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
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.