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1. Twitter Fiction Festival to Host Live Event in NYC

#TwitterFiction Festival Live!, the official live companion event of #TwitterFiction Festival 2015, will take place in New York on May 13th.

Authors Myke Cole, Lyndsay FayeGayle Forman, Anna North and Daniel José Older will create #TwitterFiction stories on stage with help from a live audience. Stand-up comedian Nick Turner will host the event and visual artist Michael Arthur will create live illustrations and music to accompany the stories.

The live event will run on the final day of the online #TwitterFiction Festival. The online event is sponsored by AAP, Penguin Random House and Twitter and will take place virtually on May 11-15, 2015. During the event, authors will share their text, photos, and video on Twitter. Each author will be assigned a daily time slot to live-stream their work on the social network.

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2. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Dan Mora

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I’m so impressed with artist Dan Mora’s work on Michael Alan Nelson’s Hexed, that I had to share a sampling of it here with all of you! The little bit that I can find out about Dan Mora on the web is that he lives in Costa Rica, he’s done graphic design work & many illustrations for numerous print/online publications, and loads of concept art/character design work, as well. In it’s previous incarnation, Hexed introduced the great artist Emma Rios to the world, and now it’s Dan Mora’s turn to find legions of new fans.

Hexed, published by Boom Studios, is up to issue 9 now; it will be interesting to see if Mora sticks with that series a while longer or if one of the “Big 2″ scoops him up. Either way, I’ll be following for the good arts!

You can find more of Mora’s artwork, and see many revealing artist process posts, on his “Behance” site here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

0 Comments on Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Dan Mora as of 4/16/2015 3:11:00 PM
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3. Vintage Shorts Celebration to Be Launched in May

Vintage Books LogoVintage Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, announced plans for a Short Story Month celebration.

For every day throughout May, the team will digitally release a new Vintage Short fiction piece. These eBooks will be priced at $0.99 each.

According to the press release, the 31 stories come from a wide array of authors including Raymond Carver, Alice Munro, Jhumpa Lahiri, Edgar Allan Poe, and Langston Hughes. The roster also includes five original pieces from writers “Alexander McCall Smith, Carrie Brown, Hari Kunzru, Patricio Pron, and the first-time U.S. publication of an original Maeve Binchy story.” Follow this link to see the full Vintage Shorts calendar.

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4. Scribd Expands Its Audiobook Library

Scribd Logo 2Scribd will add 9,000 audiobook titles to its library. The new offerings come from the Penguin Random House Audio list.

Subscribers will be able to access new titles from Alice Munro, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Anne Rice, and Deepak Chopra. With this new development, the company now boasts a selection of more than 45,000 audiobooks.

Here’s more from the press release: “The deal brings Penguin Random House Audio’s titles to Scribd, including bestsellers such as The Girl on the Train, Fifty Shades of Grey, Gone Girl, Wild, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and A Game of Thrones; award-winning recordings such as Bill Clinton’s My Life narrated by the former president, John Grisham’s Runaway Jury narrated by Michael Beck, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help narrated by Jenna Lamia, Octavia Spencer, Bahni Turpin, and Cassandra Campbell; and renowned narrators including Christopher Plummer, Diane Keaton, Barbara Walters, Kate Winslet, and more…To celebrate the addition of Penguin Random House Audio, Scribd’s editorial staff has created dozens of new collections to highlight key titles.”

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5. Rook App Lets Readers Sample eBooks

Rook, a new digital app launching at the London Book Fair, is designed to give readers a chance to sample books while they are in specific locations.

Readers that tap into a particular Wi-Fi source at a cafe, hotel, park or even train line, will be able to use the app to read a book for free. The idea is that readers can sample content and if they like it, purchase the book on their device.

The service will launch in London and New York this spring. Follow this link to find out how to get your books on the network.

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6. Multidisciplinary Submission :: Sticky Monster Lab

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Sticky Monster Lab is a multidisciplinary creative studio based in Korea. They cover various mediums from illustration to motion graphics, graphic design to product design. This wide spectrum helps make their work so unique and dynamic. Sticky Monster Lab have great wit and attention to detail which has allowed them to collaborate with Nike, Nissan and MTV.
If you’d like to see more work from Sticky Monster Lab, please visit their portfolio.

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7. Deep in the Jungle


I always loved those Tarzan movies with the treehouse, vine-swings and all those elephants. It was the depth of the jungle that I found so enchanting - hidden depths, elevated trees, simplistic (non-existant) plots. It was more of an experience than a story. 

I'm attracted to the same qualities of depth in my paintings on canvas. The deeper and more mysterious the elements, the better. 

0 Comments on Deep in the Jungle as of 4/8/2015 12:12:00 PM
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8. Snailwatch

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9. New Nook App For Android

NOOK has unveiled a new Reading App for Android users, specifically designed with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK in mind.

The 4.0 edition of the app features a new designed home screen along with updated navigation that mass it easier to browse books. An update algorithm makes it easier to search for titles and helps facilitate discovery based on a reader’s prior searches and purchase.

To promote downloads, NOOK is giving away a free $5 credit to new customers that download the app and set up an account.

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10. 3 Comics Legends to Serve as Educators For a MOOC

EdX Smithsonian InstitutionStan Lee, Michael Uslan, and David Uslan have established great careers within the comics and entertainment industry. Soon, they will also take on the role of educators.

EdX, a nonprofit education organization, will present three newly-formed massive open online courses (MOOCs) developed by the Smithsonian Institution. The “Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” class will feature instruction from the three comics legends.

Lee gave this statement in the press release: “It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people. Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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11. The Mural Artwork is Done - Phew!



Because of World Book Day, I'm out visiting schools all this week (all over the place as usual) but, luckily, I just managed to get my mural artwork finished first. It was a skin-of-the-teeth thing - I didn't sign it off until 7pm last Friday night. 

I'm enjoying being out and about again, as I have been locked at my computer for ages. The artwork stage has taken 3 weeks, working really long days mostly, but it is finally done. Hurrah! Below are the various sections, travelling around the walls anti-clockwise (ie from right to left), viewing what will be floor-to-ceiling once it's installed (though the emptier sections will be obscured by furniture):


There were so many different jobs to do and of course much of it took longer than expected - I think it's because I underestimated just how many individual characters and little objects I could cram into the huge space. Luckily, Wakefield Libraries have been absolutely LOVELY and said they will pay me for the time I've actually spent on it, rather than what I originally quoted them.  


Every one of the new, high-res scans that John did of the various animals, books, trees etc had to be individually matched to their position on the low-res template I created earlier, re-sized to fit and then laboriously cut off the children's white, background paper in Photoshop.


Each component also had to have it's 'levels' balanced, to match the weight of the rest of the design, and then have extra colour added, so it was punchy enough. I even had to subtly go over some of the children's pencil outlines in Photoshop, thickening them up where they were too spindly. 

And that's without all the graphic elements I had to draw for the background, like the distant forest and the various kinds of grasses and bushes. 


Because I had to create the artwork in 6 sections (to keep the file sizes from blowing the brain of my computer), I also had the job of making sure the different sections joined accurately. That was a bit of a nightmare to be honest, as one millimetre's inaccuracy at each joint would obviously add up, and then the error would also be multiplied by 4, because of the artwork being 25% of the actual size. Yikes.


I was very good at remembering to 'save' all the time, not just to the computer, but also to an external hard drive, just in case any of the files decided to corrupt along the way. I got away without 'losing' anything, which is a great relief.


Then, just when I thought it was all finished, I realised I had forgotten the area of 'bleed' beneath the library's computer table! I had remembered to continue the design behind the bookshelves, so I don't know why I forgot the table. Tired I guess.

The colour boosting was the last job. I wanted to keep the mark-making from the children's colouring, so I made my final artwork translucent, then created a layer beneath the design, where I 'scribbled' half-opacity colour, so the effect was subtle and blended seamless with the children's coloured pencils. It was time consuming, but was worth it, as the boost made a huge difference. Look at the difference between the section above and part of the same section, before the extra colour:



Notice too, in some places I had to do extra tricksy things with the colour in Photoshop: look at the original colour of the desk, immediately above, then the colour it ended up.

Did you notice by the way, in the 2nd section from the beginning, I left my 'signature' on the computer screen? Sneaky huh? 
Actually, I suspect that most of this area will be obscured by book-bags, but I only really put it in as an after-thought.


The next stage is a final chat to the printer who will be transferring my design to wallpaper, ready to paste onto the walls. I'm a little concerned about how on earth we will manage to get things to line up where they are supposed to, what with crooked walls and wonky ceilings. For instance, all the creatures' feet, which need to be on the level with the tops of the bookshelves. 

I am crossing fingers it all works out okay, as there isn't much I can do about that side of things.

0 Comments on The Mural Artwork is Done - Phew! as of 3/5/2015 2:22:00 PM
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12. GlobalPost Seeks Funding to Hire War Correspondents

Digital news organization GlobalPost is hoping to raise $95,000 on Kickstarter in order to hire a senior conflict correspondent and a dedicated conflict editor.

“War reporting is expensive and dangerous, yet it is vital to the public interest,” explains the project’s Kickstarter page.” We need you to help us keep it going through the financial challenges of a rapidly-changing media landscape.”

The video below explains more.

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13. New App Blocks Profanity From Being Displayed On eBooks

Clean Reader AppJared and Kirsten Maughan partnered with Page Foundry, Inc. to create the Clean Reader app; it instantly blocks profanity from being displayed on eBooks.

The Washington Post reports that the profane language under target includes the F-word, the S-word, the names of different divine beings, and racially-charged insults. According to the developers’ website, users can download it for free on both iOS and Android devices. Some people have raised concerns about censorship while others argue that Clean Reader does not hinder freedom of speech.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “To be clear, however, Clean Reader isn’t censorship; anyone who’s read a book of Shakespeare’s stories for children or an abridged classic for younger readers has experienced a similar curation. Parents who value learning and yet want to protect their children from adult material have long found other ways to introduce their young ones to classic and challenging texts. If an adult reader wishes to similarly expurgate their reads, many of us may not agree — it seems tantamount to preferring the awkwardly scrubbed daytime version of Sex & the City — but it’s a personal choice, not a governmental one.” (via Bustle)

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14. Anna Atkins Gets a Google Doodle For Her 216th Birthday

Anna Atkins' Google Doodle

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Anna Atkins’ 216th birthday. The botanist became well-known as the first to incorporate photographic illustrations in a book.

According to TIME.com, Atkins self-published Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions in 1843. It features “sunprinted” pictures developed through the Cynanotype process which is “an iron-based chemical method that creates a white image appearing on a blue background.”

In the past, Google has crafted Doodles in honor of Pride & Prejudice author Jane AustenLittle House series author Agatha Christie, poet Langston Hughes, and more. Here’s a video from Google headquarters spotlighting the artists behind the doodles. Which authors would you suggest as future Doodle subjects? (via The Independent)

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15. Oyster Hires First CFO & New Advisor

Oyster, the eBook subscription service that has been described as a Netflix for books, has hired Jeannie Mun as the company’s first CFO. The company has also hired Barry McCarthy, as a new advisor.

Mun comes to Oyster from advertising technology company MediaMath. “Jeannie’s not only an impressive and experienced executive—she’s also an enthusiastic Oyster reader herself,” explains the Oyster blog. “Recently, she’s been reading the Berenstain Bears on Oyster to her kids, and she used our travel selection to guide her on a last-minute trip to Panama in February.”

McCarthy previously served as the CFO of Netflix. He is also on the boards of Spotify, Rent the Runway, Chegg, Eventbrite, NatureBox and Wealthfront.

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16. Kickstarter Breathes New Life Into Completed Campaign Pages

Kickstarter is a great way to raise money for creative projects. But up until now, the project pages have only been good as long as the campaign is live, making them slightly obsolete once a project has been funded. That has changed.

The crowd funding site has introduced Spotlight, a new way to update project pages for projects that have already been funded. The idea is to help creators continue to showcase their work beyond the funding phase and into the production, distribution and sales phases. It makes a lot of sense considering that Kickstarter pages are often in the top search results for projects funded by the site, and these mini web sites include a lot of details about a project.

One of the best parts is that Kickstarter creators can now use these pages to sell completed works. Now an author can list their book for sale on the Kickstarter page and include links to purchase the book from a bookseller like Powell’s or an eBook from iTunes.

The new spotlight view also includes a timeline feature, that shows a creator’s story at a glance. This helps supporters gain a quick visual chronology of news and updates about the project. The original project page will continue to exist behind a “Story” tab. Below is a video demo which explains how it all works.

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17. Dogs in digital cinema

Supplementing real dogs with digital animation produces performances that have benefits on many different levels. Firstly, they are much more effective dramatically because they can become more anthropomorphically expressive to suit the needs of the story. Economically they are less time-consuming and therefore less expensive because the performance is no longer determined by the unpredictable or intractable volition of real animals, however ‘well-trained’. The problems that arise even when working with ‘professional’ dog actors can be exasperating.

The post Dogs in digital cinema appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. 2015 Art on the Green Poster

 

Here's the poster for the 2015 Art on the Green arts festival in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, featuring one of the fabulous osprey that make their home on and around Lake Coeur d'Alene.

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19. Dirty Reader App Adds Profanity to Books: April Fool’s

The Clean Reader app, may let parents censor the bad words out of their children’s books, but now Payhip has invented the Dirty Reader app: an app that lets you add even more swear words to a book.

“Dirty Reader surfaces swear words in books,” explains the site. “You decide how dirty your books should appear and Dirty Reader does the rest.”

It could actually be a funny app to play around with, but alas, it is only an April Fool’s Day joke. “Sorry about that, we thought we would have a bit of fun,” reads the landing page you arrive at when clicking to download the app, followed by some links to critical pieces on the Clean Reader app.

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20. Readership Calls Readers to Vote on Books For Publication

Digital book publisher Readership, a startup that allows readers to vote on books that will be published based on excerpts that authors submit to its site, has opened up its voting process.

The site launched back in January and since then has generated a number of submissions for readers to explore. The texts range from crime novels to science fiction.

Readers can vote Yes or No to decide if a title will be published. If they vote yes, they are asked to donate to support the work. If the work gets enough donations, it will be published through the site. New Generation Publishing, a self-publishing company based in the UK, is funding the effort.

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21. Kobo Takes on Amazon With New eReader

Rakuten’s eReader company Kobo has reveled a new eReader called the Kobo Glo HD which rivals Amazon’s Kindle Voyage.

Kobo’s new device, which comes out on May 1st, features a high resolution 6-inch eInk display. The device is only $129.99, and competes directly with the $199.99 Kindle Voyage.

Here is more about the device from the Kobo website:

Kobo Glo HD is lighter than a hardcover book and lets you store thousands of eBooks. Take your entire library on vacation or wherever you go and switch between eBooks easily for a simpler, more convenient way to read. Plus, with up to 2 months of battery life, read an entire eBook on a single charge and enjoy the freedom of leaving your charger behind.

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22. Share Book Samples Online With iAuthor

Sharing book excerpts online is a great way to connect with readers, especially if you are a lesser known author.

London-based startup iAuthor has a tool to help authors and publishers share excerpts. iAuthor is a site for book discovery where readers can search for potential books to read based on genre or keyword themes. Authors can share samples of their work on the site and make it sharable, so that readers can embed the excerpt around the Internet. Using the iAuthor dashboard, authors and publishers can track audience engagement with the text online to see how many people have read the passage and shared it and so forth.

The book sample includes retail links, so if a reader wants more, they can simply click through to the book retailer and buy the book.

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23. Looking into the Future

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24. This week in the Internet

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25. Chat Chat Chat

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