My former co-worker Rebecca Thompson has illustrated two charming children’s books. Both books were written by Kirstin Dias.
C is for Camp
The first book, published in 2021, is called “C is for Camp”. It’s an alphabet book that describes the journey of a family of bears to their cottage, or “camp”, in the woods. It is utterly charming and makes me intensely miss going to the cottage. Running off the end of the dock into the lake… the way the waves sorted the beautiful multicoloured sand of the beach… the smell of the woods… I miss it intensely.
But I was thinking… we always called it ‘the cottage’, not ‘camp’. To me, a ‘camp’ is an organized thing for public-school students. However, my sister lives in Sault Ste. Marie and calls it ‘camp’. Imagine my joy when I saw that Kirsten Dias, the author of “C is for Camp”, is from Sault Ste. Marie!
Today I got an update. The books have been printed, but have not been shipped yet. In the meantime, the promised digital copy was made available (early!) to backers.
I was flipping through it on my phone at lunch at work. And even in those few minutes, I found three things that help with my children’s book projects, as well as with characters I am developing for other projects!
Now I am going through it and realizing there is so much more to learn… and my next projects will benefit enormously from the organization of the production process that this book teaches.
This book will have pride of place on my comics-creation shelf next to works like Kevin Tinsley’s “Digital Prepress for Comic Books”, Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” series, the Etherington brothers’ “How to Think When You Draw” series, and Duc’s “L’Art de la BD”… not to mention all the books about actual drawing and writing.
I am so excited by this!
Filth & Grammar is by Shelly Bond with Imogen Mangle, Laura Hole & Sofie Dodgson edited by William Potter & Heather Goldberg proofread by Arlene Lo cover by Philip Bond
Off Register Press, Los Angeles, 2022
ISBN 979-8-9855622-0-0 (hardcover) ISBN 979-8-9855622-1-7 (softcover)
One such project was a series of cookbooks of art and writing tutorials by the Etherington Brothers out of England. Lorenzo Etherington handles the drawing; Robin Etherington handles the writing.
Lorenzo has a very intriguing, very traditional style of drawing. It’s very 1940’s dieselpunk, all big internal-combustion engines strapped to race cars. It reminds me of the old CARtoons magazine I used to read when I was a kid, or the original Mad Magazine, or even some of Will Eisner’s work (for examples, see Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art).
It is very good to be able to look out into the world and see yourself reflected back.
As a writer and cartoonist, I want to be able to portray and ultimately connect with all sorts of people. I have been noticing that all my people drawings tend to look like Generic White People, just as my trees tend to look like Generic Maple Trees. I have to remember to explicitly make things look different, to match the variety of people (and trees) I actually see on the street. But how to do that?
A week or so ago, I stumbled across a very interesting Kickstarter.
Malaak is a series of comic books by French-Lebanese artist Joumana Medlej. It describes a Lebanon invaded by demonic spirits of war, and what the ancient guardians of the land must do to defend it.
In 2011 I was looking for drawing tutorials, and I stumbled across this incredibly-detailed chart of how to draw cats. Every type and variation of cat appearance was laid out in almost mathematical precision. Who could have done this?