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22 posts from August 2005

August 19, 2005

FAVORITES -- From Sara Varon


"here is of one of my favorite passages: 2 pages from 'the roumanian circus', which is the
story in 'jetlag' (by actus tragicus) written by etgar keret and illustrated by rutu modan.


" i love etgar keret's stories in that book, because they are so bleak and strange and hopeless but also funny. and rutu modan is my favorite illustrator and storyteller of the actus crowd.


"the page with the clowns in the dryer seemed like a good one because it really caught the mood of the whole story. but the monkey page is my all-time favorite comics page - how could you not love the rotten monkey in the wheelchair? the tiny drawing of him throwing an apple at the piano-player's head makes me crack up every time i see it, and i love (in all her drawings) rutu modan's use of line and color and shapes and patterns, and all the little details she puts in the background which embellish the writing."
-- Sara VARON


© Pages Copyright Keret/Modan (Actus Tragicus)

Sara Varon

Sw_2 © Copyright Sara Varon

SARA VARON is the author of the magical SWEATERWEATHER, from Alternative Comics.

Her project with us, ROBOT DREAMS, is in thumbnails and I love it already. It's got it all, humor, pathos, animals, just no words, or very few. There's a very peculiar, very unique quality to Sara's characters and stories. And it's strangely addictive.


August 18, 2005

FAVORITES - from Nick Abadzis

There are several extremely talented authors from the U.K. working on original commissions with FIRST SECOND. Among them is Nick Abadzis, whose LAIKA is due out next fall. More to come about that later...!

In the meantime, he sends us one of his favorite scenes from a graphic novel, in our continuing feature:


Baudoin_page © copyright Edmond Baudoin

"There's a scene in Edmond Baudoin's BD album Le Portrait, which I bought it in its original oversized Futuropolis edition back in about 1990 or '91. The whole book blew my mind, but a particular five-panel sequence stood out: page 43 where the artist Michel is at work on a portrait of Carol, the model he's kind of obsessed with. He's asking himself to get a bit of distance from her. As he draws, a mirror of himself, a kind of shadow-opposite works behind the easel, echoing his movement. In the next panel, the easel and the portrait has disappeared, and artist and shadow become joined at the point of the piece of charcoal as it moves across the invisible paper that now is all that separates them. Michel is "recommencing the portrait," and the next silent panel seems to ask, who is this a portrait actually of? Carol, or Michel himself, what he sees of himself reflected in her? The shadow begins to move out of the frame in the last panel of the page as the caption asks what it is he's searching for.

The sequence, like so much of Baudoin's work, is both incredibly subtle and beautifully bold. It also captures this incredible sense of movement. Baudoin was inventing new visual grammar (as he still does) but was unconstrained by this, allowing himself to be utterly expressive. Yeah, it spoke to me! The whole book is astonishing and well, I've rambled on a bit so I should get back to work."

August 17, 2005


August 16, 2005

FAVORITES - from Mark Siegel


This new feature will appear from time to time on the FIRST SECOND website... Various authors and creators will share with us an all time favorite graphic novel scene. Something that struck them and stayed with them, and contributed to their love of the medium.

To kick things off, here's one from me.

THE RABBI'S CAT by Joann Sfar -- coming out in the US from Pantheon books this summer. I love this book, through and through, and I think it places Sfar high among great authors in any form.

© Copyright Sfar, 2005

My favorite scene is when the old rabbi meets up with an old Arab who shares his last name -- Sfar. The whole sequence, beginning with the meeting of their respective pets, a cat and a donkey, leads to one of the most enchanting moments I've ever found in a graphic novel. Like the whole of Sfar's still unfolding story, this scene makes a bridge between Jews and Muslims and makes me believe Art will succeed where politics continually fail.

If you're hungry for Sfar's magical worlds, check our CATALOG PAGE in coming weeks for his many upcoming titles with FIRST SECOND.

August 15, 2005


MATT MADDEN is on fire!

This fall, his book EXERCISES IN STYLE will be coming out from Chamberlain Brothers (Penguin). There's more to see about this unique formal experiment at his website


And for comics artists in the NYC area, Matt will be offering two continuing education classes at the School of Visual Arts this fall.

One is called "Great Art through Rules, Constraints and Games" and starts Sept. 14 and will be concentrate on how using rules and constraints can help you make great comics. The class will explore everything from drawing style to story structure and content.

He will also be teaching his popular Ink Drawing class, which is great for people into comics, illustration, or drawing in general.That class starts Sept 20.

Go to the SVA website for more information or to register:

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST -- Matt and Jessica Abel are cooking something up for FIRST SECOND... Something big! More about that later, but for now it's safe to say it will involve lines on paper.

August 12, 2005

Upcoming Derek Kirk Kim


A great poster by Derek Kirk Kim.

While we're on the subject, FIRST SECOND signed Derek for an upcoming project... More on that in the future! In the meantime, if you haven't read his SAME DIFFERENCE and Other Stories, from TOP SHELF -- you're in for a rare treat.


August 11, 2005

...and at the conference


On the way to a conference...


August 10, 2005


Let's make a start with introductions.


That's me. My name is Mark Siegel, :01's Editorial Director.


...And a standard assortment of doubts.


And this is Simon Boughton. He runs Roaring Brook Press, our parent company. Fortunately, he is a real publisher. Roaring Brook has some the most beautiful children's picture books out there.


And that's Lauren Wohl, our marketing goddess.

There's other talented people to tell you about, other times.

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