in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1547 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
By: Alexander Jones
Valiant comics are continuing to mix up their line with a couple of brave new experimental decisions, but this one might be the most dangerous of them all, introducing a character with incredible power in the Valiant world. The publisher’s latest wave, Valiant Next, started with the release of the first issue of The Valiant, and will continue to launch throughout the first couple of months of 2015. In February of Valiant Next Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine’s Divinity is launching alongside Imperium. This is a new concept for Valiant that’s shipping in the prestige format in four issues. The concept for this story is especially bonkers for a new property launching in a shared superhero universe. In the middle of the Cold War, the Soviet Union sent one man into the far reaches of space, he went further than anyone has ever gone before. Then he found something strange. That same man came back to Earth and landed in Australia, with the power of to bend matter, space, and time. His new name is…Divinity.
Valiant released teaser images featuring Hairisine’s art, several covers, and this intriguing concept below:
DIVINITY #1 (of 4) [VALIANT NEXT]
Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Cover A by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC (DEC141707)
Cover B by TOM MULLER (DEC141708)
Valiant Next Variant by BUTCH GUICE & TOM MULLER (DEC141709)
Character Design Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC141710)
Artist Variant by LEWIS LAROSA (DEC141711)
Blank Cover also available (NOV148093)
$3.99 | T+ | 32 pgs. | PRESTIGE FORMAT | ON SALE 2/11/15 (FOC – 1/19/15)
Dow Phumiruk is an aspiring children’s book illustrator. She won the 2013 SCBWI On-the-Verge Emerging Voices Award that promotes diversity in children’s books. This feast illustration is from a book idea called Arissa and the Queen’s Mice. Please visit her portfolio site at http://www.artbydow.blogspot.com or her blog at http://www.happydow.blogspot.com to see more of her work.
I’m thrilled to share that… drum roll please… Kelly Calabrese has accepted representation with Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary Agency!
Kelly says, “Sarah LaPolla is a super sharp, smart, and witty agent who really *gets* the types of books that I like to write – which I believe is the most important factor in an agent/writer relationship.”
Kelly first met Sarah at the annual NJ SCBWI June Conference, and then again at the Full Manuscript Avalon Writres’ Retreat at the end of September. Sarah critiqued her full manuscript of her YA Thriller-Horror, BEAUTIFUL BLOODY DUCKLING, and gave her editorial notes that were dead-on insightful.
I asked Kelly what happened post the Avalon Writers’ Retreat, here is what she said:
I had the amazing fortune of being accepted into Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars. As a chosen mentee in this contest, I won the editorial aid of two published mentors – Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie – who helped to shape my story into a much stronger version. I can’t shout loud enough from the rooftops about how life-changing Pitch Wars can be. After working day and night on revisions (Sleep? What sleep?!), I completed my manuscript a mere two days before Thanksgiving.
Sarah received my full manuscript on the 25th of November, and offered me representation within two weeks. Crazy. I know. And so very encouraging!!! It’s all very *dream come true* – WHOOT!
I truly believe that Sarah is an ideal agent for me, and that we are going to KICK ASS together. So, watch out world.
Of course, I could not have done it on my own. I am beyond grateful for Dee Falvo (my über talented CP), for the constant encouragement provided by my fellow NJ SCBWI members, and for the empowering mentorship offered through Pitch Wars.
The writing community ROCKS. And I am so thrilled to be a part of it…. #AmWriting #AmReading #Forevermore :)
— @kellycalabrese & @sarahlapolla —-
PS: I started a new BLOG called We Hear YA! It connects YA writers with their teen audience and can be found here: http://wehearya.blogspot.com/ (@WeHear_YA)
Sarah LaPolla: http://www.bradfordlit.com/about/sarah-lapolla-agent/
Pitch Wars: http://www.brenda-drake.com/pitch-wars/
Trisha & Lindsay’s book:
CONGRATULATIONS KELLY AND SARAH!
FYI: If you have a Kindle, here are two books that have had their prices temporarily reduced. Can’t ever go wrong buying a Lauren Oliver book. I personally read and enjoyed. I just bought RED RISING, but have not read it yet. It has gotten a lot of buzz and awards.
By Lauren Oliver
A New York Times bestselling author delivers a “fast-paced and captivating book” (School Library Journal). In the small town of Carp, teenagers have invented a dangerous game, and newly graduated Heather and Dodge find themselves competing for thousands of dollars — putting their very lives at risk.
Deal ends: January 5
By Pierce Brown
For fans of The Hunger Games comes a New York Times bestseller that’s a “heart-pounding ride” (Entertainment Weekly). Darrow is a Red — part of the lowest level in his color-coded dystopia. Can he infiltrate the ruling Gold caste and bring justice to his people? “Fast-paced, gripping, well-written” (Terry Brooks).
Deal ends: December 27
Filed under: Agent
, authors and illustrators
Tagged: Avalon Writer's Retreat
, Bradford Literary Agency
, Dow Phumiruk
, Kelly Calebrese
, Sarah LaPolla
It’s an all too familiar story: an artist without a lot of funds, and no insurance, all of it wiped out following a sudden illness. Artist Norm Breyfogle, best known for his memorable Batman work, suffered a stroke last week, and it was very serious. His left side is paralyzed….and as a left handed artist this is very serious. He’ll need months of therapy and recovery.
And he had no insurance. And his savings are already wiped out.
A fundraiser has been set up to help him. People have already been generous but there’s a long way to go.
This happens way too much in our industry, people. We need to take care of our own.
I’d love to see Disney and Warner Bros and Sony and Fox hold fundraising screenings for the Hero Initiative, the non profit that helps creators in need. It’s really time that the big companies put 1% back into the people who created all the ideas the studios are benefitting from.
Here some of Breyfogle’s art. In recent years he’s been drawing Archie comics and Batman Beyond, as well.
By: Lizza Aiken,
Christmas Poem & Pastel by Joan Aiken Best wishes, and thanks to all who visit See you next year! >>>>>#####<<<<< Filed under: In her own words, Joan's Life, Joan's Quotes, Picture by Joan, Poem by Joan Tagged: Joan Aiken Christmas poem, Joan Aiken pastel drawing
By: Alexander Jones
He’s out of the tiara and in our television subscription services, he’s LUKE CAGE!
Mike Colter has just been announced to co-star in A.K.A. Jessica Jones as the one-and-only Luke Cage! The actor will be making his debut on-screen as the hero in Marvel and Netflix’s aforementioned show alongside Krysten Ritter. Then Colter will move onto his own Luke Cage spin-off series. Jessica Jones is set to be thirteen episodes long, and it is scheduled for release sometime in 2015. The show is coming after Daredevil, which also recently announced Charlie Cox as the lead actor. Colter has played various roles in television with projects like The Good Wife, and The Following, and has been in various films such as Zero Dark Thirty.
Luke Cage has come a long ways from his original character design developed by Archie Goodwin and John Romita Sr. in 1972. The character is no longer sporting that tiara, afro, and yellow outfit from the original design. Luke Cage is one piece of the four Netflix shows which combined equal The Defenders. The Hollywood Reporter announced the news this morning.
I don’t want to say “a holiday classic” but this special Eight Part Breaking Cat News Christmas Special by Georgia Dunn is…a holiday classic. While investigating the tree that the humans brought into the house, Elvis gets lost outside in a snowstorm! And meets up with a friendly furry friend named Tommy who has no home. It’s cold and wet and how will remaining news team members Puck and Lupin cover this epic story? And will Elvis be changed?
This is a sweet, funny story that hits every holiday note that needs to be hit. Enjoy!
Thanks to Rose Fox for the heads up.
My husband’s best friend returned to us the other day from his vacation in South America bearing gifts. Amongst them was a t-shirt for my daughter featuring this cartoon tyke:
Know her? If you’re American the answer is probably no. But if you were Argentinian you’d instantly recognize her as Mafalda. She was Argentina’s answer to Charlie Brown from 1964 to 1973 and is basically recognized all over the world . . . with the exception of the U.S.
She gets me to thining. When we talk about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign we need to look beyond standard fictional fare. We need to look at easy books, early chapter books, nonfiction, poetry, fairytales and folk tales, and, yes, graphic novels. And of all the comics published specifically for the young reader market in 2014 that were marketed to libraries, only one had anything even faintly resembling Latino content (Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper, ill. Raul the Third).
None of this is to say that if Mafalda were translated for the American market she wouldn’t appear with an adult publisher like Dark Horse. Like the aforementioned Charlie Brown she had some pretty advanced jokes. No, for me Mafalda is just proof positive that when we’re looking for diverse characters, we shouldn’t forget about the ones published internationally. Our scope is so limited here in the States. If there is any unexpected offshoot of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, I hope it’s that we are able as consumers and publishers to expand our focus and look into those characters and creations from countries outside of our own. Mafalda is just the tip of the iceberg.
A couple of her comic strips to amuse you today:
And a fun piece on her unexpected origins.
Lauren Gallegos sent in this cute illustration that rings so true. She is a Children’s Book Illustrator who was featured on Illustrator Saturday: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/illustrator-saturday-lauren-gallegos/ www.Laurengallegos.com Twitter: @laurengallegos
Here are two holiday poems. More tomorrow and Christmas Day. Voting will start on Friday.
The Tasting Tree
By: Robin Jordan
Busy hands stained juicy, red.
Berries strung. Needle ‘n thread.
Draped around a fragrant pine
Over, under branches fine.
Popcorn seeds shake, shake, shake, then
Burst into a snowy flake.
Loosely sewn all in a row
On the festive tree they go.
Vanilla scents thrill the nose.
Cookies tied with shiny bows
Sprinkles shimmer, precious gems
Dot the sweeping verdant stems.
Shepherd crooks, a sweet delight
Twisted stripes. Some red, some white.
Candy canes hung by their hook
Help create a gleeful look.
My tasting tree’s now complete.
Leaving Santa lots to eat.
Working hard all through the night
Must stir up his appetite!
The above illustration was done by Mark Meyers. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday in 2012. Here’s the link. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/
Christmas Movies and Meaning
By Hally Franz –
On the Twelve days of Christmas I hoped I could see,
The classic holiday movies I’d missed on TV.
So many favorites make me smile, laugh, and cry,
But the days left for watching are flying right by.
Day one, I will start with some time spent with Clark,
Though his house was lit well, he was left in the dark,
‘Bout what grand or glum bonus would come his way,
And what crazy cousin Eddie would do that last day.
Day two, it’s time for a freckle-faced kid,
And the tale of what the two robbers did.
Left all alone, but helpless he’s not,
For few have the tricks clever Kevin has got!
Day three, I must visit a lodge in Pine Tree,
For Vermont is a lovely white place one should be,
On lyrical holidays with Danny and Bing,
Engagements and soldiers, all the songs they will sing.
Day four is saved for a swelling single dad,
Who put on the suit and left the life he once had.
Shaving and gaining, graying and growing,
He flew to the North Pole where elves he’s employing.
On day five, I’ll enjoy a sugary treat,
A Caan-Ferrell combo is one hard to beat.
Jovie leads carols, gets Santa’s sleigh off the ground,
In a place folks think no Christmas cheer can be found.
From sweet to a sneak on day six, I will go,
When I watch the green guy with the heart yet to grow.
He seemed determined to ruin Christmas for young Cindy Lou,
Until Dr. Seuss taught him a lesson compliments of the Whos.
By seven I travel across the pond to hear,
Tales of Mark and Daniel and Bridget dear.
Their accents are lovely, their troubles quite mad,
The kiss in the snow leaves me a Colin Firth fan.
Now when on day eight, loves turns to divorce,
It’s time for “delousing babies in Burma,” of course.
Though they try to avoid crazy families, they find,
Even spray cheese and spending limits are better than “lies.”
Though Peter B. helped produce my selection above,
He’s rabbit-costume-hating Ralphie in one we all love.
On day nine it’s Red Ryder BB guns and lady-leg lamps,
Frozen tongues, broken glasses, and little guy scamps.
My nostalgic mood continues on ten,
When I’ll watch my old black-and-white friend.
George questions himself and thinks his life’s been a waste,
Clarence reveals he’s made Bedford Falls a fine place.
Dickens’s story, reincarnated has been,
But, any version works fine on day eleven.
Visions and dreams appear as in our story above,
Unlike good-guy George, Scrooge must learn how to love.
Day twelve is reserved for one from way back,
A short film of a child and the love he did lack.
A poor boy he has only his drum he can play,
For the newborn king on that most glorious day.
Thank you, Hollywood, for movies we enjoy year after year,
For stories of love, life, and lessons held perennially dear.
But, if one studies the list, I think you will find,
Few of the flicks bring the true meaning to mind.
The most known films are sweet and funny, it’s true,
But fail to bring Mary, the manger, and Jesus in view.
Tinsel Town, try addressing man’s internal crave,
And, give us more to see about the son that He gave.
It’s a story that’s true, compelling, and brave,
Of One born to die, our sinning souls to be saved.
Consider my list, along with my request,
While I reveal answers to the above test.
“Christmas Vacation” should not be spent “Home Alone,”
Unless it’s a “White Christmas” and you’re talking by phone.
But, then “The Santa Clause” and his “Elf” won’t find you around,
If in spite of “The Grinch that Stole Christmas” down the chimney they bound.
If left stranded deep in snow read “Bridget Jones’ Diary” for fun,
Are remember “Four Christmases” are rarely better than one.
Tell “The Christmas Story” for one or all who are near,
Be thankful “It’s a Wonderful Life” whether you’re there or you’re here.
Sing “A Christmas Carol” or two with joy in your heart,
And, one called “Little Drummer Boy” is a great way to start.
Blessings to all at this Christmastime,
And, thank you for reading my ramble-ing rhyme.
In summary, I say watch those movies we love,
But save time for the Savior sent from above.
This was sent in by Margo Sorenson. She doesn’t know who wrote it, but it is a very well-known in Hawaii.
“Da Night Bafo Christmas” Was da night bafo’ Christmas, and all ova’ da place,
Not even da geckos was showin’ their face.
Da stockings was hangin’ on top da TV
(‘Cause no mo’ fireplace in Hawai’i )
Da kids stay all crashed, my old man too.
They leave all da work for you-know-who.
So me, I stay pickin’ up alla dea toys,
When – boom! – outside get only big noise!
I run to da window, I open ‘em up,
I stick out my head and I yell, “Eh! Whassup?!”
And then, I no can ba-lieve what I seen!
Was so unreal, you know what I mean?
This fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!
And reindeers not housebroken,
you know, as’ why hard!
But nemmind, this Christmas,
so I cut ‘em some slack.
Plus, had uku pile presents pokin’ outta his sack!
So I wait ’till he pau tie up his reindeer,
Then I yell out da window,
“Huui! Brah, ova hea!”
An’ I tell ‘em first thing,
when I open da door,
“Eh, Hemo your shoes! You going dirty my floor!”
He take off his boots, he tell, “You know who I am?”
I go, “Ho! From the smell, must be Mr. Toe Jam!”
He make mempachi eyes and he go, “Ho, ho, ho!”
By now, I stay thinking this guy kinda slow!
He look like my Tutu, but little less weight,
And his beard stay so white, mo’ white than shark bait!
He stay all in red, specially his nose,
And get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes!
But him, he no care; he just smile at me,
And he start fo’ put presents unda-neath da tree.
I tell ‘em, “Eh, brah, no need make li’dat,
And watch where you step! You going ma-ke da cat!”
Then, out from his bag, he pull one brand new computah,
Choke video games, and one motorized scootah!
He try for fill up da Christmas socks too, But had so much pukas,
all da stuff went fall troo.
When he pau, I tell ‘em, “Eh Santa, try wait!
I get plenty leftovahs, I go make you one plate!”
But he nevah like hang, he had so much fo’ do;
Gotta make all them small kids’ wishes come true.
So I wave ‘em goodbye, and I flash ‘em da shaka,
And I tell ‘em, “Mele Kalikimaka!”
When he hear that, he stop…and I telling you true,
He go, “Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!”
Thank you Hally and Robin for sending in your December poems. I will post a couple more tomorrow and a few on Christmas, then you can vote on Friday. Please stop back an vote for your favorite Holiday poem. Have a Merry Christmas.
Filed under: authors and illustrators
Tagged: Christmas Poems
, Hally Franz
, Lauren Gallegos
, Mark Meyers
, Robin Jordan
Interested in writing a Chapter Book? Don’t miss this FREE WEBINAR with Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg on Friday January 2nd 2015 at 5.30pm PST! They are also going to give some late holiday presents for some lucky folks that include a free critique with Hillary or Mira and some free signed books. Wahoo! See more at: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/free-novel-writing-webinar.html#sthash.aEum3YJW.dpuf
Mira is my Guest blogger for today’s post. Here’s Mira:
Critiquing Secrets by Mira Reisberg
First of all, thank you Kathy for having me on your fabulous blog. This site has been such a great resource for our community for a long time and I feel honored to be here. As we come to the end of the year, it seems like a good time to reflect on what we did to better our craft and improve our skills as people who create children’s books. Personally, I think it comes down to three things: take courses (i.e. study and improve your craft and keep revising), join the Society of Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators, and join and participate in a critique group. For this post, I’d like to talk a little about critiquing and then share some critiquing secrets.
Over the past 26 years as an illustrator, author, editor, art director and former literary agent, I’ve learned that although your work is uniquely your own, you can’t exist in a vacuum. Receiving criticism from fellow writers or illustrators, and peers is a must have regular part of your creative process.
So let’s talk about the secrets of critiquing for plot-driven books.
After struggling with a piece, if you can, let it percolate for a while and then come back not only with a fresh eye, but with fresh sets of eyes. Other eyes may see what you have missed, offer a different perspective, and question what you have taken for granted.
While you may be tempted to have your mother, your significant other, or best friend critique your work, they should not be your only ‘eyes’. They’re not trained to critique, may not understand your work, and may try to protect your feelings, regardless of their true opinion.
So what are some great critique techniques? For plot-driven writers the main things you need to look for are:
• How enticing is the hook or beginning?
• Do we care or are we intrigued by the character(s) enough to want to find out more about them and their journey?
• Does the tension build as the main character faces challenges and obstacles along the way?
• Do they solve the problem themselves?
• Is the climax and resolution satisfying with a twist at the end?
• Is each character different with their own distinct voice?
• What makes this particular story memorable?
• Does it have any underlying universal themes that are meaningful for kids?
• How can the drama, humor, pathos, or whatever key feeling the story has, be amplified?
• Does the pacing move at a good speed or does it slow down anywhere? Is there redundancy or excess?
• And finally does the language sparkle with techniques like alliteration and assonance, rhythm and repetition where appropriate?
All of these suggestions will help you in the critiquing process to get to the core and heart of your story to make it stronger, sweeter, funnier, or whatever its essence more appealing and thus more marketable.
Finally, for tender newer critique groups or critiquing partners who are vulnerable, remember to use the hamburger technique of starting and ending with something positive and getting to the meat of what needs help in the middle. As creatives, we tend to be a little thin skinned and starting with something positive will make it easier for the person being critiqued to hear the more challenging suggestions.
BIO: Mira Reisberg Ph.D. has worn many hats in the industry including being a university professor teaching children’s literature and now as the Director of the Children’s Book Academy. Mira has taught and mentored many successful authors and illustrators.
Her next interactive e-course, for beginners to award winners, the Chapter Book Alchemist, co-taught by former comedian and award-winning chapter book author Hillary Homzie, promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure with potential life and career changing benefits starts January 12th!
Click here to find out more: http://www.childrensbookacademy.com/the-chapter-book-alchemist.html
The course includes optional critique groups, weekly live webinar critiques, and the option for critiques with Mira or Hillary among other goodies!
Mira, thank you for taking the time to share your expertise with all of us. Good luck with the webinar!
Filed under: Advice
, chapter books
Tagged: Critiquing Secrets
, Free Chapter Book Webinar
, Free critique
, Hillary Homzie
, Mira Reisberg
Whatever holiday you celebrate, from all of us at Stately Beat Manor, wishing you a happy and safe one.
§ Actually, Julian Darius wrote the headline used in this KnB title, but it’s the essential comics match up of all times, right? Also, Winsor McCay wasn’t a very good letterer. IN case you’re wondering where I stand, I love them both, but I’ve always been a Krazy Kat girl—there was just more substance to it.
§ Speaking of great early 20th century comic strips, here’s a write up of Peter Maresca’s recent talk on this topic, which I really wanted to go to, but couldn’t, luckily…here’s a write up by Monica Johnson.
§ In Malaysia, they are introducing the ‘Kampung Boy Award’ to recognize local talent.
Malaysian Cartoonist Club executive council member Ahmad Hilmy Abdullah said the idea to introduce the award was mooted by Malaysian cartoonist icon Datuk Mohammad Nor Khalid or Lat, together with other cartoonists in the country. He said with the involvement of many cartoonists and animators in the country’s arts industry now, it was time for such an award to be introduced.
§ This Janelle Asselin interview with Archie Comics Publicity VP Alex Segura is a must read, just because Alex is one of the nicest guys in comics and one of the very, very best at his job. HOW DOES HE DO IT?
CA: What sort of responsibilities are at the top of the list for someone in your career?
AS: You have to be a good communicator, writer and people person. I’ve met people who are very organized, detail-oriented and know a lot about comics, but they can’t have a conversation. That’s fine, but you’re probably not going to be a publicist. Like I said before, you can have all the contacts in the world, but if you don’t know how to talk to them – as honestly as possible – then it’s pointless. Writing skills are key – you have to be able to craft convincing text, whether it’s an email to a reporter, a pitch letter with a review copy or a presentation to your internal staff – you have to know how to string sentences together that are clear, easy to understand and that have a point of view. We’re on a 24-hour news cycle now. I know that’s a tired term, but it’s true. If that email you send to a reporter is long-winded, doesn’t get to the crux of your pitch right away or is confusing, you’ve lost that moment and you may have lost that reporter. Also, if you make a mistake, own up to it. We’re all people, we all have bad days – I think being human in a situation where your job is all about interacting with people inside and outside your office is really important. I’m not perfect at this, but I try to be as understanding as possible. You have to be a social creature. You have to know how to have a conversation with a complete stranger without too many awkward pauses. You should be a good listener, because publicity isn’t just about telling, it’s a conversation. You should go into a pitch knowing that the detailed thing you’re offering isn’t going to come out exactly the way you planned it because it’s going through the filter of someone else. But, knowing that, you should let the people who are also waiting on the story from your side know the chance of this.
§ Graeme McMillan is back at Newsarama? Here he takes down Tim Burton and Grant Morrison for recent pooh-poohing of things they did themselves in the past:
In its way, it’s oddly disheartening to see both men — who, to different degrees, owe much success to the very things they’re campaigning against — make these comments. Part of it is the uncomfortable feeling of gratefulness that ensues, sure, as well as that awkward sense that maybe all creators eventually become curmudgeonly and begrudge that which they’re no longer a part of (See also: Alan Moore, Frank Miller). But even moreso, there’s the fact that, really..? Both men are wrong.
§ Future Wonder Woman director Michelle McLaren is interviewed at Vultere and let’s slip that Wonder Woman hasn’t actually been green lit yet. Ok.
§ Zainab Akhtar looks at The Speed Abater by the great Cristolphe Blain:
I have two favourite books set on ships (it’s a rather specific thing)- Ian Edginton and D’Israeli’s Leviathan, and this. Both manage to convey the monumental size of the engines, the scale of pipes and machines, the heat and grime, the noise, the knots of metal, the atmosphere. Much like spacecraft in sci-fi films like Alien, the ship here is a character in itself, and these are the innards; the belly of the beast which set the tone of what’s to come as the men become lost and confused, delving further into their psyches. Blain’s gone hatching happy in this panel: it’s the first time the men are seeing below deck and the combination of impressive grandeur and realistic depiction is on point- all twisty, bronze pipes, looming space, steam and shade.
I also have a soft spot for comic books set at sea where people slowly go nuts or have horrible, horrible things happen to them, including both of these. Among the others: Mattotti’s Fires, Drew Weing’s Set to Sea (just rereleased), Sammy Harkham’s Poor Sailor, and Tony Millionaire’s Maakies much of the time. There’s also Chris Wright’s Blacklung, which I didn’t enjoy as much because his character designs seemed inexpressive to me. I know that’s part of his style, but it just didn’t work for me.
§ BEST OFS! •Hugh Armitage at Digital Spy has a pretty good list.
• The Vancouver Sun
• Abraham Riesman at Vulture
• And Sean T. Collins who has the most PARTICULAR list I’ve read. That’s a panel from Koch’s Configurations above.
Sex Fantasy, Sophia Foster-Dimino
911 Police State, Mr. Freibert
Baby Bjornstrand, Renee French
Palm Ash, Julia Gfrörer
Configurations, Aidan Koch
§ And for those ready to move on to 2015 (and who isn’t?) the Comics Reporter’s Five For Friday has a bunch of lists of stuff coming out next year people are looking forward to.
§ First second twofer! Gina Gagliano addresses Should You Quit Your Day Job When You Get a Book Deal? and also I interviewed senior Editor Callista Brill for Publisher’s Weekly More to Comic podcast. She talks about the making of The Wrenchies, Andrew the Giant, and Jay Hosler’s upcoming Last of the Sandwalkers, which is all about beetles.
§ I would imagine many folks would be interested in Tips for getting ‘Staff Pick’ on Kickstarter.
§ Cosplay from the The 36 best cosplay from Mumbai Comic Con 2014. Spoiler: it’s good.
§ Peter Jackson is quoted saying he never read a comic book in his life so he can’t direct a comic book movie. Except he’s supposed to direct the next Tintin, isn’t he? I haven’t seen much talk about that in the Hobbit pr tour. Also, I think it is safe to say that Jackson has read Tintin, so…something is amiss.
§ I guess this could be construed as concern trolling, but Bleeding Cool’s makeover is actually a text only “makeunder” that goes back to the good old days of Geocities. YUCK. I mention this so I can quote the Outhouse headline: North Korean Hackers Strike Again, Deface Bleeding Cool’s Website. In protest, I made the image on the Beat’s front page BIGGER.
§ I tend to take the Good E-reader site with a grain of salt but here’s ae-Reader Industry Year in Review
§ TWO from Bob Temuka. A long interview with Dylan Horrocks and a review of the beautiful disgust of Charles Burns: X’ed Out, The Hive and Sugar Skull. The finish of Burns’ “Nitnit trilogy” as I like to call it, was one of the most perfect and amazing books of the year.
§ Finally, Norwegian cartoonist Jason reviews Lethal Weapon.
Every year cartoonist Kate Beaton returns to her parents house in the maritimes for the holidays, and the series of hilarious and touching comics that result are getting to be a holiday tradition, as the intersection of parental concern and parental eccentricities combine to form HUMOR. IT’s an experience that many of us are going through right now, and Beaton’s gentle, loving humor—while rooted firmly in her own family’s character—can also stand in for the universal experience.
She’s been posting her comics on twitter, but they’re also up on Tumblr, where they are easier to find. And should anyone be searching in the far flung future for them, here’s the direct link for the one shown above.
Just when you thought you were safe from puns for the rest of the holidays…
Why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.
Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.
By: Mark Myers,
Merry Christmas from our little Southern town.
Since we are fictional, I am happy to report that we have a foot of lovely snow and every resident is at home in front of a warm fire. All businesses are closed and since the crime rate is zero, even Sheriff Whittaker has the day off. Every belly is full and every heart is warm with the glow of the season.
Although he netted more than the coal he deserved, Virgil Creech is still dissatisfied with his Christmas morning haul and has vowed to reform. Yes, he intends to be good for the next 365 days in the hopes of earning Santa’s favor for next year. It has only been two hours, but as always, there is promise in the lad.
Faith, hope, and love are the order of the day. Kindness, hospitality, gentleness and understanding reign. And for this moment, there is peace on earth.
Oh, that we would work to make this our reality.
Merry Christmas and God Bless,
Filed under: Stories
On Friday New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio met with protestors to discuss their demands for police reform after the shocking death of Eric Garner and the controversial grand jury decision that followed. The name of the activists’ organization will sound familiar to any comics fan: Justice League NYC.
That this prominent group of social justice warriors would share a name with DC Entertainment’s leading super-team is no coincidence. Just check out the group’s logo, which features two African-American superheroes flying out of New York City through a graffiti-style logo. Dig even deeper into contemporary activism’s history and we see even more connections: Ferguson protestors formed their own Justice League over the summer, a leading progressive journalist writes at JusticeLeagueTaskForce.wordpress.com, and as pretty much everyone here knows, the Occupy movement made the V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes’ mask a global icon.
The role of comics in recent protests will no doubt be the subject of any number of academic papers, most of which will bear a punny coloned title like “DC Nation: From Social Relevance Comics to Social Change.” Yet before folks explore what all this means at greater length, I want to offer a quick note on how this phenomenon ties into comics’ uneasy relationship with the law.
Before Photoshop and Final Cut made it possible for anyone to transcend their innate limitations, comics offered a cheap and easy way for people to give a visible form to their wildest thoughts. They became pop culture’s analogue to law as the magic mirror of society — photos may have showed us how the other half lives, but in comics we could create the world of tomorrow, free from the strictures of budget, politics, injury, death, and the real world’s ineffective legal system. What’s more, comics also did away with the shadows and fog that even today make inquiries such as the Serial podcast so frustrating — in the comics world we know who is good, who is evil, and who will win; the big question is how good will triumph.
That sensibility is in comics’ DNA, to both good and ill effect. An unreflective transfer of the comics’ approach to seemingly intractable problems would at its most extreme result in moral nihilism, as violence becomes the standard means of removing any obstacle to achieving what is right. At the same time, the comics’ metaphorical blend of constructive critique and unbounded possibility helps explain why the social relevance comics of the 1970s weren’t as much of a break from the past as some might think. We can draw a straight line back from the O’Neil & Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow through to the Justice League, Shock SuspenStories, Captain America and Wonder Woman — and the same is true moving forward in time to today. Comics have always had the power to show us who we are and what we can be, and they are at their best when they resemble the magic mirror as ideally envisioned by Oliver Wendell Holmes – reflecting not just our own lives, but the lives of all people who have been.
Another neo classic comic for the hols as Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s homeless crimefighting skateboarder, Street Angel, teams with Santa on a brief adventure to find some missing reindeer in a bad neighborhood.
It’s all courtesy of Boing Boing, which is running new Street Angel comics regularly. And if you don’t have it already, give yourself a present by picking up the recent AdHouse edition of the original Street Angel mini series.
Video game giant Capcom is putting out a tribute book of art, called Capcom Fighting Tribute. And it’s open to artists fan and pro:
This collection will offer a chance for hundreds of professional and fan artists to show off their artistic skills and pay homage to their favorite characters, settings and moments from the fighting games of Capcom!
All styles of art are welcome – digital painting, traditional media, anime, cartoon, pixel-based, even sculptures – whatever best expresses the artist’s love for this timeless collection of beloved video game franchises.
Properties included in the project are Street Fighter™, Darkstalkers™, Rival Schools™, Red Earth™, Star Gladiator, Power Stone™, Cyberbots, Capcom Fighting Evolution™, Puzzle Fighter™, Pocket Fighter™, Final Fight™, Battle Circuit, Captain Commando, Armored Warriors, Knights of the Round, The King of Dragons, Avengers (Hissatsu no Buraiken), and Capcom original characters Ruby Heart, Son-Son, and Amingo!
Sounds cool right? Sort of. BUT on the submissions rules, it states:
There is no payment to artists for artwork used in the Capcom Fighting Tribute book. All selected artwork becomes the property of Capcom.
Accepted artists can however makes up to 200 prints of their piece and sell those, I suppose. But this is yet another example of the “no pay” model that seems to be getting more and more normal.
Artist Reilly Brown
noticed this and sounded off on his Deviant Art page
I’m a professional, I get treated like a professional, paid like a professional or I don’t do the job.
All this really is is an attempt to get free content (that they will own forever) for a high-priced product.
I know what you’re thinking– “but I love Capcom games! Even though I’m a professional working on another property, I want to draw a Capcom character too!”
Well shit, bro, I love Capcom too, and I’ll tell you, nothing’s stopping me from drawing those characters all damn day if I wanted to. But I’m not going to give those drawings– that time and labor– to a company who plans on making money off of them FOR FREE. Until I give them that art, I still own that art and can do whatever I wish with it, or at least whatever I’m able to with characters that I don’t own the trademark for, such as put it on my website, which the rules for this “contest” bans.
A lot of us are so numb to the plethora of free content on the web that this seems almost normal—is this any different than what you see on Tumblr every day? but remember, Capcom is a PROFESSIONAL company and charge money for their games. I know that if they actually PAID for all the submissions the book would probably be too expensive to even put out, but…is that really where we are these days?
The continuing devaluation of art is going to be one of the big stories of 2015 and beyond. I’m not sure what the solution is, but as Brown suggests, artists should “have more respect for your profession.”
Got some Christmas loot you’re itching to spend? Various comics publishers and digital vendors have just what you need in the form of some tempting sales.
SEQUENTIAL, the “Criterion” of digital graphic novels is having a big sale, with more than 180 graphic novels from Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, NBM, Knockabout, and Koyama Press at 50-80% off. The list includes such 2014 best ofs as The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez, Beauty by Kerascoët, How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis, and more. Also From Hell, works by Lucy Knisley, James Kochalka, Mike Dawson and tons more good stuff. See the entire list here.
As joked above, Sequential offers its digital graphic novels with added material like commentary tracks, bonus art and more. If you got an iPad for Christmas, or just upgraded it, a stop at this sale (which goes until January 6th) is definitely called for.
Comixology is also having a bunch of sales including
A 50% off sale on Image comics published before 11/12, including Saga, Sex Criminals and 4000+ other titles. 2014 was the year of Image and if by some bizarre chance you’ve missed out on some of the great new books coming out, here’s another chance.
Comixology is also having a 50% off sale for Submit books, including the Testament Omnibus, Spike Trotman’s essential Poorcraft, minis by Becky Cloonan and Andrew Tsurumi, Aw Yeah Comics and tons more. Take a chance on something new!
Look at the size of that thing! Dark Horse is having a Star Wars farewell Megabundle sale. Just $300 gets you the entire Star Wars comics collection from Dark Horse, many of them excellent books that may never see the light of day again. As you know, starting in January, Marvel takes over the Dark Horse license and these books have been deemed not part of canon, so get ‘em while you can.
The listing doesn’t say how many pages are in this collection but there are 568 issues so its…thousands and thousands of pages of Star Wars. Good deal.
A couple of news bits and a personal announcement to tackle this week, so let’s get right to it.
About a week ago, Marvel started to make a big deal over Star Wars #1 eclipsing 1,000,000 pre-orders from various retail outlets. While the company hinted at some of this quantity coming from less traditional sources, the number is still quite impressive, boasting the best direct market numbers for a single printing of a single issue in over twenty years. Despite all of the headache inducing rabble that I’m about to detail, that’s a number everyone involved with the creation, sales and marketing of the series should be proud of.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pound my head against my keyboard while I detail the variant structure of this particular release.
Check it out, it’s Bucky O’Hare you guys. Shut up, it is too.
As you’ve probably heard by now, there are an impressive amount of variant covers being produced for this comic. To start, Marvel tossed a grand total of 13 wide-market variants on top of the regular comic for all retailers to order and obtain. These 13 books had qualifiers that ranged from “1 for every 15 copies ordered” to “1 for every 500 copies ordered”. Four of them required retailers to exceed 200% of their Original Sin #8 numbers in order to get any books in – which is probably the clearest indication of where Marvel wanted the book to be in terms of sales. Original Sin #8 clocked in at an estimated 90,478 copies sold, which means they were probably aiming at the 200,000 as a “worst case scenario”.
These alone wouldn’t have brought Star Wars #1 even close to the 1,000,000 mark – so where does all that extra push come from? Many are pointing in the vague direction of alternative distribution and awaiting news on what nerd box corporation sprung for a few hundred thousand copies – and while that’s probably part of the answer, a good chunk is also coming from the retailer exclusive variants Marvel offered retailers.
In one of their missives to the retail community, Marvel let it be known that any retailer or retail group could have their own variants produced. These variants would be completely unique and would potentially utilize some big name talent to create a unique image that would appear on a cover exclusive to that retailer. The catch? You had to order at least 3,000 copies and order 200% more of the regular cover than you did for Original Sin #8. It appears quite a few retailers have taken them up on this offer, as the total of variants floating out are currently sitting at 57. Now, some of these are black and white “sketch” variants of the retail exclusive variants, which you could seemingly produce as little as 1,500 copies of, but the point remains: Marvel went full variant crazy when pushing this book. Will it work for them? In the short term, of course. They’re going to have one of their biggest January’s in a long time thanks to Star Wars alone, probably, and there will almost assuredly be enough product on the shelves to meet whatever demand might arise. In the long term? When a company digs this deep into variants and qualifiers, I always worry about the long lingering after effects. The practice of asking retailers to potentially overextend themselves to chase rare items almost always ends with product chocking out storage space and back issue bins. It manipulates the regulatory curve of supply and demand, and takes cash on hand and turns it into dead weight that’s harder to turn over, both of which can and will result in various levels of hardships. Too much of this and a store, a company, or an industry breaks. And wouldn’t that be fun.
FAILURE TO LAUNCH
Last week, the DC solicitations for March revealed a culling for the company, and the internet had some words about it. Because of course it did. The company is heading into their big move across the country with quite a few stagnant books and a line-wide crossover eating up their publishing schedule. In short, it was the right call to dust a large portion of their books in order to arrive back in June with a refocused creative direction. That said, the sheer volume of titles on the chopping block still makes this feel like a defeat of some kind.
What DC needs here is for their PR department to pick up the copious amount of slack that’s roped on the floor. I know they’re already having a hard time convincing people that Convergence is going to be a big, important thing with the structure they chose, but they really shouldn’t be spending too much time and effort on that. Convergence is a crossover series, and it’s been designed as a two-month respite from The New 52 universe. Each and every one of their 40 two part minis seem to nudge the reader in the ribs and say, “Hey, remember when this was happening?” – and it’s going to do very little in the way of drawing a wide audience. June, on the other hand, stands a chance to be spectacular, and the company should be teasing it now. As it stands, DC looks like it’s flailing as a large chunk of their newly launched books limp to an end, and others that were a bit long in the tooth drop along side them. They need to come out and say this is all in service of something, or else people are going to run with a less positive narrative. It’s all about perception, and right now, DC is losing the battle. Here’s hoping they win the war.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
As of December 31st, I will no longer be the manager of a comic shop. After spending a little over 8 years at Wizard’s Comics, I’m moving on to a different role within this great industry. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what that is yet – but I thought it would be pertinent to let you all know of this change, as it will clearly effect what I write for this site. A hint regarding the future: while I won’t be a store manager, I will still be writing similar articles about the industry for Comics Beat, and they will start on January 12th. You might be surprised. You probably won’t be.
Until then, you’ll probably see me contribute the odd news post or opinion piece here or there, but otherwise, I will be busy putting together the next phase of my life – so if we don’t talk until then, have a fantastic holiday season!
This Christmas illustration was sent in by Ana Ocho to help us celebrate the day. Ana has worked with most publishers in Mexico (both private and government), doing picture books as well as school text books. She was featured at the beginning of the year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/
This happy North Pole Illustration was sent in by Andreha Peklar. She was featured earlier this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/
DECEMBER’S LIGHT by Eileen Spinelli
It’s the slanted light of a silver star,
soft candlelight in a quiet room.
It’s lantern light from house to barn
swaying bright against the gloom.
It’s the light of home across the miles.
It’s the puddled light of moon-on snow.
It’s the light in eyes…in smiles…in hearts.
It’s the sweetest light of all I know.
Thank you Eileen and Carol for the Christmas cheer. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Merry Christmas!
Filed under: authors and illustrators
Tagged: Ana Ochoa
, Andreja Peklar
, Carol Murray
, Eileen Spinelli
I imagine most of you reading this aren’t reading this, but are already off on your holiday travels. While the team at Stately Beat Manor is going to remain vigilant for exciting, world changing breaking news, we’re going into “holiday mode” for posting, which is about the same as the regular mode except we gave it a name. But to make the holidays bright, I have some previews, art, webcomic alerts and maybe a few other surprises lined up in case you get bored. In the meantime, safe travels and happy holidays to all.
Image mysteriously spotted on Facebook.
By: Mark Myers,
I consider myself a war buff. I love reading historic accounts of combat. I don’t discriminate between time period or conflict. Because of the volume of material, I have probably spent more time delving into World War 2 than any other. When I was in the Army, I drove a beat up WW 2 era Deuce-and-a-half and always wondered about its history.
Historians argue about which battle is the greatest – Waterloo, Stalingrad, Hastings, Yorktown, Thermopylae, Guadalcanal, The Battle of the Bulge, the list goes on. Like everything else in life, no one can seem to agree. When compiling such a list, the qualifiers become important. Things such as lives lost, duration, strategies, and conditions all come into play when deciding which is supreme.
It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, I’ve got plenty of those. I just don’t like to argue in general. I get distracted or flustered and lose my place like when I drop my book and reread the same pages over and over again before I figure out where I left off. Only an argument is live, verbal combat. When I lose my place, I sit there open-mouthed wondering if I look as stupid as I feel. So like everyone else on the losing side, I hone in on one point and try to drive it home even if I am totally wrong and know it.
The Baltic Sea is in New Mexico. It isn’t? I will repeat that thirty-seven times, forcing you to get out your phone and Google it, which allows me time to escape the fracas unscathed. I’m gone, therefore I win.
This leads to my opinion of the greatest battle which I believe is a conflict going on today – right now! RIGHT NOW!
You might think I am waxing philosophically about a moral or ethical conflict for the hearts and minds of people. Think again, I’m nowhere near deep enough for that. No, I am talking about the Battle of the Christmas Tree going on in my den as I type.
This battle has two combatants: The cats vs. the presents. The cats investigated the tree the minute it arrived. They united their forces and conquered it quickly. It is now their territory and they are very protective of it. The two of them alternate on watch and have made a formidable occupation force. Their confidence never waned… until the presents arrived.
As presents do, they marched in slowly but steadily. They landed through the front door and also surprised the occupiers from the garage entrance. Strange men in brown uniforms delivered them, but some were brought in by the woman-thing who seems to be working for both sides. She pets and feeds the cats, yet adds to the stack of presents assaulting from every flank. She is a crafty sort. Worse yet, she puts little ribbons on top to lull the cats from their strategic high ground. They can’t avoid the ribbons, which are almost as alluring as the ornaments with bells.
I have no idea who will win this battle. Epic is too small a word for it. The cats seem to rule the night while the presents hold the day (sounds like a Billy Joel song). It is a seesaw affair likely only resolved by the Take the Tree to the Chipper Treaty.
That landmark agreement is coming soon. Until then, may peace reign in your home unlike mine – where it appears to be an elusive dream.
Filed under: It Made Me Laugh
By: Ingrid Sundberg,
Blog: Ingrid's Notes
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Add a tag
One of my childhood dreams came true this year. I designed and created a window display!
Yes, I am a child of the 80’s and it’s possible I watched the film Mannequin one too many times. But when I was little, I wanted to grow up and be a window dresser. My local independent bookstore — Vroman’s Bookstore — made that dream come true. They asked me to create a Dr. Seuss holiday window and of course, I accepted!
As we drink egg nog and celebrate with our families, I thought I’d share a few images of the window’s creation. Here are my adventures with foam core and paint.
I sketched out the Grinch.
I painted all the Whos playing with their toys.
Russell helped me install the window. He’s very tall, which made stringing up the elements with fishing line nice and easy.
The display is based on this illustration in Seuss’s classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
And here is my interpretation of it.
The Grinch isn’t in the original illustration, but I had to add him in!
And, voila! A small girl’s dream of creating a window display comes to life!
May all your dreams come true this holiday and New Year. Be Merry Merry everyone!
View Next 25 Posts
By David Nieves
The holiday isn’t quite over yet but Dark Horse Comics is already getting set to take our Christmas money. Today the publisher announced The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will receive a limited edition release. Restricted to 4,000 copies, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition comes packaged in a deluxe Castle Grayskull slipcase, with an exclusive foil embossed cover and portfolio print, coming in at just under 400 pages with commentary written by Tim & Steve Seeley.
This must have collectible for die hard He-Man fans includes rarely seen images of concept sketches, prototypes, and more from Mattel’s archives. Featuring beautifully restored art from master illustrator Earl Norem—celebrated artist of the most memorable He-Man images, interviews with Dolph Lundgren, Paul Dini, Erika Scheimer, and many more!
The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition is on sale in comic shops April 15th and April 28th in bookstores. Fans can pre-order a copy today from these retailers:
Big Bad Toy Store
Things From Another World
In addition, the book will be available for pre-order at the Dark Horse Comics booth at all their 2015 convention appearances.