Mar 18 2011

Feeling the Love

Published by under odyssey,press,video

Holy cow! Not only did The Odyssey win the first round and advance in the Battle of the Books, but this is definitely one of the most beautiful reviews I have ever received. Thank you, Karen Hesse!

http://sljbattleofthebooks.com/2011/03/18/round-1-match-5-the-odyssey-vs-one-crazy-summer/

I attribute my win to the good wishes of many wonderful fans — especially Mike Lewis’ class at Deer Hill School. I recorded a tiny video message for their Read Your Heart Out Day celebration, and they came back with this. Mike and his kids totally rock. http://www.youtube.com/user/deerhill145?feature=mhum

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Mar 17 2011

Battle of the Books is on!

Published by under Uncategorized

The first four rounds have gone up, and tomorrow The Odyssey will be pitted against One Crazy Summer. I have no reason to expect my book to win, but it will be interesting to read the analysis and the comments!

Check it out here: http://sljbattleofthebooks.com/

One warning regarding the formatting — in order to read each contest you click a link on the right side of the page. That link shows one of the titles struck-through, so the outcome is revealed before you read the judge’s decision. I’m hoping they’ll fix that.

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Feb 15 2011

More props for The Odyssey

Published by under press,reviews

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books has given The Odyssey a starred review, bringing the total stars to four.  Four!

Also, The Odyssey has been selected for SLJ’s Battle of the Books. Wacky and awesome!

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Jan 12 2011

Beowulf: 1000 Years of Baggage

Published by under beowulf,reviews,sketchbook

On Monday I went to see this fabulous show – Banana Bag & Bodice’s “Beowulf: 1000 Years of Baggage”. You can see the show on Vimeo, if you are so inclined, but I recommend seeing it live for the full effect. It’s funny and arty and clever, and the music is awesome.

I saw it at Joe’s pub. The place was packed, and quite dark, so I only got a few scribbly drawings, but here they are for your enjoyment.

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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.)

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Nov 17 2010

Odyssey makes Kirkus’ 2010 Best Books for Teens list

Published by under press

http://www.kirkusreviews.com/lists/2010-best-books-teens-complete-list/

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Nov 17 2010

More videos

Published by under appearances,video

This is kind of old news now — I thought I’d posted it already — but the Boston Graphic Artists Guild has a bunch of video clips on their YouTube channel from their graphic novel event, at which I did a presentation and participated in a panel.

Link to the first clip. The rest should pop up in the sidebar.

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Nov 14 2010

Games FAQ

Published by under Uncategorized

When I do author visits, I talk a bit about my experiences working on video games. Kids often ask me the following questions:

1. What is your favorite game that you worked on? This (cutscene directed by Dan Thron)

2. What is your favorite game of all time? This (grandfather of Rock Band and all music games)

3. Why did you stop working on video games? The short answer is that I never really wanted to make video games, but kids these days do not believe this answer. So I have to explain about the endless unpaid “crunch” overtime, the lack of creative control, the amount of work that gets wasted and thrown away, and the fact that I get really sick of working at a computer all day. Then they ask me if I will ever go back.

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Nov 09 2010

Reviews

Published by under odyssey,press,reviews

The reviews are in from from pretty much all the major all the major review publications, and The Odyssey has been praised across the board — three starred reviews (Kirkus, Booklist, and The Horn Book), as well as an unexpected mention in The Wall Street Journal. You can see them all on my reviews page, along with recent interviews by Publishers Weekly and Graphic Novel Reporter.

:-)

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Nov 09 2010

Teachers’ Guides

Published by under beowulf,odyssey

Candlewick has written teachers’ guides for Beowulf and The Odyssey, and these are now available on their site. Direct links are as follows:

The Odyssey

Beowulf

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