Hello fabulous readers! As I slowly get back to work after my incredible three-week long USA book tour (photos here!), I thought I’d share with you two fantastic reader of the month stories. The first is about tapping into your creative calling early in life and then pursuing it professionally, and the second is about REDISCOVERING your creative outlet after putting is aside. First up is Rifyal: ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
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My fellow Aussies, I hope you didn’t think I had forgotten about you, because I haven’t. I’ve had a couple of days to recover from my big USA tour and now it’s time to meet the local Zen Pencils community. I’ll be making four stops (sorry Adelaide and Tassie) in November. If you’re thinking of attending, please RSVP on the Facebook pages so the stores know roughly how many books to order.
Wed 18th November
Embiggen books @ 6.30pm
Facebook event page
Sat 21st November
Boffins Bookshop @ 2pm
Facebook event page
Wed 25th November
Avid Reader Bookshop @ 6pm
Facebook event page
Mon 30th November
Better Read Than Dead @ 6.30pm
Facebook event page
Check out all my tour photos on Instagram and you’ll see that good times were had by those who attended. I’ll be giving a short presentation and answering your questions during each event and even though people came to get their books signed and listen to me yadda yadda yadda, a lot of folks were pleasantly surprised to meet some like-minded comic/quote/creativity lovers during the events too.
Hope to see you there!
I’m excited (and a little nervous) to announce this awesome event next Tuesday October 6 in Brooklyn. I’m partnering with the magazine The Great Discontent and Wythe Hotel where I will be having a live interview, Q&A session and book signing. Tickets are FREE but you will need to RSVP.
The Great Discontent in Conversation with Zen Pencils’ Gavin Aung Than
Tuesday October 6
Wythe Hotel (Screening room and bar). 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn NY
There will be copies of the new book (and alcohol!) available for sale.
Register for your free ticket at this link.
Many of you were asking for a separate NY event besides my Comic-Con signings and this is even better than I could have imagined. I know it’s late notice but it’s all just come together in the last couple of days. If you’re around, please come and show your support. I’ve got to fill this room (GULP).
A huge thanks to The Great Discontent’s editor-in-chief Tina Essmaker for making this happen. TGD is a beautiful print and online magazine that interviews artists and makers. I highly recommend you check them out.
Hope to see some of you there!
PS: Here are the rest of my US book tour dates.
I was honoured to be a guest on Tall Tale Radio, a podcast featuring interviews with professional cartoonists. It’s hosted by Tom Racine, a lifelong comics fanboy who’s got the silky smooth voice of a radio veteran. In the interview I discuss the origins of Zen Pencils, my creative process, what tools I use and of course, my new book and upcoming US tour. Hope you like it!
I’m personally a big fan of the show and listen to it often while I’m drawing. I love hearing other cartoonist’s stories and shop talk. For starters, I recommend the episodes featuring Jason Chatfield (Ginger Meggs), Jan Eliot (Stone Soup) and Jerry Scott (Zits and Baby Blues). You can also subscribe on iTunes.
Hi folks, I missed the Reader of the Month instalment last month. Apologies, sometimes I lose track of things. I’ve been trying to get some work done before I head off on my big US book tour next week and am a bit frantic. For those of you who missed the announcement, I’ll be touring the US in October (dates and cities here) promoting my new book collection (which is available for pre-order). In the meantime, here’s a great story from a reader with the coolest name I’ve ever heard who’s been hustling as a professional musician his entire life.
My name is Roland De Aragon, I’m a 35 year old professional musician, educator, author and cartoonist from Los Angeles. I was introduced to music and art at an early age and just fell in love with both of them. Like most 80’s kids, Saturday morning cartoons was the thing back then. I watched Ninja Turtles, Voltron, Thundercats, He-Man, Scooby-Doo, Mickey Mouse, Looney Toons and my all time favorite, Tom and Jerry. I recall in the fifth grade having this language arts book. One of the stories had a sequenced image of a butterfly flapping its wings. I grabbed several pieces of paper and folded them in half and had a small flip book. I continued to draw every single image of the butterfly on each piece of paper. When I was done I flipped through the pages and I suddenly saw the butterfly flapping in front of my eyes. I began to wonder if this was how cartoons was created. That was the day I wanted to become a animator. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…
Great news to all the teachers out there who have been using Zen Pencils comics in the classroom. My publisher Andrews McMeel has partnered with non-profit Reading With Pictures to put together a free Teacher’s Guide companion for the Zen Pencils book.
The 6-page PDF has plenty of activities for teachers to spice up their classes with. These include discussion topics based around specific comics, brainstorming original ideas, breaking down what cartooning and storytelling techniques I’ve used and of course applying everything they learn to make their own comic. It’s aimed at high school students but there are some activities appropriate for all ages. The guide is for use with the Zen Pencils book, but I’m sure teacher’s can still make do if they use this website only.
Download the PDF from the official Zen Pencils page on Andrews McMeel. (scroll down)
A big thanks to Tracy Edmunds from Reading With Pictures for writing the guide. Tracy and I would love to hear feedback so keep me updated with how your students respond. It would be nice to help inspire the next Bill Watterson or Charles Schulz!
PS: Check out what Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, wrote about one of my comics. She posted the Is That Not Worth Exploring? comic on her Facebook page and wrote a beautiful response to go with it.
Hey folks, here’s another beautiful Reader of the Month entry. Meet Katsumi. She shares a similar story to mine. If you’ve ever thought about breaking free from whatever situation you’re in to travel the world and rediscover yourself, then read on:
Hello! My name is Katsumi, I’m a 35 year-old Brazilian, although my parents are Japanese. I grew up in love with drawing, and was surrounded by comics my whole childhood and adolescence. But when it was time to “grow up” I studied Multimedia Design at college and left the drawing behind. I focused on learning more about design and programming, because I thought it would be more helpful to my career. I came from a strict Japanese tradition, so I was always studying and doing what I was told to be “successful”. ↓ Read the rest of this entry…