Tuesday, April 27, 2010

LA Times Book Fest recap

A few weeks back, I had the honor of reading at the LA Times Festival of Books. A week before the Fest, Lisa Yee emailed me this picture from the paper.

Hope my mug didn't prevent people from attending! Perhaps it kept Lisa Yee from attending, she was out of town. While we missed seeing the Queen of LA Kids Lit, it did provide for an opportunity for someone to mishear "Lisa Yee" for "Eazy E".

We had a great time, as always, with our friends at Target. SCBWI goddess Lin Oliver and her writing partner, Henry Winkler, were taking the stage after me, so we had a chance to chum it up backstage.

It was a sunny day and there was an incredible crowd!

Afterwards, I signed books in a booth that would apparently soon be occupied by the Wayans brothers.

And after that, G and I strolled the Festival with YA Lit President, David Levithan. He was meeting John Green at the YA Stage. So off we went, running into other authors as made our way to the other end of the Festival.

It was so very Wizard of Oz.

There was Bob Bob Boyle, creator of Nick Jr's Wow! Wow! Wubbzy and author of the awesome new book, Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long Strong.

There was Tom Warburton, creator of Cartoon Network's Codename: Kids Next Door and the super-cool new book 1000 Times No. Tom has been stalking me for some time now, so it was nice to finally meet in person! (Just kidding, Tom. I have been stalking you. Now can we lift that restraining order?)

(As you can see, Mr. Warburton brings out the best in me.)

And finally, there was John Green.

And because G and I are knee deep in board books with our almost 1 1/2 year old, we can't help but look at John and David's book and say aloud:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson, what do you see?
I see David Levithan strolling by me.

David Levithan, David Levithan, what do you see?
I see John Green videotaping alongside me.

Of course, there was cotton candy and churros, as documented by Bob's remarkablly awesome, remarkably funny wife, Terri.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Voting ends soon

Voting ends on May 3rd for the 2010 Children's Choice Book Awards. This is your last week to have your voice heard! So if you're a kid, please vote at www.bookweekonline.com/voting/3-4. And if you know kids, please ask them to vote at that address. And if you have voted -- THANK YOU!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

back at the RISD

I had a great afternoon yesterday giving a talk to the seniors in the illustration department at Rhode Island School of Design. It's always great to be back on College Hill. And always great to see former professors, like Mary Jane Begin and Oren Sherman.

Grace Lin and I both gave a presentation on marketing oneself. We were both amazed that the students already knew so much about the 'biz.

Here's a pic of Grace and I on the hill:

And here are some pics of the ISB (Illustration Studies Building) where I spent my college days. (As did many book illustrators, like Grace, Anna Alter, Kelly Murphy, Brian Selznik David Weisner and many more.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey, Los Angeles!

I'll be in L.A. this Saturday for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I'll be on the Target Stage at 2:20 PM. Check out the full schedule of Saturday events. See you there!

Monday, April 19, 2010

TLA 2010

It was like a Hall of Fame of librarians at TLA 2010. (I visit a lot of schools in Texas and it seems like nearly every librarian I ever met was there!) Thank you to all who came out to the graphic novel panel on Friday. I was lucky enough to share the stage with the amazing talents of Shanon Hale and Jenni Holm. It was a great time in San Antonio with old and new librarian, author and publishing friends.

Here I am with Shannon and Jenni:

Here are a few pictures of our trip taken in the four hours that it didn't rain:

The beautiful River Walk:

The Alamo:

I mentioned to a few people that we were going to
tour the basement, to which they would respond, "I didn't know
the Alamo had a basement." Of course, this was a reference to Pee Wee's
Big Adventure.
I've been waiting all my life to crack that joke...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Spines

The newest reprint of LL2 has been redesigned to have a new spine, to match the rest of the series and to help distinguish between the titles when they are on the shelf together. Melissa Nelson, the very talented designer at Knopf BFYR, designed these. Hats off to Melissa!

Monday, April 12, 2010

TLA schedule

Hey y'all, I'm getting ready for Texas. I'll be at the Texas Library Association this week in San Antonio.

You'll find me at any of the BBQ and Mexican restaurants in town or here:

Thursday, April 15th
2:00 – 3:50 PM
Program: Graphic Novels: How the Visuals Help Engage Young Readers
Location: Convention Center, Ballroom C-1
I'll be talking up a storm with Jenni Holm and Shannon Hale.

Friday, April 16th
Autographing for Random House Children’s Books

Location: Convention Center, Autographing Area

Sunday, April 11, 2010

LL 4 - 1 month to go

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown
will be on bookshelves May 11th, 2010.

Friday, April 09, 2010

STUNNED - my reaction to the Eisner nomination

Yesterday, my literary agent, Rebecca Sherman, called. Being that it wasn't a scheduled call, it meant that it was either something really bad or really good. I braced myself. The nominations for the 2010 Eisner Awards had been posted and Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute had been nominated under the category of "Best Publication for Kids". Huh? I couldn't believe it. With so many great comics for kids being published? An Eisner? But that award is for really good comics. There must be a mistake. But no--it's true. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute has been nominated for an Eisner Award. I was stunned. I am stunned. I've been on Cloud 10 ever since hearing the news.

For my friends in the children's book world, an Eisner Award is like the Newbery or Caldecott of comics. (Which is an ironic way of describing an award, since the Newbery and Caldecott often need to be explained to non-book people as the Oscars of children's books.)

There are some amazing books up for the award. In the category that LL is nominated, The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook is also up for an award -- and I love that book. Adore that book. And the comic creator up for the most awards? My former RISD professor, David Mazzucchelli. He was one of the most influential teachers I had. I took his comic book class in my last semester and the lessons that he taught on visual storytelling are implemented in my work on a daily basis. His book Asterios Polyp is brilliant and breathtaking. Perhaps I will get to see these old friends and more at the San Diego Comic Con, when the winners are announced at an awards gala.

To see all of the nominations, click here.

Here is a description of the Eisner Award from Comic Con International:

Named for acclaimed comics creator the Will Eisner, the awards are in their 22nd year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The 2010 judging panel consists of academic Craig Fischer (associate professor of English, Appalachian State University), librarian Francisca Goldsmith (staff development instructor/consultant, Infopeople), reviewer John Hogan (GraphicNovelReporter.com), writer James Hudnall (Harsh Realm, The Psycho), and retailer Wayne Winsett (Time Warp Comics, Boulder, Colorado).

Ballots with this year's nominees will be going out in mid-April to comics creators, editors, publishers, and retailers. A downloadable pdf of the ballot will also be available online, and a special website has been set up for online voting. The results in all categories will be announced in a gala awards ceremony on the evening of Friday, July 23 at Comic-Con International.

Will Eisner was a comic book genius and a trailblazer. It is such an honor to be nominated for an award that is given in his name.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Voting is still open

Please ask the kiddos to vote for their favorite books in the Children's Choice Book Awards. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute is up for 3rd-4th Grade Book of the Year. Please vote at http://www.bookweekonline.com/voting/3-4.

LL web comic in PDF format is here - http://lunchladycomics.com/llwebcomicbookweek.pdf .

Thank you for helping spread the word!

Friday, April 02, 2010

check it out while you're checking out

While you are checking out at the grocery store, put down the gossip rags and look for Lunch Lady ads in various Archie Digest titles. 

(And yes, I drink a lot of orange juice.)