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10 posts from March 2009

March 26, 2009

On the blogs this morning

While cycling through the ever-expanding "comics" folder of my Google Reader this morning, a number of things made me smile. Here are three of them:

1. The Comics Reporter. Tom had a bunch of birthday notices this morning, all in a row. I always love seeing that stream of names go by -- this morning I'd heard of one out of every five, though my average is better than it used to be. It's nice to be reminded how many people work in this business, how much talent and variety there is.

2. Renee French. What a blog! Never has the housefly been as dreamy-beautiful as it is in her hands.

3. Project Rooftop. The winners are announced for the Batman 2.0 costume redesign contest. I love all of them, and I love this site: what's the good of having these crazy icons like Batman and Wonder Woman if not to mess with them and make them ours? Also, because I'm secretly 5, I love it that you can see Killer Croc's buttcrack and tiny nubbular tail in the first one. Hee!

Buttcrack

So, what made YOU smile today?


March 23, 2009

Nickelodeon Magazine

Adventures

Nickelodeon Magazine is totally awesome! 

For one thing, their latest comics issue just featured a comic by Adventures in Cartooning creators James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost. 

For another thing, every time their magazine comes out, it features great cartoonists like Karl Kerschl, Richard Thompson, Michael Kupperman, Paul Hornschemeier, Sara Varon, Tom Gauld, Aaron Renier, Jason Shiga, and Mike Mignola.  How is it possible that they squeeze all this awesomeness in one magazine?  It seems almost impossible -- but it's nonetheless true, and the amazing editors Chris Duffy and Dave Roman somehow manage to do it every month!

March 09, 2009

Inspiration Alley: Quentin Blake + Comic Tools Blog

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Many thanks to Jillian Tamaki, for her lovely post drawing our attention to the incomparable Quentin Blake's website, and providing a link to this wonderful short video of Mr. Blake drawing an illustration for a picture book.

The pleasure of watching other people make beautiful things never fades. Nor does the curiosity about how they do it, and why they do it that way. This is one reason I'm enjoying reading :01 artist Matt Bernier on the comic tools blog, with its plentiful and illuminating tips and testimonials about brushes, nibs, paper, lettering, lightboxes, etc.

And then there was the magic moment when Matt revealed just how he had been taking photos of both of his hands doing something:

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Yes, he strapped the camera to his face.

March 06, 2009

Gene Yang podcast on Kwanzoo.com

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"After I graduated college, I realized that I just wouldn't be satisfied with my life if I died without publishing just one comic book."

March 05, 2009

Gus & His Gang

"Everyone would be better off as an outlaw, since the villains are so often the fun of cowboy fiction."
-- Bookforum

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"Blain is an extraordinarily gifted talent; his writing skills are superb, creating characters on the page with unique voices and whom you enjoy reading about. His art work is sublime; detailed and meticulous."
-- Comics Waiting Room

"Blain convinces me that every train robbery, every saloon brawl, every range war has, at its comic heart, a cowboy who's just looking for a little open space to undress the woman he loves."
-- The Oregonian

"A sweet, funny comic . . . Blain's script contains some sophisticated surprises not usually found in this kind of comic story, and his art is a delight throughout."
-- Minneapolis City Pages

"The unbelievably talented Blain offers a subversive take on the American Western. . . . 'Gus' is the rare funny book that resonates as well as entertains."
-- Harrisburg Patriot News

Dave Gibbons reads Alan's War

Alans War_rgb


"It's by a guy called Emmanuel Guibert. It's a true-life story of a guy in World War Two, and that's a fascinating book."

RECOMMENDED READING: THE WAR AT ELLSMERE by FAITH ERIN HICKS

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Took this on the subway last night, and missed my station by two stops. 

Worth ordering here at the SLG website, so you can 

a) treat yourself to a delightful read, and
b) support a cool house like SLG in these tough times

March 04, 2009

This is why we copyedit our books.

Derek Kirk Kim, :01 stalwart (and co-author with Gene Yang of the upcoming The Eternal Smile), sends us a link to this photo:

Fail-owned-misspelled-dictionary-book-fail

...and notes with some alarm, "It's from Macmillan!"

Don't worry, Derek. Macmillan has really cleaned up its act since the DAWN OF TIME when that dictionary was published. Fun fact: it's mostly because First Second designer Colleen's scary, scary pet bichir fish just hates typos.

And around here we try not to anger Emilio the almost-an-eelio.

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March 02, 2009

The Flatiron, 23 Skiddoo, and Snow that Falls Up



Who needs gravity? Yup, round these parts (aka my design desk on the 7th floor of the Flatiron) SNOW FALLS UP. Crazy winds funneling down 5th ave and Broadway and hitting our building.

In the early days of the flatiron (early 1900's) the mostly-forgotten phrase "23 skiddoo" was invented because of our building. The fierce Flatiron winds raised skirts and attracted the interest of passing gentlemen. Police officers there kept the gawkers moving along by saying "23 skiddoo," the equivalent of "scram."

Also interesting to note: Look how clean my desk is! Yeah, that's not too normal, but piles of proofs for our Fall 09 books just went back to the printers. You do get to see our beautiful Laika and Slow Storm posters, ALA's Gene Yang poster, and fly-by glimpses of some of our upcoming projects like Cat Burglar Black and Color of Water. (Please note we are not doing a book about Phil Collins and kittens...sorry to disappoint you all I'm sure.)

Seems appropriate my task today is designing Germantown, a book about NY in the 40's by Laurence Klavan and Susan Kim, illustrated with fantastic art by Pascal Dizin. Feeling all full of NYC history.

Mark Siegel in the News

Mark Siegel : "Il y a encore pas mal d’obstacles à surmonter avant que le “graphic novel” n’arrive dans tous les foyers américains…"

Doodler

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