Drawing on Glass at The American Book Center

This weekend I got to draw on the huge glass window of The American Book Center in the center of Amsterdam, the one that displays all my Discovery in Comics-books and especially Religion: a Discovery in Comics, which I will be in conversation about this Thursday with Stijn Schenk of soon-to-be-launched graphic journalism site Drawing The Times.

I was quite nervous as I showed up at the store. I have never before drawn on glass and did not know what to expect. I am used to drawing while people are watching, but somehow doing it on a store window with all my books in it felt like a huge, scary exposure.

To be somewhat prepared, control freak as I am, I had drawn out my plans on paper and came armed with this:

abc-before-after

I was especially worried about the execution of the row of people at the bottom – could I reach it? How comfortably could I draw, hunched on a small strip of window sill…? At the store, it turned out I didn’t have to. There was a huge bin of empty cardboard boxes I could help myself to, and plenty of space in their store room, so I decided to paint this bit on cardboard.

All in all, it took me 3 exciting hours to fill the window as I had planned. The actual glass painting I did on the outside, with acrylic paint, on a positively balmy autumn afternoon with cheerful tourists passing by and even a few fans turning up. Stijn Schenk, who will ask me all kinds of questions about my work on Thursday at the ABC Treehouse, helped out and shot this delightful impression:

 

If you’re in Amsterdam and pass through the center, please check it out, it will be up for almost two weeks. And if you’re in Amsterdam and free on Thursday night, why not drop by at the ABC Treehouse (in the Voetboogstraat, almost across from the store) to hear me and Stijn talk…? I promise I’ll try to make it interesting.

Window Shopping: a Discovery in Comics

In anticipation of next week’s event, The American Book Center in Amsterdam has dressed one of its windows with all the books in the “Discovery in Comics”-series! This is what it looks like:

abc-window

I never dreamed that one day great graphic novels like Maus, Fun Home and Logicomix would be displayed in the margin of my own humble edu-comics… it is definitely not in the right proportions, but I’m going to enjoy it anyway.

This Saturday, from 1pm, I am going to claim this window even more by making drawings on the glass. If you want to see me in action, maybe cheer me on – the store is at Spui 14 in Amsterdam. Be welcome!

 

In between books

I have been a bit silent on this blog lately, and it’s because I didn’t know what to write. There’s enough going on, but that’s exactly the problem.

056-books

 

We flew back from New York end of October, after a successful launch of Religion: a Discovery in Comics. We had fun at SPX and the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the first positive reviews are emerging, such as these by readers on Goodreads:

“I LOVE this book! A concise, thoughtful, entertaining overview of five major religions, with a feminist critique added for good measure. Adorable illustrations.” – Vicki

“Religion is not my cup of tea and never was, but I liked this book. (…) Now I’ve got a book to advise to those who are not sure about “what’s that religion thing anyway”, what to think about it and why it is important at all.” – Ekaterina

“A lively, intelligent, and witty survey of the world’s major religions from the Dutch comics artist. De Heer can be critical but is always respectful. Entertaining, informative, and provocative.” – Edward

And then, just after we started to get over our jetlag, our new Dutch book came out, Wereldheerschappij in Beeld, about World Domination. We had a lovely, well-attended presentation in bookstore Scheltema and I gave the first copy to Gean Ockels, who said some very touching things about it.

presentation presentation2

This is her favorite picture from the book – her father in space:

wubbo

A few interviews with me about this book are on the way (in Dutch) and it had a few very good reviews already.

On 12 November there will be a special Amsterdam presentation of Religion: a Discovery in Comics, at the American Book Center, organized by graphic journalism site Drawing The Times. This event is free to attend and will be taped, so I hope to be able to post it here later. Also, I will draw on the windows of the American Book Center somewhere next week.

So I’m really between books: definitely in my mind but also quite literally in my house, with stacks of books to sign and post.

And then there’s a third book on my mind: the next one! After all the promotion has died down, it’s time to retreat and start thinking and drawing about Love. The Dutch publication of Liefde in Beeld is planned for Spring 2017.

See why I don’t know what to write about…?