"Frogg's Lament" a Paper Biscuit Nina adventure
Paper Biscuit 2.5, that is. Printed by Westcan. 40 pages, B&W, Cougar natural 70 lbs. First all digital production. No actual pencils were used in the making of this book.
Comic-con? Nah. Enrico and I had promised ourselves, and each other, that we were going to take it easy this year at Comic-con. Our work schedules have gone crazier, our tenacity wearing thin, it was a good time to experience what it was like to just walk around the con and see people. You know, be a fan again. We have a collective driving down to the con from the farm at Emeryville and we can offer support and cheer them on without having to mind our own booth.
But after our pleasant showing at APE and experiencing the familiar frenzy of being at a convention at the earlier WonderCon our resolve wasn't as certain. Especially since Kazu of Flight had this notion of linking booths and sharing the load of being so present at these cons.
"Well...there's the matter of not having anything new to show at San Diego." We thought that having the same book from last year isn't so bad, we can dial down the sales push. Signing up would mean significant savings since Bill Presing's Nazi Smasher is going to take half the booth (he had a banner year last year but was farther away from us. Now we'll be nice and cozy). Ben of Nucleus Gallery will be with us as well along with goodies from his store/gallery. It was looking like a lower cash investment and have a place to roost--low key, low cost, still good profile. And we all like those Flight Kids anyway (they have a new book and momentum from last year's hit anthology) The upside is looking very good and the down sides were not so down. We're going to go anyway, right? So, why not?
We signed up. But from then on it was a secret dread that we were showing up empty handed to the best comic-book show on earth. For weeks neither of us wanted to say it. It would be such a missed opportunity not to have something new for the show.
That full color Nina on the right of the book is the postcard that tucks neatly inside PB 2.5--a happy coincidence since the drawing on the card's back was intended for the inside front cover.
A pesky amphibian rises. I love illustrated books. The spot illustration of Tenniel and Shepard are my faves. How I would love to do a turn at doing illustrations like them. I am a fan of the Pooh illustrations since forever. For some reason I never read The Adventures of Toad of "Wind in the Willows" fame. My children had them when they were little but I had somehow skipped even opening them. Until I came across a small, hardcover edition of The Adventures of Toad. I recognized E.H.Shepard's drawings--grimaced at the bad color wash slathered under the line work, obviously done to add a new facet to the same drawings--and began to read it. I've ridden the Disney ride once with my kids and have never seen the cartoon. So, this was a treat.
Then it hit me. Why not give myself the job of doing spot illustrations on a small Nina adventure that was inspired by this book? Yeah, and create my very own obsessive amphibian! Yeah! Thus, Buford K. Frogg was born. But this is a Nina story after all and so we meet Nina just as she has fallen asleep, a good uneventful, restful sleep that's eluded her in so long. She was reading a small book about a certain toad as she drifted off to sleep. You can guess what happens next. Or you can visit me at our booth at the San Diego Comic-con, booth no.932 and buy a copy.
While you're there check out Enrico's full color book of his 24-hour comic exercise, "Sketch Crawling." It is a limited print run of the chronicles of Enrico as he goes through his day and do a Sketchcrawl. Very nice book, if I do say so myself. Pencil and watercolor in that immediate and charming way that only Enrico can make look effortless.
So, it looks like we do have new stuff to show this year after all. We cut it pretty close again this time. Thanks to Chris Young of Westcan Printing Group for taking care of my books, Ryan DeGrave for the tech support prying me out of design predicaments and Glenda Ashley for making sure I get the books in time. As you can see I went ahead and had postcards made, AND even sprung for a new Paper Biscuit t-shirt thru Bad Skulls. Looking like a full complement of a show, ain't it?
I'll see you all there.
Westcan Printing Group
Casarosa Journal featuring Sketch Crawling
Monkeysuit featuring Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher
Flight 2 review in CBR