Friday, December 7, 2007

Free Comic Book Day to be All Ages

Johanna Draper Carlson reports that Free Comic Book Day has added “Your book should be for all ages and contain no nudity” to it's silver level contracts. Previously only gold level books were required to be all ages.
Is this a good thing? In my opinion, no. I can see why they did it, considering the ridiculously extended legal problems of Gordon Lee, but if the more adult books are clearly marked on the outside that should take care of the problem. There are some great comics out there that are not aimed at kids -- no need to spoil it for everyone.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Toon Books

Have you ever had a really great idea, but you didn't know how to go about making it reality, and then some else does it and you're conflicted between jealousy that you didn't get to it and giddy joy that it really was a good idea after all?

Yeah, so that's where I am right now.

I've wanted to create a line of comics for early readers for years, and now someone has done it, and so much better than I ever could have dreamed: Francoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman, comic and art legends and publishers of the fantastic Little Lit line will launch Toon Books in Spring 2008 and all I can say is, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!" Check out the website for all the details and some wonderful preview pages.

The comic format is so wonderful for early readers as the pictures support the text directly. There are many children's "picture books" on the market right now which are actually comics or use comic conventions, but this is the first time I've seen someone really trumpet the format for young readers. And when experts like Mouly and Spiegelman talk, people listen.

Angouleme Nominees

The international comics festival in Angouleme, France is coming up in January. It's a whole city of comics and animation!
The nominees for various awards have been announced and the French versions of Linda Medley's Castle Waiting, Gene Yang's American Born Chinese, and Shaun Tan's The Arrival are among the nominees for the "Official Selection" which is like the Grand Prize.
Among the nominees for the "Youth Selection" award I recognized Jordan Crane's The Clouds Above and Emmanuel Guibert's Sardine 5. Unfortunately the only information on the official site about the Youth nominees are the covers, which makes me want to find out more about them all.
There will also be a contest where kids from 12 local schools will vote on one of five books (chosen by the school district in collaboration with the festival) and and then visit the festival to meet the author or authors for whom they voted. What a fantastic idea.
You should definitely check out the winners of the Comic Book Competition in Schools. Incredible talent for sure - I would read anything by Lucrece Andreae!

...aaaaaand we're back.

Not that many people noticed, but the girls and I have been on hiatus for about 6 months. We're planning on starting up the Newsarama column again in January, so as a warm-up I thought I'd do a bit of blog posting.

The reasons for the break from writing were many, including school and other activities, but also because it had become more of a job than fun. Just so everyone is clear, we get paid exactly $0 for reviewing comics. We get quite a few books sent to us by publishers and individual creators and the pressure to review them all was getting to be a bit much.

So, new ground rules: The girls will review only books they love. If you send us something and it gets a negative or neutral reaction from the girls I'm not going to force them to write a review of it. I will continue to post news items and my own mini reviews here at the blog and I will try to list the titles and links for anything anyone sends us. Fair enough?

Ok, so now it's back to (completely unpaid but really, really fun) work.