Monday, November 30, 2009

A Very Ninja Christmas

Just saw Jimmy's new book 'A Very Ninja Christmas' plastered all over the holiday display at a Barnes & Noble in LA. High Five Mr. Gownley!






What are the rest of you peoples up to, huh? Cuz I dunno...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Baltimore Comic Con

Well, apparently the Baltimore ComicCon is this weekend. I won't be going, indeed, have never been, but I hear it's great, and I know KLC has a big honkin booth, so everybody have a baltimoretastic time, and post some groovy photos upon your return! Back East Kids Comics Fans: GO! Buy Books, have fun times, or else.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

San Diego Comic Con 2009

Just thought I'd remindify everybody here who's coming to the San Diego Comic Con (in justa few days! So much stuff to do to get ready! Augh!) to come and visit us Kids Love Comickers! (Does any one else think we need a snappier nickname? Post comments suggesting clever ones, we'd love to hear.) Me, (Ray Friesen), and Jimmmy Gownley (Jimmy Gownley) are going to be sharing a booth and poking each other at #2207. Scott Christian Sava is going to be at booth 2002. You can remember them easily, since they both have two 2's in them. Also, Scotts booth, if it were a year, is the past, while Jimmy and mine are the FUTURE WOO. John Gallagher's gonna be floating around, but I don't think he's anywhere in particular. Anybody else gonna be there? I dunno.

I'll be unveiling some new product. BEHOLD! Plush toys of my characters! Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken!



Not too shamelessly plug myself TOOO much (just enough actually) but have you been reading their weekly adventures on my website? www.DontEatAnyBugs.com You totally should, they're hilarical. And I'm not just saying that because I'm incredibly biased.

Our special deal is, for every 100 plush toys you buy, you get another half of one for free. Such a bargain! I can personally vouch for the fact that they are LOTS of fun to play with. In fact, I'm playing with one right now. Using the tip of Pirate Penguin's sword to type thisasdj klajsdjk kjajkliowe jfh .

Oh, and Jimmy's gonna be giving out Solid Gold Poodles to everybody who votes for him to win the Eisner award. He's got a big pile of them, so feel free to nag him into giving you one, even if he pretends to have no idea what you're talking about. It will certainly be a lot of fun for me to watch! Check out his newly redesigned website, www.AmeliaRules.com, it's got all sorts of really exciting new features. Heck, just check out everybody's website, whydontcha?

After I get back, and accumulate some more free time, stay tuned for all ages friendly comic reviews and news and previews and special doodles and all sortsa cool junk!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Heroes Con Post Mortem

Howdy all!

How is ya? Happy 4th of July weekend! I am lounging around a hotel at the moment, having taken my sister and her friends to the Anime Expo in LA. I have lots of time to get caught up on emails and web things, seeing as how I left all the other work I was supposed to be working on at home. I bleev I have gotten food poisoning though, I feel not at all well, and so am not enjoying it as much as I coulda shoulda.

I am perscribing myself lots of chocolate.

Anyhoo!

the Heroes Comic Book Convention was in North Carolina last week, and me and a buncha other KLCers were there, so I figured I'd talk about it!

I forgot to take any pictues, indeed, forgot my camera, so if anybody has any snaps of us looking googly, feel free to upload. Actuall, here's one sent to me by the awesomecooltastic Emileeeeeeeeeee, super KLC fan:

4anda1/2 members of Kids Love Comics were at the Show, Jimmy Gownley, Scott Christian Sava (Whom I had never met in person before, an excellent nice guy -- not that Jimmy isn't nice, it's just my allready knowing him that precludes him from being complimented.) Harold Bucholdz, KLC cofounder, and author of Apathy Kat, Lovable old me, and the 1/2th member, Dave McDonald, author of Hamster Sam! Dave and Jimmy went to separate schools together. He's not an official member, mostly because John Gallagher hasn't updated the website to include him yet, which is part of the KLC hazing process. John himself, as well as Josh Elder weren't at the show, but that's okay, because we replaced them with a giant inflatable penguin I just happened to have.

The show itself was very comic book showy, only more so. Very well organized and delightfully executed, the show runners should be proud. Certainly wish I was close enough to drive there rather than fly, but that's the gripe about all shows that are far away from you! I had a lovely time, even if I missed going to all the cool parties by dint of not being able to find them. Sigh. I try to be a social butterfly, but I'm not very good at it.

I did go out to dinner with everybody, including Jimmy's Librarian friend Snow, so that was totally fun. We stayed up way too late talking about *GASP* comic books. I had fun putting my foot in my mouth, and Jimmy said some things that caused us to question his wife Karen's sanity in marrying him. Everyone else was well behaved.

I would like to point out that, being a california boy, I am well used to Heat, that Humidity is just a terrible terrible design flaw, and I would like it stricken from the record. Everyone else was used to the back east humitude, and thought I was a total lightweight, but UGH.

I met a buncha other cool peops at the show, and will be doing some sort of link roundup when I can summon the wherewithall. I've typed rather alot of things now, and am going to stop right... NOW.

Next KLC Stop, COMICCON! Me and Jimmy are sharing a booth, and have promised not to kill each other. Although I'm pretty sure Jimmy had his fingers crossed, which is just a well, since I'm a liar and my promises are invalid.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Kids Read Comics and Heroes

Come and see us at these two shows!





http://www.KidsReadComics.org









Heroes




Well, at this Michigan one, it's just me, But EVERYBODY pretty much will be at Heroes! If you live anywhere nearby and DON't come and visit, we will cry.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Nick Magazine Shutting Down?

It seems as if Viacom is shutting down Nickelodeon Magazine, which seems like crazysauce to me.

Where will America's children get their monthly comics anthology fix now? Kids Love Comics, and there are alot of us cartoonists who do things kids like, why is it so hard to get these two concepts to solve each other?

On a personal note, I've been attempting to get my cartoons published in Nick Mag for years now, me and Editor Chris Duffy have been emailing lately, I finally hit upon a simple, fun idea that he really liked, so the timing is Especially Doubly Frustrating.

My heart goes out to Chris and co-conspirator Dave Roman, I wish them and their displaced cartoonists all the luck they require in turning this annoying situation to their advantage somehow.

Stupid Economy: I BLAME YOU!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Free Comic Book Day Roundup EDIT

Okay! Here are where all of the Kids Love Comics Cool Cats are going to be for Free Comic Book Day! I haven't accumulated my data all that well, so please email me if it's innaccurate. I'm probably going to edit this post in a day or two.

Jimmy Gownley will be at Cosmic Comics in Harrisburg PA.

John Gallagher is going to be at a wedding, and therefore USELESS for the purposes of this blog.

Ray Friesen (Me) is going to be at Brave New World comics in Santa Clarita, CA (with a possible last minute pop in at Collectors Paradise in Winnetka CA. Edward there is having a major shindig he wanted me to be a part of if only I wasn't somewhere else first.)

Josh Elder is gonna be at Comix Revolution, 115 W Central Rd. Mt. Prospect, IL from 11 to 4.

Scott Christian Sava isn't going to be anywhere. Sorry Scott fans, this is not your lucky free comic book day.)

Rich Faber is going to be at Captain Blue Hen Comics in Newark, DE
http://www.captainbluehen.com/free-comic-book-day/

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jimmy @ the Eisners

Congratulations to KLC's Jimmy Gownley for what must be his one-million-and-sixth Eisner Award Nomination!

Although, when you think about it, last year you were nominated for FOUR Eisners, so you've actually slipped a notch this year.

We're all VERY disappointed in you.

But in a congratulatory way!

Hee hee hee.

(I'm still invited to the pizza party at Chuck E. Cheeze right?)

I've got my fingers crossed for you, and I do mean ALL of them. (I haven't crossed my toes though, that's actually bad luck. Everyone knows that, right?)



Congratulations to all the nominees actually, but Jimmy and the 4 other people I know in person f'reals ESPECIALLY! I hope all the people I'm rooting for win.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Linky Dinks

Chris Wilson @ The Graphic Classroom just wrote a very thoughtful and in depth review of my book 'Another Dirt Sandwich' advocating it's vocabulary teaching potential, something I had offhandedly thought of but never seriously considered until he talked about it:

Please give it a read if you're in the mood for that sort of thing! I'll definately be quoting it on future back covers.

"To leave the book behind without giving it its due would be a serious mistake on the part of the teacher, librarian or parent. ANOTHER DIRT SANDWICH has so much to offer a child and it should be seriously considered."

Also! Webcomics reviews: I said I'd be doing them, recommending some good all ages webcomics. Here's the trouble: There don't seem to be that many, at least as far as I am aware. I read a number of webcomics every morning, and while there are plenty I enjoy, I wouldn't classify too many of them as being 'kid friendly' -- Please leave links in the comments and prove me wrong, I'd love to discover some new interesting webcomics. I feel the internet is still primarily the domain of collegey age people mostly, they have the free time and technical skills. While elementary age kids do use the internet, they still like to go outside and play too (a definate good thing I think).

I talked about this before a couple of posts ago, and got emailed by a Mr Caanan Grall who draws the webcomic 'Celadore' on Zuda -- saying his was an all ages webcomic, and would I recommend it to our readers? I said I'd give it a flip through, and if I liked it, I would. I haven't read it all yet, merely skimmied it (hooray for no real free time) and while it is well illustrated, he obviously knows what he's doing, and involves what appears to be children-vampire hunters, I can't honestly say it looks that 'All Agesy' -- if it were a movie, I'd say it would be rated PG 13 for action violence and some language (I saw several swears as I skimmed -- can't say they bug ME, but I'm all adultish, can't honestly recommend that sort of thing to children -- If your comfortable letting your kids watch The Simpsons, I'm sure you'd find it fine. Each person has their own taste on this sort of thing, to each their own.

So there you go Caanan! Wasn't the heartiest of recommendations, but I've done my part to help get you noticed.

I'll dig through my bookmarks, if I hunt around a bit, I'm sure there are some real KIDS style webcomics I just haven't remembered yet.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Boom Studios Kids -- Muppets & Pixar Comics

Boom Studios is coming out with Muppet and Pixar comics! This fills me with glee. You all probably know about this, but just in case, I figured I'd talk about it, let you know what I know. First issues are allready on the stands, methinks, I haven't been to a comic shop in a few weeks. (My local one went out of business, the nearest one is now 2 hours away, *sob*)

Boom has set up a special website, www.boom-kids.com for their kids line of comics (I think so parents can feel safer, and that their kids won't wander over towards Boom's less kid friendly titles -- makes sense to me! Kids always seem to want to gravitate towards things they probably shouldn't -- I had a booth at a show once, the guy next to me had comics that Looked kid friendly, with simply drawn ducks and alligators, but then when you opened them up they were quite... pornographic? I discovered this noisefully when a 9 year old girl was reading them, her mom came up behind and asked 'whatcha reading sweety?' followed by lots of shrieking and running away. So, yeah, we don't want to give anyone a reason not to let their kids read comic books, we as the creators have to steer the kids in the right direction. That's the whole point of Kids Love Comics! Because kids do love comics, and any that cross their path will be read. Let's give 'em some good ones!

Might I recommend Boom's Muppet Comic book? They have a preview of nearly half the book on Comic Book Resources:



See if your willpower can prevent you from being spoiled and reading it now, mine certainly couldn't. Now I've read part of it, and MUST FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT via spending money on the real printed book.

Roger Langridge is writing and drawing the bulk of the first couple issues, I've been a fan of his Fred the Clown and all his other stuff for years now, in fact I've got a drawing of Popeye by him framed and on my wall, we as fans are in for a real treat. Even if you don't like the muppets (how is that even possible? You must have watched the wrong muppets) pick up this book.

Other artists and writers are supposed to start being a part of this series too, I've seen variant covers and spinoff titles allready (Muppet Robin Hood is first) and gosh would I LOVE to become a part of the muppets crew. I hope Boom has some sort of portfolio reviews at San Diego this year, writing and drawing Muppets in an official capacity has become my new lifelong quest.

Here's the sample I came up with for Boom's Submission Website, basically a spoof of the TV show's title sequence, with me installed. I wanted a chance to try and draw all the main characters, although I appear to have neglected Miss Piggy AND Fozzie, how terribly remiss of me.



MUPPETS © DISNEY/JIM HENSON, no infrigitude meant, I'm not selling anything, please no lawyers yell at me. I think this counts as 'fan art' moreso than anything else : )

Thursday, March 26, 2009

EDIT -- Kidjutsu.com

I got Brian Leung's website wrong last time, It's www.KidJutsu.com

To basically paraphrase their entire 'about' section:


About Us

What is Kidjutsu?
Kidjutsu [kid-joot-soo] is a kids comics website where kids can read, discover, and share comics. We built Kidjutsu to provide a fun activity for kids that encourages them to read for enjoyment and exercise their budding imaginations. We started off collecting the best all-ages kid-friendly comics into one place, but it's grown to be a website for kids, tweens, teens, and even the big kid in all of us.

What can I do on Kidjutsu?
At Kidjutsu, you can browse a large selection of kids comics brought to you by the best comics, webcomics, and manga creators. Every comic on our site has been screened and marked with an appropriate age rating. You can experience each comic using our high-resolution, fast-loading, super-responsive digital comic reader. You can read comics in fullscreen, zoom in on your favorite panels, and also bookmark your favorite comics. Most importantly, you can read all these comics online for free.

What is our vision?
We have two goals for Kidjutsu:
1) Introduce kids to comics, and
2) Build a sustainable revenue model for creators with a life-long passion for telling great stories.



alt="Read kids comics at Kidjutsu">





Here are some handy little embedded readers you can easily create if you want to share the comics on your site:





These ones I both KNEW were by KLC creators, There are tons more, but I haven't had a chance to read any yet to see how strongly I recommend them. Will do when I have a moment, and post again!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cupcakes of Doom and other nonsense

Hivribody!

It hasn't been very lively around this blog lately, and as 1 of 5 contributors, that's 20% my fault!!!

So lets see, what should I talk about?

Well, first up, to be all self promotiony, I have a new book out! Cupcakes of Doom:




It's TOTALLY the best piratey graphic novel I've written this whole year!

and here are some nice words from the American Library Association:
The cookie-loving pirates from previousYARG! efforts return as the featured players in this unrelentingly pun- and gag-filled adventure. Escaping from a desert island, the pirates tackle everything from the justice system and going into business to relationships and dealing with mothers (all in an age-appropriate fashion, of course) as they trade blows and jokes with a bunch of rather hoity-toity Vikings. The point here is not serious social commentary but rather to offer as many jokes per page (and panel, and word balloon) as possible. While some will fly over the heads of the intended readership, it hardly matters given their extraordinary density. It’s notable that if manga is the reigning graphic format art style for young adults these days, the style for younger readers is quickly settling upon what is on display here—a lighthearted, animation-inspired use of cartoon figures, digital colors, and rough backgrounds—so that the transition from reading to television and back is becoming disturbingly seamless.
— Jesse Karp

Besides that 'disturbing' in there -- pretty darn lovely! I'll post more reviews as they exist. Scott Tingley of Comics in the Classroom did a 'sort of' review -- his daughter won't give him the book back yet, so he hasn't read it, but loves all the sea serpenty fun.

Here's a picture of my filing cabinet celebrating it's release:




Did you KLC guys who also write this blog get a chance to see Cupcakes at the New York ComicCon? You were very nice and let me mail some for you to stick on the table, I hope you all snuck a copy for yourself. I included instructions that you could do so.

Gosh I'm a doofus, I haven't had a chance to even call any of you folks yet and see how the show all went for you guys. Can we expect som photographs on this here blog anytime soon? Mail them to me, I'll upload them for ya's. I'd like to help out the KLC anyway I can, and since flying to any of the eastcoast shows doesn't seem very likely at the moment, I'd love to handle a bit more web duties. We should have a meeting about that. When I get some time : )

I saw John Gallagher at the Miami Bookshow in November -- I should post some photos of that, and now here I am doing so:

Gosh, I only took one photo, and it's of me., Have I mentioned that I'm a doofus?




Has anyone here heard of KidJutsu.com -- ? They're trying to become THE place for http://www.kidjutsu.com/> free kid friendly comics on the web -- cool little reader programs, and they hope to become advertising supported to be able to pay you for the amount of times people read your comics." I'd suggest all the KLCers upload some cartoons you don't mind people reading for free to the site (I saw BananaTail on there allready!) I've uploaded something, and hope to do more. They look very nifty, and like they have their act together.

I think it would be nice if we did a big link roundup of some of our favorite kid friendly webcomics. I read alot of webcomics, but I don't know how many are strictly kid friendly...

Alot of webcomics seem to be more adult oriented,which is fine if you're into that sort of thing, but we need to get more kids on the internet, methinks. Someone should do some bold new initiative about that. Not me though, I'm busy. I do a webcomic too actually! Daily! It's my tbyrd character, which always seems to be slightly too sophisticated for kids, slightly too childlike for adults. I'm in one of those gray zones you hear so much about. Check out the ""Has anyone here heard of KidJutsu.com -- ? They're trying to become THE place for free kid friendly comics on the web -- cool little reader programs, and they hope to become advertising supported to be able to pay you for the amount of times people read your comics."
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How's everybody doing finances wise? This stupid economy thing is getting everybody down, I'm sure, but nobody's in any dire trouble right? We all love comics to death, and I'm sure would be doing them even if it was impossible to make any money on them (just less often because of boring day jobs) but I really hope we can get everybody's demand and audience up into the stratosphere, so we can all concentrate on making tons more comics round the clock. That's the dream. Everybody loves entertainment, and Kids Love Comics, so I think if we can keep on keepin' on we'll be allright.


Did I also mention I'm now a kazoo virtuoso? And I've been wearing a zorro mask all day to see if anybody noticed -- hundreds of people looking at me strangely, but only one person actually asked. I decided to take it off before going in to the bank, I'm not totally stupid. Just about 20% stupid.
EDIT! >> Brian at www.Kidjutsu.com emailed me -- I got his link spelled wrong (how embarassing!) and he told me a little about referencing tags for the google bots to increase your page ranking. I've known that these exist and that I should be using them, but I haven't had the time to figure out how to do them properly. Brian gave me a few to changify here, so they should be working more groovfully. Expect me to know what I'm talking about more properly next time. I got contacted by a company that new all about these reference tags, and wanted to optimize me for alot of money, and while i was intrigued, I simply couldn't afford it. Expect me to get a book or two on the subject and acquire just enough knowledge to mess things up (my usual modus operendi)


Merry Fishmas!

Ray