I thought it might be fun to show how I paint a page of my book from start to finish. I know I’m always curious about how artists work, maybe you are too.
April 2nd is almost here! That’s the day The Little Guys is released into the world! I’ve been obsessed with teeny tiny things ever since I was a kid (hello, Rien Poortvliet, you had my number) and I finally got to create some of my own.
You can pre-order a copy at one of these places:
…OR get one in person from me (always more fun)! Cause I’m hittin’ the road for my first solo tour! Here is where I’ll be:
I am so excited for share this weird little book with everyone. I’m also going to share some behind-the-scenes making-of stuff from this book, in case you are curious how a book gets watercolored! AND some cool 3D stuff! More soon!!!
That appearances box on the side of this blog suddenly has things in it! I'm very excited to start promoting Be Prepared as it makes its way out into the world. The very first thing will be Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle, WA. My schedule is below:
THURSDAY MARCH 1st
Title: Great Graphic Novels for Kids
Description: What makes a great kids graphic novel? Four fantastic kids comics authors come together to talk about their work, their creative process, and how they write and draw their books for kids. There will be an opportunity for librarian Q&A.
Time: 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM
Location: Seattle Central Library, Howard S. Wright Family & Janet W. Ketcham Mtg Room, Level 4, Room 2
Speakers: Vera Brosgol, Mairghread Scott, Melanie Gillman
Moderator: Gene Ambaum
Title: Doing a Great Graphic Novel Program at your Library
Description: How do you host a great graphic novel program at your library? The first step is with you: creating something that works for the audience that you've cultivated with your community. Come listen to a discussion of comics library programming and how to make the best events for your readers.
Time: 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Location: Seattle Central Library, Washington Mutual Foundation Mtg Room, Level 4 Room 1
Speakers: MK Reed, Vera Brosgol, Dawn Rutherford, Nidhi Chanani
FRIDAY MARCH 2nd
Title: Kids Comics!
Description: Comics are for kids! Join a group of great kids cartoonists to hear about how they got their own start reading -- and creating -- comics when they were kids themselves. What turned them from a kid to the cartoonists they are today?
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Location: WSCC 604
Speakers: Vera Brosgol, Nidhi Chanani, MK Reed, Jen Wang
Staff: Gina Gagliano
IN BOOTH SIGNING + GIVEAWAY
4:00 - 5:00pm
First Second Booth: 1602
Books and patches!
Oh, did I mention the patches?? HOW COOL ARE THESE:
So that's next week! And the week after I'll be in Hong Kong for the Young Readers Festival! I'll mostly be doing school visits, but I'm doing a public reading/drawing session March 11th as well. Please come see me lose consciousness from jetlag in front of a live audience, it will be great. And give me your tips for Hong Kong!
Hey guys! Just a quick note that I'm going to be at Wordstock, a literary arts festival here in Portland OR! On November 11th I'll be at two panels, with book signings after each of them. You can get more info here:
I'll also be taking part in a moderated talk with the other 2017 Caldecott honorees and medalist, at the First Unitarian Church, Eliot chapel, on November 12 from 2:30-4:30. Open to the public!
It is rough days out in the world. I am not sure what I can say that hasn't been said with more eloquence and acidity by someone else. It should go without saying that Nazis are bad, right? Good grief, my heart hurts. I read and watch and work and and donate and here is a way to donate some more.
I'm auctioning off this painting, which was the initial version of this spread for Leave Me Alone. I wound up redoing it to change the palette, but I still really like this one. If you like it too you can buy it. 100% of the money raised will go to the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose work we need now more than ever.
I figured it had been long enough that this ol' thing needed a refresh! I am most active on instagram these days but I'll try to keep it current. It is nice to have a bigger showcase for my books since that's what I'm doing more of now. The old goodies like snow-bo are still here, and I updated my faq a bit.
I just wrapped up Be Prepared, my upcoming middle-grade graphic novel with First Second. Here's the cover, and a little preview over on The Beat!
I'm nearly done illustrating Lyric McKerrigan Secret Librarian, a picture book for Clarion, and am in the middle of writing and drawing my second picture book for Roaring Brook. I also adopted that sad dog from the previous post, because how could I not. His name is Omar and he's good.
I took down my store for now because I was pretty sick of looking at those drawings. I'll offer prints again in the future but deadlines first.
Lately I’ve been fostering dogs for Underdog Railroad Rescue. They’re a local rescue that is foster-only, saving small dogs from high-kill shelters in Southern California and bringing them up to the Northwest to be adopted. Lord knows we love a dog up here.
They just saved this little sweet little guy Ringo, who was attacked multiple times in the shelter by other dogs. His liver and gall bladder were herniated and he was literally on the table about to be put down. Underdog pulled him at the last minute and now he’s all stitched up and coming up to Portland soon. But his vet bills are… not great. So I’m offering some pet portraits to raise money.
I’m only doing three slots for now, of small watercolors. $200 for a 6”x6” watercolor of your pet! I'll cover domestic shipping but international can be brutal so I ask that you cover that if you live outside the US.
I’ll add more pets or humans for $100 each. This example has a kid in it, and 3 pets, so it would be $500. (It’s also a bit bigger, obviously.) I’ll cross the slots off as they get taken.
SLOT ONE SLOT TWO SLOT THREE
All taken!!! Woohoo! I'll get through these and maybe will offer more later. If you just want to make a plain old donation (hooray!), Underdog's paypal is here: https://www.paypal.me/urrescue Please uncheck the “goods and services” box so that the rescue doesn’t get stuck with the paypal fee.
Help Ringo! Help an amazing organization that does great work! Put something cute in your house!
At four in the morning one January morning I got a phone call. I got six phone calls. I didn't pick any of them up, because what kind of monster calls someone at four in the morning. A whole roomful of monsters, as it turns out. Leave Me Alone had been awarded a Caldecott Honor by the Association for Library Service to Children, and they were calling to let me know. I made a little video about that moment, you can watch that here.
I was, and am, completely shocked. I hadn't even considered the possibility of getting a Caldecott, and it's rare in life that you get completely and utterly surprised like that, especially in a GOOD way. I'm so honored that the committee enjoyed my book enough to single it out, and am glad that more kids will be reading it! That is the greatest thing of all.
I've gotten to do a few school visits since the book came out, something I was nervous about. I shouldn't have been - it was so fun to hang out with a roomful of little guys, drawing for them and getting their help with the shouty parts of the book. It made me want to do a whole lot more. If you'd like me to come visit your school drop me a line!
Also! If you would like a signed copy of Leave Me Alone, Green Bean Books in Portland, OR has a bunch, and they can ship! It's a wonderful store and I'm so grateful for their help and support with the book.
It's finally feeling like fall around here, and Leave Me Alone is out so soon! September 13th, mere days away, holy moly. It's been getting really nice reviews including starred ones from Publisher's Weekly and The School Library Journal. This one by Betsy Bird is especially nice! I blushed. I'm so excited for you guys to see this book, I loved making it and it's so fun to read aloud to kids too. Or lazy grownups.
If you would like your own copy you can pre-order from one of these lovely outlets:
And once you have pre-ordered, you could be in the running to win an ORIGINAL PAINTING FROM THE BOOK.
One of these three paintings! You get to pick which one, even. All you have to do is send a photo or screencap of your pre-order receipt to LeavemeAloneGiveaway@gmail.com before September 13th. It's cool if you pre-ordered it before I started the contest. I will pick a name out at random and send the painting of your choice your way. Easy!
There are also four runner-up prizes, little paintings of the grandkids from the book wearing their cute sweaters and enjoying autumn harvests. I will pick which one you get but they are all pretty good I think!
And if you happen to live in Portland, I'm having a release party on September 18th, here's some info about that. I would love to see you!
Clearly I like to be left alone, because I have not touched this blog in three years. Well, things have been happening. I left my job at Laika to focus on books, and my first one is coming out in a little over a month! It's called Leave Me Alone, and it's about subjects close to my heart: knitting and privacy. Here is the cover:And here is a very nice starred review from Publisher's Weekly. More to come, including signings and news about other things in the works! Exciting times.