January 13, 2014 by Eric Hobbs
Well, we’re almost there. It’s been a bit since I updated the blog with news that Family Ties was delayed, but I’m excited to say that we are almost there. Noel has finished with the artwork and our letterer, Jaymes Reed, is making his pass over things now.
I’ll be stopping in occasionally to remind everyone why we’re so excited for this follow-up to The Broadcast. Until then, I thought I’d offer proof that we’re about to cross the finish line: the book’s final page. It’s spoiler free (as spoiler free as an adaptation of Shakespeare can get, anyway). That said, there was a time when this page seemed a thousand miles away so it’s kinda nice to see. Not to mention, gorgeous. I think everyone is going to love what Noel did with this book. It’s the best work I’ve ever seen with him — but, of course, I’m a little biased.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
FAMILY TIES is an Alaskan Crime Drama. Hoping to secure a future for his children, an aging Alaskan crime boss looks to retire and divide his empire amongst his three heirs. But when his idealistic son refuses the inheritance, the old man disowns him. This turns out to be a fatal mistake when he sees his cold-blooded daughters use their new-found power and influence against him. Inspired by the classic play KING LEAR, THE GODFATHER meets Shakespearean tragedy in this epic tale of betrayal and loss.
January 13, 2014 by Jesse Lonergan
I love baseball. I love going to games and watching them on TV. I love movies about baseball and books about baseball. I like the names of baseball players: Catfish Hunter, Rollie Fingers, Coco Crisp, Cool Papa Bell, Vida Blue (baseball is a gold mine for character names). Baseball is also a game just filled with stories. Dock Ellis pitching a no-hitter on acid. Rickey Henderson framing a million dollar check.
I also love the movement of baseball: the pacing, the timing, sequence of events. It’s that movement that I really wanted to capture in my book All Star. Baseball is a game all about anticipation. With baseball, you can see a play develop; you know what it is going to come, but there are all of these little steps along the way; you have to wait. It’s those little steps that make baseball great.
January 12, 2014 by Margreet de Heer
Today it is exactly 99 years ago that the United States House of Representatives rejected an amendment to give women the right to vote. A representative of Ohio illuminated his position by explaining: “The women of this smart capital are beautiful. Their beauty is disturbing to business; their feet are beautiful; their ankles are beautiful, but here I must pause — for they are not interested in the state.”
The idea that women belong exclusively to the realm of beauty, bearing and raising children and running households, kept females out of important jobs for ages. The same goed for the realm of science. Fortunately there have always been women who were lucky, intelligent and stubborn enough to make themselves heard and make significant contributions.
In my book Science: a Discovery in Comics, I highlighted some of these women in their historical context:
January 6, 2014 by Jesse Lonergan
Here a few versions of the cover for my upcoming book. Covers do not come easily for me. Perhaps it’s all in my head, and I just get myself all wound up and stressed out thinking, “This cover has to be awesome; otherwise no one will bother to pick the book off the shelf.” Attempting awesome can be rather paralyzing. I’m much happier drawing a comic book page. Or perhaps I struggle because this is my idea of a fantastic cover.
January 6, 2014 by Margreet de Heer
For the holidays I got a Nintendo WiiU – that awesome game device you can use to play all kinds of entertainment directly on your TV screen, or, in this new version, on a beautiful touchscreen pad, which lets you enjoy features such as Art Academy, which is basically a digital drawing set of pencils and crayons.
Drawing on this device is remarkably easy. And the fun thing is I could immediately upload my pictures to the so-called MiiVerse, which is sort of like Facebook for Nintendo players. Only they give “Yeahs” instead of “Likes”, which really made me feel like the whole world was cheering me on. It’s a very friendly place, the MiiVerse. Here are some of the doodles I started out with:
Then I realized I could also access the MiiVerse from my Nintendo 3DS XL, which is this device:
I could not run the drawing program on this handheld, but I could use the sketchpad to draw messages and then post them to the Art Academy Community on the MiiVerse. It looks rather crude, just black and white pixels, but I found this sketchpad to be pretty workable, giving nice “loose” results. Here are some of the sketches I started out with:
This became addictive pretty quick. Soon I was sketching a “status update” every minute and posting them to the MiiVerse:
Yiri is trying it out as well. He has more experience than me since he often draws on a Wacom Cintiq, a touchscreen computer which he also uses for coloring my comics. Besides, he has a really nice drawing style that lends itself perfectly for these kinds of experiments:
Yes, then the holidays hit. As well as a new wave of drawings:
And this is the last one I drew yesterday. It already has 23 Yeahs! Yay!
The New Year is starting out well. New toys, new perspectives, new experiments.
December 30, 2013 by Margreet de Heer
December 29, 2013 by Jesse Lonergan
1998 was a good year: Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton and cigars, Michael Jordan’s last game as a Bull, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in a steroid-fueled-bulging-bicep quest to shatter the home run record, and Semisonic’s Closing Time all over the radio. Sadly, it was also the year we lost Falco, Phil Hartman, Bob Kane, and Junkyard Dog.
It is also the year that my upcoming book, All Star, takes place. This is partially because of my fondness for the nineties, which also happen to be the time when I was in high school, but also because so much has changed since I was in high school. With cell phones, chat, Facebook, Snapchat, and other things I’ve never even heard of, I really don’t even know what it’s like in high school now. I think it would scare me.
December 26, 2013 by Stefan Blitz
As a holiday gift to you, we’ve discounted two of our newest titles for one day only for just $3.99 each. It’s the perfect opportunity to try out some of the great books that we publish.
Stanford White is one of New York’s most famous architects having designed many mansions and the first Madison Square Garden. His influence on New York’s look at the turn of the century was pervasive. As he became popular and in demand, he also became quite self-indulgent. He had a taste for budding young showgirls on Broadway, even setting up a private apartment to entertain them in, including a room with… a red velvet swing. When he meets Evelyn Nesbit, an exquisite young nymph, cover girl, showgirl, inspiration for Charles Dana Gibson’s “The Eternal Question” and for the later movie “The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing,” he knows he’s on to something special. However, Evelyn eventually marries a young Pittsburgh decadent heir with a dark side who develops a deep hatred for White and what he may or may not have done to her, setting up the most scandalous murder of the time.
Little Rice Duck has built himself quite the reputation around the West Wood, playing his trumpet in bars with their smoky, sweaty ambiance, tequila sunrises, and jazz. But between his trumpet and his flame Betty, things are going astray. Betty is drowning her need of him in expensive champagne, something someone else is more than happy to provide… something he’d much prefer, like her, would just stay chilled.
MADISON SQUARE TRAGEDY: The Murder of Stanford White
On sale today at:
BETTY BLUES by Renaud Dillies
December 24, 2013 by Jesse Lonergan
Take it easy, read some comics, and if you got some snow, enjoy it. Merry Christmas!
December 21, 2013 by Margreet de Heer
An Easter egg is: “an intentional inside joke, hidden message, or feature in a work such as a computer program, movie, book, or crossword.” I have hidden a few easter eggs in my books, and today, as we’re approaching Christmas, I’ll reveal some of them to you.
When you open Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics, the first thing you see is the endsheets (only in the US edition!). I have laid them out in a grid and filled them with pictures from the book:
But… wait a second! These are not ALL from the inside of the book! One of these is not like the others! It’s actually not even drawn by me! Can you tell which one it is?
This is Emma Ringelberg, who assisted me on the lettering of the english version. She’s a comic artist herself and makes really nice stuff, check out her blog.
On page 67 of Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics starts the chapter on Free Will, with an autobiographical scene about my time in America when I was a student. It opens with this picture:
Does that ring a bell with some of you who are autobiographical comics hoarders, like me? It should, because I drew it with this panel in mind:
Just one page further, page 68, is a dialogue between Yiri and me about Fate and Free Will:
Never have philosophical issues about Fate been better drawn in comics than by Bill Watterson in Calvin & Hobbes. I had this strip in mind when I drew mine, and had to stop myself from using the exact same phrasing “Too bad you were fated to do that”. That would just have been too obvious.
In Science: a Discovery in Comics you’ll find this scene of a fierce debate pro and con Darwin’s theory of Evolution, that took place in Oxford in 1860, and was attended by a crowd of interested people, eager to see sparks fly:
One of the people in the crowd is none other than Redmond O’Hanlon, the great novelist/adventurer who so much regrets not having been born in the nineteenth century.
(At the moment he’s back on Dutch TV with a superb series on 19th centuries heroes of his)
That’s all for now folks!
Have a happy holiday!