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23 posts from September 2005

September 30, 2005

Fortune Cookie Part 2 (journal excerpt)


It seems the best of these entries are when I'm pulling on a live wire, and don't know exactly what's next. With some projects, when an author knows what he or she is trying to say, it's already a lesser story. I love it when I'm reading someone who keeps surprising himself.

Fc_04 © mark siegel, 2005

[To Be Continued]

September 29, 2005

Fortune Cookie Part 1 (journal excerpt)

Thanks for some nice encouraging messages from many of you about these little journal entries.

Since the first FIRST SECOND books don't actually release until April 2006, I'm waiting to post more about them, like sketches and such from the authors -- it's just a little early now. I can't wait to share the stuff. Right now, the books are in final proofs, and I'm dealing with a million little details on that front.

So right now, this site and this blog are gently warming up to a full head of steam in coming months. In the meantime, for you, friend, here are little bits to tide you over until then.

The journal entries below (and the ones following, in coming days) happened in March 05. The cat soldier belongs to another project of mine, but the fortune cookie writer just wandered in here one morning, and he's reappeared a few times since.



Fc_03 © Mark Siegel, 2005.

[To Be Continued]

September 27, 2005



2005 Ignatz Award Winners



OUTSTANDING ARTIST -- David B., Epileptic (Pantheon), Babel (Drawn & Quarterly)

OUTSTANDING ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION--Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man, John Porcellino (La Mano)

OUTSTANDING GRAPHIC NOVEL-- Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, Marjane Satrapi (Pantheon)


OUTSTANDING STORY -- Dogs and Water, Anders Nilsen (Drawn and Quarterly)

PROMISING NEW TALENT--Andy Runton, Owly (Top Shelf Productions)

OUTSTANDING SERIES--Finder, Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed Press)

OUTSTANDING COMIC -- Or Else #1, Kevin Huizenga (Drawn & Quarterly)


OUTSTANDING MINICOMIC--Phase 7 Alec Longstreth (Self-published)

OUTSTANDING ONLINE COMIC--The Perry Bible Fellowship, Nicholas Gurewitch (http://www.thepbf.com)

OUTSTANDING DEBUT NOMINEES -- Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed?, Liz Prince, Top Shelf Productions

September 23, 2005

Recommended reading


SALAMANDER DREAM by Hope Larson (Adhouse Books). A micro and macro story, a strangely beautiful relationship, and a book filled with a love of storytelling. Probably not the last we'll hear of Hope Larson.

September 22, 2005

See you in Bethesda, MD tomorrow


SMALL PRESS EXPO and the Ignatz awards -- and here's who's got'em LAST year!

SPX 2004
The Eighth Annual Ignatz Awards go to:

Outstanding Artist
Craig Thompson, Blankets (Top Shelf Productions)

Oustanding GN or Collection
Blankets, Craig Thompson (Top Shelf Productions)

Outstanding Story
“Glenn Ganges”, Drawn and Quarterly Showcase Book 1, Kevin Huizenga (Drawn and Quarterly)

Promising New Talent
Lauren Weinstein, Kramers Ergot #4 (Avodah Books)

Outstanding Series
Finder, Carla Speed McNeil (Lightspeed Press)

Outstanding Comic
Eightball #23, Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics Books)

Outstanding Minicomic
Lucky #3, Gabrielle Bell, (Self-published)

Outstanding Online Comic
American Elf, James Kochalka, http://www.americanelf.com

Outstanding Debut Award
Teen Boat #6: VOTE BOAT, Dave Roman and John Green (Cryptic Press)

Cheese, Gromit!


September 21, 2005

Joann Sfar in NY


Joann Sfar finishes his US author tour promoting THE RABBI'S CAT (Pantheon Books) this Thursday, at the Astor Place Barnes & Noble bookstore.... For those in the area, here's a chance to meet him and get a live drawing in your very own copy.

Thursday 9/22/2005
Barnes & Noble
4 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
7 pm

September 20, 2005

journal excerpt


Alexis Siegel in the U.N. Security Council

Comics are moving in circles of power! It's not enough that the Graphic Novel is conquering the mainstream publishing world... Now, Alexis Siegel, famed translator of Sfar as well as many upcoming :01 titles, including DEOGRATIAS by Stassen -- sits right in the middle of the United Nations Security Council.

That's him there.

And he's my brother.


September 19, 2005

Spy Report on a recent Graphic Novel seminar


On September 15th, 2005 a seminar took place with these luminaries. It was packed. And now it's over.

Fortunately, :01's Russian spy Danica Novgorodoff was there, and sent back some juicy items, which inaugurate our new category of TIPS FOR CREATIVE TYPES, because they're that good.

NOT verbatim, unless hemmed in by "quotes".


KIM DEITCH: I think, what would I like to read; what would I like to see in stores? Start with an idea.

Draw when you’re stumped on the writing. Write when you don’t know what to draw.

If you’re still stumped, sleep on it. Work when you wake up.

JESSICA ABEL: Come up with a situation to accommodate your idea/character.

Talk about your story out loud with others; verbalize it.

I write a script before I start drawing.

ART SPIEGELMAN: In writing Maus, I thought, what comic book can I make that needs a bookmark? I wanted to make literature, not kid’s stuff.

Whatever you write about, the idea has to justify the enormous amount of work this medium requires. What is necessary to write? Find something central. What’s the nugget?

Also, have a formal concept. Each page is a visual paragraph. Find a drawing style appropriate to your story.

In the Shadow of No Towers… “I had no idea it was a book. I was just making pages while waiting for the world to end.”


KD: You should. At least know the climax. It’s a terrible thing to be on page 4 of a 5 page comic and realize it’s a stinker.

JA: There’s nothing spontaneous about comics. Comics require structure.

AS: An editor once wrote, on endings: In the last chapter, every page has to double in weight till the end. On the last page, every paragraph has to double in weight till the end. In the last paragraph, every word has to double in weight.

It needs a feeling of inevitability.


KD: Make model sheets of characters for continuity. Front views, side views, back views. Different expressions. You should be doing a lot of drawing outside of the comics you’re already doing. Keep sketchbooks. That’s where the spontaneity happens.

Get to know your character. Take your characters out for a ride; a day in the life of your character. Write about them outside of your story, give them backgrounds.


AS: “The word aim is lethal. There’s something dangerous about targeting a work for a specific audience.” For example, Blankets wasn’t intended only for coming-of-age-aged people.

KD: “I’m not aiming for any one audience. It’s gotta please me first…. If you aren’t willing to stick your head out and take some chances, maybe you should get out of the game.”


JA: Make mini-comics. Submit to anthologies. Hand it out to your friends. Get feedback. Self-publish. Publish with small publishers. Build relationships. Go to conventions. Walk around with a box of mini-comics and a sign that says, “For Sale $2.” Do it over and over again.

AS: “There are a million wrong ways to do it – but many right ways also…. It’s not a career, it’s a calling.”

I got over 25 rejection letters for Maus. There was no context for it at the time.

Whether you come from a graphic bent, or have a strong narrative drive… if you keep knocking your head against a wall long enough, you’ll bring your other skills up to par.


KD: Winsor Newton Series 7 brush.

JA: Raphael brushes.

AS: The computer.

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