A Cartoonist’s Diary

Mark Siegel: Part Two

A Day at First Second

My office didn’t clean itself up while I was away. I don’t dare show you the state it’s in. But at least I’ve stopped apologizing about it to visitors. Well, okay, small glimpse of the tidy part:

Into the e-mail avalanche. A few quick questions to answer from the Contracts Department, and an invitation to give a talk in Las Vegas. This year I’ve been traveling all over the country speaking to librarians, booksellers, and educators. I enjoy the workshops. One of the presentations is about the history of comics in America, and it paints the picture of a real renaissance in our time. I don’t only plug First Second authors, of course. Too many great ones with Fanta, D&Q, Top Shelf, Dark Horse, Oni, and everyone else in the business to do that.

Next up a phone interview to talk about our upcoming Spring 2013 season. Then a couple calls with an agent, negotiating advances for someone’s next book…

Meeting in the conference room to look over proofs for one of the short comics in Fairy Tale Comics, our follow-up to Nursery Rhyme Comics. Chris Duffy is the series editor (far left), Colleen Venable (left) is art directing, Calista Brill (center) is shepherding the whole thing, and the immensely talented David Mazzuchelli (right) is looking over his pages with them. That series may just be the most cheerful, giddy project for us.

Cause to celebrate! I just got off the phone with Becky Cloonan’s agent Judy Hansen—we’re going ahead with a most EXCITING project, about which I’ll say no more! Glimpse sketches above, from Becky, whom I’ve wanted to work with forever. Oh good, good, good.

Continues in Part 3…

Mark Siegel is a picture-book creator, and the Editorial Director of First Second books. His latest graphic novel is Sailor Twain.