Monday, September 19, 2016

SNYDER/LEMIRE AD: AFTER DEATH ORDER NOW!


SEP160618
(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Jeff Lemire 
SERIES PREMIERE

What if we found a cure for death? 
Two of comics' most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three-part epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three oversized prestige format books written by SNYDER and fully painted by LEMIRE.
In Shops: Nov 23, 2016
SRP: $5.99

Friday, September 9, 2016

SECRET PATH by GORD DOWNIE & JEFF LEMIRE



GORD DOWNIE ANNOUNCES SECRET PATH
 PRODUCED BY KEVIN DREW AND DAVE HAMELIN
WITH GRAPHIC NOVEL BY JEFF LEMIRE
& CBC ANIMATED FILM SPECIAL
TELLS THE STORY OF CHANIE WENJACK, AN INDIGENOUS BOY WHO DIED RUNNING AWAY FROM A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL FIFTY YEARS AGO
PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION

STATEMENT BY GORD DOWNIE
Ogoki Post, Ontario
September 9, 2016
Mike Downie introduced me to Chanie Wenjack; he gave me the story from Ian Adams’ Maclean’s magazine story dating back to February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”
Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to walk home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids - more than anyone will be able to imagine - he tried. I never knew Chanie, but I will always love him.
Chanie haunts me. His story is Canada’s story. This is about Canada. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable, but this begins in the late 1800s and goes to 1996. “White” Canada knew – on somebody’s purpose – nothing about this. We weren’t taught it in school; it was hardly ever mentioned.
All of those Governments, and all of those Churches, for all of those years, misused themselves. They hurt many children. They broke up many families. They erased entire communities. It will take seven generations to fix this. Seven. Seven is not arbitrary. This is far from over. Things up north have never been harder. Canada is not Canada. We are not the country we think we are.
I am trying in this small way to help spread what Murray Sinclair said, “This is not an aboriginal problem. This is a Canadian problem. Because at the same time that aboriginal people were being demeaned in the schools and their culture and language were being taken away from them and they were being told that they were inferior, they were pagans, that they were heathens and savages and that they were unworthy of being respected – that very same message was being given to the non-aboriginal children in the public schools as well… They need to know that history includes them.” (Murray Sinclair, Ottawa Citizen, May 24, 2015)
I have always wondered why, even as a kid, I never thought of Canada as a country – It’s not a popular thought; you keep it to yourself – I never wrote of it as so. The next hundred years are going to be painful as we come to know Chanie Wenjack and thousands like him – as we find out about ourselves, about all of us – but only when we do can we truly call ourselves, “Canada.”
——
Gord Downie began Secret Path as ten poems, incited by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a twelve year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School near Kenora, Ontario, fifty years ago, walking home to the family he was taken from over 400 miles away. Gord was introduced to Chanie Wenjack (miscalled “Charlie” by his teachers) by Mike Downie, his brother, who shared with him Ian Adams’ Maclean’s story from February 6, 1967, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”
The stories Gord’s poems tell were fleshed into the ten songs of Secret Path with producers Kevin Drew and Dave Hamelin. Recording took place over two sessions at The Bathouse Recording Studios in Bath, Ontario, November and December 2013. The music features Downie on vocals and guitars, with Drew and Hamelin playing all other instruments. Guest musicians include Charles Spearin (bass), Ohad Benchetrit (lap steel/guitar), Kevin Hearn (piano), and Dave “Billy Ray” Koster (drums).
In winter 2014, Gord and Mike brought the recently finished Secret Path music to graphic novelist Jeff Lemire for his help illustrating Chanie Wenjack’s story, bringing him and the many children like him to life.
The ten song album will be released by Arts & Crafts accompanied by Lemire's eighty-eight page graphic novel published by Simon & Schuster CanadaSecret Path will arrive on October 18, 2016, in a deluxe vinyl and book edition, and as a book with album download.
Downie’s music and Lemire’s illustrations have inspired The Secret Path, an animated film to be broadcast by CBC in an hour-long television special on Sunday, October 23, 2016, 9pm east

The Secret Path is produced by eOne and Antica Productions Ltd. in association with CBC. The Secret Path was created, written, direction, and composed by Gord Downie, with illustrations by Jeff Lemire. The film is executive produced by Mike Downie, Patrick Downie, Gord Downie, and Sarah Polley. Jocelyn Hamilton is executive producer for eOne Television and Stuart Coxe is executive producer for Antica Productions. Justin Stephenson is director of animation.

The broadcast date marks the fiftieth anniversary of the morning Chanie’s body was found frozen beside the railroad tracks only twelve miles into his journey.
Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba. The NCTR is dedicated to preserving the history of the residential schools in Canada, making this history known, and moving our country forward on the path of reconciliation. 
Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history – the long-supressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system – with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.
Jeff Lemire shares insight on Secret Path
I first met Gord Downie and his brother Mike back in the winter of 2014. They wanted to discuss a potential project and, over coffee, they told me the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack. Gord was then in the final stages of recording his incredible songs based on Chanie’s life and he shared the rough mixes with me in the hopes that I would be interested in creating a graphic novel to accompany his album. Before we left the coffee shop I knew I was going to do it. I had to. Chanie’s story is one that will not let you go once you hear it. It’s a story that can’t be ignored. And yet, somehow, it has been ignored. By nearly all of us. 
Growing up white in Southern Ontario, I never learned about Chanie Wenjack or about any of the tens of thousands of other indigenous children like him who were part of Canada’s residential school system. This is such a massive part of our country’s history, yet our schools didn’t teach us about it. Why? Maybe because it’s easier to live with ourselves if we pretend stories like Chanie’s never happened. But they did happen, and still happen. Chanie Wenjack lived and died, and no one knows his story.
I’ve spent the last three years living with Chanie’s story and living inside Gord’s music. Gord’s haunting songs introduced me to Chanie Wenjack. Music is universal. It crosses languages and cultures and speaks to everyone, and I’ve always felt the medium of comics could do the same. It’s our hope that one day Secret Path will be taught in schools and that it will help to shed a light on this all too often ignored part of Canada’s past. I think, above all else, that’s what Gord and I wanted to create: something that can’t be ignored. Every Canadian should know Chanie Wenjack’s name and I hope Secret Path helps to make that a reality.
 

Gord Downie
Secret Path
w/ Graphic Novel by Jeff Lemire
Deluxe Edition (Vinyl & Book)
October 18, 2016
Arts & Crafts
Deluxe Album Cover Art HERE
Side A:
1. The Stranger 
2. Swing Set
3. Seven Matches
4. I Will Not Be Struck
5. Son
Side B:
1. Secret Path
2. Don’t Let This Touch You
3. Haunt Them, Haunt Them, Haunt Them
4. The Only Place To Be
5. Here, Here and Here

Gord Downie
Secret Path
w/ Graphic Novel by Jeff Lemire
Book w/ Download
October 18, 2016
Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Cover Art HERE




Artist Links:
Partner Links:

Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire will not be available for media requests. For comment please reach out to: 
Ry Moran - Director, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, University of Manitoba Ry.Moran@umanitoba.ca / 204-318-2926


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Time Management and Process...



Time Management and Process

(or How The @#$% Do I Write So Many Books?) 


One of the most frequently asked questions I get on Twitter and at conventions is how I
manage my workload? I've been meaning to write a newsletter about this for a while but,
ironically, I've been too busy. So, sorry for the delay. Anyway, I'll do my best here to explain
my weekly work schedule and my working methods for both writing and for drawing.

I am currently writing about 7 or 8 monthly books and drawing one as well
(right now I'm finishing up art for the graphic novel AD: AFTER DEATH,
written by Scott Snyder, an exclusive page from which is featured above
!).
The first thing I would say is that I am probably doing too much stuff right now.
But, when you love to do what you do, it's hard to stop, and hard to say no to
new opportunities to work with artist and characters that inspire you.

So, how do I do as much as I do? First, I've always been a very organized and
self-motivated person and had a great work ethic.  Before making a living in comics
I worked as a line cook at a variety of restaurants in downtown Toronto. Being a line
cook isn't about knowing how to cook, it's about knowing how to stay organized and
how to manage your time and do a lot of things at once. Furthermore, when I was
working nights in these restaurants I was also trying to make comics, so I would
wake up early and draw all day before going back to restaurant for my next shift.
I had a window of 5-6 hours a day to do comics and I maximized that and took full
advantage of it. I think I carried a lot of the mindset from those early days into my
work as a cartoonist and writer now.

Secondly, I love making comics, It's all I've ever wanted to do. So, basically
I have no social life at all. Really. I don't want one. The older I get the more
I just want to do what makes me happy. And the two things that make me the
most happy are making comics and spending time with my wife and son.
So that's basically ALL I do. And I'm happier for it.

Having said that, love alone does't get the work done on time, so I do employ a
pretty strict system in order to juggle everything...

I work Monday to Friday at my studio from about 7:30 am to 4:30 pm.
(pics of my studio here. Notice my origibal art collection on the walls. Constant inspiration).





I also work an hour or two every night after my son goes to bed and a few hours
here and there on the weekends when he's busy reading or Legoing. In that time
I can draw about 5 pages a week and also complete one script. At this pace I can
write 4 scripts a month and draw and paint aprox- 24-pages of comics.

And the bulk of my Mon-Fri studio time is spent drawing. Drawing is WAY more
labor intensive than writing. I spend at least 40 hours a week drawing and probably
only 10 or so writing.

I can do thumbnails and pencils for 5 pages in about 2 days, I can then ink those
same 5 pages in 2 days. And the 5th day is spent painting those pages or working
on a script. This allows me to draw the equivalent of a monthly book in about 4 weeks.

In term of my drawing method, I work in 5 page batches at a time. I draw my initial
layouts for these 5 pages on layout paper with red prismacolored pencils. Then I
 tighten these up with graphite or lead pencil and tape these pages to watercolor
paper where I ink them using a lightbox. (Here of my drawing set up...)



I ink using Pelikan Black India ink with a Deleter metal dip  pen nib and a
#2 Windsor Newton Sable  brush.



When the inks dry I watercolour right over the inks and then scan it all in.
(Layout and ink stages are shown here on a page from AD: AFTER DEATH)




As I said, I spend much less time writing than I do drawing. In terms of writing,
I stagger my titles. Meaning I get a few months ahead on a book, then put it aside
 for a few months and replace it in my schedule with another title. So, while it may
seem I have 7 or 8 books coming out every month, I'm really ever only writing 3 or 4
a month.

For example, I am currently 5 months ahead on Moon Knight, 3 Months ahead on
Thanos, 6 months ahead on Descender and 6 months ahead on Black Hammer.

So for the next two/three months I can put those 4 titles aside and work on Old Man Logan,
X-Men, Inhumans v X-men and Bloodshot. And soon I'll be ahead on these 4 books
so I'll flip back to the other four titles for a while.

Each week I only focus on one book at a time, and that's all I think about until I've
exhausted all my ideas and energy for that title. So this week I'm working on a new two-part
Old Man Logan story and its running through my head constantly. I get in my Logan
frame of mind and pour everything into that, then put it aside and come back to it in a
month or two when I've recharged on that character and story. If anything, I feel having
multiple titles to jump between like this help keep me fresh and excited rather than
burning me out.

This is a shot of my trusty white board. You can see I have one script to write each
week of the month. And I plan ahead for what's coming in the next two months.
On the right is the list of all the current titles I'm working on.
(And beside that a carefully edited teaser for a couple of future!)



The scripts themselves are fairly quick to write once you have the plots done.
Plotting can take longer, but I usually plot out an entire story arc page-by-page and get
these approved by my editors far in advance, so that when it comes to the actual scripts,
I can easily manage a script a week in my "extra time" on weekends and at night.

I also keep a notebook for each project I'm working on by my drawing desk so I can
write down new ideas as they come to me and later work these into detailed Bibles
I keep for each series with all my issue by issue plots and future story ideas.



It's hard to go into detail on my writing process, because so much of it is intuitive.
But I do write full scripts, and try to keep the art direction to the bare minimum.
I want each artists to have as much freedom as possible so that they can inject
as much of themselves into as possible and do their best work without feeling restricted.

Here is a page from a recent OLD MAN LOGAN SCRIPT for Andrea Sorrentino as
well as an excerpt from the outlines for that same issue from my "Series Bible".
This is from Issue 9, which came out in early August. OF all the artists I work with,
Andrea take the most liberties with the scripts, and I love him for it. He always takes
my ideas and turns them up to 11. We've been working together for a while now on
Green Arrow and now Logan, so we have a great chemistry.

A Page from my Old Man Logan Series Bible...


A page from the corresponding Old Man Logan Script


So, I don't know how enlightening that was. I hope it helps to answer some questions
about how I juggle my work load. But really, it does come down to the fact that
I LOVE what I do. It's all I've ever dreamed of doing. I had to work a lot of shitty
jobs before I started making a living in comics and there isn't a day I don't feel
lucky as hell that I get to wake up and just make comics. So I try not to take that
for granted and I do as much as I can every day.

Having said that, I have probably exceeded my maximum lately. So, as this year
winds down, I'll probably start scaling my workload down to writing about 3-4 books
a month plus one that I write and draw, instead of the 6-7 (or 8!)
I've been doing for he last couple of years.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

AD: AFTER DEATH & ROUGHNECK RELEASE DATES!

After a bit of juggling, the release dates for both of my next 2 graphic novels. AD: AFTER DEATH, (written by Scott Snyder) from Image Comics and ROUGHNECK from Simon and Schuster are now set.

ROUGHNECK - TO BE PUBLISHED APRIL 2017
280 PAGE, FULL COLOR, HARDCOVER GRAPHIC NOVEL
GALLERY 13 A DIVISION OF SIMON AND SCHUSTER


Due to its increased scope and size, Scott and I have decided to expand AD:AFTER into three 72-page PRESTIGE FORMAT VOLUMES that will be published monthly!

BOOK 1 WILL BE PUBLISHED  THIS NOVEMBER!

AD: AFTER DEATH: BOOK 1 (of 3)

STORY: SCOTT SNYDER
ART/COVER: JEFF LEMIRE

NOVEMBER 23/ 72 PAGES / FC / T / $4.99


What if we found a cure for death? Two of comics most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER,  Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three part epic like no other, set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found. Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three, oversized prestige format books written by Snyder and fully pained by Lemire.

AD: AFTER DEATH & ROUGHNECK RELEASE DATES!

After a bit of juggling, the release dates for both of my next 2 graphic novels. AD: AFTER DEATH, (written by Scott Snyder) from Image Comics and ROUGHNECK from Simon and Schuster are now set.

ROUGHNECK - TO BE PUBLISHED APRIL 2017
280 PAGE, FULL COLOR, HARDCOVER GRAPHIC NOVEL
GALLERY 13 A DIVISION OF SIMON AND SCHUSTER


Due to its increased scope and size, Scott and I have decided to expand AD:AFTER into three 72-page PRESTIGE FORMAT VOLUMES that will be published monthly!

BOOK 1 WILL BE PUBLISHED  THIS NOVEMBER!

AD: AFTER DEATH: BOOK 1 (of 3)

STORY: SCOTT SNYDER
ART/COVER: JEFF LEMIRE

NOVEMBER 23 / 72 PAGES 


What if we found a cure for death? Two of comics most acclaimed creators, SCOTT SNYDER (WYTCHES, Batman, American Vampire) and JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER,  Moon Knight, Sweet Tooth) unite to create a three part epic like nothing you've seen in comics. Set in a future where a genetic cure for death has been found, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality. A unique combination of comics, prose, and illustration, A.D.: AFTER DEATH will be serialized monthly as three, oversized prestige format books written by Snyder and fully painted by Lemire.

Friday, July 15, 2016

ROYAL CITY A New Ongoing Image Series Written & Drawn by Jeff Lemire

With SDCC around the corner, there have been a lot of announcements lately, but none that I'm more excited about than this!  I will be launching a brand new ongoing series called ROYAL CITY. It will be published monthly by IMAGE COMICS and it will be the first monthly book that I've both written and drawn since Trillium and Sweet Tooth! 

IMAGE COMICS ANNOUNCES JEFF LEMIRE'S ROYAL CITY

Image Comics is pleased to announce ROYAL CITY—a new ongoing monthly series written and illustrated by New York Times bestselling author Jeff Lemire (DESCENDER, Sweet Tooth) and set to launch in March 2017. ROYAL CITY promises to be a sprawling, serialized graphic novel that will chart the lives, loves and losses of a troubled family and a vanishing town, across three decades.

ROYAL CITY follows Patrick Pike, a fading literary star who reluctantly returns to the once-thriving factory town where he grew up and is quickly drawn back into the dramas of his two adult siblings, his overbearing Mother and his brow beaten Father, all of whom are still haunted by different versions of his youngest brother, Tommy, who drowned decades ago.

As each member of the family struggles to keep themselves above water, it quickly becomes clear that Tommy’s death isn’t the only dark secret tearing the town, and this family, apart at the seams. Can each member of the Pike family come to terms with their own guilt over Tommy’s death, and make peace with the many versions of Tommy that still haunt them, or will they all be dragged down below the river along with his lingering ghost?

ROYAL CITY is a return to the literary and thematic territory of Lemire’s breakthrough graphic novel Essex County and is his most ambitious, and most personal project to date.

Read the first interview about Royal City here at ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY!