Archive for the 'gifts from the gods' Category

Nov 23 2011

NCTE 2011 recap

A huge thanks to all the great attendees of NCTE 2011 in Chicago last weekend. It was a wonderful show. I sold lots of books, got incredible feedback, and had great conversations with lots of smart, passionate educators, authors, and publishing folks.

If anyone is reading this who took pictures with me, please send me a copy or a link. Also, if you or anyone you know bought a copy of Gifts From the Gods, please check it and make sure it’s signed and personalized correctly. A few people left signed & personalized copies at the table by accident (and presumably walked off with unsigned copies). I’d love to get these books to their intended recipients.

Thanks! More Romeo and Juliet samples coming soon.

No responses yet

Nov 09 2011

Gifts From the Gods – process

Here’s the process post I promised for Gifts From the Gods. This process is an evolution of the techniques I used for The Odyssey.

First I read through the text a few times, then started doing some rough sketches on paper. At the same time, I was discussing the page dimensions, typography, and other design factors with my designer at Houghton — in this case, the extremely talented Scott Magoon. Once we nailed down some of that stuff, I scanned my sketches and started experimenting with the page layouts.

I also made sketches directly in InDesign, using the vector pencil tool, as you can see in the right-most panel.

When the rough layouts were edited and approved, I printed each page in very light blue on cheap drawing paper and did a pencil drawing over it. I scanned that back in and removed the blue lines (using the “black and white” filter in Photoshop), darkened the lines to a truer black, and made any necessary edits to the drawing.

In some cases, I “test-colored” the drawings in Photoshop, so that I could play around with the colors a bit before using watercolor.

I enlarged and printed out the darkened-and-corrected pencil drawings on a piece of 140lb. cold-press watercolor paper, using my Epson Stylus 2200 printer, which prints up to 13×19″ and uses ink that is waterproof under most conditions. Actually, it kind of repels water, so I often have to go over each stroke twice to get the paint to cover the linework. I painted the art with watercolors, scanned it back in, and made any additional corrections — for example, I decided later to remove Achilles’ helmet, since he was bare-headed in the previous battle scenes.

Lastly, I had lots of fun creating the decorative borders at the beginning of each story. The linework for these was drawn directly in InDesign and cloned for symmetry. Again I printed them out on watercolor paper, and I painted them with acrylic. I composited the faux-stone painted texture behind the borders using Photoshop, because I didn’t want to accidentally splatter paint over the border art.

That’s it! Sorry, I didn’t take any videos this time — but I AM taking videos of Romeo & Juliet as I go along, and I will start posting a few tidbits from that soon.

No responses yet

Oct 05 2011

Gifts From the Gods page up

Published by under gifts from the gods

I finally put up an official page for Gifts From the Gods, which comes out in just a few weeks. You can pre-order it now from your favorite retailer.

I promise to do another process post, this time about creating the interior art, and I’ll post again when the book is actually on sale.

One response so far

Aug 22 2011

First star for my newest book

Published by under gifts from the gods,press,reviews

Gifts From the Gods, my soon-to-be-released mythology picture book with Lise Lunge Larsen, just received a starred review in today’s issue of Publisher’s Weekly. Sweet!

Hinds incorporates graphic novel–style elements into his dynamic illustrations, including dialogue balloons and filmic perspectives. A treat for myth lovers and language lovers alike…

(I wonder if “filmic” is a real word.)

You should be able to pre-order the book now from Amazon or (preferably) your favorite independent bookseller. It will not be in comic shops, as it is more like a picture book than a graphic novel.

No responses yet

Dec 12 2010

Gifts From the Gods – cover development

Published by under gifts from the gods,sketchbook

A few weeks ago I delivered the last bits of art for Gifts from the Gods, a hybrid graphic novel / picture book by Lise Lunge-Larsen which I illustrated for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It’s about characters from Greek & Roman mythology whose names have persisted as common words or phrases in modern English.

I want to preview some artwork for you, and I thought what I’d do first is to show the process of developing the cover.

Although I had done a few little sketches of cover ideas here and there, nothing could really move forward until we had finalized the title, which took a while. I had previously thought about putting Nemesis or the Furies on the cover, but with the title “Gifts from the Gods” it seemed like maybe we shouldn’t put anything too dark or nasty on the cover (“the Gods gave us punishment” is not a good message)! So I started with a clean slate and did a bunch of sketches.

After discussion with my fab editor Ann Rider and designer/art director Scott Magoon, I did another page.

Next, I worked up some of our favorite ideas in color.

We decided on the Zeus sketch on the right, so I printed that sketch out very lightly on a piece of cheap printer paper and did a detailed pencil drawing over it. I scanned that back in, cleaned it up, printed it out on a piece of 140 lb. watercolor paper (using my Epson Stylus Photo 2200, which has waterproof ink, unlike my old Canon s9000), and painted over it with watercolor for the final color version.

Here’s the final art, with not-quite-final type.

(All images are copyright 2010 by Gareth Hinds, and appear courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.)

One response so far

Aug 18 2010

My new project

Did I mention I’m in the middle of working on a new book? For a while I wasn’t sure if I should be talking about it on the internet, but it turns out it’s not a secret at all, and in fact maybe you can help come up with a good title for it! No royalties will be involved for the winning title, but you will be “in the acks” as they say in the book world (the acknowledgments, that is).

So what is this book? It’s a bit of a departure for me, being neither an adaptation, nor truly a graphic novel. It’s also my first time working with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (the fabulous Ann Rider is my editor), and working from a text by another (living) writer (Lise Lunge-Larsen —

Basically it’s a 96-page picture book with some paneled sequences (sort of in-between a graphic novel and a children’s book), on the subject of Greek and Roman mythological characters whose names have become everyday words — Fate, Fortune, Echo, etc. It should be done in October (right around the same time the Odyssey comes out) and released in late 2011. I’m pretty excited with the way it’s shaping up so far.

However, there is one small problem. We aren’t completely happy with any of our title ideas. Please comment or email me if you have any suggestions! It should be punchy and have 11-14 year-old appeal.


(Edit: The title has now been finalized. Gifts From the Gods: Ancient Words & Wisdom From Greek & Roman Mythology)

5 responses so far