Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Thanos Demands Your Silence (Because He Needs A Nap)

7/17/18

Last year, I wrote an Avengers Little Golden Book, titled The Threat of Thanos, which is out now. The Threat of Thanos was illustrated by the incredible Shane Clester, and it was published by Penguin Random House.

The Threat of Thanos features Thor, Black Panther, Iron Man, and The Wasp. Oddly enough, those are the main characters in the last four MCU movies (Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp). But seriously, that’s just a coincidence.

I should mention that The Threat of Thanos has a totally original plot, and it’s not an adaptation of the Infinity War movie. This was a fun book to write, and I’m really proud of it. If you look at the book’s cover art, you’ll see that Thanos has the Infinity Gauntlet and all of the Infinity Stones. The biggest challenge in writing the book was figuring out how to explain what each of the Infinity Stones does on a level that a 2-5 year old kid could understand. For example, how do you explain the Mind Stone (or the Reality Stone, for that matter) on a kindergarten level? But I think I pulled it off.

Whenever I write a Little Golden Book, I have to write the art notes as well as the text. (Art notes are notes to the artist, telling them what to draw on every page.) So as I’m writing the text, I’m usually drawing up really rough thumbnail sketches to try and figure out what the art might consist of. Then in the art notes, I describe what I’ve drawn. I usually don’t show the thumbnail sketches to anyone, even my editor. They’re just for my own reference. But they really help in terms of figuring out which specific images will help to tell the story, which images will complement the text, and how many of those images can comfortably fit inside a book with a very specific page count.

I don’t know if other authors draw thumbnail sketches while they’re typing up the art notes, but for me, it’s a vital part of my process. So is listening to the right music. While writing the Threat of Thanos, I listened to Alan Silvestri’s score from the first Avengers movie.

Oh! And as of this writing, The Threat of Thanos is the #1 New Release in Children’s Superhero Comics on Amazon

PS – Back in April, I was interviewed by AJ Frost, Staff Writer for the “geek culture” site The Beat. During the interview, I talked about The Threat of Thanos, as well as some of my other recent children’s book projects. You can check out the interview here.

Monsters (And Not The “Elmo” Kind)

1/6/17

I was recently interviewed by reporter AJ Frost for the geek culture site The Beat. We talked about my recent children’s book projects for Scholastic and Disney Book Group. We also talked about the series of lectures that I’ll be doing throughout 2017 at the NYC performance space QED Astoria.

I’ll be kicking off that lecture series with a talk titled “THE MONSTER MAKERS: UNIVERSAL PICTURES, CARL LAEMMLE JR., AND THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD HORROR MOVIES.” It’s happening on Saturday January 7th 2017 at 2pm.

This first wave of monster movies (1931’s Frankenstein, 1933’s Invisible Man, 1941’s The Wolfman, etc) didn’t just inspire future generations of horror filmmakers. It inspired ALL purveyors of fantastic cinema, including Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Peter Jackson, Joss Whedon, Clive Barker, and Robert Rodriguez. Not to be coy, but I can’t really tell you WHY or HOW it influenced them. Because then you wouldn’t come and see the lecture.

During my “MONSTER MAKERS” lecture, I’ll talk about people like Boris Karloff, Gloria Stuart, Bela Lugosi, Tod Browning, James Whale, Curt Siodmak, and Jack Pierce. By the time I’ve finished the lecture, you’ll understand why those people are important, why you should care about them, and how they shaped modern pop culture.

You’ll also understand what all of this has to do with the creation of the first wave of comic book superheroes, and how these horror movies were informed by then-recent events in world history.

And I just might explain how the story of these early horror filmmakers ties in to the narrative of my award-winning nonfiction book From Krakow To Krypton: Jews And Comic Books.

 

Jewish Comic Con 2016

11/21/16

jewishcomiccon-small-logoRecently, I was one of the programming consultants for the Jewish Comic Con, which was held on Sunday November 13, 2016, at Congregation Kol Israel in Brooklyn, NY. The event was the brainchild of Congregation Kol Israel president Fred Polaniecki and comic book writer Fabrice Sapolsky. I co-moderated most of the panels at Jewish Comic Con (alongside fellow co-moderator Danny Fingeroth), and there was quite a bit of press coverage for this event. Articles about Jewish Comic Con were written up in The Wall Street Journal, The Jewish Week, Bleeding Cool, and more. AJ Frost, a blogger for comics site The Beat, interviewed me about Jewish Comic Con, my work as a guest lecturer and public speaker, and my recent projects as an author/comic book writer.

 

Where You Can See, Hear, Read About (Or Otherwise Experience) Me

4/9/16

Hello and welcome to the newest installment of “Arie’s Self-Promote-y Goodness” (until I can actually come up with, you know, a REAL title). Want proof that I’m an actual living, breathing human being you can interact with IRL? Well, you’re in luck…

On Sunday, April 10th, 2016, I’ll be lecturing on the history of Jews in comic books as part of the 5th Annual Jewish University For A Day event. This event is a joint program of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Stony Brook University Hillel. From 11:45am to 12:15pm on Sunday, I’ll be signing copies of my award-winning nonfiction book FROM KRAKOW TO KRYPTON: JEWS AND COMIC BOOKS. And I’ll be lecturing twice, first from 2:45pm to 4:00pm, and then from 4:15pm to 5:30pm. I believe that on the event schedule, both lectures are titled “From Krakow to Krypton: A History of Jews, Superheroes and Comics.”

Also, I’ve been doing a few new press interviews to promote my new (and upcoming) projects. Here are three of those interviews:

  1. I was a guest on the latest episode of the COMICSVERSE podcast: http://comicsverse.com/arie-kaplan-podcast/
  2. I was also a guest on COMICS BULLETIN’s “Reboot Comic Book Club” podcast: http://comicsbulletin.com/podcast-arie-kaplan-reads-howard-duck-rcbc/
  3. And I was interviewed by the geek culture site SCI FI PULSE: http://scifipulse.net/interview-arie-kaplan/

In all three of those interviews, I talk about the two LEGO STAR WARS books I’m currently writing for Scholastic (one of which, FACE OFF, is available for pre-order on Amazon). I also talk about the three stories I wrote for the 5-MINUTE AVENGERS STORIES collection (which is out now from Disney Book Group’s Marvel Press imprint) and the story I wrote for the SPIDER-MAN STORYBOOK COLLECTION (which will be published by Marvel Press in May of 2016). Pirates are a recurring theme in these interviews, since they were all conducted shortly after my latest nonfiction book, SWASHBUCKLING SCOUNDRELS: PIRATES IN FACT AND FICTION, was published by Lerner Publishing Group. And in all three interviews, I discuss some of the recent projects I’ve worked on for TruTV, Dark Horse Comics, Bongo Comics, Legacy Games, and more.