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Results 26 - 50 of 62,266
26. Keys and bolts

I received a question whether I was going to write about the word key in the series on our habitat. I didn't have such an intention, but, since someone is interested in this matter, I’ll gladly change my plans and satisfy the curiosity of our friend.

The post Keys and bolts appeared first on OUPblog.

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27. The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released their report regarding a new name (i.e., systemic exertion intolerance disease) and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In brief, the IOM proposed that at least four symptoms needed to be present to be included in this new case definition [...]

The post The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome appeared first on OUPblog.

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28. Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, and the Dred Scott Case

Dred Scott, an African-American slave, appealed to the Supreme Court for his freedom based on having been brought by his owners to live in a free territory. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, writing for the majority, wrote that persons of African descent could not be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the US Constitution, and thus the plaintiff Scott was without legal standing to file a suit.

The post Abraham Lincoln, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, and the Dred Scott Case appeared first on OUPblog.

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29. A festival of colorful emotions

It is as if a massive color palette fell on earth from the hand of the Almighty. The whole atmosphere is painted with bright colors—red, pink, yellow, blue, green, and purple. Young and old, men and women—all are soaked in colored water, running around, laughing loudly, shouting, and throwing mud on each other. It is a war where a water gun is your weapon, colored water is your bullet, and colored powder is your smoke screen.

The post A festival of colorful emotions appeared first on OUPblog.

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30. Are ultra-low interest rates dangerous?

The industrialized world is currently moving through a period of ultra-low interest rates. The main benchmark interest rates of central banks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and the euro-zone are all 0.50% or less. The US rate has been near zero since December 2008; the Japanese rate has been at or below 0.50% since 1995. Then there are the central banks that have gone negative: the benchmark rates in Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland are all below zero. Other short-term interest rates are similarly at rock-bottom levels, or below.

The post Are ultra-low interest rates dangerous? appeared first on OUPblog.

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31. New(ish) issue of list

       The website for the 'Books from Korea' publication list, from the Literature Translation Institute of Korea, recently underwent a redesign, and they still seem to be figuring things out -- that 'Current Issue' page still isn't current (and doesn't offer much of an(y) issue) ... -- but with a little effort at least the Winter 2014 issue can now be found -- with Yi Mun-yol (Our Twisted Hero, etc.) as 'Featured Writer' -- complete with A Letter to My Readers Around the World from him, as well as a Q & A.

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32. Book piracy in ... Zimbabwe

       In The Herald Beaven Tapureta reports on a Raw deal for academic, non-fiction authors in Zimbabwe, as:

The fight against book piracy in Zimbabwe has become a requiem which writers and publishers continue to sing in perpetual hopelessness. The literary choir has its rhythm toned down and it now plays to the gallery.
       Which is at least a nice way of putting it .....
       Summing up:
It is clear that if nothing is done to clear loopholes in the local book industry, the country is likely to lose its indigenous publishing gusto and posterity will suffer. The current situation indeed calls for collective action involving concerned parties.

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33. The Discreet Hero review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of the latest novel by Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa to be translated into English (by Edith Grossman), The Discreet Hero.

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34. New Harry Potter Figurines from SlideShow Collectibles

SlideShow Collectibles has released a new line of figurines (dolls) consisting of four Harry Potter characters–Ron, Harry, Sirius, and Voldemort. Comparable to the Toner Collectibles (if not even more cool), each handcrafted doll comes with many accessories, including interchangeable hands to hold wands, broom sticks, magical effects (plastic fire, and a magical effect), or in Ron’s case, chicken legs to stuff his face with. Both Harry and Ron figurines are replications of Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint, as they appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Sirius Black is a true representation of Gary Oldman from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, while Voldemort is modeled after Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-Part 2. Each of the dolls come at a pretty price, but are beautifully and accurately crafted. You can read more about the intricacy of each doll on SlideShow, or even flip through the amazing photographic scenes that each doll is posed in on it’s individual page. Comprehensive photos of each doll, and the accessories pertaining to each, can be seen below.


902317-ron-weasley-009 902321-sirius-black-008 902316-harry-potter-013 902318-lord-voldemort-010


Thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip!

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35. Hogwarts Express Exhibit Reveal at Leavesden

Mark Williams (Mr. Arthur Weasley) took the train into Warner Brother’s Leavesden Studio Tour, as he helped reveal the new Hogwarts Express Exhibit. The 20,000 square foot expansion includes the original Hogwarts Express Engine sitting in a replica of Platform 9 3/4. The “windows” of the Hogwarts Express will be playing film that show how some Hogwarts Express moments (such as the Dementor attack) were created in the Harry Potter films. The exhibit opens to the public on Thursday, March 19. Warner Brother’s posted on their Studio Tour Website:


Officially opening on Thursday 19th March, the new, must-see section has been redesigned and will be built by many of the crew members who worked on the most successful film series of all time. Every inch of the platform’s glass roof, yellow brick walls and luggage racks, designed by Production Designer Stuart Craig, will be painstakingly reassembled by a team led by Construction Manager Paul Hayes and dressed by Set Decorator Rosie Goodwin. Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson will rig the locomotive with special effects steam.

You’ll be able to:

  • Pose with a luggage trolley on Platform 9 ¾ as it disappears through the station’s yellow brick wall and walk along the Hogwarts Express’ adjoining carriage

  • Explore the interior carriage set that was used during filming (complete with ‘windows’ that demonstrate the process used to create iconic train scenes from the films such as the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog and the Dementor attack)

  • See a selection of prop luggage and find out which character owned which items by turning an interactive dial (characters include Hermione GrangerDraco MalfoyLuna Lovegood and more)

  • Browse a wide range of goodies inspired by the Harry Potter films and, specifically, the Hogwarts Express in a train-themed souvenir shop which will be open on the platform


The London Evening Standard has posted pictures and videos of the exhibition’s reveal, including photos of Mark Williams interacting with the Platform and sitting on the train.

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36. Emma Watson Hosting a HeForShe Event in London

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, fans of Emma Watson and her HeForShe movement have the chance to sit down and talk with the Harry Potter star and UN Women’s Embassador, as Emma hosts a “HeForShe Conversation” in London. In order to get a chance to sit down and chat with Emma, fans must submit answers to questions, saying in 500 words or less what actions they have taken to advance gender equality, as well as a question on gender equality that they would like to ask Emma. The application for this London event can be accessed here. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 12pm GMT. You can find more information on the event, as well as a cute video message from Emma, on Emma’s Facebook page. For fans who are unable to attend the event, Facebook with be live streaming it. 

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37. Aaron and Mundo keep Secret Wars Weird


Another day, another Secret Wars flavored tie-in series. Are you still with me? Good, because this is another one that is bound to raise some eyebrows. The fun starts with the series’ name: Weirdworld. The weirdness persists with the names attached to the project with the excellent Jason Aaron writing the comic with the one-and-only Mike Del Mundo of Elektra fame drawing the psychedelic covers the for the tale. Marvel took the story over to USA Today for the reveal. The comic is centered around Arkon, an Avengers creation from Roy Thomas and John Buscema in 1970. The series name comes from a concept developed by Mike Ploog and Doug Moench also from the 70’s. Arkon is a barbarian, and ruler of his people hailing from the land of Polemachus. Along the way he’ll meet up with some wizards, lizards, and dinosaurs – is Marvel attempting to one-up Where Monsters Dwell?

The author is set to utilize “a hodgepodge of the weirdest, strangest, more obscure bits and bobs of the Marvel Universe,” influenced by series like Lord of Atlantis, The Warlord, Skull the Slayer and others.

Aaron also extrapolated on why there have been so many odd titles coming from the event:

“I’ve always wanted to do my Conan story but there’s not a lot of opportunities to do those stories in comics.”

It seems that Secret Wars is opening the floodgates at Marvel, letting storytellers use some incredibly off-the-wall chess pieces. Weirdworld #1 ships on June 3. Marvel, please take my money now.

UPDATE 3:26 P.M.: After digging around this very site, we found something of great importance – Marvel stealth solicited a Weirdworld collection for April from the original 70’s stories. After patting the House of Ideas on the back, take a look at this odd solicit for the graphic novel;

Mike Ploog, Pat Broderick, Doug Moench, John Busce…
On Sale Date: April 14, 2015
Ages 13 And Up, Grades 8 to 17
$34.99 USD
312 pages
Comics & Graphic Novels / Superheroes
9780785162889, 0785162887

Summary: Welcome to Weirdworld, a land of legend and lore! Meet Tyndall, a lost elf on a dangerous quest – a quest to the heart of evil and beyond! One that will unite him with the beautiful Velanna, and forge an alliance for the ages. Together with grumpy dwarf Mud-Butt , these warriors of the shadow realm will brave the City of Seven Dark Delights, face the fallen god Darklens, and meet the Dragonmaster of Klarn. But will they ever fi nd their way home?

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38. Chast, Pastis and Price nominated for The Reuben Award


This year’s nominees for “Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year” have been announced by the National Cartoonists Society and they are Roz Chast, Stephen Pastis and Hilary Price (above.) Pastis and Price were nominees last year as well. Where there are NCS Awards given out each year, technically speaking this is “The Reuben,” a lifetime achievement award that one can win only once. The Reuben Award is chosen by

a secret ballot of the members of the National Cartoonists Society. The Reuben Award is the highest honor that the profession bestows. As with all the NCS awards, the winner need not be a member of the Society. The award was previously called the Billy DeBeck Memorial Award, and the recipient received an engraved silver cigarette box. The Reuben was introduced in 1954 and is named after longtime Honorary President Rube Goldberg. The statue is based on one of Goldberg’s irreverent pieces of sculpture.

I guess it truly is The Year of the Women when TWO lady tooners are nominated in one year for the Reuben. And that’s very cool. As far as I can remember this is Chast’s first nomination, so I think a win for Pastis or Price is more likely, but all are very worthy winners. Pastis has been nominated many times in fact so maybe this is his year.

Nominations in the divisional awards will be announced in a few weeks. The awards will presented at the annual NCS meeting Memorial Day Weekend May 23rd, held this year in Washington DC.

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39. Entertainment Round-Up: Age of Ultron stars talk to the press, The Russos ink a deal with Sony, Supergirl casts a Toyman, Community Season 6 trailer


Your mid-week round-up of entertainment related headlines, on this gross, gloomy Atlanta Tuesday.

– Collider has been posting some great interviews with the various stars of Avengers: Age of Ultron throughout the past few days, and today, the site unveiled new interviews with Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Chris Evans (Captain America). For Clint Barton, it looks like a big major part of his arc will deal with his relationship with new teammates Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch and Renner states that we’ll get some evolution to Hawkeye as a character this time around:

It’s a lot of the stuff that Joss [Whedon] and I talked about to do in the first one but it just didn’t work out that way, so it’s really exciting for me and Joss to kind of dive into the character a little bit more. There’s some wonderful secrets and relationships deepen, so there’s a lot more of him to deal with versus the hypnotized version of him.

Additionally, we’ll learn where he was during the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

As for Evans, he had some interesting words to say about the psychology of Ultron and what will make him stand-apart from the typical Marvel-villain fare:

There’s, you know, there’s an ideology behind Ultron that makes him more unique that just a bad guy. He doesn’t wanna just kill the Avengers. He doesn’t wanna just destroy the world. He has these monologues and these beautiful speeches that kind of embody a certain mentality about what’s wrong with humanity. It represents something deeper than just “I’m evil and I don’t like the good guys.” So it’s hopefully things like that. That’s what makes you care a little bit more about the story than just, “I’m an evil bad guy.”

Look at what [Tom] Hiddleston did with Loki. He made a real character. He made a real conflict and Loki could have a movie that has something to do with superheroes. It would just be a really interesting character study; like this guy needs a therapist. But it’s deep and that’s what makes you give a shit. I think that’s what we’re gonna have with Ultron.

Check out the full interviews at the links above for more.

– Speaking of the Avengers, Variety reports that Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the rumored heir-apparents to Avengers: Infinity War have just signed a three-year “first look” deal with Sony. Basically this means any original material they develop, Sony gets the first crack at it. Does this have any bearing on the new Avengers movie? Perhaps, as the three years would cover any time they might be required on set for a potential 2017 shooting date for Infinity War. This is, of course, dependent on when and if they develop an original property for the studio and if they opt to sign on in a directorial capacity.

– Supergirl has added another potential villain as Smash actor Jeremy Jordan has signed aboard as the latest television incarnation of Winslow Schott aka The Toyman. For this series, he’s described as a tech-savvy colleague of Kara’s, and I guess computers could be considered toys of a certain type.

– And just for fun, and because I have a deep abiding love for everything Dan Harmon touches, here’s the first trailer for Community Season 6, which will debut on Yahoo Screen on March 17th:

Now, let’s get that second season of Rick & Morty up and running!

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40. Interview: Shawn Daley Kickstarts a Whole New World Called TerraQuill

By Matt O’Keefe

Short stories are a dying breed in mainstream comics, so often the best offerings are found in the independent scene. Such is the case with books like Cartozia Tales and, more to the point, TerraQuill by Shawn Daley. Like Cartozia, TerraQuill builds a whole world pages at a time. Each of the ten stories delivers heartfelt truths about the human condition. “Always Comes the Day” delivers a heartbreaking story of a student who takes the role of master. “Jimmy’s Eatin’ Well” demonstrates the sometimes subtle sadness of loneliness. “Grumble McMumble challenges the early impressions that we so rigidly define others based upon. Most of the stories are about time passing by, for good or ill but always inevitably. TerraQuill is one of the best comics I’ve read in a long time. It’s a shame that more people aren’t aware of Daley’s powerful storytelling put to work in a creative form like this. Hopefully his Kickstarter to fund a collected edition of TerraQuill is a big step towards changing that. Ideally, this interview will be a small one, too.


So how did TerraQuill come about?

It started off as two stories I wanted to self publish before FanExpo 2013, but the stories didn’t really take place in our world. They needed a world of their own, so I had to create one. TerraQuill Issue 1 had “You’ll Make Your Own” and “Always Comes The Day,” which were the first two stories. I realized there was so much more world to see, thus the additional stories.

You’re clearly committed to world building. Has that aspect of storytelling always interested you?

It has. I’ve always found the most enveloping stories take place in a world that’s nothing like ours, or a mixture of our world with supernatural or fantasy elements. The world in Stephen King’s Dark Tower books and even the island on LOST have been big influences in world building.

map copy

How much do you know about TerraQuill that’s not on the page?

Everything I need to know is already in my head or written down in a huge file folder of notes. There’s a ton of other stuff that I’m playing around with, but the majority of what I want to tell exists in some form. Character sketches, unused scripts etc.

From the beginning of TerraQuill up until the eventual destruction of it. It’s no fun building something if you’re not going to tear it all down eventually.


What do you use to organize your notes?

Either a dollar store file folder paired with loose paper and post it notes, or a notes app on my phone. I prefer tangible means myself, so I like writing things down as they pop up and stashing them away.

2015-02-07 00.36.36

One of the short comics in the collection is called “The Whittler’s War: Prologue.” Do you plan to tell the Whittler’s War proper at some point?

I do eventually, but it’ll slowly be revealed through other stories. I’m working on a long TerraQuill story at the moment called The Bridgebuilder’s Creed, which takes place in a post-Whittler’s War TerraQuill. So you can bet the war will be discussed in more detail during Bridgebuilder’s Creed. It’s a pretty important part of the mythology behind the province.

Do you know what form future TerraQuill stories will take?

The next TerraQuill story will be a 120+ page graphic novel, and then it’s back to single short stories. I’ve really enjoyed the format I’ve been working in at the moment. Releasing single issues and stories for free under a pay-what-you-want model, and then collecting them into a volume for which print funds are raised. No one can argue with free, and it’s a great way to share these stories.

Original Art

You mentioned that most of the original art you’re offering as Kickstarter rewards is hand-colored. Why did you color the pages even though they’ve largely only appeared in black-and-white?

Practice, mostly. It seemed like a perfect way to experiment with watercolours, so I couldn’t waste the opportunity. All of TerraQuill was basically exercises in writing and drawing, which definitely includes testing out new mediums and colouring techniques.

It’s definitely a nice perk for original art backers. Do you ever plan to release a full-color version of TerraQuill?

Not at the moment, but only because I prefer black and white. When it’s all said and done, I’d love to hire a colourist for a full colour release. But that’ll have to be a little farther down the road.

Are you auctioning off all of the original art in the Kickstarter?

I am. I’d be happy if I had none of the original TerraQuill art left. It does no use sitting in my room here. If there are people who would be happy to scoop it up, I’ll be happy to see it go. I only plan on keeping one piece of original art, and that’s the hand drawn TerraQuill logo.


Your prices on the Kickstarter, for the book and the art, are very low. Was making the campaign affordable to back a priority for you?

I think that should be a priority for everyone using Kickstarter. There needs to be affordable tiers for everyone, and your rewards should be the best you have to offer. At the end of the day, it is about getting your work in the hands of others. Affordable pricing paired with a solid product and good communication is key for success.

Are you a full time freelance artist?

I am indeed.

How much of that is comics?

80% at the moment. I work on independent game soundtracks as well as some web design here and there as gigs come up. But it’s almost all comics/comic art.


I first discovered your work through Dick Whiskey. What’s it like drawing for someone else, and on that one in particular?

Working with Hansel Moreno on Dick Whiskey is an artists dream come true. His scripts are just as descriptive as they need to be, and he’s all about letting the art work in tandem with his script. Not asking for art to be slave to a script is important and Hansel gets that. For the most part, it’s fun working with other writers’ scripts. It all depends on their appreciation and understanding of the artists role.

The writer is never just a writer and the artist is never just an artist. They’re both storytellers. One part of the same coin.

What do you think about the comic strip format you use for Dick Whiskey? What’s limiting about it? What’s freeing?

Back when the Beatles were recording on 4-track tape machines, they were forced to experiment in order to get their songs out. You only had four tracks — you were so limited. That’s why some of those recordings are so aurally bizarre and interesting.

That’s what it can be like working with only three panels. You learn how to condense effectively and cut out what doesn’t need to be seen. It’s a great exercise in editing.


How has the experience been with the Kickstarter? What have you learned, now that it’s nearing its end?

Exhausting, and completely worth every second. The platform itself is easy to use, and they’ll promote your project if they see you working for it. I’ve learned that it’s a very good idea to bring your project to completion before Kickstarting it. People want to see that the work has been finished. When you’re asking the public to fund your ambitions, you need to earn their trust. Completing your project beforehand is a good step in the right direction. It was an amazing experience.

You can find Shawn Daley at his website and on Twitter @shawndaley. You can read most of the TerraQuill stories for free here. I encourage you to back the Kickstarter campaign for the physical edition and some amazing perks. It ends in 4 days so run, don’t walk.

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41. BATMAN: ARKHAM UNDERWORLD Announced for Mobile Devices


Tuesday, Warner Bros. Interactive announced a slew of new mobile device games which included a brand-new Game of Thrones title, LEGO Batman Beyond Gotham, DC Comics Legends, and the previously announced Mortal Kombat X.

The big announcement was Boston based studio Turbine(Lord of the Rings Online, Infinite Crisis) will release a game for mobile devices called Batman: Arkham Underworld. This game will see players building a hideout and then recruiting and training an “army of henchman to do your bidding.” You’ll control a team of supervillians including the Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, and the Riddler. The ultimate goal is to become Gotham City’s “next criminal kingpin.” “Build a big enough empire? Maybe you’ll be ready to take on Batman himself.”

No word on release date or if the game would tie-in with the upcoming console release of Batman: Arkham Knight. Players interested in trying out the game can go its official website to sign up for the upcoming beta test.

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42. Laura Terry’s Graveyard Shakes to be published by Scholastic


Laura Terry is a cartoonist, a graduate of Pratt and the Center for Cartoon Studies and a former Xeric Grant winner (for Overboard). And now she’s had an original graphic noverl called Graveyard Shakes picked up by Scholastic. The cover looks great and the synopsis which you can read below also sounds very appealing. What interests me most about this deal is that, generally speaking, Laura Terry is unknown outside of minicomics circles, and this never appeared online as a webcomic, but she’s had a whole GN picked up for publishing by one of the most successful publishers in the business. Having an agent probably helped, but we’ve moved on to the Third Wave of graphic novels at traditionally publishing houses: after a boom (2004-5), and then a bust (2006-2012), it appears YA graphic novels are being sold on their own merits with a real chance of being successful. Could it be that cartoonists will someday be abel to making a living making comics? I don’t want to sounds crazy but fingers crossed.

To me it’s also a reminder of just how awesome the Xeric Grant was as a springboard for talent. CCS has definitely become a greenhouse for some of the best young cartoonists around, but instead of GETTING money to be awesome, they have to pay to learn. But it seems to be money well spent.

Katia and Victoria are scholarship students at a fancy private boarding school. Try as she might, Victoria just can’t fit in, and Katia refuses to give up the quirks she’s bullied for. After a big fight with her sister, Katia runs away from school. When an unexpected storm covers the grounds with ice and snow and Katia is nowhere to be found, Victoria goes looking for her little sister in Katia’s favorite hiding place, a ramshackle graveyard.

Victoria accidentally tumbles into the graveyard’s underworld only to discover it’s inhabited by ghouls—and a necromancer named Nikola who’s preparing a devious spell missing only one vital ingredient: a child’s life. Victoria teams up with adorable Little Ghost and Nikola’s kindhearted son, and together they search for Katia, who they fear is in danger of becoming Nikola’s victim. No sooner are the two girls are reunited than they resume their squabble—and are captured by the necromancer!

Now, Victoria and Katia must not only figure out how to get away from graveyard alive, but with the help of their new friends, they have to prevent Nikola from ever using his dark magic again. Can the sisters stop fighting and work together long enough save the day?


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43. 2015 Spectrum Award finalists announced

Alex Alice, Audrey Benjaminsen, David Palumbo, James Turner and Lisa Wood (aka Tula Lotay) are the comics finalists for the 2015s Spectrum 22, the awards given to fantasy influenced art in a number of disciplines. Justin Gerard, Virginie Ropars, Greg Ruth, Annie Stegg Gerard and Dice Tsutsumi were this year’s judges, and the selected finalists for Gold or Silver medla sin eight categories. Winners will be announced at the Spectrum 22 Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event in Kansas City, Missouri on Saturday, May 23th. Spectrum 22, edited by John Fleskes, will be published by Flesk Publications in November.

While the nominees above aren’t necessarily comics household names in the comics community aside from Lotay, they are pretty spectacular. Turner in particular has a solid and unusual body of geometrically inspired fantasy work in his portfolio. The full list of nominees is below and a few comics related folks can be discerned if you look.


Johnny Dombrowski — Murder on the Orient Express
Edward Kinsella III — Vernacchio
Victo Ngai — The Cloisters
Yuko Shimizu — Tokyo Night Show
Taylor Wessling — Barbarians: Faust

Dan dos Santos — Taking Flight
Scott Gustafson — Jack and the Sleeping Giant
Jeffrey Alan Love — Radiant State
Petar Meseldzija — The Giants are Coming
Sam Weber — cover for Dune by Frank Herbert

Comicslechateaudesetoiles1Alex Alice  — Castle in the Stars



Audrey Benjaminsen — Bernadette, page 1



David Palumbo — The Beast



James Turner — Rebel Angels



Lisa Wood — Rebels

Concept Art
Audrey Benjaminsen — Fairy 3
Sung Choi — The Parade
Te Hu — Wonders: Gate of Luxor
Kellan Jett — Meeting
Allen Williams — The Good Dog

Dan Chudzinski — The Mudpuppy
Mark Newman — Gallevarbe: Death’s Siren
Forest Rogers — Venetian Harpy
David Silva — Dragon vs. Raptors
Dug Stanat — A Bird From His Brim Will Guide Your Last Breath

Sam Bosma — Critical Education
Jensine Eckwall — This Circle: Walking Into The Wind
Edward Kinsella III — Gland Monster
Victo Ngai — Cocoon
Tran Nguyen — A Distressed Damsel

Ed Binkley — Rikshaw Pass
Laurie Brom — Bad Seed
Rovina Cai — Fake It
Jeffrey Alan Love — Skyrim
Jessica Shirley — The Child Sleeps

Paul Bonner — Beowulf: Mother
Donato Giancola — Descent from Caradhras
Rebecca Leveille Guay — Time and Chance
Omar Rayyan – A Night at the Races
Cynthia Sheppard — Momentum

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44. Writing in ... Burma

       In the Myanmar Times Chit Su reports on the recent ninth annual Tun Foundation Literary Awards, in Literary awards seek to keep Myanmar writing.
       Alas, no detailed list of the winning titles -- the winning authors are listed, but that's not very helpful -- but at least mention of some of them -- and good to see a literary prize that includes an 'environment category' (which a title like Hygiene and Sanitation Manual for Food Safety can win). And U Myint Kywel took the 'lifetime award'.

       Meanwhile, in The Irrawaddy, Kyaw Hsu Mon recently had a Q & A with Seikku Cho Cho publishing house owner U San Oo, finding Books 'Have a Future'.
       Interesting that:

Then there is Myanmar literature, for example the author Juu. Her book sales are still strong. But for those kinds of books, most of them are self-published.
       But it's depressing to hear:
Q: Who are the best sellers in the classics category ?

A: The top classic books are by Mya Than Tint, Mg Tun Thu, Dagon Shwe Myar, Shwe Ou Daung, then Mg Moe Thu, Tin New Maung and Soe Thein. Their masterpieces are still performing strongly.
       Depressing because ... well, try to find any of these masterpieces in English.

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45. An A – Z guide to Nicolas Nabokov

Who was Nicolas Nabokov? The Russian-born American composer had a huge impact on music and culture globally, but his name remains relatively unknown. He had friends and acquaintances in a variety of circles, whether his cousin the writer Vladimir, the poet Auden, or the choreographer Balanchine.

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46. Does philosophy matter?

Philosophers love to complain about bad reasoning. How can those other people commit such silly fallacies? Don’t they see how arbitrary and inconsistent their positions are? Aren’t the counter examples obvious? After complaining, philosophers often turn to humor. Can you believe what they said! Ha, ha, ha. Let’s make fun of those stupid people. I also enjoy complaining and joking, but I worry that this widespread tendency among philosophers puts us out of touch with the rest of society.

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47. Suffragist Lucy Stone in 10 facts

Lucy Stone, a nineteenth-century abolitionist and suffragist, became by the 1850s one of the most famous women in America. She was a brilliant orator, played a leading role in organizing and participating in national women’s rights conventions, served as president of the American Equal Rights Association [...]

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48. What can we learn from the lives of male feminists?

In the span of one week at the beginning of February, two of the largest cultural events in the United States featured prominent messages about ending violence against women. The NFL gave away coveted air-time to run this ad from the NO MORE campaign.

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49. Awesome Horrible Comics of the 80s and Beyond

Every era of publishing has had awful comics. Though we live in a golden age, they walk among us even now. But horrible comic combined with dated inking techniques and fashion sense…now those are gold.

Michael Carlyle’s The Crapbox of Son Of Cthulhu blog goes through some awful comics of the 80s, such as Rayne #4 by Richard Moore. Although Moore would go on to have more recognition with Boneyard, and he’s not a bad artist, this is to comics what Simon & Simon is to TV. Something that just looks old and wack, horseheaded fur bikini wearing babes and all.


Even more instructive is the case of Of Myths and Men #2 which looks like a very simple webcomic but was actually typical of “the black and white boom” of the 80s that followed the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Hundreds of comics like this were published, leading to speculation and the eventual market crash. But I’m guessing that they probably sold more than a typical IDW comic does now—there were a lot more comics shops and they tended to order everything.

Blackthorne Publishing came about after the breakup of Pacific Comics. The brainchild of Bill and Steve Schanes, Blackthorne was named after the street Steve lived on. It originally published cost effective comic reprints of things like Dick Tracy and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. Many of these titles were over a quarter of a century old and in the public domain when Blackthorne put them out. The money garnered from these titles allowed the small publishing shop to branch out into 3D titles and original series. Legal loopholes allowed them to put out 3D titles for properties held by Marvel, like a successful Star Wars 3D series, by creating a new product category that the licensing contracts didn’t cover. The creator-driven black and white comics were a very mixed bag, but mostly low quality rip-offs of current trends. An example would be TMNT clone Pre-Teen Dirty Jean Kung Fu Kangaroos. Or this issue of Of Myths and Men.

The book is drawn in a classic generic 80s style that one might call “unshaded post Foglio”—sketchy characters with visors and boots and musculature defined by bubble shapes, close set eyes indicated as ovals with pinpoint pupils. This is one of the “Seven Types of Bad Comics Art” which I will get around to writing some day when I don’t want friends any more.

While the comic is random, it’s also very very typical…and so unremarkable that the name of the artist isn’t even listed on ComicsVine. This era of comics is defined as “The Copper Age” by some, and like copper, the value is counted in pennies.

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50. Happy Birthday Miranda Richardson

Today, please join us in wishing Miranda Richardson, who played the sneaky Rita Skeeter, a happy 57th birthday!

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