Monthly Archives: July 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007 (part 1), Wednesday Preview Night & Thursday

Blog entry by Jeff

First cartoonist I ran into on the convention floor was Sonny Liew, one of the Flight artists, and artist of Wonderland from SLG. Sonny lives in Singapore, so running into him was a treat.

I wasn't in the hall on Preview night (my first signing was Friday morning), but it looks like RASL did very well. This might be a good year for Sci-Fi. Here is what  Publishers Weekly said:

"Two of the biggest stories of Preview Night were the announcement that Roaring Brook's First Second imprint will publish a graphic novel collection of Paul Pope's cult sci-fi series THB; and Bone creator Jeff Smith will self-publish a new series called Rasl, a stark, sci-fi series about a dimension-jumping art thief with personal problems. The series will start as a b&w periodical next year, published in an oversized edition and sold initially through comics shops before it's collected at a smaller trade book trim-size in full color. "I'm trying to mix the old comic book market with the new book market," said Smith."

A dimension-jumping art thief with personal problems. I'm going to use that!

For more RASL coverage, you can check out Heidi's blog at The Beat, read an interview I did with News-a-rama, or  ponder Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter list of Day One Observations – always worth reading!

On Thursday, I signed once at Cartoon Books booth (#2207) and then at Dark Horse.  

The stuffed Fone Bone finds some friends… 

For more signing & panel times, click here.  

San Diego Comic-Con International 2007

Blog entry by Jeff

It's that time again. And even after 15 years, I still look forward to it. We have so much material this time out: The Art of Bone; the new BONE 6: Old Man's Cave (whole sets of the hard covers so far); Shazam! Monster Society #1-4; the 13" BONE plush toy; and the limited Edition 6 page RASL preview. 

Click here for my signing and panel schedule.

Cartoon Books is booth # 2207, please stop by and see us.

RASL; CBLDF update

Blog entry by Jeff

Less than a week until Preview night at the San Diego Comic-Con.  We just packed up two pallets full of books and exhibit materials, then loaded them on a truck bound for the West coast. 

RASL update: The preview comic will be printed in a limited edition of 2200 copies. We are only selling them at the two remaining stops on the Bone World Tour: Next week in San Diego and then SPX in Baltimore next Sept. (100 copies are being sequestered for that event)

We have also donated some copies to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund for their San Diego Welcome Party gift bag.

From their site: 

CBLDF's Comic-Con Welcome Party: Exclusives, Original Art & More!

Kick off the year's biggest comics show in style at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's Comic-Con Welcome Party on Thursday, July 26 at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego. Sponsored by Image Comics, New York Comic-Con, Cartoon Books and Scholastic Grafix, the Comic-Con Welcome Party is presented by the CBLDF in association with Prism Comics. Join top artists for a night under the stars where you'll receive an amazing gift bag, witness an exclusive meeting of the Drink & Draw Social Club, and preview the Fund's amazing Comic-Con auction. The CBLDF Welcome Party starts at 7:30 PM on Thursday July 26. Admission is a $10 donation for CBLDF Members, and $20 and up for non-members.
The first 300 party guests will receive a gift bag featuring over $50 in great items.

To see pictures of all the gift bag items, go to the CBLDF's party announcement.  

For an update on the comics art auction (and to see all the art), visit the CBLDF Auction. 

Art of Bone from Dark Horse

Blog entry by Jeff

The Dark Horse Art of Bone books came last week, and they are stunning. Diana Schutz is the Editor, and Cary Grazzini is the designer.

I really didn't know what to expect when we first started. Diana spent a week going through my files. Then, once back home in Portland, she and Cary really dug into the material and presented a surprisingly readable mix of finished art, behind the scenes processes, reference photos, penciled pages,and just plain big shots of covers. 

I had to be talked into some things, like stuff I did as a kid, but the choice of material was theirs, and I couldn't be more impressed or more honored that they put this much effort into it.

The page below shows the map and outline I created as the story progressed.

If you want to see some more, Dark Horse has uploaded an on-line preview (which is pretty amazing!).

This review is from the PartnersWest, Graphic Novel & Manga Program Newsletter:

"Dark Horse has just released a nice coffee table book detailing the art behind the hit graphic novel series, Bone. The Art of Bone is a great retrospective about the series and includes many panels of conception art, original drawings, sketches, and a full reproduction of one of Smith's first Bone stories, drawn in ballpoint pen when the artist was just 10 years old. Rated E for Everyone."

The Art of Bone is in stores now. 

Final Shazam production journal; NHLV rh xlnkovgv!*

Blog entry by Jeff

* MSoE is complete!

My comp copies of Shazam! MSoE #4 arrived this morning! That means they will be in stores on Wednesday! To celebrate the release of the final installment of The Monster Society of Evil, Steve, Kathleen, and I made a special Monster Egg, which we've hidden in today's blog, which is all about the secret code.

In the original serialization of the Monster Society of Evil in 1942, the secret code was used to tease the reader about the title of the next chapter. In our current version, the code is used in a similar way – - to disguise the chapter titles that appear on the inside covers.

The covers were designed to look like old movie serial posters, which often had a frame for switching out a photo based on the newest chapter of the serial. 

The New Monster Society of Evil was constructed in four chapters, each one spotlighting one of the major players.  The code we used is based on the old Captain Marvel Fan Club Code and is the same one used in the original serial.  I'll tell you what it is, but you can't tell anyone else, okay?  The Monster Code is the alphabet backwards; A=Z, B=Y, etc.  Here are the four decoded titles… 

MSoE Chapter One:  Billy has a Secret! 

MSoE Chapter Two:  Mary Takes the Cake! 

MSoE Chapter Three:  Sivana Comes on Strong! 

And our final installment, MSoE Chapter Four:  Mr. Mind Makes his Move! 

I hope you had fun reading MSoE, and thanks for putting up with my schedule and my secret codes! It's been a lot of fun for me, and I look forward to seeing you at the San Diego Comic-Con International in a couple of weeks.

Gl erhrg Qvuu'h hgfwrl xorxp lm Nzib! 

Open Letter to my fellow pros – - donate to the CBLDF auction now!

Blog entry by Jeff

I’m donating this page from Shazam! MSoE #1 to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.


The CBLDF protects our rights to free expression in comics, and it's a cause that I feel very strongly about. Right now they need our help, because in August they're going to court to defend Gordon Lee, a retailer in Georgia who could go to jail for up to 2 years because of a comic that showed a true-life scene of Picasso walking around in the nude. Maybe not something you’d purposely hand a kid, but  I’ve seen the comic and it isn’t porn or harmful to children.  Even so, Gordon didn’t realize the scene was in the book, and he has apologized.  This is just the tip of the iceberg on this case, and you can learn all the details by visiting cbldf.org.

I don't sell my original art, and I’ve never donated an interior story page to anything before, but this case against comics must not succeed.  No one should go to jail for selling art.

The Fund has spent $80,000 to date defending Gordon, and they expect the trial to cost another $20,000 on top of it.  This is unconscionable.  Right now everyone who cares about free speech in comics needs to stand up for Gordon's freedom. 

So I'm asking you, all of my fellow artists, to do something:  Please send a page of art or a script, anything the Fund can auction off to raise dollars for this campaign.

Jim Lee is donating this piece of art:

You can read his Open Letter at his blog.

Please join me & Jim and give a piece of art to the Fund for their San Diego auctions.  To donate art, please email Charles Brownstein or Greg Thompson at CBLDF1@gmail.com and tell them what you're sending.  To make it to the Fund's online auction catalog, send your donation notification and a jpg of your piece in by Sunday, July 15 so they can add it in.  They'll let you know where to send the original.

 If you can't make it to Comic-Con, you can still bid on any of the  pieces.  Here's the scoop on that, straight from the CBLDF:

"Online bids will be accepted starting Monday, July 16 until Friday, July 27, 10:00 PM PST. All bids must be emailed to info@cbldf.org with "CCI SD AUCTION BID" in the subject line.   This is not a silent auction bidding system. All bids placed online will be used as opening bids during the live auction on Saturday, July 28. In the event there are multiple bids on the same item, the highest bid will be the one accepted.  Bid amounts placed online will not be disclosed before the item is auctioned. Winning bidders will be notified by email the week following the convention.  Payment is expected within 7 days from said email."

(Updated July 17: To see the full auction with pictures visit the auction page.)

However you can help, now is the time to do it.  The Fund has been standing up for comics for over 20 years.  It's our turn to stand up for them.  Please join me in making a difference.

SHAZAM 4 is coming!

Blog entry by Jeff

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil #4 ships next week on Wednesday, July 18. I'm having trouble finding images I can show because every panel gives too much away! Stop back on Friday for our last Shazam Production Journal, and our last Monster Egg. See you then!

Drawing Board; Bone 6: Old Man’s Cave cover sketches

Blog entry by Jeff

The process of making a new cover starts with a few loose sketches.  Steve Hamaker suggested Fone Bone and Smiley sneaking up the rim of the ancient Rat Creature temple, and I thought the image was so strong, that I drew four different angles of just that one idea. 

David Saylor, my editor at Scholastic, liked sketch C the best, but suggested making Fone and Smiley bigger, like they are in sketch D. The result is the new cover!

There you have it. 

Bone 6: Old Man's Cave starts shipping to bookstores this week.