Archive for May, 2010
Here are some VERY CLASSY jam strips I did with http://fienemannroad.wordpress.com waaaaay back in ’04. VERY CLASSY – you HAVE been warned!
Via Publishers Weekly:
“Connie Hsu at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has acquired Happyface author Stephen Emond’s next illustrated YA novel, Winter Town. , for fall 2011 publication. In the book, which is told from two perspectives and accompanied by scrapbook entries and comics, childhood friends grow up, grow apart, and eventually fall in love. Kirby Kim at William Morris Endeavor did the deal for world rights.”
So I might do something kinda like “Steverino,” but Steverino was pretty much fiction and just dumping thoughts – this would be a little closer to auto-bio. I’d just do it whenever, whenever I have some ideas or do something interesting that would make for some good cartoons, like some of my recent appearances or book signings. Something so I can still draw and do some comics and post stuff here for you during the long haul til my next book is published. Now it just needs a title…
I was posting some thoughts on starting a webcomic on twitter earlier. It’s something I’d kinda like to do, but I’m very unsure of at the same time. I made a list of pros and cons on the subject:
I miss doing comics. I love the opportunities I’ve had in the YA world and don’t want to stop making YA books, but I’d like to keep my toes in the comic book water too. I love the medium, I love drawing, and I just plain miss it. A webcomic would give me a chance to put some comic work out while keeping my job as a YA author.
I have a list of projects I really want to do, but realistically there’s no way I’ll ever get to do them all. A webcomic is the only shot some of these ideas might have, considering these books take a lot of time to do.
I can handle the workload on a webcomic because I can do it in installments as I make my paying work a priority.
I have an opportunity to not only communicate with my audience regularly for the long duration of working on my next book, and also the chance to expand my fanbase.
It’s unpaid work, and my time and effort is probably better spent devoted to work I am contracted and paid for.
Webcomics are suited to vocal creators, that can really spend a lot of time online, promoting their work and socializing on boards and blogs. I’m not this way by nature. I like to create in solitude and have hopes my work will find me an audience. I love the fans I do have but I don’t think I have a large vocal fanbase that will come find me and promote the webcomic and get it seen. I don’t have the time or personality to spread myself over the internet to get the word out.
Therefore I could be potentially doing a regular ongoing comic for an audience of 12 people, which I’ve done in the past with Steverino. After 3 or 4 months and finding even fewer people coming back, it’s very hard to maintain enthusiasm.
It would honestly be done with the hopes of finding an audience or publisher at some point. I don’t have the ability to get a comic in the hands of people the way a major publisher can. J.D. Salinger was content creating work no one but he would see, but I like the idea that my art will find its way into the hands of people who will appreciate it at some point. So a lot of this is spec work, and given my history with webcomics, it’s a big spec! It might be better for me to try after another book or 2 as I make a name for myself and my work and begin to grow an audience.
So there’s a lot to think about. I’d love to do it, but there are important things to take into account. Stay tuned, I suppose.
Well, since we last spoke I’ve been all over the world! Or at least to mid-America. It’s like Middle Earth with less Hobbits.
A couple weeks ago I went to the Texas Library Association to do a panel on first-time YA authors, with co-panelists Francisco Stork, Jandy Nelson, and Sarah Ockler. Earlier this week, I went to Chicago for a panel on using illustration in prose novels. This was a panel with Scott Westerfeld, Holly Black, Henry Neff, and Elizabeth Patridge.
I was in Texas for longer than Chicago which was a whirlwind event, in and out. I did 3 “events” in Texas in the span of the full day I was there. The panel was first thing in the morning. I had breakfast with my editor and walked over to the convention hall with Connie and Sarah Ockler. It was pouring out!
The panel went really well. I found the panel format especially enjoyable when it comes to these kinds of appearances. You have time to think about your answers while the others are speaking, and you have their answers to respond to or play off of. It’s conversational and there’s more energy going. Some of the speech-making gigs are literally you standing there and talking for 20 minutes while people stare at you. It’s pretty nerve-wracking! Jandy, Sarah, Francisco and I all got along great and we had the audience there laughing quite a bit. I think we all had a really good time, and everyone had some great insights. Almost every questions, I wanted to say “Oh, me too!” to someone else’s answer.
After the panel I went back to my hotel room for a nap and some drawing. I met Connie for what I thought was supposed to be a dinner but was actually a “schmoozing” kind of event. I was given a button that actually says “I’m an author!” with the idea that librarians and other guests would want to come talk to me. Connie and I stood in the middle of the room looking around nervously, wondering who we could approach. I was about to tell Connie that I was a complete social weirdo and had no idea what to do, when I did recognize someone there. I knew Kazu Kabiushi was going to be at the TLA and I could swear that was him in the corner of the room. Connie brought me over and introduced me like we were kids on a playdate. “This is my author Stephen, he had his first book published…” I figured I should take over so I let Kazu know I was a fan of his Flight books and of Jellaby, a comic he does not do. Luckily he let that slide. Kazu was glad we came and dragged him out of the corner, and we ended up talking for a good 45 minutes, I’d think. Talking about his series Amulet, comic books, novels, movies, industry stuff. He had lots of great tips and was just fascinating to talk to. What an awesome guy. So the socializing went well!
Afterwards we went to a mexican restaurant for a dinner with the librarians. Connie and I sat at a table with a group of crusaders for Graphic novels. I stuffed myself on enchiladas and talked about eating dog biscuits and I called Connie out on the Christmas debacle: I sent Connie a painting for Christmas of her and the Happyface gang all hanging out. Connie showed me how it was the wallpaper on her phone, and I mentioned she never said anything about even getting the painting and I thought maybe it was bad form for me to send the gift or something. Connie insisted she sent a christmas present and a card and thanked me for it there (I just checked, no mention of the painting!) Furthermore, she sent me 2 audiobooks, “I Drink For A Reason” and “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men.” Now in this card that she did not mention my painting in, she said “I thought these 2 books would be fitting!” Drink for a reason and hideous men?? What was she trying to tell me?? So Connie insisted she meant the humor and quirkiness of the writing, and then admitted there were a lot of them around the office and she rushed the present. So there you have it, folks. My editor.
Connie’s actually amazing and frequently sends gifts and books and meets me for hours to go over writing so I think the christmas incident is easily forgivable. :)
Chicago was a lot of plane travel and a panel and more travel. The panel was pretty interesting but different than my others. I was doing a 20 minute speech again, but I was the “newcomer” on the panel. The others were GOOD and POLISHED. Scott Westerfeld is like a database of knowledge and jokes, like a speech-giving terminator. He was incredible and captivating. Henry Neff of Tapestry fame was a great speaker and teacher. Elizabeth was warm and fascinating too and had so many beautiful photographs. Everyone had extensive presentations and visual aids and guess who didn’t even think to bring a powerpoint presentation? >_< I was there to talk about art and didn’t bring ANY! I had to keep saying “… and this would have been a great opportunity to SHOW you that!” I went up and did my 20 (15?) minutes and got a few laughs but I learned a lot from the veterans there and next time plan to really wow. It was tough but I think I did okay! We gave out some books and I did some signing and then it was time to get out of there.
So that’s the end of my Happyface publicity for now. I will keep you posted if I line up any more!
Also: Big news concerning book #2 coming soon! :P
I got my proof copies of the Steverino book from lulu.com today. On the whole, there were a few minuses but mostly it came out better than I’d expected! Now I have to decide wether the negatives are worth correcting or if it’s okay as is. Here’s some details:
One of the negatives was that my bleed was too tight, which i was afraid of. I was hoping my background colors went past the bleed stage, but there is some space left on the upper portions of the darker pages and sometimes on the side as well.
Again, there’s a lot of text on some of these pages but it is all readable. Maybe the elderly will need a magnifying glass but there’s probably not going to be swarms of the elderly buying my book off amazon or anything.
You can order a copy at lulu.com now and eventually on amazon.com. Just click here!