Friday, July 26, 2013

San Diego ComicCon part 2

!!! somehow my original veeryyyyyyyy long post got deleted-- trying to re-create-- meanwhile, booooo. enjoy some photos anyway... I said some very nice things about young David Mack who painted our newest print--a slice from THE GOLDFISH POOL, one of my favorite of Neil's stories. We debuted it at ComicCon and David sold it at the Century Guild Booth- Tomorrow night there is a show at the Century Guild gallery in Culver City, I hope to see our LA people in attendance!

 photo Mack_zps0b81b199.jpg

David and Caro came up to our SD suite and signed overlooking the lights of the convention

 photo MackSigns_zps24ddcc4a.jpg

 photo MackSigns2_zps0a637a5e.jpg

Got to have a little overdue hang time with the Hall H goddess, Pam, my supergirl crush! She accidentally got us into the Metallica panel, truly, BY ACCIDENT. She's showing off her Trujillo picks, the little minx.

 photo Pam_zps01d5fdd8.jpg

Here before Neil's Sandman panel, he holds up an original piece of history, the title page art from Sandman #1.

 photo Sleep_zps053467cf.jpg

Seeing Todd Klein and Dave McKean was wonderful, and I got to meet Sam Kieth for the first time- what a panel!

 photo page2_zps02dae49c.jpg

goofing around on the floor, with WETA!

 photo weta_zps1a4598a8.jpg


 photo legendary_zps161475e0.jpg

here we wait to go into Roman Dirge's REBUILT panel!

 photo RomRus_zps0f2e2c8f.jpg

Starburns Industries gifted Roman with this new wolfy cane, and here is Husband modelling with him.

 photo cane_zpsca915c7e.jpg

For Neil's spotlight panel, Jonathan Ross, the textbook brilliant interviewer brings the crowd down.

 photo panel_zps0cf9c31a.jpg

sorry that my full blog disappeared, I usually save them properly, but Mercury-retrograde is having fun with me. Spending most of my time getting caught up with Neverwear orders, thank you to ALL who were so patient with me, Neil wrote me out some great excuse cards for lateness:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a slice of San Diego ComicCon 2013 (part one)

this year, SDCC fell right in at the end of the Neil Gaiman Last US signing tour in support of his new novel, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE. We had two days "off" and then rolled right into the San Diego madness--

the dynamite view from the hotel room:

 photo view_zpsbc5e8347.jpg

I had Neil sign his badge, which will end up raising a proper charity some dough:

SuperKate, Amanda's right hand woman, was down to give me her SuperBackUp and boy did I need her. Getting Neil through the crowds on the fly was really scary at times, people there seemed determined to catch up with him, at a dead run if necessary, holding out their pen to have him sign things-- it was pretty astounding to witness.

Supes got me this Batman and Robin con bag that i so DEARLY wished for---LOVE HER!

 photo SK_zps4367514f.jpg

I barely got on the floor the whole time, but i did see these lil' ghosties:

 photo ghosty_zps947fa909.jpg


 photo aliens_zps4f34e504.jpg

Ted! (& Selina Kyle, of course)

 photo wwCw_zpsce7aa2c0.jpg

Neil had some press rounds, the Sandman-themed conversations were fascinating. I met many fabulous reporters from the front lines: Seth, Matt, Patrick and Susan-- I will search down their coverage and link to later-

 photo press1_zps46a6a7c8.jpg

that is JH. Williams III in the vest in the back, what an artist-- can't wait to see the new Sandman issues.

 photo Promo_zpsd8d8741a.jpg

Cons are great for catching up with people you wouldn't normally see, here are two favorites, Jim Lee & Shelly Bond-

 photo ShellJim_zpse16da126.jpg

these crazy kids who I met at the Denver signing, came all the way to SD to see Boss's panel!

 photo fans_zps0dc8a11e.jpg

and twice Boss introduced me to people I really really wanted to meet, one is John Romita Jr., one cool NY cat-

 photo JRJ_zps185ff57a.jpg

and hello...George RR Martin...maker of Jon Snow...

 photo SdRR_zps5a23edf5.jpg

Neil kindly signed loads of David Mack prints for me, stand by while I add them in to the shop.

 photo MackPrintNGsign_zps78cc8e1c.jpg

I just saw him tweet that he is going underground with his lady love, so I am going to cut this short and see if he needs anything before he digs in...

stand by for part two, SO many more photos...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

an interview with David one more pre-sale day on GOLDFISH POOL print.

In celebration of San Diego ComicCon, I am leaving the prints at $25.00 for another day. If you go to David's booth, you can buy them from him signed for $35.00-- on the site, they will be $38.00 UNSIGNED after Wednesday night-- I am still wrangling mister Neil Gaiman's SDCC schedule, so order on! The prints come back from the printers tomorrow-

here is the beauty he finished for us, just two days ago, it is still at the printers here in Hollywood--Neil and I looked at it on the tour bus, rolling down the highways and byways of our country, just $25 on the presale--on Wednesday evening, it will go up to $38.00 so get yours early CLICK TO ORDER HERE.

DM photo resized3DMACKPrintfinVersion3_zps50821a5b.jpg

David and I did a little interview together:

Q: We worked together before on a print, what brought you back to Neverwear?

A: The Words of Fire print that we did is how we got to know each other. It was a brand new poem written by Neil and then drawn by me… We specifically collaborated on it to be a new living art and text that was tattooed on the back of a mutual reader of ours. From that tattoo design, you turned it into a beautiful limited edition silkscreen print, that turned out to be very popular and I loved working with you on that.

From that, we became dear friends and continued working together on other exciting endeavers! One of which involves an exciting new media avenue for my KABUKI stories that I think you are issuing a press release about this week…

Here is a photo of David I took at a MELTDOWN COMICS signing:

Q: How did your journey to illustrate Neil’s GOLDFISH POOL progress? How did you come up with this image? You chose watercolor—why?

A: You and I were having sushi, discussing film & TV opportunities for KABUKI & my children's book THE SHY CREATURES. You suggested THE GOLDFISH POOL as a subject for a print we do together. The Words of Fire print was so linear, it being a tattoo design (I drew it in brush and ink).

The sticker version of it that we made had the color version I designed with color and texture, but still it was line art based… so I was very much looking forward to doing a print with you that featured full color, and possibly painted and mixed media. And with the subject matter of the golfish in the water, watercolor seemed like a natural approach.

Q: I can’t help but notice (& love) your signature chop—can you expand it a bit? Where it came from, what it means to you?

A: I've had different chops made when I was in Japan and in China. They were hand carved with different symbols and meanings that I had asked for. But the chop that I use most on my work, and which is on both of these prints, was a sentimental gift to me from Miss Fumiko of the First Zen Institude of America.

Her grandfather was the founder of the Zen Instititute in America, and she began writing to me in response to my Kabuki stories, and she sent me many sentimental artifacts of belongings of her grandfather and hallowed family heirlooms. Many of the gifts that she has sent me, I have collaged into my artwork, including her own handwriting on aged paper. This chop was one of those ancient artifacts that she sent me from her family of Zen. It translates to "Peace".

photo by the artist (love the meowsy!)

Q: you have a show coming up in LA, what will be the theme? Can you talk about it?

A: On July 27 in Los Angeles, Century Guild Gallery will have an art opening of my work. It will be brush and ink drawings from life that I have made of humans and cats, on exhibit with works of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.

Click here for a link to the event. If you are at Comicon at San Diego, I will be signing at the gallery booth of Century Guild (booth #2845) where they will have works of mine and Dave McKean on display at the booth. I will have the new print at my table, as well as a 320 page hardcover artbook of my work & my KABUKI books.

Q: Daredevil! Tell me more about the hardcover coming out.

A: The new Hardcover collects all eight issues of our new story Daredevil: End of Days that I wrote with Brian Michael Bendis. (interviewer note: eeekkk! we love BMB!)

The hardcover collection has 24 pages of extras in it as well. Bill Sienkiewicz and Klaus Janson contribute the majority of the art work, and Alex Maleev and I contribute art and covers as well. So it is all creators that have devoted large eras of their careers to Daredevil, all working together on one story and we could not be happier with how it came together.

It is an exciting mystery story in which the template of the story is inspired by Citizen Kane. The story is about the final days of Daredevil and how he affected all of the people in his life and mysteries and surprises abound.

Most of all, the story has a lot of heart and is a labor of love and passion for us as creators, to be working with creators we love, on a character that we grew up with. Brian Bendis and I have been best friends for twenty years, working together at the beginning of our carreers, and now we get to write together on this project, working with Bill Sienkiewicz and Klaus Janson who are creators that we grew up reading and learning from. Now they are our dear friends and collaborators as well as our mentors. The book reflects all of that. It also includes some early versions of the script with some insights of how we shape the final script.

Kabuki photo by the amazing Allan Amato.

Q: The KABUKI movie/tv project. What do you hope to see happen here? Best case scenario? How do you see your characters coming to life?

A: I've long imagined how wonderful it could be to have KABUKI in a long form TV series and feature film. There are seven volumes of KABUKI, and each chapter has an episodic rythm to it that would translate well to an episodic TV series… or the first volume as the first film. HBO was interested in it as a TV show and then that producer took it to FOX and FOX bought it four times to develop it as a live action film.

Eventually I didn't renew with FOX and then Quentin Tarantino's producer Lawrence Bender discussed with me some great ideas for him producing the film. They were all great experiences, but the timing wasn't just right for one reason or another, at that time.

Now with you, your partner Rod, and Neil Gaiman as Executive Producer… I feel like the landscape is right for a very story-oriented character-driven film and TV oppertunity. I'd love to see the characters and story brought to life in a way that is true to the spirit of the characters and story, and vision of my books, but that also takes advantage of all the oppertunities of the medium of film and live action and what a talented director, talented cinematographer, and talented actors can bring to it.

Q: Which one of your Kabuki characters would you most like to meet in real life? Dream casting to portray them in the movie?

A: The Akemi character would be an interesting real life meeting… as you never know what form she will meet you in. There are so many strong roles in the story, that could be played by so many good actors and actresses… Kabuki, Akemi, Scarab, Siamese, Ryuichi Kai… Cowboy… M.C. Square… Rinko Kikuchi comes to mind as a great actor. You've seen her in Babel and Pacific Rim. And Hiroyuki Sanada as Ryuichi Kai would be a masterstroke. Perhaps Ken Watanabe inhabiting a very striking change in form to portray The General?

Q: Kabuki clothing line! How did that come about? Where can we get this? What do you see happening in your retail future?

A: A company in the UK called Gawakoto asked me if they could license KABUKI images for their line of women's & men's sportswear. Rashgaurds for MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, yoga, running, biking, or just enjoying the wear of it and looking good in it. They have created some amazing new KABUKI T-shirts, rashgards, martial arts gi, and more.

You can see a link to their work here on the albums of my face book page: HERE.

They will have the very first prototypes of these available at my booth #2845 at San Diego Comicon and they will be taking orders on their website.

Q: I saw this little snippet of you drawing a brush and ink piece of Death— What is your preferred medium? Tell me about how you perfected your technique? A: That was me drawing directly in brush and ink. This is something that I do a lot for my own enjoyment. In a story, I try to create a different look, or use a media that is right for the story. But for fun, I love drawing people from life directly in brush and ink. That is what the Los Angles gallery exhibit on July 27 will focus on. When people ask for drawings at conventions I do very quick brush and ink drawings like that drawing of Sandman's Death.

In any story that I write, or in a book, or other medium, I try to create a new style and look for each project that I do, based on what I think the story calls for.

As a writer, I begin with the story first, and then I use the art as another tool of the storyteliing. I try to think of the best way to visually communicate that particular story… or event , or a particular scene, and then I make an effort to cultivate a specific look, pace, rythm, and feel that organically grows out of the nature of the story, or the character, or the psychology of that character.

Often the style and media change from page to page and from scene to scene, and more broadly from project to project.

With my story KABUKI, there are seven volumes, and each volume is like a different era of the characters life… so it is written from an evolving perspective over the course of each volume, and therefore each volume has a very different contrasting look and feel that I tried to create for that particular story. Often I use different media for each volume.

The Kabuki volume that I would most recommend is KABUKI: THE ALCHEMY. I think it is the best example of my work in one book as that volume has the most diversity of work spanning an array of media and themes and visual storytelling experiments. And it has a wonderful introduction by Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk, and the story perhaps represents my most evolved and diverse writing and storytelling.

Q: what is something you wish I had asked you about?

A: I've spent a lot of time since 2003 being involved with a gallery and art studio for challenged and disabled artists called Visionaries & Voices. And Thunder-Sky gallery. Often artists with autism and other challenges, it's an effort close to my heart, and it gives the artists an opportunity to be seen for what they can do, rather than labeled for what they can't do or are challenged with.

Creating art helps them actually evolve their personal interaction skill set as well. I've seen so many of the artists come out of their shells and grow their personality as a result of creating and then presenting their creations to the world, and I relate to that quite a bit.

Here is a little four page story that I made about the death of my father that gives insight to some ways in which I relate to that in terms of my father and my own childhood... Thanks so much David, I learned many new things from this little interview-- can't wait to see you down in San Diego! CLICK HERE

Monday, July 15, 2013

new print up: DAVID MACK illustrates THE GOLDFISH POOL

My first collaboration with David Mack was on the I WILL WRITE WITH WORDS OF FIRE silkscreen, (which are almost gone!) he illustrated Neil's words so beautifully and it became one of my favorite pieces.

since that team effort, David and I have become Libra buddies, and now he is trusting me to help bring KABUKI to the big screen-stay tuned for more on this, there will be official announcements soon--

We wanted to do another print together, and were very hopeful to have something ready by the big San Diego ComicCon weekend-- and in between tours, we pulled it off!

I am very proud to showcase this watercolor-mixed media piece he came up with to illustrate one of the best stories about coming to Los Angeles to pitch your dream, THE GOLD FISH POOL AND OTHER STORIES, which appears in Neil's SMOKE AND MIRRORS collection.

If you have ANY interest in old/new Hollywood, you must read this account of a young British writer being put through the creative paces. It lives just past the veil in my mind, a reminder that these dreams are real.

Take a look.

The text is a dream snippet, one close to my heart. Full color printing on silky satin stock, sized at 11' x 17"- this is a run of 750, which David and I will split. He will have them at ComicCon 2013 this coming weekend, where he will sign them for you if you visit him at the Century Guild booth--Wed July 17-Sun July 21-- at booth #2845.

David will also have his new DAREDEVIL hardcover & some gorgeous Kabuki wear. Long story short, this artist doesn't rest!

He also has a big LA show coming up in the end of July 2013.

here is the beauty he finished for us, just two days ago, it is still at the printers here in Hollywood--Neil and I looked at it on the tour bus, rolling down the highways and byways of our country, just $25 on the presale--on Tuesday evening, it will go up to $38.00 so get yours early CLICK TO ORDER HERE.

DM photo resized3DMACKPrintfinVersion3_zps50821a5b.jpg

Sunday, July 14, 2013

back on the signing tour: Minneapolis & Chicago

I was in Sweden last week, still in a dream, can’t quite process all the travelling done this year—

Saw this welcome site in the Gothenburg airport as I prepared to fly home to rejoin Neil’s Last US Signing Book tour:

 photo swedishBook_zps7becc971.jpg

Along with these crazy candy bars:

 photo sweden2_zpsf0762588.jpg

Here was yesterday's mini-office in Neil’s most amazing Hobbit-magic-type study in Cambridge, all glowing wood and antique pieces and gorgeous old books… I want to live in this corner.

I have been organizing all the photos and I think I will have to go two shows at a time- First Minneapolis.

The Fab Lo picked me up at MSP, and we drove out to her old highschool for Neil's event. She's a braver girl than I, it would be very strange for me to return to my highschool stomping grounds, ayyy. Hans, the groundskeeper for Neil's midwestern home, kindly brought out miss Lola, Neil was beyond thrilled to see his girl dog.

 photo Hans_zps8f7c3055.jpg

My sweet aunt Athena and Uncle Jim came out to the show, it's always so great to hear her Greek accent and hilarious view points- she entertained the crowd around her, to be sure.

 photo AThena_zps5ec5f2e1.jpg

this lady made Boss crack up, honestly, we all did when we saw her shirt:

 photo Minn_zpsa121e7c1.jpg

a better view:

 photo Minn2_zps896ba0d4.jpg

here, Lorraine watches from backstage as Neil weaves his story web:

 photo Q_zpsa7fb9968.jpg

we rolled to Chicago the next morning, stopping at this truck stop, to see the Mystery Machine, you know I love some Scooby Do:

 photo truckstop_zps31914b59.jpg

I love Chicago, it has so many memories for me. We stayed in the swanky Waldorf Astoria, and I shot countless photos from Neil's suite:

 photo waldorfCHI_zps9ba7a0bc.jpg

The venue was a glamourous vintage theater, The Music Box, which, if in my neighborhood, I would visit every week--

 photo chiMarq2_zps141375c3.jpg

They were showing The Wall for their midnight movie!!!

 photo chiBoard_zps116c065a.jpg

here are some of the pro staff from Unabridged:

 photo Unabrid_zps45e474ca.jpg

Neil presigns in the wonderfully gothic dark:

 photo Chipresign_zps9ca51ed0.jpg

POPCORN!! they gave it to me, free. I love them. forever.

 photo Chimarq_zps19837f1c.jpg


 photo soundcheck_zpsf1d8f2f0.jpg

the photos are from my smudgy crap iPhone, because I thought I had lost my camera, so they aren't my proud best, but you can get an idea.

 photo ChiCrowd_zpsf903383d.jpg

Chicago, that means, Jill Thompson, Madeline Matz, Tara O'Shea and Valya!!

Valya & Mads helped me print out some very sensitive documents (hello American Gods scripts...) and Miss Matz did one of my favorite depictions of Cabal:

I WILL be making something out of her beautiful work, excuse the airport quickness of this post, as i should be putting links to everyone-- i will repair, but here it is:

 photo Jillt_zps2aa50b40.jpg

 photo JillTara_zps0cd576f1.jpg

Jill drew for some of the attendees, why didn't i bring something for her to scribble on??!

 photo Jilldraw_zps963ec584.jpg

two OTHER great things happened: 1. someone (i need this name!) sculpted NG a Cyberman helm!

 photo cybermen_zpsbff8179a.jpg

and 2. this marked the exhaled return of Bluey, Neil's missing-for-four-days suitcase. (Let this be a note to remind me to discuss with Alaska Air...!)

 photo suitcase_zps9eebd2ce.jpg

after the signing, we iced the poor hard-working Boss and put him into his bus.

 photo fruitIce_zps6f09f337.jpg

We loved Chicago so much, thank you all and especially to the staff from Unabridged Books & Music Box Theater. Look out for some mail next week from me n' the Boss.

Next up, a special pre-ComicCon announcement re: my good friend & art mogul David Mack. I'm sitting in Boston Logan Airport and will do the post from the plane to LAX.

HINT: a new print from David, illustrating Neil's THE GOLDFISH POOL & OTHER STORIES, from Smoke and Mirrors collection....~stand by~!!!

DM photo resized3DMACKPrintfinVersion3_zps50821a5b.jpg