The Signal boost of the week goes to Rachel Hartman, whose new book, Seraphina, was finally released on July 10th! I’ve been anticipating this book for years and years now, and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. Rachel’s Amy Unbounded is still one of my favorite comics — I just reread it last year and was tickled all over again by how good it was — and her writing has always been so intricate and beautiful that it’s going to be a real thrill to watch her move from comics to prose. Im not the only one raving about the book, either — check out the pull quotes from the likes of Naomi Novik, Tamora Pierce, Ellen Kushner, and this from Christopher Paolini:
“Beautifully written, well-rounded characters, and some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy for a long while. An impressive debut novel; I can’t wait to see what Rachel Hartman writes next.”
In one of the boxes I sorted out, I found an enormous (think: 10 inches thick) pile of letters that my old buddies and I wrote to one another during and immediately post-college. Even when email was readily available, we still wrote. We wrote *obsessively*there for a while. I found Colorado photos from Cece, the letter from Limey Fish from the first time he sat in Glen Alt, watercolored letters from Tiff’s trip to Germany. I found a nest of the lets-try-to-outdo-one-another-with-envelope-drawings letters that Lindsay and I sent, some of them so covered in dinosaurs and egg-shitting chickens that he had to write the address somewhere else so it’d actually get delivered. I miss those letters. I miss writing them. I hate that I’m throwing two hours a day away on the facetubeboingfilter instead of creating tangible moments like these, moments that would take even less time to finish and mean so much more.
I think I’m going to start sending letters again.
The Signal boost of the week goes to Jim Ottaviani, who just posted a teaser photo of the proofs from his upcoming book Primates! The art is by Maris Wicks, and if the rest of the book is as gorgeous as the early model sheets, it’s going to be a stunner.
Jim also has a teaser up for his upcoming book The Imitation Game, which is about Alan Turing. The art’s by Leland Purvis, and is amazing, as one would expect from Leland.
Go check ‘em out! I’ve always been a big fan of Jim’s work, and I’m really looking forward to both of these books.
Note to sensitive readers:
Starting in a few more pages, and continuing through the rest of the book, there will be some scenes to which I will add trigger warnings. Since the notes for the page come after the image itself, it doesn’t do me much good to put a warning on the page containing the material in question, so I’ll be adding it on the comics pages the week before. On the days these pages run, I’ll add the same warnings here on the JanerBlog below the clickthrough image, so if you’re especially sensitive, I suggest coming here as your starting point for the rest of the comic — up in the right-hand corner, you’ll see links to the RSS and the LiveJournal feeds, and subscribing to those may make your life easier. Upcoming scenes contain sexual harassment, overt antebellum racism and depictions of slavery, and 19th century medical conditions, though everything should still be essentially PG-13 and safe for work.
The Signal boost of the week goes to a bunch of old friends, Green Brain Comics, Titan Comics, Isotope Comics, Fanfare Sports and Entertainment and Vault of Midnight. I’ve mostly been boosting comics projects lately, so it’s time to turn around and boost some comics stores, instead. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and know so many amazing comic store owners, and these guys are some of the best. I literally couldn’t have gotten as far as I have without the support of these stores. Even though I haven’t had a new book come out since 2007, I still hear from these thoughtful folks; sometimes it’s words of encouragement, and sometimes — I’m looking at you, Jeremy — it’s to catch errors in my current work (Hey, no complaints! Free editing is free editing). I’m really blessed as a creator. Thanks to all of you, and hope to see you again once I get Clockwork Game wrapped. Everybody else, go give these indie-friendly stores your business!
The Signal boost of the week goes to field naturalist Rosemary Mosco, for her wonderful nature comic, Bird and Moon. Everybody who’s read this blog knows what a giant nerd I am for the outdoors, so this seemed a natural fit. Ha! I kill me. Seriously, though, check it out, it’s really adorable.
The Signal boost of the week goes to Dylan Meconis, who is Kickstarting the Dylan Meconis Library! It’s a chance to help a very talented comics artist bring three separate books to print: Outfoxed (which is currently up for an Eisner award!), a reprint of Bite Me, and Danse Macabre 2.0! Go pledge! I love my copy of Bite Me!, (and the commemorative wooden spoon that the wonderful Shaun Gilroy picked up for me at Stumptown!) but I’m planning on bidding anyway, because I can’t wait to get my hands on Outfoxed and Danse. You should go bid, too!
And if you haven’t already, please do consider pledging to help Kickstart Lea Hernandez‘s, project The Garlicks!
Lea Hernandez, who is now Kickstarting her newest graphic novel, The Garlicks! The final book will be in full color, with an introduction by Jill Thompson. She’s already off to a good start, so get in now before all the specialty packages are gone!
My iphone died yesterday, and I couldn’t get it to start up by any other means than restore mode. Hey, better than nothing, considering it’s a five-year-old first-gen model. I restored it from backup, and it worked great — but lost its jailbreak. I confess I was pretty scared about the possibility of bricking the thing and having to shell out for a new-used phone, but luckily the jailbreaking process was a snap. I now have my cheapskate, contract-free, pay-as-you-go T-Mobile iPhone back, and this makes me ridiculously happy. Heck, the restore will probably make it work better.
And that concludes my best guess at how the world’s first chess-playing automaton actually worked. Hope you liked it, and that you’ll enjoy the third act of the book now that the trick’s been revealed.
The Signal boost of the week goes to C. Spike Trotman and Diana Nock who are now shipping Poorcraft, a comics project they Kickstarted a couple of years ago. I just finished reading the PDF version, and you guys, it is so good. Don’t believe me? Check out this praise they’re getting from the likes of USA Today and the Onion‘s AV Club. Don’t wait! You can now buy a hard copy of Poorcraft for a measly $10 or a PDF for $5. Here’s a preview, in case you’re still in need of convincing. Congrats, Spike and Diana, on a fantastic book and a fully successful, completed Kickstarter!
You guys, the most awesomest thing just happened with regards to Clockwork Game. I can’t wait to tell you about it. But for now, I must be all mysterious. Mysteeeeerious.
The Signal boost of the week goes to the wonderful Emily Kastner and her equally wonderful blog, Tar-Tryin’! Emily is baking her way through the Tartine cookbook one recipe at a time, and is also blogging other crafts and recipes, in the most beautiful fashion! Right now, she’s running a contest where, as a part of the Sugar Cube Blog Tour, you can win a copy of the Sugar Cube Cookbook. Have a look!
The Signal boost of the week goes to Gerry Swanson, creator of Biozoic, who needs some commission work to help get through the month. Have a look at his deviantART page and give him a shout if you think he could do some art for you.
The Signal boost of the week goes to Raina Telgemeier, whose new book, Drama, will be coming out this fall! in the meantime, you can treat yourself to a sneak peek of the cover. Can’t wait? It’s available for pre-order.
My very first NSFW Signal boost of the week goes to Spike Trotman, who’s bringing sexy back — Smut Peddler, specifically! Smut Peddler originally began as a set of three minicomics full of female-friendly erotic comics published by Saucy Goose Press, and spearheaded by Trisha Lynn and Carla Speed McNeil — and after a long dormancy, Spike has Kickstarted it into the 21st century as a 350-page anthology. The project has already long-since reached its goal, but don’t let that stop you from getting in on the action. You can still pre-order your copy of the book, and help support the artists — for each new level of success, the contributors get an additional share of the wealth! G’wan, support it. You know you want to.
Leaking faucets irritate the snot out of me, so tonight I took about an hour and disassembled both my studio faucet and the upstairs bathroom faucets. No more drips! It makes me feel so happy that armed with the internet’s instructions and a well-stocked toolkit, I can do handy things around the house by myself.
Signal boost of the week goes to Sydney Padua, who just announced that Pantheon books will be publishing a graphic novel of her amazing webcomic, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage! Congrats, Sydney!
Signal boost of the week goes to Steve Lieber, who has not one but two series out, Shooters from Vertigo, and Alabaster: Wolves from Dark Horse. Congrats, Steve!
For everyone who’s been waiting patiently for an explanation of how the automaton works, the big reveal starts this week!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Mark Crilley, with whom we had the pleasure of hanging out at the Thomas Dolby concert in Royal Oak. Mark’s first major work was Akiko, which still stands among my favorite comics of all time. Since then, he’s gone on to write illustrate the four-volume Miki Falls, a Mastering Manga, a how-to book and his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, has its third volume coming out next week from Dark Horse!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Thomas Dolby, who is currently touring for his new album, A Map of the Floating City. Paul and I went to see him in Manhattan last week, and it was a really fantastic show, so if you’ve been hesitating on buying tickets, hesitate no longer. As a special bonus, Mr. Dolby is bringing along a custom-made trailer on his Time Capsule Tour that will allow you to record a special thirty-second message to the future. There’s already a YouTube channel that features some of the best messages, including those from Bill Nye and Reggie Watts. Oh yeah, and the Time Capsule itself was designed by somebody pretty awesome.
Paul and I made a (very) quick trip to New York City last week. It was a whirlwind of cabs and subways and museums and amaaaaazing food, from barbecued duck soup in Chinatown to goat curry in Midtown. Highlights included sharing a knish at an upscale deli, getting to see the top of the Empire State Building at 1am (with only thirty other people!), talking to a protester in Union Square, having lunch with a good friend in Bryant Park, gaping at the main branch of the New York Public Library (I’ll be in my bunk) and buying a pair of beetle-wing earrings in Soho. We also saw some famous dude play some music.
I didn’t take too many photos, as I was concentrating on drinking in the sights, but here’re a few: