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<<May 2015>>
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1. NYCC ’14: Dark Horse announces exclusives

Games of Thrones, Elder SCrolls, Comix Book, and more. YOu can see the whole list in more detail here but here’s a sneak peek. unnamed1 NYCC 14: Dark Horse announces exclusives

1 Comments on NYCC ’14: Dark Horse announces exclusives, last added: 10/7/2014
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2. NYCC 2014: Valiant announces exclusives, signings and vinyl!

Valiant will be set up at NYCC at booth #2028 with exclusives and signings by Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, Fred van Lente,  Michael Walsh, Robert Venditti, Robert Gill and Paolo Rivera. They also will have an exclusive X-O Manowar toy!

3926505b ee7f 4de3 8205 a0d79ea03d5b NYCC 2014: Valiant announces exclusives, signings and vinyl!

From Thursday, October 9th through Sunday, October 12th, join Valiant at Booth #2028 inside the Javits Center in midtown Manhattan to shop a brand new selection of NYCC-exclusive offerings – including the limited edition X-O Manowar Urban Vinyl Figure by CKRTLAB Toys! The first in a new line of Valiant Urban Vinyl figures set to debut in 2015, the first-ever X-O Manowar stands 5.5 inches tall with 6 points of articulation and comes enhanced with a luster-rich metallic finish, “lightning sword” weapon accessory, and collectible packaging that is perfect for display.

08b746c9 3415 48f2 8f07 c86700766c29 NYCC 2014: Valiant announces exclusives, signings and vinyl!

Plus: pick up the X-O MANOWAR #0 NYCC Exclusive Variant, featuring an all-new cover by rising starMichael Walsh (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, Secret Avengers)! Jump on board here and discover the untold origins of Valiant’s armored Visigoth hero with Valiant’s latest essential zero issue by acclaimed creators Robert Venditti and Clay Mann!

And that’s not all – look for signings and appearances all weekend long from some of Valiant’s biggest talents, including Robert Gill (ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER), Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT), Matt Kindt (THE VALIANT, RAI, UNITY), Paolo Rivera (THE VALIANT), Michael Walsh (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Fred Van Lente (THE DELINQUENTS, ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Robert Venditti(X-O MANOWAR, ARMOR HUNTERS), and many more!

7a38509b e1d2 41a8 8503 1e7aa3feace6 NYCC 2014: Valiant announces exclusives, signings and vinyl!

Then, on Friday, October 10th at 12:15 PM, join an all-star panel of guests for the VALIANT COMICS: THE VALIANT, RAI, X-O MANOWAR AND BEYOND panel presentation! This winter, superstar creators Jeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera launch the year’s most anticipated new series withTHE VALIANT…but what happens next? Find out here as Jeff Lemire (THE VALIANT), Matt Kindt(THE VALIANT, RAI, UNITY), Paolo Rivera (THE VALIANT), Fred Van Lente (THE DELINQUENTS, ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Robert Venditti (X-O MANOWAR), Editor-in-Chief Warren Simons, and Chief Creative Officer Dinesh Shamdasani lead off an exclusive round of news and announcements, right here at New York Comic-Con! Plus: RAI, X-O MANOWAR, UNITY, ARCHER & ARMSTRONG, QUANTUM AND WOODY, and much, much more!

And the action continues on Saturday, October 8th at 8 PM as Valiant brings the superstar creative team behind THE VALIANTJeff Lemire, Matt Kindt, and Paolo Rivera – to New York’s famous St. Marks Comics for an exclusive post-show signing, featuring free THE VALIANT: FIRST LOOK preview editions, and more!

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3. What Do You Want to Ask Rick Riordan?

This is a big Rick Riordan week for us as not only does the final Kane Chronicles book, The Serpent's Shadow, release today, but the author himself is coming to town--and we want to ask him your questions.

What would you like to know?  Questions about Carter or Sadie Kane?  Percy Jackson?  What Rick Riordan does on his day off?   Send in your questions for Rick via the Comments section and we will compile a list to ask him on video this Friday.  We’ll let you know when it’s ready to watch, don’t worry, it won’t be long!  This Thursday, May 3rd is our cut-off for questions--I can’t wait to see what our readers come up with!

Speaking of waiting, it's been a year since we last saw Carter and Sadie Kane in The Throne of Fire and in that time we wondered, what do Carter and Sadie read when they aren’t tangling with angry gods or trying to save the world?  If you've been asking yourself this same question, you're in luck because we have the answer in this exclusive straight from the Kane's themselves:

Sadie Kane: "Reading? You should talk to my brother the genius… Sometimes I read books about London and occasionally I try to learn new hieroglyphics, but mostly I’m too busy with trainees and trying to defeat Apophis.”

My Reading List:

The Symbolic World of Egyptian Amulets by Philippe Germond

Treasures of the British Museum by Marjorie Caygill

The Annotated Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

City Secrets London: The Essential Insider’s Guide by Robert Kahn and Tim Adams

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian by R.O. Faulkner

Egyptian Love Spells and Rituals by Claudia Dillaire

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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4. Ask Augusten Burroughs: What If Your Husband’s Always Late and Your Best Friend Dumps You?

Augusten-Head-LargeToday on Omnivoracious, we're delighted to launch a month-long weekly advice column by Augusten Burroughs, who makes his move from memoirist to self-help strategist with This Is How (available May 8). He starts by answering a frustrated plea from a mom whose husband's foot-dragging makes the whole family cranky. Then he digs into the deeper reasons a "well known, happy, funny, kind, 25 year old" may have been dumped by their best friend. 

My husband, the father of our two teenaged sons, works from home as a project manager for a large international corporation. During any given day, our lives will require that someone make a foray out of the house for band practice, food, lessons, doctors appointments, etc. Most of our outings are appointments where we are paying someone money for an actual unit of their time to be dispensed at an agreed up time.

Augusten-coverThis is the problem. My husband many, maybe even most times, in full knowledge of the rapidly looming time commitment, fires up a phone call, starts an email, sits down for a long personal moment in the bathroom. The rest of us are left seething until he presents himself ready to go. We now leave at the last possible minute, all cranky and out of sorts. If cars and traffic and every other variable aren't perfect, my husband's choices have left us NO wiggle room.

 It's simply awful. I have tried to talk to him about it just because it angers me, but also because I don't think it sets the greatest example for our teens. Just the miasma of furor and unsaid words is poor parenting, I think.

What do we do? He has to be involved—so we need a way to get through to him. It's enough to drive me back to drink, which is a country I'm not welcome in any longer. Help. -- Cate

Dear Cate,

I wish I knew even more. Does your husband’s differing degree of respect for punctuality result in real-world problems? Do you end up being late frequently and missing scheduled appointments you’ve already paid for? Or do you pretty much always make it, but it was just so close you aged like a month from the stress of it? 

 If the answer is the former, I have more questions. Is your relationship healthy and strong and good in other areas? If you’re talking to him about this, that at least tells me the two of you do communicate to some degree, right? Because if you and your husband are a good pair and the family is working, this might be like when you buy something you truly, deeply love at the store and when you get home, you realize there are extra hidden costs: it doesn’t come with batteries, you need a subscription, you can’t wear it until you have electrolysis, whatever. And as annoying as this can be, if you’re otherwise happy, sometimes you just have to fork over the extra. 

 It could also be that you and your husband are equally matc

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5. John Irving and "Crushes on the Wrong People"

[The editors at Omnivoracious are grateful to John Irving for this very special guest post about his new novel, In One Person, selected as one of our Best Books of the Month for May.]

IrvingIn One Person is about a young bisexual man who falls in love with an older transgender woman--Miss Frost, the librarian in a Vermont public library. The bi guy is the main character, but two transgender women are the heroes of this novel--in the sense that these two characters are the ones my bisexual narrator, Billy Abbott, most looks up to.

Billy is not me. He comes from my imagining what I might have been like if I’d acted on all my earliest impulses as a young teenager. Most of us don’t ever act on our earliest sexual imaginings. In fact, most of us would rather forget them--not me. I think our sympathy for others comes, in part, from our ability to remember our feelings--to be honest about what we felt like doing. Certainly, sexual tolerance comes from being honest with ourselves about what we have imagined sexually.

Those adults who are always telling children and young adults to abstain from doing everything--well, they must have never had a childhood or an adolescence (or they’ve conveniently forgotten what they were like when they were young).

When I was a boy, I imagined having sex with my friends’ mothers, with girls my own age--yes, even with certain older boys among my wrestling teammates. It turned out that I liked girls, but the memory of my attractions to the “wrong” people never left me. What I’m saying is that the impulse to bisexuality was very strong; my earliest sexual experiences--more important, my earliest sexual imaginings--taught me that sexual desire is mutable. In fact, in my case--at a most formative age--sexual mutability was the norm. What made me a writer was definitely a combination of what I read and what I imagined--especially, what I imagined sexually.

IrvingBilly meets the transgender librarian, Miss Frost, because he goes to the library seeking novels about “crushes on the wrong people.” Miss Frost starts him out with the Brontë sisters--specifically, Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. She expresses less confidence in Fielding’s Tom Jones, which she also gives Billy. As she puts it, “If one can count sexual escapades as one result of crushes--"

Later, when Billy has become an avid reader and he returns to the library confessing his crush on an older boy on the wrestling team, Miss Frost--who has earlier given Billy novels by Dickens and Hardy--gives him Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room. (This is the same night she seduces him.)

“We are formed by what we desire,” Billy tells us--in the first paragraph of the first chapter. He adds: “I desired to become a writer and to have sex with Miss Frost—not necessarily in that or

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6. Newbery Winner Jack Gantos Kicks Off Summer Reading

Jack Gantos is the author of this year's Newbery Medal-winning book, Dead End in Norvelt, and he's also the perfect guy to kick off our Summer Reading for Kids & Teens destination as our first featured author.  Gantos is a fantastic writer and he's really funny--after watching the special video he created for us below we were laughing out loud with big goofy grins on our faces, because Gantos makes reading fun.  It's  another of this author's' many talents--if you've got a reluctant reader, give them a Jack Gantos book.   Check out our author adventures kick-off video, courtesy of Mr. Jack Gantos, who reminds us all to "read a lot, or your brain will rot!"

Summer Reading Recommendations from Jack Gantos:


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7. Amazon Exclusive Guest Post: "Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site"

Last year author Sherri Duskey Rinker published her first picture book, Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, and it has become a slush pile success story, including a spot on our Top 10 Best Picture Books of 2011 list and topping the New York Times' bestsellers list for Children's Picture Books in January of this year.  With 5-star reviews from Amazon's customers and raves from the media, Goodnight has become the little engine that could.

Sherri graciously agreed to write something special for our Omni readers, sharing her inspiration behind the book (calling all Virginia Lee Burton fans!) and her story of getting it published with an illustrator she'd never heard of.  I have a feeling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site is going to be a staple on kids' bookshelves for many years to come. --Seira

From the Slush Pile to #1: Realizing my vision. Or not.

I grew up loving picture books.

I can still hear my grandmother's voice over the sound of the pages turning, the old wind-up Westclox alarm clock ticking away and the sound of traffic rolling down Howard Street. I remember the smell of books mingling with the smell of freshly laundered sheets.

Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was my favorite, and I obsessed over the whimsically sweet illustrations of that little pink house happily sitting upon a hill covered in daisies.

Inspired, I wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to be a poet, an art teacher, and a journalist. The ping-pong ball of art vs. words ended with a career as a graphic designer. It was a perfect fit: I took pictures and words and put them together in a pretty way.

I met an artist, a photographer. He also had grown up with Virginia Burton: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. It was a sign. So I married him. We had two boys and two good excuses for buying dozens (and dozens) of picture books.

Inspired by my youngest son's tireless (literally!) obsession with trucks, I wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site in stolen moments during the workday and late at night, after the boys were tucked in. And with the words emerged a vision (dare I say "obsession") for how the book and my trucks would look.

I could see it so clearly: realistic illustrations of trucks superimposed with facial expressions to convey the mood and create the characters. Strong, yet simple graphic elements to create the setting. A bit of realism. A bit of collage. A bit of a grunge to compliment the dirty work of the trucks.  I included the concept illustration with my manuscript and sent it, unsolicited, to Chronicle Books.

When my editor contacted me, three months aft

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8. Comedian/Author Michael Ian Black on Why the Movies Get Love and Marriage All Wrong

"Love," writes Michael Ian Black, "is cinema’s abiding theme, especially romantic love, the kind of 'meet cute' love that surmounts every roadblock on its journey to happy ever after."

But love (and marriage) in the movies, well, that bears little resemblance to the life that the comedian, actor (The State, Wet Hot American Summer) and best-selling author has found himself living, and, one might venture to speculate, the lives most of us live. Do you agree? Here's more of Black's take, written just for Amazon: 

Michael Ian Black

"It’s no wonder that movies get marriage so wrong. After all, they are almost diametrically opposing experiences. Movies are about escape. Marriages are about 'no escape.' Once you tie your life to somebody else, there is no turning back, at least not without an attorney.

One of the things that inspired me to write my new book, You’re Not Doing It Right, is my annoyance at movie marriages, particularly the romantic comedy marriage. Hollywood has given us two, equally false, notions of marriage. Either it’s the joining of two gorgeous young people “destined” to be together, or as a wheezing and cold institution inhabited by miserable and middle-aged wheezebags, usually meant to illustrate a counterpoint to the love the gorgeous young couple in the film will share once their destinies are realized, and they are able to finally be together against all odds. Yawn. Boring. Wrong.

In my experience as a husband of thirteen years, marriage is neither of these things. Yes, my wife and I are both gorgeous. Hollywood got that part right. And yes, we had to surmount a few obstacles to be together, such as the fact that she was living with her boyfriend when we met.  But our trip down the aisle wasn’t the beginning of a perfect life together. It was the start of something else, something that cannot be encapsulated in ninety minutes and a soundtrack by Maroon 5."

Read more on the Amazon Studios Hollywonk blog.

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9. "Suddenly, a Knock on the Door": Ira Glass Reads a Story by Etgar Keret

KeretThere are authors who cut their milk teeth on short stories, and there are authors who dedicate themselves to the form with Buddha-like focus. Israeli writer Etgar Keret—nerds of a certain ilk will recognize his name from This American Life and The New Yorker—falls firmly into the latter camp, as his newly translated sixth collection makes clear.

The quirky, thought-provoking, often hilarious pieces in Suddenly, a Knock on the Door lend themselves to being read out loud, on your coffee break, or between subway stops. Keret doesn’t bother with a coat of sugar or even Splenda: His characters question themselves and screw up with such regularity that it’s easy for us to plant ourselves in the middle of their lives.

The tension in these stories comes from the sort of decision anyone might make on any given day, like what to stash in your pockets, where to go to lunch, and if you feel like getting a drink with that guy you fooled around with a year ago who didn’t call afterward. In Keret’s world, he’ll be flawed and you’ll be flawed, and whether or not it works out isn’t really the point. The point is to go along for the ride, however brief, and lose yourself inside other people’s moments.

To celebrate the English-language publication of Suddenly, a Knock on the Door, we’re thrilled to share two excerpts with Omnivoracious readers: an exclusive audio version of the title story, read by none other than Ira Glass (squee!); and, after the jump, the full text of “What Animal Are You?”

"Suddenly, a Knock..." - read by Ira Glass

What Animal Are You?

(This story originally appeared in the June 2011 issue of Harper's Magazine.)

The sentences I’m writing now are for the benefit of German Public Television viewers. A reporter who came to my home today asked me to write something on the computer because it always makes for great visuals: an author writing. It’s a cliché, she realizes that, but clichés are nothing but an unsexy version of the truth, and her role, as a reporter, is to turn that truth into something sexy, to break the cliché with lighting and unusual angles. And the light in my house falls perfectly, without her having to turn on even a single spot, so all that’s left is for me to write.

At first, I just made believe I was writing, but she said it wouldn’t work. People would be able to tell right away that I was just pretending. “Write something for real,” she demanded, and then, to be sure: “A story, not just a bunch of words. Write naturally, the way you always do.” I told her it wasn’t natural for me to be writing while I was having my picture taken for German Public Television, but she insisted. “So use it,” she said. “Write a story about just that—about how unnatural it seems and how the unnaturalness suddenly produces something real, filled with passion. Something that permeates you, from your brain to your loins. Or the other way around. I don’t know how it works with you, what part of your body gets the creative juices flowing. Each person is different.” She told me how she’d once interviewed a Belgian author who, every time he wrote, had an erection. Something about th

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10. Photos: Inside Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter

Leaky participated in a press tour of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter this morning and now has a special gallery of high res photos from the experience right here!  Stay close for Leaky's full report, set to be online soon.

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour opens to the public on March 31st.  For tickets and more information, visit the official website here.

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11. Novelist/Screenwriter Noah Hawley on Hollywood, Pitching and Parenthood

Noah HawleyNoah Hawley is a novelist and screenwriter (Lies and Alibis, The Unusuals) whose latest book, The Good Father: A Novel, is the powerful story of a man trying to understand and defend his son, who stands accused of a terrible crime. 

In this exclusive guest post, Hawley talks about the secret to Hollywood success and how little a pitch has to do with actual writing.

I started The Good Father in 2007. I put it down twice in order to create and run two television shows. In the fall of 2010 I finished the book. As we were about to submit the finished manuscript to publishers, a disturbed young man in Arizona shot a congresswomen and six other people in a supermarket parking lot. Jared Loughner, the latest in a long line of lone gunman that America has produced.

Immediately in the aftermath of the shooting, my agent and I decided to put off the sale.

Over the next few weeks I went back and incorporated references to Loughner’s crime into the novel. The Good Father is a novel that explores the lone gunman archetype, presenting case studies (assembled by Dr. Allen) of shooters like Sirhan Sirhan and John Hinkley. I felt I would have been remiss in not addressing this latest shooting in the novel. The truth is, it would have been the first thing Dr. Allen thought of after his son was arrested, the first case study he would have compiled. He was looking for his son in Loughner’s eyes, asking, could my son have done what he did?

This unorthodox approach to storytelling is not something you could pitch in a room full of studio executives. If you tried to sell them a story that followed both a father and a son, and also present non-fiction histories of famous assassins, they would say that it sounds very “execution dependent,” which is a phrase they use. “Execution dependent” describes a film or TV idea that can only be successful is if it is written and directed and acted well. The success of the venture, in other words, is in the execution of the material. Which, in Hollywood, is no sure thing. The Amazing Spider-Man is going to make a billion dollars no matter how good it is, is their logic. But a complicated drama told in two time periods with a history lesson to boot, requires risk and skill, and that’s a gamble.

But here’s the thing: I didn’t have to pitch this story to anyone. There was no segue, no bottled water or receiving line of handshakes with a view of swaying palm trees. I just sat down and started writing. Which is what a writer does, everywhere except in Hollywood.

Read more on the Amazon Studios Hollywonk blog.


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12. Exclusive: David Hughes Explains Hollywood’s "Development Hell"

David Hughes mines Hollywood's depths for the untold stories behind the unmade movies (Sandman, where art thou?) and the unmade versions of movies that actually did reach the screen (like the fourth Indiana Jones film, written by Frank Darabont and meant to include Sean Connery).

In this exclusive guest post, Hughes answers the question at the heart of his acclaimed and — newly updated — book, Tales From Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made:

Development Hell bookWe often hear this phrase, ‘Development Hell’, thrown about. But what does it mean? (I should know: I wrote the book on it.)

In an ideal world, a screenwriter would write a script, and assuming it's brilliant, attract (a) a director, (b) actors, (c) finance, and (d) members of the opposite sex. In practice, these things seldom happen — especially (d). Of all the scripts that get written (fewer than 1% of those that get started), fewer than 1% get anywhere near anyone with the power to get them made; of that 1%, only 1% will actually be made. In other words, every film you see is like Rocky’s whole life — a million to one shot. Many of the rest wind up circling the drain in a place called Development Hell.

Development is what happens when everyone with an interest in an unproduced script tries to help it get to a place where it’s ready to be turned into a movie. This will tend to involve studio executives, producers, actors, and multiple screenwriters — some brought on board because they have a particular ‘voice’, others because they had a hit the previous weekend. When all of these people pull in the same direction, working together to create the best possible version of a particular story — or, in most cases, one that’s achievable for the money — development can go smoothly. When some or all of the collaborators are pulling in different directions, and this process continues indefinitely, that’s Development Hell.

So how can budding screenwriters avoid this special form of damnation? One way is to refuse to sell anything you’ve written, leaving your perfect script as words on paper, like the blueprint for a wonderful building that will never be constructed. Another way is to be so amazingly rich, you can finance your own films. Another If, however, you want to see your masterpiece on the big screen, and you don’t have the necessary millions to make it yourself, there’s a pretty good chance you will end up in the special place reserved for screenplays that started out so perfect, they just had to be rewritten. And rewritten… And rewritten… The name of this particular circle of Hell? Why, Limbo of course.

The above article has since been optioned by a major Hollywood studio, and now features a talking dog, a car chase and a more “relatable” protagonist. A new writer is being drafted in to ‘punch up’ the second paragraph, and by the time they’ve finished, everyone will forget why they liked it in the first place.

Find more Hollywood stories and exclusive guest posts at the Amazon Studios Hollywonk blog.

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13. 10 Top-Secret Personal Facts About Junie B. Jones

Twenty years ago, a feisty kindergartner named Junie B. Jones stepped onto the book scene via a smelly school bus.  Since that day, Junie B.'s funny, tell-it-like-it-is style hasn't changed, nor has her popularity with young readers (maybe you were one of them?).  With kindergarten in the rearview mirror, there are now 27 books in the series (a brand new book, Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten, comes out in August) and Junie B. has gone on to adventures with tropical birds, missing teeth, and everything in between. 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, there is a new full-color edition of Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus that includes special features like an interview with author Barbara Park (conducted by guess who?).  Lucky for us, Junie B. found time in her busy schedule to tell us a few unknown facts about herself in this Amazon exclusive:

10 Top-Secret Personal Facts about Me, Junie B.

By Junie B. Jones

 1. My birthday is Junie the 1st!

2. My mother's name is Susan, Susie, Suz, Mommy, and Mother. Plus sometimes Daddy calls her Buttercup. That is ridiculous I think.

3. My favorite food is yummy, delicious lemon pie. Plus also I like 'pasketti and meatballs and whipped cream in a can, and sugar cookies! I do not like peas. Or Tuna Noodle Stinkle  (that dish does not smell delightful). 

4.  When I grow up I would like to be the janitor of my school. The janitor saves people from danger. And paints litter cans. And carry keys that unlock the bathroom. Without the janitor we couldn't even go to the toilet. I would also  enjoy being Beauty Shop guy, I think.  

5. My grandma, Helen Miller has a pet bird named Twitter. (Only I hate that dumb bird).

6.  I am not actually a fan of roosters either. One time, a boy named meanie Jim said that roosters can peck your head into a nub. And that is not pleasant, I tell you.

7. The name of my school is Clarence somebody or other Elementary School. 

8. I usually take the stupid smelly bus to school.  Only some mornings I accidentally spill cereal down the front of me at breakfast. And then I accidentally dance with Teddy instead of changing clothes. And so I accidentally miss the bus. Then Mother has to drive me. She is not pleasant when that happens.

9. When I am scared in the dark, I grab my bestest stuffed animal named Philip Johnny Bob. And then both of us sing, "The sun will come out tomorrow" from the hit musical ANNIE.

10.  My favorite fruits are fruit loops, cherry jello, grape Kool-aid, orange popsicles, strawberry shortcake, blueberry pancakes and chocolate covered raisins.

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14. "Animal House" Exclusive Interview: New Book, New Stories and Visions of Broadway

Animal House, one of the most-loved movie comedies of all time, is hotter than ever. There’s a Broadway show in the works and a new, behind-the-scenes book called Fat, Drunk, & Stupid by producer Matty Simmons, who talks to us about what Hollywood first thought of the script (hated it!), what got cut, and why there was never a sequel.

Some highlights from the interview:

FatDrunkStupidBookOn getting the green light: My junior partner at the time was Ivan Reitman [who went on to make comedy classics including Ghostbusters] and we went into [Univeral Studios chief Ned] Tanen’s office and he said, “I hate this movie. Everyone’s drunk or having sex or getting beat up. Do you think you could make it for less than $3 million?" Now I had never made a movie. Ivan had made a couple of movies in Canada for about $8. I said, “Absolutely.” And I didn’t know what I was talking about. We made it for $2.8 million, and overall, everything in to date, it’s grossed about $600 million.

On the unforgettable audience response: We screened that movie in Denver … and at the end of that movie, the audience was standing on chairs and screaming and applauding and yelling. No one had seen anything like it. And then when they brought it back to Hollywood, they did a test screening and it got the highest rating in the then-history of the ratings system.

On getting Animal House to Broadway, with music by Barenaked Ladies: I had the idea about four or five years ago and it took me that long to convince Universal to do it, because they own the rights. They said, “Well, if you bring in the right team.” So I brought in a top Broadway producer, who many years ago was my publicity man and has since won about six Tonys (Jeff Richards), and the director of the Book of Mormon, the hottest show on Broadway (Casey Nicholaw).

Read more on the Amazon Studios Hollywonk blog.

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15. First Look: Mary GrandPre Exhibit, Including New Alternate Covers for "Deathly Hallows," "Half-Blood Prince"

As reported previously, an exhibition of works by artist Mary GrandPre has now opened at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa, and contains highlights of her work done for the US editions of the Harry Potter book series. Today, thanks to TLC staffer Jeff, we can now show you a sample of the many pieces of art in this display, including a first look at an alternative cover for Harry Potter and... Read the rest of this post

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16. Vern Troyer for CGI Dobby in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?

We have another look today at location filming photos from Shell Cottage courtesy of TLC reader Victoria. As noted below, she was present for the filming of the Shell Cottage scenes for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday in Wales. Also present was her sister Nadean Jarvis who owns Panache Imagery. Special for the readers of Leaky, Nadeen sent along some wonderful new photos which yo... Read the rest of this post

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17. Report from Harry Potter, the Exhibition in Boston

As noted previously, Harry Potter, the Exhibition opens this weekend at the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass. The exhibition will open wide Sunday, October 25th and run through Sunday, February 21, 2010 with ticket information available at this link. As a follow to our post below containing many photos and the special audio interview with actor Matt Lewis (Neville Longbottom) who was a guest a... Read the rest of this post

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18. Leaky's Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration Red Carpet Interviews Now Online

Leaky's interviews with cast members and filmmakers from the Harry Potter film series from the red carpet for WB's Harry Potter Home Entertainment Celebration are now online and can be viewed via this link, or below:

PART ONE: Devon Murray (Seamus Finnigan), Nick Moran (Scabior), George Harris (Kingsley), David Bradley (Filtch), Rupert Grint (Ron) and Executive Producer David Baron.

PART TWO: Director David Yates, Executive Producer David Heyman, Stanislav Ianevski (Viktor Krum), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)

In these interviews, we get to hear from a number of the cast members about their impressions of the Wizarding World and of how they are feeling now that one of the last big milestones in the Harry Potter films series, the final film's DVD release, is upon them.  We also speak with a few of the filmmakers, who discuss how they feel wrapping up the last eleven years of their lives and dish a little on what we might be able to see on a future Ultimate 8 Film Boxed Set.

The "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" DVD/Blu-ray is available in stores and online in the States now.


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19. Leaky's Black Friday Harry Potter Giveaway with Best Buy - Final Day!

Thanks for entering in day two of our giveaway; the potential winners will be contacted privately in order to claim the prize.  Now for your FINAL chance to win!

The Leaky Cauldron and Best Buy have teamed up to offer a special three-day-long Harry Potter contest in the lead up to the Black Friday sales taking place the day after Thanksgiving.  Best Buy is getting into the Harry Potter spirit for this event with special screenings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" for waiting crowds Thanksgiving night.

Readers will have a chance to win one of two great gift packages each day!  Here's the info:

Best Buy "Harry Potter Home Viewing" Gift Package:

In order to enter, leave us a comment below sharing your favorite Harry Potter film AND what about that film makes it your favorite!
The entry period for today, Wednesday, runs until 11:59pm EST.  Two winners will be randomly selected each day, based on the entries received that day.

On Wednesday we will also be giving away a grand prize to one lucky winner who enters any of our daily contests and follows one additional extra step.

Grand Prize Pack:  $760 each
In order to enter to win the Grand Prize Pack, enter any of our daily contests, follow @Leaky on Twitter and tweet the following:
"I just entered to win @Leaky's Harry Potter Grand Prize Pack from @BestBuy! #HarryPotterGiveaway [link to your entry post]"
Be sure to include the full URL (Twitter will shorten it) to the news post in which you commented on to enter!  Example, if you entered today:
I just entered to win @Leaky's Harry Potter Grand Prize Pack from @BestBuy! #HarryPotterGiveaway http://the-leaky-cauldron.org/2011/11/23/leakys-black-friday-harry-potter-giveaway-with-best-buy-final-day
Our partners, Best Buy, are hosting special free, big-screen, out-door viewing of, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," at select store locations nationwide in order to entertain the Black Friday shopping crowds.  The movie starts at 9 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving night with Harry Potter giveaways and refreshments given away.  Add a Comment
20. Leaky's Black Friday Harry Potter Giveaway with Best Buy - Day Two

Thanks for entering in day one of our giveaway; the potential winners will be contacted privately in order to claim the prize.  Now for day two!

The Leaky Cauldron and Best Buy have teamed up to offer a special three-day-long Harry Potter contest in the lead up to the Black Friday sales taking place the day after Thanksgiving.  Best Buy is getting into the Harry Potter spirit for this event with special screenings of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" for waiting crowds Thanksgiving night.

Readers will have a chance to win one of two great gift packages each day!  Here's the info:

Best Buy "Harry Potter Home Viewing" Gift Package:

In order to enter, leave us a comment below sharing your favorite line from the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows novel by J. K. Rowling.
Entry information for the contest on Wednesday will be revealed tomorrow.  The entry period for today, Tuesday, runs until 11:59pm EST.
  Two winners will be randomly selected each day, based on the entries received that day.

On Wednesday we will also be giving away a grand prize to one lucky winner who enters any of our daily contests and follows one additional extra step.

Grand Prize Pack:  $760 each
In order to enter to win the Grand Prize Pack, enter any of our daily contests, follow @Leaky on Twitter and tweet the following:
"I just entered to win @Leaky's Harry Potter Grand Prize Pack from @BestBuy! #HarryPotterGiveaway [link to your entry post]"
Be sure to include the full URL (Twitter will shorten it) to the news post in which you commented on to enter!  Example, if you entered today:
I just entered to win @Leaky's Harry Potter Grand Prize Pack from @BestBuy! #HarryPotterGiveaway http://the-leaky-cauldron.org/2011/11/22/leakys-black-friday-harry-potter-giveaway-with-best-buy-day-two
Our partners, Best Buy, are hosting special free, big-screen, out-door viewing of, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2," at select store locations nationwide in order to entertain the Black Friday shopping crowds.  The movie

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21. "A Wrinkle in Time" 50th Anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of a children's book classic, A Wrinkle in Time. To celebrate this milestone Farrar, Straus and Giroux (who published the book 50 years ago) have released gorgeous commemorative editions with the original hardcover and paperback jackets and new extras that include an introduction by Katherine Paterson and an afterword by author Madeleine L'Engle's granddaughter.

A Wrinkle in Time is as relevant and captivating in 2012 as it was in 1962, and it's incredible to me that such an iconic story began with a random thought during a cross-country vacation, "...the names Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which popped into my grandmother’s head, and she told her three children—twelve, ten, and seven—that she would have to write a book about them..."--from the afterword [PDF].

Many prominent authors have been influenced by Madeleine L'Engle, including Judy Blume.  Blume was interviewed for a book about L'Engle (titled Listening for Madeleine) coming out in the fall, and we have an exclusive excerpt, a sample of which is below. You can find the rest of the excerpt here (under More to Explore).

"Madeleine and I really bonded over the issue of book banning. Her books were being
challenged all over the country. They were being challenged—and I love this and have used it in
every speech about book banning that I’ve ever given—for teaching “New Ageism” to children. I
always say that I can guarantee you that when Madeleine wrote her books she had never heard of
New Ageism. The attacks on her books made her absolutely furious. She was beside herself, not
just because her books were being attacked, but because any books were being targeted in that
way. We would go out and do TV shows together in defense of banned books. An evening news
show might have a segment on the censorship of children’s books. This was during the 1980s.
She was so elegant and so down-to-earth, and some of her answers were so funny, as much as to
say: Why are you guys so stupid? Why would you be asking questions like this? She never
actually said those things, but it was absolutely clear what she meant. I just loved her."--Judy Blume in an excerpt from Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madeleine L’Engle in Many Voices.

A Wrinkle in Time has been read, loved, and shared, by countless readers over the last 50 years, and I'm certain that trend will continue.  This anniversary inspired me to re-read the book for the first time in decades and I fell in love with the words and characters all over again.  Those of you who adore this book as I do will understand when I say that I got a little bit giddy when I saw the photo posted below, and if A Wrinkle in Time is one of the unread classics on your list--treat yourself to an amazing read. --Seira

A photograph of page one from the original

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