Doot Doot Garden: The Blog of Craig Thompson
Doot Doot Garden: The blog of graphic novelist Craig Thompson
home-back May 24th, 2012

Finally recovering from promotional travel. A token of carrying home on one’s back is this handmade Chunky Rice plush from Raquel & Ferran in Barcelona. Thanks, you two! And to Jordi & the other dedicated Spanish fans that made it out. Accompanying Chunky is a classic casualty of travel – the drowned sketchbook – reminding me of the age-old lesson to sketch in archival ink. Appropriately, most of the drawings are of airplane interiors that literally bled together after so many flights.

Along the way, I meet so many amazing people – too many to acknowledge in this small space – but foremost you readers! Seen here is my Spanish/Catalan editor Laureano & a new fave cartoonist David Rubin. Also, the charming Elvis Mitchell – an incredible interviewer that sets one at ease & draws out an honest conversation.

Some of you may recognize Laureano from my 2004 travelogue CARNET DE VOYAGE. Below, the view a block and a half from Laureano’s apartment. On the right is a snippet from my 2004 sketchbooks that never made it into print. But it’s another good reminder…

 

stump down & melt town April 26th, 2012

Here’s a couple more events to extend last week’s list: This Saturday – April 28th – I’ll be at Portland’s own Stumptown Comics Fest, signing for the CBLDF from 1-2pm. CBLDF suggests a $10 donation, but it’s for a worthy cause. Then, the day after the Skirball event in LA, I’ll be at super cool MELTDOWN COMICS – May 11th, 7pm.

After my Barcelona & LA trips, I plan to get started drawing the “all-ages book”, but in the meantime I’m dabbling in a number of small projects – including a cover for Wisconsin buddy Tim Seeley’s farm noir series REVIVAL. A creepy sort of “X-Files meets Fargo” story set in our childhood stomping grounds of Wausau, Wisconsin. A) thumbnailed idea sketches, B) pencils, C) final inks & colors.

 

team spirit April 17th, 2012

A 270-page thumbnail draft of my new all-ages book was completed today. About three months’ work versus two years spent on the thumbnails for HABIBI. For the new project, I scored a new $50 drafting table so that the vintage table HABIBI was drawn on can have company. That’s cartoonist buddy Farel Dalrymple in the photo joining me for a day of drawing.

Also noteworthy is that HABIBI has been honored with two Eisner award nominations! The award’s namesake is the late, great Will Eisner. Check here for the full list of categories and nominees.

This week, I’ll be at Calvin College in my home-state of Michigan for the Festival of Faith & Writing. This includes an exhibition of original art open to the public on Friday, April 20th at 6:30pm.  The show runs for a week after; M-T 9am-5pm, W-F 9am-9pm, Sat 10am-4pm.

Concerning travel, I’m considering over a dozen invites from all over the world, but the only ones confirmed for now are A) Calvin’s Festival of Faith & Writing, B) the Saló Internacional del Còmic in Barcelona, Spain; May 3-6, and C) the Skirball Cultural Center in LA accompanying their Women Hold Up Half the Sky exhibition; 8pm on May 10th. And I hope to make it to this summer’s San Diego Comic-con!

onde nouveaux deux February 15th, 2012

Continuing on the themes of last week’s post, you’ll find a link to my acceptance essay for the PNBA award which explains the Hokusai
wave graphic. Here’s a shot of the award, and the man who presented it — noteworthy fantasy author & gentleman Terry Brooks.

On a Valentine’s note, OPRAH named BLANKETS one of the greatest love stories of all time. (?!?) (Bless her soul!)
And Aussie buddie Pat Grant released a new book named BLUE that I’m quite fond of.

Also, overlooked in that last post was a recap of London and Angoulême tour. London, as you know, is a charming city full
of deliciously polite folks. As for Angoulême, Drawn & Quarterly and Sarah Glidden do a great job of summarizing the festival.
Here’s myself with two of my favorite French cartoonists – Dupuy & Berberian!

new wave February 3rd, 2012

Home safe & sound, and desperate to take a break from travel for a while. My new babies are being neglected!

Next weekend is an easy jaunt to the Cannon Beach Book Company on the Oregon coast to give a talk and accept the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association award. Saturday, February 11th, 2pm — actually held at the library across the street from the store. I chose the location, because CBBC is an impressive book shop that’s a comfort to peruse on a rainy day at the coast, but also because Cannon Beach is a spiritual sanctuary where I’ve been nourished by the ocean in the company of friends, sea lions, probably some sharks, and occasionally sun.  This painting by my dear buddy Dan Attoe perfectly captures the magic of our cozy surf cove.

Here’s another glimpse of that beach from the earliest days of this blog, five years ago. Still a good mantra: “Goonies never say die.”

tour resumes – london & angoulême January 12th, 2012

The adventure continues. Next week, I’ll finally make it to the UK – at least London – for some HABIBI events.
Friday the 20th of January, 6pm at FORBIDDEN PLANET  •   Saturday the 21st, 5pm at GOSH
Monday the 23rd, 7pm at the St. Albans Conference Centre – a COMICA event  •   Tuesday the 24th, 6pm at MEGA CITY COMICS.

Then it’s on to the Festival International de la Bande Dessinee in the cozy and chilly village of Angoulême, France.
(Art Spiegelman is the prez this year.) Casterman will host me for daily signings at their booth Thursday the 26th thru Sunday the 29th.
And I’ll be performing in the intimidating spectacle of the “concert de dessin” every evening along with Bastien Vives,
Alfred Circus, Marion Montagne, Merwan Chabane, Benoit Sokal, Jean-Louis Tripp, and Paco Cerrejón.

An explanation of these images : There’s many overt references to classic paintings planted in HABIBI – here’s one of my favorites,
echoing The Poor Fisherman (1881) by Puvis de Chavannes. The half-swaddled infant in the background reminds me of Viktor Pokov’s
1969 painting July, previously cataloged in my list of rip-offs and inspirations.

full circle November 10th, 2011

My first time to Europe was in 1995 for a two week community college scholarship. Note the effects of sixteen years of aging -
- vital brain matter still sprinkles out of my head.  (Stravinsky Fountain – Pompidou)

Just got home from HABIBI Eurotour yesterday. Thanks to all of you for your patience with the blog neglect. And tremendous thanks to my
EU readers that made it to the events. Frankfurt – Paris – Turin – Lucca – (rental car drive from Pisa to Brussels) – Brussels – Ghent – Leuven – Antwerp – Amsterdam.    Too  many places to sum up, though speaking at il Circolo dei Lettori in Turin was a great honor — a glorious space, joined on stage by Randa Ghazy, the author of DREAMING OF PALESTINE and translator of Italian HABIBI.

Met many amazing folks along the way, including my oft-acknowledged inspiration Edmond Baudoin.
Here we are drawing each others portraits the day before he traveled to Rio de Janeiro for a comics show.

HABIBI travel continues next week, but this time on home turf – the state where I was raised and its neighbor.
Wednesday, November 16th — 2pm at MIAD and 7pm at Boswell Books in Milwaukee, WISCONSIN!
Then on to Chicago, Illinois — Quimby’s on Thursday, November 17th (7pm) — and The Book Cellar on Friday, November 18th (7pm).

PS to Michaela who asked about my “educational background”. I attended UWMC community college part time for a year and a half, and MIAD for a half year. Then dropped out and worked as a bagel maker, telemarketer, laser light show animator, newspaper ad stylist, ad agency graphic designer, grocery packer, house painter, warehouse box-packing grunt, and graphic designer at Dark Horse Comics.

paris update October 24th, 2011

My apologies, Blog Friends, for neglecting DOOT DOOT GARDEN while on euro tour
- especially to my French Fans who are curious about events in Paris.

In fact, there’s no dedicacés scheduled in Paris where I’ve spent the past week. This came as a surprise to me, too,
but the reason is the Casterman edition of HABIBI is being released more than a month later than expected.
It debuts in stores on mecredi, 26 octobre, the day I leave Paris for Turin, Italy.

My time instead has been filled up with plenty of media interiviews – PLENTY -
so at least you may hear about the book on TV, radio, web, or print.

The good news is I’ll be back in France for Angoulême (janvier 2012) and will probably visit Paris and other French cities at that time.
ALSO NOTE: London and UK appearances will precede Angoulême in earlier January. More soon! xo

floating world October 9th, 2011

HABIBI book tour is a sandwich. One bread slice (or one month) is American (two days Canada) and the other slice is European. In between was a thin slab of Portland time, flavored with coffee and rainwater; the tastiest part being the HABIBI-inspired art show hosted by Floating World. Pictured here: Carson Ellis, whose new book WILDWOOD with hubby Colin Meloy is a MUST-HAVE — and Theo Ellsworth, who worked alongside me in the studio, drawing his book CAPACITY, occasionally indulging in afternoon cognacs while inking.

Below, from left to right: Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba, Brandon Graham.

Not pictured: Mike Allred, Farel Darlrymple, Lark Pien, Aaron Renier, Jen Wang. My cartoonist friends are the best in the world. These scans don’t do the pieces justice. If you live in Portland, check out the actual work at FLOATING WORLD. For everyone else, the show has motivated me to put together some sort of special book so that these beautiful tributes can be adequately shared. My continual thanks to you readers for making it to the events and being so kind. Euro tour begins TOMORROW.

cupcakes & passports October 5th, 2011

Dear Readers, thank you for your patience with these rare posts. Tour is still chugging along, though I’m touching down
in my home Pacific NW a few days before heading off to Europe. Here’s some quick updates:

1) My tour overlapped a few times with Anders Nilsen and Adrian Tomine both on the road promoting new books
(Big Questions / Optic Nerve #12 – both amazing). Here we are at a Brooklyn Book Festival panel.

2) In Minneapolis, I lost my favorite jacket with my passport zipped inside. This led to some frantic days in San Francisco scrambling to get an expedited replacement. Photos via Jason in Chinatown! My event at Lee’s Comics in Mountain View had to be canceled, but was revisited at the Alternative Press Expo.       2) My 36th birthday happened in Boston hosted by the Harvard Book Store. Everyone sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me on stage at the Brattle Theater, and gifted me a cake, three cupcakes, and a bottle of bubbly (balloons not pictured). The most special cupcake was regifted to my generous media escort Lynn.

4) You fans are beyond sweet, presenting me with beautiful pieces of original art. Here’s a Chunky tribute by Justin that needed to be shared.         5) I’m in Seattle today appearing at Seattle Public Library (a day after my friends Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy), but yesterday I touched base in Portland to sign 1,500 copies of stock at the Powell’s Books warehouse. Here’s one of the two and a half palettes. Tomorrow, I return to Portland for events at Floating World, Bridge City Comics, Wordstock, and Livewire.

Then off to Europe – with my new passport! xo