Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spirit of Spring


Hello friends! Just a quick note to tell you all that, despite five months without posting, this blog has not ended. It's been hard to keep up with though, for sure, and it definitely needs an update. Most of my creative side projects and daily updates are ending up on other social media these days (Instagram mer-folk anyone?), but this is still the best place for book announcements, tour announcements and roundups of my work.

And speaking of book announcements I should remind everyone that my next book, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, will be out on September 5th! There is a very exciting tour shaping up around this book, which looks to have me traveling far and wide in late September, so stay tuned for more on that.

In the meantime, I'll try to stop neglecting this poor little blog.

-Ben

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Comic is Backwards, But I'm Posting it Anyway

Oh this poor comic! I got about halfway though it before I realized I had it all backwards. What seems to work better is that FIRST you bleed your heart out onto a page (or whatever medium you're working in) and THEN you use your brain to clean everything up and make it legible. 

Still I think the sentiment is right. It's not always like this. Sometimes making stuff is a joy from start to finish. But other times the worry creeps in. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Lone Adventurer, and a Commissions and Prints Update

FIRST THE ETSY ORDERS UPDATE: If you ordered ONLY ORIGINAL PAGES from me, you have likely received them by now. Most of those orders have gone out. If you ordered ART PRINTS ...well, I thank you for your patience. Some of the prints did not meet my quality control standard and so those orders are taking a bit longer than expected. I am hoping to have all the prints mailed off this week though.

OKAY ON TO THE FUN STUFF!

I reeeeeeaaally hadn't intended to participate in Inktober this year, but sometimes, unexpectedly, a story just claws its way out of you. I started the Ballad of the Lone Adventurer with a single, loose sketch and no plan. It grew from there with a life of its own.

And the response was just amazing. I'm very, very grateful for the level of engagement, the discussion and comments that surrounded this unexpected little art-child. I haven't had this much fun live-posting a project in a long, long time.

Many of you have been calling for a print version of this story and I am definitely looking into that. It may take me awhile, but eventually I'll make it available in some kind of physical form. For now though, I'm posting the whole thing here in one easy-to-scroll-through post.

Thanks again, my friends, and Happy Hallowe'en!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TOURING COMICS AND ETSY

Okay, business first: I have REOPENED MY ETSY SHOP. I have a limited supply of PRINTS and ORIGINAL ART. If you're interested in such things then please, by all means, follow this link and poke around.

And now on to the fun stuff: 

So I spent the golden closing week of September, and the first couple days of October traveling through the South and the Midwest, visiting schools and bookstores and libraries. It was a little book tour for _Mighty Jack_.  Touring is intense. Sometimes you feel like a traveling salesman, peddling tired stories to people who could care less, other times you feel like you really are sharing something of yourself with real people who are thrilled to see you.

As with all tours, there were highs and lows. There were moments of magic and real kindness, and times of exhaustion. Old friends (and one old high school teacher!) showed up to my events. I even got to travel with my dad for a leg of the journey and stop in, all-too-briefly at my parent's house.

I've done book tours before, but this time I tried to squeeze in some tiny comics to chronicle the journey. These were drawn in spare moments, on airport floors, hotel desks, in planes and coffee shops. 

Here are my On the Road Comics: 

This next one is one of my examples of gesture drawing for students

This next one was drawn ialong with my friend Andy Runton:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mighty Jack Tour

Hey friends! Here is a list of some of the places I can be found in the coming weeks. Will I see any of you? Let me know!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Double Day: Mighty Jack and Missy PW

Well today kind of snuck up on me. It's the official release day for my new book, MIGHTY JACK. Here's what you need to know about MIGHTY JACK:

1. It's a graphic novel! (Or whatever we call comic books these days). It's a modern kinda-sorta retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story featuring a boy named Jack, his little sister Maddy, and a wild homeschooled girl from down the road named Lilly. The three kids plant a whole gardens worth of strange seeds from a local flea market, and the plants that rise up from the seeds are clearly not from this world. Adventures ensue.

2. It's only the first part of a two-book story! I feel it's very important to warn you, my readers, that this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Or, at least, it ends on an unresolved dramatic moment. which is, okay, the same thing as a cliffhanger. The second book (which is almost finished!) will be out next year at this time.

3. I had colorist for this book! The beautiful colors in this book were accomplished by Alex Campbell and Hilary Sycamore. They did a beautiful job.

4. You can get this book in bookstores and all over the Internet! Here are a few links: Indigo, Barnes&Noble, Amazon.

5. I will be doing a 10-day tour for this book covering much of the South and the Midwest. I will post more about that soon.

6. Here's a short video of me flipping through the book (the song in the background is Little Boxes, performed by my sister Annie):

Untitled from Ben Hatke on Vimeo.

Is that all the news? NO THAT IS NOT ALL THE NEWS.

As it turns out there is a SECOND BOOK that I was involved in which is also releasing today. That book is Missy Piggle-Wiggle, by Ann M. Martin. It Continues the stories of the original Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, but instead follows the exploits of Mrs. P-W's young niece, Missy. The book has illustrations by me. They were very fun to create. And Like Mighty Jack you can find it in stores and online.

Is that all the news? YES FOR TODAY THAT IS ALL THE NEWS, BUT THERE IS MORE COMING.