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1. Look, Ma! A Book Trailer! Tips on How to Make an Effective Book Trailer

What is a book trailer and how can I get one?

Book trailers have become a popular part of modern book marketing campaigns. Just like movie or television show trailers, they are a great way of creating buzz and excitement for your soon to be best-selling book. There are many approaches to creating a successful trailer and I’ll be sharing with you some of my ideas.

But do book trailers really work?

Heck Yes, they do! Readers just don’t read… they watch, listen and immerse themselves in the audio-visual nature of popular culture.We live in a multimedia engulfed society, and neglecting visual-audio presentation tool is a big disadvantage to anyone working towards a career in writing and the arts. You are after all a story teller… and creating trailers is just one way of enhancing your audiences experience and emotional connection with the story. In addition, book trailers are great tools for sharing via social media due to its “stickyness” factor.

So let’s get on with it.

First thing is coming up with a plan for your trailer. What kind of trailer are you thinking of creating? What is your budget?

In this post we’ll talk about the different kinds of book trailers. I’ve broken it down into three easy to digest categories.

Let’s take a look.

Live action book trailer

These are the type of trailers that we typically see in movies. You’ll be working with real actors, directors, and video editors to create this slick production. This trailer works great if you want to create a realistic portrayal of your story. Just like a movie, you will have to cast the right actor to portray your characters and find a production team who will transform your vision from paper to screen. Bad acting and sloppy filming can negatively impact your presentation. So you might want to stay away from your nephew with a camera phone (Unless you’re going for that gritty camera phone look).

Think of your costs when producing a live action trailer… you’ll need to budget for actors, make up, equipment, costumes, video editing & production time and even location.

Try reaching out to your publishing company first and see if this type of production is in the budget. The alternative is to reach out to freelance artists or smaller firms who can create your trailer without breaking the bank. This usually means you have to slim down on your visual effects and only film the main scenes that will create the best impact with your audience.

Some writers like to go this route because they can also use the trailer as a tool for pitching their books to movie studios or producers. Not a bad idea, if you ask me.


Graphical trailer

These trailers are primarily composed of typographic and graphic animations with music and voice overs. Think of a slideshow on steroids. You can still create a fantastic trailer without having to blow out your marketing budget. I see a lot of books opting this direction and have done it with great success.

Going this route doesn’t necessarily mean that your trailer has to be a canned production. You can still personalize the trailer by using your own images, photography, and music. And if you’re working with a really good video editor, he can add motion that will make your trailer come to life as good as a live action trailer.

Keep in mind that audio plays a large part in creating the atmosphere of your trailer. Using sound and music properly can “mask” certain elements that you don’t show on screen. For example, in movies they will often use the sound of airplanes to create a airport scene… without showing the airplane itself. Think creatively!


Animated trailers

Animated trailers are a little in between live action and graphic trailers. It’s a mix of motion and movement with the use of animated characters… yet it doesn’t necessarily mean that it takes less time or money to produce.

It is also specialized in a way that it will probably be more effective for certain types of books (for example, children’s books or graphic novels and comics). Instead of actors, you now have to animate drawn characters and background scenes.

If you’re trying to create this type of trailer for a book that doesn’t utilize existing artwork (such as comics), then you will need an artist who will translate your stories and characters into a visual medium. Artists varying styles can also affect the atmosphere of your trailer, make sure to find someone who can portray the emotions you want.


Another factor to consider is how much control you want over the direction of your trailer. If your publishing house is producing the book trailer, they might want to hire a professional team who will create a script that works best to sell your book.

If you’re doing it guerrilla style (that means indie), then you have more control over your production. But at the same time you take on more of the burden and the responsibility for the end result — good or bad. Not everyone can be a director, yet with enough studying and dissection of existing trailers, you’ll slowly see the formula on how it’s done.

In the next blog post, I’ll talk a little bit more about the process of creating book trailers!



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2. Shower Thoughts: The Art of Finishing

A long time ago, before I was telling my stories with illustrations and words, I was a telling them through the use of moving pictures, I was an aspiring filmmaker.

It all started when a friend and I decided we would be the next Tarantino; break out filmmakers, creating cutting edge film. But instead of spending thousands of dollars on film school, we took what little money we had and we were going to do it guerilla style, the indie way.

In the next few months, we drafted a screenplay, auditioned actors, scouted locations, purchased equipment and started filming. We even came up with a hollywood sounding name for our troupe, “The Yuzzi Brothers.” And since we couldn’t take a few months out of our day jobs to make the movie, we wrote a story that took place at night. It would be one of the most intense times of my life. We typically filmed from 8pm to 3am, with just enough sleep to go to work that same morning. Caffeine had become my best friend. A year later, we finally finished our movie and showed it in theaters, in all its flawed glory.

Looking back at the romanticized version of those events, I could honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life. We learned a lot about ourselves and about the industry, yet it was not without its challenges. We had actors & crew members who dropped out, our equipment was stolen, myriad of technical issues, schedule conflicts and even injuries. And when you’re on the 8th month of a production, you start to question yourself and your project (or your spouse would). We could have easily given up at any point, but we did not. We kept telling ourselves that we needed to finish.

Starting something new is exciting & fun. And let’s be honest, it’s probably the easiest part. The endless daydreaming of a new project gives us a sense of euphoria. But once the tire hits the pavement and the daily grind of our life gets in the way, that’s when we’re really tested. Self-doubt begins to manifest and we start looking for the off-ramp. We question our ideas, we procrastinate, we revise endlessly. We’re stuck in a never ending loop between unlived expectations and our limited abilities to meet them.

It’s only natural we should strive for perfection. But perfection is that golden goose that if you look at it long enough, it turns into an ugly duckling. That is, in fact, an important part of what makes us creatives. And as we grow and get better, we look back at our work and see the flaws. Yet it’s also important not to get stuck, to keep moving forward, to finish. That is how we grow. I know artists who actually don’t start anything, fearing that the end result will never live up to their expectations. It’s quite unfortunate.

When I feel dismayed, I go back to the reasons why I started. It’s much like reminiscing about my carefree childhood days. Everything seemed possible. I look for that seed of inspiration and use it to re-ignite my inner locomotive.

Sometimes, I realize that I am at that moment in my life incapable of telling the story or drawing that picture. I simply lack the life experience or skills to do so. This doesn’t mean that my idea is lost in the woods, never to be seen. It just means that I can put it in my back pocket and come back to it later. And trust me, I have many of those.

When we were working on our movie, there were so many variables that was ultimately out of our control. We relied on so many people, and to be able to keep it going for a year, and to finish was quite a miraculous thing.

Contrasting that to my current endeavor of writing and illustrating, where everything is really on my shoulders, gives me a unique perspective and set of expectations. I really have no excuse not to finish. It’s all on me. And If I have to spend time away from my family to work on my craft, then I better make it count.

Finishing is important. Once you’ve experienced completing a project that you’ve poured your life into, you stand among the few who have “made it.” You can tip your fedora to the naysayers and show them that you’ve done what you’ve set out to do. You’ve kept your word, your promise; even if it’s just to yourself.

Those who finish are the ones who inspire me the most, because I know how hard it is to get to that point. Not everyone can be a breakout overnight success, but we can sure break out of our walls and create something amazing, and it all starts with mastering the art of finishing.

So put on that thinking cap, adjust your monocle, get a jug of coffee, and dust off that manuscript or picture book. It’s calling your name.

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3. Paul Pate Podcast #16 interview with Jim Luhan and Ken Lamug

I took some time to guest podcast with a good buddy and award-winning animators Paul Pate & Jim Luhan. Check out part 1 of the podcast as we talk about our current projects, our inspirations and aspirations. I had a blast and I should really do this more often…

Let us know your thoughts if there’s anything specific you want to ask!



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It's SUMMER time!  That means lots of vacation and fun, but also a whole bunch of appearances and theater and exhibits and movies and stuff to do. BOOKS! June 2 sees the publication of a brand new Elephant & Piggie adventure, I WILL TAKE A NAP! Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are

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5. Be a Dinner Winner!

Hello, li’l blog. Sorry to neglect you for so long. Let’s make up for lost time, shall we?

Here’s a happy recent event- one of my Fred and Friends products is featured in the February 2015 issue of Family Fun magazine! It’s a kid’s plate that encourages you to eat the healthy stuff before getting to uncover a “prize” at the end. Hey, there could be anything under there!

Read more about this particular item on the Fred website here.


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December is here and there's lots to talk about, including an appearance and exciting new stuff! BOOKS! Elephant and Piggie's WAITING IS NOT EASY! came out last month and the response has been nice.  Thanks to you, the story debuted at #2 on The New York Times Bestseller List. (Not to be left out, THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH! joined Waiting is Not Easy! on the next 2 weeks). The New York Times

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7. The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca takes home a 2014 Moonbeam Award!

We are excited to announce that the all-ages  adventure book, The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca – Quest For The Ore Crystals, is the recipient of a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Award. The kickstarter funded project combines the fun visual style of comics with interactive puzzles and games, resulting in an all out adventure for all ages. Now available for purchase via our online shop and also on Amazon.com






Moonbeam_LR Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Results

“Celebrating Youthful Curiosity, Discovery and Learning through Books and Learning”

Jenkins Group is proud to announce the winners of the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Launched in 2007, the awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading. Congratulations to all the winners!

This year’s Moonbeam Awards medal ceremony will be held in conjunction with the 5th annual Traverse City Children’s Book Festival, on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

Listed below are the Moonbeam Spirit Award winners, followed by the seventh annual 2014 Moonbeam Awards results, listed by category, and Ebook category winners.

Creating books that inspire our children to read, to learn, and to dream is an extremely important task, and these awards were conceived to reward those efforts. Each year’s entries are judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. Award recipients receive gold, silver and bronze medals and stickers depicting a mother and child reading and silhouetted by a full moon.

Congratulations to all the winners!




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8. WordPressers Making a Splash

We might think of the end of summer as a slow news season. Not so for the authors and bloggers we feature today, who’ve been hard at work on some exciting projects recently.

Rebecca Hains

princess problemWriter, professor, and media scholar Rebecca Hains often shares thoughtful posts on her blog, especially on topics revolving around gender and discrimination. Earlier this month, she celebrated the release of The Princess Problem: Guiding Our Girls through the Princess-Obsessed Years (Sourcebooks), her most recent book. A critique of popular culture and the messages it sends to young girls, the book has already earned rave reviews, including from Brenda Chapman, writer and director of Disney’s Brave.

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

broken light

Danielle Hark founded Broken Light Collective, a community for photographers coping with mental health issues, more than two years ago. We’ve been following that project for a while (and mentioned it in a mental health-focused roundup earlier this year), so it was nice to see Danielle, and Broken Light Collective as a whole, receive the attention they deserve in a New York Times profile. It was published to coincide with the Collective‘s first group gallery show, which closed in New York in August.

Hungry Sofia

cuban table

Ana Sofía Peláez‘s site has showcased the colorful, mouthwatering delights of Caribbean cuisine for more than five years, mixing in great storytelling with beautiful food photography. Next month,  Ana Sofía will see her book, The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History (St. Martin’s Press), hit bookstores (and kitchens) everywhere. A labor of love on which she collaborated with photographer Ellen Silverman, the book chronicles Cuban food cultures from Havana to Miami to New York.


Anyone interested in engaging, wide-ranging discussions on the history of sexuality will enjoy Notches, a blog that has tackled topics like Medieval love magic and the origins of “Born This Way” politics.

Jack the Ripper

Earlier this week, Notches editor Julia Laite, a lecturer at the University of London, wrote a thought-provoking article in The Guardian on another fascinating topic: our decades-long obsession with Jack the Ripper.

Ever Upward

ever upward

Justine Brooks Froelker, the blogger behind Ever Upward, has been chronicling her journey through infertility, loss, and acceptance in posts that are at once unflinching and moving. Now, Justine is preparing for the release of her book, also named Ever Upward, in early October (it’ll also be available on Amazon starting February). You can get a taste of Justine’s writing in this excerpt from the book’s opening chapter.

Are you publishing a book soon? Has your blog made the news? Leave us a comment — we’d love to know.

Filed under: Community, Press, Writing

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9. Animal Atlas Featured in The Guardian Summer 2014 Best New Children's Books Supplement

The book I illustrated for Bloomsbury written by Anna Claybourne was in a supplement for The Guardian featuring the Best New Children's Books Summer 2014.

Here is a scan of the page. They used one of my favorite spreads.

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10. How does Comic Artist David Daneman Create “The DaneMen” Web comic series

If you’ve ever perused the online web comic community Tapastic.com, you’re sure to have seen the slice of life webcomic “The Danemen” featuring the DaneMan himself. The silent (word-less) comic transcends language through the use of visual queues that brings drama and comedy to the viewer. It’s like watching a classic Chaplin act and waiting for the finale, which never disappoints and is almost always unexpected.

In the video below, David shows us his work process and how it defines his unique style. Make sure to take notes, and don’t forget to support his Patreon campaign so he can make comics until the end of days!




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11. The Beige Planet Podcast Kickstarter Recap for Talbot Toluca

A month ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign for my new comic puzzle book, “Talbot Toluca.”

After sleepless days and nights, I’m happy to report that it ended on a great note with the campaign exceeding its goal. Here’s a quick podcast recap with Al and Paul from the Beige Planet podcast talking about the experience and things that I’ve learned from it.

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12. New Summer Stuff

So, it seems that after an eternal period of bad and/or middling weather, it’s finally summer! Let us celebrate, shall we?

Maybe you’ll hit a Newport Creamery sometime soon, and grab an AwfulAwful… while you’re there, pick up one of my children’s menus. This one is Block Island themed. It was fun for me to work on this one, as I spent many summers out there courtesy of my uncle, Captain Nick.




And maybe, in your beach bag you’ll have a copy of the current July/August 2014 issue of Rachael Ray magazine. If so, you may find one of my design items in there… it’s TingTing Tongs, which are salad tongs shaped like one of those cymbal-bashing monkeys. Thank you Rachael and staff for featuring it!



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13. Talbot Toluca Crosses Dimensions in an All-Ages Epic Adventure

Las Vegas, NV May 29, 2014 – Two weeks ago, award-winning children’s picture book author and illustrator Kenneth Lamug launched a Kickstarter campaign for his newest book,The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca.

This adventure book aims to reignite the all-ages genre by combining the high-impact visuals of comics while engaging the reader with Where’s Waldo-like hidden-object games, mazes and puzzles. The story follows a group of friends who must save their science professor by travelling through different dimensions and battling the robotic minions of evil scientist Dr. Kadoom.

“This campaign has definitely been an adventure all of its own,” says Lamug. “We’ve been lucky enough to have a great launch and consistent pace. Friends and social media have made a huge impact on getting the word out. Now we just have to make it across the finish line.”

New add-on rewards and incentives have been added for current and future backers, including exclusive art prints and free domestic shipping. Backers who wish to be part of the book as a character can still pledge under the Monster Package.

Currently, the project is 75% funded with less than two weeks to go, ending on June 10th.

For more information visit the Kickstarter campaign athttp://kck.st/1skCg51

Kenneth Lamug


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14. Mentions...

Scientific American, a magazine I really like, has posted their list of favorite picture books of the year, and GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS is one of their picks.  Any claims to scientific merit in the book is dubious, but as I say, I really like the magazine... The Scripps Howard News' end of year list includes both GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE DINOSAURS and THE DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE!?.

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15. Nice news...

The San Francisco Chronicle has a nice piece about the upcoming SF Sketchfest and it's history, which includes many pals performing over the next few weeks and my first kids-sketch show, Don't Let the Comedians Do Storytime! The Irish Magazine, Inis, has an illustrated interview with me about my characters (I'll be visiting Ireland again later this fall).  Also, check out this great

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16. I'm off!

I'm off for a quick visit to NYC, LA, & SF. I hope you'll drop by one of the events if you're in the neighborhood!  And don't forget to Tune into West Coast Live on Saturday Feb. 9th (or come by the show in San Francisco and see it live).  I'll be talking about the comedy show and mo'. Pal, Dave Barry will also be doing his thing.  It should be fun. (Note the San Francisco Sketchfest show,

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17. I'm back!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the appearances in New York (including pal Julianne Moore who read an Elephant & Piggie book with me) to celebrate the Pigeon's 10th Birthday. It was also great to bump into, play petanque with, then do an appearance with Herve Tullet in the NYC. The workshop for Elephant and Piggie's WE ARE IN A PLAY! at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC was great

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18. A Box Story : Midwest Book Review

Children’s Bookwatch: July 2013
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575
The Picturebook Shelf
A Box Story
Kenneth Kit Lamug, author/illustrator
RabbleBox LLC
9780615581477, $9.13, www.RabbleBoy.com
“A Box Story” is a quirky, maverick- flavored fable about imagination and creativity that will appeal to all ages. Enhanced with pencil and pixel cardboard-colored illustrations, “A Box Story” presents a fresh take on the many things that can be a box, or that a box can be. The spare, gaunt illustrations perfectly express and complement the pithy prose. It all leads to a single question:
“What’s inside your box?” A lifetime of answers could suffice.

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19. VVCF Badge Contenst 2013

Sad that you didn’t get a chance to compete in our Badge Art Contest in 2012 … because we didn’t hold one? Well, it’s back, kids! That’s right–if you want to see YOUR artwork hanging around the necks of 100 guests at this year’s Vegas Valley Comic Book Fest, then pay attention! Our VIP Badge Art Contest is back for 2013, to once again spotlight local & regional artists, and the grand prize winner — in addition to getting a bunch of free stuff like graphic novels, gift certificates, etc. — will see his or her art incorporated into the badges that all pre-registrants will wear, designating their VIP status (and fine taste in art).

2011 Grand Prize winner Ken Lamug

Entry is easy! Create a piece of 2-D artwork in any medium — paints, pencils, markers, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. — that features an appropriately geeky image: think sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, horror, etc. Submit it using our handy online form, and then a panel of judges including Alternate Reality Comics owner Ralph Mathieu, “Tales from Lost Vegas” writer Ed Hawkins and Aberrant Press founder Justin Newberry will rate the entries based on three major criteria: subject matter, composition and general quality. One talented winner will receive the grand prize: His or her art featured on the VIP attendee badges, a prize package as noted above, recognition on our websites, and the winning art prominently displayed at the Fest on Nov. 2, 2013. Up to five runners-up will also have their art featured on our websites as well as (less prominently) at the Festival. All winners will enjoy the benefits of VIP registration.

Deadline for entry is Oct. 1, 2013 at 11:59 p.m., so get your pencils, pens or Wacom styluses working! We look forward to seeing what you’ve got.

Repost from http://www.vegasvalleycomicbookfestival.org/2013/09/our-badge-art-contest-returns/

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20. Press is Important Facet of Reaching Your Target Demographic

News of my hardcover book release is being picked up across the nation, thanks to a well written press release and the help of my publisher, Mira Publishing, who worked swiftly to get our news out. Press is an important facet of getting books into the hands of your target demographic, and to extend a book’s newsworthiness and reach beyond an author’s own network.

Please contact me if you are an author struggling with garnering effective press. I may be able to offer insight. It takes a community to raise an author! I lean on others too, wherever I can, for help and mentorship.

World News/San Francisco Chronicle/Tonia Allen Gould Book Release

Keep writing! Keep Pressing!

Tonia Allen Gould


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21. Rabbleboy causes trouble with The Beige Planet Podcast

In a rare moment in time, I was able to chat with the guys from The Beige Planet Podcast.

A while back, I had the opportunity to chat with Paul Pate regarding his graphic novel Detective Perez Welcome To Rust City. His tenacity and perseverance in completing the book really inspired me.

Since that time, Paul and his long time friend Alfred Laurence has started a fresh new podcast and I was lucky enough to be a guest. We talked about the trials and tribulations of being an artist, a little bit about my film making experience, creating comics and what I’m currently working on. Hopefully, you’ll have fun listening to our wacky conversation and find a little bit of inspiration for your own journey.

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22. Check out the preview for “Quest For The Ore Crystals”

Check out the new video trailer for Quest For The Ore Crystals. This will be part of a larger video as I launch the crowdfunding project for The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca. Make sure to go to the web site and sign-up and I’ll send out an email and let you know when we’re ready!

And here’s a different kind of trailer… the kids and myself just goofing around.

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23. Write Up on The Illustrators Market Blog

Patti Gay did a nice write up about me on her illustrators blog. There are some other cool profiles there too so check them out while you are there!

She lives in California now but went to CCAD in Columbus. Check out her site!


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24. The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca Aims to Reignite the All-Ages Comic Genre

The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca aims to reignite the all-ages comic genre with exciting hidden-object games and puzzles.

Las Vegas, NV April 24,2014 – Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Kenneth Lamug makes a jump to comics while adding twists and turns to what is usually expected in a comic book.

The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca – The Quest for the Ore Crystals combines the high-impact visuals of comics while engaging the reader with Where’s Waldo-like hidden-object games, mazes and puzzles.


The story follows a group of friends who discover an underground military laboratory underneath their school. Their break-in unleashes a series of events, which unravels secrets to Talbot’s past. In The Quest For The Ore Crystal, the evil scientist Dr. Kadoom makes a comeback to the lab with the aim of total world destruction. It’s now up to Talbot and the reader to complete the challenges in the book and stop Dr. Kadoom.

“My hope is that this unique format engages all readers to be part of the story,” says Lamug. “I take my readers on this wild adventure and make them solve problems alongside the characters. This is inspired by my fascination with puzzles as well as the classic adventure games of the 80s and 90s. Yet unlike one-shot puzzle-books, my goal is to eventually share many more of Talbot’s tales using this same format.”

Lamug’s previous book, A Box Story, garnered four awards in its first year, an unexpected accomplishment for a first title. He hopes that adults and kids alike will respond in a positive way to this new book and seek out comics as a new medium for interactive content.

Talbott Toluca’s Kickstarter campaign starts Monday, May 12th, and will run through June 10th, 2014, all funds raised will go entirely to publishing expenses.

To learn more about the comic and the author, visit www.talbottoluca.com.

Kenneth Lamug


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COMIX! I'm on sabbatical for the year.  While I will be making various appearances in Europe and beyond, mostly I'll be spending time at the home base in Paris, France drawing and doodling.   You can check out my experiments over at Universal U-Click for a comic-strip-doodle-thingie called PARIS DOODLES . The strip runs drawings, dining room dinner doodles, and photos on weekdays.

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