The Steady Climb Back…

Some of you already know this, but I recently had a pretty intense bout with bacterial meningitis (2 weeks in the hospital, and 3 weeks recovering at home), and have been working to get my memory (and life) back.  Things have been progressing steadily, but I’m still not 100 percent.  I remember important events in my life -and what generally happens over the course of each day – but I often forget what pants or shirt I’m wearing.  I suppose we never really pay close attention to these types of things, but since I always felt I had a very good memory, things like this really leave me feeling disconcerted. (Amy says I’m now like Dory from Finding Nemo)  I’ve been told by family and friends that I am doing better by leaps and bounds each day, and I am working hard to get back in the saddle as soon as I can.  I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the doctors, nurses, family, and friends that worked tirelessly to keep me alive.  When I see the looks on their faces, I know the situation was intense, and when I hear about what happened, I’m really glad I can’t remember most of it.

Amulet 5, Daisy Kutter, Scholastic Book Fair

Things like this, however, really brighten my day!  We received the early proofs for the new printing of Daisy Kutter: The Last Train, the full-color 1st printing of Amulet 5: Prince of the Elves, and a catalog for the upcoming Scholastic Book Fair with my goofy face on the cover (I think I have eyeliner on).  The packages all came at once, right when I was starting to come back to the office to work.  A very nice surprise after a difficult couple of months.

Daisy Kutter – Pre-orders

The Daisy Kutter Reprint Project Kickstarter was a success! We raised nearly 26 times the amount we were looking for in order to help cover the cost of printing the books ourselves. In one month, we took orders for more than 2,200 copies of the book!  We also received a lot of emails from folks who found out about the campaign after it was over.  If you or a friend would still like to order copies of the book, you can now do that here.

Daisy Kutter Reprint Project

Daisy Kutter has been out of print for years, and we were unable to find a home for the book at a major publisher. In the meantime, the book grew increasingly hard to find while people continued to ask for it.  We wanted to have at least a few copies to give to friends and family, so we started a Kickstarter campaign to take orders because we think you might want some copies too.  Or perhaps you just want to support the title and encourage us to work on the second book.  Either way, check out our Kickstarter page and pledge to get yourself a copy.  And please spread the word!

Amulet 5: Prince of the Elves

Amulet 5: Prince of the Elves was completed at the beginning of April. This book was tremendously difficult to write, as I chose to stray far from conventional story structure, and I decided to simply let the characters be my guides.  I think it proved to be an effective gamble.  It was such a joy to discover so much about the characters and the world in this way, and I think the readers will enjoy the ride as much as I did.

We just returned from China, where Jason, Chrystin, and I visited a number of international schools in Shanghai and Suzhou to talk to students.  Thank you so much to the librarians, teachers, administrators, and our booking agent Nancy Caffoe for making this trip possible.  It was a wonderful experience, and definitely one of the best trips we’ve ever taken.

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

  The Flight anthology may have ended last year, but that doesn’t mean we’re done! Explorer: The Mystery Boxes is the spiritual successor to Flight. The first volume features stories by Emily Carroll, Rad Sechrist, Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Jason Caffoe, Johane Matte, Stuart Livingston and Kazu Kibuishi. Each story represents a unique take on the idea of a “mystery box”.  Check out one of the early reviews for the book, over at’s Geekdad blog. The book has also earned a starred review on Kirkus, and received another glowing review on Booklist.  You can also see what people are saying about it on Explorer: The Mystery Boxes will be in stores March 2012, and it will be available in both soft and hardcover formats. My hope is that the book not only entertains the readers, but that it helps inspire people to create their own stories, in any medium.

Amulet 4 in Stores Now

Amulet Book 4: The Last Council is now available at your local bookstores and online retailers. The crew and I worked harder on this volume than any preceding it, and we learned a lot in the process. This is the first time I feel the team as a whole really hit its stride and the story itself means a lot to me, as I had to weather a very difficult year while writing it.  I sincerely hope you all enjoy reading the new volume, and know that I am working very hard to make the next volume even better.  Thank you so much to all the readers, retailers, librarians, teachers, and parents who have supported us over the years and have given us the opportunity to create more fantastic places and characters for readers of all ages to enjoy.  Here’s hoping the best is yet to come!

Amulet 4: The Last Council

Amulet 4

Today marks the last day we officially work on Amulet 4.  All revisions and additional materials are complete, and the book should soon be ready to send to the printer.  I think this volume is by far the best one in the series, and it is definitely the one that we have put the most effort into creating.  It features a large cast of new characters and a large collection of beautiful new environments, including various locations inside the flying city of Cielis.  The story delves deeper into the history of the stonekeepers, and the characters grow quite a bit during the journey.  I did a lot of work to try and fit as much as I could into the 224 full-color pages of the book, and I think it shows.  Be sure to check with your local bookstore and ask them to order it before it hits shelves on September 1st, 2011!

Special thanks to the Amulet 4 crew for doing an amazing job down the stretch.  Jason Caffoe and Zane Yarbrough did an outstanding job on the backgrounds and colors, while Denver Jackson, Jonathan Chuan Ju Lee, Stuart Livingston, Rikki Simons, and Michael Regina helped us with the flatting and file preparations.  Thank you so much, guys!

I’ll be sure to post preview material for the book in the coming months.  In the meantime, you can click on the cover image above to get a high res version of the full cover spread.

Crunch Time

New setup

We’re preparing for the final push on Amulet 4, so I decided to re-organize the workspace to maximize efficiency.  I also recently replaced my old Dell workstation with a Mac Pro tower, and we added an iMac for the scanning/printing station.  We’re almost completely running on Macs now.  This new office arrangement allows for two artists aside from Jason and me to work alongside us in the same space.  Zane Yarbrough and Jon Lee will be helping us on the final stretch.  Looking forward to the long hours of drawing and digital painting ahead…

Amulet Internship

We’re currently looking for an in-house production intern familiar with Photoshop.  Duties include scanning, flatting, and some digital painting.  While we will require some light production work on Amulet 4, much of the job involves work on an unannounced Amulet-related project.  You must live near Alhambra, CA and be able to commute to the studio.  Please send resumes and work samples to: info (at)