Monthly Archives: October 2007

Happy Halloween!

Blog entry by Jeff

Halloween is my favorite holiday – - monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches – - and costumes with BIG HEADS!! The photo above was sent in by Todd Fadel who says:

My 7-year-old son, Zion, wanted to be Fone Bone for halloween this year, and we made it happen. Here he is holding his plush Fone Bone right after we finishedthe costume.

The second picture was sent in by Cris, who writes:

Hello! My name is Cris. I am an artist and a stay at home mom.This year, my 4 year old daughter wanted to be a rat creature for Halloween.So I got to work and just finished it. I thought you might like to see the
results. Enjoy!

Wow! We did enjoy. Thanks, Cris. 

If you have any photos of Bone costumes, please send them in! We'll post them! 

Real life Ted

Blog entry by Jeff

Just received this e-mail from Emily Morganti at Telltale Games (makers of the Bone on-line adventures ): 

Hi guys,
 
Jon Sgro and his son encountered a real life Ted the Bug over the weekend… thought you’d enjoy these pictures.
 
-Emily

Yep, that's him! 

SPX 2007; World Tour comes to an end (updated)

Blog entry by Jeff

On the last day of SPX 2007, after a year of traveling back and forth to Europe and  around North America, I ended my world tour crammed in a tiny room filled with happy, young cartoonists dancing, sweating, and singing at the top of their lungs. It was a cathartic release, and I joined in with gusto. For an excellent overview of the show and the karaoke night (complete with links to Youtube), visit Liz Baillie's site.

The Marriott exhibit hall opened for business at 2pm on Friday. Turn out was good. The room hummed for two days straight with people shopping for small press comic books, and from what I could gather, many were purchased. 

Among the indie cartoonists was Xeric winner GB Tran.  

Jim Ottaviani & Carla Speed McNeil.  

Gilbert Hernandez.  

Liz Baillie.  

My basic duties as a guest of the show were to do a couple of signings at the CBLDF table, and a Spotlight Panel.  You can read about the Spotlight Panel on these blogs: Comics Alliance and USA Today Techspace.

Aaron Renier with a copy of MOOMIN no. 2 from Drawn & Quarterly tucked under his arm.

Highlight of the show #1: James Kochalka breaks into song within three minutes of us walking into a small private party together. Larry Marder, Chris Pitzer and Greg from the CBLDF listen. It was a great song about James' neighbors, one of which is a murderer and the other is a meth dealer. Or something like that. Only at SPX, people.

Speaking of James, I ran across a great SPX photo blog that is perfect! (thanks to Tom Spurgeon

Next morning, Steve Hamaker was back at his booth hawking Fish 'n' Chips and his webcomic Still Dead. 

On the left is Lola Akinmade with her Office Supplies comics, and John Hankiewicz whose book Asthma was nominated for an Ignatz Award. 

Matt "Obi-Wan" Wagner.

Chris Pitzer at the AdHouse Books booth. 

After my spotlight panel,which was moderated by The Beat's Heidi MacDonald, we posed for pictures with one of the show's other guests, Rutu Modan. I met Rutu not long ago when we were both guests at The Vinetas desde O Atantico festival in A Coruna, Spain.

Raina Telgemeier.

Here I am with two young turks ready to conquer the world. This is Andrew Greenstone and Alex Bullett (and Dan Morris snapped the photo). This picture was taken just moments before Aaron Renier convinced me that karaoke would be fun and I should go. I can't believe I went – - and I can't believe how MUCH fun it was!

Folks started gathering in the Marriott parking lot, and I climbed in a car with five other people and we headed off in search of a karaoke bar. This drawing was done by Joe Quinones. That's Joe and his wife in the front seat,  Alec Longstreth, Liz Prince, me, and Aaron Renier in the back.

This wasn't what I pictured, which would be one person singing in front of everybody else – - instead it was 50 people singing! All crammed in a little room, while one person held the mike. And all fifty of us sang at the top of our lungs!  What a blast! I was exhausted by the end of the evening.

Alec Longstreth tearing up the karaoke machine.  

Liz Baillie. 

Alec again, and just in front of him (to the right) is Liz Prince.

Douglas Wolk, the comics critic and author of Reading Comics, blew the top off the place with his spot-on rendition of Prince's Kiss.

And highlight #2:  Meeting Christopher Smith (no relation). Christopher visited me in line on Friday, and came back on Satuday to give me this drawing. 

Well, since I began the tour back in October of last year, I've visited 11 countries (Spain & France twice!) simultaneously launched the new colorized version of BONE in 15 launguages, eaten the best meals of my life, finished the 4 issue mini-series SHAZAM! The Monster Society of Evil (the deluxe hard cover comes out TODAY! ), debuted a 6 page preview of RASL, and had a crazy good time.  

Many thanks to all the publishers and festivals that hosted me, and special thanks to Kathleen Glosan who spent a year setting everything up, then another year holding it all together.

If you'd like to retrace the World Tour, you can click here.  

Our Gang 3 cover!

Blog entry by Jeff

Here's the cover of Walt Kelly's Our Gang 3. I'm enjoying these Fantagraphics reprints. First of all, I hadn't read that many Our Gang stories before this (they haven't been reprinted since the 1940s), and beginning with the issues in this collection, you can really see Walt Kelly putting his imprint on the charcters – - which is making it more fun from a design standpoint. These new gang members, Red and "2-by2," along with Janet, Buckwheat & Froggy are very modern and their adventures more interesting. Color by Steve Hamaker.

Above is the sketch I showed to Gary Groth and Jacob Covey, and below is the final cover with logos. 

If you'd like to see the drawing board pages about the first two Our Gang volumes, click here.

  

Writing RASL

Blog entry by Jeff

I'm out in the Arizona desert.  Part of my next book, RASL, takes place here and I want to look around; get some reference photos. But that's really an excuse. After the World Tour and a series of side projects, I wanted to escape from the jangle & clutter of everyday life and just think – -get some writing done. I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for.

it's hotter than blazes out here. It's over a hundred and the air feels like a hot weight on my face. 

Cactus are everywhere, and even when you step clear over them, stickers mangage to hook a ride. But it's worth it.  

Dead quiet. An elemental landscape full of rough, jutting shapes. 

The saguaro cactus. It's one of those symbols of the old west that goes deep. I like it.

The shadow of a huge bird passes over me. 

He loops over me a couple of times and then veers off, leaving me alone in the dead quiet.

Saguaro bones bleached in the sun. 

This little cactus with its yellow, almost fur-like prickers is the worst offender of all.  Eight to twelve slivers get into your skin at a time. I quickly learned to stay away; and yet, right in the middle of those nightmare stickers is a bird's nest! 

I'm standing on a boulder that must be fifteen feet in the air, but this ancient saguaro towers over me. You can feel the timelessness of the place.

Harsh and beautiful.

There's so much life, but somehow it feels so empty. 

I start to write. 

Links Ahoy! (updated)

Blog entry by Jeff

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil Deluxe Hard Cover ships in just a couple of weeks -  Oct. 17. Here is a link to colorist Steve Hamaker's blog, where you can see the front and back of the cover as well as the second installment of Coloring the Steve Hamaker Way. I plan to do my own blog on the unfoldable giant-sized dust jacket when I get back to the studio sometime next week (I'm in Arizona at the moment working on RASL). 

This is a link to a website called Every Day is like Wednesday (a reference to the fact that new comics ship on Wed). The article is about the house ad DC is running for the Shazam Deluxe HC and the blurbs they put on it. Seems like every word of the blurbs are parsed – humorously – and the website's sub-title and mission statement won me over immediately:

"An ongoing attempt to solve all of the comic book industry's problems in roughly the same manner as a drunken crazy hobo screaming on a street corner seeking to reform the U.S. government. And with about the same success rate."

I just happened across this link and wanted to ad it to the list:

A Review of The Pogo Special Birthday Special. This was a 1969 Chuck Jones cartoon that was written and voiced by Walt Kelly. I loved this cartoon when I was kid, and I have a cel from it hanging on my studio wall. For more, go to Filmsy.com. 

The next couple of links all belong to the Queen of Indie comics, Colleen Doran. (and my old cohort from the early days of the self-publishing movement).  Colleen has worked in comics since she was a teenager doing every kind of job in the field. She's best known for her own ongoing indie sci-fi/fantasy epic A Distant Soil, but she has also done plenty of high profile comics work like drawing Sandman and Orbiter.

Colleen has recently expanded her web presence with some shop sites: The hobbits feet above can be had on a beer stein (as well as other fantasy pieces)at Colleen's Cafepress.  

The lovely lady above, Bast from A Distant Soil, can be had on a magnet if you go to Colleen's Art Shop, a page that features her comics work. I'll take 300 of those magnets – - I figure that's how many it'll take to cover my car with them!

Ah, young love! This is a picture of Vijaya and me from our trip to Japan ten years ago. I was invited along with four other cartoonists and their partners to Tokyo by Tezuka Productions. One of the other cartoonists was Colleen, and she's doing a retro travel blog here!

This next link is to a site called The Comic Snob, that talks about The Arrival, a wordless graphic novel by Shaun Tan that just came out. 

And last, but not least, a link to the official website of The Small Press Expo, the indie comics show that takes place on  Oct. 12 & 13 in Bethesda, MD.

Steve Hamaker and I will be traveling out to the show,so I hope to see you there. For a complete schedule of events, you can link to Heidi's The Beat.