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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Free as a Tea

I’ve mentioned before that I was raised on comic books as a kid.  Harvey comics, Archie comics, Carl Barks comics, my dad’s old original Superboy and X-Men and my mom’s old Pep comics (which I destroyed in my fervor, undoubtedly costing my family hundreds of potential dollars in the process). So I was thrilled to hear about this Toon Treasury of Classic Children’s Comics, published earlier this month through Abrams by Art Spiegelman and his wife, Francoise Mouly.  It looks fantastic.  All kinds of old comics I’d love for kids today to get their hands on.  Just hope I can get my library system to buy it.

  • Is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs the very first successful (and I mean that in both a box office and a critical p.o.v.) picture to film adaptation?  My husband suggested Jumanji and Zathura as potential contenders but Jumanji wasn’t really that great and Zathura didn’t make much money in the long run.  I had thought that Where the Wild Things Are might be the first, but that sneaky little Barrett book slipped in right under the finish line first.  That can mean only one thing: Hollywood is going to notice and start doing more of these.  Entertainment Weekly is already on the case with their blog’s post Classic children’s books we’d like to see receive Hollywood treatment.  The Goodnight, Moon adaptation is clearly the best of the lot, if only for saying, "Also, the Moon killed Smith’s family and he’s out for revenge. Sample Dialogue: ‘Say goodnight, Moon.’ *EXPLOSION*"  Thanks to bookshelves of doom for the link.

  • Over in Boston, Kidlit Pie Night was a rousing success. I wonder if this is the start of bigger and better things.  What if we got every part of the country to host a Kidlit Drink/Pie/Local Delicacy Night?  We could have chapters in every state!  In different parts of the state!  Texas could have ten going at once!  Calm down, girl . . . calm . . calm.  In any case, Mitali Perkins has pictures of their Night up and running.  She even has a roster of attendees.  I never take down names, I’m afraid.  This is partly because I am simply terrible with names.  Nor am I particularly good with picture taking, but fortunately Mr. Greg Holch was on hand with pictures of his own.  Here (if I can get them up, which is questionable) you can see the pies and cakes made in honor of Cheryl’s birthday and my Boston Cream Pie (sans cream) in honor of the Bostonians.

And this is the closest I’ll get to a shot of the people who were in the background (from one side of the room, anyway).  This is of me and Monica Edinger with folks like Michael Stearns and Martha Mihalick behind.

  • I had this theory about who Editorial Anonymous is.  I really had thought I’d cracked it.  I felt so proud that at the last Kidlit Drink Night I proposed my theory.  Folks listened, then made some very good cases for why I was probably wrong.  Consarn it.  In any case, old EA has a fun post up at the moment about the term "high concept" and what it means.

  • Daily Image:

I have mad justification skillz.  Watch me go!  So, uh, lots of children’s librarians do origami programs right?  And my last name is "Bird".  So by logical extension . . .

Yup.  Origami tea bags in the shape of birds.  Thanks to BB-Blog for the link.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Good lord, I’m surprised at how very much I want those tea bags.

  2. Re picture books to movies – what about SHREK?

    Also, a Boston Cream pie without cream… huh?

  3. Rasco from RIF says:

    Much as I am trying to just let it go, I am still trying to process Meatballs which I saw this week! And I am like first comment, I WANT, I NEED those tea bags! Ha, ha, ha!

  4. This would go in the category of Barely Relevant, but I’ve got to speak up on behalf of Jumanji. I LOVED that movie when I was younger- my brother and I used to literally watch it over and over and over. Really turned me off to board games, though.

  5. I want to open the the Kidlit Night in my state, but as the state is Utah we will need to do without the Drink part. We are pretty awesome at pie though.

    Is there an approved format? Will we then be required to send in dues to the head and founding chapter, how about a few snickerdoodles instead? The thought of spending a social evening spent talking about my obsession is so very tempting.

  6. Being that we are dealing with picture books here, dues are utterly unnecessary. We do require photographs of the event, however. Now what would you say is the defining eatable or beverage of Utah? Something salt-related, I would think.

    Re: No cream – eh. Cream is overrated.

  7. Mitali Perkins says:

    I’ve heard murmurs of Kid Lit Sushi Night in Tokyo and Kid Lit Samosa Night in Toronto …

  8. When I read comics as a kid, part of the pleasure was always in the cheapness of them, how light they were, and bright and easy, and how I’d just come across them laying around at the barber’s or the shoe store. Which makes me wonder about this and other well intentioned Spiegelman/Mouly collections: Does putting these drawings in a tome kill some of the fun? Does the entoming (to coin a phrase) entomb? Something about that big, heavy, beautiful, hardbound book says to me: Duty. Do actual kids feel differently?

  9. As most of us guzzle our caffeine cold, the drink of choice would most likely be one of the two major diet colas on the market. As supporters of each can get pretty rapacious in their support, me thinks that is a designation best left undefined. I think I will avoid the drink issue altogether and go for dessert, cream included (no lactose bias here). If you could get a whiff of the resident salt source I think you would understand that no food related inspiration would ensue.

    I am however quite genuinely interested if there is any sort of format that is followed at the founding chapter’s meetings? Or is it anything goes. Honestly I would like a jumping off point to get started.

  10. A British reviewer talked about how his young (7-year-old) daughter put the book on the floor and lay on her tummy to read it. And loved it. I don’t think there will really be much trouble about getting kids to read it. After all, they haven’t grown up with the same comic book reading experiences we older folk had. I am one of those who read and reread my comics to pieces when I was a kid.

  11. We were inspired to star a Wester Massachusetts Kid’s Lit drinks night after your visit to the Eric Carle Museum. Next month will mark out 1 year anniversary!

  12. *Waves arms wildly in air*

    DaNae, I just moved to Salt Lake City, and would be more than thrilled to co-host a pie night with you. I’m taking a break from public librarianship and and sorely in need of a local kidlit community. We might even be able to cut really loose and drink Dr. Pepper with our pie.

    Seriously, if you want to give this a go, please contact me via my (sigh) mommy blog:

  13. Connie Rockman says:

    Thanks for your plug for the Rabbit HIll Festival a few days ago. Here’s a fun fact that connects it to today’s post – if you look up Robert Lawson’s acceptance speech for the Caldecott Medal in 1941, he put forth a terrific defense of comic strip art. Leonard Marcus makes note of it in Minders of Make Believe and how it must have “sent shudders through his admiring award ceremony audience,” most, if not all, of whom found comics crass and commercial back in those days.

  14. I’m with Hannah — I thought Jumanji was great — better than the book. Really explored the implications of the idea. I also agree with Debbie. Shrek was William Steig’s worst book, in my opinion, but the movie is wonderful. Both cases where what they added made a great movie. You HAVE to add things to make a picture book into a movie, and it’s difficult to do it well.

  15. I’m just amazed that this turned out to be my most popular post of the week.

    Re: Shrek – Not my favorite movie in the world. Sort of lost me when they ate the bad guy at the end. Seemed like a cop out.

    Re: Drink Night Template – Honestly our Kidlit Drink Nights haven’t a specific form. I’ve gotten better at trying to spot newbies to talk to, but it’s very disorganized. Just a bunch of folks in a single section of a room talking about whatever pops into their heads at a given moment. Advertising the nights is your greatest challenge, I think.

    Re: Salt Lake City – Brooke, you moved to Utah? When was this? I am so behind the times.

  16. Editorial Anonymous says:

    Ha ha! You will never guess!
    My identity is an enigma!
    Also, nyah, nyah.

  17. The evidence I have gathered thus far: I must know you. I must! Why else would I be the only non-publisher related blog in your sidebar? Grrr. I WILL FIND YOU! Or, failing that, grind my teeth a little.

  18. editorial anonymous says:

    That’s all you were basing your theory on? Here I thought maybe you had some juicy evidence, or you’d been carefully comparing my way of expressing myself and sense of humor with certain known editors…

  19. Yeah, that was pretty much it. I had zeroed in on a specific editor that I felt was adequately opinionated and did indeed express herself much as you yourself do YET does not have a blog of her own. I was convinced of my error when someone pointed out that you work a fair amount with picture books and my particular candidate wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole.

  20. Editorial Anonymous says:

    A fair point. And yet… are you sure there are editors less opinionated than I am? Maybe they’re just saving their outspokenness for their anonymous blogs?