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Each year we gather with a few hundred of our closest friends to celebrate James Thurber’s 120th Birthday. Thurber House friends and supporters gathered at The Westin Columbus around for drinks and appetizers, followed by dinner, and of course, birthday cake. Our wonderful host, Wayne Lawson, made sure that the “laughter” portion of our mission was a big part of the evening with his charm and wit. As the role of the host is often to make sure that everyone knows each other, he asked our new Executive Director, Jennifer Gregg, a series of questions to give the crowd an idea of who she is and what she likes (yes, cheesy chips came up… more than once). She also had a surprise for the audience in the form of Golden Tickets that a handful of lucky guests found under their chairs, each of which held a gift certificate to the upcoming series of our 2015 Evenings with Authors.
The evening moved forward with our featured guest, Dan Zevin, the winner of the 2013 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Zevin’s book, Dan Gets A Minivan, Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, is the hilarious account of how he discovered and coped with the changes in life that come with being a father. His stories were accompanied by hilarious home movies, and passages from his book.
Last but not least, a party is not a party without gifts! Thanks to the generous contributions from organizations and businesses around the city, many guests took home prizes that ranged from wine, to hand made ceramics, to a great adventure at the Columbus Zoo.
Special thanks also to our corporate sponsors (listed below), The Westin Columbus,
The Ohio Arts Council, GCAC, and The Columbus Foundation!
Friends of The Ohio State University Libraries
Huntington National Bank
Kegler Brown Hill + Ritter
The Office of Student Life at The Ohio State University
Park National Bank
Phi Kappa Psi, In Honor of Norm Spain
State Auto Insurance
Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease
It got a bit colder lately and things outside are icy. With new rain and a warm up for a few hours... we wait to see what's next.
By: James Gurney,
Blog: Gurney Journey
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The new edition of Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
is now available.
Spectrum was begun more than two decades ago by Cathy and Arnie Fenner as a place to showcase the best in imaginative art. The annual juried selection includes a wide variety of settings for fantastic art, including comics, concept art, book, editorial, advertising, and institutional.
Book on Amazon: Spectrum 21: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art
The entry deadline for Spectrum 22 is January 26. Here's more entry info.
Disney-Pixar has debuted the first full trailer for its next film, "Inside Out," directed by Pete Docter.
Just a few months ago I came across a call for creators to submit stories to be published in a then-untitled anthology made up of stories that, for one reason or another, had yet to find a home. Before I knew it, the anthology was released digitally on DriveThruComics and sent to the presses for December 1st release. To get my head around the quick turnaround and the quality of a book made up of seemingly “unwanted” stories, I spoke with one of the editors, Marta Goodrich Tanrikulu. She informed me of the process that lead to the creation of the anthology, eventually titled Out of the Blue: A Collection of Strange Stories.
‘Three Sons': Written by Mike Exner III. Drawn by David Newbold. Colored by Joseph Baker. Lettered by Joe Simmons.
I feel like I saw the call for submissions for the anthology pretty recently. How long did it take for the Out of the Blue to come together, from start to completion?
Once we decided to form an editorial team and solicit submissions and production help, it took 3 months from announcing the call to finalizing files for printing. The brainstorming on whether to do an anthology and how to organize the effort started a couple months earlier.
‘Sounding the Deep': Written by Tom Alexander. Illustrated by Jim Giar. Lettered by E.T. Dollman.
How did you turn it around so quickly?The biggest reason is that the stories were all essentially complete at submission. A few stories still needed lettering or coloring.
Did you get many submissions?We kept the call to word of mouth to keep submissions from being overwhelming and ended up with 40 of them. Some creators contributed more than one story.
‘Helping Hand': Written by Brandon Barrows. Illustrated by Johnnie Christmas. Lettered by E.T. Dollman.
What made you want to do an anthology for stories that didn’t have a home?
A lot of creators mention having stories completed that are seeking a suitable home. Since a common goal is having good-quality published versions to sell both at conventions and online, collecting stories as part of a larger book that would attract more readers seemed to be a community consensus. It just required someone to organize the effort.
‘Time Machine': Written by Mick Shubert. Illustrated by Giles Crawford.
Did you worry that people would perceive them as “unwanted” stories?
We did consider using a word like “homeless” or “unwanted” in the title, but that’s not really what defines or holds the stories together. These stories will likely all find more homes. We’re simply fortunate to have the opportunity to house them together.
All the stories in Out of the Blue are strong, so if that stigma’s there it’s unwarranted. How did you find such solid work with the restrictions you had?
The editors, Corey Fryia, Marcus Muller, and myself, all were familiar with the work of over half the contributors. So we knew their submissions were likely to be strong.
‘Deliveries': Written by Mike Isenberg & Oliver Mertz. Illustrated by Jeff McComsey.
What were some of the reasons the stories didn’t have homes?
Some were developed with a different publication in mind, or a publication hadn’t been identified yet, while others may have been experiments in style or genre, independent of other projects the creators are working on.
‘As a Family': Written by Glenn Moane. Illustrated by Tomasz Wites. Lettered by E.T. Dollman.
The theme is “strange stories.” Was that theme determined by the submissions you received, or decided on beforehand?
The theme was determined by what would best unite the most stories as they were being reviewed, though we suspected based on presubmission interest that such a theme would be a contender.
‘In His Image': Written and illustrated by JE.
An indy anthology is always a risky venture. Did you consider either a Kickstarter or digital-only release to lower the costs?
A digital-only release wasn’t of much interest because so many contributors wanted to sell printed copies, though upfront costs were definitely an obstacle. A Kickstarter was considered, but we wanted this anthology printed with no contingencies, such as successful funding. The anthology was lucky to attract the interest of Stache Publishing. We hope it will sell well enough so they have no regrets.
What are some stories from the anthology you want to spotlight?
To give readers a teaser of what’s in the anthology, it includes an intense one-page story called “The Wait,” and a twist none of us saw coming in “Deliveries.” There’s lots more, ranging from family stories to legends and futuristic tales.
‘There': Written by Hansel Moreno. Illustrated by Claire Connelly.
A lot of creators put together anthologies to give home to their unpublished stories, but you don’t have a story in Out of the Blue. What, then, was the motivation for you to dedicate a lot of time and effort to make this anthology happen?
To avoid bias, none of the editors submitted a story. Speaking for myself, this project was another chance to work with comics writers and artists, which was tempting enough. Since I enjoy editing, it was also an opportunity for a proof of concept: developing an enticing, themed anthology around available stories. We hope both the contributors and their fans will consider it a success.
You can order Out of the Blue in print from Stache Publishing and digitally through DriveThru Comics.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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The Addams Family featured a family of macabre oddballs, including Pugsley (left)
Ken Weatherwax, who played Pugsley in the original Addams Family, has died at the age of 59.
The actor suffered a heart attack and was found at his home in California on Sunday.
Pugsley was the oldest child of Gomez and Morticia Addams in the 1960s TV series.
The show featured a family of macabre oddballs who believed they were normal, and was famed for its catchy finger-snapping theme song.
The dysfunctional family were first created by cartoonist Charles Addams in the New Yorker magazine.
The characters were made into a TV show, which aired on ABC from 1964 to 1966, had a total of 64 episodes.
Weatherwax, who also voiced the role of Pugsley in an animated version of the series in the 1970s, played Pugsley senior in a TV special Halloween With the New Addams Family in 1977..
Weatherwax continued his career behind the camera, working for Universal Studios.
Three films based on the show were made during the 1990s. The first two starred Anjelica Huston, the late Raul Julia and Christopher Lloyd, while the third, released for TV in 1998, featured Darryl Hannah and Tim Curry.
Following his role in The Addams Family, Weatherwax featured in several TV commercials and served in the army.
He also worked for Universal Studios as a grip - providing support to camera operatives - according to his niece Shanyn Viera.
In a 2007 interview on Fox News, Weatherwax said he enjoyed taking on the role of Pugsley but found it hard to find work because of typecasting.
Weatherwax also said he had been teased at school about his character's name.
He retired a few years ago for medical reasons, Ms Vieira added.Tempus fugit
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Right. I've now watched Gotham
, the TV series twice. Why is it that the programme is so bad that as soon as Sean Pertwee appears it gets a "presence"? Just small bits in the show but gems.
And, excuse me, there is nothing
that I have not seen in countless cop shows from the 1960s on. There is nothing really new apart from quality of production these days. NCIS
in one episode kicks a dozen shades of crap out of Gotham
Here's a fact for you. Did you know that Bob Kane, creator of Batman, did not make up the name "Gotham"? It is actually a village in Nottinghamshire and it is pronounced "Goat-ham". See? Education.
Anyway as how, Marvel TV shows have a continuity with the movie universe. Major errors -none.
DC, however....well, read this piece by Rob Bricken from the 109 back in November http://io9.com/confirmed-batman-and-superman-are-off-limits-for-arrow-1662696484
Confirmed: Batman And Superman Are Off-Limits For Arrow And The Flash
It shouldn't come as a huge surprise, but The Flash and Arrow producer Andrew Kreisberg has confirmed that the Emerald Archer and the Scarlet Speedster won't be stopping by Gotham City or Metropolis anytime soon.
Just like the Smallville TV series wasn't allowed to incorporate Batman or Wonder Woman, but had full access to the rest of the DC universe, it appears that the new DC TV universe created by showrunner Greg Berlanti shares the same restriction. Here's Kreisberg explaining the situation at a recent fan screening of the Arrow/Flash crossover:
"There are things we can do, and there are things we can't," said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. "I'm a huge fan of Nightwing. But there are cities we can use, and then there's everything else. You won't be hearing Gotham or Metropolis on the show anytime soon."
Obviously Kreisberg only mentions the cities are off limits, but it makes zero sense to forbid the characters from visiting the iconic homes of Batman and Superman unless they're not allowed to hang out with Batman or Superman, period. I feel perfectly safe in making this assumption, although I will happily correct this if I'm wrong.
Not that any of WB's policy here makes sense. Batman and Superman are not allowed to guest star on any of DC's shows. WB/DC can make shows specifically about Batman and Superman, as long as they are set in a time when they are not actively wearing their costumes — e.g., Smallville and Gotham. However, Arrow is allowed to use Nightwing and his city of Bludhaven, because... I have no freaking clue.
What is the deal? Why won't WB/DC let Batman and Superman proper come to TV? Are Batman 1966 and The Adventures of Lois & Clark really going to be the greatest live-action television versions of DC's two greatest heroes? Are Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite behind this somehow?
This is something I have talked about before. DC just does not seem to be able to understand continuity -look at their comics. You had a Wonder Woman TV show, okay, it flopped but failure was so obvious from everything seen and heard before it was even in production. However, you still had a TV Wonderc Woman. TV
Green Arrow. A TV Flash. There have been TV Supermen -Dean Kane would make a good, older Superman.
Before that we had Smallville which, in later series established Aquaman, Green Arrow, the Justice Society, Darkseid and Apokalypse and eventually became a great TV show.
Now we have Arrow -who will not be the Arrow in one of the films being made (how many feckin versions do you need???). In fact, none of the TV established characters will be in the movies and yet writers would have the established history and so on that millions will have watched and become familiar with world-wide. No, dump that.
"Let's confuse the crap out of everyone!"
But establish a hit-miss-hit DC TV Universe that then cannot use Batman nor Superman??!
Bricken asks: "Are Batman 1966 and The Adventures of Lois & Clark really going to be the greatest live-action television versions of DC's two greatest heroes?"
The simple answer is, it seems, YES.
I know it doesn't make sense.
YOU know it doesn't make sense.
DC don't know what "sense" means.
Ridiculous and it ain't gonna get better people!
Before you scream out "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!!" let me explain. Forget continuity. Every little angle or aspect of a book you can leach money out of a company for fills the bank account. The $ is what matters here.
Akham Asylum was mentioned in the 1990 Flash TV seres starring John Wesley Shipp. Arkham has also featured in a video game. Here is another of "Hooper's Snippets" that you may choose to ignore as always: Arkham TV series. Just saying.
December 10, 2014
VoWac Publishing Company
P.O. Box 75
Faulkton, SD 57438-0075
From your website, I see that you've been developing and providing curriculum materials for schools for 32 years. I read that you take pride in providing teachers with effective teaching tools.
Katelyn Martens, a Literacy Media Specialist, shared a page from one of your workbooks that I'd like you to reconsider. Martens received her Masters of Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She was part of the Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums Project there, where she, along with a great many people, received training in the accurate depiction of Native peoples. Such programs are vitally important because they prepare young people to work with an increasingly diverse US population. This is the page she shared with me:
The bottom half of that worksheet (and the first line, too, "The Indian___...") reflect a monolithic view of Native peoples. By that, I mean that children who use this page come away associating "Indian" with a feathered headdress, a tipi, a drum, moccasins, and a peace pipe. In fact, there are over 500 federally recognized tribal nations in the US, and there is tremendous variety in language, stories, and material culture. The headdress you use, for example, is crudely rendered but similar to what Plains Indians wear, but nothing like the headdresses worn by other men of Native Nations in other parts of the country.
The other problem is that Plains men who wear such headdresses are esteemed amongst their people for their diplomatic and spiritual leadership, and peace pipes are items of diplomacy. The way that you've shown this "Indian" not only misinforms the children completing the worksheet, it demeans Native people overall by showing that Indian in this maze activity. It may be helpful to think of other esteemed leaders in a similar maze activity. Like, perhaps, the Catholic Pope, looking for his sceptre.
With this in mind, I encourage you to remove that page and look throughout your materials for ones similar to it. These are the sorts of things that a Native child may have trouble with because it throws that child into cognitive dissonance. That dissonance may cause the child to perform poorly on that page--not because he doesn't know the rule being taught--but because Native heritage is being misrepresented and demeaned. Because there is such a high drop out rate amongst Native children, I'm sure you want to do everything you can to help, rather than hinder, their success in school.
With this worksheet, you are not providing teachers with an effective teaching tool.
American Indians in Children's Literature
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By: Sue Bursztynski,
Yesterday we had the campus awards afternoon. The students who had been nominated for a prize went up to receive it - several of my students and former students were among them. I said a fond farewell to those who had reached Year 10 and were ff to our senior campus where, incidentally, there is no longer a library, just a great big space empty of shelves, with tables and chairs.
For the time being I still have a library to run and kids to use it. And I have heard what I'm doing next year, apart from running my library. Each year I have had to do something different. From Year 11 English to junior ESL (or EAL as it's now known), then on to Year 8 English and Pathways, the homeroom subject. And each time I got the hang of a subject - and I did very well at Pathways - I was given another challenge. This year's challenge has been teaching history.
I love history - but loving something isn't necessarily the same as teaching it. Just because you enjoy reading about something doesn't always mean that you can pass it on.
Have I done well? I'd like to think so, but the truth is, I have had to do the same as everyone else and bullshit my way through, asking for help every now and then from more experienced staff. Sometimes you have to do that. Some things have worked, others haven't.
Making iMovies worked the first time. If I had to teach history again, I would use that, but find a way to make the kids comfortable with it and learn more about it myself. For example, in English, Literature Circles, this year students were allowed to use iMovie to prepare book trailers. They had learned from me in history how to do it.
That sort of worked, but what none of us had realised was that you couldn't get back to the unfinished task on the school iPads unless you had left it there. So some students who had made a book trailer - unfinished - on iMovie and saved it to the school's Public Share couldn't finish it. What they had done was quite good, but looked a bit silly in the blank grey bits. We - my colleague and I -accepted it anyway, because they had done their best. If I was doing this next year, I would make sure that they spent the entire double period on it, first collecting photos, then slotting them into place.
We had two classes joined for Literature Circles because mine was too small to do it without merging classes - and since we were on at the same time, we would have been competing for resources and space. Two classes together worked last year, but not quite as well as last year, because we had a larger number of difficult students and several integration students and only one aide available to help - last year we had two.
Still, we worked out as best we could which students would go into which groups and which books they could handle.
Some things worked, others didn't - and there were a few students who were given books too difficult for them, which it took us too long to realise. We did make some late changes, giving those students easier books which they were to read by themselves and produce a PowerPoint as their response - the simplest thing to do.
There were a few who had handed in very little this year and were not about to begin now, but we did what we could. I hope they'll mature next year.
We finished with a reflection by the students about what they had gotten out of it. That will help for next year.
One difficult student admitted to me "My behaviour hasn't been stellar this year, has it?" I agreed that it hadn't, but at the time I was talking with him about a story I had asked him to rewrite so it can go into the school anthology and persuading him to put his name on it, since he now had something to be proud of.
That's now happening. His story will be in the next anthology and he will be able to show off a bit. Maybe next year he will have matured? He was the student whose group messed up their podcast.
My history students did their posters and Powerpoints and booklets on the Aztecs. I've put up the posters, which are very good. I've done their last test for the year and am pleased at how well they all did - apart from one student who had been away a lot, everyone got high marks, including my most difficult student who has been improving and got full marks.
My survey of my literacy students worked well. Despite there being some who had been noisy and rude, even they ticked "agree" or "strongly agree" for questions as to how supportive/helpful,etc. I had been (and I overheard one say, "Oh, yes, she is, she really is!" And he was one who had given me a headache many times.
If I had these classes next year I would have a better idea what to do.
But I have been told that next year will be different again, with yet another challenge. . Creative Writing! I have never had writing lessons myself, so how do I give lessons to others? I have been thinking about this carefully. All I can do is offer them the chance to write and submit and the benefit of my own experience as a writer. I'm taking a little survey of students who have signed up for it, to find out what they hope to get out of it. There hasn't been the chance to get together with the other two CW teachers, though I have sent emails and spoken to one. They're both English teachers and will have to make the best of their own experience.
I will have a Year 7 EAL class, but I believe it is straightforward, just a double period a week while the other students are doing Vietnamese or Italian. I think I can handle that, if I discuss it with the EAL teacher.
I'm looking after the Year 10 Psychology students once a week, but I used to do that anyway till this year and it didn't count as part of my allotment.
And of course, there will be Sunlit (literacy class). Hopefully, I will continue with the same reading level as this year. I'm quite comfortable with this subject and actually felt left out one day when everyone else had begun and mine hadn't been sorted out yet.
I'm very tired and there's still so much to do!
Lion Forge Comics and IDW Publishing are teaming up to produce the Miami Vice Remix comic series. The story comes from the classic 80′s TV show.
Writer Joe Casey and artist Jim Mahfood will collaborate on this project together. The first issue will be released in February 2015.
Here’s more from the press release: “The comic follows the Metro-Dade Police Department detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs through modern-day Miami as they go undercover facing dangerous encounters with voodoo, zombies and Crockett’s mysterious past…Miami Vice Remix is the latest Lion Forge title crossing over from digital to hard copy through IDW. The comic joins licensed and celebrity titles Rampage Jackson: Street Soldier and Saved By The Bell, which also are based on hit NBC television series.”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Because it's almost that time of year, here's some tags I made for your gift wrapping adventures.
Fine print: you'll need a PDF reader to open these. Before printing, I recommend fiddling with your printer settings so that it's at its highest output quality (especially if you choose to run these on card stock). Feel free to print as many as you like for personal or educational use. Hope you like 'em!
Da-da-da-daaaaaa! It’s here: the Fanfare special edition of Notes is arriving in subscribers’ inboxes right now.
We began with a long longlist, then fought it ou— er, cordially discussed the options until we whittled it down to twenty-nine favorites of 2014. With picture books, fiction, folklore, poetry, and nonfiction, there’s something — probably several things — for everyone.
Notes (and its occasional supplements Nonfiction Notes and Talks With Roger) will be back to regularly scheduled programming in January.
Read the issue online or subscribe to receive the monthly Notes from the Horn Book newsletter. For more recommended books plus author and illustrator interviews, check out the newsletter archives.
The post Fanfare 2014 Notes appeared first on The Horn Book.
By: Marissa Wasseluk,
Blog: First Book
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Today’s guest blogger is Linette Claudio, Bilingual Coordinator at McAuliffe Elementary School in Chicago, IL.
Linette Claudio in her classroom in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
Remember a book character from your childhood that helped you through a time of growth and change? One that inspired you, helped you feel at home in our own skin and made you realize you weren’t alone.
I believe that every child deserves to experience that kind of connection. I’m grateful that my students have, thanks to you and First Book.
The kids in my Bilingual Transitional Program speak a different language than their peers. Many live in a constant state of flux, having moved cities and schools several times. It’s easy to understand why they sometimes feel like they don’t belong.
But books are their anchors.
Thanks to generous people like you that support First Book’s Stories for All Project, my students have books that celebrate their culture. They see their lives reflected in the stories they read. They’ve discovered characters to guide them and help them create a life all their own.
It’s wonderful for them. And it’s wonderful for their families who hope for a future in which their children have better opportunities.
Please consider making a gift today to give kids something everyone needs – a sense of themselves and their place in the world.
Click here to read more about First Book’s Stories for All project.
The post Feeling at Home this Holiday appeared first on First Book Blog.
It’s gifting time, and the Beat team is showcasing some suitable gifts for everyone in your family.
Among those are theseTOON Books gift sets which are now 33% off. Toon Books, the line of comics for young readers edited by Francoise Mouly, offers a whole rage of books at different reading levels—the set shown above, Level 2, is for beginning readers, but other sets target pre-readers and middle grade level kids. The new Toon Graphics line is for all ages. The books are all comics so they instill comics reading at an impressionable age. Best of all, the stories and art are by some of the best in the business: Jeff Smith, Eleanor Davis, Rutu Modan, Jeffrey Hayes, Liniers, R. Kikuo Johnson, Lorenzo Mattotti, Jay Lynch and many more.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these books as a gift for a young reader (or even just a comics art fan) of your acquaintance. Among those books suitable for the latter, we’d suggest Frank Viola’s gorgeous A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse and of course the Gaiman/MattottiHansel and Gretel, which is a suitable gift for just about anyone.
Author Tiphanie Yanique has won the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize for her novel, Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead Books/The Penguin Group).
The annual prize, awarded by The Center for Fiction, was presented to Yanique at the The Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City on December 9. Last year’s winner Margaret Wrinkle, presented the award, which includes a $10,000 cash purse.
Here is more about the novel from the press release:
Her novel is placed in the early 1900s when the Virgin Islands were transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half-brother. Each of them is unusually beautiful and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
By: Maryann Yin,
Blog: Galley Cat (Mediabistro)
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Game of Thrones
, Arthur Chu
, Gerald Brom
, Greg Hildebrandt
, Kevin Hatch
, Laura Hudson
, Nina Garcia
, Tom Colicchio
, Zack Luye
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HBO plans to compile crowdsourced content from fans for the Game of Thrones Compendium. According to the “General Specs” section of the website, this book will feature original pieces such as artwork, photos, crafts, costume designs, recipes, music, analysis, and “anything that extends the Game of Thrones experience.”
A group known as “The Council of Editors” will assess the submissions. The judges include illustrator Gerald Brom, 11-time Jeopardy! champion Arthur Chu, celebrity chef Tom Colicchio (the man behind the Game of Thrones food truck), Marie Claire creative director Nina Garcia, the /r/GameOfThrones subreddit lead moderator Kevin Hatch, comics artist Greg Hildebrandt, WIRED senior editor Laura Hudson, and Game of Owns podcast director/host Zack Luye.
Those who are interested can turn in as many pieces as they would like; every contributor whose work ends up int he final book will be credited in the text and given a free copy. The deadline to send in a submission has been set for March 28, 2015 at midnight EST; the actual print book will be released some time in 2015. Follow this link to check out all the guidelines. (via WinterIsComing.net)
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
By: Sue Bursztynski,
December 11: On This Day
Nothing literary that I could find, so here are some that caught my eye:
1620: landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock(this one for my US readers)
1901: Marconi sends first transatlantic radio signal - wow! When you think of where that led - just wow!
1936: Edward VIII announces on the radio that he's abdicating to marry Wallis Simpson and history takes a turn for the better(he was known for sympathising with the Nazis)
1997: The Kyoto Protocol - in which 150 nations get together to do the right thing. And all these years later we're STILL facing climate change because short-sighted politicians would rather look after the economy and jobs - their own jobs - than look after the planet their descendants will inherit.
Happy Birthday To:
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - Author of a lot of books that got him into trouble in the Soviet Union, including The Gulag Archipelago and - the one that got him exiled - One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich. (I once saw a Year 7 boy reading this and assuring me he loved it. Pity this was in my pre-TL days. The boy had the unforgettable name of Vincent Price)
Laini Taylor, YA novelist, author of Daughter Of Smoke And Bone, which I still haven't read.
Aussie writer and illustrator Roland Harvey, whose cartoon style has become very familiar to school librarians and kids over the years.
Today also seems to be Upper Volta's Independence Day.
She Makes Comics, Marisa Stotter’s documentary about women in comics, is now available. You can download it for $9.99 or pre-order a DVD for $19.99 (It’s $24.99 for both.), all from the Sequart website. The documentary studies the history of women in comics with interviews with Karen Berger, Gail Simone, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jenette Kahn, Becky Cloonan, Colleen Doran, Wendi Pini, Kate Leth, Raina Telgemeier, Marjorie Liu, Louise Simonson…and yes, little old me. Hugh Armitage has a very favorable review.
Here’s an exclusive clip from the film where Liz Schiller, Jackie Estrada, Trina Robbins and I about the formation of the Friend of Lulu, a long running organization for women in comics that pioneered a lot of the approach to marketing and retailing to female readers that you see today. Among the events discussed, the 1993 meeting in San Diego where Friends of Lulu was born—one of my fondest memories ever.
By: Julie G,
Blog: Book Hooked
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You had to know that since I finished Harry Potter for the first time this year it would make at least one list. And because I listened to Jim Dale narrate, it made the audio list as well as the YA list. It's brilliantly done and I highly recommend listening to the entire series on audio if you haven't already.
Just like Bossypants, I know this one is going to earn a spot on my shelf in both print and audio formats and will be something I return to again and again. I absolutely loved every second of it and Poehler does an amazing job with her narration.
This YA title is bizarre and hilarious and heart-warming in all the right ways. I loved the myriad ways it related to life in your late teens/early twenties and all of the changes that you go through, while still being completely original and quirky and a blast to listen to.
Fascinating and compelling study of how our mental illness relates to mental illness and trauma experienced by others in the animal kingdom. It was completely engrossing and well-narrated. I recommend it to all animal-lovers and those interested in psychology.
This is one you can expect to see again on my speculative fiction list, because I absolutely loved it. It's absolutely heart-stoppingly terrifying. It was full of "driveway moments" where I couldn't get out of my car until I found out what happened next. It could be considered post-apocalyptic or science fiction, but I think it best falls under the category of horror because it will leave you breathless with fear.
Absolutely all the love in the world for everything Rowell writes, and this is no exception. A beautiful story of a marriage and how it evolves and changes over time. And the narration is perfect.
And, of course, I must include the full cast production of Shakespeare classics presented by Folger Shakespeare Library and Simon & Schuster. They are so well done and make perfect companions for reading the plays or listening to on their own. It would also be a great way for teachers to engage students in reading the plays while listening.
By: Sue Bursztynski,
The entries for the Aurealis Awards closed last Sunday, but that doesn't necessarily mean there will be no more books to read - they can enter in advance, then send the works till the end of this month. As it is, there is a pie f George Ivanoff Chose Your Own Adventure titles I don't have yet, but that are on the list. I've been adding them to a "shelf" on Goodreads as I receive them. They automatically come up as "reading" even if you haven't started.
It has been a real eye-opener to see what is entered - from children's picture books to the latest volume of some fat fantasy series, to short stories to self-published ebooks, and small press and self- published paperbacks. Some perfectly good contemporary novels seem to have been entered because they mention fantastical creatures, though these never appear.
The other night, I was about to go to bed when there was a ring at my doorbell. It was my neighbour, who had kindly accepted a box of books on my behalf. They weren't even on the list yet. There are some Catherine Jinks books, the latest book in the Troubletwisters series, the latest Geoffrey McSkimming Phyllis Wong novel, an Allison Rushby book very different from her novel The Heiresses...
I have a long way to go! Even if they don't send any more, there are thirteen books on my "reading" shelf on Goodreads...
Jake and I didn't have room to include the material for this new class in our upcoming "Illustrating Children's Books"
class at www.svslearn.com
- so we recorded it separately last night and put it in our store. As a bonus to those who already bought any version of the Children's book class - Live or Video only - we'll send out the links to you for this new class for free today! It's our way of saying thanks for trusting us! Thank you for sharing our website and thank you for your enthusiasm for what we're trying to do! It's time to level up your skills for 2015!
For anyone thinking about buying "Illustrating Children's Books" before Dec 31 we'll also send you the links to this class for FREE!
Check out the details on this new class or the children's book class here.
By: Mary Jo Schimelpfenig,
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Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that inexpressible delight of finding an author you are excited about. ÷ ÷ ÷ Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War #1) by Mark Lawrence Prince of Fools is essentially [...]
Marvel’s svp of sales David Gabriel has confirmed that STAR WARS #1 will sell 1 million copies. And already my inbox is jammed with missives from Brandon Schatz and John Jackson Miller.
It doens’t appear that Loot Crate is part of the reason for the record sales. However, at least 38 variant covers and a switch to some new distribution outlets:
We’ve seen Marvel explore new ways of getting comics exposed to potential new readers. Everything from strong retailer support, to unconventional methods of sale like LootCrate & GameStop. Can we expect new and different outlets for the comic to be sold through?
There are a number of new outlets that we’re working with here in terms of the folks purchasing and selling a large number of exclusive covers, which in the end means that this very large number of comics will be sold in places where we haven’t necessarily had comic sales. We’re confident we’ll have lots of new fans reading issue #1. And the great thing about this for all our comic retailer friends is that they’ll be able to sell those new fans the second, third, fourth issues and on and on.
Gabriel went on to say that even without all the variants, this would have been a best selling issue:
I can safely say that even without the massive variant plan on this first issue, the numbers on the regular cover alone would make this the highest selling debut of 2015. When you add in the astounding numbers from the variants you’ve got one huge launch, unseen in the direct market for two decades or more! And I should also give a quick thank you to all those retailers who are showing the support for this launch and the launch parties. They’re all really taking this to new levels and making history with this issue.
MIller has some context and thoughts here.
I have written a lot about the history of Star Warscomics in the past (including having written quite a few of them myself), and the million-copy mark bears a particular historical importance for the line.Star Wars #1 in 1977 was the first comic book since Dell‘s Uncle Scrooge in 1960 to top a million copies sold. Star Wars #1 did that in 1977 not through its initial sale to newsstands, but also through a newsstand reprint and at least three waves of bagged reprints offered to department stores through Western Publishing‘s Whitman arm. Sales of the bagged editions of the movie adaptation were so strong, according to former Marvel Editor in Chief Jim Shooter, that Western temporarily suspended its program of printing variant editions for other Marvel titles to focus solely on Star Wars reprints in late 1977. At least the first three issues of the 1977 series all would have topped a million copies, and possibly more.
Just throwing in y own two cents, places where these comics might be distributed:
Disney theme parks
Toys ‘r’ Us
…and so on. Just guesses but all could contribute to the massive sales. Comics at theme parks have a long tortured history; when I was at Disney Comics 20 eyars ago many thought this would have saved the line, but stores didn’t like replenishing small budget items that had to be moved every month. Also, giveaway comics were often discarded in trash bins….although that mind set may have changed since then.
I hope we do find out more about where and how this comic is being sold. No matter how it worked out, it’s a real achievement for Marvel. COngrats to Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, Laura Martin and editor Jordan B. White on the huge commercial success.
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In order to avoid sitting around anxiously fretting about what critique group suggestions I'll receive (tonight!) on the novel that I wrote so fast and furiously last month, with so much love and hope and fear, I'm filling my days to the brim with the activities of the season. I'm fortunate to be a member of a faith community that finds so many ways to celebrate Christmas.
I helped the youth bake cookies to serve at fellowship time to the congregation and to share when we go caroling to shut-ins. Great was the chaos, of course, and tasty were the results.
I clapped my hands off after the youth Christmas play, written by my fellows St. Paul's UMC members Rebecca Glancy and Amy Abshire. Our church has as its mission statement To openly share creative opportunities to grow in Christ's love through worship, fellowship, service, and learning. We take the "creative" here very seriously, and usually we write our own Christmas plays. I wrote a couple myself, one based on my picture book One Small Lost Sheep, and one a new script about a chronically delinquent and deficient star who gets chosen on Christmas Eve for the most important assignment of all.
I clapped off what was left of my hands at the Christmas Cabaret put on by our little church singing group, the AnthemAires, who always delight us with stunningly beautiful settings of music, audience participation, and hilarious stage business.
I organized our Mitten Tree, which we decorate with warm outerwear to donate to the homeless shelter. I used to run our Shoebox Gifts for the Homeless drive, but now the homeless shelter prefers us to give in a different way. In the Shoebox days, I wrote a song for us to sing in worship: "Deck the halls with old shoeboxes [you can supply the fa-la-la-la-las], Fill the bottoms and the topses. Fill with gifts to give the homeless. Thus we share the joy of Christmas." My new song to usher in the Mitten Tree era goes: "Oh Mitten Tree, oh, Mitten Tree, we come to fill your branches! Oh, Mitten Tree, oh, Mitten Tree, we come to fill your branches! With hats and socks and scarves and gloves, we give to share our Savior's love. Oh, Mitten Tree, oh, Mitten Tree, we come to fill your branches!" The tree is now filling up nicely.
I hunted all over to find a doll stroller to give to the needy child who had requested it on our church love wreath. Finally, my clever daughter-in-law searched for it online and informed me it was in our Boulder Target on aisle E-5. Sure enough, there it was!
I babysit so that Christopher and Ashley can rehearse with the choir for the upcoming choir cantata, and Christopher can perform with the bell choir; he's one of those amazing bell ringers who can sub for anyone who is absent and ring two bells in each hand. (I was one of those non-amazing bell ringers who alerted the congregation to every wrong note by my constant grimaces of traumatized terror).
What else? The women's Christmas luncheon is coming up this Saturday. I'm the one in charge of organizing the caroling for the 21st. We'll all go to church on Christmas Eve at 6:30, and Christopher will return to play for the 11:00 service. I'm going to preach the sermon and preside over the service for Epiphany Sunday the beginning of January. Writing sermons has become quite the hobby for me. If you want any sermons written to order, just call!
Just as Carly Simon sang that she didn't have time for the pain, I'm trying to make sure that I don't have time for revision jitters. Just time for holiday happiness with my beloved church family.