Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Revisiting Royal Book

Clover Press will publish a new edition of The Royal Book of Oz by Ruth Plumly Thompson, the first book in the Oz series to be written after the death of series creator L. Frank Baum. This brand new edition will feature brand new illustrations by Sara Richard. It will also contain an afterword by me.

My afterword discusses how Thompson got the job as successor to L. Frank Baum and the publisher's ruse to ease the transition to the new "Royal Historian of Oz."

A Kickstarter Campaign is currently running to crowdfund Clover Press's publication of The Royal Book of Oz. Click here to access it and contribute. A lot of extras are available, depending on your contribution level.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Come Draw with Me

I'm off to Missouri for a few days!

On Friday, August 16, I'll present the program Comics & Drawing Tips with Eric Shanower at the Nixa Branch of the Christian County Library from 4:30 PM to 6 PM. The address is 208 N. McCroskey, Nixa, Missouri 65714. All ages are welcome.

For details click here.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Moseying on to Missouri

LibraryCon at the Library Center of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library at 4653 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, Missouri, happens on Saturday, August 17. The event runs 10 AM to 5 PM.

This is the fifth annual LibraryCon. Thousands of people attend to find new comics, hear guests speak, and generally have fun.

I'll be there to give a presentation on Age of Bronze, to participate in the Draw-Off, and  to sell my Age of Bronze graphic novels and comics.

Click here for details and the complete schedule.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Magic of OzCon

The 55th annual OzCon International will run July 26-28 at Kellogg West Conference Center on the campus of Cal Poly in Pomona, California. I'll be there. Will you?

I'm looking forward to OzCon a lot this year because of two things--an article I wrote for the OzCon 2019 Program Book and a presentation I'll be making on Friday evening at the convention. Themes of this year's OzCon include: the 13th Oz book by L. Frank Baum, The Magic of Oz, which was published 100 years ago; the life and legacy of L. Frank Baum, who died 100 years ago; and the 80th anniversary of the MGM motion picture version of The Wizard of Oz.

I've always been more of an Oz book enthusiast than an Oz movie enthusiast. So I'm amused that both my contributions to OzCon this year are tied to OzCon's celebration of the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland.

Hank the Mule, drawing by John R. Neill
For the OzCon 2019 Program Book I wrote "A Musical Bubble in Two Bottles: The History of Mamzelle Champagne." This stage musical of 1906 featured the first professional script by Edgar Allan Woolf, who went on to become one of the screenwriters of the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz. Mamzelle Champagne is notorious as the show where Harry K. Thaw committed the "crime of the century" by killing Stanford White during opening night in full view of the audience. Every history of that murder I've seen includes a reference to Mamzelle Champagne. But I'm not aware of any detailed history written about the show itself--not before I wrote that history for the program book, I mean. It turns out that Edgar Allan Woolf isn't the only Oz connection to Mamzelle Champagne. Of course I'm not going to reveal the other connections here. Read the article.

My presentation for OzCon 2019 will be "Hank's Hidden History: The Life and Legacy of Fred Woodward." The name Fred Woodward should at least ring a bell for anyone familiar with stage and screen Oz history. Most famously in Oz circles Fred played Hank the Mule in The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, L. Frank Baum's 1913-14 stage musical. But he did so much more--more, I think, than anyone else now alive but me is aware of--including having a role in Mamzelle Champagne. (There I go, revealing another of Mamzelle Champagne's Oz connections after I said I wouldn't.) How is Hank the Mule tied to the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz? In two ways. But I'm not going to tell those here. Really. You'll have to wait till Friday evening of OzCon 2019 to find out.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

New Casper Comic Book Series

Casper the Friendy Ghost stars in a brand new comic book series. The first issue of Casper's Spooksville is already on sale wherever comic books are sold.

In the tradition of Casper's space adventures from years ago when Casper accompanied Apollo 16 to the moon, Casper's Spooksville presents a space-faring odyssey. "Sneak Thieves from Outer Space" stars Casper, Wendy the Good Little Witch, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, and Hot Stuff the Little Devil. This story, written by Mike Wolfer and drawn by me, continues through the first four issues of Casper's Spooksville.

That's not all--I'm also drawing a second Mike Wolfer-written story in each issue. Issue #1 features Hot Stuff and the return of the mischievous Spook-Cats in "One Bad Apple." More stories by others are also included.

Look for the cover on the right. I love the tv screens featuring the main characters, just like the designs on the vintage Casper comic books published last century by Harvey Comics.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

San Diego Comic-Con

San Diego Comic-Con opens next Wednesday evening, July 17, at the San Diego Convention Center on Harbor Drive in downtown San Diego. I'll be exhibiting at table BB-01 in Artists' Alley in the main exhibit hall.

I'll have the new color edition of Age of Bronze: A Thousand Ships, the beginning of the Trojan War written and drawn by me and in full color by John Dallaire. I'll have printed copies of Age of Bronze issue #34, a convention exclusive. A sampling of other publications I've drawn, written, or otherwise contributed to--Oz and otherwise--will also be available. And I'll be drawing sketches.

So if you're attending this year's SDCC, the 50th annual one, come by my table to say hello.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Pour me a Pint

Pint o' Comics, a radio program on WESU in Middletown, CT, just broadcast a live interview with me. I chatted with Jon Johnson and Mitch Hallock, mostly about Age of Bronze, but we also covered other projects and aspects of my career. Fun was had by all.

You can listen to the interview streaming. It's available through the two weeks following today, Sunday, June 16. So just click here:

https://wesu.streamrewind.com/bookmarks/listen/263803/pint-o-comics

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Meet Me at the Fair

The Wizard of Oz is the theme of this year's San Diego County Fair. I lived in San Diego, California, for many years and enjoyed attending the fair each summer. But I don't live there anymore and won't be attending this year, even though I'd like to see how the Oz theme is celebrated.

I still have lots of friends and acquaintances in San Diego. A couple of them noticed that in an Oz display at the San Diego County Fair this year, the cover of one of my graphic novels is featured: The Ice King of Oz. Thank you, Wendy and Marcia, for letting me know and sending me photos.

I don't know how Ice King ended up being the example chosen for the display. The funny thing is that for two years at the fair I participated in a program of authors reading their works to kids on afternoons in the Children's Tent. And both years I chose to read The Ice King of Oz. So for me, that title already had an association with the San Diego County Fair. Did the person who planned the Oz display remember my reading this graphic novel? Or was it just chance?


Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower.
Photos copyright © 2019 Marcia Berneger.
All rights reserved.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Casper's Spooksville

Tomorrow, May 4, is Free Comic Book Day across North America. Comic book shops everywhere will be hosting events and signings.

Comic book publishers traditionally offer special comic book issues available for free. This year American Mythology offers a free issue of Casper's Spooksville, with a cover drawn by me.

So find your local comic book shop participating in Free Comic Book Day, grab your friends and family, and head there tomorrow to pick up your free copy of Casper's Spooksville and other special Free Comic Book Day comics.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. 
All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

At Long Last: Age of Bronze #34

Finally! It's published. Yesterday the long-awaited new issue of Age of Bronze went on sale. Age of Bronze issue #34 contains the episode of Achilles and Helen meeting on the highest peak of Mount Ida. Here's the link to the issue.

In the original tradition, Helen was carried to Mount Ida by the goddess Aphrodite, so for Age of Bronze, which eschews the supernatural, I had to do a lot of behind-the-scenes manipulation to get Helen out of Troy and to that mountain peak in a natural manner. I planted early seeds for the solution way back in issue #24, pulling threads from other Trojan War episodes and weaving them together with as few knots and puckers as possible.

Achilles was a little easier to place on Mount Ida, but even for him I had to design the route using bits of the Trojan War tradition that had never to my knowledge been strung together in the way I chose.

Issue #34 of Age of Bronze also features the (I hope) unexpected return of a character unseen since issue #3. This won't be the last we see of that character, nor of the new character introduced in the same scene.

Also featured are short appearances by Troilus, Cressida, Hektor, Priam, Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Palamedes. One panel features a shot of most of the Trojan royal family. Keeping all those characters and their likenesses consistent is a painstaking but pleasant task. And now that Age of Bronze is in full-color and John Dallaire, Age of Bronze colorist, has assigned specific colors to all the characters in that scene, there's another level of consistency to maintain.

Click here to read Age of Bronze #34 on Comixology. Only $1.99!

Click here for a three page preview of Age of Bronze #34.

ADDENDUM - The Official Word on Age of Bronze Publication Formats
I'd assumed that anyone who follows this blog already knows that new Age of Bronze single issues are going digital with this current issue. But clearly there are readers who haven't read previous posts. So for everyone's benefit, here's the skinny again:

All Age of Bronze single issues will be published only in digital format for the foreseeable future.

The exception to that is a small number of print copies I'm privately printing for Age of Bronze subscribers. No new subscriptions are being accepted. When all current subscriptions run out, I'll stop these small print runs. Don't contact me asking how to get a copy if you're not an Age of Bronze subscriber.

Age of Bronze graphic novel collections will continue to be published in print form. So if you don't want to read electronic comics on a screen, all you have to do is wait for the graphic novel collection. As in the past, forthcoming Age of Bronze graphic novels will collect all the story pages from several issues, along with extra material such as maps, pronunciation guide, and bibliography.

In addition to print, Age of Bronze graphic novel collections will be published in digital form.

All new Age of Bronze comics—that means digital comic books, print graphic novels, and digital graphic novels—will be in full color.

All old Age of Bronze graphic novels are being reprinted in full color. A Thousand Ships (book 1) was published last fall. Sacrifice (book 2) will be published in 2019.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. 
All rights reserved.
Age of Bronze and all character likenesses are trademarks of Eric Shanower.



Saturday, March 23, 2019

Age of Bronze #34 Coming Soon!

Now for an Age of Bronze update!

A couple weeks ago I turned in Age of Bronze #34 to the publisher Image Comics. So it will be released soon. With this issue the comic books series goes digital only. You'll be able to read Age of Bronze #34 on your choice of digital screen--monitor, pad, or phone--and in a full range of hues by colorist John Dallaire. Comixology is the online delivery service that will be offering Age of Bronze.

I'll post an announcement here when issue #34 is available for you to purchase online. And, although I've said it before, I'll say it again to re-assure everyone: future Age of Bronze graphic novel collections will continue to be published in print. The single issues are going digital-only, not the graphic novels.

[A note to subscribers: I've printed a small number of actual hard copy issues of Age of Bronze #34 in order to fulfill subscriptions, so you'll be getting exactly what you expected when you originally subscribed--except that now Age of Bronze is in full color! I'll be offering to switch any subscriber over to digital if preferred.]

To whet your appetite, here's a three-page preview of Age of Bronze #34. Click on each page to see it larger:




Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. 
Age of Bronze color copyright © 2019 John Dallaire.
All rights reserved.
Age of Bronze and all character likenesses are trademarks of Eric Shanower.

Casper's Ghostland #2

On sale now from your favorite comics dealer, both real world and online, is the second issue of Casper's Ghostland. It features several stories of Casper and his friends, Hot Stuff, Spooky, and Wendy.

I drew a ten-page story written by Mike Wolfer. "Jokers Are Wild" stars Spooky and Hot Stuff in an encounter with the prankster Spook-Cats. The Spook-Cats appeared in one story decades ago when Harvey Comics was publishing the Casper characters. Now the mischievous ghost felines, Cyril and Claude, are back to torture our heroes. That's them in the lower left corner of the front cover, also drawn by me.

I hope you'll enjoy the Spook-Cats, 'cause they'll be back soon!

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Age of Bronze #34 Cover


Today is the final day of January 2019. In a few places I've announced that Age of Bronze #34 would be published in January 2019. But it wasn't. In other places I've announced that Age of Bronze #34 will be published in early 2019. That's still happening.

Colorist John Dallaire and I are still working on the color for Age of Bronze #34. As soon as that's finished, the issue will be off to publisher Image Comics for digital publication through Comixology.

So we've still got a few weeks to go. Believe me, I'll announce publication as soon as it happens. I've been waiting for this issue as long as anyone.

In the meantime, here's a look at the cover for issue #34. It features Achilles and Helen meeting on the summit of Mount Ida, south of Troy.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.
Age of Bronze and all character likenesses are trademarks of Eric Shanower.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Returning to Key West

Left to right: Meg Cabot, Danielle Paige, Eric Shanower, and Victor LaValle.
I had a stupendous time at the Key West Literary Seminar in Key West, Florida, earlier this month. I gave a presentation on Age of Bronze that, by all counts, was well received. I also babbled away about comics and my career in a public conversation with Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries), Danielle Paige (author of Dorothy Must Die), and Victor LaValle (author of The Changeling), who have all recently written graphic novels in addition to their prose works. I met a lot of fascinating people, loved listening to the other presentations, and had a terrific time seeing Key West, where I was born but had never previously been back to.

As the first invited cartoonist at this 37-year-old literary event, which through the decades has boasted a roster of some of the best writers of our time, I wanted to present a positive and insightful face of comics and graphic novels for both the audience and the organizers. I think I was mostly successful, so I hope some of my fellow cartoonists will be appearing on the Key West stage in future years.

Here's the link to an article about my presentation at the Key West Literary Seminar. If you're interested in attending next year's seminar, here's the link for tickets, which go on sale February 5. But be prepared; tickets for the Key West Literary Seminar sell out as quickly as those for the San Diego Comic-Con--like lightning.

Copyright © 2019 Eric Shanower. All rights reserved.
Photo by Mark Hedden.
Photo copyright © 2019 Key West Literary Seminar.