Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Back from Fabletown and the Beach

FABLETOWN AND BEYOND

Over on the Locust Moon blog, Chris Stevens provided a wonderful reaction piece to our unforgettable time in Fabletown (née Rochester), Minnesota. You really ought to read it.

The journey truly started on Tuesday night, three days before Fabletown and Beyond would be underway. Josh O’Neill in Philly and I in New York, we talked on the phone like protective parents of our partner Chris. “Make sure he has all his chargers. See if Rob can tie up that banner stand so it won’t give him too much trouble.” “I feel like I should pack him a lunch in the morning.” “Fill a bag with food that’ll stay good for a few days, in case he gets hungry on the last leg.” And so on. If you haven’t read his recap yet, you might not realize that the next morning, Chris would be boarding a train from Philadelphia to Winona, Minnesota. That spelled a 30+ hour trip each way. Josh and I had it easy. We got to fly.

Two things struck me within hours (really, the first hour) of my arrival in Fabletown, MN: how fascinating the indoor (post-apocalypse-ready) mini-metropolis of Rochester was, and how aggressively nice all of the people there were. But it wasn’t just the locals who treated us well. Something about Fabletown seemed to bring out the best in folks, and the good vibes permeated every nook and cranny of those subways and skyways and buildings that bled and fed into each other from block to block. Every last person we dealt with was kind and helpful – especially our international team of convention organizers, including Bill Willingham, Stacy Sinner, Mike Sinner, Stephanie Cooke, Brad Thomte, and all of those awesome volunteers.

Chris covered the key events and joys of the weekend pretty wonderfully, but I thought I should share some of personal favorite photos from the weekend here, as well.

Here’s our favorite character from the weekend…P1000150 Continue reading

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About the Trailer at About.com

Behind the Illustrated Book Trailer: Once Upon a Time Machine

Editor Andrew Carl chatted with the fine folks at About.com about how the wonderful animated trailer for Once Upon a Time Machine came together, as part of their series of advice on how to market one’s book online.

The OUaTM trailer was also featured and discussed briefly in this more general About.com article, Tips to Producing An Effective Online Book Trailer.

Let’s enjoy that trailer again, shall we?

Animation, of course, by the fantastic Lance Erlick.

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Beyond the Tale: Marcus Muller

Artist Marcus Muller has been one of  Once Upon a Time Machine‘s most dedicated contributors – working alongside writer David Tanh and letterer Jason Arthur, Marcus drew and colored the single longest story in the book. Their take on “The Tortoise & the Hare,” is an anime-inspired, nonstop rush of kart race craziness, The Tea Garden Park Soapbox Grand Prix. Now let’s get started…

Q: Tell us a little about your life as an artist, and how you got to where you are today.

Since I was a kid I had always been pretty obsessed with cartoons and then eventually comic books.  Around first or second grade, working in one of those fields became my dream job – replacing becoming a Ghostbuster (still time for that, though, right?).  I’m still struggling to make a living from it; I had a few “almost there” moments where I did get some work for DC Comics Creative Services department, but the editor I was working with got canned like 3 months after I started there, so all my worked dried up because I didn’t know anyone else at DC. 😦  Ever since then I’ve been taking on odds and ends until something a bit more stable comes along, all while trying to finish some creator-owned projects.

I didn’t go to college for art, so I’ve picked everything up on my own and by picking other people’s brains (not literally, that would be gross…or tasty), like how I learned Photoshop from my more computer-savvy younger brother. If I had gone to college, I’d be really screwed with having to pay off student loans right about now.  So I’m thankful for that, heh.

Q: I see three sorts of comic work under your belt: work-for-hire, collaborative, and personal. How do you compare the three?

Work-for-hire is definitely the least fulfilling of the three.  But being stuck in a room working on my own comics 12 to 15 hours a day, I’ve really come to appreciate the collaborative process and having someone I can call up or e-mail and bother about a project.  I think it’s possible to produce better work that way by, having things suggested that you may not have thought up on your own otherwise; and if you come up with something that is complete crap, it’s good to have someone tell you this before it sees print or before you put anymore work into it.  It’s always good to have someone to bounce ideas off of as well.  However, with strictly personal work, I’m left to my own devices with no one to save my ass, and forced to take some risks I might not have taken if I was working with a collaborator.  They both have their positives and negatives to them I guess, and I enjoy them both equally. Continue reading

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Under the Hood: Cinderella -Pinup-

Weshoyot Alvitre did a beautiful job bringing a Cinderella into the space age for her pinup. In fact, she may just have  given us the prettiest snapshot of future fashion in the book.

Check out Cinderella’s progression from early pencils, to a touch of inks, to the final inked page.

One of our favorite colorists (and all-round favorite guys), Lance Erlick, colored Weshoyot’s pinup…but you’re going to have to wait for the book to see the magic he brought to the page!

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Beyond the Tale: Tara Alexander

From the mind of writer Tara Alexander sprang 1001, a just-north-of-modern-day take on “Arabian Nights.” Unparalleled artist Nelson Evergreen and letterer extraordinaire Jason Arthur joined her to create this new tale of tales. Let’s hear from the charming Mrs. Alexander…

Q: How did you arrive at this new incarnation of Scheherazade and her adventures in storytelling? 

I think what keeps fairy tales and fables so relevant is the reader’s ability to relate to and admire their heroes. Scheherazade is such a great character. When I was debating what story to choose to adapt, hers kept drawing me back. For me, bringing “One Thousand and One Nights” into a future setting was about focusing on her and the many positive qualities she possesses–selflessness, bravery, intelligence, and creativity. I wanted to keep the future world of 1001 just beyond the present and make Sherri very classic in appearance so that those admirable characteristics wouldn’t be trumped by over-the-top settings and scenarios.

Q: 1001 is your first work in comics. What inspired you to pursue this medium?

I never read comics when I was growing up, so I was way late to the party. My husband was actually the first one to get me interested in them by showing me how cool they could be. I’m so grateful for that! And, really, what’s better than combining words and images? I believe the potential in this medium is so great. When used at their fullest, I don’t think anyone can argue against the power that comics employ. Continue reading

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Under the Hood: John Henry (designs)

Writer Andrew Carl and artist William Allan Reyes took on the great American folk hero John Henry, and shot him into deep space. Seamus Heffernan and Jason Arthur later joined the crew, on colors and letters, respectively.

Here are some of William’s character (and machinery!) designs for this steel-drivin’ tale.

You can find William Allan Reyes on his deviantART site.

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