Thursday, March 31, 2011

Holiday themed Batman, Essex County on CBC and True Blood

Here's the link to page 47 of Tomb of the Undead.

Dr. Darrell Starkwood looks to strike back at Dr. Miller.
I have written a really cool back-story for Darrel Starkwood, I'm just not sure it will be delivered fully for everyone to understand, but it's there anyhow. I'm not sure if people like Starkwood or what, but I like writing for him, and winding him up.

As our characters get further away from him, you'd have to think his influence on them would decrease - we'll have to see if that happens or not.

Graphic novel news

Sara Quin loves reading, wants you to love it too
Lindsey Byrnes

Last week, Sara Quin appeared on the CBC's Canada Reads, a televised program in which panelists present a book they feel is the most important novel to come from/be about Canada. Sara chose Essex County, a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire. She had to make her case for the book, but the odds were stacked against her from the beginning, as the other panelists (Ali Velshi, Debbie Travis, Georges Laraque and Lorne Cardinal) couldn't see past the fact that it was a graphic novel, thus having fewer words.

AE: How did you decide on Essex County for your pick?
SQ: It was on the short list and it was something that I had already read and loved. thought it would be a terrific way to both defend a book I admired, but also a genre I respect greatly.

AE: Was part of your decision to include a graphic novel because you wanted to push that boundary a little bit; challenge people to consider the art form?
SQ: I absolutely hoped that my defense and the exposure around the show would push those people who hadn't read a graphic novel before, to consider it. I also like being the underdog.

AE: How did you get into graphic novels?
SQ: I think it was a natural evolution from comic books to more long form comics — graphic novels/memoir/journalism — and eventually it took over my life.
Click to read more.

"True Blood: All Together Now"
Posted by Samantha Fox

The TRUE BLOOD graphic novel ALL TOGETHER NOW (IDW; $24.99) collects the first six-issue series of TRUE BLOOD comic books, inspired, of course, by the hit HBO show and Charlaine Harris books. ALL TOGETHER NOW takes place at Merlotte’s during a thunderstorm. Characters Sookie, Jason, Eric, Tara, Lafayette and Sam, as well as a few locals, are hanging out inside, waiting out the bad weather. When the psychically “gifted” Sookie approaches a dining patron, she realizes it’s really an “Imp Shaloop” named Ted, who has numerous tentacles and the ability to crush (and kill) her and her friends. Shortly after Sookie’s beau Bill arrives, he quickly gets bitch-slapped by the beast.

Sookie is able to give him strength by allowing Bill to suck her blood, but unfortunately, the rest of her pals aren’t vampires–she won’t be able to help them if they get hurt as well. The octobeast decides to play a game with the hostages at Merlotte’s in exchange for allowing them to keep their lives–they have to reveal their deepest, darkest, secrets; painful memories that they had never shared with anyone before. Sookie goes first, and tells a story of when she was a child. [SPOILER ALERT] Being able to read minds, she figured out that her parents were somewhat frightened of her, and she resented that. One day when Sookie and her brother were dropped off at their grandmother’s house, Sookie confronted her mom, told her she hated her and ran away. That night, her parents drowned in a flood. Tara tells her story next as a diversion so Sam can attack the Imp Shaloop. He fails. The rest of the gang reveals their secrets, and it appears that the strange beast is somehow feeding off of their pain.

Developed by TRUE BLOOD creator Alan Ball and show writers Elisabeth Finch and Kate Barrow, ALL TOGETHER NOW was co-written by David Tischman and Mariah Huehner. It features illustrations by David Messina, J. Scott Campbell, Joe Corroney and Andrew Currie. Although the story is somewhat predictable, it’s not too hard to follow, especially if you’re not a huge TRUE BLOOD fan. The graphics are realistic, but almost too much so. Rather than having a classic comic strip feel, the book appears as if images from the show were cartoonified in Photoshop and then printed. The bonus photo gallery is nothing to write home about either; mostly images that resemble fan art that one would find in a TRUE BLOOD fan blog or on Overall, ALL TOGETHER NOW is enjoyable, but unless you’re a die-hard Trubie, you may have buyer’s remorse.
Click to read more.

Lee Bermejo to write and draw Batman: Noel graphic novel
Robot 6
Kevin Melrose

The first news to emerge from the ComicsPRO annual meeting in Dallas is that Lee Bermejo, the critically acclaimed artist of Joker and Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, will write and draw a Batman graphic novel for DC Comics.

Titled Batman: Noel, the holiday-themed book will mark Bermejo’s comics-writing debut. It’s edited by Mark Chiarello, DC’s vice president of art direction & design.

“I’m totally excited by this project, and not only because Lee Bermejo is such an astounding artist,” Chiarello tells the DC Universe blog The Source. “Sure, the work he’s done in the past (Joker OGN, Wednesday Comics) has been pretty brilliant and I’d expect nothing less from Lee, but the added bonus of Batman: Noel being drawn and written by Lee is extra cool. In other words, I knew Lee could deliver the goods artistically, but I never knew he was also this great of a writer!”

No released date was mentioned.
Click to read more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Behind the scenes with Nick Bertozzi, graphic novel projects and and working with Dean Koontz

Here's the second page of the next scene, All in. I forewarned that you'll see left hands where they don't belong - and on this page the terror returns.

Graphic novel news
I really love behind the scenes stuff for graphic novels, and there's an absolutely great post from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group about the Lewis and Clark graphic novel I posted about earlier.

Queen for a Day: The Queenie Chan Interview
Danica Davidson
Graphic Novel Reporter

Queenie Chan was barely an adult when she began drawing, but in a short amount of time, she was able to make a successful manga career out of it. Launching her career with The Dreaming, she expanded her work with TokyoPop by working as an illustrator on some of the graphic novels based on Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas books. Chan talked to GraphicNovelReporter about how she got started, what her work process is like, and what advice she has for people interested in making their own comics professionally.

How did you get started drawing? Was it self-taught or did you learn from classes or books?

I actually didn't start drawing until I was 18—before that, I only ever drew for school projects, which makes me entirely self-taught. Back then, my motivation was to develop a hobby that I could enjoy while I studied for my Information Systems degree. I wasn't enjoying my stint at university, and so I spent my spare time skipping lectures and writing/drawing instead. Drawing became a way for me to cope with my studies.

Gradually, the writing and drawing got so enjoyable that I wished I could do it for a full-time job! Looking back, I think I would have seriously benefited from taking art classes or reading books about drawing, because that would have made some aspects of it (especially anatomy) a lot easier. However, because I didn't have any art instruction, I had to learn things the long way around, and so I developed some bad habits that took a while to undo. It all worked out at the end, though, because having to draw professionally meant that I had to do research and expose myself to a much wider range of art than an Information Systems degree person would otherwise be exposed to, and that opened my eyes to the possibilities out there.

How did you get involved with Dean Koontz’s graphic novels?

I think it was after book two of The Dreaming that Dallas Middaugh, then of Del Rey, contacted me and asked me if I was interested in a book by Dean Koontz called Odd Thomas. I'd heard from Dallas before—he enjoyed volume one of The Dreaming and had emailed me to ask about another project, which I had to turn down due to volume two of The Dreaming. I read Dean's books as a teen, so I was immediately intrigued, and after Dallas sent me the book, I decided I'd be happy to work on a prequel to Odd Thomas. The end result was working on In Odd We Trust and volume three of The Dreaming at the same time (overlapping schedules for a few months), so I tell you, I was totally addled by these two books, and my memories of them have actually merged together in my head. Yowza.

So I guess it was being in the right place at the right time. And Dallas (and Dean) for taking an interest in my work (many thanks to them!).

Did you work with Dean Koontz while making them? What was the process like?

There were a few back-and-forth emails, but back in those days, no one had a clear idea of what the whole thing would end up looking like, so my contact with Dean was pretty minimal. Basically, I wrote the script, then Dean rewrote the dialogue to fit his vision of his characters. It was a tad awkward, and the whole thing was an experiment, but it seemed to have worked out well enough (judging by the sales figures of In Odd We Trust). For my part, I concentrated on making the characters likeable and interpreting them as close as possible to the way they were in the books. After reading the emails I received from fans of the book telling me they liked my interpretation of the characters, I think I succeeded there.

The second book, Odd Is on Our Side,was a lot different, since I was just doing the art while Fred Van Lente worked on the script with Dean. This time, Dean had a much clearer idea of the final product, so he provided a story summary, while Fred took this summary and wrote a comics script. Fred and Dean then worked on the script until it was the final version, and I have to say, the two of them gelled really well and produced a very good script. It was a pleasure doing the art for Odd Is on Our Side. I'm currently working on book three, called House of Odd, and the process is the same.

What tips do you have for people interested in making comics professionally?

It's a difficult time to break into comics due to the recession, but I feel that if you want to do comics professionally, it's best to first have at least a few short stories under your belt. That way, you can figure out how fast you can draw and pace yourself accordingly. Believe it or not, drawing comics is really about grind a lot of the time—you have to draw whether you want to or not, and you draw a lot of things you don't find interesting. So unless you can work under those circumstances, you're better off sticking to drawing comics as a hobby. I would also advise getting a new hobby when you're drawing professionally. You need some kind of distraction in order to keep to deadlines!
Click to read more.

Graphic Novel Journal
The Envisionist

OK, in case I did not make it clear in previous posts, it’s official. My thesis is a graphic novel. I have, at least, tacit endorsement from the faculty, a fairly articulate presentation and a plan of attack.

My book list is growing. Some of these titles would never in a hundred years have occurred to me to read. Now, however, that I’m embarking on writing my own, the study of form and the observation of the maestros seems critical. There’s more here than meets the eye; much more. The book list is broken into two parts: books that analyze comics (a graphic novel is a comic, a comic is sequential art intended to tell a story, and some argue that a single frame constitutes a comic also), and graphic novels (most of which started out as comics with a “story arc” that continued from issue to issue and then they were compiled into a single bound edition and bestowed with the name graphic novel). That was their intent all along.

Anyway, I’m immersing myself in this right now. What it is, and what’s going on inside it is a rich visual language with conventions, and icons, and devices that communicate to those who are willing to discover within that language the story being told. Japanese is a language. Visually, it uses pictures that represent concepts that form thoughts and mental images that represent words. Comics employ a language as well. It’s not all spelled out for you the way a literary novel does it with page after page of descriptive exposition. In a comic the same description could easily be a single frame. In the graphic novel you see what the literary novel says. This well is deep. There are not only thousands of comics and graphic novels. There are hundreds of scholarly examinations of the art form, its history and the language of comics.

WInter quarter at OSU. As the process lays out. This is my quarter to immerse myself in the art form, to understand what is at work and hopefully expose myself to the best examples in the medium.

Since this is going to be a digital creation using CG, I’m also trying to polish my visual chops, learning new software and polishing my fluency on stuff I already know.

Finally, I’m trying to — at least — figure out my story line so I can begin to think in terms of character development and visualization.

More on process some other time.
Click to read more.

4 Steps to Writing a Graphic Novel
From the desk of Nick Bertozzi, author of Lewis & Clark

"STEP 1: Write a script. People will tell you this is hard to do. They are not lying to you.

STEP 2: Lay out the pages with rough drawings and roughly positioned text.
I tried using a new roughing technique for LEWIS & CLARK, putting together all of my layout using Adobe Illustrator. It's great for positioning text exactly where you want it, but drawing right onto a computer is a crazy idea. Just think, you can draw your image up to 800% magnification which means the awesome detail that you're drawing on Meriwether Lewis's epaulets will look like a muddy splotch at 100% magnification. Stay AWAY from the zoom tool is my advice here.

STEP 3: Pencil the pages onto 11" x 14" bristol board using the Roughs in Step 2 as a guide.

This is the stage in which I try to get the characters' poses and facial expressions just right. If I get the pose right, I can give an emotional resonance to the dialogue balloon that the character is speaking in order to make that character seem more real.

STEP 4: Ink over the pencils using an old-fashioned pen nib and brush with india ink.

This is the part in which I try to make the pages look good; thicken up the lines so that the pictures are easy to read, and using different inking techniques to make the background elements and props look like they're supposed to: Plants are inked like plants, example. Sounds easy, but it's hard for me...

STEP 5: Scan and manipulate the image to get it to read as clearly as possible. Even though I spend all that time on Steps 1-4, there's still lots of little things that go wrong and I don't often see them until someone points them out to me. On these pages I added black to the tops of the buildings so that the entire two-page spread appears more solid, I moved some panels around purely for design sake, and most importantly, I added more space in the word balloons so they'd be easier to read.

The whole process takes a few days and I haven't even mentioned the time spent researching the buildings and costumery of the era nor the hours spent trying to get better at drawing horses–not sure if I succeeded on that last one–but I think it's worth it since it makes for a really quick and smooth reading experience that I hope you like. Thanks for reading!"

Click to read more.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Milking chickens, man of bronze and writing tips

Here's the first page of the next scene, All in. I forewarned that you'll see left hands where they don't belong - and on this page the terror returns.

Disregard the man with the two left hands - he ate the wrong thing for breakfast and now he's ... got awful left hands. For the record, if you're drawing someone holding a phone, the fingers should always be facing the front of the speaker's head, and the thumb is to the back of the phone - unless you're drawing it wrong. The thumb is very rarely going to stick out at the front.

For the record, I'm reading "The English Patient" and the character Caravaggio has no thumbs, because they were cut off in the war. The only reason he wasn't murdered by the Axis is because the Allies were approaching, so they had to stop punishing Caravaggio. Just so you know.

Graphic novel news

How to Write a Graphic Novel Story Template
Spanner Spencer

A graphic novel is a narrative work that uses sequential art to deliver the story to the reader, much like an extended, feature-length comic book. The storytelling techniques employed in writing the script for a graphic novel are the same as any work of fiction, requiring careful attention to the story's structure, theme, characters and narrative. By gradually building an outline template, the story's development time can be significantly reduced. This is achieved by starting with the story's core concept as the foundation, and expanding it incrementally until it's ready for the first full draft to be written.


* 1 Write a "tag line" for your graphic novel, which conveys the story's concept in a single short sentence.

* 2 Expand the tag line into a "log line" by writing a sentence explaining the story's beginning, two sentences for the middle, and another single sentence for the ending.

* 3 Write a synopsis of the graphic novel by expanding each sentence in the log line into a full paragraph. The finished synopsis still shouldn't be longer than a single sheet of paper.

* 4 Take each paragraph in the synopsis and expand it to a fill a full sheet of paper, but no more. This is the first stage of your graphic novel's outline.

* 5 Proofread the outline thoroughly, and go back through each stage of the template, making any necessary adjustments to the story. Begin with the tag line and work forward from there until you have a second draft of the four page outline.

* 6 Write biographies for each of the characters that were important enough to warrant a mention in the outline. Include details of their childhood, their physical appearance, family history, what they do for a living, how they spend their free time and what their motivation is within the graphic novel's story. The biography should cover their lives up until the point at which the graphic novel's story begins.

* 7 Rewrite the outline based on any changes that have surfaced after writing the character biographies, and expand each page as much as you like into a "step outline." This step outline should cover everything that happens within the entire story, but without including any dialogue. Keep going back over the whole template, making adjustments as the story and characters evolve within the step outline.

* 8 Write the first draft of the graphic novel's script, following the step outline closely.
Click to read more.

Graphic novel anyone?

It's taken a while but I've started to think seriously about the graphic novel. Writing one, I mean. Certainly not illustrating one. I am not an artist, which is the understatement of the year. I'm probably going to sign up to attend the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Graphic Novel Event at the end of February, in order to learn more about this genre. I've attended a couple of talks, but this is an all day intensive so I'm hoping for inspiration. If any of you have the good fortune to possess both writing and illustrating talents you're a step ahead, but I think the key to a good graphic novel is combining the writing and the graphics like a recipe with measured ingredients. Now usually when I write the text of a picture book I have almost no power over the illustrations - though the publisher usually keeps me in the loop. That's as it should be. I often don't get to meet the artist, who might even live in another province. But I suspect that with a graphic novel the writer and artist have to work together as a tight-knit team.

So I keep thinking about the story of mine that publishers always love, but don't want to touch, because they can't figure out who to market it to (neither can I, only how about 'anyone of any age that actually finds it funny?') I know that it would work as a graphic novel. I feel it in my bones - unless that's just the osteo-arthritis acting up - but there's a problem. The language of that story is so important. Not to hold myself on the same level of greatness as Oscar Wilde, but it would be like creating a graphic novel from 'The Importance of Being Ernest.' I could, however, see two versions. The witty, wordy version and the graphic version. I'm talking about my story and Wilde's play, by the way.

What do you think? Maybe get together with an artist friend and see if you can come up with a graphic novel or short story (read Irene Watts' graphic version of her novel 'Goodbye Marianne.' Then read the novel. Check the differences). I think it would be very creative if your school combined an art class and an English/creative writing class and teamed up kids to create graphic novels.

I'll get back to you with more on the subject after February. Meanwhile, keep on writing.
Click to read more.

J.G. Jones: Man of Bronze
by Jeffrey Renaud

Superman, Batman, Reed Richards, Indiana Jones, James Bond and even Buckaroo Banzai -- these and many other pop culture icons were inspired at least in part by Doc Savage. But beyond creations on the printed page, silver screen and more, the Man of Bronze motivated a generation of creators, as well. One of those creators, J.G. Jones, is about to fulfill a fantasy he's held since he was a young boy growing up in Walker, Louisiana.

But the superstar artist known for his Eisner-nominated work on "Wanted" and "Final Crisis" won't be drawing the title for DC Comics, he's writing it beginning with "Doc Savage" #13, which is scheduled to be released April 13.

A self-described fan of the character, Jones will be continue delivering covers for "Doc Savage" for the duration of his six-issue run as writer while Qing Ping Mui ("Warcraft Legends") will serve as the interior artist.

Jones told CBR News how his collaboration with Ian Sattler, DC Comics' Director–Editorial, Special Projects & Archival Editions, on a forthcoming original graphic novel led to him writing the series. He also teased about what Doc and the Fabulous Five will be up against in his arc "Raise the Khan," which best-selling title he'll soon be providing covers for and also a little about what historical event moved him enough to create the aforementioned OGN, "Dust to Dust."
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ABCs, Xerxes, and a concenctration-camp survivor in graphic novels

Second page in the scene "My name is scam," which seamlessly segues into the next scene. When I was drafting the first act of the story, following closely to Syd Field's suggestions. I worked on sticking to 14 scenes in the first and third acts, while the second act is about 28 scenes - BUT of course, there are a few instances where plot points were a little too close together and wound up in the same scene, which isn't terrible, it makes things a little tighter.

It might lead to a little extra dialogue in some scenes, and it might mean that a new scene isn't clearly a new scene, but the plot point is still there illustrating conflict and exposing character.

Graphic novel news

Frank Miller talks Extensively About 300 Follow-Up XERXES
Adam Chitwood

Ever since Zack Snyder’s 300 hit theaters three years ago, fans have been chomping at the bit for a sequel/follow-up. Snyder always said that it depended on whether comic book artist/writer Frank Miller wanted to write another graphic novel. Well, it appears that Miller has a good chunk of Xerxes written and drawn, and he recently spoke extensively about the project. Regarding the story, Miller had this to say:

The time frame begins 10 years before ’300′ and the story starts with the Battle of Marathon, which was killer to draw, by the way, even if it was a lot of work. The lead character is Themistocles, who became warlord of Greece and built their navy. The story is very different than ’300′ in that it involves Xerxes’ search for godhood. The existence of gods are presupposed in this story and the idea is that he [is] well on his way to godhood by the end of the story.

For much, much more from Miller regarding Xerxes, hit the jump.

If you know anything about the Battle of Marathon, then you’re aware that cinematically this would be one of the most epic battles ever put to film. The inclusion of Themistocles as the main character is very exciting as well, as he’s generally considered one of the greatest leaders in history (though the end of his life was marred a bit by scandal). Regarding Themistocles, Miller said:

With Themistocles I have a character who is almost the dead opposite of Leonidas in that Themistocles was a lying, conniving, brilliant, heroic figure. He was nicknamed ‘The Subtle Serpent’ and he always manages to do the exact right things that will result in him benefiting greatly.

Expanding on the plot of the book a bit, Miller talked to Hero Complex about how the story of Xerxes is much more complex than 300:

The story will be the same heft as ’300′ but it covers a much, much greater span of time — it’s 10 years, not three days. This is a more complex story. The story is so much larger. The Spartans in ’300′ were being enclosed by the page as the world got smaller. This story has truly vast subjects. The Athenian naval fleet, for instance, is a massive artistic undertaking and it dwarfed by the Persian fleet, which is also shown in this story. The story has elements of espionage, too, and it’s a sweeping tale with gods and warriors.
Click to read more.

Weill's 'Lost' is Found
Wall Street

In one particularly chilling scene in Art Spiegelman's graphic novel "Maus," a concentration-camp survivor talks about how, 50 years after the Holocaust, humanity seems to be bent on making the same mistakes all over again; maybe, he muses, it will take another, bigger tragedy to make us learn our lesson. In 1949, decades before "Maus" was published, Kurt Weill, a German Jewish composer who had managed to escape from Hitler, collaborated with playwight Maxwell Anderson to write "Lost in the Stars," which used the vehicle of musical theater to alert the world of the possibility of a potential new holocaust—officially known as Apartheid—that was taking root in South Africa.

"Lost in the Stars" is being produced at City Center Encores! this weekend—one of three current large-scale presentations of Weill's works in the city where he lived during the second half of his career. On Feb. 25, the Harlem Opera Theater will present a sort of encore to Encores! with an hour of highlights from "Lost in the Stars" on the same bill as George Gershwin's one-act opera "Blue Monday." Then, from March 3-5, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will offer a series of jazz treatments of Weill songs starring the celebrated Weill interpreter Ute Lemper.

The first of the Weill events this season was a concert production, last week, of the first musical by Weill and Anderson, 1938's "Knickerbocker Holiday," presented by the Collegiate Chorale. Because it's about Peter Stuyvesant and the original settlers of what later became New York, and because its two most famous numbers are "September Song" and "It Never Was You," it seemed that the show itself would be sentimental and patriotic. Quite the contrary: "Knickerbocker" is a raucous politcal cartoon, with the Dutch colonists depicted as wise-cracking Katzenjammer kids in what is essentially an extended vaudeville sketch. Leads Victor Garber and Kelli O'Hara were excellent, but it's hard to imagine "Knickerbocker" ever being revived in a traditional sense.

Not so for "Lost in the Stars." "I hope our production shows that this work is a viable vehicle," said Rob Berman, Encores! musical director.

Although its inherent theme is certainly epic—an illustration of man's inhumanity to man—the show itself is actually surprisingly intimate. Based on Alan Paton's novel "Cry, The Beloved Country," the show depicts the journey of a preacher from a small village who travels to Johannesburg in search of his son, who has become ensnared in crime. "The story unfolds in a very straight line," Mr. Berman pointed out. "There's no subplot or secondary characters." He added that the orchestrations are comparably translucent. "Weill wrote for an orchestra of only 12 pieces, which was very small at the time. It's more like chamber music, and the musicians are very exposed."
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That Time Gene Yang Came To My Grad School And Blew Everyone's Mind
The Cool Kidz

BUT, one crazy twist to my first residency at Hamline that made me feel right at home was that one of our required readings coming into the workshop week was Gene Yang's American Born Chinese. And – if you couldn't guess by the post title – Yang played guest lecturer to talk about the creation of the book and generally blow the minds of everyone in attendance.

Think of it this way: the crew that works for and attends my Masters program write kids books for a living (or are trying to). That includes classic picture books, chapter books, and novels that range from zany middle grade and tween tales on through some provocative and smart Young Adult stuff. But the majority of these people had ZERO experience with comics before reading Yang's book. So much so that "comics" didn't even break into the vocabulary for a lot of the folks. The writers at the school were introduced to our medium (if they'd been introduced to it at all) through the term and category of "graphic novel" which might not sound like too big a distinction but really stood out as the week went on.

I mean, there were a few comic woks that were familiar to members of the residency – all of them produced and promoted through the lens of the book industry. I heard more than a few people mention David Small's Stitches. Everyone was passingly familiar with what Bone is. Neil Gaiman is a rock star and a half in this world for reasons other than comics, but I think most people knows he wrote them before blowing up as a novelist. But most importantly like I said, anyone at least partially interested in kids book publishing these days understands that graphic novels have spent the past few years as the super hot category. They think of what we do as the "cool new thing" in general and want to know more about it even when they're a bit confused by it.

Being the resident "comics guy" in the group (a position I happily played up perhaps too much by weeks end), I fielded a lot of questions and comments through out the week because of that. Common things I heard:

"I was trying to read this, but some times I was confused on what I was supposed to be looking at. Am I following the pictures? Do I read the text first?"

"So the difference between a comic and a graphic novel, what is that? A comic is silly, but a graphic novel is like a real book, right?"

"I'm really interested in writing a graphic novel myself. How would I go about doing that?"

I don't mention these as a put down to any of the supremely intelligent and creative people who I learned a whole hell of a lot from about writing in those ten days. I just wanted to express how strange it was to be in a position where I'm talking about the thing I spend my entire working day talking about but where I can't assume any of the basic knowledge or terminology I rely on. So it was pretty tough at times for me to try and speak on comics without sounding super jargony or super nerdy or both.

Luckily, Gene Yang is the straight up Jedi Master of talking comics in front of book people. I can't imagine how many times he's had to talk about ABC in front of librarians or school groups or teachers or traditional YA writers, but his behind the scenes breakdown of what cultural and visual influences shaped the book was as engaging and accessible and well rehearsed as any talk on comics I've ever seen (and I've seen art spiegelman speak on comics like four times so I feel pretty confident saying that Yang was on his #%@&!ing GAME).

The real defining moment of the whole experience was Yang's breakdown of Cousin Chin-Kee, the highly over-the-top caricature of Chinese stereotypes who plays a central role in ABC's story. He took a lot of time to explain the cultural references that influenced Chin-Kee's creation from early racist political cartoons about Chinese immigrants and railroad workers to Long Duck Dong on through to the recent response to/debate over the sudden popularity of "American Idol" reject William Hung. Over the days following his speech, I heard several classmates confess that they'd initially been put off by American Born Chinese because they felt uncomfortable with Chin-Kee's role in the story until they heard Yang place the satirical elements of the caricature in context. The act of cartooning as satire and commentary rather than just being broad stereotyped comedy hadn't even occurred to them.
Click to read more.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Yeti enforcement, Sin CIty PD and the ease of writing over drawing

First page of the scene "My name is scam" which is a pun on a Sean Penn film, in name only. I haven't seen "My name is Sam," and don't know anything about it. Or Sean Penn. [My wife says it's about a mentally handicapped man who has a daughter ... and the plot thickens.]

Graphic novel news

Ceredo resident releases latest graphic novel

For The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON -- An agent of the U.S. Marshall's Black Badge Division, Wynonna Earp investigates cases where organized crime meets the supernatural.

In previous adventures she's dealt with a mummy hitman, werewolf bikers and even had a shoot-out with zombie post office workers in the middle of Ceredo. First appearing in comics in 1997, Wynonna Earp is the brainchild of Ceredo native Beau Smith. Smith has been writing comic books since 1985. Earp's newest adventure is a graphic novel titled "Wynonna Earp: The Yeti Wars."

The book, which retails for $17.99, is written by Smith and illustrated by Enrique Villangran with colors by Kris Carter. It is published by IDW Publishing, the third largest comic company in the United States.

"I wanted to go a little deeper into the world of paranormal organized crime in the new book," Smith said. "Just as in our world you have hierarchy of Yakuza, Mafia, etc., you have one in Wynonna Earp's world. You have the Immortals, who are at the top of the food chain, followed by Vampires, Werewolves, etc., until you get down to the zombies, who are the lowest form. The story opens up with her going up against a southern fried mad scientist named Dr. Billy Joe Rubidoux. Rubidoux likes to mesh the DNA of animals with people to create enforcers for the players in the organized crime world. She ends up stumbling onto a range war between the Vampire Nation and the Consortium of the Immortals."

The Yeti in this book are enforcers for an evil consortium of immortals, according to Smith. Earp calls in a tribe of Bigfoot to fight on the side of good.
Click to read more.

Sin City: That Yellow Bastard, Volume 4 – Graphic Novel Review
Reviewer: Eden Zacarias

By now you probably already know that in this office we are devoted fans of Frank Miller’s impressive body of work when it comes to comics and the Sin City collection is among some of his very best seeing as he offered numerous stories true to the crime genre of the days when pulp comics were as dark as black coffee. In its fourth volume, That Yellow Bastard is another brilliant offering in the Sin City books and one hell of a story that you won’t forget anytime soon.

It’s a cold night in Sin City as John Hartigan of the Sin City Police Department, just an hour before his forced retirement thanks to a bad heart condition, gets a call from a reliable source that the son of the powerfully corrupt Senator Roark – who just so happens to be a very sick and twisted serial rapist/killer – has abducted an eleven-year old girl named Nancy Callahan and holding her in a warehouse pier. A cop to the very end, Hartigan will stop at nothing to save little Nancy even with his partner trying hard to stop him. Unfortunately, it had to take a punch in the jaw to keep his partner from following.

Just as he is making his way into the warehouse, Hartigan comes close to having a heart attack but manages to push through and catch up to Junior who has taken the cute girl hostage. Without blinking or even thinking of the consequences, Hartigan blows off both Junior’s “weapons” and before he can do any more damage it is Hartigan’s own partner that shoots him in the back.

While he managed to save a very grateful Nancy, Hartigan is rushed to a hospital only to awaken to a shocking reality. You see, instead of being hailed as a hero, Senator Roark has pulled all the strings and used all his dirty money to make Hartigan the villain and his comatose son a victim. Roark, clearly a man too powerful to mess with in anyway, makes it clear that he wants Hartigan to suffer and beg for mercy. He threatens to kill anyone Hartigan tells. So in order to protect those around him, Hartigan has no choice but to take the fall, alienating everyone from his fellow cops to his own wife.
Click to read more.

Writing far easier than drawing: graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee
Jaipur, Jan 25 (IANS) He describes the writers' block as creative constipation, has grown up reading Tintin comics and, with his third graphic novel, 'The Harappa Files', Sarnath Banerjee feels he has 'opened new forms' in this genre.

'My third book is more like an illustrated text. It opens up the form of graphic novels using design in an imaginative way. I am imploding the form, I am working with it all the time, constantly playing with it,' a spirited Banerjee told IANS.

Clad in maroon pants, brown half-sleeve shirt and black coat with intentionally mismatched green socks, which he proudly shows off at the drop of a hat, Banerjee makes sure he turns many heads at the Jaipur Literature Festival.

His enviable socialising skills were on display as he enthusiastically shook hands every 30 seconds and broke into an embrace every 50.

'I love people. I have an enormous capacity for people. I love socialising and picking up gossip. I am not those silent writer types, I write in a very social sort of way,' said a very pleased with himself Banerjee.

'Just put two people together and the stories will come out. They might be looking all nice and happy and smiling, but deep inside they might be waiting to just stab each other. Just a tiny bit of imagination and you've got a story.'

His first novel 'Corridor' (2004), an awfully clever and enjoyable read, established him as an intelligent writer. His work is most definitely adult, bordering on the lines of porn, plus the humour and minus the explicit details.

The 38-year-old says he takes inspiration from people around him.

'Most of the characters in my book are people I know. It's a combination of different bobs, bits and pieces of people I have known, or I imagine I have known. It's like vaguely remembered phantom memories of a person which comes out very clearly etched sometime,' he said, tousling his already dishevelled curly hair.
Click to read more.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Great motivational quotes from graphic novelists

First off, of course, is the next page in the Tomb of the Undead series. This is the final page for Barney's Recon. You can check it out by following the link.

I took some time to draw some of these settings than usual - the airport, the taxi cab, the front of Casey's apartment. I've been trying to improve the background drawings - to some success. They're certainly more detailed - not sure if they're believable or not. I still struggle with crowds of people, stuff like that.

Nobody has left hands instead of right hands, though - which I can't promise you won't see again.

Graphic novel news

Special! An Interview with Cartoonist Barry Deutch
Books we love
Park Ridge Public Library Children's Staff

We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Barry Deutch, the author of Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, a wonderful book that just won the Sydney Taylor Award.

When did you start cartooning?
I think I first stated drawing comics sometime in junior high school.

How long did it take from finishing your first book to when it was actually published?
Well, I had a contract for the book before it was finished. I turned in the final art for “Hereville” in March, I think, and it was published November 1st.

For you, what is the hardest part of writing a book?
Plotting the book is very hard for me. That’s the closest I ever come to making something out of nothing. Once the book is plotted out, at least everything else is building on that. But I just gave you that answer because that’s where I am on my current book — I just finished plotting it, and I’m about to start writing and laying out pages. Once I’m well into doing the layouts, probably I’d say that’s the hardest part. Then, when I’m doing the drawings, that’s the hardest part.

What made you decide to write a graphic novel for children, rather than adults or teens?
I didn’t decide! I just tried to make a comic that I’d want to read, if I came across it on a bookshelf. I didn’t know it was a kid’s book until other people told me it was. In my heart, I think of it as “all-ages.”

What advice would you give young cartoonists?
Draw comics! Work really hard. Being paid for your work takes luck, but you can put yourself in a position where getting lucky is a lot more likely.
Click to read (much) more.

Dangerous Beauty – How to Write a Graphic Novel Because I Said So

My good friend Jim Salicrup (he’s the co-publisher at the graphic novel publisher Papercutz, and was also and editor at Marvel and Topps) says, “Do the best you can in the time you have.” That is the most excellent advice. …

Original post
Lea Hernandez

A fan of my work wrote and asked for advice about writing a graphic novel. Here's what I told her:

My first piece of advice is to completely give up on the idea of "totally new." Really. Let it go. Nothing is totally new. (A good thing to remember when people say "Kids these days!")

I wanted that totally new, too. It'll make your brain hurt. Instead, go for a fresh take on something that's already been done. (EVERYTHING'S already been done!) Take a story that didn't work for you because the idea was good but the execution was bosh, or had an unsatisfying ending. Take a page from your own life, take MANY pages. We've all had amazing days, and amazingly crap days. A favorite teacher, or not a single one. A friend who moved away or died, or was true to the end.

Only ONE time has a story just come to me BAM! and been all there. Every other one has been a lot of work. Fun, sometimes nail-biting work. But work. Hard work. Enjoy it while you're doing it, because you will almost inevitably look back on the time you spent writing your GN and feel a little wistful. Only once in my career did I loathe a job from beginning to bitter end. One year out of twenty-three.

Don't pull things out of your butt. Don't try to be mysteeeeerious. Remember that your story is a closed world. Put in nothing that is not essential. You CAN have interesting characters that you don't have to explain them. They are texture. That's fun. But somehow, they have to fit. A good way to close your world is to have a prologue (which you can toss later) which encapsulates the theme(s) of the whole story. I did that in both Cathedral Child and Clockwork Angels and Rumble Girls.
A wonderful piece of advice is start as late in the story as you can and end it as soon as you can.

Read things beside comics. Please. For your own good. Fiction, non-fiction, it's all good. If you want to avoid reading things in the genre you're writing in, do. I do. But that's me. I'm chicken that I'll see someone do exactly what I wated to do, and better, and pffft my energy is gone.

Have people read what you've written, and ask where they got lost, if they did. DON'T ask how they liked it. That/those answers will make you crazy. Just ask if they got it. If they didn't, DON'T defend it, FIX it. LISTEN to what they say.

GIVE UP PERFECTION. There will always be plot holes, awkward turn of phrase, characters who would sound like jackholes if a real person said their dialogue. The beauty of your readers if they have NO IDEA how it looked/read in your head. NO IDEA what you threw out, or how art and dialogue turned to hash. Remember that YOU know everything about your story and at the start your audience knows nothing about your story.Relax!

My good friend Jim Salicrup (he's the co-publisher at the graphic novel publisher Papercutz, and was also and editor at Marvel and Topps) says, "Do the best you can in the time you have." That is the most excellent advice.

NEVER EVER put your work down. "It's not my best work..." Then why are you showing it? If you're not ready, don't share. If it is ready and you're saying that, you're trying to deflect criticism. True story: *I* did it. It's obnoxious. If you need fresh readers tell them, "I need readers." Full stop. When you're pitching that minty-fresh gn, say "Thanks for looking." That's ALL.
(On the other hand, NEVER say, "I'm better than..." Law of horrible awkward. genital-shriveling, stomach in the basement coincidence says you just insulted their best friend and/or favorite artist. ASK ME HOW I KNOW. Oh god do I know.)

Finally, finish it, and do another. And another. And another.

I wish you nothing but good luck. It is delightful to see people succeed, and I hope you are one of them.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

True stories of Vegas, undergrads and 'sequeling' Red

Generally, doing things over the phone isn't great entertainment - and usually it's a rule that you don't do that. However, these days, so much more is done on phones that it's hard to avoid. That being said, this is loaded with dialogue to push the story forward

This is the beginning of a new 2-page scene called Barney's Recon. I didn't realize until just now that it's merely 2 pages long. Sorry it's taken so long to get it up. The next scene shouldn't be too long either, and then BAM we're into Act II, which I'm really looking forward to.

The first act has taken a while and has been a growing experience, so I'm getting into the swing of things and looking forward to carrying the story and characters forward in a fun and exciting way.

Bad on me for a little bit, too - Casey has two left hands on this page. I didn't notice until after I'd inked the page. On a more professional project I might have gone back and changed it. But there are enough delays on this project as it is - I'm happy to just give'er and get'er done.

Click to read more at Thanks.

Graphic novel news

OMNI Mystery

Collider is reporting that Summit Entertainment has hired Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, the screenwriters who adapted Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner's graphic novel Red, to write a sequel. The film, also titled Red, stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich as retired spies who re-team to learn who has targeted them for elimination. The brothers also recently adapted the graphic novel Whiteout.

This is an interesting development and one we'll be sure to follow. Besides, where else can you find ever so proper Dame Helen Mirren wielding high-powered automatic weaponry!
Click to read more.

The Busy Life of Raina
Raina Khatri

It’s recently been brought to my attention that people actually read my blog, so I thought an update is in order.

I’m in my last semester as an undergraduate now (eek!) and working hard to find something amazing to do next year. I’m looking at science writing jobs and have applied to a few graduate schools. It’s exhilarating and stressful at the same time–I could be anywhere next year, doing anything!

I’m going to the AAAS meeting this February as a student journalist, and I’m very thankful to be funded to do so by the National Association of Science Writers. I’ll be meeting other young science writers and I’ll be paired with a senior science writer for a day, so I’m looking forward to the entire meeting experience.

This semester I’m getting back into art with my graphic novels class. I spent much of my winter break drawing. Like Tom Baker here.

I already have a book idea–I want to write a graphic novel with history of science content. I think it’s a medium people of all education levels can read and enjoy.

Unfortunately the book is on hold, because I’m also taking Media Production 2 this semester. One of my projects for the class is to produce a science show. I think it’s about time for another fun show like Bill Nye. Here at Hope I have fellow students and equipment to work with, so I can produce it cheaply. I’m pretty excited about the show and will post more about it once it gets going.
Click to read more.

Geek News: Las Vegas Graphic Novel Launches With Fundraiser for Local Charities
Geeklife editor

Fans of the serial webcomic The Utopian will have not one but two opportunities to get their hands on the new trade paperback collecting the entire story next weekend, as well as to meet and chat with writer/artist Pj Perez.

On Friday, Jan. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m., Perez will appear at a benefit for Spread the Word Nevada, a non-profit organization that provides books to schools to promote literacy among children. Held at Sunrise Coffee (3130 E. Sunset Road, Suite A) and organized by the Avant Arts Collective, the event is also slated to feature authors of The Perpetual Engine of Hope, live poetry by Harry Fagel and Kari O’Connor, and a wine-and-cheese bar benefiting the charity. Perez will have copies of The Utopian for sale, and will be donating 25 percent of sales to Spread the Word.

The next day, Saturday, Jan. 22, from noon to 3 p.m., the official release party for The Utopian trade paperback will be held at Alternate Reality Comics (4110 S. Maryland Parkway, #8). Perez will be joined by cover artist Hernan Valencia, and both artists will be available to sign comics, talk with guests and even do sketches (as time permits). Attendees are asked to bring items for babies, children, pets and more to donate to The Shade Tree shelter for women, children and pets. (A list of needed items can be found here: Alternate Reality will provide refreshments as well as hold a raffle to give away comics and merchandise, including signed copies of The Utopian.

The Utopian trade paperback collects all 109 pages of “America’s Most Emo Comic Strip” within a beautiful, digitally painted cover by Valencia, who illustrated many of the covers for the quarterly, single issues of The Utopian. As a bonus, Perez has included eight pages of full annotations, detailing the secret history and process behind every page of the graphic novel.
Click to read more.

Mad Hatters, Graphic Novel appreciation day and American Vampires with Stephen King

Here's the final page in the "Sent from Marseilles" scene of Tomb of the Undead. There's an awful lot of dialogue in some of these pages and I felt that it wasn't worth spending more than three pages on a scene of exposition and introduction like this. So, I hope you were able to get a good feel for the new guys, and bear with all the dialogue. There are certainly some scenes coming up that will tell the story through drawing and action instead of through dialogue.

Of course you can read more at Tomb of the Undead.
Graphic novel news

Graphic Novel Mini-reviews

The Mad Hatter seems like a great idea for a character - Id' be neat to see more about whaere they would go with a character like this.

Hatter M Volume 2: Mad With Wonder

This is the second in Frank Beddor's graphic novel versions of his "The Looking Glass Wars" YA trilogy, which is a reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. From what I've gathered, Princess Alyss is the main character in the trilogy, but here, her bodyguard, Hatter Madigan, is the hero. He's on a quest in our world to find Princess Alyss, who has disappeared. Meanwhile the imposter Queen Redd is ruling Wonderland and trying to kill Hatter.

The artist is different from the artist for the first volume, but I didn't really notice. The art is still the same bizarre weird that sometimes comes out as beautiful and fantastic and MAD, and sometimes just looks butt-ugly. The writing seemed worse to me this time around. There was a lot of awkward dialog, a lot of cheesy dialog, and a lot of dialog that made me want to head-desk. Hatter Madigan is still a madly intriguing character, and the bonus art they include in these volumes are GORGEOUS. I want prints.

I thought the story wasn't as interesting in this volume, because it didn't include as much of the Wonderland plotlines or the fun stuff about the Imagination. I loved the arc in the first volume at the orphanage where everything was dark and gray except for when they used their imaginations, and then the color was promptly stolen away by the baddies. There wasn't anything close to that awesome in this volume; mostly it was just dark and gray and historical. The plots centered on the Civil War, insane asylums, etc, and didn't have enough fantasy and Wonder for me. I may continue reading this series for Hatter and the occasional gorgeous panel, but with even more unflagging indifference to its content.
Click to read more.

Graphic novel appreciation day
Josh Hanagarne

I don’t think this is a real holiday, but today, on World’s Strongest Librarian at least, it is graphic novel appreciation day. I decided to write this post because I have never been a big fan of graphic novels. I’ve begged and pleaded for people to give me suggestions on what I should read, and now I’m back with a few that I have actually loved. And then, when the post is over, I’ll beg and plead some more for additional recommendations.

I don’t think this is a real holiday, but today, on World’s Strongest Librarian at least, it is graphic novel appreciation day. I decided to write this post because I have never been a big fan of graphic novels. I’ve begged and pleaded for people to give me suggestions on what I should read, and now I’m back with a few that I have actually loved. And then, when the post is over, I’ll beg and plead some more for additional recommendations.
Click to read more.

Graphic novel review: American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King
Marilla Mulwane

It's pretty common knowledge that Stephen King does not like the way vampires are portrayed today. So, when he was asked to write a blurb for a new graphic novel, "American Vampire", he instead decided to write part of it. Together with writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael Albuquerque, "American Vampire" was created and King promised that there would be no "dewey-eyed" and "love-lorn" vampires. That sounded great to this vampire fan, but instead found nothing but disappointment.

I don't pretend to like King as a writer or a human being. I don't buy every book he writes because they've become repetitive. Just because something has the King stamp doesn't make it any good. "American Vampire" is not a bad graphic novel; it just isn't what King so boldly promised.

He promised, "killers, honey. Stone killers who never get enough of that tasty Type-A." That's what the forward reads. Who is this great killer? The first "American Vampire" who can beat out all those European creations that have grown old and stale? His name is Skinner Sweet, and he's the only character in the story that really fits that description of cold-hearted, blood-sucking, and murdering vampire. He started out as a brutal killer of the Old West and kept that personality after becoming a vampire. He spends years getting his revenge on the people who made him that way.
Click to read more.

Comic book writing x 2 and the Little Prince

Here's the promo for page 36 of Tomb of the Undead. This is the second page in the scene "Sent from Marseilles" where the new characters introduce their ambitions - and Barney realizes its relevance to our protagonist.

As always, follow along at this link. I hope you like it.

Graphic novel news

How to Make Your Own Comic Book : Tips on Writing A Comic Book Script Video
Expert: Dan Head

Click to read more.

Ever Wondered About How To Get Started Writing a Graphic Novel?
Martha Sperry

Graphic novels are cool. There is no doubt about it. They rise above the floor
where the lowly comic book resides and scrape their mohawked heads against the
ceiling of respectable literature, with street cred intact. Unlike an individual
comic book, the graphic novel’s length affords its creator the ability to tell a
story with great depth and detail. Unlike the traditional novel, the creator can
leverage more than one dimension when imparting the story – a true, book-bound
multi-media experience. The ideal is to utilize words and images to full effect,
to set a mood, communicate tensions and emotions, and to leave a lasting
impression on the reader.
Click to read more.

[Review] The Little Prince Graphic Novel by Joann Sfar
fickle fan

Based on the novel by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, it tells of an alien little prince, who explores various planets across the universe and eventually lands himself on Earth. He meets all sorts of people and creatures along the way, and discovers more about their traits and their quirks, so to say.Can I just say I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THIS BOOK?

I started this back in 2010, when I was quite busy with getting ready for Christmas and parties. And yet, when I was reading it, it made no impact whatsoever. But as I was finishing the book, I was feeling quite down, and yes, each and every passage outlined in the tale hits me, hard. I wanted to cry as I was reading each line, and seeing the pictures added to plethora of emotions that have hit me.

The illustrations is cute, a bit crude, and as much as I honestly prefer the illustrations from the original book, this one would do. As I haven't read the original novel yet *gasp* I don't know how many parts have been removed in order to make this more interesting and more compact in a sense. Maybe once I've read the original, I could comment on what diferences [sic] there are between the graphic novel and the original.
Click to read more.

Creating graphic novels, killing Shakespeare and rebirthing Batman

Introducing two new characters.

So, here we are, this is a link to page 35. Check it out if you'd like. There are finally two new antagonists to introduce to really add some layers to the conflict. Now that they're in, we'll be able to zip our protagonist into action.

I've challenged some people to figure out who these two new characters are based on. As the scarce readers of Zombie Dinosaurs - I'll let you know at the end of the post. So, stay tuned for the revealing details.

Graphic novel news

Creating a graphic novel

Some people will swear by Scott McCloud, don’t get me wrong, I have all his
books including the latest "Making Comics". Now take it from me, as the old
saying goes about comparing apples to oranges. If you are lucky to have both
books, read them both and tell me which one comes out on top. Put comic history
aside and I bet you Mike Chinn and Chris McLoughlin’s book might surprise you
and will help you as an artist. Hey I am just one guy, but I tell you this book
taught me things I did not know.

Click to read more.

The Bard faces danger
Porcupine native co-author of graphic novel
By Kate McLaren
The Daily Press

Friends, countrymen, lend me your ears. Porcupine native Anthony Del Col wants
to kill Shakespeare.

Co-author of a new graphic novel of the same name, Del Col's gruesome plot line does not come from a hatred of the English dramatist, rather, from the direct opposite.

"I've always been a Shakespeare fan, and I'm a bit of a Shakespeare geek," said the graduate of Roland Michener Secondary School. "I had some very good teachers in high school who led school trips to the Stratford Festival every year, and after seeing
productions of Othello and the Twelfth Night, I fell in love with it."

After working in the Toronto music business for several years, helping to produce artists such as Nelly Furtado, Divine Brown and Jack Soul, Del Col decided to switch gears.

His graphic novel, a collaboration with broadcast journalist Conor McCreery, pits characters from a multitude of Shakespeare's works against each other in their mission to track down and either save or kill their creator, William himself.

Written with a modern-day voice but set in Elizabethan times, the story begins with villain Richard III capturing Hamlet and convincing him to track and kill Shakespeare. Along the way, Hamlet meets heroes like Juliet, Romeo and Othello, who convince him that saving the Bard is the way to go.
Click to read more.

Batman and Robin, Batman Reborn


Batman and Robin: Batman Reborn is a graphic novel by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Frank Quitely. Dick Grayson has taken up Bruce Wayne’s mantle as the Batman and dons cape and cowl while Bruce’s son Damian takes up the role of Robin.

This graphic novel is a good one. Grant Morrison does an excellent job of writing Dick Grayson as Batman. He also added a nice touch of having the first enemies he faces be a deranged circus troupe.

Frank Quitely’s illustrations are very good as well, although they do get a little strange at times, it’s still very unique and memorable. The action scines are nicely illustrated and have witty, entertaining dialogue in them.

There are some flaws in the graphic novel, and they have to do with retconning Jason Todd’s hair color as always being red, even though it has always been portrayed as being black after the continuity reboot of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Other than that nitpick, and a few places where the artwork looks really weird, I really enjoyed this graphic novel.
Click to read more.

A: Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller. Now you know.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spoiler for page 39

I'm taking some time to carefully draw some reliable images of the process of going to the airport - the necessary details are having this take a little longer than the last few pages, although that picture of the city took some time, too.

Details of a familiar location and lots of people are making these shots a bit more detailed than some in the past - but they should come out nicely.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Graphic novels, re-writes and Lewis and Clark and Cynthia Leitich Smith

And here's page 34 of Tomb of the Undead. Of course, if you'd like to read more or see this scene in its entirety, please follow along here.

I spent a good long while working on that cityscape shot to fade away from this scene - I'm not sure if anyone will notice or not, but this is a shot taken from a gondola of Pittsburgh, where Casey Miller lives in an apartment.

Graphic Novel News

Graphic novel re-write

Trellis Restaurant, NY

This is an event from a long while ago, but it is worth mentioning that this location has graphic novel workshops, which is cool. So even if you missed it, you might be able to find more on the subject in the future.

Monday, December 27, 2010 - 4:00 PM ESTCity Island Library Fully accessible to wheelchairsYou think you can improve the story of a comic? You think your artwork is much better then the comics you see today? Then prove it by re-writing, re-editing and re-drawing those old comics with your own team of friends and see if you belong with the legends of the comic book world.
Click to read more.

Lewis and Clark Take A Historic Graphic Novel Journey

Michael Lorah

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark are an ingrained part of American lore, explorers traversing the untamed, unknown frontier, bringing back catalogs of material on native Indian tribes, plant and animal life, and maps of the expanded American frontier.

Nick Bertozzi comes to comics with the same dedication to exploration, seeking out engaging and dynamic stories, and bringing them back to readers with clever insights into his characters and sharply drawn, well-designed comics pages. The results frequently charm comics readers (of all ages) in the same way Lewis and Clark’s journey awes schoolchildren.

Bertozzi’s latest book, Lewis & Clark, tracks the Corps of Discovery’s twenty-five month journey from Lewis’s friendship with President Thomas Jefferson to the team’s meeting and recruiting of Sacagawea and her husband, French-Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau. Along the way, Bertozzi shows readers meetings with various Indian tribes, the first sightings of many American landmarks (by those of European descent anyway), and the dozens of hardships, daily stresses and anxieties faced by the troop.
Click to read more.

Chatting with Cynthia Leitich Smith
Parker Peevyhouse
The Spectacle Blog

Today I’m chatting with Cynthia Leitich Smith, who is well-known in children’s literature for both her books and her informative blog. Here’s a chance to get to know her better — and to win an advance reader copy of BLESSED, due out January 25.

Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of ETERNAL, TANTALIZE, and BLESSED (forthcoming), all Gothic fantasies from Candlewick Press. She also has written several YA short stories as well as books for younger readers. TANTALIZE was a Borders Original Voices selection, honored at the 2007 National Book Festival, and The Horn Book called it “an intoxicating romantic thriller.” A graphic novel adaptation of TANTALIZE is in the works. ETERNAL was a YALSA Teens Top Ten nominee, featured at the Texas Book Festival, and Publishers Weekly said, “…readers should be hooked by this fully formed world, up through the action-packed finale.” It debuted at #5 on the New York Times best-seller list and #13 on the Publishers Weekly best-seller list.
Click to read more.