Category Archives: Graphic Novels

July 11, 2009

Get a Sneak Peek at ROSE, the prequel to BONE

Posted by at 8:28 am in Graphic Novels, Reads, Sneak Peek | Permalink

Bone-logo If you thought BONE, the graphic novel series by Jeff Smith, was over when book 9, Crown of Horns, came out, well then you'd be . . . only sort of right. On August 1st, the prequel to BONE, ROSE, comes out. (That's the story that happened before the story.)

BONE is the story of the three little Bone dudes who get lost in the woods, and wind up battling the Lord of the Locusts to help Thorn reclaim her family's kingdom. Their story is over.

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June 22, 2009

Drawing Phineas and Ferb with Swampy and Dan

Posted by at 8:56 am in Games, Graphic Novels | Permalink

Phineasandferb_130 Hey, Splotters! I hope you're taking Dan and Swampy's advice and having an awesome and creative summer (unless, of course, your school hasn't let out for the summer yet, in which case I'll take it on good faith that your summer will rock once it starts).

But if you're busy saying "Dan and Swampy? Who are they?" let me fill you in. Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh are the creators of Phineas and Ferb, the Disney cartoon which follows two stepbrothers in their quest to have the best summer ever.

Swampy and Dan invented the characters, write the stories, and come up with all the crazy tunes that accompany Phineas and Ferb's inventions and adventures. And now Swampy and Dan are challenging you to use your imagination this summer to invent, draw, write, create, and have fun.

If you need a little help getting your creative juices going, Swampy and Dan have something for that too. Check out these step-by-step instructions for how to draw Phineas and Ferb. Ferb's up first:




Now instructions for Phineas:

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June 14, 2009

Summer Fun with Phineas, Ferb, Swampy, and Dan

Posted by at 10:43 am in Authors, Games, Graphic Novels | Permalink

Phineasandferb_130 <~~~See these two guys right there? You might recognize them. They’re Phineas and Ferb from the popular Disney cartoon called — uh! — Phineas and Ferb. The show follows the two stepbrothers as they try to make their summer AWESOME! How do they do that? In every episode, they build a crazy-impossible invention, much to the frustration of their sister Candace, who is always trying to catch them in the act. She never quite manages it — she should get some tips from Dr. Doofenshmirtz, who in every episode manages to trap Phineas and Ferb’s pet platypus, Perry. Perry is a secret agent for the OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym), which is pretty darn awesome. But even more awesome than secret-agent pet platypuses are these two guys:


You probably don’t recognize them. They are Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, the guys who invented Phineas and Ferb. And this summer, they want you to stretch your creative awesomeness, Phineas and Ferb style. So they got in touch with The Splot and shared 20 ways to go out, have fun, and create something this summer. Check it out!

    1. Swampy says . . . KEEP IT CHEAP!
      “When it comes to art, you don’t need special equipment. You can draw on anything and use anything to draw with, so it shouldn’t cost too much to get into it. Whether it’s a pen, pencil, crayon, or even a piece of chalk you find in the park, you can use whatever you want. And who says you need a blank piece of paper to draw on? Use scraps or anything you find that might work!”
      1. Dan says . . . COPY AWAY
        “One of the things that helped me a lot in cartooning was the art of copying. If I saw a drawing I really liked in a magazine or comic book, I would copy that drawing line-for-line and it showed me a lot of shortcuts. It taught me a kind of cartooning shorthand. I don’t mean trace these pictures. I’d just look at a drawing, analyze it, and copy it line-for-line to see how the artist drew the picture in the first place. I’d then incorporate the techniques into my own art.”
      1.  Swampy says . . . THERE IS NO RIGHT AND WRONG
        Machine“One thing I’d love to teach children is the fact that there is no right or wrong way to draw. Draw what makes you happy and never worry about somebody saying, ‘Oh, that isn’t a good drawing.’ There are so many, infinite drawing styles out there. Your work doesn’t have to look like it’s straight out of a comic book or straight out of an art book. As long as you’re expressing yourself and you’re getting a reaction, then that’s good.”

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      April 5, 2009

      Favorite Sunday Comics

      Posted by at 7:50 am in Graphic Novels | Permalink

      THE FIVEI love Sundays! It's the one day of the week where you get to rest, finish your errands, be a complete couch potato, catch up on your reading, and/or relax with your breakfast and take in the Sunday comics. I must say, I do all of these quite well — with the exception of finishing my errands.

      When I was home in Minnesota in March, I remembered how much I love reading the Sunday comics while eating breakfast with my parents. Unfortunately, I do not receive the Sunday edition of The New York Times, but even if I did, it just wouldn't be the same. For one thing, The New York Times doesn't have the same comic strips as the Minneapolis newspaper. And secondly, I don't have a kitchen table where I can sit down to read the paper and eat my breakfast. (Yes, it's a problem.)

      While many of you probably don't find yourself dealing with my kitchen table dilemma, I am sure many of you are not offered all of the same comics as I was in Minneapolis.

      So get ready to laugh as I present you with my top five favorite Sunday comics!

      5. Baby Blues
      Not only will you laugh, but your parents will get a kick out of this comic too!

      4. The Flying McCoys
      This is definitely one of those comics that just makes you laugh even though you're not always sure why. Maybe it's because of the kooky drawings?

      3. Zits
      Oh, teenagers! They can be so dramatic sometimes, but oh can they be funny!

      2. Ballard Street
      Totally quirky, utterly bizarre, completely eccentric, and absolutely hysterical.

      1. Mother Goose and Grim
      I love this comic because you never know what random jokes and illustrations will come next.

      That concludes the list of my favorite Sunday morning comics, but I want to know what some your favorites are!

      — Carly M., STACKS Staffer

      February 27, 2009

      Captain Underpants Soundtrack

      Posted by at 7:21 am in Dav Pilkey, Graphic Novels, Music | Permalink

      Captunderpants_130 Okay, so who thinks Captain Underpants should be made into a movie? I do! How hysterically funny, completely great, and insanely awesome would that be? I’m still racking my brain and digging through my arsenal of actors who could play the characters in the movie (George, Harold, Mr. Krupp, and Captain Underpants himself), but I am certain of the perfect soundtrack!

      Here it is:

      “What’s My Age Again?” – Blink 182
      (The PERFECT theme song)

      “Pocket Full of Sunshine” – Natasha Beddingfield

      “Mmmbop” – Hanson
      (MMMbop tick a ta ba do ba dubi da ba do ba)

      “Beat It”- Michael Jackson
      (A new catch phrase for Captain Underpants, perhaps? “Showin’ How Funky Strong Is Your Fight”)

      “Kryptonite” – 3 Doors Down
      (Captain Underpants’ kryptonite is water)

      “Time To Dance” – Panic At The Disco

      What Are You Waiting For? Gwen Stefani
      (“Tick-tock, tick-tock . . . “)

      “Hero”  Chad Kroeger

      “When I Come Around”  Green Day
      (“No time to search the world around, ’cause you know where I’ll be found . . .”)

      “The Middle” – Jimmy Eat World
      (Song for dancing around in your underwear)

      “Hey Ya”  Outkast
      (“Shake it like a polaroid picture”)

      What about you? Which songs would YOU choose for a Captain Underpants soundtrack?

      — Carly M., STACKS Staffer

      February 21, 2009

      Bone in Color

      Posted by at 7:00 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

      Bone_colorA while back we received this question on the Graphix message board, from DrVSP:

      Q: I loved the Bone books, "Out of Boneville" and "The Great Cow Race". I especially liked the color schemes. In the bookstore, I saw a thick version with a lot of Bone books together, but there was no color. Do all the smaller paperback versions have color? It's really hard for me to tell with on-line bookstores because they only show the cover. I don't want to buy the big book (in black and white) if I can get the small ones in color. Please let me know.

      A: Well, Hi DrVSP (and Graphix fans all over) — I can, in fact, let you you know! Jeff Smith, the writer and illustrator of BONE, wrote ALL 9 books a while ago in black and white — and Scholastic decided that BONE is so cool, it should be in color! (Well, except for the Bone cousins . . . they are white. Literally.) So, any BONE book that is published by Scholastic is in color. All 9 of the books are currently available from Scholastic as individual books in full color.

      AND! Coming this August, the BONE Prequel: Rose will also be available from Scholastic in full color.

      If you haven't seen what the books look like in color, you can go to the BONE website and click on "SEE INSIDE!" to get a preview.

      — Nancy, STACKS Staffer

      February 16, 2009

      The Buzz on Queen Bee

      Posted by at 6:40 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

      Queen_beeQueen Bee is a cool graphic novel for ages 12 and up about two middle-school girls with psychokinetic powers . . . and a major rivalry! It's been out for a while now, but we're still getting questions about it. Check out the Queen Bee website for sneak peeks, and here are some burning questions from some fans:

      Q: How old are each of the kids in Queen Bee? — angelbaby
      A: The kids are all about 12 years old.

      Q: the second book of queen bee out?? — sweetlucy11
      A: At the moment, we don't have another Queen Bee book scheduled.

      — Sheila, Scholastic Graphix Editor

      February 11, 2009

      Character Confidential: Three Questions for Garfield

      Posted by at 6:12 am in Graphic Novels | Permalink

      Every Sunday growing up, my brother and I would race to beat each other to the comics in the paper. My favorite comic strip has changed so many times over the years that I don't even remember what I was going for on any given day. But my brother was always racing for Garfield. The fat, orange cat was front and center on the page, and my brother loved him. He had all the compilation books and couldn't wait to see what would be in the next set of panels.

      So my three questions today are for Garfield:

      1. Everyone knows your favorite food is lasagna. What food do you absolutely hate?
      2. Admit it — your really love Odie, right?
      3. Why do you think Jon can't get a date?

      To the other fans of this lazy but lovable feline, what would YOU ask Garfield? And if one of the other strips is your favorite, what would you ask those characters?

      — Carly H., STACKS Staffer

      February 2, 2009

      Women in Comics and Books

      Posted by at 6:33 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

      When I was a kid, I pored over the Sunday funnies. Brenda Starr was my hero! She was a feisty, beautiful newspaper reporter who uncovered the dirt on all sorts of dark conspiracies, dangerous criminals, and dirty politicians. It was a tough job, but Brenda with all her smarts — not to mention her sparkly eyes — was on it! I thank Brenda for being the inspiration that eventually led to me being part of the Graphix team that won the 2006 Lulu of the Year Award (Graphix is a line of graphic novels published by Scholastic, in case you didn't know). The Lulu is a great honor, given for promoting women in comics and women comic artists.

      So you can imagine how happy I am to answer this question, submitted by a fan on the Graphix message boards.

      Q: What is a good book for a girl to read? Because i have read a lot of books but they aren't really that great so i was hoping you would have some in mind. — Girljustwant2havefun

      A: There are so many wonderful books for girls to read that it's hard to choose! At Scholastic we publish the Queen Bee Graphix (for teens) and The Babysitters Club Graphix. And some of my favorite books that I'd recommend are Paint The Wind by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke, and the paperback series How to Survive Middle School.

      — Sheila, Scholastic Graphix Editor

      January 26, 2009

      The FIVE: Superhero Sidekicks

      Posted by at 6:25 am in Graphic Novels, Reads | Permalink

      THE FIVE: Best Places to ReadSuperhero Sidekicks

      In middle school, I tended to think of so-called "sidekicks" as followers or cronies of the popular girl/boy; however, comic book sidekicks are in a totally different category. Without sidekicks, superheroes wouldn't be what they are today. Sidekicks not only support superheroes in their quest to save the world, but they often times provide the necessary information to catch the evil-doers, offer moral support and encouragement, and come through in a pinch when the superhero is in trouble. This is why I bring you . . .

      Carly M.'s Top Five Superhero Sidekicks!

      5. Woozy Winks (Quality Comics & DC Comics)
      As a sidekick to the superhero Plastic Man, Woozy Winks comes in at the #5 spot for two reasons: one, his awesome name; and two, his comedic nature.

      4. Snapper Carr (DC Comics)
      Known as Lucas to the outside world, Carr received his name "Snapper" because of his ability to . . . well, snap his fingers. Coming in at #4 on the list, Snapper, a companion to the Justice League and later Young Justice, received the ability later on in the series to be able to teleport whenever he snapped his fingers. That certainly gives new meaning to the phrase, "Make it snappy."

      3. Jimmy Olsen (DC Comics)
      If you've read or seen Superman, then you know who Jimmy Olsen is. He makes the top five list because not only is he one of the few who know Clark Kent's secret identity, but he also has the respect of one of the greatest superheroes, and with that respect and trust, Superman allows Jimmy to keep a special watch which can call Superman in a time of crisis.

      2. Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
      As a member of what he calls the "Scooby Gang", Xander helps to fight evil and save the world alongside  Buffy Summers. Xander makes the #2 spot for his loyalty to his friends, his funny and at times sarcastic wit, and his willingness to fight villains without any supernatural abilities.

      1. Tim Drake/Robin
      The #1 spot on the top five sidekicks list goes to . . . Batman's sidekick, Robin! This sidekick makes it to the top because he has transgressed from sidekick status to superhero status. Though Robin is just a normal teenage boy without any abnormal superhuman strength, his superior intelligence and innate detective skills have saved Batman many times, thus proving that this former sidekick can make it on his own to save those in danger.

      — Carly M., STACKS Staffer