SMASH Reading at Gatewood Elementary

by Chris Bolton in , , , , ,

We're pleased to present some pictures from SMASH artist Kyle Bolton's recent visit to Gatewood Elementary School in Seattle.

A gaggle of excited 4th and 5th graders watched a panel-by-panel slide show with Kyle performing voices and sound effects from SMASH, Book One: Trial by Fire. Then Kyle answered a LOT of fantastic questions from these eager readers. Huge thanks to Gatewood's super-librarian Jackie Snyder for arranging the event and taking pictures!

To find out how to book an event with Chris or Kyle at your school or library, visit our Events page.

Kyle (lurking in the shadows) finishes performing the opening scene of SMASH after the slide show.

Kyle poses with a happy young fan.

The students listen to Kyle talk about his art process.

There Will Be a SMASH Book 2!

by Chris Bolton in , , , , ,

We are thrilled to announce that we've just finalized a contract with Candlewick Press to publish SMASH BOOK TWO! And, as you can see, we're flying in circles over it.

For now, the title and plot of the book are sealed inside an underground vault in the Magus's secret lair and guarded round-the-clock by his Minions. While we don't have a publication date yet, rest assured we're working as fast as we can to bring new adventures of SMASH to all our fans.

Candlewick Press also published SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE, our first all-ages graphic novel featuring 10-year-old superhero Smash, and we couldn't be more excited to work with them again.

In addition to creating a gorgeous book that's a pleasure to read, Candlewick has worked tirelessly to promote SMASH, leading to glowing reviews, literary prizes like the Oregon Spirit Book Award and Children's Choice Book Award, and a legion of young readers who have let us know they can't wait for more SMASH.

Smash Cover Small

We're especially excited to collaborate again with our fearless editor, Mary Lee Donovan, whose guidance and enthusiasm helped us develop our webcomic into a finished book we can be proud of. And we want to thank our agent, Bernadette Baker-Baughman at the Victoria Sanders Agency, for her patience, support, and all-around awesomeness.

We'll keep you updated as Book Two progresses. For more information, sign up for the mailing list in the margin at the right to get all the latest news while it's hot!

You can also follow SMASH on Twitter and Facebook.

Smashing Expectations: Kyle Bolton Reads at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School

by Chris Bolton in , ,

Kyle Class 1 This week, SMASH artist Kyle Bolton paid a visit to the 4th and 5th grade classes at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School in Seattle as part of a terrific program called WITS (Writers In The Schools).

Kyle showed panels from our book, Smash: Trial by Fire, reading the dialogue and acting out the different characters, and then took a flurry of fantastic questions from the eager students.

Kyle Class 2

Erin Langner, the Program Associate for WITS, wrote about it in a blog post:

All eyes were on the author as he animated the story of a ten-year-old boy who finds himself bestowed with superhero powers using a thorough assortment of voices and sounds to match each action. Building up to a critical moment of realization, the entire library gasped when Kyle unveiled the final, "To be continued..." slide of his reading; the cliffhanger was severe, despite only hearing a small part of a story the Boltons have planned to fill five books.

Kyle Class 3

The kids sitting around the lingering "To be continued..." slide did not see this as an end but as an opportunity. Their imaginations ignited, when Kyle invited questions, every third hand raised brought ideas for the next four Smash books. Methods for defeating villains, suggestions for co-conspirators, new narrative twists and potential wardrobe ideas were floated for consideration. While it is hard to know which directions the authors might find best suited for the next iterations of Smash, it was clear that no outside distractions were too much for this room full of story tellers, who found new suggestions to share through the end of the hour—ideas that I hope to run into again someday, when these creative students put their pencils to the paper and let the inspiration flow.

Huge thanks to WITS and the teachers and students at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School for a great time!

If you would like to have the Bolton brothers speak to your classroom, please email us here. You can also find Kyle or Chris via the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators website.

Oregon Spirit Book Awards Presentation

by Chris Bolton in , , , , ,

You may have heard that SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE won the 2013 Oregon Spirit Book Award for Graphic Novel. Sticker

On Saturday, October 4, SMASH writer Chris A. Bolton attended the awards ceremony at Wilsonville High School. Sponsored by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, it was a wonderful day that kicked off with a rousing keynote speech by author Brian Doyle.

Then the winners were each presented a beautiful plaque onstage and given a few minutes to speak.


Afterward, they had a chance to sign books and mingle with teachers and other nominees. Chris heard from several teachers who were phenomenally excited to introduce SMASH to their classroom.

Chris and His Award

From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank the OCTE for this honor. Their award highlights a variety of children's books from Oregon writers and helps introduce the value of stories to young minds that crave them. We are deeply grateful for this award and a wonderful ceremony!


Chris and Karen

And, if you'd like to watch Chris's acceptance speech: