A toast to you, blog readers, for staying in touch year round!
If women, water, and trees are what I most enjoy drawing, than BUILDINGS rank last. Chapter seven has lots of them, and I keep getting slowed
down by tedious perspective drawings. Here’s a photo reference from an overpass construction site near my house — along with pencils and inks.
Even though my schedule slipped a bit in December, it’s safe to declare that 2010 will be the year HABIBI sees completion.
Below, a photo from my birthday in the frigid Pacific waters. Here’s to the new year!
Just to assure Jennifer and my other blog-readers, I do read all the posts, even if I am lame about responding… Your support
has meant so much to me this year – endless thanks! Fabien and Tatiana, the blue “brush grip” is a simple pencil cushion purchased
at any art supply shop. No signings (including Chicago, Emerson) planned for the next half a year. Chapter seven pages are accumulating!
The new German BLANKETS has just been released from Carslen, and is hands-down the the most fancy-schmancy production of any edition.
Hardcover, super deluxe paper, stamped logo, bookmark ribbon, and a delicate lacing of spot varnish ornamentation.
Look how it stacks up next to a standard version of the book.
For domestic fans, I’m currently working on redesigns of BLANKETS and CARNET – including hardcovers – to be released summer 2010 by Top Shelf.
… is the date, and I’m extra grateful to be drawing final pages again after five months of rewrites!
Thank you, blog-readers, for all your patience and encouragement. Here’s a glimpse at the first page on the drawing board since June 28th.
Since then, the last three chapters have went through some dramatic overhauls. Now to DRAW them!
(Thanks, also, to the ONION and PASTE (delicious combo) for including BLANKETS on their best-of lists.)
Sorry about the blog neglect. November rain is falling; and I’m still working on rewrites. Embarrassed that I have nothing new to show.
Here’s the desktop today, my waterlogged jack-o’-lantern, and a reference doodle from the sketchbook.
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!
I’m leaving tomorrow morning for BRAZIL to promote the Companhia das Letras edition of my book RETALHOS
at the Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos in Belo Horizonte, and a FNAC signing in São Paulo.
More importantly, I get to hang out with three of my favorite cartoonists: genius twins Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá, and wildman Rafael Grampá.
The twins have a new Vertigo series entitled DAYTRIPPER debuting at this exact moment.
And I recently did a pin-up for the upcoming Dark Horse edition of Grampá’s MESMO DELIVERY.
Along with Leonard Cohen, I share birthdays with Stephen King. His ON WRITING offered some fuel during these past months of revisions.
This sentiment matched my own for most of the summer. Then finally, on Thursday the 17th, a BREAKTHROUGH.
(it may or may not involve smithereens.) HABIBI‘s undergone four drafts: 1) The spontaneous sketchbook-bound version from december 2004.
2) The first draft presented to my publisher in july 2005. 3) My overwrought second draft “completed” september 2006, AND 4) micro-scribbles
that unveiled the ending to me just a few days ago. In the same time of rewrites, my rib(s) healed. Today’s my birthday, and I’m going surfing.
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.
The summer’s dwindling; and I’m still working on rewrites for those last three chapters…
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.”