Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Calamity Jack: Week Zero

Here we are, the FINAL WEEK of Calamity Jack. All of the artwork is due Monday March 1st. Am I close to finish? Not as close as I'd like to be. 

The publisher, Bloomsbury, already has half of the book. They are prepping the pages, making them into printing "mechanicals" as you read this.

Unfortunately, I have the other half, and there is still a ton of work to do. In times like this, it is wise to have a gallon Zip-loc bag of candy.

I usually implement a "No Snack Rule" when I'm working at my desk. A good rule for illustrators who don't want to die young. But on the last week of a job the size of Calamity Jack, I gotta have some sugar. Here we have Peanut M&Ms, regular M&Ms, Black Twizzlers, and tiny Snickers bars. By next Monday morning, my stomach will look exactly like this photo. And hopefully, Bloomsbury will have ALL of Calamity Jack.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rapunzel wins a Cybil Award!

(Not Actual Award)

(Actual Cybil Award--or, at least, the award I gave myself.
Look at that great lil' tractor!)

I learned over the weekend that Rapunzel's Revenge won a Cybil Award For Best Elementary/Middle Grade Graphic Novel. The Cybils are awarded by the children's publishing blogosphere. Thank you bloggers!

The judges said, “What made this book stand out to the judges was that it takes a well-known story and does something recognizable, but unique, creating an adventure which readers of both sexes can enjoy. Those readers will get swept up in the rawness of the emotions presented. The art is bright and leaps from the pages, but the images don’t overshadow the story or mask weaknesses in the plot. The story and images carried the weight equally, were well-paced, engaging, and generally solid.”
Nominated by Elizabeth.

See the full list of 2009 Cybil books here.

And see Shannon and Dean Hale's acceptance speech (wanton defacement of a Rapunzel's Revenge page) here. ;)

Friday, February 13, 2009

3 Steps and Color Holds

Here's a panel I posted a few months ago. Remember this one? Well, it's been through the coloring process and is now finished.I'm using one special effect here. It's called a "Color Hold." This is where the color of the actual line drawing changes. The lines on the buildings below are a gray/blue color instead of solid black. This makes them look far away, adds some atmospheric perspective. I don't use color holds very often, maybe 12-15 times in the entire book. I used a yellow color hold on the fire in the coyote sequence of Rapunzel's Revenge. 

I now have less than 16 days to finish this book! Yikes! Happy Friday the 13th and Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Building Cameo

No this isn't an example of an Ugly Jack--this one's okay, a little long in the chin maybe. This is a panel featuring a special cameo appearance by a building. Recognize it? If you do, you must live near me--this is the historic Provo Library. I did at least 75% of the drawings for CALAMITY JACK (and RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE) in a study carrel on the top floor of this building. That's a lot of long hours at the library. So this panel is to say "Thank you library, you may house snoring homeless people, and have short hours on weekends, but you are far, far cheaper than renting an office."

Twenty days left on the CALAMITY JACK marathon. It'll be tight, but the book WILL be finished by the end of this month!