Posts Tagged ‘Earthling!’

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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I’ll be at the Barnes and Noble in Tigard on Saturday July 26th at 2:00 PM.

Actually I am often at the Barnes and Noble in Tigard buying books and stuff and I don’t announce it on my blog, but this time I’m there because they asked me to be. I’ll be doing a drawing lesson and a little dancing and I will be happy to sign books while I am there. I’ll even sign books by other people if you really want me to.


You can read all about my visit by clicking on this link. This is the Barnes and Noble at the Bridgeport Mall off the 5. I guess I should qualify this by saying I’ll be there by 2 if I find parking. So I better leave a half hour for that.

They will have Earthling! and The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot to sell. They may have my other books available too but since I still don’t understand book distribution and ordering in these modern times when an individual can always get a book, but schools and stores can’t seem to – they may not have any of my other books. I will have copies of all my books with me to look at including a copy of The Great Thanksgiving Escape! Which sin’t released until September.

So if you are in the Portland area, stop by. Say hi. Or ask me if I wrote The Lorax. depending on my mood I might say I did.


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wantedThe Green Beans are always WANTED!


Just a few of the amazing cards I got. Wow!


And this one had a surprise on the inside!

detail_insideA POP-UP!! How cool is that!?

bnsMore beans hanging around looking for trouble…

zapsEven some Very Witchy Spelling and Spells going on! So much work that involved every book I’ve worked on. Very inspiring!

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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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