The book which I am currently working on is now 41 pages to the good, in full painted colour. If the schedule is met, it will be out in mid 2008 from First Second Books. It’s title :
The Amazing Remarkable Mr. Leotard.
I’d tell you more about it but I’ve already gone so far astray from the original pitch that I don’t want to worry my editor.
Comic books today aren’t just child’s play
A mild-mannered teacher is showing students how to use their creative powers to craft stories about comic book heroes.
Actually this news bit puts dollar signs dancing in our heads as we contemplate a movie combining the “noble teacher” genre with the now-hot comic book think. Can you see it? In a world where one man can make a difference, a maverick teacher is about to learn that sometimes, letting kids draw comics is the only way to get serious.
§ Meanwhile, the LA Times offers a very nice profile of James Sturm and the CCS:
An increasingly visual culture has turned cartooning into a field with a future, serving a seemingly limitless audience for stories told through hand-drawn pictures. The field has exploded with the growth of graphic novels, imported comics from Asia and a global passion for cartoon-based animation.
CCS co-founder Sturm taught drawing for years, and in 2001 his graphic novel about Jewish baseball players, “The Golem’s Mighty Swing,” was Time magazine’s comic of the year.
About four years ago, he moved to Vermont with his family and stumbled onto a tired industrial hamlet intent on repackaging itself as a 21st century arts haven.
Sturm, 41, describes CCS as both a cartoonist’s boot camp and a think tank for graphic novelists. He argues that cartoons offer a unique synthesis of fine art and popular culture, and afford an arena for biography, fiction and improbable dreams.
“Wish fulfillment: That’s the birth of a comic book,” he told the students one recent day. “A man can fly. You can shoot flames out of your hands. In a comic, that is possible. That is what this class is about: laying legitimacy to your own wish fulfillment.”
Inquirer: Are you ever a little leery of the word comics to describe these works?
McCloud: When you’re stuck with a label like comics, you can do one or two things: You can try to change the name, or you can try to change what the name means. I chose the latter, but I’m grateful for the people who are trying to do the other things. For example, Will Eisner [author of the Contract With God trilogy and dozens of other graphic novels] worked hard to promote the term graphic novel, since comic book had this pejorative association, and his efforts – and his novels! – forced people to confront the possibility of comics being something more than “Pow! Blam! Biff!” Over time, though, as the notion of comics for adults – more mature, more sophisticated – became commonplace in some circles, we could take back the name comic, and now it could mean something else, so we could have people publishing comics with serious themes and writing. And they could call those comics, which now meant something else. The term movie, after all, wasn’t originally a high-art term, but by now people understand that this term is pretty silly or antique by now – we no longer think of a moving image as a novelty – and that the category movies includes films of real artistic value. Even when I was growing up, people knew the term comic wasn’t necessarily funny: In fact, we’d moved to the other stereotype – that of superheroes doing violence to each other.
§ A woman in Georgia has spent the better part of 2006 trying to get Harry Potter books removed from the local library, and she plans to appeal a court order that would allow the popular books to remain.
A Loganville mother who claims Harry Potter books promote wickedness and witchcraft said she will appeal the state’s decision to allow the best-selling books to remain in Gwinnett school libraries. Laura Mallory, who has three children in elementary school, said Wednesday she has requested an appeal of her case to Gwinnett Superior Court. Mallory has said the books should be removed from all Gwinnett County public schools. County school board members said the books are tools to encourage children to read and to spark creativity and imagination. In May, the county decided to deny Mallory’s request.
This nutjob isn’t giving up without a fight!