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I do, however, think that it is stretching things to believe that Disney are going to take artistic creativity more seriously.
Why? Look at the comics and the movie universe. The movies are good, if nothing to do with the characters and comics that Disney bought. But there is really only one thing Disney wants and likes and that is money. The $ versus creativity. Creativity loses every time. _____________________________________________________________________________
Can a feature film really earn gross profits of just over $1.4 billion worldwide during its theatrical run - and still be considered a disappointment by its studio?
According to a report at Bleeding Cool, this has been the case for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ at Marvel’s parent studio Disney.
BC’s sources tell them that “although the film made a lot of money and got okay reviews, it didn’t make enough money. Or get as good reviews as the first. People, basically, didn’t go back for seconds.”
It would seem Disney were hoping to see the superhero sequel break the record set by its 2012 predecessor, which was until recently the third biggest box office hit ever - until that record was broken earlier this year, not by ‘Age of Ultron’ but by Universal’s ‘Jurassic World.’
As absurd as it may seem to look at box office takings of over a billion dollars as a failure, we might note last year’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ managed over $700 million worldwide, and was still deemed a series-killing flop.
However, it is important to note that the Hollywood studios tend to be particularly concerned with how well their films perform domestically, and ‘Age of Ultron’ grossed just shy of $478 million - less than a third of its overall takings - in the USA, whilst the original made just over $623 million.
‘Age of Ultron’ was also a more expensive film to make, with a production budget of $250 million - $30 million more than its predecessor. And that’s not taking into account marketing and distribution costs.
I've got another Skype rehearsal of my 'how to design picture book characters' workshop this afternoon. This time at least I have the chance to spend a bit of time going through it in advance, reading it aloud. It's amazing what a different that makes - lots of last minute jiggery-pokery is needed to make things flow naturally.
The Skype practices are a bit of a performance logistically. I have to use our laptop to deliver the face-to-face lesson, for my producer Clif, in Denver. I need prompt notes though, which will be on the main computer, by the side. So far so good, but I also regularly use examples of my finished illustrations (scans of which will ultimately be edited into the lessons, so the student will see them on screen). Trouble is, for me to see what I'm talking about during the rehearsal, each illustration needs to be brought up on the computer as I go along, squeezed in alongside the prompt notes. It doesn't make for easy, uninterrupted flow.
We haven't time to run though everything (7 lessons at 20-25 minutes each is a long time), so I will perform a single lesson, as a test, which will also give us an idea of how accurate my original timings were. I am either going to choose a lesson on facial expressions...
...or on creating movement, as those lessons refer less to my archive illustrations, which will definitely help. One other snag though, is that I will be drawing lots and lots of demonstration sketches (I also need to make room for paper, in front of 2 computers squeezed onto one desk), but Clif won't be able to see my sketching at all - just me talking away about what I am doing.
There's no way round that really, but Clif says he is mostly interested in the flow of me talking and the timing - he trusts that the drawing demo side will be fine. It's making the talking bit run quite naturally from one teaching point to another, as if I'm just chatting to a friend. I've got to get good enough at it that I don't ramble, so we can see more clearly how long each lesson will take.
Hypertension (or high blood pressure) is a common condition worldwide, and is known to be one of the most important risk factors for strokes, and heart attacks. It is considered to affect almost a third of all adults over the age of 18.
Title: CIRCLE SQUARE MOOSE Written by: Kelly Bingham Illustrated by: Paul O. Zelinsky Published by: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 2014 Themes/Topics: shapes, moose, zebra, friendship Suitable for ages: 3-7 Opening: Shapes are all around us. We see them every day. Have you ever looked … Continue reading →
Observational walking is useful for professional writers and it can be good for students too!
This fall, head outside with your students for a walk around your school's neighborhood. But first, read ASK ME by Bernard Waver and Suzy Lee! (Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of this book.)
"Letter by letter, the bigger the better-- Great big words!" --Michael Mark & Tom Chapin
And so a new school year begins, with a change from the tiniest full-timers at the school--the kindergarteners--to the not-very-much-bigger second-graders. Looking back now at my consternation* over this change, I realize that I believed that 7-year-olds would be simultaneously* less innocent and more challenging* than 5-year-olds, less imaginative* and more conservative* than 5-year-olds, less new and sparkly and more ordinary*.
I must have had rocks in my head. Second grade rocks, especially in the first week of school! They do not consider themselves too grown-up to enjoy the same greetings and singing games as the 5's, but when you say "Please line up," they already know how to do it. They were thrilled to climb all over the big rock, but they were able to stop climbing and thoughtfully describe it. And they are very into vocabulary* and learning great big words as well as different words for the same thing. Just yesterday we compared vomit, puke, barf and throw up in our discussion of the very few things that might interrupt our work on Independent Reading Stamina. (We reached 10 minutes by Thursday, without nausea* or emesis.*) Perhaps "Magic Pebbles" would not be a wrong class name after all...thesey are small and shiny and smooth and powerful, just like Sylvester's Magic Pebble.
You'll understand why the following might be the first Poetry Friday poem for our Poetry Anthologies. I found it in The Walker Book of Poetry for Children.
Flint | Christina Rossetti
An emerald is as green as grass, A ruby red as blood; A sapphire shines as blue as heaven; A flint lies in the mud.
A diamond is a brilliant stone, To catch the world's desire; An opal holds a fiery spark; But a flint holds fire.
The round-up today is with Linda Baie at TeacherDance, one of the several Poetry Friday participants who generously contributed to my DonorsChoose project. I'm thrilled and grateful to say that my request for 4 Kindle Fire HD tablets, intended for allowing kids to enjoy the ever-growing array of online read-aloud sites and apps, was fully funded in less than a week! However, it's not too late to help, Any additional donations will come to my classroom in the form of gift cards that I can use to purchase headphones and cases for the tablets. Long live crowd-funding, and thanks!
Santa is coming and he will have a body and some "friends" once this piece is completed. I just wanted to share what I'm up to these days, besides teaching our new dog, Opie, how to sit, and walk pretty on a leash.
As with all my illustrations, this is 100% vector. There are no fancy effects, or transparency. A few gradients are used, but most of the "shading" comes from the zig-zag of hundreds of triangles.
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about my experiences with the Strathmore toned paper sketchbook (you can read the blogpost by clicking here), and how I had this aha-moment when i started drawing interiors, using pen and color pencils. I have another one of these Strathmore books, with grey paper in it, and decided to dedicate it to interiors. maybe also exteriors though - anyway: places.
It's been such an amazing experience to have monarch caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies in our classroom for the past two weeks! They were given to us by one of our building's paraprofessionals, whose mother collected the caterpillars and hung the chrysalises in nifty solo cup viewers. The last of the caterpillars started to make its J today and I overheard one of my students say, "I could just sit here and watch all day!" Another student caught the caterpillar's last voracious eating on video on one of the iPads yesterday. We haven't stopped marveling at the beauty of the chrysalises. Why the gold dots? There seems to be no scientific explanation. Nature just goes out of its way to be beautiful!
If I'm understanding what I have read here, our butterflies might be fourth generation monarchs, the ones who will migrate to Mexico to hibernate for the winter before flying back to start the cycle all over again. This is as much of a miracle as the metamorphosis and the gold dots. What an amazing world this is!
I was nine when Judy Blume's only novel for kids set in the past was published. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself debuted in 1977, sandwiched between Blume's better known novels for older readers, Forever and Wifey. Being just the right age in the 70s, I read the core cannon of Blume's books - Blubber, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, Deenie and
Master storyteller Todd Strasser reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future—and takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure. When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. Even though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue the elusive Great Terrafin. It’s rumored that the ship’s captain, Ahab, lost his leg to the beast years ago, and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But there may be more to Captain Ahab’s obsession. Dark secrets and dangerous exploits swirl around the pursuit of the beast, and Ishmael must do his best to survive—if he can.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
About the Author
Todd Strasser is the internationally best-selling author of numerous books for children and teens, including Fallout and the classics The Wave and Give a Boy a Gun, which are taught in classrooms around the world.
'Octobriana: The Underground History' by John A. Short, published by Kult Creations is a numbered, signed, book - limited to just 300 copies... 120 PAGES LONG. LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED.
It contains the full story behind the original book that introduced the cult communist superheroine to the world. It also features a full breakdown of all her uses and appearances since - in comics, movies and audio drama... From 'The Adventures of Luther Arkwright' to the David Bowie and Billy Idol connections.
NEW COMIC STRIP ACTION - written by J.A. Short & illustrated in full colour by GABRIELLE NOBLE (and containing the Devil Woman's full origin story.) And with bonus new Octobriana illustrations by NEIL EDWARDS, HUNT EMERSON and VINCE DANKS . Fully painted covers by SIMON BREEZE. It's going to be REVOLUTIONARY!
Is the book what I thought it might be? Well, to that I have to give a resounding "NO!" As I read through it and looked at the art and images I realised that it was far better than I expected.
Having looked at the photo of Petr Sadecky I realised that I had met him in the early 1980s at a UK Comic Art Convention. Bearded and full of what the comic scene in then Czechoslovakia held for us and I even got a couple of Czech comics. I got an address in Germany and....that was it. Reading Short's book I think that sums up Sadecky.
What Short has managed to do is dig out old articles and gather information that lets him cut through the whole Sadecky-Octobriana story which has a lot of twists and turns. And information on the real Octobriana (or "Amazona") artists and their part in this story. There is even a stripography of Octobriana appearances in comic strip and film format and more.
Octobriana is a character shrouded in a lot of confusion and more than a few bad rumours. Short has written a book that has to be seen as the ultimate source-book on the subject and proves people can still write interesting and original books about comics.
And then there is the full colour origin story which really could not be much better and is pure Octobriana from start to finish!
Twenty-three years ago this summer I backpacked down the Grand Canyon’s Kaibab Trail with seven kids from my youth group and came up Bright Angel a week later. Each day we packed our gear at three in the morning so we could begin our hike before the heat kicked in full blast. By the last morning of the trip, I was utterly spent. The steep climb out of the canyon left me feeling like maybe I wouldn’t make it. Maybe I’d be stuck on that trail forever.
I stopped moving about a half mile from the canyon’s rim, unsure how to muster up the strength to keep going. It didn’t matter I could see the end. Getting there felt near impossible.
That’s when I experienced a simple act of kindness that has lived with me ever since. My youth sponsor, Jim, told me I wouldn’t finish alone. We’d make it to the top together, one hundred steps at a time. Step by step we counted, resting after every set. While before the half mile had felt unsurmountable, broken down in tiny bits with someone else to walk beside me, it was doable. It was accomplishment and gratitude and so much celebration.
As I near the end of a complete manuscript overhaul in the midst of first-round edits (the second time I’ve re-written this book, by the way), I’ve thought a lot about that moment. I’m a few weeks out from my deadline, and honestly, I’m not sure of the words needed to make it to the end. Right now my focus must be each tiny writing moment, where the story moves forward, step by step.
Friends, I need an extra dose of courage and a second wind, if you have any to offer. Things will be quiet around here until I’ve turned my work in.
शिक्षक दिवस और मोदी जी के मन की बात …
5 सितंबर को शिक्षक दिवस है और इस उपलक्ष्य पर एक दिन पहले दिल्ली के मानेकशॉ सेंटर में पीएम मोदी ने बच्चों के बीच अपनी बात रखी.बच्चों के साथ मोदी जी की बात चीत बहुत अच्छी लगी. जिन बच्चों ने आज मोदी जी से प्रश्न पूछे निसंदेह उनका आत्मविश्वास तो आज चरम पर होगा और जो बच्चे कुछ कर दिखाना चाह्ते हैं वो भी इस प्रयास मे जुट जाएगें कि अगली बार वो भी मोदी जी से रुबरु हो.
अब मेरे मन की बात
मैं टीवी देख रही थी और सोचे जा रही थी कि निसंदेह प्रयास बहुत अच्छा है पर इसी के साथ साथ अगर राज्यों के गावों में शिक्षा का स्तर, अध्यापकों का स्तर, स्कूलों मे बैंच, कुर्सी, और सबसे ज्यादा जरुरी पढने के लिए किताबें भी आ जाए,मिड डे मील सुधर जाए, स्वच्छ पानी और स्वच्छ शौचालयों की भी व्यवस्था हो जाए तो सोने पर सुहागा हो जाएगा.
कुछ ये भी कहा मोदी जी ने
शायद ही दुनिया में कोई ऐसा व्यक्ति हो, जो अपने जीवन में मां और शिक्षक के योगदान को नकार सकता हो। मां जन्म देती है, गुरु जीवन देता हैकल यानि 5 सितंबर को कृष्ण और राधाकृष्ण, दोनों का जन्मदिन है
शिक्षक कभी उम्र से बंधा नहीं रहता है, कभी रिटायर नहीं होता
विद्यार्थी अपने जीवन का एक बड़ा समय शिक्षक के साथ बताता है। डॉ. राधाकृष्णन ने अपने भीतर के शिक्षक को अमर बनाए रखा।
एपीजे अब्दुल कलाम हमारे लिए प्रेरणास्रोत हैं, उनसे जब पूछा गया कि आपको लोग कैसे याद रखें, तो उन्होंने कहा था कि लोग मुझे टीचर के तौर पर याद रखें।
विद्यार्थी और शिक्षक के जीवन में अपनत्व का भाव हमें जीवन जीने की कला भी सिखाती है।
जब मैं छोटा था तब हमारे गांव में टीचर सबसे अहम होता था।
लेखक मित्रों से अनुरोध है, अपने-अपने शिक्षकों के बारे में लिखें
शिक्षक कुम्हार की तरह हमारे जीवन की मिट्टी को संवारकर सही रूप देता है
शिक्षक की सिखाई बातें उम्र भर याद रहती हैं, हर सफल व्यक्ति के पीछे उसके शिक्षक का हाथ ज़रूर होता है।
Top row from left: Pat Capozzi, Jack Ozark, A (Unknown), Sue Shigida, B, Mitch Rochon, C, John Sparey, Steve Gordon, Bruce Woodside, James Gurney, D, Tom Tataranowicz, Jan Cummings, Thomas Kinkade. Bottom Row: Bill Recinos, Debbie Hayes, Mike Svayko, Tim Callahan, Mauro Maressa, Ralph Bakshi, Frank Frazetta, E. Ralph Bakshi Productions crew photo in 1981, during the production of the animated film "Fire and Ice."
There is a good deal of historical evidence for women’s leadership in the early church. But the references are often brief, and they’re scattered across centuries and locations. Two interpretations of the evidence have been common in the last forty years.
Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark
by Deborah Hopkinson
Scholastic Press, 2015
Grades 5 and up
We're pleased to participate in the Courage & Defiance blog tour today.
Deborah Hopkinson won a Sibert Honor for Titanic: Voices from the Disaster in 2013, which was a popular book with the middle grade readers in my library.
The research literature on health inequalities (health differences between different social groups) is growing almost every day. Within this burgeoning literature, it is generally agreed that the UK’s health inequalities (like those in many other advanced, capitalist economies) are substantial.
Oh, Hunter. You had so much potential. A book in which all of the monsters of our nightmares, myths, and legends are real and a teenage girl has the magic to fight them? I’m in. A book that’s a sort of post-apocalyptic, futuristic dystopian, fantasy mash up. How could I resist being immediately drawn in by a premise that promises battle with dragons, vampires, Fae, and all manner of legendary creatures all in one book? Yes, please. Sign me up. Unfortunately, the execution of this idea left much to be desired. In Joy’s world, it has been 200 some years since the Diseray, an apocalyptic event that unleashed the monsters of myth into our world. Society has had some time to recover and rebuild, and there is at least one major city, though if there are more I have no idea. World building isn’t really a strength here. Joy is... Read more »
You are standing in an elevator and have two minutes to tell someone about your book. Today we’re going to talk about crafting that one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, a hook, or a one-sentence (elevator) pitch. This is not your book’s tagline!
What: About 25 words that capture your novel, memoir, or non-fiction book.
Why: To get someone interested in reading your book.
When to use it: The start of a query, or anytime someone asks you, “What’s your book about?”
What it does: A one-sentence summary takes your complex book with multiple characters and plotlines and boils it down into a simple statement that can be quickly conveyed and understood, and generates interest in the book.
What it should include:
→ A character or two
→ Their choice, conflict, or goal
→ What’s at stake (may be implied)
→ Action that will get them to the goal
→ Setting (if important)
Tips: → Keep it simple. One plotline, 1 or 2 characters.
→ Use the strongest nouns, verbs and adjectives.
→ Make the conflict clear but you don’t have to hint at the solution.
In your one-sentence summary, try not to pitch a theme. Pitch what happens. Examples of themes:
This book explores forgiveness.
This book looks at the thin line between right and wrong.
This book explores the meaning of independence, and asks if it’s really possible.
Here is Nathan Bransford’s simplified formula for a one-sentence pitch: “When [opening conflict] happens to [character(s)], they must [overcome conflict] to [complete their quest].”
Examples of one-sentence summaries:
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
• A boy wizard begins training and must battle for his life with the Dark Lord who murdered his parents. (Thanks Randy Ingermansonfor this one.)
→ Character=boy wizard
→ Conflict=battling the Dark Lord
→ Stakes=his life
→ Action=http://www.rachellegardner.com/feed/wizard training; avoiding the same fate as his parents
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
• In the south in the 1960s, three women cross racial boundaries to begin a movement that will forever change their town and the way women view one another.
When Faith Awakes by Mike Duran
• Chaos is unleashed on a quiet coastal town when an unassuming crippled woman raises a young boy from the dead, unlocking a centuries-old curse.
Medical Error by Richard Mabry
• Identity theft becomes fatal for a patient and puts a young doctor’s reputation and medical practice in jeopardy.
Chasing Superwoman by Susan DiMickele
• A successful attorney and mother of three battles discrimination, exhaustion, and a clueless boss while balancing a career, a family, and a life of faith.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Leave your one-sentence summary in the comments.