Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Comic-Con 06 was a real blast, although really exhausting! It was so great to see the Flight crew again, and meet new people. It's like hooking up with officemates you don't see all year long. Everyone is trying to figure out a good system to produce graphic novels without losing quality and without driving the artists bonkers. It felt good to know there's others out there going through similar frustrations and obstacles that come with the territory.

It was also fun to watch Kazu in his element talking on panels and making conversation about his work. He has so much integrity, every day I feel so proud to be by his side and watching him work at comic-con only reminded me of how lucky I am.

It was great talking to everyone at the booth, which turned into a hang-out joint. Johane Matte and Benedicte Guenoden were superwomen, "booth warriors", who took care of the tables and made it a ton easier on everyone there. They deserve flowers! It was also cool meeting Azad, Joey, and hanging out a little more with Jen, Steve, Rad and Mandy, Rodolphe, Phil, Dave, Raina, Eric, Derek, Michel and Nancy, Neil, Reagan and Annie, Enrico, Scott and family, Andy, Sonny, The Those Guys, and Jeff. All of them are so inspiring, I can't think of a more down-to-earth and friendly crew. Did I forget anyone?

I didn't do too much behind the booth and spent a lot of my time wandering the floor looking for inspiring art books and handing out copies of S&S to other artists. I bought a ton of stuff to add to my collection. Two in particular were big surprises since I'd never heard of either artist before, and they instantly floated to the top of my list. First was Le Magicien D'Oz. I can't fully understand the French, but the storytelling is clear and the artwork was striking. I bought all three tomes immediately and have already flipped through them multiple times. Best of all the artist has a blog! Go look at it!

Second is the last story in the Afterworks anthology. The artwork in the whole book is lovely, but the last story is by far my favorite. It's by an artist named Peter Sohn, on a subject I can completely relate to. The drawings are amazing and completely clear. Best of all they're there to service the story, so the writing and drawing have wonderful synergy. The expressions are spot-on, the story itself is understanding of both sides, and it has some panels in there that you don't see too often (if ever?) in comics these days. It's actually the best comic I've read in a long time and I'm so happy that he made it. Thank you, Peter Sohn! I've already read it five times over. I'm sure Kazu will blog about more, we can't stop gushing about it!

I also met Greg Ruth at a dinner party (that's not Greg above by the way, these photos have no real captions... I'm too lazy for that!). Greg is another artist that worked on the Goosebumps anthology, it was great chatting with him briefly to share our making-of stories. His artwork is amazing, and as soon as I saw it I became a fan. Check out his site! You won't regret it.

Also, I received a wonderful gift art at my book signing with Tokyopop from the ever-flattering Joseph (again, photo above is not said person. It's Kean and Eric...!). Thank you, Joseph! It's so awesome!! I'm sending a hi-res scan to Tokyopop. Thanks also to everyone that waited in line for me to sign their books or draw them a sketch, I was surprised at how many people read and appreciated S&S. It gives me energy for the next book!

Well, I'm off to paint and hang out with our spectacular house guests from the con, Becky, Vasilis, and Kean. Marty is visiting from Sapporo, so we'll be having In N' Out for lunch! When I'm done with the painting I'll definitely post it up. Until then, hope everyone's recovering from the convention!

Gone Fishin'

Above is a gift for someone, I had this image in mind and was itching to try my new bottle of white paint. Since I'm working on my Flight 4 story, I have a lot of fish on the brain. Click the image to see a 500 pixel version. Aside from this painting I inked 1.5 pages of "Food From The Sea", and Michel stopped by with his lovely wife Nancy to say hello. Marty left, now Richard's here and we're all talking about comics. It's like the convention never stopped!

Also, Tokyopop put all six chapters of S&S1 online if anyone wants to read the whole thing for free.

Friday, July 14, 2006

S&S progress...

Above is a panel from page 20 of Sorcerers & Secretaries book 2. I've been trying to keep a pace of two pages a day from pencils to finished inks. It's not impossible, but if I let myself slip a little it's difficult to get back on the pace. I guess it's like hitting a good trot when you're jogging, and once you stop jogging it's difficult to get yourself into the groove again. It's amazing how similar all these activities are, exercise, cooking, comics... I geuss it's all just human stuff, huh?

All in all, it feels awesome to get lots of work done and I'm surprised at how good everything is looking. I'm trying to raise my expectations for myself in book 2 and the flight comic, and it's really been helping. I'm tired of pushing things through production just to get stuff out there, I think throughout the first book my standards were pretty low because of all the changes going on in my life at the time. Things are pretty steady now, though, and I'm searching for a happy balance between production and quality.

I also started inking my Flight 4 story which Kazu still insists on coloring. However he's working so hard on Amulet (which by the way is going to be the next biggest thing!), I worry he'll burn out. We'll see how it goes, although the thought of our first real collaboration makes my heart aflutter~!

By the way, Kazu and I will be at Comic-Con July 19th-23rd at the Flight booth, #1131. Lots of the Flight artists will be there too, along with some superstars like Jeff Smith! I'm excited!

Also, it says on the comic-con site that I'm supposed to be part of a Tokyopop panel, but it's a misprint. Do show up to hear the other artists, though, it should be interesting! But I will be doing a book signing at the Tokyopop booth on Saturday from 3:30-4:15, so hope to see some of you there!

Sleep time... =)