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Children's & Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books


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Double Your Piratey Fun!

Double your piratey fun! For a limited time, get a FREE download code for EnsenaSoft‘s Pirate Jump 2 game on the STEAM platform for PCs (a $1.99 value) when you buy a copy of CAP’N REX & HIS CLEVER CREW and email an image of your receipt to info@henryherz.com.

STEAM page for Pirate Jump 2

(How to use a download code)

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Crocheted Superhero, Video Game & Comic Characters

A fun yarn from Geeky Hooker and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“A not-so-long time ago (5 years ago), in a galaxy not-so-far away (Milky Way, Earth, Houston TX), I taught myself how to crochet. I tinkered around, starting out with lumpy generic little dolls, until I got bored and started making lumpy little superheroes instead.

From there things got a little out of control, and it got to a point where if it was geeky and fun, I’d try to make it out of yarn. Captain America? Done! Chewbacca? Got it. Frida Kahlo, for no reason other than the fact that I REALLY wanted an excuse to put a tiny little unibrow on her? Done and done. Five years later, I’ve amassed a collection of little characters ranging in categories from comic book characters to sci-fi monsters to stuff in the all-encompassing “I just freaking felt like making it” category.

Sometimes I keep the little guys for myself, but most of the time I give them away, and every year I make a bunch to scatter around San Diego Comic-Con for people to find. I tag them with my contact info, and then I cross my fingers and hope that they’ll be given good homes. So far I’ve had a good turnout of adoptions, and hopefully they’ll eventually take over the world, one goofy little sack of yarn at a time!”


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Interview with illustrator Grant Gould

Grant Gould is a Minnesota-based artist who made the jump from graphic artist to fulltime freelance in 2006. Since then, he has worked on numerous projects for Lucasfilm, Topps, and other companies. He has also written and illustrated his own graphic novel, 2008’s ‘The Wolves of Odin,’ as well as his own tabletop roleplaying game, 2012’s ‘Blade Raiders.’

GouldGrant

For what age audience do you write/illustrate?

I’ve done a lot of Star Wars work that’s aimed at younger kids, roughly ages 4 – 12. My personal creator-owned projects, however, tend to be a little more mature/PG-rated.

Henry: Grant’s done a lovely Yoda illustration that is on display in my son’s room. His collage of Lord off the Rings villains graces my study.

Tell us about your latest effort.

I’m currently writing and illustrating books for ‘Blade Raiders’ (BladeRaiders.com), which started as a role-playing game, but is now also branching out into novels and comics. I also have some upcoming Star Wars work that I can’t announce yet, but I’m very excited about.

Henry: Upcoming Star Wars work that you can’t announce yet!? You are a big tease, sir!

What do you hope the audience will get from ‘Blade Raiders’?

I’m hoping fans of ‘Blade Raiders’ will experience the same kinds of thrills and sense of adventure that I felt as a kid when I played things like Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. Those games and stories can really open up the world of creativity and imagination.

What aspect of writing/illustrating do you find most challenging?

Focusing on one thing at a time, because I always have several projects going on at once, and juggling them can be tough.

Henry: Tell me about it! I wonder if most artists and writers are ADD (not to be confused with AD&D).

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

You’re never going to create something that everyone loves. You have to be able to handle criticism.

Henry: It’s a delicate balance. You should feel satisfaction with the quality of your work, and yet always set the bar higher and higher to hone your craft. You have to be a sensitive artist, and yet have a thick skin.

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

Going to conventions over the years has given me some great opportunities, including becoming friends with many other artists.

Henry: Yes. My sons and I got to meet you at a San Diego Comic-Con.

What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?

A.B.C. – Always Be Creating.

Henry: The writer’s equivalent saying is B.I.C. – butt in chair (always be writing)

Do you have any favorite quotes?

When I was a kid, I discovered the Henry James quote, “Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.” I always loved that. Don’t waste your time on this Earth, and learn to appreciate and see the lesson in everything.

Henry: “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” — Yoda

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

Not really. I usually listen to movie scores or podcasts while I work.

Henry: Jabba the Hutt plushy clutched in one hand… ☺

What is your favorite creature that exists only in literature?

Tough to choose, because I love fantasy creatures! I might have to go with werewolf, because I’ve always loved wolves and werewolves. Dragons would be a close second.

Henry: I don’t mean to hound you with my puns, but I’m Lycan your choice.

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

I’m addicted to the videogame Skyrim. I play that on my Xbox 360 all the time. Otherwise, I do the usual things: hanging out with family, watching movies, reading comics and books, etc.

What would you like it to say on your tombstone?

I’ll let my family surprise me with that one. 🙂

Henry: The Force is strong in this one.

Where can we find your work?

GrantGould.com is my website, and I also have twitter at @grantgoboom and I have an art Instagram now too: http://instagram.com/grant_gould_art

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

Click to Tweet: Interview with illustrator Grant Gould at http://wp.me/p31Xf4-Ef via @Nimpentoad


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Cosplay Tutorial: Making Hei’s Daggers from Skyrim

The following tutorial is courtesy of Bill Doran from Punished Pixels at http://props.punishedpixels.com/2013/04/02/darker-than-black-heis-daggers/

A couple of months ago I got my hands on a commission to build Hei’s Daggers from the anime show Darker than Black. Fortunately for me, my pal Harrison from Volpin Props had already made the dagger and has blueprints available for an insanely low price of $5. Having the blueprints already done usually saves me 1-2 days of research and drawing. I have my own blueprints available for sale here!

Hei's Daggers - Finished

I printed up the designs full scale and got started! My plan for this was pretty similar to the way that Harrison built it. I planned out several layers of PVC sheet and styrene in different thicknesses.

Hei's Daggers - Design

Most of the pieces were cut out with an X-Acto knife. Some of the thicker parts were cut out with my scroll saw. The layers were all epoxied together.

Hei's Daggers - Layers

Hei's Daggers - More Layers

The beveled edges on the side of the dagger were filled in with Bondo. I also added more styrene to the blade tips to reinforce them.

Hei's Daggers - Bondo

Hei's Daggers - Filled

Once it was all filled in and sanded down, I got it all primed up and did some more sanding.

Hei's Daggers - Primed

At this point, it was all ready for molding! Originally I thought I would need to cast it with some steel wire inside of the plastic for strength. This actually made the blades bow quite a bit, so I tried casting one without the wire. The non wire blade casting was incredibly durable and didn’t bow at all!

Hei's Daggers - Casting Wire

The finished blades were cast from SmoothCast 300 with a little bit of SoStrong black tint.

Hei's Daggers - Cast Blades

With the pieces all cast, they needed just a little bit of sanding and some paint! The base color was a rattle can metallic paint. Then I masked off the edges of the blade to paint the rest of it black.

Hei's Daggers - Silver Paint

Hei's Daggers - Painted

After some clear coating, I did some light touch up weathering with a dry brushed black paint and some silver leaf Rub ‘N Buff.

Hei's Daggers - Weathering

That’s it! All done! Nothing to see down here!


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Comic-Con 2013 Badge Resale Drawing #SDCC

This just in from the folks at Comic-Con.

comiccon

“Comic-Con International is pleased to announce that because of returned/cancelled badges we will once again be able to offer those badges for resale. This year we have also reduced the allotment of reserved badges for certain departments. Comic-Con has decided to add these badges to the resale for our attendees. We currently have several thousand single day badges available for resale, only 3,100 of which are Saturday badges. 4-Day badges are sold out.

Due to the very limited number of badges available and our vendor EPIC Registration being focused on coordinating onsite registration, the Comic-Con 2013 badge resale will be conducted utilizing a random drawing.

To enter the Comic-Con 2013 Resale Drawing, login to your Member ID account now and click the blue notice that says “Click Here to Enter a Drawing to be Eligible for the Comic-Con 2013 Badge Resale!”

The drawing entry period will remain open for 48 hours only, and will close June 12, 2013 at 10:59:59 AM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Late entries will not be accepted.

You must have a valid and confirmed Comic-Con Member ID to enter the drawing.
Anyone who has already registered for or purchased a 4-Day badge (with or without Preview Night) or a single day Saturday badge will not be eligible to enter the drawing.

Those selected to participate in the Comic-Con 2013 badge resale may purchase their own badges, as well as badges for one additional guest. You may purchase for any guest who has a confirmed Member ID (as of June 7, 2013) and does not have a 4-Day badge (with or without Preview Night) or a single day Saturday badge. Your guest does not need to be selected from the drawing pool to be eligible to purchase.

Comic-Con will notify everyone who is selected to participate by email on or before June 17, 2013.”


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There Are Giants, and There Are Giants

The release of the movie Jack & The Beanstalk got me thinking about giants (again). Giants are popular, I think, for their combination of massive size & strength, and (often) dim wits. Our kid fantasy book Nimpentoad has a giant character, and he is based on the classic giant of English myth.

giant1

Marauder Giant (pewter), painted by author (2″ wide at the base)

But, there are other “flavors” of giant. For example, giants from Norse mythology.giant2

Rackham Tir-Na-Bor Giant (pewter), painted by author (2″ wide at the base)

Then, as we bridge into more “modern” fantasy, all kind of options open up.

giant3

Games Workshop Chaos Giant (plastic), converted & painted by author (2″ wide at the base)