Pleased and proud to see Gone to Amerikay making some Best-of lists for the previous year. I already mentioned our appearance on School Library Journal's list of Best Adult Books for Teens. Since then, GTA showed up on CBR, in Greg Burgas' list of the Best Comics of 2012, and this blogger picked GTA as THE best comic of 2012. Thanks to everybody who's been so kind in their estimation of our little book.
* I found this out completely by accident last month - apparently there's a Spanish edition of Gone to Amerikay coming out in February. Unless I'm completely forgetting something, this is the first time my work's been translated into another language, and I'm thrilled and a little disoriented by it.
* And domestically, the paperback edition of Gone to Amerikay will be released this summer. It's already up on Amazon for pre-release orders, so if you were waiting for the soft cover version, here it is.
* And speaking of Gone to Amerikay, which is all I seem to be doing -- I've resurrected a page of notes I wrote for the original release and posted them on a page here. It's a discussion of the historical characters who form the background for the 1870 and 1960 segments of Gone to Amerikay.
* Largehearted Boy ran a "Book Notes" column by me. This is where an author describes a "soundtrack" for their book. In my case, I discussed all the songs that are quoted in Gone to Amerikay, and select versions of each for your listening pleasure.
More brief updates...but at least I'm doing them BEFORE the events in question! Here we go...
* TOMORROW, Wednesday March 28, 2012, Gone to Amerikay, my Vertigo graphic novel collaboration with living legend Colleen Doran goes on sale in stores in the greater North America area. Maybe beyond as well, I'm not sure. Anyway, it's been something like three and a half years in the making and we couldn't be more proud of the finished product or more thrilled to finally be able to share it with you all. I hope you'll all head straight to your local comic shop to pick it up first thing tomorrow.
* We haven't really done that much press for this book, all things considered, but here's our big get for the week of release: a tremendously complimentary blog post on the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy page! I particularly like this part: "It’s a sweeping, detailed, beautifully drawn story of love, betrayal and survival, with a small but crucial touch of the supernatural. It’s deliberately paced and slow to build, but the payoff, as the three stories converge, is worth it."
* Yesterday, we had our first review show up, on Comics Bulletin, and I would have to call it overwhelmingly positive -- 4.5 stars out of 5. "Gone to Amerikay is a wonderful example of the possibilities of the medium... McCulloch and Doran have created a work of art, there is no denying that, and I think it succeeds on every level." And: "Doran's dazzling art...adds further evidence to the argument that she deserves to be held up as a modern master."
* And! This Friday, March 30, 2012, Colleen and I will both be in New York City for the official Gone to Amerikay Book Launch. It will be from 6-8 pm at Harbor Lights restaurant--address and details in the link. The event will include copies of the book on sale, and a portion of every sale will go to benefit The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. Admission is free, everybody's welcome, and I hope to see you there!
It seems like I'm always apologising for failing to update here, but there's so much going on this month that it really is hard to keep up. For example...
* I'm in St. Louis right now, workshopping the stage musical adaptation of my graphic novel Stagger Lee for the Ignite! festival at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. I've written the book for the show and have co-written lyrics with the composers, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the gigantic talents behind the Tony-winning Passing Strange. We're working with director Amanda Dehnert to shape the show, and have assembled an amazing cast to put it on. This Thursday, March 15, we'll be presented an in-progress reading of the first act to a very lucky audience of St. Louis theatre lovers.
* When I get back to the Bay Area, I'll have a couple of days to catch my breath then I'll be going to The Escapist in Berkeley for a pre-release signing of my new book, Gone to Ameriikay. The Escapist will be the first store in the world to have copies of this book for sale, so if you're anywhere near, come by and join the party! The Escapist is at 3090 Claremont Avenue in Berkeley. The signing is on March 21 from 4 pm to 7 pm.
* On March 30, the legendary Colleen Doran and I will be in New York City for a book launch for Gone to Amerikay. The party will benefit The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I sit on the board of The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund, the Canadian counterpart to the CBLDF, and we've been partnered on the case that this party will benefit -- it's a cause very dear to my heart, and if you're in or near NY on the 30th, I hope you'll come by and support the cause. Midtown Comics will be on site to sell copies of Gone to Amerikay, and a portion of all sales will go to the CBLDF. Colleen and I will be there to sign copies, and we'll be joined by the book's entire creative and editorial team (except Sarah!). The party is March 30, 6-8 pm, at Harbor Lights Restaurant, South Street Seaport, Pier 17, Third Floor. Please come!
* Speaking of Gone to Amerikay - you can see a couple of great previews of pages from that book on the CBLDF and Publisher's Weekly web sites.
* Check out this Goodreads promotion - enter to win one of ten FREE copies of Gone to Amerikay!
* And lastly - if you want more timely news about projects and whatever else crosses my mind, go to Facebook and Like The Derek McCulloch Experience. I'm posting updates on progress of the workshop right now.
I've been pretty delinquent about posting here and it's a shame because there's been a lot going on and a lot to tell. This past weekend Greg Espinoza (my Pug collaborator) and I were lucky enough to have a booth at the inaugural Image Comics Expo in my home town of Oakland. For three days we met with fans, retailers, and fellow comics professionals, sold books, and had a grand old time. I had with me the galley of my new Vertigo GN, Gone to Amerikay, drawn by the incomparable Colleen Doran, and everyone I showed it to was blown away by the work of Colleen and our fabulous colourist Jose Villarrubia.
Which brings me to a segue -- Gone to Amerikay will be hitting stores on March 28. Between then and now, I'll be posting up a bunch of links on this page as press stuff starts to appear. I'll also shortly be making an announcement about the first official signing for the book, which will take place in advance of the release date.
And, in an entirely different arena -- just a couple of weeks from now I'll be in St. Louis working with two gods of rock and stage, Stew and Heidi Rodewald, on the musical version of Stagger Lee. If you've never seen Stew and Heidi's incredible musical Passing Strange, do yourself a large favour and click on that link and get it now. With noted director Amanda Dehnert, we'll be workshopping the play and presented a work-in-progress reading on March 15 at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, as part of their Ignite! festival. Tickets are on sale now -- if you're going to be in St. Louis on March 15, you have an opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
That's all I've got right now, but there will be much more coming this next month.
I haven't been very diligent about updating for a while...will try to do better in the future. For now, check out this fun iFanboy podcast on all-ages comics...made even more dear to my heart by tge generous plug for T. Runt! around the 8-minute mark.
Our little book PUG just got itself a nomination for the 2011 Spinetingler Awards, in the Best Crime Comic/Graphic Novel category. Voting opens tomorrow - I'll repost with a link to the ballot when that happens. Looking at the nominees, I'd say we don't have much of a chance, but it's awfully nice to be on the list.
This weekend is Wondercon time in San Francisco. I'll only be there very briefly on Friday afternoon/evening, but you can find Greg Espinoza selling copies of PUG in artist's alley, at space AA-028.
I never managed to get Internet access anywhere but at my hotel, and I was always too tired to blog when I was there. Now the show's over and I'm on my way home. But I'll try to scrape together a highlights post in the next day or two.
So I can't seem to figure out how to get a wireless connection in the convention center, and am reduced to checking in on the Internets whenever I return to the hotel room. Consequently -- no time to really update through the day. But I'll try to write a post before I crash tonight.
So I'm going to take a shot at as-it-happens blogging at Comicon this year. I've never done it before for a number reasons, not least of which is that while I reside not on the wrong side of the digital divide but cozily within the valley that lies at the bottom of the divide. I don't own a smart phone, a Boisenberry, or anything that begins with i. But I do have a laptop with me and I think I've got a decent chance at finding reliable wifi this year. so let's see how it goes.
Right now I'm still in Oakland. In Oakland airport, that is. Rollicking adventures so far have included a shuttle driver who drove slowly past my house with me standing waving on the porch and then on up to the end of the next block before finding me -- and then evidently not knowing the way to the airport. I had a most curious tour of untraveled industrial areas before making it here. Fortunately I had lots of time and no baggage to check in, so I still had plenty of time for my flight. Which I now understand is running 20 minutes late anyway.
I have no baggage because last night I dropped it all off with Mark "El Dingo" Maggi, who is driving down with Shepherd Hendrix and Jimmie Robinson while I sleep in and take lazy shuttle rides through the Port region. By all calculations they should be arriving in San Diego pretty soon, checking in at the show, and starting setup at the Image booth. My job is to check in at the hotel and wander in at the last minute.
My other mission is to find a shoeshine stand in San Diego, which I always find challenging during Comicon week. Apparently storm troopers all have their own shine kits or something, because the shoeshine stands tend to close up shop for lack of business. I regrettably wore my convention shoes to the dog park this morning, and my need for shoe care is dire. There's a shine stand in the Oakland airport, but the proprietor doesn't seem committed to manning his post on a consistent basis. At least he's not there half the time when I look for him, as was the case today.
Anyway. By tonight I'll be at the Image booth with a stack of my brand-new graphic novel PUG in front of me. If you come by the table, be sure to check out my shoes and see if I ever got my shine on!
Tomorrow, Wednesday July 21, 2010, is the day PUG will hit comic
shops. Go! As soon as the shop opens tomorrow! Get your copy! If
they don't have it, ask them to order it for you! Hurry now!
Tomorrow is also the first day - or Preview Night, rather - of Comicon,
which will always be San Diego Con to me. I will be at the Image booth
(#2729) from Wednesday night through Sunday afternoon, sitting next to
Jimmie Robinson, my esteemed collaborator on T. Runt! and "The Last Bus
Home," from Image's Spearmint anthology. I will have a big stack of
PUGs in front of me, along with copies of Stagger Lee, T. Runt!, and
Stories of a Callow Youth, and will be more than happy to sell them,
sign them, whatever you want. If I'm away from the table, you can look
for Greg Espinoza, PUG artist, at space FF-12 in artists' alley. He'll
have copies of PUG too. AND, if you can't find Greg, go look for the
Iron Giant, Shepherd Hendrix, at the Viking Warrior booth, #2204. Shep
is not only the Eisner-nominated artist of Stagger Lee, he also did an
art assist on PUG. He won't have any copies of PUG with him, but he's a
nice guy, so you should let him tell you all about his new book,
Reconcilers. But if Shep's not there, just head back to the Image booth
and hang out with Jimmie. Everybody should hang out with Jimmie at
least once during Comicon.
Oh - I forgot to update about our release party last week at Comic
Relief. It went splendidly, thank you. We sold out our stack of PUGs
and also sold out the store's stock of Stagger Lee and T. Runt!. If
you're in the East Bay, stop by Comic Relief and remind them to reorder
I think I'm going to take a stab at liveblogging for Comicon. Check back tomorrow evening to see if I
really follow through on this.
Here I am once more a day late and a dollar short with the announcements. But I hope not TOO late -
After inevitable but unavoidable delays, PUG will be hitting stores on July 21. But we're still having a release party the week before that. The official PUG release party for PUG will be this coming Wednesday, July 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Comic Relief, 2026 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA. Greg Espinoza and I will both be there, signing a limited number of copies of the book. Come early, bring friends, and tell everyone you know about it!
One of the benefits of forgetting to update my site regularly is
that whenever I finally get around to doing it, there's always a lot of
* PUG: Pug has printed and has begun its slow journey by ship to
distribution channels and retail outlets near you. It's currently scheduled to hit stores on July 14. I received my
advance copy yesterday and couldn't be happier. See the post below if you don't believe me.
* STAGGER LEE: Also this week, I received my first royalty check for
Stagger Lee. As I said at the time, "Seven years from conception to
publication, four years after that to profit -- it's a crazy get
slightly ahead really really slowly scheme!"
* MUSICAL THEATRE: Musical whuh? Yes, graphic novels to stage musicals
is not a typical career path, but that seems to be the one I'm on. I'm
co-writing the book for a musical to be produced off-Broadway in about a
year and a half. This is a very exciting opportunity and I'm working
with people of great renown. More details to come as they become
Stories of a Callow Youth - Short Stories from a Long Time Ago
T. Runt! now available!
Pug now available for pre-order!
The blog of comics writer Derek McCulloch. Updates irregularly.
Excerpts from the Stagger Lee graphic novel are (c) 2006 by Derek McCulloch and Shepherd Hendrix. All other site contents are (c) 2009 by Derek McCulloch.