Monday, February 28, 2011

Serendipitous Event - Guest Author Akemi Eddy

Serendipity 2011
With Matt Holm, Raina Telgemeier, Gene Yang, Aaron Renier, Jason Shiga and Valerie Wyatt
Saturday, February 26, 2011, at UBC

Report from guest author Akemi Eddy begins, Wow!  What a fabulous event!
The program began in the wee hours of the morning with a continental breakfast, book buying and author autographing.  After settling into our seats, we were welcomed by the witty chairperson of the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable, Shannon Ozirny who appeared throughout the day in captioned frames in the comic tradition.
Matt Holm (illustrator of Baby Mouse) presented first, engaging the audience with photos and stories of his childhood which included sister Jennifer Holm (author of Baby Mouse).  His presentation culminated with an audience member helping Matt create a sketch of “Pirate Mouse.”  Be sure to keep an eye out for Jennifer and Matt’s new series, Squish.
Raina Telgemeier was up next with some not-so-fond childhood memories of dental mishaps and corrections upon which her graphic novel Smile is loosely based.   Raina demonstrated her artistic talent by showing us how she captures feelings in her illustrations.
 Finishing off the morning was Gene Yang, author/illustrator of American Born Chinese.  After introducing himself as Computer teacher by day, graphic novelist by night, Jason entertained us with his frank, honest, hilarious demeanor.  He concluded his presentation by demonstrating how he has successfully used the comic format to teach Math concepts to his secondary students.
Aaron Renier and Jason Shiga hosted a limited seating, lunchtime, hands-on workshop.
Valerie Wyatt, 2010 Information Book Award winner for How to Build Your Own Country, concluded the presentations with a Canadian perspective on authoring and publishing.
The day ended with a casual, fun-filled panel of the authors/illustrators mediated by Katherine Shoemaker. 
If you missed the Graphic Novel Extravaganza, next year’s theme for Serendipity is Asian Books for Children on Saturday, February 25, 2012.  Paul Yee is a confirmed speaker at this event.
 Also, the annual Illustrators’ Breakfast will be on Saturday, October 15, 2011, at the Mueum of Anthropology in conjunction with the opening of the temporary exhibit Hiroshima.
Thank you to Moira for the opportunity to attend … it was serendipitous!

And this News Flash, just in from the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable:  Oscar Win!
Saturday's Serendipity 2011 on the Graphic Novel was an eye-opening event, especially for those who dont follow graphic novels. It was a fine introduction to the art involved in creating these books. The graphic artists/cartoonists worked their magic before our very eyes (one participant went away with her own Matt Holm drawn-to-order illustration) and the presenters shared the various routes they took as writer/artists on their way to creating their books. We learned about mini-comics in the world of the graphic artists. The closing panel offered interesting interplay among the artists. As the saying goes, you had to be there.
And, we were also treated to Shannon Ozirny in rare form as MC for the program, wittily turned out in black and white, providing a frame or two and a speech balloon or two.

Here's a fitting, and serendipitous link for us, following the Graphic Novel Event: an item from a comic book site, noting Sean Tan's Oscar award. Yes!

(There are a few interesting links within the article, too, if you click on the accompanying URL. In addition, the Comic Book Resources site has news, reviews, videos and blogs, etc. for those of you pursuing graphic novels, etc.). 
Australian creator Shaun Tan's wordless graphic novels have brought him considerable acclaim, including the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist, and the French edition of his graphic novel The Arrival won the Angoulme International Comics Festival Prize for Best Comic Book.

Now he has another award to add to his growing collection: The Lost Thing, co-directed by Tan and based on his book of the same name, won this year's Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated).
In an interview before the awards ceremony, Tan told School Library Journal's Chelsey Philpot that Australian producer Sophie Bryne approached him after The Lost Thing won an award at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and proposed making it into a short film. After a bit of persuasion, Tan agreed, and he started what would become a nine-year process: The film was begun in 2001 and finally finished in 2010.

And he's already thinking ahead to the next film: Tan told SLJ that while he was in LA for the Oscar ceremony, he would be meeting with some people about making a feature-length film of another of his books, The Arrival.

This link is to a more conventional source the Australian newspaper in Sean Tan's home city, Melbourne ... a little story with a photo of Sean Tan holding his Oscar. Roundtablers who enjoyed Sean Tan at a VCLR Illustrators' Breakfast a couple of years ago will enjoy seeing his face once again.

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