Kudos to all of you who figured out the CHUNKY RICE thank you cards (circa 1999). Grant got Jeff Smith and Eddie Campbell.
Mack guessed correctly about Alan Moore’s FROM HELL. And finally Isaac nailed Dylan Horrocks (not in that way), referencing my
favorite scene from Horrock’s important work HICKSVILLE. All the other artists mentioned are definitely influences of mine.
In other news, the mural for my brother’s brand engagement agency BOLSTER is complete, thanks to the handiwork of Andrew Young.
And there’s some great documentation of HABIBI at the printers on my German publisher Reprodukt‘s blog.
And finally thanks to my brother for updating the look of THIS blog. HABIBI book tour begins in less than two weeks.
Check the site and facebook for schedule. And some advance reviews are already pouring in. Hope to see you!
Writer Elif Shafak: “In Istanbul, you understand, perhaps not intellectually but intuitively, that East and West are ultimately imaginary ideas,
ones that can be de-imagined and re-imagined.”
Meanwhile, my friend Kazim Ali is traveling through Jerusalem and Palestine and blogging at the Huffington Post. Please, check it out.
Below’s another peek at our collaboration for the CBLDF Liberty Annual (colors by Dave Stewart).
craig“the severed branches were still reaching for air”
At the Shanghai Art Museum, I nerded out over the 320 meter “Scroll of Taiwan Scenery” by Taiwanese artist Hsu Wen-jung. In Wisconsin
(visiting family a month ago), I excavated from the attic a scroll I drew during Mrs. Kamenick’s fourth grade class. It puts HABIBI to shame.
It’s 77 pages taped together (70 feet!) blending text & visuals, and tackling every genre of boyhood fantasy — including race cars, fighter jets,
spaceships, monsters, and destroying the USSR! (I was ten…) Wish I could scan and share the insanity with you… instead, here’s a couple of slices.
And here’s some snippets of complex narrative from pages I don’t have room to show:
“Soon we were on our way to another universe to free the humans that were being held prisoners on the planet Slumgutso. But we cancaled [sic]
our trip because we found out that the humans were dead. We got back to earth just in time, because we had to spy on the USSR’s underwater city.”
“We took the hottest quickest and slickest cars, to get away from the coppers faster. We were going 950,659 mph.”
My comics career could have careened off an entirely different trajectory. Speaking of which, thanks to you who said HI at San Diego Comic-con!
Today launches www.habibibook.com. It’ll expand as reviews, tour dates, and my own contributions pour in. Check in to christen it now.
Tomorrow, departing at the earliest hour for the San Diego Comic-Con. Here’s my signing schedule to the best of my knowledge: Wednesday, July 20th • 6:30-8PM Top Shelf Booth #1721 Thursday, July 21st • 11AM-NOON and 3PM-4:30 Top Shelf Booth #1721 Friday, July 22nd • 11AM-12:30 Pantheon Booth #1515 Saturday, July 23rd • NOON-1PM Pantheon Booth #1515 … 2:30-4PM Art of the Graphic Novel panel Room 24ABC Sunday, July 24th • 10AM-11AM and 1PM-2PM Top Shelf Booth #1721
Top Shelf will have new hardcover and softcover editions of BLANKETS. Pantheon will have the Comic-con exclusive tri-fold poster and
some extra HABIBI goodies. In addition, I’ll participate in impromptu/casual signings across the street at TRICKSTER. That Art of the Graphic
Novel panel includes cartoon luminaries Chester Brown, Seymour Chwast, Eric Drooker, Joyce Farmer, Joëlle Jones, and Jason Shiga;
and is moderated by Tom Spurgeon of the COMICS REPORTER … (original stormtroopers photo presumably attributed to Michael Neel)
My little bro Jon (“Phil” in BLANKETS: see pee fight) runs a brand management design firm named BOLSTER with two biz partner buddies.
They’re moving into a swanky new studio space, so about a month ago, I flew to Minneapolis to help decorate one of the walls with a mural.
I caught a nasty flu, but managed to brainstorm ideas with my bro, and knock out a proportional paper version of the mural on his dining room table.
The REAL work — the tangible, sexy work of putting paint to wall – was handled by the talented Andrew Young.
Here’s Andrew solo, and then with my brother, in the earliest stages – projecting and tracing the drawing to prepare for painting.
As BOLSTER’s grand opening, Andrew’s birthday, and the mural’s completion approach, I’ll post more. (Next week, I’m in NYC for BEA.)
Quick heads-up to locals that I’m appearing at a Portland comics show this Saturday, May 14th. Wondernorthwest @ Crowne Plaza Hotel,
1441 NE 2nd Ave. At 3 o’clock, I’ll give a talk, signing at 4, and then a discussion panel titled CUTTING THE CHEESE with long-time Wisconsin
pals Kurt Halsey and Tim Seeley. Excited to discuss beer-cheese soup, protesting Imperial Walker, and the Packers!
Fresh home from China, An amazing experience impossible to sum up in a handful of images. I didn’t do as much drawing as I’d like,
but I was inspired by exhibits at Shanghai Art Museum (including the cartoons of Hua Junwu and scrolls of Hsu Wen-jung), the outdoor “opera” Impression Lijiang directed by Zhang Yimou, and most of all by the old men who practice calligraphy with water every day in the park.
Personal highlight was bamboo rafting near Yangshuo. I slipped while moving the raft over some rocks and sprained my wrist (why I quit skate-
boarding) and was looked after by a group of coworkers/friends traveling from Guangzhou. Thanks, guys, for the tandem bike ride and amazing feast.
And thanks most of all to S & J for making the trip happen.
Hey, Gang! Time has evaporated as the book is tangled in production complications. The fine folks at Pantheon are wrestling to actualize
the design we envision. All I have to show for the moment is a glimpse of this “dummy” book – which has the first ten pages repeated
over and over, but approximates the bulk of the final object.
And below is a snippet of promotional graphics. I’ve been traveling a bit — Last week to Minneapolis to design a mural for my brother’s design studio.
As the painting progresses, I’ll post some photos. (Thanks, Andrew and Jon.) And next week, I’m flying to CHINA – which includes
research for an upcoming book project. More soon!
HABIBI is finished, but this blog isn’t. Thank you, readers, for your outpouring of support (eclipsing the hundred comment mark!) and for your
big patience during the seven week hiatus. I spent three weeks in Florida for the Atlantic Center for the Arts graphic novel residency,
accompanied by Master Artists Paul Pope (left) and Svetlana Chmakova (center) and an incredibly talented group of 25 Associate Artists.
Also pictured, a snippet of my travel diary (playtime with dolphins) and the beach in New Smyrna. The trip was bookended by visits to NYC
to meet with my publisher Pantheon Books and map out the production and release of HABIBI. Within a month, I should be able to reveal
the exact release date. In the meantime, I’ll conjure some goodies for the blog without too many spoilers. What do YOU wanna see?
Fábio leaves today, so we committed to one last posting between last-minute visits to Powell’s Books and Voodoo Donuts.
Instead of more outdoor adventures, we spent most of our time nerding out with Portland comics folks, including a Dark Horse-centric BBQ
at Tim & Carli’s. (We also ate lots of good food during the visit.)
So there you go. A message of peace! Safe travel to Fábio. And to his twin brother Gabriel on his way to Bolivia today. Watch for the
collected trade of their DAYTRIPPER. Thanks to Tim & Carli for the BBQ. Hope to see more of my international friends soon!