Rafael and I are thrilled to have created a graphic review of one our favorite books for the New York Times. The book: THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO by Junot Diaz.
Check it out in the Jan 8th Sunday New York Times! This was so much fun to do and we love how it turned out. If you haven’t read Junot’s New Jersey-Latino-nerdboy masterpiece yet read it today! (PS: Not for young kids – the review or the book!)
Great news! This week, Rafael finished inking Book #3 of the Chronicles of Claudette, MONSTERS BEWARE. Find out what’s next and how Rafael is recovering…
JORGE: Congratulations, Raf! So let’s see, it’s been about a year since you started inking the roughs of Book 3. How does it feel? (Ed Note: Rafael does a rough version of the book then goes back and to re-draw every single line).
RAFAEL: I feel like I want to take a really long nap. But I do feel really happy about being done with this part of the process. There’s still work left to be done though. Our colorist, John Novak,
still needs to do the colors, and I need to do the cover.
JORGE: Making a graphic novel is like competing in a triathlon, huh?
RAFAEL: Yeah, I made it through the swimming part, but we still need to do the long-distance running and ride a bike up the mountain before the Finish Line.
JORGE: So completing something so massive like inking a whole graphic novel, it sounds like it’s a mixed bag?
RAFAEL: Right. I feel a great sense of relief. I’ve been working on it non-stop for a year. I was doing my regular TV animation work during the day and then nights, weekends, any spare time I can steal, I would ink our book. But now that I’m done it’s like there’s a big gaping hole in my life. I feel like I almost don’t know what to do myself right now. I think I’m going to need to find another project to fill this creative hole.
JORGE: How many pages did you ink?
RAFAEL: I don’t ink in the traditional sense with pen and paper. I do digital inking in Photoshop. I inked 157 pages for this book, which was the same amount of pages I did for Book 2, DRAGONS BEWARE.
JORGE: Which of the three books was the hardest to ink and which one was the easiest?
RAFAEL: Well, each book presented its own challenges. With the first book, GIANTS BEWARE, it was the first time I’d ever done digital inking using Photoshop in a project that massive. It took me awhile to get used doing it that way, but I liked the results. Book 2, DRAGONS BEWARE, was challenging because of the scope and amount of characters and environments. Book 3, MONSTERS BEWARE was the easiest because I was used to drawing these characters, environments, and I used a whole new set of digital brushes that felt closest to pen and ink.
JORGE: Enjoy your nap, Raf!
RAFAEL: Thanks I will.
The super-talented colorist of our books (and our pal), JOHN NOVAK has come out with an adorable, fun new comic.
Introducing Lamby Life! A Mini Comic by John Novak
Astute readers may remember the lambies from their brief cameo on this blog several years ago, getting a Lamby tutorial on coloring from John’s daughter Maggie.
Now you can catch up on the lambies’ adventures in a family-produced mini comic, Lamby Life! Learn how to make their friend Pablo’s famously delicious concoction, a “Cizzy Joe”! Marvel at the moves they learned at ninja camp! Get inspired by just how many accessories you can make out of tissues!
John and Maggie will be offering another coloring tutorial this summer at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival, along with other awesome activities like a quick draw with Rafael and Amelia Rosado, a digital painting demonstration with Kazu Kibuishi, signings by Cece Bell, Tom Angleberger, Ben Hatke, Nathan Hale, Zack Giallongo, and tons of other great comic creators.
Our wonderful publisher, FIRST SECOND BOOKS just put out a FREE teachers’ guide called UNDERSTANDING AND EXPLORING THE MIDDLE-AGED GRAPHIC NOVEL. There some great information here on how to use graphic novels in your classroom.
Check out the First Second middle-grade graphic novel Teacher’s Guide Here!
Last night, I had fun SKYPING with a group of 4th and 5th Graders in Hyderabad, India. We talked about GIANTS BEWARE, DRAGONS BEWARE, and the not-yet-out-in-the-world, MONSTERS BEWARE. They had a lot of questions about writing and one student asked if I had ever won award. I have not. But I told them if they would give me an award for Best American Comic Book Writer Appearing Today In India that I would accept that. One of their teachers wrote a post about our chat:
“The book week continues with even more exciting things..!! Students from grades 4 and 5 had a Skype conversation with Jorge Aguirre – author of ‘Giants Beware’ and ‘Dragons Beware’…” READ MORE