Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Immedium at the Maker Faire this weekend

We attended the Maker Faire last year, and it was literally a blast. So we're happy to report that we're represented on the grounds in two ways.

First, the Maker Shed (the bookstore onsite) will be selling autographed copies of our coffee table book Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography by Barbara Traub. The Faire has a very influential Burner contingent, especially as multiple contraptions light up the evening sky with flaming pyrotechnics. For those intrepid souls getting ready for their Labor Day excursion, this colorful photo essay is a must-see guide to inspire them on their upcoming journey.

Secondly, the creators of the Woollyhoodwinks will sign their book The Woollyhoodwinks vs. the Dark Patch at their table #38 at the Bazaar Bizarre at the Faire. Come meet the five cute dolls Ludic, Fluke, Reddy, Ozard, and Junco. This crafty adventure was named a Top 10 Book of 2008 by ArtMoCo, and a favorite of CoolMomPicks.com.

So come one, come all to the soon to be stuffed to the gills San Mateo County Expo Center this weekend. Get ready for lots of walking, eye-popping visual doo-dads, and of course these two dynamic and wonderful books that embody "making" and great gift-giving.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greg Pak's "Incredible Hulk" in August

As comics fans know, Greg Pak is now an indispensable scribe for Marvel Comics.

Currently he is writing a slew of monthly spin-off series including the Iron Man related "War Machine", "Skaar: Son of Hulk", and "Incredible Hercules". The hardcover compilations of the X-men's "Magneto Testament" and "World War Hulk" are fresh off the presses.

Now word is out that Greg is returning to his happy home, penning new adventures for the jolly green giant: in August, Greg returns to "Incredible Hulk" with issue #601.

At Immedium, we're proud to follow Greg's continuing success. In 2005 we published the definitive collection of independent film scripts Robot Stories and More Screenplays which presages his rising star in American pop culture. Back then, movie critics were falling over themselves to recognize Pak's budding talent. The New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell wrote, "Greg Pak's fantasy anthology piece, which details the ways robots have complicated the lives of humans, has a dexterous sense of wonder…He's a talent with a future."

So Marvel editor in chief Joe Quesada decided to let Pak try his hand at comics. But according to Joe, he had read Pak's screenplays and realized it wasn't that much of a gamble. Quesada called his new hire, "An award winning filmmaker and now hot as hell newcomer...[Pak] is a writer on the cusp, right at the unique precipice between upstart and industry great."

Soon Pak reinvigorated such iconic characters such as the Hulk. Now he is writing the rest of the history. (Quite a feat since Ang Lee's cinematic treatment was more lethal to our green hero's reputation than gamma radiation.) Catch Greg's latest news and reviews at www.pakbuzz.com.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Writing for Kids

Often writing is the most fun when its goal is to simply entertain kids. A case in point is when a preschooler finally gets a chance to take a stuffed animal home and then has to "write" about his weekend adventures with her.

In this case Elly the Elephant was quite a trooper and willing to try most anything, just like Nemo the clown fish was in years prior. (No pachyderms were harmed in the filming.) And she still held her stitching after nearly a year of being carted around by dozens of tykes.

Ghostwriting for a three year old is pretty low pressure. On one hand, it affords the great opportunity to let one's imagination run wild. As a writer, you can take the reins of the publisher, and finally do whatever you want without any reservations or objections. But it is still a real assignment. It has a deadline. It still has to make sense. It has to be punchy and personal. After reviewing the dozens of previous reports from other classmates, you want to be original... and even a little bit better.

Yet the true smell test is when you read Elly's adventure to the kids, and see their faces light up as they recall their recent experiences, colored through someone else's rose-tinted narrative. When they smile and ask for you to read it again, then you're on to something. You've captured, however fleetingly, the magic of writing for kids. What is it? It is an alchemic mixture of humor, ridiculousness, and identification which yields a meaning that bears a joy in repeating. A valuable lesson for an adult as well as a child.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chinese Historical & Cultural Project - Sunday, May 17th

May is the annual month to recognize and celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage. In commemoration, we'll participate in the Chinese Historical and Culture Project's Spring Family Day on Sunday, May 17, 2009 in History Park at San Jose, CA (Kelly Park at 1650 Senter Road) from noon to 5 pm.

The entertainment program will revolve around the Chinese American Museum building, Ng Shing Gung, which was renovated by the CHCP (www.chcp.org) and donated to the city.

At 1:35 pm in the Conference Room, author Oliver Chin will present a family story time: he'll project his children's books The Year of the Ox and Julie Black Belt onto a big screen and read them for all to enjoy. Then singing, dancing, and martial arts demonstrations will follow to fill the afternoon.

So take a moment to reflect upon the diverse contribution of Asian Americans to our communities and culture. If you have more time, visit San Jose this weekend and share a good time with family and friends.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Octonautics at the Aquarium

Sushi has always been one of dinner's wilder pleasures. But as oceanologists know, there are a lot of fish species in need of more TLC from humanity.

As a spin-off from their popular "Seafood Watch" instructions (i.e. you should avoid ordering Orange Roughy and Chilean Seabass because they're being overfished), the Monterey Bay Aquarium asked our friends Meomi to design some aquatic pals for their recent "Sushi Watch" pocket guide.

Now who in their scientific mind would want to eat cute Ika-chan?

Get some cool wallpapers and buddy icons of this squid and the wise fish Sakana-san at

Monday, May 4, 2009

Awards at SF's Asian Art Museum

Yesterday, Immedium was proud to participate in the Asian Pacific Fund's award ceremony for their annual "Growing up Asian in America" contest, held at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, CA.

Author Oliver Chin was on hand to help present prizes to dozens of students (from grades kindergarten to high school) from around the San Francisco Bay area. They were among more than 1,200 who submitted artwork and essays on the theme of "Change": what would they most like to change about the world and how that relates to their identity as Asian Americans. Certainly that topic is near and dear to our heart, here at Immedium!

Awarding more than $27.000 in savings bonds and merchandise, the Asian Pacific Fund (
www.asianpacificfund.org) showcases the winning art and essays on their site and in an exhibition that will circulate among 50 public libraries in 9 local counties. Congratulations to the winners and hopefully they will inspire more people to reflect on the topic for themselves, and submit their own perspectives in next year's contest. Come to think of it, we know of many youngsters who would be great candidates if they put their minds and pens to it...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chaff n' SKAFFS launches!

Our newest book has just arrived in the USA!

Created by the artist SKAFFS and his friend Amanda Chin, this is the tale of the lovely gal Mai and her boon companion Chaff (the furry chap with the chapeau). One dark and stormy night Mai hears a mosquito in her room. Later she learns that Moskivvy is lost and so Chaff convinces the homebody Mai to step out on her own and help the little critter return to his family.

Readers can tag along on this trio's adventure and explore verdant environs that bloom in a rainbow of colors. Fans of SKAFFS will appreciate how he continues to stretch himself artistically. His artwork will please his growing legion of admirers. At the same time, SKAFFS showcases a style perfectly suited for a child's imagination and their desire to explore unknown vistas.

Plus this tale especially acknowleges the creator's home of Australia, so we salute the lads and lasses in the land down under.