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1. character appearance

Question: I have a pretty good idea of what I would like my character to look like, but it would really help to see it in front of me. I'm not the best

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2. Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be...



Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be the centre of attention. #illustration #twelveprincesses #artstagram



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3. Why I Can Never Benefit From Groupie Groups

Literary crushes and book boyfriends--they're a thing. I was kind of stunned when I first heard about them a few years ago. Various bloggers would carry on about their book boyfriends, a popular one being Mr. Darcy, that narrow-minded stick-in-the-mud, from Pride and Prejudice. Crushes, I always thought, were sort of shallow, not something anyone would admit to. Especially crushes on imaginary people. Especially if you were an adult.

But book people do enjoy them and do like to talk about them, and writers can talk about theirs in Special Features that will get shared on social media and everyone will love reading it. And I will never be able to be part of that because I don't do crushes particularly on imaginary people.

And when I like a really terrific character I don't crush on them, I want to be them. But not Mr. Darcy. And not Elizabeth Bennet, either. Jane Eyre, okay. Jo Bhaer in Little Men, not Jo March in Little Women. I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid. Not so much now.

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4. Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

By Davey Nieves

EFFIGY #1

Effigy 2015 001 000 195x300 Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

 

Story: Tim Seeley

Art: Marley Zarcone

Colors: Ryan Hill

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Publisher: Vertigo

 

 

Gloomy, hard-hitting, make no apologies stories have been the status quo for fans who pick up any Vertigo book. After all this is the line that gave us The Sandman, Y: The Last Man, and The Wake.  Effigy by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash)and Marley Zarcone may only get two out of the three, but this book is a rare occurrence where that’s actually what makes it a must read.

Writer Tim Seeley crafts a story about unhealthy obsessions that feels like it could only be told in this day in age given how many cautionary tales childhood actors have turned into. Effigy follows Chondra Jackson, a once bubbly star of a futuristic kids-as-cops series called Star Cops who after a downward spiral of typecasting and an ill-advised sex tape bottoms out into the life of a far less glamorous small-town cop. The night-and-day portrayal of Chondra captures her disconnect prom prominence exquisitely. This first issue doesn’t read so much as a behind the music type story, but more of a caution as to what the world around you can become when live most of your life in the clouds then have to deal with crashing towards reality. As she goes from being a glorified meter maid to a true detective we’ll see the high price of fame take it’s toll on those close to her and complete strangers who probably want to love her to death… literally.

Marley Zarcone’s art starts strong with so much energy in telling the back story of Star Cops. Then by design it settles into a more rural style. While not quite as energetic, it plays into creating a dichotomy of Chondra’s two lives. At first glance Ryan Hill’s colors seem like such a basic job, but when you see the panels containing more visual effects; it actually works in better highlighting these moments. The art does more than just add to Chondra’s already engaging story, it buttresses the –child-star to messed up adult– dark tunnel the audience is going to be taken through.

In a week where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a good comic, Effigy carves out a noticeable place for itself and on your pull list. Issue one sets up a world of glamour, ritual murder, and mystery that could lead to this series being one of Vertigo’s best 2015 books.


Dave has never been a child star but had a childhood crush on Winnie Cooper and Stephanie Tanner here more about it @bouncingsoul217

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5. Relief: The Kirkus Review of One Thing Stolen

“Rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.”—Kirkus Reviews

Something very bad is happening to 17-year-old Nadia.Ever since her family relocated to Florence for her father's sabbatical, she's been slipping out at night to steal random objects and then weave them into bizarre nest-shaped forms she hides from her family, and she's losing her ability to speak. The first section of the novel is related by Nadia in brief, near-breathless, panicky sentences that effectively capture her increasing disintegration. Switching smoothly between entrancing flashbacks of her promising past—"It was so easy, being me"and her painful, confusing present, which includes visions of a "fluorescent" boy with a pink duffle, real or imagined, Nadia relates her story in fragments. Her parents, remarkably slow to realize Nadia isn't just having trouble adjusting, finally contact wise, nurturing Katherine, a doctor, for help. The narrative switches to the voice of Maggie, Nadia's beloved friend and soul mate, who joins the family in Italy to help Nadia and to find the duffle boy, whose existence—or not—has become critically important. It is he who narrates the final brief section. With Nadia's jumbled personality slipping away, the change of narrative voice is especially disquieting, offering few guarantees of a happy outcome. Disturbing, sometimes unsettling and ultimately offering a sliver of hope, this effort rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.

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6. Catalogging Consortium

Lots of great titles from lots of great small press publishers in the 2015 Consortium catalog - here are the ones that caught my eye with some catalog copy to describe them:

Three Kinds of Motion: Kerouac, Pollock and the Making of the American Highways by Riley Hanick (Sarabande Books). In 1943, Peggy Guggenheim commissioned a mural from Jackson Pollock to hang in the entryway of her Manhattan townhouse. It was the largest Pollock canvas she would ever own, and four years later she gave it to a small Midwestern institution with no place to put it. When the original scroll of On the Road goes on tour across the country, it lands at the same Iowa museum housing Peggy's Pollock, revitalizing Riley Hanick's adolescent fascination with the author. Alongside these two narrative threads, Hanick revisits Dwight D. Eisenhower's quest to build America's first interstate highway system. When catastrophic rains flood the Iowa highways with their famous allure and history of conquest, they also threaten the museum and its precious mural. In Three Kinds of Motion, his razor-sharp, funny, and intensely vulnerable book-length essay, Hanick moves deftly between his three subjects. He delivers a story with breathtaking ingenuity.

The Shark That Walks on Land....and Other Strange But True Tales of Mysterious Sea Creatures by Michael Bright (Biteback Publishing). When you dive into the sea, do you ever wonder what's down there, beneath you, poised to take an inquisitive bite? Author of Jaws Peter Benchley and film director Steven Spielberg certainly did, for below the waves lies a world we neither see nor understand; an alien world where we are but the briefest of visitors. The Shark that Walks on Land uncovers tales of ancient and modern mariners, with stories of sea serpents, mermaids and mermen, sea dragons, and the true identity of the legendary Kraken. But this book contains more than just a medley of maritime myths and mysteries for marine biologists; it celebrates wonderful discoveries by blending the unknown and the familiar in an entertaining miscellany of facts, figures, and anecdotes about the myriad creatures that inhabit the oceans. Along the way we meet the giants, the most dangerous, the oddballs, and the record breakers; and the shark that really does walk on land!

Enormous Smallness: The Story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess, Illus by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books). Here E.E.'s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings's most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

In keeping with the epigraph of the book -- "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," Matthew Burgess's narrative emphasizes the bravery it takes to follow one's own vision and the encouragement E.E. received to do just that.


Mischief and Malice
by Berthe Amos (Lizzie Skurnick Books).
Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the eve of World War II, Mischief and Malice is a brand new work from an iconic figure in young adult literature. Following the death of her Aunt Eveline, fourteen-year old Addie; who we first met in Berthe Amoss's classic Secret Lives; is now living with her Aunt Tooise, Uncle Henry, and her longtime rival cousin, Sandra Lee. A new family has just moved into Addie's former house, including a young girl who is just Addie's age. Meanwhile, Louis, the father of Tom, Addie's lifelong neighbor and best friend, suddenly returns after having disappeared when Tom was a baby. Between school dances, organizing a Christmas play, fretting about her hair, and a blossoming romance with Tom, Addie stumbles upon a mystery buried in the Great Catch All, an ancient giant armoire filled with heirlooms of her family's past, which holds a devastating secret that could destroy Louis and Tom's lives. Once again, Berthe Amoss has created an indelible portrait of a young girl coming of age in prewar New Orleans.

The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing Company). Avicenna Crowe's mother is missing.

The police suspect foul play. Joanne is an astrologer, predicting strangers' futures from their star charts. Maybe one of her clients had a bad reading?

But Avicenna has inherited the gift. Armed with Joanne's journal, she begins her own investigation that leads into the city's dark underworld. The clock is ticking, and as each clue unravels Avicenna finds her life ever more in danger.


The Keeper's Daughter
by Jean-Francois Caron, Translated by Don Wilson (Talonbooks)
. Young Dorothea is appointed by the tourist bureau to direct a documentary film re-enacting life at a lighthouse off Quebec's North Shore in the 1940s and '50s. To obtain material for the film, she is advised to interview an old woman, Rose Brouillard, the daughter of a fisherman who grew up on a nearby island in the St. Lawrence. Rose is finally tracked down in Montreal. She is now old: her memory and grasp of reality are hazy; nevertheless she tells her story and takes Dorothea back to scenes from her childhood. We see fishermen on the docks with their nets, hard-at-work villagers with shirtsleeves rolled up to the elbow, leafy gardens and tree-lined streets, all recreated from Rose's failing memory. The problem is that many of these scenes are invented, not real. Does that matter? Or are the stories we tell more important?

(This one is listed as "Finding Rose" in the catalog but "The Keeper's Daughter" at the publisher and online booksellers - not sure what it really is, though.)

Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan compiled & translated by Farzana Marie (Holy Cow! Press). A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.


The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Books). Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner.

The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet.

Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich (Coffee House Press). Take a book. Return a book." In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries; freestanding front-yard book exchanges; now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

Fanny Says by Nickole Brown (BOA Editions, Ltd). In this "unleashed love song" to her late grandmother, Nickole Brown brings her brassy, bawdy, tough-as-new-rope grandmother to life. With hair teased to Jesus, glued-on false eyelashes, and a white Cadillac Eldorado with atomic-red leather seats, Fanny isn't your typical granny in a rocking chair. Instead, think of a character that looks a lot like Eva Gabor in Green Acres, but tinted with a shadow of Sylvia Plath.

Chernobyl Strawberries by Vesna Goldsworthy (Wilmington Square Books). How would you make sense of your life if you thought it might end tomorrow? In this captivating and best-selling memoir, Vesna Goldsworthy tells the story of herself, her family, and her early life in her lost country. There follows marriage, a move to England, and a successful media and academic career, then a cancer diagnosis and its unresolved consequences. A profoundly moving, comic, and original account by a stunning literary talent.

The Surfacing by Cormac James (Bellevue Literary Press). Far from civilization, on the hunt for Sir John Franklins recently lost Northwest Passage expedition, Lieutenant Morgan and his crew find themselves trapped in ever-hardening Arctic ice that threatens to break apart their ship. When Morgan realizes that a stowaway will give birth to his child in the frozen wilderness, he finds new clarity and courage to lead his men across a bleak expanse as shifting, stubborn, and treacherous as human nature itself.

Well Fed, Flat Broke by Emily Wright (Arsenal Pulp Press). This collection of 120 recipes ranges from the simple (perfect scrambled eggs, rice and lentils) to the sublime (Orecchiette with White Beans and Sausage, Mustard-fried Chicken). Chapters are organized by ingredient so that you can easily build a meal from what you have on hand. Well Fed, Flat Broke has flavours to please every palette including Thai, Dutch, Indonesian, and Latin American-inspired recipes such as Kimchi Pancakes, Salvadoran Roast Chicken, and Pantry Kedgeree, reflecting a diverse array of affordable ingredients and products in grocery stores, markets, and delis.

Emily is a working mother and wife who lives with a picky toddler in one of Canada's most expensive cities. She offers readers real-talk about food, strategic shopping tips, sound advice for picky eaters, and suggestions on how to build a well-stocked, yet inexpensive pantry. Cooking every night can be challenging for busy families who are short on time and lean in budget; Emily includes plenty of one-pot dishes to keep everyone healthy, full, and happy.

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7. Mirror Gazing review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Warren Motte's study of Mirror Gazing in literature.

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8. Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s New Hispanic Princess

Disney's hugely popular Princess brand is about to get even more lucrative with the introduction of its first Hispanic princess.

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9. Bella and the Bulldogs

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGSAre You a Bella Fan?

Bella is a head cheerleader at her middle school until her life takes an unexpected twist. Her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming the starting quarterback in Nickelodeon’s newest live-action comedy series, Bella and the Bulldogs. Bella Dawson (played by Brec Bassinger) is a confident, caring, and talented teenager who suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream. But she also has to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky), and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad.

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS

Photo: Jim Fiscus/ Nickelodeon

Are you a fan of the new show, Bella and the Bulldogs? Let us know in the Comments.

-Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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10. Rachael Taylor joins AKA Jessica Jones as the MCU version of Hellcat

Rachael Taylor NBC 2014 TCA Winter Press Tour 01 1000x714 Rachael Taylor joins AKA Jessica Jones as the MCU version of Hellcat

Marvel’s second Netflix series, AKA Jessica Jones, has added a new cast member to join Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), and David Tennant (Kilgrave).

Per Variety, Rachael Taylor (666 Park Avenue, Charlie’s Angels) has signed on for the role of Trish Walker, Jessica’s best friend.

Here’s how they describe the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Walker:

Trish Walker, the best friend of Jessica, is a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child television star who’s best known to her fans as ‘Patsy’ Walker, based on the Marvel Comics character who appeared under the superhero identity of Hellcat. In the series, Trish will help Jessica embark on the most dangerous case of her career.

Hellcat has recently had a nice bit of profile elevation lately in the pages of Charles Soule and Javier Pulido‘s soon to be concluding critical favorite, She-Hulk; of which, my heart remains broken.

AKA Jessica Jones, developed by Melissa Rosenberg (Step Up, Twilight), is quickly following Daredevil‘s footsteps in some great casting moves. The debut of these series can’t come soon enough. I may actually have two shows that I binge on in one year, a personal record!

Expect to see this newest Marvel offering sometime in 2015 following Daredevil‘s April debut.

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11. character names

Question: I'm having trouble naming my characters. I want something unique and different. Any advice would be much appreciated. Answer: If you want an

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12. Illustration Friday: Passion


Ferdinand didn't understand why they liked to flail and scream like that whenever he wore his special hat, but he hated it with a passion.  So annoying.

Just squeaking by the IF deadline with something quick.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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13. Book Review: Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness by Donna Smallin Kuper

From Goodreads:
Finally, a way to get rid of the clutter -- and keep it away -- without making the process a full-time job! Organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin shows you how to enjoy the happy, healthy, inviting home you long for with hundreds of time-saving tips and solutions to your clutter and cleaning problems. Her approach is manageable and simple, helping you focus on the things that will make the biggest difference with the least amount of effort and time. You'll discover small, quick routines that will keep your spaces clean and clutter-free over time, as well as lots of things that you can do to introduce order and serenity in just one minute! Clear away the clutter once and for all, and enjoy the happiness you'll find hiding underneath!
Writing
Not much to report here.  The way the book is laid out is very simple with one or two tips on each page.  The tips themselves are just a sentence or two long, so not a lot in terms of quantity of writing or any requirements for a particular level of quality.  They're de-cluttering tips, so Shakespeare is not wanted or needed.

Entertainment Value
I really, really love books that make me want to throw things away.  Especially at the beginning of the year or as the seasons change.  It's just so refreshing to get rid of junk.  This book completely succeeding in boosting my desire to get my chaos under control and, most importantly, throw a bunch of stuff out.  A few things I took away from the book that have helped as I've cleaned out my room and bathroom this week:

  • Recognize that you've changed as a person and only keep objects that mean something to who you are now.
  • Ask yourself, "If I were moving would this be worth packing/unpacking?"
  • Make it easy to put things where they belong.
  • Start with the biggest items and then move to the smaller ones.
For me, this meant getting rid of piles of magazines, old shampoo/toiletry/makeup items, and creating a clear path to my closet, dresser, and hamper.  I'm already feeling lighter and more organized and I've only done the master suite!

Overall
If you're looking for some quick inspiration and motivation, this is the ideal book to read.  It's quick and easy to read, without any unnecessary frills.  The simplicity of putting one or two tips on a page really keeps things moving.  I like that you could just choose to enact one page's principles each day if you choose, or you can read the whole thing and decide which ideas to put into action as a whole.  If you're looking for something quick, short on words (more organizing time!), and motivational, I think this is a good choice.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

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14. Friday Feature: Crow's Rest by Angelica Jackson





Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.

But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers--and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone--or something--has taken his place.

Her quest to find the real Daniel--and get him back--plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.

Coming out May 12 through Spencer Hill Press.

Check out the trailer!



Find the book on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

In keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, Angelica R. Jackson has far too many interests to list here.
She has an obsession with creating more writing nooks in the home she shares with her husband and two corpulent cats in California's Gold Country. Fortunately, the writing nooks serve for reading and cat cuddling too.
Other pastimes include cooking for food allergies (not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it), photography, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary.

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Photo Galleries  |  Blog  |  Website

Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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15. THERE BE DRAGONS HERE, STILL

via ILLUSTRATION ART http://ift.tt/1JOeXJt




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16. Book Blogger Hop - 1/30 - 2/5

 Question of the Week:

Do you ever get comments from authors when you have posted or tweeted your review?
My Answer:

Oh yes.  I love it when I hear from the author either in a comment, in a tweet, or in an e-mail.

Authors appreciate what we have to say, and they want us to know it.

I have gotten comments from a number of authors.

What about you?  Have authors been in touch?








 




















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17. Goats baking muffins ...


Goats baking muffins are just right for a children's book. I'm having fun going for a simple vintage sort of look - or at least trying for that effect. I too am a muffin baker. Oh yes, I bake up a weekly batch to take on my bike rides. I'm getting pretty good at it by now.

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18. Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery)

Happy centennial birthday to Bill Peet (1915-2002) who was born in Grandview, Indiana exactly one hundred years ago today.

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19. relatable-images: feeling sad? look at this baby animal blog!



relatable-images:

feeling sad? look at this baby animal blog!



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20. No Landscape but...More 3/5 Challenge Art

Here are a few more of my early illustrations, moving between whimsical and more realistic.





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21. Wild Brain Co-Founder Phil Robinson, RIP

Animation veteran Phil Robinson, one of the founders of the former San Francisco studio Wild Brain, has died.

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22. Laureate for Irish Fiction

       They've announced that Anne Enright has been named the inaugural 'Laureate for Irish Fiction' -- selected from 34 nominees (including William Trevor, Edna O'Brien, and John Banville, among some other pretty big names).
       It's a three-year gig, and she:

will be expected to continue her work as a creative artist. In addition, over the course of her term, Anne Enright will spend one semester at University College Dublin and one semester at New York University.
       It also pays out €150,000 over the three years, which sounds pretty good, too.

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23. Agent Carter show runners reveal Black Widow connection

carter1 Agent Carter show runners reveal Black Widow connection

NOTE: Spoilers for Agent Carter to follow

It’s not often show runners confirm fan speculation before a plot point is revealed on-screen, but that’s exactly what happened when Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas — the team behind Agent Carter — talked with Eric Goldman of IGN. In an interview posted yesterday, the dynamic duo who helm the Peggy Carter vehicle revealed that Carter’s recently introduced girl-next-door Dottie “is a product of the Black Widow Program.” While Dottie showed off some moves that recall Scarlett Johansson‘s action-spy Natasha Romanoff in last Tuesday’s fourth episode of Agent Carter, her identity had not yet been confirmed in-story.

Butters also said that Marvel Studios and Marvel TV have been pretty open to large, impactful ideas: “It is a big idea to go and say, ‘What if it’s the last remaining sample of [Captain America’s] blood and can we put that in the show? They’ve been so excited about these ideas and so supportive. Us showing Dottie as a precursor to the Black Widow Program, Captain America’s blood, these are big things in this universe that they’re willing to let us play with.”

It’s certainly possible the Black Widow connection was publicized in hopes of peaking the interest of more MCU fans by revealing the show’s intentions to connect to the films.  Despite considerable critical success, the pastiche prequel to Captain America: The Winter Solider has seen it’s ratings drop consistently since it’s two-hour premiere on January 6: from a 1.9 to a 1.3, which represents a loss of several million viewers. While Agent Carter‘s ratings are currently comparable to those of companion show Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D., should Carter’s numbers continue to decline, it could put hopes of a second season on ice.

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24. Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun - 1/30/15

Feeling Beachie
Love this meme....I hope you can join in the fun.  

Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.  
The statements:
  1. Did you ___ the ____
  2. Sometimes you really need to _____
  3. If I were able to_____, I would___
  4. Different ways of_____makes_____
My Answers: 

1. Did you ever think the time would come when you would say you wish you were a certain age again?

2.  Sometimes you really need to step back and move out of a conversation.

3.  If I were able to be taller, I would like that.

4.  Different ways of thinking makes the world interesting.











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25. Shave

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