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1. inner poetry turkey

Last Friday morning at this time I had dashed off a post (out of Poetry Friday pride, mostly--"I can get this done before my full day at NCTE") about feeding my inner poetry chickens.  Julie Larios commented that she would be interested to hear what I heard at this annual Convention of the National Council of Teachers of English, and feeling thankful for the experience, I will now get down to business and talk turkey about some details.

On Thursday...
I saw Emily Smith of Austin, TX, winner of the 2015 Donald Graves Award, talk about teaching, as a white woman, as though black and brown lives matter.  "I can’t change the color of my skin or where I come from [...] but I can change the way I teach."

I saw Alison Bechdel, cartoonist and graphic memoirist (Dykes to Watch Out For, Funhome) speak about learning to read from her father, learning to write from her mother, and creating her own mode of expression as a way both to distance herself from and honor them and her countercultural lesbian feminist experience.

Then I hung out with Laura Purdie Salas, Sylvia Vardell & Janet Wong, and met Susan Marie Swanson for the first time.  We ate and drank and yukked it up at the Ivy Hotel and its restaurant, Monello.

On Friday...
I heard some teacher-researchers talk about the effects on kindergarten writers of explicit growth mindset lessons in a writing workshop.  What the presenters did was simple but powerful.  They measured before and after indicators of effort, motivation and persistence (both observed and self-reported by the children) during writing, and in addition to standard use-your-tools minilessons they also taught this-is-hard-and-you-can-do-it lessons using two characters called Ziggy and Nash.

I saw how Gayle and Ryan Campbell, 3rd and 10th grade teachers, engaged their students in a poetry-writing project across schools.  The older kids were trained to mentor the younger in a book-based villanelle-writing collaboration...very cool.  I'm thinking about middle-schoolers, 2nd graders, and triolets....

Then I went to a session I didn't expect to get much out of:  "The Selfie Center."  I went because I know some colleagues had used a selfie theme for their back-to-school bulletin boards and I thought they might be interested, and because I couldn't picture what a selfie center would be.  I'll just direct you to this link and mention that I'm currently trying to figure out how to get this set up in my classroom using my Donors Choose Kindles....

Next I surprised myself by going to a big panel session I hadn't planned on with Katherine Applegate, Kate Messner and Heidi EY Stemple about how the writing process isn't really standardizable--every book you successfully write teaches you only how to write THAT book, not the next one or beyond.  My takeway here, for myself and for my students, is that Noticing and Wondering is the real first skill of writers, and that Your Voice Matters is the second concept I can teach, and that This Is Hard AND You Can Do It is the third and probably last most important lesson.

Are you tired yet?
Because there's still ten cool teacher/librarians talking about how the Nerdy Book Club blog changed their lives (I have no notes from this session so I guess I needed a break here too).

And then there was Margaret Simon (among others) firing me up at a session called "Igniting Wonder" by showing lots of tools for digital literacies.  My favorite were the Animoto poetry videos made by her GT students.  I had to split before the 2nd roundtable opportunity here in order to go and enjoy a simultaneously scheduled session featuring Janet, Sylvia, Susan Marie and Laura, Into the Poem, in which teachers were encouraged to use poetry for physically active "performances."  We do this all the time in my classroom (hmmm, less in 2nd than I did in K; must rectify that!) so I went mainly to support my Grapefruit peeps.  The new Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations is extra awesome because every poem appears also in Spanish, and the very new Poetry of Science for Kids coming out in December is a remix of the Poetry Friday Anthology for Science with black-and-white illustrations extremely suitable for home or classroom enjoyment.

At this point my task has become larger than my time available (and my borrowed computer is starting to disobey, insisting on translating Pomelo to Grapefruit!), so this recap will have to be continued later this weekend.

Please visit the roundup at Carol's Corner this week, and know how thankful I am for this Poetry Friday community and for you, dear readers!

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2. Mitochondria donation: an uncertain future?

Earlier this year, UK Parliament voted to change the law to support new and controversial in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures known as ‘mitochondrial donation’. The result is that the UK is at the cutting-edge of mitochondrial science and the only country in the world to legalise germ-line technologies. The regulations came into force on 29th October this year, and clinics are now able to apply for a licence.

The post Mitochondria donation: an uncertain future? appeared first on OUPblog.

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This book is a gem and a gift, and in order to avoid spoilers I'll say up front: Parker is blind. The dots on the cover are Braille. And now you know ...except, it's not a big secret. Really, Parker would be the first to say, "So? And get over... Read the rest of this post

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4. Geeking Out at the WHO Shop in London

Anyone home?

Christmas Dalek!

Yes, I think I hear someone in there! 

Weeping Angel! Don't blink. 

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5. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 29 - 11.26.15

Admittedly, this could be a lemming as easily as it could be a bear... but you can't fault a guy for playing around with style!

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6. Oral history and childhood memories

During my second semester at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took an oral history seminar with Dr. Jacquelyn Dowd Hall. It was an eye-opening experience, not only because of what I learned, but how I learned. We had to conduct two interviews, and after spending nearly two months of class time discussing the historiography and methodology of oral history, I thought I was ready to go. My first interview was with civil rights activist Wyatt Tee Walker, and although he agreed to be interviewed, he was not feeling well and had difficulty speaking. Thrown off, my first few questions were poorly constructed, and I sped through his early life hoping he would have more to say about his activist history later in life. Listen as I struggle:

I lost an opportunity during that interview. I could have discovered more about Wyatt Tee Walker based on his early life, but I zoomed ahead. Now, every time I give a workshop on oral history, I hammer home the same message: start with their childhood. What surprises me are the responses from students, who often look incredulous when I tell them. They may think stories about growing up have nothing to do with their project at hand, and they don’t want to waste time talking about childhood memories. They want to cut to the chase and focus on big events later in life. But by leading off your oral history with several questions about what it was like growing up, you will build the foundation for a better interview.

Let’s say you’re interviewing someone for a larger project about an environmental history of Orange County, North Carolina. The long-time director of a local community organization has agreed to talk to you, and from your research, you know this person will have a lot to say about environmentalism in North Carolina over the past twenty years or so. You arrive to interview the person, you chat and get comfortable with one another, and you begin the interview. You may be tempted to launch right in: “Tell me about how you first came to work with ABC Environmental Group…” or “Tell me about how you first became interested in environmentalism.” Resist the temptation, and begin much, much earlier.

Start by asking your interviewee about their childhood. Introduce yourself, the interviewee, mention the date and any other relevant background information, and then ask your first question: “Tell me about your childhood.” Based on how they respond, they will give you the working materials to ask follow-up questions that will give the interview much more substance. Ask about where they grew up, their neighborhood, their family, their education, their religious background, and so on. Ask about individuals in their family: “Tell me about your father/mother/siblings/grandparents or anyone else influential as you were growing up.” (Hint: many people love talking about their grandparents if they knew them well.)

Hopefully by now you’ve forgotten how I opened my interview with Wyatt Tee Walker. Now, consider this example when I interviewed Evelyn Poole-Kober, a local Republican activist in Chapel Hill. How did that one, single question differ from the many incoherent questions I launched at Walker?

Here’s what happened next. Poole-Kober shared stories about her childhood and adolescence for about a third of the total interview, around 45 minutes. Should I consider these stories wasteful because they weren’t directly related to my project at hand? I don’t think so. She opened up, shared intimate details of her life, and led me through her early life to show where she ended up. These memories enhanced the total value of the interview, and they opened the door to more questions, more stories, and a richer interview about her whole life.

Concentrating on childhood questions also helps oral historians move toward curating oral histories rather than just collecting them. As Linda Shopes suggested in a previous blog post, quality and originality should be stressed over quantity when conducting an oral history project. By focusing the beginning of every interview on childhood, no matter the project, you will generate an unpredictable set of stories and information that researchers working on vastly different projects might one day find useful. Curated in a way that crosses projects, time periods, and disciplines, these stories enliven the field of oral history by rooting the past of each person in vivid ways.

Every oral history interview and project is different. You may not have the time, or you might be unable to dedicate an extended period of time to every person’s childhood and adolescence. But if you can, I suggest that you do. The rewards can be great.

Image Credit: “Childhood Pictures” by martinak15. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

The post Oral history and childhood memories appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Daily Drawing: Turkey 20


It’s the day after Thanksgiving! And this turkey is very happy to see it!

The post Daily Drawing: Turkey 20 appeared first on rob-peters.com.

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8. My Illustration Masterclass - Big Black Friday Sale!

Okay, much though I personally hate the whole Black Friday bonkers shopping thing, it turns out that there is an very definite up side... (pause for drumroll)... 

... because my Craftsy class is going to be offered at a special SALE PRICE for the whole weekend - hurrah!
So, if you haven't got around to signing up yet (shame on you :-D ) here is the SUPER-DUPER BLACK FRIDAY SALE link to my illustration masterclass, which will teach you how to draw the most expressive and funny picture book characters. I make it easy. Promise.  

Just think what an amazingly original Christmas present idea it would be for an arty friend. Or maybe just an early Christmas present for yourself (the best kind of present...). Go on, treat yourself...

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9. Mary Christmas Season! {+Giveaway!}

Happy Thanksgiving!  It snowed here and so we had a white Thanksgiving.  I love the snow.

I also love digital painting.  When I was a kid taking art, digital wasn’t a thing.  All the art supplies were sooo expensive and messy, and if you messed up, you had to start all over again.  Now you can try and do billion different styles and colors…I sure am grateful for that.

Anyway, here’s a piece that I’ve been meaning to do all year ^_^


I drew it for my sweet Instagram buddy, Nerdpoppins.  She loves Mary Poppins as much as I do!  You should check out her etsy shop–so many amazing MP things!

She was also the host of this year’s “Mary Poppins in the Park”–a Mary Poppins day at Disneyland.  I went and it was so much fun.  Every dressed Mary Poppins-y and THE Mary and Bert came (!!!) Everyone had a great time.

Nerdpoppins is on the right…my sis is in the middle, and I’m on Bert’s arm, dying.  (Isn’t the skirt beautiful?  It was sewn & hand-painted by Nerdpoppins.  I’m in awe.)


Speaking of that event, I gave out a limited edition print to the attendees!  And I have some left over!


Would you like this sweet little 5×7 print?  I’m gonna mail it out to the first 50 commenters!  Here’s how to play:

1 – Leave a numbered comment of something you’re grateful for.  (So, if the comment before you says it’s #12, you would write #13.)  (If you are reading this from tumblr, you’ll want to comment here, on the actual blog.)

2 – If your comment is below 50, send your mailing address to storyboarder{at}gmail.com  (That’s me!)  And I’ll send you the print right away!

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was the best ^_^

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10. What a load of BS: Q&A with Mark Peters

Terms for bullshit in the English language have grown so vast it has now become a lexicon itself. We talked to Mark Peters, author of Bullshit: A Lexicon, about where the next set of new terms will come from, why most of the words are farm related, and bullshit in politics.

The post What a load of BS: Q&A with Mark Peters appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. water portraits

I once saw comics artist Emmanuel Guibert at the French Institute, drawing like this in book dedications. It looked amazing, but people had to stand there for at least an hour, waiting for their book to dry before they could close it. It's fun, though; adding the ink looks like magic. (Here's a six-second video.)

Direct YouTube link

Here's the finished picture, and a few more I made:

I like how the green one came out. Sort of a mixture of Paddington Bear, Toad from Toad Hall and immigrant me.

Here's a video of Guibert, up to his tricks for Alan's War:

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12. Catching Up With STAR STUFF: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos

Fred and I just got back from a quick trip to London where I got to meet a woman I consider a true genius, Viviane Schwarz. We have been "virtual studio colleagues"- a term she coined for ummm.....at least 10 years. Anyhow- we got to hang out for whole day. We went to the Tate modern and went from hot drink to hot drink- which is what she said Londoners do. It was freezing, so I totally get the tea thing now. 

Anyhow- I did a check of STAR STuFF when we got back to Mauritius and found the following stuff: STAR STUFF as a top 20 books of 2015,   the Orbis Pictus Honor for STAR STUFF, What to Read to Your Kids, Common Sense Media and ALA Notable Books and many wonderful bloggers out there . THANK YOU!!

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13. रक्तदान और अमिताभ बच्चन

(गूगल सर्च से साभार तस्वीर)     रक्तदान और अमिताभ बच्चन एक खुलासा हेपिटाइटिस बी और बिग बी की वैक्सीन को लेकर जागरुकता स्वैच्छिक रक्तदान की जागरुकता के लिए ,मैं, अक्सर अपनी मोटिवेशनल स्पीच में ,बच्चन साहब के नाम को भी लेती हूं कि इन्हें भी रक्त की जरुरत पडी थी. रक्त की जरुरत किसी […]

The post रक्तदान और अमिताभ बच्चन appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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14. What Does God Look Like? - an adult bookwrap

I think most people on the planet have wondered if there truly is a God and if so what does He look like?  Is he white? Black? Female? Both? Who knows for sure?  Some people have had a death experience and have claimed to been transported to heaven and actually encountered Him.  This a book about one man's experience  and how it affected him for the rest of his life.


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15. What I learned about al Qaeda from analyzing the Bin Laden tapes

In the months following the Taliban's evacuation of Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 2001, cable news networks set up operations in the city in order to report on the war. In the dusty back rooms of a local recording studio, a CNN stringer came across an extraordinary archive: roughly 1,500 audiotapes taken from Osama bin Laden's residence, where he had lived from 1997-2001, during al Qaeda's most coherent organizational momentum.

The post What I learned about al Qaeda from analyzing the Bin Laden tapes appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Review: Dolphin SOS, by Roy Miki & Slavia Miki and Julie Flett

Dolphin SOS, written by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki, illustrated by Julie Flett, afterword by Richard Cannings (Tradewind Books, 2014)


Dolphin SOS
written by Roy Miki and Slavia Miki, illustrated by Julie Flett, afterword by Richard Cannings
(Tradewind … Continue reading ...

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17. Friday Linky List - 27 November 2015

From NewStatesman via Fantasy Glasgow: English magic: How folklore haunts the British landscape

From BuzzFeed Books via SCBWI British Isles: If White Characters Were Described Like People of Color in Literature - Surely there must be more appetizing pale foods than mayonnaise, cauliflower, and tapioca?

At Gotham Writers via SCBWI Belgium: Elmore Leonard: 10 Rules for Good Writing. Short, sweet, yup.

From HuffPost via SCBWI Belgium: How To Think Like a Writer

The Trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass

From OMG Facts: 5 Things You Didn't Know Grimm's Fairytales And Will Now Think About All Differently - interesting.

From the BBC: Orpheus Underground...Novelist Neil Gaiman explores the intricacies of the Orpheus myth, the timeless story of art's place in trying to recover the dead.

From Arts.Mic via Stumble: 14 Brilliant Pieces of Literature You Can Read in the Time It Takes to Eat Lunch

At the poke. Elizabethan Superheroes. They've made the rounds before, but they're worth another look for my costume design friends at the University of Edinburgh.

At The Picture Book Den: Looking at the illustration of eyes in children's picture books - Peony Lewis

At BoredPanda: Fairytales Come to Life in Magical Photos by Russian Photographer Margarita Kareva

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18. Tallulah's Solo

Tallulah's Solo. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Tallulah knew she was an excellent ballet dancer. So she was certain that this year she would be doing a solo in the winter recital.

Premise/plot: Tallulah's Solo is the second book in this picture book series. In this one, Tallulah's oh-so-adorable little brother, Beckett, begins to take ballet. The two are even in the same class. Will Beckett be as eager-to-learn and as well-behaved as Tallulah? Tallulah isn't all that concerned about her brother taking ballet. Her mind is on one thing only: getting a solo for the winter recital. Will this be the year?

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this second book. I am enjoying the characters very much. I love Tallulah and Beckett. I wouldn't mind spending time with them in real life. I like Tallulah's big, big dreams. And I like that sometimes not getting what you want gets you what you need. I love how Tallulah learns a few important life-lessons in this one.

My favorite scene? When Tallulah helps her brother practice at home.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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19. My tweets

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20. GIVEAWAY Day #2!

This is the second day of the GIVEAWAY of the Kindle edition of TIZZY, THE CHRISTMAS SHELF ELF, the first of the stories about us, Santa's Izzy Elves.

Get yours today!  Here's the link:

Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf, Santa's Izzy Elves #1

Here is one of our favorite reviews of this story, by Rene@MotherDaughterBookReviews.com.
Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is a lovely rhyming book begging to be read aloud in the tradition of the classic poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as “Twas The Night Before Christmas” penned by Clement Clarke Moore. In this version, “Twas the morning of Christmas and way before dawn…” and two brothers, Alex and Owen, tiptoe down the stairs to get a sneak peek at their presents. While they desperately are hoping for video games, they are disheartened to discover that they instead were gifted … books! *gasp*

They are even more surprised to discover a tiny elf, Tizzy – one of S.C.’s (i.e., Santa Claus) elves – who was accidentally packed into a present. Alex and Owen try a number of ways to return Tizzy to his home, but they soon discover that there is magic deep within the pages of books. The boys must hurry though, as they hear their parents coming down the stairs, and they are about to unknowingly place Tizzy in grave danger.

What I love the most about Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is that it is a true “read-aloud” story. While the book is indeed illustrated beautifully by Michelle Alfonso. I think children will be totally captivated by the story. There are some funny passages such as when the boys mistake Tizzy for a mouse and Tizzy gets chased by characters in the video game. The author also provides some tension to the story such as when the parents throw the packing fluff into the fire and the boys are afraid that this spells the end for Tizzy. All in all, this rhyming book is perfect for reading aloud to children of varying ages. . .

My Bottom Line:

Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is a clever read-aloud story featuring two excited siblings who sneak down early Christmas morning and discover a very special surprise. Only through their discovery of the magic of books do they find a way to send Tizzy back home. Kudos to the author for highlighting the importance of books! I recommend this book to be read aloud to children ages 5 and older.

* * *

Please DO NOT  forget that this story needs to be read aloud! (That's the fun part.)

Much love,

The Izzies

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21. Joshua David Bellin on Unreliable Narrators, Recycling Characters, and Mashup Pitches

We're thrilled to welcome author Joshua David Bellin to the blog today as our monthly Ask a Pub Pro! Joshua is here to answer your questions on what exactly is an unreliable narrator and how to craft one, how to creatively recycle character types, and the pros and cons of using Book X meets Book Y in pitches. He's also giving away a signed copy of his recent release, SURVIVAL COLONY 9, with the winner also to receive a copy of the sequel, SCAVENGER OF SOULS, when it comes out next year. Be sure to check it out below!

If you have a question you'd like to have answered by an upcoming publishing professional, send it to AYAPLit AT gmail.com and put Ask a Pub Pro Question in the subject line.

Ask a Pub Pro: on Unreliable Narrators, Recycling Characters, and Mashup Pitches by Joshua David Bellin

Hi readers! I’m thrilled to be here on Adventures in YA Publishing to answer some of your questions. Enjoy, and at the end of the post, check out the cool giveaway I’m offering!

1. I keep seeing agents and editors ask for unreliable narrators. I know a bit about what this is but am not real clear. Can you explain what an unreliable narrator is and why they are so popular?

Unreliable narrators come in all forms, but the basic idea is that they’re narrators the reader can’t fully trust. This might be because the narrator lacks important information: for example, the narrator might be suffering from memory loss. Or the narrator might be a young child whose perceptions of the world are immature. The narrator might have a mental illness that leads her/him to misrepresent reality. And so on.

Read more »

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22. Poetry Friday

the carousel slows and stops
blur refocuses

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015 

I've been away from Poetry Friday for too long. It's good to be back, to have time to visit the roundup, which is hosted this week by Carol at Carol's Corner. Hard to believe that the year is winding down -- next week we'll start building the roundup schedule for January-June 2016!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! Happy Poetry! Happy Friday!

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23. It's Black Friday -BUY!!!!!

Yep, available one place only and many -MANY- £s/$s cheaper!


You  can also find some on Amazon and other sources but they do not make me much money so, come on, buy from the online store and remember that at least these books will be collectibles! 

To contact me please check out "About" at the top of the page -thanks!


Black Tower Comics began in 1984 as a Small Press publisher of A5 (US -Digest size) titles such as Adventure,Presents,Windows and Hanley's Garage.  Then came the news, reviews, previews and interviews publication backed up by the mart and mail order service -Zine Zone (later Zine Zone International).

In 2009, with the innovation in publishing of Print On Demand (POD), Black Tower jumped in head first!

One of the first titles to see print in the new comic album format (A4) was The Bat Triumphant! This saw the complete story, begun in Black Tower Adventure vol. 1.  William A. Ward's long lost 1940s character once again saw print as he fought a host of  enemies in an attempt to reclaim his homeland.


And while The Bat may have fought fist and nail to reclaim his homeland, another 1940s Ward creation, Krakos the Egyptian, seemed far from willing to claim a new Egyptian Empire as promised to him by the Gods.  Tackling a number of foes and even encountering the Many-Eyed One, Krakos turned his back on the gods and the final panel of Krakos -Sands Of Terror, delivered a true twist!

Krakos -Sands Of Terror!

Of course, the flag-ship title had to return!  And so Black Tower Adventure -eventually reaching new heights when the legendary Ben Dilworth jumped on board!  Volume 2 consisted of  ten issues. Just look at these covers....

Black Tower Adventure 1Black Tower Adventure 2BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 3Black Tower Adventure 4Black Tower Adventure 5Black Tower Adventure 6ADVENTURE 7Black Tower Adventure 8BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 9Black Tower Adventure 10

And, with something like 40 years worth of files and investigation reports could all that much delving into UFOs, lake and sea creatures and many other mysteries not result in a book or two...or three? Some Things Strange & Sinister, Some More Things Strange & Sinister as well as Pursuing The Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint set a precedence.

Whereas for decades those involved in "UFOlogy", "Cryptozoology" and "Forteana" declared many mysteries, that photographs were lost "to history" and so on, these three books swiped away the false claims.  Alleged lost photographs -found.  'Mysteries' solved by doing actual research work and reading the sources -something others had never done.
Some Things Strange & SinisterSome More Things Strange & SinisterPursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

And, of course, mention natural history and Black Tower Books broke new ground with that in The Red Paper: Canids.

The Red Paper: CANIDS

But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.

And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.

Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!

Ace Hart The Atomic Man!  The Tornado!  TNT Tom!  Dene Vernon!  Acromaid!  Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!

The Ultimate British Comics Gold CollectionBlack Tower British Gold Collection 1Black Tower British Gold Collection 2Black Tower British Gold Collection 3UK GOLD COLLECTION 4Black Tower Gold 5:Back From The Deadblack tower gold 6

Another great love is Centaur Comics from the United States.  Right at the very start of the American Golden Age of Comics Centaur had creators who were ahead of the others!  Before Plastic Man there was Plymo!  Before The Human Bomb there was TNT Todd!  Before Green Arrow and waaaaaaay before Hawkeye there was the mysterious red hooded archer called The Arrow!  And, to just break your comic mind world there was even a Black Panther -decades before Kirby came up with his character of the same name.

The Eye Sees All.  The Owl. The Iron Skull.  Amazing Man. The King of Darkness.  The Invisible Terror. The Blue Lady. The Shark. Mini Midget & Kitty.  Mighty Man. Super Anne.  The company may have been short-lived but it's characters -oh boy!

The two volume Centaur Heroes Collection has been compiled into one sweet 140 page comic collection!
The Ultimate Centaur Collection 2011

Horror. Ghost stories.  The twist-in-the tale.  Did you think that a publisher who is a big horror comic/film fan would ignore these?

Nope.  Each year since 2010, BTCG has published a Tales Of Terror anthology album and 2014s included some fun and spooky lost Swan Comic strips.  I mean how can you go wrong -even Ben Dilworth is in these!

 Tower Tales Of TerrorTales Of Terror 2TALES OF TERROR IIITales Of Terror 4

The Church Of England has it's own basher of dark forces in the Reverend Merriwether -"God's Demon0-Thumper" as the press billed him.  From an ancient Egyptian demon to a village of the damned and Varney the Vampyre, werwolves and a final confrontation with Satan himself -Merriwether pulls no punches and offers no compromise.  And in those last few seconds between life and death, Merriwether's mind recalls past cases -thanks to Ben Dilworththe Tall Man of Osaka.

Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper and Merriwether: The Test Of Satan are available as individual comic albums or in one swanky book The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper.

 Merriwether:God's Demon-ThumperMerriwether:The Test Of SatanMerriwether: Gods Demon Thumper

Oh, did I forget to mention Dene Vernon -British comics' first investigator of the supernatural and strange mysteries?  I did? Unbelievable since Gavin Stuart Ross drew the 1948 based Dene Vernon: The Thing Below!

 Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

 And did you know Ross also drew the two adventures of Victorian mystery man Chung Ling Soo? Chung Ling Soo: The Curse Of The Jade Dragon and Chung Ling Soo: The Case Of The Thames Serpent were two cracking tales of magic, adventure, murder and deception -still available as single comic albums or collected together to form The Adventures Of Chung Ling Soo!

Chung Ling Soo 1Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery


Ben Dilworth is no slouch either!  Chung Ling Soo's police "counter-foil" isnone other than old London "Jack" (police man) Inspector Wilberforce and when Dilworth says "Here's a Wilberforce one-off: PUBLISH IT!" you do not argue!


And did you know you can be a Gold Master of Japanese Haiku?  Well, neither did I -but guess what?  Ben Dilworth is such a master and his Osaka Brutal features his Haiku in English!

 Osaka Brutal

Old saleman that he is, Dilworth just keeps on going.  He produced Aesop's Fables -a darker version of the childrens tales and then went on to write two well illustrated prose albums looking at spirits and demons -Dilworth's Japanese Yokai and Dilworth's Western YokaiOsaka and the Yokai books were combined with Aesop's Fables into the one volume The Collected Ben R. Dilworth -though the single volumes are also still available.

The Collected Ben R. DilworthDilworth's Japanese YokaiDILWORTH WESTERN YOKAIDilworths Aesop's Fables

Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories but for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
Dilworth's Horror & Ghost StoriesTHE COMPLETE PHANTOM DETECTIVE

And could anyone forget the sensational Iron Warrior Versus Big Bong:When Giants Fought? But add to that the various Iron Warrior strips from Adventure and you get The Iron Warrior Collection -When Giants Fought!  In the 1940s, William A. Ward's creation was to be the most graphically violent comic strip seen until the 1970s.  That is some legacy. It continues....with a touch of fun!


In case you are wondering, yes, obviously there are super heroes.  Mix in ancient pantheons of gods, giant robot, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark ones and so much more that the book runs to over 320 pages then you have part 1 of Terry Hooper-Scharf's Invasion Earth Trilogy" or as it is titled Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes!  And epic ending with the words: "Dr Morg has killed us all" -and if you have never read the mind altering counter actuality that is The Dr Morg Trilogy you may be saying "What? Who-?"

And part 2 of the trilogy The Cross Earths Caper ought to get you in the mood for 2015s big 31st Anniversary third part of the trilogy The Green Skies.

 The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super HeroesTHE CROSS EARTHS CAPERJourney Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

If you pass the ESTC (Epileptic Seizure Test Cover) on Dr Morg well, you are fit and healthy enough to read it and to check out all the Black Tower Comics and Books at the online store -see why we are the UKs largest publisher of  Independent Comics!

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24. Shipping forecast

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25. What We’re Thankful For

Although Thanksgiving was yesterday here in the United States, we PubCrawlers figured it was never too late to be thankful for our blessings and privileges. Without further ado:

S. Jae-Jones (JJ)


I’m thankful for my Skullcandy Aviator headphones because not only do they look good, they tune out everything around me so I can concentrate on writing.

Kelly Van Sant

Kelly Square

I’m thankful for my local library branch!

Hannah Ferguson


I am thankful for my nerdy writing group. We are self named The Fellowship and when we aren’t writing, we’re drinking wine and talking about it. I daresay they’ve saved my sanity on more than one occasion.

Rachel Seigel

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I’m thankful to have a job that I enjoy, and that gives me the opportunity to read amazing books & get paid to sell them!

Julie Eshbaugh

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I’m thankful for my online writing friends. Because of them I never feel like I’m toiling alone.

Kat Zhang

Kat Square

I’m thankful for my writing friends, too!

Stephanie Garber

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I am thankful for every single thing that has happened this year and for all of the new people who have come into my life. :)

Stacey Lee

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I’m thankful for this post so I can say how thankful I am to join Pubcrawl this year. I’m also thankful for my parents, who are still vibrant (even though Dad’s 81) and I’m also thankful for friends and emojis.🐙

E. C. Myers

EC Myers

I’m thankful to have a family that supports my writing goals and helps me keep my love of telling stories a priority even when life gets busy, demanding, and stressful.

Jodi Meadows

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I’m thankful for so many amazing books to read.

And we are all, of course, thankful for each and every one of our readers. <3

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