Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ich habe Bücher!

I just received copies of the German translations of Babymouse: Queen of the World and Babymouse: Our Hero. Wunderbar!

Some treats:

  • Felicia Furrypaws is "Patricia Pelzpfote"
  • Wilson is still "Wilson das Wiesel"
  • Squeak is "Quiek"
  • Dodgeball is "Völkerball"
  • Locker is "Schliessfach"
  • "Ulp!" is translated as "Würg!"
  • "Gulp!" is "Schluck!"
  • Zooming dodgeballs make the sound, "Zisch!"
  • Dodgeballs that hit their targets (i.e., Babymouse's face) go, "Peng!"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Wordstock is me

No, really. It says so:

Wordstock is
Matthew Holm

Yes, I will be at the Wordstock Festival in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, November 10. Catch me at the "Target Children's Stage" at 12 noon. (Apparently, along with J. Otto Seibold, illustrator of Olive, the Other Reindeer.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Babymouse: Skater Girl #5 Manga at Amazon!


24-Hour Comics Day

Tomorrow is 24 Hour Comics Day. Enterprising artists will spend a full 24 hours creating a complete 24-page comic book. Yeek!

I think I'll instead observe it by drawing sketches for Babymouse #9 for a solid 18 hours tomorrow. Oog.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

How do you spell superhero?

A fascinating blog entry by Marvel Comics Executive Editor Tom Brevoort ("Things I Learned From Stan") discusses, among other things, the proper spellings of superhero and supervillain. It apparently depends on whether you work at Marvel or at DC:

4) SUPER HERO IS TWO WORDS; SUPER-VILLAIN IS TWO WORDS WITH A DASH. This all goes back to the joint trademark that Marvel and DC have on the terms super hero and super-villain—in their case, it's super-hero and super villain. (The one exception is Marvel Super-Heroes, which was trademarked as a title with the dash still in place.) Why? Because that's the way the trademark applications were filled out way back in the '70s. And as a conclusion to the Mark Gruenwald mantra by which I learned all this, superhuman is one word.

I guess it's the copy editor in me that finds this fascinating.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Amazon Manga Rankings

Aha! A new ranking to obsess over:'s bestselling Manga titles.


MATTHEW Holm, not Jennifer...

This Willamette Week listing is slightly off.

PS—Amazon is just trying to hurt me, now. (Maybe it's jealousy over the Powell's visit.) Skater Girl is at 5,775, after being in the 20,000s this AM. Stop the torture!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Matthew Holm at Powell's in Beaverton, Ore.

Just wanted to announce to ye Oregonians that I will be making an author visit to Powell's in Beaverton, Ore.:

Powell’s Bookshop
7:00 PM
At Cedar Hills Crossing
3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd.
Beaverton, OR 97005

Here's the listing on their web site. I'll be talking, drawing, and then signing the newly released Babymouse: Skater Girl and whatever other Babymouse book you bring up.

See you there!

Sideways glance...

Yawn. Turn on computer. Click over to Skater Girl at ... 5,601?

Those elves have been busy all night!

UPDATE (9:12 AM PT): 5,807, back up from a journey into the 6,000s. (I think I may keep this log going all day.)

UPDATE (11:30 AM PT): 8,044. Hmmph.

UPDATE (1:01 PM PT): 9,391. Grumble grumble. Get back to work, elves!

UPDATE (7:16 PM PT): 14,225. Ugh. Calling it a day. Going off to draw monkeys.

Monday, October 1, 2007

More computer-generated art

So ... what is computer-generated art, and what is not, in this crazy, topsy-turvy, modern world? Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production followed up my recent post with this comment:

I wonder if there's a way to distinguish between CG art that is drawn entirely on the screen and art done and scanned in. Yours is the latter, right? Is there a term for the first?

And the answer is—I don't know if there's another term for the two types of artwork, and, frankly, I'm not sure into which category my artwork falls. In any case, here's how I make Babymouse (you all can decide how to categorize it):

First, I make extremely rough thumbnail sketches with pencil:

I scan these, e-mail them to Jenni, and she cuts them up and pastes them down in a rough layout, which she sends back to me.

Then, I make some better sketches (at full size) using Sharpie markers:

Finally, I scan these marker sketches and use them as a template for my final "inks," which I draw in the computer (in Photoshop), using a Wacom tablet and stylus:

As you can see, I turn the scanned marker sketches a light blue and use them as the tracing layer while I work. (I delete that layer in the final file I save and send to Random House.) But, unlike, say, some comic-book artists (of the DC/Marvel variety), I never make really excellent pencil drawings before the final inking. Traditional comic book pencils are a work of art in and of themselves; the ink (often traced over by a different artist) just solidifies everything. In my work, I try not to spend too much time on any of the sketches—the danger of working too much on early sketches, in my opinion, is that you can wind up getting too attached to them and will be loath to throw them out or change them. So I try to keep things loose and rough until I do the final inks, which are purely digital.

So, is that computer-generated, or not? As Betsy has mentioned lately, this is shaping up to be a year of things that don't fit neatly into categories. Maybe that goes for the art processes as well as the books themselves.

PS—Skater Girl is at 8,981 on Amazon. Hang in there, kid!

'nother Jenni NBF interview

Raechal Leone at Maryland Newsline did an interview with Jenni ahead of the National Book Festival this weekend; didn't get the link until today:

Maryland Author Turns to Family for Inspiration

And, by the way, Jenni reports back from the Festival on the rabid Babymouse fans:

The fans were crazy (they had to line up 1/2 hour before I signed.) I have never seen anything like it. All these little girls were wearing pink! One librarian told me that Babymouse was circing more than Captain Underpants!