Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Free Comic Book Day This Weekend!

If anybody lives in the Carolinas (or, ostensibly, Eastern Georgia), you should make a trip out to one of the World's best comic shops, HEROES AREN'T HARD TO FIND, in Charlotte on Saturday for FREE COMIC BOOK DAY. I'll be there, doing signings and free sketches, and so will 13 other really great artists: MARK BROOKS (Spider-Man) CHRIS BRUNNER (Gotham Central) IAN FLYNN (Sonic) SANFORD GREENE (Method Man GN) CULLY HAMNER (The Question) ADAM HUGHES (Wonder Woman) JASON LATOUR (Loose Ends) PAT QUINN (Pretty much any title ever published, including a lot of recent work on The Phantom) BUDD ROOT (Cavewoman) ANDY SMITH (Dean Koontz' Frankenstein) ALLISON SOHN (Star Wars trading cards) BRIAN STELFREEZE (The Ride) KARL STORY (Tom Strong) They'll have copies of Crogan's Vengeance for sale, which I'll be happy to sketch in, and if you've got kids in the area, please, bring 'em out! Here's a page from the new book. Sorry it's so small. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eisner Nomination, Massachusetts Library Conference

Sorry for the infrequency of posts as of late. I've been dividing my time up between teaching (unlike last quarter, this time around I'm teaching four days a week and coming in for the Sequential Art open studio sessions all day Fridays, the Temple of Cartoon Mojo) and working on the new Crogan Adventures book, Crogan's March. It was slow starting out, but it's starting to pick up speed, which seems to always be the case with these things. Here are a few panels, not to scale with each other, and in no logical sequence: 

 As you may or may not be able to tell, my lettering has changed considerably. I had a lot of friends whose opinions I respect tell me that the lettering in Vengeance was competing with the art for attention, and I personally found it hard to put the amount of dialogue I wanted into each panel. It's still done by hand, but hopefully this new approach will help rectify these hindrances. I know that there will probably be some people who hate to see it change, and I sympathize;any time a musician I like "grows artistically" I always want to shake him or her until their sense comes back, but what can you do? The plan is to have the book finished by the time I leave for San Diego, which is definitely going to be a tight deadline (i.e. no time for hobbies), but I think it will be doable. I don't teach classes over the summer, so once June rolls around I'll be able to devote my full days to it. In other notes, I have two bits of news: 1. I'll be a guest at the Massachusetts Library Association and Massachusetts School Library Association's joint annual conference on May 8th this year, in Springfield, MA. It's part of the conference's Graphic Novel focus which will also be featuring the inimitable Stan Sakai, my friends Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, and DC writer Gail Simone (who I've not yet had a chance to meet). I think it's wonderful that these libraries have embraced what we we do with such enthusiasm, and I'm so excited to be a part of this. There will be a creator panel, time for book signings and sketches, and another panel... here's the description from the program: Get with the program! Teaching, programs, and hands on demonstrations Join creators Stan Sakai and Chris Schweizer to get a hands on lessons on how comics inspire students, encourage literacy, and engage readers. Mr. Schweizer, on faculty at the Savannah College of Art and Design, will share his experiences teaching with comics including how comics boosts reading comprehension and vocabulary for all texts, not just graphic novels, and the importance of the visual mnemonics comics exemplify. Mr. Sakai will in turn show how he presents his series, Usagi Yojimbo, to students and libraries, and showcases the making of a graphic novel. Each creator will share tips and advice on hosting programs. Come prepared to brainstorm your own programs and walk away with fantastic event ideas and lesson plans for your institution. Speakers: Stan Sakai, creator of Usagi Yojimbo; Chris Schweizer, Professor of Sequential Art, Savannah College of Art and Design and creator of Crogan’s Vengeance If you're in the Boston or Springfield area, I highly recommend making a trip out. It should be a great event... my only regret is that Robin Brenner's panel on Demistifying Japanese Manga is the same time as my panel, so I won't be able to sit in. 2. The other big news is that Crogan's Vengeance got an Eisner Award nomination for the category of "Best Publication for Teens/Tweens," along with Coraline, Skim, Rapunzel's Revenge, and the Good Neighbors. This is a big deal in the comics world, so I was really shocked when I found out, and am really excited. Liz and I are both going to San Diego this year, so it'll be fun being at the award cermony, and hopefully it'll get more people interested in taking a look at the book. That's it for now! Thanks for the patience, and I'll try to update more regularly. Now that I'm scanning pages, I'll have things to post.