Corey Blake

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Corey Blake
Alma materMillikin University (BFA)
OccupationCEO of Round Table Press

Corey Blake is an entrepreneur, storyteller and former actor and filmmaker. He has released graphic novel translations of popular book titles.[1][2] Blake founded and ran the nonprofit organization known as The From the Barrio Foundation, which "committed to using author Robert Renteria’s life, business experience, and role as a civic leader to help eliminate conditions that foster violence, delinquency, drugs, and gangs."[3] In order to produce his comic books, Blake has established a publishing house, based in Highland Park, Illinois known as Writers of the Round Table Press,[4] which has produced renditions of The Long Tail and The Art of War, among others,[2][5] including Shut Up, Stop Whining, & Get a Life, Overachievement, How to Master the Art of Selling and Mi Barrio.[5][6][7] These books are widely used in the educational sector, as well as in youth prisons.[8] The authors of these books "all agreed to exchange rights for a token $100 each, in return for royalty payments of as much as 20% of Round Table’s take", according to Forbes.[9][10] The comic book versions of the titles are available at major bookstores such as Barnes & Noble, Indigo Books and Music; the publications are also released in digital format, for devices such as iPhones, as well as BlackBerry and Android devices.[7][11] Blake's motivation for format translation stems from his interest in attracting busy professionals and a new generation of readers who prefer to be entertained as they are educated.[12][13] In the education sector, Corey Blake has organized the delineation of the United States Constitution, as well as its ratification process in a work titled United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation.[14] Kate Kelly noted that in the text, Blake's company "included women as part of the process that looks to the future. A female in period clothes is used to depict several of the explanations concerning the power of the Constitution, and women are represented in the sections that address Congress and its responsibilities.[15] In May 2013, Corey Blake has also launched the production of a publication, aimed at the fifth grade standard, known as The Crusaders, a "comic that use[d] real-life authors as super heroes to help kids face challenges."[16] Blake has also pictorialized the story of Riley Weinstein, a teenage girl who has "survived nearly 20 brain surgeries, five strokes and paralysis."[17]

Prior to his work in publishing, Blake was an actor who costarred and guest starred on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Shield, Fastlane, and Joan of Arcadia among other shows. Short Films he produced and directed won awards at the San Diego Film Festival, Worldfest Houston, and the George Sidney Independent Film Competition. He starred in commercials for Mountain Dew, Mitsubishi, and American Express, among others. His appearance in “Coverage” for Yard Fitness earned producers a Belding, Bronze Lion, London International Advertising Award, and an Adforum Creative Hit Award; the commercial was featured on ABC’s “World’s Greatest Commercials.”

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  1. ^ "The Comic Book Renaissance". Fox News. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Corey Blake turns non-fiction and business best-selling titles into comic books.
  2. ^ a b Geddes, John (20 April 2011). "Motivational all-stars use graphic novels to inspire". USA Today. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Writers of the Round Table Press, the publisher responsible for the recently released graphic novel translations of such books as Delivering Happiness, The Art of War and The Long Tail, sees the crossover to the comics medium as a natural fit between these authors and today's generation of business readers. CEO Corey Michael Blake says, "The short format is perfect for professionals in the Twitter generation."
  3. ^ Guy, Sandra (4 September 2010). "Author-aims-to-keep-kids-away-from-drugs". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Blake, Renteria and Cheryl Maraffio, an Aurora resident who lost her son to gang violence, have formed a nonprofit foundation (FromTheBarrio.com) to raise money to expand the awareness of Renteria's message and to cover school curricula donations. The book has been turned into a graphic novel titled Mi Barrio and is going digital this fall.
  4. ^ "Authors to appear on Comcast's "Contempo" program". Daily Herald. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014. The book is published by Round Table Companies in Highland Park, IL.
  5. ^ a b Wehrum, Kasey (May 2011). "Comic Books for Entrepreneurs". Inc. Retrieved 27 September 2014. The books are the brainchild of Corey Michael Blake, president of Round Table Companies, a Mundelein, Illinois–based media company. Blake partnered with another business, SmarterComics, to produce a line of comic books based on six popular business titles, including The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson; How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins; and the longtime favorite The Art of War, by Sun Tzu.
  6. ^ Geddes, John (20 April 2011). "Motivational all-stars use graphic novels to inspire". USA Today. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Shut Up, Stop Whining, & Get a Life were the first to get the graphic novel treatment. "Chris was very trusting of us, which was great," Blake says. "Larry was trusting, too, but he was also hands-on … very involved every step of the way. I think he was excited to see himself in comic book form." He laughs and adds: "I mean, making Larry a superhero is perfect!" In addition to Long Tail and Get a Life, other graphic novels in the series include Eliot's Overachievement, How to Master the Art of Selling by Hopkins, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, and Renteria's Mi Barrio
  7. ^ a b Blumenthal, Robin Goldwyn. "Giving 'Em the Business". Barron's. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Corey Michael Blake, founder and president of Round Table Cos., recently announced that April 1 his outfit will be launching "graphic nonfiction's" answer to the graphic novel, with condensed versions of titles like The Long Tail and How to Master the Art of Selling. The titles will be free online and on several smartphones until July 1, with the print editions released April 16 in U.S. bookstores and Indigo bookstores in Canada.
  8. ^ Kelly, Kate (27 October 2012). "The U.S. Constitution: What If You Could Explain the Crafting of This Document in Less Than an Hour?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Blake was soon joined by former filmmaker David Cohen who brought a visual storytelling sense to the company. The result was creating graphic novels of books such as Chris Anderson's The Long Tail and Mi Barrio: From the Barrio to the Boardroom by Robert Renteria, which has brought the company into the educational market; the book has been widely used around the country in schools and youth prisons to inspire at-risk youth.
  9. ^ Adams, Susan (9 March 2011). "Business Funnies -". Forbes. Retrieved 27 September 2014. The paperbacks will sell for $12.95 and iPad versions for $6.99.
  10. ^ Reid, Calvin (8 March 2011). "Round Table, SmarterComics Offer Free Downloads, More Nonfiction Comics". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Blake negotiated the rights and put together the veteran cartoonists and writers that adapted the prose works into comics; given the great reception for the first releases, he's eager to get going on his own line of nonfiction graphic novel adaptations.
  11. ^ Wehrum, Kasey (May 2011). "Comic Books for Entrepreneurs". Inc. Retrieved 27 September 2014. The comic books will be sold this spring in traditional comic book shops as well as at national retail outlets like Barnes & Noble and Hudson News airport bookstores across the country. Digital versions for iPads, iPhones, and Android devices will also be available.
  12. ^ Harris, Rachel Lee (20 March 2011). "'The Art of War,' in Graphic Detail". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2014. In an e-mail Corey Michael Blake, the chief executive of Round Table, said that he hoped to attract the interest of busy professionals, Twitter-generation readers who prefer to be entertained as they are educated, and traditional comic book readers.
  13. ^ Trachtenberg, Jeffrey A. (21 March 2011). "Business Titles Draw On the Comics Trend". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 27 September 2014. "We're reaching out to the busy professional who doesn't have six to eight hours to read a full-length book," said Corey Michael Blake, chief executive officer of closely held Round Table Cos., which owns Writers of the Round Table Press, based in Mundelein, Ill. Mr. Blake said the books haven't been dumbed down. "We've presented the essence of them in quicker fashion," he said.
  14. ^ Kelly, Kate (27 October 2012). "The U.S. Constitution: What If You Could Explain the Crafting of This Document in Less Than an Hour?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Round Table Companies, a publishing company, has done just that by assigning to a writer and an artist the challenge of creating a graphic adaptation to explain the writing of the United States Constitution and the effort the founding fathers exerted to ratify it.
  15. ^ Kelly, Kate (27 October 2012). "The U.S. Constitution: What If You Could Explain the Crafting of This Document in Less Than an Hour?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2014. While there were no founding mothers who actually took part in the convention in Philadelphia, Round Table and the comic's creators have included women as part of the process that looks to the future. A female in period clothes is used to depict several of the explanations concerning the power of the Constitution, and women are represented in the sections that address Congress and its responsibilities.
  16. ^ Weinberg, Dorothy (9 May 2013). "Book Publishing Company Mission to Help Kids Become Super Heroes: Round Table Companies launches Kickstarter campaign to create innovative comic that uses real-life authors as super heroes to help kids face challenges". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 27 September 2014. These superheroes all became special by accident, and that's the message that RTC CEO and president Corey Blake wants to make sure young people know. The book, geared for 5th grade and up, shows readers that even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, they can create their own paths to success. "Kids need to be given the gift of recognizing that being a superhero is a choice you make," Blake said. "It's a choice these authors made. It's important to recognize your super powers and to know that you have to choose whether or not you're going to use them."
  17. ^ Doyle, Sue (8 December 2005). "Make-A-Wish helps Valencia girl tell story". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 27 September 2014. Next year, the film company will take "Riley" to film festivals. It hopes that a cable channel will pick it up, so others can learn about the girl's plight, said Corey Blake, a director on the documentary.

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