Happy birthday to me! Since 2004, I’ve been collecting art at the various conventions I’ve attended–all for my Fantastic Four sketchbook. It’s about time I uploaded everything.
Here it is: thatdavidhopkins.com/fantastic-four-sketchbook/
I have some great pieces in here from Josh Howard, J.E. Smith, Cal Slayton, Christine Norrie, Nick Derington, Andy MacDonald, Alejandro Garza, Christopher Mitten, Steve Rolston, Paul Chadwick, Kazu Kibuishi, Chuck Wojtkiewicz, George Perez, Robbi Rodriguez, Brock Rizy, Scott Kurtz, Kevin Steele, Chris Medellin, Tone Rodriguez, Chris Moreno, Michael Lark, Skottie Young, Chad Thomas, Benjamin Hall, Lea Hernandez, Brent Schoonover, Paul Milligan, Jake Ekiss, and Robert Wilson IV.
Thank you for offering your time and talent.
Yesterday, I hosted a comics scriptwriting workshop at Eastfield College as part of their Literary and Fine Arts Festival. Eastfield was a gracious host–providing a great facility and sandwiches. The students were wonderful. (Thank you Iris for inviting me.)
Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job keeping track of my time. I went over, which meant we had to skip the writing exercises (the thing that made the workshop a workshop). I could’ve easily gone another hour. Fortunately, it makes the audio more tolerable, because there isn’t an extended period of nothingness while everyone is busy writing.
Let me know what you think. There’s some useful information here. I’d recommend listening to the lecture and following along with the power point (saved as a pdf). I could revise and improve upon some areas of the workshop, and it would be exciting to adapt this into a longer seminar or series. But right now, I’m sharing it with you. Enjoy. Post in the comments section if you have any questions or feedback.
Download the mp3
I want to expand on something I said to April two nights ago.
We drove to Lafayette, Louisiana, for our friend Leah’s we-totally-got-married party (weekend via Instagram). Last November, Leah and Josh were married in a civil ceremony. I saw photographic evidence. It was simple, elegant, and beautiful. Then this past weekend, they hosted a Cajun dance party at the Blue Moon Saloon, inviting friends and family to celebrate the happy union. There was crawfish. There was beer. There was an incredible band Feufollet.
At one point in the evening, April and I sat on a bench, watching everyone dance. One older couple, who clearly took dance lessons, glided around the floor. Leah’s sister and brother-in-law bopped around in a way that reminded me of this. Leah and Josh spun around in the center. It was a sweet moment.
I thought about Mark Twain’s “The Lowest Animal,” a scathing critique on the human condition, where he lists all the unique atrocities no other animal except humans commit. (Yes, I think about Twain in random places.) Then I leaned over to April and said: Read more →
Last year, I participated in an independent comics panel at Eastfield College This year, Iris Bechtol invited me to participate in the Eastfield Literary and Fine Arts Festival. I will be presenting a comics writing workshop on Thursday, April 19th at 12:30. We will be in either G-101 or G-102. I don’t see any registration or fees listed on the website. So let’s assume it’s free and open to the public. Grab your lunch and come join us. I won’t mind if you eat in front of me.
The first thirty minutes will be an overview of how comics operate as a form of visual storytelling–what comics do well and what they don’t do. The next thirty minutes will be about working with artists, script formats, tips and suggestions. After that, be prepared to write. I have several exercises designed to help you get comfortable with scripting comics. (Bring a laptop or pen/paper.) At the very end, I’ll talk for ten minutes about getting published and what options are available.
I promise this workshop won’t waste your time. I’m not going to ramble on and on about how I got into comics or where you can find my comics (uh, this website). I’m not going to eulogize the industry. This won’t be a workshop thinly disguised as an egocentric Q&A. We’re going to write, and we’re going to learn something.
Next Thursday, skip work and let’s level up on telling stories with pictures.
Álvaro Eduardo Lemos, a professor in the department of Ethics and Psychology at the University of Buenos Aires, contacted me about creating a Spanish version of ANTIGONE, the comic book by Tom Kurzanski and me, produced by Christian Beranek and Silent Devil.
If you want to read Antigone in Spanish, here’s a link to the pdf:
It’s a Spanish translation of a comic book adaptation based off a modern translation of the ancient Greek tragedy. Such a twisted path. I’m glad his students will be able to enjoy what we’ve created, and I appreciate all the work Lemos has put into it.
Want to read it in English? Click here and scroll down.
Two days ago, I posted deleted scenes from my Dallas Observer story (“Larry Brown Just Can’t Stop”). I gathered a lot of material during the research process that, while interesting, I wasn’t able to use. Larry Brown is such an integral part of basketball history — it would be a shame not to share what I was given.
Here are some unused portions of my interview on February 13, 2013 with Coach Brown.
Your first pro-team was the Akron Wingfoots [sponsored by the Goodyear Tire Company in Akron, Ohio]?
Wasn’t a pro-team. I got drafted. I think I was the 54th pick in the draft [according to Basketball-Reference.com, he was the 55th pick], but at that time, if you tried out for a team, if you even went to one practice, you were a pro. And there were very few pro teams at the time. And then, there was a tremendous AAU [Amateur Athletic Union] program. You know, Goodyear, Phillips 66, Peoria Caterpillars, you could play ball and get a career, you know start a career. Coach Smith got me a tryout. He had me going to Phillips 66, but for some reason it didn’t pan out. I thought I had a job at Goodyear, and I ended up having to try out actually. I made the team. You played ball and then after work you got to practice. And then, if you had a game, the company gave you off to play games. We played like 50, 60 games. We ended up beating Phillips in the finals in the first tournament, which was a big thrill for me. But it was a great experience, and then four of us made the Olympic team from Goodyear. We won the Olympic trials. It was a great experience. And I probably could have stayed and played for a number of years, but Coach Smith asked me to come back after the Olympics and coach. Worked out great. Read more →
My Dallas Observer story (“Larry Brown Just Can’t Stop”) took three months to research and write. The story should have been about 4,000 words. I overwrote the first draft by 2,000 words. As a result, a lot of stuff was cut in the name of focusing the narrative. I understand, but it’s also a shame because I liked some of the deleted material.
And then, I remembered that I have a blog, and I could post all the unused bits and pieces. Here it is, in its unfinished glory.
Interview with Rick Carlisle:
“SMU pulled a coup at being able to get him here. He’s a friend of mine. I’m really thrilled that he’s here. There’s no doubt that he raises the profile of SMU basketball with his mere presence.”
“He’s a very unusual guy. The depth of his experience and the diversity of his experience is very special. It’s going to bring a lot to this city and to the SMU program.”
“Larry’s a guy who has always had great love and respect for the game, and a great enthusiasm for the game. I think this was a great opportunity for him to jump back in with SMU going to a new league, which is exciting and challenging. And they were able to put a great staff together over there too. It’s a really terrific working environment. And it’s a great city to live in obviously.”
January 12, 2013 – The entire game against Tulane is being played on the ground. Players are diving, clawing around for the ball. Tulane’s sophomore guard falls, having hurt his knee. He’s rolling in pain and pulls his jersey over his head so no one can see him cry. It’s an ugly game. Read more →
It’s a western anthology from Image Comics. It’s available for pre-order in the Previews Catalog. It’ll be in comic shops on June 19th. And it features a short story by me and Italian artist Luigi Cavenago.
I’ve included a two-page preview of our story “Judge Roy Bean,” based on the historical Phantly Roy Bean Junior, an eccentric saloon owner and Justice of the Peace. He would hold court in his bar, occasionally making false accusations against people passing through in order to extort bribes from them. Bean was obsessed with English actress Lillie Langtry. He named the town after her and wrote letters to her every night. To read the entire eight-page Wild West court drama, make sure to tell your favorite comic book shop about Outlaw Territory, Vol. 3.
(click to see the full-size image)
Read more →
Today, we distributed copies of Fahrenheit 451 to the ninth and tenth graders at Trinidad Garza Early College High School. It was a great event. Mountain View College President Felix Zamora gave a few opening remarks, as well as Trini Garza principal Dr. Janice Lombardi. Dallas City Council member Delia Jasso was our keynote speaker. Best of all, the school’s step team performed a routine based on the book.
When in doubt: step team. They make everything more fun.
I also had the opportunity to say a few words. I talked about my love of reading. And to my knowledge, it’s the first time I’ve spoken publicly about my dyslexia. Certainly, it’s the first time I’ve mentioned it on this blog.
Here’s what I said, more or less:
First, I want to thank Dr. Lombardi for organizing this event with us. You’re a great school. You should be proud of your education here.
My name is David Hopkins. I taught English and Creative Writing at Martin High School for twelve years, and now I write for a living. I’m a member of D Academy, the group behind the Big Read Dallas. Our hope is that you would join us and the rest of the city in reading Fahrenheit 451. That’s why we’re here. We’re counting on you, the ninth and tenth graders of Dallas ISD, to lead this charge. We’re going to give every single one of you a copy of the book. Once you get them, you’ll notice The Big Read Dallas logo and a note to you on the inside. This is a special edition of the book. And it’s yours. Read more →
As you might have seen on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been going on and on about my feature story in the Dallas Observer: “Larry Brown Just Can’t Stop.” In fact, @TheKobeBeef told me to chill out (“Calm down, we’ll read it”). Okay, point taken. I can’t apologize for my enthusiasm. I’ve been working on this story for a little over three months. I’m glad it’s finally in print.
Three months. Enough time to get everything perfect, right? Two and a half months were spent attending practices and games, taking lots of notes. I interviewed players and a few other coaches, but I wasn’t able to interview Larry Brown until February 13th. And at the time, I was juggling another feature with UTA Magazine and two stories about DFW Airport. Not an excuse. I’m just trying to set the scene. I was stressed. I overwrote the first draft of my Larry Brown story. What should’ve been in the 4,000 word range was almost 6,000 words. I worked on a new outline with my editor and then spent the weekend writing a second draft. By the third draft, we were really cutting it close, but I was happier with what we had. I appreciate the encouragement of Mike Mooney (name dropper in the house!) who reminded me to not give up towards the end, that those final rewrites are crucial. If my editor thought I was crazy, it’s Mike’s fault.
In the haze of editing and rewriting, I should’ve done a better job with the fact checking. And that’s my fault entirely. I wrote, “A mere seven SMU alumni have gone on to play any sort of professional basketball.” That’s not true. Herman Hudson, SMU’s athletics PR person, called to correct me on it. Read more →