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Star Wars Epic Yarns Book Review Contest!

Star Wars Epic Yarns Poster

 

Win this one-of-a-kind, signed 11″ x 17″ Star Wars Epic Yarns poster, mounted as a plaque with beveled edges. The poster is one-of-a-kind because it has a “felty” Star Wars logo. Only a few escaped into the world before Chronicle Books was asked to use the standard hard-edged Star Wars logo for the poster.

We’ll also throw in signed copies of all three Epic Yarns books, so the winner gets a lot of goodies!

To enter to win, you need to write a review of a Star Wars Epic Yarns book on an English-language website and let us know by posting below or writing us at info@jackandholman.com (let us know the site, your username, etc.). Review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, your own website, wherever. The more you review, the more times you’ll be entered! For example, reviewing all three Epic Yarns titles on a website = 3 entries. Reviewing on multiple sites means even more entries!

Contest closes 5 p.m. Pacific time on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, so start reviewing!

p.s. We reserve all rights to adjudicate this contest, and by entering you agree that you will abide by any final decisions we make concerning any dispute or change in rules.

ABC Best Books — including us!

We’re delighted to announced that all three Star Wars Epic Yarns titles have been selected for the 2015 ABC Best Books for Young Readers catalog, produced by the American Booksellers Association! It is incredible to be a part of such esteemed company. Here’s the entire list of Best Book titles to help you with your next purchase at an indie book store!

2015 ABC Best Books for Young Readers catalog cover

 

The Original Art Exhibition

We’re thrilled to announce that artwork from Star Wars Epic Yarns: A New Hope has been selected for the 2015 Original Art Exhibition presented at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City! The Original Art is an annual exhibit run by the Society of Illustrators to showcase illustrations from the year’s best children’s books published in the U.S. This is a juried exhibition, and we’re beside ourselves that we’ve been included in an exhibition with the likes of Sophie Blackall, Eric Carle, Emma Chichester Clark, Mike Curato, Tony DiTerlizzi, Oliver Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Nikki McClure, Julie Morstad, Jerry Pinkney, Chris Raschka, Sergio Ruzzier, Peter Sis, Herve Tullet and Mo Willems. And little ol’ us! Wow! Here’s the complete list of exhibitors.

Holman is making the trip from Vancouver and Jack is making the trip from Ithaca for the reception and awards ceremony on October 29, 2015. If you’re going to be there, drop us a line. We’d love to connect in the Big Apple!

Here are some images of the exhibition from years past:

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We’re getting a museum exhibit!

Help us create an EPIC museum exhibition!

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been invited to exhibit original felt artwork from Star Wars Epic Yarns at The Strong – National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York from September 2015 to January 2016!

The plan is to house the fuzzy friends you see below in display cases for an estimated 175,000+ visitors during the exhibition.

Star Wars Epic Yarns - felted figures (small) - © TM Lucasfilm Ltd

We have an invitation, but we need the funds to make the exhibit happen!

In addition to the costs of shipping and mounting the figures, we also want to  enhance the quality and educational value of our display with several oversized images from the books, reproduced as backlit images in LED frames, as well as with digital photo frames to show looping slide shows of behind-the-scenes images describing our artistic process.

We have been invited by The Strong to exhibit our work as independent artists. There is no corporate assistance, so we need your help.

Help us spark the imagination and creativity of thousands of children. Please help us make our exhibition at The Strong happen by contributing to our GoFundMe campaign. Thank you!

MORE ABOUT THE STRONG:

We speak from experience when we say The Strong is an awesome museum! Here’s Holman’s son oohing and aahing over a display of Star Wars toys last year:

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According to Forbes magazine, The Strong is “one of the most unique and impressive children’s museums on earth.”

The Strong — The National Museum of Play — is a not-for-profit, family-friendly history museum with the most comprehensive collection of play-related artifacts in the United States. Each year, over 550,000 guests enjoy its dynamic, innovative exhibitions and events that explore play to encourage learning, creativity, and discovery.

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In addition to its general collections, The Strong is also home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

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San Diego Comic Con

Holman had the great pleasure of going to San Diego Comic-Con 2015 to promote Star Wars Epic Yarns. Here’s his report:

Wow! What a thrill to go to San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend! Let me give you a quick visual tour of my whirlwind Thursday to Saturday trip.

When I arrived, it was impossible to miss that Comic-Con was happening. Conan O’Brien made sure of that, since he filmed his show all week at Comic-Con, and his marketing materials were plastered all over the airport (not to mention on entire downtown buildings!):

01 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Airport Arrival

My first stop was my hotel, the Horton Grand, a charming Victorian-style boutique hotel that was more than worthy of a future Cozy Classics shoot! Here’s the exterior:

02 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Horton Grand Hotel 1

Here are some public spaces:

03 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Horton Grand Hotel 2

04 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Horton Grand Hotel 3

And here are some pictures of my charming room, complete with a Victorian-style pull chain toilet!

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06 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Horton Grand Hotel 5

07 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Horton Grand Hotel 6

After settling in, it was time to head off to the San Diego Convention Center to catch the last few hours of Comic-Con on Thursday. The first stop was the Chronicle Books booth, #1506. Now, I knew that our Epic Yarns images were going to be featured on the Chronicle banner. What I didn’t know was that the banner was massive!

08 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Chronicle Books Booth 1

And here’s a Jeffrey Brown sighting (he’s holding the coffee) at the booth:

09 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Chronicle Books  Booth 2

There was so much going on at Comic-Con that I’m not even going to try and capture the entire experience through photographs. The cosplay alone would take up dozens of shots! So I’ll just show you two things from Thursday afternoon. First, there was a giant banner of Eren from Attack on Titan at the Funimation booth. I recently discovered Attack on Titan quite by chance on Netflix, and I’ve become a big fan.

11 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Attack on Titan

And in a totally unrelated highlight, I got a Family Circus cartoon (a Star Wars one, no less!) autographed by Jeff Keane, son of the legendary Bil Keane.

10 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Jeff Keane

Thursday night was a free evening for me, and I did what I always promised myself I would do if I ever found myself in San Diego: eat at the restaurant that honors the late great singer-songwriter Jim Croce. He has always been a favorite of mine. Jim’s wife, Ingrid Croce, runs Croce Park West, and she was there to confirm for me that Croce is pronounced “Cro-chee”, not “Cro-Shay”. There’s a great painting of Jim in the restaurant, and many of the cocktails are named after his songs:

12 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Jim Croce - Croce Park West

13 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Croce Park West 2

In the end, the bartender sold me on his special variation on a Manhattan with Grand Marnier, and it was literally a knockout drink! And I only had one!

Friday morning started early with a Star Wars breakfast at the Edgewater Grill, where dozens of enthusiastic Star Wars fans gathered. I would have gone just for the door prizes, which were amazing (including one of our books — look closely and you’ll see a corner of it):

14 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Star Wars Breakfast Door Prizes

During breakfast, I had the great pleasure of sitting with some Star Wars luminaries such as Jeffrey Brown, Steve Sansweet, and Daniel Wallace. If you don’t know, Steve runs Rancho Obi-Wan, which is self-described as:

…a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation whose specific purpose is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts, using the collection to provide meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry out other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal.

Basically, it’s the world’s awesomest Star Wars collection, and thankfully our books are there! Here’s me and Steve:

15 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Steve Sansweet

And here’s me and Daniel Wallace, who’s the author of a number of Star Wars books, including The Jedi Path and The Bounty Hunter Code.

16 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Daniel Wallace

After breakfast, I was off to work in earnest! First, I made a stop at the Chronicle Books booth to set up a number of Star Wars felt figures on a rotating turntable. The moving figures were incredibly eye-catching:

17 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - felt figures

Then it was off to join an 11:00 am panel on Star Wars Publishing. Just as I was heading on-stage, I met another Star Wars luminary heading off-stage: Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame! Here’s our author selfie:

18 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Tom Angleberger

Here are some shots of me getting ready for the panel, the expectant crowd of hundreds, and the panel:

19 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Panel Presentation - Holman Wang

20 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Panel Presentation

21 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Panel Presentation

The panel consisted of other Star Wars authors (including Star Wars rock stars like Adam Bray and Christie Golden) and a number of editors from Lucasfilm. But don’t let me tell you how much fun the panel was. See for yourself! Check out these bootleg videos of the Star Wars Publishing Panel by SW Action News:

After lunch, it was on to a book signing at the Chronicle Booth.

22 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Chronicle Booth Book Signing

Early Friday evening, Jeffrey Brown and I also did a signing at Kitson San Diego, where they had a generous display of all our Star Wars books:

23 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Kitson

I had another book signing on Saturday, and then some more free time to explore Comic-Con. I had a chance to meet Jackie Huang of Woolbuddy, who’s a kindred spirit in the world of crafting:

24 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Wool Buddies

And I also picked up some souvenirs, including this great drawing by Diana Levin of my kids — made creepy cute:

25 - San Diego Comic Con 2015 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Diana Levin

Comic-Con was an amazing experience that I won’t soon forget. Truth be told, I enjoyed it even more than Star Wars Celebration (heresy, I know!). You can definitely get your Star Wars fix at Comic-Con, but there’s so much more to explore in terms of comic books, anime, movies, television, original art, etc.

A big thanks to Julia, Lia, Sarah, April, Naomi and others at the Chronicle Booth for all their help. It was a pleasure to work with them. I really hope I have a chance to go back one day. If you’re listening Chronicle… pretty please with a cherry on top!

Featured in Ricepaper!

We’re featured in the latest issue of Ricepaper – The magazine of Asian literary arts. The profile was written by Taylor Brown Evans, who not only conducts thoughtful interviews, but also does amazing illustrations! Here’s the illustration accompanying our profile, with Jack as Luke and Holman as Han in the Creature Cantina. What could be cooler than to be drawn into the Star Wars universe? Thanks Taylor and Ricepaper!

Star Wars Epic Yarn Cozy Classics Ricepaper

Be sure to pick up a copy of Ricepaper 20.2, or order it online. It’s chock-a-block full of great fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and illustrations by incredibly talented Asian-Canadians. We’re humbled and honoured to be sharing an issue with them.

Bay Area Trifecta

 

Holman had the incredible privilege of going to the Bay Area this week to give three presentations on Star Wars Epic Yarns. First, Holman gave presentation at Google Tech Corners, Google’s new campus in Sunnyvale, California. Check out the full online tour of the Google visit here. Then Holman went to nerd heaven when he visited the Lucasfilm Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio, San Francisco, where he presented to enthusiastic Lucasfilm staff (including Pablo Hildago!), and then toured around the campus. Check out the full online tour of the Lucasfilm visit here. Holman was accompanied at these events by Chronicle Books publicist Lara Starr, who’s a Star Wars author in her own right! Finally, Holman presented at Maker Faire, explaining how Star Wars Epic Yarns is perhaps the craftiest and most labor-intensive board book series in children’s literary history! It was an incredible three days in the Bay Area that will never be forgotten!

Star Wars Epic Yarns - Google

Holman at Google Tech Corners in Sunnyvale, California.

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Entrance to the Lucasfilm Letterman Campus in the Presidio, San Francisco.

Star Wars Epic Yarns - Maker Faire

Maker Faire in San Mateo.

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The fabulous Lara Starr eating paella at the Maker Faire Maker party.

Star Wars Epic Yarns - Maker Faire - Ryan and Alexa

Hanging out with designer extraordinaire Ryan Hayes and his wife Alexa at Maker Faire.

Happy book birthday to us!

Wow, pub date has finally arrived! The Star Wars Epic Yarns series is on store shelves and shipping from retailers! Here we are on store shelves at Chapters / Indigo in Vancouver, Canada:

Star Wars Epic Yarns on store shelves (small)And check out all the latest buzz on Star Wars Epic Yarns here, including videos and podcasts!

Star Wars Epic Yarns at WI10 in Asheville!

Holman reports on his trip to WI10 in Asheville:

I had a wonderful few days in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina attending the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute 10. I arrived on Saturday night and stayed at the Renaissance Hotel, along with all the other overflow guests who couldn’t get a room at the historic Grove Park Inn, where WI10 was actually being held.

Wi10 - Grove Park Inn

No matter, because those staying at the Renaissance were steps from downtown Asheville, and the beds there were absolutely amazing.

On Sunday during the day, I took a tour of the historic Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned house in the United States, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II between 1889 and 1895. My wife and I happen to be fans of Downton Abbey, so I was thrilled to be at the Biltmore Estate while it hosted an exhibition called “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times”. In many of the rooms of the Biltmore Estate, there were actual costumes from Downton Abbey displayed. Here’s a picture of the library:

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Sunday evening featured a reception at The Venue, which was extremely well attended. And this is only one of the two rooms the reception took place in!

WI10 - Reception at The Venue

On Monday, I spent most of the day exploring downtown Asheville. In the evening, I attended another reception, the Scholastic Meet & Treat After Party at Pack’s Tavern.

WI10 - Reception at Pack's Tavern

Scholastic authors who appeared included Pam Muñoz Ryan, Dan Gemeinhart, Ally Carter (whom I had the pleasure of meeting), and Sarah Weeks (who’s book Glamourpuss was an instant hit with my daughter when I brought it back home).

On Tuesday, I visited Malaprop’s Bookstore in downtown Asheville, but somehow missed the wall of headshots they had set up honouring visiting authors attending WI10. However, I did manage to find this image of Rebecca Dinerstein on Twitter standing in front of the wall. I’ve circled the image of me in the background (yay, made the wall of fame!).

Rebecca Dinerstein at Malapros

In the early afternoon, I stumbled into one of the ballrooms at the Grove Park Inn and witnessed an amazing spectacle: the bookseller “Speed Dating” session (Day 2) where book reps give lighting quick pitches of their top books for the coming season. This photo actually doesn’t do justice to the number of people in the ballroom, and the beehive of activity that the speed dating session was!

WI10 - Booksellers Speed Dating

Later on Tuesday in the Grove Park Lobby, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Canadian David Usher, as well as Danish crime writer Jakob Melander. They both have books coming out with House of Anasi Press. Here they are just before the start of Tuesday night’s Author Reception.

Jakob Melander and David Usher

And speaking of Author Receptions, here are some pictures of my table before and during the event.

WI10 - Star Wars Epic Yarns - Holman Wang

WI10 - Holman Wang and Tamara Ireland Stone

WI10 - Holman Wang Signing Books - Star Wars Epic Yarns

I had the great pleasure of sharing a table with Tamara Ireland Stone, who’s YA novel Every Last Word (Disney-Hyperion) will be released on June 16, 2015. Since our Epic Yarns series is licensed by Lucasfilm, now owned by Disney, I guess you could say Tamara and I were the double-Disney table!

The response from booksellers to Star Wars Epic Yarns was absolutely incredible! From the moment I picked up my silver Sharpie to the moment we ran out of books to give away (a good problem to have), I barely had a moment to even grab a sip of water! There was a constant stream of people coming to my table to chat, get signed copies of A New Hope, and ooh and aah over the felt figures I had brought. All and all, it was a wonderfully successful evening. Many thanks to Rachel Geiger from Chronicle Books for all her help that night!

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I had what was quite possibly the best meal of my life at Cúrate afterwards (Spanish tapas). Highlights included the octopus, the raw trout, and the fried eggplant.

My wonderful dinner companions included Rachel Geiger, as well as:

ABA WI10 was a wonderful event that showcased the strength and vitality of independent booksellers. I greatly enjoyed meeting so many committed indie booksellers, and with any luck, I’ll get to visit a lot of their stores in the future!

Star Wars Epic Yarns images © 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. STAR WARS is a TM of Lucasfilm Ltd.

We Doodled for Google!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Google Doodle - Jack and Holman Wang

We are out-of-our-minds thrilled to be Google’s guest Doodlers today! February 7th, 2015 marks the 148th birthday of Laura Ingalls Wilder, best known for Little House on the Prairie. We have commemorated Wilder’s birthday with a Doodle that tries to capture the essence of her Little House books — wide open terrain, austere living, simple amusements and the love of family.

We were actually approached by Google in late 2013 to design a Doodle for February 7, 2014. However, a scheduling conflict arose — February 7 was the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. So we were bumped by this Doodle:

Google Doodle - 2014 Winter OlympicsFair enough! But happily, here we are a year later…

As children of the 70s and early 80s, we have fond memories of the Little House on the Prairie television show, which always seemed to be on (though for our young brains, the Mary-going-blind storyline was perhaps a little traumatizing!). Our Doodle, which shows Laura (brunette) and Mary (blond) running through the prairies, is loosely inspired by opening credits of the TV show, which depicts the Ingalls girls running down a hill.

Check out our blog post for Google for a behind-the-scenes look at our process in creating the Doodle, and to see all the countries where our Doodle appears. Enjoy, world!