Bryan Lee O’Malley
Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley has been answering all sorts of questions from his fans over on his Tumblr blog this week about Scott Pilgrim, his upcoming book Seconds and several questions on his process, among other topics. For instance, here’s where he came up with the idea for Seconds:
Q. When you finished Scott Pilgrim did you have a concrete idea of how Seconds would play out? Or do you have a vague idea of a concept then make it concrete along the way? I guess I’m really asking: what is your thought process when coming up with a new story?
A. To be honest, I came up with the basic idea of Seconds in 2004, a few months after finishing the first scott pilgrim book. There were moments during the series when I wished I could quit scott pilgrim and go off and do Seconds, this other unrelated book, but I was good & patient & I waited until I was finished.
Anyway, over those years (like 6-7 years thinking about it before I started really writing it), the idea grew and evolved along with me. I don’t think I could have done it properly at any time before now, but it’s still the same basic idea from 2004.
My actual process is to have 1 idea, write it down somewhere, then have idea 2, 3, 4, etc (all stemming from the first idea?) and write them all down, and then go back over everything i’ve written and try to figure out what i was trying to say. What is the point? What’s the core of the idea, what are all these little ideas orbiting around? Once you figure that out, that’s kind of the first real step.
The fine folks at We Love Fine T-shirts are holding another design contest, this time featuring Scott Pilgrim. And the judges this time are none other than Scott Pilgrim’s creator, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and his friend Chris Butcher, manager of the Beguiling and director of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. The grand-prize winner could win up to $2,500.
You can find out more about the contest after the jump.
The Toronto Comic Arts Festival, one of the high points of the indy comics year, has announced the first round of guests for this year. It doesn’t seem to be up on the TCAF site just yet, but Tom Spurgeon has the rundown at The Comics Reporter, and it’s an impressive list: Jeff Smith, Alison Bechdel, Guy Delisle, and Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon are the headliners. Smith will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Bone, while Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? and Delisle’s Jerusalem are both due out shortly before the show.
But wait! There’s more! Kate Beaton, German creator Arne Bellstorf, Scottish creator Tom Gauld (whose Goliath is due out soon from Drawn and Quarterly) Gabriella Giandelli, Jennifer and Matt Holm (Babymouse), Jason, Kazu Kibuishi (creator of Amulet and editor of the Flight anthologies), Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim), Gary Panter, Michel Rabagliati, Andy Runton (Owly), Olivier Schrauwen, and Adam Warren (Empowered) will also be gracing the halls of the Toronto Reference Library this May. That’s an amazingly eclectic and talented group. If you have been thinking “Some day I’ll make it to TCAF,” this should probably be the year.
Creators | Robert Crumb has decided not to attend Graphic 2011, an arts festival scheduled for Aug. 20-21 at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. Crumb told The Australian he withdrew from his headline appearance because of an article in the Australian newspaper The Telegraph that called him “a self-confessed sex pervert.”
“It’s a very, very disappointing situation,” Graphic co-curator Jordan Verzar wrote on the show’s Facebook page. “There were a legion of people eagerly anticipating his visit and the Graphic team and Sydney Opera House had been working for months to pull together the shows he was involved with and to supply an enjoyable first visit to Australia for him. I sincerely doubt that he will ever make it to Australia now. It’s a very sad day, but I’m still excited and looking forward to the rest of the great shows happening at Graphic next weekend.” [The Australian]
Retailers | Birmingham, England comics shop Nostalgia and Comics was damaged during the riots of the past few days; no one was injured, but the windows were broken. [The Forbidden Planet blog]
Bryan Lee O’Malley’s hotly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Scott Pilgrim series will be published in 2013 by Random House’s Villard imprint, Publishers Weekly reports.
Virtually nothing is known about the graphic novel beyond its title, Seconds, which O’Malley revealed in a tweet early last month. Random House’s Ryan Doherty will edit the book.
Published by Oni Press, all six volumes of the Scott Pilgrim series appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, thanks in part to director Edgar Wright’s 2010 adaptation. Although the film failed to ignite the box office, the books continue to sell well: The second volume, originally released in 2005, landed in BookScan’s Top 20 for graphic novels sold in bookstores in June — 10 months after the movie’s opening. The final volume, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, received a 100,000-copy first printing.
Retailing | Borders Group, the second-largest bookstore chain in the United States, could be liquidated as early as next week if no other suitors step forward by Sunday evening, the deadline established by a federal bankruptcy court. A judge on Thursday approved the company’s motion to auction itself off after a proposal from private-equity firm Najafi Cos. fell apart over the objections of creditors. Borders, which once operated more than 1,000 stores, now has 399 locations and nearly 11,000 employees, including 400 at its Ann Arbor, Michigan, headquarters. [The Associated Press, The Detroit News]
Awards | The Young Adult Library Services Association has announced the 2012 “Great Graphic Novels for Teens” nominations, a list that includes Takio by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming, Thor: The Mighty Avenger by Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee, Axe Cop by Ethan and Malachai Nicolle, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden and many more. The final list will be announced in January at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting. [American Library Association]
Nominees were selected by a panel of judges — Michael Allred, Brandon Graham, Laura Hudson, Michael Ring and Jason Leivian — from among the entries submitted earlier this year. Winners were determined by an online vote.
The winners are:
Best Artist: Emily Carroll, His Face All Red
Best Writer: Aaron Renier, The Unsinkable Walker Bean
Best Cartoonist: Bryan Lee O’Malley, Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour
Best Letterer: Johnny Ryan, Prison Pit #2
Best Colorist: Emily Carroll, His Face All Red
Best Publication Design: Michael DeForge, Spotting Deer
Best Anthology: Studygroup 12 #4, edited by Zack Soto
Best Small Press: I Want You #2 by Lisa Hanawalt
Best New Talent: Michael DeForge
Reader’s Choice: Pang, the Wandering Shaolin Monk by Ben Costa
Director’s Choice: The Sixth Gun, by Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn, published by Oni Press
Although the final volume of Scott Pilgrim has come and gone, Bryan O’Malley’s epic comic lives on overseas — with new cover art by O’Malley himself!
The image at right is for a Japanese edition of Scott Pilgrim that collects vols. 5 and 6. The image, colored by Mariel Kinuko Cartwright, is a not-so-subtle homage to a classic illustration for Street Fighter Zero 2 (also known as Street Fighter Alpha 2).
Although his follow-up project to Scott Pilgrim hasn’t been announced yet, O’Malley has done several new Scott Pilgrim illustrations for foreign editions of his series that you can view on his website, Radiomaru.com.
I’ve got to hand it to Comics Alliance/Moviefone blogger (and CBR alumnus) Andy Khouri: Late last week, he assembled two absolutely stunning image galleries for his readers’ delectation. First up, over on CA, he put together
the first of what he promises will be a his latest weekly look at the “Best Art Ever (This Week)”, an extensive selection of cool artwork — some old, some new, some fan, some pro — from around the Internet. Highlights in this week’s batch include the above Scott Pilgrim pin-up by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Wonder Woman and her invisible jet by Mike Allred, a steampunk version of The Lord of the Rings‘ Witch-King by Max Arkes, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Gilbert Hernandez (!!!!!!).
If you look at the number of talented creators that worked on writer Jen Van Meter‘s Hopeless Savages (Oni Press), it’s an amazing collection of people. To mark Oni’s release in late 2010 of Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits: 2000-2010 (which collects all of the Hopeless Savages material released as of 2010) as well as the fact that the series will return with new material in 2011, I was able to compile an email roundtable discussion with many of Van Meter’s collaborators. Thanks to an immense amount of help from Van Meter and Oni’s Cory Casoni, I garnered insight from editor Jamie S. Rich (with his trademark wit), as well as several of the artists involved, namely Ross Campbell, Christine Norrie and Bryan Lee O’Malley. Did I mention there’s going to be new Hopeless Savages stories in 2011? I just wanted to make sure I did–and, to also note, the artist for the new stories, Meredith McClaren, was also kind enough to participate in this roundtable.
Tim O’Shea: As evidenced by this 2002 interview, Hopeless Savages was fortunate to have a great many talented artists work on the book, but sometimes those artists got busy elsewhere. As you said back in 2002: “With Christine Norrie embroiled in her own miniseries, we kind of are back to square one …. Sort of like how Chynna drew the first short story, but then BLUE MONDAY prevented her from doing the miniseries. But, we’ve found an amazing artist to take over. Bryan O’Malley is new to most people, but he’s really got a handle on the medium. His work really captures the innocence and insecurity of adolescence.” What do you remember most about this confluence at talent (and juggling the variety of creative talent involved in the project)?
Jamie S. Rich: Well, at the time, it wasn’t like we knew that this Irish kid O’Malley (who isn’t really Irish) would end up being the creator of Scott Pilgrim, so it didn’t feel all that monumental. It just felt like the most natural choice to be making. James had been showing Joe Nozemack and I Bryan’s webcomics, but none of the stories had quite clicked with us yet, but the style he was showing us was right in line with everything else we had been doing on the series. Who knew what that would get started?
“Fun fact! NINE of the TOP TEN graphic novels in 2010 were creator-owned books! Walking Dead, Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim among them.”
–Savage Dragon cartoonist Erik Larsen, speaking the truth. Of course, the flip side of this is that NINE of the TOP TEN graphic novels in 2010 had major Hollywood properties to thank for much of their notoriety, Walking Dead, Kick-Ass, and Scott Pilgrim among them. (The tenth was a Superman book that got over with mass audiences largely on the strength of a fortuitous press comparison to Twilight.) I don’t mean to short-change the success of Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard, Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., and Bryan Lee O’Malley, but proponents of creator ownership and creators’ rights probably ought not break out the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner just yet.
The Walking Dead and Scott Pilgrim dominated graphic novel sales in bookstores in December, claiming nine of the Top 10 spots on the Nielsen BookScan chart.
Buoyed by the record-setting first season of the AMC television adaptation, zombie comic landed the top spot with The Walking Dead: Compendium One, the $60, 1,088-page collection of the first 48 issues of the Robert Kirkman-Tony Moore-Charlie Adlard series. Three volumes of The Walking Dead, including new editions of the first two collections, appeared in the Top 10, and five in the Top 15.
All six volumes of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim made the Top 10, which could be attributed to the November release of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on DVD and Blu-ray — or a sign that the series is on its way to becoming a perennial bestseller.
Meanwhile, Superman: Earth One, the hardcover graphic novel whose blockbuster sales led J. Michael Straczynski to abandon the Superman and Wonder Woman monthly series so DC Comics could fast-track a sequel, plummeted from No. 1 on the chart to No. 15. The retail news and analysis site ICv2.com suggests the book may be a victim of availability — there may not be enough additional copies to replenish what’s been sold — rather than a decrease in interest. Indeed, Superman: Earth One is No. 5 after nine weeks on The New York Times hardcover graphic books list.
Well, I’m sure that’s how he felt after the Taylor Swift incident. But I’m not talking about Yeezy’s mental state, I’m talking about this illustration for the Chicago paper Redeye‘s “Pop Person of the Year” feature, which gives rapper/producer/outrage magnet Kanye West the Scott Pilgrim treatment. “This is both an honor and an outrage,” writesScott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, who is not the illustration’s artist, “but as you know i love kanye AND chitown so ima let this one slide.” “Let’s have a toast for the douchebags” indeed!
Publishing | No comic cracked the 100,000-copy mark in the direct market in October, with the top title, Marvel’s Uncanny X-Force #1, selling an estimated 96,500 copies. Diamond’s graphic novel chart was led by DC Comics’ Superman: Earth One hardcover, which sold more than 16,000 copies. Retail news and analysis site ICv2.com notes that was the best number for a graphic novel since new volumes of Scott Pilgrim and The Walking Dead shipped in July. The website also pursues John Jackson Miller’s recent analysis of comics that don’t make it into Diamond’s Top 300, concluding: “Sales below the Top 300 may be growing in importance, but when we look at a fairly long period (10 months) either they aren’t big enough in the aggregate to make much difference, or their sales are changing at about the same rate as the Top 300’s. If anything, looking at year to date numbers, sales on titles below the Top 300 are shrinking faster than sales in the Top 300, at least in periodical comics.”
Conventions | Wizard Entertainment has announced its acquisition of Central Canada Comic Con in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Johanna Draper Carlson also picks up on rumors that the company is adding Mid-Ohio-Con to its growing stable. [press release, Comics Worth Reading]
Bryan Lee O’Malley reveals a lot about his process, and the reality of the creator’s life, in a questionnaire he filled out for his pal Eric Kim’s class.
4. What do you feel to be the hardest part of making comics?
The hardest part is probably the consistency of it, the constant work and the constant practice required. Every day can feel like you’re starting over from scratch. The other hardest part for me as a maturing creator is, like I said earlier, the divide between writing and drawing. I’m constantly looking for ways to integrate the two aspects to my own satisfaction, but it’s difficult, because I like the structure of a solid plot and I like the spontaneity of coming up with jokes and images while drawing pages. I want it both ways, and that necessitates this division of labour.
There’s lots more at the link, including just how he divides his time between writing and drawing, his favorite equipment, and how he got into the biz to begin with.
UPDATE: And he has posted a huge Flickr set of work-in-progress pictures.