Mac McCool - Children's Book Illustrations and Graphic Novels

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Official Website (Beta version) is UP!

All you need to do to check out the rest of the Mac McCool website is to click on the tabs above. It's still in development, so any feedback is helpful! Thanks!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

She's Reading Graphic Novels!

Call it a ploy, call it a sign, but the little girl pictured on the cover of Harold D. Underdown's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Publishing Children's Books (2nd Ed.) is reading children's graphic novels! In fact, the book in her hands and those behind her on the shelves are what the French call "comics albums" (and you can even see the spine of several Tintins!). Ah-Ha! Must be a good sign!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Music Fueling the Emotional Flame on a Long-Winded Project

Another fun use of your iPod and iTunes playlists: to keep the emotional flame of a particular illustration or comics page, I compile playlists with music selections capturing project-specific emotional keys or tones. I have been finding it especially useful to avoid patches of emotional myopia we sometimes encounter on longer projects. For the third page of a 9-page graphic novella I'm currently drawing on Noah's last days, my "Noah-Page3" playlist includes these songs: "Du Bist Überall" by Nena, "Visions of Mother Asia" and "Spellbound" by BlueTonicWorld, "Night Vision" by Suzanne Vega, "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, "Come What May (Original)" and "One Day I’ll Fly Away" from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, "Dust" by Mr. Mister, "Sister of Night" by Depeche Mode, and a few more. You can imagine the mood on that page!

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Cinematic Novel? Brian Selznick's Invention!

So what form did Brian Selznick exactly invent with his Invention of Hugo Cabret? After his dramatic presentation at the last NYC SCBWI convention, Selznick's new book was the talk of the town, so I went to see for myself.

During his SCBWI talk, Selznick himself recognized his debt to film (and his lineage to David O. Selznick of Gone With the Wind fame). Surely, reading Hugo Cabret often feels like watching a movie (the sequence of shots, the black margins suggesting the darkness of the theater hall when the lights go down, the "camera moves," etc.). Besides, the story centers around the idea and the illusion of film. And while the characters could have gained from exhibiting a bit more depth, the sumptuous illustrations and the lively plot and pacing make the reading experience a one-of-a-kind! Brian Selznick's new illusion is a seductive invention!

So how do you call a book that's more like the storyboards of a feature film laid out in a book? In other words, many sequences of illustrated spreads interspersed with text-only chapters and passages? Is it a graphic novel? Nah. A film picture book? A graphic chapter book? How about a cinematic novel? You tell me!