Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Welcome ALA Attendees!

I'd like to say hello to anyone who's visiting this blog for the first time today, especially everyone I've met this past weekend while attending ALA in San Francisco!   It was wonderful meeting so many educators and librarians who are passionate about kids literature, especially kids comics!  I had a blast this weekend, and I'm so happy you took the time to check out my work. 

This is the Nattosoup blog, where I write about art supplies, comic and anime conventions I've tabled at, and my artistic process.  My hub page, which connects you to all my social media and all my proejcts is beccahillburn.com.  If you're looking for something specific on this blog, I recommend you try using the search bar at the top left, as I'm a little behind on updating the Guest Post and Reviews section.   If you can't find something you're looking for, feel free to shoot me an email and ask- I may not have gotten a chance to write about it yet.  My main topics are reviewing art supplies, reviewing conventions, sharing progress on my major projects, and occasionally talking about the comic industry.

 While the content of this blog is mostly all ages, younger readers may find it a bit too technical to be interesting.  I also have a series of panels and presentations up on my Youtube channel that you're more than welcome to share and utilize for your library or school.   My Youtube channel also includes several interviews with other comic artists, spanning back to 2012, that you're more than welcome to utilize for classroom use.  We also have recorded panels presented by artists at TCAF (and recorded with their permission) that specifically focus on utilizing comics in your classroom and setting up your own comic con that I highly recommend.  I've also presented a number of panels on topics like comic craft, self publishing, introduction to the artist alley, and basics of both Copic markers and watercolors, all of which have their own playlist that you're welcome to use as you see fit.  Attendees ranged from middle school kids to early college, although younger audiences may enjoy the watercolor basics and introduction to comic craft.  If you'd like to arrange a free Skype call with your class, please email me and we'll work together to tailor something suitable to their interests.

As a creator, my focus is on creating quality children's comics.  My current focus is my comic, 7" Kara, which follows the diminutive 11 year old Kara as she embarks on her first big adventure meeting humans for the first time.  Kara has been sheltered her entire life, and that includes being told that humans are a myth, so when her mother finally clues her in, Kara is off like a shot to go meet some humans before her family moves away.  Kara meets Pancake, a playful kitten, who introduces her to Naomi, a 14 year old human girl who's recently moved into the neighboring human house.  Kara and Naomi quickly become friends, and Naomi introduces Kara to the human world.  7" Kara is a three volume set, with the first volume being available to purchase through my own shop, Amazon, or through Baker and Taylor.  Copies ordered through my shop can be customized with a back of the book sketch made out to your library system, and include 5 adorable Kara charms.  For Baker and Taylor purchases, my ISBN 13 number is : ISBN13: 9781497369450  If you're still on the fence, you can check out some reviews for 7" Kara Volume 1 on Goodreads and all of chapter 2 has been uploaded as a sample, or you can peruse some of my pages on my Behance, including all of Chapter 1

7" Kara has been designed to appeal to kids K-6th grade, with the intention of filling a gap in the children's comic market- namely comics that feature well rounded female protagonists.  It's a coming of age story for both Naomi and Kara, as Kara learns to think through her hasty decisions, and Naomi realizes that even if her intentions are good, the result is bad when they're forced upon others.  This comic was designed to appeal to parents who may be reluctant to introduce their children to comics, but already enjoy sharing children's picture books with their kids, and features lush watercolor illustrations in every panel.  For the earliest readers, I recommend Kara be read together with a parent, older sibling, or caregiver, and if you'd like to present this comic to the kids in your library, I can provide you with page by page slides for easy audience viewing upon your request.  Through selling 7" Kara at conventions for two years, I've found that Kara also greatly appeals to teenage girls who enjoy reading manga and like watching Studio Ghibli movies, and it may be perfect if your library or school runs a partnership program that matches teens to kids for paired reading.

While at ALA, I ran a promotion- if you purchased 5 copies of 7" Kara Volume 1 for your school library system, you got to pick a free matted mini watercolor to take home with you!  I decided to extend that promotion, as many, MANY children's librarians informed me that they did all their acquisitions through Baker and Taylor.  If your system purchases 5 copies of 7" Kara through my website OR through Baker and Taylor, I'll mail you your choice of the matted mini watercolor below, all you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation to me.   At that time, please include a mailing address, as well as which mini watercolor you'd like me to send.  Each watercolor is slightly under 4"x6", and the matted piece is 8"x10", suitable for most standard sized frames.  These watercolors are already bagged in archival bags, and are ready to be framed once removed from the bag itself.

Kara with a firefly latern

Kara holding a dandelion

Kara eating blueberries

Kara with mushrooms

Kara with blackberries

Kara enjoying the fireflies

Naomi and Kara Chatting

Kara with a silver metallic base

Kara holding a bottle cap potted sprout

Kara with wild strawberries and clover

Back of Kara


Kara wearing paisley

Kara holding a daffodil
I'm going to be putting together a newsletter in the upcoming months, and I'll announce signups here, but if you'd also like to be notified when that's ready, send me an email and I'll let you know!  I plan on including lots of neat little tidbits that don't make it into my blog, including artistic process insights, my favorite tools, and even short comic reviews.

It was lovely to meet all of you this weekend, and I hope you find this blog to be a useful resource for your kids, and my comic to be an enjoyable read!