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Archive for the ‘graphic novels’ Category

cvr_duk_9
I’m hearing so much about ‘young reader’ graphic novels from librarians and teachers – it’s like it’s 2001 again.

Back in 2001 and 2002 there was a lot of interest in graphic novels at schools and from bookstores. But that first wave of interest from the large publishers resulted in older reader GN’s and now the interest seems to be in projects for 1st grade and up, or even K and Pre K.

My GN, Earthling! reads too old for where the interest is now. But no one is quite sure what they want. It seems they are looking for a book with slightly more plot than a typical picture book and some of the graphic sensibilities of a GN, but with smaller page counts. I see some books out there that seem to fit into this new description but they are exceptionally slap-stick in tone and that gets old fast. I’d like a little more story.

I’d love to do a hybrid GN project like this and honestly I’ve been working on a few – not ready for unveiling yet – but there is a ton of potential in a format that is picture book like, but an easier sell to older readers. It’s interesting how far we’ve come since graphic novels and comic book style art were considered a poor cousin to the High Art of illustration.

 

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kozmo

Erik Johnson has a new Kickstarter for a fascinating and funky little book that is part graphic novel, part art book, part endless opera cycle.

It’s an idea born from putting a bunch of genres and formats into a blender and getting something delicious. Something different. And you know, if you know Erik’s work, it will be exquisitely designed and printed.

Check it out and consider supporting it.

 

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metraveling

 

I’m looking forward to speaking at the 2014 Jackson Elementary Writer’s Festival on May 7th. One of the goals of the event is to give young writers an audience. Student writing is shared and displayed in the school and local writers and writing enthusiasts are invited to mentor small groups.

Every time I visit a school I meet several kids who are already dedicated writers and illustrators. They are looking for readers (aren’t we all!) and searching for more information about the process. If you read this blog regularly you know my feelings on ‘process’. Everyone has one. And mine isn’t yours and yours isn’t right for me.

But writing is best practiced by – writing. (same goes for illustration) Writing is more important than reading if you want to write professionally. You can be a great reader – by reading. And no doubt it helps your writing. But to be a good writer you can’t just read. You need to make all those mistakes you will make while you write. And then fix them.

At least you have to try and fix them.

 

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ertcvr

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.

earthling_3

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

rancho

It was a full house at Lakeview Elementary!

earthling_2

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

lakeview

And Jersey School had even more great questions for me!

jersey

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ertcvr

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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I wanted to remind blog readers that I have a much more detailed How To Make a Graphic Novel over at my website. Here’s a link.

I posted a How To on this blog a year or so ago and it stills gets lots of traffic and generates a lot of questions from readers, especially students. But the new How To on my website is more complete and the art examples are integrated and can be enlarged. Maybe 80% less spelling mistakes too.

Here’s a link to it again.

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cfsc

Every January first for the past 14 years, from 12:00-12:00, Comicraft offers a sale on all their fonts at the dollar conversion of the year. So this being 2014, that means any font set sells for $20.14.

It’s a GREAT deal from the makers of some of the best digital fonts for comics and such.

The Comicraft sale starts tonight at midnight.

Go see what great stuff they have!

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