As promised here and on Facebook, today I will reveal some exciting news! (Drumroll, please...)
Next month my artwork will be on display at the National Institute for Graphic Arts at the Palazzo Poli in Rome!
In recent months, the stories I drew for the Rotarian magazine have been taking on a life of their own. First there was that enthusiastic bloke in the UK, then yesterday's Folio Award announcement, and now this. Evidently, people respond favorably to the use of graphic storytelling! Who knew?
Of course that's a joke. As a comic book artist, I've always known that comics (or "graphic novels," if you prefer) can be a powerful medium for communicating ideas. My editor at the Rotarian, Deborah Lawrence, knew thew this too, and campaigned for a long time before she was able to go ahead and produce our series of stories. The first, if you're playing catch-up, was Amazing Stories of Polio, a history of the disease and the battle to eradicate it. This ties in with Rotary's End Polio Now effort. Next, we told the story of Rotary's founder, Paul Harris, in the illustrated biography, The Remarkable Mr. Harris.
February 23rd is Rotary Day, when members of Rotary Clubs around the world celebrate the international organization's birthday. As shown in The Remarkable Mr. Harris, the historic first club meeting took place in Chicago on that date in 1905. Today, it is a day of celebration, used to expand awareness of Rotary and its charitable works. It's a big deal...
You can see from this photo from Rotary Day 2009 that the Roman Rotarians take the job pretty seriously!
This year, they have their sights set on the Trevi Fountain, which will be lit up in a similar way. The Building behind the famous fountain is the Palazzo Poli, where the original art from both of my stories will be on display. The organizer, Alberto Cecchini, has arranged for me to be present at the event, which will also be attended by Rome's mayor and many public dignitaries. Needless to say, I am thrilled.
This week, I'm working up some promotional art for the event. Here are a couple of rough sketches...
I'll post the finished work, when it's completed. Now I'd better get back to work. And I'd better brush up on my Italian. And you know what else? I think I ought to join the Rotary Club!