illustration of the contestants by Lexxy Douglass
In case you hadn’t heard, a month or two ago the Penny Arcade guys filmed a reality competition show, Strip Search, with a handful of cartoonists, and the first episode is live today! I have mixed feelings about Penny Arcade and its creators, but I am a big fan of Erika Moen, who is one of the contestants, and I’m wholeheartedly ready to cheer her toward victory. (I’m also exited to learn more about the other contestants! You know, so I can boo them and stuff.) Go watch! If you need some convincing, watch the trailer:
I know I’ve mentioned Aimee Fleck around here before, but I don’t think I mentioned a recent zine of hers, DAMN GIRL THAT STYLE IS FAT. As you might have grasped from the title, it’s a short illustrated guide to dressing up for fat women, and is completely great. I’m straight-sized and I loved it–the illustrations are gorgeous and I think a lot of the advice is solid for plus-sized and straight-sized people.
The zine, which you can buy on Gumroad, is only available digitally, but here’s the great part: she’s working on a book-sized version that will be in print. It will be available to pre-order soon, and I’m already looking forward to my copy. I may even buy two and do a giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled!
image by Lucy Knisley
Lucy Knisley just announced the tour dates for her newest book, Relish, which will be released at the beginning of April! There are a bunch of San Francisco dates and I am so there, you guys. Like food? Like comics? Go go go! (I actually read a galley of it several months ago, so watch for a review soon. Looking forward to owning a print copy of it like nobody’s business!)
image by Aimee Fleck
The slow death of Barnes & Noble.
A double-punch from The Awl: Twilight fanfiction (bear with me here), and young adult novelists talking about the first thing they shoplifted. (Best answer by Justine Larbalestier, obviously.)
Problems with food in 50 Shades of Gray.
The Bicholim Conflict and other Wikipedia-based hoaxes. Don’t use it to do your homework, kids! We know you do.
The Whole Story, a DRM-free collection of digital comics by Ryan Andrews, KC Green, Ryan Estrada, and Jang Young for as little as $1. I know what I’m doing with my milk money.
I fangirled over comicker and art student Aimee Fleck at Reading in Skirts today. Go read her comic Tomorrow! (No, don’t read it tomorrow, read it today.)
First of all, Beth Revis, who wrote Across the Universe, etc, is doing a HUGE giveaway of about 50 signed YA books.
Wow! The contest runs all through November, so go check it out and spread the word.
Beth wants us to write about why we love YA, which I’m happy enough to blather on about even without the chance to win 50 books, so: I love YA because it’s not pretentious, because it’s original, because it’s romantic, because it is full of characters I wish I was friends with. I love YA because the plots move instead of stagnate, because some of the best authors out there write YA, because of reasons.
I love YA because it’s so, so good.
Word-based stories are what we deal in here at NBP. While those are usually in the form of books, other types exist and today I want to share an interactive story with ya’ll. It’s First Draft of the Revolution by Emily Short, who is rather famous in IF, interactive fiction, circles for good reason. First Draft is particularly exciting to me because it is an interactive epistolary story. Instead of entering commands like in traditional IF, you “help” the various characters write letters to each other. The particular brilliance of First Draft is that you get a lot of story and character while editing, many things that don’t end up in the final versions you send. It is excellent and honestly made my day. Go play it! It won’t take long!
Two pairs of Justine Larbalestier posts, one educational: How to Write a Novel/Writing Your First Novel and one that made me go, “Oh holy hell YES Iloveyousomuchmarryme”: Please, Please, Please, Give Your Protag Friends, a Sibling, Parents/Girls Who Hate Girls (make sure to read the comments, especially for the last one).
Muslim girls in YA fiction, in particular a new book called Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn.
That’s five whole links, but because four of them are by one person, I asked Mia for a link to help fill out the post:
Dylan Meconis breaks down ten common mistakes by the ill-informed in comics criticism.
Would you describe brushstrokes as “paint patches” or a song bridge as “transition verse?” Would you call a fictional plot an “event structure” or a pas de deux a “two-person dance?” No, you would not, because you’re a professional, and you make it a point to understand the terms that define the medium you are concerned with. Nor would you spend overmuch time in a review defining these terms for readers, since it behooves you to assume that they are already interested in what you are talking about (and are capable of looking up terms they don’t recognize).