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26. Choose Your Own Adventure, Part 3

Adventure Books Bash

Welcome back to Choose Your Own Adventure! In a choose-your-own-adventure story, you read a chapter and then you get a few choices of what the character should do next. For the STACKS Adventure Books Bash, we’re celebrating adventure with a choose-your-own-adventure story written by me! Have you read Part 1 and Part 2 yet? Pay attention to your answer choices because when the story is done, your answers will reveal the adventure hero you are most like. Are you ready???

Part 3

You know it’s going to be dark soon, and also time for dinner, but you are mesmerized by your new discovery. Curiosity gets the best of you, and you reach out and pull on the knob.

Nothing budges.

You try twisting and pushing, but nothing happens. The door is totally stuck. Frustrated, you plop down on the grass and watch the last rays of the sun as it slides behind the horizon.

After a while, you start to feel chilly and kind of hungry, so you decide to go home. As you stand up, though, the ground beneath you starts to tremble. As the trembling intensifies, you hear a loud rattling noise. You look over and see that the door is shaking and bright light is seeping out from the edges.

Scared, you start crawling backwards. The sky, which was completely clear only a moment ago, is full of dark clouds. With a loud CRACK, rain begins pouring from the sky. The wind picks up and intensifies until you feel like you’re being battered by rain on all sides.

You start running towards a large tree in the middle of the field, thinking you can hide in it, when suddenly a bolt of lightning slices through the air and strikes the tree, exploding it. Screaming, you start running back towards the woods and your house. The ground is getting muddy and you are slipping and sliding, so it’s taking you a long time to cover the last twenty yards. Before you can process what’s happening, another bolt of lightning strikes a small shrub only a few yards to your left.  You keep running and lightning strikes another patch of grass to your right. You’re about a foot away from the door, which is still shaking violently like someone—or something—is trying to escape.

You . . .

A) knock and see if anyone answers.

B) keep running for a place to hide!

C) try to remember everything you learned in wilderness safety class. You remember something about lying face down on the ground. That might not be the most accurate memory, but it’ll do—so you do it.

D) know that metal conducts electricity in a thunderstorm so you do NOT touch that metal doorknob.

E) pull on the knob! You need to get indoors and you need to get indoors NOW!

What would YOU do? Share your answer in the Comments below! And check back for the next installment of the story.

 Also, please plan to come to the Readathon!

See ya next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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27. Five Steps to Responsibly Search for Images for Digital Projects




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28. The Summer Sun

The summer sun was once my friend;
I basked beneath its glow,
But friendships often fade and this
Was one that had to go.

The younger me enjoyed a tan
On smooth and unlined skin,
But lately that is not the shape
My sagging self is in.

And danger lurks when sunshine
Causes cancer cells to bloom
So by soaking up some rays
I might be guaranteeing doom.

There was a time Apollo
Earned my every accolade,
Yet today I turn my back on him
And settle for the shade.

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29. Dan Santat Completes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Dan Santat, a children’s books author and illustrator, has completed the #IceBucketChallenge. The video embedded above features Santat performing the activity in support of the ALS Association.

Before dousing himself with the ice water, Santat requested two colleagues, Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Jenni Holm, and the Sesame Street character Elmo follow in his footsteps. Which writers would you nominate to pick up this challenge? (via Dan Santat’s Facebook page)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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30. Yale Stewart apologizes after accusations of harassment

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Oh god where to begin. The short version is that Judge Dread artist Ulises Farinas calling out Yale Stewart over what Farinas deemed ill-advised charity efforts then led to Stewart, the artist of the webcomic JL8, being outed as a naked selfie sender, and then apologizing while putting his webcomic on hiatus.

 

farinas1

IT ALL STARTED when Farinas, above, who is something of an opinionated Internet user, called out Stewart’s practice of selling wallpapers themed to various events in the news for $1 with proceeds going to charity. What put Farinas over the edge was this one, which referred to the situation in Ferguson:
Farinas wrote:

Every fucking time there’s some big tragedy, this dude makes a wallpaper to benefit (insert charity) and it just looks like a shameless ploy at self promotion.
Instead of making a cutesy little wallpaper of DC heroes you don’t own, supporting media entities that already ignore brown people, that have news companies that spin a narrative that blames the victims of police brutality and not the aggressors, why don’t you just shutup and privately donate as much as you want to ACLU, whenever you want, and not just when #ferguson is all over twitter.
Putting two images of SPACE COPS as your “SUPPORT FERGUSON” wallpaper, and offering it for a DOLLAR, is fucking gross. And i hate that we can’t distinguish between support and capitalism.
You know the only reason the dollar is going to the ACLU, is he because the product he’s selling isn’t a wallpaper, its himself.

jl8-ferguson-625x351

This took place a few days, and led to a lot more back and forth and then, over Twitter, an increasing number of references to “Dick pics” with Stewart at the center, perhaps spurred by this Tweet of Farinas:


As far as The Beat can ascertain, rumors of Stewart sending unsolicited pictures of himself in a depantsed state have been around for quite a while. The new Twitter flutterings grew and grew, leading to Stewart to take down his twitter account and then announcing that he was putting JL8 on hiatus. Jl8 is a very adorable strip that Stewart has been drawing for a few years that is basically a “Lil JLA” strip. It is COMPLETELY unauthorized by DC—although Stewart was eventually hired to work on some officially licensed Capstone books featuring DC characters— and if there is one thing that amazes me about this whole thing is that he was able to get away with this for so long!

Anyway, while many people seemed to be aware of Stewart’s exhibitionist texts, it wasn’t until Unleash the Fanboy offered a spirited is muddled defense of him with a post called Ulises Farinas Is A Jealous Idiot. I Stand Behind Yale Stewart that the cries for proof got louder. And it all grew when Stewart, who lives at home, said that since the outcry began, his mother had received a threatening phone call regarding the situation.

While some doubted the accusers with the usual abuse, over night a picture of Stewart, tool in hand, was finally posted on 4chan, leading to his public apology:

Good morning.

As some of you may be aware, there have been some rumors circulating about my personal conduct with women in the comics industry. The accusation is that I’ve sent unsolicited intimate photos of myself to fans, colleagues, or possibly both.

Sexual harassment is incredibly serious business, and I believe anyone who has followed me for any period of time knows that I often speak against it. No one should be subject to such behavior. It’s invasive, disrespectful, and occasionally dangerous.

Have I sent intimate photos of myself to women before? Yes. I’ll absolutely admit to that. As a 26 year-old bachelor with a relatively healthy sex life in the internet age, these things happen. However, every photo sent was in direct response to either a photo received or a specific request.

Or so I thought.

Two years ago, I was engaged in two separate relationships with women whom I was sexually active with. Given the nature of these relationships, my experiences in past relationships, and various dialogues with these women, I thought it had been established within each relationship that intimate or explicit photos were acceptable, possibly even desired.

I GROSSLY misread the situation.

It has been brought to my attention that both of these women were uncomfortable with my behavior, and needless to say, I’m absolutely disgusted with myself. How I could so horribly misinterpret the situation confounds me, but that confusion pales in comparison to the shame of knowing that I did the very thing to these two women that I openly chastise people for on a regular basis. Also, beyond that, that these women felt this way for TWO YEARS without me knowing and attempting to make amends, which is wholly unacceptable in its own right.

I have reached out to both of these women and have made private apologies, but I felt it was my responsibility to make a public one as well. As stated earlier, I believe sexual harassment to be an incredibly serious issue, and while the harassment in question was a terrible and ignorant mistake, it does not change the fact that that’s what this was, and I accept full responsibility.

I strive to treat everyone with respect, as I feel those who know me personally or follow my comics work would attest, and as such I hope that helps frame how sorry I truly am that all of this happened. The best I can do is own up to it, acknowledge that I made an incredible error in judgement, and finally, make sure that I learn from this mistake and never repeat it moving forward.

In addition, if there’s anyone else out there who feels like I’ve made them uncomfortable, on any level, please let me know. Clearly I’ve misread situations before, and I don’t want to go years again thinking nothing’s wrong only to learn I’ve hurt someone.

Finally, I’ll be making a donation of $1000 to RAINN, as they’re an organization at the forefront of both preventing and aiding victims of sexual harassment and assault. Hopefully my small donation will in some way help them in educating even just one person, preventing another situation such as this.

My deepest, sincerest apologies to all.

-Yale

 

A couple of observation about all this:

• Sending naughty texts is a perfectly normal thing to do. Sending unsolicited pictures of your junk to people is not okay, however. It’s my understanding that Stewart had been accused of doing this for quite some time, and had seemingly unwittingly built a bad reputation over this.

• Now that’s he’s had his sensitivity raised and apologized—and made a $1000 donation to RAINN—after a suitable amount of time Stewart can concentrate on what he does best, drawing, IF HE BEHAVES HIMSELF. I don’t think there’s any real disconnect between doing a kids strip and doing adult things in other spheres of your life. As long as they don’t cross over, you’re good. Someone called Stewart the Anthony Weiner of comics and you’ll recall that Weiner—the one time NYC mayoral candidate who was caught sending pictures of his franks and beans to women while still married and running for office—tried a comeback and what stalled it is that he kept on sending pictures of his junk to people! The key to a comeback is learning from your mistakes and not harassing people any more.

• It’s shameful that the women who were on the receiving end of Stewart’s texts were doubted and tarred with the usual slurs and counter-accusations. Why is this it hard to believe that a male cartoonist would send out naked selfies? If I were to question anything in this WHOLE STORY it would be the threatening phone call because…

• WHO THE HELL TAKES TIMES TO MAKE THREATENING PHONE CALLS OVER COMIC BOOKS? Seriously this is becoming a thing now whenever there’s a comic book kerfuffle. That is also SO NOT COOL, people. Stop it, just stop it.

• Cartoonists doing shady, kinky things is nothing new. Neither is such behavior being talked about over dinners and drinks. BUT things have changed. This is the latest example of how harassment issues are played out over social media, and while I don’t see this going away any time soon, crowd justice is rough justice, so people, if you’re doing something bad and about to get caught, better to stop doing that bad thing and taking appropriate steps in private.

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31. Dear Professor Fitger

Saint Paul, August 2014 Dear Professor Fitger, I've been asked to say a few words about you for Powells.com. Having dreamed you up with a ball-point pen in a composition notebook (drafting on the right-hand page, and making edits and corrections on the left [see figure 1]), I should be well equipped to describe you, [...]

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32. NOVEDADES 2014

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33. New York City…


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34. Why Nick’s Pitch Program Doesn’t Work

Why Nickelodon's public pitching spectacles are a disservice to the network and to the artists who work there.

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35. Chad Michael Studio

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

Chad Michael is a designer & illustrator specializing in package design and unique branding. A recent graduate of the University of North Texas, he has already received numerous awards and accolades including the DSVC Top Design Portfolio and the Gary Baseman Illustration award.

 

 

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

 

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

 

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

 

Chad Michael Studio on grainedit.com

 

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36. Edward Teach

As a follow-up to my last post about Queen Anne’s Revenge, here is the man himself—the terrible Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach. I show him in close-up so you can see the slow-match fuses he used to weave into his whiskers and set alight before attacking a ship. You can find him in P is for Pirate, now available in bookstores—or drop me a line in the comments for an autographed copy.

Pirate captains were elected by their crews and could be voted out. To keep his crew in line, Blackbeard constantly showed himself to be more fierce, more outrageous than anyone else on board. Seated with his rogues during dinner, Blackbeard fired a pistol underneath the table and wounded one of the crew, just to remind them who he was.

Blackbeard had to be mindful of his crew’s appetite for liquor—for rum, an ardent spirit distilled from molasses. Without rum, a crew would mutiny, as this excerpt from Blackbeard’s log attests:

‘Such a Day, Rum all out: – Our Company somewhat sober: – A Damned Confusion amongst us! – Rogues a plotting; – great Talk of Separation. – So I looked sharp for a Prize; – such a Day took one, with a great deal of Liquor on Board, so kept the Company hot, damned hot, then all Things went well again.’

thumbnail sketch tight sketch color sketch IMGP1670 IMGP1671 IMGP1672 IMGP1673 IMGP1676 IMGP1676 IMGP1677 Teach

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37. Scanning the Backlist (1)


I've really enjoyed seeing more and more bloggers embracing the exploration of backlist titles - so much so that I was inspired to examine my own personal backlist consisting of authors I've reviewed on the blog.  I went back through every author I've reviewed and checked out his or her backlist - and for some, even found new books I hadn't realized were released.  I'm thinking I'll make this a regular feature, since it's going to take me a while to profile all the great books I've found - and as I keep reading, I'll find even more.

Sarah Addison Allen
I absolutely loved The Peach Keeper and The Girl Who Chased the Moon - looking up her backlist titles led me to a great discovery: Garden Spells, Allen's first book.  

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother's unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town's constraints. Using her grandmother's mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business -- and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life -- upon the family's peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories. 
Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire's routine existence upside down. With Sydney's homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire's own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways. 
One last thing to note: since my reading of The Peach Keeper, Allen has released another novel, Lost Lake, which is on my TBR list.

Emma Donoghue
Donoghue's Room was one of the very first books I received from a publisher to review.  And it more than exceeded my hopes - it's still one of my favorite books.  I was excited to discover that, in addition to Astray, her short story collection that I already own, she has a book of fairy tale retellings titled Kissing the Witch.

Told with luminous voices that shimmer with sensuality and truth, these age-old characters shed their antiquated cloaks to travel a seductive new landscape, radiantly transformed. Cinderella forsakes the handsome prince and runs off with the fairy godmother; Beauty discovers the Beast behind the mask is not so very different from the face she sees in the mirror; Snow White is awakened from slumber by the bittersweet fruit of an unnamed desire.
Nora Gallagher
The Sacred Meal is one of the first five books I ever reviewed on this blog, and was the very first book I ever received from a publisher.  I was pleased to see that Gallagher has a memoir, Things Seen and Unseen, that explores a year in church liturgy and describes her journey to faith.

Whether writing about her brother's battle against cancer, talking to homeless men about the World Series, or questioning the afterlife ("One world at a time"), Gallagher draws us into a world of journeys and mysteries, yet grounded in a gritty reality. She braids together the symbols of the Christian calendar, the events of a year in one church, and her own spiritual journey, each strand combed out with harrowing intimacy. Thought provoking and profoundly perceptive, Things Seen and Unseen is a remarkable demonstration that "the road to the sacred is paved with the ordinary."

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38. New York City…






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39. Pitfall Cover



I love jacket work. :)

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40. Rupert Grint Discusses "It's Only a Play," Broadway Debut

Rupert Grint, who will be making his Broadway debut in "It's Only a Play," was recently interviewed about the play and about how acting on stage differs from acting for a film:

Tell me about this guy you’re playing, Frank Finger.
It’s a type of character that I’ve never had the chance to play before—he’s someone very complicated and deeply troubled. That’s really what attracted me to him. The play is amazing, it's so funny and such an interesting insight into the theater world from behind the scenes.

You starred in Mojo in the West End. Did you pick up any tips you want to remember for this time?
That was different because it was my first ever taste of theater in any form, really. Before that it was just school plays and pantomimes, so it was a big learning experience. [Mojo and It's Only a Play] are very different shows. But I find keeping the concentration quite hard, just being in character for so long. I’m used to dipping in and out. On a film set you’re in character just for a few seconds, then you walk away. So with this, you have to be in the moment for the whole two hours, so it’s hard, but it’s great fun.

Is this your first time living in New York?
Yes, and I love New York. I've only ever been here for like two weeks at a time, so I never really got to know the place, but I'm loving it. It’s such a great place. I went to a Yankee game the other day.

...

The Harry Potter wizards are all getting on the Broadway train—you, Daniel Radcliffe, and now Tom Felton wants to. Why do you think that is?
New York just feels like the place to be. I’ve seen some amazing shows here, and there’s such an incredible energy to the city. It’s so exciting, even just walking down the streets. The West End is great as well, I love that, but New York City a really special place.

You can read the rest of the article here. "It's Only a Play" opens on August 28th.

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41. Loot

Loot by Jude Watson (for ages 9-12)

LOSERS, WEEPERS. STEALERS, KEEPERS.

When Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, says a book is “the perfect summer read,” you know it’s got to be good! He (and we!) love Loot, an action-packed heist book by The 39 Clues author Jude Watson.

Loot starts when March McQuin’s criminal father, Alfie, falls off a high rooftop in a heist gone wrong. As Alfie speaks his last words, he manages to tell March to “find jewels.” But March soon learns that “jewels” is actually “Jules” — a twin sister he’s never heard of!

After finding each other, March and Jules plan to follow their father’s footsteps and find a new life for themselves. With just one well-planned heist, the two could be living beyond their wildest dreams! The only question is how? It all becomes clear when March begins to discover hints his father left behind…

Start reading the action-packed Loot here!

Would you have the courage to pull off a heist like March and Jules? What friends would you take along the way?  Post your answers in the Comments below!

 

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42. International Night

Every year schools everywhere hold an International Night.  I am always thinking to myself can the school get a new idea.   Today, my interest in International Night event was renewed at a booktalk on a new release called International Night by Mark Kurlanksky and his daughter Talia Kurlansky.  Kurlanksky expressed during the talk that the title had to be International Night because it was inspired by a game his family played by the same name.  No other title would work.  They game involved spinning a globe once a week and where ever Thaila's finger landed they would cook a meal from that place on Friday.  For each country in the book(Hawaii and New Orleans are also included) they made an Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert and Drink.   Her father took notes and soon discovered this could be an idea for a book.   Mark Kurlankshy work as a journalist has also allowed him to travel to many of the countries in the book and he loves to share stories about the countries which are included in the book.  


 
 

This is a great way to introduce a child to many different types of food.  It is also a fun way to introduce a food project to a class.   Thalia expresses in her introduction to the book, "It is adults that think children cannot enjoy sophisticated cuisine.  Restaurants often give children a "kids menu."  She hopes children will be able to taste these foods as they learn about the cultures. 




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43. Meet the Hero Designer Who Publicly Shamed Showtime for Asking Him to Work for Free

Apparently, I am told, I am "unemployable" as an artist/creator because I insist on being paid when asked to do a graphic novel or draw a comic series. Well, no money from not working is the same as no money from doing A LOT of work.

The creator involved in this online article simply did what a lot of us have been doing over the years: outing these creeps who want work for free.

So, not an original stand but very worthwhile!

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/meet-hero-designer-who-publicly-shamed-showtime-asking-him-work-free-159579

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44. Sometimes, reading the book just isn’t enough – LeakyCon Lit

leakycon Sometimes, reading the book just isn’t enough – LeakyCon LitWell, after the glorious, gleeful exhaustion brought on by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, your intrepid intern still had a whole conference to attend.

For those of you who haven’t heard of LeakyCon, it originally started as a Harry Potter–themed fan conference in 2009, but has since morphed into an all-out geek-fest in which fan communities from all kinds of media platforms come together to celebrate the power of story and fandom. In fact, the conference has been renamed and will be known as GeekyCon from here on — opening up to the wide, wide world of geekdom!

It will not surprise any of you that I spent most of my time at the conference at the LeakyCon Lit panels. Organized by YA authors Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman, LeakyCon Lit brings together YA authors from all over to talk about writing, their books, and plenty of weird, awesome, totally unrelated things. This year’s speakers were Stephanie Perkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, Malinda Lo, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, John Green, Varian Johnson, Kazu Kibuishi, Lauren Myracle, Rainbow Rowell, and Scott Westerfeld. With such a diverse group presenting, we got to hear about everything from designing love interests to killing off beloved characters, from graphic novels to world-building, from Stephanie Perkins’s morning jigsaw puzzle routine to Alaya Dawn Johnson’s near miss with quicksand.

The programming ranged widely between serious panels (such as “Diversity in YA” and the “War Against YA Lit”) to game shows (including Jeopardy and a variation on The Lying Game, an old British game show). Maureen Johnson interviewed John Green in a Between Two Ferns–eqsue style, providing a hilarious exposé of their friendship. Johnson also moderated the panel about killing off characters — which meant, unfortunately, that the audience didn’t get any new information about a certain beloved [spoiler] she killed off in [spoiler]. But we did have the opportunity to harangue some of the other authors, who discussed the tension between emotional attachment and resonance and deciding when a character’s death serves the story best.

The panel centered on diversity in YA was especially powerful. The panelists discussed YA literature’s erasure and misrepresentation of people with diverse gender identities and sexuality, people of color, and people with disabilities — as well as the kind of backlash faced by authors who create those characters. I found it provocative when the authors on the panel discussed a question they often get regarding their characters of color: “Why did you make that character a specific race if your story isn’t about racism…why bother?”  The discussion which followed emphasized the importance of recognizing the bountiful diversity of experience in the world and the role literature plays in representing that diversity to its readership.

While most of the programming at LeakyCon Lit this year was phenomenal, a couple of the panels were better in conception than they were in execution. One panel called “I Made You, You’re Perfect” focused on romance in YA and how to construct romantic relationships and compatible characters. The panel, however, was comprised entirely of straight women; this lack of diversity was particularly apparent during a mishandled question on asexuality. The “War on YA” panel was concerned with the way that YA as a genre has been either denigrated by the media as too sweet and too small (especially for adult readers) or lambasted as the source of all evil for young people. Rather than exploring this phenomenon and its impact in depth, however, the speakers on the panel mostly reiterated what many of us had seen them write on Twitter and their blogs in recent months.

Overall, however, LeakyCon Lit was a perfect mix of whimsy, banter, and critical discussion. The authors are all knowledgeable and engaging, and their comments and discussions were accessible and enjoyable. I’ve been attending this track for the past four years and I can say with certainty that there is plenty to enjoy for both teens and adults.

The rest of the LeakyCon is not devoid of book-related fun for kids and grown-ups, of course. The subjects of the panels range from investigations into Harry Potter canon and characters to sing-alongs and debates. Each night there’s a concert by bands who get their material from Harry Potter (or The West Wing, or Doctor Who, or a whole host of other awesome platforms and stories). Pemberly Digital, a production company which creates modern adaptions of well-loved classics, premiered the first two episodes of Frankenstein, M.D., which follows Victoria Frankenstein, a young doctor determined to prove herself in a male-dominated field. Pemberly Digital is the same group who created the Emmy award–winning adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Which you should watch right now. Don’t worry. I’ll wait!

Seriously though, they are really good – as is Emma Approved (adapted from Jane Austen’s Emma), which is currently airing on Pemberly’s YouTube channel.

By the time we woke up on Sunday morning, we were about ready to lounge the day away by the pool. But we were in Orlando, and there is no such thing as a trip to Orlando without a visit to the Magic Kingdom. We did have to put down all our new books and our new geeky swag…but books are always there when you get back!

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The post Sometimes, reading the book just isn’t enough – LeakyCon Lit appeared first on The Horn Book.

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45. New Management Could Threaten World’s Largest Sci-Fi Library

Science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson has raised concerns that new management at the Eaton Science Fiction Collection – the world’s largest public science fiction and fantasy library in the world housed at the University of California Riverside- could threaten the institution.

Hopkinson, who teaches at the university, wrote a blog post this week claiming that  new management at the library has plans to drastically reduce the collection size. Check it out:

Since spring of this year, their accomplishments have included driving out staff members and pushing changes to collection policies that would reduce the Eaton’s holdings, its value to researchers and as a repository of our community’s history, and its standing as a world-class archive. Meetings with the staff of the Eaton have been productive, collegial gatherings. Meetings to negotiate with the new library administration, not so much. It’s putting the faculty of the research cluster in the alarming position of having to protect the very collection we’re charged with fostering. We’re dealing with the new library admins’ efforts to split up the collection and change priorities for what to collect (eg, e-text over print) without consulting scholars in the field, and with what we’d characterize as harassment of staff, who’ve demonstrated extreme competence over the years. (Via Sciencefiction.com)

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46. The Rest of the SLP Prizeless Story



Image via
Yes, we've been as anxious as you to find out what effect our decision to stop giving out weekly prizes for summer would be.  Today we shook out the preliminary stats and....


wait for it......


wait for it....


wait for it....


wait for it....


wait for it....


...no difference!!!!!!!!!!!

We had as many preschool and school-agers coming back for return visits this year when we built our robot as we did when we gave out weekly doo-dads.

Score!!!!

The team felt that with the simplified program we had more time for interactions with the kids and a less stressful summer.  We already have plans in mind for next year to help increase interest in the donation part of the program (three caped superheroes representing three different charities for kids to choose to put their sticker on).

It's good to see these results and put the final cap on a busy summer and great to know our adventure was successful. Onward!

You can read about our journey here, here and here!

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47. Denis KItchen on The Best of Comix Book–”One of the Greatest Things Stan Lee ever Did”

The Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Went Underground

is in B&W/  and Full color, HardCover  an exclusive Kitchen Sink Press imprint under Dark Horse  ISBN:978-1-61655-258-9

Intro by Stan Lee

Forward by Denis Kitchen

Designed and Edited by John Lind

24079by

Pam Auditore

Tall, affable, plain spoken Wisconsinite, Denis Kitchen smiles wistfully, “I loved putting this collection together.  It’s a nice anniversary.”  Hardly the hippie, bomb throwing revolutionary Nixon might  associate with with the words: “Undeground Comic Artist.”

In 1973 Denis Kitchen and Stan Lee pulled off what can only be considered, in hindsight, a  coup.  Bringing together the Marvel and Underground Comic Book Creators in almost unimaginable collaboration.  Taking place during the turbulent spill over from the 1960s with the The Vietnam War winding down; Watergatewhite flight from citiessocial unrest  and a New York City as grey and dilapidated as “Taxi Driver” depicts.

At the time, Stan Lee and his bullpen at Marvel were struggling to churn out Super Heroes, Westerns, Science Fiction, Fantasy, War Comics, Hot Rods, Romances and whatever would keep the company alive and paying their bills.

NightGwenStacyDied

Reacting to and expressing the societal upheaval and the angst of the times, Underground Comics emerged first in Head Shops, then local Bookshops.  Artists like SpainBill GriffithR. CrumbTrina Robbins were free to do what creators at DC and Marvel could not, express freely and personally what they saw going on in their own lives and the world around them without having to censor for  profanity, nudity or subject matter. Expressing their own visions through writing and artwork.

It may seem quaint now, in the time of a Deviant Art Digital hyperspace, where one can upload  and share  with just about everyone anything conceivable,  from Justin Beiber fan fiction to Banksy’s or Shepard Fairey’s latest and greatest.  Yet, once, Underground Comic Art was not only ground breaking, but dangerous and could have serious consequences such as shutting down businesses, along with jail time and financial ruin.

Back then, the US Mail was your only delivery system or your car.  Your tools–paper, pencil, ink, mimeographs, with  Xerox Copiers expensive even for Marvel.  Your only means of distribution were friends, Comic Shops, Head Shops, and some BookshopsMarvel’s were mainly Newsstands, local groceries, local bookstores and candy shops.  Getting kicked off of any one of those racks could mean never making a cent again.

 

Among those first to collect and publish his own Underground Comics was Denis Kitchen with his Mom’s HomeMade Comics in 1969. Issues of which Kitchen sent to publishers like Stan Lee and Harvey Kurtzman.  Kitchen later went on to publish other Comic Book creators under Kitchen Sink Press.  Such legal  issues of censorship and community standards is why Mr. Kitchen is one of the Founder of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

By the ’50s and ’60s Marvel, DC, and Harvey Comics  were squarely  aiming at the growing demographic of Baby Boomers while laboring under a self imposed Comics Code to protect minors.

Which made the explosion of Underground Comics during the hey day of suburbia and the middle class all the more “subversive” and “scandalous” with its humor, nudity,  crudity,  and profanity, would feel so refreshing and right for the times.

Clearly not meant for the young teens or little kids the major Comic Book publishers were catering  to.  These comics dealt with political and social issues were generally called, “anti-establishment”, made for a slightly older, “hipper” crowd–late high school to college crowd. Many Underground Cartoonists would find their way into the glossy folds of “Mad magazine” and “National Lampoon“, but others like Mr. Kitchen and, others of his cadre like  Art Speiglemen, were charting a more independent, less conventionally commercial path.  Creating space for other self-published  Independent Comics to flourish in the ‘80′s, like those of  Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, and the Hernandez Bros, then Terry Moore and Peter Bagge in the ‘90′s and so on into the future.

With ever a sharp eye on popular culture, Stan Lee, no doubt , was eager to capitalize on the Underground audience hoping to expand Marvel’s.

Maus--Marvel Comix Book

Maus–Marvel Comix Book

According to Kitchen,  his collaboration with Lee, “Stems from  a time when Underground Comics were florishing and suddenly we had what we called ‘the Crash of ’73.”  A glut of material in Head Shops and local book stores and a Supreme Court ruling that threw obscenity laws into local jurisdictions. It was deadly to the Undergrounds, a lot of Head Shops and Bookshops were suddenly paranoid that they would be busted due to obscenity.  I genuinely feared Kitchen Sink Press and all my cohorts would go under.”

Luckily, Denis had been corresponding with Lee.  “We had this curious pen pal relationship.  He offered me a job a couple of times.  Of course, I was flattered but said, ‘No,’ until the Crash. He happened to call and I said, ‘Let’s talk.’  I flew to New York City and found he was amazingly receptive to an experimental magazine. One where we hoped to take the essence of the Underground and plug it into Marvel’s distribution system.

It took a lot of negotiating to find out how far Marvel could compromise.  Stan ended up being amazingly receptive to using four letter words, and we even got away with full frontal nuditity, anything we wanted.”

Katrina Robbins

Comix Book –Wonder Person by Katrina Robbins

But don’t think it was a collaboration without conflict.

“There were fights over copyrights and getting art back, too “But we wore him (Stan Lee) down, so by the Third issue he said, “Goddamit, you can have your rights back, you can have your art back.’  So all this stuff that they had never done before, I was able to persuade him to do.”

The end was nigh when word of this new magazine began reaching the ears of Stan’s regular bullpen of writers and artists “it turned into a Pandora’s Box for Stan.  The regulars and freelancers were like, ‘How come you’re doing this stuff with these Hippies? And you’re not letting us?  We’ve been with you longer?’  And it was hard for Stan to walk that back.”

Consequently, “After the third issue, Stan pulled the plug.  I had a couple of issues in the can and I asked him if he’d let me print the rest under Kitchen Sink, and he agreed, which was amazingly generous. ”

The Corpse Goblin Ogre by S. Clay Wilson

The Corpse Goblin Ogre by S. Clay Wilson

“In retrospect it’s kind of astonishing. When I look back at it now, that it happened at all and the kind of latitude we had.  Artists like S. Clay Wilson, Justin Green, Trina Robbins, Art Spieglman (including the first national appearence of “Maus”).  You can go down the list, all the big guys in Underground Comics, except Crumb, were in it.  And most Underground Comic fans today don’t even know it happened.”

“When we decided to collect it Stan, graciously agreed to the intro.  He actually called it one of the greatest things he ever did,” Denis Kitchen beams.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Denis Kitchen and Stan Lee signed a special insert in 250 special copies ot the The Best of Comix Book only available only from Things From Another World, Dark Horse’s online retail outlet.

 

2 Comments on Denis KItchen on The Best of Comix Book–”One of the Greatest Things Stan Lee ever Did”, last added: 8/21/2014
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48. Do You Want to Review My Books? (Aug/Sept ARCs)

This is a tough one!  It's breaking my heart a little to give these books away. *TAKEN* <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--> Salt & Storm, Famous Last Words Snow Like Ashes Wildlife I'll Give you the Sun Mortal Danger Ghost House BEFORE YOU COMMIT, MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS POST! (nothing new added if you've read this before) Every month, I'll write a post

0 Comments on Do You Want to Review My Books? (Aug/Sept ARCs) as of 8/20/2014 4:17:00 PM
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49. ‘LOL Romantic Comedy Anthology’ Self-Published Bestsellers List

 LOL Romantic Comedy Anthology Collection leads the Self-published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups. (more…)

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50. Being An Author Does Not Make Me Unique

…and Other 3:00 A.M. Preponderances.

It’s late and I’ve not yet mustered enough energy to wiggle my way beneath the covers where I get to enjoy Night #2 of Belgium linen sheets from Restoration Hardware. I’m restless. Feeling stuck. Inert. That could be thanks to Diesel the Cat; he’s wedged so comfortably and close to me on top of the blankets–I haven’t the heart to remind him that he’s my daughter’s cat and I’m actually a dog person. And my dog, Bogie, would love to occupy Diesel’s prime real estate on the bed next to me. Except the dog’s afraid of you, Cat-with-your-claws-still-in-tact, and maybe I am a little bit too.

And that’s not why I’m really feeling stuck.

I don’t often feel like this, so on top of the covers I sit, while my husband snores (despite the funny snore gizmo his dentist fitted for his mouth, coupled with my swift sock in his arm to get him to roll over). I’m both restless and rejoicing in the fact that I’ve finally found time (that’s a compressed paradox if I’ve ever heard one) to READ, errr…SKIM…mindlessly through newly pressed blog posts hoping to find clarity in my own lackluster writing as of late. My narrative dribble has been a slow, steady, stream of spit.

For months, like all other attention-seeking first-time authors, I have been trying to get you, the parents of my demographic, children aged 4-8 to notice one tiny little meteor of a factoid. H E L L O. Knock knock. I mean, come on! How obvious do I need to be? I wrote and published a WHOLE darn book over here. Doesn’t that account for something?

I’ve waited…and waited patiently in angst for the clouds to part and to hear those glorious angels belting their angelic refrain in my literary honor. But, the sky is quiet and dark. And, while my books are certainly selling, I somehow expected…I don’t know…more.

No one told me, at the very same time I published my book, so did one trillion other authors who dreamt too, their whole lives through, of publishing their FIRST book and that I would be competing for space on your child’s bookshelves, let alone their hearts and minds.

Okay. You got me. Maybe I am feeling just a tad bit sorry for myself. Maybe I have set my expectations way too high. Maybe I am questioning whether or not I’m doing anything right over here. For the consummate optimist, who forges ahead for the sake of sheer will and determination, that’s saying a lot about where my head is tonight. And since wallowing in wee-hour self pity is just plain silliness, and not my thang, I think we all can agree we’re glad that’s over.

I wouldn’t be me without some newfound clarity here. I do realize I have learned a thing or two about publishing a first book along the way. (Find the good, Tonia. Find the good.)

So here it goes:

Being an author, in and of itself, is no longer unique. Everyone’s an author these days, and I still have to figure out how to break out above the noise to get me and my book noticed. That’s a challenge. I like challenges.

My book is what makes me unique as an author. But unless I get you to notice it, and share my terribly good news about it with the world, my career is still in its infancy as an author. I like that. There’s no mad dash to the finish line here. I’ve been in a hurry my whole life. It’s okay to take things slow. And, thank goodness I still have a day job that warrants my attention at the bank on payday.

One trillion people are trying to get your attention in the exact same way I am: So even as an experienced marketer, with 21 years of marketing under my belt, I may still FAIL to get your attention. (Hopefully that doesn’t actually make me suck as a marketer.) When things aren’t working, it’s time to explore new things. I need to continue to try new things to get my demographic to notice me.

As a person with a never say die mentality and a fair amount of book sales already under her belt-given her first time authorship-I need to give myself a pat on the back and thank my supporters. I’ve accomplished more than most. I get to say I’m a published author, because there aren’t really one trillion authors who published a book at the same time as me.

I’m probably not going to sell many books to you on Twitter. Or Facebook. Or LinkedIn. Because everyone in the world is hocking a book through social media. If everyone is doing something the same way, then maybe we’re all doing it wrong. (But, WordPress is fair game. I’m going to politely ask you to go to Amazon and buy my book and DO IT NOW. Wait. Just kidding. That would be presumptuous and rude of me to bark an order like that.) #Imightsuckatmarketing

And sixthly, I need to be as creative in selling my book as I was to write it. I also need to check and see if “sixthly” is even a word. (Clearly it should be, since it chronologically eventually follows firstly, secondly, thirdly, etc.) I think most written thoughts taper off after the third point anyway to avoid checking to see if “fourthly” and so on even exists in the dictionary. But, I digress because I’m punchy and I’m anxious to enjoy these new sheets.

Anyway, thanks for the ear, but that’s all the clarity I can muster-up in the wee hours for now. I’m tired and I’ve got to dislodge a demented cat from my ribcage.

Toodles.

Preponderance’s by Tonia

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