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  • In Professor Gargoyle, we're introduced to 11-year-old Robert Ashton and the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School.

    It's a brand-new state-of-the-art facility—so why do so many creepy things keep happening? Why is the science teacher acting so strangely? And where are all the rats coming from?

    As Robert explores with his new friends Glenn and Carina, he discovers that the school may be a portal to another world.

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    Ahoy! Aaaargh! argh argh argh argh RUM me matey’s argh argh Walk the plank with ya! argh argh argh argh landlubber n’ wot ye swashbuckled git argh argh argh argh n’ I’ll feed ye to the fishies n’ argh argh argh avast me left hand’s a hook but I sail the seven seas argh argh argh (more rum) argh ARGH! 

    TRANSLATION: In honor of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, here’s a list of 10 our favorite pirates. Argh.

    1. CAPTAIN HOOK: Ah, yes. The scourge of Neverland, thus affirming the popular that all grownups are in fact evil pirates. Also known as “Black Stache,” the man we know as Captain James T. Hook (although even that is not his real name) is believed to have been a shipmate of the famous pirate Blackbeard, as well as the only man that Long John Silver himself ever feared. As for what brought him to Neverland in the first place, we may never know for certain, although storytellers have dared to reveal their own theories of this deep, dark secret.

    Hook is perhaps the most iconic of the hook-handed pirates, having lost his right appendage in a swordfight with that rascally Peter Pan. In the true fashion of a deadly pirate, Hook fears only two things in the entire world: the crocodile that ate his severed hand, and the sight of his own blood.

    2. LONG JOHN SILVER: The progenitor of all things that we have come to associate with pirates, despite the fact that he was merely the quartermaster, the man responsible for leading the boarding party onto the ships of their victims, and not a Captain of his own ship. With a prosthetic pegleg on his left side and a fast-talking parrot named Captain Flint (after the actual Captain of the ship, because he was such an intimidating figure that even his own boss was scared of him), the depiction of Long John Silver in Treasure Island set the bar for all fictional pirates to come.

    His moral ambiguity, mutable allegiances, and strange sense of honor among thieves made him an intriguing and likeable rogue. Plus he has his own fast food chain, which is pretty much the most badass thing that any pirate has ever done.

    3. THE SEA CAPTAIN FROM TALES OF THE BLACK FREIGHTER: Because in a world with actual superheroes it wouldn’t make sense for anyone to read superhero comic books, people in the world of Alan Moore’s Watchmen read pirate comic books instead. Through the course of the series, there is a young boy sitting by a newsstand on the street and reading a comic book called Tales of the Black Freighter, and the panels and narration from that comic book end up being intertwined with the panels and narration from the Watchmen comic book that you’re reading because, metafictional parallel narrative devices I guess. Is that a good reason? 

    Tales of the Black Freighter tells the story of a man known only as the mariner or the Sea Captain who is the last serving member of his shipwrecked crew. He sees the ominous, evil The Black Freighter pirate ship approaching in the distance, and tries desperately to return to his home before the ship attacks and destroys his family. Not to give too much, but the story ultimately serves as a parallel to the story of Watchmen as a whole, and one character’s journey in particular. But this is not happy drunk pirates; this is dark, scary, evil pirates who do horrible, horrible things (let’s just say the story starts with someone building a raft out of the dead, bloated, waterlogged bodies of his former crewmates, and it goes from there).

  • It's almost Hobbit Day! This very special day of Tolkien Week is celebrated every September 22nd in honor of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthdays. Or at least it’s been celebrated since 1978 when the American Tolkien Society announced it. So go outside, take off your shoes, break out your favorite Tolkien tome and celebrate all things Hobbit in style

    Here are some of the top Hobbit related pop-culture references to get you in the Hobbit Day spirit. Let us know how you’ll be celebrating in the comments!

    1. THE BALLAD OF BILBO BAGGINS: Oh the ‘60s. An era of war, love, and a time when Leonard Nimoy sang a song about the exploits of Bilbo Baggins for fun and profit.

    Complete with women in elf ears and pixie cuts, this retro song features glorious lyrics like, “Hobbits are a peace-loving folks you know, they don’t like to hurry and they take things slow. They don’t like to travel away from home, they just want to eat and be left alone.” Do not mess with a Hobbit and their second breakfast!

    2. SOUTH PARK: This parody episode titled The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers comes complete with an epic quest, six grade Ringwraiths and plenty of “my precious” jokes. Not to mention the usual irreverence we expect from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

    Bonus: Gandalf the Grey also appears in the Imaginationland episodes as part of the Council of Nine alongside the Jesus allegory lion Aslan.

    3. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: Real life New Zealand band turned semi-fictional HBO parodies of themselves Bret MacKenzie and Jemaine Clement create and star in a LotR themed music video for their song Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring. Dressed as Hobbits of course.

    This is made even funnier when you consider that Bret starred in The Two Towers as the fan favorite and fan named character Figwit. He is also an Oscar winner, so amend that to Figwit: Oscar winner. Yeah, that’s a thing.

  • If you came to Book Expo America this year, you might have been one of the lucky few who snagged our fancy "What's Your Next Book?" ten year anniversary poster. Well, that classy poster has found new life on the cover of this week's Publishers Weekly, as we continue our year-long, ten year anniversary celebration. And we are psyched to see our logo on the cover. 

    The fun doesn't stop there though! Along with the fun cover, inside this week's issue you'll also spot three pages of Quirky goodness, designed by our fabulous Andie Reid. We've got them pasted below. 

    Thanks for a great ten years, everyone. And make sure you check out our History of Quirk Books Timeline and our Quirk Books Infographic

  • “How do you know the summer is really and truly over? My dad says it’s over precisely one second after midnight on September 21st. My friend Ellen says it’s over the minute you start thinking about whether to buy a binder, or a spiral notebook for school. But for me, the way I know the summer’s a goner is when my brother Pete and Artie, the Strongest Man in the World, go to the beach and try to beat up ocean.” - Pete Wrigley (the older one), from The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

    September means school. Even for those of us who aren’t in school anymore, September still means school. It means shorter days, hooded sweatshirts, and getting abnormally excited about CVS having a huge sale on composition notebooks (whatever man don’t judge I do most of my first drafts in those things). Whether you’re moving, losing those precious Summer Fridays, or even just looking forward to finally getting rid of the kids so that they can go back to school, the cycle of the seasons still tends to revolve around that last hurrah of Labor Day, when something ends, or at least something changes, and we’re forced to face the coming fall, for better or for worse.

    And yeah, okay, it could definitely be better. But at the same time, keep in mind that it could be a whole lot worse. So to cheer you up, here’s a list of 3 of the best fictional schools*, accompanied by a list of 3 of the worst fictional schools. Whichever helps to ease the pain of the coming autumnal onslaught. The kind of places you look to and wish you could attend -- as well as the schools that should make you glad that hey, at least you’re not starting there this fall.

    * Excluding our own Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and Lovecraft Middle School, of course, which are clearly the greatest educational facilities in which you could ever possibly enroll, ahem. Anyway, where were we? Right. Moving on.

  • A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs.

    It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience

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