Last week I visited the island of Terschelling, where the annual Oerol festival took place, full of art, theater and music. The festival turns the whole island into a stage, or canvas – and it invited me to draw these pictures on the beach:
Then I was joined by a couple of kids, who made these amazing creatures:
Our gracious host Mathilde de Graaff photographs a Yiri of sand:
Curious about the upcoming comic book Science: a Discovery in Comics? I made a Facebook page where you can follow its publication, reviews etc. Just click on the picture and then “like” the page.
If you’re on GoodReads, you will find a page for the book there as well. When the publication date approaches, I will certainly start a GiveAway there, where you can win signed copies of the book (there’s actually one going on now for the Dutch version, ending 19 June). Stars and reviews are highly appreciated!
How do you structure a comic book that supposedly covers *all* of Science? Where do you start, and what line do you choose to make it into somewhat of a coherent narrative?
For Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics I chose the historical approach, and that’s what I’ve done for Science: a Discovery in Comics as well. Looking at things in their historic context makes it easier to see connections and understand how science, philosophy, politics, art and economics are all interconnected.
That said, taking this approach for Science still makes for a bit of a roller coaster ride – skipping ahead, rolling around, looping back, lingering at certain topics. Here’s the content page, so you see what a long and eclectic journey this book promises to be (in 192 pages!):
Yes, it’s a lot – but don’t be daunted by the amount of topics, for me and my husband will guide you through:
This way, we hope to provide many opportunities to catch your breath, have a giggle or even a small insight. It’s a book you can easily read in smaller installments, or pick up every now and then to read up on a specific topic.
The book will be in stores in September, if you’re a shop you can order them now from NBM. If you’re not a shop, you can also pre-order at NBM, or at Amazon.
In February, I blogged about the project ‘A Calendar of Tales‘ that writer Neil Gaiman had started in cooperation with the whole wide world – he wrote 12 short stories prompted by tweets on Twitter, and invited everyone to illustrate them.
I spent an enjoyable fortnight making one illustration a day, one for each tale. It was very inspiring and energizing, and made me think outside my own box. The result was 12 drawings that I have posted on my website, together with the stories by Neil and art by others that I liked.
The project was not a contest per se, more an invitation to create. Even so, I was incredibly gratified to have four of my illustrations shortlisted, and one of them even made it as a “runner-up”! It is featured on the official A Calendar Of Tales website, which launched last week and is a beautiful scrolling experience, so check it out.
Accompanying the month of July, you’ll find my drawing:
Philosophical question: since it is all made of words, can it still be called a drawing…? Food for thought.
It’s the Christian feast of Pentecost today – but what’s it all about? It celebrates “the descent of the Holy Spirit” on the disciples and other followers of Jesus, fifty days after Christ was seen to ascend to heaven.
But what is the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit is often thought of as an inspirational force, an impulse to go out and create something, to pass something on. Together with God the Father and Jesus the Son it makes up the Holy Trinity.
Holy Trinity? But wait, isn’t Christianity supposed to be monotheistic – doesn’t it have only one true God, not three?
The early Christians solved this conundrum by declaring God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit three aspects of one God. So – there’s one True God, and He may manifest himself in either of these three ways. But He’s still the same One and you can’t really distinguish between the works of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Confused? Well, that’s why it’s called mysticism. Maybe this comic I made illuminates it a bit:
(Note to all who may feel offended by my depiction of God: I chose to draw Him as an amoeba because that’s the beginning of all life, unformed but with the potential to take any form. Also, it’s what we ourselves are made from, and all life that surrounds us. Omnipresent, so to speak.)
This week, Science: a Discovery in Comics is going out to the printer in China! A memorable step, after months of translating and proofreading and finetuning. The physical book won’t be in stores until at least August, but for me the hard work is done.
To celebrate, here’s a page from the book. It explains the Scientific Method. In The Netherlands, I heard this page is popular with physics teachers, and a card is in the making that will be distributed in high schools.
If you’re a teacher (or even if you aren’t) please feel free to use this picture. Just remember there’s a lot more where it came from, which is my book Science: a Discovery in Comics, and it’s coming out this Summer.
The page concludes with the inevitable Aristotle, who also featured of course in my previous book Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics – he’s a pivotal figure in the history of science as well (and basically in the whole of the development of Western culture).
The extra perk of preparing a book for publication at NBM is that I get to make endsheets, that go inside the hardcover at the beginning and the end of the book. For the upcoming Science: a Discovery in Comics I just finished making them – I layed out a grid and filled it with different pictures from the book, here’s a little preview of about a quarter of the total.
Here’s some info that needs posting, concerning present and future books.
To celebrate the second printing of Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics, I made another GiveAway on GoodReads.com. Now’s your chance to win a free, autographed copy of the first print! Click here to sign into GoodReads and enter the giveaway.
In the meantime, the newest book Science: a Discovery in Comics is almost ready to go to the printer! To start promotion, I made a page on my website detailing the contents of this book, with a lot of pictures and even a large spread about genetics. Click here to check it out!
We have the great fortune to live next to a great park in Amsterdam. It’s out of the way of the tourist routes and has really become a park for all of the neighborhood: young families, joggers, people with dogs, families at a barbecue, and tormented artists like ourselves seeking the solace of nature.
Two years ago the old abandoned shack in the park grounds was reopened by an enthusiastic young couple, Tim and Astrid, who started selling delicious smoothies, toasties and other goodies there. Their cafe in the park, called Terrasmus, became a great success and last winter they remodeled the place, so they can accommodate more people inside and have more room for workshops, music festivals and all sorts of activities for kids.
A few days before the reopening, we walked by to check the place out, and bumped into Tim and Astrid themselves, who showed us around. They pointed out a great empty stretch of wall where they were thinking of asking a local artist to do a mural – so we immediately volunteered and the same evening I made a sketch for a drawing of about 3,5 by 1,20 meters.
After some back and forth about things to include in the picture – basically everything and everyone that can be found in the park on a nice sunny day – we had an approved sketch that Yiri then colored in bright summery colors. We sent it to the printer to have it printed on wallpaper, and within a week a big package was delivered to our doorstep.
And here is the whole picture, enlarge by clicking on it:
If you’re in Amsterdam, come and take a look at it at Terrasmus in the Erasmuspark – and have one of Tim & Astrid’s great smoothies to make it a perfect experience!
Currently, there’s a Kickstarter campaign going to bring out ‘Anything That Loves’ - a bold new comics anthology that explores and celebrates the complex world beyond the categories of “gay” and “straight”. I’m proud to announce that one of my comic characters will fill ten pages of this book.
I started ‘Mijntje’ for Dutch lesbian magazine Zij aan Zij in 2004 and she’s my oldest and longest running comic. Mijntje is a 22 year old bisexual girl who’s in a relationship with Mia, with various adventures on the side.
Especially for ‘Anything That Loves’, I have translated ten comics, and re-christened Mijntje into Minnie for the english-speaking world.
Given the ongoing struggle for any minority that doesn’t fit into what other groups define as “normal”, I think this will be an important book that will contribute to the visibility of the shifting realities of sexuality, instead of the cliches. I’m proud my Minnie can be part of this, and I encourage anyone with an interest in the subject to back the Kickstarter here to receive the book – and there are also cool T-shirts to order!
Here’s a preview of one of the ten Minnie comics that will be in the book: