Read Barbarian Girl: The Burning Blade of the Badlands Part 1 by Gene Ambaum and Willow Payne
Unshelved comic strip for 1/22/2007


If you noticed that I hadn't posted any new strips since ALA began, well then you're very observant. It's been keeping us very busy - somehow having it in our home city is more rather than less work. But today is the last day, and a half-day at that, so I hope to catch right back up. And if it's slow I'll do some drawing at the table.

Today at our booth (#742) we'll also announce the winner of our Pimp My Bookcart contest, followed by a post to this blog. We're going to put up a webpage with all the bookcart photos we got, so that you can see all the fun and hard work folks put in. Stay tuned.

Pimp My Bookcart Contest Winners, part I

Update: For information on this year's contest click here. To read the Unshelved comic strip sequence that inspired it all start here.

This was a bigger deal than we anticipated. We thought our "Pimp my Book Cart" contest was a funny idea that would spawn a dozen or so entries. But it seemed to spark something, and we started hearing from folks all over the country. It even spawned a "Pimp my Book Trolley" contest Down Under in Australia (we're judging that one too).

Still, by last week we figured all the fuss had been just that, and that it was still going to be just a few contenders. But then a few days before the deadline, in a display of procrastination that impressed Bill, they started pouring in. We ended up getting over 100. Gene and I scrambled to organize and evaluate them (thanks, iPhoto!). Several times at ALA we left our booth in the capable hands of our store manager Jana so that we could look at almost 400 pictures of book carts that had been pimped up, down, in, and out. Finally this morning we reached agreement on the winner, several runners-up, and many honorable mentions. In the next week we'll publish a mostly complete list of the entries, but we didn't want to delay the big announcement. And so, without further ado:

Grand Prize: Pink Cadillac by Katie George and the teens of the Miller Branch Library in Ellicot City, MD

This pink and white piece of classic American steel caught our hearts and never let go.

It's a simple design, just cow horns, headlights, sleek vinyl book seats and (vaguely

disturbing) tailfins, but it was executed perfectly and very pinkly, and we couldn't take

our eyes off it.

Katie and her teens receive a $250 gift certificate to our store plus a custom piece of

Unshelved art by Bill.

Runner-Up: 3-way Tie

We simply couldn't decide between these three great book carts, so we chose them all. Each will receive a $50 gift certificate to our store.

Big Wheels by William Tatakch and the Albany Public Library

This baby has 15" 'all-library' tires on 5-spoke aluminum wheels, "off-stack" driving

lights, heavy-duty suspension, and two-tone paint. It was the wheels, along with the working

lights, that did it for us.

Support Glitteracy by Amanda, Emily, Garrett, Kelsey, and Linda at the Olympia Timberland Library

Just the words "Support Glitteracy" were almost enough. This hippie bus complete with

hookah wowed everyone we showed it to.

VW Bus by Nancy Chmiel and the teens at the Omaha Public Library

With authentic parts from the Omaha VW club, and built in the basement of Cram Auto

Parts, this peace-loving bus of a book cart is the real thing.

(continued in the next post)

Pimp My Bookcart Contest Winners, part II

(this is continued from the first post)

Honorable Mentions

We couldn't resist highlighting the following. Each receive an Unshelved collection signed by us author guys.

Star Light by Andrew Buchanan and Kyle Sweeney at the Marcy Branch Library of the Riverside Public Library System

Two words: Glowing Undercarriage.

Surf Cart by Ryan Reich and the students at Valencia High School in Placentia, CA

Surf's up!

Mater by the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library

It's Pixarrific!

Zebra by Ashley Augustyniak, Marianne Hathaway, Chris Stanwood and Andrea Tomlinson at the Othmer Library of Chemical History at the Chemical Heritage Foundation

Great fabric. A simple design that holds together nicely.

Monster Cart by Nick Syron, Lewis Warner, Jeremy Kester, Trevor Oakley, Mark Curiale at Guilderland Public Library in Guilderland, NY

Nitrous-Oxide propulsion via step-down thruster ports.

HRC1 by Catherine “Mrs. Priss” Stollar Peters, Jennifer “Hipstress” Hecker and Alex “Not Him Again” Jasinski from the Harry Ransom Center

Liquor + Nancy Pearl action figure = love

Spoiler by Greg and Dusty Stone at the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, MO


Gene Ambaum Award

Gene wanted to specially honor the entry that most reflected what he would have done in this contest. And so it is with great pride that we share with you:

Invisible Cart from the Richland Public Library in Richland, WA

The prize is, of course, invisible too.

All the entries we received showed a lot of hard work and originality and we loved looking at them all. Thanks to everyone who tried.

Keep on Pimpin',
Bill and Gene,
the Unshelved guys

P.S. Will we do it again next year? You bet we will.

This Unshelved strip

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