It's crazy hectic here at Fantagraphics so I only have a moment to thank all the people submitting art to the open call slot in BEASTS! Book Two. Deadline is Monday morning when I come into the office (I originally said March 1st but that's a Saturday).
I'm pretty amazed and grateful at the response (170 submissions already) and have no idea how I'll choose the art to be published. THANKS EVERYONE!
* That beautiful piece above submitted by Ian Huebert. (His site www.themilkmachine.com is not currently up.)
Nice to see my pal Tyler Stout get some more mileage out of his BEASTS! book submission by snagging the cover of Seattle's beloved weekly, The Stranger.
Meanwhile, the response to the "open call" slot(s) for BEASTS! Book Two has been surprising and it's been fun to see the work of people I wouldn't have otherwise come across. I can't find time to respond to everyone and though there are a few standout pieces we're all looking forward to seeing more before the March 1st deadline...
Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman hasn't responded to my emails (I don't blame him -- it probably ended up in his junk mail like everything from Fantagraphics) so I'm left with one open space in the upcoming anthology that is the modern bestiary, Beasts! Book Two. I would like to offer that space to whomever would like to submit work for it.
All submissions must be received by March 1st at which point my Fanta colleagues and I will review the pieces and determine one piece to appear alongside the likes of Jaime Hernandez, Kim Deitch, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Craig Thompson, Tomer Hanuka, Brian Chippendale, Al Columbia, and 81 other amazing artists that I cannot list here.
Note that I am not looking for traditional fantasy artists. The purpose of this book is to give the beasts back to the people. Dragons flying through purple skies have many other books to appear in. I want these symbols to have meaning again.
The rules: You must depict a mythological/folkloric creature that has been "witnessed" in some capacity in some culture at some point in history. No gods/goddesses or creatures of fiction. I am also looking for creatures that have not been depicted already in the Beasts! series. I will have a list of those in the comments section as soon as I can. Bonus points for creatures from recent times (such as the chupacabras, Beast of Bray Road, sasquatch, Loch Ness monster -- but not those because they've been depicted by other contributing artists). THE FORMAT IS 8" SQUARE.
Hobbits are not beasts.
If any artists currently listed as contributors fail to deliver a piece I may choose more than one submission to run in Beasts! Book Two.
I strongly encourage unpublished artists (and Peter Laird) to submit work.
Direct a jpg of your piece to fbicomix *at fantagraphicsdot com by MARCH 1st. Contributions may be displayed here or on the Beasts blog unless you tell me not to.
Lastly, I hope that any artists I haven't asked to contribute understand that this isn't a reflection on their work or in what orifice I may have my head: It's stressful choosing a diverse group of 90 artists that have time for this project and there are many folks I wanted to ask but didn't get to.
Also note that this will probably be the last Beasts volume because they are quite exhausting. (Art up top is by Femke Hiemstra, for Beasts2. See more art at the Beasts blog.)
Happy new year, faithful floggers. I begin the new year with yet another "Best Of" list. You've no doubt had enough of them, these "Top Tens" and "Must Have" lists and checklists from hither and yon. I promise to not inundate you with the vast majority of such digital miscellany, but to our fellow cartoon publishers, I have but one question for you: How many of your books made the list of The Top Cryptozoology Books of 2007? Yeah, that's right, I'm talkin' to you. What's that? I can't hear you. Huh? Yeah, that's what I thought. You can shut up now.
Joshua "Brainiac" Glenn listed our book BEASTS! in his Boston Globe gift guide and then brought it to my attention that there is currently only one copy available on Amazon at regular price-- and one used for $72. Not wanting to see people needlessly waste their money I figured I'd announce that we are, indeed, coming out with a paperback edition next year. It won't be as fancy as the current edition but it will contain all the same great artwork. I don't foresee changing anything about the contents, although it will likely have a new cover design. Of course, if you read Chinese you may want to pick up the foreign edition that is being printed very soon.
Also, if you read the "BEASTS!" blog I set up a while back then you already know that I've decided to continue the anthology into a second volume with all new art and all new cryptids. And you've seen Jaime Hernandez's piece for it.
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