New Zealand Book Council: Going West

The mission of the not-for-profit New Zealand Book Council is to promote literacy, with special emphasis placed on the writers and writings of New Zealand. Their diverse programs educate and entertain children and adults throughout the country.

The following short film, which uses paper cut animation of Maurice Gee’s novel Going West, was launched mid-November and has since breached the top ten videos on the Viral Video Chart compiled by Unruly Media. (It has fallen to number 11 at the time I am writing this post.)

Everything in the film is made by hand. Scalpel blades, paper, and eight months of hard work and patience combine to create this intriguing film.

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Video SparkNote: 1984 by George Orwell

While growing up I held the impression that SparkNotes were something to be avoided, a scheme for cheaters who didn’t read their assignments. It wasn’t until just a few years ago that I finally read a guide out of curiosity. It discussed George Orwell’s 1984.

I wish I had known before the value of these little books. I now purchase guides for all of my favorite literary classics. (SparkNotes covers a lot of other subjects also.)

Recently I came across VideoSparkNotes’s Channel on YouTube. Right at the top of the page is an animated video covering 1984. It contains a plot summary, an analysis, and a discussion of the major characters and themes from the classic novel. It’s worth a look for its incredible animation alone.

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Iron Man, Wolverine Anime

Okay, that looks fun! But this second one looks just plain weird to me. Are Wolvie’s claws coming out from between his fingers?

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A New Look at Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Neil Burger is pitching a movie script based on Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Not a remake of the classic film, but a new project taken from the original source material. It is expected to be a combination of live action and CGI animation.

The Secret of NIMH, directed by Don Bluth, came out in 1982.

It featured the voice talents of Dom DeLuise as Jeremy, Shannen Doherty as Teresa and Wil Wheaton as Martin.

Mr. O’Brien’s original book, a 1972 Newbery Medal winner, told the story of a young widow mouse who must reach down inside herself to find the courage to save her sick son from an impending disaster.

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Follow Friday: People Who Love Comics

Follow Friday is a Twitter meme which seems to be spreading to blogs and other social networks. This is the third in a series of blog posts highlighting individuals and groups worth following on Twitter and elsewhere on the net.

 I forget where I saw it first, but I think placing the recommendations in blog posts is much nicer than short tweets. I’ve missed a couple of weeks due to poor planning, but I intend to make Follow Friday a regular feature of this blog if the response continues to be positive.

Valerie D’Orazio@ohsuperheroin

Valerie is a comics writer and blogger with a reputation for calling it how she sees it. With her insight into the comics industry and personal integrity that’s a very good thing.

She is the President of Friends of Lulu, a national organization for women in comics, and blogs at Occasional Superheroine. Her new book, Memoirs of an Occasional Superheroin is on sale now.

Carla Hoffman@cyberpilate

Her twitter bio describes her as “a girl who loves comics,” and it’s evident. Carla shares her thoughtful writing at Robot 6@ CBR. She inspired massive amounts of fanboy and -girl jealousy recently when she revealed she had been an extra in the newest Star Trek film.

David Gallaher@DavidGallaher

David is the award-winning writer behind the critically-acclaimed serialized webcomic High MoonHigh Moon is one of this year’s Harvey Awards nominees.

Rich@RichL1

Rich is an all-around decent guy from the big city with impeccable taste in movies. After all, Casablanca is one of his favorites. His blog — Comic by Comic— delivers reviews, news and general thoughts on comics and their related culture. He also keeps a Posterous.

Bully the Little Stuffed Bull — @bullytheLSB

Little Stuffed Bull. Comics Fan. Heckuva nice guy. What else do you need to know? If you’re not reading Bully’s blog, you’re missing out. This cute little guy understands that Comics Oughta be Fun!

I hope you’ll check out the Twitter feeds and/or websites of these fine people (and cow). There will be more to come next Follow Friday.

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The July 4th Project Showcases Your American Superhero Creations

Comics fan Chris Duffy has started an art blog featuring variations by many cartoonists on the notion of the patriotic, all-American superhero.

From The July 4th Project:

This blog is for YOUR democracy-loving, 5th column bashing champions of justice. I exhort you in the name of Old Glory to wrack your brain in search of a superhero (or villain) who stands for SOMETHING uniquely American, draw said champion, and send it my way with a description.

My favorite posts so far are The Thousand Points of Light by Bill Alger, Rockets Redglare by Andrei Molotiu and Demolition Dove by Havier Hernandez. A sample of the upcoming Demolition Dove comic is available at Webcomics Nation.

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Video Tour of the Schulz Library at The Center for Cartoon Studies

The Center for Cartoon Studies – located in White River Junction, VT – offers a two year course of study centering on the creation and dissemination of comics, graphic novels and other manifestations of the visual narrative. Classes are taught by experienced and internationally recognized cartoonists, writers and designers.

The Schulz Library at The Center for Cartoon Studies resides in a restored firehouse on the bank of the White River. The room is filled with zines, graphic novels, cartoon collections, and related ephemera.

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