2 for Mr Easter: Midwest Book Review and VOYA

Allen‘s quirky book with its unconventional heroine may not be for everyone, but any teen who has rooted for the underdog, likes fantasy, and doesn’t need a heroine who is shapely and beautiful, will enjoy it a lot.”

Kat Kan in VOYA, both of which are influential amongst libraries.

“Vivid and action-packed, keeps the story moving at a breathless pace. Witty and fun to read.”

Midwest Book Review

Mr. Easter and On Odd Hours reviewed

In a round-up that appeared on Sunday, The Miami Herald praised two of our books (out of a total of 6 only): “A Home for Mr. Easter” and “On the Odd Hours“. For Mr. Easter, by Brooke A. Allen, an exciting new talent, reviewer Richard Pachter said:

“Astonishingly, Allen is still a student at Savannah College of Art’s comic art department. But her moving, memorable and rollicking tale of outcast, oversized schoolgirl Tesana, her magical bunny and cast of outrageous but true-to-life characters and situations is one of the best things I’ve read in years — and I generally abhor funny-animal stories, Carl Barks notwithstanding. Allen is a major talent, and this amazing debut portends a great career in illustrated storytelling for the ages.”
And on our latest in the Louvre series On the Odd Hours by Eric Liberge:
“A great story of a hearing-impaired young man trying to find his way. Friends and lovers try to help but won’t listen to him — nor he to them. But a secret overnight guide to the fabled museum chooses him as an unlikely successor. Mona Lisa winks at him, changing and saving his life.”

Mr. Easter lays beautiful eggs

 

Publishers Weekly on A Home for Mr. Easter by Brooke A. Allen:

“Halfway between Precious and The Incredible Hulk, obese urban teen Tesana is the unlikely hero of this delightful debut book from Allen. Allen’s unrefined black and white line art is similar to Nate Powell’s, but her subject matter is refreshingly light. The characters rush through a very satisfying one volume adventure that hits all the right notes and leaves no threads unresolved, like a well-written screenplay. Mr. Easter signals Allen as a new artist to follow.”

“By the time I was done I had a big smile on my face. Allen’s story has heart, and her art is fantastic. As a first graphic novel, A Home for Mr. Easter is an impressive debut. I definitely look forward to seeing what she has up her sleeves next.”

Read About Comics

PROCESS PROCESS PROCESS

DSCF3611It all begins here in the lab, getting cozy and scribbling equal parts jibberish and possible story plots… this is the most fragile part of the process for it often gets eclipsed by dance night, facebook lurking, and 18 hour naps but every once in a blue moon the stars align, self control conquers all and I start scripting …which looks like this:
process

This is the closest thing to a script that  A Home for Mr.Easter got ( which may explain a lot ).  It’s composed on posted notes and whatever little pieces of scrap paper were close at hand taped and nested in a 4×6 sketch book.  If you’re having trouble writing I find that this way always helps because its not as scary jotting down plot points on pieces of paper that might have ended up in the trash any way and they’re easy to move around, build onto, or just get rid of.

During this stage I tend to do what a lot of people do and script in thumbnail form, already start figuring out what the page layout is, how the frames will work together to create the pacing you want (which in this case was pretty fast ), and where dialogue and sound effects might go. In addition to these things I find it helpful to go ahead and sketch a few character designs or environments on the side whenever I get stuck… because as soon as you get stuck suddenly you remember your computer is right next to you and you could probably go update your facebook status from WORK NIGHT to I HATE WORK NIGHT  but then suddenly you get a message from your best friend ever that says GET DOWN TOWN NOW and instantly you obey….  and … um …where was I?

So after I get a pretty good idea of the rough outline I go to my OTHER sketch book filled with helpful little pages of graph paper and do my tight roughs (as seen below).  These are bigger more specific scribbles that are accompanied by dialogue… this is pretty much what my finished pencils look like later on 9×12 bristol… which would drive my teachers to murder.  But in all honesty tighter pencils will only help you out on inks in the long run. Lesson learned.

thumbnails_2 mr.easter_web

The next big thing in indie comics

That’s what Gutter Geek on The Comics Journal site says of Brooke Allen and her A Home for Mr. Easter:

“Allen is a pitch-perfect storyteller with total control over the page.  To call Allen’s art fluid would be like announcing that water is wet.
Imagine that Jack Kirby created Little Lotta for Harvey Comics in 1953, and she was a friendly, kind-hearted and always ready to use her tremendous strength for what she deemed as good.
Bravo to the folks at SCAD for nurturing this sequential force of nature, and kudos to NBM for recognizing a young talent like Brooke A. Allen and publishing her work. I think she may be the next big thing in indie comics.”

Woah! Tell us something we don’t know.

Another review:

Andrew Wheeler in his review blog Antick Musings (sorry, too lazy to type out the entire title of this blog):

“A Home for Mr. Easter is somewhat rough in spots, and its plot is mostly of the one-damn-thing-after-another school. But it has an undeniable electricity, from Allen’s energetic and appealing lines to her slangy, funny dialogue to that deeply weird plot that nevertheless comes across as utterly believable. It’s the story of one girl and her rabbit, and the vast hordes that try to stop them. It’s quick and funny and exciting and just plain good comics. I can’t wait to see what she does for Christmas!”

Mr. Easter gets attention

From ComicMix:

“Her black and white artwork is unique and comical. This is a terrific first effort and I look forward to more from Ms. Allen.”

Realms of Fantasy will soon have this review by Andrew Wheeler:

“[Tesana]’s soon being chased by a large and varied cast of ne’er-do-wells, stage magicians, animal rights activists, nasty pet-shop owners, and – scariest of all – her own mother. Throughout it all, Allen has a light touch with her dialogue and a great eye for caricature and grotesquerie in her pen. This isn’t a major graphic novel, but it’s a great romp and a wonderful debut.”