Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stuff of Life a YALSA Nominee

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has nominated The Stuff of Life as a "2009 Great Graphic Novel for Teens." Says YALSA's website:

"The list of 53 titles, drawn from 154 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens."

Thanks to Steven Stwalley for the heads-up, and thanks to Tom Spurgeon for showcasing Stuff's beautiful cover here.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Recent Book Reviews

T-Minus: The Race to the Moon on Marty Devine's MAD WORLD, The X-Librarian, Savannah Morning News, and Telegraph-Journal.

Far Arden on Bookforum and School Library Journal.

Stuff of Life on The Johnandjanaverse.

Big Funny on Newsarama

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Stuff of Life is on UNSHELVED!

More on MoCCA later, but in the meantime:

Stuff of Life on Unshelved

Thanks, Bill & Gene!


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Jeff Parker at CBR

Check out Jeff Parker's guest blog post over at It's all about learnin' stuff through comics.

And if you haven't already, pick up Parker's "Agents of Atlas" -- now in its second print run!

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Listen to Mark Schultz on NPR's "Science Friday"

Mark Schultz had a great conversation with Ira Flatow on Friday. You can listen to the 12 minute segment here:

Thanks, Ira!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mark Schultz on Science Friday

Mark Schultz will be talking about The Stuff of Life on NPR's Science Friday this week. Call in!

Twin Cities listeners can catch the show on KNOW 91.1 FM, 1-1:20 pm.

I assume they'll talk about what a great time it is for readers (and creators) of science comics. This month, for instance, marks the debut of Peter Bagge's science comic for Discover Magazine. The internets are also buzzing about an upcoming Darwin graphic novel (what, is it his 200th birthday or something?)


Books Are In!

It's always fun to get back-to-back packages of books in the mail.

The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA

First up is The Stuff of Life, the science graphic novel that we illustrated and Mark Schultz wrote. There was a small printing snafu, which meant that the December 23 run of the book had to get pulped! The reprinted version came out officially on January 23. If you're in New York next week, get a signed copy from Zander!

Zander and I started working on The Stuff of Life back in 2006, so it's pretty exciting to finally have the finished product in our hands. Stuff marks the beginning of an era -- it's our first graphic novel drawn entirely with the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen -- and also the end of an era -- it's the last graphic novel we'll do with hand-lettering on the boards. This is due to the publisher's need to be able to make last-minute text changes in InDesign. Our next book, T-Minus (coming out in May) uses several original fonts based on my hand-writing. Our hope is that you, the reader, won't be able to tell the difference.

Hacker's Guide

Next up is Hacker's Guide, a down to earth and very detailed guidebook of every metro-area golf course. Not a graphic novel, per se, but Zander and I created a "Hacker" character, and did the logo, cover design and packaging, and created several illustrations and logos that are used inside the book.

Hacker's Guide may seem like a random project to work on, but it's actually closely connected to the local comics scene. The book is the brainchild of Bruce Stasch, who is an in-law of Lars Martinson. Lars, of course, is an extraordinary cartoonist whose Tonoharu: Part One came out from Top Shelf last spring. Bruce actually offered the Hacker's Guide design project to Lars, but Lars had to turn it down as he is currently globetrotting.

The book will premiere at the Crown Royal Minnesota Golf Show this February. Get your photo taken with a life-size version of the Hacker Guy!

Ordering info:
The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA
Hacker's Guide

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Comic Book Resources Interviews Cannon Brothers

Zander and I recently sat down (via email) with Van Jensen and chatted about how we could possibly find a way to make a subject like DNA interesting. You can read this lively exchange at Comic Book Resources.

Thanks, Van!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Seed Magazine Names Stuff of Life a Best Book of 2008

Read the whole list here.

Thanks, Seed!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Stuff of Life Video Online!

Our new graphic novel, The Stuff of Life, will be in stores on December 23rd, just in time for Christmas, if you hurry. To whet your appetite until then, we have a cartoon to show you that will give you the gist of the book. Click the image to watch the video.

If your computer can handle it, click on "watch in higher quality".

For this animation,
1. Kevin wrote the story and storyboarded it, then
2. Kevin colored the characters from the book and digitally painted the background, then
3. PUNY started the process of preparing the characters for animation, then
4. I did the voices for Bloort and Floorsh (Kevin has a cameo role; see if you can find it), then
5. PUNY animated the characters to match my voice, then
6. PUNY added sound effects and music, then
7. I recorded my voice singing along to the music, then
8. PUNY put it all together (magically, as far as I could tell).

I expect that PUNY will put up a post about some of the animation techniques; I can only offer what it was like to do voices for a cartoon. First, I went down to record in PUNY's high-tech interim sound booth (a foam cartoon character costume about 2 1/2 feet in diameter hung from the ceiling with a fancy microphone electrical-taped to an incompatible mike stand all wired to a laptop three feet away), .

Will Shepard did the directing and sound editing (I actually spoke all of the lines several times before moving on to the next one, and I did the characters separately) and tweaked it all together to make it all sound funny and natural. All the little "ohh..."s and "A-ha"s were recorded completely out-of-context as a long stream of interjections, and he figured out where to put them in and make me sound like a pro. Nice work, Will!

Every time I went down to PUNY to do voices, I saw the incrementally-more-finished sound booth in which one day, ONE DAY, I will record some voices. Probably for some energetic, educational cartoon dog.

Finally, I offer my stunned amazement at how beautiful the animation was for this sequence. PUNY will have more detail on who did what, but all I can say is I think it looks fantastic.  

The video can be seen at:

Not to mention
which has Mike Owens' insights about animating the short, as well as some photos of the swanky sound booth.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Wired Reviews Stuff of Life

Wired's December issue has a great review of our upcoming graphic novel, The Stuff of Life.

Stuff will be in stores on December 23, but in the meantime you can read more at

Thanks, Wired!

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