Thanks for your patience! It’s almost impossible to experience things (jump over rocks) and post in the same day.
Yesterday, Fabio & I & editor Sierra Hahn & painter Dan Attoe hiked through the surreal terrain carved by Mt. St. Helens’ eruption.
Above, the interior view. Check Fabio’s blog for the grand landscape!
And wait… there’s more! A drawn tribute by Dan Attoe. Click back to Fabio’s for a CLOSE-UP VIEW.
“BLOG WAR” might not be the best title. More like a “blog crossover”. Brazilian cartoonist Fábio Moon is visiting Portland, and we’ll try to
document some of our activities in a back-and-forth dialog between the two blogs — blending our sketches, inking each others’ drawings, etc.
Yesterday, after consuming much coffee, we attended the in-store album debut for Menomena MINES. Our evening continues at Fábio’s blog… HERE.
The last page of HABIBI was completed today. It’s a bit anticlimactic, because though chapter nine is wrapped up, I still need to tackle chapter eight. Theo Ellsworth was over drawing with me, and we listened to the touching tribute to comics-great Harvey Pekar on Fresh Air.
All this is happening in the midst of almost three weeks of out-of-town guests in the house, including Laëtitia and Frédéric
and their kids (as seen in CARNET DE VOYAGE) visiting from Lyon, France. Above, Dan Attoe and the glorious river.
a) spring blossoms … b) my only collection … c) close-up on page … d) inspiration
Thanks, all of you, for the flood of chapter seven support. The ninth and final chapter is underway! I skipped over the penultimate chapter for
now – the logic of which will reveal itself. This weekend in Portland will be buzzing with Stumptown Comics Fest activity. Paul Pope‘s arrived.
(Check out his great interview at Ain’t It Cool.) And my panel (Sunday at 1PM) will be moderated by the amazing Lark Pien of Long Tail Kitty fame.
First off, some quick answers to your questions. Tina, hopefully these are in time for your school project. 1) How would you describe your style of drawing?
Plain ol’ cartooning; but whereas Chris Ware talks about cartooning as typography, I think of it as calligraphy.
I like the panel borders, lettering, brush or pen lines to all read as the author’s handwriting. 2) Why don’t you call “Blankets” a graphic novel but “an illustrated novel”?
No good reason. I think, at the time, I was considering “comic book” or “graphic novel” and found them both lacking.
Since then, the latter has become such a widely accepted term that I’ll likely adjust the heading on the new edition. 3) Would you say that Blankets has started a new form of comics as you included some pages which you wouldn’t find in a
comic book normally like the pages on which there is only one big panel or all the drawings in which you can see just nature?
That technique of letting the eye breathe on full-page images has long been used in manga and bande dessinée. And super hero splash pages! 4) Why did you insert those detailed drawings of nature and why did you insert so many of them?
When I think about it a second longer, it’s definitely a manga-rip-off. The “wandering eye” transitions that Scott McCloud discusses in his books.
Corban, I never actively sought out a publisher. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Upon moving to Portland in 1997,
I got in contact with Brett Warnock who ran a one-person operation called Primal Groove Press, and I helped as a grunt for midnight
photocopy sessions. Contact some publishers to see how they prefer project proposals. There’s editorial advantages to both methods.
Sorry, Allison, but I am looking for writer-artist-in-one cartoonists to work with at the ACA residency.
And finally some visuals! This recent page reminded me of a drawing I did in 2005 for a charity auction for my friends the Decemberists.
The lyrics at right are, of course, copyright Colin Meloy. Random trivia: What Decemberists’ video sneaks in copies of BLANKETS?
BRAZIL WAS AMAZING. The Portuguese word for comics – quadrinhos – apparently translates to “little frames”. Here’s cartoonist twins Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá interviewing me on stage at the FNAC in São Paulo. And a tiny view from the hotel outide the FIQ comics festival.
The twins have one of the coolest studios in the world. Spent a rainy day there drinking lots of coffee
and nerding out over life and comics, along with Vasilis Lolos and Becky Cloonan and Dark Horse editor Sierra Hahn.
frame 1: photographer Parada towering over editor André and actress Carolina. frame 2: translator Érico and me. frame 3: publicist Renata
and marketing director Joana. frame 4: cartoonist Rafael Grampá and Carolina outside a gallery showing cartoonist Rafael Coutinho’s paintings.
OBRIGADO to fans, friends, and my publisher for being such generous hosts. I’ll miss you all!
Thank you, blog-reader-friends, for the constant support! And thank you to those who have sent snail mail. I apologize that I almost never
get around to replying. Each of these deserve a personal response, but I’m lousy enough corresponding with family & friends. Hopefully it’s
reassuring that I read each of them and cherish them. Michael asked about getting his GUARDIAN ANGEL poster signed, and I need to decline,
but I would love to personalize that for you at a future signing. And Neil informed me that he’d like to collaborate on another poster soon.
In other news, I spent the summer physically incapacitated. Fractured rib(s) after being struck with a surfboard, and three weeks of NASTY
sickness from inhaling mold (not recreationally). No lumberjack photos this year! And here’s a shot of my dear brother Phil enjoying our
childhood comics stash. Who remembers “CYBORG GERBILS”? Also a 3-D comic drawn by Phil as a wee lad. We made lots of these as tikes,
though most of mine were destroyed in that ol’ burn-barrel session.
This recent email from my friend Allison was too bizarre and well-worded not to share with the rest of you. “Today I had a strange experience in a creepy used bookstore. I was walking past the sci-fi/fantasy section,
and from the piles of unsorted books on the floor, a familiar blue color caught my eye.
I jumped for joy at the thought of buying a discounted copy of Blankets, even though this copy was oddly shelved
with fantasy novels and tales of Wiccan overlords. I thought, “what a strange place to put …”
But when I opened the cover, I found the entire book printed upside down and backwards …
… with most of the panels shoved up into the margins, or buried in the gutter.
Even with this defect, the bookseller wanted $18 because it was the only graphic novel he had in the store.
I thought maybe it was a sign to support my current theory that the stars have turned upside down and backwards,
hence the madness of our modern world and the obvious fact that humans are bored and taking it out on one another.
I left the book in the store, but not before I re-shelved it next to Nutritional Healing.
Just as I am doing with the universe, I will return in a week to see if it has righted itself.”
Fresh home from my midwest excursion. BIG THANKS to the librarians that made it to the panel and are fueling support for
graphic novels in the literary world, not to mention fighting on the frontlines of public confusion over the medium.
I’m restless to dig into work on the final chapters of HABIBI. In the meantime, here’s some treats I excavated from the ol’ cubby hole at my
parents’ house. Above: Congressman Dave Obey and Tom Cruise (yes) presenting an award to 16 year old me for a national high school art
competition. Below: decaying childhood art (approx. age 9) and a photo of my brother Phil and I with matching bowl haircuts.
It might be old news to those in the industry, but I wanted to acknowledge the great loss of NICKELODEON magazine, especially the
COMIC BOOK insert. It was one of this generation’s best forums for cartoonists – publishing everyone from Laura Park to Art Spiegelman!
– and providing them with a living wage (though Art was probably doing fine on his own).
I’m greatly indebted to editors Chris Duffy and Dave Roman for being great bosses and pals, for financially fueling the production of both
CHUNKY RICE and BLANKETS, and for indoctrinating the youth into the medium of comics.
Plus they let me get away with bizarre and tasteless strips like this CARTOONIGAMI strip above. (published eight years ago!)
CARTOONIGAMI is sort of like a MAD FOLD-IN, only I stole the idea from Lewis Trondheim and his OuBaPo experimentations
— a comic strip which, when folded, transforms into two entirely different gags.