An Interview with the Author of LOOK

look

Jon Nielsen is a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist and has been drawing silly pictures and putting them on the internet for about a decade now. His first graphic novel, LOOK, is being released by NBM Publishing on April 1st, 2017. We managed to tear him away from his busy schedule for a bit for a short interview.

Jon Nielsen: Hello, Jon, good to see you. It’s been a while.
Jon Nielsen: It has, Jon! How’re the kids?
JN: Oh, you know. They’re good. Still alive. But let’s get started! Tell me about–
JN: What are we doing again? What is this?
JN: NBM asked us to do an interview, remember? About our book?
JN: Who?
JN: NBM. They’re publishing our first graphic novel.
JN: Oh dang, that’s right! They’re awesome! I seriously love them, and not just because I’m contractually obligated to say so.
JN: …right. So tell me a bit about yourself. How long have you been drawing? Did you always want to draw comics?
JN: I have, yeah! I’ve always loved comics, though strangely enough I didn’t read very many growing up. Newspaper comics, mostly. Garfield and Foxtrot.
JN: Calvin and Hobbes?
JN: No, actually! Our paper didn’t carry it, so I didn’t discover it until much, much later.
JN: Wow. That should be a crime. Someone should be in jail for that.
JN: I know, right? Anyway, I drew comics all the time as a little kid, but I didn’t start drawing seriously until about 2007, when I got into webcomics.
JN: Is that when you started Massive Pwnage?
JN: Right. Massive Pwnage was my nerd-culture comic strip about video games, Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons, anything I thought was interesting at the time. It ran from 2007 to early 2016 and, really, it was just a way to get myself to draw. I wanted to be an artist and having to keep a website updated with comics was a great motivator.
JN: And then you went one step further and wrote a book.
JN: That’s right! It just felt like the next logical thing to do.
JN: So tell me about LOOK.
JN: Well, it’s a book.
JN: Right. Covered that. Got it.
JN: Let me finish. It’s a book. And I wrote it. And drew it, too.
JN: All right, smartpants. Can you at least tell us what the book is about?
JN: Nah.
JN: Nah?
JN: You’re asking me all these questions that you already know the answer to, and it’s starting to get weird.
JN: Yeah. That’s what an INTERVIEW is. Come on, there’s only a few more questions. This is for the publisher.
JN: Nah.
JN: Seriously?
JN: I’m feeling some hostility from you and I think I’m done answering your questions.
JN: Fine, switch me. Here, sit here. Ask me the next question.
JN: All right, all right… let’s see. Is that when you started–
JN: No no, we did that one. There. Right there.
JN: What is LOOK about?
JN: That’s a great question, Jon, and I’m glad you asked it.
JN: Ugh.
JN: Is LOOK a story about a small robot, unhappy with his lot in life? Yes, yes it is. Is it about trying to find that one thing, that thing that everyone wants, that thing that gives life purpose? Yes, yes it is also that. It’s also about adventure, friendship, and some little bunnies living in the woods. It’s really a fantastic book, if I do say so myself.
JN: Not that you’re biased, or anything.
JN: No.
JN: Right. Can we switch back? I can’t listen to you anymore.
JN: No, this is fun! Ask me another.
JN: Fine. Where did the idea for LOOK come from?
JN: That’s a great question, Jon, and I’m glad you asked it.
JN: Nope, I’m done.
JN: But–
JN: I’m done! I’m plowing through the rest of these on my own and then I never want to see you again.
JN: But I–
JN: Midlife crisis, pizza, Doctor Who, 28, a child’s first laugh, and no, I haven’t.
JN: You can’t just– you need to read the questions too!
JN: Nope! I’m done! Goodbye forever.
JN: Can… can he do that? Um… thanks for joining us everybody! This has been a talk with Jon Nielsen, author of LOOK, coming to stores April 1st. Tune back in this Friday when Jon will tell us a bit more about LOOK and how it was created. If we can find him, that is.

 

You can find Jon on Twitter where he posts his silly drawings and sometimes brags about his kids, and you can find out more about LOOK here.

Advertisements

Animation about the Separation of Powers

Ever wondered what the Separation of Powers is, how it’s meant to work and how many Powers there are nowadays? This animation provides an insight:

It is based on two pages from my newest book World Domination: a Discovery in Comics (not out in the US yet).

Religion: a Discovery in Comics – the Launch

Today is the official debut of Religion: a Discovery in Comics, at the Small Press Expo in Washington!

book
Proud author and book

The book looks beautiful, it’s hardcover just like the other two in the series, Philosophy and Science, and has unique endsheets that the original Dutch version didn’t have. It’s a must-have! If you’re into the subject matter, of course.

The book describes the five major world religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. It gives information on their histories, holy people, books, places and practices, as well as some personal observations and experiences the author had as a preacher’s daughter and theology student.

Here’s an animated preview from the chapter on Hinduism and Buddhism:

hinduism-buddhism

Just click on the picture to see the video on Youtube.

Today, author Margreet de Heer will be signing her book at SPX and tomorrow she’ll be at the Brooklyn Book Festival. Check her and the new book out at the NBM stand!

Science: the Middle Ages in 3 1/2 minutes (or 2 pages)

I love drawing timelines. It’s a real challenge to bring down certain periods of time down to their historic essentials in a way that’s entertaining as well as educational. In my new book Science: a Discovery in Comics, I included several spreads with illustrated timelines. In a previous blog post I already showed the one for the History of the Earth – another one, on pages 58-59 of the book, is the timeline for the scientific development during the Middle Ages.

In recent weeks I’ve been experimenting with animation program Sparkol, which makes it really easy to present drawings in so-called videoscribes. The Middle Ages looked like a perfect project to make into such a scribe – maybe it even works better this way than in its original comic form, since the animation allows me to pace the information and literally lead the reader’s eye.

I’m really curious what you think! Just click on the picture to watch a thousand years in a 3 1/2 minute nutshell on Youtube.

 

Animation

The New Year already brought exciting new plans, prospects and projects – including the intended publication of my next book at NBM in September: ‘Science: a Discovery in Science’. This calls for a new wave of Promotion when the time comes, and this time we’ll include some YouTube videos about the book. I could just video myself, but this seems a great opportunity to make an animation.

I’ve been wanting to learn animation but never got the time and besides, it’s my brother’s expertise. I have two brothers and we equally divided the Visual Media: Paul does documentary, Maarten does animation and I do comics. We never really ventured onto each others territory, but now I’m planning to. And who knows, maybe my brothers will start making graphic novels now.

I’m way at the beginning of this project, and this is the first thing I drew:

 

Now I just need to get it moving.

About ten years ago, I did a little bit of animation when I learned how to make animated GIFs – now an almost obsolete format but I hope it still runs on this blog. This is what I made:

It was for a site called animationbattle.com, and the characters getting their ass kicked were made by other animators – I even think two of them were made by my brothers. I don’t remember who “won” the animationbattle, but I definitely plan on making my comeback now!

‘Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics’ ANIMATED

My wonderful brother Maarten, who animated the cover of my upcoming Dutch book for me earlier, has made this all-too-cute animation of the cover of ‘Philosophy: a Discovery in Comics’!

Thank you, Maarten!

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://www.margreetdeheer.com/nieuws/pcs/FILOSOFIE.swf” width=”500″ height=”500″ targetclass=”flashmovie” play=”true” loop=”true” menu=”true” quality=”best” scale=”exactfit”]

Get Adobe Flash player

[/kml_flashembed]

Anyone who wants their own covers animated, or who wants to hire him for a cool animation project, or who just wants to see more of his wonderful work, please visit his site maartenisaakdeheer.com.