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1. Uglies Exclusive Edition/Gen Con

Below is my Gen Con schedule, but first some interesting news:

Early this year I returned to the Uglies universe to write a short story called “How David Got His Scar.”

David, of course, has a scar through one eyebrow, the origin of which is the subject of much discussion. In the novels, Tally asks him about it, and he says, “I’ll tell you how I got it one day.” But he never does. Because he and I are perverse that way.

In the Shay’s Story graphic novels, he STARTS to talk about it once, but only says something about being chased by a bear. Still perversely uninformative.

But now, dear readers, you can discover the unvarnished truth in this Barnes and Noble Exclusive edition of Uglies! Just look for this black sticker at B&N stores:

uglies_B&N_exclusive

That’s right, you can pay money for a book you already own for the sole purpose of reading 4,000 new words! (Not even 4,000. Like, 3914 words.) You could also go into a store and just stand there and read it. (But you would never do that. You are a TRUE fan. Have I mentioned how great your hair looks today?)

You can also order this exclusive edition online right here.

The story is set in the time before David has met Tally, but after Shay’s runaway friends, Croy and Astrix, have reached the Smoke. It was fun writing in that world again, particularly from a new viewpoint, and it was weirdly easy too. (Read NOTHING into this statement. Unless you want to.)

Also, because someone is bound to ask, I hereby declare this story CANONICAL.

Anyway, here’s my Gen Con schedule. See some of you in Indianapolis!

Thursday, August 14
5PM
Writer’s Craft: Creating Story Arcs
Room 243

6PM
The Art of Leviathan
Room 243

Friday, August 15
11AM
Signing
Dealers’ room

4PM
Q&A with me
Room 244

5PM
Business of Writing: Selling Your Stories
Room 243

Saturday, August 16
3PM
Signing
Dealers’ room

5PM
Pushing the YA Envelope
Room 243

6PM
Impact of Reader Gender on Your Writing
Room 243

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2. Last Day for Cheap Uglies

A few quick things:

Thing One
It’s the last day to buy the e-book edition of Uglies and Pretties for only $3.99!

Click to find them at the following places:

iBooks (iPad)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Amazon (Kindle)
S&S (Adobe file)
Or click here to buy a Google eBook via an indie bookstore!

(Sorry, this sale is US only. But the UK Kindle version of Uglies is £3.99, which is kinda cheap.)

Thing Two
This is the French cover of my adult sf duology, The Risen Empire and The Killing of Worlds, in its combined format. And it is pretty cool:

Seriously cool, in fact.

And finally . . .

Thing Three
Jessica Valenti chews bubblegum and kicks ass in this essay entitled “The Upside of Ugly.” (And she’s all out of bubblegum.) Click here to read it.

That’s it! Real blogging commences soonish.

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3. Uglies Manga 2, Cover reveal

Yes, it’s time to reveal the cover of the sequel to Shay’s Story!

But first, I’m doing two appearances in the near future, one in the real world and one online.

The first will be a chat on Figment.com. I’ll be chatting with Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan, co-authors of the upcoming book, Team Human. We’ll be discussing collaborations in general, and what it’s like for experienced novelists to work with other writers.

I don’t have a link yet, but it will happen at 8PM US Eastern Time on Sunday, July 8.

My second set of appearances will be at Comic Con. The panels aren’t set yet, but I will have a signing on Sunday:

San Diego Comic Con
1:30-2:30pm
Sunday July 15th
Autograph area AA09 in the Sails Pavilion

Lots of other writers will be at this signing, but I’ll reveal those details later. Also, I will probably have another signing on a different day. Stay tuned.

So, without further ado, here’s the cover to Uglies: Cutters . . .

Hope you like it.

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4. Fan Art Friday

I have had interesting news about my work in progress this week, but it’s all super secret. It’s pretty cool, though, and you will all hear it about one day.

One day soon? MAYBE. Maybe one day somewhat less soon. But one day. I PROMISE.

Let me just say that things they are a-brewin’.

In the meantime, it’s time for FAF! Let’s do this.

We begin with some cool 3-D projects. First is a Clanker lamp from Kirsten. Here it is, both in its raw form and with the shade on:

Like I’ve often said, one of my favorite things to come out of Keith’s illustrations is the sense they give of Clanker and Darwinist physical culture. Not just machines and beasties, but simple things like desks and lamps. So thanks to Kirsten for following that vision.

And here’s Haley’s cool Leviathan-wing ring:

The wing wasn’t entirely Keith’s creation. It was something that the designer of the hardback cover of Levaithan, Sammy Yuen, put together from pieces of Keith’s art.

Speaking of wings, here’s Kaitlyn’s cool shot of Deryn using her body-kite outfit:

Nice. Love the color scheme, and the fact that it makes Deryn look a bit like the shot of Lilit from Behemoth.

And here’s another one from Kaitlyn with that always favorite theme: hangin’ on the ratlines:

And from Patricia, a blow-up of A CERTAIN CREATURE WEARING A CERTAIN COMEDY COSTUME PIECE. SEE IF YOU CAN GUESS BEFORE LOOKING.

Okay. I think you were right:

And finally some Uglies action, a cityscape of New Pretty Town from Trenton:

What I love about this is that it calls to mind the classic Saul Steinberg image of how New Yorkers see the world:

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5. Fan Art Friday (Loris/Moggle Edition)

Hello, and welcome to FAF, or perhaps I should say FAFF, as in Fan Art Friday Fortnightly. Indeed, I haven’t been posting much of anything lately, but that’s only because I’ve been working on a New S3krit Project! It’s a new novel with all new characters and stuff, and I’ve finally found my stride. IT IS GETTING WRITTEN.

“When will this novel be out?” you may ask.

Indeed, you may. But I don’t know yet. Maybe autumn of 2013, maybe a year after that. I know, that’s a long time. But novels are long things, and publishing timelines are even longer things, and I can tell you that this novel is probably going to be FAT. (Like, longer than any of my other books.)

As for all the other possible questions you might have, they must wait for another day. This particular s3krit project is still too fragile to be interrogated and explicated.

Also, it’s time for FAF! Since mentioning the unnamed-loris-with-mustache thread last time, I’ve gotten a lot of loris/Bovril/Moggle art. So really this is all about the sidekicks.

The first one is from Adam, and it’s a shot of the kraken scene in Leviathan.

It’s great to see that encounter from a distance.

I’ve also been getting some Shay’s Story fan art trickling in, which is totally cool. Keep it coming. Here’s a notebook doodle of Shay from Daliz:

I like that the Uglies character have manga versions now, whether with pigtails up or down.

The rest of today’s FAF is all lorises and Moggle in many different media! Thanks to everyone for sticking with a theme.

First, some Bovril/Moggle crossover from Phrancie:

They are clearly going to conquer the world together. Or run into a lamppost, maybe.

Next is the highly anticipated Moggle-with-a-mustache, again from Oskar and his Spore software:

Undercover Moggle is undercover. And jaunty.

And we also have photoshopped Bovril, or quasi-Bovril creature, from Rebecca:

If you’re going to wear a mustache, you should probably get a top hat. It’s funny because it’s true.

And in case you’ve forgotten what the real Bovril looks like, Alex offer this book-style rendering of the Bovril birth scene:

He totally gets Keith’s composition right. It’s cool how Bovril in that scene isn’t cute yet

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6. Free Comic Book Day

I’ll be celebrating Free Comic Book Day here in Australia, so I hope to see some of you Sydneysiders at Kinokuniya on May 5. (Also known as MY BIRTHDAY.)

This is the first time I’ll be a guest at an FCBD, thanks to my first ever graphic novel, Shay’s Story.

I’ll be at Kinokuniya from 11AM to 4PM, in the Artists’ Alley.

Here’s the FaceBook page for the event, and here are the details:

Kinokuniya Bookstore
Lvl 2, The Galeries, 500 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Saturday, May 5, 2012
10AM-7PM

ARTISTS’ ALLEY, 11am – 4pm
A great opportunity to meet some of our best local comic artists and writers.

COSPLAY COMPETITION
We’re looking for the best Comic/Manga, Undead and Gothic Lolita costumes for both adults and kids. More details will be provided closer to the date.

See you there.

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7. FAF the 13th

I will admit to taking a couple of Fridays off. My bad. We had a new kitchen installed, which was exceedingly disruptive. But now there are many secret laboratory-type kitchen gadgets at my fingertips, so it was worth it.

Food blogging may well commence in the near future.

But enough of my excuses. Here are the fan arts of today’s Fan Art Friday!

First we have a Darwinist/Clanker wristband by McKenna:

I love how the tag line of the Leviathan trailer came to define the series, even though “Do you oil your war machines, or feed them?” doesn’t appear in the books. This wristband above, of course, uses a variation on the “war machines” line, but that kind of reinforces my point: everyone knows what it’s a reference too. (Well, not EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, but you know what I mean.)

Here’s a great triptych of Bovril from Alyssa:

This is a very snow-adapted Bovril, which is cool. A great thing about Leviathan having black and white illustrations is that the fan art winds up with lots of different color schemes, Bovril especially. Of course, once the Manual of Aeronautics comes out in August, we’ll have canon to contend with. But I’m sure the other color interpretations will live on, because of the internets and stuff.

Next is an interesting counterfactual from Libby: a portrait of Alek’s sister. This sister, of course, doesn’t exist in my books, but in real life Franz and Sophie had a daughter who was named after her mother. Libby calls her “Princess Sophie, Alek’s sort of, actually-existed sister.”

Libby has clearly done her research, because this portrait looks a LOT like the real Sophie in 1914, whom you can see here.

(Did you know that this Sophie was fictionalized in The Young Indiana Jones? I just found out that she was Indiana’s first kiss!)

And now, because I must BY INTERNATIONAL LAW have an image of Bovril with a mustache in every FAF, here’s an image from Melissa that makes ingenious use of graph paper.

Digital Bovril is digital.

And to round out our Leviathan FAF, a couple of pencil works from Lauren and Tabitha:


It’s amazing how these two simple pencil drawings, which are in very different styles, both get Deryn’s express

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8. Shay’s Story Lists!

Have I ever mentioned that you guys are AWESOME?

Thanks so much for buying my books and make sure that a) there will be more books by me, and b) I get to eat and clothe myself.

In other news, if it weren’t for The Walking Dead, I would be #4 instead of #9. And after all I’ve done for zombies!

Shay’s Story is available at most bookstores and comic shops. But call ahead, because not all stores carry a wide range of manga, even bestselling manga.

You can order Shay’s Story online at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon.

Nook owners can get it by clicking here.

For iPad owners, the Shay’s Story page on iTunes is right here. It says you can read it on your iPhone, but you’d better have pretty good eyes, because it’s fixed width format. iPad is way better.

Sydneysiders can find signed copies at Kinokuniya Bookstore at the Galleries. Other Australians can get it pretty cheap from Fishpond.

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9. Last Reveal: The Smoke!

Shay’s Story is already out, of course. But I had promised one more reveal. The Smoke!

Here’s Shay’s first view of it as she and her fellow runaways arrive:

Click here for a bigger version.

Of course, the smoke had to be smokey! After all, that’s the first thing Tally notices about it in the books. It’s the first thing any city kid would notice, so chimney smoke had to dominate this shot. (Also, look at David standing there looking back at the runaways. He’s all “tada!”)

One of the key themes of the Uglies series is the balance between the city and the wild. And one of the reasons I wanted to work with Steven Cummings was that he can render both architecture and nature as dramatic elements on the page.

The Smoke is a mix of nature and proto-city, and of futuristic and traditional technologies. So I like this shot of a work detail below, that has hoverboards and powerjacks juxtaposed with giant and imposing trees. The high technology is cool, but it’s literally in the shadow of nature.

Click here for the big version.

Anyway, I won’t show you any more, because as of today you can just go out and buy Uglies: Shay’s Story!

I just found out that there are two electronic versions available. Nook users can buy it at B&N.com. For iPad owners, here’s the Shay’s Story page on iTunes is right here. (It says you can read it on your iPhone, but you’d better have pretty good eyes, because it’s fixed width format. iPad is way better.)

And you can get physical copies at bookstores and comics store, of course, or online at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon. Australians wishing to shop online can get it pretty cheap from Fishpond.

Hope you enjoy it! I’ll put up the official spoiler thread tomorrow.

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10. Uglies Manga Imminent

Several things:

1) Uglies: Shay’s Story comes out TODAY, March 6. (!!)

2) I don’t have the art for the Smoke reveal yet, but I will soon.

3) There is going to be a trailer for the graphic novel, also soon! (Not this one, a real one.)

4) I want to do a meet-up on the Forum soon, maybe a week after Shay’s Story comes out, so we can all talk about it. What time and day is good for you guys?

5) And finally, here’s a list my previous blog entries on Shay’s Story, just to whet your appetites.

Here’s how we worked together to create the manga.

An interview with Girls Read Comics Too.

A WesterForum meet-up in which I answer a LOT of questions.

And here are all the reveals:
Rusty Ruins
Dr. Cable
David
Tally
Zane
and Croy!

And here’s, you know, the cover:

Pre-order Shay’s Story at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon. Or buy it at a bookstore or comics store starting tomorrow!

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11. Rusty Ruins Revealed!

When I was checking out artists for Uglies: Shay’s Story, aka the Uglies Manga, there were a few key things I was looking for. Most of them, of course, had to so with drawing humans—expressions, faces, and actions, especially the sort of flying action you get with hoverboard chase scenes.

But I also wanted Shay’s Story to have the right settings. In science fiction, of course, setting is often a character. How many times have you described a science fiction movie or book by starting with something like, “It’s on this planet where . . . ” or “It’s in this future where . . . “?

The word where always plays a big role when talking about SF.

There are two main settings in the Uglies series—cities and nature. Indeed, a lot of the Uglies saga is about the relationship between the city and the wild. All four of the books start in a city, then include a voyage into and across the wild, and then return to a city in the end. The city represents control as well as civilization; the wild is danger as well as freedom. These are the two poles of the Uglies universe.

At the intersection between the city and nature is, of course, the Rusty Ruins. It’s the city that nature has taken back. It’s also the warning of what happens when humanity gets out of control. So the Ruins have to rock.

I am here to assure you that thanks to the skillz of Steven Cummings, they do:

Click here for the BIGNESS! And make sure to zoom in.

As you can see, that’s the tallest tower just ahead, where so many scenes in all the books happen. And in the big version you can see our heroes headed there on their hoverboards, surrounded by a bit of supernatural lighting so that you can see them.

It’s just one of many awesome nature/city settings that Steven has done.

Anyway, Uglies: Shay’s Story comes out March 6, which is two weeks away! That means there will be only one more reveal. What do you guys think it should be?

Feel free to think outside the box. Do you want a random special? The Smoke? A hoverboard scene? A hole-in-the-wall? Something completely different?

Let me know in the comments below.

dotted line

You can pre-order Shay’s Story at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon. Or buy it on March 6 at a proper bookstore or comics shop!

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12. Dr. Cable Reveal

The voting was fierce and furious, and David won in the end. (I think so, anyway. Counting is hard.) And yet there is a prize for second place, Dr. Cable-lovers, and this is it!

So here in all her full-page glory is Dr. Cable from Shay’s Story, the manga adaptation of Uglies!

And don’t forget to click here for the BIG version!

Hope you like her. I think she’s the right mix of pretty, intimidating, and older than all the other characters. (She’s been around a while, after all.) Of course, it would be cool if we could hear her razor voice too . . .

Can you figure out where this scene is?

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13. Fan Art Friday (Actually on Friday Edition)

It’s Friday (in the US, anyway), which means it’s time for excuses about why I don’t have Fan Art Friday up yet. But this week I thought I’d do something different, and put up some fan art!

Let us start with this fantastic video by The10thDecision, which is a sort of greatest hits of Leviathan fan art—plus some I haven’t seen before.

I quite enjoyed that. It’s a lovely reminder of how talented and wonderful you all are!

This is a pretty cool picture from one of my favorite settings in the Leviathan series—the ratlines! It’s by leaffystar19.

It’s cool to see a super-dramatic event like this that’s non-canonical. Because, you know, Alek could have slipped and almost fallen at some point while he was first getting used to the ratlines, and it wasn’t even worth mentioning in the novels.

Here’s a very . . . interesting picture of Volger from aieeetheygotfrank, who explains:

I’m not really used to drawing Volger, and there’s something very off about this… I think it’s because of the hair, but that’s the whole point of this so I don’t really know, lol. So anyway, this is kind of if Volger like lost his hair in the war or I don’t know? Like he had his scalp blown off? And now he has to wear a duck to cover it up? I don’t know? Question mark?

So I give you, Duck-Head Volger!

Can Duck-Head Volger fan fiction be far behind? (Thanks to our own Tobu for suggesting this.)

For you Uglies fans, here’s a cool Tally-wa triptych from totalimmortal220akasean:

These are pretty cool, especially because they remind me of the German covers of the Uglies trilogy, which looked like this:

See what I mean? Kind of like dolls, in the scary-doll sense.

And finally, here’s the obligatory Goliath Bonus Chapter fan art of the week, “Lad in a Dress,” from Caroline:

Alek has a sort of “Does this bustle make my butt look big?” vibe here. (YES, ALEK, IT DOES.)

Okay, that’s it for FAF. See you next Friday!

In the middle of next week, I’ll be revealing Dr. Cable from Uglies: Shay’

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14. David Revealed

The voting for the next character reveal has swayed back and forth for the last week. It’s been so tight between David and Dr. Cable that I’m not even going to count the votes. I shall declare David the winner, and reveal Dr. Cable next week.

So without further ado, here is David:

Wouldn’t you love to see that dialog box on the left side? WOULDN’T YOU? Well, you’re not going to, because that would be wrong.

Shay’s Story begins about six months before Uglies, back when Shay and Zane are pals in an ugly gang known as the Crims. And, as related in the novels, Shay and Zane were going to run away to the Smoke with David’s help, but they “chickened out.” At least that’s what they told Tally.

Of course, the stories we tell about uncomfortable events in the past are often oversimplified. So I decided to come up with a more interesting reason for them to bail, resulting in Zane becoming pretty and Shay moping around until she meets Tally.

I won’t reveal here what really happened, but I can say without spoilage that Shay and David do spend a certain amount of time arguing . . .

Of course, as we all know from the novels, they do get together later in the Smoke.

There’s also some cavorting on the roller coaster . . .

One thing I liked about writing Shay’s Story (with Devin Grayson) was revisiting key locales from the original novels, like the roller coaster. Especially since we get to SEE them now. I love the way that artist Steven Cummings has made the Rusty Ruins come alive. (Well, it’s kind of dead. But you know what I mean.) In fact, I think I’ll do a whole reveal just for the Ruins.

Anyway, that’s it for this reveal. Next week it’s the deliciously evil Dr. Cable!

You can pre-order Shay’s Story at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon. Or buy it on March 6 at a proper bookstore.

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15. Fan Art Friday (Actual Friday Edition!)

So David and Dr. Cable are pretty much tied in the voting for next week’s character reveal, and I’m missing some final images for them, so I thought I’d do an actual Fan Art Friday while the election continues!

Without further ado . . .

Here are three pieces from kikane on DeviantArt, showing Deryn and Alek in a semi-chibi mode:

They are so sweet! And I love all version of chibi-flying-whale.

From Savannah comes the unlikely genre of Legend Zelda/Goliath crossover!

I kind of like steampunk in its cute-comic form.

From Abigail, another in the new genre of Goliath Bonus Chapter art, aka Alek in a dress!

Of course, if they’re going up to Scotland to visit Deryn’s mom one day, we might get something like this scene from from Camille, featuring Deryn and Alek in kilts:

And here’s some cross-dressing cosplay from Lauren:

And from McKenna, a drawing of Deryn on a Huxley, looking down at the ground with a pensive expression:

From Ashley-wa, an entry into the classic put-yourself-in-the-ugies-cover genre:

And from Sophie, an Uglies cover collage:

I also got a huge PDF of Cl

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16. Everything Is Late

Fan Art Friday is super late now, so I’m just waiting till . . . Friday. #isuck

But as you can see, I’ve made up for it below.

But first, shall we vote on the next character reveal? Here are your choices:

David
Astrix
Ho
Ryde
Dr. Cable
Random Special

Hmm. This one might be a bit easy. In any case, use this comments thread to vote, argue, and otherwise inveigle!

In the meantime, please enjoy this entire PAGE of art from Shay’s Story. It’s from early in the books, when Shay, Zane, and the other Crims are sneaking into New Pretty Town.

But what you really want to see is the BIGGER and ZOOMABLE version!
So click here for that.

And now to repeat the annoying news: The release date for Shay’s Story has been delayed a week due to paper shortages. (Because we decided to make it bigger, so you can see all the art better!) It now comes out March 6, 2012.

Pre-order Shay’s Story at Indie Bound, BarnesandNoble.com, or Amazon. Or buy it on February 28 at a proper bookstore.

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17. Tally Revealed!

I was all ready to reveal the manga version of Tally this week, and then realized that I didn’t have the final versions of the right pages. Oops. Then there was a bit of miscommunication, but now at last I have them!

So we are delaying Fan Art Friday (often known as Fan Art Sunday) for the Tally character reveal.

Remember that Shay’s Story (AKA “The Uglies Manga”) is all from Shay’s POV, and therefore starts about six months before the events of Uglies, back when Shay and Zane are pals. So Tally doesn’t enter until Zane and Shay have planned to run away and then “chickened out.” (That’s what they told Tally in Pretties, but it’s more complicated than that in reality.)

But when Tally appears, we are fully into the same events as Uglies, so some of the scenes below will be familiar. It’s kind of interesting, duplicating some Uglies scenes almost exactly, but in an entirely new context and from a different point of view.

Of course, there are some times when Devin and I decided to skip over a lot of the scenes in Uglies, using the wonder of montage! You may recognize these flashes from the book, when Tally and Shay are getting to be friends.

Here’s a close-up of a familiar scene in Uglies that gets swept past in this montage:

This scene is also directly from the book, but here only lasts one frame. It’s quite illuminating to see Steven’s vision of it:

What’s interesting is, when you read the book, Tally is the protagonist and is therefore the center of attention in this scene. But in the version above, you can see that Shay is the featured character. She’s literally foregrounded.

And finally, here’s an argument between Tally and Shay at a certain key point in the story:

Click here for a bigger version of this one.

The dialog is directly from the book, but as you can see, Tally has her back to us and we see Shay’s expression.

I didn’t realize any of this (at least, the visual aspect of it) until I started to look for shots of Tally, and realized that there were very few of her. Most of the time, she’s in the background and Shay’s doing something. Because the comic is all about Shay.

But there is a great shot of Tally from near the end of the book, when they’re in the Smoke. So here’s frizzy-haired, not very confident, under-suspicion Tally:

Hope you like her.

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18. Double-Plus FAF

Two things before we get to Fan Art Friday:

1) Next Thursday, December 8 at 7PM EST, I’m going to be part of a Figment.com chat called “Forget English Class; What We Want to Do Is Write!” I’ll be joined by David Levithan, Robin Wasserman, and Lauren McLaughlin, whose book Scored inspired the panel.

This chat will be online, so ALL OF YOU CAN COME! Just click here for details.

We’ll be talking about how high-stakes testing warps education by taking holistic enterprises (like writing, thinking, and comprehension) and slices them into testable skills (like syllogisms and five-paragraph essays).

To prepare for this chat, Lauren and I actually took the essay section of the SAT, and had ourselves scored by a professional examiner. I haven’t seen our scores yet, but all will be revealed at the chat! (I think Figment are even putting my essay online. Yeesh.)

You can also click here for more about Scored, which is out now. It’s set in a dystopian world where every kid gets a Score when they turn 18, determining their prospects for the rest of their life.

2) There’s less than one week left in the Show Us Your Steampunk contest! Just take a picture of yourself in a steampunk outfit holding a copy of one of the Leviathan books, and you’re in. Click here for details.

Even if you don’t want to dress up, you should head over and check the contest out. There are some really awesome costumes and poses. (It’s a FaceBook thing, though, so you have to have an account.)

And now it’s time for FAF!

We begin with this Deryn chibi, by Jett-Wolfe98:

That is some cute stuff.

Also pinning our kawaii meter is this young-and-old diptych of Deryn by danakairi:

Yes, it’s Deryn in a dress. But it’s TINY WEE Deryn in a dress.

And to complete this chibi trifecta, here’s a lovely image of how Alek really feels about the air beast, from LilyFlowerG:

Okay, let’s leave the cute behind and switch to dark and brooding. Check out this moody picture of Alek in his engineering finery, from peibee-an-jay:

I always love seeing his princeliness covered in grease. Heh.

Now here’s some cosplay from Ben, who spent

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19. Behemoth in Paperback (US)

The day after tomorrow, Tuesday August 9, is the release date of Behemoth in paperback! So Keith and I made this poster for you all.

Click here for a wallpaper-size version.

And now for some more exciting news: The Ugies manga!

For those of you who haven’t seen this elsewhere on the interwebs, my OTHER big announcement at Comic Con was the upcoming manga based on the Uglies series. I say “based on” but rest assured, this isn’t simply the same story in graphic form. Instead, we’re telling much the same story as in the novels, but it’s all from Shay’s point of view. (So who’s we, you ask? More on that later.)

Now as you Uglies scholars know, Shay taught Tally everything she knew. Shay was involved in subversive activities long before the novels open, and was part of the Crims back then they were an ugly clique headed by . . . Zane. (Ugly Zane!)

And remember how Shay and Zane almost ran away to the Smoke together, but they both chickened out? Well, that’s the story they told Tally. But what really happened back then?

In these manga—three of them, about 180 pages each–we will tell all!

Okay, we includes me, Devin Grayson, Steven Cummings, and Yishan Li. That’s right, there are four of us. Here’s what we all do:

Devin is writing the scripts. She’s written lots of superhero comics, including a ton of Batman titles, but I was won over by a miniseries she created for Vertigo called User, which is about the fantasy lives of gamers in the real world.

Now you may be thinking, “Why didn’t you write it, Scott? Arne’t you, like, a writer and stuff?”

Rest assured, I outlined every book in detail, rewrote some bits, and approved every word. But, seriously, I don’t know how to write comics scripts! And part of wisdom is knowing what you can’t do. It’s been amazing to see Devin adapt this story to another medium, and get into the mind of Shay. (A great learning experience that I may put to use one day . . . )

Steven is the artist for the series. He’s drawn many western titles for DC and Marvel, and manga books for Tokypop and Udon. He lives in Japan, and has worked bravely through earthquakes, tsunamis, and nuclear meltdowns. Again, I’ve paid close attention to everything, approving all the characters, costumes, technology, and the architecture of the Smoke, New Pretty Town, and other locales. Of course, Steven brings his own flair to the characters’ expressions and movements, and to the look and feel of the future. For me, it’s kind of like directing actors who have their own style.

Yishan is doing the toning and lettering for the series. In other words, she shades Steven’s art and adds the word balloons. Key steps, and ones I never really thought about much before this project. But you’ll see below how Yishan’s shading “lights” the scene.

Let me show you how this all works, starting with page 12 of the first manga.

We start with the script:

PAGE 12, panel one
ECU on Shay’s interface ring as she gently puts it down on a bedside table.

1 SHAY:

Good night, stupid room.

Page 12, panel two
Pull back for our first establishing shot of Shay’s dorm room. It’s very small and very basic, the only truly decorative elements (IMPORTANT!) being huge software-

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20. You Manga Questions, Answered

Good news: the Forums are working again! But as you can see the interface doesn’t look all Leviathan-y anymore, which is sad. We’re going to get that fixed, but I figured it was more important to make them work again before making them boo-tiful.

That was not scheduled maintenance, by the way, just a tech’splosion followed by some updates that we had to do anyway. Sorry for your withdrawal symptoms! I hope you spent the extra time learning French or something useful like that.

Okay, now for your manga questions! (All taken from the last comments thread.)

Do you know where you will be going on the Goliath tour yet?

It’s almost confirmed. I will be posting the tour dates soon! Most of you will hate me, but that’s the way it works, because you outnumber me and are widely distributed. (You should, like, all clump together.)

People on the west coast will certainly be happy, and some people in the middle too. No plans for anything outside the US yet, but I will be doing something in Australia this next southern summer. (If you’re Brazilian, write my publishers and demand me! I want to go to there.)

Any particular reason you chose left to right instead of right to left?

This is original-English manga, which are usually done in the left-to-right way, cause that’s how we English speakers roll. I read both ways without much bother, as I’m sure most of you do, so I didn’t actually think about it.

Regarding the Uglies light novel in Japan- did you try to branch out and make the characters look different from that one?

My artist never saw those editions (even though he’s in Japan), so we weren’t starting with that set of images at all.

Where can we buy this manga?

AT ALL THE STORES (that sell manga or graphic novels) and on the usual internets. The publisher, Del Rey, has very wide distribution in stores, schools, and libraries, so it should be pretty easy to find.

Do you know when they’ll be available in stores?

May 2012. That’s as specific as I have so far.

You should, like, give us a slight sneakity-peakity every so often. Just enough to make us want it more, you know?

Yes, I do know. And I WANT you to want it more.

Luckily, there are lots of pages to show.

How, if at all, do you think the creation of this manga will influence the making of the movie? Do you think the casting director will try to chose actors based on their appearance in the manga, etc.?

Casting directors will probably pay no attention. With actors, it’s more about stuff like fame and chemistry and salary. But I have sent manga pages to Lola (the vfx company involved with the Uglies movie), and they’re doing “pre-visualizations” now, so it’s possible that the architecture and tech in the film will be influenced by Steven’s work.

There’s no concerted effort at consistency, however.

So….which big announcement was the Croy project?

The manga! As one of the original Crims, he’s in volume 1 quite a bit. Do you want to SEE HIM?

Anyway, will any pages be in colour, or is it all going to be in black and white?

Just black and white and shades of gray.

I honestly pictured dorm uniforms having a plaid kilt EXACTLY like the one in the illustration! Maybe someone important read my fanfic…JK LOLZ.

Yes. We ALL read your fan fic. And, yeah, manga is all about school uniforms.

What IS manga, anyway? What sets it apart from plain old comic books?

Well, as someone pointed out in the comments, “manga” is just the Japanese word for “comics.” Here it means, of course, comics in a style that started in Japan but that has become global in reach and influence.

Steven

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21. Oops

Forgot to do Fan Art Friday Fortnightly, but I’ll do it over the weekend. Promise!

In the meantime, here’s CL, Minzy, Dara, and Bom of the Korean girl-group 2NE1 with their latest video, “UGLY” . . .

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22. Fan Art Friday (now on Sunday!)

Yes, well. I’ve made it before the weekend ended. Fan Art Friday Fortnightly!

ComickerGirl has graced these pages before, but this is too funny to pass up. It shows Deryn and Alek doing some Full Metal Alchemist cosplay! Because you know Deryn would cosplay if she could, and would totally drag Alek along for laughs!

So I give you “Full Metal Darwinist”:

If you don’t know FMA, click here to see the relevant costumes. And then go read the manga and watch the anime (both of them!).

From Bridget, here are Alek and Deryn in a more clay-like form:

This is what we need, Leviathan stop-motion animation! Like Gumby, they could walk into other books and mess up the plots. Someone get on that! (And don’t forget to check out Bovril in the upper right corner.)

And now for you Uglies, from Seth, we have this painstaking rendering of New Pretty Town:

Hot-air balloons! Hovercars! Fireworks!

And from Star of Dusk, here’s a cool shot of Lilit:

I think Lilit is beloved of fan artists because she has such cool clothes. (Plus she’s awesome.) Her sleeve ties are the best. One day I’ll ask Keith where he sourced them from.

I’m pretty sure that IsabelStar has appeared on FAFF before, but this is so moody and lovely:

Click here for the bigness!

By the way, that one’s called “Austrian Princes Turning Gay.” Heh. But princes? Hmm.

Thanks to all our artists for your many efforts. If you want something included in FAFF, please send it to me, even if you’ve already sent it! (I get lots of mail and I lose track of some of it. It’s a thing I do. DON’T HATE ME.)

The next post on this blog will be ALL THE TOUR DATES. I’m very excited about seeing you guys soon (some of you *sniffs*), and about Goliath finally coming out. And I’m also excited about taking some time off after that.

What will I be doing next? Well, that’s an interesting question. There is, of course, the Uglies manga (aka the Croy Project) and the Manual of Aeronautics (aka the Leviathan Full-Color All Singing and Dancing Art Book). But there are also various secret projects which will be revealed here once they have taken some sort of publishable form.

Watch this space for revelations.

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23. Fan Art Friday, Cosplay Edition

Hey, everyone! I am headed to Sydney in a matter of days. DAYS!

But it’s almost Friday, so instead of packing I’ve spend the morning on this Hallowe’en FAF, starring you guys in wonderful steampunk and Uglies costumes. (Sorry if I’m missing a few names. I had a lot of these pics around.)

Let’s start with this awesome Stormwalker contraption:

That is one cool cosutme, though I fear it would be less than optimal for dancing. (Note that the kid on the right is wearing a Whoopie Cushion costume. Hmm.)

And here’s an awesome Mr. Sharp pumpkin:

I have a theory that the internets have improved pumpkin carving, because the potential audience for pumpkins is so much larger. Instead of mere dozens of people seeing your carving work, thousands will!

Here’s Dr. Barlow by Jett, complete with dog-with-streaked-fur-as-Tazza!

And now for a plethora of Deryns!

Sarah:

Lauren:

Sabrina:

Dixie:

And Lizzy:

And, because I am disorganized, another anonymous!

Julia sent me this goggle-gif:

And here’s a Deryn and

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24. Uglies Manga Cover

Hey, all. It’s Friday and time for FAF, but I’m delaying my weekly fan art feature till tomorrow.

Why? Because it’s time to reveal the cover for the Uglies manga, also known as Uglies: Shay’s Story!

The image is by Steven Cunmmings, the interior artist. It’s a picture of Shay herself, presumably just emerging from being made pretty. She has that pretty vacant look in her eyes. Of course, the book starts way before that, several months before the novels before the novels, in fact!

Click here for an interview with me and Devin Grayson, my co-writer on the manga, with Girls Read Comics Too. You’ll also get some images from the books.

Click here for my own FAQ, answering your questions about the books.

And here for the original announcement about the series back at San Diego Comic Con. More art to look at!

And finally, here’s the back cover of Shay’s Story, with all the promo copy.

See you tomorrow for Fan Art Friday (um, on Saturday).

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25. Fan Art Friday (catching up edition)

I’m finally catching up on my FAF backlog. There were two weeks of tour-FAF with a Halloween FAF in between, a missed week due to the Shay’s Story cover (and laziness), and of course all those weeks I missed during tour. But at long last FAF is moving forward!

Here’s one image that was given to me on tour, but was forgotten because it was handed to me on an iPhone, then emailed. (It’s made of PIXELS.) It’s from Alli, is called “NOOOO!” and is a Tesla’s-eye-view of a certain climactic event in Goliath.

Yes, the end of a tesla-sparkle-cane looks like an ouchy place to be.

I like this one of Deryn by Hillary, called “Miss Sharp.” Clearly she’s in female clothing, but this must be a bit after the Great War ends, because it’s 1920s-looking. (I think.)

Really cool clothes, actually. I think Deryn will look excellent in the ’20s, which will also be her 20s. (Alek and Deryn were both born in 1899, after all.)

I LOVE this whale-o-plane combination of Leviathan and How to Train Your Dragon by Adventaim!

It just makes me smile.

And here’s some hydrogen-sniffer love from ladygreyembyr:

I like the texture on this one. But man, hydrogen-sniffers are anxiety-making when you really look at them. That’s what I like about Keith—he’s not afraid to draw some disturbing stuff.

And for you Uglies fans whose ears just perked up, this just missed the Halloween cosplay edition. Specials!

I must say, that line never gets old. I know someone who’s getting it tattooed on their arms, so we may be seeing it here on FAF soon.

Okay, that’s only five FAs, but Friday in the US is drawing to a close, it’s done here in Sydney, and I need to make lunch!

See you early next week for a special poll. (You will enjoy it.)

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