I’m very pleased and grateful to have received a Vermont Arts Council Creation Grant for $4000 to complete the book I’m working on now, a middle grade graphic novel about a family of artists set in Late Bronze Age Thera, Crete, Egypt, and Cyprus.
What is Marsam? "Une bande cosmopolite d’auteurs de bande dessinée, d’écrivains, scénaristes et artistes qui se croisent, se découvrent, se retrouvent, s’emmêlent et s’entremêlent autour d’Angoulême, petite ville du sud-ouest de la France."
That is, a group of cosmopolitan comics creators, writers, scriptwriters, and artists who come together, discover, meet, and get tangled up around Angouleme, a small town in south west France.
I spent a month in residence, very happily working on several projects. One of these will be a book published by Secret Acres, a collection of comics I've drawn over the past few years, including comics that have appeared on The New Yorker, Spiralbound, and Muthamagazine, as well as new comics I drew while in Angouleme. This book will be all color (oh boy, a lot of fun work ahead!), ~250 pages, and out in 2019! I can't wait to see it come together.
Also while in Angouleme, I made a first draft of a middle grade adventure comic set in Late Bronze Age Greece, before, during, and especially after the eruption of Santorini. This book is due next year, and will be published the year after that (2020), all things going well, inshallah, etc. This is my first time writing so much fiction, and it is mighty fun. The story is about migrant artists and musicians, and is inspired by the Minoan-style frescos found in Egypt and the Levant and by my husband John's research on ancient music. Nothing to share yet in these early days! This book will be around 120 pages and in color.
In Angouleme, I had the great pleasure of sharing a studio with Giorgia Marras, who is working on a beautiful and epic book in monochrome watercolor on the empress Sisi. I shared a house with Giorgia Casetti, who was coloring her lovely book Ocean that will be out this summer in France. I often had lunch with them, as well as Tamia Bauduin who is working on a second book with Nathalie Ferlut, following their book Artemisia (I love my signed copy). I was happy to see Amruta Patil again and to meet Mathilde Vangheluwe, Francesca Oltremare Marinelli, and others cartoonists (I'm sorry not to mention everyone here) whose work I admire, and who make life much richer and more fun.