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18 posts from October 2011

October 12, 2011

Between the Panels

(a free download of interesting things)


For New York Comic-Con this year, we worked with FSG and with Tor to put together a free, downloadable piece called Between the Panels.  It'll be available at NYCC, but you can also download it at that link.

What is in this free downloadable piece, do you ask?


It has essays and art and comics from people like Orson Scott Card, Jonathan Case, Chase Conley, Chris Duffy, Jonathan Hill, Thomas LeBien, Leland Myrick, Stan Nicholls, Jim Ottaviani, MK Reed, and Sara Varon that take you behind the scenes and into the process of how a comic gets made. 

And that amazing cover is by Joe Flood, of course!

Check it out

October 11, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Comics

from the desk of Nursery Rhyme Comics editor Chris Duffy

I'd argue that Nursery Rhyme Comics is a one-of-a-kind book. As its editor, I'm inclined to believe that--where else will you get such a great variety of cartoonists bringing their imaginations to such classic material?  But it's also a fact that back in the Golden Age of comic books (the 40s and 50s), there were a handful of comic books that featured comics versions of nursery rhymes. Most of these were the work of Walt Kelly, who, even if he hadn't gone on to draw Pogo, would still be remembered for some of the best kids stories in comics--in Dell comics titles such as Animal Comics, Fairy Tale Parade, Brownies, and Mother Goose Comics.

I've read enough of Kelly's nursery rhyme work to have favorites--and to me his best work in this sub-sub genre were his "Animal Mother Goose" comics that ran in Raggedy Ann + Andy Comics in the mid-1940s. The recipe is simple: Cast the rhyme with animals (even when there are no animals in the original) and riff gently.

Pancake and calendar001
Sugar and spice001
Sugar and spice002

I think the cartoonists in Nursery Rhyme Comics carries on in this same winning tradition: They keep the rhyme's words intact and joyfully flesh out the details while never fighting against apparent meaning (when there is one) of the rhyme. And when there's no immediately clear story in the rhyme, Kelly and the artists in Nursery Rhyme Comics just make sure the reader has a very good time.

October 10, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Comics: Give-Away


This book: super-awesome. 

Also we are giving a few copies away on Goodreads, so you should check that out!  It is very handsome and full of cartoonists!

Flatiron Snacks: The Shake Shack


Whatever else you have to say about the Shake Shack, you have to admit: they have an excellent graphic designer.  Look at that hamburger graphic!  Is that not all the things you wish for a hamburger to be?  (Yes, it really is.)

But I specifically wanted to recommend their custard before it gets too cold to recommend cold outdoor things to anyone.  So: instead of ice cream, the Shake Shack makes custard (which is like ice cream, but with egg yolks, which makes it richer and creamier).  It is delicious!  And, if you're just getting a custard order, you can stand in their B line, which is much shorter and more convenient than the regular line; you're generally out in between five and fifteen minutes.

What's not to like? 

They do chocolate and vanilla (and you can get mix-ins; I am especially fond of the peanut butter sauce, which I wish every ice cream place would have) and a special daily custard flavor.  My favorite so far this year?  Basil!


October 07, 2011

Small Vampire Limericks


There once was a small vampire who was very sad

He had no one to play with, good or bad

Then he went to school

Where he met someone cool

Together they had adventures with his dad. 

Little Vampire is an adorable thing.  You should check it out.  Because of adorableness.

October 06, 2011

New York Comic-Con

First Second's will be at next week's New York Comic-Con!  We've got booth 1730, and we've got lots of most excellent authors signing with us.  You should stop by!



12:30 – Nick Bertozzi, Lewis & Clark

2:00 – Joe Flood, Orcs

3:30 – Ben Hatke, Zita the Spacegirl



11:00 – Sara Varon, Bake Sale

12:30 – Nursery Rhyme Comics, with Nick Abadzis, Scott Campbell, and Dave Roman

2:00 – Dave Roman, Astronaut Academy

3:30 – George O’Connor, Hera

4:30 – Joe Flood, Orcs



10:00 – Ben Hatke, Zita the Spacegirl

11:00 – Carla Jablonski, Defiance

12:30 – MK Reed, Americus

2:00 – Nursery Rhyme Comics, with Leonard Marcus, Dave Roman, Raina Telgemeier, Sara Varon, and Stephanie Yue


We're also doing a workshop with nursery rhymes for kids at 12:15 on Sunday; it's going to be a whole lot of fun. 

We'd love to see you.

October 04, 2011

Pipes, Gears, Mummies & Steampunk Week


Tor.com is having a Steampunk Week this week, celebrating all things gears and top hats (and I am assured they will have some comics, too), so I thought I'd spend some time on one of my favorite First Second graphic novels:


The Professor's Daughter, by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

This book is a love story between a mummy and an Egyptologist's daughter.

Also it is a gorgeous book!  I'm not sure what Guibert uses to do the art -- watercolor and some sort of oil pastel would be my guess -- but it is probably one of the most sepia-y steampunk books to ever exist.  And I feel that's appropriate for steampunk.

The other thing that I feel is very steampunk-y about this book is the hijinx.  It is possibly an artificial integration on my part, but one of the things I get from steampunk is a sense of joy from its creators, who are all making this brave new world of gears and costumes and crazy machinery because they think it's fun and exciting and wonderful. 

The Professor's Daughter echos that, from the point when the mummy, Imhotep IV, wakes up in the bright new world of Victorian England and finds himself in love -- and also very confused.  Embarking upon a careening unicycle ride of a narrative, the author and illustrator nonetheless manage to guide their love-stricken protagonists to safe waters (Queen Victoria not so much, as she ends up being pitched into the Thames). 

In conclusion: read this book!

October 03, 2011

Zahra's Paradise on the New York Times Best-Seller List


Zahra's Paradise hit this week's New York Times Best-Seller List

This is doubly exciting for us as this book is -- as well as being a good book -- a call-to-action about the state of events in Iran.  If you read Persepolis and thought, someone should do something, here's what came out of that. 

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