Here’s an interview I did with the wonderful Geneviève Bolduc of 4GeeksMedia. She and her various camera operators really did a great job.
Hi! Sorry I’ve been blogging so little lately. I’m just spending long days every day drawing Hereville. And it’s not just the time; it’s also, somehow, mental creative energy being expended. Even when I have a few hours after work, I just don’t seem to have it in me to write new posts.
Anyway, this too will pass.
I’ll be appearing in Vancouver, Canada this weekend, at the Vancouver Comics Arts Fest. It should be a lot of fun, and I think admission is free; so if you’re in Vancouver, please come see me and say hi.
Here’s the page from Hereville 2 I finished yesterday — and it’s a pretty spoiler-free page. I’m pretty happy with how this page looks.
It has two unusual elements for me. First of all, it’s yet another attempt at an Eisner-style collage layout. I wouldn’t say it’s completely successful — certainly not as nice looking as an Eisner page, but that’s a given, isn’t it? — but I think this works better than the Eisner-attempts in book one did. (Which were pages 31 and 32, if you’re wondering and have book 1 handy.)
Secondly, drew panel one with the kind of over-the-top foreshortening that artists like Jim Steranko used to such great effect, which is not something I can recall ever attempting before. I think it came out okay, but I probably won’t be doing this often in the future — it’s so visually oddball looking (to my eyes, at least) that I think it’s bound to distract from storytelling in most contexts.
So I had the great pleasure of being invited to see a dress rehearsal of the Portland Opera’s production of Candide. So much fun! The show is hilarious, just a little bit dirty, and incredibly cynical, and the performances were all terrific. I think Candide is one of those operas that even folks who don’t usually like Opera would like, so if you’re in Portland I recommend checking it out.
I didn’t have time to do illustrations as elaborate as I’ve done for past Portland Opera productions, so I did caricatures of four of the characters in the show. I’m pretty pleased with how Pangloss came out.
Also, be sure to check out the #pdxcandide tag on twitter to get links to the drawings by all the other Portland cartoonists who were invited!
I’ll be at Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon this weekend. If you’re there, please come up and say hi.
I’m planning a very light con schedule this summer, incidentally, since most of my time is going towards drawing the second Hereville book. But in May I’ll be appearing at VANcaf in Vancouver, Canada, and in August I’ll be at GeekGirlCon in Seattle, Washington.
The cover art to Hereville: How Mirka Met A Meteorite.
And here are the two covers side by side:
I do think we succeeded pretty well at making a cover that was clearly part of the same series as book 1, without being the same cover over again.
Warning: The images below contain some spoilers regarding the plot of Hereville book 2. Then again, so does, you know, the actual cover to the book.
So when I started work on the cover to book 2, everyone (“everyone” in this case meaning me, the folks at Abrams (my editor Sheila and book designer Chad Beckerman) and my agent Judy Hasen) were agreed that we wanted a cover that looked enough like book 1′s cover so that it would be obviously in the same series at a glance, but different enough so that no one would mistake it for the first book.
So, things to keep from book 1′s cover: Big round object. Tiny Mirka (or Mirkas). The banner for the title and author lettering. Things to be different: Everything else.
So I thought of every cover idea I could and sent quick sketches of those ideas to Abrams. Pretty much all of those ideas were variations on “meteor shooting through space, Mirka sitting on or being dragged along behind it.” But I also threw in a few not involving a meteor, because I didn’t want to forclose other possibilities, even though I was pretty sure we’d wind up with a meteor.
Then the folks at Abrams discussed it, or perhaps consulted their magic eight balls (a not-unlikely subject of a future Hereville cover), and agreed that they liked a shooting meteorite dragging a panicked Mirka best.
We also sent emails back and forth playing around with several color approaches. I showed them a few possibilities — sky blue, dark blue, red, etc — and although I was secretly hoping for red, I thought they’d choose blue (a more conservative choice), and I could live with that. To my delight, they chose red.
So now knowing the subject of the drawing and the color scheme, I did some more sketches and sent them to Abrams:
I do these sketches not only for Abrams’ sake but for my own — it’s hard for me to feel that I really know what I think about a cover composition unless I first sketch it out.
On Monday I’ll post the final cover art!
Just a completed panel from Hereville book 2 (although it’s still awaiting colors from Jake, of course). I’m happy with how this panel came out. Sometimes things come together well.
Desirous of Everything has posted their “first first” interview with me. That one’s from a while ago, I think, but it’s nice to see it online. Here’s a sample:
The troll is a very fun character to ink. Especially that huge long curve under his belly; getting that line right, when I can get it right, is loads of fun. (Yes, this is what I find fun).
This shows both the rough sketch of the character on the page, and the completed drawing. (Jake hasn’t colored it yet, obviously).
Hereville book two is now completely written and laid out (although there are a couple of pages I want to go back and fix), and I’m now at long last drawing actual pages. A bunch of pages are partway drawn, a few pages are complete, and — much to my excitement — the front cover is complete.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the publisher wants me to show you any of that stuff just yet. Definitely not the cover. Maybe I’ll start showing pages next week.
Meanwhile, here’s a couple of outfits that Fruma will wear in book 2: