Holy crap. These posts are getting tougher to write as the time since my trip gets longer and the details are harder to remember. But I want to get some of these details (and pics) down on the blog. AND-- I want to get to the grand finale: GERMAN COSPLAY CONVENTION pics & videos!
This quick, pic-heavy installment is about a happy coincidence while I was working my company's booth at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. FBF is the world's largest book fair, and the 10 huge halls there covered all genres, languages and types of printed media. As I've said, I spent all my down time navigating the Graphic Novels section, where European, Japanese, Korean and American comic publishers vied for geek attention, cosplayers roamed and comic creators signed their books. A great surprise was an interview and signing session with Jeff Smith, creator of Bone, who was there to celebrate the German publication of Bone (in both a manga-style B&W and a color version by TokyoPop DE).
German dude, Jeff Smith, German lady
This stop at Frankfurt was part of Jeff's month-long European sojourn, in support of his (near)-simultaneous release of Bone in Italy, Germany, Spain, Norway, Greece, France, and other western/nordic European countries/languages. It's hard to fathom so many people all reading the same title in all those different languages, but Bone definitely has that level of universal appeal. In high school, it was one of the comics that kept me excited about the form, and is my favorite american comic story ever. Jeff actually wrote up his take on the same Frankfurt Book Fair on his blog.
A side note-- I met Jeff in 2004 at WonderCon in SF, and got the chance to tell him how much I appreciated all his work on Bone, and showed him my ratty, broken-spine copy of Out From Boneville. He was super gracious, signed (and put a small drawing in) my book, and even ended a phone call with his wife to chat with me for a few minutes. I don't know too much about him, but I was impressed with his respect for his fans. And his upcoming Shazam miniseries is one of the scant few American superhero comics I plan on buying soon (okay, excepting Volume 4 of Seven Soldiers!!).
Okay, on to the pictures! In the main pavillion of the Graphic Novels section, there was a large Bone display, with numerous paintings, sketches, and behind-the-scenes details on the process of coloring the B&W original pages for the color edition (published by Scholastic in the U.S.) :
Page layout sketches from book 7: Ghost Circles (I think?)
The US Scholastic edition covers, in futuristic frames.
Jeff did a one hour interview with a German host that was well-attended-- lots of nerds and geeks of various ages asked questions in both English and German, and Jeff did his best to talk about the history and future of the Bone stories, along with upcoming projects and issues related to translating the comic.
On-stage interview with lots of translating between English & German.
Rapt audience of book and Bone lovers
As I linked above, Jeff did a detailed post on his take on FBF and this event, and a CERTAIN comic geek (dressed in my on-duty, work attire, no less!) was caught in an audience shot:
Am I picking my nose? We look like undercover cops or something!!
I shot a video and posted it on our new Same Hat channel on YouTube; Here are Jeff Smith's comments on the (not likely) possibility of a Bone sequel:
Finally, as a personal souvenir, I bought a copy of the TokyoPop "manga-size" edition of their Bone 1 (which combines Out From Boneville & The Great Cow Race into one edition).
Hmmm. It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "STUPID STUPID RAT CREATURES!"
Valley of the uncanny, a page from Out From Boneville in German!
Next post in the series: Trans-Europe Express 5: German gem, Insekt by Sascha Hommer!