Hey, folks! We are busily preparing a new talk, which we plan to debut at the Kent County Public Library (in beautiful Chestertown, Maryland) on Wednesday, October 7 at 6:00pm.
I am telling you this because:
1) we want you to mark the date on your calendar using your most colorful sharpie
2) October 7 is two weeks from today, and we have a lot of practicing to do
If you are the sort of person who likes to know what a talk is about before deciding whether or not to come, I can tell you that
1) It is called The Accidental Entrepreneurs and
2) It tells the story of our long, winding, improbable journey from sad people to people who make books – using the development of our picture book Babies Ruin Everything as a narrative through-line
3) It contains more than 100 hand-drawn illustrations in the style of the one below
4) After we conclude the talking, we will answer questions and sign books, should you be inspired to buy them from us.
That is quite enough for the moment. We will do our best to remind you again. But please do come. It would be a shame to share our timeless wisdom with an empty room.
Friends and supporters (and lovers of independent publishing who neither like nor support us), we write to let you know that we (and hundreds of other eager creators) will be on hand this coming weekend for the Small Press Expo, in North Bethesda, MD, just north of Washington, D.C.
SPX is a gathering of people who make comics, illustrations, objects, and other wonderful stuff. There are panels and such, and then there is a double ballroom full of tables and tables of creators just dying to share and sell their stuff and to talk to you about what you do. It’s a rare and inspiring gathering that we are honored to be a part of and look forward to all year long.
If you are in the DC or Baltimore environs and have some free time on your hands, we would love to see you either Saturday from 11-7 or Sunday from 12:00pm-6:00pm.
SPX is to be found at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at 5701 Marinelli Road in Bethseda. You can get there via the Metro (White Flint station) or via a short drive from Baltimore or DC.
If your name is Lindsay and you are trying to figure out whether or not to bring us delicious cookies, please know that we will love you regardless, but that we will love you .05-.07 percent more if you arrive with cookies in tow. This goes for people not named Lindsay, too.
Hope to see ALL of you there.
On the eve of departure, I write to let you know that Robbi and I will be spending the weekend at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts Festival in New York.
There you will find us from 11-6 on Sunday and Saturday, standing bravely behind our table covered with books, daring people to take note and inspiring (Robbi’s job) them to hand us some money in exchange for a book.
Here are the books in question. A few of them, at least.
We will have a six-foot table at our command and will aim to use the real estate as well as possible.
We have made a few changes this time around:
1) Simplification. In years past, we have lugged along an unholy mountain of stuff—t-shirts and onesies, posters, far too many books, long aluminum poles, various attention-seeking banners. We’re leaving most of it at home this year, opting for a spare and simple presentation. We have convinced ourselves that the decision is born of aesthetic development. But I wonder if, instead, we have just gotten a little too old (read weary) for all the bells and whistles.
2) Children. All three kids have been to MoCCA fest, but only as infants strapped to our bodies. Upon learning to walk, they all have been banned. But this time, for god knows what reason, we have decided to bring Alden and Kato along. It may be the worst mistake we’ve ever made. At the least, it should lead to some bloggable moments.
As a result of these changes, our packing was both easier and harder. We are bringing 4 boxes this year instead of the usual 15.
However, we are bringing two additional suitcases, one pink and one blue with orange accents.
We would love to see you, of course. Here are the details.
548 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011
*Note that this is a new location for MoCCA
Saturday and Sunday
April 11, 2015 – April 12, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Table 438 on the 4th floor
And here’s the MoCCA website, should you care to see who else is exhibiting and presenting and sponsoring, etc.
Hope to see you there.
The other day, Alden and Robbi and I set out on a very special mission.
On one hand, we were walking her to school. Which is, don’t get me wrong, one of my favorite things to do.
But on this particular Monday morning, instead of dropping her off and heading back to the barn, we decided to stay.
Not only did we say, but we subjected Alden’s classmates to a healthy dose of our patented propaganda. Robbi, after introducing herself without a hint of irony as Queen of the Universe, read a book about a boy and his robot.
When the lights came back on, we attempted to dazzle students with the our heart-wrenching classic The Super Hero Squad Flips Out.
After we shared our story and showed the kids our books, they got the chance to make some of their own.
They were quick studies and seemed to have a really good time. But we couldn’t quite tell if they were having a really good time or merely being polite.
The next day, when we opened Alden’s backpack, we found plenty of evidence to suggest that their enthusiasm was real. Her bag was full to bursting with thank you notes. We have chosen a few of our favorites to share with you all, but there were easily 40 pieces of fan mail. It may have been the single most gratifying moment of the past eight years.
As you read, please notice the extent to which the kids took Robbi’s self-professed title to heart.
Notice the extent to which the same child failed to notice that there was someone standing NEXT to Robbi.
Seriously, as I read note after note addressed to the Queen of the Universe, I began to wonder if I had done something wrong. Perhaps if I had claimed to be the Archduke of Newark, I would have fared better in the kids’ estimation.
One child credited Robbi for her very existence.
Eventually, I found a few notes the authors of which were gracious enough to include me.
Still, even when I was mentioned, I was always second fiddle to the Queen. Which is kind of how it is here at home, too. So I can’t say the position was especially unfamiliar.
This one is, perhaps, my favorite.
We would like to thank Mrs. Hopkins, author of the note below, for inviting us to spend the morning with the first graders of Garnett Elementary.
I’m not sure who got the better end of the deal, the kids for getting to meet the actual Queen of the Universe or me for getting to stand next to her. Regardless, fun was had by all.
Today we are off to Church Hill Elementary, for the sixth and final workshop of the fall season. If you or anyone you know might be interested in having us do a reading/presentation/workshop at a school, library, or community center, we would love to hear the details. Here is the publicity sheet we send out.
If you’d like to download a copy, click here.
For all you folks who are local or local-ish to Baltimore, let it be known that we are doing a bookmaking workshop for kids at the North Point Library this weekend! We’ll be at the library (1716 Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk) on Saturday from 2-4pm. We’ll do a reading of some of our books, and then we’ll get out our crayons and markers and show you how to make your own mix-and-match recombinable book.
Here’s a little preview of the action – my little animated version of the book you’ll be making, Jim, Joe, Larry and SuperBob.
I could only fit Jim, Joe and SuperBob into this animation, but you’ll get to make your own story and characters at the workshop.
If you’re interested in making your own version of the book at the library, call 410-887-7255 for more information and to register.
There’s only room for 20 people, but (shhh, don’t tell!) so far there’s ZERO people signed up for this week’s workshop. So, we’ll be delighted if ANYONE shows up.
We have been told in the past that it’s a fun workshop. Here’s some photographic proof from the last one we did:
Don’t they look like they’re having fun?
And sure, Matthew may be humorless and demanding:
But he sure got those kids to make some great books:
I know I can rely on his hard-as-nails approach to get good work out of the 8-and-under set (and the occasional smile as well, believe it or not):
Fear not, kids! I use the softer, gentler approach:
With equally spectacular results:
So – if you’ve got nothing better to do this weekend, sign on up and see how to make your OWN mix-and-match book!
Also: if you are a teacher, librarian, PTA member or parent who would like us to come give a reading or workshop, DROP US A LINE and hopefully we can work something out!
See you Saturday!
YES! This week’s theme is comic books.
Have you ever seen a comic book? It’s a book where the pages are broken into “panels,” by which I mean little rectangles. Each panel is kind of like its own page.
In comics, the words that characters say appear in speech bubbles coming out of their mouths. Often, comics are about superheroes, but not always.
Here’s a comic about Spider Man.
Comics usually have very exciting covers.
And people in comics say “Pow” a lot.
Don’t ask me why.
The bottom line: comics are awesome. We’re going to spend all week talking about and thinking about comics.
But don’t get too excited. Not yet, anyway. Today’s post will be really short, because today (Saturday, April 5) we are at a comic book show. Which means that we will spend all day in a room full of people who make comic books and people who love comic books. Which means that we will have a chance to take all sorts of pictures of comic books and the people who make them, pictures which we will share with you tomorrow.
The comic book show is called the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts Festival. It’s in New York City. If you and your family happen to live anywhere near New York and enjoy comic books, you might want to consider dropping by. Here is the poster.
And now I am going to sleep, because it is very late at night, and I need to save my energy for tomorrow’s comic book show.
Stay tuned for pictures, stories, and interesting facts and observations about comic books.
If you are looking for something to do in the mean time, may I suggest you make a comic of your own? Making comics gives you a chance to be an author and an illustrator at the same time, which is something we can really get excited about.
Good night! Or good morning. Depending on when you read this.