Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cartoonists Across America - News from Phil Yeh

The other day, when I pulled out my treasured "Read, Rock, Recycle" T-Shirt, I got to wondering about Phil Yeh and his Cartoonists Across America, so I tracked him down to see what's what. Here is what he has to report:

"Thanks for thinking about us! We are getting a new comic book called Dinosaurs Across California from our printer this week. It continues the Dinosaurs Across series that has proven so successful over the last few years with students of all ages. I have filled this new comic with people who truly changed the world in many fields such as George Lucas to Jonas Salk. You can see previews of the new Dinosaurs Across California book on our (wingedtiger) website and of course order any of our books through our website as well.

Think about the old Ripley's Believe It or Nots and how those books offered facts with pictures for all ages and you get the idea of how these Dinosaurs Across books are aimed at EVERYONE.

Our original book, Dinosaurs Across America was published as a black and white comic book almost 18 years ago and went through 8 printings selling 180,000 copies. Last year, NBM Publishing in New York published a brand new full color hardcover edition of Dinosaurs Across America and this week, the new revised second printing rolls off the presses.

Dinosaurs Across America recently won one of the coveted Children's Choice awards sponsored the International Reading Association and The Children's Book Council. I am really proud of this color hardcover edition and now am trying to get the word out throughout the country so that we can get this book into as many school, public and home libraries as possible. Sadly, in this strange new 21st celebrity driven culture, it's very tough to get the national media attention (especially on national TV) for books about U.S. History and Geography (not written by a celebrity!).

But we are never giving up and depending more and more on a grassroots campaign to get the word out. We are currently preparing a nationwide tour for the next year in schools, libraries, community centers, museums and anywhere that will have us to promote this series.

At the same time, I am continuing to draw that little flying cat in a series of new children's books. Currently available, our Winged Tiger World Peace Party Puzzle Book, The Winged Tiger & The Dragons of Hawaii (with Jon J. Murakami) and coming in 2009, Steve the Dog & The Winged Tiger (with Geoff Bevington & Lieve Jerger) and a new bigger edition of our bestselling The Winged Tiger & The Lace Princess book that I did in 1997 with copper lace artist Lieve Jerger. If you would like to see images from these new projects, please click the FINE ART button on our website and you can see some wonderful images from Steve the Dog and also the new Lace Princess book.

The Winged Tiger is also the subject of a new full color comic strip that I have been drawing since early 2007 colored by Lieve for a children's magazine called Little Star based in Beijing, China. The Winged Tiger in China is another book project we have slated for late 2009.

As much as I loved to do our t-shirts, the tightening of budgets has kept us from producing our own line of products in these tough economic times when there doesn't seem to be bailouts for artists who actually promote the arts and literacy.

We are however hopeful, that the images we have produced will be available through licensing. It's just a matter of finding folks who share that vision. We continue to work all over the world and hope that 2009 will yield some new partners here in the USA and abroad.

Our 25 year tour ends in 2010. We of course, plan to continue our many book projects and will finish our documentary Planet Literacy after this road trip ends. The film is to provide a blueprint of what we did all over the world and the way cartoons and humor can truly inspire folks to read.

I am cc ing this email to my partner Linda Adams. Linda is a teen librarian at the San Bernardino Public Library and she has been instrumental in getting more people to know about our work. I will ask Linda to send along some new pdf files about the current projects and our mural painting events. We are still very much interested in painting bright colorful murals promoting reading and recycling and creativity all over this planet. In fact, Linda's library is hosting us again in April for an Earth Day Mural event with the Read, Rock and Recycle Theme!

Thanks so much for your support, and for all your good work.

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