Tag Archives: Phil Foglio

Graphic Novels and Beautiful Books

So while I was off in Seattle for a quick trip, we hit our 500,000 dollar stretch goal.

Which means this is happening:

Yeah. The delightful Brothers Chaps over at Homestar Runner are going to put together a full-length video of Strong Bad (re)writing and reading that beloved children’s classic, The Ocelot and The Porridge Maiden. I think Hans Christian Anderson wrote the original version of that one late in his life when he was addicted to cough syrup. 

Needless to say, this is pretty cool for me. As I’ve been a fan of Homestar for nigh unto a decade.

If you don’t understand why this is cool, you should probably head over here and browse around.

Those of you who do understand why it’s cool: Spread the word.

And now, today’s books

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  • Copies of In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang. Signed and inscribed to Worldbuilders by Cory Doctorow.

IRL

Everything about the description of this book made Amanda want it. MMORPGs? Yes. Cover blurb by Felicia Day? Awesome. An honest and beautiful take on poverty, culture clash, and adolescence? Abso-freaking-lutely.

“A lovely graphic novel for gamer girls of all ages.” – Felicia Day

“The combination of girls-only gaming; gorgeous, stylized artwork; and a meaningful, sophisticated message about online gaming makes this a surefire hit for readers everywhere, especially girls.” – Booklist, starred review

Normally we don’t put two blurbs up for books, but this one seems to warrant it.

We have several copies of this, most are going into the lottery, but we’re also putting one up for auction, so you can bid on that over here.

  • Copies of Through the Woods. Signed and doodled by Emily Carroll.

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I read this book a couple nights ago, and honestly? It kinda freaked me out.

And I mean that in the best possible way. These stories were unsettling. Unnerving. I read it before going to bed, and after I finished it, it had given me too much of a wiggins, and I had to read something else before I could turn off the light and get some sleep. Seriously. I’m 40 years old, and this book *got* to me.

Simply said, I *loved* this book. It’s probably one of the best things I’ve read all year.

Before you think to yourself, “I don’t want to read anything that causes a great brimful font man-toughness like Rothfuss to flip his shit.” Let me share with you what one of the worldbuilders team had to say about this book:

“I’ve loved Em Carroll for years, ever since I read ‘His Face All Red’ – that particular story still sticks with me and gives me the shivers in the best way possible. Her haunting stories could scare the pants off the most hardened hearts (which I definitely am not), and the beautiful artwork just makes the words all the more chilling. Even if you don’t like scary things, go buy this. I scare easier than a cute kitten and I still loved Through The Woods.”

The copies we have are signed and doodled in them by the author/illustrator. Most are going into the lottery, but we’re putting one up for auction, so if you want to see some of the art, or bid on it, you can head over here.

This year, faboo publisher First Second Books sent us some graphic novels as well…

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I’ve enjoyed a lot of Box Brown’s work over the years, so I was excited to see this book included in First Second’s donations. Plus, who doesn’t want to know more about Andre the Giant?

“Larger-than-average André the Giant had a larger-than-life personality to match, and award-winning cartoonist Brown manages to capture the legendary wrestler’s career in charming, heartfelt black-and-white panels.” – Booklist

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“Expect readers to clamor for the next installments of this.” – Kirkus Reviews

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“A sort of Games of Thrones for the younger set, this epic adventure is filled with battles, swords, and ancestors showing up as ghosts and zombies … Giallongo’s artwork is gorgeous, filled with rich colors that capture the wildness of the mountain. He gives even the faces of passing animals complex emotions.” – Publishers Weekly

  • Copies of Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff.

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It’s great to see a series with a strong and adventurous heroine, and from the looks of this book we’ll get that and more.

“… destined to join the ranks of such classic duos as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. A scrumptious Turkish delight.” – School Library Journal

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I read this comic last year, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was the first project of a new publisher: Improper Books.

Simply said, I dug it. And after they read my gushy review about it online, the folks in charge sent some along to the fundraiser. They’re cool like that.

“Porcelain is a gorgeous, gothic fever dream, beautiful and terrifying and funny and sad all at once. It is also that precious rarity, a perfect comic.” – Lev Grossman

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These come from my very own collection. As I’ve mentioned before in the blog, I love Girl Genius and I love all of you, so it seemed only fitting to bring those things together.

As it says above, these are signed, so we’re auctioning them off over here.

  • Sets of 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth and How to Tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. Punch a Dolphin is signed and doodled by The Oatmeal.

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I did a signing with Matt Inman (also known as The Oatmeal) a while back, and it was a blast. He let me touch his Tesla (which isn’t a euphemism) and I was delighted to discover that he’s as delightful in person as his writing might suggest.

He was kind enough to send us some copies of his books, so we put one set into the lottery for all of y’all to enjoy. And another set up for auction, where you can bid with gleeful abandon.

Books from Dreamhaven.

Last but not least, we’ve got some lovely stuff from Dreamhaven Books. Dreamhaven is a bookstore (and publisher) located in the Twin Cities, and they’ve been supporting Worldbuidlers for ages. They also are Neil Gaiman’s go-to bookstore since he has a house so close to there, and because of that they carry a lot of exclusive and otherwise cool Gaiman items, some of which are included down below…

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Greg is the owner of Dreamhaven, and he’s put together a collection of stories about bookstores. Something that’s close to our hearts. This is the original hardcover printing with more than 5 bookstore-centered stories, and an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

  • Hardcover, first edition copies of The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady.

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This is a collection of short stories by the Nebula and World Fantasy Award winning author Jack Cady, who passed away back in 2004.

Greg discovered a box full of first edition copies, and sent them all along to us. They’re hard to come by, many of you will have the chance to win them in the lottery if you donate to Heifer International on our the team page.

  • Auction: A hardcover copy of The Best American Comics 2010. Edited and signed by Neil Gaiman.

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The Best American Comics series invites a guest editor every year to choose the best comics from graphic novels, pamphlet comics, newspapers, magazines, mini-comics, and the Internet. Back in 2010, Neil was asked, and it created an awesome collection.

“It’s hard to flip through this book without finding a lot worth reading (and rereading).” – The Onion, A.V. Club

If you want to add this to your collection, or just want to read what Neil thought were the best comics of the year 2010, bid over here.

  •  Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion by Neil Gaiman.

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Published in 1988, this is one of Gaiman’s earlier works. It’s a great examination of the Hitchhiker’s Guide universe and all that surrounds it.

“Definitely a devotee’s book, Don’t Panic operates on several levels at once. The book pokes hilarious fun at the tell-all books by cult heroes as well as at the industry that inevitably grows up around phenomenal successes like Douglas Adams’s bizarre, witty radio series and ensuing novels.” – Publishers Weekly

  • 50 copies of Now We are Sick: An Anthology of Nasty Verse edited by Neil Gaiman and Stephen Jones.

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“Slick, gross, humorous, wry, slanted, poignant, moving, vomit-inducing and great, great fun . . . If you have the same warped sense of black humor as I do, then this is a definite must.” – Starburst

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Neil Gaiman worked on the reboot of this series and made it entirely his own. There’s also beautiful art within the series by John Romita Jr, who’s done a lot of other great work for Marvel. This includes a gallery of all the original comic covers, Romita’s character sketches, and Neil’s original pitch to Marvel for the project.

“Gaiman’s storytelling savvy combined with Romita’s distinct and compelling artwork makes this omnibus collection of all seven Eternal comic books an absolute must-have for all those who call themselves comic book fans.” – B&N Review

There are also two copies (one of each cover) up for auction, so you can bid on the green cover over here, and the comic cover over here.

  • 20 copies each of Telling Tales and Speaking in Tongues CDs, both by Neil Gaiman.

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These are a bit more rare. They were published Dreamhaven Books, which makes them extra cool, and also means that’s really the only place you can get them easily.

Or, you could donate some money to the Team Page and have a chance to win them while making the world suck less.

  • Rare, limited edition, slipcased copies of Anansi Boys. Signed by Neil Gaiman.

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Everybody here in the office is coveting this book.

This is a super-rare and beautiful edition of Anansi Boys, featuring some great artwork. Aside from the book itself being full of awesome, there’s a companion notebook containing all sorts of goodies: an interview with Neil, his original outline, deleted scenes, manuscript pages…

We’ve got one going into the lottery, and another up for auction, over here.

* * *

We’ve unlocked some great stretch goals in the last week or so, so be sure to swing by the Worldbuilders website to check them out.

One of the ones we passed recently is a livestream of a day in the office here at Worldbuilders HQ. It’s going to be tomorrow, Tuesday, December 9 and we’ll probably start it around 12pm CST so that folks can tune in during the day or in the evening when they get home. We’ll definitely be here late that day, so be prepared to see us in all of our frantic glory as we get everything ready for the final days of the fundraiser. We can’t promise to be as cute as something like a Panda Cam, but the team does tend to flail around almost as much as baby pandas, so there’s that.

I’ll be in the office helping out (or at least trying to), and in the evening I’ll be having an AMA on Reddit, so we’ll be hanging out and answering questions while that goes on as well.

We’ve got 8 days left, folks. Help us spread the word so we can end things with a bang….

Posted in graphic novels, Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat7 Responses

Games from Cheapass Games

Over the last year, we’ve been developing a great relationship with Cheapass Games. They donated games to last year’s fundraiser. And many of you jumped into the Pairs Kickstarter we ran earlier this year.

Today, here they are again, stomping out and donating a bunch of cool games.

We’re putting all these games in the lottery, because we here at Worldbuilders have the firm belief that anyone can love a Cheapass Games game, even if you’re not generally into boardgames (or much of a cheapass). Many of these games you can pick up and learn in 5-10 minutes.

So check out the game descriptions below and ask yourself, “How is this a game? What would it be like to play this?” Once you play them, the only questions on your mind will be, “Why is this so freaking fun?” and “Can we play it again?”

  • Deadwood Studios

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The art for this game was done by the awesome Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright, which is reason enough to love it. To top it all off, it’s a great game for goofing off with your friends. Can you act badly? Can you act like you act badly? Do you like having fun? Then Deadwood Studios.

Amanda plays it a lot with her friends, and she gushed about it (and some other Cheapass Games) over on the Worldbuilders Blog.

Amanda says:

When I play Deadwood Studios with my friends and family, we go all out. The concept behind the game is that you’re new actors vying for parts in movies while Deadwood Studios films a hundred different movies on their sound stages. You need to practice your lines, perform them accurately, and pay off the Casting Director for better parts.

And it’s awesome. It brings out all of the goofy in people as they have to recite lines like “Dead Guy: …..” to get their points. Plus, the art is by Phil Foglio and Cheyenne Wright. There’s no way you can have a bad time while looking at that.

I wouldn’t argue with her, folks. It sounds like she knows what she’s talking about….

  • Fish Cook

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You are a new fish cook, vying for the cheapest ingredients at the market in the morning, and then making the fanciest food you can with your ingredients in the evening. CatDuo games recently finished a Kickstarter to create a mobile app version of the game, but the original could be all yours for kicking in $10 or more to the lottery.

  • Veritas

Veritas

This one’s designed by James Ernest and Mike Selinker, so you know it’s good. You play different versions of THE TRUTH, and your goal is to be kept alive through the Dark Ages by being copied into books.

Yeah. Awesome concept.

  • Captain Treasure Boots

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You can now sail the seas and work to be the pirate who brings home the most treasure in the shortest time. There are opportunities to sail, drink, and shoot, so it’s a perfectly equipped pirate game.

  • Get Lucky

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We’ve featured this one in a previous Novelties blog. That means that, if you’d rather be certain you get your hands on it, you can just head over and buy it in the store. It’s a great game of murder and intrigue, and a lot of goofing off.

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There’s also a certain dashing author making a guest appearance on a card….

  • PAIRS: Fruit and Pirates Decks

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Pairs has made its way into the homes and hearts of everyone who backed the Kickstarter for it. There are a lot of different decks, but we’ve got two of them here. Even if you already have Pairs decks, they’re all wonderful, and it’s such a simple game you can teach someone in a few minutes, or give them as gifts. Brett is a little obsessed with Pairs, to the point of printing his own deck (it’s okay, James wants you to) and making everyone play it before the Kickstarter even ended.

  • Dead Money

DeadMoney

In Dead Money, you are Zombies in the Old West trying desperately not to win a game of Poker.

I’m not even kidding. I’m just going to leave it at that and have you figure out the rest.

  • Unexploded Cow

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This is another one that’s a favorite here at Worldbuilders Headquarters. When we occasionally get together for a game night, this generally gets played, because it can play up to 8. You’re simultaneously dealing with Mad Cow Disease and land mines, and making money off of it. More gushing about this one happened at the Worldbuilders blog as well.

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Thanks again to Cheapass Games for coming out in fine style for us. If any of these looked interesting to you, or if you just want to make the world a better place, be sure to donate on the Worldbuilders team page and say you want BOOKS and GAMES or just GAMES for an option in your prizes.

Don’t forget about the auction that’s currently running. There will be more added soon….

Posted in Worldbuilders 2014 | By Pat15 Responses

Comics and Cameos

So during the madness of the book tour, some cool things happened online. Things I would have liked to geek out about in a proper fashion here on the blog if only I’d had the time.

Unfortunately, for the vast majority of that month, I was too busy to get a full night’s sleep, let alone write any sort of cohesive blog.

So, somewhat belatedly, here’s a few of the things I wish I could have mentioned then:

Real Life:

The lovely Greg Dean over at Real Life gave the book a week-long mention in the comic, where he had some fairly cogent (if geeky) musings on the similarity (heh) between sympathy and string theory, among other things.

Here’s the beginning of that cameo.

Goblins:

Back in the long-ago. Back in the beforetimes. One of my favorite webcomics helped me spread the word about the paperback release of The Name of the Wind.

When The Wise Man’s Fear came out, we collaborated on another comic where I got to make a few good old-fashioned D&D jokes.

Girl Genius:

I’ve been fairly open and honest about the amount of love I feel for Girl Genius. I wrote a rather effusively gushy blog about how much I loved Phil and Kaja’s stuff not too long ago.

So it’s not entirely surprising that when I stumbled onto a charity auction on ebay that contained some Girl Genius Swag, I was delighted. I hovered on ebay, and crushed all who dared oppose me in the bidding.

As a result, I was the proud recipient of:

1. Signed copies of all the Girl Genius books.

2. A personalized sketch that I’ve been looking for an excuse to show off for months now….

(Guess which piece of art was the first thing I’ve ever had professionally framed…)

3. The promise that my name would appear in a girl Genius comic at a time and a place of Phil’s choosing.

I was expecting that my name might appear on a street sign, as he’s done occasionally in the past. Or perhaps he might name a disease after me, or something.

Much to my delight, I actually appeared in a brief cameo….

If you aren’t reading these comics, you might want to consider giving them a lookie-loo, as they’re some of my personal favorites.

Later all,

pat

Posted in comics, cool things, geeking out | By Pat32 Responses

Graphic Novels: Batman and Robin, Gaiman and Girl Genius.

This is a Worldbuilders blog.

It’s only been a couple days, and the auction for Gaiman’s signed, numbered ARC of Stardust is already at $1000 bucks. This makes me happy for Worldbuilders and Heifer international. But at the same time I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from frustrated fans as they see the book pulled farther and farther from their desperately grasping fingertips.

So today I’m putting something from my personal collection into the general prize pool for the lottery. It isn’t quite as cool as the rare ARC, but it does have certain glow of awesome to it.

Best of all, you don’t have to bid against collectors for this book. Everyone who donates on our Team Heifer page has a chance at winning it.

When I first read Stardust, I read it as a novel. It wasn’t until a year later that I learned the story was originally published as a graphic novel of sorts. I say “of sorts” because it’s not a comic so much as it’s an novel with gorgeous illustrations by Charles Vess.

For example:

This is a beautiful hardcover, signed by Gaiman himself. And while it might not be all rare and numbered and such, I’m going to include something else to bring the coolness up a little closer to the ARC.

Since Stardust is a story about a star that fell from the sky, I thought I’d include a piece of honest-to-goodness star-iron with this book.

You see, before I was a book geek, I was a rock geek. By which I mean I used to collect rocks.

While I’ve let most of that particular madness go, I do still collect meteorites. This is a piece from my personal collection. It’s a cut, etched section of the Gibbeon meteorite. One of the rarer types of meteorites, it’s composed almost entirely of nickel and iron.

This picture shows one of the cooler things about the Gibeon irons. There’s a pattern embedded in the iron that looks like frost. Except frost shows up when water freezes, and these marks show up when iron and nickel slowly cool over millions of years.

It’s called a Widmanstätten pattern. And it forms because the different alloys of nickel and iron cool at slightly different rates while the molten iron is in space. The effect can’t be duplicated on earth, so it only shows up in iron-nickel meteorites.

Each different meteorite fall has a different mix of iron and nickel, so they each have a slightly different pattern. In my opinion, the Gibeon’s is one of the coolest looking.

Okay, enough rock-geekery. Let’s get back to the book-geekery.

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This year, when I announced I was starting up Worldbuilders, several bookstores offered to donate to the fundraiser. Haven Comics contacted me and asked if I’d like to include some graphic novels in the mix this year.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I would.”

“Do you have any suggestions?” they asked.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes I do.”

  • A copy of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller.

Because of a few comments I’ve made in the past some people think I don’t like Batman. But this simply isn’t true.

The Dark Knight Returns is the very first comic I read as an adult, and it sold me on graphic novels as a legitimate medium for storytelling. Before that I was kinda stupid because I thought comics were only for kids. Grown ups read novels, right?

Wrong. This story absolutely knocked me over and I recommend it to anyone, whether or not they enjoy superhero comics or whether or not they give a damn about Batman. It’s just a brilliant story.

One of the main problems with trying to get into comics these days is that so many comics are superhero comics.

Now that by itself isn’t bad. The problem is all those superheros have 40 or 50 years of backstory. That means picking a comic off the rack and trying to read it can be unpleasantly similar to starting Wheel of Time with book #9.

None of the comics we’re putting up on the blog today have that problem. You can pick them up, start reading, and understand the story even if you’ve never read a comic before in your whole life…

Simply said, Fables is one of the best mainstream comics being written today.

The main characters aren’t superheroes. They’re figures from folklore. You have Prince Charming, Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Baba Yaga, and the Big Bad Wolf. The basic premise is that these characters have been forced from their native lands and are taking refuge in our mundane world.

Bill Willingham just does a marvelous job of bringing these characters together into huge overarching story that comes to beautiful fruition over about 10 issues.

Another brilliant Batman story arc that I’m rather fond of. It maintains one artist and one author through the entire arc which I always tend to prefer, as I believe it helps a story maintain its consistent feel.

“Jeph Loeb has crafted a story that is unique to the characters. It’s a complex murder mystery, but its also a Batman story… Buoyed by a film noir-ish plot that features a Gothic twist on the gangster/murder mystery plot, terrific character-based subplots, and beautiful, cinematic art, [The Long Halloween is] an addition to your collection that you won’t regret.” – Yannick Belzil of The 11th Hour

Many of you might remember the Sin City movie that came out a while ago. It was a fairly good flick, but as is usually the case, the original book was better.

Normally I don’t notice the art of a graphic novel very much. I just don’t have much of an eye for the graphic. I’m in it for the words and the story. But even I have to acknowledge that Miller’s art style in Sin City is striking and unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else. The story itself is dark and gritty. And it has one of my all-time favorite characters in it: Marv. Marv is lovable and dark and vicious in way I know I can never hope to pull off in my own writing.

We’re all heartbroken over Firefly going away. But Joss Whedon has managed to continue the story in a few graphic novels.

So if you’re like me, still weeping bitter tears about the cancellation of Firefly. You can read Those Left Behind and spend a little more time with the crew of Serenity. It’s not season two. But it’s good.

Zombies movies have been fashionable for good long while now.

The problem is, a zombie movie almost has to be an action flick. You only have an hour and a half to tell the story in a movie, and so the story ends up being plot-driven. How do we get out of the city? What caused this? How do we survive?

What’s cool about The Walking Dead is that it’s a longer story arc. That means you get to see the long-term psychological story of a society that has fallen apart because of a zombie apocalypse.

This story doesn’t focus on the characters running around saying, “oh my god! Why is this happening? How do we survive until the government saves us?”  Instead you see them surviving for years after the apocalypse, dealing the a broken society and their incredible emotional baggage. It’s a brilliant concept for a comic, wonderfully well-executed.

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Once I started entering the comics that Haven sent in, I started thinking about some other comics that I wanted to mention to people. So here are a few of my personal favorites I’m kicking in to this year’s lottery.

Warren Ellis is one of my favorite comic authors. He’s written so many books I adore, but I think I like Transmetropolitan the best.

How can I describe this book…?

Okay. Imagine if Henry Rollins and John Stewart had a baby. Then that baby grew up and had a baby with Hunter S. Thomson. Then that baby grew up and had Tourettes. Transmetropolitan would be that kid’s favorite book.

Right, I’ll admit that’s a terrible analogy. But it kind of gets the point across, this book is insane and hugely fucking smart. I love its dystopian future and over-arching storyline.

And I totally want a pair of glasses like Spider Jerusalem.

Mike Carey is another favorite comic author of mine. He has a particular gift for bringing together unique and obscure mythologies in his stories.

Crossing Midnight is a particular favorite of mine because it brings subtle elements of eastern culture and folklore into the story. No no. Not ninja and samurai. There’s more to Japan than Ninja and samurai. I’m talking about cool folklore. Things you probably never heard of before…

  • A copy of Scud the Disposable Assassin by Rob Schrab.

I’ve been wanting to talk about this book for more than a year. It deserves an entire blog all to itself, full of gushy enthusiasm and lavish praise. I’ll try to give it the credit it deserves in just a couple paragraphs.

Those of you who were reading comics back around the early 90’s might remember Scud. It was absolutely different from any other comic out there. Frantic. Light-hearted. Irreverent. Sweet. Bizarre. Dark. Sarcastic. Touching.

Unfortunately in 1998 the comic published a cliffhanger and just… stopped. Really stopped. For years. For a decade.

Then, in 2008, the artist and writer, Rob Schrab came back to finish the story. Despite the fact that he’s all Hollywood famous now, he came back and finished the series. What’s more, he put such a lovely ending on it that I actually cried.

This is a gorgeous collection, and it includes the entire story arc. As it says in the title: Beginning, Middle, and End.

This is Joss Whedon. What else do I need to say? This comic actually made me give a damn about the X-Men despite the fact that I didn’t know anything much about them before I picked up the book.

So yeah. Joss Whedon. Brilliant.

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These next few books were donated by artist Ray McCarthy. Turns out he’s a fan of Name of the Wind, and after checking out some of the titles he’s worked on, I’m a fan of his, too.

  • A copy of Batman: Contagion. Signed by illustrator Ray McCarthy.

This is one of the classic Batman storylines from back in the mid-90’s. A slew of great writers and illustrators collaborated on it, including Ray McCarthy who donated this book and has signed it.

  • Two copies of Catwoman and Vampirella by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Ray McCarthy. Signed by the illustrator.

Part of me wants to feel guilty about looking at this cover for as long as I have, and the rest of me doesn’t care.

  • A set of Red Robin graphic novels . Collision signed by Ray McCarthy.

I’ll admit that this new series was completely off my radar until Ray brought it to my attention. But I picked it up and was immediately pulled in despite the fact that I’m not up-to-date on the current Batman storylines. Dynamic storytelling. Cool art.

  • Original Red Robin Art and matching comic from Ray McCarthy.

Lastly, Ray was cool enough to donate an original page of art from Red Robin #16.

To make sure this unique item ends up in the hands of someone who will love it properly, we’re putting it up for auction. Remember, the proceeds from the auctions go to support Worldbuilders and Heifer International.

You can bid on the Red Robin original art over here.

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Two months ago I gushed about Girl Genius on the blog.

In that blog I professed my undying love for the series. I even went so far as to tell people that if they bought the first book on my recommendation and didn’t like it, I would buy the comic back from them.

Since then, people keep emailing me, wondering how many copies of the book I’ve had to buy back.

The answer: None. Not a single one.

Given my love for this series, I’m so excited to add this item to the mix today.

Phil and Kaja Foglio were cool enough to donate two full sets of Girl Genius to Worldbuilders this year. Both sets are signed by both Phil and Kaja.

One of these will be going into the general lottery so anyone can win it.

The other one we’re putting up for auction.

You can bid on the autographed set of Girl Genius over  here.

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Remember folks, for every 10 dollars you donate to Heifer International, you get a chance to win these books and hundreds of others like them.

In addition to that, Worldbuilders is matching 50% of all donations made on our Team Heifer page.

Matching donations and a chance to win cool swag. What more could you ask for? Go on. Do it. You know you want to.

To see the other books you can win, and other auctions Worldbuilders is running, you can head over to the main page HERE.

Posted in Neil Gaiman, recommendations, Worldbuilders 2010 | By Pat49 Responses

Girl Genius

If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have sworn I’d already written a blog recommending Phil Foglio’s work. I would have gone so far as to bet money on it. A lot of money.

And, apparently, I would have lost that money. Because today when I went looking for it, I discovered I’d written no such blog.

So, in an attempt to set things right, I’d like to talk to you about Girl Genius.

*Ahem.*

I’m guessing a lot of you already know about Phil and Kaja Foglio.  They attend a lot of the big conventions. And, if you’re an experienced gamer like me (and by ‘experienced’ I mean ‘old’) you probably remember Foglio’s comic from Dragon Magazine: What’s New with Phil and Dixie.

Oh, and they’ve won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story the last two years. In 2009 they beat out Joss Whedon’s Serenity comic. And this year they beat out Neil Gaiman’s Batman story.

Yeah. That’s right. Their graphic novel Girl Genius not only beat out Whedon and Gaiman, it beat Firefly and Batman, too.

If that doesn’t convince you of how awesome their series is, I don’t know what I can say to convince you. How about we just look at the cover for a moment while I think of something sufficiently gushy:

Simply said, Girl Genius has everything I look for in a story. The worldbuilding is clever and internally consistent. The characters are interesting and multi-faceted. The story is complex while still being clear, and surprising while still being satisfying. (Which is really fucking hard, let me tell you.)

Did I mention it’s funny? It is. Consistently, honestly funny. I don’t need to tell you how rare that is.

It has a strong female lead character who’s good with science, which is nice to see. And it’s perfectly appropriate for just about any age group. In fact, I probably should have mentioned it when was putting together my list of YA recommendations a couple weeks ago.

If none of that convinces you, let me say one more thing. Every time a new volume of Girl Genius comes out, I buy it, then I read all the other volumes leading up to the new one before I let myself read the new one. I haven’t done that with a series since I read Dragonriders back in the 6th grade.

Okay. Enough gushing.

Because Phil and Kaja are really cool, you can read their comic for free over on their website. However, I have to say that the story really deserves to be read in book form, rather than sitting hunched over a computer monitor. I’ve read it both ways and it’s so much more satisfying to read it as a book.

In fact, I like this series so much, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is.

Here’s my offer. If you buy a copy of the first volume of Girl Genius, and you don’t like it, you can mail it to me and I’ll buy it off you for whatever you paid for it.

I’m that sure you’ll like it.

Here are the conditions:

  • If you mail me Volume 1, it has to arrive more or less intact. It can’t be missing pages, crumpled up, or covered in jam.
  • You need to include the receipt showing me how much you paid for it.
  • You need to include a SASE.

As I type this, part of me worries that this might be one of my ideas that seems brilliant when I’m typing it, but later, when I’m not full of coffee and love, I end up kicking myself.

But you know what? I’m fine with that. What’s the fun of being a published author if I can’t occasionally do something lovely and foolish? In my experience being clever and careful is highly overrated.

Here’s the link to the Girl Genius website. Go on. Order the book. I dare you.

pat

Edit: Rest assured that all nine volumes are in print. I know this because I ordered them myself just a couple weeks ago. If you’re having trouble finding them on the girl genius website, you just need to follow this link.

Posted in comics, cool things, Firefly, graphic novels, Joss Whedon, Neil Gaiman, recommendations | By Pat58 Responses
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