By: Kidman J. Williams
Sometimes at Gonzo Today (myself included) we get so caught up with hollering about the unjust, the corrupt and those examples only cover the political news. Sometimes we get to see great humans with great ideas and broad imaginations. This brings me to introduce you to John Mullins and as he humbly puts it, “I am not artistic, I am not articulate and I’m not photogenic (laughs); I am just a colorblind father from the Midwest who happened to get some UV powder on his hands and an idea.”
What is the book?
The book that John came up with is called, “First Day of Magic School.” It is an interactive book that is not only fun, but it is also educational and interactive. The book will teach the alphabet. It will also teach children how to identify different objects, mazes and much more.
The best part is that the book will come with an LED light that is fashioned as a magic wand and what kid wouldn’t want to play with his/her own magic wand. When the child goes through the book he will see the page and then when he waves his wand in front of the page it will show hidden pictures and different things that go with the story. What kid wouldn’t want to have a magic wand? The answer is, every kid would want to have a magic wand.
Where did the idea come from?
Mullins said that he started the book a few years back when he wanted to do something special for his son’s third birthday. He wanted to do something special because he truly loved getting a special toy when he was growing up. He sat down and tirelessly worked his job while still being Daddy and stayed up late at night to get a little kiddy book together for his son.
The real idea took form a few weeks later for John after work when he happened to see his hands under a black-light. By day John is an IT and Security guy. John was working with some UV security marking powders and when he saw his hands glowing all different colors the idea really took form.
He started to test out all different non-toxic inks, juices and papers; he messed with different lights like UV, LED, and what he came up with was remarkable. This is when he got the idea to fashion the light to be a magic wand. He came up with his son’s gift; the first copy of “First Day of Magic School,” needless to say that when his son got the gift and was able to play with the wand he was all smiles. There is nothing more precious than a happy child who can be sparked to use his imagination.
Mullins at this point really hadn’t thought of doing a published work. It wasn’t until the generous hearted man made copies of the then called, “Dylan’s First Day of Magic School,” that he made for some of his son’s friends (should be noted that he personalized the title for his friends) that couldn’t afford gifts for Christmas.
Getting the book done
Mullins has started his own Kickstarter project, because he still needs to do research on the lights and different powders to make this a professional looking book. His artist, Chicagoland resident, Addie Afable will be giving the book a polished Anime kind of a style. Between John’s idea and Addie’s artwork, this book will bring a whole world to life for the children that read the book. When I asked Mullins what the purpose of the book was he answered simply, “There is more to the naked eye than what you see with your eyes. You can’t see dreams, you can’t hold a bottle of hopes. The book will teach children their ABC’s, object identification, mazes and it will be able to form their imaginations.”
by Ralph Steadman
“I would feel real trapped in this life if I didn’t know I could commit suicide at any time,” he told me many years ago, and I knew he meant it. It wasn’t a case of if but when. He didn’t reckon he would make it beyond 30 anyway, so he lived it all in the fast lane. There were no 1st 2nd 3rd and top gears in a car — just overdrive. He was in a hurry. These long, strange nights. Drive your stake through a darkened heart in a red Mercedes Benz. The blackness hides a speeding tramp. The savage breast pretends. Ooooh, Yes! A scar heals black in the neon lights, Through weird and twisted nights, Headlights spear approaching cars, Black needles spear the eyes, Through weird and twisted nights, But never mind the nights my love, because they never really happened anyway. So we wrote in a Beverly Hills house one drunken night. I wrote the stanzas — he wrote the chorus. “Don’t write Ralph, he said, You’ll bring shame on your family”. ‘Those Weird and Twisted Nights’. Those warped and civil rights. Never mind the dogs my love…etc….That was the song.
by Cody S. Decker
I just got home from The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame induction, where the Grand Poobah of Gonzo became one of the newest members. A lot is going through my head right now. Which means it’s time for me to kick start this old Smith Corona typewriter into gear with a glass of bourbon and a few thoughts of my own about how it all went down.
Prior to this event, I was expecting it to be a rather small affair. I envisioned a few folks in a room listening to the presenters read some works from the writers being honored. Boy, was I wrong. Continue reading