Friday, May 22, 2015

Miriam Schiffer (#LGBpodcast Ep. 152)

Miriam B. Schiffer, author of Stella Brings the Family (@ChronicleKids), illustrated by Holly Clifton Brown (@HollyRCB), stops by to talk about knowing your family is enough, the dilemma that occurs when a child doesn't see him or herself in the commonplace, and feeling liberated knowing the illustrations would share in carrying the story.

Purchase Stella Brings the Family from your local independent bookstore

Purchase locally whenever possible.
Sneak peak inside Stella Brings the Family:

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Karen Rostoker-Gruber (#LGBpodcast Ep. 151)

Karen Rostoker-Gruber (@KarenRostokerGr), author most recently of Ferret Fun in the Sun (Two Lions), illustrated by Paul Ratz de Tagyos, stops by to talk about author visits, her past life writing adult humor, and her goal to make a pun everyday.

Episode Notes
Karen Rostoker-Gruber's homepage

Win a copy of Ferret Fun in the Sun

Monday, May 18, 2015

Cast your vote for the 2015 KCR! Awards!

This information is cross-posted from a blog post HERE)

The Kids' Comics Revolution! Awards!
The Kids’ Comics Revolution podcast is pleased to announce the nominees for the third annual KCR! Awards, and we’re asking kids everywhere to vote for the winners!
KCR! hosts Dave Roman and Jerzy Drozd have teamed up with Chris Duffy (Nickelodeon Magazine) and the Ann Arbor District Library to honor some of the best kids’ comics to come out in 2014.
Here’s how you can vote (only kids, please!):
Winners will be announced June 21st at a special ceremony at the conclusion of Kids Read Comics in Ann Arbor, Michigan!
And here’s a printable PDF ballot for distributing at your school or library! Just be sure to send them in before June 10, 2015!
(click the image to download the PDF)
The KCR! Awards trophies, provided by the Ann Arbor District Library
The KCR! Awards trophies, provided by the Ann Arbor District Library
The Kids’ Comics Revolution Awards 2014 Ceremony, held during the Kids Read Comics Celebration.

2013 KCR! Award Winner George O’Connor expresses his excitement over his trophy.
Jeff Kinney Author
Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney with his awards for Favorite Cartoonist/Author and Favorite Comic/Novel Hybrid.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Five Questions with Jenni and Matt Holm

Celebrate kids comics with Q&As with fantastic children’s cartoonists for Children’s Book Week! Join us as great authors talk about their own creative work and the graphic novel industry throughout April and May. Comics for kids are reaching a time of unprecedented acceptance in the American literary scene, and it’s now true that there are comics for everyone. All interviews are conducted by Jorge Aguirre and Rafael Rosado (Dragons Beware!).

RAFAEL/JORGE: Hi Jenni and Matt, thanks for taking our questions. We’re big fans of your work. 

JENNI & MATT: Thank you so much!
(FROM RAFAEL) My youngest daughter is a HUGE fan of "Babymouse!" Where did the original idea come from? Is she based on a particular kid (you, perhaps?)

JENNI: Awww, that's so sweet to hear!

MATT: When we were growing up in the Dark Ages (the 1970s!), there weren't a ton of female comic book characters that Jenni could relate to. I was always drawing and cartooning so she roped me in. Where else could she get free labor? I started drawing Babymouse.

JENNI: Who kind of looks like me. If I was, you know, a mouse.

Jenni, what’s your working process with Matt like? Do you write a full script, an outline? The books are so packed with jokes, that it makes us think that there’s a real back and forth between you two, a loose approach. Is that the case?

MATT: We've actually always collaborated long-distance and it is very back-and-forth. Typically, we come up with the generally theme and story for the book together. Jenni beats it out on a storyboard and then I edit it and put in my two cents. I pencil thumbnail sketches and then she lays out the book. I do the final art digitally.

Jenni, we've read that you have four brothers including Matt. Are you and the Matt the only siblings who went into the arts? Did you collaborate at an early age and was it encouraged by your parents?

MATT: The brother who is between us is a graphic designer.

JENNI: I was always Matt's biggest fan. He started drawing cartoon strips when he was in fifth or sixth grade.

MATT: Our parents were in medicine (our dad was a pediatrician and our mother a pediatric nurse.) We didn't follow in their footsteps, but we do work with kids like they did. Although we don't have to give shots.

As siblings, are there shortcuts or a shorthand that you can take with each other that you can't take when working with others?

MATT: We usually don't have to explain too much at this point. Our upcoming graphic novel, SUNNY SIDE UP (GRAPHIX, Pub August, 2015), was inspired by our childhood, Jenni could just give me notes along the lines of "the phone at mom's desk" and I would know what she wanted me to draw.
JENNI: Also, I'm the older sister, so I always get my way.

MATT: Hey!

What is on your nightstand?
JENNI: Actually, my entire family is currently *obsessed* with a webcomic by a cartoonist—it's Dave Roman's STARBUNNY ( My eleven-year-old son literally checks it every single day for updates.

MATT: Nathan Hales' HAZARDOUS TALES series.

Children's Book Week, (May 4-10, 2015) - 96th annual celebration!
Children's Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. It is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.

In 2015, official Children's Book Week events - including appearances by beloved children's book authors & illustrators, children's open mic nights, read-alouds, book-themed costume parties, and much more - will be held in all 50 states. Photos from last year here. Event attendees receive complimentary Children's Book Week posters and tote bags. You can see how the celebrations for 2015 are shaping up here.

Children's Book Week is administered by Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children's Book Council (CBC) is the anchor sponsor. More at

Monday, April 27
Cece Bell interviewed at Sturdy for Common Things

Tuesday, April 28
Kazu Kibuishi interviewed at Geek Dad

Wednesday, April 29
Joey Weiser interviewed at The Brain Lair

Thursday, April 30
James Kochalka interviewed at Bumbles & Fairy Tales

Friday, May 1
Mariko Tamaki interviewed at A Book and a Latte

Saturday, May 2
Jorge Aguirre interviewed at The Windy Pages

Sunday, May 3
Luke Pearson interviewed at Mr. Schu Reads

Monday, May 4
Jeffrey Brown interviewed at For Books’ Sake

Tuesday, May 5
Cecil Castellucci interviewed at WinterHaven Books

Wednesday, May 6
Frank Cammuso interviewed at Reading with ABC

Thursday, May 7
Hope Larson interviewed at The Book Wars

Friday, May 8
Eric Orchard interviewed at Alice Marvels

Saturday, May 9
Kean Soo interviewed at Jenuine Cupcakes

Sunday, May 10
Dave Roman interviewed at Amy the Frog Queen

Monday, May 11
Gene Luen Yang interviewed at Finding Wonderland

Tuesday, May 12
Nathan Hale interviewed at Kid Lit Frenzy

Wednesday, May 13
John Allison interviewed at Supernatural Snark

Thursday, May 14
Maris Wicks interviewed at The Roarbots

Friday, May 15
Jenni and Matt Holm interviewed at The Busy Librarian

Saturday, May 16
Craig Thompson interviewed at The Book Rat

Sunday, May 17
Chris Schweizer interviewed at Panel Patter

Monday, May 18
Sara Varon interviewed at Sharp Read

Tuesday, May 19
David Rubin interviewed at Teen Lit Rocks

Wednesday, May 20
Adventures in Cartooning interviewed at Word Spelunking

Thursday, May 21
Mike Maihack interviewed at Bookish

Friday, May 22
John Patrick Green interviewed at Haunted Orchid

Saturday, May 23
Rafael Rosado interviewed at Shae Has Left the Room

Sunday, May 24
Faith Erin Hicks interviewed at Good Books and Good Wine

Monday, May 25
Dan Santat interviewed at SLJ Fuse #8

Tuesday, May 26
Andy Runton interviewed at The Hiding Spot

Wednesday, May 27
Colleen AF Venable interviewed at Graphic Policy

Thursday, May 28
Jay Hosler interviewed at My Bookish Ways

Friday, May 29t
Eleanor Davis interviewed at Love is Not a Triangle

Saturday, May 30
Ben Hatke interviewed at YA Bibliophile

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (#LGBpodcast Ep. 150)

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (@KosteckiShaw), author illustrator most recently of Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest (@HenryHolt), stops by to talk about how art can be magic, the life and discovery waiting in a goosepen, and how "you just get it" when you're there among the old growth redwoods.

Episode Notes
The Legacy of Luna: The Story of a Tree, a Woman, and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods - a memoir by Julia Butterfly Hill
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