Friday, May 22, 2009


This week was lots of fun - Mike and Matt Chapman, who do Homestar Runner, came by to talk with one of my animation classes (and the numerous folks that took the opportunity to sit in). Also, I've been invited to do a few events coming up - a Writer's Workshop, two panels at the Decatur Book Festival, and as a panelist (or maybe lecturer?) at the International Reading Association conference in Chicago. I know that I need to start updating the site more regularly with dates and appearances and whatnot... I'll get to it soon, I hope. Heroes Con is coming up in a couple of weeks, and they always have a great program full of pinups done by guest artists. I figured I'd try a couple, but they've got some of the best folk in the industry contributing, so it's unlikely they'll make it in. That being a strong possibility, I figured I'd put 'em up here, so that they aren't in a vacuum. The first one I did was a response to Shawn's insistence that I should do one of my own things. I felt that to be a little egocentric for a con program, but since Jeff Smith is a featured artist this time around, I thought that maybe I could throw one of mine in with one of his.

 And here's the safety - a superhero. Again, Marvel has laid down another decree to their artists that bugs the heck out of me, this one being that Wolverine should be tall and well-proportioned/attractive. Boo, hiss! Wolverine is fun because of his tiny ferocity. His name isn't "bear," or "jaguar," it's "Wolverine"! Wolverines! Tiny ferocious creatures famous for taking on opponents much larger than themselves! Sigh.

 Though I sent the original as a black and white, I figured I'd throw a color since this one's going online. One week of school left, and then I'm hitting the drawing board full time over the summer. I've got less than 2 months to do about a hundred and forty pages, so wish me luck! Seeing as I'll be waking up, drawing until I can't stay awake, and then sleeping and starting the process over, it seems somehow possible, though quite daunting. I may not be able to do it, but I'm sure gonna try.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back from Massachusetts

Well, I recently returned from Springfield, Massachusetts were I was lucky enough to be a guest at the Library Conference there, a joint venture between the public and school librarians. I got into Boston late, rented a car, and drove the nearly two hours to Springfield, where Stan Sakai and I had great dinner and recorded our interview. The Comics Journal, for their 300th issue (coming in September), wanted to do a pairing between a dew-eyed upstart (me) and a legitimate, highly-respected visionary (Stan), where we talked about differences in starting out, process, changes that have been made in the industry over the last thirty years, etc. The interview went well, and it was great fun getting to hang out with Stan until the wee hours of the morning. Keep your eyes peeled for that Journal! The next day I had breakfast with old friends Dave Roman and Raina Telgemeier, along with Callista from First Second Books and Alli from Del Ray Manga. At the conference, Stan and I did our presentations (read about 'em here), and then joined the other creators for a larger Q&A proctored by noted comics library guru (and the author of Understanding Manga and Anime) Robin Brenner. It went really well, and I had a great time all around. I also got to meet Peter Gutierrez, who shares many of my views on using comics for education but articulates them far better than I, and John Shableski of Diamond, who is a walking marketing computer in addition to being a heckuva fun guy. I'm up late tonight in order to finish and turn in my submission to the new Star Wars mini that's a sequel to last year's Harvest is When I Need You The Most, if you saw that one. This one's either called Only What You Take With You or Don't Forget the Droids, I think - there are two books, and I'm not sure which mine is in, but it'll be available at MOCCA. My story is called "Mos Eisley" and it's basically a trailer for Casablana but in the cantina. C'mon, you know in your heart that the cantina scene is basically just the opening to Casablanca. Admit it. A couple of panels: 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A plea to Graphic Novel Readers, and a Sequential Tart Interview

 A panel (possibly in need of editing) from Crogan's March Hey, guys! I had a fun time at Free Comic Book Day - the guys at Heroes always put on a big show - but given as many artists as they had this year, there was some down time in terms of signing, etc, and I started thinking that maybe next year I'll do something closer to home. I'll keep you abreast of such developments! I have two things, the first being a plea. I'm giving a presentation to the Massachusetts public and school library associations on Friday, and will be making up a list of titles appropriate for specific age groups and of high quality. I already have quite a few - my top ten for each category, roughly - but I'm sure to leave stuff out, and I don't want any kids or library patrons to suffer for my lack of memory or having not read something great. So if there are any books that you think specifically appropriate for elementary, middle, or high school, can you let me know as a comment? I'm going to be printing these up on Thursday morning, probably, so anytime between now and Wednesday night I welcome your suggestions. Thanks! Also, I've got an interview up with SEQUENTIAL TART, a great comic web-journal, as part of their May issue. Check it out! Pages 1-19 are finished, with pages 20-22 lettered and tightly penciled, and ready to ink. My goal is to have the end of scene 3 (page 35ish?) done by the end of May, and be ready to crank down hard over the summer. My only distraction, as far as I know, will be Heroes Con.