Rebecca and I had a super busy week and the weekend was no walk in the park, either. But, hey, self-publishing is totally worth it. We have invested our blood, sweat, tears, time, money, and hearts into HP Comics, and I hope our love and dedication shines brightly in every story we tell.
Thank you for your continued support, friends. We couldn’t do this without our amazing patrons and readers!
I’ve always enjoyed reading the stories behind the stories that I love. Taking a look behind the curtain, if you will, to glimpse the process, struggles, and sacrifices that writers have made to create stories that have influenced and inspired me throughout my life. Reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, for instance, was nearly intoxicating. I was amazed, delighted, encouraged, moved to tears in some cases, and affirmed by the intimate details I read. The collection of the Professor’s letters still stands as a cherished work that I return to time and time again. And so, in the spirit of Tolkien’s letters and the many behind-the-scenes records that authors have left behind for us to enjoy, I have decided to share the story behind creating Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits. It’s nowhere near as grand, I know, but I hope you will find it enjoyable nonetheless.
Several years ago while I was writing The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo Book 2 for Image, I was struck with what I believed was a fantastic story idea: a modern-time group of friends who find a magical silver dollar that had belonged to Harry Houdini. Together the ragtag friends would use the strength of their friendship, teamwork, problem solving, and the magic of the coin, to solve mysteries and help people. My head said I didn’t have the time to develop the idea due to a heavy college workload, the challenges of being a single dad of three little boys, and the pressure of writing a sequel to a successful book, but I did it anyway, because, hey, sometimes you have to make time when inspiration strikes.
After a couple of weeks I began my artist search. Now, for those who don’t know, artist searches are fun, but they can also be arduous and a bit depressing. If I had a dime for every artist who turned me down over the course of my career I’d have Alex Ross covers on all my books.
But that’s another story for another time.
After several days of searching I came across a charming webcomic by cartoonist Worth Gowell. I really liked his style and thought it would work perfectly for the story I’d fleshed out, so I sent an email and pitched the story to him. Honestly, he wasn’t thrilled with the story, so he suggested that a teenage Houdini would be the star, the story in the late 1880s, and his friends would be circus performers. My gut said no, No, NO. A period piece starring a beloved historical figure? I was already doing that in Edgar Allan Poo. And how would an audience respond to a cast of strange and unusual characters that were referred to as “freaks” in their time? I tried to reason with Worth, but, considering the fact that I believed he was the right artist for the book, I eventually conceded. Even so, I am still extremely proud of Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits. Next to E.A. Poo, it is my favorite book I’ve created. I even intended to make a continuing series of adventures, but, sadly, that did not work out. In fact, I’m sad to say that the book went largely unnoticed. The lesson I took away from the experience was to stick to my guns when I felt strongly enough something.
So here we are. I am now a publisher, and I can tell the stories I want to tell, how I want to tell them. The beauty of the whole situation is that Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits now serves as a prequel of sorts to Houdini’s Silver Dollar Misfits! I say “of sorts” because it is not necessary that one read the old book to “get” the new book, rather it serves as an introduction to the man (the myth, the legend) behind the silver dollar. That’s it. So one need not comb the internet to find the first book…unless one wants to. Hey, I am still extremely proud of Kid Houdini and believe it is a wonderful story that is well worth seeking out.
I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this project. Mathieu and I have worked extremely hard to bring you something that we believe is magical! We can’t wait to share it with our friends (yes, that means YOU)!
PS – Don’t forget to mark your calendars for February 1st when the project goes LIVE on Kickstarter!
Ta-da! Horrible sketch #4! It’s (supposed to be) Kid Houdini from the criminally-underappreciated Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits. If you love Scooby-Doo, Hardy Boys, etc., I think you will be blown away by Kid Houdini. And, if you’d like to purchase a signed book, I have several copies for sale, so please drop me a line at dwightmacpherson(at)gmail(dot) com and let me know.
It has been a lot of fun participating in Inktober thus far, but I don’t see it resulting in any freelance art gigs!
Just a quick blog post to let you know that part of my interview with The Johnson City Press–along with a short video–is available on their website. Please click the image or link below to view the article and video.
Special thanks to my lovely wife and personal assistant Rebecca MacPherson for setting up the interview.
Thank you for reading!
It’s About Time!
I know, and I apologize for taking so long to make a new blog post. The reason, dear readers, is that I am inundated with new projects. In addition to my many ongoing comic projects, I am also writing my first Young Adult novel. I’ve made a great deal of progress and I can’t wait to tell you about it!
Grimm #2, Archibald Aardvark and Edgar Allan Poo Now Available For Pre-Order
If you check out the newest Previews magazine, you will find the solicit information for American McGee’s Grimm #2 on Page 265. The Diamond Order Code is:
In case you missed the exclusive preview I posted earlier, you can view the first five pages and phenomenal Ben Templesmith variant cover HERE.
This book is a lot of fun. I really hope you’ll give it a shot–whether you’ve played the game or not. It’s a riot!
If you flip back to Page 152, you’ll find the solicit information for the Absurd Adventures of Archibald Aardvark Trade Paperback.
The solicit for the Archibald Aardvark trade is as follows:
THE ABSURD ADVENTURES OF ARCHIBALD AARDVARK, VOL. 1 TP
story GRANT BOND, DWIGHT MacPHERSON and DARA NARAGHI
art & cover GRANT BOND
112 PAGES / 2C
“BULLETS, BOOZE AND BEELZEBUB”
Once the toast of Tinsel Town, faded movie star Archibald Aardvark has been slowly going insane trying to solve the brutal murder of his brother. But despite the hard drinking, womanizing and hallucinations, he’s managed to follow the trail from the dangerous streets of Little China, all the way to the boardroom of Neptune Studios…and finally reveal the TRUE identity of the killer!
FEATURING A BRAND NEW 22-PAGE STORY COMPLETING THE ARCHIBALD SAGA! NOT FOR KIDS!!
And the Diamond Order Code is:
This collection includes the Archibald Saves Christmas one-shot and single strips I wrote for the Archibald Saves Easter one-shot. It really is a wild, twisted ride, so please check it out!
Also on Page 152, you’ll see the re-solicit for The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo Book 1. We received both a Harvey and Eagle nomination for the book, so it may be worthwhile to check out if you have not already done so.
The Diamond Order Code is:
If you’d like to find out more about Edgar Allan Poo, you can read the first 110+ pages HERE.
Go Red Raiders!
I had a fabulous chat with Professor Rene Saldana and his wonderful Texas Tech Students on the 31st. I must admit that I was a bit overwhelmed by the onslaught of questions, but we had a wonderful time discussing Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits. The students were so complimentary and excited and I was typing answers like a madman, so the hour flew by before we knew it.
Professor Saldana has asked me to speak to his summer classes through ALAN‘s bookchat and I’ve agreed. We plan to strap electrodes to the students so they wait for the “Go Ahead” signal. I’m totally kidding, guys and gals.
Special thanks to my new friend Rene Saldana for contacting me, and also to ALAN’s representatives CJ Bott and Matt Skillen for participating and hosting the event. It was crazy fun!
Here is the chat transcript in its (almost) entirety:
Dwight_MacPherson: Hello, hello!
Rene Saldana: Welcome, Dwight.
madi parr: hi
Laura McDaniel: hi
Corey Krampen: Hello
Dwight_MacPherson: Thanks, Rene!
Ashley Denver: Hello Mr. MacPherson
Hillary Harrod: hi!
Dwight_MacPherson: Oh, gosh! Hahahaha! Hello to you all. 😉
Katy: why hello there!
Rene Saldana: My watch says we’ve got a few more minutes before we begin. C.J., say the word, and we’re off.
Maria: hello everyone
raylynns: HI ROOMIE!
Ruth: hello everyone
Meagan Smith: Hello!
cj: If the author is here, it iis time to start.
Tyler: hows everyone doing?
Rene Saldana: Okay, we’re on.
Rene Saldana: I’ll begin with a few words, and then we can get it started.
Ashley Denver: awesome!
Rene Saldana: First of all, I’d like to introduce C.J. Bott, who’s been putting these Author Chats for ALAN for quite some time. She’s the author of two wonderful textbooks on the topic of bullies in literature and in the classroom, The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom (2004).
madi parr: Hello C J Bott
Rene Saldana: Sorry.
Rene Saldana: here we go again.
Rene Saldana: Okay, the rules first.
Rene Saldana: When a person’s got the floor, we’ll hold off on the comments.
Rene Saldana: When I give the Go Ahead, then it’s a free for all.
Rebecca Chavez: hey
Benjamin: Hi everybody
Rene Saldana: C.J.’s got a 2nd book coming out in a few months, the second part to the first: called More Bullies in More Books.
Rene Saldana: Also thanks to Matt Skillen who’s running the show, technically speaking…
Matt S.: Hello Rene & CJ. Have a great time this evening.
Rene Saldana: Now, Dwight MacPherson is the author of the great graphic novel Kid Houdini and the silver Dollar Misfits.
cj: Besides the Ga for go ahead, if the author end with . . . that means there is more to come and please be patient
Rene Saldana: He’s also writing a ton of other stuff, much of it you can find referenced on his blog and or myspace page. without further ado, here’s Dwight. Any introductory words, D? Go ahead
Dwight_MacPherson: First of all, thank you for contacting me, Rene. And thanks for setting this up with CJ and Matt. It’s an honor to speak with you all.
Dwight_MacPherson: Go ahead? I’m new to this. Hahaha.
SylviaR: What inspired you to doing your story, Kid Houdini, GA
MelodyHam: I noticed there were several different interpretations of the characters in the back of the book. What made you chose Worth Gowell over the others? GA
cj: Welcome Dwight, thank you for being available.
Dwight_MacPherson: When I contacted him, he had the time and desire to work on it, so we made it happen. I think his interpretation is the most fun. Don’t you? ga
Katy: What do you think is the advantage of a graphic novel over others?
Katy: What do you think is the advantage of a graphic novel over others?
Dwight_MacPherson: When I contacted him, he had the time and desire to work on it, so we made it happen. I think his interpretation is the most fun. Don’t you? ga
madi parr: i certainly liked it
Ashley Denver: Did you grow up reading comics? What inspired you to write graphic novels over other types of novels?
Jeremiah: what was it that made you want to write graphic novels?
cj: Did you set that up or the publisher?
MelodyHam: I liked all of them. Maybe it’s just because they all had cool characters to work with.
Dwight_MacPherson: CJ: I was contacted with the publisher after he saw a few pages on a webcomic site. He said he was a big fan, so we signed a contract almost immediately.
Jerica Timmons: Mr. MacPherson how did you come up with such creative characters like leglessboy, Lydia the snake girl, and Jacques and Joe the Siamese Twins?
michelle connolly: Do you feel like you have anything in common with any of the characters?
Dwight_MacPherson: Jerica: Well, Worth and I decided on the character designs. I wrote them out, but he obviously gave them life…
Mary: What’s your favorite part of the book?
Rebecca Chavez: You have to be very creative to write a graphic novel. How do you come up with ideas and would it be more difficult that writing a regular book?
Corey Krampen: At the beginning of the book, the boy is running away, is that something you tried as a child, if not where did that idea come from?
Dwight_MacPherson: I wanted to give the characters a bit of authenticity for the times. If you’ve seen any old films or circus posters, you can see characters like these were pretty common. ga
Rene Saldana: Just so we’re clear, we want to give Dwight enough time to read and then answer the Qs. It’s a slow process, but let’s respect the process. Ellipsis points mean he’s still answering, GA means you can ask the next Q.
SylviaR: What interest do you have in Houdini? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Mary: VERY good question. I think my favorite part is the chase in the mine caverns. I got that idea from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. lol
Katy: circus? why a circus as the headquarters?ga
raylynns: Did you enjoy graphic novels/comic books as a child? GA
Mary: haha, great movie
Dwight_MacPherson: Rebecca: Well, some would say “weird.” Hahaha. I’d say the process is the same, really for graphic novel and book…
Dwight_MacPherson: I spent as much time refining my characters for the GN as I have on my new novel. ga
Jeremiah: Mr. MacPherson what was it that made you want to write graphic novels instead of “normal” novels? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Corey: Oh, absolutely! I packed up and moved out quite a few times. I only made it a few steps, though. Hahaha…
Moreland: Do you limit yourself to just graphic novels?
Dwight_MacPherson: It is rumored that Houdini ran away from home as a child and joined a circus. That’s where that comes from. ga
Jacqueline Mitchell: lol. I think we have all had those times we wanted to run away
MelodyHam: I read somewhere that Eric Weiss (Houdini) ran away to join the circus
Jessica: I know there are many ways to do this but since you wrote this novel, how would you use Kid Houdini in the classroom?
Ruth: We heard that you wrote the novel for your son, what was his response to the book?
Jerica Timmons: yea i know i have!
Jerica Timmons: haha
Dwight_MacPherson: Raylynns: Oh, absolutely. We only had monthly comics when I was a kid. Graphic novels have only been around since the late ’70-early ’80s. ga
Amanda: Was there anyone who inspired the characters in your book
Hillary Harrod: I read that you believe the days of good mystery books, such as The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, are gone. Do you think that portraying these mysteries as graphic novels can help “revive” the genre? GA
Macey: Do the characters in the book represent anyone in your life?
madi parr: Mr. MacPherson, my brother read a biography about Houdini and i introduced him to your graphic novel, he absolutely loved it!
Colin: hey dwight. what, in your opinion, is the most difficult part of breaking into the comics industry? (in a nutshell 🙂 )
Dwight_MacPherson: Moreland: Oh, no. I am writing my first novel and I write poetry and screenplays. Comics are my favorite to write, though. Such a unique medium. ga
Benjamin: Speaking of running away, how come Harry didn’t pick the lock and runaway with the other “misfits”? GA
Corey Krampen: Do you know how many copies have been sold?
Dwight_MacPherson: Melody: That’s correct. We don’t know if it’s true, of course. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Jessica: That’s an excellent question. I would use it to teach equality of races and those with disabilities–sensitivity, I guess? Yeah. ga
Maria: Mr.Macpherson, I heard you have children, I have one of my own. Do the graphic novels influence them to read more? I’d like to get my son to enjoy them one day.
Dwight_MacPherson: Ruth: He LOVES it! He has ADHD, and before comics, his reading level was substandard. Since he started reading comics, he’s jumped AHEAD a grade level. ga
madi parr: what do you think is the value of using graphic novels in schools? because it seems that most teachers tend to shy away from it.
Katy: The only thing I question about graphic novels is that without the words, sometimes it can be hard to interpret. All comics pretty much have word bubbles but if the idea is focusing on literacy what would be a good way to tie that into the class lesson with your book Kid Houdini?
Jessica: Oh yeah that’s a really good idea because I was having trouble trying to think of how I could use it in the classroom.
Meagan Smith: that’s impressive!
Dwight_MacPherson: Amanda: Well, there’s a little bit of my kids in the characters. Sure. ga
Laura McDaniel: Why did you make the sheriff the ‘bad guy?’ GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Benjamin: But… that would be so boring! Hahahaha. And–after all–he wanted to get away. I guess he figured he’d may as well stay with someone. ga
madi parr: that’s really cool that reading comics improved your son’s reading level. it should encourage teachers to be more open to different forms of literature.
Rebecca Chavez: Do you think that as teachers we should start encouraging graphic novels over other novels? GA
Raylynn S: I agree Madi.
Dwight_MacPherson: Corey: I’ve been told about 3k sold so far–which is great for small press comics. ga
Jessica: How did you come up with the idea of the entire plot? I thought it was very creative!
caitlin: do you think if you tried to turn the graphic novel into a book, that it would have the same effect on children?
Moreland: good question rebecca!
Rebecca Chavez: Thanks!
Dwight_MacPherson: Maria: Oh, absolutely. I would encourage you to find some comics he may enjoy. With the pictures AND words, it seems to keep their little minds occupied–if that makes any sense. ga
Jeremiah: What ideas do you have for your next graphic novel? GA
Macey: i agree!
Benjamin: You said you wrote it for your son who has ADHD. What do you think is needed in a novel or a graphic novel to get someone with ADHD interested in reading?
Tyler: What was your favorite comic or novel growing up? GA
Maria: haha I’m all too familiar with easily distraced minds 🙂
Dwight_MacPherson: Madi: For kids with disabilities–as my son with ADHD–I think it occupies their senses. Pictures, words… it’s almost like a movie shot in stills. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Laura: Ah, very good question. Honestly, it was a creative decision. Perhaps not the wisest, but it is what it is. LOL
Raylynn S: What is the novel you’re currently working on called and about? GA
Laura McDaniel: I thought it was a very interesting twist though. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Jessica: Oh, thank you! Well, I sat down over time and fleshed it out. Of course, I’m notorous for straying from my outline–which I did. ga
Ashley Denver: How long did the process take to write Kid Houdini?
Dwight_MacPherson: Jeremiah: I’m actually working on several right now. As far as another Kid Houdini, we’ll have to see if sales pick up. That’s the sad reality of the business. ga
Katy: If you ran away for a year, what is the one thing you would like most to do? ga
Jeremiah: I think a lot of kids can relate to Kid Houdini, so I hope sales go up!
Colin: For a small book like KH, what kind of sales would justify a sequel?
MelodyHam: I liked it, which is impressive, because I’m not a fan of the graphic novel for the most part.
Dwight_MacPherson: Benjamin: Excellent question. I know that with my son, he said reading was “boring.” He says reading comics is “fun.” He noties every facial expression and detail of the panel because his mind is working so fast…
Jacqueline Mitchell: I think so many people, especially children, are not familiar with comic books. I think once they have been engaged in them they will love them!
Dwight_MacPherson: So I guess that’s the appeal. It’s most like a movie. ga
madi parr: using graphic novels is probably a good way to help kids who don’t naturally visualize what they’re reading.
Dwight_MacPherson: Laura: Oh, thank you! The last thing I want to do is instill a sense of fear in kids for law enforcement. I told my kids “Well, anyone can be bad.” Perhaps that’s a cop-out…
cj: Madi, I liked that
Benjamin: If sales didn’t pick up, would you go back to releasing it as a web comic, or would copyright issues get in the way? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: I’ll let you and educators/readers decide. ga
Macey: Did any of the characters in the book represent your son or maybe someone you both know?
Dwight_MacPherson: Ashley: All in all, about one month. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: I’d figure out a way to get to the UK. If you’re gonna run away, go all out. LOL ga
caitlin: that seems really short
Hillary Harrod: Do you ever worry that after becoming so fond of graphic novels, your son will never learn to appreciate and enjoy other novels or genres? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Jeremiah: Thank you! ga
Moreland: At what age were you bit by the writing bug?
Corey Krampen: You may have answered this already, but do any of the characters in the book portray people from your life?
Ashley Denver: wow that is an extremely fast process…I might try to write one out sometime 🙂
Dwight_MacPherson: Colin: I’d say about 5k copies. If we can move that many, we’ll do another one. 🙂 ga
Katy: i don’t know…I still cannot really warm up to the graphic novel. I think there is lots of pressure on kids these days so I can see how that would maybe relieve some of that to use your imagination with the graphic novel
Laura McDaniel: no that’s not a cop-out, that’s true!
Laura McDaniel: ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Jacqueline: Oh, I agree wholeheartedly. It’s up to parents and teachers to introduce kids. I’d love to do it myself, but alas… there is only one me. ga
MelodyHam: sorry, but using the term “cop-out” was way too punny not to point it out
madi parr: thanks melody. that just made my day 🙂
Dwight_MacPherson: Macey: Sure. You see bits of all my sons in the characters. I am constantly watching and making mental notes. ga
Benjamin: melody: haha
Tyler: How old is your son? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Hillary: Not at all. I see comics as a stepping stone. My 13-year-old started off with comics and he’s now reading novels. ga
Jacqueline Mitchell: Have your sons asked you to write a book about something they are really interested in? Or do they help with giving you ideas? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Moreland: I started keeping a journal at 9 years of age. Before that, I remember writing crazy stories. Especially in 4th grade. ga
Amanda: Have you been to any schools to talk about your comic? This might get teachers more interested in adding them to thir classroom. Ga
Tyler: What did you like to write about as a kid? GA
Jeremiah: So have you always known you wanted to be a writer? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Ashley: Go for it! If you want to do it, there’s nothing to stop you. 🙂 ga
madi parr: have you ever used the early ideas from your journals in your current works? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: Our priority has to be getting kids to read first and foremost. Comics, magazines… something. Something that grabs and hold their attention…
Jessica: Did you ever write comics when you were younger?
Dwight_MacPherson: Then we’ll get ’em hooked on Poe–which I’m all for. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Melody: I’m glad you caught that. Well done. 😉 ga
Colin: Speaking of Poe – any word on more stories in that world? I love that little guy! ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Tyler: I have 3: 13, 11 and 8. ga
MelodyHam: This from the man who wrote Edgar Allen Poo
MelodyHam: a stepping stone to Poe
Katy: Yeah, I definitely agree there! I am not saying that we shouldn’t use it in the classroom, I just wonder what the best way to do that might be.
Dwight_MacPherson: Jacqueline: Oh, yes… they help! I am constantly talking with them–especially during the writing of Kid Houdini. ga
Rene Saldana: And to clarify, it was for your 10 year old you wrote the book for, right?
Dwight_MacPherson: Amanda: Just the local schools here. I was invited by the librarians. I’d LOVE to do more of that. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Tyler: HORROR. I was a huge horror nut. You know… Vincent Price old-school scary stuff. Hahaha. ga
MelodyHam: Vincent Price rocks
Dwight_MacPherson: Madi: No, I’m sad to say those journals have been lost from many, many moves over the course of my life. ga
Raylynn S: Are you currently working on anything? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
Dwight_MacPherson: Jessica: Since I can remember! Oh, man… they were TERRIBLE! ga
Benjamin: Vincent Price horror is awesome
Katy: I think if I wrote comic books, I would have a massive amount of sketches from things that inspire me or just thoughts. I guess this is true with any author or illustrator. How do you manage to keep it all organized and get it into one book? haha
MelodyHam: Benjamin, we need to be friends
Rene Saldana: He’s especially good on Thriller.
Dwight_MacPherson: Colin: Thanks! Oh, yes… we’re doing a third book. ga
Jessica: haha well practice makes perfect!
Katy: I definitely think I would have trouble….
Raylynn S: GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: And it’s good that we’re discussing it seriously. I used to get in trouble for bringing comics to school. Can you believe that?! Meanines. I kid. ga
Moreland: Do any of your children show signs of being potential writers? Share your passion?
Dwight_MacPherson: Rene: That’s correct. He just turned 11 and he’s reading on a grade level higher. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Melody: *virtual high-five*
Katy: haha what thats crazy! considering the fact that having a laptop and cellphone out during spelling tests is now A-ok!
Dwight_MacPherson: Raylynn: A ton of things! Hahaha! ga
Mary: haha how things have changed
MelodyHam: *high five* SWEET
Raylynn S: Hahah. What are you writing about ? GA
Hillary Harrod: I understand that graphic novels can be a great way to grab a child’s attention and get them excited about reading, but I don’t think I’m grasping how to use them as an educational tool in the classroom…any suggestions?
Dwight_MacPherson: Moreland: Gosh, I hope not! This is a hard life. Feast or famine. Hahaha. No, if they want to, I’ll support ’em. ga
deprieto: If I understand correctly, Kid Houdini grew out of a project you were working on called the silver dollar gang. Do you feel like you could make an equally cohesive story if you started the other way around? Say Worth Gowell had contacted you first with sketches, and asked you to write a story to it. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Raylynn: The all-ages novel is a fantasy mythology romp. The other projects are definitely not for young readers–though one (SteampunX) is. It’s a historical fiction book with iron man-like steampunk suits. ga
Raylynn S: Very cool! GA
Benjamin: Not to be rude or anything, but since you work with an illustrator, can you draw? Do you just choose someone else, to give you more time to work on the story? GA
Ashley Denver: I think Kid Houdini would make a great television show, maybe because I am able to visualize the characters and plot so well from the illustration…what are your feelings towards creating it into a show? Do you think it would take away from the enjoyment of reading the story?
Maria: Mr.MacPherson, how do you take criticism for your writing? I just wrote a nonfiction story and my teacher marked it all up. How do you keep from getting discouraged when your story is full of red ink?
Dwight_MacPherson: Hillary: Great question. I would say that teachers can identify kids that are having a rough time of it. I would start there. ga
Katy: maria, I hate when that happens I definitely feel ya there..so frustrating when you work so hard
Macey: me too!
Benjamin: Maria, your still annoyed about that?
Ruth: me three!
Maria: I know it’s a downer, it’s hard to jump back… of course!
MelodyHam: Graphic novels aren’t for everybody, but for struggling readers, it’s a good thing to try
Macey: maria is a published author!
Rene Saldana: Before the session got going, Melody said she read you were a pirate. Wait. What? GA.
Dwight_MacPherson: deprierto: Oh, absolutely. It just worked out this way. I’m working on a project like you described. It’s all an adventure and I love it! ga
Jacqueline Mitchell: Ashley I was thinking the same thing!
Rebecca Chavez: I agree! Just because they do not like the story does not mean its not a good plot or idea
Dwight_MacPherson: Ashley: I wish you worked for Cartoon Network! Hahaha! ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Maria: I don’t read most of it. I’m from the Robert Burns school of thought on critics. ga
caitlin: did you have any setbacks when you were writing kid houdini? or did everything run smoothly? i feel like there might be a lot of issues during the entire process. ga
Raylynn S: I think a show would be kind of cool.
Raylynn S: GA
MelodyHam: I would watch it. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Rene: Uh… wait. Someone read that? Hahahaha ga
Moreland: me too!
Katy: Lots of kids do not have televisions, I was not allowed to watch it growing up most of the time. I think that is why sometimes comics, books, and some fresh air can be a great alternative to tv!
Ashley Denver: Haha maybe if I was creative as you, but I will stick with education for now haha!
Dwight_MacPherson: caitlin: I was actually writing 2 books at once: Kid and Edgar Allan Poo. I’m a glutton for punishment. ga
Jacqueline Mitchell: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
Jacqueline Mitchell: ga
Ashley Denver: I agree, I really enjoy seeing the Harry Potter Movies but because they are available to watch…I am not as inspired to read the book!
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: Bingo. My kids still can’t believe I didn’t have videogames when I was a kid. ga
Jessica: Haha well see the graphic novels we’ve been reading in class is the closest thing to a comic book I have ever read so it’s really hard for me to get into them! However I did like Kid Houdini a lot!
MelodyHam: “Dwight L. MacPherson is a writer of comic books, short stories, poetry… and a pirate. ” – Creator bio on Vipercomics.com
Katy: I was all about reading Disney princess books upside down outside while my brothers ran over me with their big wheels haha
Laura McDaniel: will kid houdini ever go back to his family? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Jacqueline: Creating worlds and people. It’s a joy to see them come to life. And I think “This must be what God feels like.” It’s a joyful experience. ga
Corey Krampen: If you were not pursuing a career in writing what would you be doing?
Jerica Timmons: you took my question COREY!!
Benjamin: let’s just hope you don’t come across a writer who is a ninja. GA
Jacqueline Mitchell: very cool
Ashley Denver: I’m not going to deny it, I was a little disapointed that the story ended so quickly..I probably wouldn’t mind if there was an extended version (hint hint)
Dwight_MacPherson: Jessica: Thank you! I hope you can see how they can really, really help troubled readers. ga
Jeremiah: nice ben lol
MelodyHam: You are fantastic, sir! ga
Katy: like goosebumps! I feel like those always had the alternate ending or the extended cut
Mary: Same, I was really hoping that he would go back to his family
Jessica: I can!
Dwight_MacPherson: Melody: Well… you got me. Red-handed; which means something different for pirates. lol ga
Kimberly: I really enjoyed your book! But I noticed it didn’t have chapters, the scenes just changed from one to another. Why did you write it this way? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: Laura: Yes. Absolutely. The question is when. Hopefully we’ll be able to do more. ga
madi parr: is it better with no chapter breaks because since the chld is visualizing it in their heads like a movie or a day dream, and those things don’t have chapter breaks? ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Corey: Wow. Well, if I couldn’t write, I’d probably die. lol ga
Macey: When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning? ga
Amanda: I feel like i get distracted in a story thats divided into chapters
Dwight_MacPherson: Benjamin: I’m trained in three martial arts disciplines, so I welcome the challenge. HIYAH! ga
MelodyHam: Do Lydia and Harry get together? Does Hans have a crush on Lydia? ga
Katy: Oh Lydia, she is a treat! great charcter!
Raylynn S: Hahaha.
deprieto: what is your main goal when constructing a book that is designed for children? I guess Im asking, what do you want to stimulate most in a young reader’s mind?
Mary: haha I like Lydia and Harry together
Dwight_MacPherson: Kimberly: Thank you so much. Well, that’s traditional comic book format. We use segues to change scenes–like a movie. ga
MelodyHam: Benjamin. I want to meet you
MelodyHam: we have to be friends
Katy: me too!
Jessica: I thought without chapters for some kids it could be overwhelming even though it is a short book. But it seems longer without the chapters but I guess since the book is so interesting it wouldn’t be very difficult for them to read.
Katy: that was to you MARY1
Dwight_MacPherson: Macey: No. Not really. I just wanted names that sounded different ethnically. I wanted to have an all-star team made up of characters of different heritages. ga
Dwight_MacPherson: Melody: Perhaps. Hahaha. You’re not gonna nail me down on that one. LOL ga
Katy: I want to see a comic book about a ladybug who gets stuck on someone’s shoe for a day. I cannot tell you how many people I see step pn lady bugs outside the colleg of ed!
Macey: that’s interesting
Ashley Denver: If Lydia and Harry get together, I feel like Hans needs a friend 😦 he was my favorite haha!
Maria: I never noticed that
Dwight_MacPherson: deprieto: Imagination. I want kids to use their imaginations. Videogames and TV really hamper the imagination, I think. ga
Moreland: copy right it katy!
Mary: haha, maybe that could be what Ashley writes her first comic book on
Katy: random…but I love ladybugs thats why I say that, can you make that happen Mr. Macpherson?
Rene Saldana: Fingers crossed that we get to see the next KH. About the diversity, will we see others join the Misfits? An African American, or Asian American, or Hispanic? BA
Katy: Yeah, ash right about ladybugs!
Ashley Denver: haha Oh Katy
Dwight_MacPherson: Ashley: We intended to have new characters join the group. That’s all I’ll say now. 🙂 ga
Benjamin: Melody: I’m practically always around the big table in the education building. I’m the blond on asleep on the sofa
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: For a price, I could write a book about a neutron that takes over the world. LOL ga
Maria: haha!!that is true. he almost missed class because we left him there on the couch
Dwight_MacPherson: Rene: Oh, absolutely! ga
Rebecca Chavez: lol yeah and I am the only one who went to wake you up!!
Jeremiah: sometimes he has a newspaper for a blanket
Katy: haha I bet
Ashley Denver: Awesome! I’ll be first in line!
Ashley Denver: haha ok Katy! I’ll name one of them KatyBug 🙂
Katy: Is there a limit on characters in comic books in your opinion..how much is too much? GA
Dwight_MacPherson: We have a lot more planned. I really hope we can make it happen. ga
Rene Saldana: Well, this talk of ladybugs and Benjamin sleeping on couches might be signaling a coming to a conclusion. So here’s you last shot to ask Dwight a final question or two.
Dwight_MacPherson: Katy: Well, that depends. Some writers can write 10-12 characters and give them equal time. Some… not so much. ga
Moreland: Thank you for taking time to be with us!
Dwight_MacPherson: Moreland: My pleasure! Seriously.
Raylynn S: Definately, thanks Mr. MacPherson!
Katy: Yeah, I can imagine it would be hard to have lots and lots of characters and keep the focus on the intent of the writing
Jeremiah: Yes, Thank you!
Rebecca Chavez: Thank you!
Ruth: Mr MacPherson in the future you should think about coming to Tx Tech
Amanda: It was really good to hear your point of view thank you
Jerica Timmons: thank you MacPherson1 and good luck for even more success
Corey Krampen: Thanks for your time!
Meagan Smith: Thank you Mr. MacPherson.
Ruth: and thank you for your time!
Laura McDaniel: thank you!
Macey: thanks so much-this was really fun!
Maria: This was a neat idea. You are such a good sport to take time to talk to us future teachers
Rene Saldana: I want to thank the Texas Tech students for showing up and doing an awesome job of this.
Dwight_MacPherson: I had a blast, guys and gals!
madi parr: thank you so much for answering all our questions!
Tyler: Thank you very much. We all really appreciate it.
Jessica: Thanks so much!
deprieto: You mentioned that your characters were named in such a way as to represent an all star cast from different heratiges. – A modern concern of enhanced world view and responsibiliy. Do you target any other areas such as reason or logic? thank you.
MelodyHam: Thanks for the high-five. You are my favorite graphic novel author
Dwight_MacPherson: I think I had more fun than you did. LOL
Katy: This was fun, thanks for your time!
Mary: Thanks for your time, it was great to see the opinion of the author, it brings the book to life even more!
Ashley Denver: Thanks so much Mr. MacPherson! I really look forward to reading your upcoming graphic novels 🙂 And I will make an effort to bring graphic novels into my own classroom,,,I agree with what you said about kids who struggle with ADHD…their mind is so busy and so quick, graphic novels are a great read for them!
Benjamin: Thanks for your time. Here’s hoping you don’t meet a writer-ninja trained in four martial arts.
cj: This was a great discussion!
Rene Saldana: Check out Dwight’s blog and other like pages for updates. Tomorrow we get the next page of his historical superhero comic, InterAgents. What’s that address? GA
Hillary Harrod: Thanks!
Dwight_MacPherson: Thank you all for talking with me. Most people run away…
Dwight_MacPherson: No, seriously, it’s been a great hour.
Benjamin: your a pirate it’s to be expected
Katy: I am glad you have a great sense of humor! I am all about the funny author, life is too short to be serious all the time!
SylviaR: I’ve seen some of ur blogs, intresting stuff! And thank you, the hour went by too fast
Raylynn S: Haha! Nice Benjamin!
Raylynn S: Hahaha.
madi parr: lol
Laura McDaniel: wow lol
Rene Saldana: Group hug.
Hillary Harrod: HAHA
MelodyHam: Benjamin. What’s a last name so I can find you on facebook?
Rene Saldana: See you all in class.
Raylynn S: HAHAHA
Dwight_MacPherson: Interagents: http://www.th3rdworld.com/web-comic/Interagents Updated every Wednesday.
Maria: bye everyone I have a 5 year old to read a night time story too.
Benjamin: Kelly, I don’t have a picture.
Dwight_MacPherson: *high-fives all around*
Rene Saldana: C.J., Dwight, we’ll talk later.
MelodyHam: *hugs Mr. Saldana*
madi parr: good night everybody!
Macey: bye dr. saldana!
cj: All went very well
cj: good night
Katy: night night!
Dwight_MacPherson: Class dismissed! I’m kidding. Good night, all!
That’s all I have time for now, but I’ll post some very exciting information soon. See you then!
Who Loves Ya, Babe?
I thought I’d try something new and post a first look at American McGee’s Grimm #2 on my blog. After all, I appreciate each and every one of your who takes the time to read and follow my blog.
Just think of this as a little present from me to you to express my gratitude.
American McGee’s Grimm #2 Preview
Issue 2 will be available for pre-order in the next issue of Previews. So please pre-order the book this Wednesday when you visit your friendly neighborhood comic shop.
I will update this post with the Diamond Order Code as soon as I get it.
Here is the official solicit:
EPISODE 2: LOVE HURTS
Chaos ensues as Grimm enters the romantic comic book world! Join Larry and Sally as they struggle to survive a flesh-craving duck attack, a senile taxicab driver and an army of puppies to be together. Will true love be enough to conquer Grimm? I wouldn’t bet on it!
Without further adieu, here is the fabulous variant cover by Ben Templesmith and first five interior pages by my partner in crime Grant Bond…
Texas Tech Book Chat Update
From Professor Rene Saldana’s blog:
First, check out Dwight’s blog at https://dwightmacpherson.wordpress.com/. He’s the author of one of the coolest graphic novels aimed at the young struggling reader, though I’d also have high school-aged struggling readers pick it up, it’s that good. As a matter of fact, I like the book so much that I’ve asked him to do an author book chat with my students, and he’s agreed. Another cool thing is that C.J. Bott, through ALAN (that is, Assembly on Literature for Adolescents/NCTE) is setting up the chat, and will likely open up the chat to folks interested in Adolescent literature, graphic novels/comic books, or MacPherson himself. Check out ALAN’s site for updates: http://www.alan-ya.org/. Also check out C.J.’s very informative book on bullying in YA literature titled The Bully in the Book and in the Classroom (Scarecrow Press, 2004) and its more recent follow-up, More Bullies in More Books (Scarecrow Press, (forthcoming) June 2009).
I will update this as soon as I find out if the book chat will be open to anyone
crazy enough to who would like to participate.
Th-Th-That’s All, Folks!
That’s all the time I have for now. Thank you for reading–and please take an extra second to respond. I love hearing from you.
And We’re Back
After a long computer-virus-induced absence, I am finally back.
Erm… I’ve actually been back online for a couple weeks. With the amount of downtime, however, I was forced to work like a madman to get caught up. Thankfully, I made up lost ground and have begun working on some exciting new projects.
More on that later.
Talking to the Red Raiders
I will be conducting an Instant Message Q&A with Professor Rene Saldana and his education students at Texas Tech on the 31st of this month. During the discussion, we will be speaking specifically about my young reader graphic novel Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits. For those who would like to read the conversation, I will be obtaining a transcript to post on my blog.
I’m looking forward to the discussion and thank Professor Saldana for including Kid Houdini as part of his class curriculum and for contacting me to set this up.
Don’t worry. I’ll try not to scare them too badly.
Thanks to comic reviewer Chad Derdowski, there is a new American McGee’s Grimm #1 review at Mania.com. Please drop by and check it out if you’re still undecided about the book.
This is my favorite part:
…The humor leans a bit toward the juvenile side. Again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but snooty critics and highbrows should be warned.
That is funny on many different levels, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
Any Last Words?
Please don’t forget that INTERAGENTS is now available as a webcomic right here. A new page is posted every Wednesday, so please bookmark the site so you don’t miss out.
Oh, and be on the lookout for some very exciting INTERAGENTS news in the not-so-distant future.
See you soon.