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Host: You, Me, and a Cup of Tea
Name: Hard Core Rereading Challenge (sign up here
Dates: January - December 2015 (books started before January do not count)
# of Books: Level 5; 50+ Rereading ComaNote to self
: check back to see about review linkies. MUST, MUST, MUST add links to reviews to the linkies.
What I (Actually) Reread
What I Plan On Rereading:
Georgette Heyer Novels I Want To Reread in 2015:
- Devil's Cub
- These Old Shades
- Civil Contract
- Sprig Muslin
- Black Sheep
- Cousin Kate
- Convenient Marriage
- False Colors
- Talisman Ring
Elizabeth Gaskell Novels I Want to Reread in 2015:
- Wives and Daughters
- North and South
Anthony Trollope Novels I Want To Reread in 2015:
- Lady Anna
- He Knew He Was Right
- Belton Estate
Charles Dickens Novels I Want to Reread in 2015:
- Our Mutual Friend
- Bleak House
- Oliver Twist
Wilkie Collins Novels I Want To Reread in 2015:
- Woman in White
- Man and Wife
Mystery Novels I Want To Reread in 2015:
- Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
- The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
- Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout
- The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout
- Have His Carcase by Dorothy Sayers
- Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers
- The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers
- Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers
- Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers
Historical Novels I Want to Reread
- Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman
- London by Edward Rutherfurd
- Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd
- Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Science Fiction Novels I Want To Reread in 2015
- Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
- Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
- Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
- Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- Foundation by Isaac Asimov
- Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov
- Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov
- Babylon 5: To Dream in the City of Sorrow by Kathryn M. Drennan
- Babylon 5: The Shadow Within by Jeanne Cavelos
- Bablyon 5: In the Beginning by Peter David
- Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: The Long Night of Centauri Prime by Peter David
- Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: Armies of Light and Dark by Peter David
- Babylon 5: Legions of Fire: Out of the Darkness by Peter David
Fantasy Novels I Want to Reread in 2015
- Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Princess Bride by William Goldman
- The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan
- The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan
- The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan
- The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
- Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
- A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Children's Novels I Want to Reread in 2015 (I'm sure I'll be adding *more* to the list.)
- Welcome to the Grand View, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky
- You're the Best, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky
- Love From Your Friend, Hannah by Mindy Warshaw Skolsky
Dr. Seuss Books I Want to Reread in 2015
- 1937 -- And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
- 1938 -- The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
- 1939 -- The King's Stilts
- 1940 -- Horton Hatches An Egg
- 1947 -- McElligot's Pool
- 1948 -- Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
- 1949 -- Bartholomew and the OObleck
- 1950 -- If I Ran The Zoo
- 1953 -- Scrambled Eggs Super
- 1954 -- Horton Hears a Who
- 1955 -- On Beyond a Zebra
- 1956 -- If I Ran the Circus
- 1957 -- How The Grinch Stole Christmas
- 1957 -- The Cat in the Hat
- 1958 -- The Cat In the Hat Comes Back
- 1958 -- Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories
- 1959 -- Happy Birthday to You
- 1960 -- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
- 1960 -- Green Eggs and Ham
- 1961 -- The Sneetches and Other Stories
- 1961 -- Ten Apples Up On Top (Theo LeSieg)
- 1962 -- Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
- 1963 -- Dr. Seuss's ABC
- 1963 -- Hop On Pop
- 1965 -- Fox in Socks
- 1965 -- I Wish That I Had Duck Feet (Theo LeSieg)
- 1965 -- I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew
- 1968 -- The Foot Book
- 1969 -- I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today and Other Stories
- 1970 -- Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
- 1971 -- The Lorax
- 1972 -- Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now
- 1972 -- In A People House (Theo LeSieg)
- 1973 -- Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are
- 1974 -- There's A Wocket in My Pocket
- 1974 -- Great Day for Up
- 1974 -- Wacky Wednesday (Theo LeSieg)
- 1975 -- Oh, The Thinks YOu Can Think!
- 1975 -- Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo (Rosetta Stone)
- 1975 -- Would You Rather Be A Bull Frog (Theo LeSieg)
- 1976 -- Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him (Theo LeSieg)
- 1977 -- Please Try to Remember the first of Octember (Theo LeSieg)
- 1978 -- I Can Read With My Eyes Shut
- 1979 -- Oh Say Can You Say
- 1980 -- Maybe You Should Fly A Jet (Theo LeSieg)
- 1981 -- The Tooth Book (Theo LeSieg)
- 1982 -- Hunches in Bunches
- 1984 -- The Butter Battle Book
- 1986 -- You're Only Old Once
- 1987 -- I Am Not Going To Get UP Today
- 1990 -- Oh, The Places You'll Go
- 1995 -- Daisy-Head Mayzie
- 1996 -- My Many Colored Days
- 1998 -- Hooray for Diffendoofer Day
- 2011 -- The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
Host: You, Me, and a Cup of Tea
Name: 2015 Birthday Month Reading Challenge (sign up here
Dates: January - December 2015
# of Books: 12Note to self:
remember to leave links to reviews on her linkies post.
Ideas for each month:
- J.R.R. Tolkien
- Wilkie Collins
- Charles Dickens
- Victor Hugo
- Mo Willems
- Margaret Oliphant
- Anthony Trollope
- Beverly Cleary
- Charlotte Bronte
- Ngaio Marsh
- Jerome K. Jerome
- Pat Frank (Alas, Babylon)
- Arthur Conan Doyle
- Dorothy Sayers
- Thomas Hardy
- Josephine Tey
- Erle Stanley Gardner
- Candice F. Ransom
- Joan Bauer
- Georgette Heyer
- Orson Scott Card
- E. Nesbit
- Kenneth Oppel
- Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
- P.L. Travers
- Diana Wynne Jones
- Elizabeth Gaskell
- Agatha Christie
- Roald Dahl
- Gail Carson Levine
- Julie Andrews Edwards
- Karen Cushman
- Lois Lensky
- Shel Silverstein
- Laurie Halse Anderson
- Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
- Katherine Paterson
- C.S. Lewis
- Neil Gaiman
- Astrid Lindgren
- Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Mark Twain
- George Eliot
- L.M. Montgomery
- Louisa May Alcott
- Neal Shusterman
- Carol Ryrie Brink
- Rudyard Kipling
- Mercer Mayer
- Rex Stout
- George MacDonald
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
From the Macondo Newsletter
Macondista Rene Colato Lainez is celebrating his 10th year anniversary as a published author. Congratulations to Rene, and here's to many more years and many more books!
Ten Wonderful Years
By Rene Colato Lainez
At the end of 1999 many people were setting goals to accomplish in the new millennium. I was one of them. At the time, I was already an elementary teacher and had written several books to share with my students. I still remember those "classic books" that my students enjoyed reading such as, "Fabiola, Fabiola", "El número uno", "Un cuento de colores."
My students enjoyed my books so much that I began to wonder what I had to do in order to publish my work. I wanted to see my name on the cover of a book. I met children's book authors Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy at the teacher's writing workshop "Teachers in the Classroom." They read some of my books and told me that yes, my work was publishable! Then I met the wonderful macondista, Amada Irma Pérez. She shared the submission guidelines of her publisher, Children's Book Press, and told me to give it a try. She told me that some day in the near future we could be signing books together.
At that time, this was a sueño. After meeting Alma Flor, Isabel, and Amada, I set my own goal, to submit my manuscripts for publication. I started to submit my stories in March 2001. Soon, I received my first rejection letter. It was painful to read it but on the bottom of the letter someone had printed, "Your story has a big heart. We wish you luck."
I did not give up and 2001 was a year of rejection letters. I joined SCBWI, took some creative writing classes and wrote new stories. In the summer of 2002, I received an email from Arte Público Press, asking me for revise my manuscript with the promise that they might publish it if they liked the revision. I made the changes and by October 2002, I had a contract for Waiting for Papá.
I remembered the day, I had a flu and fell sleep holding the contract. When I woke up, I looked at
my chest wondering if the contract was just a dream. But it was still there. I read it again and shouted "I will have a book! I am an author!".
The book was published on October 31, 2004. Now 10 years later, I have written 9 children's books, a story in an anthology, 6 books for elementary reading programs and many poems and short stories for a children's magazine, Revista Iguana. I love writing children books and I have more coming out soon.
I organized a celebration party for my anniversary. It was a costume party and many friends came wearing costumes from characters of my books. Of course, I was René, the boy!
The folks at 5 Minutes For Books host What’s On Your Nightstand? the fourth Tuesday of each month in which we can share about the books we have been reading and/or plan to read.
Reviews Coming Soon...in December...
Brown Girl Dreaming. Jacqueline Woodson
Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James
Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
Tolkien: How An Obscure Oxford Professor Wrote the Hobbit and Became the Most Beloved Author of the Century. Devin Brown. Abingdon Press. 145 pages. [Source: Review copy]
I'll be reviewing this one at Operation Actually Read Bible this week or next. It was WONDERFUL.
Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell. Review will be coming in January. (Yes, I'm all booked up for December already, at least at Becky's Book Reviews.)
Operation Bunny (Wings & Co. #1) Sally Gardner. Review will be coming in January.
Sleep In Peace Tonight. James MacManus. Review will be in January.
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
By: Julie G,
Blog: Book Hooked
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Three months after George Saunders gave a graduation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of The New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders’s words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the way is an inspiring message from one of today’s most influential and original writers.
This is, honestly, another addition to the list of short motivational books that people publish and promote around graduation time in order to make some money. You can find the full text online or even watch Saunders deliver the actual speech
, but I am a total sucker for gift books, especially when I can get them from the library. I'm also a sucker for Saunders, so of course this immediately went on my holds list as soon as it was available.
I loved the message and the idea of finding ways to be kind to everyone in every situation. It's a good, very short read, and I'd recommend finding a copy to look through. It's not going to take you more than half an hour tops and it's full of great thoughts and brilliant writing. As far as spending $14 to own a copy - I'd stick to picking it up at the library, unless you're enough of a Saunders fan that you just have to own everything he prints (which is totally acceptable).
You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, very self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.
This one may be pushing it as far as being considered short form, but I need to fit it in somewhere and I think this is the closest I've got. It IS a very short, very easy to read book. I think I read it in just one sitting over the course of an hour or two, if that long. It's set up as a series of very short (half a page to three page) essays answering questions that Naoki and his family are commonly asked about autism.
For a book that was written using an alphabet grid, this is amazingly well done. The translation is also flawless. I understand that some reviewers see this as a sign that the book isn't really written by Naoki, but I refuse to accept that autism means someone can't have a well-developed interior mind and life. It's beautiful and enlightening and you need to read it.
Joyce Carol Oates is one of the most prominent writers of her generation, and she is fearless when exploring the most disturbing corners of human nature. In Evil Eye, Oates offers four chilling tales of love gone horribly wrong, showing the lengths people will go to find love, keep it, and sometimes end it.
It's hard to come up with much to say about this one that isn't covered by "four novellas of love gone wrong." There's a reason Joyce Carol Oates is known for her short fiction - most of the time it's amazing. This is a great example of a collection that I found riveting and disturbing in all the best ways. If you're a fan of the darker side of things, Gillian Flynn style, this is a good collection to pick up.
Quote of the day:"I think being a dragon would be pretty awesome...you get to fly."
|Oh no, don't eat me....please!!|
-Josh KeatonFeatured book of the day:
Title: Dragon Stew
Author: Steve Smallman
Illustrator: Lee Wildish
Let's look inside shall we?
About the book:
Cast Away on the Letter A by Fred, the pseudonym of Frédéric Aristidès, creator of one of the most famous graphic novel series in France (did you know that the French have long been huge graphic novel fans?) was originally published in 1972. This is the first time it has been translated in English, thanks to the amazing François Mouly and the fantastic people at TOON Books who are
Giving Tuesday helps non-profits around the globe by bringing awareness to the importance of giving back and donating to a cause. This year will be YALSA’s third year in participating, and the Financial Advancement Committee’s (FAC) goal is to raise at least $4000 to send four...yes FOUR...YALSA members to National Library Legislative Day in Spring 2015. Financial Advancement chair Jack Martin (JM) and veteran member Melissa McBride (MM) interviewed each other below about the importance of giving to YALSA and having a strong presence at Library Legislative Day. You can help us NOW by signing on to a Thunderclap that will be released on Giving Tuesday as a means of spreading the word about our fundraising goal.
JM: Melissa, this is FAC’s third year participating in Giving Tuesday, right? What the response been like in the past?
MM: Yes, although this is only my second year participating. The response last year was wonderful, as a committee member it was so great seeing all the support for both the Thunderclap and the donations that came in on Giving Tuesday. We far exceeded our expectations and were able to send additional members to Legislative Day.
JM: I love hearing about this great response. I think our members truly understand the importance of Library Legislative Day, and they know how much of an impact it makes to have YALSA members there to rep our awesome association!
MM: As a Past President of YALSA, what does it mean for you to see such support from the members of YALSA?
JM: For me, it’s all about advocacy. I think it’s easy for us to see our members being activists by physically representing YALSA at Library Legislative Day. What I think is harder to sometimes see but even more important are those activists who are giving to YALSA--via Giving Tuesday or any other time. In fact, I see them as some of YALSA’s most important activists because they’re helping association fulfill its mission to fight for teen services in libraries all across the country. I love thinking about all of that youth-focused goodwill, and as a Past President it motivates me to do the same both locally and nationally. Plus, I think it’s important that because of all of these activists who give to us, YALSA is able to award over $150,000.00 of scholarships and awards to members. That’s big stuff!
Speaking of advocacy, we know that YALSA members often place Advocacy and Activism at the top of their list when it comes to getting support from YALSA. Can you elaborate how Giving Tuesday supports this goal in YALSA’s Strategic Plan?
MM: Giving Tuesday enables librarians and library workers to have a voice. Sending librarians and library workers to Legislative Day, who care about the same issues as other YA librarians is powerful. It sends a strong message not only to our legislators, but also to every library worker who struggles to get what they need for their patrons. There are some days when it is just nice to know that YALSA is there supporting library staff and helping us to have a voice. The resources YALSA provides are a huge help in advocating for what we do.
JM: I know a lot of YALSA members might have questions about how much they should give for Giving Tuesday. What have people given in the past?
MM: Anything! If every YALSA member just gave $1 we would far exceed our goal of $4000 (which would send 4 members to Library Legislative Day)! It’s important for people to understand that even the smallest amount is a huge help. If you are in a position to be able to donate more, then great! Give up your Starbucks for the day and help get our voices heard! I actually just finished teaching my 2nd graders about Sarah Hale and her letter writing campaign (that spanned 38 years) just to get Thanksgiving turned into a national holiday. She knew that every letter counted, just as every penny donated counts.
JM: Wow. I hadn’t thought about it in that way. Let me reiterate: if every member only gave $1, we’d reach our goal! Maybe even surpass it! But also, I know many members may be wondering how they can give. YALSA has made it really easy to give, right?
MM: YALSA has made it so easy this year! Not only can you log onto the ala.org and donate the traditional way, but now you can text to donate! All you have to do is text ALA TEENALA to this number: 41518 to make a $10 donation to YALSA. It couldn’t be easier!
JM: This has been a great conversation, Melissa! I hope everyone out there enjoyed learning about this super important initiative, and we’ll hopefully see everyone out there on social media to support YALSA’s Giving Tuesday campaign on Tuesday, December 2, 2014.
I Was HereBy Gayle FormanHardcover: 288 pagesPublisher: Viking Juvenile (January 27, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon
Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—
By: Matthew Cheney,
Blog: The Mumpsimus
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from "Power" by Audre Lorde:
|Ferguson, Missouri. Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters)|
I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.
|(photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters)|
Please welcome Jennifer Delamere to the virtual offices this morning!
[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Jennifer Delamere] Travel-loving history geek
[Manga Maniac Café] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Jennifer Delamere] My CamelBak water bottle. I’m a big believer in the benefits of drinking lots of water.
[Manga Maniac Café] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Jennifer Delamere] My RITA® finalist pin (taped to my computer);
a coffee cup filled with bookmarks from my favorite authors;
an engraved silver bookmark with the George Eliot quote: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
[Manga Maniac Café] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Jennifer Delamere] I’d stop time long enough to catch up on my writing and all my home projects!
[Manga Maniac Café] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Jennifer Delamere] “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber; “The Girl Who Came Home,” by Hazel Gaynor; “Sailing Out of Darkness,” by Normandie Fischer
About A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON
London’s most scandalous bachelor has finally gone too far. Caught in a situation that was innocent but too compromising, James Simpson is forced to admit that he must do the honorable thing and marry the lady. Unfortunately, marriage alone will not be enough to appease her father. He won’t agree to a dowry unless James can find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister-the shy and awkward Lucinda Cardington.
Lucinda doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf”; she has more serious pursuits in mind. She enjoys the friendship she and James share over their love of photography, but she leaves dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. James does manage to find a match for Lucinda, and his efforts to get them together are about to succeed…until James comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want Lucinda in anyone’s arms but his own.
About Jennifer Delamere
The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled throughout theU.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina–where, when not writing or dreaming up romantic adventures for her characters, she can be found fantasizing about her next ski trip or European vacation.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The post Interview and Giveaway: Jennifer Delamere, Author of A Bride for the Season appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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STAR WARS #1: FORBIDDEN PLANET VARIANT by ADI GRANOV
Featuring the Forbidden Planet exclusive variant cover by Adi Granov – a fabulous illustration of Boba Fett hitting the ground adistinctly Marvel style!
Join Luke Skywalker and his ragtag rebels fresh from the destruction of the Death Star. Fuelled with confidence, the Rebel Alliance is striking out for freedom, against the evil forces of Darth Vader and his master, the Emperor.
Written by Jason Aaron (Original Sin, Thor: God of Thunder) and with art by John Cassaday (Astonishing X-Men, Uncanny Avengers), this is the Star Wars saga as only Marvel Comics could make it!
You can find these products on our website, here: -
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Lee James TurnockThe Comix Company
32 pages (saddle stitched)Colour cover/ B&W interior
Sized to 5 ½” x 7 ¼” (A5/Digest)$4.00UK Prices and ordering: http://thecomixcompany.ecrater.com/p/21025334/fat-arse-lee-james-turnock?keywords=Fat+Arse
- ADULTS ONLY!!!!
Britain's least known Underground cartoonist returns with this seasonal medley of yoks, bitter satire, and tits!!! In addition to his own fantastic comix, Lee welcomes writers Philip Neill and Rob Filth into the fold for some nasty laffs business! Never mind the bollocks, Lee James Turnock's got a FAT ARSE!!!Well, we do not have a mainstream comics industry in the UK so it's no surprise that we do not have an Underground Comix industry!And for those who think "Underground Comix" is just a term covering filthy schoolboy humour...well, it isn't but I'm losing my arguement if we're talking Mr Turnock's work -to a degree.I do know that it m,ay not be everyone's "cup of tea" but comic books cover all genres. Live with it. There are some quite funny if "smutty" strips in this book and a few "pin up" pages. Lots of nice stipling and cross-hatching and you can see that, back when we did have a comics industry, Turnock would probably have earned a good living -the styles are ones that could be used outside Underground Comix quite easily -and often were.
But the art immediately shouts out "LJT" and I'm glad his work is getting printed even if he has to find a publisher outside the UK.Worth a few quid -oh: don't forget he also has a blog where you can see his artwork at: http://leejamesturnock.blogspot.co.uk/Support UK talent!
Recently I had the pleasure of attending the AAP Tri-State Book Buzz for Children’s and Teen Librarians here in NYC. This is an event where a whole heaping helpful of publishers gather together to do a kind of massive librarian preview for folks like myself. It’s a mix of big folks (Macmillan, Random House, etc.) and smaller houses you might not hear from otherwise. With that in mind, I’ve either already attended or am about to attend some of the big guys, so I’ll leave them off of this particular preview. Additionally, I had a meeting in the morning of the Book Buzz day so those publishers who just happened to present anything prior to 1 p.m. pretty much fell off of my radar. Sorry, guys!
Even though I only spent a small portion of my time at the Book Buzz I’m just going to highlight the books that caught my particular attention. Because honestly there were some truly interesting titles on display. Here’s just a small sampling of what I happened to see. First up:
Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection by Charlotte Zolotow, ill. Tiphanie Beeke (9781492601685)
This year (2014) I had a great deal of difficulty finding good poetry books. Honestly, at times it felt like I was pulling teeth to find anything halfway decent. This shouldn’t be so hard! So I was keeping a very sharp eye out for anything verse-like. I was quickly rewarded by this, the first collection of ALL of Zolotow’s seasonal poetry. You remember Ms. Zolotow, yes? Worked under Ursula Nordstrom? Mother of Crescent Dragonwagon? Yep, well I’ve always been a fan of her book Seasons as illustrated by Erik Blegvad so this is just a natural follow-up. It’s coming out in the same year when she would have celebrated her 100th birthday. If the illustrator (Tiphanie Beeke) looks somewhat familiar that may be because she was behind that rather lovely little book Fletcher and the Falling Leaves which came out a couple years ago.
Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita (9781492601562)
On the middle grade side of things we have Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita. Written by the author of the YA novel Secrets of my Hollywood Life the premise behind this one is that when a villain is vanquished in a tale it’s time for them to go to reform school. Our heroine is a normal girl who lives in a shoe with her siblings and is so poor that she’s forced to steal. One thing leads to another and the next thing she knows she’s in a reform school where all the teachers are former villains. Kinda writes itself, right?
This Book is Gay by James Dawson (9781492617822)
I don’t cover YA usually but for this book I shall make an exception. It was a little bit difficult to parse but insofar as I could tell this appears to be a handbook for dealing with sexual identity. It’s a YA nonfiction title with a forward is by David Levithan and it’s full of sketches, illustrations, and jokes. As they say, it’s for anyone exploring their own identity.
National Geographic Kids
Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee (forward by Tim Gunn) (9781426319204)
Now see, the reason I like National Geographic Kids is that they’re reliable. Take Why’d They Wear That?, for example. You know what you’re getting here, even if you don’t know the details. Mind you, the details are where all the good stuff is. Chronicling the history of the world through the lens of fashion, the book covers everything from the Syrian warriors who rode into battle in fishnets to an Archbishop of Canterbury who wore a hair shirt so full of bugs that they left his body and flew into the cold when he was assassinated. From togas to mini skirts, this book talks about clothing and explains why folks wore one thing or another with plenty of historical context.
Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey (9781426315190)
I think I heard about this book a little while ago and got very excited . . . until I realized that it wasn’t coming out until 2015. Fortunately that year is breathing down our neck and so tis nigh! Nigh, I say, nigh! From her childhood in WWII England to the jungles of Gombe this book covers everything Jane related. Riveting and full of images (including the photography of Michael Neugebauer) this has lots of great content from the field. It’s the most up-to-date title out there for kids. At least for an older readership.
Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty: Planet Earth by Steve Tomecek (9781426319037)
Steve Tomecek, the Executive Director and founder of Science Plus, Inc., and Digger his prairie dog sidekick talk all about dirt. Or, put another cuter way, dish the dirt on dirt. Tomecek had a New York Kids show on WNYC radio in New York City for eight years so he’s old school. In his book, Fred Harper from Marvel illustrates multiple peppy comic book sections that start off each chapter. Inside you’ll find DIY experiments, facts, and science bios along with lots of STEM connections. Happy science stuff.
How to Speak Cat by Aline Alexander Newman and NPR’s Dr. Gary Weitzman (President of the San Diego Animal Humane Society) (9781426318634)
This would be a companion to the previously published How to Speak Dog. The dog vs. cat voice in my head wonders which of the two books will sell better. In any case in this tome you get, amongst other things, an explanation of what the 30 different cat poses mean. Lots of expert cat training advice is in this one as well.
1000 Facts About the Bible (9781426318665)
You don’t have to be a library in a religious community to appreciate what National Geographic is going for here. Big and small pieces of information give some great background. Little facts include the tidbit that David was crowned with a 75-pound crown and, elsewhere, that the blue of the robes mentioned in the text came from sea snails. Easy to understand words are helped in no small part by the Biblical scholars who were consulted. Naturally this makes me wonder how long it took them to write the darn thing. My suspicion: quite a while.
Maddeningly they also teased us with Fall 2015 titles as well. With that in mind look for . . .
Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis
Treasury of Norse Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli
Welcome to Mars by Buzz Aldrin
At this point in the proceedings, mention was made of a magazine I’d not heard of before. It’s not like I’ve been following the periodical trends for teens and pre-teens since I was one myself. So to hear that there’s a publication out there called Justine that contains “more teen book reviews than any other magazine” . . . well that’s just downright cool it is. Voila:
Based out of Philly. A quarter of this little publisher’s output consists of books for kids. I often say that small publishers just need one book to sustain them for life. Well Quirk produced Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so I’d say they’re pretty much good to go. For, like, ever. Most of their children’s books coming out in 2015 are just sequels, but there was one adult title that actually caught my eye.
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix (9781322126760)
A classic horror novel set in a Swedish furniture store, written like an IKEA catalog.
Next up, Chris Vaccari, a man clever enough to name drop his local library branch (Kips Bay). Chris thrives in a BookBuzz atmosphere. He is calm. He is at ease. And yet, all at the same time, he is capable of packing in loads of information about the books Sterling is producing soon. Case in point:
Good Question: History Series: Did Christopher Columbus Really Discover America? by Emma Carlson Berne (9781454912590)
This is a series that dare to question history. Particularly useful when we’re talking about that ever so controversial Italian Columbus.
Little Traveler series – How Tiger Says Thank You (9781454914976), How Penguin Says Please (9781454914969) by Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Sarah Watts
These are the latest two books in this series to come out. I should note though that my librarians are BIG fans of these books. They’re finding them easy to hand sell and really filling a need for those parents that wish to get their small children interested in other languages.
ABC Universe – done in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History (9781454914099)
Just consider it an oversized board book for the budding little astronomers in your life.
I’m Not Reading by Jonathan Allen(978-1910126240)
Man. Way back at the beginning of my blogging career, around 2006 I reviewed the Jonathan Allen baby owl book I’m Not Cute. It’s nice to see the series not only still kicking around but upgrading to a whole new board book form.
Ally-Saurus by Richard Torrey (9781454911791)
Who says only boys get to love dinosaurs? Yet when Ally starts school she finds she’s the only girl there who’s into dinosaurs. She is subsequently snubbed by princess lovers (and on this, the 10th anniversary of Mean Girls). I know I’ll be looking forward to this.
A Dozen Cousins by Lori Houran, ill. Sam Usher (9781454910626)
The plot is simple: one girl has a dozen boy cousins. She loves them but they sure do bug the heck out of her. Nice and multicultural, this is utterly pleasant (and more interesting than a lot of the other “big family” tales out there).
The Birthday Cake: The Adventures of Pettson and Findus by Sven Nordquist (978-0735842038)
I believe this is a reprint of an older title. In it, Pettson is a forgetful farmer and his neighbor gives him a kitten named Findus. So he reads the kitten so much that the cat starts to talk. In this book it’s Findus’s birthday (which somehow happens more than once in a year). The dilemma? Our intrepid heroes need flour for a cake. To get the flour they need a bike, to fix a tower they need to get into the shed, to get into the shed they need a ladder to get to the sunroof, and so on and such. Phil Pullman did the blurb for the books and said that it has a folktale feel. Noted.
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser (978-0735841567)
If you buy nothing else I mention to you today, buy this. Show some of the art. On the endpages you see a boy with his father and one of the man’s wheels of cheese is rolling down the hill and flies into the sky. Later, a squirrel wonders how the moon got into his tree. Worried that someone will think he’s the thief he tries to roll it off the tree. The cheese next gets stuck on a hedgehog and a goat gets stuck in it. The art is the real lure here. A-maze-ing.
The Bernadette Watts Collection: Stories and Fairy Tales by Bernadette Watts (978-0735842120)
Turns out, Ms. Watts is beloved in Europe. They just call her Bernadette there. In this book you will find thirty-eight timeless tales with an Eric Carle forward. The result is a book containing pitch perfect, sumptuous backgrounds.
Perseus Books Groups (Running Press Kids)
Go, Pea, Go! by Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg (978-0762456789)
I’ll give ‘em this. I have never seen a potty book that used peas in some manner. This book features one such rhyming pea. He is told by his family to go. See the world. A potty chart and stickers are part of the ensemble.
Butterfly Park by Elly Mackay (978-0762453399)
A paper cut artist takes it to the next level. In this story a girl moves next to a butterfly park and then goes and sees that there aren’t any there. She then gets the community together to plant the plants that attract butterflies.
My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando (978-0762456819)
In this tale a 12-year-old girl’s family is selling their red barn home. She’s against this move so she creates dioramas of each room to best preserve her memories. She also tries to throw a wrench in the works to prevent the sales. One color illustrated dioramas for each chapter. Essentially, it’s all about moving forward.
And that was that. Phew! I can’t imagine how tricky it would be to organize such a thing. Many thanks to the folks who presented. I’ve high hopes for these books.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Writer: Stephen Walsh
Artist: Keith Page
Published 2010, 56 pages
A4 Graphic Album
Full colour cover/black and white interior.£7.00/$12.00
Order online: http://timebombcomics.com/products.html
According to the blurb when this was published: "Squadron of the Screaming Damned
is their amazing follow up to London Calling which we released to critical acclaim in 2010. Once again featuring Charlotte Corday – the mysterious secret agent whose missions are so top secret even she
doesn’t know what they are – the story begins with a WWII German U-boat surfacing in Charlotte’s bathtub, as Page and Walsh give us another fabulous dose of the weird and wonderful that made London Calling such a hit."
Now I really loved London Calling
even if I cannot find my review on CBO -or was it on the old CBO? Never mind.
I was reading this at 0330 hrs this morning. This is the weird and fantastic at its best. It had all the elements that for me, as a comic reader who likes the quirky and odd, worked! Great fun story....or was it? I forget. It was a great fun story....was it---we could go on for days like this!
Seriously, buy this one and I note London Calling
is still available. Man, if you don't buy both these books then you are a complete mental. You should not be reading quality comic books. I think the late Brian Edwards would have loved this!
Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole
by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Carolrhoda Books, 2014
This is a very fun book.
You might have seen it reviewed (with a spotlight on the author) by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty
. It's worth looking at again.
Santa has written a haiku a day for the entire month of December, and they are collected here to give readers a peek into the secret life of Santa, beyond what we know of him in his workshop and sleigh. We get to know his love of nature, the way he and Mrs. Claus decorate for the season, and (through the illustrations) that he has a big orange cat that looks much like the one that lives in our
Buy a copy and make this a December tradition in your house! Maybe you could write companion haikus each day in December from the point of view of the elves or the reindeer!
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Time Bomb Comics
Written by Lawrence Rider
Artwork by Rebecca Teall
Format: 21 x 21 cms
Retail Price £7.99/$10.99
LONGSHIP SPECIAL EDITION HARDCOVER
AVAILABLE IN VERY LIMITED QUANTITIES
I actually wrote a quite long review which Blogger appears to have deleted. It was there and ten minutes later -nothing. You have no idea how close I am to chucking this all in.
The story/script was, apparently, written long before an artist was found in Rebecca Teall, a fine artist who had never worked in comics before.
You can find her blog here: http://www.rebeccateall.co.uk/
"So what is it about? I’ve spent quite some time describing it as fifty-odd pages about a funeral, but that tends to make people uncomfortable. Nobody really likes funerals, and they like talking about them even less. Funerals are about loss and grief, and we understandably tend to put them to the back of our mind. Which is, in a way, what Longship is about?
"I often tell people that I want to be interred in a pyramid when I die. I’m pretty sure that most of the people that I tell this to think that I’m a touch morbid. It’s not morbid, though, at least not in my mind.
“My pyramid is intended to be a celebration of my life, something for people to remember me by when
I’m gone. I don’t see planning for that as morbid, I see it as a culmination of my life, something I can leave behind. Which is, again, kind of what Longship is about.
"I’ve described Longship, perhaps a little pretentiously, as a story of life, death, what you leave behind, and what we will do to honour those we love. It’s about loss, and acceptance of that loss, but also about celebration. It’s a celebration of a life after it’s ended. That’s also what Longship is about.
"The story is about a Viking ship burial on a hill somewhere in Yorkshire, set in the modern day. It’s beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Teall....She has made it look far better than I ever dared to hope."
I think that sums it up nicely. In the old days of TV this story would have been the basis for a slice-of-life
Play For Today. As it is, this story flows nicely and Teall's art works wonders. I loved the use of Runes -see page below.
Is it really "an emotional roller-coaster" of a story as one person put it? Well, it obviously impressed Time Bomb Comics Steve Tanner enough to publish it. I never give too much away story-wise and in this case it is hard to give "spoilers" -you have to read the whole book to get the feel of what is going on.
One of the best from TBC to date? I'd just say you ought to support British talent and buy a copy because for a 50+ pages colour book the price is cheap!
Now, as I have re-written and TRIED to publish this for the last hour let's see if it works now!
By: Margot Finke
Blog: HOOK KIDS on READING
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# margot finke
, #Dreamtime Man
, children's books
, Holiday Gifts
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GO ON. . . I DARE YOU!
Love 'em with BOOKS this Holiday Season.
BOOKS that make terrific Holiday Gifts.
*Trial by Walkabout is a great Aussie outback adventure--
a multicultural tale of sibling rivalry, aboriginal culture, danger,
and Dreamtime pirits--plus a friendship between two young teens
*Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind--
a rhyming story that tells how sudden BIG changes
can turn a sweet girl into a brat!
(parent teacher guide included)
JUST PUBLISHED (soft cover)
For young and old alike. . .
My rhyming tale, based on Australian history, shows how Aboriginals
survived the arrival of the white man, and eventually created
a place for themselves and their culture
in the present day.REVIEW SNIP:
SAMPLE from Book REVIEW on Penny's Reviews and Chat:
"I'm a great, and long time fan of Margot Finke’s children’s stories, as you know. I’m completely enthralled with this new one, Dreamtime Man. It is absolutely one of her best. It’s in rhyme and powerfully relates the stories of ancient Australian aboriginal tribes who used to roam the wild, untamed lands of Australia. Her word pictures are perfect jewels."
**The illustrations, by Ioana Zdralea, are amazing.
This SUPER Review is a huge thrill!! **You can also LISTEN to me read the story HERE
Not on Sale. . . but worth every penny!
Books for Kids - Skype Author Visits
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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And So They Might
And that is a quote, baby.
Not from one person but several including some comic professionals from the UK who will not repeat those words in public because “I just do not want the grief that follows saying that!
Oh, yes. On the old CBO I got the reaction to writing things like this but not just off the top of my head for controversy but fully backed up by facts and statistics. I once suggested that all UK comic bloggers add a banner to their sites: “Let’s Revive The UK Comic Industry” and the reaction?
I was told I had “a Saviour complex” and a lot worse. “Oh, so YOU are going to come and save us all?!!” Really nasty things were written and not just on CBO but on comic blogs and forums.
Let me make this clear (because ALL the postings and responses were kept –a full file of all this is with a solicitor “in case”): I was being attacked because I suggested all of us in UK comics get together and try to rebuild the comic industry as best we could.
At that point I realised that the main problem was that we never really had an industry anyway –the comics business was so crooked that it used to be known to tax people as “the double cooked books with triple layer mud”. Distributors were no better and often acted in collusion with publishers.
Once the fan-boy got into comics that was it.
But I was asked why I do not include the Small Press as the new comics industry? Well, I believe that I have written before that it is but it does no real good. It is a dilettante comics industry.
Someone just Googled “Dilettante Comics” to see if they are collectibles.
Now I know people do tend to misconstrue my words even though I try to make them clear so hold on to your lederhosen.
I began drawing as a youngster. In school I edited the school magazine Starkers The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth which was in…1971/72? The title came from the Deputy Head, Mr. Wright –an ex-RAF man and one of the most popular teachers at Greenway Boys School. I do know that there was/is a magazine by that name from London(?). Never seen it and I did an internet search recently and cannot find reference to it. I am positive that I did see it advertised in publications such as Fortean Times (in the old days).
Anyway, one of the school secretaries complained and it was stopped at printing and burned. Also, the rather pompous religious Head Master disliked immensely that I called it a “zine” –it was NOT a magazine and I kept saying it was a “little magazine –a zine”.
I later did lots of other work with newsletters, magazines, printers and from the late 1970s on, the Small Press world of fanzines. I have a big collection of Small Press publications –poetry, prose fiction/sci fi as well as fanzines and comics. Unlike today, the 1980s saw people from all over the UK exchanging their zines and if anyone needed a strip to fill a page or so everyone chipped in. This was in letter writing days –no internet and phone calls were too expensive.
Also, we all knew comics. Whether UK weeklies or the US comics from Marvel, DC, Charlton or the rather obscure companies. And, of course, we all had our Alan Class comics. Strange to think how many of us were into horror movies and particularly some of the classic black and white movies. Then again, we were working in a black and white medium. I was very happy when I also discovered a great many zinesters were fans of Orson Welles because of his masterful use of angles, shadows and the B&W medium.
In other words we were a community without internet and only after the Westminster Comic Marts and other one day events became more popular in the 1980s did any of us meet up. There is a term you don’t hear these days –“marts” that were, basically, a hall full of people selling comics and zines and creators meeting up. Going to the Westminster Marts was fun but we must have looked odd: meeting in a corner or on a staircase feeling different types of paper we drew on. Checking out each others pencils, pens (one typo and a letter “i” there and I could put a whole new slant on things!), brushes, sniffing inks and pens –checking which were alcohol based or whatever because certain pens combined with certain papers or boards could be very messy. Most of all we talked.
Apart from one or two incidents involving certain people I was never once accused of throwing anyone out of a window or into the Thames. There were no witnesses. Understand? NO….WITNESSES.
Most of us were starting work in comics or already working in the medium. We knew about our subject. Everything except earning big money!
Mastering a photocopier not to mention paste-ups, removing ghost-lines and so on was not something you had a choice in. It was what you had to learn if you were in comics.
In the mid-1990s computers started appearing and before you knew it everyone new who came along was thinking they were going to produce and get rich from a Teenage Mutant Turtles or Blade Runner rip off. And the ‘new pros’ –well some were quite open about using tracing paper to draw their comics. In the huge stack of news zines and papers I have there are some true horror stories about this. Stick figures as “a genuine artistic comic medium”…..no, I really never did throw that man in the Thames though he deserved to be.
And it only got worse. Once the wave of mostly untalented creators vanished they were replaced by those arty farty elitists who believed that only European comics –Bandes Dessinee matter and that everything else was purile. Those people had been around in the 1980s and we used to call them “bow-tie *******” (this is a family site). Here is the problem, though. These people only considered Franco-Belgian BD (must NOT call them “comics”!) legitimate. Spain and Italy had comic industries and though Germany had a small industry that mainly reprinted Franco-Belgian and US comics Bastei Verlag at least had their books going to more than a dozen European countries.
Alan Clark and the late Denis Gifford –particularly Denis- were nastily mocked and their work looked at as “low interest” because, unless it was The Beano, The Dandy, The Eagle were any other publications or creators not in those comics of any worth? Denis had a life long love of comics which the alcohol and dope loving new creators didn’t like. Despite the lies and rumours I can tell you that Denis did receive and read Small Press publications –including mine.
People who were “names” in the 1980s continued to hang on in though, and I find it funny, they become media comic luvvies but you go to a Small/Alternative Press event and mention their names and you get blank looks! But, if as “media luvvies” they get to pay their rent, eat and enjoy life good luck to them. I have no problem with that.
Now while comic Expos –the new “Marts”- are popping up all over the country it has to be said that, say, 90% have no interest in the Small Press and have never seen a SP comic –and if they have they probably grimaced the same way their mothers do when they find that “odd stain” on the bed sheets (ladies I ask you to submit your own comic slob image).
One comic geek –because TV programmes such as The Big Bang Theory have made comics “hip” and everyone wants to be known or called a comic geek. Bless, they’ll tire of it after a while. And everyone is a new comic collector spending money on the ‘cool’ comics that many do not read and a few think that because they were conned into paying huge amounts for a comic featuring a character(s) from new movies –which they find out are NOT the movie characters- they think will make them rich one day….when every other one of the THOUSANDS of copies of that comic suddenly turn to dust!
Comics toys, cosplay (including those with no knowledge or interest in comics) and TV/Movie merchandise are their world. Honestly, real old style comic fans are driven away from events and their passion by hugely inflated prices of comics and event entry fees.
Then we have the SP/AP people. Never heard of Stan Lee (other than “Is he that old guy –the character from The Big Bang Theory?”. Never heard (NEVER) of Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. John Romita snr (notJnr) or John or Sal Buscema? Gene Colan? John Byrne? No. “Oh, they made a comic out of that Avengers film?” –it’s at this point that I usually fall to my knees (which hurts) and raise my fists to the heavens and scream out “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” and some ***** says “Mr Khnan from the TV comedy series? Why –is he okay?”
Honestly, I make a point of talking to these people and most, let’s face it, are at the oldest in their mid-30s so have never known UK comics other than the horrendous merchandise crap with toys attached. Big names in UK comics –John Cooper? No. Mike Western? No. Terry Hooper-Scharf? “Didn’t he used to be held hostage somewhere?” Yes. I have a beard so I’m mistaken for Terry Waite.
WHAT THE ***** DO YOU MEAN “WHO?”!!!
Well, I suppose at least he kept the handcuffs and radiator.
But these people move in their own little circles. I never realised that until I started name checking with people. Some people in zines today do go to various events outside of cliques. Our own Paul Ashley Brown –doyenne of the Bristol, London and he’s even known outside the UK.
I’m that man on the hill The Beatles sang about. “Who are the Beatles? What man –Stan Lee?” Do not try my patience……..grrrrrrrr
At events you note that exhibitors, if I may call them that, have their own entourages. Their friends and others go to their tables and talk, buy a zine, talk….Twenty tables in a room with twenty different groupings of mates who might –might- look around and possibly buy things.
These SP/AP people are producing their own comics or zines (some really do have no idea their books are classed as comics!) without having read comics. Some may have seen what friends have produced and decide to have a go. Others may have seen something about European comics. A good few start at art college. But they have no knowledge of the history of comics and I have genuinely had these young folk say “Well, when did they start comics -1970s or 1980s?”
So we have an ever increasing number of SP/AP events around the UK –in London Dimitri Pieri is a human dynamo at organising events- but most are independent of one another and some have no knowledge of the other events.
I meet the occasional creator who knows about comics but to a limited degree because, again as I found out from personal experience, most were not born until the 1980s (by which time the UK comic scene was dead) so if they are “doing comics” it is in the US format. These days I just introduce myself –“I come from the comics world of another century and you may call me…..Methuselah!”
You are getting some of these nuggets of gold, aren’t you?
Most AP/SP people have been to Art School/college or whatever –some are still students and others have full time jobs. The idea –if it is ever there as anything more than a dream- is to make zines, have fun and if you sell a copy or two –great! Very few actually get to go on to make a living out of their work and when I’ve asked about this in the past I get a furrowed brow and “make a living out of it? “ and they look at me oddly or laugh –and I am fully clothed.
Independent Comics are the same in a way. A LOT of vanity publishing –you should neverpay any publisher to have your work printed. If it is that good, even if they don’t pay: they should shoulder the costs. But I did wonder how the same publishers could attend one event after another throughout the year while claiming thay they do not sell enough books to earn a living or pay their creators? Some do make money but there are a lot of gullible creators out there.
Here is the thing and I observe these things because “its what I do”: the Indie publishers are the same as the AP/SP people. True most hope for that comic that is going to make them huge sums of money but they, too, have their groupies/entourages who do follow them to events.
You see, Print On Demand (POD) makes it possible for anyone to publish their own comics. Good quality production in both hardback and paperback. For Indie/SP/AP there is the buzz of seeing the books printed. Books with your work in. You don’t even have to learn all the old skills just use your computer –even print limited runs of zines on your own printer.
Do I get a buzz from publishing my books? No. It’s hard work and I do it to try to make a living. At events I tend to be the only person who is doing so professionally. The fact is that everyone else is doing this as a past time because they like doing it and have paying jobs so the “tomato ketchup on toast” meal is something they don’t have to face.
Do you know that back in the 1980s I regularly went without food for days? Usually three to four days and a maximum was six days –publishers didn’t care because they tried to hold back your earned cheque as much as possible (Fleetway/Egmont owe me over £5,000 from the 1990s but I’ll never see that!). Trick is that you drink fluids and when you get food eat lightly. The idea of a slap-up meal after days of no food is dumb because you will be spending a lot of time in the toilet afterwards!
I’m meandering in my textual …..what am I writing? I should make notes. And before you ask: NO, printing off copies of bank notes on your printer is no good. Shops do not accept them and they are illegal….that’s what the police told me.
You pay £25 for a table. Sell one zine or nothing but you’ve had a good day and met your mates blah blah blah. Really? That £25 loss cuts into me.
The attitude is not a professional one it is an amateur one. I like a lot of these people I meet. Some are really lovely. But they are dilettantes. Nothing wrong with the attitude but it creates a major problem.
You see, if those attending events just go to see their friends and buy their books but do not look around at other tables, maybe a glance of a few seconds, then the people who are selling books to make a living are not. You carry that over to a hundred events a year, small or large, then you are talking about many thousands of people who, were they more widely interested in comics as in the “old days”, would be looking around, checking other tables and books out (most will not even lift a book off a table let alone look inside) and chatting with creators they do not know. These days they do not.
And at a comic event you will find “dilettante fan” who only goes for cosplay but not to buy books. Or the “Nuevo geek” who is only after the “cool” Marvel or DC comics or the merchandise collector.
“Comics” has splintered into factions –one not knowing the other. In the 1980s/early 1990s, we would buy our Marvel and DCs at a mart or convention but we would also check out and buy SP books. None of the factions really knows of one another or cares. Its not “their scene.” If all of those factions did combine we would have one hell of an industry in the UK.
But that will never ever happen.
The comics background and mindset is now gone and comic ‘geeks’ make fun of or stick up their noses when the SP/AP is mentioned and vice versa. Totally and utterly ridiculous.
Try to make a living out of comics in the UK gets you no real respect.
So maybe those French BD people have a point –except they are also suffering from a stuffed shirt attitude. For decades BD publishers and collectors have looked down their noses at the “poor relations” publishing US comics in French or original French books as now published by Hexagon Comics. They just ain’t arty. But the huge success of movies tied to Marvel and DC has made a few BD publishers sit up and take notice because there is nothing more “arty” than the smell of money. So now they repackage some BD to take advantage and make money from this.
At least, though, they do have a comics industry. And I so wish Germany would wake up and get in on the act.
For the UK the dilettantes –however sweet- have taken over and it has killed us.
A more happy, warm ending to a miserable depressing posting?
Okay. A butterfly. Let’s smash a butterfly on a wheel (5 kudo points to whoever got that 1980s music reference).
By: Sue Bursztynski,
You know how LinkedIn sends you those nets asking you to congratulate someone on a work anniversary? It can be pretty silly, because it will include anything on your résumé. Even if you say you're a freelance writer, for example, it will ask people to congratulate you on the anniversary of the day you posted. It's not done by a human being and computer programs can't tell the difference.
But this week I was asked to congratulate Linda Richards on 17 years running January Magazine
and I really must. It is a fabulous review web site, which also has articles and news about books and writers. You can follow it by email.
Some years ago, I was writing my first online reviews for a publication called Festivale Online. It was a good publication while it was going, but suddenly, without warning, it disappeared and the editor was out of contact with her contributors,not replying to emails.
Well, I liked my free books and being published. I had been receiving stuff from publishers. My sister was receiving January Magazine by email, so I contacted Linda, asking if I could review for her. She sad yes, but that she couldn't supply the books. She lives in Canada andI live in Australia. I said that was fine; as long as I had somewhere to publish my reviews I had access to publishers.
So began a long, happy relationship that continues to the present. I don't send as many reviews these days as I used to, because most of them appear here, though I do share my reviews between our two web sites. And I still send her a "best of" post each year as she asks for one.
It has been a lot of fun and I've had some great experiences. Who can forget the morning I visited Allen and Unwin to collect the final Harry Potter book, then read all day to meet Linda's deadline? Because she is in the northern hemisphere I could email her early Sunday morning to say I'd be a couple more hours and she could reply that this was fine, she'd check her email again after dinner(it was still Saturday night there). And then there was the time I reviewed a book about the Hildebrandt Tolkien calendars for JM. I had a lovely email from one of the artists thanking me for having given his nephew such a nice review. Not only that, but Caspar Reiff of the Tolkien Ensemble, which does wonderful albums setting Tolkien's songs and poems to music, offering me a review copy of the latest, which I had been wanting but unable to find in the shops here!
In a way, JM is the reason for this blog. Linda does it all herself from somewhere rural in Canada(she once told me there was a bushfire raging in her area). Sometimes my reviews hadn't been published after weeks and weeks. So I thought it best to publish things here when I hadn't heard; the publishers supplying me would want to know the review was up. Of course, The Great Raven has become a lot more than a review zine, as you know, though it is handy that I can be more flexible, since JM only publishes reviews of new books and I sometimes review classics or things that have been around for a bit longer than JM's one year limit.
But if it weren't for Linda Richards and January Magazine, The Great Raven might not exist. So here's to you, Linda! Long may January Magazine run!
Faded: the sunflowers. They’re drooping in sad-Charlie-Brown fashion all along the side wall. They amuse me.
In bloom: yellow daisies, masses of them. Pink geraniums, always. Orange zinnias, still going strong. Sweet alyssum and snapdragons, recently added. (The summer alyssum crop, grown from seed, carpeted a corner of the yard all summer, then went brown and weedy. We missed them and put in a few nursery plants to tide us over until the next batch of seeds comes up.) Bougainvillea, small but promising. Lavender, keeping the bees busy. Basil, because I forgot to pinch it off.
In fruit: Tomatoes! Hurrah! I moved them to the front yard this year and voila, they are producing abundantly.
But overshadowing all of these by a mile: the renegade pumpkins. Last year (Halloween 2013) we had one jack-o-lantern and two smaller uncarved pumpkins. These got left alone when we tossed the melting jack-o-lantern. (That’s what carved pumpkins do in Southern California. They dissolve on the stoop.)
The two little pumpkins became a quiet science experiment during the course of the year. One was partly under a bush and retained its integrity for months. The other, in full sun, decomposed rapidly. All of us enjoyed comparing their progress during our comings and goings from driveway to front door.
By July, the shaded pumpkin had joined its mate in the circle of life: its skin crisped and cracked like old, brittle paper. Seeds spilled out everywhere. Did I pay them any mind? I did not.
In August, we noticed sprouts. Not only at the site of the departed pumpkins, but also along the side wall near the sidewalk.
By October, we had vines. Big sprawling vines with huge leaves, trailing all across the lawn and beyond. We had to keep kicking them off the sidewalk back onto the grass lest they trip up passersby.
And now, two days before the final pumpkin holiday of the year, we have (at last count) a crop of six young pumpkins of modest size in various shades of green and yellow. Not orange. No, not quite orange yet.
I figure they’ll be ripe in time for Christmas.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Yeah, at first I read "Oscar Pistorius". I come from another century!
After landing a role in ‘Star Wars VII’ it looks as though the up and coming star will be heading to the ‘X-Men’ universe… as he takes the title role in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’.
Not content with nabbing a role in the galaxy far, far away it looks as though Oscar Isaac is determined to conquer modern geek culture. And now the actor has reportedly signed up for the upcoming ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ as the movie’s big, bad villain.
According to Variety, the 35-year-old Guatemalan-born American actor has nabbed the role of Apocalypse in the upcoming ‘X-Men’ sequel.
“Oscar Isaac will be playing the titular comic book villain in 20th Century Fox’s ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’,” they revealed. “[Bryan] Singer has described the upcoming ‘X-Men’ film, which is expected to feature all cast members including Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy, as the most destructive movie in the franchise.”
Of course, Apocalypse has already taken to the big screen in a post credit teaser after the recent ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’. But while the scrawny-looking mutant was busy with his newfound pyramids, it looks likely that he’ll bulk up a bit for the upcoming sequel.
“‘Apocalypse’ will have more of the mass destruction that ‘X-Men’ films, to date, have not relied upon,” said Singer in a recent interview. “There’s definitely now a character and a story that allow room for that kind of spectacle.”
Reportedly taking place during the 80s, ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ will feature younger versions of the classic ‘X-Men’ characters. And while it seems that ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ has found its villain, the hunt is apparently on for a young Cyclops and Jean Grey.
But will they be able to conquer the mighty Apocalypse? For now, we’ll have to wait and see. Although, if Isaac has to go up against Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, I don’t fancy his chances.
‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ heads to cinemas on 19 May 2016.
I’ve got some art here at 7-Imp today from Austrian illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger.
First up are Zwerger’s illustrations—originally created in 2009, I believe—from The Pied Piper of Hamelin, an edition of the story retold by Renate Raecke and translated by Anthea Bell. This was just released in September by Michael Neugebauer Publishing, a.k.a. Minedition. The Kirkus review writes: “This strange and unsettling tale is made all the stranger and more unsettling by Zwerger’s spare, isolated figures in their pale interiors and landscapes.” Today feels like a good day to share such a story, as it seems the entirety of the U.S. feels unsettled — given the news, that is, leaving us heavy-hearted.
Also from Minedition is Zwerger’s vision of The Night Before Christmas. This was released last month, a book with a small, cozy trim size and Zwerger’s take on Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem, first published in the 1800s. Zwerger’s illustrations were originally created in 2005. Pictured above are Dasher, Dancer, and part of the rest of St. Nick’s crew. Pictured right is the man himself, trying to cheer us up.
I’m glad, in both cases, that Minedition has released these new editions. I’m always pleased to see Zwerger’s artwork. She’s one of those illustrators who made me want to study children’s literature. In fact, if you’re a fan too, you may be happy to know this has been released. The copy I ordered finally arrived. In the Foreword, Peter Sís writes: “Her art flows and shines.” Yes, what he said.
Enjoy. From The Pied Piper of Hamelin:
“At first only a few rats came, enticed by all the delicious things to eat in the houses
of Hamelin, but soon there were more and more of them.”
“One day in the year 1284—so the old legend says—a strange man appeared in Hamelin. He was a striking figure, wearing a parti-colored or ‘pied’ robe
such as the townspeople had never seen before.”
“All over town he went, up streets and down alleys, and wherever his music was heard the rats came scurrying out of kitchen and cellars, storerooms and stables,
to follow the Pied Piper.”
“The sorrowful parents hurried out of town to search for their lost children.
All the mothers and fathers were weeping and wailing. …”
From The Night Before Christmas:
“The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow /
Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below …”
“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot …”
“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work …”
* * * * * * *
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. North American edition published 2014 by Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.
THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN. North American edition published 2014 by Michael Neugebauer Publishing Ltd., Hong Kong. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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More movie news. Hmmm. Could it be these people flock to the big budget super hero flicks because they KNOW it will mean big bucks and huge publicity?
Michelle MacLaren has signed on to direct ‘Wonder Woman’ for Warner Bros according to fresh reports.
The Hollywood Reporter
claim the Canadian was always the studio’s first choice, and will guide the project with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Charles Roven on board as producers.
MacLaren has had her hand in a number of major television shows, having directed four episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’, three episodes of ‘The Walking Dead and eleven episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’, which she also executively produced from season three.
She also produced 46 episodes of ‘The X-Files’ at the turn of the century.
‘Wonder Woman’ is Warner Bros’ first major property to launch following the release of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ in 2016, and will star Gal Gadot as the Amazonian superhero. Gadot will make her debut as the character in the ‘Man of Steel’ follow-up.MacLaren is the third director to be brought into Warner Bros’ growing DC Comics Universe after Snyder and ‘Suicide Squad’ director David Ayer.
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Short stories are alive and well in the young adult market.