|Who Am I?|
My name is Barry Deutsch. I'm the author and illustrator of the Hereville graphic novels, which are about "yet another troll-fighting 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl."
Hereville books have received seven starred reviews so far, including reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. The first Hereville was described by a School Library Journal reviewer as "the best graphic novel of 2010 for kids. Bar none."
Hereville has been nominated for an Eisner Award, a Harvey Award, an Ignatz Award, the Andre Norton Award, and won the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award -- the only graphic novel ever to win.
More importantly, kids love graphic novels! Kids are used to looking at books in the classroom, and watching cartoons or reading comics on their own time, but graphic novels combine the intensity of storytelling with the fun of images. They teach students to read, but more, to enjoy reading--which may be the most important skill of all!
What's In My Main Presentation
At a typical school presentation, I speak between 40 and 60 minutes, depending on the school's schedule. My presentation begins with a live drawing presentation in which I draw bizarre characters. I call on students and ask for suggestions about what the characters should look like--male or female, big-nosed or snub-nosed, with mohawks or flowing braids--so the students can see how I compose caricatures live. I also show kids face-drawing techniques they can put to use immediately.
The drawing demonstration is followed by a reading from one of my Hereville graphic novels, featuring student readers playing parts, and additional participation from the entire audience. The reading is illustrated with dozens of drawings from my book, projected on a screen.
The reading is followed by a slideshow, in which I discuss topics like how I became a cartoonist, where my ideas come from, and my creative process. I talk a lot about the importance of PRACTICE!
My slideshow ends with an animated film of my drawing process at twenty times actual speed, so the students can see a drawing form from its first scribbly lines to the final shading on the leaves.
After the slideshow, I take questions from the audience, and then (if time allows) do one or two more bizarre character drawings. It's a presentation that students and staff will remember for years.
I also have a classroom workshop. I present a short (10 minute) slideshow in which I explain and demonstrate the basics of story structure in a four-panel comic strip (including an animated film of the process). Then I have the students create their own comic strip for the remainder of the class period, while I walk around the class and give students feedback on their work.
Presentations For Younger Kids!
My presentation is designed for grades 3-8. But I also love talking to younger kids, adapting my presentation to have more of the "fun stuff' that keeps smaller children engaged. I'd recommend having some blank paper handy -- after talking to me, kids are eager to draw!
Audience Size and Fees
I have spoken to groups as small as 15, and as large as 400. My typical audiences are drawn from grades 3 to grades 8, but I've also spoken to younger kids, to high schools, and even to adult groups.
My speakers fee is $600, plus travel expenses for schools outside the Portland, Oregon region. If multiple schools in an area would like to save money by having me speak at multiple locations over a one or two day period, the fee will be $500 per school for two schools, or $400 per school for three or more schools. I do ask that the schools provide someone to ferry me from school to school!
The $600 fee includes one or two presentations or workshops at your school (for instance, my presentation plus a classroom workshop, or doing my presentation twice). If you want more than two presentations or workshops, that will cost $200 per additional presentation or workshop. For example, if you'd like me to do my presentation, plus lead two classroom workshops, the total fee would be $800. Another example: If you'd like me to present the slideshow twice and also lead four classroom workshops, the total fee would be $1400.
I also do a similar presentation via Skype! The fee for a single Skype presentation is $100.
Free Presentations For Schools
I know that many schools don't have the budget to bring in speakers - and that's a shame, because author visits really can enrich kids' experience.
If you're able to set up Skype at your school, but don't have the budget to pay for a speaker, I'd be happy to do a Skype visit for free. Also, if your school is located near Portland, Oregon, but you don't have the budget for a speaker, I'd be happy to do a free in-person appearance. (But I may ask you to arrange for someone to give me a ride to and from your school!)
Please email me to discuss an appearance at your school.
Thanks for your consideration!