The upcoming Austin SCBWI Graphic Novel Workshop on Saturday, October 5 promises to be a day for writers and illustrators, writer-illustrators and anyone interested in exciting alternative literary forms for children, teens and young adults. OK, plenty of adults read them, too.
Austin is a natural location for such a workshop, having been home to many notable cartoonists and comic book artists in their earliesh careers, including William Sidney Porter (otherwise known as the short story writer “O. Henry” who illustrated his Austin humor newspaper The Rolling Stone with a lot of his own humorous line art; Roy Crane, who pioneered the ‘adventure comic strip’ with Wash Tubbs, Captain Easy and Buz Sawyer, Gilbert Shelton, who also attended the University of Texas at Austin and conjured the Wonder Wart Hog and The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers in some of the first ‘underground comics’ of the early 1960s — and children’s book author-illustrator Berke Breathed, famous for the Pulitzer Prize winning Bloom County strip of the 1980s, ten years after he did his first comic strips for the University of Texas at Austin student newspaper The Daily Texan.
Dave Roman’s “Astronaut Academy” (First Second Books
As Erik shares with us in the video playlist, The Graphic Novel workshop will feature First Second Books senior editor Calista Brill, graphic novelist author-illustrator Dave Roman, whose children’s graphic novel series Astronaut Academy is published by First Second, and graphics novel writerCynthia Leitich Smith, whose graphic novels Tantalize: Kieran’s Story (Candlewick Press) and soon to be published Eternal: Zachary Story (also Candlewick Press) stem from her own best-selling Tantalize YA Gothic fantasy series. (Candlewick Press.)
Tantalize: Kieran’s Story by Cynthia Letiich Smith, illustrated by Ming Doyle
The workshop will occur on the St. Edward’s University campus at 3001 South Congress. Registration tables open at 9 a.m. and you can also register online and read more about the workshop here.
Have you drawn in your sketchbook today? It’s a question that humbles every aspiring children’s book illustrator.
But in our “high touch era” where the handcrafts site Etsy numbers near the top of online marketplaces and scrapbooking became so cool that it inspired the social media phenomenon known as Pinterest, sketchbooks and the art of filling them are no longer restricted to fine artists and commercial artists and hobby painters.
“The Sketchbook Project is a global, crowd-sourced art project where participants from all walks of life are sent a sketchbook and have until January 15th to fill the pages and return it for inclusion in a traveling exhibition and permanent collection at The Brooklyn Art Library,” the co-op’s website says.
It’s all explained (twice) in this riveting cinéma vérité documentary. Notice how the camera is not only hand-held in the respected auteur tradition, but often entirely neglected as the chronicler starts talking with his subjects and the lens tips to study T-shirts and shoes, picnic tables and dirt on the ground…
Austin (September 12-16) was the last North American stop before the books moved on to London. Starting from Brooklyn they’d already traveled to Chicago, Portland, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Oakland, Lynn, Portland (Maine), Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Orlando.
Co-Lab Project Space on Allen Street in East Austin was converted into a library replete with signage, computers, workers, loaded bookshelves and waiting lines. According to the Brooklyn ArtHouse archive, 2,435 books were checked out and viewed during those four days in Austin and 300 new Sketchbook Project library cards were issued.
The sketchbooks, new ones will be back in Austin next year — at Co-Labs again and at the SXSW Festival scene on March 15-17 for the 2013 World Tour.
Maury Tieman, Martha Carleton, Mark Mitchell, Joyce Chambers-Selber and Allissa Chambers of the Austin SCBWI Inklings — with “Willie Lisa.” Other “Inklings” who participated in the mosaic project included Margaret Jonon Buford, Martin Fry, Ann Hartman, Jeff Crosby and the late Louise Shelby.
The biggest news of recent weeks? No, it wasn’t the U.S. presidential election. It was Disney buying LucasFilm/LucasArts and all Star Wars rights for $4 billion. Here’s a Forbes take on the purchase and more particulars and videos from Mashable. It means more Star Wars movies to come, a re-thinking and possible scrapping of Star Wars games currently on the boards and a new (apparently long overdue) Disney line for boys.
No, Star Wars didn’t start off as a children’s book, but it could have. The Disney purchase evidences the staggering value of an intellectual asset and of what sometimes can happen when a story with good characters ascends to the status of a meme. This was not a freak occurrence, either. In 2009 Disney paid $4 billion for Marvel Comics.
The other news of course is the publishing merger. Two of the “Big Six”, Random House, owned by the conglomerate Bertelsmann and Penguin, owned by publishing giant Pearson announced joining forces in a deal exptected to close sometime next year (to counter the threat of Amazon, some industry watchers suggest.) Combined companies willl have a fourth of the English-language consumer book sales, asserts thePublishers Weekly story on the announcement,
The merger takes the “Big Six” down to five: Random House Penguin, Hachette, Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, HarperCollins, which is a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation and the CBS owned Simon & Schuster — with those pesky 21st century publishing upstarts Amazon, Apple and Microsoft nipping at their heels.
November is also Picture Book Idea Month, if you didn’t know. It’s what PiBoIdMo stands for, writes children’s author Tara Lazar. “Tired of novelists having all the fun in November with NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month]? That’s why I created PiBoIdMo, as a 30-day challenge for picture book writers,” she says. “The concept is to create 30 picture book ideas in 30 days. You don’t have to write a manuscript (but you can if the mood strikes).” The PiBoiMo part of Tara’s blog is loaded full with super “process posts” and tips from practitioners, along with some great author-illustrator “war stories” that will move and inspire you.
On the storm front, Chronicle Books editor Melissa Manlove is offering what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an aspiring picture book author — a FREE PASS to one of her company’s editorial meetings, along with a private critique before yourstory goes to the meeting. It’s one of many neat auction items touted for KidLit Cares, a Hurricane Sandy relief effort. Read all about it on organizer and children’s book author Kate Messer’s blog.
E.B. Lewis to headline Austin SCBWI conference
Caldecott honor-winning illustrator E.B. Lewis will keynote the conference, Kick It Up a Notchas well as conduct a special illustrators’ intensive on Sunday after Saturday’s main event.
In the video below Lewis speaks compassionately on his painting exhibit Lotto Icons, which began as scribbled ideas in his (what else?) sketchbook.
Children’s book illustrators and anyone absorbed in the curious business of children’s book illustration,
Do you find it interesting, as I do that the big commercial for Google’s Nexus 7 features a little girl and her mom reading a Curious George story on the device?
Google, in its elegant way used a simple illustrated page from a classic children’s picture book series to introduce its new tablet to the world.
From the Wikipedia entry: “The series was written and drawn by the team of Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey. The couple fled Paris in June 1940 on self-made bicycles, carrying the Curious George manuscript with them.At first only H. A. Rey was credited for the work in order to distinguish the Reys’ books from the large number of children’s books written by female authors. Later, Hans Rey was credited for the illustrations and Margret Rey for the writing. ”
Google+ tools for artists and illustrators — a free workshop
Briefly, the Second Annual Austin SCBWI Digital Symposiumis set for Saturday, October 6 at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Author/publisher marketing consultant Kirsten Cappy ofCurious City is one of several featured faculty guests. (Definitely a curiosity theme running through today’s post…) For a schedule and details on the workshop and presenters, gohere.
* * * * * Children’s book author-illustrator Mark Mitchell, penned this post and did a short video on the “best drawing secret” that you can see here.