Monday, December 28, 2009

Olympians Rule is live!



The long-in-the-works website for my new series Olympians has gone live today. Just click on olympiansrule.com and check out pages of bios of the gods, activities for kids and teachers, a look at how the books are made, and more.

Also be sure to check out my new Olympians Rule! blog, linkable off the site, or accessible directly from here. It will have lots of exclusive info related to the series, as well as much general info about the Greeks and their gods. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Journey into Mohawk Country in the New York Times!



The New York Times ran an article this weekend on Charles Gehring, one of the gentlemen who provided the English translation (from Dutch) for my graphic novel Journey into Mohawk Country. As part of the bonus content, the New York Times ran this big feature on the graphic novel itself, featuring sketches and commentary from yours truly. Please check it out!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Children's Book Review: Zeus: King of the Gods, Olympians #1


Children's Book Review: Zeus: King of the Gods, Olympians #1

From the good folks at Shelf Awareness, a very nice review of Zeus: King of the Gods. As an author/illustrator who feels more comfortable on the drawing side of things, it's particularly nice to see the attention the review pays to my writing.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zeus and Kampe



Ah, Google alerts, I love you. How else would I find out about cool stuff like this? N.S.Gill is a classicist with her own ancient history blog on About.com. Every Monday she writes a piece spotlighting a myth of the ancient world (and not just limited to those of the Hellenic persuasion)and, by way of a review of Zeus: King of the Gods, she talks about Zeus and Kampe.

Ms. Gill, at her own admission, has never read a graphic novel before, but man, she knows her stuff. She deftly pinpointed the literary sources I used to construct my own depiction of the encounter between Zeus and Kampe, who was the guard of the Hekatonchieres and Cyclopes during their imprisonment by the Titans in Tartaros. Check out the review, and her blog. Some very interesting stuff.

This dude looks familiar...



Some more artwork for the Olympiansrule.com website. A self-portrait this time. Either that, or the standards on Mount Olympus are seriously slipping.

BTW, as part of the new site, I'll be running a new blog, the aptly named olympiansrule.blogspot.com. Head on over and check it out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Interview at Thick Mick's blog


Check out the recent interview I did at Thick Mick's Blog, also known as the blog of cartoonist John A. Walsh, a man with a name almost as Irish-sounding as my own. Visit to snicker at my windbaggyness, stay to check out some of John's sweet cartooning.

Real Blushworthy Zeus mention in The School Library Journal



Well, sometimes in this business people write some nice things about your work, and sometimes they write some really nice things about your work, and then there's this.

The good folks at Macmillan (the parent company of Roaring Brook and First Second) recently hosted an event where they presented some of the companies upcoming offerings to an invited crowd of Alpha Librarians (the best sort of friends one can hope to have for your book. Librarians are teh awesome). The above link takes you to a preview of some of the offerings they saw. My own Zeus comes way down at the bottom. As the title of this post may lead you to believe, they say some very nice things indeed.

Thanks to Tim Bush and Sara Hudson (by way of Phil Stead, apparently) for the heads-upses.

Zeus preview at the Graphic Novel Reporter!


Want to read some Zeus-y action but just can't wait until the first week of January? The Graphic Novel Reporter has ten pages up for your viewing pleasure right now. Click here!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guest drawing from Becky Cloonan


So here's a nice side effect of working in a studio with a bunch of amazingly talented artists. Sometimes you come in and there will be an awesome little drawing by one of them at your desk. Becky Cloonan drew this great portrait of Poseidon on a scrap of paper at my desk. How cool is that?

Blush-worthy article on Comic Book Resources


Didn't I just say I normally don't link to reviews? Maybe I should give that practice up for the new year. Regardless, this article at Comic Book Resources, while it does say some very nice things about Ball-Peen Hammer is not really a review, per se, but a rather cool little piece about Adam and my thoughts on Ball-Peen, before veering off into Olympians territory. I humbly suggest you give it a read.

Ball-Peen Review in the Comics Journal



I normally don't link to all that many reviews on my blog, but I had to make this exception. The Comics Journal (bold and italics! It's that important!) has a brand new website and right up there, on day one, a big, two-paged review of Ball-Peen Hammer. The reviewer says some very nice things about Adam Rapp's and my cheerful little tale. Check it out here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hestia



Poor Hestia, the least developed of the Olympians. Despite being extremely important in cult and ancient everyday life, she had virtually no presence in myth or art, which has lead to her being the most overlooked member of the pantheon in the modern day. As a goddess of the hearth and fire, I chose to depict her as a barely humanoid being of living flame, as a nod to her barely-personified role in myth.

As an aside, I drew this whole piece up in about, no lie, 5 minutes. I was actually going to scrap it until a couple of my studio-mates, with no prodding from me, came up and told me how much they liked this drawing, left on my drafting table, in particular. I guess I was too close to see its merits.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Preview of Olympiansrule.com

Masks!




A cool feature on the upcoming Olympiansrule.com-- tons of downloadable masks! With little dramas from the books for classrooms to act out! Or for you and your buddies to reenact the Trojan War with on the front lawn! Pictured are Ares, God of War, and Hephaistos, God of Fire.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Olympians Rule preview



Just a little preview of an image I created for the soon-to-be launched Olympiansrule.com website. Enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Well, Duh

from Newsarama, an article about a new study that found that comic books are legitimate kids literature. In my opinion, very cool news indeed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Demeter



I was pretty happy with this portrait I drew of the goddess Demeter for the Olympiansrule.com website, and thought I'd share. Like Aphrodite, it took a little while for my conception of Demeter to congeal-- not until I drew the cover for Hades, in fact. I think I have the hang of her now.

interview on Inkstuds


I can't say I've had the courage to listen to this in it's entirety (like almost everyone, the sound of my own recorded voice is anathema to me), but interested parties can listen to my interview with Robin McConnell at Inkstuds.com.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Come see me at the King Con Brooklyn!



I will be appearing on the Graphic NYC panel this Saturday, November 7th, at 3pm at the King Con Brooklyn in the Brooklyn Lyceum. Graphic NYC is a photographic project by messrs Seth Kushner (pictures) and Chris Irving (words) detailing our city's wonderful collection of comic artists. Joining me on the panel will be the lovely Christine Norrie, the legendary Peter Kuper and uber-talented studio-mate Beckminster Cloonan.

This is the first King Con so show some Brooklyn love and come on down! And in honor of what is surely my most-linkedy post ever, here is a photo of a dog dressed up as Wonder Woman.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Aphrodite 2.0



Longtime devotees of my blog will remember the problems I had in nailing down the character of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Well, those problems had continued until fairly recently, when I finally drew the above pinup (for the Olympiansrule.com website). It took a lot of back and forth on my part to find the right body type for an ancient goddess of beauty. I think I finally got it. She's only made a couple of cameos in the series so far, but now, fully fleshed out, Aphrodite can take the stage for a more prominent role.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trickster Tales


Just finished coloring this guy for the Olympiansrule.com website, not to mention the (very far off) upcoming Hermes book in Olympians. Thought it looked pretty nice and so I shared it with you all. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Perseus and Medusa



Just so it's not all about zombies and Beatles this morning, here's a colored page of the mostly wordless Perseus and Medusa section of Athena: Grey Eyed Goddess. Devotees of Journey into Mohawk Country will note that I seem to have a predilection for wordless sequences amongst tall vertical objects. Don't believe me? Check pages 123-130 of your handy Mohawk Country reference copy, doubtless at your side as you read this. I think this may be my thing.

Zombeatles

Two great tastes that taste great together. It's nothing to do with anything, but I thought I'd share regardless.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Stumptown reviews Ball-Peen Hammer



I haven't really made it a point to link to too many reviews of my books on this site, but this latest one, a podcast from Stumptown Trade Review, bears some special notice. If you find yourself with an extra half hour or so and want to hear an extremely thorough (not to mention flattering) examination of my and Adam Rapp's Ball-Peen Hammer, please go give a listen.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Olympians Rule!


So as part of the promotion for the upcoming series Olympians (first book in January! Second book in April!) First Second and I am working on a website, olympiansrule.com. Here's a preview of an image I created especially for the site.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thanks!


Thanks to everyone who made it out to Book Court tonight. Great turnout, and a great time had by all ( at least me). Watch this space for more appearances.

Moment of truth


Preview page from Athena:Grey-Eyed Goddess. Athena getting all borned and stuff.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ball-Peen Release Party!



When: Tuesday, October 13th, at 7 pm

Where: Book Court, in Brooklyn
163 Court Street (between Pacific & Dean)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 875.3677

What: Q and A, refreshments, general debauchery

How: The benevolence of First Second and the good folks at Book Court

Why: Because I said so.


View Larger Map

Come one, come all. The most fun that can be had, period.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Athena page

It's not all beautiful gods and horrible monsters. This is one of my favorite pages in the story, a recreation of an ancient Greek marketplace. I can draw gods and monsters until the cows come home, but the little scenes like this, when I pull them off, give me a lot of satisfaction.

Please note, in panel 2, above Perseus's head, the pickpocket at work.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Athena pinup


I think I may have posted a black and white version of this image earlier, but here is the fully colorized version. From the back of Athena: Grey Eyed Goddess.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Forgotten Bookmarks


Ball-Peen Hammer made an appearance today at this totally awesome site. It's run by the employee of a used bookstore, and it's photos of all the strange things he's found in the used books. Such a cool idea, right?

Gigantomachy in Color


I just got some printouts of Athena from First Second this morning and am very excited by what I see so far. To celebrate, here's my colorized version of a page I previously posted, the march of the Gigantes on Mount Olympus.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Turns out Cartoonists are Authors, after all.



It might be obvious if you're reading this post via the rss feed on my Amazon Author page, but Amazon has reversed their previous decision that I was not a prominent enough contributor to several titles that they had recently pulled from my page. Amongst the pulled-but-now-reinstated titles are the upcoming graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer, written by the amazingly talented Adam Rapp, but with artwork by yours truly. Comics are truly a collaborative effort (a comic without pictures is something entirely different) and I am heartened to see that my letter has played some part in having Amazon reexamine this practice of theirs.

Full text of Amazon's reply below:

Dear Mr. O'Connor,

My name is Sarah Beaudette of Author Central. I've reviewed previous correspondence with you, and would like to apologize for the misunderstanding. Normally illustrators are not allowed to add books to their bibliography, but we've researched these titles and have concluded that you are a primary contributor to them. Your example has driven us to re-consider our policy, and we appreciate your feedback as we continue to look for ways to make our service more useful to authors.

Your bibliography now includes "Alien Feast" and "Ball Peen Hammer," as well as "The Glass Cat of Oz." These changes will appear online within 3 days.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,

Sarah B

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artist are authors too!



A while back I created an author page at Amazon.com. An author page is meant to facilitate fans of your work find other things that you have created.
Recently, I had written to Amazon to have a series of books where I was listed as illustrator added to my page. Upon review, they decided not only were these (totally unrelated) books not worthy of being added, but in addition they removed my new graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer and two other books that were already up on my page. The criteria for deletion they listed to me were: my name must be featured on cover (my name was on the cover of all the books in question) and I must have contributed a significant portion to the final book. Essentially, Amazon has decided, that as a cartoonist, I merely contribute a few pictures to the final work. We're only illustrators, it's the author who gets all the credit. I wrote them a very polite, yet angry letter (copied below), and also told the good folks at Roaring Brook and First Second. Let's see where this goes. A terrible precedent for graphic novelists.

"Author Central and Author Pages only support contributors who have
authored or co-authored a major portion of a work and whose name is
also featured on the title's cover"

My name is featured on the cover of all the titles that you have
flagged for rejection/deletion on my Amazon Author page, and I am
surprised that you would endeavor to make assumptions about the level
to which I contributed to the works in question without an individual
examination of the creative process behind each book.

On the graphic novel Ball-Peen Hammer, currently featured on my page
but now flagged for deletion (in response to my unrelated inquiry), I
find it borderline offensive to be under-credited in this way. Comics
are a synthesis of word and pictures, both sides working together
equally to tell a story. If this is currently Amazon's standard
practice to judge graphic novels by, I recommend a reexamination of
those practices.

I hope to hear back soon. I've also contacted my publishers on the
matter.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another page of Athena

Like the title says, another page of Athena: Grey Eyed Goddess.
This scene is part of the gigantomachy, the battle of the gigantes. Much Olympian butt-kicking ensues. Hope you all like.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Honking Big Whale Monster-- now in Color!

Remember, a while ago, when I posted my old Marvel samples of the Sub-Mariner fighting a giant whale monster? And remember then how I rescued that monster from obscurity and gave him a starring role in my new book Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess? Well, here's the next chapter in his story: Full Color!


I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, if I may say so myself. Also, I've noticed that I seem to get more of a reaction when I post my color work. Let's see if that holds true here too.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Spectacular Spider-Woman

Way, way, way back before she became all cool again, I was an enormous fan of the original Spider-Woman, and secretly harbored plans to one day make it big at Marvel Comics and restore her to prominence. Obviously, that's no longer needed (thanks to Mr. Brian Michael Bendis) but I thought folks might get a kick out of seeing these circa 1995-or-so tryout pages I did.








My own personal critique? Some of the storytelling is a little wonky, and I'm not digging the 90's panel layouts, but the figure work hold up surprisingly well.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brooklyn Book Fest

Anyone interested in seeing me gab and maybe getting a few books signed should come by this Sunday to the Brooklyn Book Festival

I'll be appearing alongside Raina Telgemeier and Danica Novgorodoff at the Youth Stoop (which is in Borough Hall Plaza)at 3:00 pm. The official description is excerpted below:


3:00 p.m. Love, War and Adventures in Babysitting…Transforming Stories into Comics. How does a comic artist take a favorite story and make it new? Three new stars in the literary comics cosmos shine the light on their process, adapting award-winning fiction, found historical materials and one of the most popular teen series of all time into graphic novels. Raina Telgemeier (The Babysitters Club graphic novel series), Danica Novgorodoff (Refresh, Refresh) and George O’Connor (Journey into Mohawk Country).


We'll all of us be signing immediately afterword. Stop by for one of your first chances to score a copy of Ball-Peen Hammmer. It should be pretty awesome!

Steve Doyle



Man, I'm going to miss you.

Nice Adam Rapp Interview at Graphic Novel Reporter


An entertaining and illuminating interview with Ball-Peen Hammer writer Adam Rapp at the Graphic Novel Reporter. Check it out!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ball-Peen Preview in PW


Publishers Weekly's PW Comics Week features a nice, big 13 page preview of Ball-Peen Hammer. Go check out the pain.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

More old Marvel stuff

People seemed to like seeing my old superhero stuff, so here's some more. The X-men versus Arcade, from the second Marvel tryout book (I missed the first one). Really not much of a script, if I may say so, in terms of being able to do some storytelling, just a lot of rapid scene shifts withthe opportunity to draw a lot of cool stuff. Heck, it was the 90's, what do you expect?