Saturday, December 31, 2011

Advertising: Cinderella and Cingular

I never saw this one! Uploaded to YouTube in 2006 so at least five years old. But it's a fun play on Cinderella.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Save $10 on Kindle e-Textbooks with code ETXTBOOK


Save $10 on Kindle e-Textbooks with code ETXTBOOK, applicable to either a purchase or rental.

This deal is open to anyone, one time only, and expires on January 9, 2012. All of the other fine print is on the deal page. You don't have to own a Kindle, just have a device that can run one of the free Kindle apps.
There are several fairy tale and folklore titles--those are direct links to searches--several of which I own in paper and am debating an ebook edition if the price is right. I pictured a few above. If you don't already own it and like fairy tales and mythology, Fairytale in the Ancient World would be my top pick, pictured above.

SurLaLune Titles Lending for Amazon Prime


FYI: Some of the SurLaLune library titles are available for free borrowing through Amazon's Prime lending library. If you are a prime member, you probably already know about the program. For now, only these SurLaLune titles are available, but more may be available in the future.

Amazon's text: "Borrow this book for free, with no due dates, if you are a Kindle owner and Prime member."

Bargain Book Round Up for end of December

Amazon's Deal of the Day in ebooks is The Giver by Lois Lowry for $.99. This one is today only, so fair warning. Again, not a folklore book, but of high interest to many readers here.

It also gives me the opportunity to remind you that if you want any of the discounted folklore and fairy tale themed books I have featured this month, those that are still discounted will return to their higher pricing come the new year. You can also browse 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less which will definitely end on the 31st because that is how Amazon does things. But there will be new bargains in the new year, so that makes for happy thoughts, too. Here's some that are still discounted pictured below. Many of these are also top picks for the year.


Illamasqua Ice Queen Makeup Tutorial

While we have Snow Queens on the brain thanks to Disney, Christmas, winter, etc. I thought I would share this video after debating over it for a month or so.

I'm not much of a makeup person and could never wear this myself due to allergy issues--I am extremely sensitive to makeup. Illamasqua is a UK brand that is quite avant garde in its styling and naming. I like some of their nail polishes, I admit, which is how I occasionally get their emails. This one caught my eye so here it is! In the US, you can find some Illamasqua products at Sephora.

Anyway, if you have a costume party for New Year's, this might inspire you.

Paper Tales Exhibition in Hong Kong: The Snow Goddess

Here's an exhibit devoted to HCA's Snow Queen (here called Snow Goddess) in Hong Kong the past month. It is still showing until January 20th.

Press Release:

Magical Journey with Swire Island East’s Paper Tales

Swire Island East, in collaboration with the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF), presents Paper Tales – an awe-inspiring exhibition featuring delicate works from 11 local artists and 23 local students using paper as a medium to create objects of innovation and artistry. Led by the project’s main artist SumSum Tse, Paper Tales will be held at Swire Island East’s ArtisTree from 11 December 2011 to 20 January 2012.

Paper Tales flaunts mastery, originality and the divergent adaptability of paper. Artists let their imagination run wild to conceive idiosyncratic installation works, demonstrating complex paper-cutting and book-carving of great finesse. Visitors will see a medley of arresting paper art forms that is not limited to fine cutting and folding. An eccentric and spellbinding art anatomy is showcased, complemented by ambient music composed by Nick Harvey and special lighting effects by Wong Chiyung.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Goddess, Paper Tales is a magical journey in four chapters encompassing the poetic works of local creative force. The story begins with Pauline Yau’s maze-like Ice Tunnel of light and shadow. Weaving the way through the tunnel, visitors will arrive at Percy So’s Story-telling Installation. Four paper sculptures crafted in traditional paper art techniques unveil the legend of the Snow Goddess.

The tunnel finally opens up to a mysterious icy world. In a secluded setting, the Snow Goddess’s Crystal Palace produced by SumSum Tse emerges as the centrepiece of the exhibition. Visitors will be greeted by the mystical Snow Goddess in an animated projection casted above the Palace.

Teardrops of the affectionate Snow Goddess are transformed into eight Small World Dioramas of floating islands contriving a galactic abyss. Contributing artists include: Aeroporto, Margaret Chu, Graphic Airlines, Candice Keung, Hanison Lau, Salon de Pigeon and Tereza Tan. This section will also feature miniature sculptures created by local secondary students who learned from SumSum Tse through a series of workshops organised by YAF.

The exhibition also offers free guided tours and DIY ornament making workshops during which participants will learn to make crafted objects with used paper.
The images below came from an article at How to enjoy Christmas in Hong Kong while the poster came from the event site.

Pauline Yau makes fragile paper look menacing in her work "The Ice Tunnel."

Advertising: Golden Crisp Cereal & Jack and the Beanstalk

Blurry, but still discernible. Anyone remember this one? I wasn't in the demographic in 1993 when this aired so I don't remember it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Disney Defrosts, Thaws Out "The Snow Queen"

Remember a year ago when many people were upset when the media blitzed that Disney was foregoing fairy tale films for the foreseeable future--I discussed it some in my Thoughts on Tangled post. Yes, only a year later and we have Princess Sofia announced and even bigger news, Snow Queen is being defrosted.

Now, I have a long history with Snow Queen and have mentioned it before. Back in 2000 when my husband worked for ABC Online, he rode the train to Burbank and became friends with a few of the Disney animators. A few dinners and conversations later, I had some backdoor insights and peeks at Snow Queen which were fascinating. To sum up: It was nothing like the fairy tale, at all. There was a Snow Queen. That's it. If the plot had been described to me without any preface I wouldn't have ever placed it as the HCA tale.

Then Disney needed to layoff employees to make its year end numbers--which included those animators and my husband--and Snow Queen was tabled yet again. ABC was in the state that NBC is in today and Disney itself wasn't doing much better. VSPs (voluntary severance packages) were the topic of conversations, not The Snow Queen. I've lost count how many times the project has been tabled. And, fortunately, my husband was kept on a few extra months to finish some major projects so we walked away with the package and a new job the following Monday, a blessing since we had moved across the country for the job, far away from family and a much lower cost of living standard. Our rent then was hundreds more than our mortgage now that we live back in Nashville.

But now, with headlines about defrosting, thawing, etc. the media is announcing that the film has been resurrected yet again. Just one article is here but a news search will produce more. There's not much beyond the title and confusion over whether it will be handdrawn or CGI but the consensus is that it will be 3D. I still don't understand Hollywood's misconception that 3D sells seats and DVDs. They might consider offering women viewers some strong female roles and some non-gross romance. (See Movie crowds dip to 16-year low as apathy lingers By DAVID GERMAIN.)

Now the movie will be one word-titled "Frozen." Yes, those onscreen TV guides have oversimplified our lives. And we wouldn't want to disenfranchise male viewers with a girlie title either.

I enjoyed Tangled. I'm not a Disney fan, but I am not a big detractor either. Honestly, more of my own distaste comes from those days dealing with Disney in Burbank when my husband was employed there and I worked down the street at a branch of the Burbank Library. But that's neither here nor there for this post.

As always, I am happy about any big media project that brings more focus on fairy tales, and, let's face it, Disney is hard to surpass for visibility. So let's hope "Frozen" finally gets defrosted, cooked and served at our tables!

Advertising: Sky's Campaign Success and Boy Who Cried Wolf

I've featured several of the Sky TV fairy tale ads over the last few years, especially the last few months with my daily fairy tale advertising posts, especially at Advertising: Sky TV Spots and Fairy Tales and Advertising: SKY Satellite TV and Fairy Tales. Well, a new one was launched in the UK on Christmas Day, "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" this time. While it is a fun ad like the rest, what I found most interesting was some of the media coverage, such as this from Sky hails success of fairytale TV broadband ad campaign by Nigel Adie:

Sky has claimed its 'fairytale' broadband advertising campaign is so well-recognised that the satellite broadcaster has been able to spend less while still attracting more customers.

Since launching the ads in 2010, unprompted consumer awareness of Sky Broadband has risen from 51 per cent to 66 per cent, the pay TV giant's figures show.

The company is now planning to shift the adverts to digital and owned media platforms, although the TV campaign's latest installment - based on Aesop's Fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf - is set to premiere on Christmas Day, reports Marketing Week.

Lucian Smithers, director of brand strategy and communications at BSkyB, explained Sky spent less on media this year than in 2010.

"The campaign has become so well-known now that our maintenance levels are lower, but our acquisition numbers are still high," he remarked.

You can also read a case study about the campaign at ThinkBox.

“The construct of a typical fairytale often starts with the hero or main character in a distressing situation, but finishes with a happy ending. It’s with this in mind that the Fairytale campaign was conceived […] the DRTV ad’s liberation of broadband from its (distressing) past pricing and lack of value to the happy ending of being part of a great value bundle with Sky TV and calls […] The 40” advert resulted in record levels of efficiency for Sky DRTV with a CPA of £127 versus an expectation of £250, and has since been re-used with similarly impressive results.”

Now folks, that's the kind of success ad agencies salivate over. It is a savvy campaign.

Puss in Boots (2011): DVD Release 2/24/2012

Puss in Boots (2011) has been announced for DVD/Blu-ray release for February 24, 2012. It really is about three months now between theatre release date and DVD release date. No wonder I have less and less interest in going to the movies anymore. Well, then there's also the quality and content of the movies, but that's another conversation... Still, I tend to preorder the few movies that interest me since a DVD is still less than a trip for two to the theatre and I can watch it again.

You currently have two options for formatting: Puss in Boots DVD and Puss in Boots (Two-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy). The prices are average right now but I imagine they will drop a few more dollars which will happen automatically if you order somewhere with a lowest price guarantee like at Amazon.

Also, for a limited time, you can save $5 select discs when you use the code "SOFTPAWS" at checkout on Amazon. I almost missed that, so I wanted to point it out to you, too.

I haven't seen the movie yet. Probably won't until it is on DVD. I haven't seen The Muppets yet, either. I just finally saw and enjoyed Kung Fu Panda 2 with the family over the holidays. I am not much of a movie goer anymore as I said. But since The Muppets DVD is already up for preorder, too, I will probably wait.


Bargain Ebook: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood isn't really a folklore book, but it is of interest to many readers here so I thought I would share it as Amazon's Daily Deal for only $1.49 for the ebook version today only.

Here's the description:

The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Advertising: Jack's Beans & 5G Communications

Jack's Beans & 5G Communications. Cute, yes?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book: Fractured Fables from Image Comics


I never wrote about this Fractured Fables (Hardcover), first because I came to it late, second because I am not at all well-versed in current comic books,* and lastly because I didn't look past the cover when I saw it, which to me, hate me if you want, looked very generic, like cheap fairy tale books at the dollar store. Nothing wrong with that, but not my usual interest or what I assume to be yours.

Then recently I stumbled across some sample pages from the book and I can fully admit I was wrong. I should know well enough by now to not judge a comic book by its cover, but at least I didn't suffer for my prejudgment forever. In other words, there is some great stuff within this innocuous looking cover. In fact, I learned that two of the pieces inside were nominated for Will Eisner Awards: Best Short Story Nominations--"Cinderella," by Nick Spencer and Rodin Esquejo & "Little Red Riding Hood," by Bryan Talbot and Camilla d'Errico.

So like a diligent SurLaLune keeper, I have ordered my own hardcover copy to investigate further. It hadn't arrived when I wrote this, but I am not worried. I know I will like it. It's has enough pretty and I respond well to pretty. A paperback edition is due out in late January, so you can wait for that if you are interested. I wanted a hardcover myself.

From the publisher:

Some of the comic book industries best and brightest use their talents to welcome the next generation of comic book readers with the kid-friendly anthology, Fractured Fables! Featuring an introduction by Bill Willingham (FABLES), this all-new, humorous take on our most beloved fairy tales boasts a cover by Madman Atomic Comics creators Mike & Laura Allred and all-new stories by award-winning creators including Jill Thompson, Bryan Talbot, Peter David, Ben Templesmith, Scott Morse, Doug TenNapel, Laini Taylor, Ted McKeever, Terry Moore, Bill Morrison, Larry Marder, Jim Valentino, Phil Hester, and New Yorker artist Shannon Wheeler, among others.

From an article, Comic book review: 'Fractured Fables' by Joseph Szadkowski:

Here are just a few of my favorites:

■ "Little Red Riding Hood" is updated by writer Bryan Talbot and finds the brightly dressed child on a direct path to the Big Bad Wolf's stomach until she displays some surprising skills. Painter Camilla d'Errico brings a bit of an anime influence to the action and makes me exclaim when viewing Red, "My, what gigantic blue eyes you have."

■ Doug TenNapel's "Rumpelstiltskin" turns the classic into a "Ren and Stimpy" episode. He dementedly uses a grotesque art style that chaotically blends with the sophomoric hijinks of a magic little man who can turn hay into gold, a grumpy king and a dumber-than-a-post future queen.

■ The adventure of "The Little Mermaid" turns much more ominous in the hands of comics scribe extraordinaire Peter David as her quest to live happily ever after with a human prince becomes a puzzling problem in podiatry. Artist Ron Ferrara offers ample arch support for the mermaid's issues.

■ Writer Nick Spencer's "Cinderella" satisfies through a fable more about the frustrations of an unhip fairy godmother than the abused princess while artist Rodin Esquejo's beautiful and Disneyesque art style puts the story near the top of my favorites.

■ "Rip Van Winkle" meets Len Strazewski's imagination and we enjoy a story about a conceited girl named Pipi Van Wrinkles who gets loaded on cherry cordials and learns her fate as an adult. The slapstick shenanigans throughout come to life thanks to the pop-art and retro-Archie-Comics-like stylings of Paul Fricke.

*Except for my few years of avid Superman collecting and reading in the mid 90s, so I am not completely ignorant of how the industry works. I had a large collection that was stolen when we moved to California although I had quit collecting at that point. But I gave up for good then. It was just too depressing. I was also raised around a brother who was a Marvel fan, so I've spent some time in comic book shops and it is my favorite set on Big Bang Theory.

Advertising: Dairy Farmers of Canada & Rapunzel

Dairy Farmers of Canada Rapunzel ad. Don't blink or you'll miss it!

And more:

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fairy Door Metal Charms by Darice


Last week while I was helping my niece find some beads at Joann Fabric so I could teach her some basics, I stumbled across these charming (ha, pun!) pendants and picked up a few. (There was also a Fairytale line of beads that was mostly sold out with almost no truly fairy tale theme items and what was there wasn't impressive but extremely cheap looking.) But these charms by Darice were fun and I picked up three of the four designs. The bronze looks much classier in real life than the silver although I wear silver almost exclusively, so I settled for two bronze and one silver. The extra element of whimsy is that they open and can have wishes placed inside.

They run about $3.99 at Joann so beware of online pricing although they may be unavailable at many locations so price may not be an issue if you really want one. These images and links are from Amazon where some are reasonably priced and some are not, I chose ones for the convenience of imagery if the price seems high when you click on a few of them. The Joann I was at is a particularly large one with a big beading section, so take that into consideration.




On the card in their packaging, they look like this if you go ahunting: