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Martín Perna Ready For The First Of Many Children’s Books
Published August 7, 2006

Once a rare occurrence, blackouts are now a concern from New York to California. As they make energy a front-burner issue, two Brooklyn artists take an enlightened perspective on the crisis.

BLACKOUT!, a coloring book and story for all ages, weaves a tale of the energy that surged through New York over the course of a 36-hour-long blackout that affected over 50 million people in the United States and Canada in 2003.

Author/saxophonist Martín Perna – who organized the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra in 1998 – inspired by the unusual wave of goodwill and spontaneity in his Brooklyn neighborhood, wrote most of BLACKOUT! in fifteen minutes. “The images, my own and those of others – they all rushed into me at once. The story wrote itself.”

Over the next two years Perna revised the story and took the plunge into independent publishing.

He enlisted the help of artist and impresario Ricardo Cortés, author and illustrator of the acclaimed book It’s Just A Plant, for the 32-page work.

Said Perna, “The mission of BLACKOUT! is to add to the growing body of media that will expand our imagination. Imagination is critical to both our happiness and our survival.”
The book launches on August 12, 2006 with a children-friendly party at the Fort Greene eco-friendly eatery Habana Outpost (, featuring food, music, collaborative art, and a reading of the book.

Perna is scheduled to deliver live and on-air readings as follows:

August 12: LAUNCH PARTY! Habana Outpost, Brooklyn, NY. 2-8 PM
August 13: City Sol Festival, Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd and FDR. 1-7 PM
August 14: WBAI-FM 99.5 “Wake Up Call” radio show. 8-8:30 AM
August 14: Bluestockings Bookstore 177 Allen St. NYC 7PM
August 16: Carlito’s Café 1701 Lexington Ave. NYC 7PM
August 26: Guerrilla Café 1620 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA 11AM

BLACKOUT!, an Ocote Soul Media/Magic Propaganda Mill project, is available online at, and at select bookstores nationwide.