Every year on February 1, I participate in Hourly Comic Day! Cartoonists all over the world draw a comic about the previous hour of their day, for every hour they’re awake. This is my seventh year doing it, and it’s fun to see how things evolve over the years.
This year reflects some of the big changes in my life since last February 1. And because Smile came out on February 2, 2010, this day is always my chance to look back on the ways my career has grown and shifted and taken on a life of its own over time. As always, I’m grateful to all of my readers for sticking with me!
As we speak, I’m in the final weeks of production on Ghosts, and once that’s off to press I’ll be turning my focus back to writing for a few months, before embarking on the GhostsTour later this fall. As always, my events calendar is on the right-hand side of my website’s homepage, so keep your eyes on that to find out when I’ll be visiting a town near you.
Thanks to my friends who were part of my day today in ways big and small. Let’s all do it again sometime.
On with the comics!
(And after all that computer talk, ironically all of my tech stopped working midway through scanning my comics. The world is laughing at me today!)
It’s hard to believe, but as of today, the fourth graphic novel adaptation of the Baby-sitters Club series, Claudia and Mean Janine, which was first published in 2008, is in stores in full color! This marks the end of my series that launched my career, and set the stage for me to publish Smile. It has been really fun seeing people discover my older work for the first time!
As a special treat to celebrate book 4’s release, I dug up something very cool from my mom’s storage space: Some old BSC art I drew when I was ten years old! Check this out. Proof positive that I’ve been a BSC fan from the early days. I guess that made me a good candidate to adapt the series into comics almost 20 years later!
If you’re wondering where Stacey is, according to the page of notes I also found, this was drawn during the part of the series where Stacey moved back to New York City for a little while. Mallory and Jessi had just joined the club, too. So this was in continuity!
I’d also like to note that Claudia and Mean Janine ended up being my favorite book out of the four BSC graphic novels I drew. I had the best time drawing the kids running around Stacey’s yard, chasing dogs and freaking out Jenny Prezzioso. The scene where Kristy and Dawn hang out in Dawn’s barn is one of my favorites in the entire series. And being able to depict Claudia’s relationship with Mimi was really touching — I drew a lot of inspiration from my own relationship with my grandmother, who also had a series of strokes in her later years. And of course, Claudia’s relationship with her sister draws a few parallels with my own book, Sisters. I enjoy connecting dots between art and life, and the BSC series is no exception.
Book 4 also has a really cool how-to that we created to show my working method and how I create my graphic novels!
Thanks again to the incredible people who helped make these books possible. David Saylor, David Levithan, Janna Morishima, Sheila Keenan, and Cassandra Pelham held the editorial reins; everyone else at Scholastic; John Green, my fabulous letterer; Braden Lamb, who brought the books to glorious new life in full color; all of my friends who lent a hand of support or assistance during the four years these books were in production.
And of course…Ann M. Martin herself, without whom these books would not exist. I am so happy to say that Ann became a friend over the years we worked together, and I’m always grateful for a chance to talk with her and read her books. She’s been an inspiration to me since I was nine years old, and she continues to inspire me to this day.
Here it is — the cover of my upcoming graphic novel, GHOSTS!
Not only that, but Scholastic released a huge 23-page preview over on Entertainment Weekly, so click away to read part of the first chapter of the book. Enyoy!
It’ll be in stores in September.
I mentioned this already, but it merits its very own blog post! You can now order signed copies of my books from my local indie bookstore, Green Apple Books! Visit their Upstream page, order some books, and shipping is only 99 cents via USPS! (They ship international, too.) Each book has a signature and a drawing, so they make wonderful gifts.
Upstream is a movement where authors partner with local independent bookstores, to encourage readers to support small businesses. Green Apple has been a San Francisco institution for decades, and it’s just the sort of quirky, welcoming, community-oriented place an author like me wants to work with. They’ve been good to me over the years, and have hosted me for several great events, and I am happy to continue this relationship.
Thanks for your support! Happy reading!
I know it’s been kind of quite around here. I’ve been working like mad on Ghosts, which comes out next fall. I hope it will be worth the wait! I have a few things to share with you guys about holiday items and promotions:
SIGNED BOOKS! My local indie bookstore in San Francisco, Green Apple Books, is offering signed copies of my books by mail. I don’t have the ability to personalize copies, but if you’d like one with a signature and a drawing, you can order here!
ORIGINAL ART! I still have some non-request original Baby-sitters Club comic pages for sale in the webstore. These are only $35, plus shipping. To unsure Christmas delivery, please order by December 15! (Please note that I do not sell artwork from Smile, Sisters, or Drama.)
T-SHIRTS! I am limited to unisex large-sized Smile t-shirts, but if you’d like one, order by December 15 for Christmas delivery. At this time, I don’t have a plan to re-print the shirts, but if I have any news about merchandise or other promotional items, I’ll certainly announce it here.
Thanks, everyone. I hope you are warm, happy, healthy, and have something good to read. Happy Holidays!