there's some substance, even in a children's book.

Do you find that you get irritated when you read a book and are left thinking, "So what!!?"

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7. Danger

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8. SDCC ’15: Abrams Books signings and schedule


As usual Abrams Books will have some dandy books and signings at booth #1216, with authors including Cece Bell, Nathan Hale and Tom Angleberger. PLus many signed books and prints by the likes of Jules Feiffer. And if you’re luycky, you might even get a galley of Trahsed, Derf Backderf’s hilarious and disgusting account of a garbageman’s life. Other galleys and samplers will also be available from the likes of John Leguizamo and Tom Kinney.

Author Signings
Thursday, July 9
3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Nathan Hale will sign Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales at the Abrams booth #1216
Friday, July 10
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tom Angleberger will sign  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series at the Abrams booth #1216
Saturday, July 11
2:30 p.m–3:30 p.m.
Cece Bell will sign El Deafo in the Autograph Area AA09
Sunday, July 12
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Cece Bell will sign El Deafo at the Abrams booth#1216
1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Martin and Olivia Olson will sign The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia in Abrams booth #1216

Copies of our new title The Art of Rocksteady’s Batman—this book will have just gone on sale July 7, and we will be selling a limited number at a special discount while supplies last
Signed and numbered copies of the new Abrams ComicArts title The Age of Selfishness, the New York Times bestseller
Prints signed by Jules Feiffer with purchase of the new title Out of Line: The Art of Jules Feiffer
Free posters, galleys, and samplers for giveaway!
Galleys of the forthcoming graphic novel Trashed by Derf Backderf (author of the bestseller My Friend Dahmer) will be given away while supplies last
Samplers of the forthcoming graphic novel Ghetto Klown by John Leguizamo will be given away while supplies last
Free posters to promote the forthcoming book Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts. The Peanuts booth (#1637) will also be giving away a limited quantity of 50 free samplers of the new book every day, and co-author Chip Kidd will be on hand to sign them at the Peanuts booth on Thursday, July 9th at 4PM.
Samplers of the forthcoming book My Little Pony: The Art of Equestria will be given away at the Hasbro booth  #3213 at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10th.
Prints to promote the forthcoming Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel by Paul Levitz book will be given away while supplies last.
Samplers of the forthcoming book Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney will be given away while supplies last
Galleys of the forthcoming book The Creeps: Night of the Frankenfrogs by Chris Schweizer will be given away

Galleys of the forthcoming book The Secrets to Ruling The School (Without Even Trying) by Neil Swaab will be given away at Abrams booth #1216 while supplies last
Authors and artists associated with Abrams ComicArts and Abrams who are attending this year’s San Diego Comic-Con include Martin and Olivia Olson (The Enchiridion and Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!), Chip Kidd (Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts), Nathan Hale (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales), Cece Bell (El Deafo), and Tom Angleberger (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda).
All authors and artists are available for interviews in advance, or times can be scheduled at the show. Please contact Maya Bradford (mbradford@abramsbooks.com) for more info.
Thursday, July 9
2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Public Library
Content Literacy: Teaching History and Social Studies with Graphic Novels—with Nathan Hale
Friday, July 10
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Room: 28DE
Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel
A breakthrough in the development of the graphic novel, Will Eisner’s A Contract with God was not the first, not the bestselling, and had no awards to win in those early days, but it is still in print and affecting the explosive growth of comics’ most vibrant format. Join us and learn why he’s Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel at a panel moderated by Eisner award winner and New York Times bestselling author Paul Levitz (with a forthcoming book of the same title), and with panelists Denis Kitchen (The Best of Comix Book, The Art of Harvey Kurtzman), Jeff Smith (RASL, Bone), Michael Uslan (The Boy Who Loved Batman, executive producer, Batman Films), Sergio Aragones (Groo, MAD’s Greatest Artists: Sergio Aragones) and Danny Fingeroth (The Stan Lee Universe, Superman on the Couch). Q&A session to follow.
11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Room: 4
Spotlight on Dave Roman (Tom Angleberger event set up by First Second)
A visual conversation between author Tom Angleberger (Origami Yoda) and cartoonist Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, Teen Boat!) about self-publishing, dream jobs, graphic novels for kids, school misfits, and robot doppelgangers. Hosted by Noelene Clark (LA Times Hero Complex), this fun-filled panel will include interactive readings, improv drawing games, and surprise guests.
Saturday, July 11
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Room: 28DE
Kid’s Graphic Novel Burgeoning Frontier: The Real Superheroes – Kids with Disabilities. Join Cece Bell (El Deafo), Doug TenNapel (Nnewts; Cardboard); Dave Elliot (A is for Autism; A1), John Sheblaski (Udon Entertainment), Talia Hurwich (Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth), and moderator Meryl Jaffe  (CBLDF Using Graphic Novels in Education) as we discuss the real-life heroes comics still need to embrace: kids with disabilities.  We’ll evaluate how graphic novels are beginning to tellstories about who kids with disabilities, illness and handicaps, and how others with great stories can be heard.
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Public Library
Librarian/Educator Fall 2015 Kids Graphic Novels Buzz
A cross-publisher presentation of the biggest graphic novels for kids of the Fall 2015 season (September–December 2015) from Abrams ComicArts, Archie Comics, Boom, Dark Horse, First Second, IDW/Top Shelf, Papercutz, Scholastic, and Viz.
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m
Room: 28DE
Diversity—we demand diverse books! Ethnic, religious, gender, racial, physical ability, and sexual diversity are underrepresented in science fiction and fantasy but these authors are here to tell you that their stories speak for themselves; they seek to create worlds similar to our own, where people from various walks of life are represented and cross paths. Readers will find these authors and the tales they spin as empowering and fascinating as ever. Join authors Soman Chainani (School for Good and Evil series), Cece Bell (El Deafo), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Scott Sigler (Alive), Judd Winick (Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth), and Cindy Pon (Serpentine) as they discuss diversity in science fiction and fantasy with David Mariotte of Mysterious Galaxy!
4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. 
Room: 28DE
What’s New From Abrams ComicArts
Join Charles Kochman (editorial director), Chad Beckerman (creativedirector), Chip Kidd (graphic designer and author) and special guests as they talk about upcoming Abrams ComicArts projects from their exciting Fall 2015 list, including original graphic novels Trashed  by Derf Backderf (author of My Friend Dahmer) and Ghetto Klown by John Leguizamo (an adaptation of his award-winning autobiographical HBO stage performance); art monographs Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schultz and The Art of Peanuts by Chip Kidd, and Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel by Paul Levitz (former president and publisher of DC Comics), as well as the latest trading card collection from Topps, Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One. Also find out what’s coming next year from Abrams ComicArts as they reveal some works in progress, including videos and never-before-seen titles and art. 
5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Public Library 
Librarian Talkback
Moderator: Brigid Alverson, SLJ Good Comics for Kids
Description: In this town-hall session, librarians from the audience will share the good and bad of working with graphic novels in libraries with publisher representatives from Abrams ComicArts, Archie Comics, Boom, Dark Horse, First Second, IDW/Top Shelf, Papercutz, Scholastic, and Viz. 
Sunday, July 12
10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m. 
Room: 29AB
Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts
Celebrate the 65th anniversary of Peanuts with Chip Kidd (graphic designer, editor-at-large for Pantheon) and Paige Braddock (Creative Director at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates) as they preview their upcoming coffee table book, Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts. See rare and never-before-seen highlights from the extraordinary archives at the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California, including unpublished strips andpreliminary artwork photographed by award-winning photographer Geoff Spear,revealing a rare glimpse into the creative process of the world’s most beloved and influential cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz. Moderated by Charles Kochman (editorial director, Abrams ComicArts)
10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Room: 30CDE
The Girls Are All Right!
Female comic creators for kids and young adults are burning up the bestseller lists and winning awards. Listen in on this dynamic group of award-winning creators as they discuss the challenges and thrills of creating diverse heroines that appeal to a new generation of readers and hook them for a lifelong love of comics. A Q&A session and drawing will follow. Panelists include Jennifer Holm (Babymouse, Sunny Side Up), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Sisters), Cece Bell (El Deafo), Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer), Jillian Tamaki (This One Summer), and Cecil Castellucci (Odd Duck). Moderated by Eva Volin (Good Comics for Kids at School Library Journal).
12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m. 
Room: 7AB 
An Exclusive Sneak Peek Panel for Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!, Featuring The Lord of Evil and Marceline the Vampire Queen: A conversation with Martin Olson (voice actor, The Lord of Evil), Olivia Olson (voice actor, Marceline The Vampire Queen), Celeste Moreno (illustrator), Aisleen Romano (illustrator), Rick “Dienzo” Blanco (illustrator and vice president of Creative for Cartoon Network Enterprises), and moderated by Eric Klopfer (senior editor, Abrams), about the highly anticipated book Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!, out this fall from Abrams. Attendees will have a chance to see exclusive, never-before-seen art from the book and be first to witness the premier of the terrifying book trailer. Surprises may include musical numbers and surprise guests. Audience participation is encouraged! 

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9. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Reviewed by Krista Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas Hardcover: 352 pagesPublisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (June 2, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to

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10. RUPERT The Very Naughty Elephant ....Pre-order for preschoolers on Kindle July 4th

Rupert is acting very naughty at home and at school...
but one day someone new comes to class who is 
even NAUGHTIER... has Rupert met his match? 

For ages 4 and up! 

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11. Is Common Sense “Gone With the Wind” Too?

Well, here we go! Another over-reaction to something that makes very little sense to me. In the wake of the call to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House and “consign it to museums” in the wake of the brutal murders at the Emanual African Methodist Episcopal  Church, comes a call for showings of “Gone With the Wind” to be consigned to a museum-only display of the movie, based on Margaret Mitchell’s sweeping novel of the South.

Critic Lou Lumenick says in his article, “…what does it say about us as a nation if we continue to embrace a movie that, in the final analysis, stands for many of the same things as the Confederate flag that flutters so dramatically over the dead and wounded soldiers at the Atlanta train station…?”

What does it say about us as a nation if we begin to censor and marginalize freedom of choice in what we read and view? And who decides to decide?

Apparently many voted to disagree with Mr. Lumenick’s critique, as its suggestion sent people flocking in droves to store up copies of the movie, boosting sales of GWTW to record levels. On Friday morning of last week, “Gone With the Wind” was the overall best-selling Blu-ray feature film on Amazon’s US website.

Though Mr. Limerick did not call for an outright ban of the movie at multiplexes, he did feel its showing should be relegated to museums. I disagree.

Who can forget the intensity of this historic film with actress Hattie McDaniel, as its emotional center, as Mammy, for which she so rightly won an Academy Award for her performance in 1939; the first black actress to do so.

How does this relate to the picture book and its exposure to possible censorship?

In 2014, I wrote a post at The Snuggery on the children’s picture book called “The Story of Little Black Sambo.”

In 1899, Helen Bannerman wrote a picture book by that title. In the original Sambo is pictured as a South Indian. It was termed insensitive and, in a way, stereotypical of races with art that exaggerated African facial features.

In 1996, Julius Lester and Jerry Pinckney did a reimagined version of Ms. Bannerman’s book and called it, “Sam and the Tigers.” It was considered by many to be more sensitive and less divisive than the original. I encouraged readers to read both in my post, and trust themselves to make a determination for their children themselves.

Between the two versions is not only the lapse of time, but in the more recent telling is a fresh and modern approach that is more aware of cultural awakenings to things that might appear divisive or insensitive in the 1899 picture book.

But here’s the amazing thing: Mr. Pinckney never hints at racist intent in Ms. Bannerman’s picture book. In fact, both Mr. Pinckney and Mr. Lester, who are both African American, regarded Sambo as a hero when they read the book as children. It was HOW he was depicted, that “took away his hero status.” That, and the fact that since the 17th century the term “Sambo” had a racially negative connotation.

Waylaid by tigers and commandeered out of his clothing, shoes and umbrella, Sambo ultimately triumphs by his wits, as he collects the tigers’ residue left behind as they chase each other around a tree at warp speed, and melt in the process.

The tigers are everyday bullies and they are defeated by the smarts of Sambo as he redirects their attempts to devour him as he proffers his clothing as décor for their ears, feet and tails! And the tigers wind up in a fray among one another as to which is “the fairest”, so to speak! Mr. Lester also uses the voice of “southern black storytelling” in “Sam and the Tigers” to great success.

Jerry Lester said for years many people avoided the picture book of “The Story of Little Black Sambo” for fear of being called racist. But something this “African American picture book” author said stuck with me as I read “Sam and the Tigers”…“Yet what other story had I read at age seven and  remembered for fifty years?” Like many of my readers, I came to Ms. Bannerman’s book as child, and the second book, as an adult.

In the end, it is the heroic and imaginative world that children enter into, that created Ms. Bannerman’s book and the Lester/Pinckney version; both versions of which I encourage you to read and see for yourselves.

Classic picture books, and movies, last because they stand the test of the great leveler, and that is something called time.

Let audiences be the judge of whether “Gone With the Wind” is in that class, not the critic. And if people vote with their pocketbooks at times, given the enormous sale of this movie since Mr. Lumenick’s critique, I think the vote is in.


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12. 2015 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA


Mad, man! The Madman of Piney Woods
by Christopher Paul Curtis
No Printz for the princes The Children of the King
by Sonya Hartnett
(What Would Baba Yaga Do?)
Egg & Spoon
by Gregory Maguire
Slow and steady didn’t win the race The Turtle of Oman
by Naomi Shihab Nye,
illustrated by Betsy Peterschmidt
Locked out The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza
by Jack Gantos
Eclipsed West of the Moon by Margi Preus
Not its day in the sun Buried Sunlight
by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm,
illustrated by Molly Bang
Stalled My Bus by Byron Barton
Drat! Draw! by Raúl Colón
There. Are. No. Words. The Farmer and the Clown
by Marla Frazee


From the July/August 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. For more speeches, profiles, and articles click the tag ala 2015.


The post 2015 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA appeared first on The Horn Book.

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13. पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी


पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी


कल  फेसबुक पर एक पोस्ट देखी.  फोटो में आटो वाला अपने वाहन मे विकलांगों को फ्री सर्विस देता है उन्होने अपने ओटो मे यही बात बडा करके लिखवाई हुई थी. उस पोस्ट पर लिखा था बताओ कितने लाईक मिलेंगें और उस पर मुश्किल से 10 -12 लाईक थे.

बात लाईक करने या न करने की नही है क्योकि यकीनन पढते तो सभी है बस अच्छाई को पसंद करने के लिए बस क्लिक नही कर पाते. पर मुझे यकीन है कि ऐसे लोग दिल ही दिल मे प्रशंसा भी करते होंगें.

दो दिन पहले एक अन्य तस्वीर भी देखने को मिली. आठ दस साल की लडकी की तस्वीर थी और उसमे लिखा था कि ” मेरे पापा ने कहा है कि अगर इस फोटो को एक हजार लाईक मिले तो वो सिग्रेट पीना छोड देंगें. मुझे अच्छा लगा कि लगभग 900 से ज्यादा लाईक हो चुके थे. मैने भी तुरंत लाईक कर दिया. हालाकि उसके बाद मुझे वह फोटो न्यूज फीड मे नही दिखी. पता नही लोगो ने उसे लाईक किया या  नही  वैसे आप चाहे कुछ भी कहें पर कई पोस्ट वाकई में अच्छी होती है.

एक पोस्ट तो पढ कर मजा ही आ गया . उसमे लिखा था कि मैने अभी भगवान की फोटो शेयर की है. इंतजार कर रहा हूं कि शुभ समाचार क्या मिलेगा… क्योकि उस पोस्ट पर लिखा था कि जल्दी से शेयर करो और शुभ समाचार पाओ…

बहुत समय पहले इसी प्रकार के पोस्टकार्ड आया करते थे तब समझ नही आता था कि इसे फेंक दे , फाड दें या जवाबी 50 पत्र लिख कर डाल दे…

खैर पोस्ट हर तरह की है अच्छी बुरी … हमारी ऊपर है कि हम उसे देख कर अनदेखा कर देतें हैं या लाईक करके अपनी सहमति जताते हैं.

The post पोस्ट अच्छी बुरी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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14. Tea Towel

I just posted this design on Spoonflower that can be printed for a tea towel. You can print a fat quarter (21"x18") and choose linen/cotton.

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15. Entertaining Judgment – Episode 24 – The Oxford Comment

What truly awaits us on the ‘other side?’ From heaven to hell (and everything in between), our conceptions of the afterlife are more likely to be shaped by shows like The Walking Dead than biblical scripture. Speculation about death, it seems, has permeated every aspect of our everyday experience, manifesting itself in lyrics, paintings, and works of literature.

But to what extent does popular culture shape our imagination of the afterlife? In this month’s episode, Alyssa Bender, an Assistant Marketing Manager in the New York office, sat down with Greg Garrett to discuss the intersection of the cultural and the theological in modern-day life.

 Image Credit: “Hats and Hell” by Thomas Hawk. CC BY NC 2.0 via Flickr.

The post Entertaining Judgment – Episode 24 – The Oxford Comment appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. SDCC ’15: Stop the presses!! WB confirms Batman v Superman will be in Hall H! UPDATED w/ new pictures


We already knew that Warner Bros. had a big presentation lined up for Saturday mid-morning at SDCC, and outside of the Star Wars showstopper on Friday, it’s the other “biggest ticket” of the weekend.

It was safe to assume that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was going to be the center-piece of that showcase, and no offense to Joe Wright, who is a fine director, but the amount of people that will show up for Pan is significantly less is my guess.

Yesterday afternoon Warner Bros. clarified just what films would comprise their Hall H panel, here’s the full press release below:



The Studio gets set to hit Hall H with Fan Favorites and a few surprises.

BURBANK, CA, July 1, 2015 – Warner Bros. Pictures continues its tradition of delivering its most anticipated tentpole properties and their biggest stars to Comic-Con International: San Diego with this year’s Hall H presentation.

On Saturday, July 11, beginning at 10:30 a.m., Warner Bros. will showcase several of its upcoming feature releases and offer up a surprise or two as well.

Keen to deliver a taste of one of next year’s most eagerly awaited pairings, director Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill take the main stage with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” They are joined by castmates Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot for a sneak peek at the 2016 action adventure that brings the Super Heroes together on the big screen for the very first time, from Warner Bros. Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

From “Pan,” Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Peter himself, Levi Miller, together with director Joe Wright, soar into town with their high-flying adventure, coming to theaters this fall from Warner Bros. Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

And Cavill once again takes the stage, this time with Armie Hammer, a duo with a very different dynamic in this summer’s fresh, über-stylish actioner from filmmaker Guy Ritchie, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” along with fellow stars Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki.

Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, stated, “Comic-Con provides us a fantastic opportunity to interact with the fans and this year, as with every year, our aim is to surpass their expectations. We’re also thrilled to give our filmmakers and talent a chance to experience the unique energy and enthusiasm of Comic-Con.”

With “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Pan” headlining the bill, Warner Bros. will also present some unexpected offerings that are sure to delight the crowd.

About “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs.  And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film opens nationwide in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters on March 25, 2016, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

About “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”

Henry Cavill stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, the film centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin.  Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.  The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, with Jared Harris, and Hugh Grant. The screenplay was written by Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson and Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, based on the TV series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall, Wigram and Ritchie produced the film, with David Dobkin executive producing. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, a Ritchie/Wigram production, a Davis Entertainment production, a Guy Ritchie film, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens nationwide in theaters and IMAX on August 14, 2015.

About Pan

From director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”) comes “Pan,” a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. Peter is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily and a new friend named James Hook, Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan. The film stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund as James Hook; Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily; newcomer Levi Miller as Peter; and Amanda Seyfried as Mary. Wright directed “Pan” from a screenplay written by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Paul Webster produced the film, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer. Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a Berlanti Production, a Joe Wright film, “Pan.” The film is set for a worldwide release in 3D and 2D on October 9, 2015. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

The Wrap is reporting that cast from Suicide Squad are expected to appear as well. So, at the very least, we’ll be getting two DC films focused on. My guess is, we end up getting a full trailer for Batman v Superman (that hopefully will end up online in short order) and a teaser for Suicide Squad.

In truth though, this is the bare minimum that Warners needs to meet. Hopefully those Green Lantern and Justice League cast gathering rumors end up being true though. This is the studio’s time to shine, especially with Marvel Studios having completely tapped out from the show altogether.

UPDATE: EW just posted a ton of images from their upcoming Batman v Superman featured issue:

Batman v Superman EW Zack Snyder Ben Affleck Batsigna Superman touching Lex ben-affleck-bruce-wayne-142342

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17. ‘Lost Voices’ Poetry Video Goes Viral

Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley collaborated on a poem called Lost Voices. The video embedded above features the two collaborators performing at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

Thus far, this moving piece has drawn more than 2 million views on YouTube. Click on this link to listen to another poem written by Simpson called “Questions.”

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18. #PicturesMeanBusiness update: Book Metadata

People have been asking me, ‘How’s it going with the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign?’

I’ve heard some good feedback that it’s starting to make a difference, that people in publishing are more aware of the impact they can make on illustrators’ careers by crediting them for their work. But important lists of illustrated books keep popping up with illustrators’ names omitted, from book-loving people you’d think would know better, and they usually assign the blame to incomplete or faulty digital data.

So how’s it going with the whole metadata issue? Are we any closer to sorting out the problems?

On Wednesday, I met up with Jo McCrum and Nicola Solomon from Society of Authors, Loretta Schauer from Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, journalist Charlotte Eyre from The Bookseller magazine and Andre Breedt from Nielsen, the company which compiles and provides the majority of book data. Andre Breedt was incredibly helpful and supportive of the campaign, and explained to us some of the bare bones of how the book data system works, and spent time thinking with us about ways we could try to improve the situation for illustrators (and translators). Here are some of the things I learned, and some conclusions we drew from the meeting, about what we all need to do to make things work better:

* Illustrators and illustrator agents: you need to be more attentive with CONTRACTS. The best way for a illustrator to get his or her name on the front cover of a book is to get that promise in writing. Illustrators, you or your agents need to HAVE THIS DISCUSSION with your publisher. (This is particularly important if you're illustrating educational material, so-called 'middle-grade fiction' or 'illustrated chapter books'.)

Don’t wait until you’ve finished illustrating half the book to finalise this stuff. Don’t work on the promise of a contract. Get it before you begin working or it may be too late; you may get a nasty surprise when the book comes out uncredited to you.

A phrase recommended in your contract by the Society of Authors lawyer at the meeting was ‘front cover credit with due prominence’. You can haggle with how big the lettering needs to be, but at least your name will be on the front cover. If you’ve done a lot of illustrations and the publisher refuses to put you on the front cover, this is a big deal, a blow to your branding, and may mean you have a harder time getting festival appearances and paid author visits. In that case, you need to decide (with your agent, if you have one):

1. If the publisher insists on not crediting you at all, will the publisher pay you a significant extra amount of money to compensate for this?

2. If you can come to another arrangement (say, your name on the title page, back cover, etc), are you happy with the pay and do you think the credit accurately reflects the amount of work you’ve contributed to the overall book?

3. After negotiating this, is the job still worth it, or should you turn it down?

The most important thing is that you’re clear about this important negotiation point from the beginning and the decision isn’t some sales team afterthought.

* Book charities and organisations, people who run award schemes, booksellers, journalists: assess your own practice. You may be in a rush, but don’t blindly accept what you’re given when you cut and paste data. If you’re making the effort to single out the books for recognition, take the time to make sure you’re correctly crediting the people who made them.

You may need to look at an actual copy of the book.

* Publishers: assess how your data works. To get illustrator data right, we need you to do three things:

1. Be sure you're using standardised data (more about this in a moment).

2. Be sure you (or your intern) fill out the box that asks for the illustrator's name (or 'populate the field' in data-speak).

3. When you request data, be sure to ask for the field that includes the illustrator data. If you don't ask for it, Nielsen won't force it on you.

Let me unpack those a bit.

1. Be sure you're using standardised data. The reason we keep having problems is that no one has a brand-new system. Almost everyone has what data people call 'legacy systems', which were designed for a certain purpose, years ago. As the book trade evolved, people made little additions and repairs along the way, instead of getting brand-new system.

For example, a lot of systems were designed for warehouse use, to help people shift around big boxes of books. For the purpose of moving boxes, all they needed to know was if the right books were in the right boxes, how much they'd weigh, and how they'd fit onto a lorry. So there was no reason they would pay to add extra information about an illustrator to the system; it genuinely didn't matter for those purposes.

As time went on, these warehouse systems evolved into what customers used to order books, online shop front (or in data-speak, 'front-end facing') systems. So the same system that dealt with box weight was gradually being asked to deal with customer reviews, star ratings, interesting details about the authors, other book recommendations, etc. And some systems made the transition better than others; transitions costs money. Some companies would get the illustrator data from Nielsen, but their own software wasn't detailed enough for all the data to make the transition to their website, and they could only make manual changes if they wanted to include illustrators for their customers. (Hive Books have been good about adding illustrators when asked, but they're working on improving their overall system.)

For awhile I thought Nielsen didn't actually have a data field for the illustrator. Like most illustrators, I don't have access to their system since I'm not a subscriber, so I couldn't check. But Nielsen DO have this field. Here's the information the Nielsen rep pulled up for my picture book, Dinosaur Police. (And we were both pleased to see Scholastic UK had been filling out all the right data.)

At the meeting with the Nielsen rep, I learned a lot of behind-the-scenes things. If you're trying to understand how it all works, it's important that you understand the roles of these groups:

Nielsen BookData is a business. Nielsen provide a lot of services that help the book trade run effectively behind the scenes. They provide ISBNs for all books published in the UK and Ireland. They collect information on books from publishers, and sent it out to booksellers and libraries, arranged how they want it. They provide electronic ordering services to enable booksellers to order the books for their shops, and they provide the sales and market information, including the bestseller charts. Nielsen data can easily be accessed in standard formats, but if you want a bespoke service, it will take a little longer and cost a little more.

They have two main systems: a bibliographic system and a sales system. So if you're a librarian and want to know all the details about a book, you'll use their bibliographic system. If you're an editor at The Bookseller and want to know whose books are selling best, you'll use the sales system. You can find out which writers' books are selling best, but unfortunately you can only get illustrator information from the bibliographic system. So if you want to know bestselling illustrators, they can get that information, but they have to do it manually. People don't request that information often enough for it to be worth the money they'd need to spend putting illustrator data into the sales system.

Another organisation worth knowing about is BIC, the Book Industry Communications Group.

BIC is an independent body set up to promote standards in the UK book trade. For instance, the ISBN is a standard, and it’s hard to imagine how the book trade could possibly work without it now. Standards help all the players in the industry, and all the different systems, communicate with each other more clearly. BIC’s website statement reads:

BIC is an independent organisation set up and sponsored by the Publishers Association, Booksellers Association, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and the British Library to promote supply chain efficiency in all sectors of the book world through e-commerce and the application of standard processes and procedures.

But BIC just deal with UK standardising. (Its director is Karina Luke.) There’s another group that deals with standardising in other countries, particularly European countries, called EDItEUR. (Its director is Graham Bell.)

All these countries doing things differently sounds very complicated, doesn't it? They think so, too. So EDItEUR are trying to set up a huge overarching global classification system for books, called Thema. (The chair of this is Howard Willows, from Nielsen.)

But how do publishers get their data to Nielsen(so they can put it all together in one place and make it useful)? Lots of different ways, apparently. In the old days, they used to send Nielsen actual books, but they get hundreds of thousands every year, so they had to stop doing that. The way they most prefer publishers to submit data is by using a system called ONIX.

ONIX is the system BIC and Nielsen says really works, and ONIX is regularly updated to meet modern publishing needs. You can see it in the recent additions they've made for entering comics data, including colourists, inkers, letterers, etc:

In Nielsen's ideal world, everyone would use ONIX. But the problem is that not all outdated publisher systems can handle ONIX. So BIC have also created a bare-bones system called BIC Basic, and well, if major publishers can't handle the basic data they need for to submit for that, they're really failing us.

But faulty systems aren't all that's happening. Which brings us to the second point about how we need you to fill in all the data fields. Some publishers (or their badly trained interns) aren't filling in even the most basic things, including illustrator name. Fiona Noble at The Bookseller has been noticing this:

Publishers! To support #PicturesMeanBusiness, you **need** to have a meeting with your marketing and publicity people - particularly the young, clueless newbies - and let them know that press releases and Advance Information sheets without illustrator information are Not Good Enough. Fiona will back me up on this, and she's one of the people you're trying to impress. For us to pull out good data, you need to put IN good data.

No, I am not saying Nielsen is a series of tubes.

And that brings us to the third point, about requesting illustrator data. If your 'legacy system' is still stuck in warehouse mode, illustration won't be one of the fields you will have requested when you ask for data from Nielsen. The way the system works is you put in data, then you pull out the data you want. If no one wants to pull out illustrator sales data, then Nielsen has no financial incentive to link up their bibliographic illustrator data with their sales illustrator data. They'll make a one-off chart for you for a small fee, but that information won't be easily accessible on a regular basis.

Another reason Nielsen isn't very focused on illustration is because illustrated children’s books are only a tiny part of the books Nielsen deals with. The majority are works of academic non-fiction, and these often have many, and all sorts of, contributors.

Why do so few people want this illustrator sales information? If our economic value can't be assessed, we'll be forgotten by business people and written off as not contributing anything to the economy. Not even The Bookseller credited illustrators in sales charts until March of this year. You could see that Julia Donaldson was ruling the picture book sales charts, but you had no idea how The Gruffalo's illustrator Axel Scheffler's books were doing. In fact, if you entered his names into the Nielsen sales charts, he came out as quite a low moneymaker, since only the books he's written himself were calculated.

This omission plays out in real business decisions: certain airport bookshops ONLY stock books by Julia Donaldson because she's a sure-fire hit with buyers. But who's to say that these sure-fire hits aren't her books with Axel Scheffler? If Axel illustrated books with other writers, might these books sell just as well? They would have that recognisable look of Axel's that makes customers pick them up. The Bookseller have made huge strides recently in supporting illustrators and including them in their magazine. In the 15 May issue, jouralist Charlotte Eyre even commissioned a manually-compiled illustrator sales chart from Nielsen:

But this isn't the case in most media. Children's book coverage is getting smaller and smaller amounts of space in printed newspapers, and if someone wants a sales chart, they have a very limited budget and almost no space to put it in, so they're not going to go out of their way to add space for illustrator names.

When the illustrators get left out of their data, the newspapers forget illustrators have anything to do with books at all. You'll start to notice it now, mentions and reviews of picture books and highly illustrated fiction that only mention the writer's names. It trickles into the wider culture and schools only invite writers to give talks to their children, not realising how inspiring illustrators can be to getting their children reading, writing and drawing, all at the same time. (And many illustrators only survive in business with the supplement of school visit payments.)

So how do we prove our economic value? I don't know. We're not the sort of people who generally go on strike, and we don't have a union. (The Society of Authors is the closest thing we have to a union.) The thought of shelves and shelves of books without illustrations or cover art probably frightens illustrators more than it does publishers:

If we went on strike, books probably wouldn't all go blank. Publishers could probably stumble on for a couple years using in-house designers to do everything, using pre-bought typefaces, clip art and stock images. It would be ugly and start a counter-wave of self-published indie stuff, but their efforts would go on longer than illustrators could afford to sit out unemployed.

We need the help of people who know about metadata. Is that you? #PicturesMeanBusiness isn't an organised team, just a bunch of concerned people; if you're on Twitter, that's the easiest way to jump in, using the #PicturesMeanBusiness hashtag. From what I gather, Nosy Crow publishers are very up to date with digital technology, Usborne are good at crediting everyone, Glen Mehn of The Kitschies Awards has data experience, Georgina Atwell of Toppsta gave a talk on metadata at The Bookseller conference, Sara O'Conner has programming experience.

We may have a hard time solving this data problem. But we can make huge inroads into the cultural problem of illustrators not being credited, and the faster, the better. We need you book people, helping to promote illustration, where you can, right now. And it’s not only because you’re warm-hearted book lovers, it’s because you know that in this culture which relies on images more than ever, it’s our pictures that are selling your books, and you don’t want to miss any tricks: you want to sell more books. It’s business. Support our careers and help us stay in work making your books sell.


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19. Comics, Model Making....The Scum Are Always Lurking.

What the hell is going on with these internet morons who use the internet?  For years I endured hate mails, accusations and much more on a daily basis -some times ten times a day.  Rumour mongering on UK comic groups and more.

I began keeping files (still have them) with full ISPs and much more.

But then people who do enjoyable video blogs like Captainstrangelife and hippycollectibles -and others in the You Tube comic community started getting this crap.  Some left all together because it just wore them down.  ISPs sorted out a few of these people, too.

Now in the terrain and modelling community it has happened. Templarcrusader has even had threats of violence (he's 6' 4" tall and well built so he's not that worried) and now TheTerrainTutor reveals he has been getting all sorts of grief.

Guess what? ISPs will be sorting that out, too.  There is this belief that if you use a stupid internet pseudonym to carry out your cowardly acts you can get away with it.  False.  Years ago I learnt how to track an ISP and identify the prats involved.

The ones who put their real names to things -including threats- I sorted out legally.

If you are in the United States it is a criminal offence to do these things and, guess what?  If you are in a country covered by Interpol -it's an offence.  Even countries not in Interpol are bringing in legislation.

A pity these people have so much time to waste so negatively (it might just be a sexual inadequacy thing with them) rather than put that energy into achieving something good.  Mental aberration or not, they still need training to become normal people...including having access to computers and the internet taken from them.

Comics, model making...it used to be a good pastime but then came the internet.

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20. Staten Island Direwolves to Host George R.R. Martin Night

Stark Direwolf Game of Thrones (GalleyCat)The Staten Island Yankees will be hosting “George R.R. Martin Night” on August 8 in New York. During this event, the Staten Island Yankees will be called the “Staten Island Direwolves.”

According to MLB.com, Martin himself will be present and signing autographs. A wolf from the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary will also be a guest; this animal will make an appearance on the field.

The players will wear specially-made jerseys with fabric that features a brown fur and gray material design. One jersey will be auctioned off to raise funds for the wolf sanctuary. (via DNAinfo.com)

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21. SDCC ’15: Invader Zim is back, and he’s brought variant covers


The first issue the Invader Zim comics, based on Jhonen Vazquez’s cult cartoon, arrives on July 8th, and Oni is making a big deal out of it because…well it is a big deal. The alien conqueror’s return will be celebrated in several ways: A panel The Return of Invader Zim, Saturday 7/11 at 2 pm in Room 29AB with Vasquez, original show staff and creative staff on the new Zim comic Aaron Alexovich, original show writer and comic staff Eric Trueheart, Inker on the new Invader Zim comic Megan Lawton, and Oni Press Editor-in-Chief James Lucas Jones. And then you will be able to buy a SDCC exclusive variant at the Oni Booth  (#1833).

There will be signings but please note, tickets will be required for Friday and Saturday. Tickets will be given out at the Oni Press booth from the start of the show on respective days with fans selected for spots in those signings announced at the Oni Press booth and via Oni Press’ Twitter an hour before the Friday and Saturday signings. Attendees will be limited to signings for two items.

Thursday 7/9
11 am – Aaron Alexovich, Megan Lawton

Friday 7/10

4 pm – Jhonen Vasquez, Bryan Konietzko

Saturday 7/11

3:30 pm – Jhonen Vasquez, Aaron Alexovich, Eric Trueheart, Megan Lawton

Sunday 7/12

2 pm – Aaron Alexovich, Eric Trueheart, Megan Lawton

And here’s the variants!

This unique Jhonen Vasquez (creator of Invader Zim) cover (shown at top of post) for this first issue of Invader Zim #1 will be available at all retailers.


K.C. Green (Gunshow) variant available through Ghost Variant Partner Stores: http://bit.ly/1U95zbz


Vincent Perea (Where’s My Water?) variant available through Comics Dungeon: http://bit.ly/1GpfKo8



Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim) variant available through Rebel Base Comics & Toys: http://bit.ly/1LDLzdv



Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim) variant available through Midtown Comics: http://bit.ly/1ejTjEe



Julieta Colás (Rick and Morty) variant available through Books-a-Million stores :http://bit.ly/1JxsHx2



J.R. Goldberg (Jellyfist) variant available through Newbury Comics: http://bit.ly/1GPoTn1



Tyson Hesse (World of Gumball, Bravest Warriors) variant available through Hastings: http://bit.ly/1BZf5Ih



Mariel Cartwright (Skullgirls) variant available through GameStop: http://bit.ly/1U9alFN



Dave Crosland (Scarface) variant available through Hot Topic: http://bit.ly/1LDO6nT



Mariel Cartwright (Skullgirls) variant available through I Want More Comics:http://bit.ly/1FRXI7n



Ian McGinty (Bravest Warriors, Adventure Time) variant available through Diamond Comic Distributors: http://bit.ly/1FDMgAH


Bryan Konietzko (Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra) variant available through Oni Press at San Diego Comic-Con 2015


9d4ae241-7a00-4927-9571-d446ab015c10Standard retail cover by Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim)

0 Comments on SDCC ’15: Invader Zim is back, and he’s brought variant covers as of 1/1/1900
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22. An Intern’s Experience

blog picGoing into this summer, I did not have much of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. As a rising senior English major at Washington & Lee University, I knew I had options, but having too many options gives me a headache, so I tended to push them all to the side and ignore the looming presence of adulthood. After a month of interning here at Arbordale Publishing, I am still at a loss as to what I want to do with my future, but now it’s not because I haven’t thought about it – it’s because I love everything I have been exposed to here!

I have always loved books. I could read my collection of Dr. Seuss books alone by the age of three, devoured the first Harry Potter book in kindergarten, and tried my hand at writing a few (now embarrassing) short stories throughout my elementary school years. Imagine my delight when I eventually discovered that there is a whole industry dedicated to reading, editing, and publishing new books! I started looking more deeply into the publishing industry during high school, and entered college knowing I wanted to be an English major. When I got the opportunity to intern at Arbordale Publishing this summer, I was excited to be one step closer to a job I have dreamed about for years.

Working with children’s books for the past month has been a fun summer activity, as well as a great introduction into the world of publishing. I have done everything from the typical reading submitted manuscripts and editing those that are accepted to the more creative designing activities in the books’ For Creative Minds sections and choosing photographs to go into a book currently in production. I have seen the schedule of a book’s journey from manuscript submission to eBook design to final printing, and learned of the hundreds of tiny steps that must happen in between to make for a successful story. More recently, I have witnessed all the work that goes into the publicity side of things, from getting stories reviewed to working with authors as they attend events to promote their book. Even with children’s books, the amount of work is no joke!

Thankfully, I have one more year to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up. Do I want to go into editing or publicity? Should I write on the side? What am I going to enjoy the most? I am grateful to be here at Arbordale Publishing this summer, where I can explore so many different options and decide which aspect of publishing fits me best. Working with children’s books has been a wonderful way to learn the basics of story editing, fact checking, and appealing to specific markets without being overwhelmed by lengthy novels or heavy facts. Will I eventually wander into the world of books for adults? Probably, but this internship is the ideal jumping-off point for that journey. Now I just have to figure out where it’s going to take me.

–Cara Scott, Intern

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23. Stephen King Shares a Digital Audiobook of Drunken Fireworks

Stephen King Drunken Fireworks (GalleyCat)Stephen King has shared a free digital audiobook which contains his short story, Drunken Fireworks. According to Entertainment Weekly, readers can access this work on King’s website.

The New York Times reports that Tim Sample served as the narrator for this project. This piece will be featured in the forthcoming collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams.

Each short story in this collection is accompanied by a passage of commentary from King on his writing process. Scribner, an imprint at Simon & Schuster, has scheduled the release date for November 3.

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24. SDCC ’15: Bengal and Tony Sandoval signing at Magnetic Press

Woot, now this is cool. The amazing artists Bengal and Tony Sandoval will be appearing at the Magnetic Press Booth (#5534) and many cool books will be on display. In case you’ve missed it, Magnetic has turned out some of the best looking books over the last year—Love The Tiger to name just one—and this booth is well worth checking out. Deets:
WEDNESDAY (Preview Night):

12:00pm  – 1:00pm Catch TOM DELONGE (Poet Anderson, Blink-182, Angels&Airwaves) on CBR’s streaming “Con Yacht” channel! (online)
3:30pm  – 4:30pm DAVE DORMAN (Wasted Lands) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
5:00pm – 6:00pm: FRANCISCO HERERRA (Bitten) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
11:00am – 12:00pm: MP Publisher MIKE KENNEDY will be a panelist on PUBLISHERS WEEKLY’s PANEL “THE FRENCH COMIC INVASION” (room 29AB) more info here
1:00pm – 2:00pm: DAVE DORMAN (Wasted Lands) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
2:30pm – 4:30pm: TONY SANDOVAL (Doomboy) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
5:00 – 6:00pm – FRANCISCO HERERRA (Bitten) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
8:00pm – 10:00pm: MAGNETIC GOES TO THE EISNER’S!!! (Wish us luck!)
12:00pm – 1:00pm: DAVE DORMAN (Wasted Lands) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
1:15pm – 2:30pm: TOM DELONGE INTERVIEW & SIGNING (The Nerdist, Petco Park)
1:30pm – 2:30pm: FRANCISCO HERERRA (Bitten) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
3:00pm – 5:00pm: TONY SANDOVAL (Doomboy) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
5:30pm – 7:30pm: BENGAL (Naja, Meka, Luminae, Cassyno) SIGNING (Magnetic Booth)
8:00pm – 9:00pm: MAGNETIC PRESS PANEL “2015 AND BEYOND PREVIEW” (Room 28DE) more info here
11:30am – 1:30pm: BENGAL (Naja, Meka, Luminae, Cassyno) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
1:00pm – 3:00pm: TONY SANDOVAL (Doomboy) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)
3:00pm – 4:00pm: DAVE DORMAN (Wasted Lands) SIGNING (Magnetic booth)

Saturday, July 11 • 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Join us for this year’s ridiculously star studded Magnetic Press panel and hear all about what we have lined up for YEAR TWO. Join Magnetic Press Publisher MIKE KENNEDY and a murderers row of talent, including POET ANDERSON creator and multi-platinum recording artist TOM DELONGE (Blink-182, Angels & Airwaves), along with co-writer BEN KULL and NY Times best-selling author SUZANNE YOUNG, talking about the Poet universe and its many upcoming facets!  We also welcome superstar illustrator BENGAL (Batgirl, Naja, Cassyno) to SDCC for the first time, along with 2015 Eisner Nominees TONY SANDOVAL (Doomboy) and DAVE DORMAN (Wasted Lands Omnibus).  Also appearing will be FRANCISCO HERRERA (Bitten) and Euro-comics magnate and author PIERRE PAQUET (A Glance Backward)!
Here’s a little tease of YEAR TWO titles get you in the mood:







Beyond the plains of Collier Bluff and the glistening towers of Goldstaxx lies the land of Cassyno, a world of dark fantasy, magic, and games of chance created by French comic illustrator and concept artist Bengal. Far from just another deck of playing cards, this set is as much a gallery of original character art as it is the fantastic setting for numerous stories of deep mythology, magical intrigue, and medieval espionage, between four unique kingdoms. Alice in Wonderland meets Game of Thrones.

Featuring 54 original illustrations unique to each card in the deck (including 2 Jokers). The 64 page World Book includes character lore, world history, and rules for seven unique games you can play with this original deck of cards!


Also available in limited quantities:CASSYNO ROYALS 8-plate lithograph portfolio!  Only 15 will be available at SDCC!!



A complete deck of 56 cards featuring a selection of never-before published works from Bengal’s Griseline sketch collection. Each card features a different girl in a different costume design, some of them familiar, others wholly original.

Stay Tuned to learn about our SDCC COSPLAY COMPETITION to win an exclusive deck signed by BENGAL!

Also available in limited quantities:BENGAL’S COSPLAY GIRLS 6-plate lithograph portfolio!  Only 30 will be available at SDCC!!



EXTRA-LIMITED Signed Book and Animation Cel

THE SHADOW GAMBIT : A Basil & Moebius Adventure vol.2


The second volume in the Basil & Moebius graphic novel series makes an advance debut at SDCC, a month ahead of stores!  This time, the thieving duo chase down ninjas, sunken uBoats, and Nazi UFOs!  We will only have limited quantities of volumes 1 and 2 at our booth at a special bundled price!

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25. The Importance of Respecting Your Own Writing

Recently I received a query in which the author seemed embarrassed about the genre she was writing in. Sadly, I see this a lot and not just from querying authors, but from published authors as well. It's discouraging and disheartening.

See, I love the books I represent and I love the authors I represent. I'm proud of each one and excited to introduce them to new readers. Most importantly, I respect every author of every genre, even those I don't represent.

Sitting down to write a book in any genre, of any length is no easy task. I couldn't do it and I know many in publishing who feel the same way. It's why we aren't writers. So don't let someone else tell you that what you're writing isn't a "real book" or isn't important. It is. And if you can't be proud of your book how are you going to convince other people it's something they want to buy and read? Learn to love what you're writing now and it will show later when you're trying to build your brand.


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