Here is a shot of my studio, where I spend many hours per day, not unlike the average office worker, except that I can get up and leave whenever I want. Note the television (always on) and the bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper.
Spent the day laying out the hardcover book jacket for THE BIG KAHN. Nico’s tying up the inks and tones for the interior over the next month and a half but I have to finish the cover and solicitation before February so that we can get it into catalogs and such.
I really enjoy designing my books, as it lets the graphic designer in me truly own my book from soup to nuts… I designed the BROWNSVILLE jacket and the non-sequential portions (title page, jacket, bio page, etc) and I’m doing the same with KAHN. Nico illustrated the front and back, sent along a high-resolution TIFF file and now I’m just wrapping up the layout and endflaps… but still going back and forth on the front cover title treatment. I really like the first one, because it’s different and really fits in the overall design, but the second one is the standard centered that usually works better on bookshelves or on endcaps. I’ll probably go with the first, but feel free to comment here and try to convince me otherwise:
Here’s another page from my book about Turkmenistan. At the moment Terry and I are discussing the title of the book. In my head I’ve been calling it The Golden Age, which comes from the former totalitarian leader of Turkmenistan Saparmyrat Niyazov a.k.a Turkmenbashy (which roughly translates to “the grandfather of all Turkmen”). He declared that the 21st Century would be the Golden Age for the Turkmen people. All the propaganda showed Turkmen living in an wonderful utopia, but the reality was far from that.
So I like The Golden Age as an ironic title. But then again, for someone who has never heard of Turkmenistan or Turkmenbashy, it’s a bit uninformative (and this being a comic they might be thinking it’s something about the early days of Superman).
The book is about Azat who believes in dreaming big, getting rich, and marrying the prettiest girl in town, but sadly he lives in a totalitarian state where dreams have a habit of not coming true. It’s told through the eyes of an American Peace Corps volunteer named Joe.
Titles: An American in Turkmenistan? Joe and Azat? Two Years in Turkmenistan? Turkmenistan? 130 Degrees in the Shade?
So the name still isn’t settled, but the book is coming along nicely. I’ve got a big final wedding chapter and a little epilogue piece and then some editing and redrawing to do. I’m shooting to be done in March.
“Throughout, Schwieger shows both funky humor and affectionate awe toward this alien culture immersing him. As popular anthropology, this title will have strongest appeal in collections where manga is hot.”
Says Martha Cornog of Moresukine in an issue of LJ out earlier this month. She reviews graphic novels regularly for Library Journal and other Library publications
Miss Don’t Touch Me, which has just hit store shelves is starting off its press with nothing less than a starred review from the highly-regarded Booklist, a magazine for Libraries:
“It’s hard to imagine a sequential art story better than this in terms of character development, plotting, realization of settings, and interconnection between visual and narrative elements.The coloring alternately provides glowing light and scary shadows in fine re-creations of crowded streetscapes, the boudoir of a black transgender escort, the depths of the murder dungeon, and a nearby chapel. Police corruption, aristocratic privilege, and petty jealousies among the working girls all figure in Blanche’s efforts to identify Agatha’s killers.”
Note from Terry:
I wanted to put in a post before on this book we just shipped. As the above conveys, it’s full of pep, gripping, mischievous and just plain irresistible. Get back to us on what you think!
Reviews for this book are rolling in at quite a clip!
“Highly successful both as literature and visual art, this is a book to recommend to abuse survivors as well as readers who appreciate exploring life’s difficult realities.”
“touching story of trust and betrayal.”
“It’s a strong and important book, and above all, yet another testament to the power of this medium.”