News Blog Archives

January 20, 2008

More catching up: The Glyph Awards

Here's another long-overdue post: comics journalist extraordinare Rich Watson has done what most readers, fans and journalists have not -- put his time and efforts where his mouth is -- and created The Glyph Awards, which honor the best in black comics. Today is the final day for entries; nominees will be announced on February 25th, and winners will be awarded at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in May.

Recently, blogger and former Glyphs judge Pam Noles did a wonderful interview with Rich about the Glyphs, ECBACC, and his deep devotion to both indie comics and comics journalism. (Pam's a great interviewer and a fantastic writer -- I realy encourage readers to check out her series of posts on the Golliwog that appeared in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book The Black Dossier. They're just plain excellent.)

Rich is also just plain excellent. He's a great person and a sensitive interviewer and crazily dedicated to his medium, and about the only bad thing I can say about the guy is that he's NOT MAKING ANY NEW COMICS RIGHT NOW HINT HINT RICH. Yes, on top of all this, he's a writer and artist -- and quite a good one, too.

So head on over to his column on PopCultureShock and find out more about Rich, the Glyphs, and ECBACC. Yay.

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Gallery Show!

Something I keep forgetting to post about: a new gallery in Lapeer, Michigan, Gallery 194, has a really nice show of local comics artists up right now. I've been really distracted lately -- so much so that I neglected to post this in time for the gallery opening. Man, have I been out of it!

Still, the show is up until February 8th, so there's still plenty of time to get out there and see Michigan comics luminaries like Sean Bieri, Matt Feazell, Matt Manning and Martin Hirchak. Should be a lot of fun!

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Long overdue updates --

I just updated the Vogelein Fanart page, with five new images that I've been sitting on since the summertime. Gadfrey, how the time gets away from me; apologies to those kind, wonderful fan artists who had to wait so long for their pictures to get posted. I also finally updated the Appearances section, so you can see where I'll be until the end of February.

Sorry again for all the delays; the new project is completely monopolizing my time, and I had to take a whole day today to just get all caught up on my overdue to-do list.

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January 17, 2008

Argh! More research. It undoes me.

Another update:

The (incredibly nice) guy who built the replica of the Seekrit Project sent me a rare, out of print book last night, and I stayed up until 2am devouring it. It contained all sorts of terribly useful photos of people, places and devices that I desperately needed for the book.

I also went to K college and made photocopies of a 150-year-old book with a very long article on the subject -- one that I'd been trying to track down for about two months, and lo, there it was literally in my backyard.

Unfortunately, what these two (really good, really thorough) items taught me were that I had several minor, but key, details wrong. Like for instance, Mr. M___ was not thin at all, but described, firsthand, variously as "stout", "florid" and "phlegmatic". Neither was he buried with his c.b. -- for it still exists, in a museum in a large city on the East Coast; and it is very unlike how I've drawn it: it doesn't fold, and it's full of holes. Mr. M___ also spoke a language (fluently, it appears) that I had him using a translator for. And neither (again firsthand) did Captain N___ ask Mr. M___ for their last fateful interaction; it was the other way 'round; it appears M___ was that desperate.

Blargh. Rewrites. Redraws. This is what I get for being so thorough and not just pulling things out of my ear. Still, far better now than after I've shown it to everyone.

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January 9, 2008

The plot thickens (or at least the research)

Tonight I had a series of very fruitful email exchanges with the guy who wrote a highly-acclaimed and well-researched book on the subject of the Seekrit Project. He says he read the script and liked it, and that my characterizations rang true, and matched his research. He answered a bunch of nerdy, crazy-specific questions for me, and also gave me contact information for a library with a cache of information on the subject, and a researcher who did her dissertation on one of the main figures in the book. This put me absolutely over the moon -- not to mention the fact that it really did wonders for my self-confidence -- he author in question is whip-smart, and has written several really great books, and is currently an editor for a major publication.

Later, I put in a phone call to the guy who has built a working replica of the subject of the Seekrit Project, and set up a time to call tomorrow to pick his brain on schematics and particulars. This guy is a really amazing guy, and builds all sorts of really neat things for really amazing people, but I can't tell you anything more than that right now. I'm getting really excited, though.

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January 5, 2008

How to survive writing a graphic novel

For those of you who read the JanerBlog, you know that I'm currently gearing up to write a new, non-Vögelein book. I've finally hit that inevitable phase where, even though I really like the script and think it's the strongest thing I've ever written, I start to doubt every part of it, from the characters to the punchlines to the design to the planned audience. The fearful tape loop just runs over and over again in my head: Who's gonna want to read this? Am I going to alienate my faithful Vögelein readers? Is my art ever going to improve?

So I had written this big angsty, nervous, self-deprecating blog post in my head, outlining my current time estimates before the Fraud Police show up to expose me, how intimidating the blank page is, and how scary the entire creative process can be.

But then yesterday, Grady Klein over at the First Second blog provided the world with this outstanding comic entitled "How To Survive Writing a Graphic Novel". Not only did I come away feeling much better than if I had spent the evening writing a whiny blog post, but now I'm going to run out and buy Grady's books, too.

That's all it takes, sometimes, folks. Reach out to one another, allay the fears. Then go make comics.

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The JanerBlog

The JanerBlog is my personal blog, and unlike this newsblog, which I keep PG-13, is intended for readers aged sixteen and older.

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