Tuesday, January 27, 2015
olympiansrule blog everyday for a brand new artistic vision featuring the murderous Greek god of battle frenzy by a bevy of the greatest cartooning talents in the world. Here's a list of whom to look for:
Tuesday, January 27th: Hazel Newlevant
Friday, February 27th: Nick Bertozzi
Tuesday, January 27th: Hazel Newlevant
Wednesday January 28th: Tim Hamilton
Thursday, January 29th: Jerzy Drozd
Friday, January 30th: Reilly Brown
Saturday, January 31st: Leland Purvis
Sunday, February 1st: Peter Violini
Monday, February 2nd: Dean Haspiel
Tuesday, February 3rd: Ellen Lindner
Wednesday, February 4th: Michel Fiffe
Thursday, February 5th: Danica Novgorodoff
Friday, February 6th: Nathan Schreiber
Saturday, February 7th: Simon Fraser
Sunday, February 8th: Robin Ha
Monday, February 9th: Khary Randolph
Tuesday, February 10th: Andres Vera Martinez
Wednesday, February 11th: Greg Benton
Thursday, February 12th: Nick Bruel
Friday, February 13th: Jason Chin
Saturday February 14th: Joan Reilly
Sunday, February 15th: James Smith
Monday, February 16th: Nick Abadzis
Tuesday, February 17th: David Klein
Wednesday, February 18th: Sara Varon
Thursday, February 19th: Jason Little
Friday, February 20th: Christa Cassano
Saturday, February 21st: Lara Antal
Sunday February 22nd: Douglas Einar Olsen
Monday February 23rd: Evan Petersen
Tuesday, February 24th: Maggie Scarlett Breen
Wednesday, February 25th: Michael Horwitz
Thursday, February 26th: Mike Cavallaro
Friday, February 27th: Nick Bertozzi
Saturday, January 24, 2015
The seventh volume of my Olympians series, Ares: Bringer of War drops this Tuesday, January 27th. Here's a partial list of places you'll be able to see me:
Ares Book Events
Thursday, January 29th
Water Street Bookstore
Location: 125 Water Street / Exeter, NH 03833
Details: Talk and signing.
Saturday, January 31st
Location: 9 College Street / South Hadley, MA 01075
Details: Book talk and signing.
Sunday, February 1st
Location: 279 Harvard Street / Brookline, MA 02446
Details: Book talk and signing.
Wednesday, February 4th
Big Planet College Park
Time: 5:00 – 8:00pm
Location: 7315 Baltimore Ave / College Park, MD 20740
Thursday, February 5th
Takoma Park Library
Location: 101 Philadelphia Avenue / Takoma Park, MD 20912
Details: Talk and signing
Friday, February 6th
Location: 143 7th Avenue / Brooklyn, NY 11215
Details: Talk and signing
Saturday, February 7th
Location: 686 Fulton Street / Brooklyn, NY 11217
Monday, February 9th
Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Location: 54 Fairfield Street / Montclair, NJ 07042
Details: Chat and signing at the store.
Wednesday, February 11th
Location: 1073 Avenue of the Americans / New York, NY 10018
Details: Kids workshop and signing. This is the first kids workshop they’re doing!
Sunday, February 15th
WORD Drawing Workshop
Time: 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Location: 123 Newark Avenue / Jersey city, NJ 07302
Details: Workshop and signing.
Tuesday, February 17th
Location: 7518 13th Avenue / Brooklyn, NY 11228
Details: Graphic novel workshop with kids at the store!
Saturday, February 28th
Books of Wonder
Time: 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: 18 West 18th Street / New York, NY 10011
Details: Author panel and signing.
Sunday, March 1st
Bank Street Bookstore
Time: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Location: Corner of 107th Street and Broadway / New York, NY 10025
Details: Special guest in the Fractured Fables puppet show featuring the Greek myths, followed by a signing.
powerHouse on 8th
Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm
Location: 1111 8th Avenue / Brooklyn, NY 11215
Details: Talk and signing!
Friday, March 6th
Location: 1997 Palmer Ave / Larchmont, NY 10530
Details: Talk and signing, plus meeting with the ‘Uncommon Corps of Ravenous Readers,’ the middle-grade book club.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, by Edouard Manet, who in turn lifted the composition from a drawing by Raphael (not the turtle).
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Friday – October 10th
Create Your Own Monster – with Andrew Arnold, George O’Connor, and Ben Hatke
Time: 10:30am – 11:30am
Location: Family HQ – 1C03
Description: Three authors enter...and with your help, they’ll each create a monster who embodies everything that you think monsters should be! Which will be best? It’s up to you!
Moderator: Jack Baur ( so prepare your 24 jokes in advance)
with Andrew Arnold, George O’Connor
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: The FirstSecond Booth-- 2237
Saturday - October 11th
Recovering from crowds, sitting at home, rocking back and forth
Time: anytime after 11 AM, when George finally wakes up
Location: His apartment
Description: George O'Connor does what the title suggests; there may also be some light weeping.
Moderator: Birdy the cat will stare silently at him from the corner, waiting to be fed.
Sunday – October 12th
Build Your Own Adventure- with Zack Giallongo, Ben Hatke, Matt London, Frank Cammuso, Scott Campbell and George O’Connor
Time: 3:15 – 4:00pm
Description: In this interactive panel perfect for kids and families, top-tier graphic novel and comic
authors and illustrators will work with the audience to write and illustrate an original adventure story! It will be an exciting ride, great for aspiring writers and artists. Featuring George O’Connor (Olympians), Matt London (The 8th Continent), Zack Giallongo (The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth), Frank Cammuso (The Misadventures of Salem Hyde), Scott Campbell (Hug Machine), Ben Hatke (Julia's House for Lost Creatures).
Moderator: George O'Connor, so expect chaos.
with Zack Giallongo, Ben Hatke, and George O’Connor
Time: 4:15 – 5:00pm
Location: Autographing Area, Table 19
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
On October 7th, -- why that's today! --the new boxed set of the first 6 Olympians books has officially been released! That's all six volumes of Olympians, and a poster, all in one handy-dandy box! For the past six days I've posted a behind-the-scenes look at the making of each of the six Olympians books, and today I'll share a little about the making of the poster, the slipcase, and even some future peeks at what's coming down the pike for Olympians.
|What are you sitting there for? Go out and get yours!|
Whew, it's been a long strange trip doing these books-- I won't lie, it gives me an immense swell of satisfaction to see them all assembled together in a giant brick of Olympian-y goodness on my shelf. I honestly don't recall exactly when the idea of creating a boxed set of Olympians first came up-- I know I was not pushing for it, and I have a vague recollection of thinking it wouldn't actually materialize (the world of publishing is rife with those sort of heartbreaks), but one day I had a meeting with editorial at the Daily Bugle (Flatiron) building and I was told the boxed set was a go, and they wanted to do a poster to go with it.
A poster for Olympians was something I wanted for a very long time. I had previously assembled some mock-ups that never got made, but before I get into that, I want to talk about the trickiness of drawing large group assemblies. Above is the earliest sketch I could find of a group shot of the Olympians, from a project I was working on before Olympians that eventually fed into, in many ways, Olympians. Maybe I'll write a post about that early project one day...
Above is a sketch for the assembled Olympian family as seen on page 66 of Zeus: King of the Gods. This was from the revised dummy for Zeus (notice that its in pencil rather than the fancy ink of the rest of that dummy), but I always intended for it to double as an Olympians poster.
Here's the finished panel as it appeared in Zeus: King of the Gods. There are elements of the coloring I'm not wild about, and some of the characters are a little off-model (I hadn't fully worked out everyone yet-- I'm looking at you, Aphrodite), but all in all I really liked the composition. All of the future poster pieces are derived from this posing and iconography.
|Wish this had been made...|
This is a mock-up and tagline I put together for the series. First Second never committed to publishing this poster (in part because I mention twelve books, and who knew if the series would last that long), but it was used in a few places on-line and such. The poster that comes with the boxed set sports an alternate iteration of the tagline here, "Not your average family."
|There's about 7 million of these cards out there. If you have one, it's worth, like, one plugged nickel.|
You've seen this piece before-- just pan up, it's the header to this site. I created this piece, heavily based on the page from Zeus: King of the Gods, for a postcard that I distribute at personal appearances and for this website. The family is growing a bit here, with the addition of Persephone and Hebe, and even a tiny little piece of Heracles' shoulder.
Pretty much immediately after it was decided to make a poster for the boxed set, we knew it would be an expansion of the previous 'poster' pieces. Above is the rough sketch mock-up of the cover and the slipcase for the boxed set-- I would use the same piece for both, and designed it so that the composition worked as both a flat poster and a three-dimensional slipcase. If you look above, you can see my notations for where the cover and slipcase measured up to the original art. The family has expanded by leaps and bounds, but it is easy to see the compositional elements of that first poster.
And finished colors.
The back of the poster has a new, ultimate family tree that is so detailed that the cartographer we hired to make it reportedly quit. Above is my rough draft of all the new names I wanted added, for some poor person at First Second (the venerable Colleen Venable) to fashion into a working family tree.
And that's that! Today the boxed set comes out, commemorating the halfway point of the Olympians series! Thanks everyone for your support!
And now a few peeks at the future...
HERE, but you can see what might have been above.
A rough sketch for a double-paged spread from Ares: Bringer of War.
And the final spread.
My favorite part of Ares is when the gods who supported the Trojans face off against the gods who supported the Greeks. I literally waited years to draw this. Ares: Bringer of War comes out in January.
I'm working on Apollo's book right now. I'm planning on calling it Apollo: The Brilliant God, let's see if that one goes through the process unchanged ;). Here's the cover sketch for that one.
And this is some of the dummy of the interior.
|I'd be very curious if anyone can name them from their attributes.|
This is the first finished piece of artwork for Apollo-- the pin up of the Muses, who narrate the book.
A glimpse at some potential future covers, mixed in with a few older ones.
Finally, this is a screen shot of part of the spreadsheet I made way back in the day while I crafted the blueprint for the entirety of the Olympians series. It's worth a closer look-- you can see what made it in, what didn't, original subtitles, even the original intended order of the publishing. Some of what is coming has been redacted to protect the surprise.
Monday, October 6, 2014
On October 7th, TOMORROW! -the new boxed set of the first 6 Olympians books is officially released! That's six volumes, and a poster, so for each day leading up to the 7th I'll release a post detailing sketches, anecdotes, alternate drawings-- whatever I can find, really, for one of the books in the series. Today, I'll be covering the sixth book in the series, Aphrodite: Goddess of Love.
My first proposed title for Aphrodite's book was Aphrodite: The Power of Love, until me editor Neal Porter wisely pointed out that it put him in the mind of that old Huey Lewis and the News song, of course ruining that title for all time for me. Thank goodness he did, but for those of you keeping score at home, that's four title my publisher, and two titles me.
Here's my original sketch for the cover to Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. Note how much older Eros is here than how he appears in the final book. At this stage I was intending to include an abbreviated version of the story of Eros and Psyche, and so Eros needed to function as a romantic lead. I had to jettison that idea as it simply didn't fit, either space-wise or thematically. Maybe someday...
|Fun fact: Comic artist Simon Fraser now owns this original|
Above is the completed inks for the first cover of Aphrodite. Eros has swung to the opposite end of the age spectrum-- now he's practically and infant. But in First Second headquarters, this cover caused a bit of a stir-- some people in editorial thought that Aphrodite was too sexy and looked like a bimbo, and others, like me, thought her depiction was entirely appropriate. I wrote a long piece for the First Second Blog that you can read HERE which goes into this whole process in greater detail.
After a lot of back and forth, I altered the cover to match the more 'formidable, dread goddess' aspect that some elements of editorial envisioned her as. As is often the case, this cover was drawn well in advance of the rest of the book so that the cover could be included on the back of Poseidon: Earth Shaker, so they had actually not yet read my take on Aphrodite. Aphrodite might be a dread goddess, with the power to uproot your world, but she would never look the part-- she would smile and beam and you would love her with all your heart as she destroyed you.
This is the new 'final' version that appears on the back of early printings of Poseidon. Interestingly, looking at it now, her altered pose is more reminiscent of the original sketch than my original inked drawing. But I was not happy with this version. She was too angry...
Finally, after completing the book, I redrew the cover to reflect my understanding of Aphrodite upon the completion of Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. Eros is now at an age somewhere in between the two previous depictions, Hermes, Hephaistos, and Ares have been replaced by the Charites, and Aphrodite herself in the more friendly presence in the finished book.
Above is a page of roughs from the dummy for Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. Compare and contrast this to the dummy for Zeus: King of the Gods.
|That ghostly Hera looks annoyed/|
Very early Aphrodite design sketche. I always knew I wanted to give her an Eastern, Indian feel, and that influence was more pronounced here.
|I was practicing writing my name, apparently.|
Another very early Aphrodite sketch.
A super early visualization on the Judgement of Paris sequence of Aphrodite: Goddess of Love. I've always had a problem with that myth, depicting as it does the three most powerful goddesses in a very unflattering and sexist manner. I spent a lot of time thinking of how to portray that story in a way that paid service to the strong character of the goddesses.
A very early and risque (apologies) sketch of Aphrodite emerging from the sea at Cypress.
Early sketch of my favorite character in Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, Eris.
This was a piece I drew for my studio's sketchblog at about the time I was working on Hera: The Goddess and her Glory. The day's topic was 'apple', so I drew the moment that all three goddesses reached simultaneously for the Apple of Discord. I ended up using almost this exact composition for a panel in Aphrodite: Goddess of Love.
I drew this piece, Chocolate Aphrodite, for a charity auction. It sold for $75. I bet you thought I was going to say 7 billion, didn't you?
That's it for the goddess of love. Check back tomorrow, FOR THE RELEASE OF THE OLYMPIANS BOXED SET, a look at the making of the poster, and some sneak peeks at future books.