Monthly Archives: September 2006

Shazam!

Blog entry by Jeff

Thought I would give you a little peak at Dr. Sivana,  Captain Marvel’s arch nemeses…hope you like it. Haven’t had much time to blog lately;  I’ve been getting ready to leave for The Frankfurt Book Fair on Monday to kick off the World Tour.  I’ve finished up the Captain Marvel pages I was working on, and I’ve prepped a bunch more to take with me.  Still have a couple more things to do, but I’m packed and it looks like all my papers and tickets are in order.  The next time I blog will probably be from the road. See you then!

World Tour: One week to go!

Blog entry by Jeff

Last minute preparations for the Bone World Tour are under way. On the eve of our announcement, Joachim Kaps, the publisher of TokyoPop Germany came to Columbus to make some final arrangements. It was during this visit that Joachim told us that the Frankfurt Book Fair wanted a 40 piece Bone exhibit for the Comics Pavillion.

That was good news, so Steve and I created several colorful panels for the Frankfurt Book Fair Comics Pavillion at breakneck speed. We also put together some behind the scenes displays.

This is Steve taking a break in my office. I took this picture when I heard his voice coming out from behind this enormous book, Little Nemo:So Many Splendid Sundays.

I also received an e-mail from my Greek publisher Lefteris Stavrianos (seen here when I signed at his store last year in Athens).

He really whet my appetite for this upcoming visit when he said:

“P.S.Please tell Jeff that I have ordered 100 lambs to sacrifice for his arrival in Greece…and of course eat some Lamb chops.”

I'm on my way!

Charles Vess art

Blog entry by Jeff

Wow.  

Charles Vess has a new blog and it has lots of stunning art and some photos of himself and Neil Gaiman visiting the set of the Stardust movie.  The picture of the two of them in raincoats, taken on Neil’s camera while they walked around on the Scottish moors is priceless.

Kazu’s Amulet

Blog entry by Jeff

Kazu Kibuishi is the cartoonist of the web comic Copper , the editor of the anthology FLIGHT, and he is working on a new book called Amulet .  When I was in New York not long ago, visiting David Saylor of Scholastic, I was shown the first eight pages of Amulet – - and I was very impressed!  Since then, Kazu has shared a few more pages with me, and I have to say I can't wait for this book. 

Meanwhile, Kazu has been keeping an interesting and revealing journal about coping with the exhausting process of making a fully painted, long form comic, trying to get enough sleep, eat right, exercise and watch movies to stay inspired… and on time. I'll link directly to the one about excersise , but just go to Bolt City if you'd like to see the rest.

Kazu also introduced me to all the cartoonists of FLIGHT. One of the main reasons I started my blog was because of Kazu and the FLIGHT crew. Their FLIGHT website and blog was the first one that really appealed to me on the net; the first one I bookmarked. It has links to dozens of talented cartoonists – - many of whom work in the animation industry, and around the world. I highly recommend a visit, and be sure you have a little time to surf around.  It's worth it.

Once more into the breach

Blog entry by Jeff

I think we're ready. I still have a couple of weeks, but it seems like I’m already out of time. A World Tour is one of the most complicated undertakings we’ve ever gotten tangled up in.  Vijaya and Kathleen worked for over a year putting this deal together. It’s not just a tour, it’s a publishing venture and a nearly simultaneous release party of BONE in color across Europe.  We coordinated gang printings between publishing houses (which involved making sure the brand new translations were complete), book tours & festivals in ten countries, and Steve and I just finished putting together a 40 piece exhibition for the Frankfurt Book Fair and a 33 piece show of original art for Athens.

Many things changed or fell apart completely over the last twelve months, but ultimately all the publishers came through and many festivals invited me to be a guest.

I'm really enjoying the daily blogs of Scott McCloud & family while on their Making Comics Fifty State Tour , so as I travel across the European continent, I’ll take my laptop and digital camera along and blog as I go.  I’ll share my run-ins with cartoonists and get-togethers at pubs. I will try to capture the Spinal Tap highs and lows. If we have a good signing, I’ll post it, if we have a disastrous one, I’ll post it. And when I get left at the border between two countries, with no one to pick me up – - I’ll post it.

I am still working on Shazam: Monster Society of Evil, and I’m taking pages with me. I have a very strict schedule and I have no intention of messing it up – - but if I do,  you’ll be the first to know.

The second leg will be here in America and will concentrate as much on my black & white roots as on the new color books. That’s still coming together, so there will be more announcements as we go.  Don’t forget to check the official schedule by clicking the Bone World Tour button.  Talk to you soon.

Bone World Tour

Blog entry by Jacob Robinson

Our official press release: 

Jeff Smith, creator of the indy title BONE, announces the first leg of a year long Bone World Tour to promote the release of the color BONE volumes across Europe and North America. Smith's company Cartoon Books, which licensed the color rights in the US to Scholastic Books in 2005, has now found publishing partners in Greece, Spain, France, U.K, Norway, Italy and French Canada. There will be tour stops in all countries.

The tour begins at Frankfurt Book Fair, which will feature a 40 piece Bone exhibit in the comics pavilion. Then moves to the Babel Festival in Athens, which will host a 30 piece exhibit of all original art. Smith will continue to criss-cross Europe until the first leg of the World Tour will ends Feb. 23 at the New York Comic Convention in time for the release of Scholastic’s newest color edition of Bone, ‘Rockjaw, Master of the Eastern Border’.

Scholastic, under the imprint Graphix, has sold over 1, 000,000 copies of the color Bone edition to date.

The tour so far:

Oct 3-10 – Germany Frankfurt Book Fair and book tour including Berlin, Cologne and Hamburg 40 piece exhibition at Frankfurt Book Fair's Comics Center visit German publisher Tokyopop

Oct 12-15 – Greece Babel Fest in Athens with 30 piece Bone original art exhibition visit Greek publisher Jemma

October 16-21 – Spain Spanish Book Tour including Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao visit Spanish publisher Astiberri

Oct 21-24 – France and Belgium French book tour including Paris and Brussels visit French publisher Editions Delcourt

Oct 25-26 – U.K. English book tour including London visit U.K. publisher Harper Collins

Oct 27-29 – Norway Bok i Sentrum festival in Oslo visit Norwegian publisher Egmont

November 3-5 – Italy Lucca Comics Festival visit Italian publisher Panini

November 18-20 – Canada Montreal Book Fair visit French Canadian publisher Modus Vivendi

February 23-25 (2007) – USA New York Comicon visit the New York Comicon Website

For detailed information about stops in each country, visit Jeff's Studio. Dates are still being added at this time.

Our Gang 2 update: inked & in color

Blog entry by Jeff

The rascals have been inked.  I spent about two hours working with a sable hair brush before handing it over to Steve Hamaker, who scanned the drawing into his computer. Steve then used Photoshop to lay in the colors.  He busted this out in about three hours, but we made our deadline!

We’ll update again when Jacob Covey at Fantagraphics finishes the final package design.  If you would like to follow the previous steps, you can link to the earlier Our Gang 2 blog entries .

This is not our booth in San Diego…

Blog entry by Jeff

It's actually a set for a TV show called “The War at Home,”  a family sit-com that runs Sunday nights on Fox, and in this episode they visit the San Diego Comic-Con International. The show’s producers saw our booth in San Diego and asked if they could use some of our backdrops and books and t-shirts as props.  I recognize the comedian who plays the dad from Chappelle’s Show (specifically the Pop Copies sketch), so we agreed and sent a big package out to California.

One of the producers sent us this photo and a letter to thank us, saying “There were 4 scenes shot at ‘comic-con,’ and the last two primarily took place in front of or right next to the Boneville booth.”

It looks better than our real booth! The show is tentatively scheduled to air Sept. 24.

Comics & Pop Culture museum opens in Baltimore, MD

Blog entry by Jeff

Last Thursday night Vijaya and I attended the Inaugural Gala of Geppi’s Entertainment Museum.  Steve Geppi is the CEO & President of Diamond Comic Distributors and a huge collector of comic books, toys, movie posters and original art.  It would be fun to come back sometime when I could spend more time, but the event was unbelievably crowded and filled with people I hadn’t seen for a while, so I spent more time socializing than looking at the exhibits.  I did slip off and catch a few interesting things…

…such as this moment with Beanworld cartoonist Larry Marder pressing his nose against the glass of an original Geo. Herriman Krazy Kat Sunday page…


Seeing my name on a Timeline list of Copper Age cartoonists. The Copper Age? 

 

Don Rosa , cartoonist of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, standing with Maggie Thompson, editor of Comic Buyer’s Guide and CBGXtra .

With Jerry Robinson , the co-creator and artist of Batman and Robin.

Bob & Gina Chapman of Graphitti Designs .

An entire hallway of George Herriman originals… Thirty of them! This was where I spent most of my time. Yes, there were other things in the museum besides Herriman originals, but I didn't care.

This is a letter from Walt Disney to Geo. Herriman’s daughter Mabel. It reads:

Dear Miss Herriman:

I am taking this opportunity to express to you my sorrow at the untimely loss of your father. As one of the pioneers in the cartoon business, his contributions to it were so numerous that they may well be never estimated.

His unique style of drawing and his amazing gallery of characters not only brought a new type of humor to the American public but made him a source of inspiration to thousands of artists.

My staff joins me in paying tribute to his memory.

Sincerely,
Walt Disney

A little look into a cartoonist’s thoughts. This alone was worth the trip.

Our Gang 2 update

Blog entry by Jeff

 

First thing to do after making the original sketch , is mock up the layout to finalize the composition on 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper. I've also worked in the character Mickey holding a spy glass.

Once these layout decisions are made, I can blow up the layout on the copier (121%) and lightly trace it onto 14" x 17" two-ply bristol board for the real drawing, which you see here, tightened up in blue pencil.  Since my deadline is end of day Tuesday, and Steve still has to color it, I guess I'll have to ink the little rascals sometime this weekend.