Pix Plus…Rapunzel (from Rapunzel’s Revenge)

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I met Nathan Hale this year at the ALA conference in Las Vegas (we talked a lot about Disney’s animated movies). Then I read one of his HAZARDOUS TALES books, which was excellent, and I look forward to reading the rest of them. But when I thought about a drawing of Pix with Nathan Hale (the spy, not the author), the Hangman and the Redcoat, it wasn’t QUITE lining up in my mind’s eye. But, luckily, Hale’s done other good work, in particular the graphic novel RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE, with Shannon and Dean Hale (a lot of Hales, not all of them related).

I like fairy tales and good re-telling/re-purposing of fairy tales (there are some nods to fairy tales in PIX for sure), and RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE is that kind of thing, putting Rapunzel in the wild west, teaming her with Jack and his golden goose, and having her use her hair as lassos and whips. It’s pretty cool all around, and the hair’s such a cool visual I wanted to take a stab at it myself.

More on RAPUNZEL’S REVENGE here, and more on Nathan Hale’s HAZARDOUS TALES here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Grandma Ben vs. Stupid, Stupid Rat Creatures (from the Bone series)

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It seems BONE is the universal answer to “what’s a good comic for kids?”. For all intents and purposes, it’s the granddaddy and monolith the rest of us all orbit. Even Raina Telgemeier, who’s books, plural, have spent years, plural, on the NY Times bestseller list, doesn’t seem to pop into people’s minds – especially in comic book circles – the way BONE does. And, without belaboring the point: Jeff Smith’s BONE is an amazing series.

And in a series of drawings teaming my character, Pix, with notable characters in kids comics, ignoring BONE would be the oversight of all oversights. Though, leave it to me to not draw the titular Bone or his cousins…or even Thorn. Nope, I opted to draw Pix kicking stupid, stupid rat creature butt alongside the totally awesome Grandma Ben.

More on BONE here, and more on Jeff Smith here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Abigail and the Snowman!

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This is a first in the Pix Plus series: Pix teamed-up with characters from a comic I’ve not yet read! So what makes these characters so special? Truth be told, I don’t know. Maybe they won’t be so special. But I know ABIGAIL AND THE SNOWMAN’s a series by Roger Langridge, who did SNARKED and Muppets comics for Boom studios, wrote THOR: THE MIGHTY AVENGER among others for Marvel Comics, and has made all kinds of terrific short stories and mini-comics over the years, and of course his character Fred the Clown. And that’s almost all I need to know to want to read it.

Roger is a top-notch cartoonist (and an incredibly nice man) and I knew I wanted to do a Pix Plus with something of his. How serendipitous, then, that ABIGAIL AND THE SNOWMAN #1 comes out exactly three weeks from today. on 12/31/2014! Knowing next to nothing about it and based on the cover image I worked up this piece, Abigail, the Yeti and Pix looking like they’re having a blast.

Visit Roger’s website right here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Secret Science Alliance!

 

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I first saw Eleanor Davis’s work in NURSERY RHYME COMICS and FAIRY TALE COMICS, and was so impressed by those short stories I looked for more, which is how I learned about her graphic novel THE SECRET SCIENCE ALLIANCE AND THE COPYCAT CROOK. It’s great. It’s a fun story about kids who defy cliche and stereotype using their brains and teamwork to stop a bad guy. What more could you want? Well, the art and storytelling are top notch. Rich and detailed, but still lively and cartoony. She also wrote the book STINKY, from Toon Books, for younger readers still. And with all that, she does non-kids work as well. A very talented creative person, indeed.

It would take me ages to come up with the kind of cool, Rube Goldberg-ian tech in the book, so I went with something simpler but playing to my wheelhouse: a big, brassy shot of Pix with the Secret Science Alliance team leaping into action!

Here are sample pages from Eleanor Davis’s website.


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Giants Beware’s Claudette!

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GIANTS BEWARE is one of those books you read and think, “this is like an awesome animated movie on paper!”, and you’re glad comics exist so these stories, by these storytellers, can be told. Rafael Rosado and co-writer Jorge Aguirre tell the story of Claudette, who dreams of killing a giant, her brother, who dreams of becoming a chef, and their friend, who aspires to princess-hood, and how they all follow Claudette on a great adventure. It really is like a classic Disney cartoon in so many ways. Charming, funny, creative, dramatic…and superbly drawn. It was interesting to me to combine Pix with Claudette, as they’re of two so clearly different worlds – but they’re both down for adventure just the same.

And there’s a second book, DRAGONS BEWARE, on the way. So, since Pix fights a dragon in her first book, maybe I should think about having her face a giant in book two, just to keep up with Claudette…

Learn more about GIANTS BEWARE here and on Facebook.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Amelia McBride!

 

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One of the early successes in the modern kids comics world – in libraries and schools, especially – was the AMELIA RULES series by Jimmy Gownley. Amelia started as self-published comics and graphic novels and, over time, found its audience and now Amelia, and Jimmy, are instantly recognized in the field. Amelia’s an incredible character and the stories Jimmy tells are full of humor, heart, and deft, skillful cartooning. There’s a reason he’s won all kinds of awards, and why I had to draw Amelia and Pix together. That Amelia actually has a superhero alter ego, Princess Powerful, well, I naturally embraced that idea in my drawing, with Pix giving Amelia a hand with flying!

I’ve been lucky to know Jimmy for a good number of years, in fact, way back in 2008/2009, I gave Jimmy and his fellow “Kids Love Comics” cartoonists John Gallagher and Harold Buccholtz, copies of PIX black and white mini-comics, and they’ve ever since been super-supportive and encouraging of my efforts, and so much of what they’ve done has been inspiring to me. Jimmy even gave me a quote to put on the back of the book, for which I’ll always be thankful. It was especially satisfying to debut the book at Baltimore Comic-Con as PART OF the Kids Love Comics pavilion alongside the guys who’d seen the early stages.

Get the scoop on Amelia here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…the Lumberjanes!

 

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If you don’t know about LUMBERJANES, then I’m super happy to introduce you to it! The Lumberjanes are a group of girls at a scouting camp who find themselves, by happenstance and their own doings, facing all kinds of threat and challenge, especially those of a supernatural and/or mythical nature – from possessed boys from the other camp to dinosaurs to underground secret caves with booby traps…it’s full of awesome stuff. LUMBERJANES, created by Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stephenson, and Brooke Allen, is published by Boom Studios’ Boombox imprint, and the series really is terrific. The characters are unique and atypical to mainstream comics, the stories are fun and imaginative, and the art is incredibly cool; the sort of thing I look at and think, “wow, I cannot think to draw that way, but it looks so neat!”. Pix and the Lumberjanes are a natural fit, and I couldn’t not try my hand at interpreting the Lumberjanes in my own style, though it might’ve been fun to try and draw them “on model” and apply that style to Pix… Anyway, the Lumberjanes are rad and I was excited to learn that East Side Mags in Monclair, NJ, racked PIX next to LUMBERJANES when they stocked copies earlier this fall.

More about LUMBERJANES is here.

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PIX, in the wild, next to LUMBERJANES #7 (photo by Brian Smith)

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Cleopatra in Space!

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CLEOPATRA IN SPACE is a graphic novel about Cleopatra (yep, THE Cleopatra) who is transported into Space as a young teen to train for her eventual reign as the legendary queen of Egypt. It’s got charming and likable characters, great action sequences, and is beautifully illustrated by Mike Maihack, who I met a bunch of years ago when were seated next to one another at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. Cleo started as a webcomic and has made the transition to a book series from Scholastic Graphix, and it’s pretty great stuff. This drawing was a lot of fun, and one of the first I drew for this series. I got a kick out of interpreting Mike’s very clean, crisp character design into something a bit “intense”, really leaning into Cleo as a tough cookie with killer aim.

Learn more about CLEOPATRA IN SPACE and Mike’s other work here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Salem Hyde!

 

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THE MISADVENTURES OF SALM HYDE, a series of books about a young witch whose spell casting gets her into humorous pickles, is just one of the great comics by Frank Cammuso, who also creates the KNIGHTS OF THE LUNCH TABLE and OTTO books, for Scholastic Graphix and Toon Books, respectively (not to mention his self-published MAX HAMM: FAIRY TALE DETECTIVE). I chose Salem because she and Whammy (her animal companion) seemed a natural fit. Salem’s a novice witch, Pix claims to be a fairy princess… why wouldn’t these two have fun together? And I liked the idea that Pix would be utterly charmed by Salem’s antics.

Not only that, but Frank, like Jimmy Gownley and Art Baltazar and others, is kind of one of the early creators in the modern kids comics, and in the past year I’ve gotten to know him and he’s been very supportive and inspiring; not just in his work, but his general attitude and professionalism. He’s a good guy who makes terrific books! Check out more here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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Pix Plus…Boulder & Fleet!

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Jerzy Drozd is a cartoonist and teaching artist and podcast producer/host who is a champion of comics and especially comics for kids, and BOULDER & FLEET is his new webcomic about a bear and a bird and their lives as adventurers-for-hire. It’s pretty great, and Jerzy’s been incredibly supportive of PIX and my work on it and promoting it, so it seemed a natural fit for me to draw my character with his newest. And darned if I don’t like drawing animals (at the risk of a spoiler: there are animals in PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND). Meanwhile, behind-the-scenes, my original drawing of Pix with Boulder and Fleet featured a more…aggressive take on Boulder, but hearing Jerzy talk on his numerous podcasts about his thoughts about conflict resolution, and Boulder’s approach to that in particular, led to me going back and softening him up a bit. I still think it looks pretty cool.

Read Boulder & Fleet here.

 


Pix Plus is a series of drawings presenting Pix in team-ups with notable characters from kid-friendly comics and graphic novels. The series will run Monday-Friday, from November 17-December 24. Please do share and let people know about Pix and Pix Plus!

 

Ask your local comic shop to order PIX: ONE WEIRDEST WEEKEND, in the December catalog, item #DEC141546

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