Jack of Spies
Unshelved strip for 4/15/2014

Bill's USA Roadtrip (and new talk)

Bill's USA Roadtrip

Sixteen years ago my wife and I bought a pickup truck and a trailer, packed up our belongings and our dog, and embarked on a nine month tour around the USA (and a little bit of Canada). It had high points and low points but all in all it was a blast, and remains one of our greatest memories. (For a taste, here's the four-day diary I wrote for Slate)

Now that we are parents of a teen and a preteen, it's time to do it again! We will leave Seattle on August 1 and circumnavigate the country clockwise, returning home about a year after we started. We have lots of ideas about where we'll go, but so far only a few milestones (including a few talks I'm already committed to). We'll fill in the rest as we go.

While on the road I will continue to draw Unshelved, and write Not Invented Here, and my wife Sara will continue to homeschool our two kids Theo and Rosie, with a strong emphasis on American history. We will all be blogging our adventures, starting with the preparations in which we are currently knee-deep. Of course you may feel free to ask questions.

While I'm in your neighborhood, perhaps you'd like to hire me to talk about this crazy thing I do for a living. I have created a new workshop aimed at the public called Cartooning in the Digital Age that I am offering to libraries around the country. It's a fun two-hour workshop that will attempt to cover everything I know about creating comic strips, publishing them to the Web, and making money.

If we'll be in your area anyway the cost is just $500, otherwise there might be some extra expenses. Email me if you're interested, and tell us why your town will make a great stop on our family's homeschool adventure.

We hope to see you on the road!

Book Reviews

Unshelved Book Club

In this week's Unshelved Book Club you'll find books about the origins of competitive running in the U.S., superheroes in a world full of zombies, national parks, Early Bird, Rumspringa, "We Shall Overcome," a blind teen who travels to New York to find her missing father, and a small town girl detective.

Library Ranger Badges In Action

The most common question we get about our Library Ranger Badges is "what would I do with them?"

Children’s Librarian Cheryl Frances of the Alpine Public Library in Texas added a few of our badges to the "Girl Scout” sash that she wears at the library every Halloween. They’re right at home next to the “Unprepared” patch that features a woman throwing up her arms in frustration:

"Girl Scout" sash

When cataloger Kim Payne of Washington state's Everett Public Library wasn’t sure what to do with her Library Rangers badges, co-worker Kevin Duncan made this beautiful shadowbox for her:

Shadowbox

Have you done something fun with yours? Send photos!

Expiration Day

Expiration Day

This week's sponsor Tor Teen is giving away 100 hardcover copies of the new novel Expiration Day by William Campbell Powell.

"A remarkable and heart-filled look at what it means to be human. If you're not in tears by the last chapter, you've a hard heart indeed." —Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother and Homeland

Find out more about the book, and how to win a copy for your library or classroom, here.

Professional Literature

Circ Girls Are Easy I Had To Use The Public Restroom

A few years ago I met LisaGenius when Bill and I were doing a speaking gig. She told me she was creating some library-related humor, but she didn't tell me that she was repurposing lurid paperback covers into naughty library-related titles.

Now I'm just hoping she'll write one of these for for real.

This Unshelved strip

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Today's @bookblrb

A teeny tiny book recommendation every day

Daddy never understood why he lost his family, his job, and his health, but Happie was always there with him.

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Our next appearances

Apr 26 Seattle, WA
Cartoonists Northwest Toonie Awards Dinner
Hall of Fame Award & Talk (Gene & Bill)

May 7 Chicago, IL
Chicago Public Library staff
STP (Gene & Bill)

May 9 Darien, IL
Indian Prairie Public Library District staff
Funny Thing (Bill)

May 16 Campbell, CA
Santa Clara County Library District staff
Funny Thing (Gene & Bill)

May 30 New York, NY
Book Expo America
11am 1E02 Worst Social Media Advice Ever (Bill)
1pm 1E02 Too Much Information (Gene & Bill)

Check out our Full Schedule

Find out about Bill's USA Roadtrip

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