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This is probably going to be of the most interest to those of you who have an interest in comic book inking in general. Paul Karasik, who is the head of programming for Comic Arts Brooklyn, interviewed Jeff Smith while he (the creator of the Bone graphic novel series) inked a Bone illustration for the audience. I admit it. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff.
Thanks to Phil Nel for the link.
Someday I hope I’m a big enough picture book author that I’m able to encourage grown people to put tacos down their pants. It’s a dream, but I think it’s one worth pursuing. Note: Ignore the contest mention at the end. The date is long past, children. Long past.
Thanks to Lori for the link (and for starring in it!).
We had the pleasure of hosting French illustrator Marc Boutavant at a recent Children’s Literary Salon at NYPL last month. He is, as you may know, the man behind the art of Mouk, his best known picture book creation. There is, in fact, a Mouk television show debuting here. I, for my part, much prefer the French. The intro is just doggone charming. Can’t vouch for the show itself, but dig that catchy rhythm:
Speaking of television shows based on works of children’s literature, I was inordinately pleased to hear that they were turning Michael Rex’s Fangbone into a show of its own. Makes perfect sense. They’ve a fun little video element up right now where kids can vote on the animated voices and background sounds. Enjoy!
Oh yeah. This next guy’s embraced his time in France.
Probably fits in like a native.
I was pleased to see this Steve Jenkins video for his latest collage masterpiece The Animal Book making the rounds. If only because it gives you insight into how he creates his art.
Finally, for our off-topic video, a commercial. A blatant, sentimental commercial. And danged if it didn’t make me well-up. I must be getting soft in my old age.
We’re accepting poems, comics, videos, stories, flash fiction, and anything else you’d like to send our way.
On top of our normal submissions for the upcoming issue, we’re taking submissions for a special sub-issue. Maybe you remember last year’s online marathon reading for the Mayan apocalypse called “The Last Reading on Earth, Ever.” Well, this will be a little in that spirit. Except this time there will be a sub-issue to go along with our marathon reading.
This sub-issue will be themed around the Olympics, it’s called “A Reading About the Olympics That Definitely Doesn’t Have the Word Olympics in the Title.” We’re looking for work that deals broadly with the Olympics. This can be interpreted any way you’d like, though we’re a little more interested in discussing the proxy politics of the event, the environmental costs, the social displacement of Olympic-urban construction than we are interested in hearing about the spirit of international sporting and collaboration or poems about five rings. But whatever, if you think it’s worth talking about, send it on over. We’ll gladly take a look. Have the joy of this sub-issue is that we won’t be 100% sure what we’re looking for until we see it. Send over your comics, videos, poems, flash fiction, photography, paintings, or whatever else you can come up with. We’re looking forward to reading it.
(NOTE: This issue will have an online issue element and an online reading – via Youtube – element.)
We’ll be reading for the new issue and the “A Reading About the Olympics That Definitely Doesn’t Have the Word Olympics in the Title” sub-issue/online reading through December 15, 2013. Submit here.
I am pleased as punch to announce that here at A Fuse #8 Production today we are showing off the world premiere of the book trailer of Ice Dogs, the upcoming 2014 middle grade novel by Terry Lynn Johnson. Created by Bookcandy, this trailer has everything I love in it. Live action (I’ve REALLY been enjoying the ones I’ve been seeing this year), dogs, and live action dogs. I am a woman of simple tastes.
For more info you can find Terry at her website here or her blog here. Many thanks to her for allowing me this reveal.
Red Savina Review is a place to take the risk of authenticity. Send exceptional art, flash fiction, short fiction, creative nonfiction, creative non flash, poems and short films for Spring. We want smart, non-pretentious work that leads to an authentic investigation into the concept of identity and how it constitutes human experience.
Siren is a biannual online zine looking for artists of all genres who create new, edgy, and experimental work. We want work that pushes boundaries, that surprises in terms of structure and content, that provokes a visceral response. We want to be shocked. We want to blush. We want Art that is provocative, raw and beautiful. We want Art with wings, teeth, claws.
We welcome submissions from artists of all genres. This includes, but is not limited to, poets and writers of ALL genres, audio/visual and graphic artists, video and film makers, performance and spoken word artists, musicians, fine artists, and photographers...
The submission deadline for our fourth issue is November 30, 2013. To submit, send an email to:
sirenwebzineATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)
with the type of submission and your last name in the subject line. Please include your contact information, a short bio, and your submission in the body of the email. Our guidelines are as follows: Poetry – 3 poems max. Prose – 1500 words max. Audio/Visual Media – 3 to 5 minutes max. Visual Art – 3 images max. As an online zine, your work will be free to all who visit the site. You retain all rights to your work. For more details, visit Siren at our website.
Empty Sink Publishing is looking for professional-quality prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and visual media submissions that stretch the mind, defy convention, and offer a new perspective on life. We currently pay all writers with a pat on the back and a byline. We hope to change that soon. Submissions can be sent at any time. For submission guidelines, please visit our website. .
Took me a couple minutes to get into this one, but once I remembered the premise it helped. This is basically The Wizard of Oz redone with pop songs. A lot of which, sad to say, I have never heard of. Fortunately I could at least recognize the weird genius of the line, “You’re just a lion on the cold hard ground” from Taylor Swift’s “Trouble”. I’m not completely out of it. Plus you should check out The Wizard himself. A more badass Wiz I’ve yet to see.
Thanks to Marci for the link.
Next up, I’m just a tiny bit mad that there was a trailer for Boxers & Saints out there that was THIS GOOD and yet it took me roughly six months to discover it on my own. Your required watching of the day:
Um . . . may I work for Chronicle now? Please? I mean seriously . . . pretty please? No, honestly. I would work for you. Make me an offer. This video? I want to go to there.
The sole fault that I can find is that they do not properly credit everyone by name at the end. That is a mistake. I want to know who these folks are.
The Scholastic Reading Club blog Book Box Daily has a tendency to produce adorable videos. None so adorable as this, though. Here we have my friend Lori. Short of showing you puppies romping on a field, I could not display anything quite as cute. Particularly when she involves her siblings in her readings.
Finally, our off-topic video. I confess that had Stephany Aulenback not posted this on her blog Crooked House I probably would never have heard of artist Grace Weston at all. This might as well be called “Grace Weston: The artist you’d actually like to meet and hang out with for long periods of time”. Stephany says she has a “Mr Roger’s Neighborhood and Hieronymous Bosch” sensibility, and I see that but for me she’s filling the gap that The Far Side left in our hearts when Gary Larson fled the scene.
“. . . and then the laundry gets destroyed by ash!” *laughs hysterically*
The first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past has been released, combining cast members from different films about the comic book heroes.
We’ve embedded the trailer above. The movie comes out May 23rd, 2014. Will you be there? Check it out:
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past — to save our future.
Instead of hiding corrections, maybe writers and publishers should celebrate suggestions from fans.
At Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles this week, the Conan show’s digital team shared the Conan Fan Corrections feature. On the show’s website, they share videos from fans pointing out mistakes made on the show.
While the process helps keep the content fact-checked, it also lets fans have a voice on the show. Team Coco member Aaron Bleyaert summarized: “It’s like we get a focus group every day.”
All right. Me stuff off the bat. I was recently asked to moderate a panel of authors for the Children’s Media Association. The panel consisted of Ame Dyckman, Joanne Levy, Katherine Longshore, Elisa Ludwig, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Sarvenaz Tash. During the course of the evening it was suggested that we perform a Giant Dance party. Joanne was kind enough to edit the footage and the results . . . well, here you go. I’m the one in the middle, for the record.
In other news, NYPL recently turned my Children’s Literary Salon that featured Leonard Marcus talking about the current NYPL exhibit The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter as interviewed by Jenny Brown into a Google+ Hangout. Here is the gist of it. You’ll probably want to start watching after the 5 minute mark. Unless you like watching empty chairs. In which case, go crazy.
It’s worth it for the info on the ivory umbrella handle info alone.
And since I’m on a roll with the NYPL events, any interest in hearing Leonard Marcus interview Judy Blume and Eric Carle at the same time? Hit the 9:50 mark on this l’il ole video and it’s all yours.
Okay. Now it’s time to acknowledge that Halloween is nigh. Scaredy Squirrel created a PSA / book trailer. Pretty good, though I’m amused that Scaredy is still drilling home the fear of apples. In the history of man I’m pretty darn sure no one ever actually put a razorblade in a fruit. That was a myth. Ah well. Scaredy wouldn’t care. It’s still a potential threat.
In other book trailer news, this one’s pretty cute. Let’s hear it for effective Flash animation paired with music that bloody gets caught in your brain.
He showcased excerpts of “Twitter fiction done right” by authors like Elliot Holt, who spontaneously created a narrative through the Twitter accounts of her characters, and Jennifer Egan, who used @NYerFiction to create episodes of Black Box, a novel she storyboarded into 140-character pieces. Twitter, Fitzgerald said, is not just a means of publication but one of production, as is the case with parody accounts like the foul-mouthed, sci-fi version of Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, captured in @MayorEmanuel, or “fictional characters that engage the real world,” like the accounts of the entire cast of The West Wing.
It is my supreme pleasure and honor today to present to you a little video that you shan’t find much of anywhere else. Many of you are aware that Aaron Becker’s debut picture book Journey is getting a lot of critical acclaim and book buzz. What you may not know is that back in 2011 he contacted a friend of his to film the book’s progress. The result is today’s video. Ladies and gentlemen I give you The Making of “Journey”.
Earlier this year, we wrote about how filmmaker Hannah Jayantiraised funds on Kickstarter to finish the documentary about the making of The Phantom Tollbooth documentary. Here’s more about the film:
Through interviews, animation and archival materials, the documentary traces the friendship between author Norton Juster and Pulitzer Prize-winning artist Jules Feiffer, and the wit and wisdom of the novel over half a century. Starting with its opening sequence, featuring actor David Hyde Pierce narrating an animated sequence created for the documentary, the film introduces viewers to the hilarious world of The Phantom Tollbooth, along with some of the novel’s more serious themes. Discover Norton Juster’s word play, watch Jules Feiffer draw Tollbooth protagonist Milo for the camera, and hear children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle reflect on the creative process and New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik share what makes the book a classic.
Have you ever tried to speak J.R.R. Tolkien‘s elvish language?
The animated video embedded above features a five-minute TED Ed lesson on “conlangs” (fantasy constructed languages). It focuses on Elvish from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dothraki from A Song of Ice & Fire book series, Na’vi from the 2009 Avatar movie, and Klingon from the Star Trek franchise.
Could you write a story in five minutes? In front of a live audience? While wearing a mask?
In the Peruvian Lucha Libro competition, masked must improvise stories in front of a live audience while mood music blares overhead. Above, we’ve embedded a video from the organizers about the writing series. PRI recently ran a piece about the literary sport:
New writers don masks, and head onto a stage where they’re given three random words, a laptop hooked up to a gigantic screen, and five minutes to write a short story. At the end of a match, the losing writer has to take off his or her mask. The winner goes on to the next round, a week later. And the grand prize? It’s a book contract.
Bloom explained that despite starring in the films, he initially had no idea what his finished scenes would look like since he’s often filmed “hanging upside-down with wires on a green screen.” He said he spent “hours flailing around, stabbing at things in the air” and then when he finally saw the film discovered that “it looks better than I thought!”
The exciting news this week was that I got to host a couple panels regarding Banned Books (it being the week of ‘em and all). The first was at the Brooklyn Book Festival with David Levithan, Francesca Lia Block, and Lauren Myracle. I then cannibalized my own questions and used them in this, a Google+ Hangout alongside Lauren Oliver, Lev Grossman, and Lexa Hillyer. My sole objection: You cannot see my awesome shoes.
And yes. The Google offices do have free food, copious couches, and massage rooms hither and thither.
Speaking of the Brooklyn Book Festival, I was pleased as punch to see Catherine Jinks speaking there, live and in person. She mentioned this video which, through utter and total coincidence, I’d seen on my own a couple days before. Alfred. Is. Perfect. Look at his fingernails!
And speaking of awesome book trailers . . .
And yeah. Your book trailer might be awesome. But did yours ever have a snappy theme song? I’m just so pleased that our own Gregory K. (he of Gotta Book and The Happy Accident) is debuting his middle grade this year. Spoiler Alert: It’s good.
And…. okay. So, maybe I’m a pushover. Obviously this isn’t my usual video. But I just sorta liked the feel of this little paper studio and the kiddos who help out. The narrator I can live without (would that Mimi had narrated the whole thing herself) but I like the kids and I like the product. So sue.
And for the off-topic video of the day . . . was there any question what I’d go with? This video works better when you know beforehand that the father is trying to distract his daughter from the “scary” fireworks outside.
I also like the fact that he clearly did her hair that night.
Legal scholar and activist Ron McCallum gave a TED Talk called “How Technology Allowed Me to Read.” Born blind, McCallum is “a voracious reader.”
We’ve embedded the video above–how has technology empowered you as a reader? McCallum explored how reading technologies helped him become a successful lawyer, an academic researcher and a lifelong reader. Here’s more from the TED blog:
In this talk, McCallum takes us on a tour of the people and technology that allowed him to read — from those who transcribed into braille to the maker of the first blind computer with speech synthesizer, to the inventor behind the Kurzweil reader that scan books and reads them aloud. It’s a fascinating look at something sighted people tend to take for granted.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of C-SPAN2′s BookTV, we’ve rounded up the ten most popular “In Depth” interviews conducted with authors.
Follow the links below to watch or read transcripts from the free author interviews. In all these interviews, great writers from different fields share insight into writing, craft and research. Here’s more from BookTV’s anniversary release:
Since BooKTV debuted on C-SPAN2 on Sept. 12, 1998, we’ve featured approximately 9,000 authors. That’s about 40,000 hours of original content so far. These programs and events with authors and their books are digitized and available and searchable via C-SPAN’s video library and booktv.org, offering an archive of nonfiction writers views of the dawn of the 21st century.
I forget how many years ago it was, but in the not so distant past (I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was 2009) I had the pleasure of hosting children’s author and storyteller Carman Agra Deedy in my Children’s Center. Talk about a storyteller! She will hold you riveted from syllable one onwards. I had no idea that back in 2005 she did a TED talk. Had I known, I would have posted it long before now. Here goes:
Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.
Clever move, author Sue Fleiss. One thing I would like to point out about this video before you watch it is that it involved picture book related hand jive. No easy task.
I’ve decided that the last great children’s literature world to delve into and learn more about has got to be the world of collecting. I don’t know much of any children’s book collectors and I think they’d be fascinating folks to mingle with. That in mind, when I heard that Travis Jonker had gotten this Antiques Roadshow clip from John Schumacher it all seemed to click. I wish I knew what made a children’s book valuable. I tremble when I think about the titles we handle on a regular basis in my office.
It’s probably no surprise to you to hear that a fair number of folks contact me about including videos of their authors or illustrators on this site. I don’t always say yes, but I always watch to see if the videos are honestly interesting. And brother, this brief interview with Fred Bowen is precisely that. I’ve always been a bit sports allergic myself, so to hear him pinpoint the value of the “culture” as he (rightly) puts it is good for me.
Don’t think I’ll actually embed anything from this site, but it’s worth knowing about in any case. Storyline Online is is odd little online streaming video program where you can watch various members of the Screen Actors Guild read old children’s books. As of right now the readers include Betty White, Melissa Gilbert, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Jason Alexander, Ernest Borgnine, James Earl Jones, Robert Guillaume, Tia & Tamara Mowry, etc. I have to assume they haven’t done many recently, if only because the books themselves are pretty old. At any rate, its an interesting smattering. Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.
Well. This is . . . just the more frigging adorable thing. Check it.
Sort of combines all my favorite things. Cute kids speaking languages other than English and world-renowned cartoonists we’ve never heard of. Liniers. I’ll remember that name now.
In other book trailer news, it’s awful nice when your illustrator not only creates the art for your book but comes up with some catchy song tie-ins as well. Case in point:
And now some thoughts.
1. There is a Roald Dahl bio by Michael Rosen and it’s not available in the U.S.? This thing cannot be right.
2. The following video is 45 minutes long and rather worth it. This is a vid that was streamed live on Tuesday.
3. Rosen. He doesn’t flub. Not a word, not a syllable. This man is a practiced pro. I would rather like to be him when I grow up. I wonder if he’s ever done a TED talk . . .
4. If you would like to hear musical performances from shows like Matilda, you can see the Matilda song around 15:30. 19:44 is where you’ll find the backstage peek into the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical. No live performances there, sadly.
And for our off-topic video of the day, this would be the video that garnered the most alerts to my attention from family and friends this week. There are people that say it’s the Gangnam Style of 2013. Don’t know about that, but it is rather children’s literature friendly (so maybe it’s only 85% off-topic). Thanks in particular to Kate and Marci for the link.
If you want to explore the great writer’s life, you might want to enjoy some beer-braised chicken tacos. Pepper and Salt has a great post about some of Pynchon’s favorite food. Check it out:
As his friends’ memories, he was always seeking his next meal: “wearing an old red hunting-jacket and sunglasses, doting on Mexican food at a taco stand.” Throughout the late 60s and 70s, Pynchon became a regular at El Tarasco in Manhattan Beach (It’s still open today, if you want to follow in his culinary footsteps). Neighbors would frequently spot him chowing down—the notorious hermit, lured into public by a burrito.
You don’t need a Hollywood budget to make a book trailer. Novelist Richard Melo made a book trailer (embedded above) with public domain video clips.
Here’s more about the video:
This is the first in a series of short films highlighting an aspect of a new novel published by Red Lemonade in June 2013. The book begins at an American nursing academy established in Haiti during the 1950s. The images are from public domain films (listed below), while the background songs are Laura Nyro’s ‘Sweet Blindness’ and Brigitte Fontaine’s “Il se passe des choses.” You can learn more about Happy Talk and the short film series at facebook.com/harborcoat
A team of journalists talked about the Emmy Awards on our video edition of the Morning Media Menu, exploring the unexpected winners, upsets and the “bold new era in television” that is bringing great storytelling to TV.
Press play above to listen. Our guests were TVNewser senior editor Alex Weprin and Dear Television writer Phillip Maciak. KCRW’s The Business reporter Darby Maloney joined us afterward with this commentary:
I’d argue that Breaking Bad‘s big win for Outstanding Drama Series– a win that some say is well overdue– is also a win for Netflix. It proved that Netflix isn’t just a competitor to traditional TV– it is a collaborator or adjunct to the medium. When part 2 of Breaking Bad’s Season 5 premiered on AMC last month it hit a ratings high of nearly 6 million viewers. Writing in Variety, Andrew Wallenstein said “with five seasons under its belt [Breaking Bad] made the kind of ratings quantum leap you just don’t see.” So how did all these people find — and catch up with this highly serialized show? In a word, Netflix.
The late writer Charles Bukowski stars in a new ad for Dewars “White Label” Scotch. We’ve embedded the video above–what do you think about authors in ads? Open Culture has more about the video:
Bukowski liked to drink. He also liked to talk about his memorable hangovers. Dead or alive, Bukowski has the creds to sell Scotch. As the Dewars ad rolls (above), you’ll hear lines from Bukowski’s poem “so you want to be a writer?” (below). And if you’re familiar with the poem, you’ll notice that the narration in the commercial is abridged. They’ve removed various lines referring to the writing life, making it so that the narration speaks to a broader audience. Rock climbers. Motorcycle mechanics. Musicians. Journalists. People who aspire — or need to be inspired — to “live true.”