Scene from a Parisian Comic Book Store. A friend of ours holds up a copy of Giants Beware from the shelves of a comic book store in Paris. Yay, our book is now available in French! “Chasseuse de geants” — Which I think translates as Hunter of Giants.
In honor of Zita last epic adventure, Rafael drew this Claudette-Zita crossover…
BLRG! As Ben Hatke brings the adventures of our favorite spacegirl, Zita to an end, we’d like to remember her greatest moments. For me, I can never get this image out of my head. It’s from early in the first book, when Zita, an ordinary earth girl, gets miraculously transported to a planet far away with many strange creatures. One of the first creatures this girl encounters is a giant slimy snail who proceeds to run her over. What’s the girl’s reaction? “BLRG!” There are a million ways to react to being slimed but for some reason, “BLRG!” Seems perfect to me. BLRG sort of means, ‘that was pretty disgusting, but I can take it.’ BLRG is what tells you this ordinary earth girl is about to have an extraordinary journey through space and slime. BLRG! Go Zita!
page from Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Sick boy with moose cap next to me. Using him as desk for pages
When we last checked in… Rafael was finishing the art (which looks beautiful) This week it was my turn. I had to do a pass at all the lettering and do my last pass at rewriting before turning it into First Second. The catch? I have a sick son at home today (virus + strep throat = poor guy). And so as he napped (with a bucket for vomit nearby and chicken and rice soup cooking in the kitchen) I finished my last pass at the words of CLAUDETTE BOOK 2 with the printed out pages on top of my boy, the computer on my lap, and poised to grab the vomit bucket at any stirring. *
Okay, the words are done. The picture are done. And now it’s time for the world’s greatest colorist to take his turn. John Novak. It’s your turn.
* Funny enough, there was no vomit. The kid just looked like he was going to. He looks better now.
Raf gets some emotional support and lemonade from his daughters before beginning to ink the last pages of Book 2. It’s been a looong process.
This week, Rafael finished inking Book 2. He’s been working like crazy: nights, weekends, days, in the car. (Okay maybe not in the car, but let’s just say he hasn’t put down his Cintiq pen in very long time). Our tentative title is : CHRONICLES OF CLAUDETTE: BELLY OF THE BEAST. His family has been very patient with him (and us)! (Thanks, D&A&A!).
This is the very last page that Rafael inked, which in the book, is actually the first page of the book.
Woo-hoo! It’s been a lot of work, but so worth it. We can’t wait to share the new book with our readers but it will still be about awhile before it hits the shelves, probably Spring 2015. John Novak is still coloring the pages with beautiful color. I’m still working on lettering and doing a little rewriting as I go. Then the book goes to the First Second editorial and design team, and it still has to get printed and such. The good news is we’ve already begun work on Book 3, so there won’t be as much time between the next two books!
Rafael starts to ink the last few pages of the book.
A few months ago, Rafael and I were flabbergasted (didn’t see it coming, nope!) and thrilled (over the moon) to hear our book, Giants Beware was nominated for the Texas Library Association’s Bluebonnet Award. Since then, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with some Texas students through Google Hangouts (Hello, Ethridge Elementary!), and Rafael and his wife had a chance to travel to Austin (they had an amazing time) and visit lots of schools and meet many readers.
This would have been sufficiently great, but then we just heard we were second runner up, or as I like to call it, Third Place for the BB Award. First place went to 10 Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus, written by John Grandits and illustrated by Michael Allen Austin (congrats!) and Second place to RJ Palacio’s Wonder (well-done!).
Third place. Didn’t see this coming either. Nope. We’re thrilled (over the moon). Thanks to all the readers who voted for us and the other nominees. Thank you to all the librarians who invited us to talk with your students and supported Claudette. Congrats to all the other nominees. Lots of great books are on the list.
Thank you, Texas!
The Doctor and Claudette
Love this picture Rafael did for Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess, and her daughter Hailey. Check it out!