Brand-new merch for SDCC 2017! July 17, 2017 21:30From Jess:
Holy cowfish, it's already that time of year again: San Diego Comic-Con! Even though we start planning for the next SDCC the moment we pack up our booth to go home (well, before that, even), the convention still always seems to sneak up on us, and now it's here!
We have a few new goodies that we'll be selling at our booth (#4616), and I wanted to give you a sneak peek before SDCC's Preview Night on Wednesday...
Enamel pins are exceptionally popular right now, and with good reason: they're like tiny bits of treasure to covet and collect! And they look better than ever, too, with intricate designs and even cool extras like glitter. As pin fans, ourselves, we felt it was long past time to make some "Rescue Sirens" pins, and Chris's adorable new chibi-style drawings of our five mermaids seemed like the perfect test subjects.
(Click to enlarge.)
Chris and I are so pleased with how they came out, and we have the awesome guys at True Metal Works to thank for being so kind, patient, and knowledgable! We highly recommend working with them; John and Mike made the whole process really easy and fun, and, of course, the pins themselves are the ultimate reward. So satisfying!
Given that this was our first try at making "Rescue Sirens" pins, we only had a small batch produced, so we'll be limiting pin sales at SDCC to one pin per design per person (in other words, you can buy one entire set), with a capped number of each design sold each day. Sometime later this summer -- like, after we recover from SDCC -- we plan to offer a small online sale on Etsy so people who can't make it to SDCC have a chance to add some pins to their collection, too!
Now, as I mentioned, our supply of pins is pretty small. However, if we run out of pins at SDCC, you can still get Chris's super-cute chibi-style "Rescue Sirens" illustrations as high-quality, weather-resistant stickers!
Ranging in size from 3" to 6.3" tall and 3" to 4.75" wide, these stickers feature a beautiful satiny finish and remarkably accurate colors. We're crazy for them, and we can't wait to make more! (I'm envisioning a giant "Rescue Sirens" emblem on the hood of my little red sports car.)
WATER-RESISTANT CHILDREN'S BOOK
I've saved the biggest news for last (of course): we'll be debuting our very first fully-illustrated "Rescue Sirens" children's book at SDCC this year! You may recall a work-in-progress copy that we brought with us to NC Mermania in January, and we're so proud to finally share it in its finished form.
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" has been in the works for a while. My background is in marine conservation education and animal care, and I really miss spending my days teaching kids about the ocean and the fascinating creatures that call it home. I thought it would be neat to start a companion line of "Rescue Sirens" books for readers who aren't quite old enough for the novel series, and, in this first volume, I wanted to tackle the topics of invasive species and responsible pet ownership in a fun, accessible, appealing way.
That's where incredible artist Dylan Bonner comes in! You've seen Dylan's artwork before; last year, we commissioned him to draw each of our Miami Beach mermaids individually as well as in a group shot, and we were so delighted with his style and with our experience working with him that we approached him about illustrating our first children's book. What a dream come true when he agreed!
To me, Dylan's artwork brings to mind the best of classic children's book illustrators such as Disney Legend Mary Blair, who not only illustrated children's books that are still in print after over six decades (!), but also did character designs for beloved Disney animated films like "Peter Pan," "Cinderella," and "Alice in Wonderland." Dylan's illustrations have that same sort of timeless feel to them, and we knew that he'd be the perfect artist for our children's books.
"Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" follows Nim and the other Rescue Sirens as they hurry to catch a number of exotic fish dumped into the Atlantic Ocean by a thoughtless millionaire who'd grown bored with his enormous Australia-themed aquarium. The story teaches readers about the dangers of releasing pets -- both to the pet and to the local environment -- and positions Nim as an example of a responsible pet owner when she adopts the abandoned zebra shark that she's befriended and promises to always care for her. With animal facts sprinkled throughout and Dylan's bright, engaging illustrations, this slim 32-page paperback has already become a favorite bedtime story in the homes of our beta readers!
And one of the best parts? "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" is water-resistant. How cool is that?! When I was but a tiny wee Jess, I used to wish that all of my books were waterproof so I could swim and read at the same time -- and that's why "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" is printed on synthetic paper, which is both rip-resistant and splash-proof. If the book gets wet, simply wipe it dry!
To keep your copy looking shipshape for years to come, please remember: DO NOT leave the book to dry on its own. If a wet book is allowed to dry while closed, the pages can stick together and can cause ink transfer when separated. With just a bit of tender loving care, however, your book will come through exposure to water looking good as new! For all those little mermaids and mermen out there, this means that you can safely bring "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" to the pool or the beach, or combine bath time and story time.
What adventures will your book go on? If you pick up a copy of "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," share your photos with us on Instagram by using the hashtag #rescuesirens -- we'd love to see them!
If you and your family enjoy "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up," remember, it's only the first in our planned line of children's books! I have storylines in mind centering around each Rescue Siren that teach valuable lessons about marine conservation issues while giving kids ways to apply what they've learned and to take action in their own backyards. When it comes to making a difference, every little bit helps!
If you've just gotta have something but you can't make it to SDCC, all hope is not lost: we'll be offering very limited online sales of our pins and stickers later this summer, while "Rescue Sirens and the Great Fish Round-Up" should be available for purchase on Amazon sometime before fall.
Plus, we'll be rolling out some awesome new merchandise in our online store -- http://shop.rescuesirens.com -- over the coming weeks! Chris and I have had a lot going on behind the scenes lately, and it's thrilling to unveil some of those projects at last. We hope that you like everything as much as we've enjoyed making it!
Two years of "Rescue Sirens" -- plus, giveaway prize photos! July 3, 2017 17:30From Jess:
Chris and I announced "Rescue Sirens" on July 1st, 2015 -- meaning it's already been over two years since we introduced our lifeguard mermaids to the world! So much has happened in that time: we've sold thousands of books (between the hardcover first edition, the paperbacks, and the Kindle eBook), we've connected with wonderful people all over the world, I found my fins, we were invited to a mermaid convention (and even participated in their Expert Panel), and we've recently completed a children's picture book illustrated by artist Dylan Bonner that we're waiting to unveil at San Diego Comic-Con later this month.
Through it all, your kindness, support, and enthusiasm continue to mean everything to us. Starting a book series is an intimidating, time-consuming, sometimes frustrating undertaking, and knowing that so many people love our characters and our world -- and want to see more -- makes it all worthwhile. Thank you.
In addition to marking our two-year announciversary, I also wanted to share some great photos from the winners of our two Mer-May promotions: the "Rescue Sirens" Head-to-Tail MERmakeover Giveaway, and the Mer-May #rescuesirensfanart Contest. It's always so much fun to see people receiving their prizes!
First up: lovely Instagram user @mermaid_kailani, who received a prize pack of awesome mermaid-themed products that I use and love, myself. She posted a bunch of photos and video clips, so hover over the Instagram frame and click the arrow buttons to navigate her slideshow!
THANK YOU @rescuesirens all my mermaid treasures came in two days early!!! ❤️🌺❤️ lots of mermaid activities for me lately and in the near future!! #luckygirl #mermaidforlife #mermaid #mermaidlife #mermaidtail #mermaidsarereal #mermaidvibes #blessed #happyasaclam #greatday #cantwaitforsummer #luckymermaid #mermaidonland
Next: talented artist @katekennedyart, the lucky winner of this chibi-style Nim drawing inked by Chris!
Today was a very special mail day! I was lucky enough to win the @rescuesirens contest and just received the original drawing of 'Nim' by @chrissandersart! I could not be more thrilled and honored! 'Lilo and Stitch' is one of my favorite moves of all time and I will treasure this drawing till the day I die. Thank you, Chris and Jess, so much for putting this giveaway together, writing 'Rescue Sirens' and for caring so much about our oceans💙🦈 #rescuesirens #chrissanders #jessicasteelesanders #mermaid
Kate also sent us a photo of the Nim drawing in a beautiful new frame:
Wow! How fortunate that Kate frames artwork professionally -- we can't imagine a better home for this "Rescue Sirens" drawing! It really was meant to be.
Seeing all the different interpretations of our mermaids that our contest entrants submitted has been such a delight and a privilege, and we thank each and every one of you for participating! We've added a few of our very favorite illustrations to our Guest Artists Gallery, and I plan on posting more drawings to our "Guest Art" Facebook album as soon as I have a spare moment.
In the meantime, though, we're preparing for SDCC 2017! In addition to our brand-new children's book, we'll have a couple of other cool "Rescue Sirens"-related goodies to share with you. Keep your fins crossed that we can get everything done before Preview Night on Wednesday, July 19th!