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<<May 2015>>
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1. SURTEX 2015 - greenmarrow studio yao

Yun Jeong Bae from Greenmarrow Studio is returning to Surtex 2015 with new designs and visitors can check them out at booth 354,

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2. Walking The Game Beat: Jason in MKX, Battlefront, The Last of Us, Zelda Graphic Novel, Star Wars Infinity

What a weekend it’s been. Between Avengers, “Fights of the century”, Free Comic Book Day, the Suicide Squad reveal, and the Batman: Arkham Knight DLC info; some of us didn’t even get a weekend. On the Monday night edition of WGB we’ll talk about some of the tidbits that slipped through the cracks in the last few days such as Star Wars Infinity, and The Last of Us. This week doesn’t show signs of slowing down either as we got a full trailer look at Jason’s appearance in Mortal Kombat X, plus a Legend of Zelda graphic novel hits stores this Wednesday. Let’s Go!


This past Thursday, a retail leak fueled speculation that the upcoming Disney Infinity 3.0 would feature Star Wars characters. The 3.0 set leaked by retailer Saturn shows a set that includes toys based on both Anakin Skywalker and Clone Wars star Ahsoka Tano. No word on when the new 3.0 Infinity game would launch or what systems it would be available for.



Our Thought:

The first Disney Infinity featured characters from classic Disney films while 2.0 brought Marvel characters into the toy box. It seems logical that the next phase of Infinity would feature Star Wars. With the slew of new comics and upcoming movies, every division of the Disney machine should have a way to pry open wallets all over the world. While no official announcements have been made, it seems a safe bet that the new Disney Infinity would follow their incumbents model of releasing on all the major platforms. Over the last year not only has Disney Infinity had to compete with the popular Skylanders game toy franchise, but Nintendo also made a splash in the market with their Amibos. Most recently, Lego announced they would also release their own version of this with Lego Dimensions. All this adds up to Disney Interactive needing to do something huge to gain a hold on market share, which means consumers could see the biggest Infinity line up yet. With gamings biggest week, E3, right around the corner you can expect the official word to come sooner rather than later.


The Last of Us: Left Behind, the single player downloadable add-on chapter to developer Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed PlayStation game, The Last of Us, was released more than a year ago. Since then the PS3 classic has seen a full 1080p remastered edition bundled for the PS4, now the DLC chapter comes standalone and will be available on both PS4 and PS3 starting May 12th for only $9.99. Left Behind is the story of Ellie and her best friend Riley as they sneak out to an abandoned mall to enjoy their last night together. It also touches on a key battle for Ellie not seen in the main story campaign that takes place right before you briefly play as her in the Winter.

Those who purchase the standalone version of Left Behind will also get a two hour trial of the factions multiplayer mode.


Our Thought:

Yes, most of you who’ve owned or currently own a PS3/4 have already played The Last of Us and most likely its DLC chapter. However, there are quite a few gamers out there who may have been caught in the next-gen transition that didn’t want to pay another $49.99 for the remastered edition just to play the DLC. This move seems to be geared toward that part of the audience. If you haven’t played either of the games, you’re missing out on one this generations best stories. Left Behind especially makes a bold stand for diversity with its characters not only as female protagonists, but as voices for young teens who might be struggling with their own identities.

If you want to go even deeper into the world of TLOU, then check out the Dark Horse Comics published companion series, The Last of Us: American Dreams. The book was written by the game’s mastermind himself, Neil Druckmann in collaboration with the incredible Faith Erin Hicks. You can find it in shops and online.



We’ve known for months now that Mortal Kombat X‘s Kombat Pack downloadable content would include the Predator and horror film icon Jason Vorhees. Now more has been revealed about Jason’s appearance including all three of his style variations players can choose before the fight.

  • Slasher: The character goes classic white mask and uses the machete to slash the sternums of his opponents. Lots of bloodshed.
  • Relentless: This variation changes his mask chrome and uses barehanded attacks. The quirk about this mode is that it also comes with the ability to flip an opponents block buttons and teleportation.
  • Unstopabble: Just as the name would suggest. Jason is able to regenerate health and power up his attacks.

Players who purchased the Kombat Pack will be able to download the character starting tomorrow. If you don’t own the Kombat pack you’ll have to wait until May 12 to purchase the Jason pack for $8 which also includes the “horror pack” skins for Melina, Ermac, and Reptile.


Our Thought: 

MKX has been a great time for gamers. I’ve yet to complete the classic towers with every character. Now the addition of the movie franchise characters we were teased gives me more reason to dive back into combat. Monday’s Netherrealm live stream (archived here) also teased what we’ll see when the Predator comes to the game. Some out there might think having these licensed characters might be cheeky, but they don’t have any real barring on the MKX story. They’re just there for a cheap pop and there’s sure to be more incoming fighters from previous Mortal Kombat games, maybe even a DC Villain.

Mortal Kombat X is available now for PS4, Xbox One, and PC with Ps3 and Xbox 360 versions to launch this Summer.


Monday also marked “May the fourth be with you” a holiday for lovers of Star Wars. To celebrate EA and DICE posted a look at the planet Sullust in the upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront game. The game’s developer, DICE, traveled to Iceland to base an unexplored planet in the legendary sci-fi series’ mythos. In their chronicles which you can view on the game’s site, fans will see the developers travel to locations used in the original film for planets such as Endor.



Our Thought:

For anyone who looked at the game’s trailer during Star Wars celebration and said it’s nothing special, take in to account just how much detail DICE is stretching to put into this game. Star Wars: Battlefront is poised to become the new standard by which all future Star Wars games will be measured. You know, as long as they don’t include the prequels.


Star Wars: Battlefront will come to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17, 2015.


Before we get to this Wednesday’s new comic releases. I wanted to mention that The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past graphic novel will be in stores. Originally published as a 12-issue comic in Nintendo Power magazine, this reprinting captures the original story by Shotaro Ishinomori as it was told back in the 90’s.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Perfect Square)
(W/A) Shotaro Ishinomori
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an adaptation of the beloved, internationally bestselling video game originally released for Nintendo’s Super Entertainment System. This comic book version by Shotaro Ishinomori (Cyborg 009, Kamen Rider) was first serialized in Nintendo Power magazine and later collected into a graphic novel.

Our Thought:

We’ve read it and it’s a must have for any Zelda fans. When I first read the Shotaro Ishinomori story in Nintendo Power, I couldn’t appreciate just how spot on this tale nails some of my favorite characters of the game. It pays tribute to Zelda’s core themes of adventure and good versus evil, plus it’s pretty damn gorgeous.


Gaming comics in stores 5/6/15

Dungeons & Dragons: The Legends of Baldurs Gate TPB (IDW Publishing)
W) Jim Zub (A) Max Dunbar (CA) Sarah Stone
Generations have passed since the original Heroes of Baldur’s Gate saved the city and the Realms. Now a new threat rises. Collects issues #1-5.
What are your early impressions of Battlefront? Did Mortal Kombat X deliver for you? With Uncharted 4 expected in 2016, do you want Naughty Dog to do a Last of Us sequel?

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3. Interview: Penelope Bagieu Kills With Her Graphic Novel “Exquisite Corpse”

Exquisite CorpseBy Nick Eskey

Penelope Bagieu is a French illustrator who over the last ten years has become more involved in making comics and graphic novels. Some of her works include Josephine, Not Bad, White Page, and Stars of the Stars. She also has a comic blog, My Life Is Quite Fascinating, where she portrays everyday life in a humorous light.

In honor of her debut English-language graphic novel Exquisite Corpse (published by First Second), we discussed with the artist her career and newest work.

How did you find yourself doing graphic novels?

By accident, mostly. I always wanted to make cartoons (actually, as a child, I said wanted to grow up to become Tex Avery. Great ambition). I studied animation in art college and everything. But then, one thing led to another, and I started to do commissioned illustration for magazines (mostly because I had a rent to pay), and one of these magazines offered me to do their weekly last-page comic strip, and I thought “hey, why not, it’s not that far from what I want to do, which is drawing and telling stories), and it had a little success, and it was turned into a book, and another, et ExquisiteCorpse voilà.

How are the stresses of making a living off of art?

On that aspect, I think it’s the same everywhere: very few people make a real living off of it. I’m lucky enough to be one of them, but most of the cartoonists I know also work for advertising agencies, or take commissioned anonymous jobs to make both ends meet. Comics is such a long-term business. It’s hard to be bankable when you need years to finish a book. French politic on books and arts in general is very compliant and we pay less taxes than most of the self-employed people in other domains. We also have our cherished law on the price of books, which prevent stores from giving away books on sale like it’s a TV screen. But it’s a very fragile economy.

How did you get the title “Exquisite Corpse?”

As often, my editor came up with the idea. I don’t want to reveal too much of the story, but I thought this surrealist technique of writing, in which a story alternates from the hands of one author to another, and also had some sort of macabre to it, well, it made sense.
Obviously the story takes place in France, and the main character is a woman. What kind of parallels have you pulled from your life for the book?
Well, that’s it, pretty much! Except all the inspiration on her crappy dead-end jobs and moron ex-boyfriend, that I kept in a corner of my head from my previous own career in crappy dead-end jobs and moron ex-boyfriends. I knew it would be useful one day!

What inspired you to write this story?

On one hand, it was a part of the world I come from, that is the people who never read and only know a famous name if it’s on TV, and on the other, this other world I got to know later, that is the tiny literary Parisian scene, a planet that spins by itself, without a care for anything other than prizes, critics and book reviews. I don’t judge either of these two worlds, and I don’t think any of them is better than the other. I just wondered what would happen if they happened to collide.

Not giving too much away, the main male character is an author who thrives on attention, and wilts without it. As also an author, do you feel any similarities with the situation?

Oh, the character of the author is so me. Which is why I have so much empathy for him. On the selfish aspect of creation, where nothing and no one exists but my story while I’m writing it. The world around me may fall apart, the plants die and the cat starve. It’s exactly like I’m starting a new love relationship and I’m totally devoted to it, and bore my friends to death while speaking about nothing else. I think it’s hard to be the boyfriend or the children of an author.

One of bigger themes I’ve noticed is people using each other to live, whether it’s physically or mentally, or emotionally. Do you see this cycle in your life, or life in Penelope.Bagieugeneral?

I think you tend to step up as you grow older, and don’t get fooled by people who make you believe you need them while they’re totally using you in a one-way system. But it’s not necessarily the case when you’re younger, or confused, or don’t really know where you’re going, like the character of Zoe. Because you have the feeling that these people you meet, who look so self-confident and strong, well they know. So you’re willing to follow them anywhere, and support, and help, and be used, because you think they have a plan. But in the end, they have no idea what they’re doing either and they need you just as much.

There are a few scenes in the book where breasts are exposed. With the U.S. having different censorship compared to some European countries, how do you feel that your book may either be censored, marketed to an older audience, or how it might affect who will carry it?

I found out about that while reading my first reviews! I read several times “uh-oh, not to be put in the hands of a younger audience,” and I honestly really scratched my head, mentally browsing my entire book and thinking “Wait, what? Where? Did I put any sex scene? Or a violent murder? Or a massacre? Oh, right! The image with NIPPLES!” So breasts are considered obscene here. Oh, well, we French have our weird little habits too, I guess.

The editor character seems to play an important part in Rocher’s career. Do editors really carry such an important role? How has your editor(s) affected your life and/or work?

There are two schools on this: either you consider you need to be absolutely alone to write, and you expect nothing from your editor but the publishing part, that is printing well and promoting even better. If so, you take his observations as interfering, because you know exactly where you’re going. I’m from the other school, where I need my editor to comfort me every ten pages, to be the cheerleader on the side of the road, to be able to tell me “this chapter is crap,” or “switch these two panels and it will be a lot more efficient.” Usually, I talk for hours with my editor while my story is just a tiny seed, something that is starting to itch my brain only. And we talk it over until it becomes clearer. And then, all along the writing process, I know that he knows my story just as well as I do. I always have this image of the crazy scientist in The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dr Finkelstein, who splits his own brain in two and give one half to his creation, so that they will understand each other perfectly. Well, I like that my editor has the exact same amount of information as I have on my own story. He can tell me at any time “Hey, you should read that book, it would help you on the subject,” because he knows what it’s truly about. Of course, it’s not easy finding people you trust enough, that you will blindly listen to them when they suggest you should dramatically change your story, or your images. But if you have these people around you, it is so comfortable, to know that you’re not alone, and that someone will warn you if you’re actually heading right into a wall. It’s a very lonely and insecure job, otherwise.

EsquisiteCorpseIf we were to use the character of the author Rocher as a sliding scale, where in your life do you see yourself now compared to his journey?

Haha, that’s a funny one! I suppose I’m at the point where I never really had bad-bad critics, and I still have the pressure of having had a very successful first book. I’m not famous enough to have really mean reviews, because if critics don’t like my books, they just don’t write a word about it, that’s how they show it. You must be very famous to have people finding a column in a magazine (and time, energy) to write all the horrible things they think about you. I didn’t marry my publisher, and I still have millions of ideas for my future books. But I quit reading things about my books a long time ago: I usually rather take credit for things that people tell me to my face.

What do you hope readers will take away after reading “Exquisite Corpse?”

I hope they miss their subway stop while reading because they’re too captivated by the twist, the tension and the suspense. Do you think they could do that for me?

Be sure to pick up Exquisite Corpse by First Second at your local retail store.

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4. I can't go back to yesterday...

It’s hard to believe, but my blog will be four years old on the 6th May 2015. My first tentative post back in 2011 was a short piece about Marjorie Torry and her illustrations for Alice in Wonderland (here). The featured book sold and although I’ve searched high and low, I’ve never found another copy – until now - how fortuitous that one should turn up just in time for my blogiversary. Enjoy!

All the featured images are from Alice in Wonderland, published by Purnell, London in 1964.    Find it HERE

I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”  - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

When I wrote that very first blog post back in 2011  I was convinced it would remain unread forever – I was wrong! Thank you to every single person who takes the time to call in, your visits mean the world.

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5. Blog tour for CHOPSTIX by A. T. RAYDAN

Today, the blog tour for Chopstix by A. T. Raydan. It looks like a fun read, and I'm hoping for a bit of Chinese mythology to come in the book later... For now, here's a blog post by the villains, the Chi.

Welcome to the House of Chi

Who are we? We are the faceless shadows in the darkest night, the formless shape caught in the corner of your eye, the uncanny feeling you’re being watched when no one is around. We are the House of Chi, but you can think of us as the Gatekeepers.

Chi is natural flowing energy that flows through your body, the life force that keeps you conscious, keeps you breathing. Chi surrounds you in every aspect of life. The House of Chi lay at the source of this energy.

We are governed by the mantra: Preservation, Protection and Purification. Our “members” span across the globe, we are open to people from all walks of life. There is no country, no city or town that is hidden from our influence. 

Our history is shrouded in hidden mystery, many have sought to uncover the secrets of The Chi, but in order to know our past, and you must become part of our future.  However, I must warn you, membership is eternal; those that join cannot escape their duty without facing the ultimate punishment. 

We have many tasks and purposes, which you learn when initiated. But for now know this, we will recover the ancient relics from the City of Jade, as is our ancestral right. Only a fool would dare get in our way.

Chopstix by A.T Raydan is published by Unique Inspiration (paperback, £6.99). Available online from Waterstones here and on Goodreads here.

NEXT STOP:  Read about the fire that changed everything for Chopstix on Teen Librarian
YESTERDAY’S STOP: Nayu’s Reading Cornerasks Chopstix Author A.T. Raydan all about her new book.

About Chopstix: Wendy Wu is an ordinary teenager, with a secure home and caring parents who worked hard running the family’s successful Chinese restaurant. Other than the occasional encounter with the bullies at her new college, Wendy could honestly say that life was good.  
When out of the blue fate delivers Wendy a cruel blow, her life is turned upside down. Shaken by grief Wendy retreats in to her room, struggling to come to terms with terrible events that destroyed all she held dear.  With her parents gone, it is her Aunt Daiyu who she turns to for support. 
Why could Wendy always sense when danger was near?  Why did she suddenly feel she had to save people under threat?  Aided by her aunt, Wendy uncovers a mystical side to herself she never knew she had, and an ancestral secret that will change her life for ever…

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6. Cartoon- Hypnotize

cartoon -modi-monica gupta

एक साल भाजपा सरकार का पूरा होने हो है… पर जनता को अभी भी इंतजार है … अच्छे दिनों का :)

The post Cartoon- Hypnotize appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7. Ben Hatke and the One and Only Miracle Molly

I’ve always been a particular fan of author/illustrator/cartoonist Ben Hatke.  From the moment I first laid eyes on a little graphic novel by the name of Zita the Spacegirl, I was well and truly hooked.  Now Ben’s working on a couple different projects and he’s been making the internet rounds talking about them.  Today, here at A Fuse #8 Production, he discusses the book Miracle Molly.  Here, in his own words, is what Matt has to say about the title, as well as a little sketch art to give you a taste of what’s to come:

The Story Behind Miracle Molly

(With Art!)

Different stories call for different formats—this is something I’ve become increasingly aware of as a storyteller. Zita the Spacegirl was always going to be a comics story, and while Julia’s House for Lost Creatures started as a graphic novel, I quickly discovered that it couldn’t have been anything other than a picture book.

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what format suites a story best. I’ve written and drawn four graphic novels now, and two picture books. When I set out to tell a new story about a little fox-tailed girl named Molly, I was surprised to find myself working on my very first prose novel. I’m excited! And, I admit, a little nervous.

Miracle Molly is a heist story set in a middle school, featuring a benevolent trickster who is not all she seems to be (the fox tail maybe tips you off). It’s a sort of Ocean’s Eleven-meets-Matilda romp, with plenty of twists and turns and surprises along the way.

And maybe a bit of magic to boot.

Ben Hatke is the #1 New York Times Best-Selling author of the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy, as well as the picture book Julia’s House for Lost Creatures. His next book, Little Robot, will be in stores September 2016.


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8. Draw Tip Tuesday: Caffeine!

Welcome to Draw Tip Tuesday!

Who needs fancy art tools when you have a simple sharpie and a little bit of coffee? And who needs inspiration? Just draw what’s in front of you - in this case: a cup of coffee!

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9. Slice of Life Tuesday

Write, Share, Give

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10. SURTEX 2015 - kelly ventura

I have a lot more fab Surtex flyers to post up this week as the show draws nearer and nearer. The first set of striking new designs are by surface designer and painter Kelly Ventura who will be in booth 458. Kelly has worked with a variety of clients in the home, gift and children's industries including West Elm and Crate & Barrel.

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11. David Simon Gets All Richard Price

Here’s the kind of inside information that separates the truly knowledgeable insiders from the writers who just learn from Wikipedia.

In “David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish shares amazingly detailed knowledge of the cop beat and the unwritten codes of behavior that, in years gone by, governed interactions between the “good guys” and the “bad guys.”

Simon explains a concept called “humbles” when someone could spend a night in jail primarily because they stepped out of line and needed to be, in the eyes of the police, humbled. Simon isn’t defending this cultural construct, but just explaining the way it worked.

Check out this amazing bit of professional guidelines: “In some districts, if you called a Baltimore cop a motherfucker in the 80s and even earlier, that was not generally a reason to go to jail. If the cop came up to clear your corner and you’re moving off the corner, and out of the side of your mouth you call him a motherfucker, you’re not necessarily going to jail if that cop knows his business and played according to code. Everyone gets called a motherfucker, that’s within the realm of general complaint. But the word “asshole” — that’s how ornate the code was — asshole had a personal connotation. You call a cop an asshole, you’re going hard into the wagon in Baltimore.”

Here again, Simon isn’t necessarily saying this is a good thing. But what a fascinating observation. That’s the kind of insider information that distinguishes Richard Price novels.

And that’s something all writers should strive for…

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12. Emirates Novel Award

       At Gulf News they report that Winners of Emirates Novel Award honoured (complete with a great lots-of-hands-on-the-prize photograph).
       Any local recognition seems like a positive, and maybe it helps get some attention farther afield too -- not too much Emirati fiction making it abroad nowadays ..... (At around US$16,000 the prize isn't huge, but not bad.)

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13. Top Ten Tuesday (1): Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Ten Books I’ll Probably Never Read” and we’re happy to be participating. This is our first outing!       The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien  So maybe I’m cheating a little bit because I have attempted to read these books before. I made it to the second book in high school before I gave up in frustration of the endless, endless amount of boring detail. All they do is travel! Does anything ever actually happen??? I read The Hobbit in 8th grade and I hated that too. To be fair, when I first attempted to read these I was just a baby fantasy fan, having recently devoured Harry Potter. Maybe now that I’m an old pro with fantasy I’d find it different. Every time I look at the... Read more »

The post Top Ten Tuesday (1): Ten Books I Will Probably Never Read appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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14. SURTEX 2015 - les francaises

Les Francaises represents the coming together of two French designers: Mathilde Wydauw and Laurie Brochard who have teamed up for Surtex this month. Show buyers can get a little bit of French style from these two talented artists in booth 726 and for those not attending you can email Laurie & Mathilde at contact@lesfrancaisesdesign.fr

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15. Artist of the Day: Martín López Lam

Discover the work of Martín López Lam, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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16. Best Selling Kids Series | May 2015

This month's best selling kids series from The Children's Book Review's affiliate store remains the same, it's the wonderfully educational series The Adventures of Riley.

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17. IF: wiggle

8 bit, title page art from educational software of the early 90's.
Making art with the old applications of the time and hard, square pixels was a skill like nothing artists today have to learn.
This image was made of a couple dozen colors (out of a strict, but at the time super generous - 256 color palette)
It looked good on an 256 color (Mac) monitor.

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18. THE ETERNAL CITY by Paula Morris

Review by Emily THE ETERNAL CITY by Paula MorrisAge Range: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Point (May 26, 2015)Goodreads | Amazon Laura Martin is visiting Rome on a class trip, and she's entranced by the majestic Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon . . . Everything in this city seems magical. That is, until the magic seems to turn very dark. Suddenly,

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19. Borgesian Library of Babel

       It was only a matter of computing power and time before someone would try to (re)create what Jorge Luis Borges imagined in his story, 'The Library of Babel' (read it in his Collected Fictions -- since, of course, you should read his collected fiction), and Jonathan Basile has had a pretty good go at it, with libraryofbabel.info.
       Overview-articles have been appearing all over -- check out those at Slate, The Guardian, and The Independent -- but the site is fun to check out as well. That said, it does take quite a bit (a near infinite amount of time, probably ...) of shelf-browsing to stumble across anything that is ... readable.

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20. Image Reveal: BUTTERFLY PARK by Award-Winning Author/Illustrator Elly MacKay and GIVEAWAY!


Coming May 26th, from Running Press Kids:
Butterfly Park
by Award-Winning Author/Illustrator Elly MacKay

Running Press Kids is teaming up with select blogs to promote a very special picture book artist, Elly MacKay. Elly MacKay creates paper worlds inside a miniature lightbox theater, and turns those worlds into picture books. The images in her upcoming picture book, BUTTERFLY PARK, are nothing short of breathtaking. Let others know about Elly MacKay and her tour @Twitter: #ButterflyTrail


“Once there was a girl who loved butterflies. And when she moved to a new town, she felt lucky to find a place nearby called Butterfly Park! But when she opened the gate, there were no butterflies to be found.

“The girl tried to catch some butterflies and asked neighborhood children to help bring them to Butterfly Park. But to their disappointment, the butterflies didn’t stay. As the entire town got involved, they finally realized what they needed to do. Together, the girl and her community planted flowers in Butterfly Park, and in time, the butterflies came.” [publisher]

Running Press Kids has put together a special illustration tour, each Tuesday, leading up to the late May release date of Butterfly Park. Why an illustration tour, and not a “normal” book tour? MacKay used her acclaimed paper-cut artwork, giving each spread a 3-dimensional look. While knocking on neighbors’ doors, looking for help, the kids look like they could dance right off the page. Paper-cut art must be a tedious labor of love. The result is a magnificent picture book, with a final 4-page spread worthy of framing. The book jacket is also a poster of flowers that entice butterflies. To WIN YOUR OWN COPY of Butterfly Park, all it takes is a comment. Winner announced on Monday, May 11th.

Well, this is an image reveal, so here it is, the left half of spread number ten:


It took them up and down through the town. Curiosity grew. Windows and doors began to open.

It took them up and down through the town.
Curiosity grew. Windows and doors began to open.

“Centered on the park’s elaborate art nouveau gateway, MacKay’s lyrical paper collage and diorama constructs feature layered details and out-of-focus backgrounds for a sense of depth. Brightly patterned butterflies, delicate flowers, and human figures pose like gracefully off-balance dancers…. Worthy of theme and equally pleasing to the eye and the spirit.”
~~Kirkus Reviews

“MacKay’s artwork recreates the feel and pleasure of Edwardian-era illustration, and lovers of picture book fantasy will embrace it.”
~~Publishers Weekly

Butterfly Park
Written and Illustrated by Elly MacKay
Published by Running Press Kids
May 26, 2015
38 pages             Age 3 +

Also by Elly MacKay

If You Hold a Seed

If You Hold a Seed

Shadow Chasers

Shadow Chasers







If You Hold a Seed

2014 Blue Spruce™ Award Nominee – Ontario Library Association
2013 Best Bets Top 10 Picture Books – Ontario Library Association
2013 Best Books List (preschool—early elementary) – Atlanta Parent Magazine

Shadow Chasers

2014 Best Books of the Year (children—teens) – Amazon Canada

About Elly MacKay
Elly MacKay is the author and illustrator of If You Hold a Seed and Shadow Chasers. She attends Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and now her artwork is sold around the world, including her Etsy.com shop, Theater Clouds.

Website: http://ellymackay.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/theaterclouds
Twitter: @TheaterClouds

Here is the schedule for Ms. MacKay’s tour:

Butterfly Trail Blog Tour Page

4/07  The Unconventional Librarian  http://bit.ly/TheUnconventionalLibrarian

4/14  The Geo Librarian   http://bit.ly/TheGeoLibrarian

4/21  Mom Read It   http://bit.ly/MomReadIt

4/28  Mother Daughter Book Reviews  http://bit.ly/MotherDaughterBookReviews

5/05  Kid Lit Reviews   ♥ YOU ARE HERE

5/12  Unleashing Readers     http://bit.ly/UnleashingReaders

5/19  The Childrens Book Review  http://bit.ly/TheChildrensBookReview

5/26  RELEASE DAY!  Click to purchase Butterfly Park early 


Pass this post on. Help Award-Winning-Author Elly MacKay get the word out about Butterfly Park:  TWEET:  #ButterflyTrail



Running Press is a member of the Perseus Books Group.


Twitter:  @rp_kids

Filed under: Book Blast, Children's Books, Contests-Giveaways, Illustrator Spotlight, Picture Book Tagged: adjusting to a move, butterflies, Butterfly Park, community, flowers, friendship, Perseus Books Group, Rlly MacKay, Running Press Kids

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21. SURTEX 2015 - gabriella buckingham

Gabriella Buckingham has Gabriella has over twenty years experience as a painter and illustrator and after breaking out into the world of Surface pattern she will be showing at Surtex for the first time this year with Cultivate Art Collective in booth 222. Gabriella will be showcasing a wide variety of work available for licensing including lush vintage inspired florals and character filled

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22. The Steel Spring review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Per Wahlöö's The Steel Spring, the second of his two Inspector Jensen novels.

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23. Make Displays Work for You

In May, my library holds a huge annual pet fair. Technically, it’s a program run by our Reference Department and they cover all aspects of the program. But we love to help promote awesome programs our library is doing, especially family-friendly programs like the pet fair.

One way we help promote the pet fair is by putting up a display of pet books starting a couple of weeks before the program. Not only does this help spread the word, but we know that families who attend the program are likely going to stop in the library… where they’ll see a display of books on a subject they’re sure to be interested in. Circ stats for the win!

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

We’ve also put up a big display of art books when our local schools hold a reception at the library for their best art students (the art is displayed in the library for several weeks prior). It’s not a program that the Children’s Room is in charge of or has anything to do with, but we capitalize on these events that we know capture the interest of our community.

Do you do any book displays that tie into programming at your library or community events?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN

The post Make Displays Work for You appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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24. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 

An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

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25. Marriage Personality Quiz

question marksWhat kind of person will you marry when you grow up?

1. You admire. . . A) Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama. B) Kanye West & Kim Kardashian. C) Kevin Durant & Gabby Douglass. D) your mom & dad. E) Albert Einstein & Marie Curie.

2. Favorite thing to watch on TV is . . . A) news. B) reality shows. C) sports. D) cartoons. E) science and history shows.

3. Your crush’s hair is . . . A) a buzz cut. B) always perfectly styled. C) tied back in a ponytail or headband. D) just normal. E) kind of messy — but in a good way!

4. Favorite book series: A) Harry Potter. B) Dear Dumb Diary. C) Game Changers. D) Diary of a Wimpy Kid. E) The Mysterious Benedict Society.

5. Where will you get married? A) In a castle. B) On a private tropical island. C) In a giant stadium. D)  At your local church. E) At the Eiffel Tower.

6. Your BFF is . . . A) popular. B) stylish. C) athletic. D) kind. E) smart.

7. If you were a food, you’d be . . . A) Cool Ranch Doritos – zesty! B) ice cream – sweet as can be! C) a protein shake for strength. D) pizza – what could be better? E) a healthy smoothie.

8. When you grow up, your job will be . . . A) President of the United States. B) a famous movie star. C) NBA basketball player. D) teacher. E) a scientist who cures cancer.

10. Once you’re married, you plan to live . . . A) in a big city. B) in Hollywood. C) on a farm. D) in the same neighborhood where you grew up. E) near a large library.

Ready for the results that may determine your entire future?? Keep reading.

If you answered mostly A’s, YOU’LL BE MARRIED TO A POWERFUL LEADER!
You are a strong and confident person, and are destined to marry someone like that too! You like someone who can inspire and lead people. You might marry the President of the United States (if you are not running for President yourself!), a king or queen, someone who owns a giant corporation, or a college sports team coach. Some examples are: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, or Prince Harry. Whoever it is though, hang on for a fun ride to the top!

You like the spotlight, fame, and fortune. You also have a talent for acting, singing, and general fabulousness. This is why you are destined to marry a Hollywood celebrity. Get ready to travel the world, and rub shoulders with the rich and famous. Some people you might marry are: Taylor Swift, a boy band member (1D anyone??), Selena Gomez, or Zac Efron. But as you rise to the top, remember to stay grounded at heart!

If you answered mostly C’s, YOU’LL BE MARRIED TO AN ATHLETE!
You are a sporty guy or gal. This is why you are destined to marry an athlete. You will start out as friends who play sports together. Some examples of your future Mr. or Mrs. include Derek Jeter, Dwyane Wade, Danika Patrick, Hope Solo, or Tim Tebow.

You are down to earth, and appreciate the simple things in life. You don’t need fancy things or money to make you happy, and you will marry someone with similar values. You might already know your future sweetheart right now. It might be the girl next door, or the boy who sits behind you in math class (but will one day be Mr. Awesome!) or your older brother’s best friend.

If you answered mostly E’s, YOU’LL BE MARRIED TO A SUPER-SMART GENIUS!
You are an intelligent person, and this is the main quality in your future mate! Sit around for hours talking about nuclear physics? Check. Translate Harry Potter into 5 languages for fun? Check. Have a contest to see who can recite the most digits of the square root of Pi? Check. Your future Mr. or Mrs. may be the next Einstein or Galileo. One thing is for sure – you will never be bored!

Want to know where you’ll live? Play our M.A.S.H. (Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House) game here.


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