>> from the library ofcongress in washington, dc. >> nora krug: thank you and welcome to the national bookfestival, now in its 16th year. sorry that i'm not raina. i have to keep you two moreminutes until she comes out. but my name is nora and i'm abooks editor at the washington post and we are a chartersponsor of the festival. and what can i say? we all love raina.
this book, i just gave to mydaughter who's seven, last week, and we were in a bookstore andshe didn't have anything to say and i asked her how'd she likethe book, how was it going. she didn't say anything. and then i said, you know, nextweekend, i might be meeting that author, what do you think? do you like her? and then i just was about to saysomething else and she turned around and said those words that everyparent wants to hear, "mom,
stop asking me questions. i'm reading." so, i really want to thank rainafor, you know, we're now already on, i think, her third orfourth of this week and i've got more comingin the mail, but anyway. so we have, of course, there's"smile," "sisters" and "ghosts" and "baby-sitters club" and i betyou've all experienced what i have and i know thousands of other peoplefeel this way because i just saw, noticed that raina has, i think,five books on the bestseller list,
in the new york timesbestseller list this week which is a pretty amazingachievement and very, very much well-deserved. she's really inspired a lotof young readers and i see-- love to see all of you out here. i just have one smallbit of housekeeping. it's that i hope you all were able to get your books signedearlier today. she's not going to be able tobe signing after this event,
so i hope you were able to do that. she loves to meet you all butwe've got a lot of you here. so, without furtherado, raina telgemeier. [ cheering and applause ] >> raina telgemeier: hi, guys. how's everybody doing? awesome. so, i'm rainaand i think we're going to just quickly do a test tomake sure my clicker works. it does, excellent.
so, i'm the creator of some graphicnovels, "smile," "sisters," "drama," "the baby-sitters club"graphic novels, and my newest graphicnovel is called "ghosts." and to introduce youguys to this book, what i'd love to do is get acouple of people to come up here and read a chapter with me on stage. so, we need two readers. we need somebody to play cat who'sthe older sister and she's kind of-- she's a little sarcastic and she'sa little like not happy to be here.
so, i guess i need somebodywho's really not happy to be here at all today, like justreally having a horrible time. are you having a horrible timetoday, with a hat, my friend? can you fake it? you're a good actor. let's get you up on stage. all right. and now we need somebody to playmaya who's the little sister and she is a ball of energy.
she is excited about everything. you also need to be a verygood reader to play this role. are you a good reader? >> yes. >> raina telgemeier: ok. here's the thing though, i thinkwe need to stand off the stage so that we can seethe screen better. so, come on down. now, i've gotten you up here.
and i actually have a jobfor the audience as well. so, what i want for you guys to dois to do all of the sound effects. so, we need a rehearsalvery quickly. this doesn't require you guysto yell because there are so many people in this room. but if we can do a sound effect fora cellphone like this on the screen, like what would that sound like? it's good. and then what about this one?
you're going to see this soundeffect three times in this story. so the first time, iwant it to be very quiet. so let's try that real quiet. ok, then slightly louder. and then super loud. is this going to be so good? ok, what about this one? how about this? so this one's a little different.
maya has cystic fibrosisand that means that she wears this special vest tohelp kick the mucus out of her lungs and make it easierfor her to cough up. so for this one, i want thishalf of the audience do the sound of maya's vest whichyou see on screen. so let's try that from here on over. ok. and you guys on thisside of the room get to pound on your chest while you sing. all right, now everybodyall together, please.
amazing. all right. so this story starts theway every good story does, out of fake in-n-out burgerbecause i can't use in-n-out as copyright infringementin my books. and now, cat and maya, you guysare going to stand next to me. we have to share the microphone. we're going to read off the screen. dad starts off by saying "onedouble-back combo, one cheese-back with fries, a double napoleonshake," and then maya says--
>> don't forget my soda! >> raina telgemeier:here you go, girls. >> do they have double-backburger in our new town, dad? >> raina telgemeier:i don't think so, cat. they only have them downhere in southern california. >> what are we even goingto eat in our new town? >> raina telgemeier: we are moving. up north and to the coast. dad got a new job, but we allknow the real reason we're going.
my little sister, maya. she's not a healthy kid. i'm trying not to be selfish. the text says, "hey cat, mybubbe is cooking dinner tonight. you want to come over? oh, right, i forgot." but it's hard. you ok back there, cat? >> yeah. i'm ok.
>> raina telgemeier:maya has cystic fibrosis. it's a thing you're born with. it affects breathing and digestion. how about a little music? click. and this is thepart where i tell you guys that i could not use theactual lyrics from "frozen." so instead of using those lyrics,we used "let it out, let it out. can't hold it in, got to shout." and there's no cure.
mom and dad are draggingus to this gloomy place, bahia de la luna, california. they say the sun only shineshere 62 days of the year. when i heard that, i'd said. >> ew, i'd rather die. >> raina telgemeier: whichdid not go over very well. >> i'm going to miss ariand maddie and hibah. >> raina telgemeier: of course, idon't want to die and i want maya to be as healthy as possible.
duh! >> you mean all of my friends? what about your friends? >> they're my friends, too. >> raina telgemeier: cat? >> yes, maya, they'reyour friends, too. >> raina telgemeier:this is it, girls. >> the green one? >> raina telgemeier:no, the little red one.
>> cat, this place is so cool. >> mmm. >> i can't believewe get to live here. look, look, look, theocean is so close. >> it's freezing. i'm going inside. so dark in here. >> raina telgemeier:what do you think, cat? >> it's dark.
>> raina telgemeier: it's perfect. >> ha. >> cat! gasp, pant. come see my new-- come,come downstairs. come see my new room! >> ok, i'm coming. hey, it's cozy in here. >> watch this. cannonball!
cough, cough, cough. >> raina telgemeier: it's about timefor your breathing treatment, maya. oh, oh, oh, yeah. the vest helps loosenthe mucus in her lungs. her soul does not needany loosening, though. >> mom? >> raina telgemeier: maya'svest just blew a fuse, sweetie. you ok up there? >> yeah, i just-- i just don'tknow this house very well yet.
>> raina telgemeier: whydon't you take your sister to explore the town while we workon getting the power back on? and so-- >> oh, it's a secret pathway. >> maya! we don't knowwhat's down there. ha. >> maybe this path willlead us to-- kitty! >> don't touch it! >> why not?
it's so cute. >> because you know what they say about letting a blackcat cross your path. it's bad luck. and you had enough bad luck lately. come on, let's seewhere this thing leads. i'm actually feeling cold. >> raina telgemeier: oh no. [ inaudible remark ]
>> ok. whoa. >> raina telgemeier:awesome job, you guys. thank you. you can have a seat. [ applause ] ok. where's sheila marie? i missed-- there she is. ok. i forgot. i knew i was going to forget.
i want to take a selfie withyou guys, can we do that? ok. we might have to take twobecause it's such a big crowd. so, i've been doing this at everyevent that i do and then i put them on instagram and i'm goraina there. so, everybody here, it's best ifyou hold up your books or your arms and look as amazing as possible. so, one, and then oneon this direction. yeah. right side of the room. ok. thanks so much you guys.
so, quickly, i'm going totalk a little bit about comics and about why i makethem, how i make them, starting with my influenceas in my inspiration because the number onequestion that comics creators and writers get askedis "what inspired you, what influenced your work?" and for me, it kind ofgoes back to something kind of important, cartoonson television. i love anything animated,"the smurfs"
and "scooby-doo," anything disney. i also love to read and some of my favorite books wererealistic and temporary fiction. that means books about kidswho where kind of like me. so a lot of my favorites were thingslike the "the baby-sitters club" and judy blume and "ramona" books. and then i discovered comic strips when i was nine yearsold in the newspaper. the first comic strip i fell inlove with was "calvin and hobbes"
which is about a boy namedcalvin and his tiger, hobbes. and these two have bigimaginations, they're very funny. i love reading this comic strip. so it was very interesting, but itwas also just super fun to look at. i love the drawings. it's just minds on paper and yet to meet these charactersfelt like they were alive. my other favorite comicwas "for better or for worse" by lynn johnston.
this is a comic about a veryaverage suburban family. there's a mom and a dadand a brother and a sister and i also have a mom and adad and a brother and a sister. so it's kind of like reading aboutmy own life, except in comics. uniquely about "for betteror for worse" is the fact that the charactersall age in real time. so every year, they would getolder and so with i and i was about the same age as the kids. so it was almost like wewere growing up together.
it was almost like they were my nextdoor neighbors or my best friends and not comic strip characters. so the lines were very blurred between what was realand what was fiction. and then when i was 10, mydad gave me this book to read. it's called "barefoot gen" acartoon story of hiroshima. so this was sort ofa true life account of the author's experienceliving through the atomic bombing of japan during world war ii andso i started to read this book.
it was about these kids and they ranaround and they sing and they dance and they're very silly and iwas actually kind of enjoying it and at the end of the book, thebomb falls and half the characters in the story actually die. and so when i read this,three things happen. number one, i was really mad at mydad for giving me this book to read. number two, i was madat such a horrible thing that happened in the world. and number three, i was mad becausei thought that comics were supposed
to be fun, i thought they weresupposed to make you laugh and feel happy and thisbook did the opposite. so, it was kind of like the rughad been pulled out from under me but it made me aware of the fact that comics could be incrediblypowerful ways to tell stories, any kind of story you want. so i sort of filed thataway in my head for later. and this is what theinterior looked like. it was a manga.
it was created in the 70s in japan. it was in black and white. but i went back toreading fun stuff. so, "bone" by jeff smithis something i discovered when i was in college. anybody here read "bone"by jeff smith? awesome. so, those of you thathave your hands in the air, did you guys read this book incolor or in black and white? i'm hearing mostly color,a few black and whites.
when i read "bone" it looked likethis, it was a black and white comic and that's because jeff smith,the artist and the writer, used to self-publish and thatmeans he was spending his own money to print and distribute it and it'sa lot cheaper to do that with black and white comics than it isto do so with color ones. so that's how influences work. you put everything into the blenderinside of your brain and what comes out are the types ofthings you like to draw, the kinds of storiesyou like to tell.
it's all influence going inside ofyou and then what comes out is kind of your own stamp on things. and so now, i'm going to showyou some of my early work. because another thing people alwayswant to know is were you always as good at drawing and i'mlike, "yeah, obviously." so what you see on theleft there is a scribble from just before my second birthday. and just like most kids,my parents gave me crayons and paper to play with.
and i just really liked it. so i just kept going andeventually, i got better. what you see on the right, i believefrom around my fourth birthday and i don't know why theseare people with pizza faces but i mean i was, you know,they don't look like more than a scribble at that point. that's me and my sister amara. she is five years younger than me. so, for a brief period iwas a better artist than her
but she then very quicklybecome a better artist than me. and you can see a few of mydrawings on the wall back there. it's, i believe, the easter bunnybecause it's a rabbit with a basket and then a mermaid thereon the right of my head. when i was in first grade, i had this amazing teacher namedmiss stoopenkoff and she made up for her silly soundingname by being one of the best teachersi have ever had. she gave us this supercool assignment
where she gave us each a diary. and so one day, she'dwrite us a letter and in the next day we'd writeher a letter in response. we did this for the entire year andsince i was just learning to write, i found this diary pretty recently and i could see my ownwriting skills improve over the course of that year. but what i also realized and ididn't even remember this part was that i used to makecomics in my little diary.
so, as really as agesix i was making comics. i never even read acomic at this point and yet somehow my brain wasjust tuned to thinking in words and pictures together. so, this is my graduationprogram from fifth grade. you can certainly see the influenceof "for better or for worse" on my work at this point and that's on the same time i startedmaking my own comic strips. and here is the thing, iwas not very good at it.
in fact, i would sayi was terrible at it. i didn't know how to putpanel borders on things. i didn't really know howto put dialog together and how to do punch lines. but the point is i stuck withit and over the course of time, i got a little bit better. i'm not saying my comicswere funny at this point. i'm just saying that i kept with it and eventually i gota little bit better.
an illustration from myseventh grade yearbook. at this point, my wholegoal was just to observe. so what were my friends wearing? what do they look like? how do they stand? what was there body language? all that stuff wasreally important to me. and i kept a diary in comicformat just like i did in first grade pretty much allthe way to the end of college.
so anything my friends andi did, i would illustrate. this is us going to thesupermarket for lunch and talking about the gross types ofdeli meats that they had. i was the illustrator formy high school newspaper. this one was about prom dates,which type of prom date you were. and eventually, i had to figure outwhere i was going to go to college and i chose to go to a place calledthe school of visual arts which is in new york city and i movedthere all the way from california. so, why that school in particular?
well, you can go there and youcan take painting and sculpture, photography, but you can also gothere and get a degree in cartooning which makes your mom really happythat you have like a diploma for your wall thatsays comics on it. but for some reason, oh, well, thisis another reason i wanted to go to new york is becausenew york is awesome. "sesame street" told me that onceupon a time and then the movie "oliver & company" sold it to meagain when i was a little older. so, yes, you can take allthose usual art school things.
this is a differentpresentation than i usually get. it's kind of little rusty here. so here is the thing, i decidedto be an illustration major at the school and that just meansyou're getting better at focusing on single images, paintingand drawing to make your singleimages beautiful. but i'd go to my painting class,for example, what you see here. the teacher would sayi would like a painting about a magical transformationand i'd go, ok, well, that's cool.
how about if i do twopaintings instead? and maybe after that paintingis done, i'll do three. could i also maybe do four? i mean five? my teachers were like, "raina,just one painting," and i was like lots and lots of paintings. but what do they look like when youline them all up against the wall? they look like a comic, right? that's all comics are.
they are just words and picturesand sequence that tell a story. so we did take a lot of cartooningclasses there and this is where i just had the most fun and imade comics like this one which is about the fact that my college had alot of stairs and this one which is about my very first cup of tea, asuper fascinating subject, right? this is the entire comic,just one page, and my goal is to capture a mood and a memoryon paper and that's what most of my short stories were about wasjust these little memories i had on my head.
so i took all these ideas, all theseshort stories and collected them into something called minicomicsand that simply means a comic that you make yourself by hand. so i would go to the xeroxmachine, i would print my pages out and then fold them and staple them into these little bookletscalled minicomics. i called my series "take-out." i did seven issues, each one was12 pages long, black and white, short stories, mostly about mychildhood, and altogether i managed
to print and distribute about 7000copies of these little comics. and it's not like i just walked atmy front door and said, hey guys, i have comics, who wants them? i had to figure out how toget them into people's hands. so, i would go to comicbookstores and i would tell them that i was a creator and ask ifthey wanted to sell my work there. and so they would takehalf the commission and i would take the other half. i sold my books for a dollara piece, and that meant
that sometimes i geta check in the mail for like $2.50 and i was like yeah. but that's what's cool about comics since there is almostno barrier for entry. so, anybody who wantsto do this can. you don't need that many tools. you can use a computeror you can use a pencil. all you have to do is printyour books out and you can say that you're a self-publisherwhich is really empowering.
i also used to go to comicconventions a lot and this is where, you know, 150,000 peoplewho love comics get together and gig out for a weekend. so it's like the national bookfestival, only it's all comics. and you get a lot of people whoare fans, you get a lot of cosplay, you meet fellow creators, you meetwriters and artists and editors and all of the big publishers go. so it's marvel comics anddc comics and archie comics. and in the center of allof that, self-publishers
like me could also get a small table and sell my work tothat same audience. so one of the people i met at a comic convention wasa guy named david saylor who was the editorial directorat scholastic and was starting up something calledthe graphics in print. and that means that scholastic,who's the publisher of, you know, the "harry potter" seriesand "the hunger games" and all this other amazing stuff,
was going to startpublishing comics, too, and the first comic theypublished was "bone" by jeff smith. so if you've read it in color it's because scholasticpublished it that way. and they asked me if i wanted towork with them and i was like, oh my gosh, that's so exciting. but the problem is the longest storyi had ever written at that point in my life was eight pages long. graphic novels tend to belike a hundred pages long.
so i was like what am igoing to do for these guys? and the answer was to go backto something i was a huge fan of when i was a kid and thatwould be "the baby-sitters club" and this is a fan art i did of "the baby-sitters club"when i was 10 years old. so, i really have been afan for a very long time. so what i ended up doing was to takethis old-favorite series in mind and to adapt it intographic novel format. so what on earth does thatmean, to adapt something?
well, this is what the books used tolook like, just words, no pictures. but of course, these novelswere full of exposition and that means it was describingwhat was happening in the scene. so it would say claudiais sitting on her bed, she is wearing this particularoutfit, she is eating milk duds and she turns to kristy who issitting in the director's chair and she says-- so that's whati would draw and then all of the dialog that was in thebooks went right into the comics. so this is what they lookedlike when i was done with them.
and you might notice that somethingis missing which is the color. all of my comics used tobe in black and white. so, we didn't think it wastoo strange for me to publish "the baby-sitters club"comics in black and white. but, of course, 10 years laterwe realize that kids really do like to read color comics so thesebooks have been republished in color by scholastic just recently and it'sthe same colorist who worked with me on "sisters" and "ghosts." his name is braden lamband he is fantastic.
so it's been really amazing to seethese books get sort of a new life. and in fact, people alwayswant to know if there are more "baby-sitters club" graphicnovels coming and i say there are but i'm not going to bethe person to draw them. so, but here's what's amazing. they're being drawn by anartist named gale galligan. she used to be my assistant. so, she's somebody who'svery near and dear to me and she's an amazing artist
and i think the first bookcomes out next summer. so this is going to be done in the impossible threebsc graphics number five. so i think you guys willlike that a lot too. so let me talk about "smile." thanks. so "smile" is kind of the book that changed my lifeand it's a true story. and for those of you thathaven't read "smile,"
i'm going to summarize it for you. so one evening, after a girl scout'smeeting, i was in sixth grade, i was running home with two of myfriends and i tripped and i fell and i knocked out my two frontpermanent teeth and then i had to spend the rest ofmiddle school and half of high school without them. and that meant dealing withsurgery and braces and head gear and false teeth andall sorts of things that made me feel likei was a freak.
and do you guys want to see aphotograph of what that looked like? if you don't, i'm really sorry,i'm going to show it to you anyway. so, what happened was i fell and iknocked one tooth completely out. it was lying on the pavement. and the other one gotshoved up into my gum. and then my dentist'ssolution to that problem was to put them both back in place. but when he did so, as you can see,suddenly my two front teeth sat up a little higher in my mouththan they were supposed to.
i think the bones above myteeth had been damaged as well. so all of a sudden, i havethis weird gap in the front that made me look a littlebit like a vampire and that's where i got the namevampire girl and that's when people started teasing meand asking me what was wrong with my face and whyi look so weird. and i was already sort of aself-conscious kid to begin with. i was very shy. so having people up in my faceall the time when i was already
like going through puberty and stuffwas not exactly the way i wanted to spend sixth grade, buti did not have a choice. so, the story has alot of dentistry in it. this scene, i'm getting animpression of my mouth made which means that it's that trayfull of sticky stuff that they shove up into your mouth andthen you have to lie there and wait while it hardens andit's horrible and you're gagging. but then when you spit it out, yougot a perfect mold of your teeth and that part is kind of cool.
in this scene, i got a setof false teeth on a retainer that looked really good normal wheni had it in, but when i popped it out i could scare my friends. that part was fun. and there's a flashback sequence tothe time i lost my first front tooth as a six-year-old kid in acarnival in a bounce house and everything was great. i was bouncing. i was having a super funtime until i got too close
to the netting that's on theside of the bounce house. so i bounced up and when ibounced down my front tooth hooked on the net and wentflying into the air. and because it's happening in a gravel parking lot,i never found my tooth. so people always want toknow if this is a true story. did this thing really happen? did that part really happen? is your name really raina?
do you really have brown hair? oh my gosh! everything is real. everything is true. i do sometimes alter details. so for example, on--in the first chapter of "smile" i learn i needbraces in the afternoon. i go to a girl scout meeting. we talked about it and atthat night i trip and fall
and knock out my two front teeth. that did not all happenon the same day. so, for the sake of thetimeline of the story, sometimes i will compress details,sometimes i change people's names to protect the guilty, as we say. but my family is real, so am i. and so this is us ascomic strip characters. they think that's pretty cool. my friends are a slightlydifferent story.
now these are the people whoteased me and called me names and bullied me just a little bit. but i managed to representalmost all of them in the story. like i said, some names werechanged to protect the guilty. and then after "smile," oh,well, before i talk about that, i'm going to tell you that the otherthing that's real is my clothing. so kids, ask your parents todig up their photos from 1991 and i guarantee you, they willalso have some acid washed denim and some scrunchies andhopefully some mock turtlenecks.
oh yeah. so after "smile" iwrote a book called "drama" and this was my firststab at fiction, but it's only just so fictionalized. so, it's about a girl namedcallie and her two best friends, jesse and justin, who aretwin gay filipino boys, and i happen to alsohave best friends who are gay twin filipino boys. so, i mean their names aren'tjesse and justin but it's basically like our friendship exceptfictionalized and put into a book.
and these kids are all on thestage crew at their school and that means they are the ones whoare running the lights and the sound and making costumes and props. and i always like to stop here andgive props to the people over there who are running my tech because without them i wouldnot be standing here right now. thank you, guys. stage crew is a reallyimportant job. and these are the kidswho love to do it.
so, i wanted to make astory about those kids. and it's kind of inspired by my life and that i was definitely a musicaltheater and stage kid when i was in high school and middle school,but i was never the leading lady. i was always in the ensemble, whichis the kids who stand back here and like sing three lines in theshow and not the whole thing. so i get cast as likearistocrat number seven or hobo number three or a child. so i'm not behind the podium becausei am almost the same height as it.
i'm very short. so, i spent a lot of timebackstage just kind of observing and being aware of whatwas going on during shows and that was alwaysreally cool to me. i wanted to sort ofcapture that essence. this is also one of thethings that inspired "drama." i was in student governmentin school and i was-- had a role called the artcommissioner which means that most of what my job was was topaint big posters for dances.
so this is me and my friend jakewho's totally the inspiration for jesse. i totally had a crush on him. he totally did nothave a crush on me. that was weird. it's a little awkward. but yeah, if you read"drama" you have a little bit of a sense of why that was. so-- and here's callie painting.
she's making a gigantictree prop for her school. and this is a tree prop i madeone time for my girl scout play. it's just like a littlecylinder tube of paper with like pipe cleaners andleaves and stuff at the top. so after "smile" and after "drama,"people were just like we want to hear more storiesabout your life. and i realized that there wasone page in "smile" that talked about a road trip my familytook when i was a kid. we drove from san franciscoto colorado.
and what an eventful trip it was and i've realized i canmake an entire book based on that experience. so that's what "sisters" is. it's about being stuckin the back seat of your car with your little sister. and in my case, it was also achance to examine my relationship with amara, which like i saidwe're both artists and that's one of the only thingswe have in common.
we're very different people. and i wanted to understandus a little bit better. so it goes back into our livesand we talked about what it was like to have her as a baby. and then as we grew up, i guess oneof the things you could say we had in common was all ofour childhood pets and the misbegottenways that they've died. so, here's a picture whereyou see how excited we are to get our first goldfishand then a photo
that tells you how excitinggoldfish actually are. amara loves snakesand i hate snakes. and the reason i hate them somuch is because when i was little, my family went camping and i waspicking blackberries and i was like in the middle of the patchand then i accidentally stepped on something rubbery and looked out and there was a deadsnake under my sandal. so i ran out of there and i had allscratched and scraped up by thorns. my family thought it was hilarious
and i did not thinkit was hilarious. but my sister was like "i am totallygetting a snake for a pet someday," and i was like "youare totally not." and then my parents totally boughtit for her and they promised me that it would never bother me. i would never have to seeit or feed it or touch it. it would definitely never get outof its cage or anything like that. well, if you bought this bookyou know the snake does get out of its cage and itgot into my family's car
and then it stayedthere for six months. i didn't even know snakes coulddo that but apparently they can. we thought maybe it had gotten out. we thought it must have died. no, it did not. and of course, the snake storyand the road trip story intersect in this delightful space. so i'm not going to say anymoreabout that because i want to talk about my book "ghosts" whichhas just been out for a little
over a week and it's already likei'm meeting kids who were like "this is my favorite bookthat you've written." i'm just like "wow, didyou read it like today?" and they're like "yeah, i'veread it in your signing line." so, that's supper awesome but it also took me twoyears to make this book. so, it's the curse and the blessingof being a graphic novelist. i'm grateful either ways. it's been a really fun weekand i've been on book tour
and haven't been homefor about two weeks. so, it's really amazingto be standing in front of you guys today talking about it. so this book has actuallyexisted longer than two years. it's been in my head for a very longtime and these sketches that are in the back of thebook, i did in 2008. and i have been thinking aboutthese characters for a lot longer. so it's about this girl cat who's11 and her little sister maya who has cystic fibrosis and, ofcourse, they moved to the town
of bahia de la luna because theythink that the sea air is going to better for maya's lungs. and bahia de la luna is not areal place but it's inspired by a place called half moon bay, california which is not toofar from where i grew up. and it's this verywindswept beachy, foggy place. it's very cool and mysterious. they also have a lotof pumpkin farms there. so it's where you go for halloweenin order to get your pumpkins.
and i always thought what acool place to set a story. what a cool place to seta ghost story, in fact. so that's what i did and theseare just some of my old sketches, sort of trying to capturethe atmosphere of the place. so the girls moved there andcat is not happy about it. she doesn't want toleave her friends behind. they're from southerncalifornia where it's much warmer so she doesn't likethe cold weather. that's another thing she and i have
in common is i'm nota huge fan of the fog. but one of the first thing that happens is they meet theirneighbor carlos who explains to them that the town is haunted andit is filled with ghosts. and maya's really excited tomeet a ghost and that's probably because she's not a healthy kid. so, she wants to knowwhat's going to happen to her if she happens to die. and cat, who's a little bitmore like me, is very anxious
and she's worried and she doesn'twant to meet the ghosts at all because she's afraid thatthey're going to harm her sister. so, they go anyway and they go up to this old mission that'snear their house and that's where they're looking for ghosts. cat is completely losing her mindand super afraid and then she ends up being the firstone to see a ghost. and then she gets to knowthe ghost a little bit. and this is what happens whenyou're scared of something.
sometimes if you confront your fearor you get to know it a little bit, you might be surprised that it's notquite as scary as you think it is. so cat gets to know the ghost andthen the next thing she knows, they're becoming her friendsand they're having fun together. so, that's just one of the themesin this story and it was inspired by a lot of different things inmy life, but it was definitely about confronting fear and anxiety. so here's a couple ofphotographs that i took when i was researching the bookand doing my location scouting,
just like you would for a film. i took lots and lots of photographsof beach towns and, you know, the cliffs above theocean and really tried to get this atmosphereinto my stories. and this is me at one of missions. there are 21 missions in california and you can go andvisit most of them. and i believe thisis in mission carmel. and when you're there,
you can almost feel historyeverywhere around you. you can sort of feel the ghosts. and so again, that was somethingi wanted to capture in this story. so, very quickly, i'm just goingto tell you about my process because this is somethingpeople are very curious about. they want to talk to me about it. but it's actually easierto show how i work because my entire process is visual. so when i write stories,this is what they look like.
yes, that's right. i write in a visualformat called thumbnails which is what you see on the screen. so a thumbnail simply means like arough draft version or a blueprint or a sketch of every single page where you're indicatingthe panel borders. the characters are stick figures. all of the dialog is there. all of the sound effects are there.
and this is a great way for meto see how comics are paced out. and as you guys sawwith the reading, there's a lot of silent panels andthere's a lot of sort of panels where a sound effect and thepictures do a lot of the talking. so that's how write. this is how my ideas come outoff my head and onto the page. and then once i am done withthose, i've done an entire book of thumbnails, 250 pages. i send them to my editorand we edit from this stage.
so that's where i go tomake my corrections too. i just redraw my thumbnails. so depending on the bookthat takes-- i've done-- i thumbnailed "sisters"in a month which is crazy. most of the time, it takesme anywhere between two and six months to create a script. and then once i'm done withthat, i move on to pencils. and for this, i'm using a typeof paper called bristol board which is just a littlebit thicker and smoother
and heavier than regular paper. and here, i'm simply spendingmore time on the artwork. so, i'm going to go back a slide and show you guys whatmy thumbnails look like and you can comparethat to the final art. it's all of the same information. it's just that i have spentmore time creating the art. and then directly overthat same piece of paper, i ink and i am still veryold school and traditional.
i use a water color brush. for those who of you that arelike "what kind of brush is it," it's a winsor & newton series7 sable brush number 2 size. and if you're like what, it'son my website goraina.com, so you can check it out there. and type of india ink? it's waterproof that i reallylike and then a small liner pen for things like eyeballs, shirtbuttons, really small details. and then everything looks likethat when all is set and done.
so i told you that "ghosts" took twoyears and that's time at the desk. that's not time thinking about it. it's two years to actuallycreate the book. each "baby-sitters club"book took one year to create and "smile" took me five yearsfrom start to finish to create. so i always tell people i hopeyou're not an impatient person if you want to make comics becauseit does require you to be patient. but for me, it's worthwhile. it's my art form.
i love it the best. it's my favorite wayto tell stories. so everything got scanned into acomputer and now i bring the files into a program called photoshop. this is where i makeall of my corrections. this is where the coloringgets done. and i don't do my own color work. i work with a guy named bradenlamb, who does my colors and it's really awesomeseeing my pages kind of come
to life once they get colored. and then everything getsassembled digitally. so, the lettering gets put in and the page numbersand stuff like that. and then, we also workon the covers this way. i mean i do a sketch andthen the publisher picks one and then i work it upinto a finished sketch and then a finished piece art. we put all the titlefont and somewhat
in this great package thewhole thing is digital. we send the files to asia andthey're printed in singapore. and then the books come back on aboat and that takes a while too. but holding your book for the firsttime in your hands never gets old. i have created eight booksto this point in my career and every time a new onecomes out i'm just like wow. it's like i had a baby or something. no, it's nothing like that. i've actually never hada baby, so i don't know.
but i can only imagine thatyou've put so much love and care into this thing, into makingthis thing, and then it arrives and then it's kind of like--it takes on a life of its own. each of my books definitelyhas a life of its own. people always want to know what ismy favorite book that i have created and it is like sayingtaking your favorite child. like you just-- howcould you do that? some of you are like "no, i coulddo that," but i don't think i could. you love them all.
so what's next? i mean i've had a bookout for a week and a half. so, like shouldn't i takea little bit of time off? of course not, that's not howit works in this business. we're always thinkingabout what's next. so for me, it's going to be-- thisis just a big spoiler for you guys. i'm going to do another memoir andthis one's going to be about me and my dad and a certainbook that he gave me to read when i was 10 years old and howthat book changed my entire life.
so, that's all i cansay about it for now. this is about as muchas i've got done, maybe 20, 25 pages of thumbnails. and so you can see usgoing to the bookstore at san francisco stateuniversity where he used to teach. and then we're gigging outtogether in the comic book section. and i don't have atitle for this book yet, but it should be outsome time in 2018. so, cross your fingersfor me that my hand hold
out for you all this process. yeah, and i plan tonever stop doing this. if i can do this my entirelife i absolutely plan to. it's an absolute joy. i'm so happy i getto work for you guys. and it's just been a great ride. so, thank you so much. what's the time? five minutes.
ok, we have time forjust a few questions. so if you've got questionswe're going to go this side and then this side. make them as quick asyou can and i will try to answer as many as possible. >> what is your favoritebook that you wrote? >> raina telgemeier: i can'tanswer that question because it's like choosing your favorite child. i like them all.
yes? >> what advice do you have foryounger artists and writers? >> raina telgemeier: it's the sameadvice for any person of any age. start small. don't try to writea long story first. try writing a short story and seeingwhat your characters interact like. and then, you can write longer andlonger stories as you pick up steam. hi. >> i would like to knowwhat were your emotions
when you were writingthe book "smile." >> raina telgemeier: my emotions. pretty much the same thing as what the character isgoing through on the page. in fact, when i'm drawingand if you look at me, i'm like making the samefaces as the characters and i'm feeling all this emotion. if it's a memoir, i'm likeremembering everything that happened to me and i'll be like reallydepressed like, damn, my friends are
so mean to me, but then you finishthe book and you feel great. so it's kind of likeliving to it all over again but then i felt betterwhen i was done. >> did you and your sister reallyfight as much as in "sisters"? >> raina telgemeier:do you have a sister? >> raina telgemeier: howmuch do you guys fight? >> i have three sisters. >> raina telgemeier: anddo you guys fight as much as the characters in the story?
>> raina telgemeier: then yeah. sisters have a way. >> so in your book "ghosts," you had the little sisterwho had cystic fibrosis. and my cousin has cystic fibrosisand not many people know about it. so i was wonderinghow did you like find out about cystic fibrosis and stuff. >> raina telgemeier: i have a friendwhose cousin has cystic fibrosis and systematically, it workedreally well with the story
because the story is about a girlwho can't breathe and her sister who has anxiety and the sister hasto be reminded sometimes to like ok and it's maya who's tellingher to stop and breathe. and then ghosts, and of coursethis is fiction so i had to make my own mythology up here. it's like, well, ghostscan't breathe either. so maya finds that she hassomething in common with the ghosts. but ghosts absorb the world aroundthem and that becomes their breath and i think maya kind of breathesemotionally for a lot of people.
>> hi. so, how did your friendsand family react to "smile" like how you portrayed them in it? >> raina telgemeier: my dad will belike, "that's not what happened." but the thing is likeit's my memories and since i'm the onethat's writing the story-- i sometimes confer with myfamily on specific details, but every person isgoing to remember it and say it a little bit differently. so, we get a jest of it, right?
and what i like to tellpeople is that even if the facts aren't 100% true,what you remember and your emotions about that thing are always true. >> would you ever consideranimating movie from your books? >> raina telgemeier: idon't know how to animate. so if somebody else wanted to do it, if anybody in this roomis an animator and wants to animate it, we cantalk afterwards. that'd be amazing.
>> did any of the old friends thatyou have that you wrote about in "smile," did any of themrealize that it was about them and talk to you about it? >> raina telgemeier: yes. i've gotten letters ofapology from a few of them. some of them didn't realize it wasthem though which is really awkward because we're still likefacebook friends and stuff. >> hi. well, first, thank you forinviting me up for the excerpt. >> raina telgemeier: you're amazing.
>> thank you. and for my question, at the endof "ghosts" you said that you were at the day of the dead celebrationand did you actually see ghosts like cat did in the book? >> raina telgemeier: no, idid not actually see ghosts. this is a fictional story. you can imagine thembeing there for sure. >> ok. is it fun? >> raina telgemeier: absolutely.
it's fun but it's also areally respectful celebration where people are all therefor their own reasons but you're experiencing it together. so, i was not sad but i felt all ofthese sort of togetherness and a lot of emotion from allthe people around me. so in fact, the scenethat's in the book, i waited until after i had beento that celebration to draw it because i wanted to capturemy own experiences there. so you know how cat's in thestory and she's just like "whoa!"
>> that makes perfect sense. >> raina telgemeier:that's how i felt. well, thanks. >> interesting. >> raina telgemeier: oh, thanks. >> hi. so i was wondering, ifyou were like any kind of food that is grown up that youmake, but if you were a food that was grown what kindof food would you be? >> raina telgemeier: food.
oh, i can't say pizza, can i? >> no. >> raina telgemeier: asparagus. >> ok. >> raina telgemeier: it's likesome people's most hated vegetable but i love it. >> ok. thank you. >> raina telgemeier: hi. >> what was your favorite thingwhen you were a girl scout?
>> raina telgemeier:about the girl scouts? >> yeah. >> raina telgemeier: can you guess? >> cookies? >> raina telgemeier: yup. definitely. >> what was the most inspiringcomic you read as a kid? >> raina telgemeier: oh, men, i mean"for better or for worse," "calvin and hobbes," "luann," "foxtrot,""bizarro," "dennis the menace."
i didn't read "peanuts" untili was a little older but i find that to be very inspiring too. and then i started readingindie comics like "bone" and that one inspiredthe heck out of me. >> do you and amara still getalong or do you get along? >> raina telgemeier: we don't live in the same city anymore,so we get along great. actually we do, we getalong really well now. i see now how muchwe have in common.
>> when you're drawing your comics, what's the hardestdetail you have to do? >> raina telgemeier: cars. cars are hard to drawand that's why i don't like to write too many comics. wait, i did write acomic about being on a road trip, what was i thinking? i don't draw comics about horses. there's a reason for that.
>> is it a stressfulor a happy progress when you're making the comics? >> raina telgemeier: it can be both. mostly, it's fun butit's like any other job. you really do have toshow up and put in a lot of hours every day andmy hand gets tired. that's one of the moststressful parts. and also, sometimes, if i'm tryingto like think of how a story ends and i can't do it, i'm just like,oh no, what am i going to do?
but then, you know, yourun of time and you just go with whatever comesup in your brain. >> hi. >> when you finish oneof your graphic novels, do you ever celebrate orlike rejoice or anything? >> raina telgemeier: i had an orangesoda when i finished "ghosts." you are jumping up and down. >> how do you think of names forpeople who didn't really exist? >> raina telgemeier:that's a good question.
catrina is named after lacatrina which is an illustration of a skeleton lady that wasdone by a guy named posada and so she's actually avery famous paint or image. and then maya's name comes from--i've met a lot of kids named maya and they're alwayskind of like cute. they're usually jumping up and down. and i just think mayais an awesome name. and callie comes fromthe state of california, which is really embarrassing.
i don't know if the adults willnotice this song "going back to cali" by ll cool j. i was--when i was brainstorming that book, i was in the car like drivingaround my parents' neighborhood and that song came onthe radio and i was like that's it, her name is callie. >> are you going to write anymore books about your life? >> raina telgemeier: well,the next one i'm working on is definitely goingto be about life. and then the two after thatthat i have contracted,
i can't talk too much about rightnow, but i do have three more books that are going to be coming out fromscholastic in the next six years. so at least one will be a memoir. yeah. see you guys in 2022. >> what happens whenyou get writer's block? >> raina telgemeier: good question. probably the same thing thathappens when you get writer's block, you're just like whatam i going to do?
so sometimes i just try to stepaway from my desk for a while. so i go to the beach or i go hikingin the mountains or i get in my car and i drive around and i listento ll cool j. but you know what, inspiration is everywhereand you'll never know when something is goingto inspire you. so, i try to read a lot of books, itry to watch a lot of tv and movies, i try to meet lots ofpeople and go lots of places and things inspire me everywhere. >> good to know.
>> are you afraid of ghosts? >> raina telgemeier: i don't knowif i believe that ghosts exist. so it's hard to be afraid ofsomething that doesn't exist. yeah. if i knew they did exist,i'd be extremely afraid of them. that's why they look like snakes. did you notice the-- so maybethere's a connection there. >> how much books have you wrote? >> raina telgemeier:i've written eight books. that's four "baby-sitters club"books and then "smile," "drama,"
"sisters," and, wait, "ghosts." did i say that one? yeah, eight books total. >> that's a lot. >> raina telgemeier:thank you, thank you. >> do you ever write out the script of what people are sayingbefore you draw the comics? >> raina telgemeier: sometimes i do,sometimes i will sit down and type out dialog just becausei can hear it
in my head faster thani can draw it. but for the most part, like i showedyou guys, my scripts are thumbnails. so they are just sort ofthe grid of different panels and then the characters'heads almost need to be there sometimesbefore i could figure out what's coming outof their mouths. i need to see it in orderto be able to hear it. but yes, i do have a notebookand i'm always listening to people taking aroundme and just the way
that people talk sometimesgives me ideas. so, you never know guys. >> raina telgemeier: sure. >> other than in "smile" and"sisters," which character in your book representsyou the best? >> raina telgemeier: so you mean inmy memoirs or in my fictional work? >> in your fictional work. >> raina telgemeier: well, callie isa little bit like me but she's kind of more like who i wish i was, likeshe is great at getting an idea
and then seeing it allthe way to completion. and then cat and i share anxiety. so, she is a lot-- she's worriedabout stuff a lot and i admit that i am, too, but i'm trying towork on getting better about that. >> what inspired you towrite about your family? >> raina telgemeier: them. we have so many stories and imean the reason i started writing about my life was i havethis horrible dental accident when i was 11 and it was a storyi was telling people constantly.
so people would be like,"what happened to your teeth," and i'd be like, "let me tellyou what happened on my teeth." and then as i got older, the faketeeth that i had in my mouth started to turn a little bit gray sosometimes people are like, "what's wrong with the teethin front of your mouth? they look different." so i had to explain and everytime i saw a different dentist, i had to explain and i was likei have explained this story so may times, what if i justlike wrote the whole thing down?
yeah. that way, i wouldn'thave to explain it so much. so i did. i just wrote my story downand i realized that it's a great way to sort of deal with your memories and like stuff that'stroubling you even. you can write it down and then youfeel better about it afterwards, so. >> if you're like writing astory about your true life then if you're trying toremember what they're saying, do you have to like write the exactthing or do you just like make it up if you don't remember
but you have a generalidea of what they said? that's exactly what i do. there is no way i couldpossibly remember the exact words that we said to each other. although, i mean you guys haveaccess, i'm sure, to like videos that your parents have been takingsince you're a little kid, right? and i have just a few of those. i only have one videoof myself as a kid because my grandfatherhad this big video camera.
it's like five minutes of videoof me in my entire childhood. but i have a lot of photographs and that's how the writerbrain works is you're just like i can imaginewhat we were saying to each other when we were young. >> oh, ok. >> do you plan on writing anysequels to any of your books like "ghosts" or "drama"? >> raina telgemeier: sequelsare tricky, and i'm not somebody
who thinks in terms of series. i'm really somebody who thinksin terms of individual stories. so, i feel like i say everythingi want to say about the characters and their lives and their situationsbefore the last page is turned. i don't like the ideaof cliffhangers. but that's not to say thati would never write a story that had the same characters. so you know how "smile" and"sisters" are companion books but it's not like exactlywhat happened next.
there's always a possibilitythat i could do that with one of myother stories too. >> ok. thanks. >> raina telgemeier: likecallie in high school. oh man, that is so cool. somebody asked me today if calliewould be a hamilton fan and i was like callie would be liketweeting at lin-manuel like on a constant daily basistrying to get him to like come to her school and hang out with her.
>> what is your favoritething about amara? >> raina telgemeier: no one's everasked me that question before, but i never had to thinkabout it before, so. she's one of the smartestpeople i've ever met. she's one of the mosttalented people i've ever met. and she's a really goodfriend to her friends. she cares about her friendsmore than just about anything. so, there's a lot iadmire about my sister. >> thanks.
>> will you ever makeany movies about "smile," "sisters," "drama," and everything? >> raina telgemeier:well, i'm not a filmmaker. so, if anybody here is afilmmaker and they want to talk to me afterwards, that's fine. i would love that. that'd be awesome. you should become afilmmaker, how about that? >> that's my dream.
>> raina telgemeier: awesome. ok. we'll talk afterwards,handshakes and business cards. i love this. >> hi. my parents saidi might get braces soon. do you have any likeadvice about that? >> raina telgemeier: ifit's ok with your parents, just take some pain relieverbefore you go and then ask if they'll get you amilkshake when it's all over. it's really not that bad.
and my situation wasextremely unusual. i had a big accident so, ofcourse, my dentistry work was going to be a little bit moreextreme than most people's. most people, and you guys canconfirm this, it's like you're sore for a few days and you kind of haveto get used to it but then you do and then it's just kind ofnormal part of your mouth. >> hello. i just--when i was standing, i have this weird ideafor a question. you should write a book abouthow you are now, like because--
like your fans and everything. if you are [inaudible] withme, they also want to-- [ laughter ] i also would like to bring out howmuch i enjoyed your book "ghosts" because i feel like sortof like me and my sister. i'm just full of energyand she's not. >> raina telgemeier: ohmen, i can relate to that. >> raina telgemeier: thank you. >> you're welcome.
>> raina telgemeier: well, there'snot much to say except thanks. >> have you ever thoughtabout writing a book when you first publishedyour first comic? >> raina telgemeier: oh,yes, i did think about that. and i might be reading about thatat some point in the near future. >> what would you be ifyou couldn't be an author? >> raina telgemeier: ihave no idea to be honest. but this is kind of a shoutout and it's also kind of something i've realized is thati work with people called publicists
at my publisher, scholastic. they are people whose job is to planout where authors are going to go and then make sure there's likea car to get them there and they like book my flights and thenthey talk to all the people at the bookstores aboutlike the logistics and stuff and that person is apublicist and it's their job to make authors' lives easierwhen they go out on stage, the national book festivaland stuff like this. so my amazing publicist is namedsheila marie and she's here.
she's the one who took the picture. and scholastic has really,really great support. so, i think it wouldactually be fun to do that job because i love writing emails topeople and i love looking at maps and i love like bookinghotel rooms and stuff. so i'm like, oh, that'd be so fun. they work super hard though. so, yeah, maybe a publicist,i don't know. >> raina telgemeier:for other authors.
i don't have to bein this spotlight. that's the thing. >> so, in "ghosts," cat issuperstitious about the black cat. did you get the superstitiousnessfrom you or somebody else? >> raina telgemeier: it'ssort of a common superstition that a black cat crossingyour path is bad luck. and because her name is cat,i think she has this idea that she's bad luck too in some way. so, yeah, i was working withcertain common superstitions
but i was just also creatingher as a unique character. so, can i do one more question? ok, we can do one more question. i'm so sorry, guys. >> what is-- what do you thinkthe easiest thing to draw is? >> this is going to sound reallylame when i answer this question. the easiest thing forme to draw is me. but i think that's because i lookat the mirror every single day and i'm used to the shape of myface and i've been drawing stories
about my life sincei was six years old. so, it's gotten to be very easyfor me to do that but i when i have to draw like a newcharacter, i'm like, whoa, this is really difficultand challenging. but the more timesyou draw a character, the easy it get-- easier it gets. so, yeah. all right. thank you, guys, so much. and thanks to the national bookfestival for having me as a guest.
>> this has been a presentationof the library of congress. visit us at loc.gov.Hello Kitty Easter Coloring Pages To Print