Archive for the ‘Earthling!’ Category

I had a great time visiting Warrenton Grade School in Oregon! I spent time with hundreds of kids across two days and answered so many great questions about writing, drawing and even animation, that I left totally inspired. Thanks for a great visit!

And thanks for the teachers and librarians and everyone up there who made the visit possible.

I have lots of great photos that I will post across the next few days. I received some really neat cards, and the posters and bulletin boards they made were the best I’ve seen yet!



Great welcome poster, and look at what’s inside the letters! Green Beans!


And another first – those bad green beans finally meet their match! The Book That Eats People!



I have plenty of more posts of the amazing creativity on display at the school!

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I enjoyed an awesome visit to schools in the Santa Fe Springs School District in Southern California. Earthling! was the Author Month book so many kids got a copy of Earthling! and did projects based on the book. The events were made possible in part by the City of Santa Fe Springs. Everyone I met from city employees, to school librarians, principals and teachers were  generous with their time and were doing their best to create great learning opportunities and environments. It was inspiring for me and I hope it was inspiring for all the great kids I met and signed books for.

I visited Lakeview, Jersey Avenue and Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary schools.

I was overwhelmed with great questions about the book. For example: What exactly was the liquid in the tanks that Bud was put into? Do I think there really are aliens? Do I think Bud did the right things once he was at Cosmos Academy? How long did it take to draw Earthling? Do I think most school buses could fly into outer space? And did this happen to me when I was a kid and — might I be an ALIEN!?  I’m still looking through all the great drawings and letters. Thanks to all the students for their enthusiasm!

I’ll be hearing some pictures from the visit and my presentation.


Rancho Santa Gertrudes Elementary School. Mrs. Snow’s Fourth Grade class made dioramas of their favorite part of the book!


It was a full house at Lakeview Elementary!


I got to meet the kids who did the wonderful art on this poster!


And Jersey School had even more great questions for me!


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The Little Lake City School District, the Los Nietos School District and the library in the City of Santa Fe Springs are awesome! How awesome? Well, awesome enough to invite me down to talk about Earthling! and visit 4 schools as part of a visiting author program.

So Earthling!, and I, will be back in California.

I’ll be at Lakeview Elementary,  Jersey Avenue Elementary, Rancho Santa Gertrude’s Elementary and St. Pius X Parish School where I will be talking and drawing about Earthling!

I’ll be presenting my How To Make A Graphic Novel talk and letting kids see all the steps involved in the process as well as some of the mistakes I made and learned from.

As usual I will stress that every book, movie or TV show starts with an idea and a pencil.  Everything starts at the ‘Scribbles and script’ stage. That’s where ideas sprout from to become tangible works. You don’t need special equipment or years of technical training to start work. Jump in and start drawing and writing – and revising – today!

I’m looking forward to the visit!

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Some more fan art inspired by Earthling!


Thanks Luis! I’m thrilled you are taking good care of the book and I appreciated the letter. The drawing of Gort you did will find a home here my my studio. And thanks to your teacher, Mr. Hollman for forwarding the letter and being such a great supporter of the book!


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I had a wonderful time at the OCTE awards accepting an award in the graphic novel category for Earthling!. The keynote speaker was Roland Smith who shared tales of his adventures as a biologist in the field and of his adventures in front of a typewriter. And I got to meet most of the other honorees as well.


A good time was had by all, even though I was stuffy and coughing. And wheezing. I think I was wheezing during my acceptance speech. I hope I didn’t wheeze while signing books

There are photos of all the author attendees and I will post them when I get them.

Thanks again to the OCTE on behalf of us Earthlings (Mark Fearing and Tim Rummel) and Bud and non-Earthling Gort and Chronicle Books.

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And speaking of Earthing! It is in the running for awards in the Texas Library Association Maverick awards (click here to see all the great graphic novels nominated in Texas) and in the Maine Student Book Awards (click here to see the Maine books. This list seems to be general middle grade, not just graphic novels).

Lot’s of great books to read on those lists.

And here’s another review of Earthling! from the Czech Republic.


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I recieved a few copies of Earthling! in Czech. They are beautiful books. They did an excellent job on the production. Love the built in bookmark and spot varnish cover. And there’s plenty of accent marks everywhere.

And I promise to stop writing about Earthling!. I’ll go back to complaining about the weather or picture books that aren’t good any day now.


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I’m happy to announce that Earthling! has been named the winner in the graphic novel category of the Spirit of Oregon Book Award for 2012. This award is given by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English.

I’m honored that this book was recognized from the reams of other great books that fit the descriptors associated with apprpriate  material for this recognition.

Read more about Earthling! by clicking here or read the first chapter online by clicking here.


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The graphic novel I worked on for 18 years….OK. That’s not true. I didn’t work on it for 18 years. At times it may have FELT like 18 years. Actually is was about 3 years. But in dog’s years that’s 21 years…never mind.

Anyway, my graphic novel Earthling! has been shortlisted in the Oregon Spirit Book Awards, Graphic Novels category along with – Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite by Barry Deutsch and Squish: The Power of the Parasite by Jennifer and Matthew Holm.

Both of the other nominated books and great and feature unique approaches and one-of-a-kind voices. I’m honored to be listed with them.

Read more about Earthling! here, and read a review of Earthling! at the New York Times.

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No. I don’t see this blog as being mainly about self promotion, yet here I am self promoting. But, if I don’t who will!?


The Horn Book recently recommended Earthling! in an article on graphic novels for kids. Here’s what they had to say:

Gr. 4-6 In this sic-fi graphic novel, Bud gets on the wrong bus and ends up at Cosmos Academy, an intergalactic school whose students fear Earthlings. With the help of new friends Gort, Bud devises a plan to return home before the aliens figure out who he is. Action and humor (especially in the characters facial expressions) are successfully captured in bright cartoon panels.

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