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At SPX, following the Ignatz awards, a very special wedding took place, as cartoonist Simon Hanselmann, author of Megahex, wed comics in a ceremony presided over by SPX Executive Director Michael Thomas. Michel DeForge, currently on tour with Hanselmann, stood in for comics, althuogh several acual comics were present. Hanselmann, who is a cross dresser, appeared in a lovely wedding gown, and a brass band serenaded the wedding party which consisted of Annie Koyama, Annie Mock, Jason Leivian, Sean T. Collins, Julia Gfrörer and Gary Groth.
When I first heard about this, I thought it was going to be funny but cringeworthy, but it turned out to be funny and memorable in a very performance arty way. Hansellman wrote vows that were amusing and accurate at the same time, and since everyone falls in love with comics all over again at SPX, making the union legal seemed a very appropriate thing to do.
As you’ll see, the big moment came when Hanselmann’s publisher Groth jumped up at the end to kiss the bride and kiss the two did. Which again, is usually what happens when you fall passionately in love with someone, or even comics. Brigid Alverson has some still photos and the money shot but you’ll have to go here to see that.
After the ceremony, Hanselmann cut a giant wedding cake, eventually tearing out chunks with his bare hands and giving them out as other attendees cavorted around the chocolate fountain and an equally enthusiastic and fun prom got under way a few meeting rooms down. People will be saying they were there for this for years to come. The social aspect of SPX has always been one of the biggest appeals of the show—I remember back in the day at the picnic people climbed trees and threw water balloons at each other. In a wacky way, this was the perfect update.
The video embedded above features ten people watching a short clip with Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson starring as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. This film adaptation will hit theaters on February 14, 2015.
And finally, this one’s for all the Dr. Who fans out there. It’s a faux retrospective of all the American Dr. Who’s. Beautiful (though maybe it’s just the presence of Gene Wilder that makes me so happy).
I’m addicted to Russian dashboard camera videos. The best ones have loud Russian disco playing, but they are pretty much all good, revealing a sullen post-modern, post GTA world of grey skies (occasionally streaked by shocking meteors), endless snow, brutalist architecture and of course, bad driving. Why Russians love dashcams so much isn’t quite clear but it has something to do with police brutality.
Anyway, the above video is staged, I’m 99.99% certain, as a car stops after being cut off and a mascot brawl ensues. Even if it is phony, it is still funny as heck.
Oh and if you want to see more Russian dashcam videos, here’s an example of a monthly compendium. In internet speak, what happens at 2:57 will blow your mind!
Today I am pleased as punch to premiere the brand spankin’ new book trailer for Dan Yaccarino’s middel grade novel debut Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom (say that five times fast – I dare you). The video captures humor, pathos, and angry mushrooms. In other words, everything that makes life worth living.
Publishing house Capstone has launched a new video series in which its editorial department discusses books.
The first episode is called Capstone Live With Michael Dahl! and features Capstone’s Fiction Editorial Director Michael Dahl sharing his Top 5 picks from the publisher’s Fall 2014 nonfiction list. We’ve embedded the video above for you to check out.
The publisher will release a new video every month of the school year. A future episode will feature Dahl discussing his Top 5 Fiction picks. Another will focus on graphic novels.
Capstone is not the first publisher to showcase editors talking about books on video. Simon & Schuster recently launched a new Behind the Book series.
Wild Age Press is starting a new daily e-zine, but Restless isn’t going to be just any lit mag. We’re going to focus on the edgiest work being written today, the things more conservative journals are too scared to touch. We want your best, scariest (but not in a Stephen King kind of way), most experimental work. We want work that’s going to keep us up at night.
prose under 750 words poems one page or less visual art, color or b&w photography, color or b&w comics, color or b&w audio less than 2 minutes video less than 2 minutes
postcard lit — send us your handmade postcards, with or without a poem or story written on the back, or mail us a postcard from an interesting place in the world with a poem or story inspired by the image(s) featured on the front mini reviews (under 750 words) of books published in the past six months short interviews with authors, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, or other cool people See our full guidelines here.
I’m a chick who loves Star Wars. I’m not ashamed of the fact. Feminist icon Princess Leia? I can get behind that (gold bikini or no). So when I saw a galley for that AMAZING Star Wars children’s book coming out with art from the original concept artist Ralph McQuarrie, I was blown away. Here, Tony DiTerlizzi (who did the writing in the book) talks about the film and the art. Geeks unite!
I love that he mentions that moment with the two suns. For me, that was undoubtedly the most iconic scene in the original film. I just loved the realism of it. I am SO reading this to my kids. P.S. For a fun time read the rants about the “Luke, I am your father” line. Or, better yet, don’t.
Now until about a day ago when my niece did it, I didn’t actually know what the Ice Bucket Challenge was. Dav Pilkey takes it on using Flip-o-Rama. Good man.
Ball’s in your court now, CeCe.
I think it’s safe to say that I have never seen an author promote a cinematic adaptation of their award winning book as much as I’ve seen Ms. Lois Lowry talk up the latest film of The Giver. Here she does it again:
How famous is J.K. Rowling? So famous that when she writes an incidental character, NBC News is willing to report on that character getting her own song. According to Salon this is an original song written for Pottermore starring Celestina Warbeck, Molly Weasley’s favorite singer:
And speaking of all things Potter, the thing about learning that there’s a documentary out there called Mudbloods is that you can’t believe you hadn’t seen a film of that name before. It’s an awfully good idea to make a movie about the rise of the real world Quiddich movement. It’s not the first Harry Potter documentary of course but it’s a cute idea. Here’s the trailer:
Man. It would weird to be J.K. Rowling and see this, wouldn’t it? Here’s some additional info.
A little me stuff. I conducted a talk with Mara Rockliff and Eliza Wheeler for Bibliocommons in honor of their latest book The Grudge Keeper. It was recorded, but rather than show our lovely faces the video shows some slides of what we’re discussing. In case you’ve an interest you can take a gander at it. A lot of talking about the process of writing picture books can be found here:
As for the off-topic video, this one’s been making the rounds. It’s one of those videos where you go, “Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? Ooooooh!”
Currently I am maxing and relaxing in Stratford, Ontario enjoying a play or two. Just kidding. By my calculations what I’m actually doing as you read this is driving hell-for-leather out of Canada back to New York City while seated in a rental car’s back seat next to a 3-year-old and a 13-week-old. For hours. And hours. And hours.
As you digest that pleasant little mental image (fun fact: someone in this car gets carsick regularly and it’s not me) I’m going to do you a solid. In case you missed it, we’ve been soliciting authors for special behind-the-scenes tidbits and facts about their 2014 books. These appear one a day on our Wild Things blog (the blog that celebrates Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature). So enjoy what we’ve posted so far and stay tuned because there’s a LOT more where these came from!
First up, a video so good you’d swear we paid to have it made. It’s N.D. Wilson talking gators, football, burning sugarcane fields, and there’s a live recitation of Beowulf in here to make the ladies swoon (the Beowulf lovin’ ladies . . . which is to say my friend Lori Ess):
Christian Robinson was up next and he brought some thoughtful consideration to the depiction of nontraditional families:
Bethany Hegedus followed and her talk touched on spelling errors and matchmaking:
When authors and illustrators asked what kind of video to do I always pointed them to this video of Steve Light. His talk involves runaway primates, which is as awesome as it sounds:
And speaking of primates, Katherine Applegate was a true class act, appearing alongside primate keeper Jody Carrigan to discuss Ivan the gorilla’s more mischievous streak:
How great is Jack Gantos? We asked the man to plug his book and he plugged ours instead! Class act, that one:
Greg Neri came by to talk about the five things you might not know about Johnny Cash, Letterman style:
Jon Scieszka put on a fez. Would that everyone did. A fez just makes everything good:
Lisa Brown’s art may contain the only time in history this particular piece of furniture has appeared in a picture book:
Aaron Starmer told a magnificent story from his own youth that will honestly make your heart bleed a little:
And today we have Lauren Castillo, featuring an editor beloved to many:
Like I say, there are many more to come. Perhaps your favorite will be up soon!
Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and created a hilarious video called “Tweeting Rainbow.” The video embedded features Burton singing a parody version of the beloved TV show’s theme song and reading from celebrity Twitter feeds. What do you think? (via The Huffington Post)
There was a time when I worked in the main branch of NYPL with the big old stone lions out front. No longer. These days I work at BookOps, a dual entity that encompasses both NYPL and Brooklyn Public Library. And in my workplace there is a great and grand and massively impressive sorting machine. It’s very Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-esque. I give tours of it all the time. It sorts and assigns all the holds and returns of the system, so you know it’s gotta be cool. Now, thanks to drone technology, you get to see not just where I work (visually stunning this part of Long Island City is not) but the kickin’ sorting machine as well. Feast your eyes!!
In 1996 a bunch of Monty Python guys made The Wind in the Willows. It gets better. Steve Coogan was Mole. Stephen Fry was The Judge. This is not to be confused with a very similar looking version starring Matt James in 2006, of course. Still I’m quite shocked I hadn’t seen it until now. Fortunately there is such a thing as YouTube. Here’s part one:
Thanks to Tom Angleberger for the link.
I sort of adore kids. Allie Bruce at Bank Street was kind enough to show a bunch of them rewriting Battle Bunny / The Birthday Bunny (a book born to be taken and adapted) in their own unique visions.
They do love their poop.
Man. It’s a bummer when someone popular online has your name. It’s even more of a bummer when they’ve rabid fan bases. Meghan McCarthy created a short film to separate her from the other Meghan McCarthys. Can you blame her?
For the record, the only Betsy Birds I know of out there are an Arizona artist and a Muppet. The day I beat that Muppet in Google search results was a happy one indeed.
And for our final off-topic video. This one’s almost on-topic Remember the film Hook? With its Peter Pan link? And the character of Rufio? Well I can’t say this any better than i09 did, so I’ll just quote them verbatim: “Baby Rufio Cosplay Validates The Entire Concept Of Procreation”.
What happens when you cross Harry Potter with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World?
The comedian behind “The Unusual Suspect” YouTube channel tried to answer this question with his “Harry Potter vs. The World” mash-up trailer. The video embedded above features scenes from all eight Harry Potter films.
In this video blog post, I talk about questions you should ask a potential client for book illustration jobs, whether they be working at a publishing house, or a self publishing author. It is important to have good communication to weed out potentially bad jobs, and to know exactly what the client is expecting.
The Suvudu team wanted people’s thoughts on this question: “Is it right to spoil the movie or TV show if you’ve read the book?” The video embedded above features a few responses from various Comic-Con 2014 attendees.
How does Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk feel about spoilers? He despises them! What about The Maze Runner author James Dashner? He feels that people who wish to avoid spoilers should just read the book “fast.”
Okay . . . soooooooo this. Look at this, oh ye children’s librarians. Breathe this. LIVE this! Become this.
So naturally I had to find out who she is. Go to YouTube and she has numerous videos under the moniker OoeyGooeyLady. Almost all her videos date back two years. Real name? Lisa Murphy. And as you might expect, she has a whole web presence as well. Certainly those videos, the hand rhymes ones, are invaluable for children’s librarians. There are other good ones there too. Here’s a different one of her videos on respecting kids.
Kinda sorta could watch her all day. Thanks to Alison Morris for the link.
From this blog I complain about so many things you’d think I was some kind of permanent grumpus. For example, you know what really bugs me? When a TV show or movie can’t be bothered to show a kid reading a real children’s book and instead gets their prop team to make some fake one. Recently I watched an episode of Louie that did just that (though props to the show for making it clear that a woman who knows her children’s literature is desirable, particularly if she’s played by Parker Posey). So though I’m loathe to credit commercials, Intel got it right when they decided to hire Bob Staake for a bit rather than just make someone up. Credit too to Travis Jonker for spotting the Staake.
At first I thought this animated book trailer for Lizi Boyd’s Flashlight was burying the lead. Yes the book looks good, but listen to that music. Then look at the credit at the end. “Original Music by Eric Wright”.
Turns out I was confusing the fellow’s name with Eric Wight. An easy mistake to make.
A nice video from Louisville on the importance of reading early:
Twin Peaks fans have been eagerly awaiting the Twin Peaks: The Complete Mystery DVD since it was announced. During the panel for the show on Saturday night, some mysteries about the show were revealed, such as both the Fire Walk With Me and the deleted scenes from the original show. Meaning, that this is as close as we are going to get to everything about the show ever shot on one single DVD collection. With the added bonus of a visual HD restoration to the package–speaking of the packaging, this includes a wonderful package featuring the ominous face of Laura Palmer in the flesh or more like wrapped in plastic. Take a look at the following interview conducted with CBS General Manager Kenneth B. Ross, along with actress Kimmy Robertson chiming in towards the end in order to get the primer on what to expect for the new DVD box set.
During that call at the panel you mentioned that you acquired a full 88 minutes worth of footage, and that you also scored it and restored it. So how long did it take between the team getting the new footage, and then getting it ready for the showing on Tuesday?
Ross: David and his team are the ones that did it. I really don’t recall exactly how long the work took because I was so immersed with all the details of working it out, and France was involved and it was CBS, and it was David Lynch, and it was MK2, and this had been going on for years literally. The physical post-production work took about 8-9 months to deliver the elements.
After all this time, this television show has really become iconic, and it has influenced so many other pieces of media from comic books–to other television series. Do you have any idea on what has sparked the new interest on the show? At the panel beforehand there was a good amount of people in attendance.
Ross: I think that you know in the entertainment business, and I think I said I touched on this on the panel so I apologize if I was repeating this, but I there’s a word called ‘classic’ some people say ‘cult’ some people say ‘classic’ some say ‘evergreen’ you know the Sound of Music is still loved today. I was involved in putting the I Love Lucy Christmas special on CBS last Christmas, and it got the highest rating in the time setting. You know a show that was fifty plus years old because people still love Lucy. Kimmy: I watched it. Ross: People love I Love Lucy. This is one of those properties, and there are not a lot of them, but a bunch of them where the love, never the flame, never the fire, never and so what it’s about is it’s showing it in a way that it has never been experienced before which is what we are trying to do–in terms of technology to make the experience as satisfying as possible picture, audio, etc. By showing more than you’ve ever seen before–new high definition scenes, deleted scenes from the series, lastly what the fans have been clamoring for for nearly 20 years–the Fire Walk With Me deleted scenes. Then you have the entire fan base to them. I read a tweet that Brian showed me that made me as happy as I can be when we walked into this room, because I had said all along you come to Comic-Con. I have been a comic collector since I have been a kid. Comic-Con for me was I live in New York, I used to go to to the McAlpin Hotel, I am talking about 40 years ago and buy comic books that were in baggies you know with my friends and that’s what Comic-Con was you know. There was no show business, no Hollywood, no actors, none of that, and now I don’t have to tell you guys what it is; but I knew that this property Twin Peaks was like a pillar of Comic-Con and the Comic-Con community. Just like Star Trek for example. People here would go wild and love it, and the tweet was; I heard Marvel announced something blah blah blah, Twin Peaks is coming out at Comic-Con and this is amazing. That is sort of my answer to your question, it is sort of as relevant as it has ever been. I actually think it’s more relevant than it has ever been because there is so much media drawing from it.
Ross: As you say, think about the shows where the creators you know, I mean David Chase has said that inspires him and on and on and on think about the shows that wouldn’t exist today if not for Twin Peaks having come out and changed the landscape of television.
Kimmy Robertson: I heard Mark Burnett on the radio yesterday or the day before saying Survivor– that he got the guts to do that because of Twin Peaks. Survivor! Mark Burnett!
It’s easy to assume that we know what pain is. We’ve all experienced pain, from scraped knees and toothaches to migraines and heart attacks. When people suffer around us, or we witness a loved one in pain, we can also begin to ‘feel’ with them. But is this the end of the story?
In the three videos below Joanna Bourke, author of The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers, talks about her fascination with pain from a historical perspective. She argues that the ways in which people respond to what they describe as ‘painful’ have changed drastically since the eighteenth century, moving from a belief that it served a specific (and positive) function to seeing pain as an unremitting evil to be ‘fought’. She also looks at the interesting attitudes towards women and pain relief, and how they still exist today.
Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the prize-winning author of nine books, including histories of modern warfare, military medicine, psychology and psychiatry, the emotions, and rape. Her book An Intimate History of Killing (1999) won the Wolfson Prize and the Fraenkel Prize, and ‘Eyewitness’. She is also a frequent contributor to TV and radio shows, and a regular newspaper correspondent. Her latest book is The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers.
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Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey recounts the 10-year journey of Odysseus from the fall of Troy to his return home to Ithaca. The story has continued to draw people in since its beginning in an oral tradition, through the first Greek writing and integration into the ancient education system, the numerous translations over the ages, and modern retellings. It has also been adapted to different artistic mediums from depictions on pottery, to scenes in mosaic, to film. We spoke with Barry B. Powell, author of a new free verse translation of The Odyssey, about how the story was embedded into ancient Greek life, why it continues to resonate today, and what translations capture about their contemporary cultures.
Visual representations of The Odyssey and understanding ancient Greek history
Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His new free verse translation of The Odyssey was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. His translation of The Iliad was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. See previous blog posts from Barry B. Powell.
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Are you looking for a typeface for your book? Perhaps you’d like it to tie into the era that your novel is set in?
DesignMantic has created a video which illustrates the history of typography, tracing the history of type development through the ages. It is a great resource for those that want to learn the background on the various typefaces that have been popular throughout the ages.
We’ve embedded the video above for your enjoyment.