Last week at Kirkus, I talked to author Adam Rapp (here) about his new graphic novel, Decelerate Blue (First Second, February 2017). Today, I’m following up with some art from the book, which was illustrated by Mike Cavallaro.
“[O]ne day I saw this older Asian man walking very slowly in the Astor Place area. If a fellow pedestrian came toward him—while engaged with their smartphone, head down, thumbs pummeling their smartphone screen—the Asian man would wave his hand right in front of their face. It was startling, but it actually forced people to look up and consider where they were going and whom they might be walking toward. I thought the guy was a genius. He was starting a revolution of sorts. Stop. Look up. Consider another human being. Connect. I think that was the moment when the idea for the book came to me.”
That Q&A is here this morning.
I’ll have art from the book here at 7-Imp next week.
Photo of Adam Rapp taken by Sham Hinchey.
Last week, I wrote here about the third book in John Lewis’s and Andrew Aydin’s March trilogy (Top Shelf Productions), released last year and illustrated by Nate Powell; Carmen Agra Deedy’s The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! (Scholastic, January 2017), illustrated by Eugene Yelchin; and Shana Corey’s A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy’s Big Speech, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and coming to shelves from NorthSouth Books in April.
Today, I’ve got art from all three books in the March trilogy, as well as art from Yelchin and Christie.
Until Sunday …
If you like the artwork of Gareth Hinds, pictured right, you’re in for a treat today. In this, his breakfast visit to 7-Imp, he shares a whole heapin’ lot of artwork, and it’s my pleasure to feature it.
You may have already heard a lot this year about Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune. (Pictured above is an early sketch from the book.) It is the 256-page nonfiction account, written by Pamela S. Turner and illustrated by Gareth, of the life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune, and it has been met with a host of starred reviews. Booklist calls it “pure excitement”; Kirkus calls it a “well-researched narrative told with true grit”; and the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books writes, “It’s not often that ‘biography’ and ‘page-turner’ come together in one thought, but Turner’s tale of the twelfth-century warrior Minamoto Yoshitsune is just the work to draw samurai fans from the manga and movie aisles into the nonfiction shelves.” It’s even a book getting early Newbery buzz. Gareth’s eloquent brush-and-ink drawings open each chapter of the book.
Today, I’m following up with art — a sneak peek at some upcoming graphic novels from First Second.
“[W]e’ve rounded another corner, and the conversation is getting more interesting. It used to be all about the graphic novel format — every other news article on a graphic novel for a while was ‘oh wow, it’s comics, but it’s good,’ which sometimes got a bit insulting to all these prodigious authors doing remarkable work. But now it’s about substance, and it’s about author voice. It’s about the writing, as you say, about immigration, or the speeding up of modern life, or about getting married, or growing up with a disability, or simply growing up — about the human experience, in other words. Which is a far more vital conversation than endlessly discussing a format.”
Over at Kirkus today, I talk to the Editorial Director of First Second Books, Mark Siegel. First Second is celebrating a decade of making high-quality graphic novels for children and teens.
That link is here, and I’ll follow this up next week with some art here at 7-Imp.
Until tomorrow …
Photo of Mark Siegel used by his permission.
I’m not normally in the habit of posting other people’s interviews in full at my site, but what the hell, I’m doing so today.
And that’s because I was very excited to hear on Monday of this week that graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang (pictured left in his self-portrait) was named the 5th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Below is a five-question chat he had with Gina Gagliano at First Second Books. I’m merely hosting them here today.
I can’t wait to hear more from Gene in his two-year term as Ambassador.
As the new Ambassador of Young People’s Literature, what changes would you like to see in America’s reading culture?
Gene: I want us to diversify our reading in every sense of the word “diverse.” I want us to read stories from different cultures about different topics in different formats. I want every person to read at least one book that others don’t expect them to like, at least once a year.
What draws you to YA books and literature?
Gene: I started in the comic book industry, which isn’t as tightly categorized into age demographics as the traditional book market. I didn’t really think of myself as a YA author until I began publishing with First Second Books. They looked at my stuff and decided it fit best in Young Adult.
I think they’re right. My friend and fellow author Marsha Qualey says there’s an equation at the heart of all YA:
Power + Belonging = Identity
Most of my stories are about that equation.
What do you like better — hardcovers or paperbacks?
Gene: You know, I’ve never really thought about it. Each format has its advantages. Hardcovers feel solid and substantial in your hand. Paperbacks are more portable.
I do a lot of my reading on the go these days, so I guess right now I prefer paperbacks.
You can click on each image below (except for the last one and the book cover) to enlarge slightly and see in a bit more detail.
As you can read here, Cannaday studied Illustration at SVA. His work hasn’t appeared in the world of children’s or YA lit, as far as I can tell (but can’t you see him doing something like YA covers)?