Posts tagged Archaia
Writing by: Ian Thomas
Art by: Adam Bolton
This is the story of a little boy who has lost his pet and sets out on a journey to find it. He’s searching for his Shoggoth; what exactly that is remains a mystery until the end. This is a children’s book but with a definite horror theme, filled with gloriously detailed monsters and ghouls. As the boy travels through all sorts of spooky terrains and encounters all sorts of creatures he’s disappointed when each one is not exactly his Shoggoth.
The art of Where’s My Shoggoth is just plain gorgeous. Super detail, gothic coloring, so much careful attention to the particular textures and weight in each individual environment. Although the creatures are satisfyingly scary for an adult to enjoy, the boy’s easy bravery and casual attitude towards them keeps the story from ever being too terrifying for a child. The kid never shows a bit of fear when faced with a new beast, which keeps the story light-hearted. It’s a very crafty, well done approach to children’s material with in the horror genre.
Where’s My Shoggoth is a brilliant mix of Dr. Seuss style rhyme and rhythm, classic ‘searching for my mommy/pet/friend’ story line and H.P. Lovecraft demons. There are some extra great goodies included here too, like a Chutes & Ladders type board game. In all aspects, this is a fantastic book for the kids who enjoy a little scare and of course just in time for Halloween!
Where’s My Shoggoth is available now from Archaia.
This weekend, several Archaia writers, artists, and editors will be appearing in celebration of Free Comic Book Day and other events, such as the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and The Super Wildpig Show. In addition, I’m Not a Plastic Bag writer and artist Rachel Hope Allison will be appearing at a High School Fair at Barnes & Noble Park Slope in Brooklyn, NY on Sunday.
Archaia is making history by releasing the very first Free Comic Book Day hardcover book: Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, and Other Stories, an anthology of six, all-ages-friendly, short stories. Creators marked with an asterisk (*) below are contributors to this book.
*Adrianne Ambrose (co-writer, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth)
*Ted Naifeh (co-writer, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth)
11am – 3pm
326 Fell St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tim Beedle (editor, The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths, Fraggle Rock, Mouse Guard, Labyrinth, and Other Stories; writer, Fraggle Rock)
Mike Kennedy (writer, Bleedout)
Heather Nuhfer (writer, Fraggle Rock)
11am – 2pm
7522 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Josh Fialkov (writer, Tumor)
*Jim McCann (writer, The Dapper Men)
12 – 3pm
Collector’s Paradise (Valley location)
7131 Winnetka Ave.
Winnetka, CA 91306
Alex Sheikman (writer/artist, Robotika; artist, The Dark Crystal: Creation Myths Vol. 1)
2 – 5pm
Red Sky Comics
617 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
Jeff Stokely (artist, Fraggle Rock)
11am – 4pm
The Comic Bug
1807 Manhattan Beach Blvd.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
*Nate Cosby (writer, Cow Boy ; writer/editor, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller)
11am – 3pm
Mile High Comics
98 Wadsworth Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80226
Jason Becker (writer, Killing Pickman)
11am – 6pm
Universe of Superheroes
2724 Park St.
Jacksonville, FL 32205
Andrew Rostan (writer, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson)
11am – 3pm
First Aid Comics
1617 E. 55th St.
Chicago, IL 60615
Brandon Thomas (writer, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury)
12 – 2pm
G-Mart Comic Book Store
2641 North Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Phil Hester (writer, Days Missing and Days Missing: Kestus; artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes)
10am – 2pm
21 South Dubuque Street
Iowa City, IA 52240
David Rodriguez (writer, Starkweather: Immortal)
10am – 5pm
Third Eye Comics
2027-A West St.
Annapolis, MD 21401
*David Petersen (writer/artist, Mouse Guard)
9:30am – 12:30pm
66 Lakeview Ave.
Lowell, MA 01850
*Jeremy Bastian (writer/artist, Cursed Pirate Girl)
12 – 3pm
42727 Ford Rd.
Canton Corners S/C
Canton, MI 48187
*David Petersen (writer/artist, Mouse Guard)
2:30 – 4pm
37 N. Main Street
Rochester, NH 03867
Chandra Free (writer/artist, The God Machine, Fraggle Rock Vol. 2: Tails and Tales)
Andrew Gaska (writer, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier)
May 5: 10am – 6pm
May 6: 10am – 5pm
The Super Wildpig Show
Embassy Suites Piscataway-Somerset
121 Centennial Ave.
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Rachel Hope Allison (writer/artist, I’m Not a Plastic Bag)
May 6: 2pm – ?
Barnes & Noble (Park Slope)
267 7th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
*Janet K. Lee (artist, The Dapper Men)
10am – 4pm
1322 N. Fordham Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Jeremy Shepherd (co-writer/colorist, The Engineer: Konstrukt)
11am – 2pm
Cosmic Monkey Comics
5335 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR 97213
Jon Rea (artist, Killing Pickman)
12 – 2:30pm
Wade’s Comic Madness
8750 New Falls Road
Levittown, PA 19054
*Cory Godbey (artist, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth)
12:30 – 2pm
Richard’s Comics and Collectables
1214A Laurens Road
Greenville, SC 29607
*Cory Godbey (artist, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth)
2:30 – 4pm
Borderlands Comics and Games
1434 Laurens Road
Greenville, SC 29607
Michael Lapinski (artist, Feeding Ground)
10am – 2pm
Rick’s Comic City
2710 Old Lebanon Road, #3
Nashville, TN 37214
David Marquez (artist, Syndrome, Days Missing: Kestus)
Yehudi Mercado (writer/artist, Pantalones, TX)
12 – 4pm
Austin Books & Comics
5002 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78751
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA
Josh Tierney (writer, Spera) – Table 259
Kyla Vanderklugt (artist, Spera) – Table 259
Hwei (artist, Spera) – Table 259
Emily Carroll (artist, Spera) – Table 105
Jordyn Bochon (artist, Spera) – Table 206
Luke Pearson (artist, Spera) – Table 246
Noel Tuazon (artist, Tumor) – Table 152
May 5: 9am – 5pm
May 6: 11am – 5pm
Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF)
789 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M4W 2G8
*Royden Lepp (writer/artist, Rust)
10am – 12pm
1923 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
*Royden Lepp (writer/artist, Rust)
1pm – ?
The Comic Stop
3333 184th St. SW, Suite G
Lynnwood, WA 98037
Happy Free Comic Book Day!
Back at SDCC in July I spent a lot of time at Archaia panels. One of the panels I sat in on was about Tale of Sand, and I have been just barely able to contain my excitement for this book ever since. I have recently been finding my way back to reading new graphic novels and comic books over the past few years. They were huge in my life as a teenager, but I started gravitating towards novels more so. I am realizing just how much I missed out because of this (a few friends were recently horrified by the fact that I have not yet read Sandman).
When I got the opportunity to receive a review copy of the book from Stephen Christy at Archaia I actually jumped up and down on my couch (shhhh don’t tell my husband, but I totally jumped on his side just in case I broke it; my butt groove is far more important to me than his). Then the waiting began, the day it arrived in my mail box was one of the better days I have had recently.
The book is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. the yellow cover and purple elastic place holder contrast so so well. The book is a graphic novelization of a lost screen play by Jim Henson & Jerry Juhl written prior to starting work on Sesame Street. It was found by Henson Company’s archivist Karen Falk and is more akin to the short film by Henson “Time Piece” Ramón Pérez’s artwork brings to life this story in a way I have no doubt Jim would have approved of.
The story follows Mac on a confusing quest that involves, beautiful women, football players, Arabs, whiskey, villains named Patch and a cigarette that may or may not ever get lit.
Run! Don’t walk and get this book. No household is complete without it, neither is your life.
JIM HENSON’S TALE OF SAND
Original Graphic Novel Hardcover
Retail Price: $29.95 U.S.
Page Count: 160 pages
Format: hardcover (paper over board), 8.25” x 11.5”, full color
Written by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl
Illustrated by Ramón Pérez
Cover by Ramón Pérez
FIRST RUN OF ‘MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOX SET’ SELLS OUT, SECOND RUN IN STORES IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
BY POPULAR DEMAND, SEPARATE SETS OF PAWNS AND DICE ARE ALSO NOW AVAILABLE
Los Angeles, CA (December 1, 2011) – Archaia Entertainment announced today the initial run of the MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOX SET has sold out at the distributor level (copies may still be available at the retail level), so the company has rushed a second run into circulation to meet the demand for the holidays. In addition, by popular demand, limited sets of the Mouse Guard RPG dice and pawns—which until now had only been a part of the box set—are available for separate purchase exclusively through the Archaia Webstore, said Archaia Publisher Mike Kennedy.
The Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Box Set ($69.95, ISBN 978-1-936393-17-6) is a deluxe version of the original Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game hardcover book, an award-winning, pen-and-paper RPG that uses Luke Crane’s Burning Wheel system and is lavishly illustrated by Mouse Guard creator David Petersen. In addition to the original rules book, the Box Set contains a 48-page supplement with all-new adventure scenarios and a host of game aids, including a GM deck of 12 Action Cards, two Player Decks of 12 Action Cards, Condition Cards, Characters Sheets, GM sheets, a GM screen, Mouse Dice, Mouse Tokens and a Map of the Mouse Territories. The Box Set was recently awarded the 2011 RPG Golden Geek Award for Best Artwork & Presentation.
“We’re ecstatic that Mouse Guard fans and RPG fans alike have responded so well to the Box Set,” said Kennedy. “And since there is such a high demand for the Mouse Guard Dice and the Pawns, we’ve made those available to fans for purchase exclusively through our online store.”
Fans wishing to purchase extra sets of the Mouse Guard Dice and Pawns can visit http://store.archaia.com while supplies last.
About Archaia Entertainment
Archaia Entertainment is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels, including Tale of Sand, which is based on an unproduced screenplay discovered in the Henson Archives. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy, and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.
BASED ON AN UNPRODUCED SCREENPLAY CO-WRITTEN BY JIM HENSON, THE PREVIEW IS TIMED TO COINCIDE WITH GOOGLE’S CELEBRATION OF HIS BIRTHDAY
Hollywood, CA (September 23, 2011) – In honor of what would have been the late Jim Henson’s 75th birthday, award-winning publisher Archaia Entertainment will debut the first 20 pages of the upcoming original graphic novel Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, which is based on an unproduced screenplay written by Henson and longtime collaborator Jerry Juhl and visualized and illustrated by acclaimed artist Ramón Pérez, it was announced by Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy today. The pages will appear exclusively on Archaia.com starting on Sept. 24th.
“We are so pleased to be able to share with Henson fans a glimpse inside this groundbreaking project,” said Christy. “Ramón Peréz has created a stunning visual translation of Jim Henson’s only unproduced feature-length screenplay, and we are honored to debut this exclusive preview of the forthcoming graphic novel in partnership with The Jim Henson Company and Google’s celebration of Jim’s birthday.”
Tale of Sand, a dark, existential feature-length screenplay that built off of ideas Jim Henson had been developing since he produced his Academy Award-nominated short film “Timepiece,” tells the story of a man who is kicked out of a dusty town in the middle of the desert, with no memory of who he is or where he came from. Relentlessly pursued by an unknown assailant, and with only a rucksack of odds-and-ends to his name, he embarks on a desperate race across an increasingly bizarre landscape with only one thing in mind: survival.
Archaia and The Jim Henson Company entered into a multi-year publishing partnership in 2009 for Archaia to publish comics and graphic novels based on classic franchises like Fraggle Rock, The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, as well as new, co-branded original properties.
Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand (hardcover, 152pp, $29.95, ISBN: 978-1-936393-09-1) is scheduled to debut in comic book shops and wherever books are sold in November 2011.
Archaia Entertainment, LLC is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.
I love comics, though I usually prefer those of the horror persuasion. I have to say though, when I read Rust: Visitor in the Field from Archaia I was pleasantly surprised. The artwork is beautiful, the story is wonderful and I actually enjoyed reading something that wasn’t overflowing with cenobites and blood for a change. I might have to give this whole all-ages comics thing a try. I liked it so much that I bought a copy at San Diego Comic-Con last month.
Set on a farm, the story is told from the point of view of the main character, Roman, using both dialogue as well as letters to his father. We aren’t told where the father is, though I somewhat got the feeling he was deceased and the letters were more for Roman’s benefit than actual communication, but we do know he was in a war. In this war machines/robots were created to do the fighting for humans. At this point in time most of these machines have been reprogrammed to assist with running the local farms. One of them comes crashing into the farm chasing after a boy named Jet Jones. A fight ensues, and Jet stays on at the farm and helps out with the work.
Shortly after reading Rust I saw this announcement. I cannot say how excited I am for this story to be adapted for the screen. I can actually see the live action with a narrator reading the letter to Roman’s father. Another thing I like about this story is that it is one that I can share with my 7-year-old son. He is just now starting to really get into comics and his reading is getting better and better as the summer goes on. I introduced him to Calvin and Hobbes about a month ago and he truly enjoys just flipping through at his own pace. I am hesitant to let him have free reign of Rust simply because it is a brand new book and I want to preserve it, and it is so beautiful. For now it is one more thing we can read together.
If you like good stories, robots, jet packs and beautiful art I suggest you run out and pick up Rust: Visitor in the Field when it comes out August 31st 2011.
Written by Royden Lepp
Illustrated by Royden Lepp
Cover by Royden Lepp
Format: Hardcover (paper over board), sepia-toned
Page Count: 192
U.S. Price: $24.95
Rating: All Ages
Before last month I had never been to San Diego Comic-Con. I have been to WonderCon many times over the years but never made the trek down south. That has all changed. No longer am I a SDCC virgin. I had a general idea of what to expect from it, having attended WonderCon, only not really. The crowds are bigger, the panels more surprising and the after-parties more insane.
I had a general plan of which panels I HAD to see and those I would like to. I didn’t realize that Ballroom 20 meant a line outside, down the stairs “you better get there at 5am” kind of situation. I didn’t do that, but did find a friend who had so, yes, I got into the Game of Thrones panel. AWESOME! I was far far faaaar in the back but that doesn’t matter I got to hear the answers and dialogue before those of you who saw it online. SWEET!
I wanted to make sure I supported my friends who were on panels more so than see celebrities, because I am of the opinion that Friends are better than celebrities. In waiting for the Archaia Immortals panel I saw on the schedule that Dark Horse had something going on in the same room, and the door guards were letting people in mid-session. So I popped in with my friend Dina and, oh look, Guillermo Del Torro was on the panel; in a room with maybe 60 people in it. I was blown away; I didn’t see his name on the schedule he was just… there. He was, by the way, cracking jokes and cursing up a storm. That was probably my biggest, “HOLY CRAP” moment; mostly because it was so unexpected.
As anyone who knows me is aware I’m a huge Star Wars fan so of course I attended the Star Wars Lego panel. Where they showed clips from the new Lego Star Wars cartoon that aired that night (thank you Xfinity iPhone app! I was able to set my DVR to record it at home, from the panel; WE ARE IN THE FUTURE!). They also revealed a few new toys and a Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar. This is probably the coolest thing ever. Every year I get Seth an advent calendar, and every year it has crappy old chocolate. This year we will have the Star Wars Lego one for sure. They go on sale in October if you were unable to purchase it at the Con.
I also attended Bonnie Burton’s Star Wars craft panel on Sunday instead of waiting in the crazy person line for the Doctor Who panel (see again Friends are better than Celebrities, but I still love you crazy people I call friends who stood in that line!). She was hilarious as usual and entertained the crowd with stories about condiment googly eye murder scenes in the fridge and sparkly doggie poop with eyes. We made felt Yoda puppets from her Star Wars Craft Book. I own the book and it was on my list of projects so getting to make it with a bunch of other people was a lot of fun!
On Thursday morning I attended the much talked about “Oh, You Sexy Geek” panel. Kristen McHugh goes into the panel in detail here, so I will only touch on a few of my own personal observations and thoughts.
The fact that I am friends with and/or know ½ of the panelists and where they stand on the issue of sexy cosplay I was expecting a good back-and-forth. I was a little disappointed that the self-described “humorless feminists” did not make a larger effort to speak and get their points across. And I was even more disappointed when one panelist said to another “Well would you wear a Slave Leia costume?” This was said to someone who has never been seen in a Slave Leia costume, so from an audience member’s point-of-view it appeared to be an attack on her personally and not a legitimate attempt at furthering the conversation. On the specific topic of “Slave Leia” there is a post over at FanGirlBlog that makes the points I would love to, in a much more eloquent way than I ever could.
I have never identified as a “feminist” mostly because the feminists I had been exposed to were very much of the “This penis party’s got to go hey-HEY ho-HO” ilk and that is not a world view I agree with or wish to spread. I am also not one who enjoys looking at the world though one very specifically colored pair of glasses, always looking for a reason to get angry about things. However, recently I have been exposed to a much different flavor of feminism that falls more in line with my personal beliefs and view on things.
Which, in a much condensed and quickie version, are this: We are responsible for our actions and how we react to and feel about ourselves and the world we live in. We have no right to dictate what another individual does, says, wears, etc. unless that person is causing direct harm to us or another individual whose care is our responsibility. I do not believe that a girl walking around in a metal bikini is causing anyone any harm, so let her have her fun and who gives a damn if she is doing it to be “empowered” or just to be “sexy” or “cute” what matters is if she is having fun while doing it. And if she isn’t having fun doing it, then it is on her to make the necessary change.
One more thing I would like to talk about before we resume our regularly scheduled programming is the Chris Gore comment and subsequent fall out. Yes, Chris was late to the panel, bad on him; yes he made a bad joke, some of us speak before thinking perhaps he should look into that. I personally was not offended by it, mostly because it was not directed AT me, but also because I tend to have the sense of humor of a teenage boy (farts are HILARIOUS, so are poop jokes). The only individuals who truly have a right to be offended are the ladies on the panel; the comment was directed AT THEM and no one else. If they have a problem with it, it is their responsibility to address it with Chris. People seem to be forgetting that Kat asked him immediately after he said it if he was trying to get kicked off the panel, the moderator DID address it immediately. I was horrified when I saw this post online. It is one thing to be upset by a comment someone makes on a panel, to blog about it and discuss it with the person who said it if possible; it is another thing entirely to try and negatively impact their livelihood because of your upset feelings. That is taking your personal beliefs and feelings too far. It wasn’t as if he said he was GOING TO, or would do so against their will. He simply said he would be willing to. It was in poor taste, especially considering the content of the panel, but it certainly wasn’t a punishable offense to the extent of his livelihood being threatened.
I had an excellent time all around, my cosplays were well received, and I got to see friends old and new. Met some of my twitter friends in person for the first time and got some awesome graphic novels from the Archaia booth. Wednesday night I went on a Haunted Tour of San Diego with my friends Matt & AJ and had a BLAST! We didn’t see any ghosts but that’s ok, it was still fun and I found the “haunted” hotel where I hope to be able to stay next year. All in all it was an awesome 5 day vacation. It had its ups and downs, I had a few moments where my anxiety kicked into high gear and I needed time to myself. But the good far outweighed the bad and I cannot wait till next time!
I was given the honor of reviewing the next Fraggle Issue (Vol 2 #3). This is another great comic, one everyone is sure to love. How about we throw our cares away and get right into the review?
From Archaia – Ready to return to the Rock? Gobo, Red, Mokey, Wembley and Boober are ready to lead you on a new set of adventures and this time they’re bringing some friends. Fan favorites Large Marvin and Cantus and the Minstrels make appearances in the third issue of our second volume of FRAGGLE ROCK. Expect songs, dances, games, competitions, exploration, Doozers, Gorgs, fur, hardhats, lucky walking sticks, semi-carnivorous pet plants and maybe a radish soufflé or two, all courtesy of a wild team of contributors that includes Katie Cook, Paul Morrissey and Nichol Ashworth!
The first story is called ‘My Gift is my Song’ and the story and artwork are done by Katie Cook, and the colors are done by Joanna Estep. It is Mokey’s birthday and Boober is trying to figure out the perfect gift for her. He decides that he wants to give her socks, but then Red appears and tells him that she has gotten socks for Mokey. So next, he goes and sees Gobo and Wembley. Now, Wembley is one of my favorite Fraggles. He’s found a unique bunch of flowers that he plans on giving to Mokey. The flowers? Well, let’s just say they are pretty darn hilarious and clever. Props to Ms. Cook for imagining those clever flowers.
While still searching for a gift, Boober runs into Cantus, a wandering Minstrel Fraggle. Boober asks him if he has any suggestions and Cantus tells him that he should pick something from inside. This gives Boober the idea to make a Radish pie, radishes being Mokey’s favorite, and dashes off to the Gorg’s garden up above. When he arrives at the radish garden, he, quite comically, watches as they all disappear. Where did they go? I’ll let you read the comic to find out.
His next stop is to Majory, the Trash Heap. I loved this section of the comic. It was as if Ms. Cook decided to throw in some fun materials for the older generations that will be reading this comic either for themselves or with their children. I think that what she stuck in there will be quite fun for any parent that sits down with their child to read it because it will more than likely begin a dialogue about fun materials that are no longer around in our digital world.
Boober makes his way back to down to Fraggle Rock and finally figures out what his gift to Mokey will be. Again, I do not want to give it away because I won’t be able to do it justice. Suffice to say, though, the title of the this particular comic should give you a clue as to what it is.
The next vignette in the comic is called ‘Shopping with Silly Creatures’. The story is done by Katie Strickland and the artwork is done by Lindsay Cibos. The adventure begins with Gobo announcing that he has received a letter from his Uncle Matt – the Fraggle that is traveling “Outer Space” (a.k.a the human world). The letter begins with Uncle Matt telling Gobo he finally found out where the ‘silly creatures’ get their clothes. Uncle Matt is standing in front of a laundromat and decides to enter the facility.
It’s always fun to see the Fraggles interact with humans. Uncle Matt’s adventure in the laundromat is quite humorous and had me laughing out loud as I read about it. Let’s just say that there’s one line where he mentions how his ‘fur has never been fluffier’. I bet you can just imagine what he did to make his fur feel that way. Of course, Uncle Matt does not realize that this is place one does their laundry at, rather than a store – which is what he believes it to be.
The last story is entitled ‘Red’s Chomp-a-Thon’. The story is written by Paul Morrissey and the artwork is done by Nichol Ashworth. Red and Gobo are watching the Doozers have a contest for construction and Red becomes jealous. She hates that the Doozers get to have all the fun and then comes up with a plan to have her own fun. She decides to have an eating contest – see who can eat a Doozer structure the fastest. She decides that she wants to win and so she picks the Fraggles least likely to be any sort of competition for her.
Now, we all know that if you try and rig a contest, you’re going to lose. The odds are against you for trying to do something like this. Of course, this happens to Red. The actual eating contest is quite hilarious with The Cave’s Oldest Fraggle constantly messing up what the actual contest is (he calls it a greeting contest, a beating contest, etc). The moral of the story is very touching. Even though Red did not win the contest, she still made lots of fun memories for her friends, and that’s what really counts in the end.
The team at Archaia really outdid themselves with this issue. I loved all of the stories and how they were presented. It’s so nice being able to catch up with these lovable Fraggles. It makes me feel like I’m a child again. And I think that’s one of their biggest selling points. Fraggles are timeless – no matter how young or old you are. It’s always such a delight to go back to Fraggle Rock and see what the gang is up to. I hope you’ll enjoy this issue as much as I did.
Click here for a free preview of ‘Fraggle Rock Vol 2 Issue #3. You can pick up your copy at a comic shop near you.
*WARNING* Spoilers Below!
When I first saw the title of this novel, I was actually thinking it might be a bit of a horror story. I thought maybe this mysterious Amelia Johnson got turned into a zombie or was some other sort of supernatural monster. My thoughts wandered to scenes featuring Amelia eating brains or turning into a werewolf and attacking farmers in the countryside of Germany or France.
Then I started reading it and found that the story I was expecting was exactly the opposite of what I actually found. It was a heartwarming, heart-wrenching story. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it thoroughly entertained me.
This novel follows two friends, Henry and Jillian, who have a mutual friend named Amelia Johnson. Amelia is very sick with cancer and before she passes she wants Henry and Jillian to visit people she knew throughout her life. Henry is a filmmaker looking for his next movie and he decides that maybe he could make their trip into a movie. As they travel Jillian is amazed at the amount of people who praise Amelia almost as if they worship her, Henry on the other hand sees nothing but love from the people who knew Amelia.
As I read this story I began to see Jillian’s point of view. It seemed as if no one had a negative thing to say about Amelia. It bothered me almost as much as it bothered Jillian. I thought maybe I had been right, and she was some sort of vindictive character. Then they paid a visit to Amelia’s brother, and we see that Amelia wasn’t always as perfect as she seemed. Jillian finally left and went back to New York while Henry continued on.
When Henry gets back he takes all the footage he filmed of all the people he and Jillian met and he shows it to Amelia. She is moved by all the nice things people had to say about her. Her last piece of advice to Henry is to try and patch things up with Jillian. Jillian has quit her job and gone to work on a novel she started years before, her phone rings and a friend of Henry’s is on the other end letting her know that Amelia was gone.
The end is fitting as Henry and Jillian come together and watch the DVD that Amelia made for them. The funeral is well attended and the entire congregation is moved by the film that Henry and Jillian have made.
(Cross-posted with Geek Girls Network)
Stephanie: I was fortunate enough to head into my local comic book store in Los Angeles on the same day that they had the pre-release party for Return of the Dapper Men. I’d heard some good buzz about the book so I decided that I would treat myself. I was going to get to read it a full week before it was released and the concept seemed like a great idea. That was all the justification I needed. You can read my full review on Geeky Pleasures, but to put it simply the book blew me away. The story is amazing and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the Dapper Men world in later books, but it was the art that truly blew me away. As soon as I finished the book I googled Janet K Lee and came across her Etsy page. I wanted to absorb any and everything she’d ever done and found myself wanting everything in her shop. As Katie so accurately puts it below, her art is so beautifully layered that everytime you look at a page you find something new. The very concept of decoupage seems so natural and perfect for a steampunk narrative that I couldn’t possibly imagine this story being told without it (and vice versa). Therefore, when I had the chance to interview Ms. Lee I jumped at the opportunity. What made the interview even better (if that was possible) was getting to geek out about this awesome female artist with a fellow badass female comic book nerd, Katie Doyle from Geek Girls Network. Comic books, geeky girls, and amazing art. Can’t get much better than that.
Katie: Until I read Return of the Dapper Men, Janet K. Lee wasn’t really on my radar. I heard of her, and I think I had seen a few odds and ends, but nothing big. When I saw the cover for Dapper Men, I was impressed. It was simple and clean, but very rich at the same time. Then, the book was released and after a couple of long weeks of trying to avoid hearing people talk about it/trying to find it in the first place, it was finally in my possession and holy cow. Before I even read the book, I just flipped through the pages. They were beautiful, deep, and layered in a way that kept me looking at the pages over and over again to try and see something new. Janet’s style is truly unique and is so obviously created with care and joy for the medium, that one can’t help but feel joyful looking at it. So when my friend Stephanie over at Nerds in Babeland gave me an opportunity to join in an interview with this amazing artist, I was thrilled to be able to contribute some of my serious and silly questions.
SW: What is your art background? How did you first get involved in illustration, etc?
JL: I’’d like to be able to list amazing schools where I studied to become an illustrator, but the truth is that I’m almost completely self-taught. My middle-school art teacher preferred a landscape drawing by my arch-nemesis Alanna Thornthwaite over mine, and I decided I was going to be a writer. So, I got a degree in English, went on to work in book publishing and sort of stopped drawing until after my son was born. Then I started exhibiting my work and eventually illustration found me. I was lucky enough to have two publishers suggest I submit work to their art departments and I had three amazing authors write stories inspired by my art.
SW: Your style is self-described as being based on decoupage. What made you go that route? In other words, inspiration?
JL: I come from a very, VERY crafty family. My mom used to make these pictures by cutting out the same image from multiple copies of the same card or print and layering them to get this 3-D effect. She also always expected us to make Christmas or birthday gifts for our friends or for each other. I think I was decoupaging things by the time I was six– coffee cans, wooden boards, just anything. When I began making art for galleries, I originally worked in oils. Then my son was born and having toxic paint around a very active baby seemed like a bad, bad idea. So I went back to drawing– which I loved the most anyway– and on a whim, started layering paper illustrations onto board and canvas.
KD: What are some contemporary artist in comics or otherwise who inspire you, or, whose work you just enjoy?
JL: There are too many! I’m constantly inspired! Let’s think of this as just a random sampling… I adore the work of Jon Muth, David Wiesner, Shepard Fairy, Chris Van Allsburg, Adam Rex, Garth Williams, Lisbeth Zwerger, Skottie Young, Craig Thompson, Doug TenNapel, Juanjo Guarnido, Shaun Tan, Colleen Coover, Adrian Alphona, Katie Cooke, David Peterson, Linda Medley. I just recently discovered Emma Van Leest, Yulia Brodskaya (because- QUILLING!), and Duy Huynh. I also LOVE classic illustrators like Magritte, Mucha, John Tenniel, Winsor McKay, and W. W. Denslow…
I’m only scratching the surface. There are so many people doing amazing work.
KD: What do you do while you work? Do you like to hum, whistle, listen to music, watch TV/movies, listen to books on CD, or do you work completely silently?
JL: In a perfect world, when I’m working I like to either play the iPod loudly and sing along or to tune the TV to really bad reality shows and half-listen while I work. Watched an entire season of Real Housewives that way…
KD: What supplies do you NEED to make art? What kind of paper, pencils, glue, lucky charm, etc..?
JL: Depends on what I’m making, of course– because give me a pencil and a blank corner of paper and I’m usually drawing something. For a decoupage piece, I need paper (Strathmore Bristol Vellum is my preference), a pencil (don’t care about the brand, but I like a light line, so the graphite should be hard), a good eraser, two black pens (a Faber & Cassell brush pen and a Micron .005), Prismacolor markers or watercolor pencils in all the colors of the rainbow, a pair of scissors or two, Mod Podge, a “glue” brush (meaning I don’t care if it does a horrible death), acrylic paint (usually housepaint over-runs), a board or canvas, and varnish.
Oh, and apples and coffee.
SW: How did you meet Jim McCann? Did you guys always know you wanted to work together?
JL: If I remember correctly, a bunch of us were invited out to eat sushi, and Jim was one of the other guests. At the time, Jim was working mainly in theater locally. We got to be really good friends years before I started showing artwork, so initially there was no plan to work on a graphic novel together. We did, however, make plans to be on that show Trading Spaces with each other since our houses were a mile apart!
JL: Jim always comes to Nashville to visit family during the holidays, and we always try to get together for at least a few hours while he’s here. When he visited in 2008, I had done a bunch of shows that year and there was art all over the house. One was this giant 6′ x 3′ piece called “Raining Men”. It was a sort of homage to Magritte with red-headed men in green bowler hats and mod striped suits raining from the sky over the roofs of Paris. Another was a drawing of a little robot girl. I has also made ornaments that year, and one was an image of a little steampunk boy with goggles and crazy, curly hair. Jim took the ornament and the robot girl with him and put “Raining Men” on reserve. Then, maybe two months later, I got an email from Jim with what ultimately turned out to be the opening sequence in Return of the Dapper Men, and explaining that the story was based around my art. What he had written was lyrical and beautiful– I think I emailed back saying it sounded like Neil Gaiman meets J.M. Barrie– and agreed to the project on the spot!
SW: Can you tease us at all about the next two Dapper Men books?
JL: I think it was last year that Jim was visiting for Christmas again, and I had drawn a little design element that I thought would be great as a background image. I was very fond of it– thought it was very cool– and I showed it to Jim. He immediately said “That’s our next two books!” That’s about all I can say at this point. Book two will be Time of the Dapper Men, and it’s scheduled to come out in the Fall of 2011.
KD: Do you have a favorite traditional fairy tale? What is it?
JL: Probably East of the Sun; West of the Moon. It’s creepy wonderful. In order to save her family from poverty, a girl becomes the companion of a great bear and goes to live with him in his magical palace where there are no servants but at the ringing of a silver bell, all her wishes are granted. Eventually she uses the bell to determine that the bear is actually an enchanted and handsome prince, but that by discovering his secret, she has doomed him to a terrible marriage. The girl then embarks on a hopeless journey to save her prince. How can you not love Cupid & Psyche/ Beauty & the Beast and a reverse Cinderella all rolled into one?
JL: Difficult question! I’d love to illustrate Wendy Darling from Peter Pan or the peasant girl from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I’d love to draw Jane Eyre or Ann Elliot.
SW: Do you want to primarily stick with fairy tale/literature graphic novels or are you interested in going more down a superhero route later on?
JL: I really don’t want to limit myself in any way, and I’m more interested in the quality of the story than the genre. I wouldn’t turn down the right superhero project, but I wouldn’t want to only do superheroes either. I read very broadly– everything from graphic non-fiction and memoirs to fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tales– so I’ think I’d get bored with just one thing. Or maybe it’s just that I have a really short attention span…
KD: You are an artist, but have you considered writing and drawing a book of your own along with collaborations? If so, what would you like to write about?
JL: I have actually have ideas for stories; my degree is in English rather than art, after all. I’d like to spend more time developing my storytelling and phrasing before I try a sequential book. But I started a children’s picture book a couple of years ago that I’ll finish some time. It’s about a boy named Hans and his goat Lucille.
KD: What is your favorite Crayola crayon color?
JL: Periwinkle. I love the color and the name.
SW: If you could go back and be responsible for a famous work of art, what would you want to call your own? In other words, if you could go back and be the one responsible for the Mona Lisa or a Michelangelo sculpture, etc etc.
JL: I’d love to have been responsible for Magritte’s “The Treachery of Images”– so clever. Perhaps “Lucia” or “Breakfast under the Birches” by Carl Larssen. Or maybe “The Girl with the Pearl Earring” by Vermeer.
SW: You have to pull an all-nighter. What do you do to keep yourself awake?
JL: I’m honestly not a great night owl– I seem to have a physical imperative to be asleep between the hours of 1 and 3 AM, so I’ll spend a week sleeping 3-4 hours a night if I have to in order to avoid the dreaded all-nighter. But sometimes it does happen, and when it does, I make sure I consume a couple of bottles of 5-hour energy and brew a pot of good coffee. I’l turn on the ipod– I like to make playlists for the project I’m working on and I have one playlist specifically for powering through the last couple of days when I’m dragging. When the ipod doesn’t work anymore, I’ll grab my drawing board and move to the den where I can watch bad TV. I’m partial to super-trashy TV at times like these, so I’m probably watching The Real Housewives of [insert city here] or America’s Top Model because I don’t REALLY want to pay attention to it, just have the noise for company. Works like magic!
SW: Do you watch a lot of TV and/or movies? If so, what is your favorite program and/or movie that came out last year?
JL: Oh, TV! Oh, movies! I miss you!! I got to watch almost nothing during 2010, I’m afraid. I missed Inception completely and 2/3rds of the animated films. How to Train Your Dragon was probably my favorite movie. As for TV, I love True Blood, Mad Men, and Walking Dead was awesome. Unfortunately, I missed big chunks of all of them because I was working while I watched, so I had to see each episode about 3 times to catch al of it. In 2011, I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones.
Thank you Janet!