Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get Inspired - Houdini & Masters of Illusion exhibits at Skirball, updated 9/9

We visited the Skirball Cultural Center to see two exhibits: 'Houdini: Art and Magic' and 'Masters of Illusion: Jewish Magicians of the Golden Age ' THE HOUDINI SHOW CLOSED Sept 4th.

Masters of Illusion is OPEN through Jan 8, 2012:

If you like magic or history of magic, these are great exhibits to see! As much as I enjoyed the Houdini exhibit, I liked the Masters of Illusion show even more. Sadly, photography is prohibited for both.. so no pics here on the blog of artifacts on display.. but you can see some images on the Skirball website (

The Skirball Cultural Center is also known for it's "Noah's Ark" gallery... a wonderful hands-on adventure with life-size puppet animals; great for little kids....

and there's a super yummy restaurant on site.

In the Masters of Illusion exhibition, you'll see a real magic wand.. and learn the role of books and print media in the history of magic. Did you know two versions of the book Discoverie of Witchcraft (that's the right spelling, the books were published in 1584 & 1665).. helped dispel the notion that witchcraft was real, and made safe the practice of tricks and illusions (before that, you could have been condemned for a card trick!). There are newsreel clips of the real magicians in action, but there's something even more magical about seeing the posters, props and costumes.

In the Houdini galleries, it was amazing to see the actual size of the items he escaped from: the trunks, jackets, jugs and even the famous water cabinet (a replica; the original was lost in a fire... ironic, huh?) aren't big at all. I also enjoyed a loop of video clips of modern era magicians doing their riff on Houdini's illusions. It was fun to see Doug Henning again.... and a young Penn and Teller.

Stuart's take on the exhibits was that he wants to figure out how the illusion works. I'd rather not know... I prefer the magic!
So if you want to solve the puzzles... or just enjoy the show... catch these exhibits before they disappear... Houdini has vanished, but Masters of Illusion runs through Jan 8, 2012.

Friday, August 26, 2011

new pics from Terryl Whitlatch signing

Just added new pics from our signing with creature designer Terryl Whitlatch ("Animals Real & Imagined") and editor of her book, Gil Banducci. The signing was back in March, but the post on the blog is dated in December 2010 (I re-used a post slot). Anyway... you can search "Terryl" on the blog now & find all the pics... at last : )

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Get Inspired - Paris Daily Photo blog

Just found this fun blog w/ daily photos of Paris:

LOISEL joins line-up at CTNX in November, links updated 9/2

The line-up of artists for this year's CTNX in Burbank continues to shine! Just announced: REGIS LOISEL. Read more on the CTNX website:

See books by this popular French graphic artist at our website:

Documentary on Comic Con coming soon from filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me).

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has been at work on a documtenary on Comic Con. This should be interesting.
The world premiere will be on September 10th, at the Toronto Film Festival.
Here's a link to Entertainment Weekly website with interview w/ Spurlock about the film:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paris Post-it note office window art war

Searching for images of "post-it" note art office window wars going on in Paris (between a bank and a video game company with offices that face each other across a courtyard... ) found this You Tube link. It's all in French, but you'll get it:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Confetti by B-R-I-T-T-N-E-Y Lee

Just arrived at our showroom (and website) is the sketchbook "Confetti" by one of my favorite artists, Brittney Lee.

Here are just a sample of the lovely images you'll find inside:

There's more of her beautiful art on her blog... including her recent Harry Potter tribute piece... her rendering of Harry's stag Patronus is so moving!!! Image below is from her blog and is not in the book:

See & learn more on Brittney's blog is

Check it out... and come visit us to take home her beautiful book.

CTNX 2011 coming, November 18-20

For the 3rd year, we'll be at the CTN Animation Expo at the Marriott hotel and convention center in Burbank.
This expo is amazing... with features, guests & programming you won't find anywhere else. In addition to panels and programs, there are live drawing demos with large screen projections so everyone can see the tutorial.. not just the front row of the crowd.

We went out to Burbank today to meet with our friend Tina Price and get some of the latest news on the upcoming CTNX show in November. I still can't believe this show is only 3 years old. It's exploded into a must see event... but still managing to retain its focus on being small and personal. There isn't a better show to attend if you want to have lots of opportunities to really meet with people. We'll be set up as usual with 3 booths. Start checking the CTNX website frequently for announcements coming on guest artists and programs you won't want to miss.

We look forward to seeing you there (use the special Stuart Ng Books promo code, NGX11, for a discount on your registration!)

We visit Blast from the Past in Burbank

While we were in Burbank & the surrounding areas, Stuart did some book scouting, and we stopped in to visit with fellow small business owners in our areas of interest. In this case... TOYS!! Okay, technically they're movie, TV and Comic Collectibles, but whatever you call them, if you love them like I do, they are impossible to resist. I totally geeked out at the array of wonders at Blast from the Past!

Inside this storefront on Hollywood Way is a real treasure trove of super cool movie and TV themed collectibles. It's the sort of place where the longer you browse, the more cool stuff you see!!

As The Joker once asked of Tim Burton's Batman "Where does he get those wonderful toys!"
Chances are it was a place like this...

I nearly had a stroke when I saw all the Star Wars items! I'm an old school Star Wars fan going way back (a long time ago... in a galaxy far, far away!). I could have spent hours just in this part of the store.

There were all sorts of carded action figures...

And this nifty display case of vintage figures too!

I loved seeing the old Kenner figures...

It was like catching up with old friends...Where are you been?? Haven't seen you in years.

There was lots of newer stuff too.. but of course, I had a hard time seeing past one of my favorite Cullens!

The next case over, I spied this guy, who reminded me of the biggest laugh I've still ever had at the movies, when he made his surprise appearance in the original Ghostbusters.

The Tim Burton items got my attention as well...

They even had my all time favorite: ZERO!!!

And this reminder that I still need to see Corpse Bride!

It's not all scary monsters and sci fi here. There's loads of family friendly items too. I thought this little "Eve" figure was super cute!

And who can resist a spinning display of movie magnets! Check out the sentiment with the John Wayne magnet:

If you like movies and cool stuff you MUST visit this really fun store! A big Mahalo and Aloha to owner Larry for being so friendly (and letting me take lots of pictures). If you stop by to see him and his super swell crew, be sure to let them know you saw their store here on the blog.

They are located at 931 Hollywood Way, Burbank CA 91505.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Family Fun - Mitsuwa Market Summer Festival 2011

Another reason we LOVE Torrance... the annual Mitsuwa Market Summer Festival. Free admission, Free Parking, Free live shows... lots of great eats and inexpensive family fun.

The info booth is in English & Japanese!

The game booths were crowded all day..

The food booths got into the spirit too!

And of course... there are books! Buy 3 get one free!

Family Fun - Food @ Mitsuwa Summer Festival 2011

Ever had a fish-shaped pancake???

Well, now you can! There are so many food choices at the Summer Festival, we couldn't get to all of them. These fish pancakes looked so good... and cute.. but they belonged to an obliging guy in line in front of me...

We got stuffed on the dumplings & fried chicken...

But the longest lines.. and wait.. was for SHAVE ICE! Love those Hawaiian portions...

yes, we managed to eat it all before it melted....

There were lots of kids enjoying all the game booths...

You could even win real goldfish!

Or buy a prize at the balloon booth:

Family Fun - Kekaiulu Hula Studio FREE show @ Mitsuwa Summer Festival 2011

The Kekaiulu Hula Studio performed a FREE, 1-hour long Hula show!!!

Here's the band on stage, with live music for the dancers (you can see the Mitsuwa Market building in the background)
This dance studio has the kanes (guys) dancing...
and of course, the wahines (girls)...

With hula... the story is told with the hands...

The group included the keikis (kids) too!

Look at the LONG hair on some of the girls!

It was a great show.. hope YOU can come next year for all the fun!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hello world.... 122 places (as of 4.4.20)

Since I've discovered the "stats" feature...

it's thrilling to see all the places in the world that have come to visit the blog:

US, UK, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, China, Columbia, Congo-Brazzaville, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czechia (Czech Republic), Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, (the Republic of) Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar(Burma), Namibia, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion (a French territory in the Indian Ocean!), Russia, Saint Kitts & Nevis(a 2-island country in the West Indies!), Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Slovenia, So. Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, (the Republic of) Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the UAE (United Arab Emirates), Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

What's the most-viewed post on the blog? The winner is "Celebrating Secretariat" from Sept 2010 (updated Oct 2011). Horse-power rules! Rounding out the top 3 posts: "POV Shot - Secretariat & the Black Stallion" (Oct 21, 2010) and "Get Inspired - The Hillywood Show meets Wendling's Desk" (Oct 10, 2010).

And hey friends.... Please leave a comment. I'd love to hear YOUR feedback on what you find here at BTS @ SNB... and what you'd like to see (more horse stuff, right ;)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Get Inspired - Hayao Miyazaki on the future of animation (from 2009)

On July 28, 2009, John Lassiter interviewed Hayao Miyazaki. Clips of the interview can be seen at the website for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. My favorite clip:

"Hayao Miyazaki: The future of animation
Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki speaks about the future of hand-drawn and computer animation. Part of the Academy’s 13th “Marc Davis Celebration of Animation: Hayao Miyazaki.” Held at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills on July 28, 2009."

Here's link to this clip:

Thanks to the Academy for posting these... and to Steve for sending me the link. Steve, Stuart, Mando and John H all attended this lecture!

Monday, August 8, 2011

John Fleskes blog, photo of Pierre Alary, summary of Comic Con 2011

Check out new posts on John's blog for terrific photo of Pierre Alary from our signing... also John's very thoughtful 2-part commentary on exhibitor POV of Comic Con.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

KA by Cirque du Soleil at Las Vegas performance at Comic Con 2011

Proving again that Comic Con San Diego has something for everyone, here's a great You Tube clip of this live performance! See their amazing wire work and acrobatics using the exterior wall of PETCO park as their stage!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

shipping status for post-con orders....

Our showroom is bursting with Stuart's picks of the very best of the new books from comic con...

And we are processing orders at a record rate. This is our first "post comic con" year with our shopping cart system up and running. The orders are coming in fast and furious. Our new system means Mary can update you easily on the status of your order. But please remember the shopping cart system DOES NOT MEAN we've altered our mission.

We exist to provide you services and books that make Stuart Ng Books a unique resource that meets your needs. We are not automated with a huge staff and warehouse. We are a family business serving our niche of patrons. We are small, hands-on and personal. We are not here to compete with the Amazons of the world.

Here's a peek at the stacks of orders. Each box is hand packed... so you can depend on the time and care each package represents.

The good news is that once your order is placed and confirmed, your books are beginning their journey to YOU. The better news is that we ARE NOT a big mail order processing plant. Your books are selected and packed with careful handling to meet your standards... and ours. We don't stuff the books inside padded envelopes.... or pizza boxes (yes, we've had books shipped to us that way... see post from 8-20-08).

At the request of you, our patrons, we've embraced the internet services of websites and shopping carts.

But we remain committed to the values we learned from our mentors. We practice old school, hands-on ways of bookselling to bring you unique benefits.
We all know the value of time. It takes more time to ship books the Stuart Ng way... and it means patience on your end. Your reward is the results. The books arrive in the same condition as you would find them in our showroom... and we ship all over the world.

We know you are anxious for your books. Your Stuart Ng team consists of Stuart (24/7), Mary & Peggy (full-time) and Don (part-time). My role? It's complicated ;)
(for more info on "team Ng" see my previous posts on "Rio Bravo" and "Dobby the House-elf").

During this crunch, it's all hands on deck! We are all at the showroom working hard to meet your expectations and ours. The kind words of encouragement so many of you have included with your orders are most appreciated! We are in "Edna Mode" mode.... go, fight, win... until all the orders are out the door and on their way.