|teenytinysaurs! an interview with gary northfield
||[May. 15th, 2013|08:59 pm]
The Fleece Station studio is thrilled to present something new and wonderful! Congratulations to our fabulous studio mate Gary Northfield on the launch of his new book... *drum roll* ...
... The Terrible Tales of the TEENYTINYSAURS!
Fleece officers Sarah McIntyre, Gary Northfield, Lauren O'Farrell
We had a small party at The Bookseller Crow bookshop in Crystal Palace and there's a big official launch party at Gosh! Comics in Soho on Friday, 31 May. Details here, do come along!
And now, AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE CREATOR:
So Gary, you’ve written and drawn Derek the Sheep and weekly comics for The DFC, The Phoenix Comic, National Geographic Kids and The Beano. What did you wanted to do differently with TEENYTINYSAURS?
I wanted to tell stories about what it was like to be a little kid and wondering what the world is all about. In the book, I could create my own myths for the characters. When I was a kid, we created our own stories. They were based on real things; there WAS a bogey man who lived at the end of the park in an abandoned caravan and we used to tell each other we’d seen him or been chased by him. We made our own myths and legends. And we’d wonder about things like the moon: what was it?
It was great having the space to play with longer stories and large double-page spreads, as opposed to the shorter comic strips I’ve been doing for weekly magazines.
The book’s made up of seven dinosaur stories; which one’s your favourite?
It’s One Giant Sneeze for Dino Kind. The little dinosaurs discuss legends about the moon and Thomas and his friend end up trying to get sneezed onto the moon by his Brachiosaurus big brother. I love the legend of Morris the Moon Eater, who was the tallest dinosaur that ever lived. He could lick the moon!
What materials did you use to create the book?
I used a dip pen and Japanese ink. I hadn’t used a dip pen that often – a little bit in my sketchbook – but I wanted to do a whole project using it. It’s a tough beast to tame, but it gives such a lovely line. And now I’m THE COMPLETE MASTER OF IT. Now I use it for everything I do, such as my comic strip Gary’s Garden in The Phoenix Comic.
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|dublin monster shenanigans 18 -23 may!
||[May. 15th, 2013|09:54 am]
I just saw this photo from Ireland's Children's Laureate na nÓg, Niamh Sharkey; the monsters we made with Hervé Tullet are popping up everywhere! Are you in Ireland next week? Come draw with us!
Here's the schedule of events by Dublin Writers Festival, Children's Books Ireland and Laydeez Do Comics, have a browse. If there's anyone you know who might be interested in coming along, please do give them a nudge! Good times ahead.
Superheroes Eclipsed! Pushing the Boundaries of Comics
I'll be chairing a panel discussion with Irish comics creators Alan Nolan and Rory McConville as part of 'Rebels and Rulebreakers', Children's Book Ireland's Annual Conference 2013 Details here.
Saturday, 18th May, 2.30-3.15pm
Location: Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield Market, Dublin 7.
School events at Coolock Library, Walkinstown Library, The Base Ballyfermot
Mon, 20 May - Tues, 21 May
Getting Drawn Into Professional Illustration
I'll be taking part with an international team of illustrators in a panel discussion for adults about routes into illustration. Including Hervé Tullet (France), Niamh Sharkey (Laureate na nÓg, Ireland), Sara Fanelli (Italy) and me (England). Details here. SOLD OUT
Tuesday, 21st May, 6-7pm
Location: The Ark
Massive Monster Doodle with Sarah McIntyre, Niamh Sharkey & Hervé Tullet
Drawing invades Temple Bar as Meeting House Square is transformed with large rolls of paper and art supplies. Grab an oil pastel in your favourite colour and jump head first into our large scale communal drawing session led by French picture book creator and illustrator Hervé Tullet. Work with your classmates to create a whole new universe of scary monsters! Suitable for 2nd – 4th class pupils. Details here. Tickets for school events are FREE, but booking essential, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, 22nd May and Thurs, 23 May, 10.30am-noon
Location: Meeting House Square or The Ark (weather dependent)
Monster Comic Jam with Sarah McIntyre, Steve Simpson & Marie Louise Fitzpatrick
Create your own huge monster comic and let it loose on Temple Bar! Comic book artist Sarah McIntyre will be on hand to inspire the scariest monsters you can think of! Suitable for 2nd – 4th class pupils. Details here. Tickets for school events are FREE, but booking essential, contact email@example.com
Wednesday, 22nd May and Thursday, 23 May, 10.30am-noon
Location: Meeting House Square or The Ark (weather dependent)
Laydeez Do Comics
Speaking with Maeve Clancy and Alan Nolan in Ireland's first Laydeez Do Comics meeting! All welcome (not just ladies, Alan is not a lady as far as I know)! Details here.
Wednesday, 22nd May, 7-9:30pm
Location: The Rooftop Bar, 3rd floor, Odessa Club, 13 Dame Court, Dublin 2.
And there's lots more going on! Check out the Dublin Writers Festival website for the full programme.
Twitter!: You can follow us at Dublin Writers Festival - @dubwritersfest - Children's Books Ireland - @KidsBooksIrel - Niamh Sharkey - @sharkeytweets and two guys who will be in the thick of things, David Maybury - @davidmaybury and Tom Donegan - @tom_donegan - and me - @jabberworks.
|My new gig; TCAF report; keep your shirts on
||[May. 14th, 2013|05:02 pm]
Originally published at Dylan Meconis. You can comment here or there.
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for me! Here are some headlines:
1) I’m the new writer at PvP!
Earlier this year I enjoyed an unexpected three-week run as guest artist/writer on Scott Kurtz’s beloved landmark webcomic, PvP. I’ve been a fan of the strip for ages, and I had a total blast. Fast forward a few months to PvP’s fifteenth birthday, and Scott asked if I’d be interested in coming on as a regular writing contributor. So, starting with the most recent storyline, we’ve been working together to write and plan the strip and take it in some very exciting new directions. (And, luckily for me, Scott will still be drawing everything!)
This is really a fun development for all involved, and I’m having disgusting amounts of fun. You can look forward to hearing lots more about my adventures in strip co-authoring. And if you’ve never read PvP before, this is a great time to start!
2) TCAF adventures
I’m just back from Toronto for my second-ever trip to TCAF. A huge thanks to everybody who found me! The festival pulls in some of the most enthusiastic and cheerful attendees in the known universe, and incredible creators and good friends grouped in almost overwhelming numbers. Cheers to Chris Butcher and all his fellow organizers and volunteers for all their hard work.
I had an especially great time finally meeting longtime favorite folks like Bill Amend, Alex Woolfson, and Katie Shanahan, and tabling next to the impressive talents of Kenan Rubinstein, Nina Matsumoto, and Nicole Chartrand. I also enjoyed a day staring at dinosaur bits at the Royal Ontario Museum with Lucy Bellwood and Boulet (on the last leg of his exhaustive North American tour). Lodging and sharing several blissful meals with my traditional TCAF teammates Lucy Knisley and Erika Moen kept me from running myself too ragged.
Thank you, Toronto!
3) It’s spring in Portland!
|van dyck's foppish lads
||[May. 14th, 2013|09:12 am]
Here's this morning's warm-up drawing. (Feel free to colour it, if you like. This version might print better.)|
I started drawing Van Dyck's portrait of Lord John Stuart and his brother Bernard when I was at the National Gallery with my parents last week, but ran out of time. They're such wonderful fops, I pretended they were Muppets.
And here's the video they're talking about, which everyone seemed to be watching yesterday. It's a Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander on the International Space Station. You can even follow him on Twitter at @Cmdr_Hadfield. (I don't think John and Bernie are on Twitter yet, but you never know.) I see he's been back on earth for an hour now, so welcome home, Commander.
I bet if we made a collection of people's secret life ambitions, recording Space Oddity in space would be top of the list. Or it would be if they'd thought of it. ...Hey, did you see Philip Reeve's review of Star Trek - Into Darkness? It's a corker, go read it over on his blog.
|raven girl fan art
||[May. 12th, 2013|11:11 pm]
I'm very excited, I have a ticket to see the Royal Ballet's production of Raven Girl, based on the illustrated book by Audrey Niffenegger (who wrote The Time Traveler's Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry and The Night Bookmobile, among other things). Jonathan Cape just launched the book in the UK, and I drew a bit of fan art this evening.
Heh heh, my drawing doesn't really reflect the mood of the book - Audrey's modern fairy tale is much darker - but drawing this made me laugh. The story's about a girl who's born to a postman and a raven, and who feels more like a raven than a girl. She goes so far as to have surgery, losing her arms so she can have wings. Here's the drawing before I started mucking around with it digitally:
I can't wait to see how choreographer Wayne McGregor interprets it. I had dinner with Audrey last night and she says she's been to rehearsals and really likes the look of it so far. And here's my ticket! There are still some tickets left, so hurry and get yours before they're all gone!
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|booktrust meets superhamster!
||[May. 10th, 2013|10:16 pm]
Superhamster is so pleased he got a mention on Booktrust's review of SUPERKID, the new picture book by Claire Freedman and me. Hurrah! (Oops, Superhamster makes little poos when he gets too excited, sorry about that.)
Click here to read the review!
I first saw on Twitter that Booktrust had picked SUPERKID as one of its May 'Books We Like'. Thanks for the review, Katherine! Don't forget that you can download free, fun SUPERKID activity sheets from my website here (Draw Superhamster! Make a Superkid Mask!) and browse my Silly Superpowers drawing gallery. And you can see more of Booktrust's Books We Like, May 2013 on their website.
|Book #20 - "Son of a Witch," Gregory Maguire
||[May. 10th, 2013|08:37 am]
Book #20 - "Son of a Witch," Gregory Maguire|
I have a hard time writing a review when I just like a book, but I seem to have something to say if I have mixed feelings.
Powerful to the point it gave me even worse anxiety dreams than usual, and made me a bit depressed. Very real, with obscure happenings, meaningless violence done for tactical gain that all comes down to money, a meandering and inconclusive non-plot line, and inconsistent characters. Often lovely writing, but then he would get carried away with it and seem to forget that he had a story to tell. Points for bi and poly inclusiveness, although the poly was of the "don't blink or you'll miss it" variety.
What's with leaving the ending so weird and vague? NOTHING is actually resolved, and he doesn't know where his gilfriend and his boyfriend have got to. In ten years he accomplishes one good thing, keeps one promise, and makes one grand but meaningless gesture, starts to make himself a better person after his sins (which didn't make sense to me in the first place), but he ends up <i>still</i> alone, aside from a baby to take care of. Is he <i>trying</i> to generate fanfic?