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Comic Book Donations for Boston Children’s Hospital

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In the wake of what has been a shocking and tragic happening in my city, I’ve come to love Boston even more passionately. The goodness, caring and openness has been among the most prevalent I’ve ever seen, and I feel lucky to call this place home.

It also made me wonder — as I was lucky enough to be miles away when the marathon bombings occurred — what kind of person would I have been at that explosion: the kind who runs away from the smoke and fire, or the one who runs towards it to help others? I’d really, really like to think I would be the latter. I think we all would.

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That said, I want to help. In the very least, I’d like to distract the traumatized, the children, the people whose lives are going to be changed forever, regardless of limbs lost or physical impairments. So I asked my friends at local comic shops and publishers to help me bring kids-friendly comic books and books to Boston Children’s Hospital, and anywhere else that needs them.

I will be dropping off donations at Boston Children’s Hospital on the morning of Wednesday, April 24. If you are a publisher, local shop or individual that wants to send all-ages reads (NO swearing, nudity, etc.), please email me at adri (dot) cowan (at) gmail (dot) com. Please do not send anything but kid-friendly books.

Cut-off date for donations was Tuesday, April 23; if you’re interested in making further donations, please contact me for the mailing address.

Thank you, my friends.


Donations & “Thank You’s” Update (4/18)

So far, I’ve received numerous inquiries to donate from some amazing individuals, publishing companies and local shops, including:

…and gigantic, ginormous thank you’s to:

The bounty.

The Several-Month Comic Book Hiatus.

Today, I instituted an active “forced-hour-of-reading” rule, in which I would make the time to indulge in my favorite past-time, one hour per day. To prepare, I brewed some chamomile in a favorite clay mug, grabbed my lip balm (a necessity), lit a candle and curled up on the couch with one of the many novels piling up on my “to-read” shelf.

That hour consisted of a metaphorical WWE fight in my brain between Broca’s area and the right hemisphere, my eyes glazing over pages of text while my brain ticked off things I should be doing instead of sitting there. Work: update the analytics spreadsheet. Send that email. Pick out what you’re going to wear to tomorrow night’s event. Shopping list — I need milk (Lactaid), whole wheat bread, egg whites, tomatoes. Sharpen your eyeliner pencil.

So, maybe the long work of fiction wasn’t going to work for me today. I turned to my ever-climbing pile of single issue comic books  — all #1’s of new series — that I had purchased in one of my comic book shop fits (where I black out and end up with a receipt for $150 an hour later), glaring at me from my night table. I tossed them onto the couch, took a happy breath, and began.

So, I’m reading today. Together, the art and words have done the trick, allowing me to engage the parts of my brain needed to distract me from those looming responsibilities. Next stop will be back to the comic shop for the #2s (and so on), which I have made a personal promise to not leave collecting dust for six months.

Then again, I can always wait for the trades.

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In case you’re wondering, here’s what’s in my bounty:

  • TMNT reboot, #1 + #2
  • Batwoman, Zero Issue (Jan ’11)
  • The Infinite Vacation, #2
  • King, #1
  • Bendis & Bagley’s Brilliant, #1
  • R13, #1C
  • Batman: Gates of Gotham, #1
  • Green Wake, #1 + #2
  • Drums, #1
  • Scarlet, #1-3
  • Last Mortal, #1
  • Philip K. Dick’s Electric Ant, #1 + #2
  • Abe Sapien, #1 (of 2)
  • Ultimate Comics: X-Men, #1
  • Nether World, #1
  • Butcher Baker, #1 +#2
  • X-Men: Giant Size, #1
  • Batman: Arkham City, #1
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What I’m Reading Now: “The Book of Human Insects” by Osamu Tezuka

When the lovely Laura Shatzkin at Vertical, Inc. offered me a copy of The Book of Human Insects by the “grandfather” of Japanese comics, Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), I nearly soiled my ill-fitting pants in anticipation. Then, I took some deep breaths, cleaned myself up, and asked her to send it to me. I sat staring at the mailbox for a full two days.

And now, I have it in my clutches – as you may know, I’m a huge Tezuka fan, specifically for his work on Buddha. Can’t WAIT to break it open!

The book description:

Osamu Tezuka’s The Book of Human Insects is a dark and haunting story of a young woman who has plagiarized, blackmailed, stolen, and replicated the works of others in her quest for success and public adoration. As she climbs higher and higher – from acclaimed stage actress, to award-winning architect, and, finally, to the recipient of the Akutagawa Prize for Japan’s best new writer — Toshiko Tomura will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what she wants.

The Book of Human Insects was originally serialized in the 1970s. But Tezuka’s disturbing, seductive vision of a world where only those willing to sell their souls to the masses can achieve their dreams, will resonate today more than ever. Contemporary culture is shaped by reality shows, tabloids, and gossip blogs. We have become obsessed with celebrity, and readily accept it as a substitute for true talent and any semblance of artistic integrity.

With his unerring skill at understanding the psychological and emotional underpinnings of behavior, Osamu Tezuka anticipated this cult of fame by forty years. In his wickedly entertaining tale – now available in English for the first time – he uses his sharpest scalpel to peel back the layers and reveal the essence of our humanity.

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Social Media for Creatives: 5 Tips for Promoting on Facebook

It’s that elusive juggernaut of social networking called Facebook – a mystery to some, a second home to others (ahem, me) – but equally, ultimately, a fantastic platform for promotion.

Continued from my last Social Media for Comics article, 5 Tips for Promoting Your Comics on Twitter, here are a few tips on how best to use Facebook to promote your work and nurture your online relationships for biz betterment. Keep in mind that this is assuming you understand the bare bones of the site and how it works, but don’t really know some of the etiquette that comes along with using it for promotional endeavors.

5 Tips for Promoting on Facebook

1. Have a personal profile and a fan page – NOT a fan group.

“Groups” on Facebook used to be OK, way back in the good ol’ days before people couldn’t just add you into them at their whim, without your permission. They were invite-only. For me personally, it’s a huge source of contention and I immediately delete myself from those groups with a sudden distaste for whoever placed me in it. I shake my fist at you, groups!

This is in addition to your personal profile. I recommend keeping a public personal profile (you can always have another private page for just your close friends and family). This will allow you to accumulate fans and friends to invite to your fan page – notice how on the fan page it gives you the option to “Suggest to Friends” – this makes it easier to invite people with the click of a button. One personal page and one fan page will allow you to cover all the bases: a friendly face for your fans AND a place to promote your business.

I also recommend having at least one actual photo of yourself in your profile photos – people who only have artwork as their photos kind of creep me out, and minimizes the feeling of comfortable, personal interaction online (which is, in fact, possible!).

Here’s a fantastic step-by-step guide on “How to Build the Perfect Facebook Fan Page” on Techipedia.com.
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Gonna Moderate the HECK out of Some Panels at the BOSTON COMIC CON!

It’s official, folks – I’ve been invited to moderate two AMAZING panels at the Boston Comic Con next weekend, April 30th-May 1 at the Hynes Convention Center! Not only am I flattered, but I’m super-psyched to get the chance to chat with some creators I truly admire.

I’ll be moderating the Female Creators Panel with Ming Doyle, Sara Richard, Stephanie Buscema, and Allison Sohn on Saturday, April 30 from 11:30A.M.-12:15.PM and the Spotlight on Terry Moore from 6:00P.M.-6:45P.M that same day – so get yo’ questions ready!

Here’s the full lineup for the Con:

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