Wednesday, February 26, 2020
In a surprise move, Disney chief executive Robert Iger steps down and is replaced by a theme-park lieutenant [in print as In a surprise move, Disney CEO Iger has stepped down]
John Gallagher has been creating kids' comics for the years, but now he's found the PURR-FECT publisher in a joint effort between Random House Books for Young Readers and Random House Graphic! Hitting shelves October 6, Max Meow: Cat Crusader is a new graphic novel series telling the TAIL of a super hero cat and his scientist best friend, and is perfect for fans of Dog Man or Wimpy Kid!
Meet Max Meow–a secret superhero with CAT-ITUDE in this purr-fectly awesome, hiss-sterically funny new middle grade graphic novel series!
Max is just a regular cat in Kittyopolis, trying to make it big as a web reporter (Followers: 12) That is, UNTIL he accidentally takes a bite of an RADIOACTIVE SPACE MEATBALL at his best friend, scientist Mindy's, SECRET LAB. Then, before you can say MEOWZA, Max becomes…(drum roll!)…The CAT CRUSADER!
Being a super hero is fun (Super strength? Check! Flying? YES!!!)–but not if you get so cocky, you forget your best friend! Will Max learn to listen? Will he and Mindy make up? And together, can Max and Mindy save Kittyopolis from the evil Agent M and BIG BOSS?! Find out in book 1, Max Meow: Cat Crusader— a laugh out loud, furr-ociously funny, action-packed new series filled with so many twists, turns, and terrific jokes it makes bad guys FLEA, and kids cheer with glee!
You can read a 20 page preview and pre-order his book at www.MaxMeow.com
Here's what other creators are saying about Max Meow:
"Meowza! Let's hear it for the coolest new cat crusader, Max!"
--Jennifer & Matthew Holm, co-creators of the Babymouse series
"Funny, furry, and fantastic!"
Judd Winnick, Hilo serries
"Cats and kittens alike will be thrilled to finally have a hero they can look up to"
--- Mike Maihack, Cleopatra in Space graphic novel series
John Gallagher is the art director of the National Wildlife Federation's "Ranger Rick" magazine and has been drawing comics since he was five (John learned to read through comics and went on to earn the distinction of reading every book in his elementary school library!). He created and self-published the Harvey Award-nominated Buzzboy, as well as Roboy Red (with Rich Faber). John is also the cofounder of "Kids Love Comics" (an organization devoted to using graphic novels to promote literacy) and leads workshops teaching kids how to create their own comics.
Friday, March 6, 2020 at 6 PM – 9 PM
With combined credits including Batman, Heroes in Crisis, Mister Miracle, and The Sheriff of Babylon, these gentlemen set new standards of quality with every project they tackle and Strange Adventures looks to maintain that streak.
PLEASE NOTE: We are limiting items signed to 1 copy of Strange Adventures and 2 additional items (a total of 3 items) so as to accommodate all attendees. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
February 29th, 2020
The Bravery of Gordafarid Book Release Event at Pars Place
Inspired by Ferdowsi's Epic Poem, The Shahnameh, this children's book series features fantastic tales from Ancient Iran.
The Bravery of Gordafarid: When the brash warrior Sohraub and his army lay siege to the White Fortress, it's up to a lone heroine known as Gordafarid to find the courage to defend her people. Will she have what it takes to stop the powerful Sohraub? Coming soon!
By Arsia Rozegar. Illustrated by Mike Amante.
March 10, Arlington Reads: Roxane Gay in conversation with Library Director Diane Kresh
A conversation with the author and cultural critic The Guardian has called "America's brightest new essayist." Roxane Gay's writing is unmatched and widely revered. Her work garners international acclaim for its reflective, no-holds-barred exploration of feminism and social criticism. With a deft eye on modern culture, she brilliantly critiques its ebb and flow with both wit and ferocity. This Arlington Reads event is free at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N Quincy St. Arlington, VA 22201. More information, including a registration link. Pre-order Roxane Gay's books for the signing.
(from One More Page's newsletter)
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Monday, February 24, 2020
I learned a lot when I looked into the ideas behind certain beauty products
February 16 2020
As their press release states -
Tales from the Crypt meets All My Friends Are Dead in Bites of Terror: 10 Frightfully Delicious Tales (Quirk Books; On sale: March 24, 2020) by the creative duo Cuddles and Rage, also known as Liz and Jimmy Reed. The team’s adorably creepy work began as a webcomic and has been featured everywhere from Nerdist to the Washington Post. Now they’re bringing their unique combination of adorable hand-sculpted characters, meticulously designed dioramas, and photographed panels to a graphic novel that’s sure to delight anyone with a dark sense of humor. In the book’s foreword, Fangoria magazine’s Phil Nobile, Jr. notes that Cuddles and Rage is “a brilliant storytelling duo that examines the human condition through stories about anthropomorphic foods who live rich, full, hilarious, and often relatable lives.”
From an ice cream cone who makes an ill-fated deal with the devil(’s food cake) to a moldy strawberry craving one last dip in a bowl of whipped cream, Bites of Terror’s characters find themselves caught in various fear-filled scenarios, each with a uniquely morbid twist ending. Introducing the tales is the Cake Creeper, a partially eaten groom’s cake who seems to have a sinister agenda. Here’s a sampling of sinful stories to whet your appetite:
- Pizza Party Massacre: A pizza slice working in children’s entertainment reluctantly agrees to attend a last-minute birthday party at a previous client’s house, the site of a violent incident.
- Death by Chocolate: At the request of his police chief, a turnip detective grudgingly allows a banana from the press to tail him as he investigates a murder spree perpetrated by a killer who removes the chocolate from his tasty victims.Unfortunate Cookie: After his mother’s death, a fortune cookie gains her gift of second sight, but his newfound knowledge may be more curse than blessing.
- Preserved: A peach tries to keep her life and household afloat while dealing with the incessant criticism and neediness of her mother (and roommate).
In our two previous interviews in 2013 and 2016, I don't think we ever firmly pinned this down. For the record, which one of you is Cuddles and which is Rage?
Liz: Personality wise, we go back and forth. Originally, Liz was Rage & Jimmy was Cuddles.
Jimmy: It’s definitely a rotating situation. I feel lucky that we have each other to keep the balance in check.
Where does the name come from anyway?
Liz: “Cuddles” and “Rage” were nicknames we created for each other when we would co-op game together. I can confirm that you are more successful at gaming when you lead with cuddles instead of rage. I died a lot, but Jimmy was always there to revive me.
When last we chatted you were publishing comics on HelloGiggles website. When did you stop doing work for it? Are you doing work for any other web publication now?
Liz: We shared our work there for about two years ending mid-2015. We are so thankful to Zooey Deschanel, Sophia Rossi, and Molly McAleer for the time our comics did live there. They created a platform that lifted a lot of female creators to another level. I don’t think we’d be where we are today without their support. Right now our work is posted on our own site and social accounts, but we’ve done work for a number of other publications and platforms and love collaborating on new projects.
Your new book, Bites of Terror, is a blend of humor and horror. In 2016, you said " the old days of Cuddles and Rage were pretty dark." Did you purposefully decide to return to that darkness after 2 children's books? Or were the stories just coming out darker, and you decided to embrace it?
Liz: Over the years, Jimmy and I have worked hard on fine tuning our voice to match our “quirky stories with heart” mantra. With the picture books, we originally wanted them to be darker, but the stories for that age group needed more cuddles than rage. I love that those stories bring smiles instead of nightmares to kids. I hope we will have an opportunity to write some creepy kidlit one day. After writing each picture book, we would animate a new Dr. Taquito short to unleash all the dark humor brewing inside our hearts. For me, horror is my true love. Bites of Terror gave us the opportunity to create darker stories fit for the whole family to enjoy. This is where we want to be.
Jimmy: I agree, we are huge fans of horror. We’re always writing weirder and darker stories for ourselves. I love that we’ve been able to embrace those aspects of our storytelling with Bites of Terror.
What are your influences here? The original EC comics in this mode, or the later DC ones like House of Mystery, or the Tales from the Crypt tv shows?
Liz: I grew up watching Tales from the Crypt with my mom. That was really my first experience with horror anthologies. Since then I’ve consumed every horror anthology I can get my hands on. They are the perfect length for a quick fix or a long binge watch. In writing the proposal for Bites of Terror, I read a lot of the EC comics and dissected how the stories unfolded. You can’t beat the classics. Watching the HBO Tales does make me clutch my pearls at times now. Was I too young to be watching something so revealing in the 90s? This is a question I’m saving for my mom next Christmas.
Jimmy: I also grew up watching horror with my mom. It’s something that Liz and I discovered that we had in common early in our relationship. We’re huge film fans, and some of our influences there were horror anthologies like Tales from the Crypt, Cat’s Eye, Creepshow, Trilogy of Terror, and Tales from the Hood. I have always gravitated toward compilations where you get to sample multiple stories. I’m that way at a buffet, too - I’m putting a little bit of everything on that plate!
Who takes the lead in writing the spookier stories? The sweeter ones?
Liz: We each wrote five stories. It surprises me to say this, but I think Jimmy may have some of the darker stories in there. Young. Old. Sweet. Sour. Nobody was safe from Jimmy’s words. My stories focused a lot on relationships and life. Our 14-year-old dog passed away while we were writing Bites of Terror. My life had been flipped upside down. Getting lost in the writing during that time was very therapeutic—although some of the early drafts read a little too sad at times.
Jimmy: I think we found a nice balance between us in giving each story its own voice. We each gave a few of our characters some sweeter moments, but we also both put a few of them through the emotional wringer. No food is safe around here.
Who does the character design?
Liz: We typically designed the characters for our respective stories, but Jimmy did most of the heavy lifting there. I focused on sculpting and sets.
Jimmy: For most of the characters, we tried to use the story that was happening to them to help guide their character design. A curmudgeonly old carton of milk needs to have some big, bushy eyebrows. The Cake Creeper was a big collaboration between us. He’s my favorite character in the book.
How many media did you use in the new book? I see clay, photography, drawing & paper cutting (the "Make a Wish" title panel).
Liz: Oh gosh! I lost count. Clay, liquid clay, silicone, foam, acrylics, pastels, wire, wood, paper, gel, inks, foil, sticks, foam board, old clothes, cardboard, cotton, steel wool, spray paint, felt, cabinet liners, mesh bags from produce and tons of miscellaneous trash. It got to the point where I had to accept that maybe some of this stuff was more trash than art.
Are all these stories new for the book?
Liz: All new stories. A few of them were inspired by our older comics.
Are you going to collect your earlier webcomic material?
Jimmy: We have self-published a few compilations for our convention appearances, but would love the opportunity to put a comprehensive volume together.
Are you still going to local cons?
Liz: Yes! Our next local con is Awesome Con DC in May. We always love doing Small Press Expo too in September.
Jimmy: We love the local comics community, and our local conventions have such a great mix of artists. We watch the table for each other so we can shop and always walk away with a bag full of new books and art.
Are those grape neighbors throwing away raisins? Any other food 'easter eggs' included (besides the deviled egg story)?
Liz: Yes. The cycle of life is quite short for those little guys. We hid mini jokes throughout the entire book. We even included Middle-Aged Pig who we sneak into every book we make.
See Cuddles and Rage:
Disturbingly cute stuff by Liz & Jimmy Reed
Follow us on Twitter: @cuddlesandrage
Follow us on Instagram: @cuddlesandrage