McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the National Women’s Studies Association November 14-16 in San Francisco. You are invited to meet with editor Layla Milholen. Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (email@example.com) or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with Layla.
Instructors are welcome to examine books for potential adoption, whether at the McFarland booth at NWSA or electronically, by submitting a request via our web form.
McFarland is exhibiting at a number of regional and national conferences in the coming months, and conferees are encouraged to take the opportunity to peruse our books and meet an editor. Schedule an appointment by emailing us in advance (Layla Milholen, Gary Mitchem, or Dré Person), or stop by the McFarland booth in the exhibit room for a casual conversation with an editor.
Popular Culture Association in the South Sept 26-28, Wilmington, NC, Layla Milholen Association for the Study of African American Life and History Oct 3-5, Charleston, SC, Dré Person Midwest Popular Culture Association Oct 10-13 Cincinnati, OH, Layla Milholen American Folklore Society Oct 16-19, Baltimore, MD, Gary Mitchem South Central Modern Language Association Oct 24-26, Little Rock, AR, Gary Mitchem Mid-Atlantic Popular Culture Association Nov 7-9, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA, Gary Mitchem Film and History Nov 13-17, Madison, WI, Dré Person National Women’s Studies Association Nov 14-17, San Francisco, CA, Layla Milholen South Atlantic Modern Language Association Nov 15–17, Atlanta, GA, Gary Mitchem American Philosophical Association Jan 8-11, Philadelphia, PA, Dré Person Modern Language Association Jan 9-12, Seattle, WA, Gary Mitchem
We’re turning 40, and we’re celebrating with a special fortieth anniversary sale! Through June 30, get a 25% discount on ALL books when you use the code ANN2019. And if you’ll be in our area (Ashe County, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains), we’d love to see you at our open house event on Friday, June 14. Thank you for supporting our first 40 years—we look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you.
On June 14, 2019, McFarland will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with an open house party. From noon to five, our campus at 960 Hwy 88 W, Jefferson, NC will be open to the public with finger food, conversation and tours available, and many of our authors will be in attendance. To stay up-t0-date with event information, follow our event page. Below is a brief company history, with personal thoughts, by founder and editor-in-chief Robert Franklin.
McFarland Publishers Now Forty Years Old by Robert Franklin
McFarland’s history (founder, Robbie Franklin, me): My close friends Biff and Alicia Stickel were burned out special ed teachers in Connecticut, early 70’s. What to do? Back to the land! They (and their little daughter Maranatha Shone Stickel) drove south till they loved the vibe and the scenery and wound up living on Peak Road from 1972 through part of 1978 (and birthing Micah Stickel). Alicia played piano at the local Baptist church and they were cofounders of the Creston Co-op. I visited them in ’72 (instantly fell for the land and people, the forefinger car salute, the almost drinkable river) and again every year after, and when wife Cheryl Roberts came into my life in 1975, we visited. Soon I was bragging about Ashe County to everybody – “If your car breaks down, the very next person to come along will stop and ask if you need help.” I hope a few readers can recognize the Stickels’ name (he goes by Richard now; they live in Toronto). They are the reason McFarland was begun in Ashe County. We present band of publishers, about fifty in number, owe them great honor.
I did not learn till after we moved here in 1979 that my Revolutionary War ancestor Lieutenant Robert McFarland, after whupping the king at Kings Mountain, lived up here in the 1790s. He then went overmountain to become the first ever sheriff of Greene/Washington County, Tennessee. (I was born in Memphis.)
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers is our official name. Founded in April 1979 right here. I had been the executive editor of a smallish scholarly publisher in New Jersey; my mentor/boss/friend Eric Moon (a charismatic Brit) knew before I did it was time for me to go off on “my own” (very misleading words!). The local Ashe County newspaper was failing by 1978 and at first I thought, o.k., I’m an editor type, maybe I can start up a new one. Between summer and Christmas the local fellow David Desautels decided the same thing and very successfully started The Jefferson Times. We became friends and McFarland’s earliest two or three books (including a biography of Soviet leader Brezhnev) were typeset using off-hours time on that new newspaper’s equipment. Katy Zell Taylor was our first fulltime employee (Ashe Central H.S. yearbook editor!) and did a lot of typesetting and correcting. Dental Care in Society was our first published book, in 1980 (ask me some day).
After deciding up in New Jersey to stay with book (versus newspaper) publishing, I phoned the Jefferson Post Office in February 1979 to set up a box number mailing address – they said people had to apply in person. Whew! So I flew from Newark to Tri-Cities, Tennessee (what did I know?), rented a car, drove to Jefferson (hours!), filled out a form, got back in the car, drove back to Tri-Cities, and got back home not long before day was done.
A couple of months later, on April 1, 1979, Cheryl and I packed our former life stuff (including hundreds of books—heavy!) in a small U-Haul, attached it to our VW bug, and began to drive south, the Stickels’ Ashe County on our minds.
My ninth-grade homeroom friend (Toledo, Ohio), Mike Strand, had helped with some financial and emotional support and we stopped at his place in Maryland overnight. Armed with an Ashe return address, I had written several hundred letters (yes!) on a yellow pad on my knees in the front seat while Cheryl drove, and Mike arranged for a nearby university used-to-weird-hours thesis typist to type them all overnight; we mailed them April 2 and drove on. We were headed to my parents’ (retired librarians) house in Charlottesville, with me again writing several hundred short letters on my lap. We had arranged for a similar heroic overnight typing fest (the two days: 905 letters to all the authors I had addresses for, saying my former employer will take good care of you, they’re wonderful publishers—But if by any chance they turn you down for something, give us a shot!).
The U-Haul was too much for the Bug and our left rear wheel came OFF 20 miles north of Charlottesville—but stayed in the wheel well (having nowhere else to go), behaving violently. Definitely exciting (it was my stint at the wheel). We lost two or three days; I split logs for my parents’ fireplace.
In Ashe County finally, we scooped up some reply mail from authors. Already! And we soon secured a sweet farmhouse in Dillard Holler (landlord Jesse Dillard; Mom-figure Clyde Dillard; horse-plus-himself quarter-acre-garden plower Jones Dillard). The Dillard families taught us a great deal about what being “conservative” actually means. (One day Jesse turned up with several hundred fence rails he stored near “our” (his) house; no immediate need, but “I got ’em for 25¢ each.” They stayed stacked for years…) The birth of our sons Charles (in ’81), Nicholas (’85) and William (’89) certainly emphasized the Dillards’ lessons. (Jesse routinely tossed hay bales up into pickup trucks in his 80’s. Lemme be him!)
McFarland itself started out next to the H & R Block office, near the florist, in Jefferson, a small space but enough for our first couple of years. The Jefferson Post Office turned out, under our loyal friend Charles Caudill, to be one of our greatest early assets. He was so supportive as McF struggled through ignorance of mass mailings, foreign registered packages (we learned together!), “library rate” book mailings, etc. McFarland moved in 1981 or ’82 to the Mountain View shopping center between the towns and quickly expanded there. In 1982 we lucked out by having Rhonda Herman agree to join the tiny staff, doing all the “business” stuff while I coddled authors, edited manuscripts and coached the typesetters. High school senior Cynthia Campbell became a stalwart and sixteen year old Cherie Scott was a wow of a typesetter, along with Katy Taylor, on our new typesetting equipment. Within three years we were producing 40 or so new books a year (in 2018 the total was nearly 400).
Meanwhile, the people of Ashe County all around us showed interest, great surprise (“A Publisher in Ashe County?” read one huge Jefferson Times headline), and affection. Highly significant was Hal Colvard, repeatedly trusting us, at Northwestern bank, another wonderful early friend of McFar. We warmly greeted each other on Saturday mornings at the post office for many years after he retired.
By 1984 we’d moved to our present location, which became five buildings on both sides of the road. We’re technically inside Jefferson town limits. We took Mackey McDonald’s trim brick ranch house, whacked walls left and right, pushed out here, there… Years later we added a second floor – my joke is, the main building now has more roof lines than an Italian hill village.
We are, or were, a library-oriented scholarly and reference book publisher. (We’ve grown much more into a straight-to-people operation today but libraries are still a critical component of our efforts.) Two of our earliest works were Library Display Ideas by my sister Linda Franklin and Free Magazines for Libraries, by Adeline Mercer Smith: they were terrific sales successes. Another 1982 biggie was Anabolic Steroids and the Athlete by William M. Taylor, M.D. We hit that topic just as it exploded nationwide. One of the most memorable early works was Keep Watching the Skies! by Bill Warren (1982). This huge book expertly, humorously covers in amazing depth every American science fiction movie of the 1950s and a lot of Hollywood Big Names spoke highly of it in print. We were famous! (Well, the author was…)
McFarland was an early strong supporter of the local arts scene. (There are hundreds of paintings hanging in four of our buildings.) Cheryl Roberts and I founded the publication ARTS/DATES for the Arts Council in 1980 or 1981, and for more than a decade paid all its expenses as it grew grander and ever more useful. Loyal Jane Lonon (Arts Council head) wangled twice for us an N.C. Governor’s Business Award for the Arts and Humanities (go to Raleigh; shake hands; pose for photos; eat dinner).
I joined the strong, active Ashe County Little Theatre and played Dracula for them in 1981, sporting fangs crafted by the late Brett Summey, who became a good friend, now truly missed. Jane Lonon and I wowed the crowd in The King and I and Tom Fowler and I rolled them in the aisles in Greater Tuna. When I played Macbeth, the high school English teacher promised extra credit to student attendees.
McFarland’s output grew rapidly—by the 1990s we were producing hundreds of new titles each year and our staff had doubled, then tripled in size. Margie Turnmire had arrived in the mid–’80s, a beautiful soul and a very smart lady: director of finance and administration. In 1995 the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce honored us with a Business of the Year award (I believe we were the third such) and in 1998 The Wall Street Journal ran a feature article on us, showing that we are a bit unusual in our range of offerings. We have a commanding position in, for example, Vietnam combat memoirs, chess history, baseball (teams, eras, bios), automotive history and popular culture (film, TV, comics, literature…). We’ve done many reference books (though with Wiki-Google etc. now such works are uneconomical to produce); a Library Journal book of the year was local John Stewart’s African States and Rulers in 1989. Lots of Civil War, World War II, American/European/World history, literary criticism. Authors from all over the world. That part’s fun! As I write this we have published 7,800 titles.
We had busted out of our onsite warehouse and used the old Ashe County Jail on Buffalo Road for several years in the 80s! Ultimately we had to move our shipping operation into the building next to the Arts Council owned by Jim Reeves. On its outer wall facing the Arts Center we had Jack Young do the town’s first mural (now painted over): “Ashe County through the Ages.” Finally, Mike Herman built us an entirely new warehouse across the road from our main building in about 1990. Fourteen years later, then-vice-president Rhonda Herman (now president) moved the company onto firmer financial footing by arranging to install state-of-the-art printing equipment in that warehouse (we’d always used out-of-house printing firms).
Cheryl and I love Ashe County. We love the people. We love the trees, the river. (We came in first in the Mixed Expert class canoe race four or five years ago!) I even like the curves driving 23 miles to and fro our home to work (we live practically on the Tennessee line, up in the Flatwoods). The finger salute still works and the tire zing helps me think through business challenges. Our three boys, Charles, Nicky and William, also revere their place of birth. McFarland has about 50 employees, all of whom are exceptionally talented. When I got here to start the company, I truly had my pick of some of the best talent available anywhere, and I mean Anywhere. Our typesetters know every Hungarian or Swedish accent mark there is!
The local merchants have become business partners. Local artists have paintings hanging in our offices. The restaurants are great for business lunches. The weather—sublime (I learned to fell trees and the art of minimizing the lifting and stacking of logs our first year here); I like winter! Mike Herman built our house and the numerous renovations of our current space—impossible to imagine a better job. Stan Barker did some fabulous stone walls at our home. I feel both cozy and exhilarated just getting up in the morning! Ashe County, we’re for you!
McFarland is having an open house (snacks, drinks, tours) starting at noon on Friday, June 14th. We want to show our thanks to a community that has nurtured us for 40 years. Come one, come all!
The holidays are a special time at McFarland—in addition to publishing scholarship, many of us also participate in the tree harvest, as Ashe County produces more Christmas trees than any other county in the United States. If you live in the Southeast, you may have a little bit of McFarland in your living room right now! This season, please consider putting some McFarlandunder the tree for the readers in your life. To make your holiday shopping easier, we’re offering 25% off of ALL books through the end of the year! On our website, use coupon code HOLIDAY18, or call us at 800-253-2187. For inspiration, browse our new catalog of of gift ideas for readers. Happy holidays from your friends at McFarland!
We realize that the stores have had their trees and Christmas decorations out for sale for weeks now. At McFarland though, no one wants to leapfrog past our favorite holiday, Halloween! McFarland has scheduled a sale for our books about horror – whether on film, television, literature, games, comics, culture or anything else. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code HORROR25, print editions of all horror books are 25% off Friday, October 26 through Halloween, October 31. Be prepared to be up late with the lights on…
Covering the basics of media arts values and practice, this graphic textbook offers cub reporters a primer on the drama, adventure and ethical conundrums that make journalism rewarding and fun. Using ripped-from-the-headlines examples, the authors challenge students to engage with the big issues. The stories revolve around a diverse newspaper staff at an urban high school who find themselves in a series of teachable moments. Packed with reporting exercises and fundamentals of the craft, woven into engaging narratives, each comic also gives readers a look at the real-life event that inspired the tale.
Rowena Sunder, still an artist in 2018, composes a meta auto-biographical book about five years of her life in New York City between 1965 and 1970. She escapes Toledo and her father’s idea that she should marry and paint on Sundays and drives away in her VW bug. She sells one painting on the way, and arrives in the big city during one of its most exciting times. She works at the (invented) Museum of Invention, sublets on E. 94th Street, makes friends, acquires a cat named Kittyhawk, and finds NYC much to her liking.
After selling paintings to a psychotherapist, he listens while she struggles with mixed feelings about focus. She finally rejoices in the swarm of ideas that come to her from everywhere. Now, a half-century later, she draws her book, and talks directly to the reader in a series of vignettes, all connected by her gift of too many ideas. Rowena loves words and puns and little jokes and these add other perspectives to every page.
For three years during the 1920s, in an attic in Potsdam, a young woman crafted what is today the oldest surviving animated feature film. Equipped with scissors, cardboard, sheets of lead, glass panes and a camera, animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger filmed Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed) using a technique of frame-by-frame silhouette animation she developed, inspired by Chinese shadow puppetry.
As the result of a number of factors—her gender, her German ethnicity, World War II and a lack of funding—Reiniger became a footnote in animation history. Yet her 60–plus films plainly show her skill and dedication to her craft. This detailed account of her life and work describes her significant contributions to animation, puppetry, Weimar cinema and modern filmmaking.
A significant expansion of the critically acclaimed first edition, Classics Illustrated: A Cultural History, 2d ed., carries the story of the Kanter family’s series of comics-style adaptations of literary masterpieces from 1941 into the 21st century. This book features additional material on the 70-year history of Classics Illustrated and the careers and contributions of such artists as Alex A. Blum, Lou Cameron, George Evans, Henry C. Kiefer, Gray Morrow, Rudolph Palais, and Louis Zansky. New chapters cover the recent Jack Lake and Papercutz revivals of the series, the evolution of Classics collecting, and the unsung role of William Kanter in advancing the fortunes of his father Albert’s worldwide enterprise. Enhancing the lively account of the growth of “the World’s Finest Juvenile Publication” are new interviews and correspondence with editor Helene Lecar, publicist Eleanor Lidofsky, artist Mort Künstler, and the founder’s grandson John “Buzz” Kanter.
Detailed appendices provide artist attributions, issue contents and, for the principal Classics Illustrated–related series, a listing of each printing identified by month, year, and highest reorder number. New U.S., Canadian and British series have been added. More than 300 illustrations—most of them new to this edition—include photographs of artists and production staff, comic-book covers and interiors, and a substantial number of original cover paintings and line drawings.
The heroine’s journey echoes throughout ancient legend. Each young woman combats her dark side and emerges stronger. This quest is also a staple of American comic books. Wonder Woman with semi-divine powers gives us a new female-centered creation story. Batgirl, Batwoman and Black Widow discover their enemy is the dark mother or shadow twin, with the savagery they’ve rejected in themselves. Supergirl similarly struggles but keeps harmony with her sister.
From Jessica Jones and Catwoman to the new superwomen of cutting-edge webcomics, each heroine must go into the dark, to become not a warrior but a savior. Women like Captain Marvel and Storm sacrifice all to join the ranks of superheroes, while their feminine powers and dazzling costumes reflect the most ancient tales.
Beloved by young girls around the world, Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise has been mired in controversy since its debut in the early 1980s. Critics dismissed the cartoons as toy advertisements, and derided their embrace of femininity. The 2010 debut of the openly feminist My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic renewed the backlash, as its broad appeal challenged entrenched notions about gendered entertainment.
This first comprehensive study of My Little Pony explores the history and cultural significance of the franchise through Season 5 of Friendship Is Magic and the first three Equestria Girls films. The brand has continued to be on the receiving end of a sexist double standard regarding commercialism in children’s entertainment, while masculine cartoons such as the Transformers have been spared similar criticism.
First appearing in Marvel Comics in the 1960s, Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, was introduced to movie audiences in Iron Man 2 (2010). Her character has grown in popularity with subsequent Marvel films, and fans have been vocal about wanting to see Black Widow in a titular role. Romanoff has potent appeal: a strong female character who is not defined by her looks or her romantic relationships, with the skill set of a veteran spy first for the KGB, then for S.H.I.E.L.D. This collection of new essays is the first to examine Black Widow and her development, from Cold War era comics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The first superhero team from the Silver Age of comics, DC’s Justice League has seen many iterations since its first appearance in 1960. As the original comic book continued and spin-off titles proliferated, talented writers, artists and editors adapted the team to appeal to changing audience tastes.
This collection of new essays examines more than five decades of Justice League comics and related titles. Each essay considers a storyline or era of the franchise in its historical and social contexts.
“Pointer’s account of Fleischer’s life and work draws on his own experience in film and animation as well as interviews with Fleischer family members. It is also stocked with previously unpublished photographs and artwork, including trade ads and patent diagrams…The story of this artist-inventor and the early days of animation will appeal to all interested in film history and iconic cartoons.”—Booklist
Elaborate cinematic universes and sophisticated marketing tie-ins are commonplace in entertainment today. It’s easy to forget that the transmedia trend began in 1982 with a barbarian action figure. He-Man and the other characters in Mattel’s popular Masters of the Universe toy line quickly found their way into comic books, video games, multiple television series and a Hollywood film. The original animated series (1983–1985) was the first based on an action figure, and the cult classic Masters of the Universe (1987) was the first toy-inspired live-action feature film.
But it wasn’t easy. He-Man faced adversaries more dangerous than Skeletor: entertainment lawyers, Hollywood executives, even the Reagan administration. The heroes and villains of Eternia did more than shape the childhoods of the toy-buying public—they formed the modern entertainment landscape.
Joss Whedon is known for exploring philosophical questions through socially progressive narratives in his films, television shows and comics. His work critiques racial stereotypes, sometimes repudiating them, sometimes reinvesting in them (sometimes both at once). This collection of new essays explores his representations of racial power dynamics between individuals and institutions and how the Whedonverse constructs race, ethnicity and nationality relationships.
This work takes an in-depth look at the world of comic books through the eyes of a Native American reader and offers frank commentary on the medium’s cultural representation of the Native American people. It addresses a range of portrayals, from the bloodthirsty barbarians and noble savages of dime novels, to formulaic secondary characters and sidekicks, and, occasionally, protagonists sans paternal white hero, examining how and why Native Americans have been consistently marginalized and misrepresented in comics. Chapters cover early representations of Native Americans in popular culture and newspaper comic strips, the Fenimore Cooper legacy, the “white” Indian, the shaman, revisionist portrayals, and Native American comics from small publishers, among other topics.
If you couldn’t wait to see [SPOILER REDACTED] on The Walking Dead last night, then this Weekly Deal is for you! Through October 30, 2016, get 20% off all books about zombie studies when you enter the coupon code SPOILER!
All Hallow’s Read is a new tradition, started by the great Neil Gaiman, that encourages gifting a scary book during the week of Halloween. If you’re curious about its origins, read this blog post, helpfully titled “A MODEST PROPOSAL (THAT DOESN’T ACTUALLY INVOLVE EATING ANYONE).” Rather than selecting a handful of our more than 100 books about horror in popular culture and literature, we’re putting ALL of our horror books on sale, this week only! Order now for delivery in time for your All Hallow’s Read gift, and get 20% off when you use the coupon code HALLOW!
This weekend in Nashville, we’re exhibiting at the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association in the South 2016 conference! Visit our book exhibit to shop and to discuss your book proposal with Dylan Lightfoot.
We’re excited to announce a new book series on the Whedonverses (official title to be determined).
McFarland seeks proposals for book-length works to be published as part of a new series about the works of Joss Whedon, to be edited by Sherry Ginn. We welcome new perspectives on old favorites as well as explorations of Whedon’s less recognized work.
Proposals should include a detailed outline, a tentative table of contents, draft introduction and sample chapter. Also useful at this stage would be a length estimate (75,000-word to 100,000-word projects are preferred), comments on special elements (such as artwork or photos), and a resume or curriculum vitae.
From automatons to zombies, many elements of fantasy and science fiction have been cross-pollinated with the Western movie genre. In its second edition, this encyclopedia of the Weird Western includes many new entries covering film, television, animation, novels, pulp fiction, short stories, comic books, graphic novels and video and role-playing games. Categories include Weird, Weird Menace, Science Fiction, Space, Steampunk and Romance Westerns.
The Incredible Hulk is one of the earliest Marvel Comics superheroes. Through the decades, the character and his narrative elements—the causes of Bruce Banner’s transformations, the Hulk’s strength, intelligence and skin color, the stories’ tone, theme and sources of conflict—have been continually reinvented to remain relevant.
This collection of new essays explores Marvel’s more than five decades of Hulk comics. The contributors analyze the Hulk and his supporting cast in their shifting historical contexts, offering insights into both our popular entertainment and our cultural history. Topics include the Cold War’s influence on early Incredible Hulk issues, a feminist reading of She-Hulk and writer Peter David’s focus on the AIDS crisis.
Our brand-new holiday catalog is in the mail, but we’re giving you a sneak preview this morning—click here for great holiday gift ideas before the catalog hits your mailbox!
And, because it’s never too early to start your holiday shopping, we’re offering our biggest sale of the year! Get 30% off your purchase of two or more books when you enter the coupon code HOLIDAY2015 at checkout!
We’re exhibiting at the biennial North Carolina Library Association conference in Greensboro, North Carolina this week! Our own Dylan Lightfoot and Stephanie Nichols are exhibiting books, and several McFarland authors are among the NC librarians attending the convention.
We’re exhibiting at the sold-out New York Comic Con this week! NYCC—the East Coast’s largest pop culture event–is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and McFarland is celebrating its fifth year exhibiting. Stop by booth 2104 to browse the best pop culture scholarship and to chat with our Lisa Camp.
It’s that time of year again! McFarland is in Indy for Gen Con: the original, longest-running, and best-attended gaming convention in the world! It’s no small thing to keep up with gamers from all 50 states and more than 40 countries, but we’ll do our best.
At Comic-Con, Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews took home the Eisner Award for Best Scholarly/Academic Work! This is the second award Graphic Details has garnered, with the Eisner following the Popular Culture Association’s Susan Koppelman Best Anthology Award. Congratulations to editor Sarah Lightman, the 18 artists she covers, and to all the women around the world who are bravely making comics about their own lives. #Eisner # SDCC #ComicCon2015
Comic-Con International San Diego is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular art forms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.
It Happens at Comic-Con: Ethnographic Essays on a Pop Culture Phenomenon This “engrossing” (Midwest Book Review) collection seeks to expand fan studies, exploring Comic-Con International more deeply than any publication before it. Ben Bolling is a Jacob K. Javits Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Matthew J. Smith is a professor of communication and director of cinema studies at Wittenberg University, where he teaches courses in media, including television criticism and graphic storytelling.
Founders of Comic Fandom: Profiles of 90 Publishers, Dealers, Collectors, Writers, Artists and Other Luminaries of the 1950s and 1960s In the 1950s and ’60s, a grassroots movement arose to celebrate comic books and strips, which were becoming increasingly important to American popular culture. “Meticulously researched and thoroughly documented” (School Library Journal), profiled here are the people at the heart of the movement. Bill Schelly has been chronicling the history of popular culture since the 1960s, beginning with his magazine Sense of Wonder. He has written or edited several books, and is associate editor of the Eisner Award–winning magazine Alter Ego.
Fan CULTure: Essays on Participatory Fandom in the 21st Century This “highly recommended” (Choice) collection explores how present-day fans interact with the films, television shows, books, and pop culture artifacts they love. Kristin M. Barton is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. Jonathan Malcolm Lampley is a prolific contributor to many popular-culture periodicals and publications.
Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet: New Essays The essays in this “useful and thought-provoking” (SFRA Review) volume explore the world of fan fiction—its purposes, how it is created, how the fan experiences it. Karen Hellekson is a copy editor and independent scholar. She writes book reviews for Publishers Weekly and lives in Jay, Maine. Kristina Busse teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama and has previously written about fan fiction and fan culture. She is the founding coeditor of Transformative Works and Cultures.
Authors, customers, friends, and fans: if you’ve ever wondered what McF’s mountain town is like, have a look at this neat response about our area from a recent vacationer. (A special nod, too, to our Boondocks friends who regularly support us in a number of ways.) We love where we live!
There is much to celebrate today! Our publishing duty, however, is to equip you with industry intel (some of which is less likely to be in your news feed today). Therefore, as we witness historic decisions in our country, we’d be remiss not to mention the Annual American Library Association conference, which meets over the weekend in San Francisco. Themed “TRANSFORMING our libraries, ourselves, McFarland looks forward to several days’ worth of terrific conversations about all things librarianship.
A happy coincidence—assistant sales manager Adam Phillips has THIS hotel view, providing opportunities to share the goings-on of an historic Pride Week in San Francisco.
McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of theOrigins game FairJune 3rd-7th in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to our book display and sale, editors will be on hand to discuss manuscript ideas. Click here to browse McFarland’s books about popular culture.
It’s no secret that we at McFarland are fans of sf and fantasy (and horror, gaming, cosplay, and all the rest!). So we’re very excited to attend this year’s ConCarolinas in Concord, NC., May 29-31. Klingon Karaoke, anyone? See you there!
McFarland is exhibiting at the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association April 1-4 in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to our book display and sale, editors will be on hand to discuss manuscript ideas. Click here to browse McFarland’s books about popular culture. #pcaaca2015
Csenge Virág Zalka, a Hungarian storyteller, has collected 55 foltktales from around the world about supernatural abilities like superhuman strength, invulnerability, flying, heightened senses, speed, invisibility, healing, agility, precognition, telepathy, fire manipulation, teleportation, water powers, and shifting. These tales represent powers that people have dreamed of, conjured up and strived for through the ages. Many of the powers are present in popular culture, making the superheroes who wield them the direct descendants of characters such as the princess who could see through walls or the invulnerable Isfandiyar. Zalka excluded stories about magic or about gods with divine powers, and focused on less well-known stories. She included information on similar heroes, the ability in the story, sources of the powers, the origin of the story, teachings in it, the recommended age group, sources, variants, and comments.
Behold! Prince Adam of Eternia and a masked luchador Thundercat pose for a pre-fight picture in the McFarland booth at #NYCC14. By the power of Greyskull! Thunder, thunder, Thundercats, Ho! McWrestleMania 2014! Which will prevail? (If you are wondering, why yes, all of our He-Man action figures were also wrestlers.)
If you can’t hang with us at San Diego Comic-Con (or even if you can), we highly recommend you check out It Happens at Comic-Con!, edited by Ben Bolling and Matthew J. Smith. Let us help you help yourselves with a better understanding of the pop cultural phenomenon that is this event. Enter the coupon code PHENOM in the shopping cart of our online catalog (or call our toll free 800-253-2187 during business hours Friday and Monday) for a 20% discount now through Monday, July 27.
With the onset of Comic-Con International, throngs of fans, media companies, celebrities and others are descending upon San Diego. Expect the San Diego Convention Center to be filled to capacity with pop culture providers and seekers.
As usual, McFarland has arrived (snuck in during the night under a “MacFarlane’s Lantern”!) and will be stationed in the exhibit hall, this time in booth #1501. At our book stand, two of the staff have notable middle names…there’s a “McFarland” and a “McRae” at the book stand! We’re not the only ones with a connection to the Scottish Highlands, however. Jamie Fraser and his Outlander fellows are making there way to San Diego, as well.
The Outlander panel takes place Friday, July 25, at 2:15 P.M., in Room 6A. If you haven’t yet acquainted yourself with Outlander, the seven subsequent novels, or the upcoming television series, be assured that they “lavishly evoke the land and lore of Scotland” as the critics put it.
June 27-30, the American Library Association is gathering in Las Vegas for Annual. We’re still trying to get our book display set up in the exhibit hall, with some “help” from early browsers like Allan Greenburg of Diamond Comic Distributors (pictured). McFarland is in Booth #1423, and our friends at Diamond are in Booth #2015.
Authors, readers and book reviewers: We find ourselves in the unusual yet happy situation of having an overage of popular culture catalogs. Tell us about your organization, journal/magazine, con, or professional society that would be interested in receiving catalogs chockfull of books about pop culture!
On April 1st, 1979, founder Robert McFarland Franklin departed Plainfield, New Jersey, heading south in a Volkswagen bug towing a U-Haul. With wife Cheryl behind the wheel, Robert began company operations on a yellow pad in his lap.
Thirty-five years ago, libraries provided almost the sole market (but a robust one!) for the heavily-researched books that McFarland made its specialty. Over the decades, the company won ever-growing numbers of devoted readers who appreciated the care McFarland and its authors lavished on our books. Our authors, a throng of thousands now, teach us something new every day.
We’re having an open house Friday, June 20, from noon until 5:00. Join us for tours, conversation, punch, finger food, art and books.