Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Kandy Kane Kid Rides and Reads Again

syndetics-lcHowdy, all you rootin' tootin' readin' guys! This is the Kandy Kane Kid. I've come around in past years, ridin' the range and blastin' any sourpusses and Grinches with two barrels of holiday cheer. I've also come to town to recommend a really good book for the season, one that every reader guy will enjoy. It's Kringle by the hugely-talented Tony Abbott. It's an epic fantasy about--you'd never believe it--Santa Claus. But this not some cutesy Santa story--it's a real epic battle between good and evil. These goblins are the real deal; nasty and vicious. And the heroes are truly heroic. This is a great read over the holidays, guys, so don't miss it! (you can see my original review here)

And don't forget, there is still a giveaway going on. I'll give an autographed copy of Hamster S.A.M.: Odd-ventures in Space by local author/illustrator Dave McDoanld to the first guy who writes in a review of any book or graphic novel. Find out more here.

And here's a video for your holiday enjoyment. Watch this and be amazed:

Rock on, guys, and have a great holiday season!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Matthew Myers and the Iron Guy--The Man and the Fan

View full imageHey ho, reader guys everywhere! The Iron Guy got to meet someone exciting last week. It was none other than Matthew Myers, the genius illustrator behind Battle Bunny, the most original and fun book of last year--or many other years, for that matter. If you haven't read Battle Bunny, go straight to your local library, do not pass "Go," and check out a copy! If you'd like to see how very much I liked that book, you can read my review here and read a fun post regarding Battle Bunny here. Anyway, I was at an all-day conference and Mr. Myers was a guest speaker. He was great! He talked about illustrating picture books and told us a lot of fascinating facts--for instance, did you know that an illustrator rarely sees the author when they work on a picture book? (although he worked very closely with the Battle Bunny authors) Or that it could take a year and a half to complete the illustrations? Afterwards, he gave us autographed copies of his books. Naturally, you know what book I wanted! Then I found out he was hanging around talking to people, so I got in line. He was gracious enough to listen to a Battle Bunny fan and let me talk about this blog. He was a terrific guy and also very funny. What's more, he was willing to take a picture with me! Since this is a true GUY book, I asked him to strike his most macho pose as the  real MANLY MEN we are:

Ummm--that's not quite what I had in mind.

THAT'S more like it!

Thanks, Mr. Myers! We hope to see you again and keep illustrating those terrific books!

PS--my autographed copy!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Space: The Magnificent and the Silly

Hey Guys, the Iron Guy is back after his stomach-expansion workout last week. I certainly hope you all  had a good Thanksgiving and are enjoying the holiday season now. As always, I've been on the lookout for good reads for guys and have found a couple of great ones.

The first is Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by Tony DiTerlizzi with illustrations by Ralph McQuarrie. This one is really great. We all know the story but it's still moving, especially when you read all of Luke's story in one sitting. Tony DiTerlizzi (you may know him from the Spiderwick or Wondla books) does a good job summarizing the original Star Wars trilogy but what makes this book truly terrific is the magnificent, jaw-dropping artwork by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie. He was the conceptual artist for Star Wars--in other words, he was the artist who talked with George Lucas to come up with the look for the movies. This book gathers those paintings and puts them together to tell this terrific tale. This is a terrific book  for ALL guys. If you're a Star Wars fan or even if you're not, this is one book you've gotta read! The story is exciting and the artwork is amazing. What more could you want? And if you are a fan, it will be fun to look at these paintings and see how they differ from the movies. (C3PO looks way different, for example!) PS--this book is in the picture book area of your local library but don't be embarrassed to go there and get it. It's truly a book for MANLY MEN like us!

The second book is the total opposite in almost every way, but in a good way. Whereas the Star Wars book was all about magnificent artwork and story, Hamster S.A.M.: Odd-ventures in Space by Dave McDonald is all about silliness and fun. Something is desperately wrong at the Hamsternational Space Station and the only Secret Adventure Mission (S.A.M.) Hamster can rescue the day! He and his trusty sidekick Fescue T. Fieldmouse must brave the dangers of interstellar dust bunnies and King Crud (descendant of Julius Sneezer) to reach the Station. Can they get past King Crud's nose-shaped space station or will they blow it? The only way to find out is to read this book! And if you like goofy humor, silly jokes, cartoony artwork,  lots of slapstick and lots of references to spit, snot and...other stuff, then you'll like this book. And what GUY doesn't like stuff like that?? Plus there's an interview with Gregory Johnson, a real astronaut, at the end. So check it out guys--and support a local artist. Dave McDonald lives right next door to Charlotte in Fort Mill, SC. And check out his website at www.davemcdonald.com

In fact, Mr. McDonald has generously donated an autographed copy of this book and I'll give it to the
first boy who writes a review to the blog. You don't even have to review this book; just review any book--fiction, nonfiction, biography or graphic novel. I'll post your review on this blog and give you the book. You can come to the Myers Park library to pick it up but if you live too far away, I'll find a way to get it to you. All right, guys, it's the season of giving and I'd love to give this away! All the instructions on how to write a review are on the left-hand side of the page under "Here's How Our Blog Works," but if you don't understand something or have any questions, contact me at the Myers Park library.