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1. How to Use Cross-Promotion to Sell Your Book

Be-Your-Own-Publicist-ArticThe book industry is like any other in the sense that selling and marketing your product — and, in essence, yourself — can often be the toughest part.

If you’re a unknown author working with a small publishing house (or self-publishing), partnering up with a brand that has a large following could help boost sales and get your name in the press. We got the scoop from several branding experts on how to choose the right partner:

Think outside the box and team up with a brand, retailer or expert who supplements your area of expertise. If you just wrote a book about the benefits of Pilates and the barre method, [Beth Feldman, co-founder of BeyondPR Group] suggests teaming up with Lululemon to do a book signing at their store or build a 10-city tour to appear in their stores and then promote yourself to local media. This begins with concocting a well-crafted strategy to share why you would add value to them via media exposure.

To learn more, including how to build a local following, read: How To Be Your Own Publicist.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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2. Julia Irvine

Letters from Korea by Julia Irvine

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3. C2E2014: How To Get Around

C2E2-2014-PosterThe Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, also known as C2E2, is set to begin Friday! If you’ll be attending, here are some helpful hints on how to make your way to the South Building of McCormick Place!

Just so there is no confusion (at least from this website)… C2E2 has changed locations once again at McCormick Place! There are four buildings, and this year, C2E2 is in the SOUTH Building (on the right as you climb the Stairway To Paradise).

First, here’s the official link to Reed Pop’s info! That includes car, taxi, train, and plane! (I assume those using less traditional methods such as flight rings or rocket boots should approach low from the east over Lake Michigan–to avoid triggering area radar–and enter the convention center from the Lakeside Center.)

McCormick Place’s official directions page is here.  And you can pre-purchase parking online!  Scroll down for all the transportation alternatives.

800px-Soldier_Field1

If you’re using Google maps (or other map software), McCormick Place is located near the juncture of the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and Lake Shore Drive (Highway 41). If looking at a Superman’s-eye-view of the city, follow the lake shore south until you hit the Shedd Aquarium and Northerly Island Park, which juts into the Lake. Soldier Field is the other landmark there… it’s the building that looks like a UFO crashed on top of a stadium. (Science geeks: your landmark is the Field Museum.  No relation to the football Field.)  McCormick Place is south of the park, at approximately 23rd Street. Or follow Interstate 55 east until you hit the Lake. McCormick is directly north.

Here are a few tips on traveling to and from the C2E2 convention at McCormick Place.

1) The train (Metra). This is Chicago’s commuter train line. The line you want to take is the Metra Electric line to McCormick Place. If leaving from Millennium Park, the cost is $2.75. HOWEVER, this is a commuter train, and runs less frequently on the weekends. Also, on the weekends, McCormick Place is a FLAGGED stop; the train only stops if there are people on the platform, or if you notify the conductor ahead of time. On the weekend, trains leave about every ninety minutes. Metra does offer a weekend pass. The platform is a bit spooky (the center is built over the platform), but walk northwards to the stairs, which will lead you directly to the Convention center. When you enter the Center, turn left, and walk to the South  Building. Nice, but not convenient. Info here.  Metra also runs trains from other regions.

2) The subway/El. Take the Red Line to Cermak-Chinatown. Then hike eastward along Cermak, or catch the #21 bus to the convention center. $2.25 one way (bills and coins), and the Chicago Card will save you time and money (as well as grant free transfers). The Green Line does not stop near McCormick, but it does connect to the #3 bus at King Drive, which you should take northwards, although it looks like the station has limited access. The Pink Line also connects with the #21 bus on Cermak further west.

3) The bus. The #3 and #21 buses stop in front of the McCormick West Building. The #3 runs north along Michigan all the way to downtown. The #4 bus also runs along Michigan, but only on Michigan Avenue. It does not go to the convention center. You’ll have to walk two blocks along Cermak, or transfer to the #3 or #21. If you’re coming from downtonwn, catch the #3 and do some sightseeing. As always, ask the bus driver if the bus is headed to McCormick. Cross the street and look for the giant C2E2 sign.

4) The shuttle. C2E2 is sponsoring shuttle buses. Information is available at the convention, as well as the Concierge desk in the South Hall. If shuttles use the exclusive busway, travel times will be faster than regular surface traffic. Hotel shuttles are located on Level One of the South Hall, near the ballroom, behind the concierge desk.

5) The taxi. Outside the South Hall, near the Hyatt, is a taxi stand. I asked my hotel concierge about the cost, and she said it would be about $17 (from the Loop to McCormick). If you can’t get to the train, bus, or shuttle, then this, of course, is your last resort. If you have a lot to carry, this will probably be the most convenient mode of transportation.

Here’s the word from C2E2:

Taxi Services

More than 5,800 city taxis are at your service in Chicago. Facility direction signs and personnel at the Concierge Desk will direct attendees to gates that are designated for your event. To calculate your taxi fare, check out TaxiFareFinder.com.Tell the cab driver you are traveling to McCormick Place – South Building, and you’d like to be dropped off at Gate 40 (off of Indiana & Cermak).

6) The car. McCormick Place has a map of the area, as well as information about parking (see above). Lots of space, but the flat fee is $19 a day, each time you enter the garage. There is also surface parking to the north of the convention center, used by Soldier Field. Access to the parking, pedestrian access to the convention center, and cost is not known. Google Maps offers street views for most of the area, and you can plot your path .


View Larger Map

 

7) The miscellaneous. If traveling from above, DO NOT LAND at Meigs Field. It is no longer an airport, and once you land, you will be treated as a celebrity by the local constabulary, complete with round-the-clock news coverage, front page coverage on all local newspapers, and private accommodations with an around-the-clock security detail. If necessary, your privacy will be protected by flying you to a remote government-run spa in the Caribbean.

1024px-Pano-chicagoOtherworlders often mistake Soldier Field as an interdimensional Trans-Port terminal. The terminal is actually located at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, but reservations are required, as the broadcast grid is sometimes used for concerts. Higher dimensional beings can use the Cloud Gate located nearby. While primitive, it does offer enough perpendicular trangentials to accommodate the eleven classical dimensions of this reality. From those, the infinites can be easily excessed.

Chicago is based on a grid. The center of all directions is State and Madison, located within the elevated loop downtown. East-West streets are numbered from State; North-South streets are numbered from Madison. Numbered streets follow the grid numbering, and all subway/el train stations post the coordinates on the station signage. McCormick is approximately 2200 South, 400 East.

1 Comments on C2E2014: How To Get Around, last added: 4/24/2014
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4. Reading Around the World: INFOGAPHIC

scribdScribd has created an infographic called, “Reading Around the World,” which explores the reading habits of readers around the globe.

According to the graphic, the fastest readers in the world are in Germany and religion in the most popular genre in Mexico. Check it out: “Thanks to our growing international community, we now have quite a few fun facts to share with you. So, we’ve created an international infographic so we could easily share some of our favorite figures: Popular Books By Country; Reading Speed By Country; Most Likely to Finish a Book; and Most Popular Book Genres.”

We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump. continued…

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5. A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire

Readers trying to understand the complex origins of World War I must begin in the Balkans, and in the fading, somnolent court of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph I. Why? Because the Great War — as the First World War would shortly be known — could not have begun anywhere else, or through any other agency [...]

0 Comments on A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire as of 4/24/2014 2:29:00 PM
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6. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Roxanne Barbour, Author of An Alien Collective

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20543038-an-alien-collective



In my world-building, both aliens and humans love food.  But that shouldn’t be surprising—food is the sustenance of life.  But it is much, much more than that!


Synopsis of AN ALIEN COLLECTIVE:


Cyn-Tia Silverthorne wakes up to find herself stranded on an alien planet.  She finds seven other teenaged humans and they are as confused as she is.  To Cyn’s delight, and some apprehension, twenty-four aliens (all teens on their own planets) have also been deposited: eight Temman, eight Irandi, eight Reannone.  Every day, supplies and instructions are delivered to their village for pickup by the managing committee—which consists of Cyn, Stire, Frakis A Kirba, and Tine Jana—one representative from each race.  After a time, the four races create a working collective, but they soon decide to rebel.  The Guardian appears and sends them on a series of quests, but the grand purpose of the experiment still eludes them.



In this novel, many of the plot points are triggered by food. 

For example, cooks from all four species gather in the new community building to prepare the first meal:


                I turned back to the kitchen.  Stire was listening to a discussion.  The stances of the participants indicated a disagreement.  I walked a little closer.
                “I am not going to let some alien watch me cook our food.  Cooking is a private matter.  We have many rituals we perform while we cook.  It is part of our religion,” said an Irandi.
                “That is indeed a problem,” agreed Stire.  He looked at me. 
Was I supposed to come up with an answer?  Probably, since the other cook involved was a human. 

My motivation for this scene was to point out the first of many battles the managing committee would encounter in their attempt to get the four races to work together. I also wanted to introduce the notion of uniqueness of culture, and food rituals were a not-so-obvious place to begin. 


Another excerpt:
 

                Just then, a male Reannone walked up to our table.  “You wanted to see me, Frakis?” he asked.
                “Yes, Gree.  Where have you been all day?”
                “Oh, I took a day off.  I’ve been working too hard at these menial tasks.  It was some alien’s turn.”  Gree seemed quite defiant.
                Frakis tapped the table.  “It doesn’t work that way, Gree.  We all need to pull together and get our village running.  We don’t know why we’re here, but we need to make the best of this situation.  And making the best of it means everyone contributes.  This is our life, for the time being.  We’re all taking turns at the tasks and, while I agree that most of them are menial, they’re necessary for our survival.”
                “Well, I’m not going to do any.”  Gree straightened his posture.
                Frakis glance at us before she replied, “Then you don’t get any food or housing.  That’s what we’re all working for.”
                Gree stared at Frakis for a moment, and then walked away.


I used this scene to plant my first seed relating to rebellion.  I wanted to show that while the members of the managing committee were working well together, not everyone else was having an easy time of it—which put further pressure on Cyn, Stire, Frakis, and Jana. Would the eventual large-scale rebellion lead to loss of food for everyone? Find out in AN ALIEN COLLECTIVE.


Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Roxanne!


0 Comments on FOODFIC: Please Welcome Roxanne Barbour, Author of An Alien Collective as of 4/24/2014 3:59:00 PM
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7. European Library Bureau Campaigns For eBooks in Libraries

eblidaThe European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) has launched a campaign to push European libraries into providing access to eBooks.

The “Right to E-read” campaign is dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges involved in getting eBooks in libraries in the EU. Check it out: “The campaign, initiated by EBLIDA, is being carried out in all European countries. The idea for a campaign poster with a logo and slogans was developed by the e-books task force headed  by Gerald Leitner. At the European level, EBLIDA is coordinating the campaign. EBLIDA provides information and material for its members for download and use.”

Barbara Stripling, president of the American Library Association (ALA) congratulated EBLIDA for the campaign. “We understand that many libraries in European countries have faced challenges in obtaining and lending best-selling ebooks from major book publishers,” she stated. “In fact, surveys suggest that more than 50 percent of the latest ebook titles are not available to public libraries in Europe. Today, we applaud EBLIDA for demanding that the European Commission change copyright law to require publishers to sell to libraries.”

 

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8. Today @KirkusReviews...

Drowning...I wrote about Rachel Ward's The Drowning:

...which sets out to be a love story, a ghost story, a story about abuse, and a story about family. Of the four, the ghost story comes the closest to being successful. The idea of a ghost that can travel via and control water is scary in and of itself, and Ward really makes great, cinematic* use of it, sometimes with powerful, gushing torrents, sometimes with insidious, creeping mold. Ghost Rob’s growing strength is rivaled only by his malevolence, and Carl’s deteriorating mental state—despite clear signs of an actual haunting, at times I wondered if it really might all be in Carl’s head—adds to the tension.

As it sadly didn't do a whole lot for me, I went ahead and recommended some OTHER books that I enjoyed much more...

INCLUDING A CERTAIN SERIES STARRING MISS SHIRAZ BAILEY WOOD.

And also one that I haven't read yet, but that LOOKS really super.

Sidenote: Due to the water and the palette, this cover is pretty ambiguous... but if the girl on the cover is supposed to be Neisha Gupta, with her "big brown eyes" and skin with "honey tones", then it looks like the UK cover has been whitewashed.

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9. Harts Pass No. 198

Earth Day 2014. Work for some. Just another day in the woods for others...

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10. Webcomics alert: Selbstbildnis Walpurgisnacht Bildungsroman in 3D by Jason Little (NSFW)

selbst-color-01.jpg
You will need 3D glasses to completely appreciate thissexually explicit comic by Jason Little it looks mighty fly in any mode.

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11. Socio Design

Socio Design via grainedit.com

Consistently solid work from Socio Design, a multi-disciplinary graphic design studio based in London.

 

Socio Design via grainedit.com

Socio Design via grainedit.com

Socio Design via grainedit.com

Socio Design via grainedit.com

Socio Design via grainedit.com

 

——————–

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12. April News

April has been a busy, crazy, fun, busy, poetical, busy, bunny business month--and it's not over yet.
So before it gets any crazier, I'll share what I've been reading, doing, writing...



Who says libraries are just for books? Not the Lorain, Ohio children's librarians! They are encouraging kids to explore their creative side in fashions with "Sew Lorain Kids." A long time ago I worked in a couple of libraries in the Cleveland area. I'm so glad to see that the librarians there are continuing to be innovative. There are so many great craft how-to books in libraries, but why not give kids a chance to actually put the lessons into practice. My hats off to all of you in Lorain!!!



 I've been working on a variety of writing projects--one of them is an easy reader narrative nonfiction book on stars. So I was delighted to see a new book by Kathleen T. Isaacs which highlights picture books dealing with nature: BUGS, BOGS, BATS, AND BOOKS. Young readers--as well as their parents--often need help in finding age-appropriate books on various nonfiction subjects. This title also including science activities relating to various topics in the book. Look for this book at the library or ask your librarian to help you find some delightful nonfiction books to share with your children.


Kuddos to another librarian--this time with the focus on poetry. Thinking totally outside of the norm, Cathy Jo Nelson, a South Carolina educator, blogs about "The Unexpected Perks of Poetry." She and a teacher collaborated on a poetry assignment--encouraging the students to create poems from words in book titles: spine poetry. Ms. Nelson elaborates in her blog about the many bonuses of this activity for both students and faculty. Poetry always seems to expand the world for us.



I'm writing the rough draft of chapter book with a poetic ghost in it. Although the story didn't start out with a lyrical ghost, she just appeared out of thin air--so to speak. And who am I to tell her that she doesn't belong in this story. I might be haunted for eternity...so I continue writing.


 Apparently April is also NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH. Although I was unaware of this, I have been reading some humorous picture books of late. A couple of favorites are CREEPY CARROTS by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Here is a video by the illustrator explaining how he envisioned the sneaky carrots. My two-year-old grandson loves this books. We've read it over and over again. I've even made him his own creepy carrots with real carrots and a black sharpie. Beware biting into that next crispy, orange carrot! There may be many more lurking in the shadows--just waiting to pounce!!!




The other fun picture I've been studying of late is WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN by Jodi Moore, illustrated by Howard McWilliam. The author uses the "what if" storyline to create an elaborate beach day fantasy complete with fire-breathing dragon. And the illustrator brings the creature to life with humor and charm, sure to entertain children of all ages. But of course, there is the dilemma--once a dragon moves in how do you get him to move out??? Rather like the moles in my backyard, I'm afraid. :)



So here's hoping April is poetically humorous--and beware of carrot-eating dragons, or something like that!

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13. J. Percifull

Money!!! How Much Do You Really Understand? by J. Percifull

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14. On the Road with Preschool Mojo Part 2

Three foot snow drift in Ashland WI in front of Lake Superior 4/24/14

Brooke and I are excited to be up in Ashland WI, on the shores of beautiful Lake Superior, to share some preschool know-how (and learn some too!) with our colleagues from the Northern Waters Library System. We are doing a workshop on starting a 1000 Books program, creating an inexpensive early literacy area and tips on doing effective early lliteracy storytimes.

We have a Pinterest board, All Things Preschool, full of links for you. If you don't use Pinterest, here are the highlights:

Growing Wisconsin Readers - a great blog to get insight into everything early literacy - including some great posts on early literacy centers developed in WI!

Hennepin County's slideshare with a ton of easy ideas to create inexpensive early literacy activities

1000 Books Before Kindergarten slideshare

1000 Books Before Kindergarten posts here (including a webinar), here, here, and here.

Both Brooke and I are blogging links for the workshop today, so please head over to Reading with Red for more insight into preschool power!

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15. Pour with Confidence

ONE DAY, in my early 20's, I was visiting a friend who worked in a pub. It was mid-day - there were a few customers eating sandwiches and having beers, but no other employees. Suddenly, her phone rang. It was a family emergency - she had to leave! She looked around - realized there was nobody to cover her. She tossed me the keys - showed me how to ring the register - and left me to cover the rest of her shift. Well.

This was a beautiful day in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Bars there don't just stand empty - soon enough some tourists came in, and some regulars - a couple of people I kinda knew, but mostly strangers. I'd never worked in a bar or a restaurant, but there I was, suddenly in charge - so what could I do? I had been to theatre school. . . so I acted like a bartender. I chatted. I poured beer. I mixed drinks. The thing is - mostly people ask for either beer, or for things with two ingredients - Jack and Coke. Gin and Tonic. Easy peasy! If something came up I didn't know, I'd turn my back for a minute and cheat with the Mr Boston's book.

When a tap ran out, I called that one "out of order." When the ice ran low, I filled a bucket. When the lemons ran low, I chopped up some more. When somebody asked about food, I scurried back to the kitchen to tell the (surprised, but not easily ruffled) cook.

You've heard the phrase "fake it til you make it" -- well, that applies here. Nobody KNEW I had no clue what I was doing. So I pretended I DID know what I was doing. Not only did I pretend I knew what I was doing - I pretended I was GOOD at what I was doing. And guess what? NOBODY FIGURED IT OUT.

They gave me a job. Somewhere along the way, I actually did learn not only what I was doing, but also, how to be pretty good at it. Soon enough, I was training new bartenders. And I taught them my trick: POUR WITH CONFIDENCE. 

The biggest mistake that most brand-new, totally un-trained bartenders make is . . . they are hesitant. They touch the bottles like they are about to break, and pour like they are pouring into a dainty dolly cup at a children's tea party. When they do that, customers totally pick up on it, even if it is subconsciously. When customers feel like they aren't in good hands, they get skittish. A hesitant or weak bartender will get fewer or lower tips, and they'll certainly have less fun on the job.

So even if you ARE new, pretend like you know what you're doing. Stand up straight. Look customers in the eye and smile. Actively listen to what they are asking for. Grasp the bottle firmly, and pour like you mean it. Give them what they want with a minimum of fluster and a bit of flourish.

I hear what you're asking. "OK well, thanks for the trip down memory lane, weirdo, but what does this have to do with ME?" Well, my little chickadees, the same principle applies to approaching agents.

If you were a bartender, you probably wouldn't introduce yourself to a new patron by crumpling up an old dishrag and throwing it at them, or by creeping up to them and bursting into tears. Those would be BAD INTRODUCTIONS. So. Begin as you mean to go on. When you are approaching an agent - DON'T say "I don't really know how to write a query" or "I don't know how to be a writer" or "I'm not really a writer" or anything of the kind. I get this all the time. Daily. But I mean - hello, this query letter is all I know about you.

If you treat the query letter like a professional introduction that it is, I'll accept it. If you tell me you're a writer, I'll believe you. If you tell me you're "bad at queries" or "not really a writer" or "a clueless newb". . . well, I'll believe that. Is that really what you want me to believe?

Obviously there is such a thing as going overboard. If you say "this book will make your dreams come true!" or "I'm the second coming and a rock star rolled into one!" or "you'll be making a huge mistake if you pass THIS up" or similar . . . well that's just being a big-headed jerk-slash-crazyperson.

Don't be over the top -- but DO be confident and professional, even if you don't exactly FEEL those things. If you can do the wordy equivalent of standing up straight, looking the agent directly in the eyes, smiling, and giving them what they're asking for with a minimum of fluster and a bit of flourish. . . well, you may or may not get an agent this time, but you will both project and get respect.

Pour with confidence and get those tips, babies!

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16. Lakes International Comic Art Festival 2014 - Tickets

Charlie Adlard. Photo: Olivier Roller


 The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is pleased to announce that tickets will go on sale for its massive weekend of comic events in Kendal, Cumbria in October (17th – 19th October 2014) after Midnight on the 25th April.
 
In just its second year the Festival features an increasingly stellar line up of comics creators and designers encompassing a wide range of genres, including international guests such as artist Becky Cloonan (who, along with her many independently-created works, was the first female artist to draw the main Batman title for DC Comics), digital comics guru Scott McCloud, top comics writer Gail Simone, Junko Mizuno,  the award-winning Wilfried Lupano and Jeremie Moreau (creators of the acclaimed graphic novel The Hartlepool Monkey), Bone creator Jeff Smith and Dutch cartoonist Joost Swarte – plus a host of home-grown British artists, writers and illustrators.

Just a few of the many creators in this year’s line-up are the legendary Watchmen co-creator, artist Dave Gibbons, Sunday Times-featured artist Nick Abadzis, Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, Doctor Who artists Mark Buckingham and Mike Collins, 2014 Eisner award nominee creator Rob Davis, Marvel Comics artist Gary Erskine, top designer Rian Hughes, 2000AD and Batman artist Jock, leading independent artist Sean Phlllips, The Beano and VIZ artist Lew Stringer and many top independent comic creators, such as Luther Arkwright and Grandville creator Bryan Talbot and Vampire Academy artist Emma Vieceli.

(For further information on creator's works, visit the Festival's web site - www.comicartfestival.com).

The Festival features more than 50 carefully-produced events with often unusual combinations of guests, unusual presentations and new formats. It includes films and live draws alongside workshops and master classes including a whole programme dedicated to children and teenagers. Themes and strands include Konichewa Japan, Vive la France!, Lost in Space, The Great War in Comics and Just for Laughs?

Plus, the Festival offers a huge, free, Comic Marketplace in Kendal’s Clock Tower, crammed with publisher stands, creators offering art and sketches – and, of course, there will be plenty of comics for sale. (Full details of the family zone and Comics Clock Tower plus full exhibitions programme and more will be released in May and June, but look out for creators such as Isabel Greenberg, writer Ian Edginton, Great Beast publisher Adam Cadwell among many others). There’ll also be a pop-up Forbidden Planet for the weekend.

With a firm eye on developing new comic talent there are also plenty of workshops for aspiring comic creators to sign up for.

“The first festival ran like a well-oiled machine, with many people stating that it seemed like a long-established event,” enthuses Festival guest and founding patron Bryan Talbot. “If you only go to one comic event this year, this is the one that's unmissable.”

“The organisers are building on last year's resounding success to make this year's festival outstanding,” added fellow patron Mary Talbot. “There's another stunning array of guests and exhibitions, events and competitions - so there's sure to be something for everyone. Like last year, only even better!”

"One of the most popular questions after our first festival in 2013 was how would we be able to match its breadth, scale and quality,” says Festival Director Julie Tait. “We hope this year's programme (with a few surprises still to come) will answer that question.

“We are delighted to have an increased number of international creators and to have broadened the genres too. Meanwhile we have listened to feedback and have extended the range of the family zone and have made the Comics Clocktower free to the public. And we can assure you that Kendal will be even more of a comic art town for the weekend"
 
Sign up for the Festival's newsletter here for the latest news! Web: www.comicartfestival.com

For further information contact: Julie Tait - julie@comicartfestival.com

Images of most announced guests, Festival poster and mascot images can be found here:

Web Resolution: www.flickr.com/photos/116459003@N07

Notes for Editors

The Lakes International Comic Art Festival (17th – 19th October 2014) is a new kind of comic art event in the UK. Modelled on a European-style festival it aims to take over the market town of Kendal, on the edge of the Lake District, with comic art presenting the widest range of genres. Events include a 24 Hour Comic Marathon, children’s comic workshops, talks, signings, Great War in Comics art exhibition and a Comics Marketplace. 

Guests So Far...

International Guests

Nick Abadzis
Becky Cloonan
Peter Van Heirseele
Wilfrid Lupano
Scott McCloud
Junko Mizuno
Jeremie Moreau
Ivan Petrus
Romuald Reutimann
Gail Simone
Jeff Smith
Joost Swarte
Jorg Tittel

Creators

John Aggs
Rob Bliss
Adam Brockbank
Charlie Adlard
Doug Braithwaite
Mark Buckingham
John Clark
Mike Collins
Stephen Collins
Darryl Cunningham
Rob Davis
Glyn Dillon
Oliver East
Jonathan Edwards
Gary Erskine
Felt Mistress (Louise Evans)
Martin Geraghty
Merlin Goodbrey
Dave Gibbons
Scott Gray
Nick Hayes
Kate Holden
Rian Hughes
Jock
Joe List
Lizz Lunney
Metaphrog
Robbie Morrison
Sean Phillips
Woodrow Phoenix
Tim Pilcher
Kimberley Pope
Dermot Power
Jade Sarson
Dez Skinn
Kev F. Sutherland
Bryan Talbot
Donya Todd
Emma Vieceli
Joff Winterhart
2014 Comics Marathon Team

Dan Berry
Kristyna Baczynski
Warwick Johnson-Cadwell
Joe Decie
Sarah McIntyre
Fumio Obata
Jack Teagle

Presenters

Joelle Bernard
Hannah Berry
Pete Doherty
Alex Fitch
John Freeman
David Gaffney
Mel Gibson
Paul Gravett
Stephen L Holland

24 Hour Comic Marathon

The 24 Hour Comic Marathon creative team is: Dan Berry, Marathon curator and producer; Kristyna Baczynski (NME), Warwick Johnson Cadwell (Tank Girl), Joe Decie (The Accidental Salad) Sarah McIntyre (Oliver and the Seawigs, shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2014), Fumio Obata (author of the graphic novel Just So Happens) and Jack Teagle.

• For more information about the 24 Hour Comic Marathon visit: www.comicartfestival.com/competitions

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17. Join the April Read & Romp Roundup!


I can't believe how quickly April is flying by! The warm weather here in California is inspiring me to get moving more than usual, and today I took my first dance class in a few months. Am feeling pretty good! Hope you are all enjoying warm weather and plenty of movement, too. And, since April is National Poetry Month, I hope you are finding some time to sneak in some poetry, either for yourself or for your little ones. If so, I'd love to hear all about it and how it might be related to movement!

Today's the official call for submissions for the April Read & Romp Roundup. If you have a recent (or even not so recent) blog post that involves picture books or children's poetry AND dance, yoga, or another form of movement, leave your link in a comment on this post. Or, you can reach me on Facebook or Twitter to let me know about your link. If you know of others who might be interested in joining the roundup, please help spread the word, too. I'll round up all the links and post them together in a few weeks. Hope to hear from you!

Submissions are open through Thursday, May 1, 2014. 

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18. Alloy Entertainment to Adapt ‘Sisterhood Everlasting’ by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood EverlastingAlloy Entertainment plans to create a film adaptation of Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann BrasharesThe Hollywood Reporter reports that Ken Kwapis, the director behind the first Sisterhood movie, will helm this project.

Liz Garcia has been hired to pen the script. Thus far, no casting decisions have been announced so it is unclear whether or not Blake Lively, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Amber Tamblyn will return to reprise their roles as Bridget, Lena, Carmen, and Tibby.

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. What It Was Like Working At A 1980s Taiwanese Animation Factory

Animation artist Jamie Baker ("UP," "WALL·E," "Finding Nemo") has written a hilarious and detailed account of what it was like to work as an artist in Taiwan in the mid-1980s. Spoiler—it was weird:

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20. Disney To Debut ‘Feast’ At Annecy

"Feast," a new short by "Paperman" head of animation Patrick Osborne, will debut at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, Disney announced this morning.

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21. Writers Appear on the ‘Time 100 Most Influential People’ List

TimeTime has released its list of “100 Most Influential People.”

A number of writers have been included in this illustrious group such as young adult novelist John Green, nonfiction author Barbara Brown Taylor, memoirist Malala Yousafzai, novelist Arundhati Roy, and Pulitzer Prize winner Donna TarttYousafzai actually makes two appearances because she contributed a short piece honoring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Drawing magazine spring 2014


http://www.artistsnetwork.com/drawing-magazine

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23.

Today is Poem In Your Pocket Day.

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24. note to self

Part of a wip, and a necessary reminder these days. When it seems that there are way more things I know nothing about, than things I'm capable of....

Take courage!

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25. U is for Urgent 2nd Class

Yesterday the strangest thing happened to me: I was in a bookstore searching for a new art book (totally realizing that the last thing I need is a new art book), and when I opened a how-to on watercolor techniques, there was a letter inside. A hand-written, angsty "I-don't-mean-to-be-passive-aggressive-but-I really-hate-you-because-I-love-you" letter. Wow. It was written on lined notebook paper and made me feel like I was a character in a movie or a novel. All I could think about was: Who was supposed to receive this letter and why was it in this book? In a public space!

The part that was really strange to me, though, was that I had already planned to make today's post for "U" be a celebration of Urgent 2nd Class, Creatimg Curious Collage, Dubious Documents, and Other Art From Ephemera, by Nick Bantock, the creator of the Griffin & Sabine series of books. If you are a Bantock fan, you'll immediately recognize the significance of finding a letter in a book. If you don't know Bantock's work--run, don't walk to the bookstore and get yourself a copy of Griffin & Sabine, an Extraordinary Correspondence right now--skip reading this post, just go!

In my opinion, Nick Bantock is the foremost mixed media and collage artist/author ever. The End. I have admired (and envied) his work most of my adult life, and taking one of his workshops is so on my bucket list I get dizzy just thinking about it. Fortunately, I have a way to stay sort-of sane while I'm waiting because Urgent 2nd Class is one of my all-time keepers. The book is full of Bantock's artwork, and better yet, great ideas and tips on how he does it. Not only is the book beautiful, it's genuinely useful.

Bantock is the reason I first became interested in making collages of my own. I've often mentioned in the past how important magazine cut-outs have been to both my artwork and writing, but to get that real "fine art" kind of effect, magazine pics can sometimes be too "slick" or commercial-looking. 

Bantock uses all kinds of strange and interesting materials in his work, much of it found from combing through vintage shops and yard sales. My own collection of collage materials is rather paltry in comparison, and one of the things I'd like to do this summer is start creating a better selection of items. To get started, I brainstormed a list:
  • Used costume jewelry: pins, beads, chains.
  • Old jigsaw puzzles--doesn't matter if pieces are missing. All the better if they are.
  • Vintage postcards, travel brochures.
  • Vintage greeting cards.
  • Vintage theater programs and tickets.
  • Stamps. International, used, pretty, weird . . .
  • Buttons, laces, and fabric trims. Preferably used.
  • Old books in bad condition (so I can tear them up with a clear conscience).
  • Vintage menus, paper placemats.
  • Doilies, both fabric and paper (good for making imprints and texture in paint).
  • Wallpaper scraps.
  • Really bad condition wall-art prints and posters (again for tearing up).
I have a feeling that searching for these items is going to be just as much fun as finding ways to use them. Let me know if you're planning to hold a yard sale any time soon!

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