Monday, August 31, 2009

NYT Bestsellers Week 4:
I don't know how I can still be surprised anymore, but I am!
Mouse Guard Winter 1152 is at #9. You can check out the full list here: NYT Bestsellers Graphic Novels

I will be set up at Dragon Con (Sept 4-7) in the Artist Alley. In attendance will also be Mythbuster Adam Savage. I didn't get to meet him at SDCC (despite my bribe of a free drawing to both him and whatever fan of mine brought him to my table). I hope that perhaps I'll get meet him at this show...and I'm making the same offer...

Puppet contest:
Last week, I posted about the TVTV Puppet Contest. Well here is my entry: The Snail. He was a puppet I built when I was 16 or so. Unfortunately, I had used permanent marker to trace my pattern and it showed through on the seams and where I had mis-traced. He had also lost his eyes over the years, so I gave him a makeover. He got a puffy paint stippled texture to mask the marker and cool button and feather eyes.

New Runners:
A while back I mentioned Sean Wang's awesome comic Runners (This is a pinup I did for him exploring the past crew seen in a flashback from the first series). Sean has been posting pages a every day from the first series leading up to this coming week, when Runners: The Big Snow Job starts! So if you like classic Star Wars and awesome ship and alien designs, check out Runners.

Fan Art:
This piece comes from Ryan Cabral who sent me this awesomely moody nighttime piece. I like how cinematic it feels. Thanks Ryan!!
Upcoming Appearances:
Dragon Con: Sep. 4-7
Windy City Con: Sept. 19
Detroit Comics' Book Club: Sept. 25
Long Beach Comic Con: Oct. 2-4
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct. 10-11
Mouse Guard Live Readings in the Michigan Area: TBA

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

3rd week on NYTimes Bestsellers!
Winter 1152 has stayed on the NYTimes Bestsellers list for Hardcover Graphic Novels for its 3rd week! After last week of it getting to 8 of 10 (while still thrilled I was ON the list at all) I figured it was the end. But thanks to fans suggesting it to new-yet-to-be-fans, it has hung on! We will see what next week brings!

Indie RPG awards:
Mouse Guard won 3 of the Indie RPG awards handed out at Gen Con: Game of the Year, Best Support, and Best Production. I'm thrilled Mouse Guard won these! Thanks to Luke Crane & his crew for such a great game. You can read more about the Indie Award results & comments on why we won here

Mouse Guard Playlist:
A fan was commenting on Twitter about what kind of music would be good for his Mouse Guard RPG adventure. It got me thinking that while Ballad of the Ivory Lass is available on the MG site (and the ballad from issue #6 is coming soon), I could round out the list with music I use while I'm working on Mouse Guard to evoke the mood I'm after in the storytelling. So here is a list:
(and I'm interested in your suggestions as well, feel free to post them as a comment in this post)

-Howard Shore: Lord of the Rings: Fellowship, Two Towers, & Return of the King:
Pretty much everything on these soundtracks is appropriate and was listened to heavily while I worked on Mouse Guard Fall & Winter. Highlights are Concerning Hobbits (for any town/mouse settlement/mouse culture pages) The Hornburg, & The Grey Havens.

-Trevor Jones & Randy Edelman: Last of the Mohicans:
Again, this whole album is great and most of it fits with scenes in Mouse Guard thematically. The Main Title, Ambush, & The Kiss are my favorites though.

-Simon and Garfunkel: Monday Morning 3AM:
Odd choice, I know...but one of their takes on a traditional ballad is right in line with Mouse guard and was something I listened to before trying my hand at writing one: Peggy-O

-Natalie Merchant: Ophelia:
Same reason as Simon & Garfunkel, only this time it's her take on the traditional When The Ring the Golden Bells that served as inspiration.

Winter Black and White:
I don't know if I have been given a full green light on a Winter version of the Black and White limited ed. hardcover we did for Fall, but I was asked to mock-up the cover for it...which is a good sign! I wanted to share it here. I'll let everyone know more, when I know more (including pre-order info etc.)

Convention Sketches:
I like sharing these from time to time. Some of these I finished just today, some of these I found saved on my camera's memory stick and I never posted them. For those new to the blog/Mouse Guard, I do commissions at shows that are 7" x 7" on 12" x 12" bristol. I do not have an open list and do not take names outside of conventions. Some of these are requests of the person getting the piece, others are my own ideas (though this time they all seem to be requests).

Translvania TV:
Gordon Smuder, who has been a supporter of Mouse Guard, is one of the minds behind Transylvania TV, an adult-humor puppet show with online webisodes. Gordon is the performer for Furry J. Ackermonster, an albino Yeti. I love the design of the character and I think he's my favorite on the show, so I did this fan-art for them. Right now the show is running a contest to get your own handmade puppet into one of their episodes! (I have my entry already photographed and ready to send in!)

Fan Art:
Issac Thayer, is a great kid whom I have met before at the Chicago Comic-Con. He and his Dad were at this year's show again and Issac was cool enough to give me a bunch of Mouse Guard fan art! I picked this one out of the batch because I liked the use of shading using tone rather than line. Keep up the good work Issac!

Upcoming Appearances:
Dragon Con: Sep. 4-7
Windy City Con: Sept. 19
Detroit Comics' Book Club: Sept. 25
Long Beach Comic Con: Oct. 2-4
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct. 10-11
Mouse Guard Live Readings in the Michigan Area: TBA

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Muppet Peter Pan #3

Muppet Peter Pan #3:
Here is the cover I did for Muppet Peter Pan #3. The direction I was given was "a Kermit and the Lost Boys cover". I had a blast drawing Animal (the first time I have done so for the Boom covers). I love doing these and hope Boom will continue to ask me to contribute.

Peter Pan #1 will be in-stores mid-September with the rest of the series following monthly.

Fresh Ink:
Today on G4's Attack of the Show segment Fresh Ink, Blair Butler named Mouse Guard Winter 1152 as one of the "five trades you should be reading"! Thanks to Blair and ATOS for the spotlight! G4 usually replays ATOS later the same night and again the following morning before the new episode airs at 7pm, so if you missed it you can try and catch a re airing.
*edit* You can watch the Fresh Ink segment online here

New York Times... AGAIN!
Mouse Guard Winter 1152 has stayed on the New York Times Best Sellers list for the 2nd week! Pretty amazing I think! You can take a look at the other 9 Hardcover Graphic Novels that made the list as well by following this link.

Old Time Radio:
As I have said before in blog posts (a, b, c, & d), I am a fan of Old Time Radio. I have Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 118 is the OTR channel) and between that and various OTR sites with free downloads, I'm able to program an entire work day with a playlist of the stuff.

I wanted to share a few sites I use and suggest that if you have a job where you can listen to radio without being distracted by phone calls/customers/etc...OTR is one of your best options.

Here are some great sites:

Old Time Radio

Ink and Stein:
This Month's gathering is quickly approaching! For those who don't know, Ink & Stein is a gathering at the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, MI for artists & writers to spend an evening working on their work, sharing ideas, getting critiqued, making contacts, and overall-having a good time. This Month the date is Aug. 29th at 7pm. If you can't make this month's gathering, try us again the last Saturday of every month.

Fan Art:
Michael Murray(age 10) hand delivered this piece of artwork to me at the Chicago Comic-Con! Thanks Michael for the fan art and for coming to my table at the convention. If you would like your fan art to appear on the blog, email it to me at ericebon (at) hotmail (dot) com.

Upcoming Appearances:
Signing at Paradise Comics Toronto: Aug. 22
Dragon Con: Sep. 4-7
Windy City Con: Sept. 19
Long Beach Comic Con: Oct. 2-4
Baltimore Comic Con: Oct. 10-11
Mouse Guard Live Readings in the Michigan Area: TBA

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New York Times...?!?!
While in Chicago, I received several calls from Archaia staff congratulating me and informing me that Mouse Guard Winter 1152 made the New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover graphic novels! Obviously I am thrilled and amazed to have Mouse Guard or my name in the same sentence as "New York Times Bestseller". The Winter collection debuted at #4. We will see what the coming weeks will hold.

Charles Christopher
I have become a BIG fan of Karl Kerschl and his webstrip the Abominable Charles Christopher. For me Karl is making a strip on the level of Calvin and Hobbes. Don't click the link looking for a direct comparison of strips though...what I mean is that he has a full emotion range (from HAHAHA, to Awwww, to sob!) and his draftsmanship on par with some of the top in the visual storytelling field. So I was thrilled when he offered to let me do a guest strip! It was a few weeks ago now, but here is the link.

Black Axe info
At my spotlight panel in San Diego, I talked about the upcoming Mouse Guard: Black Axe series. CBR covered the panel and you can read their report here. The basics of the new series are: It's a prequel, It will have 2 familiar mice from the Fall/Winter stories as younger mice, They travel off the map, and the series will start early next year. I also wanted to share this image that I teased at the panel. I gave away this free print to all the fans in San Diego.

I'm thrilled that my publisher and the Jim Henson company have teamed to produce new stories of Henson properties (Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock, etc, etc, etc....) but also to create new material together. I was fortunate enough to not only be a part of the panel in San Diego that announced the partnership, but I was asked to do the poster artwork for the announcement featuring the Dark Crystal! Creative teams for the books have not been announced yet other than the news of Brian Froud doing covers and creative direction for Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. I do not have any of these posters, Archaia is the only source, but I did hear rumblings at Archaia that it may get reprinted for future cons. You can read coverage of the panel at CBR.

Fan Art:
This piece was given to me by Amanda Estey. Thank you Amanda! I agree Mice with swords are awesome (mice with staffs, bows, maces, axes, slings, daggers and shields are pretty cool too)
if you want to see your fan art here, e-mail it to ericebon (at) hotmail (dot) com

Upcoming Appearances:
Mouse Guard Live Readings in the Michigan Area: TBA

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