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1. 24 Hours of Halloween: Study Group Halloween Haunting

HH2014  24 Hours of Halloween: Study Group Halloween Haunting

As they did last year, the Study Group cartoonist have rolled out a whole week of seasonal comics including:

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The Gemini Three – Part 1 – by T Edward Bak

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Flash Forward – by Sean T. Collins and Jonny Negron

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October 31st – by Will Dinski

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Final Meal – by Christopher Sebela and Zack Soto

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Internet Girlfriend – by Ross Jackson

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River of Tears – by Julia Gfrörer

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A Dance With Death – Part 1 – by Greg Khmara and Jason Fischer

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Tales of Inconvenience – by Steve Aylett

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King Blood – Part 2 – by Rich Tommaso

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Guts Nice – by Chris Cilla

…and many more. Enjoy!

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2. Flogometer for Yvonne—are you compelled to turn the page?

Submissions Needed. None in the queue for next week. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.


The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.

Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.

What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.

A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.

Storytelling Checklist

Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this list of 6 vital storytelling ingredients from my book, Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.

Evaluate the submission—and your own first page—in terms of whether or not it includes each of these ingredients, and how well it executes them. The one vital ingredient not listed is professional-caliber writing because that is a must for every page, a given.

  • Story questions
  • Tension (in the reader, not just the characters)
  • Voice
  • Clarity
  • Scene-setting
  • Character

Yvonne sends a first chapter of Fugue The rest of the chapter follows the break.

Lakeview Neighborhood, Chicago

Even the rain was just a broken thing in her screwed up mind; Lake Michigan transmogrified into suicidal shards. The deluge coated her picture window at dawn, materializing in Viola Collier’s dream as syncopated percussion gone wrong. 

No!

The nightmare music had felt so real that Viola was certain she had been working still. She massaged her neck, cranked at an unnatural angle from sleeping in her chair as a bombastic measure of thunder rattled her studio apartment, assuring her she was awake now to deal with her real nightmare.

Ugly peg stubs. Nasty skin comb-over. Disgusting.

Viola surveyed her legs, never getting used to the fact that they ended at her knees now. Three years and she still woke each morning believing she was whole, phantom feet ready to bolt for a quick shower before rehearsal. But everything had ended with her accident: Her career, her ease of life, her bourgeoning relationship with Andrew… everything.

The train: She needed more from the horns to bring it to life. And the rhythm that had seemed so perfect last night was all wrong this morning. The rain had shown her that.

 Courtyard light cast shadows of fat raindrops onto her bedroom walls. The light was murky, as if coffee tracked down her windows in continuous rivulets, but it was just bright (snip)

Were you compelled to turn Yvonne's first page?

Very nice writing and voice, and you introduce a hugely sympathetic character. Yet there’s no story question raised, nothing happening other than waking up. If you can do without the dream reference and just get into something happening that raises a story question about what’s going to happen to her next, this would be a winner. I gave it an Almost tending to Yes. Notes:

Even the rain was just a broken thing in her screwed up mind; Lake Michigan transmogrified into suicidal shards. The deluge coated her picture window at dawn, materializing in Viola Collier’s dream as syncopated percussion gone wrong. 

No!

The nightmare music had felt so real that Viola was certain she had been working still. She massaged her neck, cranked at an unnatural angle from sleeping in her chair as a bombastic measure of thunder rattled her studio apartment, assuring her she was awake now to deal with her real nightmare.

Ugly peg stubs. Nasty skin comb-over. Disgusting. This briefly took me out of the story. Yes, the next line fills in the gap, but I still had to stop and think about it. I suggest you try preceding this paragraph with the first sentence of the next one, then return to the “three years…”

Viola surveyed her legs, never getting used to the fact that they ended at her knees now. Three years and she still woke each morning believing she was whole, phantom feet ready to bolt for a quick shower before rehearsal. But everything had ended with her accident: Her career, her ease of life, her bourgeoning relationship with Andrew… everything.

The train: She needed more from the horns to bring it to life. And the rhythm that had seemed so perfect last night was all wrong this morning. The rain had shown her that.

Courtyard light cast shadows of fat raindrops onto her bedroom walls. The light was murky, as if coffee tracked down her windows in continuous rivulets, but it was just bright (snip) I would cut these two lines to get the reader more imbedded into what’s going on by going directly to this from the next page:

She needed to hurry before the lines of the last movement dissipated into smoke. The distorted rhythm of her dreams presented her with what was lacking: The adagio was too harsh. A softer reticence to act as portent, that’s what Viola needed.

 Comments, please?

For what it’s worth.

Ray

Submitting to the Flogometer:

Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):

  1. your title
  2. your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
  3. Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
  4. Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
  5. Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
  6. And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
  7. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
  8. If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.

Flogging the Quill © 2014 Ray Rhamey, story © 2014 Yvonne

 

(contined)

enough for her to work.  She needed to hurry before the lines of the last movement dissipated into smoke. The distorted rhythm of her dreams presented her with what was lacking: The adagio was too harsh. A softer reticence to act as portent, that’s what Viola needed. 

Time to summon Andrew back to her.

Viola inhaled a deep breath, taking in the same air that Andrew too breathed somewhere else in the city. It was the only connection they shared now, across neighborhoods and skyscrapers and trains and Chicago’s thriving pulse that continued to beat without her, somewhere he breathed her air. Loving a ghost is what it was.  His absence was present in every note but her music returned him to her too, an irony she could never explain:  The slight hollow beneath his cheek bones commissioned by the spot light, the wild halo his hair formed in mid-pirouette, the soft rage emanating from him when he danced, when he approached her. These were her worst moments, when Andrew was so real again. They created her most inspired work.

They say you’re Balanchine’s grandson. Is it true?

The pen was still in her hand, a relic from last night’s furious pace. Her fingers ached when she stretched them.  Wheeling herself to the back corner where the wall met the window, Viola allowed a cool draft gusting through the closed window to dry her sweaty face. Wall space was running out and soon she would need to shimmy to the floor to work from there.  But for now, she remained seated, last night’s work pleading with her to be completed. Again, she lost herself to her music.

More intensity. Impending ruin…grinding. Just more. The wall as her pallet was no longer before her.  Viola waited at the Diversey Street Station now, standing on the platform with ichor and blood running through her legs, the hinge of her ankles neatly propelling her upright. She smiled into the warm air of the arriving El train as it blew back her hair on the day she was going to rehearse with Andrew, but instead, never saw him again.

Outside, the wind blew and the courtyard trees danced a tribal dance and the sky boiled in the dark, but Viola was elsewhere as the room sobbed and sobbed and sobbed around her.

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3. 24 Hours of Halloween: OUTCAST by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta

outcast kirkman azaceta 195x300 24 Hours of Halloween: OUTCAST by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta

Few comics are as suitable for Halloween reading as Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, which opens with a gruesome, intense demonic possession, and continues with an exploration of a great central character,  Kyle Barnes, who has to deal with his own connection to possession and the demonic world. We all know Kirkman is a horror master, but Azaceta’s art on the book is sleek and controlled, aided by top notch colors.

The first collection of Outcast comes out in December.
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4. Artist of the Day: Juanjo Guarnido

Today we look at the work of Juanjo Guarnido, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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5. 24 Hours of Halloween: Charles Burns

Page 10 from Burns SUGAR SKULL 1 650x872 24 Hours of Halloween: Charles Burns

No one is better than Charles Burns, and his unnamed trilogy—X’ed Out, The Hive and the new Sugar Skull—may be an even greater achievement in horror than his masterful Black Hole. The horror is on the page—talking maggots, ruined faces, a grim grey land of cannibals and humanoid insects—but the true terror is the most fearful thing of all: learning to love and understand another human being.

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Tim Hodler interviews Burns at the Comics Journal in a piece called “I’m Not on This Planet Forever”: that talks about the autobiographical roots of his work—although experienced first hand, Burn’s imagination transforms them into the universal.

That particular character, that was a conversation with my girlfriend’s roommates. I just never heard — we knew a lot of bands and I just remember her saying like, “Huh, we could do a band, but everybody’s doing a band.” It was like, “Everyone’s doing that. I’m going to do something different.” So it really was from that. When I went to school, I studied fine arts. I didn’t go to comics school or learn graphics or anything like that. Anything useful.

But I really did have a chance to kind of explore a lot of different mediums. I did painting, and sculpture, and I did a lot of photography. That part comes out in the book a little bit — that aspect of being a photographer. I felt like I was able to kind of allow different things into my work. But also it did come down to me just liking the accessibility of comics and wanting to tell stories. I think early on I never really kind of settled down enough to tell real stories. There were little fragments of things, or a page of something, or it might be some kind of more visual narrative. But I hadn’t really sat down and worked through the whole storytelling part of it. Which is a hard thing. Something I had to teach myself.

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6. How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction — Nov. 10 Boot Camp (w/Critiques) Taught by Fuse Literary

There has never been a better time to be a Sci-Fi / Fantasy author. With television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and Outlander each in turn becoming massive pop culture phenomena, and Marvel’s superhero films dominating the box office, SF/F has gone mainstream like never before. The SF/F literary marketplace has also become more open to a variety of stories and points of view.

The SF/F agents of Fuse Literary (formerly Foreword Literary) will help you perfect your new Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Horror masterpiece in this online boot camp titled “How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction.” It starts on Nov. 10, and all registrants will get individualized agent critiques as well as have the chance to ask the agent instructors any questions they wish.

Among the topics that will be discussed:

  • How to build a unique and memorable fictional world that will entice an agent
  • How to craft a compelling, high-stakes plot that keeps the reader engaged
  • How to create refreshing and dynamic characters
  • How to find agents seeking SF/F manuscripts
  • How to avoid common pitfalls in your query letter and sample pages
  • How to rein in an out-of-control word count
  • How to lay the groundwork for an epic series in your first book. Sign up for the boot camp here.

After the seminar lecture, we will be available to answer any questions you may have about the SF/F market or the publishing process. Then the agents from Fuse Literary will critique the query letter and first five double-spaced pages from all registrants. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the inside scoop on genre publishing!

Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 2.55.38 PM Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 2.55.33 PM

 

PLEASE NOTE: A few works discussed as examples in our presentation will include A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, Dune by Frank Herbert, and Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor. It’s not necessary to have read any or all of these books, but a passing familiarity with at least a few of them will be helpful.

Only registered students can access the discussion sessions. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive:

— Download of “An Agent’s Tips on Story Structures that Sell,” an on-demand webinar by literary agent Andrea Hurst
— 1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database

About Fuse Literary:

Fuse Literary is a full-service, hybrid literary agency based in the Silicon Valley with offices in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, and Vancouver. We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship. Sign up for the boot camp here.

Fuse manages a wide variety of clients, from bestsellers to debut authors, working with fiction and non-fiction for children and adults worldwide. We combine technical efficiency with outside-the-covers creative thinking so that each individual client’s career is specifically fine-tuned for them.

Agent Laurie McLean is a partner at Fuse Literary. She spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. At Fuse, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books. Her SF/F clients include the New York Times and USA Today bestselling YA author Julie Kagawa, bestselling fantasy and science fiction author Michael J. Sullivan, and award-winning steampunk and fantasy authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.http://www.writersdigest.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Agent Connor Goldsmith is an associate agent at Fuse Literary, part of the firm’s New York office. He began his career in publishing as an associate agent at Lowenstein Associates. At Fuse, Connor specializes in adult genre and commercial fiction, in addition to select literary fiction and nonfiction titles. His SF/F clients include award-winning romantic fantasy author Jeffe Kennedy and upcoming debut SF/F authors Claire Humphrey, Alex White, and Cass Morris.

Please note: Both Laurie McLean and Connor Goldsmith will be participating in the online discussion sessions together on the same boards. There is no need to request to ask questions to one or the other beforehand. If you ask a question, both Laurie and Connor will be able to reply to you based on their expertise. However, only Connor Goldsmith will be critiquing submissions.

Sign up for the boot camp here.

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7. Smithsonian Picks An Interim Leader

Horvath, Albert (Acting Secy)

“The Smithsonian Institution has appointed Albert G. Horvath, its current senior finance official, as its acting leader for the first half of next year, until the incoming secretary, David J. Skorton, can take up his position in July.”

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8. Week in Review, October 27th-31st

banner weekinreview 550x100 Week in Review, October 27th 31st

This week on hbook.com…

Preview the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

John Green’s 2014 Sutherland lecture: “Does YA Mean Anything Anymore? Genre in a Digitized World”

Self service“: What self-publishers don’t know about children’s books (Nov./Dec. 2014 editorial)

Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition

Nonfiction Notes: Unexplained phenomena, memoir, domestic animals, big ideas, and cookery

Reviews of the Week:

  • Picture Book:
  • Fiction: 
  • Nonfiction:
  • App: Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2

Read Roger: What’s Going On

Out of the Box:

Calling Caldecott:

Lolly’s Classroom: Science and stereotypes

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

share save 171 16 Week in Review, October 27th 31st

The post Week in Review, October 27th-31st appeared first on The Horn Book.

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9. A New Golden Age Of Storytelling

netflix-tv-feat

“This is the opportunity we all have in front of us: to redefine storytelling for an always-on world. It is a new Golden Age with an ever-changing set of disruptive technologies that offer creative talent the opportunity to try new things and figure out what works.”

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10. Nick Cartoons Headed to Hulu

Hulu and Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom announced earlier this week a deal that will bring the Nicktoons library to the online streaming service.

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11. What’s up?!

Hi!

Perhaps you’ve recently tried to access CrazyQuiltEdi only to get the message that the blog was no longer available. I know I was shocked when I tried to access my blog and had a hugely embarrassing messaging stating that I violated Terms of Service. I was forced to carefully read those terms (if you’re a blogger and haven’t recently you should. Many of those books tours are a violation!) It took about a day for WordPress to send me this message on Twitter.

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In the meantime, I’m going to be more than a little bit overwhelmed in November. I’m presenting on diverse nonfiction in the Social Studies curriculum at Sycamore Educator’s Day this weekend; Brain Based Library Instruction at Brick and Click in Missouri next weekend and holding a diversity round table at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference in a few weeks. I’ll be be at ALAN at the end of the month and in DC for Thanksgiving.

Yes, this is my #57yearoftravel. Huh?? I was born in 1957 and to help with the math, I turn 57 this year. I’m claiming this as my #57yearoftravel. Since October, I’ve been to Sacramento, Indianapolis and Rogers, Arkansas. The Grand Canyon is my big wish (I missed it when I turned 50, opting rather for a typhoon in Taiwan) and I’d really like to throw in a trip to look at information seeking habits in India or teaching material collections in universities in South Africa or just go to Mozambique and explore children’s literature published there.

For now, for November, this blog may be a bit quiet and I’m sure you can see why. I’m still in business, just working hard elsewhere. I do intend to get up a list of November releases. Please let me know of any titles you’re aware of that I shouldn’t miss. Thanks!


Filed under: Me Being Me

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12. Publishing Jobs: Skyhorse Publishing, Chronicle Books, HarperCollins

This week, Skyhorse Publishing is hiring a publicist, while Chronicle Books needs a digital sales manager. HarperCollins is seeking a publicity manager, and I-5 Publishing is on the hunt for a marketing coordinator. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

skyhorsepublishing130

Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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13. ~HaPpY HaLlOwEeN~

"moonstruck"
©the enchanted easel 2014
love, sally...and her beloved kitty companion
xxx

{PRINTS AND SUCH FOUND HERE:

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14. Boo! Happy Halloween!


Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

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15. I.N.J. Culbard: ‘I do take the story apart and reconstruct it again…’

I.N.J CulbardHave you ever written a scary story? In honor of the Halloween season, we are interviewing horror writers to learn about the craft of scaring readers.

We sat down with comics creator I.N.J. Culbard to discuss his new graphic novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Culbard adapted the story from H.P. Lovecraft’s novel. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

Q: How did you land your first book deal?
A: Back in 2004 I was enrolled in The New Recruits programme set up by Dark Horse comics. I had two stories appear in an anthology there and a short while after that, 2000AD publisher Rebellion published a short strip of mine called “Monsters in The Megazine.” Following the work I did there I got in contact with artist D’Israeli, who put me in contact with a long time collaborator of his, Ian Edginton.

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. ‘The Cat with Hands’ by Robert Morgan

A cat wants to become human.

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17. 24 Hours of Halloween: The Last Halloween by Abby Howard

last halloween 24 Hours of Halloween: The Last Halloween by Abby Howard

The long running The Last Halloween is an engrossing tale about a girl and some monsters.

The Last Halloween is the story of Mona and her unusual friends, who must work together to defend humanity from countless horrific monstrosities! Perhaps they will succeed, and humanity will prevail as it always has. Or perhaps this will be… The Last Halloween

It’s all in the execution!

Howard came up with the idea after participating on Strip Search.

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18. Disney Employees Go All-Out For Halloween

Some Disney employees who work in Imagineering got an early jump on Pixar's next film "Inside Out" and dressed up as the film's main characters.

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19. Jack London Letter Found In Connecticut Library

Here's some local literary news I missed: A 1905 letter Jack London wrote to his publisher was found in a copy of White Fang among some "rare books in a storage closet" at the Pequot Library in Southington, Connecticut. The book had belonged to the publisher, George Brett, who had a connection to the library.

Either I had to read London's To Build a Fire, or one of my kids did. I recall it being kind of grim. I listened to an audio book of The Call of the Wild and rather liked it, but I was trapped in a car.

Nonetheless, a 100+ year old letter just found in a book... That's worth noting.

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20. Junket is Nice

Junket is Nice
Author & Illustrator: Dorothy Kunhardt
Publisher: New York Review Children’s Collection
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-59017-628-3
Pages: 72
Price: $16.95

Buy it at Amazon

Junket is a milk-based dessert, made with sweetened milk and rennet, the digestive enzyme which curdles milk. It might best be described as a custard or a very soft, sweetened cheese. And in Junket is Nice, an old man with a red beard and red slippers is eating it from a very large, red bowl.

When all the people of the world assemble around him, he asks them to tell him what he’s thinking. The first one to guess correctly will get something nice. But first he tells them three things he’s not thinking of. As they all make their guesses, a young boy on a tricycle watches and thinks.

Junket is Nice is pure absurdity and nonsense in a whimsical package. It’s filled with repetition, silly pictures and concepts, and too much food at one time. Originally published in 1933, this classic has been out of print and only recently reintroduced by the New York Review. If this was one of the best-loved books on your childhood bookcase, it’s time to share it with your own kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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21. 24 Hours of Halloween: Hansel and Gretel by Mattotti and Gaiman—with events!

HG.Front .cvr .GB  24 Hours of Halloween: Hansel and Gretel by Mattotti and Gaiman—with events!

This extraordinary book—surely one of the most beautiful picture books of the year— has a complicated history. It began with Mattotti’s phenomenal illustrations, originally commissioned for the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007 production of Engelbert Humperdink’s opera Hansel and Gretel. Later French publisher Gallimand commissioned Jean-Claude Mourlevat to write text to go with it. And now Neil Gaiman has done an all new adaptation of the story. I was lucky enough to hear Gaiman read this at Carnegie Hall earlier in the year and it’s a stunning version of the tale…but it’s Mattotti’s claustrophobic, world building art that makes this one of the books of the year. In his world. the unlucky children are mere black blobs with a thin armor of white space protecting them from a tangled web of darkness.

This book is the center of several events this weekend. Neil Gaiman is speaking at the NYPL this evening, and it’s being live streamed.

And Mattotti himself appears tomorrow morning at McNAlly Jackson Books in Soho. He will have books re-signed by Gaiman on hand but Gaiman will not be appearing…however, if you are very lucky maybe the great Mattotti will doodle something in your copy of this masterpiece.

WHEN:
November 1, 2014 at 11:30AM

WHERE:
McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
(between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York City, NY 10012

WHAT:
Come hear Lorenzo talk about his art and share more about the making of Hansel & Gretel.  After the event, copies of Hansel & Gretel, presigned by Neil Gaiman, can be signed and personalized by Lorenzo.

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22. A LIBRARY IS A LIBRARY IS A LIBRARY? by Penny Dolan



My local “Friends of the Library” group has just raised enough money for an external Library Notice Board, and today the board was fixed to the Library railings.  

 I feel rather proud. The board will display information about what’s on inside the Library building. Pedestrians outside, seeing the notices, might be encouraged to come inside and make use of the town’s Library itself.

 So today I’m happy and positive and, although not everything is perfect, I live where there is a Very Nice Library.
 

Yet my heart sinks. Right now there are rumblings of more cuts on the way. Nothing to do with the Big Government, of course – ha ha! - as these will just be local cuts for local people.    


Which means it’s “not my responsibility” says Somebody Important Minister, no doubt smiling.” Hey, look at my clean hands! Besides, I have people who do all my reading for me. I’m just too busy for books to matter in my life . . . Or I can buy what I need anyway . . .”

Honestly, I feel very lucky because when I go into “my” library, because I witness:
easy chairs so people can reading papers and magazines and books (or snooze);
rows of computers with almost every machine in use;
plenty of fiction, both general and genres;
information books on a wide range of subjects, including topics I am not interested in yet; 
reference books;
a large local history section
books in foreign languages and books for second language learners;
large print and audiobooks for the visually impaired; 
films on DVD and, still, a few music CDs;
spaces with tables where people can study or write;
a children’s library, with a wide selection of books;
space for storytimes with a weekly programme of events;
a tea and coffee area; 
community rooms
and more.

Who uses it?
Older people. Retired people. People probably out of work or on low income. People with disabilities.  Mothers. Children. Fathers. Carers. Children’s health clinics. Parents. Students of all ages. Solitary teens. Lone readers of all ages. People who like the conversation group. People learning English as a second language. Reading groups. Computer groups.  Local history groups. A WI group. A handicraft group . . . And all of them involved with reading in some way. 
It is a busy library!

How does it feel?
Busy. Warm, Friendly. A place for browsing. For meeting. Free to all, without means testing, and funded by taxpayers money. Possibly the last space in this tourist town where you can sit, rest, work or read without paying. In many ways, this local Library is the last indoor democratic area.

Who runs it? The whole place is run by a core of trained librarians, supported by groups of volunteers. (Oh dear. Another anxiety, with these cuts coming on! In my opinion, volunteers can’t hold a library service together on their own, not for long. I worry that as genuine library expertise seeps away, libraries will just become large rooms filled with books on shelves. Then e-rooms. Then non-existent and the space for the community lost. . . )

Now I don’t want to offend people, but I do get angry – very angry – when newspaper and other articles suggest that a nicely-decorated ex-phone-box crammed with book shelves is “a Library”.  It isn’t, not for me. It’s a nice, enjoyable community project and I’m very glad that such things exist and am happy for the people who care for it and make use of it and the places where they are found.

However, as council library services are being decimated, I resent the way that local media and local bigwigs promote such “pretty new library” stories, implying that these libraries will make up for all the lost Public Libraries.  A library is more than a collection of books, isn't it?

I feel blessed because this post is about my local library, right now. Happy face.
I also know that - right now! - libraries in Liverpool and elsewhere are being hacked about, weakened, cut and closed, their school library services shut down and, I suspect, companies approached to take over “ailing services”.  For non-profit? Ha! Angry face!

Yes, people. It’s cultural vandalism gone mad! Grrr!
Put that on any new Notice Board as a warning for passing people to see!

Penny Dolan

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23. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Basil Wolverton

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The enigmatic comics legend Basil Wolverton(1909-1978) is celebrated this week with the release of IDW’s Artist’s Edition Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds. IDW’s series of art books collects the best examples of original comics art that still exists, and reproduces that art at it’s original size(15″ by 22″ for this edition), preserving the little imperfections, and notes that might have been left on the original page. These newly printed artifacts are a perfect way to enjoy work by one of your favorite artists, and it serves as a perfect introduction to new fans.

Wolverton reached the pinnacle of his fame when he won Al Capp‘s legendary ugliest woman contest, drawing Lena the Hyena, which was featured on the cover of Life Magazine. His work was prominently featured in the early issues of Mad Magazine, and his Spacehawk & Powerhouse Pepper strips were published in various Timely comics during the 1930’s & 40’s. In the 1940’s, Basil Wolverton became a minister for Herbert W. Armstrong’s Radio Church of God, which took a literal interpretation of the apocalyptic parts of  the Bible. Some of this point of view is reflected in Wolverton’s work, and that dark side certainly trickled into many of his commercial pieces, as well.

You can read more about the history of artist Basil Wolverton, and his interest in the end times here, which includes words from his son, Monte.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

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24. What Color Are YOU?


Go to the site below, and choose your favorite color.

 http://www.personalityquiz.net/colortests/colors.htm

I am green, and I think it describes me perfectly.

Put your color in the comment section please, and let us know if you think it truly describes you.

*Rainbow Image courtesy of:

 www.webweaver.nu

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25. Halloween boooOOOoooks roundup

all hallows read 2014 Halloween boooOOOoooks roundupHalloween is here — and so are Halloween books! Here are some recent recommended titles for you to share (perhaps through All Hallow’s Read?) with your little goblins.

Horn BOO! 2014

Baby Horn BOO! 2014: Halloween-y board books

Halloween-themed Notes from the Horn Book: 5Q for Julie Berry, eerie places, off-the-wall picture books, atmospheric audiobooks, and YA supernatural baddies

Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2 app

Click on the tag Halloween books for previous years’ recommendations.

share save 171 16 Halloween boooOOOoooks roundup

The post Halloween boooOOOoooks roundup appeared first on The Horn Book.

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