Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Marty Gray #016

Marty Gray #016

Orion Elementary Book Festival this Saturday

Just a reminder for all Bay-Area Babymouse fans: I'll be appearing at Orion Elementary School's 6th Annual Children's Authors and Illustrators Festival on Saturday, Feb. 2, in Redwood City, Calif. Here's the San Jose Mercury News's note on the event:

I recently heard from children's book expert Sharon Levin, reminding me that the Orion School Children's Authors and Illustrators Festival is Saturday in Redwood City.

"The main purpose of our festival on a community level is to break down the barriers between children and the people who create the books they love," Levin, an Orion parent, e-mailed.

The festival sure is breaking barriers this year: Spanish and sign-language translation is being offered at all the presentations at Orion Elementary School.

Award-winning artist Eric Rohmann and two-time California Young Reader Medal author Candace Fleming will be the big-name guests. Others presenting and signing their books at Orion Elementary School in Redwood City will be Madeleine Dunphy, Elissa Haden Guest, Matthew Holm, Francisco Jimenez, Elisa Kleven and Katherine Tillotson.

The free festival runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Get the rundown at

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I can has Meet the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats?

I know the next book I'm reading...

Graphic Novels for kids (especially in Queens)

As a kids graphic novelist and former resident of the oft-maligned borough of Queens, I was gladdened to see the following from Pinot and Prose (bolding mine):

... Queens librarians have asked me repeatedly over the past year (as long as I’ve been working there) for more graphics for the young kids. The young kids want them, they’re asking for them, they’re hooked on the format. In my previous job, I had 8-year-old girls begging me for Fruits Basket because they had already read every single Babymouse. And I don’t have to tell you how obsessed the young boys were with Naruto, DragonBallz, and every other series. But a lot of these series just weren’t designed with 7-8 year olds in mind. Or younger. Heck, even my 6-year-old daughter loves flipping through my Babymouse books (yes, I personally own a couple of them). Clearly, there’s an audience out there…which is why it’s curious that we haven’t seen more. Lastly, it’s important to mention that Queens is the most ethnically diverse county in the U.S., and graphics are a great way to encourage literacy to young immigrants.

Marty Gray #014

Marty Gray #014

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Marty Gray #012

Marty Gray #012

Here's where things start to get a little more risqué.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who ARE those bloggers?

You never can tell. Who knew that Miss Erin was such a young pup? (Probably everyone except me. That's what you get for just skimming the assigned reading.)

Boy, you start to feel reeeeaaaallll old...

The Well-Read Child reviews Babymouse: Puppy Love

Jen Robinson's Book Page tipped me off to a review I somehow missed: Babymouse: Puppy Love by The Well-Read Child:

In this eighth installment of the Babymouse series, two-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm brings us a delightful graphic novel that had me chuckling out loud more than once. If your child is reluctant to read books with longer paragraphs and pages of text, give Babymouse a try. The graphic novel format is easier to digest, and Matthew Holm's illustrations are entertaining and very funny. While this is the eighth "Babymouse" book, it's my first time reading one, and I liked this one so much, I'm definitely going to check out the others.

Jen Robinson reviews Babymouse: Puppy Love

Blogger Jen Robinson gave a long and glowing review of Babymouse: Puppy Love:

There are so many fun things about this book. It's a rare book indeed that makes the reader laugh aloud on the copyright page. Then there's what happens to the lost pets, living quite comfortably just outside of Babymouse's notice, eating cupcakes. They even have a disco ball. I think that kids will be rolling on the floor with laughter. But my favorite thing is that in a book about a child seeking a pet, the Holms manage to reference (with a trademark combination of sincerity and irreverence) several of the classic "child and animal" stories, including Charlotte's Web, National Velvet, Emily Elizabeth and Clifford, and even Calvin and Hobbes. For instance, when little Fern tells "Babypig" that "Daddy's going to kill you!", Babypig's response is "What kind of children's book is this, anyway?"


If you have a relatively new reader in your house, especially a reluctant reader, or one who does better with illustrations than text, I highly recommend that you give the Babymouse books a try. Although the pink coloring and presence of hearts on the cover suggest that these are more girl-friendly than boy-friendly books, I have heard first-hand from parents and librarians that many young boys who like them, too. You have humor, you have themes that are of universal interest to elementary school kids, and you have a graphic novel format. This combination is tough to beat. And if you're already a Babymouse fan, Puppy Love will not disappoint. Don't miss it!

Babymouse: Puppy Love recommended in the Chicago Sun-Times

Babymouse: Puppy Love has been included with two other mouse-related graphic novels (Redwall and Mouse Guard) in Deborah Abbott's article in the Chicago Sun-Times, "Three great mice for kids."

For a contemporary setting, try the eighth volume in the best-selling Babymouse series for readers 7-10 by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm. In Babymouse: Puppy Love (Random, 98 pages, $5.99 paperback), the little heroine struggles to find and keep the perfect pet. The scratchy black-line comics, accented in shades of pink, catch the humor and determination of the unsinkable mouse. Youngsters can identify with her daydreams, problems and friendships.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Matthew Holm at Orion Elementary School's 6th Annual Children's Authors and Illustrators Festival

Come one, come all! On February 2, I will be appearing in Redwood City, Calif., at Orion Elementary School's 6th Annual Children's Authors and Illustrators Festival. The roster includes myself, Madeleine Dunphy, Candace Fleming, Elissa Haden Guest, Francisco Jimenez, Elisa Kleven, Eric Rohman, and Katherine Tillotson. Here are the details:

Orion Elementary School's 6th Annual Children's Authors and Illustrators Festival

February 2, 2008. 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Orion
Admission to the festival and all events is FREE!

Books, food and beverages will be available for purchase.

Come meet your favorite authors and illustrators!
There will be book signings and author presentations throughout the event.

Available for purchase at the event will be an extensive
selection of the authors' and illustrators' books.
(Books sold by Hicklebee's Children's Books)

Orion Elementary School
815 Allerton St.
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 363-0611

Babymouse: Rock Star reviewed at the Beakly Book Blog

The Beakly Book Blog at Mount Prospect (Illinois) Public Library has a new review of Babymouse: Rock Star:

... Babymouse is fun, smart, and a great friend. This is my first Babymouse book, but I am now a huge fan. This graphic novel is a great stepping stone for readers who are ready to graduate from the Olivia books (by Ian Falconer) to chapter books. Hope you have as much fun hanging out with Babymouse as I did!

Marty Gray #007

Marty Gray #007

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Babymouse ALA Bookmark and Poster Available!


That's right, teachers and librarians everywhere can now buy "READ" bookmarks and posters featuring our lovely Babymouse.

A 100-pack of bookmarks for just $8.00? A $16.00 poster? ($14.40 for members??) Get outta town! Such a deal!

Buy 'em, folks! Support your ALA!

Babymouse is for boys, too

We know it can be hard to get past the pink covers, but the Babymouse books are for boys, too, as Susan Thomsen notes over at Chicken Spaghetti:

For our family, a key factor in regard to reading independently was the matchup of book and reader. In our son's case, it was Calvin & Hobbes, which I wrote about last spring. Even now, Junior prefers comics and graphic novels, including the Babymouse series (it's not just for girls), when he reads at home. Sometimes he and his dad grab their books and head to Starbucks for some hot chocolate and reading (and hanging out).

Marty Gray #004

Marty Gray #004

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Everyone please face West. And slightly North.

According to Dark Horse CEO, Mike Richardson, I am living in Mecca.

In those days when I was first starting my business, the only way to get into comics was to go to New York. We saw, because of the ability to work together at long distances that evolved, comics companies started appearing pretty much anywhere. If there's any city that was more remote from the comic book industry than Portland, Oregon, I don't know what it was. But right now, if you've been paying attention, Portland is now a comics Mecca. There are companies springing up; there's a huge creative community here and a lot of talented people working here.

Marty Gray #003

Marty Gray #003

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Marty Gray #002

Marty Gray #002

Post-Cybils Reaction

Glad to see someone else was excited to see Camp Babymouse make the Cybils Finalists list. Shelf Elf sez:

Yeah! Babymouse Made the Cybils Cut

Why Babymouse #6 is a worthy Cybils Finalist...

1) Because she recognizes cupcakes as the great undiscovered food group....

Plus 5 other reasons!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Marty Gray #001

Here it is, at last: The reprinting of my Web comic, Marty Gray, which first appeared on-line nearly 11 years ago! (Did you even have e-mail accounts back then, youngsters?) I'll be posting them once a day, five days a week, to maintain the Monday-through-Friday flow that the originals had.

Other notes: Click to see them full-size. The resolution still isn't great, but that's the way they were made back in the day. Enjoy!

PS: These comics are NOT for kids. Sorry. As many artists fought long and hard to prove in the 1980s and ’90s, not all comics are for kids.

Marty Gray # 1

Camp Babymouse a finalist for the Cybil Awards

Google brought me news this morning that Camp Babymouse made it to the finalists list for the Cybil Awards. Hurrah!

I have to say, though, I don't envy our chances against The Arrival, Laika, or Robot Dreams. In any awards race, comedies rarely beat dramas.