It Never Rains, by Kari Maaren
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Saturday, August 10, 2019
It Never Rains auction cameo: Kate Blair
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Today's surprise comic exists because in the fall of 2018, a group of us held an auction associated with a kidlit-themed gala, and one of the items auctioned off was an It Never Rains cameo. The item was won by Kate Blair, a friend of mine and the author of three books: Transferral (2015), Tangled Planet (2017), and The Magpie's Library (2019). The Magpie's Library was actually just released this May, so I decided to feature in the comic. The title panel is designed to resemble the book's cover, and the comic takes place during Kate's book launch at Bakka-Phoenix Books, which, alas, I could not attend because I was teaching that night. However, I like to think that Rose and Alex were there in my place.

In case anyone is interested: The Magpie's Library is a middle-grade book about a thirteen-year-old girl, Silva, whose grandfather has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Silva escapes to the library, where she discovers a hidden room that allows her to travel inside a series of strange, truncated books that all seem oddly connected to each other and even to Silva's family. The secret library is curated by an intelligent, seemingly friendly magpie that appears to have an agenda of its own. Silva must work out what is really going on while dealing with grief and family conflict.
Saturday, August 10, 2019
Panel 1: In the large title panel of this Sunday-style comic, we see a stylised blue door against a navy background. Vines curl around the door, which features, in fancy lettering, the words "It Never Rains" and "Kari Maaren." To the right is a poster on a stand. It reads, "Signing Today! / Kate Blair / Author of The Magpie's Library." Alex and Rose are standing in front of this poster. Alex is taking notes; Rose is watching Alex.

Panel 2: In a bookstore, people are lined up in front of a little table with books piled on it. A sign on the table reads, "MEET AUTHOR KATE BLAIR." Behind the table is Kate Blair, a young white woman with long brown hair. She is wearing a black sweater over a red shirt. Alex is next in line, with Rose behind her and a man and his son behind Rose. The man and boy both have black hair and medium-dark skin. The boy, who seems about Alex's age, is reading a book avidly. Alex is holding up a book; Kate reaches for it.

Alex: Hi! I'm Alex. Would you sign my book?

Kate: Of course!

Panel 3:

Alex: I've already read all of it. I liked it, but I thought you misrepresented magic libraries.

Panel 4: Alex and Kate lean towards each other, and Kate points at Alex.

Kate: I bet I've been in more magic libraries than you.

Alex: Six?

Kate: Seven.

Alex: Huh.

Panel 5:

Alex: I've met an immortal cat.

Kate: I am an immortal cat.

Alex: I have a sister who can travel in time.

Kate: Only one?

Panel 6:  Alex ponders as Kate smiles at her brightly.

Panel 7: Alex magnanimously shakes hands with Kate. Rose, watching, smirks.

Alex: Okay, you win this time, but things will be different when next we meet.

Kate: No promises.

Alt-Text: Alex is totally going to win next time.

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Content copyright Kari Maaren 2014-2017
Images copyright Kari Maaren 2014-2017