HARVEYJAMES™
1983 TOWARDS TOMORROW
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20th-Apr-2014 01:31 am(no subject)
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i wish people listened more instead of just waiting to speak, but what we hate in others we hate in ourselves? nah, hate is too strong a word
also, i have a secret instagram: shirinteal

why do I have a secret instagram? Because I'm a weirdo. Legit, straight thuggin' weirdo.
heheh

badlands-thisverymoment
badlands
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I'm struggling to get an A+ in life.
I want to send everyone a postcard
you were taller than I am,
so you looked over my head.
In writing like a smart person,
you're still older than I,
richer than I am.
Would still be taking my arm decisively,
signaling with your firm hand on my back
when the music began?
I'll be signing copies of The Eltingville Club #1 next Wednesday at Comic Book Jones from 3 p.m to closing. We'll also have copies of the recently released Beasts of Burden: Hunters and Gatherers, and some of my other comics and collections. As usual I'll be doing freebie sketches for anyone who asks. For more information here's the CBJ newsletter about the signing.

If you're in the Staten Island, NY area and have any interest, we hope to see you there. As for the rest of you out there in funnybook land, I hope you're able to get a copy of the beginning of the end of The Eltingville Comic Book, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Role-Playing Club when it hits the racks on Wednesday.

And of course, I hope you enjoy the book.

Eltingville #1
17th-Apr-2014 09:25 am - designing seawigs
Big congratulations to Lucy Yewman, age 6, for winning Moontrug's top prize for describing and drawing her own Seawig! This one's a corker! Keep an eye on Moontrug's website as she's always running good competitions.



I just remembered, for a dinner at the Bologna Book Fair last year, I designed this Draw-Your-Own-Seawig sheet for all the adults to draw at the table. But I can't remember if I posted it on my blog, so here it is, if you'd like to give Cliff a Seawig! You'll make this Rambling Isle very happy. WHAT can you pile on his head? Use drawing, magazine collage, whatever you like! Download the PDF here.



And I'd love to see yours! If you get a chance, tweet me your results (I'm @jabberworks), tag me on Instagram (jabberworks) or post them on my Facebook Author page.
16th-Apr-2014 01:38 pm - Out Next Week
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26 b&w pages chock full of fanboy comedy and tragedy. Available April 23rd at the relatively few comic shops that ordered it.

If all goes according to plan I'll be doing a signing at Comic Book Jones for the debut. 
My desk is a sea of paper, so yesterday I tried to tackle some of the mess and found these thumbnail roughs for You Can't Scare a Princess!, my picture book with Gillian Rogerson. Thumbnail roughs are called that because often they're very small, just a doodle that lets my editor and art director know how I plan to lay out the page before I draw a more complicated full-size rough in pencil.

If you know the book, you'll see that, except for pages 20-21 (the treasure digging scene), I pretty much followed these layouts in the final artwork.



Top tip: the grid here looks a bit dull, but if you've ever tried to get a picture book published, you'll know this template is solid gold. It takes most aspiring writers and illustrators ages to figure out this basic layout. If you go into a shop and count picture book pages, they'll vary slightly, which is confusing. That's because publishers have a little leeway with how they engineer the endpapers, so you might get some extra pages. But if you want to get published, this is the most cost-efficient way of cutting one big sheet of paper into a book, so an editor will be far, far more interested in your book if you work to this format.



In some ways, it can make your job easier, because you think Here's the set number of pages I have; how am I going to fill them? I often print out the grid and write the story right into it. Don't forget, you'll need a title page and a page for all that small-print information, so the words in your story may not really start going until page 6.



Often a paperback will have two more pages than the hardcover version because the endpapers aren't glued down to the covers. Here's There's a Shark in the Bath; you can see the paperback, top, has an extra page. In the hardcover version, bottom, this page would be glued down to the cover board, which holds the pages into the book.



You don't have to stick to the template exactly, with the title page on page 5. Sometimes people put the small-print information at the end of the book, and often the story starts right in the front endpapers, not after the title page. (I like to use the endpapers to set the scene for the book.) But if you stray from this format, it's good to have a well-thought-out reason why you've done it. Board books are usually shorter than this, since the pages are thicker. If you want to see the variations, get yourself down to your local bookshop or library and start counting pages.

Some useful terms:

Double-page spread: When you open a book and two pages look up at you, this is a double-page spread. You can either have a picture or pictures on each page, or you can have one big picture spanning both pages. These spreads can be very effective; think about the size of a child. When they're reading or being read to, the picture wraps around them, plunging them into the world you've made.

Gutter: This is the middle of the book, where the pages come together. Try not to put any very important things here, such as eyes, or text, because they might disappear down the gap.

Endpapers: the pages holding the book into its cover. These might be made of a single-coloured piece of paper with nothing printed on it (the cheapest method), decorated with pictures in one colour of ink (mid-price) or full colour (the most expensive).

Pagination: Anything to do with pages. Traditionally in a 32-page picture book, the front cover is page 1. Left-hand pages are always even-numbered, right-hand pages always odd-numbered.

Bleed: When you do the final artwork, you'll slightly need to extend the edges of the picture (let it 'bleed') if you're doing a picture that goes right to the edge of the page. So paint your picture a little longer and wider than the page itself, or if you're laying out the page digitally, give extra room around the edges. Talk with your designer; the bleed will be anything from 5mm - 15mm each side. This is in case the printer doesn't cut the paper exactly right, there won't be white bits showing on the edges of the pages. Or if there's a problem fitting text, your designer will have a bit of wiggle room to move things around. (I must confess the term 'bleed' made me smile while I was working on the shark book.)

Right, hope that might be helpful for a few people! I wish I'd been given the 32-page template when I first started making books; it would have saved me a lot of time. You can find a few more tips over on the FAQ section of my website.


Other news: this year's Manchester Children's Book Festival is all Sea Monkeys! I was thrilled when they asked us to give the entire festival a Seawigs theme. If you're near Manchester on Sat, 28 July, do drop by, learn how to draw your own Sea Monkey and have us sign and draw in your book! (Booking details here).



Last thing: one of my university friends posted this video on her Facebook page (via Sploid) and it is so, so wonderful. It follows the adventure of two elderly ladies, An and Ria, as they take go on their very first flight. One of them has a laugh that's so contagious, I was laughing out loud while I was watching it.

Originally published at benchilada. You can comment here or there.

Ladies and gentlemen, the gravy thickens with pages 2 and 3 of The Wizard’s Lesson.

I’m rather proud of myself for sticking to new art posted at least once a week.

Wizards Lesson Page 2

Wizards Lesson Page 3

I’ve had a song stuck in my head for a long damn time now, but it’s going to pay off in new art that I really like so far. I can’t tell you what it is because I’m a bitch of a tease.

Unrelated: this movie may be showing in the background of our next party. [Well, that and KITTENS.] The lack of plot is more than made up for by some solid fights. Drop the volume to can-only-hear-fist-impacts level and let the lengthy battles roll.

I love that the first fight is barely a few minutes in and is over five minutes of fighting…over whether or not to keep mining.

That’s all for now.

Love,

benjamin
Who knows why your hands smell like that

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