Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Happy Medium Between Art and Text

There's a lot of talk these days about the lack of interest many people have when it comes to reading, particularly if they're forced to do so. However, newly acquired publisher Open Book Press has addressed this dilemma with striking clarity.

"Reading is somewhat of a lost skill in today's society," states author and co-president of Open Book Press, Doug Crill. "Kids in particular would rather be visually assaulted by a video game than to pick up a book and seek adventure," he continues. "Our goal is a simple one, to make reading a pleasurable experience for everyone."

He and his business partner, illustrator Daniel J. Frey, formed the company of Dark Dance Productions back in 2004. Together the two men have set out to produce a happy medium between art and text, combining the two forms to create an exciting experience for those individuals who find reading too time consuming and tedious, hence -- the reluctant reader.

Their first success was the graphic novel series, Cry Wolf; the winner of numerous awards and notable achievements, which include being selected as a teaching tool at the University of New Mexico in 2005.

From that point, the two men have expanded their resumes to encompass the world of publishing with an emphasis on the reading needs of children and early teens. Frey, a long time illustrator of children's books, has brought his extraordinary expertise to the table and combined it with Crill's gift of the written word. The result has been a winning combination in the field of -- illustrated learning. In fact, Cry Wolf can be found on the shelves of several libraries across the country.

Currently, Open Book Press has launched a re-release of books one and two of Cry Wolf, as well as a book of poetry, a murder mystery, another graphic novel, and a book on punk rock, most of which can easily be absorbed by the reluctant reader. All of these books are available to retailers through the international distributor, BookWorld. Most of the company's lineup can be found in major bookstores across the country and Canada.

But it only gets better. In 2008 they plan on releasing several children's books with wide-ranging topics -- topics that will engage the minds of younger, reluctant readers.

"We are very sensitive to the needs of all readers," says Crill. "And we will do our best to meet those needs."

For more information about Open Book Press, Dark Dance Productions, LLC, and Cry Wolf go to,, and, respectively.

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