Archive for the ‘Tie-In Books’ Category

Swamped by Croc!

1/23/22

Happy New Year! Hope you’re having a fantastic 2022 so far!

A few new developments I wanted to share:

Recently, I wrote a Batman children’s book called Swamped by Croc, which is out now! The book was illustrated by Francesco Legramandi and Gabriella Matta, and it was published by Penguin Random House!

Here’s the official publisher description for Swamped by Croc:

“Batman follows the criminal Croc into the dark waters of the Gotham City swamp-but will the swamp’s quicksand prove to be as deadly as his foe? Young Batman and DC Super Hero fans will love the action as their favorite super hero battles the monstrous villain in this full-color storybook that features more than 30 stickers!”

Speaking of Batman: Back in 2019, I wrote a MAD Magazine story called “What If Batman Were Actually 80 Years Old.” It was illustrated by Pete Woods. More recently, “What If Batman…” was reprinted in MAD Magazine #23 (the Batman-themed issue), which is out NOW, and which is cover-dated February 2022! Pete and I both put tons of Easter Eggs into this story. Robert Pattinson even puts in an appearance! (Seriously!) You can see Tom Richmond’s cover art for the issue HERE.

What else? Oh, here’s something: Last year, I wrote a humor piece for Weekly Humorist, called “Thanks To The Pandemic, Nobody Cares That I’m A Centaur.” Earlier this month, it was selected as part of Weekly Humorist’s Best of 2021 List.

And last but definitely not least: I made a video about the history of Jews in animation for the Union for Reform Judaism’s “RJ On the Go” platform. The video is called “Drawing the Line,” and it’s viewable until January 31st. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

Red Titan GNs and Sing LGB

12/31/21

Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season! If you’re not, maybe it’s because you don’t have these amazing books that I wrote! Which books am I talking about?  

I’m so glad you hypothetically asked…

If you’re familiar with the Ryan’s World YouTube channel (starring Ryan Kaji and his parents), you may know that the folks behind that channel also produce animated shorts featuring Ryan Kaji’s superhero alter ego, Red Titan. I’ve written three official Red Titan graphic novels, all of which are set in the Ryan’s World universe. The first two are out now from Simon and Schuster’s Simon Spotlight imprint.

The first one is called Red Titan and the Runaway Robot. It’s illustrated by Patrick Spaziante.

The second one is called Red Titan and the Never-Ending Maze, and that one is illustrated by Shane L. Johnson.

Both books are part of Simon Spotlight’s Ready-to-Read Graphics line.

Here’s the official publisher description of Red Titan and the Runaway Robot:

“Red Titan is enjoying a day in the park with his parents when his friend Peck calls for help. There’s a gigantic dancing robot on the loose, and it’s about to destroy the city! Can Red Titan and his friends try to stop the robot in time?”

In other words, it’s just like Terminator 2: Judgment Day, only it’s totally G-rated and there’s no violence or disturbing imagery and also it’s nothing like Terminator 2: Judgment Day!

And here’s the official publisher description of Red Titan and the Never-Ending Maze:

“Red Titan and his friends are on their way home when a giant box fort maze springs up in front of them, blocking their path! Will they be able to work together and use their powers to find a way out before dinnertime?”

True story: I actually did a ton of research on box fort mazes while I was writing the script for this graphic novel. Some of them are really intricate. I would go out and build one right now, but I have these silly things called “responsibilities”! Isn’t real life inconvenient? I think I’m having an existential crisis!

Moving on (perfect segue, you’re doing great, Arie), I see that the movie SING 2 is in theaters now. I had nothing to do with that movie. But I did have something to do with the SING Little Golden Book, which is out now from Penguin Random House. In fact, I wrote the manuscript for that book. And it was illustrated by Elsa Chang.

The SING LGB is a retelling of the plot of the first SING movie from 2016.

Elsa and I previously collaborated on the Despicable Me Little Golden Book. If that’s ever a Jeopardy question, now you have the answer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Can I Call Myself a Poet Now?

10/29/21

Recently, I wrote a Nightmare Before Christmas Sticker Art Puzzles book, which is out now from Thunder Bay Press. The entire book is one huge rhyming poem recounting the plot of the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

It’s almost Halloween, so I wanted to remind people about this book.

But there’s something else that’s on my mind: This is the third “licensed character” book I’ve written which involves poetry.

There was a Star Wars-themed haiku section in The Official Stormtrooper Training Manual, which came out in 2016 from Scholastic. And there was a Star Wars-themed limerick section in The Official Force Training Manual, which was published in 2018 (also from Scholastic). I wrote both of those books.

And aside from these three books, I’ve never written any poetry.

But here’s my question: Can I call myself a poet now?

I mean, I am (technically speaking) a published poet, in that I’ve written three published books that are either partially or wholly comprised of poetry. And in all three cases, it’s silly poetry. In two of those cases, it’s poetry for kids. But that shouldn’t rule it out as poetry, right? There are plenty of authors who write poems for children.

But if I’m ever at a cocktail party (if those make a comeback, post-pandemic), and I tell people I’m a poet and they ask where my poems have been published, I have no choice but to give a rather ridiculous answer to that question. One of my “books of poetry” is a retelling of the plot of a stop-motion Tim Burton movie, and the other two are batches of poems about the characters in the Star Wars franchise.

So…I think that calling myself a poet at this point is premature.

I will say this, though: I worked really hard on all three of those books, and I’m quite proud of them. And trying to recount the plot of The Nightmare Before Christmas in a mere 15 pages, each page consisting of 6 rhyming couplets, is quite a challenge. It’s even more of a challenge when you can’t use imperfect rhymes or near rhymes. But I think I rose to the challenge, and I think that the end result is a pretty great book.

Even if it doesn’t make me a poet.

 

2021 Interviews With Yours Truly!

10/19/21

Last month, I was interviewed by Rebecca Kaplan (no relation) for the geek culture site Comics Bookcase. During the interview, I talked about my career as a comic book writer and children’s author.

Around that same time, I was a guest on Jeramy Moore’s Storymakers podcast. This was a wide-ranging interview about my writing career.

And, just in case you missed them, here are some other press interviews with yours truly from earlier this year:

For Jurassic June (which happened in – wait for it – June), I was interviewed by Thomas Fishenden for the Jurassic Park Podcast. In this interview, I talked about the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World children’s books I’ve written. That interview was broken up into two parts. Part one is here, and part two is here.

In March, as part of WonderCon 2021, I was on a virtual panel that attempted to answer the question: “Who’s the most neurotic superhero?” The other panelists were Travis Langley, Leandra Parris, J.J. Sedelmeier, and R. Sikoryak. The panel was moderated by Danny Fingeroth. 

Also in March, David P. Levin hosted a panel discussion on his Pop Goes the Culture show to discuss the Disney Plus series WandaVision. I was one of the panelists. The other panelists were Danny Fingeroth, Ray Alma, Steve Van Patten, Adam Freeman, and special guest Fred Melamed, who played Vision’s boss in WandaVision.

And last but definitely not least, in February, I was a guest on the MulDiversity podcast, where I was interviewed by Jonita Davis, Mike Majett, Quamani Greer, Avia Knighten, Aaron M. Johnson, and Keisha Malone. During the interview, we discussed my career in comics, my work as a television comedy writer, and more.

Please contact me if you want to use this for any reason. arie@ariekaplan.com