comic about a library2016-10-22T12:58:02-07:00Gene Ambaumgene@overduemedia.comBill Overdue Media LLC on Saturday, October 22, 20162016-10-22T00:00:00+00:002016-10-22T00:00:00+00:00
The 12th and final Unshelved collection is only available on Kickstarter. Back this project today to reserve your copy!

Unshelved comic strip for 10/22/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on May 5, 2005. Reviews2016-10-21T00:00:00+00:002016-10-21T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )


This week's Unshelved Book Club is full of books full of eccentric characters, horror stories for kids, steampunk Civil War goodness, information about the failure of the Catholic clergy's practice of celibacy, and a teen with a secret that could affect his father's chance for reelection. on Friday, October 21, 20162016-10-21T00:00:00+00:002016-10-21T00:00:00+00:00 Book Club on Friday, October 21, 20162016-10-21T00:00:00+00:002016-10-21T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.

Amazon | Powell's
Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine by J. Marin Younker
Zest Books, 2016. 9781942186328. 112 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by sarahhunt tagged history

Unshelved comic strip for 10/21/2016

Amazon | Powell's
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt
HarperCollins, 2015. 9780062281203. 336 pages.

Link to this review by wally tagged literary

Lucien "Lucy" Minor is not wanted at home after his father's demise. He gets a job at the dark castle of Baron Von Aux, who he soon learns is completely mad. In fact, strange people abound in the castle and its village, although Lucy's love Klara is perfectly normal. Lucy's simple duties include mailing letters to the Baroness. One day, he writes his own letter to her, hoping that her return might make the situation better. It doesn't.

Why I picked it up: DeWitt's previous novel, The Sisters Brothers, was full of all the things that make a great western but with more heart.

Why I finished it: Lucy is not quite a hero. He is more like one of the foolish third sons in old fairy tales, the one who doesn't know what is going on but manages to catch the princess after all. All the other characters seem like literary archetypes when you first meet them, but they become much more rounded and human as the story progresses.  

It’s perfect for: Abigail, who likes eccentric characters. She'd enjoy how Lucy is a compulsive liar throughout most of the book (until he forgets to tell a lie at a crucial moment). She'd also enjoy the story of Olderglough the butler and his once-best friend Tomas, who stole Olderglough's wife and was killed for it. Lucy discovers the truth of their friendship, but only after someone has tried to kill him, and that understanding gives him everything he needs to escape a trap.

Amazon | Powell's
Goosebumps: Slappy's Tales of Horror by R.L. Stine, Dave Roman, Gabriel Hernandez, Ted Naifeh, Jamie Tolagson
Scholastic Graphix, 2015. 9780545835954. 176 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged anthologygraphic novelhorror

Features comics adaptations of these Goosebumps classics: A Shocker on Shock Street (Tolagson), The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (Hernandez), Ghost Beach (Naifeh), and Night of the Living Dummy (Roman).

Why I picked it up: I loved the Goosebumps graphic novel adaptations Scholastic published years ago, plus I’m a big fan of Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy, Teen Boat!, Starbunny) and Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin, Polly and the Pirates).

Why I finished it: I love how Scholastic Grahix gives each artist the freedom to work in his style and make the story his own. Tolagson clearly loves drawing monsters, so when two kids go on a tour of their favorite horror movie studio, it was easy for him to make me believe that the creatures were much scarier than those in some standard theme park ride. Naifeh’s ghost story is spookier because of the way he emphasizes and de-emphasizes characters’ facial features to get emotion out of their expressions. And Roman’s ventriloquist dummies are creepier and more threatening because of the upbeat feel of the rest of his art.

Readalikes: It’s hard to hit the sweet spot of scary but not-too-scary for younger kids like this. I think the master is Neil Gaiman, and The Graveyard Book, his story about a young boy who escapes his family’s murderer by moving into a nearby graveyard (where he’s raised by ghosts), is the one I reread (and listen to) again and again.

You should also check out the first book in the Goosebumps graphic novel series, published way back in 2006, which has a story from one my favorite cartoonists, Scott Morse.

Amazon | Powell's
Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
Tor, 2010. 9780765325785. 480 pages.

Link to this review by theo tagged historical fictionscience fiction

Vinita “Mercy” Lynch is traveling (dirigible -> train -> riverboat -> train -> train) from Richmond, Virginia, to Seattle during the Civil War (now in its twentieth year). Her estranged father has been gravely injured and has requested to see her.

Why I picked it up: Gene gave me a copy (along with Boneshaker, to which this is a standalone sequel) for my birthday.

Why I finished it: So many mysteries. What is the secret mission of Horatio Korman, Texas Ranger? What is in the front and rear cars of the Dreadnought, the armored war train Horatio and Vinita board in St. Louis? And what are the origins of Yellow Sap, the highly addictive drug that has killed so many soldiers?

Readalikes: Leviathan, which is set during World War I. In both books it’s fun to see how early access to technology alters history. And in both, the giant mechanized walkers are super cool.

Amazon | Powell's
Sex, Priests, and Power: Anatomy of a Crisis by A.W. Richard Sipe
Burnner/Mazel, 1995. 9780876307694. 240 pages.

Link to this review by lynn tagged nonfiction

In 1995 A.W. Richard Sipe had been studying the philosophy and practice of celibacy in the Catholic church, and more importantly, the failure to practice it, for over thirty years. When the widespread sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy came to light, he published Sex, Priests, and Power, a synthesis of what he had learned through over 1,500 interviews with priests, their sexual partners (willing and not), and the people charged with both helping the sinners and hiding the evidence of their sins. Throughout the book Sipe, a former priest himself, builds a case that sex abuse in the Church cannot be blamed on a few bad apples (the church hierarchy's view) or on the corrupt bishops and cardinals who covered for them (the view of the general public). Instead he points to the complete failure of celibacy for priests and the increasingly desperate actions of the Church to prop it up.

Why I picked it up: In the Oscar-winning film Spotlight, reporters start a broader investigation of the Catholic sex abuse scandal because they read a statistic in one of Sipe's earlier books, that six percent of priests engage in sexual activity with minors. I was blown away by that movie, and the idea that someone was actually doing scientific research into such a lurid topic appealed to me. (The book cited in SpotlightA Secret World: Sexuality and the Search for Celibacy, sounded like a sterile collection of observations, so I went with this one instead.)

Why I finished it: Its narrative felt like a nested doll. Sipe starts off talking about the priests who sexually abuse minors, then brings in the fact that a majority of priests are breaking their vows of celibacy with both painful regularity and dizzying variety. He then provides evidence that it has always been thus and posits that the church is using celibacy, both as an ideal and as a fractured practice, to control people within its hierarchy and without. Sipe finally lays down an indictment of Christianity in general for not having a coherent theology of sex. The questions he raised about how we ought to treat each other, in church and intimate relationships, stayed with me long after I put the book down. 

Readalikes: Sex God by Rob Bell. He focuses on a similar concern to Sipe's: the importance of Christians speaking honestly and openly about where sex fits into their religious practice. Sex God is prescriptive rather than academic, but both books draw the same conclusion: a church whose fundamental teachings revolve around loving one other and God cannot ignore the physical ways human beings express love. Both also contend that true celibacy is about redirecting sexual energy, not renouncing it.

Amazon | Powell's
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, Tom Phelan
Blackstone Audio, 2016. 9781504695299.

Link to this review by dawnrutherford tagged audiobookcoming of age

Riley's dad is a congressman up for re-election. He has decided that, in order to convince voters of his support for schools, it is best for Riley to switch to a public high school. Riley is secretly relieved, as there had been some bullying that mom and dad didn't know about. But starting mid-year at a new school is a challenge for anyone. And trying to blend in is not easy when your gender identity shifts constantly. Riley's therapist recommends starting a secret blog, which is great until it blows up, and Riley’s secret is revealed just as his dad's campaign is heating up.

Why I picked it up: This was the first book I’ve seen from the point of view of a gender-fluid kid.

Why I finished it: Tom Phelan did a wonderful job as Riley. Garvin never reveals if Riley grew up as a boy or a girl, and Phelan is able to preserve that mystery. For people like me who grew up trained to try and identify a person's gender upon introduction, this was a really good exercise in reprogramming and acceptance.

It’s perfect for: Anyone looking for a brainy romance with unconventional characters who struggle against the expectations of their families and peers. on Thursday, October 20, 20162016-10-20T00:00:00+00:002016-10-20T00:00:00+00:00 on Wednesday, October 19, 20162016-10-19T00:00:00+00:002016-10-19T00:00:00+00:00 on Tuesday, October 18, 20162016-10-18T00:00:00+00:002016-10-18T00:00:00+00:00 the word2016-10-17T00:00:00+00:002016-10-17T00:00:00+00:00
by Bill ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Ks header

I know from long experience that not everyone reads our blog posts. And it's totally cool with me if you're just here for the comics. But sometimes we have something to say that affects all our readers, and not everyone gets the message. This is one of those times. So I have a favor to ask - will you spread the word on this one?

Last week we announced that Unshelved is ending (pause for feelings) and launched a Kickstarter for our last book. I'm happy to say it's already funded, which means everyone who ordered a copy will get one. Hooray!

The problem is that I know how many folks end up buying our books, and it's a lot more than the number of copies ordered so far. And I strongly suspect it's because most of them haven't gotten the message.

So will you please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook, at the water cooler, and in the staff lunchroom? Let everyone know that this really is their only chance to get a copy of our last book signed by both authors, personalized to them with a doodle by yours truly?

Thanks. I really appreciate it, and I think they will too.

P.S. Many of you saw that we won't be selling copies through library wholesalers, and asked if there was a way to buy a copy for your library. So we added two reward levels where you could buy one for yourself and one (at a discount) for your library. Hope this helps. on Monday, October 17, 20162016-10-17T00:00:00+00:002016-10-17T00:00:00+00:00 on Sunday, October 16, 20162016-10-16T00:00:00+00:002016-10-16T00:00:00+00:00
The next epic starts here—25 all-new Volume 1 graphic novels. It kicks off with DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION. Click through for info and to request a galley.

Unshelved comic strip for 10/16/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on May 2, 2005. on Saturday, October 15, 20162016-10-15T00:00:00+00:002016-10-15T00:00:00+00:00
The next epic starts here—25 all-new Volume 1 graphic novels. It kicks off with DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION. Click through for info and to request a galley.

Unshelved comic strip for 10/15/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on May 1, 2005. Reviews2016-10-14T00:00:00+00:002016-10-14T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )


This week's Unshelved Book Club features books about teens quarantined because they have drug resistant tuberculosis, a plus-sized woman who enters a beauty pageant to get revenge, a duck who doesn't fit in, Indian recipes, and two friends who sneak into San Francisco to check out Pride. on Friday, October 14, 20162016-10-14T00:00:00+00:002016-10-14T00:00:00+00:00 Book Club on Friday, October 14, 20162016-10-14T00:00:00+00:002016-10-14T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.

Amazon | Powell's
Pink is for Blobfish: Discovering the World's Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating, David DeGrand
Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 9780553512274. 48 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by sarahhunt tagged coffee table booknonfictionpicture bookscience

Unshelved comic strip for 10/14/2016

Amazon | Powell's
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Katherine Tegen Books, 2015. 9780062217165. 336 pages.

Link to this review by stacey tagged coming of age

Imagine being quarantined as a teenager, away from the life you knew, and just told to relax, take it easy. Think permanent summer camp in the mountains. Sounds great right? Oh, but, the internet is only available to you in the library for an hour a week via ancient laptops. Your body is monitored at all times by a wristband you always wear. And all those cliques you thought you'd left behind? They're still here, but now you all have something in common, an incurable disease that kills half of those who get it. But maybe you’ll make the best friends of your life, and fall in love. 

Lane is quarantined at Latham House where he will receive treatment for drug resistant tuberculosis, derailing his plans to go to Stanford. Sadie, who has been living at Latham for the last three years, is the girl who smuggles in contraband for everyone else. As she and Lane begin a tentative relationship, their friends start to get sicker, secrets are revealed, and there are rumors of a cure. 

Why I picked it up: It was recommended for the Gateway Reader's Award list by Shannon, whose reading tastes I usually agree with.

Why I finished it: The emotional tug of ill teens was delicate rather than maudlin. (Sadie uses a group movie event to create a homecoming-like photo-op for Lane, so his Facebook will look normal.) Even though totally drug resistant tuberculosis doesn't exist (yet), it felt very real in the contemporary setting. The way the teachers give an assignment then leave the classroom and the isolation of Latham from the town, are measures I can imagine being taken today. 

It’s perfect for: Laura, who loved John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, and is looking for more heartrending romances where you keep hoping for that happy ending, even though you know you probably won't get it.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Quirk Books, 2017. 9781594749476.

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win . . . unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Click to Request an eGalley on Edelweiss.

Click to Request an eGalley on NetGalley.

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Amazon | Powell's
DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy
HarperCollins, 2015. 9780062327185. 384 pages.

Link to this review by murphy'smom tagged coming of age

Willowdean (Will) Dickson has always been a big girl. (Her mom calls her Dumplin’.) Her friends El and Tim love her because she’s funny, sarcastic, and a die-hard Dolly Parton fan. She refers to herself as the "resident fat chick at Harpy's Hot Dogs" when meeting a cute new coworker, Bo Larson, but her size doesn't phase him, and the two start crushing on each other. Unfortunately, Will finds out Bo was using her as a summer rebound, and that others are laughing at her behind her back. To get revenge, Willowdean and other class misfits sign up to compete in the Blue Bonnet Beauty Pageant. (Her disapproving mother is a contest coordinator.) Will wants to prove she is a real girl who has real feelings. She knows she has to "GO BIG OR GO HOME!" The competition will either restore her self-esteem or the other competitors (those "bitchy twigs”) will totally destroy her.

Why I picked it up: I used to be a very petite girl, but because of medication I was on for six years I am no longer as tiny as I used to be. I have been ridiculed for my size, though nobody has had the guts to ask me about the weight gain. And I loved the cover art showing a larger girl who seemed more than happy with her size -- it’s cool to read about anyone, especially a teenager, who is happy with themselves.

Why I finished it: I am a Southern girl, born and raised, so I understood why high school football and beauty pageants were the two main events Clover City, Texas, has going for it. Even though Will knows she is probably the biggest girl at her high school, her sarcasm was her weapon, and she didn’t hesitate to fire back at bullies. I loved the way she was able to stick up for herself and the other high school “losers.” Yes, Will sometimes could be harsh when defending them, but at least she took a stand -- I admired her courage.

It’s perfect for: My little baby sister, “Oopi," an exercise fanatic who doesn't weigh more than ninety-five pounds. She has never been teased for being a big girl. Dumplin’ would (I hope) teach her that her comments about my weight aren’t going to encourage me to lose it; they just make me more depressed, and I want to eat even more than usual.

Readalikes: In The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, Bianca Piper has always been the "Designated Ugly Fat Friend" and for the most part she accepted it. But when her school’s hottest slimeball, Wesley Rush, tells her so, she snaps, throws a Coke in his face, and decides to kiss him just to see his reaction. Things get crazy.

Eggshells by Caitriona Lally
Melville House, 2017. 9781612195971.

A whimsical, touching debut about loneliness, friendship and hope.

Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in―and never has. As a child, she was so whimsical that her parents told her she was “left by fairies.” Now, living alone in Dublin, the neighbors treat her like she’s crazy, her older sister condescends to her, social workers seem to have registered her as troubled, and she hasn’t a friend in the world.

So, she decides it’s time to change her life: She begins by advertising for a friend. Not just any friend. She wants one named Penelope.

Meanwhile, she roams the city, mapping out a new neighborhood every day, seeking her escape route to a better world, the other world her parents told her she came from.

And then one day someone named Penelope answers her ad for a friend. And from that moment on, Vivian’s life begins to change.

Debut author Caitriona Lally offers readers an exhilaratingly fresh take on the Irish love for lyricism, humor, and inventive wordplay in a book that is, in itself, deeply charming, and deeply moving.

Click to Request an eGalley on Edelweiss.

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Amazon | Powell's
Quackers by Liz Wong
Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. 9780553511543. 40 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged picture book

Quackers knows he’s a duck even though he doesn’t always fit in. But then he meets a strange "duck" named Mittens who introduces him to a bunch of other "ducks" like them.

Why I picked it up: Former librarian and author extraordinaire Kelly Jones told me I’d love it, then handed me a copy at the Texas Library Association conference.

Why I finished it: I love Wong’s art, which seems to be some combo of ink, watercolors, and paper cutouts, the latter of which works particularly well for word balloons and text boxes. The soft edges to the drawings make everyone look friendly, and the colors are just beautiful.  

It’s perfect for: My nephew, Leighton. It’s tough to get him to eat his vegetables -- I think he’d eat nothing but white bread and hot dogs if given the chance -- but there’s a subtle message about realizing you might like your veggies, even the ones you hate. (In this case it’s duckweed.)

DC Universe Rebirth Deluxe Edition by Geoff Johns; Illustrated by Gary Frank, Ivan Reis, Ethan Van Sciver, and Phil Jiminez
DC Comics, 2016. 9781401270728.

Geoff Johns’s bestselling, critically acclaimed blockbuster comic is now available in a deluxe edition hardcover in DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH DELUXE EDITION, featuring expansive bonus material, from early concept sketches to variant covers!

Wally West is trapped out of time and space, lost in the recesses of dimensional bleed due to the Flashpoint caused by his mentor Barry Allen. Drifting in this nothingness, only Wally—the man once known as Kid Flash and then the Flash—can see the mystery pervading the universe . . . someone has stolen ten years.

Wally must now return to Earth and the loved ones who have always acted as his lightning rod. Can he reach Linda Park—the woman who was once his wife and mother of his children—or Bruce Wayne—the Batman—the world’s great detective who might be able to unravel the mystery Wally sees before him. But no matter who he contacts, he always slips away, closer to nothingness.

The story that began one of the most critically acclaimed launches of all-time is here in DC Universe: Rebirth Deluxe Edition. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Geoff Johns (Justice League) with art from four of the industry’s greatest talents in Ivan Reis (Aquaman), Gary Frank (Batman: Earth One), Ethan Van Sciver (Green Lantern: Rebirth), and Phil Jimenez (Infinite Crisis), this new hardcover graphic novel edition has ramifications that will reverberate through the DC Universe for years to come!

Click for More Information.

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Amazon | Powell's
Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha
Flatiron Books, 2015. 9781250071019. 320 pages.

Link to this review by sarahhunt tagged cookbook

Meera Sodha's parents and grandparents lived in India, Kenya, Uganda, and England, and each country influenced the food they cooked and the recipes they loved. Sodha collected the best of that home cooking, and shares it with humor and charm.

Why I picked it up: I'm trying to eat more vegetables and wanted to try something with more of a spicy kick.

Why I finished it: These aren't gloppy, cream-heavy restaurant style recipes but fresh, deliciously spiced, addictive home cooking. The roasted butternut squash with garlic and tomatoes was amazing and got lots of compliments at a family meal. Junjaro, an African take on kidney bean stew, was a great dinner and even better as reheated leftovers. The roasted cauliflower with cumin, turmeric, and lemon will be in heavy rotation from now on.

It’s perfect for: While not all the recipes are written to be healthy and vegetarian, there are so many that are that Vicki, famous for such contributions to work potlucks, will find plenty of great new dishes to try.

Scooby Apocalypse Volume 1 by Keith Giffen; Illustrated by Jim Lee and Howard Porter
DC Comics, 2017. 9781401267902.

The Hanna-Barbera cartoon classic is re-imagined for a new generation in Scooby Apocalypse Vol. 1!

When the world is tossed into chaos, it’s up to a group of meddling kids—Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and their dog, Scooby-Doo—to solve the mystery and survive hordes of zombies! But can they save the day and cure everyone or will they become brain-eating zombies? The creatures of the night are among us, and the crew of the Mystery Machine has to fight to survive—because in the apocalyptic badlands of the near-future, the horrors are real!

Hanna-Barbera has created some of the most recognizable animated characters of all-time. As part of DC Comics’ re-imagination of cartoons like Scooby-Doo, The Flintsones, Johnny Quest, Space Ghost and Wacky Racers, these new series will be infused with modern and contemporary concepts while keeping the heart and soul of the classic animation. 

Click for More Information.

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Amazon | Powell's
You Know Me Well: A Novel by Nina LaCour, David Levithan
St. Martin's Griffin, 2016. 9781250098641. 256 pages.

Link to this review by dawnrutherford tagged coming of age

Best friends Mark and Ryan tell their parents they are staying at each others’ houses and sneak into San Francisco to check out Pride. Neither has come out at school yet, and the experience changes everything. Ryan goads Mark into entering an underwear contest, and while Mark is dancing on the bar, he meets Taylor. Mark is heartbroken -- he was hoping that coming to the city would help Ryan admit that they might be more than friends. Mark is saved by Katie, an acquaintance who happened to come into the bar while dodging her own romance-related stress. Over the next week Mark and Katie become fast friends, helping each other negotiate their last days of high school and the painful shift to adulthood.

Why I picked it up: I really love David Levithan's work, particularly his recent pair of novels Every Day and Another Day. And I also adored Nina LaCour's road trip band book, The Disenchantments. Levithan has pulled off terrific collaborations with lots of great teen authors, so I had high hopes for this one.

Why I finished it: There was so much anticipation within this story, propelling me along. Can Mark win Ryan back with an honest declaration of his devotion? Will Katie ever meet the mysterious Violet, her best friend's cousin? Can she possibly be as wonderful as Katie has been imagining?

Readalikes: I thoroughly enjoyed the depiction of San Francisco. Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City series also does a wonderful job of documenting the history of both San Francisco and its LGBT community. on Thursday, October 13, 20162016-10-13T00:00:00+00:002016-10-13T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )


Quirk Books proclaims that they are "publishers of all things awesome," and there is plenty of evidence to support that claim. Some of their recent bestsellers include Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and William Shakespeare's Star Wars. Now we are eagerly anticipating the release of their next awesome thing, Ashley Poston's Geekerella. This Cinderella story, described as "part romance, part love letter to nerd culture," is for all of us who are passionate about fandom and believe that magical things can happen once upon a con. Click through for more information and to request a digital ARC. on Wednesday, October 12, 20162016-10-12T00:00:00+00:002016-10-12T00:00:00+00:00 on Tuesday, October 11, 20162016-10-11T00:00:00+00:002016-10-11T00:00:00+00:00 is Ending2016-10-10T00:00:00+00:002016-10-10T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )


We’ve got good news and bad news.

The good news is that we finally have a new Unshelved collection coming out. At 192+ pages it’s by far the largest collection we’ve ever made, with over two years of strips. You can get a copy by backing our Kickstarter today!

The bad news is that it will be our final Unshelved collection, because after Friday, November 11 we will stop making new Unshelved comic strips. After that we’ll switch to publishing classic Unshelved strips (there are a lot of them!) and we’ll keep our store open as long as it makes sense.

We’ve been making Unshelved for almost fifteen years. That’s a long time. When we published our first strip on February 16, 2002 the iPhone was just a glint in Steve Jobs’ eye, Facebook was years away from reuniting anyone with their high school sweetheart, and tweeting was still exclusively for the birds.

We had been puttering around for six months with an idea for a comic strip about a library, and began quietly publishing them on the web for our friends and family. We figured we’d do that for a few months, learn from our mistakes, and then start over. But after just a few days Jessamyn West found us, let the library world know, and we went from a few dozen readers to several thousand in the space of a week. There was no possibility of turning back.

Back then our little comic strip was called Overdue, and that’s what we’ve decided to call our last book.

It’s been a madcap journey. After a few years we had enough readers that we both decided to gamble by quitting our day jobs to try doing this cartooning thing full-time. It was harder work than we expected. There were many years when we were on the road, away from our families, for weeks at a time, giving talks and selling our books and merchandise at library conferences and comic conventions.

We’re proud of the more than 4500 strips we made, but also the many things we created: Pimp My Bookcart, merit badges for librarians (with a great video), a thumb drive in the shape of a card catalog (with another great video), dozens of t-shirt designs, the library notebook, the library raid jacket, and full-length comic adventures about BEA, an evil bookmobile, and a blackout. We interviewed Nancy Pearl on stage twice, and we've delivered keynotes at more than a hundred events in over 40 states and provinces.

Now it’s time to draw this adventure to a close. We’re both ready for new things.

Back in April, Bill left to take a break from cartooning, but he’ll return to draw and co-author the last week of strips.

Gene isn’t done with libraries and comics yet -- he’s cooking up both a new webcomic and a new book review site we think you’ll like, and he’ll let you know when they're ready for prime time. You can also continue to hire him to speak at your events.

Our special thanks to artist extraordinaire Chris Hallbeck, who has been knocking it out of the park for us, along with Willow Payne and John Carvajal who have been drawing fantastic Friday Unshelved Book Club comics. We want to acknowledge our Associate Publisher Angela Moeny, who took on Bill’s other business duties with skill and élan. And no list of Unshelved employees would be complete without a mention of Jana Kincl, our longtime store manager, who shipped approximately nine billion orders for us over the years and always had a smile and an accurate sizing suggestion at the Unshelved booth.

And then there’s you. We couldn’t have asked for a more loyal and supportive audience, who have kept the lights on here at Overdue Media HQ by buying stuff, hiring us, and most recently contributing to our Patreon. More importantly you read Unshelved and told your friends about it. Thank you all so much for helping make our dreams come true. You’re the best.

It’s not quite time to say goodbye -- there’s still one more month of new Unshelved strips, and we’ll have more to say between now and then -- but we wanted to give you some time to get adjusted to the idea (we’re still getting used to it ourselves).

Gene and Bill
the Unshelved guys on Monday, October 10, 20162016-10-10T00:00:00+00:002016-10-10T00:00:00+00:00 on Sunday, October 9, 20162016-10-09T00:00:00+00:002016-10-09T00:00:00+00:00
Get the exclusive Unshelved card catalog USB drive! Available blank or preloaded with all 11 Unshelved ebooks.

Unshelved comic strip for 10/9/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 30, 2005. on Saturday, October 8, 20162016-10-08T00:00:00+00:002016-10-08T00:00:00+00:00
Get the exclusive Unshelved card catalog USB drive! Available blank or preloaded with all 11 Unshelved ebooks.

Unshelved comic strip for 10/8/2016

link to this strip | tweet this | share on facebook | email us

This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 29, 2005. Reviews2016-10-07T00:00:00+00:002016-10-07T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )


This week's Unshelved Book Club is full of books about money, Navajo code talkers, cooking, drawings by a lifelong state hospital resident, and an old woman who wants to find a place to knit in peace.