I was able to slip away from the craziness of the crowded Book Fair and have a bit of time for myself before meeting some people from TokyoPop for dinner. I like to walk the streets of a new city. This time of night things are just starting to pick up. The shops and little outdoor cafes are full of atmosphere. Fall is finally here and the evening air is crisp. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
…back to the crowded halls of The Frankfurt Book Fair.
I didn't get attendance figures for this Book Fair, but this is just one section of something like 20 or 30 halls. The size of the real estate alone is staggering.
Joachim Kaps, or Dr. J as many people call him, TokyPop’s publisher, accepts an award on behalf of one of his artists, Arina Tanemura for Best International Manga.
Then Don Rosa is given an award. Don is best known for his work on Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge . And he is one of the most praised and beloved artists I ever met. Everywhere I go in Europe, they treat him like royalty.
(While looking around on the web for a page to link Don's name to, I found this awesome drawing!)
With that much praise, I figured he must be rich. I don't think he even noticed when I took his wallet.
After the awards ceremony was my official interview. My editor Steffi Schnurer asks the questions from the audience. The gentleman on my right is Peter, the translator.
It was a good discussion and I answered many questions from the audience about the decision to color the BONE comics.
Many people seem to think that I just send the books off to have them colorized by my publishers. But I don't, of course. I color them with my associate Steve Hamaker. Steve does the bulk of the real work, the color pallet is his, but we go over every single panel together, making adjustments and reworking the flow of the compositions.
There was also some discussion about manga, which in Germany at least, I am now part of…
Manga is an interesting case; on the one hand, I don't read too much of it. Not all manga, but much of it strikes me as being too corporate for my tastes; a company driven product where an editor assigns one person to write the stories, and chooses another to draw them. The kind of system in place at the big US companies, Marvel and DC.
But what I like about manga is who it is made for, and what it is accomplishing. It is created largely for kids, and kids are responding. By making a book, a comic book no less, exciting to millions of teenagers and younger readers around the globe, the world of Manga has done no small thing.
Still, for me, the best comics, manga or western, are the ones written and drawn by a single cartoonist. A book that can give you the vision of an author, not of a company.
And if I end with this picture, it will look like everyone applauded when I said that.
We had a signing session after the talk that was limited to 50 people because of my arm,but again, people were cool.
Everyone got all their books signed and a simple Fone Bone head sketch.
This guy had a good time, and so did I!
Later, I set out for a walk before my rendezvous with Joachim and the gang at an Italian place for our TokyoPop dinner.
John Parker, who sat next to me, wanted me to take a picture of his meal for my blog. I was happy to; it was a beautiful strip of steak with crumbled bleu cheese melted on top. Deee-Lish!
When I wanted a photo of the group, they all held up their food for the blog. In case you couldn't tell, I had a lot of fun. Everyone at TokyoPop in Germany laughs – - all the time. I couldn’t have asked to spend time with better people.