The grand opening for The Play Library is tonight, a new toy/game loan library downtown. I can't wait to see how everything shaped up. I am also planning a very fun activity here for later this summer (more details on that soon). Make it out if you can!
"Tunnel-Ball" is now available at the following awesome independent stores around the Midwest and New York City. These shops are all fantastic (regardless of the fact that they are carrying the book), so if you are in one of the following areas, please give them your local support!
Quimby's (Chicago, IL)
Boxcar Books (Bloomington, IN)
Carmichael's Bookstore & Carmichael's Kids (Louisville, KY)
Shake It Records (Cincinnati, OH)
Robot Inside (Cincinnati, OH)
The Book Loft of German Village (Columbus, OH)
Bluestockings Bookstore (NYC)
Desert Island (NYC)
Not the most topical announcement, but last night was the premiere screening of "A Show of Hands", a documentary film by Wright State student Sean Mangan about Terrence Burke and his amazing Cincinnati-based Wump Mucket Puppet troupe. The film chronicles Terrence turning his lifelong interest of puppetry into the passionate spectacle it is today following a stint of depression due to a serious life event in the early 2000s. The film was great and featured a Q&A with the puppeteer and director after. I, of course, had to ask Terrence about his favorite Jim Henson creation.
WMP does outstanding work locally with what seems like a never-ending schedule of library/school/charity shows, and has also toured around the country at various puppetry festivals and even a New England tour last year. Terrence (as well as his family ... his wife handcrafts all of the puppets herself) pours his heart and soul into this and I highly encourage everyone to get out to one of his puppet shows!
I whipped up this flyer for the show at the last minute as a gift.
Oh, and I met someone at the screening who happens to drive a real life "Cat Bus" (of My Neighbor Totoro fame). There is so much to say about this particular event that I must concede, instead, to just post the photo and remain speechless.
My pal Joe Kuth (Red Panda Comics) has been working on an amazing project called "Seeing Calvino". Along with fellow artists Leighton Connor and Matt Kish, he has created pieces of the "Invisible Cities" as written about in the 1972 book of the same name by Italian novelist Italo Calvino.
I recently picked up a set of postcards featuring all of Joe's contributions to the project, They are amazing and a few of them have already become carefully placed fixations on my bookshelf. They are also impressively made in a variety of mixed media (gouache, watercolor, colored pencil, etc).
Something else that Joe published a few years ago (and I have been meaning to post about here for a while), is a phenomenal tribute book to the legendary children's book illustrator Ed Emberely, called "Emberley Galaxy". It features Emberley-inspired comic and illustration contributions from 19 different artists. It is an absolutely wonderful and unique tribute and everyone should pick one up.
Emberley is one of those artists (similar to say, Tomi Ungerer), who's children's books I wish I had actually discovered as a kid. Especially so considering that Emberley made a series of "how-to" drawing books for children, which focused on basic construction principles of using basis shapes to simplify a drawing of an animal, monster, etc. His graphic style was clearly an influence on many illustrators and animators he past few decades. Also, Joe was ahead of the curve here, as Emberely finally got the lavish coffee table artbook treatment a few years ago via Ammo Books.
Pick up a copy of Emberley Galaxy here.