Olympia Timberland Library Visit

I'm back from the land of Newdad with news of an upcoming event: On February 29th (because how could we NOT do something with the leap?) I'll be at the Olympia Timberland Library at 7:30 PM for discussion, signing, and hello-how-are-yous. Can you tell I'm a little loopy? Baby. Blame baby. I sleep quite a bit, but the baby-hits put my mind in another place. It's like that penultimate scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey all the time.

ANYWAY. Here's a fantastic poster that the library put together.

A bunch of other fun events are on the horizon too. Emerald City Comic Con (Where I will have another piece in their Monsters and Dames book), Stumptown, and the new Rose City Comic Con later in the year. But you already knew that because you saw the side-bar, which is fantastically convenient for keeping up with me.

Now that I'm back from Newdad, there are a ton of great project-related things I need to talk about too, mostly to do with Dark Horse, but for now, I must go work on them, and find time to get Sarah a valentine. LIFE!

More 'Best Of' Lists for Dear Creature and GRK

Some good news for my books this week: Joining Amazon and The New York Times' 'Best of 2011' lists are USA Today and Horror Talk (which picked both Dear Creature and Green River Killer on their horror comics list!). Very nice.

Eugene Weekly also ran a great review of Dear Creature.

At the heart of Dear Creature is the interplay of base desire and reasoned response. Grue’s entertaining quest to identify the sender of his Bardic bottles somehow makes time to comment on B-movies of the 1950s, Cold War hysteria, prejudice, immigration and the enduring powers of art and romance.

—Aaron Ragan-Fore

You can pick up signed copies of both books at my web store's Holiday Sale!


Holiday Sale is LIVE!

And here we go! 12_drummers_jonathan_case

My web store's Holiday Sale is now live through the end of the year, so now's the time to snag something for your special someone. Everything's 20-30% off. This candy-cane striped giant squid (Twelve Drummers Drumming) is, for example, just eight bucks.

And if you're looking to commission something completely original, drop me a line: I'll give you a holiday price-break on that too.

Have a fun holiday season!

ESL Class at Portland State

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of speaking to an ESL class at Portland State University. Being from Japan, Korea, Thailand, and the like, they were all into manga. The best question I received was, "American comics, superhero. Manga, friend help friend. Would you ever do this kind?" "Yes," I said. "I like friend help friend."

The students asked me why a broader demographic of Americans don't read comics... I tried to explain the differences in our markets, the origins of American comics, yadda yadda... but really, I don't have a better answer than the perceived lack of "friend help friend" material.

I had a great time with the students. It felt a little like that scene in Good Morning Vietnam where Robin Williams takes over an ESL class and befuddles everything.

Back to drawing now. Funny enough, my work today is stylistically closer to manga than anything I've done, and I'm really enjoying it. I needed a storytelling vocabulary for a certain piece that allowed me to get cartoony, and manga does that really well— when you're not beholden to drawing a character just one way, but can use ovals for yelling mouths, googley eyes for fear or surprise, then switch back to something naturalistic and subtle as needed, it's pretty invigorating.


Back from the Sun

Miami Book Fair was huge fun. Thanks so much to Mitch Kaplan and all the volunteers for a great event. Highlights:

  • Getting to sign a fan's baseball (sports redeemed!)
  • Doing a panel with Jeff Jensen and Denis Kitchen on true crime comics
  • Meeting Dean Haspiel's mom
  • Sprinting through the Miami Airport with Vera Brosgol to acquire key lime pie of legend

That doesn't scratch the service, and it wasn't even a 48 hour stay.

Me in my silly hat:

Panel Time with Jeff Jensen and Denis Kitchen!

Okay kids, the True Crime panel at the Miami Book Fair is Saturday morning at 10 AM, at the Prometeo Theatre. Here's the official page. Be there for some of the story behind our book, Green River Killer! Jeff and I will be sharing the panel with underground comics powerhouse Denis Kitchen, who's promoting his recent collection, Crime Does Not Pay: The True Story of Bob Wood, The Killer Cartoonist.

I'll do my best to look pretty, but I can't promise anything. It's going to be 7 AM my time.

Miami Book Fair

Tomorrow I'm at the Miami Book Fair with Jeff Jensen to talk about our Green River Killer GN (and Dark Horse threw in a Power Point slide for Dear Creature too, so thats nice). There was a whole team of volunteers headed to Haiti on my last flight. Really surprising since Ive made that same trip several times through DFW, where I now sit with a belly full of BBQ.

They called my number! I'm off to board.

GRK on NY Times Holiday Gift Guide

Just found out that Green River Killer is on the NY Times Holiday Gift Guide! Very nice.

Today I spent the better part of the morning finishing up colors on one of my Dark Horse projects, a 9 page back story for House of Night... That's one down, two to go! All the projects have me on full art duties, from thumbnails through colors (I'm learning new methods of efficiency for digital coloring as a result).

Hopefully I'll be able to post some samples soon. For now, go read Animals Talking in All Caps.


New Interview with Steven Padnick

My Tor editor, Steven Padnick, and I did an interview for book review blog The King of Elfland's Second Cousin. This fella Chris wrote a fantastic review for  Dear Creature, so he invited us to talk shop a bit. If you read it, you can learn Steven Padnick's fondest desire (other than wishing Batman: Arkham City had a good story): STEVEN: I wish I had written Casablanca.


STEVEN: Just flat out that is one of the best scripts. Ever. I wish that I’d written it.

CHRIS: Any others? Or Jonathan, any thoughts on your end?

JONATHAN: I like how Steven is editorially concise.

STEVEN: I have go-to answers.

JONATHAN: I love Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I love the characters in that book.

STEVEN: That’s a good one too.

JONATHAN: Yeah, it’s one of those stories where its reach almost exceeds its grasp. But you love it anyway. That’s definitely one of my favorites. Moby Dick, because that’s another weird book that works. I like weird things that work.

Chris really likes Dear Creature. Like, maybe more than I do:

"I commend Jonathan Case for this excellent graphic novel. It is very rare to find a storyteller who is able to write something that is at once literary and meta-textual, while remaining touching and hilarious. To then combine that ear for dialog and prose with artistic talent is even rarer. If you enjoy sequential art, then hands down, you should pick up Dear Creature.

And I think that it should be on everybody’s short-list for the Eisner award."

On Twitter, Steven claims he rambles in this interview. Oh, Steven. What you must think of me.

Get Down with the Sickness

I'm just recovering from the cold that's ravaging Portland right now, and playing catch up with all the hubbub of the last few days. And there's some very fun hubbub!

For one, Green River Killer was named one of Amazon's top books of 2011! Very exciting.

Dear Creature also received a couple great reviews by way of the blogosphere:

"Dear Creature is an enchanting visual story that said many profound things in so few pages ... a true sense of humanity in every character ..."

—Tim's Book Reviews

"... Wonderfully imagined.  The writing is crisp and quirky, complimenting the story, and its art, perfectly."

–Staffer's Musings

... And More Reviews!

Just posted... For Dear Creature: 

"... With Dear Creature, Jonathan Case announces himself as a bold new talent in independent comics.  The stylish manner in which he brings together all these questions of morality, love, romance, murder, humor, literature and justice is wonderfully compelling and evocative.  Storywise, there is very little conventional about it (thankfully), but in terms of form, this is simply how great comics are made."

—The Outhouse

For Green River Killer:

"... The story is fascinating, and it's easy to root for Tom Jensen. You'll read this illustrated history in a single sitting."

—Beth Fish Reads



Green River Window Display

I went by Powell's today and got a chance to see the window display that Dark Horse put up for Green River Killer. It looks pretty fantastic. Seeing those panels blown up 3 or 4 sizes in a downtown Portland window was pretty surreal.

I also signed a bunch of copies of GRK and Dear Creature, so if you're in Portland and are looking to pick up an autographed copy, there you go!