Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Reviews of "Page by Paige"

Now that "Page by Paige" has been out for a month (wow!), I thought I'd share the REVIEWS so far! Overall people have been very positive and encouraging, which as a first-time author makes me feel unbelievably grateful. So....THANK YOU!

“Gulledge's b&w illustrations are simple but well-suited to their subject matter; the work as a whole is a good-natured, optimistic portrait of a young woman evolving toward adulthood.”

"A sweet coming-of-age graphic novel about an artistic introvert. Paige’s sketches are soft and expressive, and Gulledge does an admirable job of providing insight into Paige’s musings, creating a very intimate ambiance for this well-fleshed-out character. The artist masterfully commands her piece, creating a cohesive and fluid work that cascade smoothly along. Teens are sure to relate to this wallflower who blooms—gloriously"

“Gulledge’s literal depictions of metaphors are quite beautiful, and the story is eminently relatable.”

“Page by page, ahem, we are treated to inventive layouts and designs as we get insightful glimpses into Paige’s conscious mind....Gulledge is an honest artist, laying out her fears and dreams out for all of us to examine...This comes highly recommend to people seeking something fresh and different.”

“I immediately wanted to find people around me to share the images. I can't wait to start giving this out as gifts or sharing it with teens that I know. Page by Paige is a wonderful debut by Gulledge and I certainly look forward to future work from her. “

“ The themes Gulledge tackles in the flowing text and the revealing illustrations are complex and mature. So while many teens will definitely relate to Paige's feelings of isolation, older readers will also find something to love about this imaginative tale.”

“The story is warm, charming and full of sugary sweetness, inspiration, trust and caring of friends, a budding relationship and tons of feel good moments... Gulledge (is) not afraid to take the readers on a visual stroll that is engaging and distracting at the same time, much like an amusement park...Not only for young readers and one I am sure will easily make it onto my personal “best of” list of 2011.”

“A funny, charming and very touching coming of age story. I loved Paige and I hope she has more of her story to tell.”

“This was a fun, quick read with enough depth to make me go back and re-read it again.”

“It’s astounding...This is a book that could only be done as a comic, and it makes full use of the medium.”

“Anyone who's ever felt like a fish out of water, anyone who's ever felt like they don't measure up, anyone who's ever felt alone will relate to Paige. She is so fully realized, with all of her teenage highs and lows, it makes you want to cheer when she ultimately works up the courage to share her art with the world.”

“I am a 30 year old, white male who enjoys metal music and mixed martial arts. Why the disclosure? Because I simply loved this book...I am honestly blown away with how much I enjoyed the artwork in the book, spending a lot of time staring at the same page, picking out all the little details.”
--AMAZON customer review: John

“I would rate this book five stars: I loved it.”
— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL teen review: Madison (Age 12)

“ Her character seemed well developed and real, and the supporting characters also have very vibrant personalities.”
— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL teen review: Katie (Age 16)

“If I could go back in time I would hand this book to my 16 year old self. Who would I become? Most definitely an Agent of Whimsy!!”
--GOODREADS review: Wendy

“The artwork is quite wonderful, and makes the book feel like you are reading a journal/sketchbook instead of a graphic novel written by an adult.”
--GOODREADS review: Matthew

“Laura Lee Gulledge is truly a talented artist....Just shows how important teaching kids how to express themselves is, because it can save them from bottling things up inside of them.”
--GOODREADS review: Kellee

“ This is an awesome graphic novel that I would recommend as a way to get those who draw to read.”
--GOODREADS review: Lori

“ Though the tale is written from a teenage female perspective, I still find myself (30-something male) able to relate to her trials and tribulations...Gulledge's work here flows like a song. “
--GOODREADS review: Kent

“I loved how Paige slowly coaxes herself out of her shell. Great themes of friendship and finding your own place in the world.”
--GOODREADS review: Kelly

“I loved how Paige's artistic explorations were reflected in the changing styles of the art in the book--inked and non-inked, panels and no panels, markery and watercolory--but they all fit together as the work of one artist's personality.
--GOODREADS review: Tessa

“Many interesting elements here, but most profoundly expressed are the insecurities of a creative, introspective young teenager, who is willing to face her fears and grow into the young, capable and honest artist she is meant to discover, becoming a friend to herself and to others along the way.”
--GOODREADS review: Teresa

“ Paige's head is filled with so many thoughts and doubts, in a way that I remember vividly from my own teen years, and the illustrations bring to life her emotions.”
--GOODREADS review: Joy

“DON'T MISS THIS ONE! Wait. I yelled that. Okay. Yes. I would yell this from the rooftops. You have kids that will absolutely love this!”
--GOODREADS review: Paul

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Next Week: Workshop @ WORD Books!

Next Saturday I'll be holding my last scheduled book event for a while...and it will be at the wonderful WORD Books in Greenpoint!

Saturday June 4th 4-5:00pm
WORD: 126 Franklin Street
Closest Subway: Greenpoint Avenue G Stop
RSVP on Facebook

What words come to mind when you look at yourself? Do you ever wish you could change who you are? In this workshop, I will help you “reprogram” your perceptions of yourself by creating a self portrait completely out of WORDS! You will work sheets of paper using a variety of drawing tools. No special artistic skills are necessary!

I will be raffling off a signed copy of my "Be a Revelationary" poster! And I'll have my original sketchbooks on hand for you to flip through.

Currently Reading: Lewis & Clark by Nick Bertozzi

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mirror Portraits @ BookCourt

This Sunday I held a signing and workshop at BookCourt here in Brooklyn! I talked about my artwork and invited folks to make mirror self portraits, which was an activity based on my introspective style of art-making portrayed in Page by Paige.

People drew what/who they saw when they looked in the mirror using china markers...

And here is a sampling of the finished ones! People drew themselves as a pirate, an artist, a princess, a baby, etc.

How about me? Well, I drew myself under construction...

Thank you everyone who braved the non-running-subway-schedule and came out on Sunday! And you folks at BookCourt for being supper supportive of the event. You can see more pics from this in my Flicker gallery.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sound Waves: Jules' music pick!

I thought I'd start sharing new fun music that corresponds with the musical tastes of the different characters in Page by Paige...starting with Jules!

If you are into strong female vocalists like Jules is, then you should check out The Boxettes, who my boyfriend Kurt actually turned me onto.

They are a London-based "all-female beatbox vocal group led by Bellatrix, the World Female Beatbox Champion. Their five members combine to enormous effect, generating a sound that takes in hip-hop, drum n bass, soul, funk- and is as visceral as it is delicate."

All vocals and no instruments?! They're pretty badass.

Book Soundtrack

I like music. So in "Page by Paige" I decided to reference a lot of bands though the t-shirts my characters wear and the posters on their walls, giving the book a sort of soundtrack.

It features a lot of the music I was listening to while making the book, a heavy dosage of Brooklyn bands (since that's where the story is set), and then some bands whose names tied in with a scene. For example (click to see larger)...

Here the tree in the Sigur Ros poster in Paige's room turns into a real tree:

I couldn't help but insert a Badly Drawn Boy self-deprecating reference:

Grizzly Bear vs. Frightened Rabbit? That captures how Paige feels vulnerable in NYC:

Musicians who I'm personally friends with are are featured on flyers:

I like how these songs reflect the musical tastes of the different characters...
Scythian Empires - Andrew Bird
Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
I and Love and You - The Avett Brothers
Everybodys Stalking - Badly Drawn Boy
Ibi Dreams of Pavement - Broken Social Scene
Golden Years - David Bowie
The Clockwise Witness - DeVotchKa
40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Ragged Wood - Fleet Foxes
Pavement Tune - The Frames
I'll Be Better - Francis and the Lights
Hannah - Freelance Whales
Swim Until You Can't See Land - Frightened Rabbit
Southern Point - Grizzly Bear
Carpetbaggers - Jenny Lewis
Do You Wanna Touch Me - Joan Jett
Easy - Joanna Newsom
All my friend - LCD Soundsystem
Animal - Miike Snow
This Year - The Mountain Goats
Exo-Politics - Muse
Age Of Consent - New Order
Know - Nick Drake
Dancing with Myself - Nouvelle Vague
Better - Regina Spektor
Gobbledigook - Sigur Rós
Infinity Guitars - Sleigh Bells
I'm Waiting for the Man - The Velvet Underground
Cheated Hearts - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

These are mostly friends I met back in Virginia, but there are a few NYC kids...
Thankless - All Of Fifteen
Going Through Changes - Army Of Me
In Flight - Centric
Golden Days - The Damnwells
Gravity - The Dirty Dishes
Ten Ton Cheese - The Falsies
Take My Brothers - Justin Storer and the Working Effective
We Will Become Ourselves Reborn - Ki:Theory
Invite Them Up - Marcellus Hall
Rules of the Game - MoneyPenny
Sweat Nectar - Natti Vogel
Shine On - Navel
Soberano - New Madrid
The Other Side of Love 2 - Phoenix Noir
Purple Weather Girl - Samuel Stiles
Up Against Life - Small Town Workers
Broken Bottles - Sons of Bill
Something Face - Sun Domingo
Worst in Me - The Threads
Tide March - Thrum
Rearview - Travis Elliott

If you would like to DOWNLOAD THESE MIXES, go to box.net and log in as me. (Please just don't mess with the account while you're in there!) My username is "lauraleegulledge@gmail.com" and password is "Paigelikesmusic."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Workshop SUNDAY at BookCourt!

Come to BOOKCOURT this weekend where I will be signing copies of my debut YA graphic novel "Page by Paige," sharing fun freebies, bringing original sketchbooks for you to flip through, and leading a short workshop!

When: Sunday, May 22nd 11:00am - 2:00pm
Where: 163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean) Brooklyn, NY 11201
Closest subways: Bergen St. FG, Hoyt-Schermerhorn ACG, MNRW2345 Court St./Borough Hall
Here's the Facebok Event.

Mirror Self Portraits Workshop:
Who do you REALLY see when you look in the mirror? Perhaps you have a secret identity, hide behind a mask, or imagine yourself living out your dreams?... In this workshop, Laura Lee helps you reveal you true self by drawing on ACTUAL MIRRORS with wax pencils. No special artistic skills are necessary!

This is a new lesson I've created and I can't wait to try it out! It should be a lot of fun, so if you were not able to make it to the recent launch party then I hope you can swing by on Sunday!

Currently Reading: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meet the real Longo!

The character Longo is based on my real friend Jason Longo, who I've always simply called Longo. He was pretty much my first friend in New York when I moved here in 2007, and just like his character, when I met him he was a talented comic artist with a fabulous sense of humor.

Originally from Connecticut, he currently lives in Brooklyn not too far from me. He works as an art director for Mud Puddle Books and loves to have cook-outs. He's worked on various illustration & comic projects, ranging from the webcomic We Make Clouds to being one of the initial artists featured on Zuda Comics. I'll always be grateful that he loaned me the second graphic novel I ever read, "Blankets," which had a big influence on me.

This is an old pic of him back as a teenager!

Here we are at a house party of his...

And here we are rocking out at a Harry and the Potters show...

And this is us with my friend Juliet who was the original inspiration for the Jules character...but more on her later!

On to the art! This is a drawing Longo made of us in 2007:

Which I referenced in Page by Paige:

This is another one of his drawings where I appear as a character:

And a couple more fun drawings of his...

And finally, this was the original character sketch I made for Longo back when I first wrote out the book script. He definitely evolved as I drew him over and over!

Recap: Brooklyn Comics & More

Last Saturday I was at Brooklyn Comics & More helping them celebrate FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! (It's a day each year when comic book stores nationwide give away a ton of free new comics)

I signed copies of Page by Paige and brought chalk to draw on the sidewalk...except it was raining most of the time I was there! So, sadly I only got to draw a little bit before I left. (Next time I'd be awesome to get more kids involved!)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Create: Your handwriting font

Before Page by Paige, I had only done hand lettering here and there before. And only a tiny bit at that. So for a project this daunting and with rounds of editing, I decided it would be easier to make a font out of my handwriting. But...HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!

Well...there are multiple websites online that allow to to make your own font, like Fontifier and Handfont for example. I ended up using YourFonts for the font you see in my graphic novel, and it cost $10 for a font. (Which I found was an average price.) I used it for my whole book...

It was pretty easy! First you go to their website and download a blank template.

You print out the template and following their guidelines you draw in your letters. I used pencil first and then went over in pen. Try to make the letters a consistent height and width so they will line up uniformly when you type them combined. Then you scan it, upload it on their website, and preview it for free before you have to pay. So if you don't like the preview, you can redraw out your letters.

I wanted mine to be perfect since I knew it'd be used in my book, so it actually took me three times to get it right...

Ta-da! I hope this was helpful.