Archive for ‘Events’

Understanding | Making | Teaching

Haven’t listened again myself yet, so there’s a chance I made a fool of myself, but I enjoyed talking with James Sturm on our Friday Comic-Con panel and I think some interesting points were raised.

Courtesy of TCJ, here’s the audio of the panel (and photo by Kristy Valenti).

15 Years and a Day

Yesterday, Winter celebrated her 15th Birthday with her friends, and today with the family so I won’t be posting much.

Ivy’s retelling of Winter’s legendary birth from last year is here, but if you’re short on time, the night was nicely summed up yesterday in two tweets.

Happy birthday, Winter!

Athens, Georgia and Mr. Weing

One of the comics I read on my way home was Drew Weing’s Set to Sea. I’d been seeing pages of it on Drew’s website for awhile but reading it in book form was a delight. Highly recommended.

If you’re in Athens, Georgia tonight (Friday), you can get a copy from the author himself at the release party from 5-8pm.

Funny thing is, when I thought to make a remark on how Athens is landlocked and checked Google maps to see if Athens was indeed landlocked, I discovered that there is no label in Google Maps for Athens!

See for yourself.

WTF, Google Maps??

[UPDATE: There actually is an explanation—and it’s not what you might expect.]

The House that Patience Built

Back home from Comic-Con!

It felt like a very forward-looking Con to me, despite all the worries about impending doom in various markets.

Both Sky and Winter were among the thousand or so led by Edgar Wright out of Hall H on Thursday to see one of the first public screenings of you-know-what. Have yet to meet anyone who didn’t love it.

The four panels I was on went off without a hitch. After the fourth on Saturday, I talked for a long time to two teams of iPad comics creators about the challenges of that new platform, and was reminded of how young the mobile space still is.

Speaking of young, Ivy and I got to meet Juni Kibuishi for the first time (above—and yes, Ivy’s hair is purple again!). I watched his eyes watching everything and was reminded how unpredictable each generation of creative minds can be.

Raina Telgemeier’s terrific all-ages Smile sold out at the show. We talked at the First Second dinner about the dozen other subjects that deserved the comics treatment and what a difference Raina’s personal touch and wise storytelling choices made.

Of the hundred thousand plus who descended on San Diego last week, maybe a few hundred were aspiring young artists or writers making the journey for the first time.

It’s easy for a dedicated young artist to believe that if their work is good enough, it’ll rise and rise until they’re the ones at the Hall H microphones (or at least Ballroom 20) and it’s their characters being painted on the side of the Bayfront Hilton.

It’s also easy, after a few years of frustration, for even the best young cartoonists to believe that the system is rigged, and no matter how hard they work, there’ll be enormous obstacles put in their way that have nothing to do with the quality of their stories and art.

Both are true, of course. Good work will rise to its level AND the system is rigged. Which is why, if you want to find a common denominator among the success stories at San Diego, it’s patience.

For example, bookstore buyers don’t always understand Telgemeier’s Smile. The children’s comics market in bookstores is still immature and the obstacles for new authors are numerous and frustrating. But as soon as kids actually got their hands on the book (often through book fairs), it became a big hit. The book itself made all the difference.

One of the iPad hopefuls I talked to was Robert Berry whose Ulysses adaptation was originally rejected by Apple for nudity. It’s a smart, well-designed work that was nearly killed in the cradle, but its future actually looks pretty bright now that Apple was embarrassed into reversing their decision. Joyce’s legacy may deserve part credit for the reversal, but the quality of the work will carry it from here on.

And Scott Pilgrim for YEARS couldn’t get shelved in one of the biggest book chains in America. The “system” was truly rigged against it. Yet here we are.

Will Eisner insisted again and again that CONTENT would always drive the industry and the art form. No matter what happened at the retail, publishing, or distribution levels; it was what happened on the page and in the panels that would make all the difference.

I believe it more every year.

Hello, Desk.

Home from Con.

Failed to get a post up today, but look for a big post with lots of rambling, sentimental thoughts tomorrow.

See you at COMIC-CON!

We’re off!

Those panels again:

Thursday 11:30-12:30
Spotlight on Kurt Busiek— I moderate a panel with my old pal Kurt, the guy who got me into comics in Middle School. Room 8

Thursday 1:30-2:30
Beanworld and the Leguminous Life of Larry Marder!— I moderate another great panel with another great friend and artist. Room 4

Friday 4:00-5:00
James Sturm and Scott McCloud, A Center for Cartoon Studies Conversation: Understanding, Making, and Teaching Comics— I join James Sturm for… Well, I guess the title tells it all! Room 7AB

Saturday 11:30-12:30
Will Eisner, The Dreamer— Several of us take the stage to talk about the life and work of one of the greatest comics artists of all. Room 4

More detailed descriptions here.

Back to regular blogging Tuesday, July 27. Have a great week, Everybody.

#23… #16… #12… #11… #9… #6… #5…

Yeah, I know I talk about this book too much as it is, but when you read phrases like “midnight releases” you know you’re looking at something special.

Vol. 6 was #23 on Amazon this morning. Not too shabby.

In other news (although, I suppose the photo is related), I need to link to this story, just for the the title.

[Edit to add: As of the following morning, it’s been holding steady at #12 [UPDATE: #11!] [UPDATED UPDATE: #5!!] surpassing ALL Twilight books!]

Comic-Con Panels!

San Diego’s famous Comic-Con International begins in only ten days and they’ve just posted their complete 2010 programming schedule.

ThursFri SatSun

I don’t have anything of my own to promote until The Sculptor is a little further along, so I’ll be joining some great friends on stage on Thursday and Friday (and remembering a great friend of comics on Saturday).

From the convention listings:

Thursday 11:30-12:30
Spotlight on Kurt Busiek— The Eisner Award–winning writer and Comic-Con special guest discusses his career — past, present, and future — in comics. With a résumé that includes Superman, Justice League/Avengers, Conan, and his own creator-owned projects Astro City and Arrowsmith, Kurt Busiek is one of comics most popular writers! Joining Kurt will be long-time friend and fellow comics creator Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics). Room 8

Thursday 1:30-2:30
Beanworld and the Leguminous Life of Larry Marder!— What is Beanworld? Where does it come from? How did it all begin? Comic-Con special guest Larry Marder and moderator Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) celebrate the 25th anniversary of Marder’s most peculiar comic book experience with a visual presentation and a lively dialogue about his many influences. This is your opportunity to discover why Beanworld has captivated readers from grade school to grad school over several generations. Be the first to get a glimpse into Marder’s next Dark Horse Books original Beanworld graphic novel, Something More! Room 4

Friday 4:00-5:00
James Sturm and Scott McCloud, A Center for Cartoon Studies Conversation: Understanding, Making, and Teaching Comics— Join CCS co-founder James Sturm (Market Day) and Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics) in a freewheeling discussion about transforming the unruly creative process into practical instruction. Plus catch a sneak peak of Cartoon College, the upcoming documentary about The Center for Cartoon Studies! Room 7AB

Saturday 11:30-12:30
Will Eisner, The Dreamer— Will Eisner played a central role in the first seven decades of comics history. Many times during his career, he reinvented sequential art and himself to overcome new challenges. He was a true dreamer, and these panelists hope to show you that side of him: Denis Kitchen (artist, author, publisher, and Will Eisner’s agent and longtime friend), Scott McCloud (artist, author, and theoretician about comics and sequential art), Dennis O’Neil (comic book writer and editor for Marvel Comics and DC Comics), Paul Levitz (writer, former president/publisher, DC Comics), and Michael Schumacher (bestselling author and Biographer with a new biography of Will Eisner due out this fall). This is your chance to learn more about the “Father of the Graphic Novel.” Room 4

Friday Odds and Ends

Not comics, but everybody keeps sending me I am Sitting in a Video Room (be sure to watch the other 999!) and this recent news piece on “the writer who couldn’t read” on the assumption that I’d find them interesting—which I did, so here they are.

Via Spurge, his annual Comic-Con Survival Guide and an awesome Jack Kirby Quote.

Finally, here are some nice immersive comics pages from concept artist Justin coro Kaufman.

So, yeah… truly random, but there you go. Go back to playing Angry Birds and enjoy the weekend!

Comics Around the Pacific

Although the official 24-Hour Comics Day won’t be until October 2,  it looks like artists in The Philippines will be sitting down to draw on Saturday, July 17 at 9:00 am. in preparation for PICCAGood luck to all participants!

Only a few days later, across the Pacific Ocean, Comic-Con will be starting here in the U.S.

Since I’m deep in the middle of my own project right now and not ready to show anything yet, I’ll be on four panels focusing on other comics creators this year: Friends Kurt Busiek, Larry Marder, James Sturm (heard a lot from those names on the blog recently) and a tribute to the great Will Eisner.

I’ll have an official announcement once the schedules are online. No table this year. Just happily wandering.

Ivy has written up her feelings about the prospect of Con moving to LA or Anaheim and why she’s resolved to only attend comics panels this year. We both agree that it would be a depressing development for Con to land in LA, especially because the glut of Hollywood programming is the reason Con is so overcrowded in the first place. Guess we’ll see what happens.