Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"Getting Graphic with Girls" & NYCC recap

At NYCC last weekend I was lucky enough to be on a panel with Cecil Castellucci (The Plain Janes), Colleen AF Venable (Guinea Pig, Pet Shop Private Eye), and Lucy Knisley (French Milk)!

Heidi MacDonald from The Beat was supposed to be our moderator, but due to a family emergency she had to bail at the last minute. Hence we were UNMODERATED! Which quickly became our new catchphrase.  (Special thanks to Colleen for handling the tech!) This actually worked out great.   Since we directed the discussion ourselves, it was like the audience was overhearing us having more of an informal conversation.  I didn't get any photos of us speaking, but believe me we had a great audience! Especially since it was the end of the show.

We covered topics such as how girls are portrayed in comics, how girls approach comics differently, our comic con experiences, our gateway into comics, mentors, our career paths & education expereicnes, what characters inspire us who we'd like to see get more attention (Like STATURE!), how DC & Marvel need to hire more female writers...

...and of course we discussed the notorious Catwoman cover!

What an insane pose, right?! Of course we had to try and replicate it.

Oh, and I should post some pics from the show! I'm proud to say that I was able to avoid entering the main floor the ENTIRE weekend.

I spent all my time in Artist Alley, which was moved to the North Pavilion this year. Being separate from the rest of the show, it felt like a smaller comic con within the bigger con. Which suited me just fine!
Here's me at my table! (Thanks for the pic, Bryan Wilson)

It was a great show for me! Sold lots of books, sent art off to some good homes, made new connections.... sold some new merch, some writer-fan-doodle composition notebooks:

I also heard some great stories from folks who were inspired by Page by Paige,  to get a sketchbook and start drawing again. Or they're planning a public project like what the Agents of Whimsy do in the book. How amazing is that?! To me this is the highest form of praise the book could get.  

And I've gotta say, my fans are super cute!

That includes the grown-ups, too!

Thank you everyone who came by, and my table-neighbors James Mascia & Michael Dolce for keeping things lively all weekend!

I'll leave you with this pic. I'm a sucker for Labyrinth costumes...

Currently Listening:  Billy Joel, lots of it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Comics Quickfire!

In case you missed it at NYCC this year, 
here's the recap from the COMICS QUICKFIRE!

Our hosts were Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy) and Gregg Schigiel (Stuff Said Podcast).  Featured artists included myself along with Ryan Sias (Zoe & Robot), Mark Siegel (Sailor Twain), and John Green (Teen Boat).  Plus, a couple brave volunteers from the audience joined us on stage! 

We divided into two teams and  drew a 4-panel comic inspired by suggestions from the crowd. Okay, at first I was intimidated by drawing live in front of a big audience, but then you forget because you've just gotta draw FAST.

Dave and Greg translate our squiggles to the audience...

Here's the finished comic from our team: "Phoenix Rising!" It features giant cheese attacking Paris, and a surprising friendship between elephant and mouse.

 And here's the other team's comic about the battle between waffle and syrup. They might have won the most applause, but, hey, it's hard to draw anything in just 60 seconds!

At the end was the EPIC DRAW, which featured 15 elements suggested by the audience and drawn in just a few minutes by all of us in a flurry of markers.  The zombie about to eat Big Bird wearing platforms? Oh yeah, that section's mine.
This was a blast! Thanks everyone who came and cheered us on. And if you'd like to see pics from the last Comics Quickfire, check out my post from last year's Brooklyn Book Festival with Dave & Raina.
  (Photos by Me, Matt & Dave. And I swiped the header drawing from Dave.)

Currently Listening: Glen Hansard...Rhythm and Repose.

Monday, October 8, 2012

New York Comic Con THIS WEEKEND

It's that time of year again for NEW YORK COMIC CON!
I'll have a table in artist alley, so please come by and say hello.

And I'm pleased to announce I'll be in two-yes-TWO awesome panels:
Saturday October 13th, 
5:15- 6:15pm @ Variant Stage
Facebook Event
A fast-paced game show where volunteers are paired off with (or against) professional cartoonists in a series of fun-filled drawing challenges! Audience members will provide suggestions and add to the creation of totally improvised epic drawings! Featuring host Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Ryan Sias (Zoe & Robot), Mark Siegel (Sailor Twain), John Green (Teen Boat), Laura Lee Gulledge (Page By Paige) and more! Great for all ages!

Sunday, October 14th.
4- 5:00 pm @ Room 1A01
Join some of graphic novel's best and brightest female writers/illustrators for a frank and lively discussion about creating comics for a young female reading audience and addressing the real life  issues that matter to them.  Featuring Cecil Castellucci , Colleen Venable , Laura Lee Gulledge, Lucy Knisley, and moderated by Heidi McDonald of The Beat.

Currently Listening: Mumford & Sons...Babel.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ComiXology Release & Podcast

Page by Paige is now available thru comiXology!
Wow, the future has arrived!  I don't have an ipad or iphone or whatnot, so I can't wait to see how it looks.  Check out the digital version available for $10.

I'm thrilled to be featured on comiXology!  I've sung their praises before, particularly regarding Reilly Brown and Kurt Christenson's digital comic Power Play. (Plug! Plug!)  Eventually I'd love to create something specifically designed for a digital formal, but for now that goal is alas stuck simmering away on one of my back burners.

And this week I'm interviewed in their PODCAST!  
It's 15ish minutes long but Matt provides some topical markers. Warning: I've been spending an unhealthy amount of time alone in my studio so I embark on some random rambly tangents! I apologize in advance.

Currently Listening: Pulp...This is Hardcore

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

BCC/ Harvey Awards Recap

This year I didn't have a table, so instead I got to enjoy walking around for once. 
(Here's last year's BCC recap.) But hopefully next year I'll have a table again. Anyway...

This year was my first time attending the Harvey Awards!
I was nominated in five--yes FIVE--categories: 
Best Writer, Lettering, Inking, Original Graphic Novel, and Promising New Talent.  

I didn't win, but that's okay! (As if I could beat out people like Daredevil's Mark Waid for Best Writer. Pshaw. Seriously.) Just to gain recognition for a debut book like this is really more than I could have hoped for.  I'm not sure that I deserve such accolades, but I'll happily take it! This extra validation and exposure will only fuel my efforts as I strive to make my second book into something as inspiring and unique as the first one.
At the awards ceremony, I sat with the Abrams, Dark Horse and Hachette folks...

Oh, and Stan Lee was there! Sorry, this isn't the best photo...

I was thankful for the other artists from our Brooklyn community who kept me from freaking out whenever my awkward panic threatened to kick in: Reilly Brown, Greg Tumbarello, Seth Kushner, Joe Infurnari, Dean Haspiel, and Paul Pope. Thanks, guys!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Harvey Award Voting Reminder

Please vote for me in this year's Harvey Awards!
*Click here to vote*

I'm up for Best Writer, Lettering, Inking, Original Graphic Novel, and Promising New Talent. Final ballots are due by this Friday, August 17, 2012.  Voting is open to anyone professionally involved in a creative capacity within the comics field.  

Since I'm a newbie I don't expect to get enough votes to win, but you never know! So I'd appreciate it if you can pass this along to other folks who you know will be voting. Thank you so much!

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm DONE penciling "Will & Whit!"

 Ugh, penciling is the most frustrating and challenging part of the whole book production process for me. It requires endless decision making, visualizing the sets and character's movements, getting the characters consistent, designing the locations, rearranging layouts, drawing all those pesky hands and noses, etc. The past few weeks in particular it was getting really hard for me to stay focused with this summer weather, so I am really thankful that this step of the process is DONE.

Last week I took all the penciled pages on a field trip to the Abrams offices over in Manhattan. Check out my book baby, all 182 pages of drawings! It's taken me 3 months of being a hermit in my studio 7 days a week to draw it all out.

 Here's my editor Maggie Lehrman and art director Chad Beckerman, as they scrutinize the book.  I asked them to "look concerned" for this photo, despite the fact that they didn't have many critiques. (Thankfully!) It's a bit scary drawing out a whole book without someone else seeing it.

And I thought I should share a few of the FINISHED penciled pages! My scanner doesn't pick up the blue pencil that well, so these are photos even though they're not the best quality. Shrug.

Here's Will in her room working at her desk, when her shadows first appear. Will ended up looking nothing like my sample drawings of her!

Here's Will surprising Reese on her birthday, with her best friends Noel and Autumn...
Here's Will meeting the kids who are putting on the arts carnival: Blake, Ava, and Desmond.

In some sections I had a lot of fun with the layouts. For instance, when they go mattress rafting I used only trees and water ripples to divide up the panels.

So what's the INKING gonna look like? Well, here's a process shot from one of the first pages I've started inking just this weekend. Very undone, but you can get the idea.
We'll see where things go! It'll take me 3 more months to complete inking, so come November I'll have some more fun show-and-tell. Stay tuned!

 Currently Reading: A Wrinkle in Time (graphic novel)...written by Madeleine L'Engle, adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recap from San Diego Comic Con

I am finally back at my desk here in Brooklyn, what a whirlwind! Here's my SDCC recap...
Let's see...on Kids Day (Sunday) I did a signing at the Abrams Table. Everyone was so supportive!
I gave out my Paige inspired easter eggs to folks, and dropped some in the bags of people walking by. It included some of my Mermaid Parade glitter from a few weeks ago.
 I was up for an Eisner Award, which I didn't win. But honestly, I didn't care because I felt so honored to be there in the first place! I was definitely battling a Wayne's World style "I'm not worthy" complex.
Abrams had our own table! My publicist Mary Ann was a fabulous partner in crime for the evening.
There were many amazing presenters, but the geek in me was especially excited to see Battlestar Galactica actors Tricia Helfer and Michael Trucco!  (I've actually hosted a couple BSG themed events in the past...)
I finally got to meet some folks who I really admire, such as new Eisner winner for Best Artist/ Writer Craig Thompson! I mentioned his book latest book Habibi a few months back.
 And amazing female-empowering comic historian/ artist/ writer Trina Robbins!
And I crossed paths with some NY comic friends, such as Smile writer/artist Raina Telgemeier.
And fellow Jugs & Capes member Colleen AF Venable, who was also nominated for an Eisner Award! (For Best Publication for Kids) Here we're holding "Izzy," my fake Eisner award/ swiped coconut centerpiece.
 And I was excited to see my former studiomate Reilly Brown who had a table in Artist Alley.
And I must give a shout out to Adrienne Lombardo and the New York Jedis. Jedi photo bomb!
What about the convention itself? Well, I went to some great panels, a Tr!ckster workshop,gaped at many fabulous costumes, and had some zany adventures. I've posted ALL my pics on Flickr.

 My constant traveling companion Mr Duck came along, and he made many new friends.
To see all of Mr Duck's pics, click here!

It was a professional goal of mine to make it out to SDCC, so I am very thankful I was able to make it happen. I'm so lucky that I get to be a part of this community! Thank you everyone for your continued support, especially now that I'm delving back into "hermit mode" here in my studio. After seeing so many inspiring artists there, I am determined to make Will & Whit as amazing as possible!

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Currently Reading: Imagine by Jonah Lehrer