Saturday, May 25, 2013

East Coast Comic Expo 2013 Roundup

The first annual East Coast Comic Expo has come and gone and it was just about perfect.  I was able to help out with it and every vendor and artist I had a chance to talk to had a good time and a successful day.

The event was held at the Beaver Curling Club in Moncton, NB, which was a really good venue but it is being shut down so a new place will need to be found for next year. The picture below was taken near the end of the day when things were slowing down, but we reached 700+ attendees which beat what we were needed to attend in order to make it a success and worth doing again.

 I helped run the kid's art corner for the morning.  We had a balloon twister and a face painter as well as colouring pages (all drawn by artists attending that day) and blank comic pages for some comic day creating.  I can't wait to see what this section can become next year.
Brenda Hickey and Troy Little came over for the day and they were very busy.  Brenda (below) is working on a My Little Pony comic for IDW, so she was a big hit.  Her husband, Troy was not able to tell us about his big new project, but he really really wanted to.  IDW publishes original work as well as licensed characters, so my guess is that he will be working on a licensed character soon. Or not - either way I look forward to it.

Becky Cloonan and her husband Andy Belanger came in from the weekend as well.  They were great.

I got a Thor/Viking sketch card from Brenda and I got to watch Andy draw this Swamp Thing picture for some lucky fan.

Nick Bradshaw and his Wolverine and the Xmen partner, Ramon Perez were very busy all day.  I just missed getting a sketch from Ramone on Saturday I did get my copy of  his Eisner award winning book, Tale of Sand signed with a sketch on Sunday.

My only complaint about the day is that I made the kids t-shirts for the day but it was so cold they couldn't take their sweaters off all morning.

 I kept the Fan-Boy inside me settled until right at the end of the wrap-up guest/volunteer dinner on Sunday.  As everyone was leaving I saw this on the table.  A napkin with a Batman and Mole-man picture drawn by Becky Cloonan.  Awesome!

What a great day.  Stay tuned for what's coming next.

Scott Tingley

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ernest and Rebecca: A Mariah Review

Ernest and Rebecca: Vol 1 and Vol 2

The following is a review of the first two books in the Earnest and Rebecca comic series from Papercutz.  It was written by Grade 3 student, Mariah.

I first was introduced to these books at the 2012 Free Comic Book Day.  I was looking at a comic book when I spied the FCBD Ernest and Rebecca story.  I started looking through that part of the comic and I thought it was great.  Then for the Christmas of 2012 my dad got me the first book, My Best Friend Is A Germ.  I read the whole thing and I kept reading it and reading it.

The books are about a little girl named Rebecca and a shape-shifting microbe germ named Ernest.  During a frog hunt in the first book she saw him sitting under a tree.  She thought he was a frog but then he started talking to her.  He called her a little piglet and she started chasing him around outside her house!  She finally caught him and took him inside. They became best friends and he helps Rebecca deal with her fighting parents.

In book 2, Sam the Repulsive, Rebecca’s parents get separated and the mother gets a new boyfriend named Sam.  Rebecca tries to get her parents back together with her new germy friend, Ernest the microbe.  When mom invites the boyfriend over for tea Earnest and Rebecca see this as their big chance to get rid of Sam.  So, they try to dump some frogs on his head but they are too late – he was early and already went into the house and they have to try a different way to get rid of him.  Nothing works, it’s no use, Sam is still in the picture.  In the end Rebecca starts to like Sam because he started to act not what she expected.  

These books are written really funny.  Guillaume Bianco does a good job.  They try to trick Dr. Fakbert into thinking she has green lumps on her head with the help of Ernest’s imitation and shape-shifting abilities.  In one part Rebecca bites the Dr’s hand because she didn’t like the tongue depressor he was putting in her mouth.  These books are really interesting for children to read.

I really like the details the artist did on the drawings.  Antonello Dalena makes the hair on Rebecca’s head so real and cool.  I like how the artist draws everything so cute and silly but when the parents are fighting I can feel Rebecca’s sadness.

That is why I like the first two books in the Ernest and Rebecca series.

This review of Ernest and Rebecca is by Mariah, age 8.

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Free Comic Book Day is this Week!

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday at your local participating comic shop.

You're welcome.

Scott Tingley

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sonic Saga: Vol 2 review by Jack, age 6

My son, Jack just discovered the world of Sonic through a few old Free Comic Book Day Sonic issues I had put in a box of comics for him.  He has been nearly obsessed with them for the two weeks since. He can’t quite read the books (he is 6 and in grade one), but he sure is loving them.  I think that something about the storytelling abilities of the artist and writing team that a new reader can follow the Sonic stories.

Here is the Press Release information on the book provided by the publisher, Archie Comics:

Sonic’s epic adventures aren’t just stories, they’re SAGAS! Blast into the action at Sonic speed with the continuation of the all-new Sonic Saga series! The mysterious villain known only as Anonymous finally makes his play after months of careful plotting, and hero and villain alike are caught in his grasp! Friends and family are put in peril! And if that wasn’t enough, Anonymous has gathered every Chaos Emerald in the universe!
Nothing will be the same as lives are lost, whole dimensions re-written, and alliances put to the test. Sonic must cross time and space to reunite families, while his dark rival, Shadow the Hedgehog, finally confronts Dr. Eggman… and his legacy!

 Here is my interview/review with my son.

Dad: What book are you reading?

Jack: Sonic Saga – the new one.  I like it.

Dad: What do you like best about it?

Jack: I like Shadow – At night he turns into a were-hog or something. [keeps reading...] Whaat?!?  A GIANT CRAB!

Dad: Lobster.

Jack: Yeah, I get mixed up.  The big headed nose guy has it.  He’s a bad guy.
And I like Sonic and the robots.  There is lots of action.  There are two guys that are fast – Sonic and Shadow.
Dad, stop writing – I want to keep reading.

I think that is a ringing endorsement for Sonic Comics in general.

SONIC SAGA VOL. 2 collects selected stories from Sonic the Hedgehog #168-172.
Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Patrick “SPAZ” Spaziante, Tracy Yardley!, James Fry, Tania Del Rio, Gary Bedell, Jim Amash, Rich Koslowski, John Workman, Josh & Aimee Ray, and Jason Jensen
Cover by Tracy Yardley!, Jim Amash, and Jason Jensen
isbn: 978-1-936975-40-2
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
Trade Paperback
112 pp, full color
Direct Market On-sale: 3/13

-Scott Tingley

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Friday, February 1, 2013

A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: A Review

 Every time I clean up the junk that accumulates around my computer desk I find a good book that I meant to review ages ago.  This time around I have uncovered A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics, “Choosing titles your children will love”.

The reason I started this website in the first place seven years ago was that comics (under the name Graphic Novels) were gaining a fair bit of respectability in education but there was little information to guide adults who had never picked up a comic before.  There was a growing list of titles to choose from but few voices giving their opinion on what was appropriate or quality.  Soon after I started Comics in the Classroom a number of comic sites popped up which centered on comics for kids, which was a great help for parents, teachers and librarians (not to mention those who are trying to make a living at making comics for kids).  Lots of people had the same good idea at the same time.

I say all that to say this, Scott Robins (a former kids' comics blogger from way back) and Snow Wildsmith have recently published a guide to comics that makes the choosing of titles easier than ever.  They have reviewed 100 of the best in-print comics available for young readers from pre-K through Grade 8 (plus a list of 750 titles at the end of the book).  The sections (Pre-K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-8) are colour coded by grade level, there are “Educational Tie-Ins” and “Heads Up” sections in each entry.  I like that Robins and Wildsmith recognized that pointing out any questionable parts of the book was important.  Some adults want all comics to be sanitized and others figure that all comics are fine even when they are not (comics=kids).  Here is a Heads Up example: “Explores the concept of death through metaphor”, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.

My first reaction when I went through the book was “Hey, I wouldn’t have put that comic in that grade level section!” (or something to that effect), but that doesn’t diminish the book at all.  For one thing, the book does usually err on the side of caution. Bone is in the grade 6-8 section, and although I have books 1-3 in my own grade 4 classroom there is smoking and minor use of alcohol, and, as the series goes on the tone gets darker and may be too much for some readers (sort of like how the Harry Potter books start out sort of light and get darker and darker as the series reaches the end).  Also, If I wanted to complain about where some of the books are places I should keep it too myself and write my own book.

A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics is a good resource for librarians, comic shops and parents.  It is attractive, well organized and on sale now. 

 ·        Paperback: 256 pages
·         Publisher: Krause Publications (May 31, 2012)
·         ISBN-10: 1440229945
·         ISBN-13: 978-1440229947
·         $16.99 (us), $17.99 (can)

-Scott Tingley

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