May 24, 2013

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Forces of the Tomkitten

In the latest episode of our insidiously well-connected podcast, Ken and I talk the games we’re running right now, Beyonce illuminated, pastiche and Jamestown cannibalism.

May 15, 2013

Toronto Celebrates The Lion and the Aardvark

Last night’s Toronto launch of our modern fables anthology The Lion and the Aardvark exceeded expectations, thanks to a packed house of fable enthusiasts. Our supply of the book sold out at half-time. Writers Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Ann Ewan, Heather J. Wood, Daniel Perry, Jim Zub, Richard Scarsbrook, and Laura Lush hit the stage to read from their work. Special thanks to Kathryn for bravely persevering through a scratchy throat. Also, if you haven’t heard Rich Scarsbrook impersonate a trout, you have not yet really attended a literary event.

Jim received double accolades, as he is also our cover artist. Interior illustrator Rachel Kahn was on hand to take a bow, as was author Julie McArthur. Toronto-area authors who were unable to make it were toasted in spirit.

After the reading we gathered onstage for an impromptu mass signing. Collectors showed gratifying appreciation for the book, and for the beautiful work of our production team.

Contribs best cropped

From left: Rachel Kahn, Laura Lush, Jim Zub, Heather J. Wood, Daniel Perry, Ann Ewan, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Julie McArthur, Richard Scarsbrook. Together they comprise 12% of the Lion and Aardvark creative team.

Thanks to the Rowers Reading Series and its artistic director Heather J. Wood (see above)  for their event organizing prowess, and to our venue hosts, the Victory Café.

May 14, 2013

Hillfolk Goes to Layout

I am very pleased to report that editorial for the core Hillfolk book has been completed. The last submissions are in, edited, and proofed, and the text and illustrations are now in the hands of graphic design supremo Christian Knutsson. That final straggler of a Series Pitch is now in hand at last. Barring unforeseen calamity, that means that Blood in the Snow should be ready for layout by the time Christian has finished with the core text. He estimates that layout will take three weeks. After we sign off on the layout, we’re looking at an eight week turnaround for printing.

We will fulfill electronic editions as soon as layout is ready, so everyone will have the PDFs in hand even as the presses are rolling on the print copies.

So raise your cups of mead, raiders. The snows of an overlong winter have delayed us, but we have finally equipped our forces. We now ride off into the badlands, to claim our victory.

If you missed the Kickstarter but want to jump on board now, stay tuned for pre-order details.

And here, apropos of nothing in the first paragraph, is John Kovalic’s illustration for his Blood on the Snow Series Pitch, “The Dagon Bar and Grille,” which brings to DramaSystem the vibe of an animated sitcom. Plus tentacles, natch.

May 10, 2013

May 07, 2013

The Lion and the Aardvark Toronto Launch Event

With offices in London, a Creative Director in Toronto, and writers from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and arguably France, Stone Skin Press is a decidedly post-national operation. Yet since I’m in Hogtown, a nice swath of The Lion and the Aardvark’s 70 contributors happen to reside in the GTA. Thanks to the good offices of the Rowers Pub Reading Series, we’ll be celebrating that fact on Tuesday May 14th at 8pm, in the cozy, craft beer loving confines of the Victory Café in Mirvish Village (Bloor / Bathurst.)

Scheduled to read are Ann Ewan, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Laura Lush, Julie McArthur, Daniel Perry, Richard Scarsbrook, Heather Wood, Halli Villegas, and Jim Zub. Buy a copy and get it signed by the aforementioned, plus interior illustrator Rachel Kahn and your humble editor.

In The Lion and the Aardvark, 70 writers from across the creative spectrum bring their modern sensibilities to the classic fable format. Zombies, dog-men and robot wasps mingle with cats, coyotes and cockroaches. Parables ranging from the punchy to the evocative, the wry to the disturbing, explore eternal human foibles, as displaced onto lemmings, trout, and racing cars. But beware— in these terse explorations of desire, envy, and power, certitude isn’t always as clear as it looks.

Update: Ed Greenwood has had to drop out to attend to a family medical matter. He'll be there in spirit.