Friday, February 28, 2014

“New,” previously unpublished Bill Finger photo 5 of 6

The title of my post way back on 7/21/08, five months after I launched this blog, was “‘New’ Bill Finger photo 1 of 9.”

But there were no subsequent posts unveiling photos 2-9.

Until now.

(Less three I published in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, plus one I have found since.)

Bill and son Fred, Bronx Zoo, 1951 or 1952

Tune in tomorrow to see the sixth and final glimpse of Bill that has never been published.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

“New,” previously unpublished Bill Finger photo 4 of 6

The title of my post way back on 7/21/08, five months after I launched this blog, was “‘New’ Bill Finger photo 1 of 9.”

But there were no subsequent posts unveiling photos 2-9.

Until now.

(Less three I published in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, plus one I have found since.)

Bill (right) with sister-in-law Irene Flam, 
Ellis Epstein (Bill’s wife Portia’s grandfather), 
and James Epstein (Bill’s father-in-law), 1950s

Tune in for the next two days to see two more glimpses of Bill that have never been published.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“New,” previously unpublished Bill Finger photo 3 of 6

The title of my post way back on 7/21/08, five months after I launched this blog, was “‘New’ Bill Finger photo 1 of 9.”

But there were no subsequent posts unveiling photos 2-9.

Until now.

(Less three I published in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, plus one I have found since.)

Bill with his first wife Portia, son Fred, and Portia’s father James, 1949

Tune in for the next three days to see three more glimpses of Bill that have never been published.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“New,” previously unpublished Bill Finger photo 2 of 6

The title of my post way back on 7/21/08, five months after I launched this blog, was “‘New’ Bill Finger photo 1 of 9.”

But there were no subsequent posts unveiling photos 2-9.

Until now.

(Less three I published in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, plus one I have found since.)

Bill and his first wife Portia, Provincetown, MA, 1940s

Tune in for the next four days to see four more glimpses of Bill that have never been published.

Monday, February 24, 2014

“New,” previously unpublished Bill Finger photo 1 of 6

Since Bill Finger’s death in 1974, only two photos of him had been commonly published and republished, so people began to say that those were the only two photos of Bill that existed.

Rather they were the only two photos that were known to exist.

No one had looked hard enough yet.

So I set out to remedy that. 

And from seven sources over nine months, I found a bunch more.

The title of my post back on 7/21/08, five months after I launched this blog, was “‘New’ Bill Finger photo 1 of 9.”

But there were no subsequent posts unveiling photos 2-9.

Part of this was oversight.

Part of this was forethought, since I eventually published three of those original nine in Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman.

For some time now, I have been intending to reveal the remaining five. What is finally motivating me to do so is that I recently




It has been years since I last uncovered a Finger photo that had been buried in a private collection, but no amount of time will make me forget the high.

I did not uncover this one personally—Bill’s only grandchild Athena did.

Of the six “new” photos I will share here over the next six days, this latest discovery dates back the earliest:

A great photo (and not just because Bill Finger is in it, second from left).

Based on his hair, it’s almost certainly in the 1930s—pre-Batman. It’s almost certainly at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where Bill would golf. (The giveaway—the golf clubs.) 

I don’t know who the other three people are. Do you?

Tune in for the next five days to see five more glimpses of Bill that have never been published.

7/19/14 addendum: Athena just turned up a second new photo this year.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Save the date: “Batman at 75: To All a Dark Knight” panel in NYC

In December 2012, I reached out to David Bushman at the Paley Center (formerly the Museum of TV and Radio) in New York to ask if they bring in speakers.

They don’t…at least not in the way I was envisioning.

But this kicked off the development of an event I am thrilled to finally be able to announce: a star-studded (plus me) panel about Batman’s cultural influence on the occasion of his 75th anniversary. 

The panelists:
  • Kevin Conroy, Voice of Batman, Batman: The Animated Series; The New Batman Adventures
  • Chip Kidd, Designer, Batman: The Complete History; Author, Batman: Death by Design
  • Marc Tyler Nobleman, Author, Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
  • Kevin Smith, Filmmaker; Writer, Batman comic books; Host, Fat Man on Batman podcast
  • Michael Uslan, Executive Producer, The Dark Knight film trilogy; Author, The Boy Who Loved Batman

The moderator:

  • Whitney Matheson, Columnist, USA Today’s “Pop Candy”

The details:

Date: Monday 5/5/14
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: 25 West 52 Street, New York
Cost: $25

Dress: cape and cowl optional

Space is limited. Register today! Tomorrow is also fine. Any later may be too late.

Bill Finger Appreciation Group on Facebook (again)

Thank you to Derek Wolfford and all members of this group for your ongoing support.

This second acknowledgementlike Bill receiving credit for Batmanis long overdue.

Friday, February 21, 2014

“The Kryptonite Kid” (1979 novel involving Superman) - interview with author’s family

“I thought it was really neat how Sally didn’t know you was really Superman and so she loved you for yourself and not for everything else. I love you for yourself also.”
The Kryptonite Kid, page 14

I keep an eye out for all things red, yellow, and blue. Well, not quite all things…I am mostly interested in lesser-known things. That is how I discovered
The Kryptonite Kid, a brave, heartbreaking, fondly remembered 1979 novel by Joseph Torchia, who passed away in 1996.

(The quotation above is from Jerry, the elementary school-aged protagonist, and “Sally” is a character in a Superman story Jerry read.)

The novel was critically acclaimed by everyone from Publishers Weekly to The New Republic. It was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Of special note, legendary New Yorker critic Pauline Kael: “No other author has treated the effects of Pop mythology with such grace and feeling.”

(Joseph was featured in the 3/6/80 issue of The Advocate, in an article starting on page 20. Can anyone please email me a scan of that article?)

 UK edition

I was so moved by the semi-autobiographical story that I reached out to Joseph’s family (brother Jasper and niece Erika) to interview them; they also put me in touch with his legal representative, Jeff Adams. I’ve done an interview like this before with emotional effect.

And this time, something unexpected and exciting came out of it; the family is interested in reissuing the book (originally published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston).

Up, up, and there’s a way…

Enjoy the interview.

Tell me about Joseph.

Jasper: Born in 1946, Joseph was the third child of four (arriving four years after me). Due to our significant age difference, we were not extremely close growing up and we had our own friends.

In high school, he excelled in English. He graduated from Johnsonburg (PA) High School in 1964 (I believe), attended California University of Pennsylvania for the first two years of college, and then transferred to the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he majored in journalism (graduated in 1968?). 

He joined the Peace Corps in Ankara, Turkey (1971). Afterwards, he worked as a feature writer at the West Palm Beach Post in Florida. He wrote a feature about having his nose done (before/after, etc.). There are some great shots of this laying around somewhere. 

In the ‘70s, he moved to San Francisco and wrote for the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle. During that time, he wrote some fascinating pieces, such as his experience living as a homeless person would in the Tenderloin for two weeks.

In the ‘80s, he moved to Napa to focus on his novel writing and photography (black and white). As writing was not extremely lucrative, his photography/portrait career was what paid the bills. 

Jeff: Extremely friendly, smart, creative, curious, talented. Probably the most creative person I have ever known, with a drive to communicate, to find rewarding channels for his imagination…which was unstoppable. Very childlike in his wonder about anything that interested him, very deep feeling, very giving of himself. People of all kinds were drawn to him.

Jeff, how did you meet Joseph?

Jeff: One of my hobbies is book collecting. For example, I have built probably the foremost collection of the American author Don Marquis, best known for the tales of Archy the cockroach and Mehitabel the alley cat. Living in NYC in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I thought at one point I might like to collect a living author at beginning of a promising career. When I read The Kryptonite Kid, I thought I had my author and contacted Joseph, then living in San Francisco, to ask him to sign my book. A correspondence developed, a literary friendship really, which continued when my wife and I moved to San Francisco in 1984; we all became good friends, right up to his passing in 1996. A couple of years ago I was able to place his literary archive at Stanford University. 

What inspired him to write The Kryptonite Kid?

The Kryptonite Kid was Joseph’s first novel. As kids, the one thing we had in common was that we bought every Superman, Batman, Superboy, every Marvel comic that came out every week for 10 cents. We were Superman fanatics since we could read. I may have gotten him hooked. Our favorite was Superman (I liked Captain Marvel, too). We would share the comic books. When we went off to college, our mom threw them all away. Our dad had a coin collection that we also worked on together.

Joseph and Jasper

How autobiographical is the book?

Jasper: Very much so. We grew up in a small paper mill town in northwestern Pennsylvania—Pulpsburg in the book, Johnsonburg in reality. Johnsonburg was inhabited predominately by Italian and Polish people and had a large Catholic community. Both Joseph and I attended Catholic school for primary and middle school. We walked a half-mile to school, over the B&O and the Pennsylvania railroad tracks, coming home every day for lunch. We had our main dinner at lunchtime. Our mom was an amazing cook and she cooked a big meal every day. 

In 1944-45, when I was two or three years old, I walked out on the roof of our apartment building, looked down at the kids walking to school, and said, “Wanna see me jump?” Cousin Theresa ran in to tell my father and he came out and pulled me off the roof. From the years of recounting, my father’s eyes were bloodshot for days afterwards. [This inspired a pivotal scene in the novel.]

50th wedding anniversary of Josephs parents; 
Joseph in dark tie and glasses, Jasper with mustache

Was Joseph a Superman fan as an adult?

Jasper: Huh. (thinks about this) Not sure, but assume he was. As for me, I stopped buying them when in high school.

Did he like superheroes in general, or was it only Superman in particular?

Jasper: Superheroes in general.

Given that it was in part based on his own life, was it hard for him to write the book?

Jasper: I know he had to rewrite it twice (publisher made some significant changes). It was done on an IBM Selectric typewriter.
Jeff: I doubt it was hard to conceive the format but very important for him to get it just right, which would be true of anything he did. He could obsess on an artistic challenge but live happily with the result, and move on. He lived with words, knew their power, was enormously tough on himself in rewrite phases. This was his first novel and though he was already a professional journalist, this was fiction—which by my estimation was as real to him as anything in life. And he was quite proud of
The Kryptonite Kid not only for getting it right but also because it touched so many people.
Erika: I heard from Jeff that the publisher wanted him to use the correct spelling of words in the letters to Superman. [The book is epistolary, the narrator is a seven-year-old, and the letters are printed unedited from “child-speak.”] Ugh.

What was the family reaction to the book?

Jasper: They were very proud of him. However, my dad didn’t read the book. Theresa Ann, who was the eldest sibling in the convent…not sure if she read it.

Why didn’t your dad read it?

Jasper: I don
t know why Papa didnt read Joey's book. Maybe he did and I dont know. Sorry I cant give you any facts concerning this.

What was Joseph’s reaction to the media response to the book?

Jasper: He was very happy with the response he got from Pauline Kael.

Did he ever hear from DC Comics (publisher of Superman) about the book?

Jasper: He had a couple comic strips that he wanted to include in the book, but they would not allow their inclusion.

Did he ever hear from any organizations dedicated to protecting abused children about the book? Did he ever hear from the church?

Jasper: Not that I know of.

Was there ever talk of Joseph writing a sequel?

Jasper: Not that I know of.
Jeff: No, other than the piece he published in Gay Sunshine. I don’t have a recollection of the piece except that it took the concept well beyond what a mainstream reader would find relatable. I do not believe it was excised from the novel, but an isolated area of the concept that he felt he could explore with authority and for a specific audience.

Was there interest in developing the story as a movie?

Jasper: Yes. There are two screenplays written (in his archives), but neither was picked up.
Jeff: I would say very definitely, and at least one screenplay was developed with a collaborator. Also, similar interest in seeing it as a play.

Did Joseph write any other books after As If After Sex (1983)? If so, did he try to get them published? If not, why did he stop writing?

Jasper: Yes, he wrote two other books that were not published: Purgatory, PA and Edible Variety (don’t know years). He also [wrote] short stories—one on Flannery O’Connor, who was his favorite writer. He never really stopped writing, that I know of.
Jeff: Yes, The Edible Variety was completed, I believe at least a couple of drafts. He was also in development stages on a work we called the “Turkey Book.” His agents may have shown The Edible Variety around but I do not recall why it didn’t get into print. But for sure he did not stop writing.

Tell me about his photography.

Jeff: He was a professional photographer, working independently for local businesses and other customers. He also did fine art photography on his own time, working with teachers and refining techniques in practice. It was his source of income, but also a new and exciting channel for his creative energies.


When and how did he die?

Jasper: He died in 1996 of AIDS-related cancer.

Was he in a relationship when he died, and if so, is the family still in touch with that person?

Jasper: No, he was not in a relationship at the time. He was living alone. He had many close friends in Napa.

What did you first think when I approached you about doing an interview?

Jasper: Anything that would help
The Kryptonite Kid to be republished or the screenplay revived would be fantastic.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Jeff: As an artist he was just hitting his stride and was devastated—as were his friends—that he would not live to realize his full potential. I would be honored to play a role in giving new life to T
he Kryptonite Kid for new generations of readers. Ease into the pop mythology conceit, but be prepared for the deeper subjects as the story unfolds. Very quickly, you realize this is not a children’s book—but perhaps one for adults who wonder exactly when they exited childhood. 

I think Joseph Torchia poured himself, and his empathy for people, into this haunting novel. You see it in the twin prologue/epilogue. 

And you thank him.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pine Road Elementary, Huntingdon Valley, PA

Of late I have been spoiled by superb school visits, and met no exception on 2/19/14 at Pine Road School in Pennsylvania (my first author appearance in the state). 

Special thanks to librarian Keith Crowell, who was an absolute pleasure to work with.

This school was the second ever at which students and staff dressed as superheroes for my visit. As it happens, the first was precisely a week prior.

Pine Road sold a pine tree's worth (sorry) of books, including Vanished: True Stories of the Missing. I'd not thought about the fact that the opening story in the book (about 2nd grader Erica Pratt) took place in Pennsylvania.


After my Superman/Batman/Siegel/Shuster/Finger talk, a 4th grade girl came up to me and said that she thought she was going to start crying while I told the saddest parts of the Bill Finger story. I told her that it would have been okay and that others have, including me. 

A 4th grade boy asked me, "What is your perspective on misery and what is your perspective on joy?"

Definitely a first for me, and a profound one at that. I stammered out an answer-by-blindside that did not involve Bill, though in retrospect it could have. His story is that odd blend of both.

 photo by Ellen Zschunke; note Batgirl

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Best of the blog 2013

This blog launched on 2/19/08.

Every February 19, I share what I feel have been the best posts of the previous twelve months.

This year's medalists:






Monday, February 17, 2014

Bill the Boy Republican

Interesting email over the transom recently: the man who wrote this article—who happens to be the father of the then-9-year-old boy the article is about—asked me if Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman is suitable for a now-12-year-old. Meaning is he too old for it.

My all-purpose answer: you’re never too old for Batman.

Nice to meet you, Darren, and thanks for writing. Ari, please let me know what you think of the book.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Compound word schools in Connecticut

On 2/11/14, I had the pleasure of speaking at Buttonball Elementary School in Glastonbury and the next day at Wintergreen Interdistrict Magnet School in Hamden; both in Connecticut, both wonderful experiences, both arranged by longtime friends (thank you, Rachel Kramer Cohen and Ingrid Ellinger Doviak), and both, as noted in the post title, compound words.

At Buttonball, a class summarized what they got out of the presentation (and this is, of course, heartening):

At Wintergreen, both students and staff dressed as superheroes for my visit; schools often create dynamic displays to welcome authors, but this was the first time any school got into the spirit sartorially:

with Ingird/Batgirl and her daughter/Supergirl

Thank you again to all who made these visits possible.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dispatch from Tanzania: influencer list

My kind host from my January 2014 visit to an international school in Tanzania sent me the following a few weeks after:

It is at once humbling and heartening. I am most thrilled about seeing Bill, Jerry, and Joe on the list, in such distinguished company (not including me).

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Thirty Minutes Over Oregon": spring 2016

Japanese pilot Nobuo Fujita’s flight over a U.S. state in 1942 was historic yet little-known; it was also quick—the title of my book about this postulates that it lasted only thirty minutes.

My journey to publish this book has lasted seven years.

And on 1/10/14, I finally reached the horizon: Jennifer Greene of Clarion Books made an offer.

I’m beyond thrilled to announce that the book will land in spring 2016. 

Thank you to all who have believed in this story. 

The best part of it starts now.

From Publishers Marketplace (2/10/14):

Boys of Steel author Marc Tyler Nobleman’s Thirty Minutes Over Oregon, the true story of Nobuo Fujita, the Japanese WWII pilot who became the first and still only person to bomb the United States mainland from a planeand who returned twenty years later to apologizeto Jennifer Greene at Clarion, for publication in Spring 2016.

Bombs—and jaws—will drop.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

More backlash on lack of Bill Finger Google doodle

Why no Google doodle for Batman co-creator Bill Finger on his 100th birthday yesterday?

Google has not responded to that question.


  • Because the campaign, however fervent and far-reaching, started too late for Google to design/schedule it?
  • Because Bill is not officially credited?
  • Because DC Comics got involved?
  • Because Google prefers to acknowledge non-milestone birthdays (82nd, 103rd, etc.)?
  • Because Google somehow didn’t see this as a cultural and moral obligation the way the thousands of fans who emailed them do?
  • Because despite their motto, Google is evil after all?

Stepping up where Google let us down, the Bill Finger Appreciation Group not only produced a Google-esque doodle…

…but also a clever rationale behind it:

“We can certainly understand Google’s Olympic-themed doodle as it stands against injustice and discrimination but…that’s exactly what Bill wrote about in his stories. With that in mind, we’ve repurposed the shape of [the 2/7/14] doodle to say thanks to Bill once again for his immense contributions to our culture.”

More protest tweets:

  • No Google doodle for Bill Finger. That’s busted.
  • So, wait, not only did we not get a Bill Finger Google Doodle, but there wasn’t even ANY Google Doodle today? That is some Finger luck
  • I guess Google would rather have no doodle than one about the creator of #Batman, Bill Finger. And just when I was happy with them.
  • Given the choice of doing a Google Doodle for Bill Finger or just giving us the finger, it looks like Google opted for the latter?
  • It’s incredibly frustrating that Google didn’t recognize the importance of Bill Finger. 
  • So disappointing! Thank you for fighting this good fight & bringing Bill Finger’s story to the world!
  • Shame Google didn’t come through, but in any case it you did a lot of good work putting the word out there.
  • A shame Google didn’t do anything for Bill Finger’s birthday
  • That’s truly a shame.
  • I keep checking google just in case #BillFingerDoodle #UnreasonablyOptimistic
  • My 8th grade students & I are Bill Finger fans! I share your book to inspire them to change the world & follow the truth!
  • Way to drop the ball Google.Happy belated Bill Finger.
  • No Google Doodle for Bill Finger. Still, let’s celebrate the co-creator of Batman (or the Bat-Man).
  • you know this won’t deter batfans, resolve is everything from this point on #justiceforfinger now we go bigger than google!
  • We did not get a Bill Finger Google Doodle today, but he still deserves one, so keep asking for it.

Thank you yet again to the untold thousands who joined this grassroots movement.

I am thinking we should keep the effort going now to try again for next year…if all of us tweeted about this and sent an email, and asked our networks to do the same, so that Google is getting emails weekly about this…

Saturday, February 8, 2014

No Google doodle for Bill Finger’s 100th birthday

At precisely midnight overlooking today, February 8, I tweeted this:


But as the world can see, the passionate movement to get Bill Finger the Google doodle for this milestone did not succeed.

Greatly appreciated support from The Hollywood Reporter, USA Today, Washington Post, Spectator Tribune, Tablet, The Beat, Comic Book Resources, IGN, Bleeding Cool, Comics Alliance, Den of Geek,, many more sites, Kevin Smith (and his popular podcast Fat Man on Batman), Brad Meltzer, and other notables was not enough to convince Google how culturally significant this day—this man—is.

Most bafflingly, the tremendous outpouring of support from the public was not enough. I cannot thank you all enough. A sampling of early-morning tweets:

  • Is there really no Google Doodle at all on Bill Finger’s birthday? Very disappointing.
  • So sad that google didn’t come through.
  • Insult to injury, @GoogleDoodles. All those proposals for Bill Finger’s 100th and you go with no doodle at all today.
  • Your efforts for the likes of Finger, Siegel and Shuster remain incredible and admirable. Sorry Google didn’t come through.
  • Well Happy 100th Birthday to Bill Finger. Pretty disappointed @google didn’t do a doodle to celebrate and honor the true Batman creator.
  • So, Google hasn’t heeded the petition to have a Google Doodle to celebrate Bill Finger’s 100th birthday.
  • happy birthday to Bill Finger, although google didn’t produce, you however did sir!
  • Booooooogle

When I saw the (cool) Olympics opening day doodle yesterday, February 7, I worried.

So I did a quick study.

  • The only years Google ran an Olympic doodle daily were 2000 and 2012 (both times for the summer games).
  • In 2002, they ran a winter doodle on only some of the days.
  • In 2010, they ran a winter doodle only on opening day.
  • I reasoned that although this doodle actually went online on the evening of February 6, it was probably not technically running two days in a row. I believe it posted when it did because it was already the next day in Russia, where the Olympics are taking place.

It is bummer enough that there is no Bill doodle but somehow even worse that it’s not because there is an Olympic doodle. Seeing the regular Google logo sit motionlessly on the screen stings like a snub.

To be clear, I don’t feel Google owed me anything. But I do feel that we all owe Bill Finger something—and I thought Google was a bunch of geeks (term used lovingly)? Shouldn’t they have wanted to do this even without the massive petition?

Excerpt of my 1/31/14 email to the Google Doodle team leader Ryan Germick:

With only a week and a day till the proposed date for a doodle in honor of the 100th birthday of Batman co-creator Bill Finger, I realize that if it isn’t already in the works, it may be too late. But I’m an optimist.

Thus a brief update on the wildly enthusiastic and pervasive coverage this campaign has generated in the media (not to mention the thousands of tweets/posts/comments/etc.). As of the last time I wrote, the coverage was primarily in the pop culture press, but in the weeks since, it has crossed over into the mainstream. [I listed the press.]
Even some of the coverage is getting coverage. And I’m even seeing quite a few referrals on my blog from foreign-language sites that have run a story.

Huge, sincere thanks for your consideration. Fingers still crossed...

The e-mail I sent today:

Thank you for considering a doodle for Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator of Batman, on his 100th birthday (today). Many people are already contacting me disappointed that the campaign did not work.

Know you’re busy, and know it’s the weekend, but willing to squeeze in a two-minute interview for my blog to give the fans (including me) a pinch of rationale? If so, here are the questions:
  • I tried to keep up with the many hundreds of tweets, posts, comments, etc., but do you have a sense of roughly how many emails you got requesting a doodle for Bill Finger?
  • I didn’t find trace of any other doodle campaign that seemed to grow as large. In terms of size, how did this grassroots effort compare to others you’ve seen?
  • Why did you decide not to do a doodle for Bill today?
  • What about next year?

And a tweet to him (in response to a Batman-related tweet of his from just a week ago):

[IMPORTANT NOTE: For Bill’s sake, please do not also tweet him!]

Ultimately, Athena Finger, Bill’s lone grandchild, said something that made me feel a little better: “It would have been super cool if it happened but I really love the attention it brought to Bill and our cause; I have met some of the most amazing people in the last month and hearing their stories trumps anything Google did or didn’t do.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Eagle Ridge Middle School, Ashburn, VA

On 2/6/14, I spoke at my third Virginia middle school of the week, and it was yet another engaged trio of audiences (6th, 7th, 8th grades). 

I was particularly struck by how empathetic the kids here were; several times during the talk, at points where I mentioned certain research triumphs that would have a positive effect on other people or on posterity, they applauded.

Before I was introduced by my kind host, I (and everyone in the auditorium) was treated to a classy, brassy piece performed by three student trumpeters:

I can’t recall any other time that a school visit intro included live music; the closest was a Kansas school that played a bit of the (recorded) theme from Superman: The Movie.

The school art teacher created this cool welcome poster.

I love this candor.

I love this cake.

Thank you, Patti, and thank you, Eagle Ridge, for a special day.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Children’s authors read reviews of their own books: the encore!

A month ago today, I posted videos of 53 kidlit authors/illustrators being good sports and reading aloud a particularly critical excerpt from a particularly harsh online review.

Those are episodes 1-3.

Turns out a lot of people agree that a bad review can equal a good laugh.

Thirty more authors have since enlisted in the cause.

Welcome to episodes 4-6.

All-new line-up! All-new beat downs!

(Disclaimer: We lurve kids, of course, but this is for teens and adults only.)

The cast (not in order of appearance, so that you will watch all three):

Kathi Appelt
David Lubar
Gene Barretta
Eric Luper
Michael Buckley
Maryann Macdonald
Shana Corey
Marissa Moss
Sharon Creech
Gae Polisner
Doreen Cronin
Nora Raleigh Baskin
Katie Davis
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Sue Fliess
Dan Santat
Liz Garton Scanlon
Tammi Sauer
Chris Grabenstein
Judy Schachner
Alan Katz
Andrew Smith
Laurie Keller
Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
David Ezra Stein
Tara Lazar
Deborah Underwood
Loren Long
Emma Walton Hamilton

episode 4

episode 5

episode 6

“If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.” —Marie Osmond