FEED YOUR HEAD → KidLit, Fantasy & Sci-Fi

By Henry, Josh & Harrison Herz


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Low Polygon Count Paper Animals

By Carolina and Juan from http://www.boredpanda.com/lowpoly-paper-animal-sculptures-guardabosques

Carolina and Juan launched Guardabosques (‘forest ranger’ in Spanish) – an illustration and design studio based in Buenos Aires.

Nature was a theme we both loved when we started this. Juan studies natural sciences and the things he learned during his classes influenced our work. Firstly, we started with the birds and then continued with the mammals while at the moment we’re working on the underwater creatures. We love nature’s theme and its endless possibilities. We also try to generate awareness of taking care of the natural world as we did with the paper birds or the endangered Argentinian animals made from cardboard.

We love working with paper. The lowpoly animals we make usually start in a 3D software, then are transformed on paper to be cut, and finally to be reassembled in real life. We also like to work on paper from scratch, cutting forms and drawing some details on it. The results are pretty different but we like to be able combine both processes when we can.

Spectacled bear

Tiger

Tanuki or racoon dog

Green bee-eater

Humpback whale

Surucuá

Red fox

Feb 2014 inner cover for Ohlala magazine

Matico

Melanic wolf

Anuario de Ilustradores: woods

Anuario de Ilustradores: dinosaurs

Giant cardboard animals installation

The explorer

 


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Interview with Sci-Fi & Fantasy Author Gini Koch

Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. Alien in the House, Book 7 in her long-running Alien series, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award as the Best Futuristic Romance of 2013. Alien Collective, Book 9, released in May, and Universal Alien in December. As G.J. Koch, she writes the Alexander Outland series, and she’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of other pen names as well, including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. Currently, Gini has stories featured in the Unidentified Funny Objects 3, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, and Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets anthologies, and, writing as J.C. Koch, in Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, The Madness of Cthulhu, Vol. 1, and A Darke Phantastique anthologies. She will also have a story in the first book in an X-Files anthology series coming out in 2015.

KochGini

For what age audience do you write?

I write for pretty much anyone, but I don’t write children’s or middle grade, and while I think my books are fine for mature YA readers, I don’t, as of yet, write YA. My main genres are Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Mystery/Suspense, but I write under a variety of pen names, so I kind of cover all the genre bases. The Alien series has a high heat level (call it a Hard R), but everything else so far is PG-13.


Tell us about your latest book.


It’s the best book ever and a deal at twice the price!

No? Okay then, the 10th book in my Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series, Universal Alien, is a book I’ve been building to for the entire series so far. It’s also a pivotal book in that it’s going to allow me to open things up and pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want. Within good storytelling reason, of course.

It’s also the book that reveals the true identity of the Mastermind, which is a reveal that fans have been awaiting for several books now.

For those who haven’t picked up this series yet, start with Touched by an Alien. Trust me on this one. The series follows Kitty as she discovers the Roswell rumors are true, but with a twist – the aliens are here to help us and, as a side benefit, they’re all gorgeous. They also have talents and abilities that are far superior to those of humankind. They’re also at the center of every plot or conspiracy theory going. Kitty ends up using her natural talents – sarcastic wit, bravery, vast knowledge of pop culture, in-depth knowledge of comics, and love of rock and roll – to save the day. Basically, if Kitty’s around, hijinks ensue.


What do you hope readers will get from reading that book?


Entertainment, enjoyment, laughter, thrills, chills, and perhaps a few thoughts about political, religious, racial, and socio-economic issues. But mostly entertainment. Because that’s my job.

Henry: That’s a lot! Clearly a bargain at the price.


Two of your books are titled Touched by an Alien, and Alien in the Family. Will there be other TV show-based titles in your future?


Probably. I tend to go for pop culture-ish titles, though not always. My short story in the Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets anthology, for example, is entitled “All the Single Ladies”. So more TV or movie references are inevitable.

Henry: I look forward to Babylon 90210 and Downton Asteroid. You’re welcome.

What aspect of writing do you find most challenging?

Meeting all my deadlines on time. Because I’m a gold medal, world class procrastinator and, happily, I have a lot of deadlines.

Henry: And here I’ve exacerbated things by asking you to do an interview.

What is a powerful lesson you’ve learned from being a writer?

Meeting your deadlines is extremely important. But I honestly knew that one already.

Probably the most powerful lesson is that what you write matters, many times more than you realize. I’ve had readers in terrible circumstances tell me that my books were what got them through the hard times. That’s a wonderful, and very humbling, feeling.

What has been a memorable experience that you never would have had if you had not been a writer?

Every single fan interaction. They’re all great, and I’d never have experienced them, or met all the wonderful people I have, if not for being a published author.

Henry: That’s right. We would never have met at a writers conference. And our lives would have been forever diminished. *swoons*

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Never give up, never surrender. And remember that grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and word usage matter, especially to agents and editors.

Henry: Wait. Editors care about your writing ability!?

Do you have any favorite quotes?

Oh, of course. These are probably my all-time faves.

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” Woody Allen

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.” W.C. Fields

“Never give up. Never, never give up. Never, never, ever give up.” Winston Churchill (yes, I know it’s a contradiction to the Fields quote. What can I say? I’m a woman of many moods, me.)

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ ” Eleanor Roosevelt

Do you have any strange rituals that you observe when you write?

Not really. I need to have music playing, anything in the broad spectrum of rock and roll, and definitely with lyrics. Other than that, finding the right band, song, or playlist for a book is, for me, the most important step. Beyond that, my only ritual is to sit my butt in the chair and write. That’s the only ritual that ensures success.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Because I write superhero fiction with my Alien series, I’ve been asked this question a lot and so have given it a lot of thought. Therefore, I choose Hyperspeed. I could get so much more done if I could do it faster than someone can blink.

Henry: The thought of you with Hyperspeed is a bit intimidating. :)

If you could have three authors over for dinner, who would it be?

Oh, the hard question. Hard in that it’s really hard for me to limit it to three. I’m going to choose three who are dead, because I actually get to dine with many authors I admire these days. But I can’t run into these three at a convention. So I choose:

Robert Benchley, Charles Dickens & Mark Twain

The why is that Benchley is my favorite humorist of all time, Dickens is the reason we authors get paid, and Twain was the best social humorist of his and probably any other day. And they’re three of my all-time favorites. And I also think they’d be fun to eat with, since each would be trying to one-up the others in terms of witticisms and commentary.

If I got a bonus author, by the way, it would be Arthur Conan Doyle because Sherlock Holmes. I mean, ‘nuff said on that one, right?

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

Wow, another tough one. While I love vampires, werewolves, and really all the mythical creatures out there, I’m going to have to go with drop-dead gorgeous aliens who are enamored of humans and able to mate successfully (and frequently) with said humans. Because those aliens helped give me a writing career. So I’m partial to them.

Henry: So, you’re a Fifty Shades of Green kinda’ gal? :)

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Wait. You can do things other than write? I didn’t get that memo!

Henry: You are correct. It was a trick question.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-great grandmother, great-great-great to infinity grandmother, pet mother, and author. We know she’s taking over, wherever she’s going.

Where can readers find your work?

Everywhere! No, really, everywhere. All my books are available in e-formats, and most are available in physical format as well. The Alien series is in pretty much all bookstores, too.

But it’s easiest to find that everywhere via my Bibliography page at my website: http://www.ginikoch.com/bibliography.htm We try to keep it updated as regularly as we can, but do forgive us when deadlines mean you know where my books are faster than I do.

This interview is also posted on the San Diego Children’s Books Examiner.

Click to Tweet: Interview with Sci-Fi & Fantasy Author Gini Koch at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-OL via @Nimpentoad


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What if Disney Princesses Had Realistic Waistlines?

By Loryn Brantz at http://www.boredpanda.com/realistic-disney-princess-waistlines-loryn-brantz/

Disney Princesses without body issues… Genius!

Disney’s classic stories are magical and formative tales for youngsters, but there’s no doubt that they can sometimes promote outdated or even unhealthy gender images, especially for women. Emmy Award-winning illustrator Loryn Brantz decided that she’d challenge the unhealthy body types promoted by Disney’s princesses by giving them waist-lines that were a bit more true-to-life.

As children we may not realize these images in the media affect us, but they definitely do,” Brantz told the Huffington Post. “Media outlets with the opportunity to change the way women are viewed and view themselves should start taking responsibility. It only took a couple nudges of a line to make those princesses’ waists less extreme, and they still looked beautiful and magical.

Ariel

Pocahontas

Elsa

Belle

Jasmine

Aurora

 


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Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is Now Available

We are absolutely delighted to announce that our fantasy picture book, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes, has just been released by Pelican Publishing.

MGFront-s72

Enter an enchanted land of mythical creatures where manticores reign and ogres roar. With a unique twist on traditional rhymes, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes presents a darker approach to these childhood classics, and yet the sing-song nature of the poems renders them playful and jovial at the same time. Little Witch Muffet is not frightened by a silly, little spider; she adds him to her stew! If you enjoy mischief and have a penchant for the morbidly hilarious, the rhymes will satisfy your mythological curiosity. The book also includes a “bestiary” with information about the book’s legendary creatures.

The book has garnered widespread praise, including:

This distinctive collection deserves to be enjoyed year round.
Publishers Weekly

For all of us who grew up loving Dungeons & Dragons and Tolkien, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is an excellent way to introduce our little ones to the world of fantasy!”
Drew Daywalt, author of the New York Times bestseller The Day the Crayons Quit

Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes is an inventive welcome to the traditional rhymes we all grew up with. Both kids and adults, whose interest are a bit dark and creepy and off the beaten path, will revel in the rhymes’ inventive dark humor. Bravo!
Dan Yaccarino, author and illustrator of Unlovable, Doug Unplugged, and more

Monstrously clever—I’d rather Mary had a hippogriff than a ‘little lamb’ any day!
Molly Idle, Caldecott Honor winning illustrator of Flora and the Flamingo, Tea Rex, and more

“Monstrously clever and soon to be schoolyard standards.”
Tara Lazar, author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, and more

Love fantasy? Know any kids? Get a copy

Animoto_PeterPeter Animoto_WitchMuffet

 


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A Mashup of Superheroes and Buddhas

When 3-D printing, comic books, and religion meet, you get Superhero-Buddhas by Dovas at http://www.boredpanda.com/pop-culture-laughing-buddha-3d-printing-chris-milnes/

There are people whose obsessions with pop culture icons like Darth Vader, Frankenstein or Master Chief seem like religious infatuation, so New Jersey-based 3d printing artist Chris Milnes did away with the formalities by creating a series of 3d-printed Buddha statues. Now, fanboys and fangirls around the world will be able to pray night and day to their favorite heroes and villains.

Now, the Hulk may not be the best representative for inner peace (or perhaps he is?), but there’s still no denying that these are awesome.

 


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How Disney Princesses’d Look With Real Hair

By Loryn Brantz at http://www.boredpanda.com/disney-princesses-realistic-hair-loryn-brantz/

Ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Besides all the mermaids, sorcerers, witches and princes, there’s another aspect of Disney princesses’ lives that just doesn’t add up. Loryn Brantz, a staff illustrator at Buzzfeed, noticed that their hair often behaves in strange and unrealistic ways, so she decided to show how they might look if their hair behaved the way ours does.

Ariel

Ariel with wet hair

Belle

Belle with her hair stuck to her lip gloss

Cinderella

Cinderella with bed head

Mulan

Mulan with static

Elsa

Elsa with her roots showing

Jasmine

Jasmine with realistic hair volume

Snow White

Snow White with moisture frizz

Pocahontas

Pocahontas with her hair in a twister


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Famous Paintings Recreated with Playmobil Protagonists

By Adrien Sollier at http://www.boredpanda.com/famous-paintings-playmobil-figures-pierre-adrien-sollier/

With this series I want to pay a contemporary “homage” to the painters I admire and who gave me the passion for painting.

At the very beginning, I used the playmobil toys to create my compositions before starting drawing to get an idea in a small scale of the lights and the proportions of my characters (like the old masters used to do with small clay figurines). I found this little character with Emoji face very universal and interesting. I used their peculiar ranges of motion and stiff expressions to create the ironic and sometimes cynical tone I try to use to confront our behavior, our excesses, our habits, and our very way of life. I’m using this Mister “no body” as an avatar of the human species to tell the story of our era in an offbeat and characterized manner.

I take photos of the plastic toys in the position I want and I inlay them with Photoshop on my computer. Later, I transfer this composition on my canvas by hand drawing. Then I draw all the shadows with a blue wash paint leaving the white spaces of the canvas for the lights. Finally, there comes painting and the light work using my acrylics.

The Persistence of Memory

Mona Lisa

The Last Supper

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

Liberty Leading the People

La Laitière

Las Meninas

Le Déjeuner des Canotiers

The Raft of the Medusa

Nighthawks

Mme Rivière

The Temptation of Saint Anthony

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