Monday, July 20, 2015

San Diego was a blast!

I was drinking a Caipirinha at the outside patio of one of the hotel bars, talking with Skottie Young, Chris Roberson and Allison Baker about comics. I was actually enjoying the sun, and my drink was delicious. Topics ranged from the influence of “the Maxx” in our comics to how special it is to work inside the Hellboy universe, with stories about smuggling things from one country to another and who has more original Chris Bachalo pages thrown into the mix.
The girl working at the bar is brazilian, so her Caipirinhas can be trusted.
The guy working at the bar of the Scholastic party was also brazilian. I was impressed when José Villarubia recognised the bartender’s strong accent and said to me “he’s brazilian”. I didn’t get a caipirinha there, but I can’t complain of what I did get: an advance copy of Craig Thompson’s Space Dumplins.
There are no brazilians in space in that book. Not yet, at least. I just read the first few chapters.
Back to San Diego, which is what I can’t stop thinking about. Maybe it is really because I’m from Brazil and I only see these people once a year, maybe twice, but when I can spend five days talking with so many of my friends and they’re all doing such great comics, I can’t complain about where my life has led me.
San Diego was a blast this year.

Bá and I had a wonderful time in San Diego Comic Con this year. I don’t care what people say, it’s still my favourite convention. It’s the only place where you’ll find all the publishers, from the smallest to the big mainstream ones, where independent or alternative artists interact and share their passion in the same space as international super stars of books you grew up reading, and it’s where we can still celebrate the Eisner Awards (where everybody who attends is bound to discover at least one cool book that catches your attention).
It is getting harder and harder to attend SDCC, getting a 4 day pass is hard, getting a hotel room is hard, and there are more and more people going for the entertainment part of the convention rather than the comics part, but still I think SDCC is pretty special and the energy from the authors and the readers was just unbelievable. If you can see past the sea of people, the comics-section  is still the most inspiring place you’ll find on those five days of summer. And, since we didn’t have a table this year, we could also walk around and discover so much more stuff, and see and talk to so much more people, and leave with the even stronger feeling that we’re living in these very special creative moment in Comics, where the audience is really diverse, the production is diverse, and the doors are wide open for Comics to go everywhere.
We even did a presentation about that during the convention.

One of the panels we were part of this year was called “Different is cool”.
We created that panel.
We made that name up.
It was basically me and my brother talking to the audience about how incredible it is to go your own way, find your own style, and how your work stands out when you stop trying to do what everybody else is doing and try to focus on doing what only you can do. Our presentation was a love-letter to the convention and to the Comics’ World, to this place where we can discover such a wide variety of artists and styles and possibilities, and how refreshing that is, and how inspiring, and how many of the authors we admire have had that same moment when that voice in their heads said it was okay to do something you love even if nobody else is doing it.
The room was big, full of readers, of fans and friends, and it was great having that opportunity to talk about our love for comics, and to reflect on how nowadays is a great time to go after your dreams. It was the best way to start the last day of the Con, and it gave us this buzz that we carried to the interviews we made, and to the signing session that followed. We love comics so much and, with the response from the audience at our panel, we felt loved back. It was an incredible feeling.
We first came to SDCC in 1997 dreaming of drawing super-heroes for Marvel and DC, but our journey took us to a completely different path. A more personal path.
We haven’t looked back ever since.

We always come back from San Diego inspired to make more comics. Bá spent a couple of days in L.A to share that enthusiasm with Gerard and talk about the new Umbrella Academy series. It’s going to be great. Knowing there are more Umbrella comics coming is more exciting to me than the news of an Umbrella Academy TV series. Bá and Gerard have so much fun stuff planned.
As I write this, I got my copies of Casanova Acedia #3 in from the printer. It should be in comics stores on July 29th. We’re really making an effort to go back on schedule, since releasing Two Brothers in Brazil and France and touring took us so much always from the drawing board and resulted in this very big (unprofessional) gap between issues 2 and 3. Issue 4 will come out next month.
This year I finally stopped at some point and managed to be interviewed by my friend Jimmy Aquino for his Comic News Insider podcast and I talked about the books I did, the new book coming out (Two Brothers) and about what I love about comics. When he finally asked me the geeky questions, about which characters or books I would like to work on, I think I let him down with my answers, but I forgot to tell him one thing:
Despite focusing on creating new stories and trying to do different things, my brother and I will draw on a mainstream DC book for the first time this year, and it will be published next month.
Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Original pages at SDCC 2015

We have a wide range of original pages we brought to San Diego this year, and they’ll be available at the Beguiling booth (1629).

Hellboy cover and pages, American Vampire pages, Umbrella Academy pages, Chrononauts and Killjoys covers, and more. The image shows some of the pages we left with them.

Monday, July 06, 2015

CBLDF party and auction at SDCC 2015

Every year, we contribute a new piece of art to the auction that takes place at SDCC to help raise funds for the CBLDF. Many of the artwork and original pieces are exhibited at the party they throw every year at the Westgate Hotel, where you have at chance to chat with many creators.

The auction itself takes place on saturday, and here are the two new pieces we did.

CBLDF Live Art Auction
July 11, 2015 • 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
Hilton Bayfront, Sapphire CD
(check out the CBLDF Booth 1918 for more informations).

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

SDCC - Different is Cool!

For the first time in a while, I looked at the whole upcoming SDCC program, and that reminded me how big the show is. There's a lot going on there. Of course there are loads of TV and movies useless bullshit that drag thousands of people every year to gigantic pitiful lines, but you can find many panels with comics creators and publishers with experience and knowledge to share, with lessons about the craft and great advices to the young artists and writers.
There’s a pattern to be recognised on the panels that jump to my eyes while reading the whole program. First, let’s see a list that I find very interesting, and that I might even go to.

On Thursday there’s a panel called "breaking into comics right now" at 12pm on room 28DE and "Breaking into Comics the Marvel way" at 1pm on room 7AB. At 11am, a "Writing Workshop with Kelly Sue DeConnick" on room 2, and at 3pm, "Writing 101: what to think about before you start writing" with Marv Wolfman on room 30CDE. On the same room, it's followed by "Comic Book Art: making a living doing it", talking about how to price and sell your art, exploit and merchandise it and try to squeeze those dollars out of it. 

At 4pm, on room 28DE, there's the "Delcourt panel", with the French publisher's founder Guy Delcourt. Decades of experience and millions of comics sold every year, it'll be good to learn that there's more to comics than American super-heroes. And while you're discovering new cultures, at 5pm, "Making a living in Manga: Japan creators and editors talk" on room 29AB.

Fábio and I will be on two panels on Thursday. At 1pm on room 2, we'll join "DeConnick and Fraction: Milkfed Criminal Masterminds at work" to talk about all the projects this crazy couple is working on, including Casanova. And at 3pm we'll be at room 23ABC on "Dark Horse Originals: The New Mainstream", talking about our new graphic novel, Two Brothers. 

Wow, and that was just Thursday. 

On Friday at 11am, "Publishers Weekly: The French Comics Invasion" on room 29AB. 

If you want to create comics for kids, you should go to two panels. On Friday at 12:30pm, "GRAPHIX: Beginning, Present and Beyond" on room 24ABC, and on Saturday at 3pm, "Kid's Comics" on room 23 ABC, and 

Friday at 3pm, "Breaking into Comics and Staying in" on room 30ABC and on Saturday at 4pm, "IDW: So, You want to be in comics" on room 4. 

On Sunday, if you still have energy for panels and want to learn a little bit more about digital comics, “Comixology Submit: The Future of Self-Publishing” at 3pm on room 29AB. 

And almost every day there's a cool IMAGE COMICS panel with creators and editors talking about how awesome comics are.

You might have caught the pattern on the panels I’ve picked. They’re all about creating Comics, getting into Comics, different approaches and mind sets. Well, that was my way to prepare you to our panel on Sunday, “Different is Cool”, at 11:15am on room 6DE. 

In the last 20 years, we’ve self-published Comics and we’ve worked with small and big publishers, on tiny to gigantic projects, and we have been living exclusively out of comics for the last eight years. We have been to conventions all around the world (we’re open for invitations for show on Japan and Australia, by the way). The first thing we learn on our first trip to San Diego Comic Con in 1997 just proved to be one of the most valuable once we started going to Comics Conventions and Festivals in other countries. Diversity is the most precious quality the Comics global industry has to offer. Yes, Global Industry, because good creators can come from anywhere in the world, and a good story breaks barriers and travels to distant countries and gets translated to the most exotic languages. 

So I invite you to enjoy the whole show, go to all the panels you can, go to the Eisners ceremony, learn all the things you can, talk to all the people you can, and then come meet us on Sunday on room 6DE, at 11:15am, and let’s talk about how the best way to break into comics and build a career may not be by doing what everyone wants, but by doing what only you can do. And let’s find out what that means.