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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Chad W. Beckerman, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 16 of 16
1. Evolution of the SIDEKICKS Jacket

Batman has Robin, Wonder Woman has Wonder Girl, and Phantom Justice has Bright Boy, a.k.a. Scott Hutchinson, an ordinary schoolkid by day and a superfast, superstrong sidekick by night, fighting loyally next to his hero.

But after an embarrassing incident involving his too-tight spandex costume, plus some signs that Phantom Justice may not be the good guy he pretends to be, Scott begins to question his role. With the help of a fellow sidekick, once his nemesis, Scott must decide if growing up means being loyal or stepping boldly to the center of things.

Sidekicks, here is a project that I thought would be easy. After all its comics related and I spent a good portion of my high school career face down in them (nerd!). So this should be a no brainer! Wrong. The problem turned out to be I was thinking to much. Stupid me. Here is a little tale of the Sidekicks cover.

After seeing Kick-Ass I really wanted this book to have a similar design approach. If not just totally ripping of the branding. Horrible to admit but true. My admiration would be followed soon with problems.

Only difference we didn't have actors so I enlisted Greg Horn to start work on sketches of our hero. Greg had just finished work on Jack's other book The Big Splash which was now in paperback. ( For more on the evolution of The Big Splash in hard cover by Nathan Fox click here)

Below are the samples of Greg's work that won me over.

1 Comments on Evolution of the SIDEKICKS Jacket, last added: 4/20/2011
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2. Holy Pickles! I am now a CREATIVE DIRECTOR!

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.”- Robert Frost (NUTS!)

At Abrams, Susan Van Metre has been promoted to svp and publisher and will now oversee all comic arts books in addition to Abrams Children's and Amulet Books. Charles Kochman is promoted to editorial director for Abrams ComicArts, adding oversight of children's comics and graphic novels, reporting to Van Metre. Chad W. Beckerman moves up to creative director and oversee design for all comic arts books, Abrams Children's and Amulet.

7 Comments on Holy Pickles! I am now a CREATIVE DIRECTOR!, last added: 11/12/2010
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Earlier this summer Jeff Kinney and his trusted team ( Charles Kochman, Jason Wells and myself ) took a trip to the Macy's Studios just over the Hudson river in New Jersey. Here they make all the floats and balloons that are seen in the parade Thanksgiving morning. It was like visiting Santa's workshop.

Jeff Kinney and team arrive at the Macy's Studio in New Jersey

Who knew the balloons started out as clay sculptures?
This was the first time Jeff was seeing his creation, Greg Heffley in 3D
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4. 100 Scopenotes BLOG interview


I was just interviewed by the blog 100 Scope Notes. Travis Jonker my interviewer is an elementary school librarian since 2005, started 100 Scope Notes in the golden days of 2007.

In addition to posting children’s literature reviews here, Travis also periodically straightens his tie and reviews for School Library Journal, and has been a judge for the Cybils Awards.

He lives in Michigan.

Hope you enjoy the interview it was a lot of fun to do.

0 Comments on 100 Scopenotes BLOG interview as of 1/1/1900
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5. I just Wimped myself!

1 Comments on I just Wimped myself!, last added: 3/6/2010
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6. Zachary Gordon a.k.a. Greg Heffley visits

Today we will be attending the premiere screening of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York. I will admit I am kind of excited. Working on this series as been such a crazy ride and at times daunting. But the best thing that has come from it is our 'Wimpy family" here at ABRAMS. Charlie, Jason, Scott and Veronica, Jacquie, Anet, Michael and Jeff.

At the end of October 2009 Zachary Gordon and his mom Linda had a chance to visit the ABRAMS offices. We had a blast that day even though I can't really recall what happened. Besides a lot of juvenile behavior and jokes. We had met Zach and the other actors a few weeks before on set in Vancouver.

Here are a few pictures of a few members of the WIMPY team below

Zachary Gordon a.k.a. Greg Heffley visits my office

Charles Kochman (Executive Editor), Jason Well (Publicist),
Zachary Gordon (Actor), Chad W. Beckerman (Art Director)

Zach enjoys the comfort of my awesome chair

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7. A Look Back on Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Book and the Movie by Charles Kochman

Last week the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie premiered and now there is talk of producing a second film. But how did we get here? It just seems like yesterday that we started work on the cover. Which was over 3 years ago now. The first time I ever heard anything about Diary of a Wimpy Kid was through a PW announcement informing us that Charles Kochman had acquired a book told in cartoons. It was the first time I had seen an announcement like that about a book I was going to be working on before working on it. I had yet to work with Charlie since he was an editor for the Abrams imprint and had yet to work on anything in the Children's Dept. Not knowing what lay ahead there was an air of excitement around this book from the day one. Charles Kochman took a moment last week to reflect back about the movie and how Wimpy Kid came to be.

Charles Kochman: It’s late in the afternoon on Sunday, February 26, 2006, and I’ve been working the New York Comic-Con since Friday. A young man walks up to the Abrams booth and we begin to talk about Mom’s Cancer, a Web comic we’d just published as a graphic novel that was starting to get a lot of attention. He then asks if we would ever consider an online comic that was written for younger readers. “If the material was right, sure,” I say. “I can’t see why not.” The man then hands me a 6 x 9 spiral-bound packet of eighteen pages. There’s a simple line drawing on the front and a title scrawled across the top, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I looked down at his proposal, smiled, then looked up, the eight year old in me thinking, Why wasn’t there something like this when I was a kid? I offer encouragement, leafing through the pages, and let him know I’d be in touch after I read it and looked at his Web site. The man walks away into the crowd and, as he told me later, called his brother and said, “I just met the guy who’s going to publish my book.” Little did he know, but as I watched him walk down the aisle of the Javitz Center that afternoon, I thought the same thing.

That night I went home, ate, and sorted through my stack of swag from three days at the con. Spread out on my bed were comics, books, posters, postcards, buttons, and proposals, each in its own pile. And then I unpacked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and read the first page and started to laugh. By the time I got to page seven and the Reading Group titles Einstein as a Child and Bink Says Boo, Jeff Kinney and Greg Heffley had won me over completely.

1 Comments on A Look Back on Diary of a Wimpy Kid the Book and the Movie by Charles Kochman, last added: 3/30/2010
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8. Interview Adventure series—Julia Denos • 6

Julia Denos is the illustrator of DOTTY (FALL 2010) by Erica S. Perl. She doesn't have an imaginary friend of her own, but she does have a loyal feline friend, Serif, who is black with just one white dot on his chest. He doesn't like to wear a leash, but he follows her where ever she goes. Julia grew up in a the small Connecticut town of Cheshire. Oddly I too am from this same town.

Julia's little house in Cheshire, Connecticut (age 9 depiction).

CW: We all got our start somewhere . . . where did you go to school to learn your craft?

JD: My mom was my first teacher. She wrote songs, poetry, helped us put on plays, and encouraged creativity in every moment. We went to the Yale Art Museum often–I liked to stare at Hopper's "Rooms By the Sea"–and to the library to hunt for the books wearing Reading Rainbow stickers.

5 Comments on Interview Adventure series—Julia Denos • 6, last added: 4/23/2010
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9. Art Preview! Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies

A Sneak Peak at the art of ATTACK OF THE FLUFFY BUNNIES
(even though Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies is in-stores as of Mid-May)

Illustrated by
Dan Santat

Story by Andrea Beaty

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10. Rumspringa

So, we were in Amish country this weekend to celebrate our 2-year anniversary.
It's an interesting place, and I have a lot to say. But I'll wait until I've got some visual accompaniment.

Suffice it to say--and I'm speaking as a fairly religious/spiritual person myself--there are very few places in the world where one can buy a cone of farm fresh ice cream AND get a free anti-abortion pamphlet at the same time. One-stop shopping!

Synergy. It's the wave of the future.

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11. Iggy Peck, Architect

Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams, 2007

My first thought when I saw this book was how perfect it would be for the GT Architecture unit taught in my local school district. With humor and rhyme, Andrea Beaty describes young Iggy Peck, who has a passion for building even as a baby.

Young Iggy Peck is an architect
and has been since he was two,
when he built a great tower--in only an hour--
with nothing buy diapers and glue.

Nether his mother, the neighbors or his second grade teacher, Miss Lila Greer fully appreciate his talent. Thankfully, his building zeal is not daunted by his teacher's displeasure and he figures out how to construct a new bridge from odds and ends when the old one collapses, and traps his class on an island.

The story rolls off the reader's tongue easily. Illustrator David Roberts has evoked an authentic feel by making canny use of quadrille paper for the background of the cover and title page.

Iggy's architectural efforts are familiar which is half the fun of this book. The tower he constructs out of stinky diapers is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He creates Neuschwanstein from pieces of chalk. The St. Louis Arch is constructed from "pancakes and coconut pie" and he recreates the Sphinx from mud and dirt in his yard.

I also noted the book design is by Chad W. Beckerman who blogs at Mishaps and Adventures. I was already a fan of his work.

Whether you are introducing the concepts of architecture of just celebrating the urge to build that all kids enjoy, Iggy is a splendid little fellow and there is no doubt, he has a bright future a head of him as we are left with images such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, the Acropolis on the last pages.

Buy it for your library, now!

0 Comments on Iggy Peck, Architect as of 4/29/2008 5:29:00 PM
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12. The Evolution of the 3-2-3 Detective Agency Cover

in The Disappearance of Dave Warthog
By Fiona Robinson

One of my favorite books on the Fall 2009 Amulet list is 3-2-3. I have talked about evolution Michael Buckley's NERDS in dept and will soon be posting about Lauren Myracles Luv Ya Bunches but right now its time to take a look at the evolution of the 3-2-3 cover design.

First a little bit about the book
Fast-paced, full-color, and divided into short, easy-to-read chapters, this is a wonderful graphic novel for younger readers, offering a seamless transition between picture books and novels.

On the 3:23 Express to Whiska City, five unlikely friends meet and decide to form a detective agency. There is Jenny the wise donkey, Roger the gourmet dung beetle, Priscilla the theatrical penguin, Slingshot the hyperactive sloth, and Bluebell, the shy but brave rat. With little training but a lot of pluck, they set up shop in Whiska City and soon tackle their first mystery: a rash of disappearances linked to a pink poodle’s beauty salon.

A funny, clever detective story for young graphic novel fans!.

On one of Fiona's many enjoyable visits to our offices she dropped off these 2 pulp comics, AMAZING STORIES. Which I took some direct and indirect influence from. The trick was to introduce the characters in a pulp comic setting while remaining true to the Fiona's voice.
Here are three of our first attempts.

We all loved the humor an wit of Fiona's characters along the spine but how to make the type work was still and issue.

In all three of the above the title type was a problem. No matter what we tried the design forced us to put the copy in a box which just didn't seem to work. Also, it became repetitive to show all five characters along the spine and in the main image. There were to many parts, to many things going on. Below is an attempt at simplifying the above ideas.

This direction seem to click at the time. We liked it enough to present it and the other ideas at our weekly cover meeting for discussion. The conversation in the meeting turned to a confusion over why the monkey was hypnotized and whether this was the image that was best for the book. We also talked about what was more important, introducing the characters or telling the audience that this is a pulp mystery graphic novel. At the moment we were displaying all these ideas yet nothing was working 100%. So we were sent back to the drawing board.

Almost a month went by before I was able to take another go at rethinking the design Luckily we were ahead on this book so I had time to waste. But more importantly time to step back and take another look from a far.

Knowing what we needed to be on the cover helped going forward.
1. Introduce the characters
2. Pulp comic design influence
3. Simple design/Iconic Image
4. Communicating that the book is a mystery.
5. Setting up a design for a possible series if needed.

On a rainy Thursday afternoon Fiona and I sat down in my dark office and I sketched this up while listening to Fiona's ideas.

We wanted to somehow keep the circle character drawings from the first cover comps. Can any one say BACK COVER?!

Fiona's Final cover art

Back cover hand drawn text

Paperback textBack cover hand drawn text

Hardcover text

Back cover text plus illustration

A needed graphic element hinting at a mystery and an important plot point.Final cover design.

Final Paperback design
Final Hardcover with Flaps design

About the author
Fiona Robinson is the author-illustrator of The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-full Tale. Publishers Weekly praised her “flair for humor tinged with heart.” Her work has been honored by the Royal Academy of Arts and been featured in many gallery shows. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Available in two editions:
Paperback, and hardcover with jacket

80 pages, full color, 6 3⁄4 x 9 3⁄8"
PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-8109-7094-6
HARDCOVER ISBN: 978-0-8109-8489-9
US $9.95 CAN $12.95 PB
US $17.95 CAN $23.50 HC

1 Comments on The Evolution of the 3-2-3 Detective Agency Cover, last added: 8/6/2009
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Jacket and Case covers

Check out my copy of NERDS. Fresh from the printer. I know . . . you're jealous. In a month it can be yours.

2 Comments on NERDS! BOOKS ARE IN!, last added: 8/12/2009
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1 Comments on NERDS BOOK LAUNCH PARTY PHOTOS, last added: 9/14/2009
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15. On Press in Hagerstown, Maryland for the DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS cover

A few weeks ago I traveled down to the Lehigh Phoenix Color plant in Hagerstown, Maryland for an on press check of the cover printing for DIARY OF A WIMPY KID : DOG DAYS. My main goal was to make sure that the color yellow was printing correctly. It was!

3 Comments on On Press in Hagerstown, Maryland for the DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS cover, last added: 10/2/2009
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The long dog days of summer are over! We spent much of the spring and summer working on Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days from the cover to the interior and then the intense marketing campagin. Finally we get to relax and celebrate our hard work. That is until book five . . .

But today is for celebrating. I have been on a train since 6 am headed to my college town of Providence, Rhode Island for Jeff's first signing at the Providence Place Mall ( which was just being built when I was a sophmore) today starting at 11am. We are expecting up to 4,000 people. It's going to be a long day. I'll be sure to post pictures ASAP.

Hope everyone enjoys the book.

3 Comments on IT'S HERE! DOG DAYS, last added: 10/14/2009
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