Postings by Category: Travel

translating dumplins

rizzoli 01

The first translated volume of DUMPLINS, Rizzoli’s POLPETTE SPAZIALI, debuted this past weekend at LUCCA Comics Festival in Italy. It’s 100 pages longer than the US edition, because of extra “making of” material.

rizzoli 02

Also, hot-off-the-press is Reprodukt’s gorgeous German edition of WELTRAUMKRÜMEL, in paperback and limited edition hardcover, meticulously hand-lettered, including the sound effects. And soon to be released is Casterman’s French edition of SPACE BOULETTES which will also debut in paperback and special edition hardcover. The latter has an acetate overlay cover, an in-depth interview, and extra pages of “making of” material.

weltraum boulettes

In March & April of 2016, I’ll be in Europe to promote all of these along with Faber & Faber’s UK edition, and Astiberri’s Spanish edition of ALMÓNDIGAS DEL ESPACIO.

canadian dumplins!

Up next is the Canadian portion (and Philadelphia) of DUMPLINS (and D&Q Blankets) book tour!
Sunday, October 25th, 3 PM : Librarie D&Q, 211 Bernard Ouest, MONTREAL
Monday, October 26th, 7 PM : Librarie D&Q, 211 Bernard Ouest, MONTREAL
Wednesday, October 28th, 6 PM : Palmerston Public Library, TORONTO
Thursday, October 29th, 3 PM : University of Toronto, TORONTO
Friday & Saturday, October 30th & 31st, Locust Moon Comics Festival, PHILADELPHIA
Halloween… might be a good time for SPACE DUMPLINS cosplay, hint hint…

These early sketches reveal that the FISHIN’ BUDDIES from SPACE DUMPLINS were directly inspired by Canadian influences: part Bob & Doug McKenzie from STRANGE BREW, part Barf the Mog (played by my fave comedian as a child, John Candy)  from SPACE BALLS!

gertie & hapy bare

Touching base at home for a handful of days before continuing DUMPLINS book tour. The last leg brought me to Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado… TEN school visits, four book stores, two festivals, one library. The trip launched with CXC, Comics Crossroads Columbus – the inaugural comics festival organized by Jeff & Vijaya Smith and Tom Spurgeon – which will easily become the favorite comics show of cartoonists, like the classic days of SPX. A highlight was touring the largest archive of comics art in the world at the Billy Ireland Museum, where I held the actual hand-drawn frames of Winsor McKay’s GERTIE THE DINOSAUR (1914).
At one of the school visits in Hoffman Estates, a gang of young cartoonists gifted me a 90 page, full-color graphic novel. This is the actual original art pages, so I feel like I need to donate it to the Billy Ireland archives for long time preservation as these artists, Ryan Ahn and Vikram Palani, become FAMOUS!

dumplins in the midwest!

dumplins fans

The next leg of DUMPLINS’ book tour takes me to the Great Lakes region of the midwest.

OCT 2 & 3, COMIX CROSSROADS in Columbus, Ohio. Speaking/signing with Kate Beaton & Jeff Smith on Friday night, and throughout the day on the convention floor Saturday.
OCT 4, ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP in Naperville, Illinois. 2 PM.
OCT 5, QUIMBY’S in Chicago, Illinois. In the afternoon, I’ll drop by to sign stock and greet fans in the neighborhood.
OCT 6, A public event at LINCOLNWOOD LIBRARY at 4 PM.
OCT 7, BOOKS & COMPANY in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin at 6:30 PM.
OCT 8, THE BOOKIES in Denver, Colorado at 4 PM.
OCT 9, MOUNTAINS & PLAINS Tradeshow 4 PM event.
On top of that, I’ll be visiting schools in Hoffman Estates, Oak Park, Highwood, Glenview, Wales, Hartland, Denver, and more!
Pictured above: Art from a young fan in Walla Walla, Washington. And young fans obsessively rereading DUMPLINS! Do send me similar photos!

space dumplins book tour!

NOTE: As of September 16th, new updates to the SPACE DUMPLINS BOOK TOUR!


September 11 • Portland, Oregon • A CHILDREN’S PLACE Bookstore • 5 PM

September 12 • Portland, Oregon   BRIDGE CITY COMICS • 11 AM

September 12 • Portland, Oregon • POWELL’S BOOKS, Burnside • 2 PM

September 16 • Seattle, Washington • COMICS DUNGEON • 4 PM
September 16 • Seattle, Washington • UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE • 7 PM

September 17-19 • Walla Walla, WA • WHITMAN COLLEGE 

September 20 • San Francisco, CA • COMIX EXPERIENCE • 2 PM

September 25 • Los Angeles, CA • SECRET HEADQUARTERS • 6 – 9 PM


October 1-3 • Columbus, OH • CARTOON CROSSROADS

October 4 • Naperville, IL • ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP • 2 PM

October 6 • Winnetka, IL • The BOOK STALL

October 7 • Oconomowoc, WI • BOOKS & COMPANY Bookstore

October 9 • Denver, Colorado • MOUNTAINS & PLAINS Independent Booksellers Association Tradeshow • 3 PM

October 13 • Montrose, CA • ONCE UPON A TIME Bookstore • 7 PM

October 17 • Minneapolis, Minnesota • TWIN CITIES BOOK FESTIVAL

CANADA IN LATE OCTOBER! More info to come for late October and part of November.

Endless thanks for your patience while I road tripped across the US with Edmond Baudoin. It was completely crazy of me to be working on the NEXT book when my latest debut needed promotional attention. But I’m home now & refueling to hit the road again. Looking forward to seeing you!

cambridge punting


Presently punting in Cambridge, UK with Sierra, the first leg of post-DUMPLINS vacation. But the big news in my world is that we’re MOVING to LA, packing up almost two decades of living in Portland, Oregon. The process is GOOD-BYE, CHUNKY RICE all over again. That book was drawn when I was 21 and first moved to Portland from Milwaukee, Wisconsin; emotionally devastated from missing my friends. Now I’m nearly forty, but feeling the same. Big love to my Portland posse, and to my extended community of friends & readers around the world.

(Also see, bamboo rafting in China.)

drawing brothers

Just returned from one month in France where I began a collaborative book with 72 year old French comics master Edmond BAUDOIN.

(A – Edmond with Cambodian cartoonist Tian, left. Amiens Cathedral, right.)

(B – Signing at the Palais du Commerce, left. Little Prince statue in Place Bellecour, right.)

After book signings at the A) Amiens BD festival and B) Lyon BD festival, Edmond & I retreated to his childhood haunts of Villars-sur-Var –
a mountaintop village near Nice to churn out drawings and write thumbails for our book.

Our timing aligned with village festival of their patron St. Jean – documented in Baudoin’s book LE CHEMIN DE SAINT JEAN.
Edmond has over 60 books in his bibliography, though zero are translated in English at this point.

Our collaborative project has just begun… the next step is Edmond visiting my stomping grounds in Portland & Wisconsin… BUT for the rest of the year, I plunge back into SPACE DUMPLINS to hit that deadline for a FALL 2015 release – the tenth anniversary of Scholastic’s GRAPHIX line.

les petits riens

“Little Nothings” — that’s the title for a book Maurice Sendak was working on when he died- based on Mozart’s first ballet.
Today is the anniversary of Maurice’s birth 86 years ago.

In the last year of his life, Maurice became an adopted grandfather and we chatted weekly on the phone. I transcribed bits of his conversations, almost all of which are too personal or vulnerable or hilariously vulgar to share here on the blog… but to commemorate his birthday, I found something petit. On July 31, 2011 speaking of his other project left unfinished – “THE NOSE BOOK”, Maurice said,
“I am writing something. A door is opening — moreso a WINDOW is opening. It’s FUNNY. I’ve never written anything funny before. No tragic overtones… just plain silly. But I’m not gonna judge it, or condemn it. … Which is very unlike me.”


The photo is with my dear cartoonist buddy Aaron Renier who introduced us in 2011.

In a later conversation, Maurice said, “I’ve been feeling fetid in my efforts at writing. Feel as if the creative spirit has departed. It better not leave me or I’ll have a SHIT FIT!” That’s how I was feeling when I left for France – I’m in Paris today – taking a breather from SPACE DUMPLINS to work in a sketchbook outside the studio again.

One more: “You just gotta get old and whatever was unattractive about your work is suddenly all right. Everything becomes silly.”                   
Still miss him everyday.

amiens et lyon

Related to the straight-to-sketchbook project mentioned in the last post, I’ll be spending the month of June in France. While there, I’ll also participate in the Amiens BD festival and the Lyon BD festival to compensate for my abbreviated French presence during 2011’s HABIBI book tour. As some may recall, the French edition of HABIBI was late from the printers and so I’d done press at that time, but no signings.

To prep for travel, my friend Lucie is tutoring me in French. Here’s a little excerpt from my study notebook — a homework exercise to “write (& draw) a dialogue with two (or ten) characters” in which Little Zacchaeus (from CARNET and SPACE DUMPLINS) interacts with references from some favorite bande dessinée – including PETIT VAMPIRE VA À L’ECOLE by Joann Sfar, LES OGRES by David B. & Christophe Blain, CÉFULUS by Ludovic Debeurme, and SALADE NIÇOISE by Baudoin. (Translated or not, it makes no sense.)