Archive for the ‘Tie-in projects’ Category

Geek Girl Authority interview and John Wilkes Booth humor piece

2/16/22

Here are some things you might not know about me:

  • When I was a very young child, I thought The Count (from Sesame Street) was Jewish because he talked like my maternal grandmother.
  • When my daughter Aviya was a baby, I used to hold her horizontally and pretend she was a tommy gun and that I was using her to obliterate mobsters in the 1920s. See, her legs were the butt of the gun, and her arms were the trigger, and um…Please don’t call Child Protective Services.
  • One time, I formed a boy band with some of my fellow MAD Magazine writers. (Well, more of a “man band,” because we were all adults…technically.) We assigned roles to everyone, because the people in boy bands always have roles, e.g. the leader, the romantic one, the cute one, etc. My role? The sexy weirdo.
  • According to my wife Nadine, the other day I talked in my sleep. I got up (still asleep), stood by the foot of the bed, and yelled, “There should be more comedy concerts!” And I’d just like to say: Sorry, sleepwalking-and-sleeptalking Arie, there’s still a pandemic going on. So there are limits on live indoor entertainment for now!
  • Speaking of the pandemic, one of the things I’ve missed about the pandemic is attending comic book conventions in person. One thing I don’t miss? Being asked by random strangers whether I was cosplaying as Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters, which honestly has happened too many times for me to count. For the record: No, not cosplaying as anyone. This is just what I look like.

Now, I didn’t talk about any of those things when Rebecca Kaplan (no relation) interviewed me for Geek Girl Authority. But here are some of the things I DID talk about in that interview:

Yup, I discuss all four of those writing projects in that interview, which you can read HERE.

Also, just in time for Presidents’ Day, I wrote a humor piece called “Other Catchphrases John Wilkes Booth Considered Before ‘Sic Semper Tyrannis!’” It was published on Weekly Humorist. Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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