The OS Buzz
The OS Takes the Bronze!
Thanks for all your encouragement, people! Last week in Los Angeles, the Jenkins Group announced the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards results. This year's contest attracted 3,175 total entries, with over 2,500 entries in the national categories and over 600 entries in the regional competition. Books came from 49 U.S. states (come on, North Dakota!), D.C., and U.S. Virgin Islands; 9 Canadian provinces (get with it, Northwest Territories!), and 16 countries around the world: Trinidad to Thailand, Croatia to Czech Republic, and France to Finland.
In the category of Graphic Novel/Drawn Book – Humor/Cartoon, the Opposite Sex won the Bronze IPPY medal! This is an amazing honor for me and all the people who helped push this dream along. I'm happy that I have readers like you you to help spread the word and validate this story. I wasn't able to make it out to the ceremonies because of my daughter's commencement exercises, but I'm sure it was fun.
If you've read the book, I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven't, it's worth the read. Thanks again to everyone. Spread the word!
Great OS review! Highest Rating!!!
A group of independent book readers and reviewers called R.A.W. SISTAZ (Reading and Writing SISTAZ) focuses on reading, writing, and discussing books primarily by African-American Authors. Mine was reviewed recently and got posted on their RECOMMENDED READING list! Check out their commentse by clicking HERE!
New OS Blog is UP!
It's HERE! A brand new blog designed specifically to discuss all things associated with the OPPOSITE series. I want this to be a place to gather and chat about the book, the characters and the community surrounding it. It's for you, the reader. When you get a chance, go check it out and say HELLO. There's also a treat in here as well. The blog is also being co-administrated by Michele! Got a comment for her? Add it to her blog musings. This link is here.
Partyin' with the OS at Karu & Y
Had a great time over at Karu & Y Ultralounge last friday. It was sponsored by a group called the Teacher's Lounge. You can read more about them HERE. It was a major opportunity for me to create a collection of new readers and greet a few current ones. I made some great connections which I definitely intend to follow up on.
Here's the quaint little booth we set up shop in during the event.
Trish created this cool display of my books on our table.
The Live Poets Society and Funk Master Olly provided outstanding smooth jazz music and "spoken word" masterpieces.
Good friends came by to party with us, including songstress Shenita Hunt, and her manager Richard Milhomme.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the festivities. It was a lot of fun. We sold a bunch of books and picked up a some new fans for our mailing list. See you at the next event!
Here's a cool article written by Miami Dade College about me and the book. Check it out!
That's right! The G Shop just opened with my new line of promotional clothing It;s an ambitious task to say the least, but I started getting a few request a while back, and decided to give it a shot. The first wave is a test set. I'm looking for the right selection of items to round out the collection. There's stuff in there from both the OS and OA storyline, so all the readersfeel free to browse. I think the prices are reasonable, and the reputation of cafepress is pretty solid. Click HERE and pop on over and have a look. Let me know if there's something you'd like to see added to the collection! Thanks again for giving me the courage to try this! :^)
Sybil was kind enough to pose for a photo on the 2007 Tom Joyner Fantatstic Voyage Cruise. It was good to see her again, and finally get to thank her in person for the foreword. I also met a few book club members on the cruise. They've asked to use my book as their discussion topic. I'll let you know who steps up first. In the photo is my wife Trish, Moi, Sybil Wilkes and Lorri Glenn.
The 2nd most fascinating part of any project (after the actual completion of it), is the buzz that surrounds it once it goes public. This new space on the OS home page will be dedicated to all the news that's being generated around the OS novel. It's sort of a collection of stories and interviews about the book that have popped up on other web sites. Here's the first:
Geoffrey Philp is the author of the novel, Benjamin, My Son, a book of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien, and five poetry collections including Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas. His poems and short stories have appeared in Small Axe, the Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories, and the Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse. Here's a little interview I did for his popular blog. Thanks for the opportunity, Geoff!
5 Questions with Sam Grant: April 18, 2007
What this "OS thing" is all about...
After a long hiatus, I've finally decided to do something with a product I put together back in 1986. During the eighties I was a storyboard artist for several department stores, product developers and music videos. I often spent time practicing to draw as fast as I could to get more efficient. Sometimes I'd give myself a simple storyline to see if I could solve it visually. While working on a video for MTV, I started a short story that inspired me to create this large body of work I came to call "The Opposite Sex."
The OS Storyline
Michael Chandler, former little league superstar, suddenly stopped playing baseball about 4 years ago, and took a profound interest in the Sciences. However, that irrational decision has come back to haunt him, as he, along with family and friends, discovers that life has a strange sense of humor. An accident in the Chemistry Class causes a genetic mutation that produces a new student, Michele Chandler. This creates a whole new set of challenges for everyone involved, as well as providing access to old wounds buried beyond memory. Once these events are set into motion, it becomes clear the no one will ever be the same again.
The Background Info
After developing several characters to flesh out the plot, I set out to accomplish my goal. I originally thought the story could be told in about 50 pages, but it ended up being over 140 pages long! Since I never intended it to be an actual comic, I didn't work from pencil outlines. Over 90% of the pages in the book were drawn from scratch in ink, then immediately colored the page with design markers. Roughly, only about 10 to 15 panels in the entire book were traced from original pencil sketches. I worked on it off and on for about 11 months, filling three Graphics 360 pads. Next, I tore all the pages out and glued them at the spine into a hugh book. After a brief showing to some of my closest friends, I shelved it, and moved on. Soon afterwards, I started getting mostly graphic design work and almost no storyboarding. By the end of the decade, I'd totally stopped working on my marker techniques. Once software applications like Photoshop® and Illustrator® came on the scene, I stopped using markers all together.
During the year 2002, I rediscovered the novel in a cardboard box out in the garage. I wondered if I could revisit the book again, this time as a nostalgic piece. With the help of my co-workers, some willing students and the latest technology, I scanned all the drawings, color corrected them in Photoshop®, and typeset all the word balloons. Originally, I wrote the story as I drew it, so it didn't flow very well. However, rewriting the completed story was a breeze. The book was finally complete.
Just show me the comic!
I know, I know... Just one more thing: I want to thank all the people who helped me produce this revision of the book. Thank you, Dennis Daley, Milton Alvarez, Elio Arteaga, Connie Zimet, and David Smith for all of your input. I hope all of you enjoy reading this as much as I did drawing it so many years ago. You can jump to the comic previews by going up the top links or by clicking right here.