Archive for the 'Books' Category


Homage Book Project

Hey ex-Wildstormers who aren’t aware of this yet — there’s a Thing happening, that started on Facebook. A growing group of Homage refugees are planning to put together an Art of Homage book. John Nee spearheaded it; Drew Bittner and Claudia Chong are doing all the legwork; and there are a shitload of contributors, including Jeromy, James and me. Ben, E-dog: if you want to be a part of this, contact Claudia on Facebook. I want LOADS of colorists involved, because so damn many of us started out there, and computer coloring came into its own during our era.

Ben — I understand that you have not been keen on being in contact with John Nee. Maybe now, when nostalgia is running high, is the time to join the conversation again. Or you could avoid John and just talk with Drew & Claudia. :) (I really do get it — I would be torn on whether to participate if this was a CrossGen project.)

Anyway. Food for thought…

The Book — or lack thereof

Just a quick update about my book, Telling Stories With Color:

It’s on hiatus.

I’ve gone through several drafts now of each chapter, and seriously? It’s been getting worse and worse. It was supposed to go to press on September 10 — and I might have been able to hit that deadline, and might have even liked the work I did, if I had no other distractions and could concentrate solely on the book for the next five weeks. Since that’s clearly not an option with my work schedule, I finally came clean with Virgin and said, “I can’t do this. I’m unhappy with the direction the book’s going in; I’m unhappy with the lack of support; I’m very unhappy with how little time I can spend on it to make it right. I’m willing to pull the plug on it entirely at this point.” So the editor (Charlie Beckerman, who’s awesome to work with) calmed me down and said he’d talk with the EIC and the CEO. The EIC and CEO both decided that my book is kind of a rogue project (they’ve never published a ‘textbook’ before), and they need to concentrate their marketing and publishing efforts on their core comics for the time being, so it’s perfectly fine if we put my rogue book aside for now and come back to it later.

This doesn’t mean that it’s not being published. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be published by Virgin, but it’s too soon to address that yet. If in six months they decide that they don’t want to do the book, I have the freedom to take everything but the images and republish elsewhere. Pretty sweet.
I’m hoping that, after Secret Invasion is done, I can carve out some time to go back to the writing phase with a clear head and no pressure, and really make the book what it needs to be — less of a “how-to” and more of a “why”. The how-to’s have already been done, and done well; besides, no one needs a whole chapter on calibrating your monitor. (Well, some people do need that, but it can be a sidebar, not a whole chapter.) I need to concentrate on WHY colors do what they do, and if there’s any how-to to discuss, it’s how to choose a smart color scheme or how to determine a light source. That kind of thing.

So, that’s the haps. I will have a book out on the shelves one day, but it’ll bear very little resemblance to the current version.

Fresh 007 Covers

You Only Live Twice

Penguin is releasing a new set of hardcover Bond books, later this month, with amazing new cover art.  Check out the rest here.

Nerd Out!

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During conventions I rarely get to nerd out. But this year my convention role has been diminished (thankfully) and I was able to actually do stuff at SakuraCon (the modest Pacific Northwest anime show). To my astonishment, Nobuteru Yuuki was signing. He is my favorite Japanese character designer and I have been collecting his rare independent (doujinshi) book releases for years. It just so happens that he was the character designer for my favorite series, to which he produced a doujinshi release for – and I was fortunate enough to acquire. I had to get him to sign it. Mission accomplished (with a nifty photo too).

Rough drafts of covers

All right, you designery types. I need your eyeballs, advice, suggestions. I’m working up some roughs of cover ideas for my four-part series called “Telling Stories with Color.” I’m starting with Book 1, but it’s safe to assume that whatever design is chosen, the main elements of that design will remain for all four issues; just the colors will change. These will initially be released as four 22-page floppy comic books and then collected into a deluxe edition with a DVD or somesuch. I want something that does not immediately scream “COMIC BOOK!!”, but imparts some of the clean classiness of Chip Kidd covers. Please let me know what you think of these, whether any of them have any hope whatsoever. If you’ve got ideas of your own, please feel free to share!

Sample 1: Crap on a Crap Cracker

Sample 2: Slightly Less Crap

Sample 3: Now I’m Getting Silly

Sample 4: Probably Too Gimmicky

I wanna look inside!

Was recommended this by Amazon. Color me intrigued:

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If any of you see this at a bookstore, please thumb through it and let me know what is inside. I am seriously interested in knowing what this book’s focus is on.

Coloring workshop come and gone

Well, that went…well?

When they told me my workshop was going to be recorded, I expected a guy with a handheld. Then when they told me they weren’t sure it would be recorded, I relaxed. Then I walked into the office — and there was a frickin’ FILM CREW there. Fuuuuuuuuck. Cue instant (but quiet) panic and an almost overwhelming flight response.

But I kept it together, despite a crucial missing file, despite my completely disorganized reference DVD, despite having to work on someone else’s machine (with a GIANT 30-inch Apple flatscreen — good god, that was a thing of beauty) — and I think I did all right. Well, no. I didn’t. I was all over the place, despite a well-organized if incomplete workbook. I skipped over crucial information, had to go back, forgot to use key phrases that really drove the points home. I’d say that I was off-kilter about half the time. Cue cards? Forgot they were there.

After about five minutes, though, I started to forget the camera was there. People started to ask questions. Good questions.

Let me stop here and say this: Suresh Seetharaman, the head of the art department in India, is a brilliant artist and a pleasant, articulate, intelligent man. I really like the cut o’ his jib. He really helped keep the theoretical discussion alive. Not that I felt like I was floundering; he basically reiterated the point I’d just made in a different way, and we found ourselves on the same side of the conversation, his position from an academic standpoint and mine from the practical world. I would liken him to a favorite professor.

Of course, I have no recollection of what I actually said. Like, AT ALL. I’m sure I’ll look over the video of the thing and think, “My god, did I say that? Ugh! Scrap it all! I sound like an idiot!”

Everyone seemed very happy with the results. I think they’re all being too nice. Seriously. If I watched me give that seminar, I would be like, “uh, hey, prepare much?”

But. Whatever. The worst of it is over. There’s still a ton to do, like finish the workbooks and the voiceovers for the DVDs, but by and large, the worst part is done.

I haven’t slept in days, and I just got a reprieve on a deadline. I think I’ll go take a nice hot bath and  a nap.

Thanks for all the kind words, y’all. When I get the second draft under way, I’ll post excerpts.

– Laura

Proof of Life

It was a looong time in the making, but yes, it does exist. Finally got a couple of copies of League: Dark Dossier. Turned out pretty good. I would send you guys free copies, but I had to ask for these. Oh, I did get 10 comps, but DC sent them to my mother’s home. I have no idea now how my near 70-year-old mother is going to get a large-ish box of these to me; which makes no sense since they sent Absolute Volume 2 directly here. Thanks DC!

Well, if you are nice enough to pick up a copy, let me know what you think. Between page 1 to the last page (of colored stuff) is about one year or more difference. I can see stuff I’d like to redo in the earlier pages. I hear there’s going to be an Absolute version, too, which is nice because Kevin really did put a crap load of detail in these pages, especially the double-page spreads. Oh, and the 3D? Yeah, it actually works pretty well. Kudos to Ray Zone.

There’s an interesting interview with Alan Moore about the drama surrounding the making of this book. I want to link it to you, but he pretty much gives away the entire story while he talks. I’ll send you the link when you guys have read the book.