Gilbert Hernandez is the co-creator of, Love & Rockets, one of the best comic book series of all time. His newest work is Marble Season, a beautifully-told semiautobiography of a boy growing up. Read the 8-page excerpt below.
Marble Season is the semiautobiographical novel by the acclaimed cartoonist Gilbert Hernandez, author of the epic masterpiece Palomar and cocreator, with his brothers, Jaime and Mario, of the groundbreaking Love and Rockets comic book series. Marble Season is his first book with Drawn & Quarterly, and one of the most anticipated books of 2013. It tells the untold stories from the early years of these American comics legends, but also portrays the reality of life in a large family in suburban 1960s California. Pop-culture references—TV shows, comic books, and music—saturate this evocative story of a young family navigating cultural and neighborhood norms set against the golden age of the American dream and the silver age of comics.
Middle child Huey stages Captain America plays and treasures his older brother’s comic book collection almost as much as his approval. Marble Season subtly and deftly details how the innocent, joyfully creative play that children engage in (shooting marbles, backyard performances, and organizing treasure hunts) changes as they grow older and encounter name-calling naysayers, abusive bullies, and the value judgments of other kids. An all-ages story, Marble Season masterfully explores the redemptive and timeless power of storytelling and role play in childhood, making it a coming-of-age story that is as resonant with the children of today as with the children of the sixties.
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Here's a great tutorial for making your own glittery superhero paper bracelets out of toilet-paper rolls. The trick is to use blue painter's tape backing to keep the cardboard intact while it's all gluey.
This may seem like a strange way of doing things - to cut and then stick back together etc - but we went through a couple of versions of this before the toilet roll pieces survived - when you paint the toilet roll it tends to collapse go floppy. This was the best process we came up with.
After you have cut, taped and stuffed your toilet roll you are ready to:
- paint (allow to dry)
- apply a light layer of glue and then roll in glitter (allow to dry)
- seal on the glitter by applying a layer of gluey glaze (1 part glue to 2 parts water) (allow to dry)
- add some super hero gems/sparkles
Once all your paint, glitter and glue is dry remove the newspaper and painters tape from inside and round of the corners.
Paper Roll Craft: Super Hero Bracelets
I bought Jane a $60 quadcopter from Banggood for her 10th birthday. One of the motor wires was broken on arrival so I had to solder it back on, and the battery charger was for a European power outlet so I broke it open and soldered on a US plug. Now it works and it's a lot of fun. It has a built in video camera, too!
It has two control modes. Mode 1 is the "beginner mode," which doesn't allow for tight turns. We like Mode 2, because it's actually easier to control. You can flip the captor 360 with the touch of a button on the transmitter, which Jane loves.
Here's a video of Jane flying it and me being paranoid that she's going to get it stuck in a tree. She ends up landing it in the street, and I say a naughty word.
Here is some delightful music for a Monday morning: "Music with Children: Playing the Recorder" by music educator Grace Nash (1909-1990) and friends. (via Toys and Techniques)
As I've said before, I've been a fan of Bob Staake's illustration ever since David and I stumbled across his ABC and 123 books at SF Moma in 1998. Bob's art is appealing in its simplicity, but it's also sophisticated and wry. No surprise that he has illustrated quite a few New Yorker covers. He does all of his illustration work using a pre-OS X version of the Macintosh operating system and Photoshop 3. He doesn't use a stylus, and instead does everything with a mouse.
It's with great pleasure that Boing Boing gets to premiere the trailer for Bob's new book, Bluebird. He's been working on it for 10 years, and it's a mind-blowing story aimed at 4-8 year olds. It's told without words, and it's about a boy, a bird, and some bullies. I don't want to spoil the story so I'll stop there. I agree with Kirkus Reviews assessment: "Like nothing you have seen before." Is it Bob's magnum opus? I'd say "yes.. so far." Who knows what he'll do next?
"Lindt Bunny Family," a photo shared in the Boing Boing Flickr pool by Paul J. "Leave them alone, and they multiply."
Instructable user boston09 shows how to make a faucet night light.
Here's Tavi Gevison, creator of the amazing Style Rookie site, the Rookie zine and the indispensable Rookie: Year One collection, doing a must-see TedXTeens talk about creating strong female characters and role-models, being a teen feminist, and figuring out how to grow up to be a strong, self-confident woman. This is one I'm putting in the "show to my daughter in a couple years" file.
Rookie: Yearbook One - Sassy's second coming
(via The Mary Sue)
San Francisco's Rock Band Land is a "creativity school" in San Francisco where kids aged 4-8 write song stories together, rock out on high-quality child-sized instruments, record their collaborative creations, and ultimately perform on stage at a local club, complete with fog machines, lights, and, yes, a disco ball. Directed by notable indie rockers Brian Gorman of Tartufi and Marcus Stoesz of The Music Wrong, Rock Band Land is an inspiring DIY scene of unbridled creativity and controlled chaos where pint-sized punks reveal the weird and true future of rock and roll. My son is a multi-year Rock Band Land veteran. Not only has he made dear friends there, but so have his parents.
Now, Brian and Marcus have expanded the Rock Band Land vision into the video realm. "The Truth About Polar Bears" was inspired by ideas that bubbled up in Rock Band Land classes. If all goes well, this surreal story is just a teaser for (thunder drumroll)... Rock Band Land TV! Good luck, Brian and Marcus!
For more on Rock Band Land, check out The Bold Italic's mini-documentary below and, of course, the Rock Band Land site.
The entirety of the wonderful 1972 Tales from Muppetland special Muppet Musicians of Bremen is on YouTube is six parts. I loved this one growing up, and can't wait to share it with my daughter. It's not out on DVD, though you can find old laserdiscs of it if you hunt around.
Muppet Musicians of Bremen
DIY.org is a site and app that encourages kids to make things. It also lets them share their projects and earn achievement badges. They've just released a few new videos that show some of the kids who are on the site.
Field Trip is a free iPhone app was developed in conjunction with our friends at Altas Obscura. I'm using it on an upcoming road trip from LA to Phoenix.
Field Trip, your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you is now on the iPhone! Field Trip runs in the background on your phone. When you get close to something interesting, it will notify you and if you have a headset or bluetooth connected, it can even read the info to you.
Field Trip can help you learn about everything from local history to the latest and best places to shop, eat, and have fun. You select the local feeds you like and the information pops up on your phone automatically, as you walk next to those places.
Field Trip for iOS (Via iDownLoadBlog)
When I wrote my book Made by Hand, I interviewed Peter Gray about the way kids learn. He's a research professor in the Department of Psychology at Boston College, and I found his ideas on unstructured self-teaching fascinating and I quoted him at length in my book. Dr. Gray now has a book out called, Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. If you are a parent of school ago children, I highly recommend it.
After the jump, an excerpt from Free to Learn.
Our children spend their days being passively instructed, and made to sit still and take tests -- often against their will. We call this imprisonment schooling, yet wonder why kids become bored and misbehave. Even outside of school children today seldom play and explore without adult supervision, and are afforded few opportunities to control their own lives. The result: anxious, unfocused children who see schooling—and life—as a series of hoops to struggle through.
In Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion. Children come into this world burning to learn, equipped with the curiosity, playfulness, and sociability to direct their own education. Yet we have squelched such instincts in a school model originally developed to indoctrinate, not to promote intellectual growth.
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Pixelated Cowboy says: "I’ve put together a simple random monster generator! Two actually. A single colour version here and a three colour mix version here. I thought it could be fun for people to try draw what they ended up with! If you do you should tag it with pixelatedcowboy so I can see :O"
(Via Brian Upton at G+BB)
One of the biggest charmers at TED2013 so far has been Romo the Robot, who rolled and whizzed around the stage with one of his creators, Keller Rinaudo.
With large bubbly eyes, four fang-like teeth, and a happy alien voice, it's easy to forget that this animated robot is actually just an iPhone mounted on a
"We wanted to build a robot that anyone can use, whether you're eight or eighty," Rinaudo told the audience. So he and his two friends - Peter Sodd and Phu
Nguyen - all from Phoenix, created Romo, who you can control from an iPad, computer, or another iPhone after downloading its free app. The three
twenty-somethings then started their company, Romotive, where you can purchase Romo for $150. I spoke to them after the talk.
What's the purpose of Romo?
Rinaudo: He's just a robot that anyone can program and hack. He's also just fun to play with. You can invite anyone to control Romo from anywhere in the
world. We think of him as a robot, but a lot of people buy him for kids, especially because when kids create behaviors for him and they try to train Robo
how to do things, they are actually learning about computer science. It's a really cool way to get kids excited about technology and robotics and coding.
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