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1. Powell’s Q&A: Ron Rash

Describe your latest book/project/work. Something Rich and Strange is a collection of selected stories, including three stories previously unpublished in book form. Introduce one other author you think people should read, and suggest a good book with which to start. Donald Harington is as underrated as any America writer I know of, and I'd suggest [...]

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2. Harts Pass No. 227

A certain surliness has taken over my otherwise eternal optimism -- brought on no doubt by too little sleep and simultaneously too little vitamin D. GRRR!

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3. Call for Entries: second Society of Illustrators Comic and Cartoon Art Competition

SOI 2015CFE Call for Entries: second Society of Illustrators Comic and Cartoon Art Competition

Last year the Society of Illustrators inaugurated a comics art competition similar to the one for illustrators they’ve been running for many years. (Disclosure: I was a judge.)  The Comics and Cartoon Art Annual offered a printed guide to the best comics of the year in a succinct form. The competition is back in 2015, chaired by Steven Guarnaccia, with Co-Chair: R. Sikoryak. The above art is by Bendik Kaltenborn. I had a great time with my fellow judged and absorbing a great many new cartoonists and established one in a new guise. I’m sure this year will be an even better compeition. Entry guidelines are below. Last year’s winners are here. 


 
ABOUT THE COMIC AND CARTOON ART ANNUAL

The Society of Illustrators is proud to announce the second annual Comic and Cartoon Art Competition.
Open to artists worldwide, entries are considered by a jury of professionals, including renowned cartoonists, illustrators, publishers, and editors. The competition will result in an exhibition that will showcase the most outstanding works created in this genre throughout each year.

The original works will be exhibited in the MoCCA Gallery at the Society of Illustrators from June 16 through August 15th, 2015.

Opening Award Galas will be scheduled where Medals and Certificates will be presented to the artists whose works are judged best in each category.

All accepted entries will be reproduced in a full color catalog.

A selection of 40 works from each Exhibition will then tour colleges throughout the country in an educational traveling show, a tradition that we have had at the Society for over 30 years.

CATEGORIES

Long Form: A work that is longer than 40 pages. Includes graphic novels, comic books, etc. An anthology is eligible in this category if it is created by one person, and the individual stories form a cohesive whole. If stories should be judged independently, please submit an entry form per person.

Short Form: A work that is more than two pages but shorter than 40 pages. Includes stand-alone work, zines, comic books and work that has been published in anthologies. Work appearing in anthologies may be entered in this category if the individual story is shorter than 40 pages. If stories should be judged independently please submit an entry form per story.

Special Format: Work that is design-driven and created with special attention to production values, including limited edition, small press, hand-made and artist’s books.

Digital Media: Work that is native to a digital format. Includes web comics, online comic strips, and other digitally driven works. Up to 20 images accepted per entry.

Comic Strip: A short-form work published in newspapers, magazines, books, online, etc. featuring four or more panels. Must be one page or less.

Single Image: Work featuring a self-contained narrative image with or without caption. Includes gag cartoons, political cartoons, single-panel cartoons, etc.

——————————————————————————————————

HOW TO ENTER LONG FORM & SHORT FORM BOOK SUBMISSIONS

Eligibility: Any book that was created from January 2014 – January 2015. Both published or self-published are accepted. International entries are welcome. Each submission will receive consideration by every member of the jury for its category.

How to enter: Mail 6 copies of the publication to the Society of Illustrators: 128 East 63 Street, New York, NY, 10065. Attn: Comic and Cartoon Art Competition. Must include the official entry form with each copy.

DEADLINE: Monday, January 5, 2015.

Entry Fees For Book Submissions:
$30 per entry (includes all six copies) for non-members of the Society of Illustrators.
$20 per entry (includes all six copies) for members of the Society of Illustrators.
Include a check with the entry. Checks made out to Society of Illustrators.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM

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4. ….a tidbit from the sketchbook. I sometimes wish I could...



….a tidbit from the sketchbook. I sometimes wish I could have been a roving naturalist illustrator, a century ago, taking inspiration from nature & conveying it to the rest of the world with paints and pen. But I might have had a hard time suppressing my surrealist instincts.



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5. AJL Recommends Hanukkah Books for Children

Heidi's dad playing ukulele by the light of the shamash candle


HANUKKAH BOOKS

Over at "People of the Books" (the blog of the Association of Jewish Libraries), they've posted a list of recommended Hanukkah books for children

NEW BOOKS

There are brand new books listed, like one I'm especially excited about: Honeyky Hanukkah by Woody Guthrie, illustrated by Dave Horowitz, and accompanied by a Klezmatics CD. I interviewed Nora Gurthrie in 2006 about the Klezmatics CD Happy Joyous Hanukkah based on Woody's work, and I interviewed Dave Horowitz in 2007 about his hilarious picture book Five Little Gefiltes. I'm thrilled to see them come together to create this new picture book!

OLD BOOKS

The AJL post also lists Hanukkah-themed books that have been recognized by the Sydney Taylor Book Award as gold or silver medalists or with a Notable Book designation. The Sydney Taylor Book Award has been in business since 1968, so there have been quite a few Hanukkah-related winners over the years. 

In fact, the AJL list is not comprehensive, listing Notable Books only back to 2007. For Hanukkah Notables from earlier years, you can always check the entire list of all winners ever.

MORE BOOKS

AJL recommends the books for library storytimes or for gift-giving. The Jewish Book Council has also published some gift recommendations for adults and kids, some Hanukkah books and others that would just make nice presents. What better gift than a book?

BONUS TRACK

Click here to listen to Honeyky Hanukkah!

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6. Thursday Review: MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers

Summary: Mortal Heart is the final book (SAD FACE) in Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin trilogy (Book 1 reviewed here; Book 2 reviewed here). The books take place in medieval Brittany and France, a setting which the author has obviously researched... Read the rest of this post

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7. Airfix cancels new sets

I know its not comics but there are a lot of gamers and modellers who visit CBO -and I'm interested anyway.

Bad news released by Airfix and Plastic Soldier Review gave this announcement:

ArticleIcon Airfix cancels new setsUnfortunately yesterday Airfix announced that they had cancelled all of their planned World War I figure and battle sets. Whether they will return to making figures in the future is not known, but this news will disappoint many who like us were looking forward to seeing Airfix become a strong player in the hobby once more.

On a more positive note, RedBox look to be working on a couple of early modern Ottoman Artillery sets. More details as we get them.



ALL of their World War One era sets? Sets they had a LONG time to develop and work on for the big 100th Anniversary of the war.  And there are lots of complaints from other Airfix customers and a rumour -a RUMOUR- that the company aint doing so good.

Oh well.

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8. "Damn everything but the Circus."

“Damn everything but the Circus.” - Sister Corita Kent

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9. Boomerang Books is Australia’s first online bookstore to become a Google Trusted Store.

Boomerang Books has become Australia’s first online bookstore to become a Google Trusted Store. To gain accreditation Boomerang Books passed a 30-day qualification period in which online suppliers must maintain a high level of customer service, reliable delivery time-frames and high customer ratings. The Google Trusted Stores program was launched in Australia earlier this year […]

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10. Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (2014)

Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. Sheila Turnage. 2014. Penguin. 368 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed reading The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing. I am not sure I loved, loved, loved it as much as the first book, Three Times Lucky. But I'm not sure that matters. What I loved most about the first book is still present in the second.

Primarily what I love about both books is the narration by Miss Moses LoBeau (Mo). I love, love, love her voice, her narration. She's a wonderful character. I love seeing things through her eyes. I love getting to spend time in her community, getting to spend time with her own, unique family, getting to spend time with her friends. This is a book that is just oh-so-easy to enjoy. The writing just has an oh-so-right feel to it.

Mo and her best friend, Dale, have a challenge or two to face in this mystery. Miss Lana has just bought--impulsively bought--an old inn that is haunted. When she bid at the auction, she had no idea that it was haunted. (Not that Miss Lana believes in ghosts.) But Mo and Dale in their exploring before and after, know that it is in fact haunted. And, I believe, it is Dale that impulsively signs him and Mo up to interview the ghost for a history assignment. Regardless if it was Mo or Dale following an impulsive, this quick and hasty decision proves challenging from start to finish. How can they prove the ghost is real? Especially since they don't see it or feel it every time they visit the inn? And even if they happen to capture the ghost in a photo, how are they going to ask interview questions and record the answers?!

Ghosts of Tupelo Landing is a mystery novel. There is a mystery--from the past--to be solved from the community's past.

What I liked best about this one is the characterization, the setting, the writing itself. I also really liked meeting the new kid in town, Harm Crenshaw. I wasn't thrilled with the actual mystery in this one. The ghost story itself.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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11. What Daniel Handler’s National Book Award Comments Say About Publishing

Last night, the National Book Awards (NBA) ceremony took place here in NYC. There were many things to celebrate at the event, including Jacqueline Woodson’s NBA win for her book Brown Girl Dreaming, First Book Founder Kyle Zimmer being honored for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and Ursula K. LeGuinn’s terrific acceptance speech.

But the event took a bad turn when the MC for the night, Daniel Handler (better known as Lemony Snicket), followed up Woodson’s acceptance speech with these comments:

Handler: I told you! I told Jackie she was going to win. And I said that if she won, I would tell all of you something I learned this summer, which is that Jackie Woodson is allergic to watermelon. Just let that sink in your mind.

And I said you have to put that in a book. And she said, you put that in a book.

And I said, I am only writing a book about a black girl who is allergic to watermelon if I get a blurb from you, Cornell West, Toni Morisson, and Barack Obama saying, “this guy’s ok! This guy’s fine!”

Video here (those comments start at about 39:00)

Author David Perry does a good job on his blog explaining why Handler’s comment is so problematic, so I won’t go into that too deeply. If you’re curious about the history of the watermelon stereotype and why it’s racist, this Atlantic article linked by Perry gives a good rundown. Suffice it to say,  it’s not a nice thing to make jokes about, and particularly not a nice thing to make jokes about in reference to a very talented author when you’re a white man hosting an award ceremony. In front of a huge audience.

But what I really want to talk about is not Handler himself (who, yes, has issued a short apology via Twitter, the first choice Apology Outlet for all those who have made tasteless jokes) but the larger publishing community. Because the joke may have been Handler’s, but the environment which made a joke like that permissible is everyone’s problem and responsibility. It’s well known and well documented that publishing is, to put it lightly, homogenous. According to Publisher Weekly’s most recent salary survey, around 89% of publishing staff identifies as white/caucasian. That means, in a country where nearly 40% of the general population is comprised of people of color, only 11% of publishing staff are—and, I’d venture a guess, probably even less when you start looking at management roles.

Publishing is also notorious for being totally out of touch with diversity and race issues. Take a look at the low numbers of books published by/about people of color over the last 18 years:

Diversity in Children's Books

Yet, in this year’s salary survey, almost 40% of respondents were neutral or actually disagreed with the statement, “The publishing industry suffers from a lack of racial diversity.” As my grandma likes to say, Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

Publishing routinely treats people of color poorly in so many ways: limiting the number of diverse books they will acquire, giving those books meager marketing budgets, whitewashing covers, creating all-white lineups at major book events…the list goes on and on. So it’s really no surprise that Handler would feel that his joke might play well to the largely white and racially unaware audience sitting in that room. And he was right, because people laughed (and, hey, The New York Times even called him “edgy”! Thanks, New York Times!)

An apology from Handler is nice, but that won’t stop this kind of thing from happening again. What is required is a true commitment from publishing: to right wrongs, to make concrete and sustainable efforts to be inclusive, to educate staff on the nuances of racism and privilege and to move toward a state of deeper understanding. There are certainly many individuals within publishing who are already committed to these things. But whether the industry as a whole will ever commit, and what it will take for them to do so, is a question I just don’t know the answer to.

In the meantime, readers and authors aren’t willing to wait, and that’s one big reason why the We Need Diverse Books campaign has done so marvelously. As of today, the campaign has raised over $108,000 to fund various projects that will increase diversity in books. That money is proof that a lot of people care and won’t let the publishing status quo, which hurts so many, reign supreme. I hope publishers will be willing to work with them on many of the initiatives they’ve developed.

In a great speech on sexual abuse in the military, Army chief Lt. Gen. David Morrison said, “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” I think that goes for all of us. Hey, publishing, we’ve all walked past a lot of things. Let’s not walk past this too.


Filed under: Diversity 102, Diversity, Race, and Representation Tagged: national book award, NBA

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12. Hansel And Gretel by Neil Gaiman. Illustrated by Lorenzo Mattotti. Sydney, Bloomsbury. 2014


The lost children. The gingerbread cottage. The scary witch who, however, doesn't see very well and can easily be fooled. All elements of one of the darker Grimm fairytales. All here in this retelling, along with the explanation of where the children's names come from. (When you think about it, if this had been a British folktale, it would have been called "Johnny and Maggie" or Meg or even Peggy, none of which have quite the same ring to them)

If you're going to have a folktale retold, especially such a dark one, Neil Gaiman is a good one to do it. The average retelling is just that - a straight retelling which isn't by the Brothers Grimm or whoever. "Once upon a time..." And then the writer and publisher decide just how much of the original story can be told, depending on who is having the story read to them. For example, you really don't want to describe Cinderella's stepsisters cutting off toes to fit into the glass slippers, do you? Not at bedtime, anyway. 

One thing about folktales is that you never learn reasons, such as why parents would throw their children out of the house to die, even in a famine. Neil Gaiman suggests war and thieving soldiers passing through and taking away all the food sources and destroying the fields. This version even suggests that it may be a reason behind the witch's cannibalism, though not entirely; from the description of what Hansel and Gretel find hidden around the gingerbread house afterwards, she sounds more like a serial killer than a poor old pensioner who is as much a victim as anyone else. 

At the end of the book, the author talks about the possible origins of the story in the time of the Plague, when all sorts of terrible things would have happened and family relationships broke down.

The book is basically an extended retelling rather than a twist on the original tale. If you're expecting something along the lines of The Sleeper And The Spindle, you may be disappointed. But as a retelling, it has class, and the beautiful moody black and white art of Lorenzo Mattotti supports it well.

If you're going to buy a version of this folktale to read to your children, this one is the way to go.

I hear there's a movie of this book planned, or at least optioned. That should be most  interesting...

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13. Speaking of Alan Moore, what’s up with Electricomics

cropped ElectricomicsLogoWide 516931 Speaking of Alan Moore, whats up with Electricomics

Last May, Alan Moore announced he would be involved with a new line of digital comics called Electricomics. Given that Alan Moore is to computers as Daryl Dixon is to soap, this seemed counter intuitive, but it turns out his daughter Leah was very much involved in it. A line of comics was announced:

Electricomics will be a 32-page showcase with four very different original titles:

Big Nemo – set in the 1930s, Alan Moore revisits Winsor McCay’s most popular hero

Cabaret Amygdala – modernist horror from writer Peter Hogan (Terra Obscura)

Red Horse – on the anniversary of the beginning of World War One, Garth Ennis (Preacher, The Boys) and Danish artist Peter Snejbjerg (World War X) take us back to the trenches

Sway – a slick new time travel science fiction story from Leah Moore and John Reppion (Sherlock Holmes – The Liverpool Demon, 2000 AD)


But what’s new since may? Electricomics had a panel at Thought Bubble and Asher Klassen has a detailed account, explaining that the project is not for profit but being funded by the Digital Research and Development Fund for the Arts, leaving the project free to just noodle around and find out what is possible, which sounds pretty exciting, especially when you factor in the involvement of Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, who is on the cutting edge of the “Future comics.”

Those of you picturing Alan Moore hunched over a computer workstation writing code with his beard nearly hiding the keyboard, stop it. Don’t be ridiculous; that’s what he has code demons for (No, seriously, a shed full of ‘em. It’s in the zine.). Mr. Moore may not be a wizard of the tech variety, but it seems his self-proclaimed alienation from modern forms of media has allowed to conceive this project relatively unpolluted by the endeavours that precede it. He doesn’t know Comixology, Madefire, or Manga Studio. He knows comics. That’s something that was made crystal clear through the course of this panel, the idea that, if you could distill from the form the Essence of Comics, then that would be the driving technology behind this project. That’s what a couple top theorists, legendary writers (did I mention Garth Ennis?), and hotshot programmers are doing with a bundle of government money: not an exercise in visual FX, motion graphic, music, flashinglight and pretty colours, but attempting to take the narrative structural and spatial freedom of a digital workspace and make it understandable and accessible to you through…an app.


With the convention season slowed down, I’ve begun to think about larger comics topics again, and “Future comics” is at the top of my list. As mentioned before, Madefire aside, this seems to have stalled out. Throwing think tank money at the question of what comics can do on the internet seems like a marvelous project and I’ll be eagerly awaiting more news.

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14. "A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each piece is..."

“A painting is a symbol for the universe. Inside it, each piece relates to the other. Each... Read the rest of this post

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15. Francesca Lia Block apologized for Native stereotyping in WEETZIE BAT

On November 11, 2014, the We Need Diverse Books campaign hosted a twitter chat about LGBTQ literature. During that chat, Emily Campbell (@Ms_Librarian) tweeted that Francesca Lia Block's book, Baby Bebop, was important to her. She included Block in the tweet. I replied, saying "The Native content in her bks is stereotyping 101." Here's a screencap:



Campbell asked for more information, and I sent her a link to my analysis of Weetzie Bat. The next day, November 12, Block replied to me and Campbell, saying "No offense meant. My apologies. All respect for all." Here's that screencap:



I thanked her, saying "Most ppl mean well but lack awareness, esp of Native ppl & how culture is used/misused." Here's the screencap of that; I don't know why its font is larger than the others:


She replied again, saying "I would like to learn and grow, until I am no longer alive." And I thanked her again, saying "Your voice as ally pushing back on broad/deep misrepresentations of Native ppl is important." Here's the screencap of that exchange:



I don't know what, if anything, Francesca Lia Block has said or done about this since then. Most authors who respond to my critiques of their work are defensive. Her response was different, and I appreciate that, but I wonder if she's said anything more about my critique, elsewhere, to friends, perhaps?

Block's apology came up this morning in a tweet exchange I had with a colleague about Daniel Handler, the author of Lemony Snicket books who made several racist remarks last night (November 19) at the National Book Awards. He called them "ill conceived humor" in an apology he tweeted today (November 20). His remarks weren't "ill conceived." They were racist.

Block and Handler are key figures in children's and young adult literature. They are authors of best selling books. They could change a lot of hearts and minds if they'd say more than either has said so far.

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16. Exciting News - Ruff Christmas will be available to buy at Amazon Tomorrow!

 Hi Everyone

We are so excited. Our hilarious holiday season book, Ruff Christmas is released and will be available at Amazon.com tomorrow.

This book will give you a unique, hilarious view of Christmas, one you've never experienced before.

Don't forget that you can enter to win the only FREE signed copy of this very entertaining book.  Press on the link below.



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ruff Christmas by B.R. Tracey

Ruff Christmas

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends December 09, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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17. Hachette Book Group Forms Contract to Acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers

Hachette-Book-Group-LARGE11-300x89Hachette Book Group has established an agreement to acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. The executives have designated Black Dog & Levinthal to be a new division at the Hachette Books imprint.

J.P. Leventhal founded the company in 1993; it specializes in publishing illustrated books and creative non-fiction titles. Hachette plans to retain the management team with Leventhal as publisher, Maureen Winter as associate publisher, and Rebecca Koh as editorial director.

Here’s more from the press release: “The impressive range and variety of the Black Dog & Leventhal list is evident in their recent bestsellers, which include The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, Skyscrapers, Take Me Out to the Ballpark, The Complete Front Pages of the New York Times, The Louvre: All the Paintings, Theodore Gray’s The Elements, as well as the more recent Molecules, which is currently on the New York Times science bestseller list. The company publishes 20 to 30 books per year, in the categories of art, history, science, humor, cooking, crafts, music, and theatre, as well as a selection of books for young readers.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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18. And one more: Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency in development once again

Global Frequency 8 And one more: Warren Ellis Global Frequency in development once again

And here’s another second look at a comics property that already had a time at the dance—Global Frequency, already the subject of a failed project way back in the prehistory of 2005, is getting another look as a TV show, with Jerry Bruckheimer once again leading the way.

The comic book Global Frequency came out from Wildstorm during the days when it was edgy and daring.. (For those of you who came in late, Wildstorm was once an imprint of DC Comics that put out more wild and crazy adventure themed stuff. It was shut down a few years ago and its remaining properties were folded into Vertigo.)

Written by Warren Ellis and drawn by a bunch of artists including Garry Leach, Steve Dillon, David Lloyd and Gene Ha, it followed a high tech privately sourced elite crime solving organization—an idea that has kind of been done to death since then but it still works when done well. (Person of Interest?) A pilot was made starring Michelle Forbes and Josh Hopkins in 2005 but it went nowhere. But those were the days when comic books were just things printed on paper and not idea space thought peaches.

Now it’s back with Bruckheimer producing and Rockne S. O’Bannon writing a new pilot. O’Bannon is well known for creating Farscape, and he’s also working on Constantine, but don’t hold that against him.

As Deadline helpfully points tout, this is part of the EXPLOSION of WB TV projects based on comics, joining the on air Arrow, Gotham, Flash and Constantine, and the upcoming iZombie and Supergirl, which has a series commitment at CBS, and Lucifer, also at Fox.

Whoever is doing TV development at DC Comics—you rock.

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19. Sign in a School Hallway

This photo was snapped by my friend, author Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, on a recent school visit.

Stephanie is a great talent and an even better person. As S. A. Bodeen, she’s written The Compound, The Raft, and several other “The” titles. These days the book-loving world is buzzed about her new adventure series, Shipwreck Island.

But enough about Stephanie. Today I want you feast your eyes on this lovely sign in a school somewhere. I know that many schools post signs like this, messages of intent, statements of mission, but this one in particular gets all the notes exactly right.

I like it.

 

 

1560422_10204040958159001_3863028300253874237_n

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20. Enter now to win signed print books!

Don’t miss out on your chance to win a

signed print copy of Broken Promise!

~Goodreads Giveaway~

brokenpromise

Broken Promise by Jen Wylie

ENTER NOW

Check out more Untold Press books with

Goodreads Giveaways going on!

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a signed book!

On each Goodreads book page just scroll to below the blurb for the Enter to Win section!

Distraction

Distraction by Angela McPherson

ENTER NOW

Tainted EB

Tainted Energy by Lynn Vroman

ENTER NOW


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21. Amanda Bullock Moves to Literary Arts, Inc.

Amanda BullockLiterary Arts, Inc. has named Amanda Bullock to take on the role of festival and events manager for the Wordstock Festival. Prior to this move, Bullock served as the director of public programming for the nonprofit cultural institution Housing Works Bookstore.

Literary Arts acquired the Wordstock Festival earlier this year. This literary event will be re-launched on November 07, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum. Powell’s Books has signed on to serve as a community partner for this venture.

Bullock gave this statement in the press release: “Wordstock 2015 will reflect the dynamic literary culture of Portland and the Pacific Northwest, as well as attract authors and attendees from across the country and around the world. I am excited to start the next chapter of my career and my literary life. I hope to bring my experience in New York City publishing, literary programming, and community building to reinvigorate Wordstock and collaborate with the amazing literary community to create a festival that will be bigger and better than ever: a destination event that is truly Portland.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. A look at Disney’s BIG HERO 6 Art Book

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6 is the story of Hiro Hamada, a brilliant robotics prodigy who must foil a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. This new title in our popular The Art of series, published to coincide with the movie’s U.S. release, features concept art from the film’s creation—including sketches, storyboards, maquette sculpts, colorscripts, and much more—illuminated by quotes and interviews with the film’s creators. Fans will love the behind-the-scenes insights into Disney’s newest action comedy adventure.


  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452122210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452122212

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23. A History of the ‘Gay Agenda’ in Animation

Bit by bit, overtly gay characters are making inroads into animation targeted primarily at children, but the fear of gay cartoon characters has existed for years.

0 Comments on A History of the ‘Gay Agenda’ in Animation as of 11/20/2014 3:56:00 PM
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24. Jump See Farm app review

 Jump See Farm app reviewNew educational app Jump See Farm (JUMPSEEWOW, October 2014) introduces preschool and primary-age kids to life on several independent rural farms as well as an urban apiary (Best Bees, right here in Boston!).

From the main menu, tap on an icon to explore one of six subjects: pig, sheep, dairy cow, chicken, tractor, and bees. Each subject has its own “landing page” featuring a friendly, naive-style illustration with a couple of interactive animations.

 Jump See Farm app review

Tap on select objects or animals in the illustration to access brief documentary videos (up to four on each subject, for a total of more than 30 minutes), narrated by a mix of farm-working adults, kids, and teen 4-H members. These videos detail the animals’ jobs on the farm, their care and feeding, attributes of the specific breeds being raised, and how milk, cheese, honey, etc., are produced, all with cheery bluegrass music (composed for the app by Tomas Murmis) in the background.  Jump See Farm app review

The videos also highlight the different species’ personalities. According to one teen girl, Tamworth pigs (a “heritage” breed) “act like dogs. My pig last year would come up to me and she would sleep on me. I just like them because they’re really social and they’re really loving.” Dairy cows, apparently, are curious but “mellow creatures.”

While it’s obvious that these are working animals valuable for their usefulness, their human caretakers clearly do feel plenty of affection for them. One young girl says, “I have a lot of favorite things about chickens, but one of my favorite things is when they take dirt baths.” A teen gives her pig a pat and tells him she loves him. Occasionally the narration gets a little cutesy — as when a beekeeper points out a brand-new bee emerging from her cell in the honeycomb and exclaims, “It’s her birthday!… How special is this?” But kids likely won’t mind, and the information communicated with this warmth and enthusiasm will intrigue them. A list of recommended resources on farm animals and farm living is available at JUMPSEEWOW’s website.

Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch (requires iOS 6.0 or later) and for the Kindle Fire; $2.99. Recommended for preschool and primary users.

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The post Jump See Farm app review appeared first on The Horn Book.

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25. I just finished this wallet design…who doesn’t love...



I just finished this wallet design…who doesn’t love Paris? And it’s a long story as to why H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthuhlu beast is sharing the landscape with the Eiffel, but ask me and I’ll tell you later. 



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