Nate Powell

It’s Time for a Sleepcation

Image by Tomaniac (click to buy a sticker)

This week, I’m not having a vacation, I’m not even having a staycation. I’m having a sleepcation!

I was calling it a bedcation at first, but it turns out that fake word already exists and isn’t quite right in this situation. So, sleepcation it is.

As of this past Saturday and until this Sunday, I have 9 days where I’ll be sleeping as much as possible for as long as possible with as much sleep as possible. Because sleep is good. Especially after overdoing it for too long. It’s either sleepcation now or crycation later. You can probably imagine what that entails. Of course, we all can use a good cry now and again, but 9 days straight sounds exhausting.

So, if you need me, my bed and I are going to be getting it on.

And OK, I’m hoping to also edit that video and write that web-series script, two things I’ve been trying to get to for a few months now. You see, as it turns out, I’m not very good at doing nothing. Even when not on vacation, I fill my time up with projects. I hear other people go home after work and watch TV or something. If I want to watch TV, I have to schedule it as a weekly thing and make an event out of it.

So I’m trying to sleep and lounge around and just decompress. So far I can’t say I’ve been terribly successful. While I have slept a lot (I’ve always been real good at that), I’ve also stayed up real late, and during the day I’ve been working on The Comics Observer, done some administrative stuff for the Magic Meathands, and been an obsessive dork about our music library. But I’ve also hung out with Nahleen and Cleo some, watched the Twin Peaks episode 6 (my favorite so far!), and started reading Any Empire by Nate Powell (if you’re a child of the ’80s, read this!). And I’ve kiiinda not been on Facebook a ridiculous amount, although I’m still staring at the computer way too much, which I’m sure isn’t entirely relaxing. But the week has only started. I’ll get this right some day.

Anyway, I can’t believe I just reviewed my own vacation.

How do you do with taking time off? Do you like empty time or do you need to keep just as busy as when you’re not on vacation? Or maybe you’re good at finding a satisfying happy-medium?

Comics Speak Up for Darfur at United Nations

Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire)

Award-winning graphic novelist Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole, Any Empire) was among a panel of 9 Young Adult authors that appeared before the United Nations to raise funds and awareness for young refugees of Darfur last week. They spoke about their contributions to a new book called What You Wish For, aimed at bringing hope to a troubled region. Following their UN presentation, they appeared at a book signing at the New York City book store Books of Wonder.

The short story anthology What You Wish For includes a comics contribution by Powell, as well as stories by YA authors such as R.L. Stine (Goosebumps), Ann M. Martin (The Baby-Sitters Club), Meg Cabot (The Princess Diaries), poets like Nikki Giovanni, Gary Soto, Naomi Shihab Nye, and others, totaling 18 contributors. The book also includes a foreword by actress Mia Farrow, who serves as a Darfur advocate and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. The book was published by the all-volunteer non-profit organization Book Wish Foundation, with 100% of proceeds from the book’s sales going to UN Refugee Agency UNHCR. The agency will use those funds to build libraries for refugee camps in Chad, which is populated by hundreds of thousands fleeing from horrific violence in neighboring Darfur.

Nate Powell is the only person from the world of comics involved in the book. His story is called “Conjurers”. Powell’s graphic novels have been highly praised for good reason. Swallow Me Whole is a haunting exploration of teenage turmoil amid mental illness. It was selected as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist in the Young Adult category (before there was a graphic novel category), and was named on YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens list by the American Library Association. It also won Ignatz Awards for Outstanding Debut and Outstanding Artist, and the Eisner Award for Best Original Graphic Novel.

You can watch the entire 2-hour UN panel presentation.

Comic-Con Wrap-Up: Comics Debuts

I know it’s hard to believe with all the big flashy Hollywood things, but Comic-Con actually had stuff about comic books! There were a number of exciting debuts this year. Scroll through and see if something catches your eye. If so, read the blurb I’ve put together from the publisher’s write-ups, and if you’re intrigued, click the links to find out more.

Any Empire by Nate Powell

Any Empire by Nate Powell

Any Empire by Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) recalls aimless summers of Nancy Drew and G.I. Joe, treehouses and army surplus stores… but when fantasy starts to bleed into reality, whose mission will be accomplished? [Interview]

Big Questions by Anders Nilsen

Big Questions by Anders Nilsen

Big Questions by Anders Nilsen: A haunting postmodern fable, this beautiful and minimalist story is the culmination of ten years and over 600 pages of work that details the metaphysical quandaries of the occupants of an endless plain, existing somewhere between a dream and a Russian steppe.

Daybreak by Brian Ralph

Daybreak by Brian Ralph

Daybreak by Brian Ralph is an unconventional zombie story. Drawing inspiration from zombies, horror movies, television, and first-person shooter video games, Daybreak departs from zombie genre in both content and format, achieving a living-dead masterwork of literary proportions. [Interview]

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes

The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes: Classic staples of the superhero genre – origin, costume, ray-gun. sidekick, fight scene – are reconfigured into a story that is anything but morally simplistic. With subtle comedy, deft mastery and an obvious affection for the bold Pop Art exuberance of comic book design, Daniel Clowes delivers a contemporary meditation on the darkness of the human psyche.

Freakshow by David Server, Jackson Lanzing and Joe Suitor

Freakshow by David Server, Jackson Lanzing and Joe Suitor

Freakshow by writers David Server and Jackson Lanzing, and artist Joe Suitor: When five refugee survivors develop monstrous mutations from a devastating chemical explosion that leaves their city in ruins, they band together to seek revenge against the clandestine government quarantine that has seized control in the aftermath. But are they monsters…or heroes?

WAIT, there’s more! Click through…!