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1. Merry Christmas from the Beat

81arvKhs40L Merry Christmas from the Beat

Whatever holiday you celebrate, from all of us at Stately Beat Manor, wishing you a happy and safe one.


4 Comments on Merry Christmas from the Beat, last added: 12/28/2014
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2. Christmas Eve is Here! Two Poems for Judging – One for fun

Christmas Lauren Gallegos FINALAsleep

Lauren Gallegos sent in this cute illustration that rings so true. She is a Children’s Book Illustrator who was featured on Illustrator Saturday: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/illustrator-saturday-lauren-gallegos/  www.Laurengallegos.com Twitter: @laurengallegos

Here are two holiday poems. More tomorrow and Christmas Day. Voting will start on Friday.

The Tasting Tree

By: Robin Jordan

Busy hands stained juicy, red.

Berries strung. Needle ‘n thread.

Draped around a fragrant pine

Over, under branches fine.

Popcorn seeds shake, shake, shake, then

Burst into a snowy flake.

Loosely sewn all in a row

On the festive tree they go.

Vanilla scents thrill the nose.

Cookies tied with shiny bows

Sprinkles shimmer, precious gems

Dot the sweeping verdant stems.

Shepherd crooks, a sweet delight

Twisted stripes. Some red, some white.

Candy canes hung by their hook

Help create a gleeful look.

My tasting tree’s now complete.

Leaving Santa lots to eat.

Working hard all through the night

Must stir up his appetite!



The above illustration was done by Mark Meyers. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday in 2012. Here’s the link.  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/

Christmas Movies and Meaning

By Hally Franz –

On the Twelve days of Christmas I hoped I could see,

The classic holiday movies I’d missed on TV.

So many favorites make me smile, laugh, and cry,

But the days left for watching are flying right by.


Day one, I will start with some time spent with Clark,

Though his house was lit well, he was left in the dark,

‘Bout what grand or glum bonus would come his way,

And what crazy cousin Eddie would do that last day.


Day two, it’s time for a freckle-faced kid,

And the tale of what the two robbers did.

Left all alone, but helpless he’s not,

For few have the tricks clever Kevin has got!


Day three, I must visit a lodge in Pine Tree,

For Vermont is a lovely white place one should be,

On lyrical holidays with Danny and Bing,

Engagements and soldiers, all the songs they will sing.


Day four is saved for a swelling single dad,

Who put on the suit and left the life he once had.

Shaving and gaining, graying and growing,

He flew to the North Pole where elves he’s employing.


On day five, I’ll enjoy a sugary treat,

A Caan-Ferrell combo is one hard to beat.

Jovie leads carols, gets Santa’s sleigh off the ground,

In a place folks think no Christmas cheer can be found.


From sweet to a sneak on day six, I will go,

When I watch the green guy with the heart yet to grow.

He seemed determined to ruin Christmas for young Cindy Lou,

Until Dr. Seuss taught him a lesson compliments of the Whos.


By seven I travel across the pond to hear,

Tales of Mark and Daniel and Bridget dear.

Their accents are lovely, their troubles quite mad,

The kiss in the snow leaves me a Colin Firth fan.


Now when on day eight, loves turns to divorce,

It’s time for “delousing babies in Burma,” of course.

Though they try to avoid crazy families, they find,

Even spray cheese and spending limits are better than “lies.”


Though Peter B. helped produce my selection above,

He’s rabbit-costume-hating Ralphie in one we all love.

On day nine it’s Red Ryder BB guns and lady-leg lamps,

Frozen tongues, broken glasses, and little guy scamps.


My nostalgic mood continues on ten,

When I’ll watch my old black-and-white friend.

George questions himself and thinks his life’s been a waste,

Clarence reveals he’s made Bedford Falls a fine place.


Dickens’s story, reincarnated has been,

But, any version works fine on day eleven.

Visions and dreams appear as in our story above,

Unlike good-guy George, Scrooge must learn how to love.


Day twelve is reserved for one from way back,

A short film of a child and the love he did lack.

A poor boy he has only his drum he can play,

For the newborn king on that most glorious day.


Thank you, Hollywood, for movies we enjoy year after year,

For stories of love, life, and lessons held perennially dear.

But, if one studies the list, I think you will find,

Few of the flicks bring the true meaning to mind.


The most known films are sweet and funny, it’s true,

But fail to bring Mary, the manger, and Jesus in view.

Tinsel Town, try addressing man’s internal crave,

And, give us more to see about the son that He gave.

It’s a story that’s true, compelling, and brave,

Of One born to die, our sinning souls to be saved.


Consider my list, along with my request,

While I reveal answers to the above test.


“Christmas Vacation” should not be spent “Home Alone,”

Unless it’s a “White Christmas” and you’re talking by phone.

But, then “The Santa Clause” and his “Elf” won’t find you around,

If in spite of “The Grinch that Stole Christmas” down the chimney they bound.


If left stranded deep in snow read “Bridget Jones’ Diary” for fun,

Are remember “Four Christmases” are rarely better than one.

Tell “The Christmas Story” for one or all who are near,

Be thankful “It’s a Wonderful Life” whether you’re there or you’re here.

Sing “A Christmas Carol” or two with joy in your heart,

And, one called “Little Drummer Boy” is a great way to start.


Blessings to all at this Christmastime,

And, thank you for reading my ramble-ing rhyme.

In summary, I say watch those movies we love,

But save time for the Savior sent from above.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This was sent in by Margo Sorenson. She doesn’t know who wrote it, but it is a very well-known in Hawaii.

“Da Night Bafo Christmas” Was da night bafo’ Christmas, and all ova’ da place,

Not even da geckos was showin’ their face.

Da stockings was hangin’ on top da TV

(‘Cause no mo’ fireplace in Hawai’i )

Da kids stay all crashed, my old man too.

They leave all da work for you-know-who.

So me, I stay pickin’ up alla dea toys,

When – boom! – outside get only big noise!

I run to da window, I open ‘em up,

I stick out my head and I yell, “Eh! Whassup?!”

And then, I no can ba-lieve what I seen!

Was so unreal, you know what I mean?

This fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!

And reindeers not housebroken,

you know, as’ why hard!

But nemmind, this Christmas,

so I cut ‘em some slack.

Plus, had uku pile presents pokin’ outta his sack!

So I wait ’till he pau tie up his reindeer,

Then I yell out da window,

“Huui! Brah, ova hea!”

An’ I tell ‘em first thing,

when I open da door,

“Eh, Hemo your shoes! You going dirty my floor!”

He take off his boots, he tell, “You know who I am?”

I go, “Ho! From the smell, must be Mr. Toe Jam!”

He make mempachi eyes and he go, “Ho, ho, ho!”

By now, I stay thinking this guy kinda slow!

He look like my Tutu, but little less weight,

And his beard stay so white, mo’ white than shark bait!

He stay all in red, specially his nose,

And get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes!

But him, he no care; he just smile at me,

And he start fo’ put presents unda-neath da tree.

I tell ‘em, “Eh, brah, no need make li’dat,

And watch where you step! You going ma-ke da cat!”

Then, out from his bag, he pull one brand new computah,

Choke video games, and one motorized scootah!

He try for fill up da Christmas socks too, But had so much pukas,

all da stuff went fall troo.

When he pau, I tell ‘em, “Eh Santa, try wait!

I get plenty leftovahs, I go make you one plate!”

But  he nevah like hang, he had so much fo’ do;

Gotta make all them small kids’  wishes come true.

So I wave ‘em goodbye, and I flash ‘em da shaka,

And  I tell ‘em, “Mele Kalikimaka!”

When he hear that, he stop…and I telling  you true,

He go, “Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!”  


Thank you Hally and Robin for sending in your December poems. I will post a couple more tomorrow and a few on Christmas, then you can vote on Friday. Please stop back an vote  for your favorite Holiday poem. Have a Merry Christmas.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Christmas Poems, Hally Franz, Lauren Gallegos, Mark Meyers, Robin Jordan

2 Comments on Christmas Eve is Here! Two Poems for Judging – One for fun, last added: 12/27/2014
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3. The Greatest Battle

I consider myself a war buff. I love reading historic accounts of combat. I don’t discriminate between time period or conflict. Because of the volume of material, I have probably spent more time delving into World War 2 than any other. When I was in the Army, I drove a beat up WW 2 era Deuce-and-a-half and always wondered about its history.

imageHistorians argue about which battle is the greatest – Waterloo, Stalingrad, Hastings, Yorktown, Thermopylae, Guadalcanal, The Battle of the Bulge, the list goes on. Like everything else in life, no one can seem to agree. When compiling such a list, the qualifiers become important. Things such as lives lost, duration, strategies, and conditions all come into play when deciding which is supreme.

It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, I’ve got plenty of those. I just don’t like to argue in general. I get distracted or flustered and lose my place like when I drop my book and reread the same pages over and over again before I figure out where I left off. Only an argument is live, verbal combat. When I lose my place, I sit there open-mouthed wondering if I look as stupid as I feel. So like everyone else on the losing side, I hone in on one point and try to drive it home even if I am totally wrong and know it.

The Baltic Sea is in New Mexico. It isn’t? I will repeat that thirty-seven times, forcing you to get out your phone and Google it, which allows me time to escape the fracas unscathed. I’m gone, therefore I win.

This leads to my opinion of the greatest battle which I believe is a conflict going on today – right now! RIGHT NOW!

You might think I am waxing philosophically about a moral or ethical conflict for the hearts and minds of people. Think again, I’m nowhere near deep enough for that. No, I am talking about the Battle of the Christmas Tree going on in my den as I type.

This battle has two combatants: The cats vs. the presents. The cats investigated the tree the minute it arrived. They united their forces and conquered it quickly. It is now their territory and they are very protective of it. The two of them alternate on watch and have made a formidable occupation force. Their confidence never waned… until the presents arrived.


As presents do, they marched in slowly but steadily. They landed through the front door and also surprised the occupiers from the garage entrance. Strange men in brown uniforms delivered them, but some were brought in by the woman-thing who seems to be working for both sides. She pets and feeds the cats, yet adds to the stack of presents assaulting from every flank. She is a crafty sort. Worse yet, she puts little ribbons on top to lull the cats from their strategic high ground. They can’t avoid the ribbons, which are almost as alluring as the ornaments with bells.

I have no idea who will win this battle. Epic is too small a word for it. The cats seem to rule the night while the presents hold the day (sounds like a Billy Joel song). It is a seesaw affair likely only resolved by the Take the Tree to the Chipper Treaty.

That landmark agreement is coming soon. Until then, may peace reign in your home unlike mine – where it appears to be an elusive dream.

Filed under: It Made Me Laugh

5 Comments on The Greatest Battle, last added: 12/24/2014
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4. Merry Christmas

ana ochoa

This Christmas illustration was sent in by Ana Ocho to help us celebrate the day. Ana has worked with most publishers in Mexico (both private and government), doing picture books as well as school text books. She was featured at the beginning of the year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

Christmas Andreja

This happy North Pole Illustration was sent in by Andreha Peklar. She was featured earlier this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/

DECEMBER’S LIGHT by Eileen Spinelli


It’s the slanted light of a silver star,

  soft candlelight in a quiet room.

  It’s lantern light from house to barn

  swaying bright against the gloom.

  It’s the light of home across the miles.

  It’s the puddled light of moon-on snow.

  It’s the light in eyes…in smiles…in hearts.

  It’s the sweetest light of all I know.

christmas tree

Thank you Eileen and Carol for the Christmas cheer. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Merry Christmas!

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Ana Ochoa, Andreja Peklar, Carol Murray, Eileen Spinelli

4 Comments on Merry Christmas, last added: 12/25/2014
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5. Merry Christmas from Portsong

Merry Christmas from our little Southern town.

Since we are fictional, I am happy to report that we have a foot of lovely snow and every resident is at home in front of a warm fire. All businesses are closed and since the crime rate is zero, even Sheriff Whittaker has the day off. Every belly is full and every heart is warm with the glow of the season.

Although he netted more than the coal he deserved, Virgil Creech is still dissatisfied with his Christmas morning haul and has vowed to reform. Yes, he intends to be good for the next 365 days in the hopes of earning Santa’s favor for next year. It has only been two hours, but as always, there is promise in the lad.

Faith, hope, and love are the order of the day. Kindness, hospitality, gentleness and understanding reign. And for this moment, there is peace on earth.

Oh, that we would work to make this our reality.

Merry Christmas and God Bless,

The Mayor


Filed under: Stories

5 Comments on Merry Christmas from Portsong, last added: 12/26/2014
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6. The Other Side Of The Truth

It was a rainy summer day. I was only a child. We were visiting my aunties in Washington. It was warm, so the rain did not bother me. I was too excited to try again at climbing the rope that was attached to the tall tree in my aunts backyard. Hand over hand…slipping back down again.

Suddenly the back door of the house opened and the dog came running and barking fiercely at me, teeth showing!

Without even thinking i shot up that rope out of reach of the wild monster dog.

There I was, up a tree!!!  I was no longer afraid because I conquered the ROPE and The monster Dog!

Years later I asked my aunt about that dog! She had no recollection of him being mean and I even had the wrong name. What was true iny 5 year old memory was not true in her adult memory. Both were as real as could be.

I have discovered many memories like this in the last year since my father’s passing. My brother and sisters all have stories and some ate not as I remember them. What one person loved, I found a different feeling arise. Two truths. Two sides…sometimes 3 or 4 sides to a story.

This is a lesson to learn and to watch for. Hard feelings towards someone who has hurt me or someone else causes me to look for the othervside of the truth. Everyone has a different perception of truth. As 2015 approaches I hope to remember this in all my relationships. I have learned that LOVE can cover it all. Love can break through and bring truths together… Understanding can flow. Peace can be restored. Ot may take time and patience, but it is better than unforgiveness and bitterness. It’s freedom!

1 Comments on The Other Side Of The Truth, last added: 12/27/2014
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7. Dark Horse Announces a He-Man Art Book With More Power

By David Nieves

The holiday isn’t quite over yet but Dark Horse Comics is already getting set to take our Christmas money. Today the publisher announced The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will receive a limited edition release. Restricted to 4,000 copies, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition comes packaged in a deluxe Castle Grayskull slipcase, with an exclusive foil embossed cover and portfolio print, coming in at just under 400 pages with commentary written by Tim & Steve Seeley.

unnamed1 300x265 Dark Horse Announces a He Man Art Book With More Power

This must have collectible for die hard He-Man fans includes rarely seen images of concept sketches, prototypes, and more from Mattel’s archives. Featuring beautifully restored art from master illustrator Earl Norem—celebrated artist of the most memorable He-Man images, interviews with Dolph Lundgren, Paul Dini, Erika Scheimer, and many more!

The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition is on sale in comic shops April 15th and April 28th in bookstores. Fans can pre-order a copy today from these retailers:

Think Geek
Big Bad Toy Store
Forbidden Planet
Things From Another World

In addition, the book will be available for pre-order at the Dark Horse Comics booth at all their 2015 convention appearances.

2 Comments on Dark Horse Announces a He-Man Art Book With More Power, last added: 12/26/2014
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8. Christmas Comics: Breaking Cat News Christmas Special is a winner

BREAKING CAT NEWS 72 1 Christmas Comics: Breaking Cat News Christmas Special is a winner

I don’t want to say “a holiday classic” but this special Eight Part Breaking Cat News Christmas Special by Georgia Dunn is…a holiday classic. While investigating the tree that the humans brought into the house, Elvis gets lost outside in a snowstorm! And meets up with a friendly furry friend named Tommy who has no home. It’s cold and wet and how will remaining news team members Puck and Lupin cover this epic story? And will Elvis be changed?

BREAKING CAT NEWS 74 Christmas Comics: Breaking Cat News Christmas Special is a winner

This is a sweet, funny story that hits every holiday note that needs to be hit. Enjoy!

Thanks to Rose Fox for the heads up.

1 Comments on Christmas Comics: Breaking Cat News Christmas Special is a winner, last added: 12/24/2014
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9. Christmas Comics: Street Angel Christmas Special

Xmas p1 color Christmas Comics: Street Angel Christmas Special

Another neo classic comic for the hols as Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s  homeless crimefighting skateboarder, Street Angel, teams with Santa on a brief adventure to find some missing reindeer in a bad neighborhood.

It’s all courtesy of Boing Boing, which is running new Street Angel comics regularly. And if you don’t have it already, give yourself a present by picking up the recent AdHouse edition of the original Street Angel mini series.



1 Comments on Christmas Comics: Street Angel Christmas Special, last added: 12/26/2014
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10. Capcom Fighting Tribute book seeks submissions…unpaid submissions

content image up Capcom Fighting Tribute book seeks submissions...unpaid submissions
Video game giant Capcom is putting out a tribute book of art, called Capcom Fighting Tribute. And it’s open to artists fan and pro:

This collection will offer a chance for hundreds of professional and fan artists to show off their artistic skills and pay homage to their favorite characters, settings and moments from the fighting games of Capcom!

All styles of art are welcome – digital painting, traditional media, anime, cartoon, pixel-based, even sculptures – whatever best expresses the artist’s love for this timeless collection of beloved video game franchises.

Properties included in the project are Street Fighter™, Darkstalkers™, Rival Schools™, Red Earth™, Star Gladiator, Power Stone™, Cyberbots, Capcom Fighting Evolution™, Puzzle Fighter™, Pocket Fighter™, Final Fight™, Battle Circuit, Captain Commando, Armored Warriors, Knights of the Round, The King of Dragons, Avengers (Hissatsu no Buraiken), and Capcom original characters Ruby Heart, Son-Son, and Amingo!

Sounds cool right? Sort of. BUT on the submissions rules, it states:

There is no payment to artists for artwork used in the Capcom Fighting Tribute book. All selected artwork becomes the property of Capcom.

Accepted artists can however makes up to 200 prints of their piece and sell those, I suppose. But this is yet another example of the “no pay” model that seems to be getting more and more normal.
Artist Reilly Brown noticed this and sounded off on his Deviant Art page:

I’m a professional, I get treated like a professional, paid like a professional or I don’t do the job.
All this really is is an attempt to get free content (that they will own forever) for a high-priced product.
I know what you’re thinking– “but I love Capcom games!  Even though I’m a professional working on another property, I want to draw a Capcom character too!”
Well shit, bro, I love Capcom too, and I’ll tell you, nothing’s stopping me from drawing those characters all damn day if I wanted to.  But I’m not going to give those drawings– that time and labor– to a company who plans on making money off of them FOR FREE.  Until I give them that art, I still own that art and can do whatever I wish with it, or at least whatever I’m able to with characters that I don’t own the trademark for, such as put it on my website, which the rules for this “contest” bans.

A lot of us are so numb to the plethora of free content on the web that this seems almost normal—is this any different than what you see on Tumblr every day? but remember, Capcom is a PROFESSIONAL company and charge money for their games. I know that if they actually PAID for all the submissions the book would probably be too expensive to even put out, but…is that really where we are these days?

The continuing devaluation of art is going to be one of the big stories of 2015 and beyond. I’m not sure what the solution is, but as Brown suggests, artists should “have more respect for your profession.”

16 Comments on Capcom Fighting Tribute book seeks submissions…unpaid submissions, last added: 12/23/2014
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11. Christmas Comics: Kate Beaton’s yearly Christmas comics

tumblr nh0ez6J9Ot1rnw5qjo2 1280 Christmas Comics: Kate Beatons yearly Christmas comics
Every year cartoonist Kate Beaton returns to her parents house in the maritimes for the holidays, and the series of hilarious and touching comics that result are getting to be a holiday tradition, as the intersection of parental concern and parental eccentricities combine to form HUMOR. IT’s an experience that many of us are going through right now, and Beaton’s gentle, loving humor—while rooted firmly in her own family’s character—can also stand in for the universal experience.

She’s been posting her comics on twitter, but they’re also up on Tumblr, where they are easier to find. And should anyone be searching in the far flung future for them, here’s the direct link for the one shown above.

1 Comments on Christmas Comics: Kate Beaton’s yearly Christmas comics, last added: 12/25/2014
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12. Illustrator Saturday – Let It Snow!

Step in and visit. You will find many of the wonderful snowy illustrations that have graced books and Illustrator Saturday on this blog over the years. Hope you enjoy.


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/


Laura Jacobsenhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/illustrator-saturday-laura-jacobsen/


Michael Garlandhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/


Nancy Cote - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/illustrator-saturday-nancy-cote/


Rob McClurkanhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/illustrator-saturday-rob-mcclurkan/


Christopher Denisehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/illustrator-saturday-christopher-denise/


David Thorn Wenzelhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/illustrator-saturday-david-thorn-wenzel/


Danielle Arborhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/illustrator-saturday-danielle-arbor/


Lyn Stonehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/illustrator-saturday-lyn-stone/


Michelle Henningerhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/illustrator-saturday-michelle-henninger/


Alison Jayhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/


Michael Garlandhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/


Roberta Aangaramohttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/02/18/illustrator-saturday-roberta-aangaramo/


Kathleen Kemlyhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/illustrator-saturday-kathleen-kemly/

bobSnow Finish

Bob McMahonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/illustrator-saturday-bob-mcmahon/


Suzanne Kauffmanhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/illustrator-saturday-suzanne-kauffman/

Stomping through the snowy woods500

Stacy Heller Budnickhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/illustrator-saturday-stacy-heller-budnick/


Yvonne Gilberthttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/


Yvonne Gilberthttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/


Sheralyn Barneshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/illustrator-saturday-sheralyn-barnes/


Laura Watsonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/illustrator-saturday-laura-watson/


Kristina Swarnerhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/illustrator-saturday-kristina-swarner/


Randy Gallegoeshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/illustrator-saturday-randy-gallegos/


Gregory Manchesshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/29/illustrator-saturday-gregory-manchess/


Susan Detwilerhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/illustrator-saturday-susan-detwiler/


Marit Menzinhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/illustrator-saturday-marit-menzin/


Leeza Hernandez - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/illustrator-saturday-leeza-hernandez-3/


Kristie Edmundshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/illustrator-saturday-kristi-edmunds/


Constanze von Kitzinghttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/illustrator-saturday-constanze-von-kitzing/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

winter mayfield rd

Jeremy Tugeauhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/illustrator-saturday-jeremy-tugeau/

Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 7_42_18 AM

Anne Wertheimhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/illustrator-saturday-anne-wertheim/


Alison Jayhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/illustrator-saturday-alison-jay/


Lita Judgehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/illustrator-saturday-lita-judge/


David Hillhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/illustrator-saturday-david-hill-2/


Eric Freeberghttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/04/26/illustrator-saturday-eric-freeberg/


Patrick Girouardhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/illustrator-saturday-patrick-girouard/


Anne Wilkinsonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/illustrator-saturday-annie-wilkinson-2/


Michele Noisethttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/illustrator-saturday-michele-noiset/


Mark Meyershttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/

dillardsnow squalls

Sarah Dillarhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/illustrator-saturday-sarah-dillard/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/


Lisa Anchin – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/27/illustrator-saturday-lisa-anchin/

timsnowman sequence 5

Tim Bowershttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/illustrator-saturday-tim-bowes/

Angela Padron illustrator intesive FINAL

Angela Padronhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/illustrator-saturday-angela-padron/


Melanie Greenberghttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/03/22/illustrator-saturday-melanie-hope-greenberg/


Susan Eaddyhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/illustrator-saturday-susan-eaddy/

melissa iwaiwinter-scene3

Melissa Iwaihttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/illustrator-saturday-mellisa-iwai/


Nancy Cotehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/illustrator-saturday-nancy-cote/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/


Cheryl Kirk Nollhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/illustrator-saturday-cheryl-kirk-noll/


Michael Doolinghttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/illustrator-saturday-michael-dooling/


Kathie Ember - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/illustrator-saturday-kathi-ember/


Sharon Vargo - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/illustrator-saturday-sharon-vargo/

bogadeChristmascard stork2bigger

Maria Bogadehttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/illustrator-saturday-maria-bogade/


Jennifer Thermeshttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/illustrator-saturday-jennifer-thermes/


Kris Aro McLeodhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/illustrator-saturday-kris-aro-mcleod/


Hans Wilhelmhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/illustrator-saturday-hans-wilhelm/


Carol Liddiment – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/illustrator-saturday-carol-liddiment/


Susan Jeffers - http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/illustrator-saturday-susan-jeffers/


Ruth Sandersonhttp://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, list, picture books Tagged: Illustrator Saturday Snow, snowy illustrations

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13. Mike Colter is…Luke Cage: Sweet Christmas!

By: Alexander Jones

He’s out of the tiara and in our television subscription services, he’s LUKE CAGE!

Mike C54987d65cb86f 240x300 Mike Colter is...Luke Cage: Sweet Christmas!olter has just been announced to co-star in A.K.A. Jessica Jones as the one-and-only Luke Cage! The actor will be making his debut on-screen as the hero in Marvel and Netflix’s aforementioned show alongside Krysten Ritter. Then Colter will move onto his own Luke Cage spin-off series. Jessica Jones is set to be thirteen episodes long, and it is scheduled for release sometime in 2015. The show is coming after Daredevil, which also recently announced Charlie Cox as the lead actor. Colter has played various roles in television with projects like The Good Wife, and The Following, and has been in various films such as Zero Dark Thirty.

Luke Cage has come a long ways from his original character design developed by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr. in 1972. The character is no longer sporting that tiara, afro, and yellow outfit from the original design. Luke Cage is one piece of the four Netflix shows which combined equal The Defenders. The Hollywood Reporter announced the news this morning.


2 Comments on Mike Colter is…Luke Cage: Sweet Christmas!, last added: 12/22/2014
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14. No Fee Poetry Contest



Contest is open to residents of the U.S., its territories and possessions, including Puerto Rico who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry.


Tell us your original poem, in 15 lines or fewer. The entry must not be lewd, obscene, sexually explicit, pornographic, disparaging, defamatory, libelous or otherwise inappropriate or objectionable, as determined by the Judges and/or Sponsor in their sole and absolute discretion.

Prize(s): One grand-prize winner will receive $500 and his/her story will be published in Reader’s Digest Magazine. Reader’s Digest will also select three (3) runner-up winners to receive $100.

Winners and finalists will be notified by email and regular mail within two months of the closing date.

SUBMISSION LINK: http://www.rd.com/poetry

Read Rules: http://www.rd.com/magazine/poetry-contest-rules/#ixzz3MaCPeJpR

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Contest, inspiration, magazine, opportunity, Places to Submit, poetry Tagged: Andreja Peklar, Christine Brallier, No fee Writing Contest, Poetry Contest, Reader's Digest

2 Comments on No Fee Poetry Contest, last added: 12/28/2014
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15. Christmas Wishes

Christmas Poem & Pastel  by Joan Aiken Best wishes, and thanks to all who visit See you next year! >>>>>#####<<<<<      Filed under: In her own words, Joan's Life, Joan's Quotes, Picture by Joan, Poem by Joan Tagged: Joan Aiken Christmas poem, Joan Aiken pastel drawing

1 Comments on Christmas Wishes, last added: 12/23/2014
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16. Final PiBoIdMo 2014 Prizes!


“Look, Daddy! Teacher says every time a bell rings, a PiBoIdMo’er gets a prize!”

That’s right, Zuzu. It’s the final prize announcements for PiBoIdMo 2014! Sit back and scroll down. I hope you find your name!

I will be emailing all winners within the next week to arrange prize delivery. Be on the lookout for an email from me.

Congratulations to everyone and see you next year!


Kristi Valiant’s PRETTY MINNIE Winner:



Kelly Bingham’s Critique Winner:



Karen Henry Clark’s SWEET MOON BABY Winner:



Pat Zietlow Miller’s Book Winners:



Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s PB Course at Kidlit Writing School Winner:



Jennifer Arena’s 30-Minute Consult Winner:



Deborah Freedman’s THE STORY OF FISH & SNAIL Winner:



Molly Idle’s FLORA & FLAMINGO signed poster Winner:



Tammi Sauer’s NUGGET & FANG Winner:



Josh Funk’s PB Winners:



Corey Rosen Schwartz’s NINJA RED RIDING HOOD Winner:



Barbara Krasner’s GOLDIE TAKES A STAND Winner:



Shelley Moore Thomas’s NO, NO, KITTEN! Winner:



Deborah Underwood’s Book Winners:



Dev Petty’s Critique Winner:



Kelly Light’s LOUISE LOVES ART Book and Holiday Print Winner:



Henry Herz’s Critique Winners:



Emma J. Virjan’s NACHO THE PARTY PUPPY Book & Tee Winner:



Marsha Riti’s THE CRITTER CLUB Books Winner:



Diana Murray’s Critique Winner:



Liz Garton Scanlon’s GOOD PIE PARTY Winners:



Ruth McNally Barshaw’s ELLIE FOR PRESIDENT Winner:



Mylisa Larsen’s Critique Winner:



Aaron Reynolds’s Book Winners:



Trinka Hakes Noble’s THE ORANGE SHOES Winner:



And now the prizes you didn’t even know about!

A picture book critique <800 words, donated by Alayne Kay Christian:



A complimentary stay at Palm Creek Cottage on Tybee Island, a “Writer’s Getaway” donated by Elaine W. Duree:



A copy of Jaqueline Woodson’s THE OTHER SIDE, signed by illustrator E.B. Lewis, donated by Sally Flannery:



Remember, even if you didn’t win a prize, you’re still a winner because you’ve ended the year with more picture book ideas! Yes, it really is a wonderful life!




10 Comments on Final PiBoIdMo 2014 Prizes!, last added: 12/27/2014
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17. Kudo & Books

dowpostcard holiday feast kathy

Dow Phumiruk is an aspiring children’s book illustrator. She won the 2013 SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award that promotes diversity in children’s books. This feast illustration is from a book idea called Arissa and the Queen’s Mice. Please visit her portfolio site at http://www.artbydow.blogspot.com or her blog at http://www.happydow.blogspot.com to see more of her work.

kelly calabrese headshot2I’m thrilled to share that… drum roll please… Kelly Calabrese has accepted representation with Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency!

Kelly says, “Sarah LaPolla is a super sharp, smart, and witty agent who really *gets* the types of books that I like to write – which I believe is the most important factor in an agent/writer relationship.”

Kelly first met Sarah at the annual NJ SCBWI June Conference, and then again at the Full Manuscript Avalon Writres’ Retreat at the end of September. Sarah critiqued her full manuscript of her YA Thriller-Horror, BEAUTIFUL BLOODY DUCKLING, and gave her editorial notes that were dead-on insightful.

I asked Kelly what happened post the Avalon Writers’ Retreat, here is what she said:

I had the amazing fortune of being accepted into Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars. As a chosen mentee in this contest, I won the editorial aid of two published mentors – Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie – who helped to shape my story into a much stronger version. I can’t shout loud enough from the rooftops about how life-changing Pitch Wars can be. After working day and night on revisions (Sleep? What sleep?!), I completed my manuscript a mere two days before Thanksgiving.

Sarah received my full manuscript on the 25th of November, and offered me representation within two weeks. Crazy. I know. And so very encouraging!!! It’s all very *dream come true* – WHOOT!

I truly believe that Sarah is an ideal agent for me, and that we are going to KICK ASS together. So, watch out world.

Of course, I could not have done it on my own. I am beyond grateful for Dee Falvo (my über talented CP), for the constant encouragement provided by my fellow NJ SCBWI members, and for the empowering mentorship offered through Pitch Wars.

The writing community ROCKS. And I am so thrilled to be a part of it…. #AmWriting #AmReading #Forevermore :)

— @kellycalabrese & @sarahlapolla —-

PS: I started a new BLOG called We Hear YA! It connects YA writers with their teen audience and can be found here: http://wehearya.blogspot.com/ (@WeHear_YA)

Sarah LaPolla: http://www.bradfordlit.com/about/sarah-lapolla-agent/

Pitch Wars: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/

Trisha & Lindsay’s book:



FYI: If you have a Kindle, here are two books that have had their prices temporarily reduced. Can’t ever go wrong buying a Lauren Oliver book. I personally read and enjoyed. I just bought RED RISING, but have not read it yet. It has gotten a lot of buzz and awards.



By Lauren Oliver

A New York Times bestselling author delivers a “fast-paced and captivating book” (School Library Journal). In the small town of Carp, teenagers have invented a dangerous game, and newly graduated Heather and Dodge find themselves competing for thousands of dollars — putting their very lives at risk.


Deal ends: January 5


By Pierce Brown

For fans of The Hunger Games comes a New York Times bestseller that’s a “heart-pounding ride” (Entertainment Weekly). Darrow is a Red — part of the lowest level in his color-coded dystopia. Can he infiltrate the ruling Gold caste and bring justice to his people? “Fast-paced, gripping, well-written” (Terry Brooks).



Deal ends: December 27

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, Book, illustrating, inspiration, success Tagged: Avalon Writer's Retreat, Bradford Literary Agency, Dow Phumiruk, Kelly Calebrese, Sarah LaPolla

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christmas santa hatcropped

Filed under: Uncategorized

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19. Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke

0b1d4251 01e8 4238 9bc5 77902f077e4c profile Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke

It’s an all too familiar story: an artist without a lot of funds, and no insurance, all of it wiped out following a sudden illness. Artist Norm Breyfogle, best known for his memorable Batman work, suffered a stroke last week, and it was very serious. His left side is paralyzed….and as a left handed artist this is very serious. He’ll need months of therapy and recovery.

And he had no insurance. And his savings are already wiped out.

A fundraiser has been set up to help him. People have already been generous but there’s a long way to go.

This happens way too much in our industry, people. We need to take care of our own.

I’d love to see Disney and Warner Bros and Sony and Fox hold fundraising screenings for the Hero Initiative, the non profit that helps creators in need. It’s really time that the big companies put 1% back into the people who created all the ideas the studios are benefitting from.

Here some of Breyfogle’s art. In recent years he’s been drawing Archie comics and Batman Beyond, as well.

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canyondeath Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke scoofietruffles Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke holyterror Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke

5 Comments on Fundraiser held for artist Norm Breyfogle following devastating stroke, last added: 12/26/2014
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20. What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, the Snowy Version


And what are your favorite picture books about snow? Today in my Kirkus column I’ve got two new ones, one pictured above.

That link is here.

See you Sunday, and happy holidays to all …

3 Comments on What I’m Doing at Kirkus Today, the Snowy Version, last added: 12/28/2014
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21. Preview: Love and Rockets: New Stories #7 is coming out next year

tumblr ng4lm2GDkl1qhal0to1 400 Preview: Love and Rockets: New Stories #7 is coming out next year
Do I really need to say any more? After more than a year, a new issue of Love and Rockets: New Stories is coming out in a few weeks. While everyone else is popping the champagne, I’ll celebrate by running the nine page preview of new work by the incomparable Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez.


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3 Comments on Preview: Love and Rockets: New Stories #7 is coming out next year, last added: 12/23/2014
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22. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #412: Featuring John Alcorn

John Alcorn, Christmas card, 1958


Before 2015 gets here, I want to take some time today to tell you all about a book I really enjoyed this year, John Alcorn: Evolution by Design, edited by Stephen Alcorn and Marta Sironi, and published in 2013 by Moleskine. (I believe it was published here in the U.S. this past summer.) And, fortunately, I’ve got some art from it to share here at 7-Imp.

This is a beautifully-designed (book-lovers, take note) and quite comprehensive tribute to artist, designer, and children’s book illustrator John Alcorn, who died in 1992. (Back in 2012, I featured a bit of his children’s book illustrations.) Sironi, a researcher at the Centro APICE at Milan University, writes the book’s foreword, and the book’s opening piece, “Reflections on the Life and Art of My Father John Alcorn (1935-1992)” is from his son, Stephen Alcorn, also an artist and children’s book illustrator (whom I interviewed here in early 2010). In this opening piece, Stephen writes in detail about his father’s career and, with great reverence and a personal touch (the book also includes family photos), lays out the evolution of his father’s work. “At the time of writing,” he notes, “nearly a quarter of a century has gone by since my father’s passing, yet despite the passage of time, his work remains as culturally relevant today as the day it was created.”

The book is divided into four sections — the early years (“The Rise of the Merry Craftsman”), including Alcorn’s studies of abstract expressionism and representational art at Cooper Union, to his experiences at Push Pin Studios, to his apprenticeship with Lou Dorfsman; the “Sixties Heyday,” his experimentation with a more psychedelic style and his graphic design and book jacket work, a time during which most of his work was commissioned (and this section includes a piece on his children’s book work); his time in Italy during the 1970s, which includes discussions of his political satire and work for Federico Fellini (Alcorn designed the opening titles for several of his films); and, finally, Alcorn’s return to the States after he “was beginning to feel as if he had exhausted the creative challenges and professional opportunities Italy had to offer.”

Editorial illustration, “Florida’s Gulf Coast”;
Redbook, January 1966


The book, so elegantly designed, reproduces in color around 500 of Alcorn’s graphic compositions and illustrations, including children’s book illustrations, book jackets and slipcase designs, logos, magazine covers and editorial illustrations, drawings, paintings (some previously unpublished and some printed alongside preparatory drawings), portraits, advertisements (including early newspaper advertisements), poster designs (including political posters from the ’70s), and even billboards — this from an artist who worked in many mediums and styles. It is a treasure trove of information for fans of his design, typography, and illustration work, as well as anyone interested in illustration and visual communication.

Book jacket for Sam Ross’ The Tight Corner, New York, Farrar Straus & Cudahy, 1956


It’s a fascinating and thorough look at an artist who has played an important role in graphic design and advertising both here in the United States and in Europe.

Below are some more images from the book. …

Book jackets from 1969-1971


Editorial illustration, Redbook, ink and dyes on paper, c. 1969


Packaging design, Love Cosmetics, agency;
Menley & James, art director; Murray Jacobs, 1969


Alcorn’s illustration for Alan Aldridge’s The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, 1969.
This, Alcorn’s first interpretation of “Eight Days a Week,” was considered
“too licentious” and was rejected. To see the second image, the one the publishers included in the book, click this image to enlarge it.


Advertisement, Master Charge, c. 1970


Book jackets, 1973-1977
(Click second image to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


Book jacket, Richard Adams, La collina dei conigli;
pen, sepia ink and watercolor on paper, 1975


Click to enlarge spread, which includes an unpublished book jacket


Preparatory drawing for a Chekhov book jacket, 1974
(Click to enlarge and see final book jacket)


Illustration for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, watercolor on paper, 1986


Rizzoli advertisement, pen and Indian ink on paper, 1975


JOHN ALCORN: EVOLUTION BY DESIGN. © 2013 Moleskine SpA. © 2013 Stephen Alcorn. © 2013 Università degli Studi di Milano, Centro Apice. Images reproduced by permission of the publisher, Moleskine SpA.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1) Two whole days with no work whatsoever! (The up side to freelance work you can do from home is your very flexible schedule, year-long; the down side is you don’t really get time off like other people during the holidays, but it’s hardly as if I’m complaining either, ’cause that year-long flexible schedule? I love it. A lot.)

2) Good novels.

3) Good novels that are good read-alouds.

4) Calendars. (Well, I can’t help it. Once a nerd, always a nerd.)

5) Toy purges with a nine- and ten-year old.

6) Ernest and Celestine!

7) That I have a family and a roof over our heads and food on our plates and warm blankets and good music to hear and good books to read and good art to see and warm cocoa. That about covers it. I’m grateful.

BONUS: My favorite gift? This album-sized limited edition print about one of my favorite songs ever:


What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #412: Featuring John Alcorn, last added: 12/28/2014
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23. You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview)

By: Alexander Jones

DIVINITY 001 COVER B MULLER 199x300 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview)Valiant comics are continuing to mix up their line with a couple of brave new experimental decisions, but this one might be the most dangerous of them all, introducing a character with incredible power in the Valiant world. The publisher’s latest wave, Valiant Next, started with the release of the first issue of The Valiant, and will continue to launch throughout the first couple of months of 2015. In February of Valiant Next Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine’s Divinity is launching alongside Imperium. This is a new concept for Valiant that’s shipping in the prestige format in four issues. The concept for this story is especially bonkers for a new property launching in a shared superhero universe. In the middle of the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent one man into the far reaches of space, he went further than anyone has ever gone before. Then he found something strange. That same man came back to Earth and landed in Australia, with the power of to bend matter, space, and time. His new name is…Divinity.

Valiant released teaser images featuring Hairisine’s art, several covers, and this intriguing concept below:


Written by MATT KINDT



Cover B by TOM MULLER (DEC141708)

Valiant Next Variant by BUTCH GUICE & TOM MULLER (DEC141709)

Character Design Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC141710)

Artist Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC141711)

Blank Cover also available (NOV148093)

$3.99 | T+ | 32 pgs. | PRESTIGE FORMAT | ON SALE 2/11/15 (FOC – 1/19/15)

DIVINITY 001 VARIANT NEXT HAIRSINEMULLER 197x300 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview) DIVINITY 001 VARIANT LAROSA 197x300 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview) DIVINITY 001 COVER A DJURDJEVIC 195x300 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview)DIVINITY 001 COVER B MULLER 199x300 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview)

DIVINITY 001 001 668x1028 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview) DIVINITY 001 002 668x1028 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview) DIVINITY 001 003 668x1028 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview) DIVINITY 001 004 668x1028 You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview)

2 Comments on You Will Believe a Divinity can Bend Matter, Space, and Time (Divinity #1 Preview), last added: 12/23/2014
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24. Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle

Got some Christmas loot you’re itching to spend? Various comics publishers and digital vendors have just what you need in the form of some tempting sales.


sequential sale Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle

SEQUENTIAL, the “Criterion” of digital graphic novels is having a big sale, with more than 180 graphic novels from Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, NBM, Knockabout, and Koyama Press at 50-80% off. The list includes such 2014 best ofs as The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Beauty by Kerascoët, How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis, and more. Also From Hell, works by Lucy Knisley, James Kochalka, Mike Dawson and tons more good stuff. See the entire list here.

As joked above, Sequential offers its digital graphic novels with added material like commentary tracks, bonus art and more. If you got an iPad for Christmas, or just upgraded it, a stop at this sale (which goes until January 6th) is definitely called for.

Comixology is also having a bunch of sales including

c982121c3bee84813169b54a1980fb5b Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle

A 50% off sale on Image comics published before 11/12, including Saga, Sex Criminals and 4000+ other titles. 2014 was the year of Image and if by some bizarre chance you’ve missed out on some of the great new books coming out, here’s another chance.

0e45d16d650a2b4a0144bc9a692037c5 Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle

Comixology is also having a 50% off sale for Submit books, including the Testament Omnibus, Spike Trotman’s essential Poorcraft, minis by Becky Cloonan and Andrew Tsurumi, Aw Yeah Comics and tons more. Take a chance on something new!


digital Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle

Look at the size of that thing! Dark Horse is having a Star Wars farewell Megabundle sale. Just $300 gets you the entire Star Wars comics collection from Dark Horse, many of them excellent books that may never see the light of day again. As you know, starting in January, Marvel takes over the Dark Horse license and these books have been deemed not part of canon, so get ‘em while you can.

The listing doesn’t say how many pages are in this collection but there are 568 issues so its…thousands and thousands of pages of Star Wars. Good deal.

dark horse mega bundledigital 1 Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle



3 Comments on Huge Boxing Day digital comics sales: Sequential, Comixology, Dark Horse Star Wars Megabundle, last added: 12/27/2014
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25. The Retailer’s View // Top Sellers and Bottom Dwellers

A couple of news bits and a personal announcement to tackle this week, so let’s get right to it.


About a week ago, Marvel started to make a big deal over Star Wars #1 eclipsing 1,000,000 pre-orders from various retail outlets. While the company hinted at some of this quantity coming from less traditional sources, the number is still quite impressive, boasting the best direct market numbers for a single printing of a single issue in over twenty years. Despite all of the headache inducing rabble that I’m about to detail, that’s a number everyone involved with the creation, sales and marketing of the series should be proud of.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pound my head against my keyboard while I detail the variant structure of this particular release.

STAR WARS CHRISTOPHER PARTY var1 676x1028 The Retailers View // Top Sellers and Bottom Dwellers

Check it out, it’s Bucky O’Hare you guys. Shut up, it is too.

As you’ve probably heard by now, there are an impressive amount of variant covers being produced for this comic. To start, Marvel tossed a grand total of 13 wide-market variants on top of the regular comic for all retailers to order and obtain. These 13 books had qualifiers that ranged from “1 for every 15 copies ordered” to “1 for every 500 copies ordered”. Four of them required retailers to exceed 200% of their Original Sin #8 numbers in order to get any books in – which is probably the clearest indication of where Marvel wanted the book to be in terms of sales. Original Sin #8 clocked in at an estimated 90,478 copies sold, which means they were probably aiming at the 200,000 as a “worst case scenario”.

These alone wouldn’t have brought Star Wars #1 even close to the 1,000,000 mark – so where does all that extra push come from? Many are pointing in the vague direction of alternative distribution and awaiting news on what nerd box corporation sprung for a few hundred thousand copies – and while that’s probably part of the answer, a good chunk is also coming from the retailer exclusive variants Marvel offered retailers.

In one of their missives to the retail community, Marvel let it be known that any retailer or retail group could have their own variants produced. These variants would be completely unique and would potentially utilize some big name talent to create a unique image that would appear on a cover exclusive to that retailer. The catch? You had to order at least 3,000 copies and order 200% more of the regular cover than you did for Original Sin #8. It appears quite a few retailers have taken them up on this offer, as the total of variants floating out are currently sitting at 57. Now, some of these are black and white “sketch” variants of the retail exclusive variants, which you could seemingly produce as little as 1,500 copies of, but the point remains: Marvel went full variant crazy when pushing this book. Will it work for them? In the short term, of course. They’re going to have one of their biggest January’s in a long time thanks to Star Wars alone, probably, and there will almost assuredly be enough product on the shelves to meet whatever demand might arise. In the long term? When a company digs this deep into variants and qualifiers, I always worry about the long lingering after effects. The practice of asking retailers to potentially overextend themselves to chase rare items almost always ends with product chocking out storage space and back issue bins. It manipulates the regulatory curve of supply and demand, and takes cash on hand and turns it into dead weight that’s harder to turn over, both of which can and will result in various levels of hardships. Too much of this and a store, a company, or an industry breaks. And wouldn’t that be fun.


Last week, the DC solicitations for March revealed a culling for the company, and the internet had some words about it. Because of course it did. The company is heading into their big move across the country with quite a few stagnant books and a line-wide crossover eating up their publishing schedule. In short, it was the right call to dust a large portion of their books in order to arrive back in June with a refocused creative direction. That said, the sheer volume of titles on the chopping block still makes this feel like a defeat of some kind.

ConvergencePromo 1200 545ac8e14697f7.11375445 1000x540 The Retailers View // Top Sellers and Bottom Dwellers

What DC needs here is for their PR department to pick up the copious amount of slack that’s roped on the floor. I know they’re already having a hard time convincing people that Convergence is going to be a big, important thing with the structure they chose, but they really shouldn’t be spending too much time and effort on that. Convergence is a crossover series, and it’s been designed as a two-month respite from The New 52 universe. Each and every one of their 40 two part minis seem to nudge the reader in the ribs and say, “Hey, remember when this was happening?” – and it’s going to do very little in the way of drawing a wide audience. June, on the other hand, stands a chance to be spectacular, and the company should be teasing it now. As it stands, DC looks like it’s flailing as a large chunk of their newly launched books limp to an end, and others that were a bit long in the tooth drop along side them. They need to come out and say this is all in service of something, or else people are going to run with a less positive narrative. It’s all about perception, and right now, DC is losing the battle. Here’s hoping they win the war.


As of December 31st, I will no longer be the manager of a comic shop. After spending a little over 8 years at Wizard’s Comics, I’m moving on to a different role within this great industry. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what that is yet – but I thought it would be pertinent to let you all know of this change, as it will clearly effect what I write for this site. A hint regarding the future: while I won’t be a store manager, I will still be writing similar articles about the industry for Comics Beat, and they will start on January 12th. You might be surprised. You probably won’t be.

Until then, you’ll probably see me contribute the odd news post or opinion piece here or there, but otherwise, I will be busy putting together the next phase of my life – so if we don’t talk until then, have a fantastic holiday season!

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