print comics

The Sculptor – Acknowledgments

Here's an online version of the Acknowledgments page from my graphic novel The Sculptor with some important additions and links.

Anyone who's written such things knows the terror of forgetting to thank someone. I'm sure I'll continue remembering people for months, so I've created this easily-updated version to ease my guilty conscience.


Thank You...

To Mark Siegel, for keeping me on the right road, even when the road was barely a footpath; the best editor I could’ve hoped for in every respect; to the invincible Calista Brill, Colleen AF Venable, and Gina Gagliano of First Second; and to publisher Simon Boughton, who said yes when many would have said no, and thus made all the difference.

To agent supreme Judith Hansen for keeping me and my family safe, fed, and happy for over twenty years.

To my editorial kibitzers, Kurt Busiek, Larry Marder, Jenn Manley Lee, James Sturm, Vera Brosgol, and Ivy Ratafia, for helping my art and story suck less at every turn.

To the fearless Matthew Mercer and Jennifer Newman, who modeled for David and Meg and brought life and spontaneity into my usually stiff figure work. And to Lester Ratafia, my father-in-law, who modeled for David’s Grand Uncle Harry. Les, you deserve a book of your own.*

To my phantom editors, Robert Weil and Charles Kochman, who offered great
advice while my book was still searching for its home. To Carol Pond, for preliminary proofreading and early comments, and to Alpha readers Lori Matsumoto, Kaitlyn Sudol, Lauren Girard, Robynne Blume, Holly Ratafia, daughter Sky, and to our friends at Macmillan and our publishers abroad, who offered some of my very first feedback and encouragement on the finished art and story as the book took its first baby steps into the sunlight.

To John Roshell of Comicraft, for designing our font, based on my hand lettering; available here if you want me lettering your next book for you.

To Keith Mayerson and Christine Zehner, who gave me some early impressions of the art scene in New York. In the end, this book was less about that community and more about the life and desires of my outsider protagonist, but if any of those few details ring false, blame me, not them.

To the Web itself, no joke, and all the photographers whose freely offered images taught me how to draw a thousand tiny details in my cartoon NYC, when my own ten thousand photos fell short.

To our many other models: Baby Godfrey (courtesy of Megan McDonough and Jim Byrnes), Tom Smith, Ayanna Gaines, Carol Pond, S. Krystal McCauley, Ivy, Winter, Sky, and the crowd of sweet, wonderful strangers who answered my plea and converged at our local mall to model for the pedestrian ring; boy, did we get some strange looks that day! (See below for more details.)

To DJ Lance Rock for being an awesome entertainer. My protagonist may not like the sulptures appropriating Lance’s face, but I’m sure he likes Lance’s own artisty just fine.

lester ratafia

* Lester Ratafia died on January 30, 2015, just four days before the character of "Uncle Harry" that he breathed life into finally arrived in print.

He was a feisty old bastard. We loved him, we'll miss him, and it was a privelege knowing him.

Additonal Thanks...

To Dave McKean, who engaged me in some great discussions during our annual Comic-Con encounters. He prodded me to defend various aspects of the project and no doubt made it better in the process.

To the good folks at MailChimp HQ in Atlanta who did me a huge favor in May of 2014 when they lent me their Pantone swatch book and a quiet room for a couple of hours after a lecture I gave there. Choosing that second color for the book was one of the most important—and intimidating—creative decisions I ever had to make. I'm deeply grateful they were there for us as deadlines loomed.

To the many Brooklynites who talked to me about living in that borough. Several welcomed me into their homes, including Matt Madden & Jessica Abel, Tom Hart & Leela Corman, Jason Little & Myla Goldberg, Seth Kushner and family, Christopher Irving, and Laura Lee Gulledge. And I got some great info from the Act-i-vate cartoonists (too many to list and it was a long time ago so I don't remember exactly who was there that day, but Dean Haspiel definitely was, he was, as always, an indespensible guide). And is it my imagination, or did I also talk to an early iteration of Pizza Island? My memory is going!

More on the Pedestrian Ring Photoshoot

In August of 2011, I had to draw the first of two big, difficult panels featuring a ring of pedestrians (eventually landing on pages 48 and 428—don't peak at the latter if you haven't finished the book). Getting the perspective and figure work on these panels right was going to be hard as hell, so I turned to my blog and Twitter followers to recruit a small battalion of local models.

About three dozen friends and strangers converged on a Sunday at The Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, CA. I had our teenaged daughter Winter stand in the middle of a big outdoor courtyard on the first floor, viewable at various angles from the stores on the second floor, and everybody else gathered around her in a giant circle. Then I, plus a couple of other volunteer photographers from among the models, (Jenna Levine included IIRC) ran around getting lots of reference photos.

Afterwards, I paid them all in Gelato here.

I didn't have room in the printed book to thank everyone by name, but I do here, so a big, big thank you to Alaine Watson, Andrew Robinson, Annie Deirboghossian, Candice Mack, Carol Pond, Chad Collier, Chelsea Coleman, Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, Danielle Gladding, Finn McCauley, Fran Karmon, Henry Muller, James L. Byrnes III, Janice Collier, Jenna Levine, Jennifer Karmon, Jeremy Matters, Jon Witmer, Matt Davis, Michael Alari, Michael Karmon, Mike McCauley, Nanor Deirboghossian, Raven Watson, Richard Muller, Robynne Blume, S. Krystal McCauley, Sally Zybert, Sandy Watson, Sean Whitmore, Susan Tockgo, Tamar Curry, Tro Deirboghossian, Veronica Muller, Vicki Deirboghossian, Willow Watson.

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