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21 posts from September 2011

September 13, 2011


"Gorgeous and compelling. Zahra's Paradise is more than a graphic novel. It is a testament to the unbreakable will of a people ready to bear any cost to shake off the yoke of oppression."

Reza Aslan
Author of No god but God


Zahra's Paradise is an event. Thousands have discovered it online at www.zahrasparadise.com as it serialized in a dozen languages. As of today it's a beautiful hardcover book packed with added back matter—all in all, an indispensable entry in the unfolding history of the Middle East, the Arab Spring uprisings, and a very human glimpse into Iran today, right now. And beyond that even, a brother's quest, a missing son, a mother's love make Zahra's Paradise a potent universal tale.

As it releases almost simultaneously around the planet (and many more translations on the way in coming months) Zahra's Paradise does what few books ever do, in fiction or non-fiction. It is born of grief and sorrow, but also of love and delight. It's a transporting experience, and one we're immensely proud to be attached to at First Second.

Please help us propel this book as far as it will go. Order yours today. Tell your friends.

And be sure to sign up at www.zahrasparadise.com for updates.

Feynman #1 on The New York Times Best-Seller List


Can you say exciting?  We are saying it.

The full list is here.

(I don't usually use this blog to link media, because I feel that it's a little self-serving, but hey!  We're not usually #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List.)

September 12, 2011

Sara Varon's Cookie Party


If you haven't read Sara's latest book, Bake Sale, you should check it out!

September 09, 2011

Spacedog Limericks


Once there was a dog who went to outer space

She hadn't expected to be in that place

And so sadly she died

(About which the Russians lied)

Do you really think that wins the space race?

Laika is an amazing story about a really wonderful dog and also about how utterly crazy the space race was -- both about what people did, and what our ideas of what people could do with science were at that point in time.  You should read it!

September 08, 2011

In praise of Sara Varon

Working with Sara Varon is a fascinating experience. She thinks and draws and tells stories like no one I know.


Our first book together was Robot Dreams—a beloved title in places far and wide. It's one of the few books to have been reviewed as children's, teen's and as adult's reading.


There once were two librarians sitting at a table arguing about where Robot Dreams should be shelved. One, a children's librarian, was making a case for it as an early reader, wordless but challenging, a pitch-perfect children's book. The other, an adult librarian, said "You can't fully understand this book if you haven't been through a messy divorce!"


Sara Varon doesn't recycle other people's ideas. She draws from her own well-spring, and it's kooky, unpredictable and brilliant. I think she's what is called a true artist.


And BAKE SALE is the latest wonder to come from that well-spring. It's out now, in the big outer world, from Sara's inner world.

September 07, 2011

The Lorian Gendarme Guidebook for Adventuring Standards

MK Reed and Jonathan Hill (Americus) present:

An excerpt from the SPX Secret Project

The Lorian Gendarme Guidebook for Adventuring Standards



A terrible fate for a stolen child, manbabbies are transformed into confused, rambling giants by goblins to do their bidding. The transformation takes place from one full moon to the next, and seems to involve a diet of troll blood and a lengthy process of leeching, usually on the posterior. This sore spot, which never fully heals, is prodded by goblins to provoke the manbabby into battle. While innocent seeming, manbabbies no longer retain any truly human qualities once they’ve undergone the transformation, as the goblins corrupt the spirit in order to turn the manbabby into their tools for evil. While one might imagine a manbabby is speaking to them, careful listening will discern only a series of babbling nonsense, with no comments indicating higher thought to be heard. 

Find copies at Table H15/16 near the SPX entrance. 

September 05, 2011



SPX is this weekend!  People will be there!!  People we publish!!!  This is very exciting to us!!!!


Sara Varon's Bake Sale just came out this week, and in celebration, next week she'll be down in DC signing with the CBLDF on both Saturday and Sunday.  Stop by and snag a copy of the most delicious graphic novel of the year. 


I just got this author portrait of MK Reed (courtesy of Jonathan Hill), and it is an adorable thing.  MK will be exhibiting at SPX; stop by and check out Americus, her just-publishing graphic novel about standing up for things you believe in and small town life and other good things. 


Joe Flood is exhibiting; he's going to have some advance copies of Orcs to give out to people who roll dice particularly well; you should go and check this book out. 

Also I will be there, and I may have cookies!  Better than cookies, though is comics in libraries, which we'll be doing a program about on Sunday.  If you're interested in comics in libraries, you should come check it out; it should be all sorts of fun. 

September 02, 2011

AMERICUS pubs this week!


Do you remember the first album you bought with your own money? The first one you stayed up late listening to over and over again?

Do you remember being a teenager, and feeling like your favorite song is the most important thing in the world? Like all of your feelings are swirling around in you, inexpressible until someone comes and makes MUSIC out of them, somehow reading your mind and singing what you're thinking but can't say?

Americus is a book about many things. It's about being a teen in small-town America. It's about book-banning. It's about culture wars. It's about the transportative quality of a great story.

And it's about music. And what it's like when you discover music in that soul-churning, heart-thumping, spine-tingling, this is my music kind of way.

Americus makes me miss my Cranberries, my Smashing Pumpkins, my Counting Crows. It makes me miss being fourteen--something I would have thought was impossible.

Being Good Limericks


Once there was a girl who didn't know how to be good

She was fascinated by how others could

Without seeming to try

They knew how to get by

Something she knew that she should.

Jen's art is amazing in this book, and I just love the story about people trying to figure out 'being good' against the norm of behavior. 

September 01, 2011

"Feynman" by Ottaviani and Myrick pubs this week!


Richard Feynman, the subject of Jim and Leland's marvelous graphic novel biography, wrote a book called The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. How's that for a title?

Finding things out is undeniably pleasurable. Anyone who has ever stepped foot in a library or fallen down a wiki hole cannot deny it.

Richard Feynman loved finding out things, and he was brilliantly good at it. That's why they gave him a nobel prize.

Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick made a book about Feynman, and I edited it. Working with Jim and Leland and reading Feynman's own writing was a pleasure not just because it's a beautiful book about an incredibly interesting man (the 20th century's most interesting man?) but because I found out a bunch of things while working on it.

I found out that physics is heart-achingly beautiful, and very very strange.

I found out why light reflects off glass and water the way it does.

I found out that the nation of Tuva used to have triangular postage stamps.

I found out all of these things because Richard Feynman found them out first.

Editing FEYNMAN gave me access to a mind. The mind of Richard Feynman, a man who viewed the world with such intense interest, curiosity, optimism, and enthusiasm that just the mention of his name in certain circles will make everyone in the room smile.

I'm one of those people, now. And it's because of this book. I hope you read it. We could all use a little inspiration every now and then; a few hours spent looking at the world through someone else's eyes, learning what they learn and finding new joy in the world through their passions.

You could not pick a better man to inspire you. This book will make your day. It may even change your life.


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