Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fun Science and Science Fiction For Fans of All Ages

For  ABCWednesday's "F" Week and as we fall from summer of 2014, to autumn (intersecting the end of summer and beginning of school)  I thought I'd bridge science fact and fun.

Astronomy and planetary facts and fun:

 Ron Miller, photographer, illustrator and former art director for the National Air and Space Museum's Albert Einstein Planetarium created a series of images visualizing what our nightly views might look like if planets, instead of our moon, orbited Earth. Here are some gems, but please visit his website at: http://io9.com/5929076/what-if-we-had-a-planet-instead-of-a-moon

FACTS:
  • Our moon is pretty big - it is a quarter the diameter of the Earth.
  • At a distance of about 240,000 miles, the Moon occupies a space int he night sky about half a degree wide. By Sheer coincidence, this is close to the same size the sun appears (which is why we occasionally get total solar eclipses).
  • Mars, the red planet, is almost exactly twice the size of the moon - so it would appear twice as big in the Earth's sky. 
  • Venus is three and a half times larger than the moon.
  • Neptune and Uranus are more than fourteen times larger than the moon.
  • Saturn is almost 35 times larger than the Moon.
  • Jupiter is the largest planet, forty ties larger than the Moon.
FUN:

Here is what it would look like if Mars orbited Earth.:
What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?


Here is what it might look like if Venus orbited Earth. Miller notes that Venus "would be nearly as large in our sky as the Earth appeared to the Apollo astronauts, when they were walking on the surface of the Moon."
What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?



Here is what it might look like if Neptune orbited Earth. Miller notes, "Neptune would loom like an enormous blue balloon in the night sky. And dominate the daytime sky, as well. All other things being equal, an eclipse of the sun would seem to last forever."
 What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?

 Here is what it might look like if Uranus orbited Earth. Miller notes that Uranus is nearly the same size as Neptune and would provide a very similar view:
What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?

Here is what it might look like if Saturn orbited Earth. Miller notes that Saturn's "golden globe would cover nearly 18 degrees of the sky...the rings would stretch nearly from horizon to horizon.":
What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?

 Here is what it might look like if Jupiter  orbited Earth. According to Miller, "Jupiter would stretch 20 degrees across the sky...This close, we'd be looking "up" at the northern hemisphere and "down" at the southern hemisphere, so the cloud bands would be distinctly curved in perspective....We would not be able to visualize the north and south poles of the planet.":
What if we had a planet instead of a Moon?


Mixing Math, Science and Science Fiction:

The infographic below (How Many Alien Civilizations are there in the Galaxy?)was designed by  Information is Beautiful to illustrate the Drake equation for the BBC.  The Drake equation is a probabilistic equation used to calculate how many potential aliens may exist in the Milky Way Galaxy. Here is a link for the really curious souls among us: http://activemind.com/Mysterious/Topics/SETI/drake_equation.html Also note that this is an interactive equation - it changes with different input.  For REALLY BOLD explorers,you can use this same link (scrolling down) to see how it changes.

The Drake equation was written in 1961 by Frank Drake and intended as a means to stimulate scientific dialogue at the world's first SETI meeting. It summarizes main concepts scientists must incorporate when considering other radio-communicative life and is quite controversial as several of its factors are currently unknown.  Thus it is a wonderful example of science fun and fun science fiction:

How May Alien Civilizations are There in the Galaxy? infographic


Finally, pure science fiction fun for Firefly and Nathan Fillion Fans:
An  infographic from: http://www.coolinfographics.com/blog/tag/space

Well, I figure, this is may be more science fun and fiction than you can handle in one sitting so feel free to visit and explore in intervals.
In the meantime, thank you for your visit and please leave your impressions in the comments below.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Dastardly Ne'er Do Wells of San Diego Comic-Con 2014

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 was an absolute blast. I had four panels (which I mentioned in my earlier post, "International Comic-Con:Sad Diego 2014 - Some Background and Batman").

This post, I thought I'd share some of my highlights with you and ask you to help break a tie.

My first panel, CBLDF's Using Graphic Novels in Education was a lot of fun, and while there were no recordings or images (at least that I know of) from this panel, there is a free booklet you can download, "Raising Readers!" that explains why graphic novels should be considered for classroom content.  Please to go http://cbldf.org/2013/07/cbldf-releases-raising-a-reader-a-resource-for-parents-and-educators/ for a free download.

My second panel, Kids' Heroes, Capes and Journeys, Does One Size Fit All? was a big hit. We spoke about Campbell's monomyth, discussed how today's heroes do and do not fit the mold, whether our accomplished authors even think of the monomyth as they create their heroes, and then had our  panelist illustrators design four different San Diego Comic-Con 2014 heroes. Unfortunately, I don't have any images to share. The images drawn were then auctioned the next day at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Auction - proceeds to help fight book challenges and bannings.

The third panel, CBLDF's Graphic Novels and their Turbulent Past: Now Classroom Tools of Tolerance was mentioned in The New York Times and audio recorded. Here is a photo of my and my panelists:


CBLDF GN Programming Panel 1.JPG  

Here is a link for the audio of the complete panel - questions and all - courtesy of Jamie Coville, comicbooks.com and bleedingcool.com (54:32, 49.9mb http://www.thecomicbooks.com/Audio/2014-07-26-SanDiego-CBLDF_GNsAndTheirTurbulentPast.mp3.

Finally, we come to the fourth panel, for which I'll need your help. From Snidely Whiplash to Voldemort and Back: They Guys (and Gals?) We Love to Hate was a huge success. The room was packed with people who came to talk about the dastardly villains we all love to hate. I had an awesome lineup of panelists and we talked about what makes a great villain. We then had a draw-off of two teams - each on a quest to create the ultimate San Diego Comic-Con Villain. Our large audience came back with a tie. So here ar our two villain concepts. Which one would you vote for as San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Villain?

This is the product of Matthew Holm (Babymous and Squish ) and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin):

This is the product of Jim DiBartolo (In the Shadows) and Larry Marder (Beanworld), along with Jim's young daughter's assistance (she added the "Poop" :-D)

Well, that's about it for this week.
Thank you, as always, for your visit.
Please leave your vote for Dastardly Villain in the comments below (along with any other remarks and reactions you'd care to share).


Dastardly Ne'er Do Wells of San Diego Comic-Con 2014...and more.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014 was an absolute blast. I had four panels (which I mentioned in my earlier post, "International Comic-Con:Sad Diego 2014 - Some Background and Batman").

This post, I thought I'd share some of my highlights with you and ask you to help break a tie.

My first panel, CBLDF's Using Graphic Novels in Education was a lot of fun, and while there were no recordings or images (at least that I know of) from this panel, there is a free booklet you can download, "Raising Readers!" that explains why graphic novels should be considered for classroom content.  Please to go http://cbldf.org/2013/07/cbldf-releases-raising-a-reader-a-resource-for-parents-and-educators/ for a free download.

My second panel, Kids' Heroes, Capes and Journeys, Does One Size Fit All? was a big hit. We spoke about Campbell's monomyth, discussed how today's heroes do and do not fit the mold, whether our accomplished authors even think of the monomyth as they create their heroes, and then had our  panelist illustrators design four different San Diego Comic-Con 2014 heroes. Unfortunately, I don't have any images to share. The images drawn were then auctioned the next day at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Auction - proceeds to help fight book challenges and bannings.

The third panel, CBLDF's Graphic Novels and their Turbulent Past: Now Classroom Tools of Tolerance was mentioned in The New York Times and audio recorded. Here is a photo of my and my panelists:


CBLDF GN Programming Panel 1.JPG  

Here is a link for the audio of the complete panel - questions and all - courtesy of Jamie Coville, comicbooks.com and bleedingcool.com (54:32, 49.9mb http://www.thecomicbooks.com/Audio/2014-07-26-SanDiego-CBLDF_GNsAndTheirTurbulentPast.mp3.

Finally, we come to the fourth panel, for which I'll need your help. From Snidely Whiplash to Voldemort and Back: They Guys (and Gals?) We Love to Hate was a huge success. The room was packed with people who came to talk about the dastardly villains we all love to hate. I had an awesome lineup of panelists and we talked about what makes a great villain. We then had a draw-off of two teams - each on a quest to create the ultimate San Diego Comic-Con Villain. Our large audience came back with a tie. So here ar our two villain concepts. Which one would you vote for as San Diego Comic-Con 2014 Villain?

This is the product of Matthew Holm (Babymous and Squish ) and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin):

This is the product of Jim DiBartolo (In the Shadows) and Larry Marder (Beanworld), along with Jim's young daughter's assistance (she added the "Poop" :-D)

Well, that's about it for this week.
Thank you, as always, for your visit.
Please leave your vote for Dastardly Villain in the comments below (along with any other remarks and reactions you'd care to share).


San Diego Comic-Con 2014's Dastardly Ne'er Do Wells and More

Sunday, July 20, 2014

International Comic-Con: San Diego 2014 - Some Background and Batman

It's 'bout that time of year...San Diego International Comic Convention.  And, while I know ABCWednesday's Round 15 is only at "B" week, I thought I'd give some background to this truly iconic cultural event and share my schedule with you.

BACKGROUND:

Comic-Con International: San Diego
Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single
-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow.
From the beginning, the founders of the show set out to include not only the comic books they loved
,but also other aspects of the popular arts that they enjoyed and felt deserved wider recognition,  including films and science fiction/fantasy literature. After one more name change (San Diego’s West Coast Comic Convention, in 1972), the show officially became the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 1973 with the fourth annual event. In 1995, the non
-profit event changed its name to Comic-Con International: San Diego (CCI).
The show's main home in the 1970s was the fondly remembered El Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego. In 1979
,Comic-Con moved to the Convention and Performing Arts Center (CPAC), and stayed there until 1991, when the new San Diego Convention Center opened. Comic-Con has been at home in that facility for over two decades.
With attendance topping 130,000 in recent years—in a convention center facility that has maxed out in space—the event has grown to include satellite locations, including local hotels and outdoor parks. Programming events, games, anime, the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival
,and the Eisner Awards all take place outside of the Convention Center, creating a campus-type feel for the convention in downtown San Diego.

Photo by Kevin Green
© 2012 SDCC
Over the years, Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions. The event continues to offer the complete convention experience: a giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet in its current incarnation); a massive programming schedule (over 600 separate events in 2012), featuring comics and all aspects of the popular arts, including hands-on workshops and educational and academic programming such as the Comics Arts Conference; anime and film screenings (including a separate film festival); games; the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars” of the comics industry; a Masquerade costume competition with prizes and trophies; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.
Comic-Con has presented literally thousands of special guests at its conventions over the years, bringing comics creators
,science fiction and fantasy authors
,film and television directors, producers, and writers
,and creators from all aspects of the popular arts together with their fans for a fun and often times candid discussion of various art forms. The event has seen an amazing array of comics and book publishers in its Exhibit Hall over the years. Over it
s four
-decade-plus history, Comic-Con International has continually presented comic books and comic art to a growing audience. That love of the comics medium continues to be its guiding factor as the event moves toward its second half-century as the premier comic book and popular arts style convention in the world.
- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf
 Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans put on the first comic book convention in southern California. It began as a one-day mini-con called San Diego's Golden State Comic-Minicon held on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel, downtown Dan Diego. There were two guest speakers (Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer) and 100 guests.  This was so successful that they had another - this time a full-fledged, three-day Comic-con (San Diego's Golden State Comic-Con) Augutst 1-3, 1970 (also at the U.S. Grant Hotel) with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A.E. van Vogt with over 300 attendees packed into the hotel's basement.

After one more name change (San Diego's West Coast Comic-Convention), in 1972, the show officially became the San Diego Comic-Can (SDCC) in 1973, and then became Comic-Con International: San Diego in 1995. The show's main home in the 1970's was the El Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego. In 1979, as crowds expanded Comic-Con moved to the Convention and Performing Arts Center from 1979-1991 until the San Diego Convention Center opened and now hosts the event.
Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow. - See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf
Comic-Con International: San Diego
Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single
-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow.
From the beginning, the founders of the show set out to include not only the comic books they loved
,but also other aspects of the popular arts that they enjoyed and felt deserved wider recognition,  including films and science fiction/fantasy literature. After one more name change (San Diego’s West Coast Comic Convention, in 1972), the show officially became the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in 1973 with the fourth annual event. In 1995, the non
-profit event changed its name to Comic-Con International: San Diego (CCI).
The show's main home in the 1970s was the fondly remembered El Cortez Hotel in downtown San Diego. In 1979
,Comic-Con moved to the Convention and Performing Arts Center (CPAC), and stayed there until 1991, when the new San Diego Convention Center opened. Comic-Con has been at home in that facility for over two decades.
With attendance topping 130,000 in recent years—in a convention center facility that has maxed out in space—the event has grown to include satellite locations, including local hotels and outdoor parks. Programming events, games, anime, the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival
,and the Eisner Awards all take place outside of the Convention Center, creating a campus-type feel for the convention in downtown San Diego.

Photo by Kevin Green
© 2012 SDCC
Over the years, Comic-Con has become the focal point for the world of comics conventions. The event continues to offer the complete convention experience: a giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet in its current incarnation); a massive programming schedule (over 600 separate events in 2012), featuring comics and all aspects of the popular arts, including hands-on workshops and educational and academic programming such as the Comics Arts Conference; anime and film screenings (including a separate film festival); games; the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the “Oscars” of the comics industry; a Masquerade costume competition with prizes and trophies; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.
Comic-Con has presented literally thousands of special guests at its conventions over the years, bringing comics creators
,science fiction and fantasy authors
,film and television directors, producers, and writers
,and creators from all aspects of the popular arts together with their fans for a fun and often times candid discussion of various art forms. The event has seen an amazing array of comics and book publishers in its Exhibit Hall over the years. Over it
s four
-decade-plus history, Comic-Con International has continually presented comic books and comic art to a growing audience. That love of the comics medium continues to be its guiding factor as the event moves toward its second half-century as the premier comic book and popular arts style convention in the world.
- See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf

Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow. - See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf
Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow. - See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf
Comic-Con International: San Diego began in 1970 when a group of comics, movie, and science fiction fans -- including the late Shel Dorf, Ken Krueger, and Richard Alf -- banded together to put on the first comic book convention in southern California. Comic-Con started as a one-day “minicon,” called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Minicon, on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The purpose of this single-day event—which included two special guests, Forrest J Ackerman and Mike Royer, and drew about 100 attendees—was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. The success of the minicon led to the first full-fledged, three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, with guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby, and A. E. van Vogt. Over 300 attendees packed into the hotel’s basement for that groundbreaking event, which featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, and more: essentially, the model for every comic book convention to follow. - See more at: http://www.comic-con.org/about#sthash.eGzdw4Nl.dpuf
Here is a short YouTube video of the history and impact of SDCC:


TODAY:

In recent years, attendance has topped 1300,000 requiring the expansion of events to satellite locations.  Since 2011, tickets to the convention have sold out the first day and the weekend events pump over $180,000,000 into San Diego itself.

There is a giant Exhibit Hall (with over 460000 square feet) where comic books, Hollywood and television studio promotions, magazines, games and pop-culture paraphernalia can be seen and had by all.  SDCC also hosts:
  •  A massive programming schedule (over 600 separate events in 2012); 
  • Anime and film screenings (first initiated in 1976 with a new science-fiction movie just made, Star Wars); 
  • Games - including a Walking Dead Zombie Run; 
  • Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards; 
  • A Masquerade costume competition (an annual parade of fan-clad costumes with large prizes awarded to winners - which was first hosted in 1974); 
  • An Autograph Area; 
  • An Art Show and Portfolio reviews.


THIS YEAR: 
The mega-convention of almost everything pop culture runs July 24-27 and the southern California city will be awash with outrageous costumes, A-list stars, informative panels, limited-edition merchandise, fan-based art and yes, of course, aisles of rare and hard-to-find comic books.

Aside from my four panels (below), here are some other major attractions this year:
  • Lucasfilm is promoting its latest offering from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. "Star Wars Rebels" is a new animated series which will air on Disney XD in the fall. It's set five years before the events of "Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope" and tells the story of the Rebellion’s beginnings while the Empire spreads tyranny through the galaxy.
  • To honor the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, NASA is making its first official landing at Comic-Con with panel featuring Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11 Astronaut), moderator Seth Green (actor, writer, director and producer), Dr. Jim Green (NASA's division director of Planetary Science), Mike Fincke (NASA Astronaut), and "Mohawk Guy" Bobak Ferdowsi (Curiosity and Europa Missions).

  • Batman  turns 75 and DC Entertainment is all set with a slew of panels, previews, promotions and exhibits to help fans of all ages celebrate. Here are some highlights, but for more, check out http://finance.yahoo.com/news/dc-entertainment-celebrates-75-years-173200065.html
    •  Comic icons Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, DCE Co-Publisher and renowned Batman artist Jim Lee (BATMAN:HUSH), DCE Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns (BATMAN:EARTH ONE), current BATMAN creative team, writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, along with vintage superstar BATMAN team writer Denny O’Neill and artist Neal Adams in an in-depth discussion on the legendary character’s explosive adventures in comics both past and present. Thursday 3:30-4:30pm Room 6BCF
    • Delve into how Batman has been brought to life in comics, TV, movies and video games with Lee, Johns, BATMAN ’66 MEETS THE GREEN HORNET co-writer and KROQ radio personality Ralph Garman, the legendary voice of Batman Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman: Arkham Knight), producer and writer Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series), and Peter Girardi, Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs, Warner Bros Animation. Saturday 4-5:00pm Room 6BCF
    • Debut of Batman: The Complete Television Series with a can’t-miss panel featuring Batman on-screen legends Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar. Thursday 6-7pm Hall H
    • DC Entertainment’s interactive 4,500 square foot booth (#1915) will hold costumes donned by those who famously brought the legendary hero to life on film including Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale. Plus, the booth will host signings with top talent including Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr., Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and more, along with a full slate of free giveaways, fan events and on-stage demonstrations.  
    • Attend the world premiere of Warner Bros. Television and FOX’s upcoming show Gotham during the star-studded “A Night of DC Entertainment” Hall H panel on Saturday evening from 8:00–11:00 p.m.
If you, your friends, and/or family plan to be there, I hope you'll stop by at least one of my four panels and say hello.
While the crowds are REALLY large, and at times overwhelming, it is definitely worth a look if you're in the area. It is truly an EVENT.



If you're around, please come say hello at one (or all) of my panels.  
In the meantime, thank you for your visit, and please leave your comic-con experiences or reactions in the comments below.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Amelia Rules!

  “One thing I noticed about grown-ups…They’re not funny!” – Amelia, The Whole World’s Crazy by Jimmy Gownley

In honor or Round 15 for ABCWednesday and summer of 2014, I thought I'd highlight an incredible graphic novel series, Amelia Rules by Jimmy Gownley.
Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Simon & Schuster)
Amelia Rules!  is a New York Times Bestseller. It has been nominated for thirteen Eisner Awards (four nominations in 2008 alone), five Harvey Awards, and was a short list finalist for the Howard E. Day Prize in 2002. In 2007, Volume 3: Superheroes won the Cybil Award for best graphic novel for readers aged twelve and under. In 2008 Gownley won the Pennsylvania Library Association One Book Award, and in 2012, Volume 8:  Her Permanent Record became the first Amelia Rules! Book to make the New York Times bestseller list.

There are eight books to the Amelia Rules Series:
1.     The Whole World’s Crazy
2.     What Makes You Happy
3.     Superheroes
4.     When the Past is a Present
5.     Amelia Rules!: The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular
6.     True Things (Adults Don’t Want Kids to Know)
7.     The Meaning of Life and Other Stuff
8.     Her Permanent Record

Why not take a look at the Amelia Rules! Trailer on YouTube:

And if you want more, here's an Amelia Rules! True Things Trailer on YouTube:

Finally,  here's an interview with Jimmy Gownley where he reveals all...well, almost all - espcially about being popular and background inspiration for his series:


 OVERVIEW
Amelia Rule! by Jimmy Gownley (Simon & Schuster)
Amelia Rules!  is an empowering, heart-warming story about Amelia Louise McBride who moves with her Mom to a small town in Pennsylvania to live with her uber-cool aunt Tanner, after her parents’ divorce.  Amelia, along with her friends Reggie, Pajamaman (or PJ), and Rhonda Bleenie (Amelia’s best frenemy) tackle all the world throws at them, with some guidance from Tanner, Amelia’s aunt, confidante, and former rock-star. Through laughs, challenges and spills, we all learn about friendship, family, about the “truths” of life, and about the joys of not taking anything too seriously – as long as there are people (as flawed as they may be) to provide support when necessary.
Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Simon & Schuster)
Throughout the series, Amelia and her friends deal with divorce, bullies, death, stardom, and just about everything Gownley throws at them. From beginning to end, the series shows us how to gracefully and not-so-gracefully embrace life.
Aside from the wonderful “truths” and laughs that fill these pages, Gownley also creates a rich visual world for us to savor. While his characters are simply drawn (much like Charles Schulz’s Peanuts and Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes), they are by no means simple.  The image, panel and page design are dazzling. They’re vibrant, colorful, and casual, and the overall panel elements are brilliant as Gownley scaffolds levels of insight and storytelling through image, font, color, design and text. Gownley (seeming effortlessly) weaves present, past and future, with references to Scott McCloud, Bob Dylan, and other glorious and not-so-glorious pop culture references.
While these books are geared for 7-12 year olds, they are wonderfully entertaining for readers of all ages, and provide summer, school, or any-time fun.
Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Simon & Schuster)
In short Amelia Rules!  is a story about life’s truths and challenges. It shows us it’s ever so much easier to face those challenges with friends, family and a sense of humor. And, while learning life’s lessons, the series is full of GEMS from literature, music, and philosophy. But most of all, it’s just PURE FUN.

Throughout Amelia Rule! Jimmy Gownley discusses:
  • ·      The ups and downs of friends, frenemies, bullies and group stereotypes;
  • ·      Learning how to live and navigate through divorce;
  • ·      The fears and challenges of moving;
  • ·      Whether or not Santa Clause is real;
  • ·      Dealing with death and fears of funerals;
  • ·      How people with disabilities are often treated differently;
  • ·      The affect a “bad” label can have and the importance of perspective and being true to oneself;
  • ·      Finding what makes us happy;
  • ·      Coming of age and learning to balance dreams, flaws and life’s challenges;
  • ·      How to deal with real and imagined dangers (from camping, to games like Truth or Dare and Spin the Bottle, to a parent deployed for a year overseas).
Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gownley (Simon & Schuster)
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Suggested Prose Novel and Poetry Pairings
For greater discussion on literary style and/or content here are some prose novels about growing up, about being a pre-teen/teen, and about challenges of middle school and high school that you may want to read and pair with Amelia Rules!:
·      Smile and Drama by Raina Telgemeier –an autobiographic memoire about Telgemeier’s dealing with middle school, serious (and embarrassing) dental work, high school, friendships, and finding one’s voice.
·      Freckle Juice, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing;  Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; and Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great – just a few of the books Judy Blume wrote about the honest and humorous trails of growing up.
·      Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – a series about a boy and his struggles in middle school.
·      Pippi Longstocking – a series by Astrid Lindgren centering around Pippi, an irrepressible nine-year-old girl with a unique way of doing things.  Pippi, and her neighbors Tommy and Annika make everything into an adventure and are hard to put down.
·      Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – a series of books about sisters growing up in a time long past. Have students compare the stories, the characters and the way the authors address similar themes.
·      Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson – collections of comic strips about a rambunctious six year old with a vivid imagination and sharp intellect who shares “truths” with us much like Amelia.
·      Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud – an outstanding book and resource that brilliants explains fundamental concepts of visual literacy and the art of making comics.

Amelia Rules! by Jimmy Gowley (Simon & Schuster)
NOTE: Being summer, I am not including teaching suggestions.  For extensive teaching and classroom suggestions, please go to http://cbldf.org/2014/08/using-graphic-novels-in-education-amelia-rules/ - "Using Graphic Novels in Education: Amelia Rules!"


 As always, thanks for your visit.
Please leave a comment before leaving and enjoy these GREAT READS!!!
In closing, here's one last glimpse:



Monday, June 30, 2014

Yearning: In Music, Literature, Television and Consumer Paradise

In  honor of ABCWednesday's "Y" Week, I thought I'd talk about yearning. According to Dictionary.com:

year [yurn]

verb (used without object)
1. to have an earnest or strong desire; long: to yearn for a quiet vacation.
2. to feel tenderness; be moved or attracted: They yearned over their delicate child.

 Famous Quotes:

“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
“How we need another soul to cling to, another body to keep us warm. To rest and trust; to give your soul in confidence: I need this, I need someone to pour myself into.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 
“I’m wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there: not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart: but really with it, and in it.”
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights 
“They say "ya gotta stay hungry"...
Hey Baby...I'm just about starvin' tonight!”
Bruce Springsteen
“...Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... ”
I never expected anyone to take care of me, but in my wildest dreams and juvenile yearnings, I wanted the house with the picket fence from June Allyson movies. I knew that was yearning like one yearns to fly.“
Books may be burned and cities sacked, but truth like the yearning for freedom, lives in the hearts of humble men and women.


Musical Yearning- 

 
 Ben Harper "Morning Yearning" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlNGEpief3Q

 


Yearning and Humor

Seinfeld "The Keys" (Do You Ever Yearn?) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnqBAuehmhM


Integrating yearning and visual literacy, I thought I'd share the infographic below on how advertisers and marketers use color and design to help play to our yearnings and affect our purchasing. While it is meant for marketing purposes, as consumers, it's awful helpful to know how we may or may not be suckered into following and feeding our impulses and yearnings.

[Note: the infographic below on how color,  design, time, and the power of words are used to play on our yearnings and affect our purchases can be found at  http://blog.kissmetrics.com/color-psychology/?wide=1 and used the following resources: dirjournal.com, colormatters.com, "The Effects of Store Environment on Shopping Behaviors: A Critical Review" by Shun Yin Lam, "The Profit of Color" by Color Marketing Group,  and "The Psychology of Color in Marketing by June Campbell.]








How do colors affect purchases?


That's about it for this week.
Thank you, as always for your visit.  Please share your yearnings in the comments below.