As it stands, in 2015, there is no British comics industry. That is a fact and if you argue the opposite you are either just trying to argue for the sake of it or you have absolutely no idea of what is going on.
I am going to cover part of the problem by using a previous posting -a lot (a very large number in fact) have started reading CBO in recent weeks so will probably have missed this.And if you are one of those who want to comment negatively or start an arguement don't bother. As always your comment will be deleted as spam.
Just WHY Is No Businessman or Existing Publishing House Getting Involved With UK Comics?
We know that there is no comic industry in the UK.
With the exception of Cinebook The 9th Art, which specialises in publishing Franco-Belgian comic albums in the English language. Future generations of UK kids will grow up on these albums but not, sadly, UK originated comics. above Chris Weston's The Spider artwork
I have had a couple of conversations with companies this week but it was the same thing "We simply do not publish comics. We couldn't compete with Marvel" oh, and (incredibly!!) "You ought to contact the guy does a website called Comic Bits Online, he's always banging on about British comics".....he seemed taken aback when I said "That's me" but added "Well, there you go then"
There I go then -what?!
I think the last person who knew the UK comics industry for almost 45 years retired in...2000? A year later I was told in a letter regarding IPC and Fleetway-Egmont "How the mighty have fallen!"
The idea that "only the Americans can do super heroes" is ludicrous. There is still this stupidity that exists in the UK. Back when we did have a comics industry I was told by top management and even senior editors that "We don't get super heroes. We just don't do them because they are an American thing" -when I rolled off a list of characters I was told "Oh, those are action or masked adventurers!" So WTF are super heroes.
Below: British Super Soldier Captain Hurricane
I mean, The Spider, Gadget Man and Gimmick Kid, The Phantom Viking, Kelly's Eye, Rubberman, Tri-man, Steel Claw (costumed for a brief period in the late 1960s), General Jumbo, Billy The Cat, The Leopard From Lime Street, The Iron Fish, Danger Man, The Black Sapper, Spring Heeled Jack (take your pick!), King Cobra, Nick Jolly -even Captain Hurricane, a World War 2 commando was a kind of "super-soldier" -especially after his "raging furies"!
The list goes on and on and that is just from the former "Big Two" -the Scottish company whose name must ne'er be spoke" and Fleetway/Amalgamated Press/IPC.
Last year (I think it was up-dated) I wrote this post so I'm adding more to it. It will be my ultimate piece on the subject.
....until next time.
_________________________________________________You see, I never lied -"Never say 'Never Again!'" and I think this article helps emphasise things and once I get to my final comments it will all make sense. Honest.
The Improbability Of The British Super Hero-
AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT ANY MASKED CRIME-FIGHTERS I PERSONALLY KNOW. JUST SAYING.
“Hmm. Don’t you understand? Think about it –we have no skyscrapers! How can you have American style super heroes in England?”
Those were the words of a Marvel UK editor (Dave White) back in the 1980s as I sat across from him having travelled from Bristol to London at his suggestion to discuss new projects. About a month later a very senior Marvel UK editor responded in the same words but adding “That is why UK comics have never had super heroes.”
Firstly, as I pointed out to Dave White, we are the UK. Britain. You think of characters for a comic as being English you are excluding Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Why?
My response to the senior editor is probably why things went a little “odd” work-wise. My first response was “So, what exactly is Marvel UK publishing? And Power Comics (Odhams) before it? And…” I went on to rattle off a very, very long list of British super characters going back to the 1940s. I think I ticked him off. Really, he should have known better though, in one respect, he was right.
British comics never had super heroes.
Before you start thinking that I’m on new medications and answering “Yes” and “No” at the same time allow me to explain.
Tim (Kelly’s Eye) Kelly travelled the world and even in time and space at one point and was totally indestructible. He was not a super hero. Yes, he was what some called a "supernatural character" or "magic character" because of the mystic amulet. And later on science fiction as he travelled in time.
Clem Macy, television news reporter had a costumed archer alter ego…The Black Archer. He was not a super hero.Cathy had amazing cat-like abilities and wore a costume. She was not a super heroine.
William and Kathleen Grange were incredible acrobats and wore costumes as Billy the Cat and Katie The Cat. They were not super heroes. Robots were big in the 1950s-1960s and Robot Archie was merely a remote controlled robot, from The Green Peril (The Jungle Robot) to travelling the world and, later on via tower-like device, travelling in time and space. Yes, he foiled bank robberies and other criminal masterminds but he was not a super hero just a sci fi robot.Likewise, the British secret weapon known as The Steel Commando was nothing more than that -though he answered only to Lance Corporal Ernie Bates' voice and seemed at times to make his own decisions -sometimes with very odd and funny consequences.
In fact, for my graphic novel featuring many old IPC and Fleetway costumed characters, The Looking Glass, I noted several times that the characters were not super heroes. In the UK we tended to call them “costumed adventurers” or even “masked crime fighters” but not super heroes.
Some, of course, were…uh..”revived” for the Wildstorm Studios Albion mini series which had great art but, sadly, showed a lack of any real knowledge of the characters by the writers –which they admitted to. In comics you get paying work you take it!
Below: Tri-Man. He wears a costume. Has super powers. Fights crime. Obviously 'not' a super hero! Characters such as Adam Eterno, the focal point in the Looking Glass story had no choice and were at times almost anti-heroes.
Whereas The Spider had a choice of being a master crook and then changing sides (basically all ego driven), Eterno did not. He was cursed to be taken by the mists of time from one period to another where he encountered Spanish Conquistadores, pirates, sorcerers and even modern day (well, 1970s) crooks.Olaf (“Loopy”) Larsen a rather meek school teacher found the Viking helmet of one of his ancestors and, donning it (that’s putting it on his head) became a super strong, flying Viking hero…The Phantom Viking. There are stories of The Phantom Viking rescuing ships and much more and not a skyscraper in sight.The great exponents of British roof-top crime-busting were, first, Billy The Cat and later Katie The Cat. Running across the rooftops and leaping the often not so great gaps between one row of terraced houses and another, the duo were the fictional ancestors of today’s urban free-style runners/jumpers –examples found here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ0YDF9bpZ8&feature=player_embedded#
To most people who never get to see the rooves of terraced houses they assume they are all steep and sloping. However, having on two occasions chased someone across terraced root-tops I can tell you there is plenty of room to move about (though at my age I now look back and get nauseous over that memory!).
Later, in the 1970s, William Farmer became the costumed crime-fighter known as The Leopard From Lime Street. As one Fleetway boss told me (later confirmed by artist Mike Western) “Thomson had a schoolboy who fights crooks in a costume and if Billy the Cat was popular I was sure we could do better!”
Interestingly, in the Billy The Cat series he was later to be hunted as a vigilante by authorities who did not like what he was doing. Likewise, The Leopard was also hunted down at one point. In fact, a number of British comic crime-fighters found themselves not just ducking the crooks out for revenge but also the very side they were fighting for!
Towns, cities, villages, countryside, coastal locations –all featured in some very fun stories that endure in the memory to this day. And not a bloody skyscraper in sight!
Now look at the UK again (or any country in Europe since this applies there, also -though Hexagon and Wanga comics are doing great work in France): seaside resorts and coastal towns -in some of these areas larger "sea front tower blocks" have been built but even without those you have piers, amusement arcades/parks, sea forts, oil rigs out to sea -there is so much.
Towns and cities speak for themselves and Bristol has a mix of Medieval right through to ultra modern buildings and water fronts (our European colleagues in Germany did a lot of landscaping work for us between 1941-1944). But there are underground caverns, cliffs, caves, old mine workings run many many miles from one end of the city to another and most are 'lost' or forgotten about. And Pen Park Hole -wow.
Did I mention forestry and woodland?
And our ancient sites -everyone knows Stone Henge- but The Severn Sisters, Callanish, Avebury and even ancient woodland mazes -in Wales there are said to be ancient forests areas of which no one has probably ever seen.
Below:Callanish stonesThere are the Green Man legends....And then there are mountains and moors, ancient cave complexes and even underground lakes.
Just why would you need skyscrapers if you have all that -unless you lack imagination!
I used to love to watch the Narri Narro Festival in Germany where regional teams took part dressed as legends or myths from those areas. In the UK there are the Green Children of Woolpit, Suffolk (12th Century)... And there are many others to which we had the very well known ones. King Arthur has been, perhaps, "over exposed" and we could say the same of Merlyn, but Merlyn is the British character intertwined in so many myths and legends that to ignore him would be rude!When UK creators were recruited to save the ailing US comic companies such as DC in the 1980s (I was at those UK comic art conventions watching how desperate they were to recruit British talent –and in some cases introduced both parties to each other) the idea of outlawing super heroes and tracking them down so they could be arrested was a new concept....to Americans.
In the UK we’d been doing that since the 1940s ( thanks to the creators who churned out material for publishers such as Gerald Swan)!The mistake in the minds of publishers is that they equate costumed crime-fighters with skyscrapers and the United States. Despite the long history of such characters in the UK going back to the Boys Papers of the 1900-1930s.
What it says, really, is “This is just a job. I don’t care about comics history.”
The Scottish company whose name must ne'er be spoke (may they be forever cursed in the hallowed halls of British Comics Hell) have enough characters to produce good costumed-crime-fighter comics. The same applied to IPC who appear to have now taken the stance (a letter to me from senior management dated 19th July, 2011) “We were once publishing comics but that was over 30 years ago and have no further interest in comics.” Of course, had a rich stable of characters. I have no doubt at all that a good “super hero” comics could work in the UK but so few Independent Comics writers/publishers seem to be able to produce an obscenities free script that does not also include over the top violence and rape –the “Millar-Ennis-Morrison Legacy (MEML).”
But let’s mention, I really must, two shining examples of British “Super Heroes” by British creators that have excellent plotting, story and action without having to resort to the MEML.The first is, naturally, Paul Grist’s Jack Staff. Okay, he’s never accepted my offer to interview him in the last decade but I’ll not hold that against him! When I first saw Jack Staff I thought “**** that anatomy is really off!” I bought a copy. I’m a comics bitch, I just can’t help it.
I read through issue 1 and do you know what? I..I..deep breath…I enjoyed it! There it’s out now! The anatomy did not put me off and, as the manager of Forbidden Planet (Bristol) said “It doesn’t make a blind bit of difference –it’s so enjoyable!” With references to old British TV comedy series and so much more each issue of Jack Staff was a must read. There was, I must point out here, a major flaw in each issue. There were not enough pages!And while Grist takes a break from Jack Staff he came up with a new series –Mud-Man (which should not be confused with my German character Schlamm Mann –mud-man!). Lovely stuff but, again, the major fault of not enough pages but maybe that is why this works: it is almost episodic like old British weekly strips…but with more pages…okay. Grist wins.
A boy with a remote control Army, Navy and Air Force stopping bad guys. General Jumbo 0'not' a super hero!Then we have, and I have to say this on bended knees and in very humble tone…Nigel Dobbyn. When someone told me that he was drawing Billy The Cat I remember thinking to myself “I wonder whether his art style is any different than when he was drawing for Super Adventure Stories?” (a 1980s comic zine). I opened up the comic and a big thought balloon appeared above my head in which was written in bold Comic Sans “WOW!”
The style and colouring I had not seen outside of European comics (say Cyrus Tota’s work on Photonik). After that I never missed an issue and I made a point of grabbing The Beano Annual as soon as it appeared in shops. But with this incredible talent working for them did Thomson take advantage? No, they did something ensuring he would not work on new strips for them. The story can be found here:
You want to see how good Dobbyn is? Visit his website which has great art on show including Billy The Cat colour pages:
Dobbyn even re-introduced (with help from scripter Kev F. Sutherland, of course) General Jumbo but as The General. In fact, you go over those issues and I can see why so many people were telling me that they only bought copies for Billy The Cat. I could drool on and wax lyrical for hours about Dobbyn’s style and colouring.
Now here is the real kicker. Two talents such as Grist and Dobbyn whom any UK publisher (I know –“Who??”) should be fighting, spitting and kicking to get their hands on but are they? Nope. And while Grist publishes his books via Image Comics you have to wonder why Marvel or DC have not tried to get him on a title? Could it be his style is just not understandable by people in US Comics such as Joe “I’ll sell that for a Dollar” Quesada or Dan “I’ve had another brilliant idea on how to destroy DC” Didio? What of Dobbyn, then?
I know that if as a publisher I had the money I’d be employing both full time!!
I need to stop mentioning Dobbyn now as my knees hurt (a lot) and it’s hard typing from this position.
What both creators have shown is that there really do not have to be skyscrapers for a “super hero.” There is enough car crime, drug crime…violent crime of most types going on in the UK and believe it or not none involve a single skyscraper. Incredible, isn’t it?
Also, the UK is rich in legends, myths, fairy tales and much more that are just crying out to be included in storylines. The reason the Americans and other comic readers world-wide like UK strips is because they are uniquely British. In India, particularly in Southern India, The Steel Claw, Robot Archie, The Spider and many others are still very popular in reprint form over 35 years since they last appeared in print here.Above: Black Tower specialises in two things when it comes to new characters -super heroes and the supernatural/horror. Kotar & Sabuta by Ben R. Dilworth.
Of course, now that the Evil Empire (Disney) has extended its stranglehold on Marvel (Panini) UK nothing new from the UK is allowed –though why doesn’t Panini with all its international branches pull in some new characters/books of their own?
Oh. Its cheaper to publish reprint material, isn’t it? I can be so silly!Black Tower Comics has published a wide range of comics and the costumed crime-fighters (or even non-costumed in the case of Krakos) are the most popular.
No one is challenging Disney since its policy seems to be "make all comics American" and no one is challenging DC. It is NOT how you go into this. I've seen babies clothed in Marvel/DC super hero clothing, Avengers shoe laces, lunch boxes, Pez dispensers, t-shirts, socks, action figures, toy cars sweets -basically on everything. Do you think that kids look at something and say "I could not possibly look at that comic. It may have super heroes and be colourful but, really, it isn't Marvel, is it?"
Do my great nephews care if it's Marvel or DC or some other super hero? No. It's super heroes and that is that.
So the market is there but where are the money-men, the backers needed to help revive the corpse that is British comics so that it can proudly boast an industry once more that takes advantage of talents such as Grist, Dobbyn and Jon Haward? And rake in some of that money!
However improbable British super heroes might seem to sum I can tell you they are not. There is a history going back 80 years and even longer if you include the Penny Dreadfuls of the Victorian era.
Here endeth the sermon.
This all led on to an article in response to remarks about how the French viewed the UK and its comics -in fact, I know I referred, as did those who noted this originally, to "the French" but, in fact, the attitude seems to be a Franco-Belgian one.
Anyway, this was titled....
“The French Laugh At The British At Angouleme –We’ve No Comics Industry!”
And So They Might
And that is a quote, baby.
Not from one person but several including some comic professionals from the UK who will not repeat those words in public because “I just do not want the grief that follows saying that!
Oh, yes. On the old CBO I got the reaction to writing things like this but not just off the top of my head for controversy but fully backed up by facts and statistics. I once suggested that all UK comic bloggers add a banner to their sites: “Let’s Revive The UK Comic Industry” and the reaction?
I was told I had “a Saviour complex” and a lot worse. “Oh, so YOU are going to come and save us all?!!” Really nasty things were written and not just on CBO but on comic blogs and forums.
Let me make this clear (because ALL the postings and responses were kept –a full file of all this is with a solicitor “in case”): I was being attacked because I suggested all of us in UK comics get together and try to rebuild the comic industry as best we could.
At that point I realised that the main problem was that we never really had an industry anyway –the comics business was so crooked that it used to be known to tax people as “the double cooked books with triple layer mud”. Distributors were no better and often acted in collusion with publishers.
Once the fan-boy got into comics that was it.
But I was asked why I do not include the Small Press as the new comics industry? Well, I believe that I have written before that it is but it does no real good. It is a dilettante comics industry.
Someone just Googled “Dilettante Comics” to see if they are collectibles.
Now I know people do tend to misconstrue my words even though I try to make them clear so hold on to your lederhosen.
I began drawing as a youngster. In school I edited the school magazine Starkers The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth which was in…1971/72? The title came from the Deputy Head, Mr. Wright –an ex-RAF man and one of the most popular teachers at Greenway Boys School. I do know that there was/is a magazine by that name from London(?). Never seen it and I did an internet search recently and cannot find reference to it. I am positive that I did see it advertised in publications such as Fortean Times (in the old days).
Anyway, one of the school secretaries complained and it was stopped at printing and burned.
Also, the rather pompous religious Head Master disliked immensely that I called it a “zine” –it was NOT a magazine and I kept saying it was a “little magazine –a zine”.
I later did lots of other work with newsletters, magazines, printers and from the late 1970s on, the Small Press world of fanzines. I have a big collection of Small Press publications –poetry, prose fiction/sci fi as well as fanzines and comics. Unlike today, the 1980s saw people from all over the UK exchanging their zines and if anyone needed a strip to fill a page or so everyone chipped in. This was in letter writing days –no internet and phone calls were too expensive.
Also, we all knew comics. Whether UK weeklies or the US comics from Marvel, DC, Charlton or the rather obscure companies. And, of course, we all had our Alan Class comics. Strange to think how many of us were into horror movies and particularly some of the classic black and white movies. Then again, we were working in a black and white medium. I was very happy when I also discovered a great many zinesters were fans of Orson Welles because of his masterful use of angles, shadows and the B&W medium.
In other words we were a community without internet and only after the Westminster Comic Marts and other one day events became more popular in the 1980s did any of us meet up.
There is a term you don’t hear these days –“marts” that were, basically, a hall full of people selling comics and zines and creators meeting up.
Going to the Westminster Marts was fun but we must have looked odd: meeting in a corner or on a staircase feeling different types of paper we drew on.
Checking out each others pencils,
pens (one typo and a letter “i” there and I could put a whole new slant on things!), brushes, sniffing inks and pens –checking which were alcohol based or whatever because certain pens combined with certain papers or boards could be very messy. Most of all we talked.
Apart from one or two incidents involving certain people I was never once accused of throwing anyone out of a window or into the Thames. There were no witnesses. Understand? NO….WITNESSES.
Most of us were starting work in comics or already working in the medium.
We knew about our subject.
Everything except earning big money!
Mastering a photocopier not to mention paste-ups, removing ghost-lines and so on was not something you had a choice in. It was what you had to learn if you were in comics.
In the mid-1990s computers started appearing and before you knew it everyone new who came along was thinking they were going to produce and get rich from a Teenage Mutant Turtles or Blade Runner rip off.
And the ‘new pros’ –well some were quite open about using tracing paper to draw their comics.
In the huge stack of news zines and papers I have there are some true horror stories about this.
Stick figures as “a genuine artistic comic medium”…..no, I really never did throw that man in the Thames though he deserved to be.
And it only got worse.
Once the wave of mostly untalented creators vanished they were replaced by those arty farty elitists who believed that only European comics –Bandes Dessinee matter and that everything else was puerile.
Those people had
been around in the 1980s and we used to call them “bow-tie *******” (this is a family site).
Here is the problem, though. These people only considered Franco-Belgian BD (must NOT call them “comics”!) legitimate.
Spain and Italy had comic industries and though Germany had a small industry that mainly reprinted Franco-Belgian and US comics Bastei Verlag at least had their books going to more than a dozen European countries.
Alan Clark and the late Denis Gifford –particularly Denis- were nastily mocked and their work looked at as “low interest” because, unless it was The Beano, The Dandy, The Eagle were any other publications or creators not in those comics of any worth? Denis had a life long love of comics which the alcohol and dope loving new creators didn’t like. Despite the lies and rumours I can tell you that Denis did receive and read Small Press publications –including mine.
People who were “names” in the 1980s continued to hang on in though, and I find it funny, they become media comic luvvies but you go to a Small/Alternative Press event and mention their names and you get blank looks! But, if as “media luvvies” they get to pay their rent, eat and enjoy life good luck to them. I have no problem with that.
Now while comic Expos –the new “Marts”- are popping up all over the country it has to be said that, say, 90% have no interest in the Small Press and have never seen a SP comic –and if they have they probably grimaced the same way their mothers do when they find that “odd stain” on the bed sheets (ladies I ask you to submit your own comic slob image).
One comic geek –because TV programmes such as The Big Bang Theory have made comics “hip” and everyone wants to be known or called a comic geek. Bless, they’ll tire of it after a while. And everyone is a new comic collector spending money on the ‘cool’ comics that many do not read and a few think that because they were conned into paying huge amounts for a comic featuring a character(s) from new movies –which they find out are NOT the movie characters- they think will make them rich one day….when every other one of the THOUSANDS of copies of that comic suddenly turn to dust!
Comics toys, cosplay (including those with no knowledge or interest in comics) and TV/Movie merchandise are their world. Honestly, real old style comic fans are driven away from events and their passion by hugely inflated prices of comics and event entry fees.
Then we have the SP/AP people. Never heard of Stan Lee (other than “Is he that old guy –the character from The Big Bang Theory?”. Never heard (NEVER) of Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko. John Romita snr (notJnr) or John or Sal Buscema? Gene Colan? John Byrne? No. “Oh, they made a comic out of that Avengers film?” –it’s at this point that I usually fall to my knees (which hurts) and raise my fists to the heavens and scream out “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” and some ***** says “Mr Khnan from the TV comedy series? Why –is he okay?”
Honestly, I make a point of talking to these people and most, let’s face it, are at the oldest in their mid-30s so have never known UK comics other than the horrendous merchandise crap with toys attached. Big names in UK comics –John Cooper? No. Mike Western? No. Terry Hooper-Scharf? “Didn’t he used to be held hostage somewhere?” Yes. I have a beard so I’m mistaken for Terry Waite.
WHAT THE ***** DO YOU MEAN “WHO?”!!!
Well, I suppose at least he kept the handcuffs and radiator.
But these people move in their own little circles. I never realised that until I started name checking with people. Some people in zines today do go to various events outside of cliques. Our own Paul Ashley Brown –doyenne of the Bristol, London and he’s even known outside the UK.
I’m that man on the hill The Beatles sang about. “Who are the Beatles? What man –Stan Lee?” Do not try my patience...grrrrrrr.
And in 2014, as I already noted, I really found out how bad things were and, again, apologies for any repeating of facts but I do want them to sink in since his is, honestly, my last posting on the subject. After this all else would be nothing more than insipid vapour.
I'm Too Radical For The 'Kids'! -The BCZF
I would like to start by pointing out I am not ranting. It seems that, if you have an opinion and try to get it across it is seen as “ranting”. The “ranting” I do tends to be fairly tongue-in-cheek but I guess people don’t get it because there is no “smiley” after humour.
Believe me, if I ranted you would know it.
I need to also point out that I have attended and sold at zine and comic events for over thirty years. I’m not some wide-eyed newcomer who expects to earn a fortune. I know the business and in thirty years have been quite happy that I make back table costs and a small profit.
Neither do I expect to have people worshiping at my feet. Particularly with the Small Press I like the fact that you are –or were- always taken as one of “the folk” who produce and sell zines. It was very informal, swapping ideas, talking about all aspects of the Small Press.
I go into events never expecting to make money. I don’t think “I need to sell £15 worth to cover table cost, £x for travel and I’ll set the money I want to make today at £xx!” That is not how it works.
What I did expect at the BCZF –at which I actually was
the only comicker- was to have a good chat with creators and people attending the event.
My attending was to support a Small Press event in Bristol. Simon, one of the organisers is a very nice fellow and as helpful as you would really want a helpful person to be!
It was not
about making money –my books were being sold cheaper than a lot of Small Press books at the event and, basically, at cost. I was just going to get my money back on anything sold and no profit.
So, let me begin….
I arrived at the event location, the Station, at around 11:10hrs –the Station is a really nice place for an event and I’d hope that someone organising a comic mart might one day look at this place.
Okay, a few people seemed to be freaked out that they had to use unisex toilets.
I’m 57 years old and I’ve lived in Germany and travelled through Nederlands, France and Belgium. It takes more than that to phase me (and something was going on in one cubicle that we’ll not talk about). The Station is a lovely location.
So, met Simon who told me where my table was and that there was a name tag on it –so I looked and found! “Hello. How’s it going?” I said to one zinester I had met previously. “Yeah” he muttered as he turned away. Okay, maybe had had a bad night. The guy on the table next to me was setting up. “Hello –I’m Terry, how’s it going?” Response: “nngh. Okay.” I began to think that I might need to drop the “how’s it going”. So the other chap next to me turns up with his mate. I say “Hello” and nothing. In fact, I began to suspect both were deaf after another attempt to be friendly.
I then realised that my t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase: “Jim Fixed It For Me To Meet Rolf Harris” might have been a bad idea.
I’ll point out here that that last sentence was dark, satire. Of a kind.
So, I spotted someone who had friended me on Face Book and went to say hello. I got a grunt and a
By: Catherine Foley,
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Sanitation has evinced considerable interest from policy-makers, lawmakers, researchers and even politicians in recent years. Its transformation from a social taboo into a topic of general conversation is evident from the fact that one of the central themes of a recent mainstream Bollywood production (Piku, 2015) was the inability of the protagonist’s father to relieve himself.
The post Toilet paradigms and the sanitation crisis in India appeared first on OUPblog.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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All time CBO hits are interesting!
Even if you are in a country that does not appear on this list -it's merely the highest number of views as it does not include many other countries CBO gets daily views from -including our Two Friends in Antarctica- I still write THANK YOU.
Apart from the UK, for obvious reasons, most of these countries I'm gladly work for in comics!
Submitted by Marijke Buurlage for the Illustration Friday topic GROW.
Board Book: Ten Playful Penguins. Emily Ford. Illustrated by Russell Julian. 2015. [October] Scholastic. 22 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Ten playful penguins, living in the zoo. They've had their lunch, and now they're off to find something to do.
Premise/plot: The penguins "disappear" one by one as they find "something" to do. The "something" almost always involves meeting and playing with another zoo animal. The book counts backward from ten to one with plenty of rhyme, of course.
My thoughts: Do I have an opinion? I'm not sure I do. It is what it is. A simple counting--or counting backward--concept book for young children starring penguins, monkeys, hippos, bears, pandas, parrots, elephants, etc. If your little one loves animals or zoo animals--especially penguins--this one is a cute and satisfactory enough read.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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A river is a natural, living, organic whole, a hydrological and ecological system. It flows; that is its defining characteristic. As it flows, it performs many functions. It supports aquatic life and vegetation; provides drinking water to human beings, their livestock and wildlife; influences the micro-climate; recharges groundwater; dilutes pollutants and purifies itself; sustains a wide range of livelihoods; transports silt and enriches the soil; maintains the estuary in a good state; provides the necessary freshwater to the sea to keep its salinity at the right level; prevents the incursion of salinity from the sea; provides nutrients to marine life; and so on. It is also an integral part of human settlements, their lives, landscape, society, culture, history, and religion.
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Blog: A. PLAYWRIGHT'S RAMBLINGS
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a short playette
, coffee shop
, post theatre talk
, the stage
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POST PLAY DISCUSSION
AT RISE: Two friends discuss a theatre performance they have just seen Decisions…decisions… I just started seeing a dietician but I absolutely adore their chocolate-chocolate-and-more-chocolate molten lava cake… One more time couldn’t hurt. Given that it’s past eight o’clock and the worst time for weight gain, I, on the other hand, will stick to my usual expresso
You’re so holy-holy, perfect, human being Jealousy is futile. It’s my genes. Everyone in my family is thin, going back generations You do realize I could eat whatever I wanted without guilt but I don’t, because I respect my body Hey! Me too! My body tells me regularly, “feed me chocolate-chocolate-and-more-chocolate molten lava cake’ and I’ll make you feel real good!” Anywaaay…So what did you think of the show? You didn’t like it, I take it?
It had its moments
I dunno. Made me laugh – a lot
That’s ‘cause you’re easily amused
Is it necessary to insult me, just because you consider yourself (makes quotation marks with her fingers) “a playwright”?
It’s the words and how they’re put together that interest me Seemed like one great show, overall, in my eyes You didn’t find that the first act seemed to never end? I go to the theatre to be entertained. Period. I don’t agonize over whether the first act is better than the second because really, I don’t care! If the actors can provide a couple of hours of escapism, then they’ve done their job We obviously view the entertainment through different eyes. I’m interested in the flow of the dialogue…the inter-action of the performers…things of interest to a person who writes plays - - remind me how many of your plays have been produced – So? What does that have to do with anything? It’s not for lack of trying. Have you any idea how many playwrights are out there all over the planet, hoping that someone will share them with the world? Gazillions I can tell you – including me! I mean, well known one’s, too! One day – one sweet day – someone, somewhere will read one of my plays and say, “this is the winner we’ve been waiting for!” One day, you and I, will sit here as we do after a night at the theatre, and discuss the merits of one of my plays. You’ll tell me how witty the dialogue was and how it made you laugh and how lucky that our friendship has maintained over the years… So, are we ordering or what? I’m thinking here perhaps it is too late for something heavy like the chocolate-chocolate-and-more-chocolate molten lava cake Good idea - think healthy (waitress approaches to take order)
(cont’d.)We’ll have two expresso coffees, please…
I thought you decided against the cake
The cake is on the heavy side but a small butter pecan muffin wouldn’t even register on the scale. Now about the play…the acting was adequate but then they didn't have much to work with...
Draw an object using a soft light source from above and and an angle.
Lin Oliver moderates the agents' panel, with (from left), Jodi Reamer of Writers House, Alexandra Penfold of Upstart Crow Literary, Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency, Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary, Brenda Bowen of Greenburger Associates and Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.
I found the book I illustrated for Scholastic /Arthur A. Levine Books on Amazon~!
I am so HAPPY I can finally share the cover with you~!
I also did the interior spot pieces that will kick off each chapter!
Our blog series kicks off with a post on creating space in your classroom to get writing partnerships up and running right away.
By: Connie Ngo,
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, Business & Economics
, Earth & Life Sciences
, What Everyone Needs to Know
, aquatic ecosystems
, biology of overfishing
, commercial fishing
, economic overfishing
, environmental sustainability
, impact of overfishing
, marine conservation
, marine resources
, Ray Hilborn
, Ulrike Hilborn
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Many of us probably tend to take fish for granted, as it's a fairly sustainable resource—at least, that's what we'd like believe. It's difficult to imagine that we could even come close to depleting what seems to be limitless; after all, the earth is mostly covered in water. But as Ray and Ulrike Hilborn discuss in an excerpt from their book, Overfishing: What Everyone Needs to Know, there is reason for concern in our flippancy towards our complex ecosystem.
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