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Webcomics Wednesday: The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies

Webcomics Wednesday: The Last Mechanical Monster, by Brian Fies

When a series of animated Superman shorts from the 1940s entered the public domain, artist and writer Brian Fies used one as a launching pad for this Eisner-nominated webcomic about the Inventor, an aged villain, and his protracted plan to wreak vengeance on his enemies. The original Superman cartoon forms the backstory—Superman and Lois Lane […]

By October 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Growing Up Too Fast: A Rock-and-Roll Coming-of-Age

Growing Up Too Fast: A Rock-and-Roll Coming-of-Age

Caitlin Moran’s debut coming-of-age novel, How to Build a Girl, tackles two topics that not enough literary or even coming-of-age fiction does: the sex-obsessed teenage girl and a family living in poverty. I found both topics refreshing, even eye-opening at times, and believe that both will give book groups a lot to discuss. What she […]

By October 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
New Out of the Box: Using Book Swag to Get Kids Reading

New Out of the Box: Using Book Swag to Get Kids Reading

Cindy: I so enjoy coming home to new boxes of books but sometimes I don’t know what to make of the occasional extra special promotional book shipments I receive from publishers. Lots of packaging, cool gimmicks, a bit of a hard sell . . . they sometimes make me feel guilty. But last spring I […]

Advice for Aspiring Authors at the Chicago Writers Conference

Advice for Aspiring Authors at the Chicago Writers Conference

The third annual Chicago Writers Conference will be held this weekend in Dubuque, Iowa. Just kidding, it’s in Chicago. It’s a small and well-run event that stresses practical advice for aspiring authors—founder Mare Swallow is not a fan of empty platitudes or back-slapping from presenters. This year, attendees can look forward to hearing from authors such […]

By October 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
How Many Words Is a Videopoem Worth?

How Many Words Is a Videopoem Worth?

(Get it? Wordsworth?) If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos, at a minimum of 24 frames per second, should easily assume valuations rising to millions of words. And yet poetry is an art form typically marked by an extremely economical distribution of the laureate Sarah Palin called “verbiage.” The poet Richard Fox has released a […]

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
For Bold Book Groups: A Gritty, Historical Country Noir

For Bold Book Groups: A Gritty, Historical Country Noir

When a novel begins with a grandmotherly type passing the family tradition of drowning puppies in the river on to her beloved adopted son, you know it’s going to be dark. That’s the start of Tom Franklin’s 2003 masterpiece, Hell at the Breech. It’s a gritty historical work of country noir, a fictionalization of turn-of-the-nineteenth-century […]

By October 20, 2014 0 Comments Read More →