Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amazing Stories of Polio!

The February '09 issue of Rotary International's Rotarian magazine will feature a 16-page comic book story (graphic non-fiction?) about the history of Polio eradication, drawn by Yours Truly.

The subject matter isn't sexy or action-packed, but this was a very interesting job that further demonstrates just how flexible the medium of "sequential storytelling" can be. The enlightened editors at the Rotarian knew that the history of Polio and the scientists and humanitarians who continue to fight it, could be an easily-overlooked feature in their magazine...or something new and different. Telling the story as a narrative with images makes an old subject interesting and accessible. I think the end result works very well.

The story, of course, begins and ends with Jonas Salk, who created the first vaccine to prevent the spread of Polio, while refusing to patent it. A true humanitarian, whose achievement & selflessness made him a household name.

The narrative then goes back to describe the history of the disease, how the virus works & spreads, and its effect on the world.

Rotary International is on the brink of eradicating Polio from the last few places it exists on earth today. In an ever-shrinking world, as long as polio threatens even one child anywhere, children everywhere remain at risk.

I'm very pleased to have been able to work on this project, and contribute to a worthy cause. For more information about End Polio Now, please visit their website and learn how you can help, too.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fun Club Komiks

This week I am starting my tenth episode of Fun Club Komiks which is featured in the Polish magazine for teens, Fun Club. In the comments of a previous post, Michal asked if I'd received any of the printed magazines in the mail. They took a while to arrive, but I did recently get a package with my first three issues (the covers are in the image above). It's always cool to see one's work in print, but what struck me, looking back at those first few comics, is how my art has evolved over the past 10 months. In a way, I think I'm just now getting the hang of this, and I'm finally becoming comfortable with these characters, and making them my own.

"Michal" is, in fact, Michal Zacharzewski, the writer of Fun Club Komiks, and my main contact for the publisher in Poland. He's made this job very easy for me, considering the problems of language and time zone differences. I'm very glad to be working with him (and I'd better get busy, sending him some sketches!)

Here's a preliminary character sketch for a supporting character in this month's assignment...

I'm not 100% happy with this sketch. The design works pretty well for what I need, but he looks a little too generic & "manga" for my tastes. I will have to think of some ways to make him look a little bit more unique.

Here are a couple of my favorite panels from the past ten month's worth of "Fun..."

Back in May, I posted a step-by-step look at my process for drawing this comic, you can look at it here if you're interested. When I get a chance, I'll post something from the new strip too, so you can compare it with the one from May.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Coloring Book

One of the several jobs that has been keeping me busy, and very "quiet" here on the blog, is a coloring book that I'm drawing for a certain, unnamed publisher based in Kuwait. This is part of the cover art. You may recognize these characters. Then again, maybe you won't!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

School Library Journal

Cool! As reported by The Beat, The Ronald Reagan biography that I worked on with Andy Helfer and Joe Staton has made the list of the School Library Journal's Best Adult Books for High School Students 2008!

Congrats to my fellow collaborators!