Showing posts with label graphic novels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label graphic novels. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bluffton is Finished!

Today I delivered the cover painting for my third graphic novel, Bluffton. It's historical fiction and deals with friendship, stardom, vaudeville, summertime, and the young Buster Keaton. Of all my books, this one is probably closest to me.

Graphic novels are a long haul. I successfully pitched the idea for Bluffton to the good folks at Candlewick Press in fall of 2009. I spent 2010 researching and thinking about the story (including a very fun trip to Muskegon, Michigan and the neighborhood of Bluffton). I wrote the manuscript in early 2011, did all the sketches for the book in the springtime, and began drawing the final artwork in August. In August of this year, I "finished" the artwork and the past few months have been focused on revisions, speech balloons, and the cover. With a great deal of thanks to my talented, tireless art director/designer Heather McGee, it looks like we're about to wrap it all up.

Bluffton will be out in summer of 2013. I plan to do a bunch of posts leading up to the release with lots of behind-the-scenes goodies and whatnot.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Finished... for now

Today I completed painting my third graphic novel. The title of this story is Bluffton although keen followers of my exploits might also know it as "the one with Buster Keaton in it".  If all goes well (and by that I mean the tremendous amount of work still needed to be done, mostly by the team at Candlewick), Bluffton will be out in the fall of 2013.

So for now, a bit of rest and relaxation. Tomorrow, back to work.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Painting Begins

This week, I began painting my next graphic novel. Like my previous books, I'm painting this one with watercolor. Watercolor is a "traditional" medium, but not at all traditional for comics. There are others who use real paint for their books, but most comics are colored digitally. However, there is no Rule about this. Since I'm more comfortable with watercolor and prefer the results, that's what I choose to use.

New paint. New brushes.

The illusion of order that, as the weeks and months roll on, will most likely devolve into messy chaos.

There was also pie.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

On My Drawing Board

Still working through the thumbnail sketches for my next graphic novel. The script, which I always write first, is above the sketch pad. Although at times this stage of the process seems endless (211 pages total), it is really my favorite part. These little doodles are where most of the big drawing decisions are made.

My goal is to have them all finished before I leave for Book Expo next week...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical is now available from your favorite purveyor of quality literature. I contributed a graphic short story to this fine anthology that also includes stories from David Almond, Aimee Bender, Cecil Castellucci, Shawn Cheng, Annette Curtis Klause, Margo Lanagan, Danica Novgorodoff, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Vivian Vande Velde. It's a dark and wondrous strange collection and I couldn't be happier to be a part of it. My story, Jargo!, concerns a freak that freaks out the other freaks.

Sideshow was edited by the brilliant, multi-talented Deborah Noyes. Deb has written a guest post over at Teenreads about Sideshow. Go Read It!

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Fresh New Year

A Happy New Year to all! I'm looking forward to a new batch of blog sketches (including some new monthly features), adding some more designs to my Zazzle shop, and starting an Etsy space for prints of my work.

Things are pretty exciting on the book front for 09. Illustration-wise, there's a return to Hard Pan with Susan Patron's Lucky Breaks. Later in the year, I'll be moving into author/illustrator territory with the release of two stories in the Medium of Sequential Art (a.k.a. comics, graphic novels, illustrated stories, and an assortment of other labels that no one seems to be able to agree upon).

First is a short story for the new anthology, Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists, and Other Matters Odd and Magical. This is my first foray into the world of YA so expect something a bit darker than Very Hairy Bear. I couldn't be more excited to be part of a collection that includes new work by some of my favorite writers. Click on the link for the lineup. Sideshow is edited by the incomparable Deborah Noyes... if you haven't read her extraordinary new novel The Ghosts of Kerfol, then you oughta.

And this fall my first graphic novel, The Storm in the Barn will be published. This book has been in the works for about five years and the drawing and painting of it took up most of my time in 2008 (hence the paltry blogging). Needless to say, if I could push a Fast Forward button and zip to the fall I would, however, I'll have to bide my time. Look for more blog posts, a new website, and a book trailer for Storm in the months leading up to its release.

Ok, everybody. Onwards and Upwards.

Friday, August 15, 2008

aka The White House Book

I was extremely honored to be asked to contribute a story to "Our White House, Looking In, Looking Out" which is being released in September. This massive anthology was spearheaded by the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance and assembled by the massively talented folks at Candlewick Press.

I was asked to write and illustrate a story about the Great Depression. In four pages. The result, a stripped down comic about Herbert Hoover and apple peddlers, will be the first story that I've written to be published (although my upcoming graphic novel was written before this). Above is a sketch for the first page of the story. Other contributors to the book include M.T. Anderson, Jerry Spinelli, Katherine Paterson, David Small, Brian Selznick, Susan Cooper and really too many to list here.

Publisher's Weekly just did a very nice write up about the book here. And the NCBLA has a website that should explode with extra content around the time of the book's release. Personally, I can't wait to see this thing.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Washington Sketch

Sorry for the paltry blogging of late. I am nearly finished work on my graphic novel and by nearly I mean I still have about 40 pages to go. But since Children's Book Week is next week, I thought I'd show you a sketch from Big George by Anne Rockwell, coming to a bookstore near you this fall. This is Washington at Carpenter's Hall, volunteering to lead the army. Clearly, my uniform research came after the sketching phase.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Red Cross!

Yikes. 2 posts in one day...well, heck it IS my birthday. This one's a sketch for my upcoming Dust Bowl-era graphic novel.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Post #100!

Well, this wraps up my first year of blogging on a nice round number (is it round? is it an integer?). I did manage my goal of doing something new for each of the 52 weeks of Illustration Friday. (Whew)

Next year I plan to change the blog a bit. There'll be fewer IF drawings but more sketches from my upcoming book projects, such as these three drawings. These were part of a four page mini-comic "trailer" that I created in order to present my graphic novel idea to interested publishers. More on the graphic novel and other books in the coming year.

Thanks to everyone who stopped to have a look at the site...especially the folks who left such nice comments.