172 posts categorized "Books"

November 16, 2011

:01 & Digital Galleys


Primer first: a galley is a promotional version of a book printed and distributed in advance of publication.  Wikipedia has some more details; the jist is that one of the ways to get people to be excited about books before they're published is to get them to read the books before they're published, and for that, there needs to be some sort of thing for them to read.  Hence: galleys!

One of the things we're doing in this upcoming season is working with digital galley provider NetGalley to get our books out to readers while a) being environmentally conscious and not printing them on paper and b) not just reaching the people we already know.

NetGalley is basically a website that hosts digital galleys.  We provide them with files and data, they make the books available for people to request, we approve the requests. 

You have to sign up for a NetGalley account to request books, but anyone can have an account.

So!  Our W12 season is currently up on NetGalley, and if you have an account (or would like to make an account), you may go and see if we will give you digital early copies of our books to read. 

Hint: if you are a teacher or a librarian or media, if you say you will blog about or review the books, the answer is probably yes. 

November 11, 2011


There once were a whole lot of nursery rhymes

People had heard them so many times

What could we do

To make something new?

Turning them into comics would be sublime!

This book!  It is so awesome.  Seriously.  You may have noticed it being awesome because we have talked about it so many times.  But if you still have not checked it out: you should.  Be swayed by the power of the limerick.   

November 04, 2011

First Second GoodReads Choice Nominees



Two of our books -- Anya's Ghost and Level Up -- are nominees for this year's GoodReads Choice Awards.  It's a pretty cool award, because titles are chosen based on the stars and the reviews that the GoodReads readers give them.  So it's definitive proof that people like the books!

To celebrate, we're doing give-aways!

You can win a copy of Anya's Ghost here

And a copy of Level Up here

Our thanks to the GoodReads readers who've already read and enjoyed these titles!

War Limericks


There once was a land where there was a war

These teens couldn't be kids anymore.

They thought it'd be fun

Now look what they've done.

They became something they had thought they'd abhor.

This book is an amazing, wonderful story about the realities of war and how close it is to us.  You should read it. 

October 28, 2011

Sled Dog Limericks


Once up in the north there lived some dogs

They must always run, not walk or jog

So they set off running

(at which they were stunning)

Their whole lives were one big slog. 

Mush! you probably haven't heard about yet, because it's forthcoming this winter.  It's about sled dogs!  They are pretty crazy.  You should go check it out. 

October 21, 2011

Missouri Limericks


There once as a boy who wandered far from home

From childhood to adulthood did he roam.

To tell this tale

Of his life and its trail

He wrote this story, told as a poem.


This was Leland Myrick's first book with us; his latest (which we are very excited about!) is Feynman, which just came out last month.  Both are better things than this atrocious limerick is.   

October 14, 2011

Lost Colony Limericks


There once was a secret land

Full of mysteries and puzzles and secrets and

One little girl

She got caught up in a whirl

Nothing went the way she'd planned

You couldn't tell from this limerick, but this is actually a graphic novel that has to do with social consciousness and slavery and the eighteen hundreds.  Yeah; poetry. 

October 13, 2011

On Writing Orcs

from the desk of author Stan Nicholls


How do you roll a bunch of dreams into one?  Easy.  You’re offered the chance to pen a graphic novel after a life-long love affair with comicbooks.  You get to see fictional characters you’ve created come alive as illustrations on the page.  Better yet, you have the privilege of working with a gifted artist and a first-rate editorial team. 

As if that wasn’t enough, you’re handed a bonus -- learning. 

There’s a certain mechanism involved in novel-writing, whereby the different elements -- plot, structure, pace, characterisation, dialogue, etc -- are entwined to form a coherent whole.  There’s a process in the creation of graphic novels too, of course, and much of it’s the same as in a prose novel.  But there are crucial differences.  An obvious factor is achieving the correct balance between pictures and words, with an emphasis on the former because this is, after all, a predominantly visual medium.  (Many people liken it to the movies, which is a reasonable comparison as far as it goes.)  You come to realise that captions, if you must have them at all, are superfluous unless they tell you something the panel doesn’t.  You see the wisdom in not overloading dialogue balloons; how a narrative sequences can flow better when unhampered by wordy explanations; and the power of colour.  (Sometimes, the power of the absence of colour.) 

So I’m doubly grateful for this experience -- for having my series of novels branch out into another medium in Orcs: Forged For War, and for the lessons the project taught me, thanks to the sensibility of Joe Flood’s adaptation.

Much as this author might hate to admit it, in the context of graphic novels a picture is worth a thousand words. 


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!

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